Sep. 22nd, 2010

mattbell: (Default)
At the local indoor rock climbing gym, all the routes are given names.  Usually the routes in a given area all have names along a similar theme -- eg whiskies, Shakespeare plays etc. 

One section of the gym has routes named after sweeteners. 

"Sucralose, aspartame, saccharin, xylitol, Jessica, fructose, glucose"

Jessica?  I'm sure there's a story.  Maybe it's one of the route setters' girlfriends.  In any case, despite her sweet demeanor, the run by her name is one hell of a challenge.  However, it's a very interesting run, with lots of lateral moves and unusual holds.  I found myself drawn to Jessica, but repeatedly rebuffed by her (5.11a) tricky route.  I tried to get to the top several times over the last month, usually falling 4-5 times along the way if I made it to the top at all.  I had much of the route memorized.  Obsession brewed.  I worried that the route would be taken down before I had a chance to make a clean ascent.

Yesterday, we all decided to film each other at the gym to study our technique, so I happened to get onto film my first successful clean attempt at topping, err.. mounting... uh... summiting, conquering, climbing... oh I give up... Jessica. 



If anyone wants to give climbing a try (if you can climb a ladder, you can do a beginner route!), let me know.  This Friday is bring-a-guest-free day.
mattbell: (Default)
Via [livejournal.com profile] easwaran 


I suggested to the creator that he use old census data to animate it over time.  Then I can watch hipsters invade the Mission and other cultural trends.

He also has other cities in his photoset.  It's amazing how abrupt the boundaries are in certain cities. 

Chicago:  Will it Blend?  No, apparently not.
mattbell: (Default)
The Festo robots shown in these videos are amazing and beautiful.  Biomimicry doesn't guarantee the best or most practical solution, but some of the ideas such as the flexible multilayer gripper seem potentially very practical with further development.

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