Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Peculiar Obsession

The diagram above is found on the Wikipedia page for the Little Boy nuclear bomb, the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Dimensionally accurate, with a complete component list - one wonders, how does such a diagram end up on "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit"? The diagram was never released as such by the U.S. government, but the technical details of the bomb, down to the thread sizes of the screws, are now available due to the work of a 61 year old truck driver from Waukesha, Wisconsin, who for rather inscrutable reasons succeeding in becoming the nation's foremost civilian expert on the Fat Man and Little Boy bombs. David Samuels of the New Yorker tells the tale, of how Mr. John Coster-Mullens cobbled together details from disparate and obscure sources, including interviews with Manhattan Project machinists and engineers (he has earned the admiration of many experts within the nation's nuclear programs). The potential danger of his work is unclear; a gun-type design could be implemented in various other ways, and the mechanical design is considered a negligible technical hurdle relative to the production of nuclear material.

"The longest he has ever gone in my company without mentioning the atomic bomb is thirty-seven minutes, a record he achieved on a particularly beautiful stretch of road running through the sun-baked canyons east of Salt Lake City. To say that Coster-Mullen actually went that long without speaking about the atomic bomb is an exaggeration, as he referred to nuclear weapons twice in passing, and because he was aware that I was timing him with a stopwatch."

Musical Tesla Coils

"...There are no speakers involved. The Tesla coils stand 7 feet tall and are each capable of putting out over 12 foot of spark. They are spaced about 18 feet apart. The coils are controlled over a fiber optic link by a single laptop computer. Each coil is assigned to a midi channel which it responds to by playing notes that are programed into the computer software"

So the music you hear is the sound of singing sparks. More videos and information can be found here. Tesla Coil.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Johnny Shines

Tuesday, December 2, 2008