JOL Sunday Flickr #11


Back after a few days in rural Ontario with my lovely and awesome wife, and we’re into another episode of JOL Sunday Flickr!  I’m sitting here on the couch with my little adorable dogger and my Laura watching Blood Diamond with Leo DiCaprio and Jennifer Connelly.  Laura has not seen a lot of the American movies that I love to watch when I write, and today’s episode is no exception.  If you haven’t seen Blood Diamond, you need to get it!

Check out some excellent shots from the Flickrverse — the JimOnLight Flickr Group Photo Pool!

A Windowlight (window light) portrait / black and white portrait / Black & White / BW / Portrait / black / background / white / : IMGP6898

Ball of Light - Loves the Night

A photo that expresses the importance of spelling…

Mercy Me

Mercy Me

N.D.B.C - I'M SEXY I KNOW IT - Today's Explore at #1 on Fluidr

philippines   (  explore  )

Layers of Arches

A touch of light from the moon ° Series


Doors Open on the Right

some InLight Gobos custom work

I wish you a very excellent week!

A DIY LED VU-Meter Necktie!


I am never, ever disappointed by Make.  Not in seven years of doing this blog have I ever come across a story on Make that wasn’t the coolest thing I had ever seen, and I read somewhere in the neighborhood of eleventy million blog posts a week.  Well, it might be more in the tennedy million range, but you get the point.  Make is wicked.

Check this out — Maker and awesome duderino Collin Cunningham is sporting a cool LED tie in this video, which also consequently shows you how to make the tie!  It’s a breakaway tie that is modeled on the prison guard-style of tie, velcro in the rear of the neck; there’s also a microphone in the knot that feeds back into the LED controller, giving you a walking VU Meter!  As you can imagine if you know me, mine would be peaked all day long.  This system is built on Adafruit‘s wearable electronics platform called FLORA — from the website:

FLORA is Adafruit’s wearable electronics platform. We designed it from the ground up to provide the best experience for Adafruit’s community of makers, hackers, crafters, artists, designers and engineers. It’s built around the Atmega32u4 chip, which has built-in USB support. No pesky special cables or extra parts for programming, just plug it in and get started making the wearables project of your dreams! Works on Windows and Mac.

The FLORA is extremely beginner-friendly– it is difficult to destroy the FLORA by connecting a battery backwards due to polarized connector and protection diodes. The onboard regulator means that even connecting a 9V battery will not result in damage or tears.

The Ampli-Tie!

This FLORA device is pretty cool!  If you’re a tinkerer like me who loves to solder stuff and blow up all kinds of delicate circuitry because you are an occasional dumbass, this thing is the way to go, with its onboard voltage regulator!  Check this out:

This entire project is pretty much given to the world free at Adafruit’s website (the Adafruit Learning System, which is pretty awesome!); you can make your own Ampli-Tie to wear around the conferences!  Go check out Make, one of the coolest places for nerds on Planet Earth!

The Daily Lamp – Copper Lamp 10kg is Not Only Heavy, It’s An Investment!


Tobias Sieber and Samuel Treindl want you to know this about Copper Lamp 10kg:

The copper lamp is a speculative object of investment. Over time, its value will increase proportionally to the price of copper. The lamp not only represents a safe investment for its owner, it also fulfills the function of being an object of every day use. The collection of a well-tried material in combination with an economic thinking results in a unique product concept. Where does the added value of a design object come from and is the client ready to invest?

For those of you who don’t speak Metric, that’s 22 pounds of copper lamp.  At least you’ll never tip it over trying to turn it on after a night full of Shiner Bocks!





The Daily Lamp: The Little Bunny Foo-Foo Lamp, Lighting Up the Forest from SuckUK


Albeit a bit late in the day for the Daily Lamp, this day’s specimen is an absolutely gag-me-with-a-spoon adorable lamp that takes the bunny (you know, the good ol’ bunny) and adds the element of what some of my touring friends call The Backwards Rudolph.  I guess you’ll have to ask my good pal Kevin Parsley about that…  (I MISS YOU KP!  CALL ME!)

