come on in, the Baudelaire's fine

De profundis clamavi

J'implore ta pitié, Toi, l'unique que j'aime,
Du fond du gouffre obscur où mon coeur est tombé.
C'est un univers morne à l'horizon plombé,
Où nagent dans la nuit l'horreur et le blasphème;

Un soleil sans chaleur plane au-dessus six mois,
Et les six autres mois la nuit couvre la terre;
C'est un pays plus nu que la terre polaire
— Ni bêtes, ni ruisseaux, ni verdure, ni bois!

Or il n'est pas d'horreur au monde qui surpasse
La froide cruauté de ce soleil de glace
Et cette immense nuit semblable au vieux Chaos;

Je jalouse le sort des plus vils animaux
Qui peuvent se plonger dans un sommeil stupide,
Tant l'écheveau du temps lentement se dévide!

— Charles Baudelaire
go see the translation if you don't read French, but it's worth reading even if you don't completely understand, just to see the fucking unsurpassable way the man had with words.

real post soon, i swear.



Max said...

I don't usually go that much for poetry, but I have to say that this is beautiful. Things like this make painting a picture with words look so easy and are yet awe-inspiring.

Zeta-00 said...

poesis pulchra est! titulum poesis legebam -- gratus edebat ...

the Latin title made me feel like practicing my Latin. only two years experience, but I love the language.

anyway, I wish I knew French, too. it'd probably be more enjoyable in the original tongue.

spoon said...

Hey! Interesting poem, but the number of differing translations is giving me the feeling that I'm missing out by reading it in English.

Okay so the rest of this is a little out of context (or wildly off-topic) but I had some thoughts on how to most expediently test yon northpaw project.

Software testing of the whole system would be difficult, since it would require a software emulator for the MSP430, and also pointless, because the emulator would not be the same as the device.

So here's my idea, it's a bit silly. Once you have the device built, but before you attach the electrodes, attach the MSP430 outputs to low power LEDs and arrange them in a circle. When rotated, you can see how the power gradient behaves. Simple!

The MSP430 sounds like a fascinating little device - ones exist with built in digital to analogue converters, which are useful here. I may have to invest in one!

If you want, I could host a wiki on my server, for discussing this project 'cus this comment is really really really off topic, but I needed to share these thoughts with the cru!

spoon said...

That poem is interesting, but the multiple differing translations make me feel as if I'm missing out.

Now I know this is off topic, but I had some ideas about the northpaw and there's no where else to discuss them! You are an epicenter :p If there is demand, I would host a wiki

I've decided that there's no providing a proggram-wide testing facility for MSP430 software: it would require a specially written software emulator that could interact with a gui, or some such, to be of any use.

Testing the hardware is a little easier! It sounds a little silly, probably obvious too, but here's my idea: once you have built the device, but before you attach the electrodes, just attach the outputs to low power leds. You can test the output just by turning the system round...

Also, I was reading about the MSP430: cool little chips! Some of them have an onboard digital to analogue converter, which would be useful for having a gradual peak towards north.

I want one! :p

Max said...

As you've started the topic, here's my

I'm still worried about where and how all of the electronics should be housed. Keep in mind he doesn't only have to shove a chip below his skin, but he needs the chip, an bunch of electrodes that rim his ankle, a bunch of wires, and a battery pack large enough to power the device at least 2 days running, to make sure Lepht doesn't suddenly turn magnetically blind if he forgets charging up once. Then, assuming we're still trying to get wureless charging to work, we need a place for the receiving coil, and some stuff to keep it all together and make it work, maybe even another pcb with stuff on it. One way of placing the coil would be wrapped around the ankle, this would take very little space, but it would be a bitch to calculate how many windings you need and it would most importantly be a bitch to actually pull off during the operation. Another way would be to simply push it below the skin, which would require a huge cavity, but would make sure that the coil actually works (because you could use the coil you tested the thing with).

Another concern is whether the relative orientation of primary and secondary coil matters in these things. If it does, (and my understanding is that it does, but I don't have the hardware handy to test it), that would greatly limit our options regarding how to charge it and how to place the coil below Lephts skin.

On a related side note: Lepht, how thick is your ankle? I guess the device will have to be seated pretty high, so that it runs around the lower shin. After all, you still wear shoes and don't want them prying open your skin.

I assume the prototyping build will be made on solderfree breadboard, so testing and making sure the software and hardware work correctly is a required step before cutting open one's ankles anyway. Oh well, we'll get it to work some way or other. As always, you're free to correct me on any stupid things I said or wrong assumptions I made.

Max said...

Argh, stupid iPhone keyboard. I wish there was an edit button. Please disregard the spelling mistakes.

spoon said...

Aye, housing the electronics is a major issue. Done poorly and Lepht's leg could fall off!

I'll set up a wiki tonight, so there can be another place for discussion of these things - what if someone expected these comments to be about French poetry? Write accounts all round!

spoon said...

Due to being drunk now and busy later, it will be a little longer

Max said...

