3D Places and Scenes

Creating sets in 3D Studio has to be one of the best joys in the digital art world. You get to create complete moods and points of view that only your mind sees, albeit not an easy process. 































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AVM Museum Project

The AVM Museum is an online virtual walkthrough of brain related information, including a working 3d MRI machine simulator. Still in the begining phase of its slow evolution but it marries my interest in the subject with web and 3D Studio design. The websites last incarnation, dating back to 2009, was produced in Flash and Joomla. Since then jQuery, Drupal, HTML5 video have evolved past the point of giving me the ability to recreate it here... just need the time. Till then, here are screens of the working site:


Welcome to the lobby.
Hotspots on the image map trigger prerendered video streams within a Flash object container 


Side room #1
Each room contained a differnt topic or feature


...after clicking on a region, contextual information would display


Side room #2


Museum floor wide view. The glass-screen podiums displayed YouTube clips on various AVM relatd topics from Johns Hopkins and the Mayo Clinic


The 3D MRI Simulator
Experience all the sights and sounds of an MRI scan from your web browser 

After the optional technological and historical screens, the MRI room allowed you to enter and immersive 3D simlulator. It was one of the 
key features that made me want to make the site as many people I've met have feared the possibility of entering an MRI without knowing
what its actually like. I felt silly replicating the noises and visually describing the experience, that was an awesome software challenge !










Click to

What is it like to be in an MRI machine?
(Enter MRI Simulator)





The new museum design is done 
Test radiosity renders below































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The Positive Web - limit negativity, then get rid of it

The Internet can be a stressful place: Between Facebook rants, Twitter slams, national tragedies, and negative news... just surfing the net always has content that is stressful, sad or even upsetting. But for every negative thing that happens on the Internet, there's a cute puppy GIF, cats with cucumbers, inspiring video and incredible story of kindness to brighten your day.


I began combing through the Web and found some of the most happy, positive places out there so you can add them to your bookmark for a break from the constant weight of only seeing the negative side of our amazing lives. This section is completely unformated and is being shaped into a more usable form - but the content I'm collecting and writing is good enough to share. Would you rather go to bed right after hearing Donald Trump or see a cat jumping away from a cucumber?

Start with a calming mind...


Some unsorted links..

Letters of Note is a cool site I found tonight - real people writing about everything under the sun, usually to one recipient.


HuffPost Good News

Make Everything OK

Tumblr's 'Positivity' Page

1,000 Awesome Things

 Nicest Place on the Internet


Guilty pleasure - Cats and Cucumbers!



8/15/16 - Great troll slam from Kevin Smith protecting his daughter


What it's like to be my daughter: 17 year old @harleyquinnsmith_ received this message simply for the heinous crime of posting a pic of herself on @instagram. I have zero clue what the reference to #TheMatrix is all about but, wow - way to unload on a teen girl because YOU have nothing to do in life. But even though I should be apoplectic about it, my kid thought it was funny. "I'd be mad if I had a tiny dick and anonymous voice too," she said, bemused by the bitterness. But here's a nickel's worth of free advice for folks like this Troll: if you hate me (or my kid) this much, the better use of your time is to make YOUR dreams come true, instead of slamming others for doing the same. The best revenge is living insanely well - so if you wanna get back at a 17 year old girl for the grievous crime of enjoying her life, the best way to do it is to succeed in your OWN existence. Show the world WHY we should be paying attention to you instead of anyone else. Because randomly attacking others merely communicates how creatively and emotionally bankrupt you are. You think you have something to offer the world but others are getting all the attention? Don't bitch or punish the world: just create. Create something nobody's ever seen before and there is a good chance the world will notice you. Attacking teen girls on the Internet is the saddest form of masturbation that exists and requires no discernible skill or talent. You want attention? Don't make yourself mad, make something original and fun. Because if you're not being useful in this world you're being useless. Don't be useless: go make stuff that makes people happy!


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People standing next to their net worth in cash

Submitted by js on Sun, 02/28/2016 - 20:16

People standing next to their net worth in cash

People standing next to their net worth in cash

This is what kicked off this "Visualize Everything" section of the site. Its lunchtime so there is not much time to add much to the first page, but let's get started!