The Bunny Light, from awesome makers SuckUK, is a bunny with a Rudolph tail — the product’s designer is Aaron Norman.  That means the rabbit’s butt lights up.  It’s adorable.  it’s also sixty pounds!  If you’re doing the conversion from UK Pounds to American Dollars, it’s about $17,223 for this lamp.  Or, if you subtract the comedy subroutine, it’s about $100 USD.  Still, it’s freaking adorable enough that I would keep one right on the entrance to the loo!  I like it!

You want a Bunny Light?  Get yours here!






From the makers:

Porcelain white rabbit with a light-up tail
Super adorable bunny with a light-bulb where his fluffy tail should be. We don’t have to explain any more than that, he’s irresistible, and a little surreal. Face in different directions to adjust the amount of light directed into a dark room. The light stays cool to the touch and is made up of energy efficient LEDs. Powered via USB, so it will work with your existing phone or camera charger plug. We also include a UK mains USB adaptor in the box.
Design by Aaron Norman

We Can’t Stop Asteroids from Smashing Humanity into Powder


With a headline like that, one would think this would be bigger news than anything Kim Kardashian might produce, even trumping what color baby bib little cranky monkey Justin Bieber might be wearing today.  But, you’d be wrong.

Here’s the fact of the matter:  all over Earth right now – scientific organizations, special lobbying groups, NASA, the European Space Agency, et al – are telling lawmakers and news outlets that we need to get a collective effort going to solve the problem of hey, what happens if a global killer asteroid smashes into Earth?  Can we protect ourselves?  After all, apparently it only takes one medium-sized asteroid, something around a kilometer in width.  You saw Armageddon, right?  Billy Bob Thornton’s character makes it perfectly clear what would happen if that big rock in the movie slammed into the ocean – and this is just the movies:

asteroids-coming-again copy

“Even if the asteroid itself hits the water, it’s still hitting land. It’ll flash boil millions of gallons of sea water and slam into the ocean bedrock. Now if it’s a Pacific Ocean impact, which we think it will be, it’ll create a tidal wave 3 miles high, travel at a thousand miles an hour, covering California, and washing up in Denver. Japan’s gone, Australia’s wiped out. Half the world’s population will be incinerated by the heat blast, and the rest will freeze to death from nuclear winter.”

Now, that’s just lines from a movie.  But even for a movie that’s pretty hardcore!  Can you imagine it?  I’ve had some bad days, but that sounds horrible.  Thank goodness it’s only the movies.  Are we actually supposed to entrust Billy Bob Thornton with our astrophysical safety, he was also the “french fried pertaters” guy in Slingblade?!  Of COURSE we are!

asteroids-coming copy

Back in the real world that I live in, I ask myself exactly what might happen if a thousand thousand tons of rock slams into the bedrock of Earth.  In that other movie about asteroids with Morgan Freeman (It’s called Deep Impact, and I hear that many a porno has been modeled after the title), astronauts were able to not exactly save Earth, but they were able to pulverize the asteroid enough so that only a smaller chunk of it smashed into Earth.  Still, that smaller chunk made the seas rise a few hundred feet, created a big tidal wave that made the Atlantic wash up into Tennessee and killing a few hundred million Americans.  But that was still just a movie!  Right?!

Asteroid 433 Eros, a planetary killer discovered in 1898, has a dimension of 34.4 kilometers by 11.2km by 16.84 km.  It's the size of a large midwestern city.

Asteroid 433 Eros, a planetary killer discovered in 1898, has a dimension of 34.4 kilometers by 11.2km by 16.84 km. It’s the size of a large midwestern city.  433 Eros is a potential Earth impactor.

What Do Earth’s Scientists Think?

Scientists are all over the freaking place about this very real issue right now.  Some people are deeply concerned, others think that there’s such a little chance that it would ever happen:

“Right now, based on our survey, we see no national imperative for this nation to be upset or excited about impending doom.”  – James L. Green, Director of NASA‘s Planetary Science Division, on Discovery

Perhaps the most daunting answer to come from the House Science Committee hearing with John Holdren was this:  “An asteroid of that size, a kilometer or bigger, could plausibly end civilization… from the information we have, we don’t know of an asteroid that will threaten the population of the United States.  But if it’s coming in three weeks, pray.”   – White House Science Advisor John Holdren

University of California Santa Barbara physicist Philip M. Lubin thinks we should start small on smaller asteroids first – ones we know are coming:  ““We need to be proactive rather than reactive in dealing with threats. Duck and cover is not an option. We can actually do something about it, and it’s credible to do something. So let’s begin along this path. Let’s start small and work our way up. There is no need to break the bank to start.”