Meanwhile, in a different part of the world:

I took up Lepht's advice and tried my hand at writing. Or I employed an infinite number of monkeys on an infinite number of typewriters, whatever fits your fancy.
Here's what came out of it:

I tried posting it here, but blogger has a 4096 character limit, and it snarled at me in a mixture of German and English.

Disclaimer: this was written entirely on an iPhone, and past midnight in only two sessions of frantic, memoryless trance. Please disregard any spelling errors, but any criticism regarding flow, style, or sheer dumbness of the plot is completely welcome.

Unqualified to speak said...

There doesn't appear to be a minimum size for induction coils (see:telecoils in hearing aids). As long as the transmission and reception coils are tuned in their final geometry, it doesn't seem to really matter what that is - though I do invite you all to count the weasel words in this paragraph.

Relative positioning of the coils requires them to be parallel, overlapping as much as possible, as close as possible. I was thinking a leg cuff with the transmission coil embedded, with the implanted coil flat under the skin.

I was rather more worried about the idea of cutting a ring around 3/4 of the ankle, myself...

(@Max: I'll have a look when unimpaired and able to read critically. Also, remind me I need to buy more whiskey. ",)

Unqualified to speak said...

Oh! And:
Great poem, Lepht. Turns out my French is only ALMOST as bad as I remembered. ",)

Max said...

Doesn't efficiency or max power throughput change according to coil size? I could never quite wrap my head around the laws of magnetism.

Regarding the relative positioning - I thought as much. Shucks. The ankle cuff really seems to me the most easiest and most logical setup in this light, but then again what's the point of having wireless transfer if you're tethered by a cuff while charging anyways. I hope we can think of a better solution. Lepht said something about a kind of pillow maybe working, but then that doesn't take into account the relative positioning.

Regarding how much cutting and carving there will have to be:
It's gonna be a bloody massacre, but Lepht will be a pioneer. That'll be the normal number of senses a human usually has +2. Next thing on the list is seeing ultraviolet and infrared light. Genetic engineering, anyone? (Note: that is actually possible. Adult monkeys (of a species where males are usually afflicted of Daltonism) have been given trichromatic vision through genetic engineering in form of a syringe-load of engineered virus let loose on the retina. We could use the gene many birds have for tetrachromatic vision to enhance our own spectrum into UV)

Humans - we consist of flesh and blood, but are made of our wounds.

spoon said...

I'm rather of the opinion we should design the device according to current biomedical practice (rather than say, covering it in hot glue...) and get an actual medic to do the operation.

Then we can all write a paper and have cocktails and cigars on the lawn, or whatever you do after you write a paper.

Max said...

I'm in favor of the cocktail and cigar thing, but suggest the addition of monocles and top hats.

Of course, having someone with an actual non-wikipedian education in medicine perform the operation would be optimal, but you gotta work with what you've got. I don't think many MDs would listen to someone who approaches them with a homebrew device with electrodes and coils dangling about, pointing at it and saying 'I want this thing to be put under my skin, in order to gain an additional sense!'
So chances are Lepht will have to find someone with a steady hand and a strong gut and make do with the gutenberg version of Gray's Anatomy (assuming that thing is on project Gutenberg, which I'm not even sure about).

We can still write a paper though, then have cigars and cocktails on the lawn wearing top hats and monocles, and be hunted by a mob with pitch forks and torches and burned on the stake for heresy. It will be fun.

Lepht said...

muhfugga LOOKIT all these! here goes.

Max is correct, a Baudelaire a day keeps the Alzheimer's away.

Zeta-00 - your French phrase for today is "putin alors!", to be used in any place where English "fucking hell!" is appropriate.

spoon darling - where is our wiki? i was going to prototype outside the meat beforehand anyway, with breadboards and the like, but your LED idea is better than my way so we will go with that.

regarding room: the devices are quite small, and i don't have a problem with making large incisions. what has to be done has to be done. the coil is rather small too afaik and yes, the pillow/cuff thing will require a certain angle before it works - gotta work on that, but i'd accept the limitation.

(battery pack is a lithium cell, very tiny. microcontroller is miniature.)

i am not a very big human, though i'm a full-grown adult. my ankle is about the diameter of a tea mug. it'll fit; we'll make it fit, and the trodes won't open my skin, don't worry. scar tissue, depth and shielding take care of that.

i quite liked that short story, although you have a Habit of capitalising your Nouns because you are Mainland European :) a good idea for a second draft might be to go through it for places where you've said something happened instead of demonstrating, but it's a good start.

Unq - you need to buy more whiskey.

yes, it is going to be incredibly painful; i'm willing to do it. a medic will not be: i've written this somewhere already, but they lose their jobs over shit like this. it's our way or the highway, unfortunately.

bets on when i get a hold of a syringe and accidentally blind myself are ON, gentlemen.

after we write up what happens, we can all go have Pimm's at my place, alright? there's no garden, so it'll be street Pimm's, but there. bring your monocles.


Max said...