But before we do, there are two things I should make perfectly clear....



We are using $100 dollar bills, not $1 bills.  We'll start with one packet...

This packet is a stack of one hundred $100 dollar bills. It's about 6" by 2-1/2" by 0.43" high.

100 x $100 = $10,000


Just some base information  if you want to visualize yourself in the mix

A "Typical" college degreed earner at age 55

Salary at Retirement

Annual Pension

Equivalent Net Worth


On to some real people!


This definitely is not accurate per my actual net worth but lets just say I had $100,000 in net worth. It makes the visual scale up easier to visualize. 
The actual US average net worth is between $25,000 and $84,000 within the 25% -> 65%.

$100,000 in $100 bills




Steve Jobs at 23 years old

$1 million in a single pallete layer stack of $100 bills 




Barack Obama

6 Million


JJ Abrams

Below represent 100 million, he's just shy at 95. Poor guy.





Tom Cruise

500 Million


Tiger Woods

720 Million





JK Rowling

1 Billion




Oprah Winfrey

3.6 Billion



Donald Trump

4 Billion




The Harry Potter Franchise

15 Billion

Mark Zuckerberg

35.7 Billion


Bill Gates

79.2 Billion




US Military budget for 2015












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My Risky Scientology Visit

Submitted by js on Sun, 02/28/2016 - 19:54

Risky Scientology Visit



Three-plus decades before HBO’s “Going Clear” documentary aired, the subject of Scientology and its founder L. Ron Hubbard was a hobby/obsession of mine. Rare individuals that have shaped the lives of numerous of people, whether it be in war, Ponzi schemes, dictators etc. fascinate me to no end. I guess it’s more – “…why would so many people go along with some illogical crap?” What made this particular decision to go deep into the Scientology landmarks during a business trip much more difficult was the fact that I had a well-hardened fear burned in at the conscious and subconscious level during a bad stint of medically induced psychosis after brain surgery.

I had a cerebral AVM, a form of aneurysm, gamma radiation zapped in 1999 and the outcome eight months later was really bad. I was strapped to the bed and put into a medically induced coma but lived through 24/7 steroid psychosis, painting all my five senses with vivid "realities".


Some were fleeting, some left me 100% sure I had died in my Cedar Sinai room but recieved planted, comforting memories of my remaining life (wife, kids, retirement) that never happened. The core of my delusions – day after day with Scientology members standing at my bedside asking weird questions and flashing lights in my eye for days. Even though I could not speak, walk, or bathe myself - somehow I did manage to sketch... pieces that I do not remember doing to this day. Now what did I see outside of my 14th floor Cedar Sinai neuro room?


The Scientology building.



The picture above does closely match the view I had. I do remember the fear that all my brain washing was converted to "energy" that was streamed, along with other hospital captives, and beamed out of the Scientology transmission station, the hidden core of the Pacific Design Center.




Ok there's that.




Suffice to say that I am 100% unsettled at the idea or existence of a group that can amass a legion of followers with ideas or perspectives that would be recruits didn't originally subscribe to. I went to the weird Scientology anti-psychiatry(http://www.cchr.org/)  and the "L Ron Hubbard Life Exhibition" museums Sunday afternoon - both took about an hour each. The psychiatry one was like a holocaust museum throughout the ages.


This place was creepier in person with the flashing lights and freaky videos 


 I got to the last display case of the psyc museum after about 45mins. I that had rows and rows of various antidepressants and other brain meds when the tour guide asked me "Do you know anyone that has ever taken any of these pills before?" I said, "Yeah, I take 7 pills a day and 4 of them are these two". She a almost shit. I explained the whole brain aneurysm thing and that the chunk missing from my brain really wants to send bad signals to my body and Vimpat, Keppra kinda help in not dying. She stared blankly.

The Hubbard museum was a fanciful pile of shit.


It was comprised of elaborate ( amazingly beautiful ) dioramas of L.Ron's life that made Howard Hughes look like a lazy, moronic loser.


Apparently New York newsstands only sold Hubbard comic books...



To round off my Hubbard/Scientology experience, I headed off to take pictures of the ultimate Scientology icon, the famed Los Angeles "Celebrity Center" castle on Franklin Ave.






