Archive for March 2013

Making Wedding Jewelry

You may have heard through the grapevine that Megan and I are getting married!

Now we’re looking for engagement and wedding jewelry! It’s quite appropriate for us to either make it ourselves or have it made custom by a local jeweler. If you or someone you know can help with either of these ventures, we’d love to hear from you!

I Asked Megan For Her Hand in Marriage Today

She said yes!

How to beat a speeding ticket in New Jersey: Part 3

I’ve received so many comments from people about how to beat a speeding ticket in New Jersey in my first post and my followup post that I opened up this third post for comments. Note that everything you need to know is in my first post on the subject. You don’t really need to read this third post.

That said, feel free to add your own comments. Do not ask a question like the following, those issues have already been covered many times. Read the post!

I got a speeding ticket in xxx. I was going xx in a xx zone. I shouldn’t have gotten the ticket because xxx and xxx and xxx. How do I get out of the ticket? What should I do?

If this information saves you $500, I would appreciate a $5 donation. Don’t send me anything until AFTER you have been to the courthouse and saved money! Here is a Paypal donation link:

Trying Coco Nail

I’m trying out a new nail fungus treatment tentatively called Coco Nail. It is from Biotectics. I’ve got nothing to say about it yet. We’ll see how it goes!

GE Lighting Solutions Liars

Update: After this blog post General Electric removed the video from the web on 3-21-13! see the comments below.

I was browsing the GE LED lighting website and they were talking all about how when you buy GE lighting, you are buying into the GE Six Sigma  methodology and trust and confidence and people in labcoats and testing and history and blah di blah di blah… And then I saw this video (via) and got just a little pissed off. Starting at 1:15, compared compared an old street lamp system to a shiny new GE Evolve LED Roadway Lighting system with photos.

Can you see what’s wrong with this comparison?

Wow, that’s amazing! Look how bright the LEDs are compared to the old lights! You’re so right! I couldn’t see the sign before beca… wait a second. In the “after” picture I can see the tree in the foreground.. and where is the light in the foreground splashing on the road coming from? Wait. They just fixed a light in the foreground!

And wait a minute more. In the upper right corner of each photo, there’s a light on someone’s property… and in the “before” photo, that light is much dimmer! GE tweaked the brightness and contrast in the photo to fake how their lighting compares!

Let’s see. I did my best at fixing the the brightness, contrast and color temperature of the “before” photo:

Yes, I am calling the people at GE Lighting Solutions liars.

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I should note that the yellow cast of the “before” image is probably due to high pressure sodium lamps. It is hard to believe that it actually is as yellow as was depicted in the image, nevertheless, it should still be said that LEDs have better color rendition than high pressure sodium lamps.

CFL vs LED: A Diatribe

Last week I went in to Cole Hardware looking for discounted compact fluorescent light bulbs. You see, PG&E has this CFL subsidy program where you can get a CFL for $1 instead of the market value of $6-15. They were out and the guy said, “Hmm, we had them for a long while but I think PG&E stopped doing it.”

(update, I just checked the PG&E website and I see a lot of retailers are in the program, and some of the large chains (Lowes, OSH, Home Depot) have LED bulbs in the program too. Cool)

This got me thinking…

My initial thoughts are that it’s kind of OK that this program is winding down. Now everyone is familiar with CFL bulbs, the price of CFL bulbs has come down (they used to be $20+), and just as importantly, CFL bulbs now have real competition on store shelves from the new LED bulbs.

This got me thinking…

LED lighting has really taken off. Last month I noticed that Sausalito’s streetlamps are all LED (if you squint when looking at the fixtures, you can see that it’s like 50 tiny LED bulbs instead of one big sodium bulb. I saw that a good portion of the Westfield Mall in San Francisco is lit with LEDs. At the same time, the LED lighting industry is a bit like the wild west. For instance, when I was chatting with the guy at Cole Hardware, he walked me over to a cabinet that was lit in LEDs. They had all gotten very dim just two years after installation (update: I think it’s the power supply and not the LEDs, the LEDs wouldn’t have all dimmed so evenly together). Big companies like GE are touting their LED lighting systems.

It’s interesting to compare the lighting side-by-side

type          lumens per watt
Incandescent    14
Halogen         18
CFL             60
LED             70
Hi pres sodium  90
T5 fluorescent  100

CFL vs LED… that’s a surprisingly meh-worthy difference. And regular fluorescent tubes are more efficient than LEDs! LEDs are getting better… they have 200 lumen per watt LED bulbs in the laboratory.

But right now it’s kind of a wash.