Scientists don’t disagree that something needs to be done.  What they do differ on is how it needs to be done.  Some scientists feel that some sort of projectile, either nuclear or otherwise, should be thrown at the asteroid somehow.  Some think that attaching some kind of “solar sail” or assisted rocket takeoff device on a grand scale would be the best bet.  One scientist even suggests painting the asteroid in order to change the amount of light it reflects.  Others, seriously yet still funny enough, make jokes in Senate hearings about “calling Bruce Willis,” while actual scientists theorize about possibly making a huge laser and reflector work as our asteroid goalkeeper.  Lest we not forget that Bruce Willis was not only an asteroid killer in the movies, but also Died hard a whole bunch of times.  Like, a TON of times.  How many times can you actually die hard?  Maybe he can just tell the asteroid to go f*ck itself while shooting at it.  Since John Holdren pretty much summed our Earth-asteroid defense systems with “if it [an asteroid] comes in the next three weeks, pray,” then maybe some fictional help might not hurt!


A few of these ideas that scientists are kicking around still in theory format:

Yarkovsky Paint

The long and the short of this idea is to change the amount of light that the asteroid emits in IR photos, eventually causing a miniscule “rocket thrust” in one direction.  The article at Wired explains this fantastically:

The Yarkovsky effect works by changing the amount of light an asteroid gives off. As an asteroid rotates, the surface that has been heated by the sun moves away to face space and radiates infrared photons. Though massless, these photons carry away small bits of momentum from the asteroid, essentially generating a tiny rocket thrust in one direction. The effect is very slight but over time can noticeably change an asteroid’s orbit. By making an asteroid lighter or darker, and therefore changing the amount of radiation it absorbs, we could turn up or down this miniscule rocket thrust. It’s a long haul-technique, requiring years, decades, or even centuries of advanced notice to alter an asteroid’s trajectory.

Will it work?  I have no idea.  I don’t think we have “decades or even centuries” to wait it out, though!

DE-STAR, or Directed Energy Solar Targeting of Asteroids and exploRation


DE-STAR is basically a re-directing and re-purposing of the Sun’s energy into little laser blasts that might be able to either re-direct or completely vaporize an approaching asteroid over the course of a year.  From a post at Popular Science:

Described as a “directed energy orbital defense system,” DE-STAR is designed to harness some of the power of the sun and convert it into a massive phased array of laser beams that can destroy, or evaporate, asteroids posing a potential threat to Earth. It is equally capable of changing an asteroid’s orbit —— deflecting it away from Earth, or into the Sun —— and may also prove to be a valuable tool for assessing an asteroid’s composition, enabling lucrative, rare-element mining. And it’s entirely based on current essential technology.

The DE-STAR team also claims that their system might also be able to push a spacecraft at the speed of light into the unknown.  More on that in another post.

Surfing An Asteroid On Solar Sails


Solar Sails are something that have taken on validity in this race to figure out how to mitigate the asteroid threat.  This would basically consist of a huge solar sail deployed in space, making good use of the ever-present solar pressure that is exerted on objects in space.  From How Stuff Works:

The reflective nature of the sails is key. As photons (light particles) bounce off the reflective material, they gently push the sail along by transferring momentum to the sail. Because there are so many photons from sunlight, and because they are constantly hitting the sail, there is a constant pressure (force per unit area) exerted on the sail that produces a constant acceleration of the spacecraft. Although the force on a solar-sail spacecraft is less than a conventional chemical rocket, such as the space shuttle, the solar-sail spacecraft constantly accelerates over time and achieves a greater velocity.

Interesting.  The principle of solar pressure also kind of tickles me in that special place.  But again, another post for another time.