I walked around the heavily ivy and tarp covered iron bars unit I got to the main circular drive. It had a small sign that read "Private tour avails upon request". F-it... I padded up to the large oak doors at the end of the cobble stone drive walked in.

The ceilings were side-lit paintings of clouds (think Ceaser's Palace) with decending white pillars and gold gilded molding. Various people strode past me as I lumbered through the multi-teired hallways when a uniformed woman looked at my cautiously I and asked, "Can I help you?". She was scanning me up and down in a pretty creepy manor. I mentioned the sign and she seemed a little put out before walking me into her office.  I simply mentioned the sign. Just as she was finishing her "We dont do unschedualed tours to the public.." blow off when I said, "My wife and I are educated moral people that no longer believe in Christianity but have spent the past 6 years feeling a life disconnect". It was something like that, but more drawn out and not so obvious. I continued, "I'm a long time amateur historian of L. Ron Hubbard". She pulled up the handset of her desk phone abnd began to dial, saying said she wanted me to talk to the on-site director.





This suited guy shows up and asks me, point blank, what I knew about Hubbard beyond what the internet provides. I said, "I've been a true historian of this man for the past 15 years. 

I know hes the first US Eagle Scout, visited 3 asian countries before the age of 17, penned more than 10 million words making him the most prolific author in the history of the world. While I do not know all the tenents of Scientology, as a Physicst and keen observer of human cause and effect - I feel that Scientology itself isnt sound. What I do want for myself and my family is to benefit from this mans life experiences and digest it so that it makes sense to me. I cant belive this is all a scam as the media portrays, but I do believe that there is a procedural pomp and circumstance that you guys wrap around the 'meat' of his discovery s that is unnecessary and makes Scientology look sleazy"

He asked for my phone number and I gave it to him with two numbers swapped. 

While we chatted, he much have "test called" me cause he said, "Oh your number didnt go through". SCARY! I told him he entered the last two digits backward and DID give him my real number, which he DID verify. Trust established!




We talked for about 45mins while he took me on a long tour. He kept throwing out subtle trick questions that fell flat... I didnt call him out negatively, more like "Oh no no, L. Ron kept detailed notes in his unpublished journals describing how he navigated the seas without a sextant, pretty much inn use today. Whether he was given credit for that is still a mystery to me, as was the documentation from the Defense Dept labling this as 'a great contribution in photography' "



Are you sitting down? He let me try an E-Meter when we got back to the original area!!!!!!!!!!!!!   While he fiddle with a dial on the side, the black needle settled a bit while I was holding the two aluminum cans. He asked, "Think of something that really upsets you". I told him I was thinking about my frustating drive through LA and how the traffic actually made my heart pound. As I relived my factual frustration, I slowly lostened my grip on the metal cans, making sure the needle stayed dead center. He unplugged the thing and began his shpeal about having me stay for a free four hour evaluation. We schedualled for 5:00pm on Weds. No I was not going.



Anyway - the guy opened up a set of dark wooden doors and showed me L. Ron's original office!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The whole visit did leave me a tad unnerved and afraid to think nothing could possibly happen in a four hour period even if I knew it was BS.


I was given a prep video I was to watch before my audit and the Senior Consultant's card!



Some of the review questions in my "Informational Packet"





Imagine the information one could amass from a person answering the above questions while, basically hooked up to a working lie detector. Within a few hours, the auditor would know your fears, insecurities, weak spots, and desires... slam dunk product production of the ultimate manipulation toolkit. Even if you were not Freud - you could yank the chain  more efficiently  than Mrs. Bates did with Norman.


An in all my years of programming, not once has my desktop browser popped up with this security prompt:








So my work week got in to full swing and I had mostly forgotten about my pending evaluation outside of a few retellings to work friends and text messages from my wife urging me NOT to risk going. It was unanimous, no one wanted me to go back even though I said I was mentally prepared and wanted to go to complete my "Scientology Risky Visit" tour. Th  


Then the text message started coming....


