Shinobu Koizumi Stuck Some Light In A Drawer. Awesome.

This is a pretty awesome idea, its simplicity is exactly the thing that works the best about it!  Meet Shinobu Koizumi‘s “Light In A Drawer,” which is, in my opinion, pretty clever:

You better believe that, if I could afford something like this, I’d have it hacked to respond to iTunes with individual cell control.  Or not, I gotta believe this thing is like eleventy thousand dollars.

Thanks, DesignBoom!

If George Carlin Opened A Bar, It Would Be Called “Holy Sh*t It’s Only Wednesday”

Please excuse the two day hiatus there folks, I had two days back to back where getting up, going to sleep, and the master task list all kind of jumbled into one 48 hour session of Supermarket Sweep.  Except I wasn’t at the supermarket.

Hmm.

I’m back on track now.  So in order to start your day off correctly, here’s one of the most hilarious cat videos I have ever seen.  Ever.  Happy Hump Day, everybody!!!

Arik Levy’s WellOfLife Series

Do you all know Arik Levy?  He does a lot of really beautiful, creative work with light.  Like this stuff, screen grabbed from Arik Levy’s website:

Arik Levy has come out with a new series, called WellOfLife.  Arik said, about the project:  “In many traditions and in everyday life Light is Life…. I wanted to combine this idea with the story of catching the light in a water bucket, from which I got the inspiration for the Well.”

Check out the collection:

 Thanks, Design Milk!

Video and Image Sharpness with Chris Pirillo and Brandon Wirtz

I’ve been getting into a lot of video-based lighting stuff lately.  In my pursuit to learn the ins and outs of DIY video production and post-production, I’m finding videos like this, from Chris Pirillo, where he talked with Brandon Wirtz of LockerGnome about image and video sharpness.  If you’re getting into video, or perhaps are just so good at video that you want to test your knowledge, check out the video!

Have opinions about industry standards? Voice them!

PLASA StandardsNo, seriously! Every time that any standard is submitted to ANSI for approval or revision, it is first put into public review. That’s right, I said public. PLASA (formerly ESTA) is who puts forth our entertainment standards. At this very moment, there are 11 Entertainment Technology standards up for public review.

  • BSR E1.21 – 201x, Entertainment Technology — Temporary Ground-Supported Structures Used to Cover the Stage Areas and Support Equipment in the Production of Outdoor Entertainment Events
  • BSR E1.6-2 – 201x, Entertainment Technology — Design, Inspection, and Maintenance of Electric Chain Hoists for the Entertainment Industry
  • BSR E1.39 – 201x, Entertainment Technology –Selection and Use of Personal Fall Arrest Systems on Portable Structures Used in the Entertainment Industry
  • BSR E1.1 – 201x, Entertainment Technology – Construction and Use of Wire Rope Ladders
  • BSR E1.6-3 – 201x, Selection and Use of Chain Hoists in the Entertainment Industry
  • BSR E1.41 – 201x, Recommendations for Measuring and Reporting Photometric Performance Data for Entertainment Luminaires Utilizing Solid State Light Sources
  • BSR E1.18-1 – 201x, Standard for the selection, installation, and use of single-conductor portable power feeder cable systems for use at 600 volts nominal or less for the distribution of electrical energy in the entertainment and live-event industries
  • BSR E1.24 – 201x, Entertainment Technology – Dimensional Requirements for Stage Pin Connectors
  • BSR E1.32 – 201x, Guide for the Inspection of Entertainment Industry Incandescent Lamp Luminaires
  • BSR E1.33-201x, Entertainment Technology – Extensions to E1.31 for Transport of ANSI E1.20
  • ANSI E1.26 – 2006, Entertainment Technology – Recommended testing methods and values for shock absorption of floors used in live performance venues

All of the preceding, except for ANSI E1.26 – 2006, is in public review until October 18, 2011. ANSI E1.26 – 2006 is in public review until August 30, 2011.

From PLASA about the documents, review and voting process:

The draft documents are produced by members of the working groups in the Technical Standards Program. Membership in the working groups is open to all who are affected by the work of the group; membership in PLASA or any other association is not a requirement. Voting members are required to attend meetings, but observer members are not, although they are welcome to attend and to speak on issues if they choose. More information about working groups and an application to join are available under the working groups link.

I’m not certain how untimely the first item on the list, BSR E1.21 – 201x, looks with all of the staging incidents that have occurred this summer, but certainly now is the time for those involved, and even those not directly, to make a stronger standard. Just remember, they aren’t looking for rants – as valid as they may be.

-got fox?

Modern Rock Diaries Plays Oklahoma City on Friday!

My buddy Clinton Trench and the band he’s in, Modern Rock Diaries, is playing Oklahoma City on Friday!!  Check out this video, it’s pretty awesome.  I’m gonna be talking to Modern Rock Diaries drummer and light man pretty soon, as their entire lighting rig is MIDI.  Friday night at The Blue Note in OKC!

Check out the video, it is black and white and full of awesomeness.

Tickets are eight bucks in advance, ten at the door.  ROCK!

Thanks, Joe Bonamassa, Now I Have to Clean My Face Off the Wall

Oh my. This guy is electricity.

I’m a big fan of the blues, I’ve always wanted to hop onboard with a blues or jam band and light the living bejesus out of their show.  My very close friend Kat Dicken turned me onto this guy Joe Bonamassa this weekend, and I have to say I have listened to nothing but since Saturday night.  Hey Joe, need a lighting designer?  You, my friend, blew my brain all over my apartment with this song last night, just FYI:

Stop!” at the Royal Albert Hall:

and then of course there’s this giant tune, “The Ballad of John Henry,” also at the Royal Albert Hall:

Oof.  Wow.  I needed this music so bad, what a passionate player!  Have an amazing day, everybody!  I hope this is as inspiring to you all as it is to me!