I don't think there will be a second draft, partly because I don't understand what you mean with that sentence (demonstrating? Are you referring to large parts being in passive voice?), partly because a second draft would make me feel rather pretentious.

You may want to start attracting genetic engineers to your blog, because if I were you I wouldn't trust me in genetic matters.

Street Pimm's it'll be then. We could have a transhumanist party where you cut us all up and replace parts of our flesh with electronics.

Unqualified to speak said...

@Lepht: Thanks for the reminder.

I give this information without prejudice: most agricultural suppliers' that deal in animal feed and medication have a box of syringes behind the counter, freely dispensed to any fucker with wellingtons and pocket change. (",)

Right: I'll draft up a proper "thing," show my work an' all, but preliminary version: according to this 'ere internet inductance calculator, a very little pen-and-paper jotting, and this dude... How do you feel about implanting a coil about 11.7 x 4.2 mm? Hand-producing such a thing would be very irritating (internal diameter is all of 2mm) but doable, I think. It would produce 20 microHenrys inductance, which is pretty small; I need to re-learn the physics to work out the current received. But the important part is: is that size of object within tolerances for implant, Lepht?

@Max: 'tis good; I played way too much Half Life to approach that kind of introduction with an open mind, though. ",)

Unqualified to speak said...

@Lepht: thanks. Now to choose which. (",

@Max: 'tis good, 'tis good. I played way too much Half Life to be able to approach that kind of introduction unbiased, though. ",)

Right, to the point: I'll do up a proper thing, show my work an' all, later, but preliminarily: is a 11.7 x 4.2 mm package okay for implanting? It would be very fiddly to hand-make, but doable, I think.
However, it has an inductance of just 20 microHenrys. I have to re-learn the physics to figure out how much current that would convert to. Work for tomorrow, sez I. (",)

Unqualified to speak said...

Oh, I'm a fucking genius. Brain, come up with these before doing the maths in future.

All the previous is slightly bollocks. It's for inductive coupled coils, which have a different ideal geometry to resonant inductive coupling. Wank. If you decide "fuck the resonant shit, inductive coupling will do," just tear apart an electric toothbrush and charging station and implant whichever of those coils will fit best.

If you want to stick with the resonant stuff (higher efficiency and more distance being the benefits), then reclaiming a pair of small inductive coils might still be worth doing; they may be capable of being tuned.
Have you got access to an oscilloscope without having to beat up undergrad EEs?

Lepht said...

Max - demonstrating as in expanding parts of the text that say something happened into fuller descriptions of the action, as in if i found a sentence that said "Johnny was getting angry", i'd rewrite it to "Johnny snapped his pencil in half and threw it across the room", then carry on from there.

fuck yeah Pimm's-fuelled surgery just like back in the day.

Unq - i suggest some Strathisla. that size is fine to implant; i don't have access to a scope, though.

would rather go with resonant, of course.


Unqualified to speak said...

I think I have access to a 'scope - there was one left into "my" hackerspace a couple of months ago, but I haven't seen it in some time. I'll have a look tomorrow.
If you give me a while, I'll get a toothbrush and have a poke at the coils. I need a while, because I'm so broke just now the costs of an electric toothbrush and some capacitors are beyond me. ",)

Max said...

Thanks for the feedback and words of appreciation earlier. I'll remember it and to be honest, my finger's are itching to add more detail like you suggested, if only for the sake of getting a feeling of completion.

Thanks :) I know what you mean though. The farther I got the more I realized what a clishé that introduction was, but hey, there was an opportunity to introduce story, character, surroundings and even a major plot point, the bombings. Of course I took it. Also it provided for a temporary excuse for the amnesia until the brain mods are uncovered.

So, back to what's come to be the topic:
If we're going for resonance, maybe the range and efficiency will be good enough to simply install the transmitter coil below your mattress where your ankles usually are. Of course it depends on what position you usually take when sleeping, and the coil would have to be placed accordingly, but it may just work well enough, and would be by far the most convenient solution.

Unqualified to speak said...

As inductive powering's effective distance is a function of coil diameter, a big coil under the mattress would be a pretty good solution. The only problem being, of course, Lepht having to be tied down before going to sleep. (",)
I have yet to find any kind of figures for efficiency over distance - though it does seem to fall off drastically once you start moving away, which is where the resonance comes in. I'll start trawling IEEE tomorrow; I've been picking the low-hanging, maths-sparse fruit so far.

Experiment #1 when there's a working version of the coil will have be to place the receiver in a pile of something thoroughly flammable and see what has to be done to get ignition. I mislike the cooling opportunities available to subdermal technology. (",

Lepht said...

agreed; i think this will require experimentation. i assume the next logical step, then, is to acquire some materials with which to actually do some experiments...


Unqualified to speak said...

Success! Not one, but TWO oscilloscopes. All praise Hypnotoad and geeks who never throw anything out. Now to find out if The Storeroom (Of Death) contains proper leads for 'em...

Anonymous said...

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