After being asked if I had transportation I decided I've gone as far as I wanted to go. I left this experiment 100% sated, and then some. It's now very clear how people can willingfully be part of this organization, sorry this religion, because the entry point is pretty basic - provide people with what they are fundamentally craving. Ironically in the non-Scientologyy world this is called psychology, support groups, therapy, or just talking opening with family and friends.  I dig and admire that. Strip away the special effects, overtly plush buildings, sci-fy BS, and the perversions of a money-making empire and this could have been something that helps a lot of people.

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Arcosanti - Mayer Arizona

Submitted by js on Sun, 02/28/2016 - 19:49

Arcosanti, Mayer Arizona.
July 21st, 2007

In 1970, the Cosanti Foundation began building Arcosanti, an experimental town in the high desert of Arizona, 70 miles north of metropolitan Phoenix. Demonstrating ways to improve urban conditions and lessen our destructive impact on the earth, its large, compact structures and large-scale solar greenhouses will occupy only 25 acres of a 4060 acre land preserve, keeping the natural countryside in close proximity to urban dwellers.

Arcosanti is designed according to the concept of arcology (architecture + ecology), developed by Italian architect Paolo Soleri. In an arcology, the built and the living interact as organs would in a highly evolved being. This means many systems work together, with efficient circulation of people and resources, multi-use buildings, and solar orientation for lighting, heating and cooling.

In this complex, creative environment, apartments, businesses, production, technology, open space, studios, and educational and cultural events are all accessible, while privacy is paramount in the overall design. Greenhouses provide gardening space for public and private use, and act as solar collectors for winter heat.

Arcosanti is an educational process. The four-week workshop program teaches building techniques and arcological philosophy, while continuing the city's construction. Volunteers and students come from around the world. Many are design students, and some receive university credit for the workshop. But a design or architecture background is not necessary. People of many varied interests and backgrounds are all contributing their valuable time and skills to the project. Week-long silt sculpture workshops and Elderhostel programs offer other ways to be involved. At the present stage of construction, Arcosanti consists of various mixed-use buildings and public spaces constructed by 5000 past Workshop participants.

The residents of Arcosanti are workshop alumni, who work on planning, construction, teaching, computer aided drafting, maintenance, cooking, carpentry, metal work, ceramics, gardening and communications. They produce the world-famous Soleri Bells, as well as hosting 50,000 tourists each year in a Gallery, Bakery, and Cafe open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day. Guided tours introduce visitors to the philosophy , history, planning and ongoing construction of the site.


Entering the site. Not much else around.


A long and winding 3 miles dirt road.


Getting closer!


There it is, I think.



Our guest lodging. Pretty basic and no AC but the heat of the Arizona summer has started to
cool down. It was only ~98 this weekend.



Our view of the Agua Fria basin. It contained no agua and if it did, it would certainly not be fria.
Maybe seca calliente would be a better name.

Arcosanti Room


Yikes! The only other visitor in our complex found this scorpian in her room.
Welcome to Acrosanti, enjoy your stay!

Arcosanti Scorpian


Great view, goofy guy.



Let the photofest begin! Notice the unpacking hasnt even begun.



Again, very basic room but artistic touches were sprinkled throughout.



Still not unpacked.. probobly shoot more pictures.



A storm joins the scorpian as a welcoming commitee.





Pam enjoying the sunset, lightning and cool air.


Taking a picture of Pam taking pictures. There gonna be a lot of that over the next few days.


Heading up to the main entrance to the complex.


A little artistic homage to our little residence guest.


At the entrance to the guest center


In the main building. The top floor was the artissan gift shop, guest check-in, and walking tour gathering area.
One floor down was the cool little coffee shop and the bottom floor was the restaraunt.



The Arcosanti "Solei Wind Bells". Not cheap but these handmade one of a kind bronze bells
paid for the bulk of the complex's construction. The bells is hand cast into a sand mold,
with little artistic variations making each one unique in design and sound that gets

The meals were pretty good at the restaraunt. "Granola" was definitely strongly felt - two of the breakfast condiments
were (seriously) "hemp" and "active yeast". What the $^#! do you sprinkle active yeast on?

A shot from the bottom floor

Our cool tour guide from Milan

This is the concept model of the entire complex. Each of these complexes is called an "Arcology" - a
self sustained mini city that minimizes the need for wastful "urban sprawl" and
the need for daily car use. One of the big pushes is to bring back the rapid decline of the
connected comunity feel..


