It’s been an eventful week

This week has been crazy. I have felt busy basically from the beginning of this REU but this week was more. We had our regular tasks, but our MCA really started this week and also some students from storm lake came and visited us. The MCA took a lot of brain power and the students took a lot of time. I’m not complaining, it’s been good. I enjoy feeling like I’ve accomplished something by the end of the day.

Because of how busy we’ve been I honestly kind of lost track of the blog. Then I woke up today and realized it’s been a minute. But honestly there’s not a lot to tell. Meeting the storm lake students and working with them on co-designing the game was amazing and thought provoking, and has made me realize just how complex getting into and going to college can be. I mostly escaped that because when I first applied, I only applied to Faith. There wasn’t really any concern I wouldn’t get it because they have high acceptance rates and because I was a third generation student at that school (which they say doesn’t make a difference but I’m skeptical that it truly doesn’t) the other programs and schools I went to had relatively easy applications and I never really applied to more than one school at a time. I always just knew what programs I wanted to be in and never really shopped around for colleges. Not that this is inherently bad, but I guess I never realized how rare that is.

My MCA has been really fun. I attempted to make a functional gimbal and despite seeming easy it’s been… well not great. I won’t go into too much detail but basically the print just keeps falling apart and I went to alter the files to fix it in blender and because of the way the file was saved I’m not able to fix it. The pieces are too lose so I thought making the print smaller would help but not only did it *not* solve the problem but the entire print basically just melted. Not sure what that was about, but I’m going to pretend it was the machines fault and not mine. After that (don’t worry, I will make a functional gimbal, just maybe not soon) I started working in making an embossing machine. That worked… sorta. The prints were fine but they didn’t slot together as perfectly as I would have liked. Next week I’m making a pinhole camera. I could talk about cameras all day, but I’ll be brief. For this I’m making a pinhole camera that’s been adapted to hold lenses. Pinhole cameras don’t actually have lenses which is unbelievably cool, but I got curious about how different lenses affect how much light gets exposed onto a piece of film. So basically I’m going to to get a bunch of different lenses and test them out with a light meter. Also, I’m planning on printing one with transparent plastic. I also want to test diffraction grating to see how that alters the amount of light being exposed.

Anyway, that will be fun, but what I’m really excited about is testing out my camera with thermal film. While the plastic im using to make my camera is opaque to visible light, the Google rabbit hole I accidentally fell into the other day taught me that PLA isn’t always IR opaque, meaning that sometimes infrared light can travel thought it, sometimes it can’t, and sometimes it can but not very well. I wanna experiment and see if this camera would make a decent thermal camera if I wanted to (because thermal film makes the COOLEST looking pictures and if you don’t believe me look it up.) I know I could always just use one of my other film cameras if it doesn’t work, but the idea of doing it on my own is significantly cooler.

Aside from that the only thing that happened this week is I hit a 500 day streak of German on Duolingo. That was fun. Makes me feel like I can actually say “yes” if people ask if I know some German. So yeah it’s been a week, it’s been great and I’ve done a lot. I’m thankful for the long weekend and I will probably spend the entire time thinking about cameras and storm lake and steampunk (it’s related to our game, promise). Hope y’all have a great holiday weekend too!

Leave a Reply