Day 75: Two Scientists, Three Musicians, and Magic

I find Russ relaxing under a redwood tree. He looks pretty good for someone who was in a plane crash this morning.

During low-speed taxi (safely on the ground), his plane hit an airport vehicle, wrecking the nosewheel and causing some other damage. To the passengers, it felt like a crunchy mellow brake malfunction. They were all moved onto an undamaged plane.


Russ resisted the temptation to inflate his life vest, but just barely.

Now Russ and I are standing outside an unmarked building in the technology core of Sunnyvale. After a few minutes, we’re joined by Dave and two other musicians, and we head inside.

It’s time for a little magic.

Once we’re past the security mechanism, we’re met by ████, who is the CTO of an organization called ███ ███████. We’ve got questions for him about devices to read EEG (brain signals) and do some analysis on them in real-time.

He brings us into his office, which is filled with circuit boards, cables, open-case computers which are running, and even a █████ ████, which we probably weren’t supposed to see. There are prototypes on the desk and on the floor. This is my kind of CTO.

The conversation is fascinating, going from developments in the 1930’s to current commonplace technology, and even his visions of far-future advances where hardware won’t be needed at all. And he’s serious. And I think he might be right.

Russ puts the device on. We can see a graph of his tension level, his eye movement, and some jumpy indications of how likely he is to start swearing at us. He tries to control one of the graphs.

We each take a turn. I try to control one of the graph lines , trying to settle it all the way to zero. Russ was able to do this, but it’s not easy. Finally, out of whimsical curiosity, I try thinking of a particular image. The graph sinks to the bottom and stays there. As long as I hold this picture in my mind, I’ve got perfect control and the needle never moves.

What’s the picture? I’m not telling. Besides, it probably won’t work for anyone else. Now that I know, though, I’m going to try using it in everyday life to do… well I don’t know what. Maybe that’ll become clear.

After our excellent meeting, we talk about plans over some Thai food.

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Somehow, music fits into everything we’ve seen this morning. Dave knows how.

During lunch, we notice a local gym has set up an information table.

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I’m sure they’ve got the word “sis” on a little sign somewhere.
They should probably find it pretty quick.

It’s Wednesday, so flying trapeze is next. (You can see more trapeze details here.)

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…and this blurry object is Charles, showing off trampoline superpowers. The non-blurry object is Kelsey.

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Random assertion: Any plane crash you can walk away from is definitely a good one.

Steganographic data: 1824/1.2

Published in: on August 3, 2008 at 9:23 am  Leave a Comment  
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