One of the original underground studio residences. All designed around solar and water
efficiency and resuse. Several families have lived there since the 70's!


The back side of one of the lab areas.


This section is cool but the photo doesnt do it justice. The arc house that row of lights and
the stage is for performers of some type. Anyway the lights cast the shadows of the
performers on a sheer rock hillside not visible in this pic.


A quarter dome area that is used for part of the bronze foundry.


I have no criminal record and I'm married so that weighed in my decision not
to strangle this obnixious kid.


A cool structure made from oxidized steel stock. You might all it rusted metal junk.


A view of the juncture of two complexes.


Pam checking out the sites.




The main archway with a studio in the background


The archway with a studios behind the little round windows.

This ampitheater had a really cool design. Straight down the center of the aisles were tracks
to allow water from a small pond to trickle down the channel between teh steps. The water
ends up in a semi-circle moat that adds to the cooling of the pavillion.


More blown glass and ceramic wind chimes.





The shaded foundry pour area. The pine trees are native to the area and concrete was formed around
each of the trees!



Tough chicks.

Arcosanti Foundry Girls


These are the rough pours from the silt casting process. Most of these will be remelted and formed back into
ingots for future use. Note : I tried to buy one of these malformed pours but they would not
sell me one.

Arcosanti Bell Casts


One of the semi-submerged dwellings



Checking out the ceramics studio.

Jonathan Arcosanti


The ever present ongoing construction.








Most of the complex's roof area acts as a catch basin. Water flow from the roof, through the U channel concrete
forms and down to the moss covered cisterns and through a natural filtration bed. Cool.

Arcosanti Tour Guide

The "Y" shaped concrete finger jutting out have two maroon peices of sheet steel sticking out
of them. These will be used to suspend a complex tensioned awning array.



More awning stantions pertruding from some of the residencies.




This long bean will one of themain anchor points for the awning structure.





Arcosanti Sculpture

An outside view of the main building. Our group concludes its tour in the restaraunt.



Yikes! What a vibrant Arcosanti ambassador to send us off int style. We saw this dude
litteraly on our walk back to pack up. Pam shoots and instructed me not to move..
..luggage gets heavy.

Arcosanti Lizzard

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Making a maze game in Drupal

Submitted by js on Thu, 02/25/2016 - 14:57

My Zombie Hospital Game 
Intro Screen 

Never started on the Reality FPS game layout after having a kid!


A little variation on the tranlucency values and the iRay mins on this "Zombie in the Park" scene


Full 3D horror section port in progress, until then - heres a web-based maze thing
I'm working on. 



This is kind of a pet project of mine - a 3D "7th Guest" game puzzler using ONLY Drupal! My dabbling for a concept felt really limited, basically pure html image mapping and nodes, and "gamification" and badges made the Drupal platform incapable of driving a game. Now it became a challenge for reasons other than fun, which was 'how can I use everything Drupal does(entities, taxonomy, references) to display something interactive?' Obvioulsy the finished game will require some type of randomized map stored in a client session... haven figured that part out yet so On with the fun!
Here is the first part - navigating around a rendered maze!

Since the first part is a simple maze hunt for a missing key, I'll start off by making a node naming grid...

  start node = "maze1334235"                
My filled out maze-to-node grid map
          maze867374   maze74231 maze2902 maze8917
          maze546246 maze858384 maze45624    
        maze90922   maze1213412 maze678900 maze3434252  
        maze98765 maze6565737   maze33384    
          maze744401 maze10032 maze45678    
          maze342574   maze35981 maze223464  
maze034237 maze238453 maze886879 maze638525 maze223322 maze858384     maze446657  
maze952627 maze1334235   maze555762   maze992342   maze740505 maze850121  
...and I'm trying to build out a model that fits the logic grid.  Below is a diagram that represents us viewing Drupal node "maze1334235" that
has two image map hotspots on a rendered creepy hallway. The hotspot located on the left side of the image will take us to node "maze952627" whereas
the clickabl region in the middle of the screen will take us to node "maze238453". Sounds as boring as 1980's Turtle Graphics but the fun comes in
when creating the 3d artwork. Mind you - you dont need 3D Studio, DAZ 3D, or Poser to build your maze... I drafted the first few nodes with some
scanned in Sharpie sketches of 3d rooms and it was a blast!
Here is the image that will display as Drupal node "maze1334235" as a Basic Page. The image was added with the WYSIWYG and the image map
coded was added in HTML or Source view. If you need clarifications on how to add an image map with hotspots I'll cover that at the end of the article.
In progress - next up, adding up all the image viewpoints, hotspot logic, and some cool randomizer logic to reveal keys and random monsters!
Here is my maze in progress - just a few rooms

