Saturday, March 24, 2012

From Micro-fluidics to Monster-fluidics

On Friday our department took a break from micro-fluidics to tour Oregon State's world-class Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory. We were given the deluxe tour by the acting director, Professor Solomon Yim.

The facility receives significant funding from the National Science Foundation and collaborate with institutions around the world to conduct research projects which can take a half year or more to complete. They had an experiment in progress in the 2D wave channel, and we got to talk to the principle investigator and see the instrumentation setup.

In the tsunami basin, they simulated a couple of different wave types for us. Here is a link to a video where they simulated a tsunami striking Seaside, Oregon.

Afterwords, the boss bought us lunch and then we returned to our warm office, ready to delve back in to the nice, safe world of micro-fluidics.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Pinewood Chaos

I survived my first Pinewood Derby as Cubmaster. Here is my entry, built using an original-style kit like I used as a kid, and based on a 1953 Ferrari to honor the first year a Pinewood Derby was held. I ran it once during setup and it didn't even make it to the finish line! Just for looks.

We held it at the Stake Center. We had fourteen cars, not including mine, from the two Wards and a good turnout. Luckily I had experienced leaders doing the scoring at starting.

The kids seemed to have fun. The cars were very closely matched, and the only accidents of the night were a wheel falling off and a car so heavily weighted in the back that it kept jumping the track. Memories for years to come.

Ann Marie's car won it's first heat. I didn't keep track after that. Ann Marie didn't either. She was more interested in the coloring table we set up for the younger kids.

I wrote a computer script to create the certificates this time and was able to have most printed before the closing ceremony, and all before they went home. I just need a faster printer next time.