Potential Impact of Potential Impacts

Watch this – the recent asteroid that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia, which exploded around 40 miles above the town with the force of 300 Hiroshimas, was 55 feet across, and injured over 1500 people.  This was in a sparsely populated area, so imagine the impact of an asteroid exploding over San Francisco or New York City:

Also, if you have some time (or want to skip through to where John Holdren tells the Senate Committee that if an asteroid comes to NYC in the next three weeks that we can only pray), check out John Holdren’s Senate Hearing en toto.  It’s actually pretty interesting right off the bat — it might also be interesting to hear the almost comical questions and answers from our elected legislators to these scientists presenting scary information to Congress, not to mention the entire House Science Committee turning every answer of these scientists into how much it would cost and all of the interrupting that these scientists had to endure:

Thanks to:
Mother Jones
Daily Mail
Red Orbit
Space Politics
The Register
NBC’s Cosmic Log
Wikipedia on Asteroid Impact Avoidance

Multimeter vs. Magic Smoke

Do you have one of these?Fluke Meter

Have you ever had to replace one of these in it?Fuse

Have you ever received what you would consider a weird and therefore incorrect reading?

Have you taken a reading twice and had inconsistent readings?

Is the magic smoke still inside? How do you know?

Are you wondering when I’ll get to my point? Point taken.

If you’re serious about the treatment and maintenance of your multimeters, you make sure that it is always used properly and only used by authorized and/or qualified individuals, right? You know exactly how it was used when you loaned it to another person in another department and that it was used correctly, right? Right?

I didn’t think so.

The thing that I’m trying to get at here is that you never know if the multimeter that you are using is actually accurate unless you do a test comparison with another like multimeter before going to use it. Or if you just opened up that sealed from the assembly-line box. Or maybe you’re one of the elite who just got it back from a calibration/recertification process.

Well, I’m here to tell you that no matter who you are, you should be among the elite. Depending on your multimeter usage, you really ought to be sending them out for a check-up. The interval at which you do so is ultimately up to you but it should be based on how you use your multimeter, how often you use it, maybe even manufacturer’s guidelines.

I’m going to break everyone down into 3 different user categories and give you my personal recommendations for how often you should have your meters checked:

  • Casual user – you perform a non-critical measurements, you are the sole user or you don’t really have the funds to do calibrations often – you should send your meter out for calibration every 3 years or less.
  • General user – you perform critical measurements on a regular basis or you might not be the sole user – you should send your meter out for calibration every 2 years or less.
  • Heavy user – you perform critical measurements weekly or you are not the sole user – you should send your meter out for calibration every year or less.

Now, please keep in mind that I’m basing those personal recommendations on that fact that you know where your meter is, where it has been, how it has been used, etc. If at any point your meter has blown the fuse or otherwise taken an overload or it has fallen a few feet or more to the ground, don’t take a chance. Send it out for calibration. It truly is better to be safe than sorry. I don’t want to ever here about one of my co-workers having been injured or worse because of a faulty meter.

The annual cost that I have paid for calibration on a Fluke 87 III True RMS digital multimeter from Transcat has been $51 for the past 3 years.

I have personally had meters that were being used, had an incident that the user may or may not have known occurred in the meter (no external signs of an issue), went out for their annual calibration, and were in need of repair or were unrepairable and therefore were not able to be used again. If I had not sent those meters out, myself and co-workers would have picked that meter up and used it assuming that it was good. Seriously, don’t assume. DO NOT ASSUME. Don’t do it. I want you to be safe and more importantly, alive.

got fox?

Help Aron Altmark Make Laser Graffiti for The American Red Cross


There’s this guy I know named Aron Altmark. You guys all know him too, I’ve featured him on JOL before. He’s a lighting designer, programmer, light artist, and cool dude.

Aron is doing a large Laser Graffiti installation to benefit the American Red Cross on April 20, 2013 in Birmingham, Alabama, and he needs our financial support. The event, called Paint The Town Red 2013, will feature digital art of all kinds — if Light Graffiti will be there, it will be awesome. I will be donating too — and furthermore, I trust in Aron, and I guarantee that Aron will be fiscally responsible with any of the funds that you donate. I have nothing to do with this event whatsoever, but I know Aron is a stand-up guy, and I trust him to be as such. Aron only needs to raise $1000, let’s help him knock it out of the park!