Ok you get the overall gyst of a linear maze - you have bitmaps, a predefined grid of non-sequential node names, and image maps applied to those bitmap jpg images with links on the relevant regions. Now for the real fun.... this is where I get distracted and don't finish the entire section. Hopefully not. Ok two tasks to go:

1) Randomizing a map and holding the layout in a session
2) Lookimg up appropriate images to map each view of the genarated map
3) Randomizing node names. Remember I want to do this in pure drupal without iFrames
4) Creating resizable image maps to fit a full size screen on any device. This is probably the easiest cause the work has already been done else where, so let's start here:

Creating resizable image maps

Using my first maze room as an example <here>, the image map will be created using the svg format with transparent box object boxes drawn on top of the background image. Example:

<svg height="800" preserveaspectratio="none" version="1.1"
viewbox="0 0 278 200" width="100%"
xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" xmlns:xlink="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink">
<image height="208" width="100%" xlink:href="/sites/default/files/images/diversions/RxLxL_0.jpg"> </image>
<a xlink:href="maze952627"><rect fill="#fff" height="10" opacity="0" width="10" x="35" y="87"></rect> </a>
<a xlink:href="maze952627"><rect fill="#fff" height="10" opacity="0" width="10" x="107" y="91"></rect> </a>
<a xlink:href="maze886879"><rect fill="#fff" height="10" opacity="0" width="10" x="187" y="91"></rect> </a>






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About AVMs

Submitted by js on Tue, 02/23/2016 - 23:48

An arteriovenous malformation, or AVM for short, is a group of blood vessels that are abnormally interconnected with one another. AVMs can occur in different organs of the body, but brain AVMs are the most problematic. Another term for AVM is "arteriovenous fistula."

To understand why brain AVMs are dangerous it is important to first understand the way that normal blood vessels are connected with one another:AVMs can form in almost any part of the body although most commonly in high blood flow areas such as the brain and legs. AVMs can form in almost any part of the body although most commonly in high blood flow areas such as the brain and legs.

The Normal Artery-to-Vein Connection

There are two main types of blood vessels: the arteries and the veins. Arteries bring oxygen-rich blood from the heart and lungs into organs such as the muscles, bones and brain, and veins bring it back to the heart and lungs where it is re-oxygenated. As the arteries travel deeper and deeper into the tissues, they become thinner and thinner, until they reach a point of maximal narrowing - this area is known as the capillary bed. Blood flow slows down in order to be transferred from arteries into veins.

Thus, one of the most important functions of the capillary bed is to relieve some of the pressure generated by blood as it flows through the larger arteries into the tissues.My AVM - Click to see the image at full sizeMy AVM - Click 

Veins spring out of the capillary beds, and they get progressively larger as they exit the organs on their way to the heart and lungs, where blood is finally replenished with oxygen.

Abnormal Artery-to-Vein Connections

Brain AVMs are made up of arteries and veins which are connected in such a way that there is no capillary bed at all. This causes the pressure of the arteries to be transmitted directly into the veins within the AVM. This unusual flow of blood creates an area of high pressure and high turbulence that causes the AVM to become larger over time, and to affect the function of the surrounding brain tissue.

What Does a Brain AVM Look Like?

Brain AVMs vary in size. Some are tiny and go unnoticed for many decades. Others form large and tortuous channels of arteries which pulsate strongly as they connect directly to their corresponding veins. AVMs can be found anywhere in the brain, including the brain cortex, the white matter, and the brainstem.

Who Develops Brain AVMs?

