Archive for jasonberdmann

Gravity in Space

I’m loving the current age of comics to screen. Primarily movies, not TV. I was never much of a comic book reader so I don’t know most of the lore, nor do I care. A couple tickets, a bucket of popcorn or some candy, a large drink, and my wife and I have a fun cheap date.

I also love YouTube and what it offers, including the channel CinemaSins. Of course movies are going to have errors – continuity errors, scene cutting errors, ‘true to life’ side of the street errors, etc. However, CinemaSins goes a bit further and goes the Captain Obvious route. So naturally I love it. However, with The Avengers they got it wrong with #61: There is no gravity in space, but Iron Man falls back to Earth anyway.

Well, there is. How else does the moon orbit the Earth or the Earth orbit the Sun? Did we all forget our Physics 101? In the words of Weird Al via Pancreas:

My pancreas attracts every other
Pancreas in the universe
With a force proportional
To the product of their masses
And inversely proportional
To the distance between them

In other words, the force of gravity between two objects is equal to the gravitation constant times the mass of each object divided by the distance between them.

Gravity Equation

Gravity via

Commercial jet liners fly between 5 and 6 miles up, the portal was was closer than that. As Iron Man flies through the portal he flies straight out, which means Earth is ‘below’ him. The highest free fall of a human was 24.2 miles – so we know Earth’s gravity will pull a person down from that far, but not as far as the moon (238,900 miles). I’d guess Iron Man flew less than 10 miles into space from the portal. Sure, he’s thousands, millions, or billions of miles from or even in a different realm then Earth. But, as objects and light can go through the portal why would universal gravitation be any different?

I only saw CinemaSin’s episode on The avengers a week or two ago and laughed the whole way through. And while watching The Avengers just now (and again, thanks FX), it’s clear the movie did NOT make a mistake.

Take away: If you’re going to be a smart ass, be smart.

Halloween 2014

Another Halloween has come and gone. Unfortunately it was kind of a let-down as the number of kids was the lowest ever. However, I can say the kids were quite polite, most saying “trick-or-treat” and “thank you.” And all loved that I give out full size candy bars.

In years past Nadia and I would trade answering the door. But, as Nadia had to work it was left to me. So, what do I do? I make a game out of it for me! Since I couldn’t play my typical computer games as there isn’t pause when you’re playing against others online.

No, I wasn’t mean to the kids. Instead I took stats – YES! Stats are fun to me (to a point). Costumes? No, though zombies seemed most popular (more so with the girls than boys). Number of boys vs. girls? No, and I think there were more girls. Parent / older sibling escorts vs. not? No, but I think more with escorts than not. I kept it simple: what time and how many kids. And here are the results:

First arrival: 6:19 pm
Last arrival: 8:32 pm
Total visits: 13
Total kids: 30
Average kids per visit: 2.31
Median: 2
Mode: 2

Visits & Kids per visit for 2014 Halloween

Visits & Kids per visit for 2014 Halloween

Shockingly, not only did we not run out of candy, but I think I gave out less than half, and that includes two pieces I gave to two adults (not included in numbers above). I even bought slightly less than the last few years!

I do feel bad though, as I was closing the door I heard a girl give a squeal of excitement that she got a Snickers, but she actually got a Milky Way – similar colored packaging, but very different candy bars.

Take away: I don’t know if I should bother with candy next year.

Vegas, It’s Magic

I like Las Vegas. I’ve gone there many times – all but two times under the guise of having fun. Gambling. Surprise birthday party. Wedding. Hanging out with friends. And most recently a surprise anniversary trip – the anniversary wasn’t the surprise, the destination and what we did were.

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, right? Well, I’m too tame to have anything crazy happen so I’m going to boast of the luck I’ve had in Vegas when it comes to magic shows.

2010 – David Copperfield made me (and several others) disappear! Show Info
Not only was this my first Vegas show after so many trips, but I was able to be part of the group of people he made go poof! He called me Dr. Evil on stage, that was funny. He had us all sit in some chairs onstage, covered us up, a little hocus pocus, and we appeared at the back of the room. Do I know how he did it, yes. Did he pay us or have us sign something to keep quite, no. Did he ask us out of respect to keep quite, yes. Will I keep quite, yes. I haven’t told my wife and I won’t tell you. (As it was the final illusion he came to the room we were in and talked to us for a couple of minutes.)

He did give us an autographed photo, but as my mother-in-law is a huge fan I was too happy to let her have it.

