Sunday, June 02, 2013

Sunday Morning Grab Bag

- What's a Nappenneeno?  Tam's supposed to tell you.  (Also about toroidal CVTs, which we got onto when I found a hemispherical-intermediate 90-degree CVT on an antique drill press at eBay, a gorgeously insane item that would send an OHSA inspector into gibbering fits.)

- Fried ripe tomatoes: Actually pretty good.

- Zenith.  It's a movie.  If you overlook the preposterous hype of the Amazon-downloadable tagline, "Blade Runner meets The Da Vinci Code," and accept that this is a film shot on a budget consisting of a stale peanut-butter sandwich and loose change found in sofas, it's an entertaining, paranoid ride, featuring a shadowy conspiracy that's managed to gene-mod everyone into permanent happiness...which, absent any contrast, has become a dreadful apathy.  They've also dumbed-down the language in what appears to be a Sapir-Whorf hypothesis-inspired effort to limit even abstract thought about unhappiness.  But who or what is "they," what exactly did they do and how'd they do it?  A son and his father are on their track, a lifetime apart.  Weirdness, voice-over narration, some artsy (i.e., mood lighting and chestal nudity only) sex scenes, well-chosen music: not a "big" movie and not for those who like the plot all wrapped up and tied in a bow, but a solid striver's "B" and a healthy nod to Philip K. Dick.  Not for the kids, though.  (Criticism -- one character references The Milgram Experiment; could have gone on to the Stanford Prison and Asch conformity experiments to further explore/explain human susceptibility to manipulation.  Those bother me; there's a a Terrible Secret in them and if it ever gets really unlocked, look out Orwell.)


Larry said...

One of my favorite places in the whole world is the machine shop at the East Broad Top Railroad; all belt-driven machinery sitting mostly un-touched since 1956, guaranteed to send an OSHA inspector into full melt-down in less than 5 seconds.

Dave H said...

"Guards? Why do we need guards? Only an idiot would stick his hand in there." But the American legal system and the insurance industry have become effective force multipliers for the miniscule proportion of the workforce who are, indeed, idiots.

(Hah! I finally found a real word that Chrome's spellchecker doesn't recognize: miniscule.)

I had a pair of small right-angle CVTs I salvaged out of some piece of surplus gear when i was in college. They weren't toroidal; the input drove a flat disk while the output was a cylindrical shaft, and a coupling roller on a worm screw fit in between. It was nice because with a single control you could reverse the drive as well as vary the ratio.

I tried to adapt it to drive the tuning control on an old shortwave receiver. (Main and bandspread tuning? Pfft. On knob does it all! Except you need another knob to vary the ratio.) But the CVT had a little too much backlash, and it was a struggle to get it on frequency quickly.

perlhaqr said...

Oh, man, that drill press is beautiful.