Brain AVMs affect about 0.1% of the population, and are present at birth, but they rarely affect more than one member of the same family. They happen roughly equally in men and women. People typically begin to feel symptoms between the ages of 10 and 30, but it is not uncommon for people to be diagnosed after the age of 50.

What Are the Symptoms of an AVM?What Are the Symptoms of an AVM?What Are the Symptoms of an AVM?

About half of the patients find out they have an AVM only after they suffer a subarachnoid hemorrhage. The other half are affected by seizures, headaches, and stroke symptoms such as hemiplegia or hemiparesis.

How Is an AVM Diagnosed?

Often, the diagnosis of an AVM can be made by an expert radiologist with just CAT scan of the brain. Most physicians, however, feel more comfortable diagnosing AVMs after performing an MRI. In cases when bleeding has occurred, the AVM can be completely obscured by intracerebral bleeding, requiring a cerebral angiogram to establish a final diagnosis.

How Are AVMs Treated?

The most common types of treatment available include surgical resection, endovascular embolization, and stereotactic radiosurgery -- all of which mightHow Are AVMs Treated?How Are AVMs Treated? be used either alone or in combination. In general, these treatments aim to lower the risk of bleeding, or re-bleeding.

An issue that is presently under intense research is whether doctors should treat AVMs that are discovered before they cause bleeding. As it turns out, no studies have assessed the risk of bleeding when these unruptured and sometimes symptom-free AVMs are left untreated. Some people even believe that AVMs that are discoveredbefore they bleed have a lesser risk of bleeding than those which are discovered afterthey bleed. Nonetheless, the uncertainty causes many surgeons and patients to decide in favor of surgery, in spite of the risk that the treatment itself could cause permanent brain injury.

A study is now in place to investigate this very question. The study's name is ARUBA or "A Randomized Trial of Unruptured Brain AVMs".

Online MRI SimulatorWhat Is the Prognosis?

The prognosis of an AVM depends on several factors, beginning with whether the AVM is discovered before or after bleeding. More than 90% of those who bleed survive the event. In those whose AVM is discovered before bleeding, the prognosis is directly related to the AVM's size, symptoms, proximity to vital areas of the brain and, as stated above, whether or not the AVM is treated.

VM stands for Arteriovenous Malformation. An AVM is a tangle of abnormal and poorly formed blood vessels (arteries and veins). They have a higher rate of bleeding than normal vessels. AVMs can occur anywhere in the body.  Brain AVMs are of special concern because of the damage they cause when they bleed. They are very rare and occur in less than 1% of the general population. AVMs that occur in the coverings of the brain are called dural avms and what I'm most interested in since having my own.



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Homemade 6lbs rock tumbler barrel

Submitted by js on Sat, 02/20/2016 - 21:00

Theres an explaination video that was shot... I'm putting  up the shop photos from tonight up for now.


Everything is cemented into place. Extra cements it poured in to the wall to "lumpy it up" and make it tacky for the hard plaastic liner

I'm guessing that the ABS variety of pipe I chose (for price cheap) would scratch and file away by the hard grit pretty quickly, so a hard liner is in order.  I priced out liquid truck bed liner, yikes $$$$$$

The hardest, thinnest material I could find around the house was a god-awful-ugly plastic placemat we had during the messy high-chair days.

Cut to fit inside the barrel and short enough to fit below the two flanges (one noted in red). I let the edges overlap and didn't worry about a perfect edge to edge meet around the inner perimeter, because....

...we need a tumbling bar! I'm imagining the rocks and grit just sliding down the slide of the rotating barrel versus a nice tumbling. This is a 3/8" scrap of plastic I yanked out of a window casing but I was ready to use any abs-based plastic objects to glue to the walls (Legos etc.). Back to my preface - the bar was slathered with toxic pipe glue and glues over the liner seam

Shes running with a full load! I was bummed when I saw a slow leak from the threaded flange. I also noticed that the barrel scuffed up in about an hour and barely noticeable slips were occurring every few seconds.  Its probably but a major problem but I really wanted this thing to last so two improvents are required: 1) Teflon tape 2) Wrap the barrel in something grippy - gonna try rubber bands.