2014 – Murray Celebrity Magician Show Info
My wife and I watch Pawn Stars and when we saw he had a show at the Tropicana we decided to go on a whim. It was a Sunday and not a full room, but we were up close and it was so fun. Was I part of any trick? Alas, I was not, if only I had thrown my flip flop at him when he asked for a left shoe I could have been part of a card trick as well as have my foot warmed by a pink slipper the entire show. But I hesitated. But, we did get to meet him after the show and Nadia got a picture with him!


Murray posing with Nadia after the show!

2014 – Penn & Teller made my phone disappear (and thankfully) reappear! Show Info
My second planned magic show I saw in Vegas and lo and behold I was selected by Teller from the audience for one of the first illusions. After getting on stage I handed my phone to Penn. He had my wife – in the audience – call the phone and had a brief conversation with her. He started the video recording for my viewing after the show so I’d know how the trick worked. After a fun introduction and me striking a pose, Penn did some abracadabra and *poof* my phone was gone, later reappearing inside the oddest thing from an unexpected location. After watching the video of course I know how it’s done. Was I asked to sign anything to keep quite, nope. Did they imply (or I infer) that the video was for me, yes. As I respect the craft I do keep secrets.

I cut the video where I did because I liked my pose there at the end and the trick is about to start. I don’t want to show or describe much of the trick because like Copperfield and Murray, and I’m sure many others, Penn & Teller’s show is worth seeing live, so why see any part of the trick from my camera’s point of view?

Take away: Vegas, it’s not just for gambling.

Mmmm… Soda

Soda Can

What is it about soda that is so tasty? I never really thought about it until recently. What are the main components of soda?

Carbonated water & flavored syrup.

Water, I like. CO2 I’m indifferent. But when you combine the two as carbonated water I can’t stand it. Almost to the point that I’d rather go thirsty than drink it. Which is a problem because the few times I’ve been to Europe ‘water without gas’ is difficult to come by at times.

I’m not going to break-down flavored syrups as there are too many and for the most part one doesn’t consume too many of the components individually. However, I can say as a lone ingredient I could probably do a shot or two of flavored syrup, but I’d have to tap out after that.

I would think when two ingredients I don’t like much are combined it would not be an enjoyable flavor. Au contraire mon frere. For some reason the bubbles and the syrup combine into something wonderful (well, not all flavors). I don’t know if it’s due to the dilution of the syrup, the addition of flavor to the bubbles or a more complex chemical reaction, but it just works so beautifully.

Something else to consider is the delivery method, that is, fountain vs. can vs. plastic bottle vs. glass bottle. I actually wrote that list in no particular order, but after looking at it, it’s generally my preferred order for almost every flavor of soda, with fountain winning by a long-shot. And as a fountain is poured into a cup, I gotta admit, some amount of ice is desired even if the soda is already code.

The one exception is Henry Weinhard rootbeer in a glass bottle. I’ve never seen it any other way, but honestly, why mess with perfection?

Take away: I freaking love science (and soda)!

Could you do this?

No Cell Phone, No Facebook, No Computer Access, No Wifi For 3 Months & You Get $3 Million, Could you do this?

Challenge Accepted!

Recently I saw a very interesting post on Facebook, a text image as that seems to be the norm these days.

At face value I don’t see anything difficult in this.

In the stream of comments someone included using the computer for work. Yup, I still could do this and it’s not because I don’t use a computer at my job, I do… A lot. As in every minute other than in a meeting in another room.

All the while I’m using my phone to listen to music or podcasts. Use of my phone starts and continues on my commutes to and from work while I ride the bus. Then, when at home I generally hop onto my desktop, laptop, tablet, or Nintendo to play games or code some personal stuff while the TV is on. I’d say I’m connected, but I could do this.

I believe the true idea includes no laptops, desktops, tablets, phones, game consoles, or even TVs – smart or not. Yeah, I could still do this.

If the intent of this meant all computers this proves difficult as to live without computers includes: most cars, paying with debit/credit cards, grabbing cash from the ATM (but you still could get cash from the banker I suppose as they are using the computer), etc.

So where would I have to draw the line? In my mind I was getting down to the nitty gritty, stuff people may not realize have computers like alarm clocks, microwaves, refrigerator… Oh crap, food! I gotta keep my food safe to eat. But after thinking about it I could still do it by eating lots of vegetables (I prefer most of them raw anyway), some breads, and meats I pick up (after riding my bike to the store) and cook immediately on my pretty basic grill.

The only catch I came up with, I would need up to a month to transition my duties at work to another person as I would not leave them high and dry.

Take away: As the great Barney Stinson would say ‘Challenge Accepted!’