Click HERE to help Aron Altmark take Laser Graffiti to Birmingham for Paint the Town Red 2013!



Porter at Vive Latino 2013 by Tupac Martir and Satore Studio



I’m sitting on the couch having a chat with my buddy Tupac Martir the other day on Facebook (Tupac is the guy behind Satore Studio in London) about making video content on the iPad , and he sends me a little sketch video he made in a program called Brushes on his iPad.  It was what looked like a ghost having a conniption fit all around the room, I certainly thought it was pretty interesting.  No big deal or grand monumental earth-shattering brain convulsion took place or anything over this video – until I saw this video:

It all comes together as far as art goes — the images I saw from Tupac’s iPad weeks before turned into the background for Porter’s Host of A Ghost, live at Vive Latino 2013!  This is the band Porter at this year’s Vive Latino 2013 show.  Tupac and his team at Satore Studio created the content and the lighting for Porter’s set, and it was awesome!  Here’s Cuervos/No Te Encuentro by Porter at Vive Latino 2013, visuals and lighting by Tupac and Satore Studio:

You have to give it up to Tupac and his crew for the intermingling of color temperatures on this set — the cold, sterile whites from the arcs and the video mixed in with the warm incandescent PAR tones creates an underlying tone of depth that really comes through during the solid color frames from the screen images.  I love this!

I found out a bit more about the rig that Tupac was using for the show and about his illustrious team of magic makers…

16 Mac 2000 Profile
16 Mac 2000 Wash
14 Martin Atomic Strobes
14 Molefay

6 trusses, each with 6 PAR 64, 1 Mac Aura, 1 Atomic 3000, and 6 Mac 2000 Profiles on the floor

1 Catalyst running 6 layers

1 GrandMA 1 Full size
Show pre-viz in WYSIWYG
Pre-viz using MA on PC

Satore Studio Team:

Creative Director:
Tupac Martir

Lighting Associate:
Muly Yechezkel

Content Creator:
Kenji Ikenaga

Content Assistant:
Fabiola Ruiz-Ortega

Assistant Model Maker:
Patricia Arellano

Production Manager: 
Juan Pablo de la Torre
from Showbox Inc

Tupac also mentioned that Kenji Ikenaga, the Content Creator for the gig, will be making a video breakdown of each visual and how it was made technically and conceptually!  Here’s a teaser…

teaser del making of de Daphne from Kenji Ikenaga on Vimeo.

Awesome work, Satore Studio!  Be sure to follow Tupac on Facebook and Tupac on Twitter!


The Daily Lamp – Grotesk and Case Studyos Joint Project, 6FT 6IN – A Sneaker Lamp!

Today’s Daily Lamp is a pretty cool conglomeration of sports culture and hip-hop design.  Meet the 6FT 6IN lamp:


In the birthing process of the 6FT 6IN lamp, which is an awesome little pair of sneakers and stick legs going to the shade, there was this as a teaser:

6ft 6in from Doubleday & Cartwright on Vimeo.

Case Studyos and Swiss born NYC artist Grotesk (aka Kimou Meyer) have created a new designer lamp, numbered and signed by the artist, that comes in a cool wooden box containing the lamp:




Thanks Hyper Beast and Selectism!

JOL Sunday Flickr #10


This has been a great week.

I got married to a wonderful lady who loves me so much.
I got a lot of things done from the Grand List of Things.
I went through about 200gb of video content that I have not had a chance to touch because of my full-time work.
I took a few moments to smell the flowers.

It always makes me feel so great to take a look through the great art that gets added to the JOL Flickr Group Photo Pool every week, I am truly humbled by such passionate, interesting light work!  Check out this week’s offering:

No-Shirts Basket Lights

City of Angels


Writing with Light


Just One Night

Palacio Real de Madrid

Luci in piazza San Carlo

sushi samba at heron tower


Until next week… JimOnLight as a 21-year-old kid:
Me:  The Rockstar Years