Magic and Augmented Reality

“Art is a deception that creates real emotions — a lie that creates a truth. And when you give yourself over to that deception, it becomes magic.” —Marco Tempest

IBEW Local 6 Website Update

IBEW Local 6 has a new look online. Check out the updated website here or under IBEW Links in the side bar.

2012 Earth Hour +16

GGB Tower at night

Golden Gate Bridge Tower washed by decorative tower lights.

Last night was Earth Hour, a time when people around the world turned off their lights for one hour to send a message for action on climate change. I worked Swing shift last night (15:00 – 23:00 hours) and at 20:30 I turned off the decorative tower lights on the Golden Gate Bridge (one small step for man…).

I confess that for the next hour I pondered the effect that action had in the overall scheme of things and so today I made some calculations. When the decorative lights were turned off last night a total of 48 lights were affected, with a combined total of 16,000 watts of illumination saved. In comparison, 140 roadway pole lights on the bridge use 35,000 watts of illumination per hour. [real power consumption is based on the amount of current the ballasts of the various fixtures draw].

The point is, we saved almost one-third of our lighting load for one hour last night. During the “Energy Crisis of 2000” we used to wait until 21:00 hours to check the California ISO website and, if we were not in a Critical Demand Condition, energize the decorative lights. I always got a kick out of watching the lights warm up and wash the towers. They looked like Iron Giants stepping out of a dark room into the light.

When the bridge opened in 1937, Low-pressure Sodium Vapor lamps were used in the roadway light poles. In the ’70s these fixtures were replaced with new ones containing High Pressure Sodium lamps. Today, with PG&E, the GGB is looking into new energy-saving lighting technology in the form of LED, or Inductive Lighting solutions to roadway illumination.

How do you move a mountain? One shovelful at a time. We can all do something to make a difference and together our collected efforts will make a huge change.

Everyday moments, caught in time: Billy Collins

“When you get a poem [in a public place], it happens to you so suddenly that you don’t have time to deploy your anti-poetry deflector shields that were installed in high school” —Billy Collins

Here is a TED Talk from a man with a dry wit and a unique message.

The Doolittle Tokyo Raiders

Lt Col Doolittle and Capt. Mitscher aboard USS Hornet

Lt Col Doolittle and Capt. Mitscher aboard USS Hornet

“For conspicuous leadership above the call of duty, involving personal valor and intrepidity at an extreme hazard to life. With the apparent certainty of being forced to land in enemy territory or to perish at sea, General Doolittle personally led a squadron of Army bombers, manned by volunteer crews, in a highly destructive raid on the Japanese mainland.” —Medal of Honor citation of Brigadier General James H. Doolittle, as printed in the Congressional Document “Medal of Honor Recipients –1863-1963, page 135

At 10:00 in the morning on April 2, 1942 the USS Hornet passed beneath the Golden Gate Bridge carrying 16 B-25B Mitchell bombers, each equipped with four 500 pound bombs. According to Wikipedia, “…Three of these were high-explosive munitions and one was a bundle of incendiaries. The incendiaries were long tubes, wrapped together in order to be carried in the bomb bay but designed to separate and scatter over a wide area after release. Five bombs had Japanese “friendship” medals wired to them—medals awarded by the Japanese government to U.S. servicemen before the war…” [Note: those bombs were marked “returned with interest”]

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