Yet more progress on “The Machine”

Our Rube Godberg machine is coming together. So far, we have successfully chained 3 of our simple machines together in a fluid sequence. Also, we worked on the fourth section to add on to it. Our plan is to use a toy car on a ramp to propel the machine forward. Here is what it looks like:





The plan is thus: Our nerf gun shoots weights off the left side of the wooden see-saw. The see-saw tips over due to the new weight discrepancy. A hinge with a popsicle stick attached is screwed into the top of the left block of wood. The tipping see-saw flips the popsicle stick 180 degrees. The popsicle stick then nudges the small blue car on the left (hard to see), thereby making it roll down our car track.

We now need to figure out what our blue toy car will be doing in the machine, and connect it to another simple machine. Progress!

Foreshadow: Is there a home-made Newtown’s Cradle in the future?!?


The Mobile…Continued!

So, life is good and the mobile is sort of happening…. I was gone for 3 days last week so I didn’t get much work done.  But, I do know what I am going to hang off of my mobile…molecules! I know, it is totally awesome!  This is a picture of the one I have made so far, so you can get the idea of what will be hanging off the mobile.

photo (2)

I still can’t decide if I am going to have the mobile off set or equal.  Making it off set will be a little tricker, but it may be worth it… I’m just not sure! Oh, and I also decided that I would end up building it from the bottom up, considering that would be a little easier than going from top to bottom.  But, anyway that is how life is with the mobile.


Emotions and colors in chords

Click on this link to take a test based on what you hear. You will receive a list of chords to listen to and your job is to put what emotion you feel when you hear it, perhaps a memory that comes to mind, and what color you feel corresponds with that chord. This will not only give me a lot of results to base my observations on, but you may find something out about yourself in the process. Antonio : for me when I did this I learned some things about myself that I did not previously know about myself. In my opinion being that I was one of the first people to compete this I found it rewarding and amazing to go deep into a level of music that I never thought could happen. To me it was interesting to notice what each chord does to you and the effect that the sound makes on yourself. I also liked how just a little different pitch and sound can change the outcome of what you think and how it makes you feel. Anthony: I really got a lot of insight not only about the chords but about myself. When I hear a guitar being played it’s like we are giving it emotions instead of the other way around.


Now you’re thinking with portal(2)s

Over the past two weeks, My partner and I have been playing the game ‘Portal 2’ in an attempt to understand exactly how a pair of portals works. Following our research (sited further on) we have discovered two prominent variations in how an ASHPD (Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device, or Portal Gun) moves matter and energy between portals.

One of these methods (Implied in game) involves a general disregard for the physics of our universe, the portals ‘connect’ the planes on which they are placed in a sort of wormhole, ‘bending’ the universe until the two points touch. Although This would require a reasonable amount of energy to initiate either portal, it would allow for a perpetual energy source.

The other (largely) accepted explanation is that the portal actually takes a small amount of energy to initiate and hold, but the matter transfer between the two uses a larger amount of energy. Much like how riding a bike down hill doesn’t use much energy, you still must ride the bike uphill to save that energy, often ‘overpaying’, the Portal Gun would exert the energy required to move the matter between the two points at which the portals would be located. This method of use would disallow a perpetual energy source, something deemed impossible in our Three-Dimensional universe.

Thanks to Shamus at Twenty Sided for his analysis of the ‘realistic’ method of Portals.


Goldberg Machine Progress

The newly formed Goldberg Machine group is gaining momentum!  We have made some definite progress this week in terms of progress.  First and foremost, we have successfully crafted 2-3 machines that, when they are combined (which we are still in the process of doing) will form a single, fluid machine.  So far, we have as follows:

This section of our machine will start with a wooden block connected to a pulley system.  A beaker will be filled with water on the opposite side of the pulley system (approximately one typical plastic bottle’s worth), which will cause the wooden block to rise into the air.  The block will be stopping a fan-propelled car that will then roll across a table and hit a large book (which is on rollers).  The book will slowly roll off the table, causing a sudden jerk in the connecting string that leads to the trigger of our mounted dart gun.  (Yes, we admit that we’ve spent a lot of time shooting the gun…not all for science… Alas, we have become wonderful shots!).  The gun will then fire at a weight that is balanced on a see-saw mechanism, causing the see-saw to tip in the opposite direction.  This will then cause the next step to occur, which we have yet to build.  The rig thus far will need to be on PVC mounts, as to allow easy mobility.

We have worked on some other ideas, but have not effectively integrated them yet.  These ideas involve a cup positioned on our ferris wheel, a tube with pressurized water, and a spinning device that tips over another block.  We have also decided that our end result will be turning off the lights.  Part way through we will have a projector be turned on which, when the lights are off at the end, will reveal our logo name (or something awesome).

That’s our work for the week!  There are videos that are on the way to show some of the physical work we did that was discussed in this post.  Until next week – Goldberg Machine Group out.


The Mobile

So, I have spent the last two weeks feeling very unsuccessful, and that may be because I was! For a while, I spent my days moving string millimeters along a wooden pole in hopes of finding equilibrium, only to come back the next day and find my mobile out of whack yet again!  So, I did a little research to see if I could find a way to calculate equilibrium before even hanging my pole (also, my smart teacher suggested this at the beginning and foolish me put it to the back of her mind until now…). And, I think I found the way (that is coming in a little bit).  However, I cannot take all the credit for myself.  I was wandering the web one day, not expecting to find any sites that I hadn’t already read and I cam across this little beauty!  It is a literal “How-To” for building mobiles! Why I hadn’t found this in my previous extensive google searches, I have no idea (stupid internet)!  But one of the most interesting things I noticed from this site is, at the bottom, it shows this glorious picture…

mobile curve vs flat

I had spent what felt like most of life (truly just about 9 days) trying to find a very exact balance point, and I didn’t feel like it anymore! So, I will be using curves for my mobile.  The only problem was that I would need some sort of wire that I could use for a curve.  The answer: a wire hanger.  So, I took a hanger from my house (without telling my mom because those seem to be a specialty in my house) and unbent it and turned it into the perfect thing for my mobile. YAY!


Isn’t it pretty (you can plead the 5th on that one)? But, now I will move onto the interesting part: how I am going to calculate equilibrium.  If you looked at the site I mentioned before you would have found this great picture…

So, this really doesn’t make much sense with out and explanation, so prepare yourselves for one! The point of a mobile is so that A and B are equal weight.  So, whatever I put on side A has to be the weight on side be.  So, by using ratios I should be able to calculate my equilibrium with out trial and error (this is very hopeful). I will make sure that the length ratios for each side of my mobile are the same.  For example is my top curve has a ratio of 2:1 (meaning that where the string lands, one side is double the length of the other) then all the curves below it will have the same length ratio.  Then, I can come up with a weight ratio as well.  I’m just not that far yet, but you will know when I get there!


Emotions and Colors in Chords

The passed few weeks I have been going around and having people listen to me play a few chords, and having them tell me an experience, emotion, or thoughts that the chord gives them, and giving a color they believe corresponds with that chord. I’m trying to find relations or trends between each of the chords, which may in turn give me a better understanding of the chord and perhaps when I should use it. The color is what is really meant to identify trends, because there is much more of a possibility for answers to be similar.
After surveying a few people around the class, I felt it was necessary to spread the question further than my peers. We created a survey online, in order to get a wider range of answers because this will allow for a more unique test. We have an answer box under each of the chords so they can put whatever they would like, and a link so they can hear the chord before they answer. I will update on all results by the end of next week.