Works pretty well but the ugly rubber bands are killing me. Here - the o rings makes me happy.


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DIY Golf simulator - Wii with real golf clubs!

Submitted by js on Sat, 02/20/2016 - 20:40

I've always wanted a home indoor golf swing simulator so I could geek out on club head speed, estimated distance, trajectory, spin rate, etc. I began to wonder if I could put a simulator in my home. Something like this:

If I had this $45,000 gem I wouldn't be wasting time in the shop


Turns out, the simulator pictured above is nearly $30,000. No way am I going to drop that amount of cash on something like this, but I began researching what a more DIY solution would be like.


Nintendo's small rectangular Wii controller is not a golf club, no matter how much the Tiger Woods PGA Tour PR team might tell you it is. While attempting to recreate a golf grip and swing is almost futile, that doesn’t stop die-hard golfers from trying.



There was an alternative: the SKLZ Nintendo Wii Golf Sim Stix. What may in fact be the hybrid kids club and the Nintendo Wiimote, the SKLZ Stix is a virtual golfer’s dream come true. It takes the upper half of a golf club (complete with Golf Pride grip and True Temper® shaft) and grafts on a sturdy holder for the Wii remote. Combined with the Wii and Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf, it offers the promise of allowing the player to bring their real world swing to the virtual course. But is it too good to be true?


For my needs, yes it was too good to be true. All the mechanics are there but the real-world mass and inertia was not... it felt akin to recreating the actual arc of a bowling ball while holding a tic-tac. Aint gonna happen. Then once you get a real bowling ball in your hand your gonna rip your arm out of the socket, not being prepared for the resistance of the ball. With golf, take that disjoint and multiply it by 100.


Can't suppress hand jitter with the super light WiiMote!

To compound the problem by over simplifying the physics - people have tried to add mass (lead tape) to their SKLZ Stix to match a club. While great in theory, mass alone does nothing to replicate "swing weight" - or mass distributed over a set of distances. Example: Say a club weighed exactly the same as a roll of quarters. Could you get an accurate feel of a golf swing with just the quarters balled up in your fist or the quarters duct taped to the end of a fishing pole? Ide say neither of the setups would yield anything useful. So. Agree, disagree, this is how I built my WII "J Stick" to get as close as possible for "playing golf" indoors.


Given: a real club with the weight of a WIIMote is already way off. I'm betting that the overall swing dynamics of the club/wiimote love child will be worth it in the end. I'm gambling that I could still shoot a real round of golf 




Moment of Inertia, aka Torque

Moment of inertia is the name given to rotational inertia with respect to the axis of rotation, in this case the players spine. This is expressed at I (Moment of Inertia) = m(mass) x r(radius away from the spine) squared. This represents the resistance to the change of motion, speeding up or slowing down, of the club head for the force applied. So as the distance of any given weight increases, the amount of resistance you feel in your hands increase exponentially - back to the roll of quarters in your hand vs at the end of a pole.


Now, the following calculations do not relate to the effect of the added weight of the device and the effect on your swing.

Basic stuff, where mio denotes Moment of Inertia AND ignoring your life-long experience with the weight of your arms:

Given : WiiMote = .150kg, human palm->spine = .64m, Skil Stick weight = negligible, 7iron head weight/length = 250g/93cm


WiiMote in hand only :                                 614400  :  (150g * (64cm)^2)
WiiMote with Skil Stick :               1325400 :  (150g * (64+30cm)^2)
7iron only :                                         6162250 :  (250g * (64+93cm)^2)
7iron with WiiMote:                       7487650 :  (250g * (64+93cm)^2) + (150g * (64cm)^2)


So the differences you actually feel in your hands:

902.97% =  WiiMote in hand vs. 7iron
115.72% =  WiiMote with Skil Stick vs. WiiMote in hand
21.51%  =  7iron only vs 7iron with WiiMote


Add in the benefits of :

1) Feedback of hitting down into a mat
2) The feel of the club carrying your arms through the follow through
3) Hitting a real ball into a net

That's good enough for me, let’s build!



9/17/2015 - Build in progress, notes and testing to followBasic Wii holder from a Nerf set


Align the flange tabs with the ribs on either side to create a pocket for a filler bead






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