Indiana State Fair Stage Collapse Claims A Seventh Victim

I want to make sure that no one ever forgets these two images:

Unfortunately, this horrible accident has claimed its seventh life, and now Meagan Toothman’s family is donating her organs, perhaps later today.  Here’s another image not to forget:

Rest in peace, Meagan.  Thanks for donating your organs so that others may improve their quality of life.  We’re really sorry that you had to have this decision made for you.  If you would like to know more about Meagan, check out Meagan’s family’s website on Meagan’s process.  Unfortunately, you know how the story turned out already.

Just a quick recap of some stories you should be reading about this disaster in Indiana:

Boo’s thoughts on the Indiana Stage Collapse

 

Indiana’s Self Policing Raises Questions – this one is kinda great, just because it calls into question the procedures and practices being used by Indiana Fair Investigators.  From the article:

Other states in similar positions have formed special commissions with outside experts to handle investigations, including of a bonfire collapse at Texas A&M University and the Columbine High School shootings in Colorado. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels so far hasn’t mentioned the idea, and instead has repeatedly referred to the wind gust that toppled the stage but spared other nearby structures as a freak occurrence that couldn’t have been anticipated.

“The fair has an interest in protecting itself,” attorney Jerry Miniard of Erlanger, Ky., who is representing an injured girl, said Thursday. “Why in the world would you let someone who may be responsible investigate themselves?”

Miniard said he is a friend of the father of 10-year-old Jade Walcott, whose skull was crushed by the falling stage. He questioned how thorough the probe will be given that it’s nearly all being done in-house.

“The state of Indiana is basically investigating itself,” he said.

Judy Nadler, a former mayor of Santa Clara, Calif., who is a senior fellow in government ethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, said that could be a mistake.

“There’s this sort of automatic default to say, we have people here internally who can take a look at this … but for something so closely affiliated with the state, it would be wise to call upon someone who doesn’t have any even perceived conflict of interest,” Nadler said. She suggested bringing in someone from outside the state, perhaps even an outside regulator.

“I think it really is such a significant event … it requires a level of independence to fully discern the facts and to fully convey to the public that this was a fair and thorough and impartial and nonpolitical look at what happened,” she said.

State fair officials did announce this week that they had hired New York engineering firm Thornton Tomasetti Inc. to review the stage’s design and construction, but Miniard questioned how far-ranging that probe might be since the state will determine the scope of the investigation.

“The state of Indiana is in complete control over the investigation,” Miniard said. “And the state’s interests are possibly different than those people who were injured or killed.

Fair spokesman Andy Klotz said the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration and other agencies conducting their own investigations will all report to the fair commission. “I am quite sure that everybody is going to be satisfied with the thoroughness of this investigation,” he said. “And nobody wants the answers more than us.”

You know what, I’m not touching that one today.

Also, see the article Indiana State Fair’s Disaster Preparedness Plan is One Page Long.

You still think this is a fluke, Governor Daniels?

NFPA 101: Life Safety Code

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome David Fox!

Is it ironic that the Life Safety Code is labeled as 101? Everything that is in this code is certainly something that I think could be offered in a college 101 course, if there were such a course path for these codes. This code is revised every 3 years and the latest edition for 2012 was just finalized. It’s so new that you can’t get your hands on it yet, but soon (October 14th).

Though it is not legal code, it is written as such so that any authority having jurisdiction can easily adopt and implement it. Besides, it provides a lot of best practice material. The Life Safety Code is one of the unique codes in the NFPA arsenal that if it is adopted into local code, both new construction and existing structures must comply. In most cases for other codes, anything new only applies to new construction. NFPA 101 is in use in every state in the U.S. and has been adopted statewide by 43 states (see graphic to the right from 2009). So, if you aren’t following it now, you might want to double-check that your aren’t breaking the law. You don’t want to pay any fines for non-compliance in the event of an inspection which can be hefty and can grow in numbers exponentially and nobody wants to pay the ultimate price in the event of an emergency.

This past week I sent out a tweet about one small part of this code – emergency lighting. It’s just one of the numerous monthly inspections that my crew is responsible for at KA. Every month, we check battery back-up fixtures in stairwells and around the facility. We also perform a safety inspection which is primarily focused on electrical safety but certainly is not limited to just that. Pretty much the only thing that we aren’t responsible for is checking the emergency generators for the property. The Department of Homeland Security has this new campaign called, “If You See Something, Say Something.” You can definitely use that in the most general sense when performing any inspection. If it doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t – but don’t stop there, go research it and inform responsible parties. Learn.

Though I cannot recite every word, I’m slowly getting up to speed on the bullet points of the code and every other code out there. It can be mind-numbing for sure, but at least one person in every facility should be deemed the competent party and hit the books. There are many resources available in the form of fast facts or quick sheets. Use them and keep them on hand. Pass the knowledge on to others.

  • OSHA Fact Sheets – yes, they even have a fact sheet about Black Widow spiders, just in case you need it
  • Office of Compliance – these are from the department that oversees safety in the offices of Congress
  • List of NFPA Codes & Standards – nearly every code is viewable online for FREE from NFPA directly after creating an account

This is not the kind of information that makes you more powerful as an individual. This is the information that makes a team powerful. Not everyone sees the same errors or sees them the same way. Not everyone knows something at all. And complacency is not an option when it comes to anyone’s safety.

It is my hope that I’ll make this a thing and have some articles every so often about safety things in our industry. Every day is anew in the safety world and this is just one way that I can help since this is some of my duty as a safety committee primary member at my day job.

-got fox?