What The Heck Is That Thing?

Dr. Joan Bushwell's Chimpanzee Refuge

Category archives for What The Heck Is That Thing?

Where Hummingbirds and Ants Meet

Time for a gear shift on the Refuge. Handy-dandy tip number 105: “How to keep ants out of your hummingbird feeders”. I can’t say that I blame the ants for swarming over the feeders. After all, who doesn’t love a little sucrose in solution with water? Heck, as my brother, an avid cyclist at one…

Raspberry Cane Borer Infestation

The raspberry cane borer, Oberea bimaculata, is a particularly nasty garden pest and for some reason there seems to be an unusually large infestation of them this year. Our property contains all manner of cane berries including a large patch of local wild black raspberries (my favorite), wild blackberries, wild raspberries (usually too small to…

Fun with Resistive Position Sensors

As part of my continuing adventures in drumming symmetry, I have been working on a dual electronic hi-hat pedal. The idea is to have a single hi-hat pad respond equally well to either a left or a right foot pedal. It is similar to having both left and right kick drum pedals. For the hi-hat,…

Wild Turkey Nest

What could’ve been the national symbol of the USA if Ben Franklin had his way, the wild turkey (meleagris gallopavo) is having a bit of a resurgence as of late. In our neck of the woods (central New York state) they have become a common sight and small bands of them are often seen crossing…

Tongue Drum

And now for something completely different, the tongue drum: The tongue drum is also known as the slit drum or xylo-slit drum. It is the modern descendant of the ancient log drum. This is a large 14 key unit tuned to a pentatonic scale in G. It can be played with mallets or your fingers…

Jesus on a Pizza It Ain’t

Humans have an ability to recognize patterns, even if they’re not really there, like the face of Jesus in a pizza or Elvis on the side of a Holstein. Apparently, a local lumberjack recognized something in a certain tree trunk and decided to flip it upside down and paint it blue in order to help…

World’s Largest LED Chandelier

How does a 7000 pound, 35 foot diameter chandelier using high-brightness LEDs sound to you? Well that’s what was installed the other day at the Stanley Theatre in Utica, NY. The manufacturer, Meyda Tiffany based in nearby Yorkville, claims that it is the world’s largest LED chandelier. Here are details from the local newspaper and…

A Lake Effect White-Out

Check out this composite radar image from the National Weather Service, 20:18 UTC, February 10, 2008: This is great imagery of lake effect snow bands. For folks who live to the immediate east of any of the Great Lakes, this is a well-known effect responsible for significant accumulations of snow. The basic idea is that…

In previous installments in the DIY NME series, I’ve looked at the application of symmetrical motor patterns using the drum kit. For this entry, the approach is a little different and says something about “handedness” as well. A few months ago I rearranged my semi-symmetrical drum kit into what I call the super symmetrical kit.…

DIY Lab Gear: Vibrating String Apparatus

Sometimes I can’t seem to find just the right lab equipment I want for a particular experiment so I design it myself. Such was the case recently for a course I developed and teach entitled Science of Sound. This course is a natural science elective and deals with the physics of audio and acoustics. We…