How It’s Made – Optical Lenses

Yet another very interesting process installment of the How It’s Made series – the creation of optical lenses for cameras and photographic equipment.  this process is pretty complicated and awesome.  I hope you enjoy this as much as I did – I have been learning new stuff all week!

Check it out:

Another interesting video, this one from Kodak:

and this video, on lenses and types, is just fun:

Happy Birthday, James Bowman Lindsay!

Who’s that dude with the crazy curly coif? It’s James Bowman Lindsay! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, James Bowman Lindsday!

Good ol’ Jimmy BL here is a lesser known but still influential figure in the history of light and electricity.  What’s funny about Jimbo here is that he, like many of his contemporaries across the ages, wasn’t a d-bag bent on world domination and capitalistic tendencies like Edison or Westinghouse.  James was a good person with morals and values and all of those things people have told me about in my life.

(bwa, ha ha ha)

How James became involved in the industry was on two fronts – he invented an early version of an incandescent lamp, and he developed a system of wireless telegraphy that preceded Guglielmo Marconi‘s radio telegraphy devices.  James Bowman Lindsay claimed that his electric incandescent lamp gave him the ability to read a book at “a distance of one and a half feet,” and he displayed it at a public meeting in Scotland in July of 1835.  Unfortunately for Lindsay, his lack of being a ruthless scientist and businessman allowed Edison to take over the patent some 38 years later.

What was cool about Jimmy B here is that he was passionate about his work.  I mean really passionate about it – to the point where he never married, gave his whole life to the industry for the better, and died while still conducting his own research.  Now that is dedication.

We can thank James Bowman Lindsay for arc welding, submarine telegraphy, and an early form of the incandescent lamp (in addition to just being a hell of a guy and incredible astronomer, scientist, and developer).  Thanks Jimbo, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DUDE!

Thanks Wikipedia, Dundee, and Google!

How It’s Made – Holograms

Laser crazed people, raise your hands!

<Jim raises both hands in the air, quite like that of a person who just has a lack of care>

Check out this How It’s Made of a laser hologram being captured, developed, and exposed.  VERY cool.  Now I cannot WAIT until my Wicked Lasers S3 Spyder Arctic comes in!  Come on, damnit, SHIP!  (At first it was 3-5 days, now they’re telling me 3-5 WEEKS.  It’s a shame they already charged the credit card…)

Jax’s Link-O-Rama: Burning Man Edition

Seems like half my city (that’s San Francisco, y’all) has been away at Burning Man for the past week.  I don’t do the playa thing, myself, but there has been some pretty fun light art that’s happened out there over the years.  Here’s a video from 2009 of some of the light art (and explosions! my favorite!).

Photos of the Flaming Lotus GirlsSoma installation from 2009, courtesy of Steve

Awesome, no?  If next year everyone can switch from diesel-powered generators to solar power, then we’ll be in business!  Okay, on to the linkage:

How It’s Made – High Voltage Pole Transformers

Happy Tuesday, everybody!

Another light-related How It’s Made video – this time of the process of fabricating high-voltage pole transformers.  You know, the things that go POP when the power goes out?  Yeah.  I’ll never forget the hellacious ice storm from the winter of 2007 in Oklahoma City that killed transformers all over the city – the power went out for days, and in the dark night time sky, you could see the green lightning of these things popping all over the place.


Check out the How It’s Made video on these things – I had no idea!

Also, not to be outdone – videos of transformers EXPLODING!

How It’s Made – Contact Lenses!

I have to admit – I have never been able to stick a contact lens on my own eye.  Therefore, I just don’t try to wear them!

The process of making a contact lens is pretty neat, actually – 15 steps in total (minus a hydrating procedure that takes about a day) can be preformed in about 15-20 minutes total.  Pretty interesting!  The computerized, mechanized aspect of the contact lens manufacturing is exactly how you’d imagine it to be – extremely precise.

Check out this video from the How It’s Made ( LIGHT related) series on making these contact lenses.  Very interesting!

Also, not to be outdone, the making of SPECTACLES!

Sunday Flickr Group Photo Pool

I have really been looking forward to every Sunday, because I get to see great photos by interesting photographers!  Check out this week’s picks from the Flickr Group:


Urinetown - 2010



Puffy Sunrise

Bokeh Orbs


ambient light

Space Needle at Night

How It’s Made – Neon Signs (She’s Always Buzzing Just Like…)

I’m telling you, I found a metric crap-ton of these How It’s Made videos relating to light and the lighting industries.  Me and my addictive personality! (SHUT UP, GUYUTE)

It is stunning to watch this man in the video work with the glass tube – it is truly an art.  I learned to work with glass in undergraduate school at a glassblowing studio in rural Illinois – a pool of glass in its molten state is one of the most beautiful things in the world.

Check out the video – very cool!

How It’s Made – Photovoltaic Panels (That’s Solar, Holmes)

Another awesome How It’s Made video – making SOLAR PANELS!  This is such a technical process, and I think they did a great job of capturing the gist of it.  Check out the video!

GOP Senate Tea Bagger Ron Johnson Thinks Sunspots Explain Climate Change

Wow.  This news is about a week and a half old or so, but have you heard what the Republican Senate candidate Ron Johnson (also celebrated by the Tea Baggers) thinks the source of all of our climate change is in the world?


Johnson thinks that there’s no way that man-made causes are to blame for climate change.  I mean, after all, he is supported by the party is named after something people do with balls.  He must be right on.  Here’s his quote from the Milwaukee Sentinel about the subject:

If you take a look at geologic time, we’ve had huge climate swings. We’re sitting here in Wisconsin. Had it not been for climate swings, we’d be sitting on a two or three hundred foot thick glacier. Man wasn’t around back then. So no, I absolutely do not believe that the science of man-caused climate change is proven. Not by any stretch of the imagination. I think it’s far more likely that it’s just sunspot activity, or something just in the geologic eons of time where we have changes in the climate.

The Middle Ages was an extremely warm period of time, too. It wasn’t like there were tons of cars on the road. So it always strikes me as a little absurd for anybody to think, Okay, this is the sweet spot in geologic time for climate. And it’s such a good place, that we have spent trillions of dollars, and do great harm to our economy, on a fool’s errand. I don’t think we can do anything about controlling what the climate is.

Amazing. I feel so much better about politicians now. The fact that he relates our economy to global climate change just kinda blows my mind.  If stupidity was a crime, this moron would be doing life in prison.

Here’s a couple of videos that you should watch to get a scoop on this craziness:


Damn.  If I were the Sun, I’d be horribly offended.  Seriously now – are we, as a collective population, REALLY stupid enough to be swayed by ridiculance like this?  Gosh, I sure hope not.

Thanks, Duke.