Katalonski

Guess what! Savina and I are on television in Catalonia 😎

We’re honored to be featured in a new travel program “Katalonski”, and the episode in which we take part (the one which explores the San Francisco Bay Area) aired yesterday. Halldor Mar, the host of the program, is himself a non-native Catalan speaker. In each episode Halldor has engagements with a handful of participants and learns about their lives and their connections to Catalan language and culture. The program runs on TV3, which is the main public television broadcaster over there (kind of like the BBC of Catalonia).

Of course, the show is in Catalan, intended for a Catalan audience. But! I have made a special version for English-speaking friends. This version is abridged (I’ve only included the segments featuring me and Savina), and I’ve written English subtitles for it.

You can also view the official episode as originally broadcast, in Catalan and without subtitles, direct from TV3.

A tree vibrates

I spent the summer of 2010 in southeast Alaska, preparing for work as an outdoor guide, absorbed by high and wild places.

One evening, halfway though a sea kayaking course, our group arrives to make camp on a narrow shore where an old tree trunk protrudes horizontally out of an embankment.

This trunk must have belonged to a tree which tipped over long ago, bowing down all the way to the ground. Laying flat on the earth, the forces of the land and the sea must have cooperated to fix the base (by adding ground) and to free the end (by removing ground). It must have been lucky that its base was anchored in this way, otherwise it might have become driftwood. Thus the tree became a mighty spring pole.

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Oscilloscope Animation

This Analog Electronics lab at UCSB is challenging! For me, the tinkering, and the building and testing, provides a special reward that can’t be found with only the equations and problem sets in a typical lecture course.

Here, towards the end of the curriculum, we have an assignment dealing with some circuit which oscillates. And let me tell you, this is the best kind of circuit for having fun with the oscilloscope! At some point, after the lab write-up was complete, I went into a transfixed state playing with these drawings and making these videos late into the night.

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