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Nerdiness or Geekdom

I don't think anybody can be characterized with just one word. Not until you actually meet somebody to the core and connect with true friendship. Maybe not even then. People change over time. Slightly, but they do. For instance, when you spot a big bald guy with large tattoo on his neck, wearing a blackish uniform, heavily armed, working as a guard or something with a face on a first glance telling you that you should avoid any conflict with him at any hour, don't judge him just yet. He might be thinking how he hates his job and can't wait to get home and continue reading some poem about early Buddhism or good bestseller novel about love and adventure. For that matter, don't make any assumption about a nice and well dressed guy with great manners and perfect vocabulary. He could be a psychopath perfectly capable of fooling any lie detector driven by his emotionless life. It's simple, you can do what I do, never believe your eyes or first impression. In order to fully know a person you have to meet him to the bone. Besides, all people, more or less, love to act when they go out of their homes and life outside is just one big stage.

Maybe the best example is school. Kids are cruel, they put labels on everyone and you are either popular or nerd. It's the same everywhere in the world only within its cultural and lingual environment. I was no exception. Only I have a twist in my story I want to share. Back then in my school days, right after we stepped into mid-school I already had most of my interests defined, I wanted to learn new stuff and I was fascinated by science, math, geology, photography, physics and chemistry and partly in history, culture and foreign languages. I also participated into several competitions in school or within regional and national levels and received various awards and diplomas especially in math and cybernetics.

However, nobody remembers me because of all these achievements and all high grades I had in all classes. No. Even today I ran to people who knew me from my activity in, well ... sports. It was my senior year in the school and my body started rapidly to grow in its early teenage days and I felt time was just right to try some physical activities. I joined school football and handball teams and played in corresponding regional competitions. Surprisingly I was pretty good, especially as a left-wing runner for school's handball team. It was a whole year activity and we won second place in final regional little league. Believe it or not, it was very popular back then with all the sport uniforms, tours, fans and all. The final game was in a full city hall with hundreds of respectful crowd cheering for us and the other team. It was amazing. I instantly became popular and even stalked by girls from lower grades. They called me on the phone almost every day and followed from school to home. I even signed several class pictures at the end of the school. I would be lying if I said I didn't enjoy it the whole time.

However, even though it was one nice year and I received one invitation to join local athletic club to start perusing career in short runs and long jump I decided that this is not for me. Simply I listened the basic feeling and chose school and further education over sport. Popularity went away almost instantly but I am sure I made the right decision. I am still enjoying recreational sport and from time to time watch games live and on TV, but today I have different opinion about it and last year I wrote a little about this in Sports post. I committed my professional and private life to scientific stream and live in technological society ever since. But does it made me a nerd? Geek maybe? Or worse? Am I enjoying technical stuff too much? Am I antisocial outside the edge without possibility to return? To tell you the truth I don't think so. I am aware that sometimes I can behave nerdy or geeky but I am not really one of those estranged guys like Sheldon Cooper and friends from his realm. Sure, there are moments when I can see in the eyes of my friends or relatives that my "speech" over the dining table went the wrong way and that "global worming" or "space elevator" themes are not really perfect choice for the occasion, but what can I do, sometimes I see it on time, sometimes I guess I enter the dome of boredness without return. For those who are reading this and nodding their heads up and down, I apologize and promise I will try to do better in the future.

On the other side, blogging is one great way to show my "technical" point of view to the current world and in a way this post is an addition to the "geek" thread I started last year with Moon Illusion and Tracking Apps. Today I am eager to show you how to slow down your video files to get some cool effects after filming really fast events. Yesterday we walked downtown and I glimpsed cheap plasma lamp on sale. There were only two left on the shelf of nearby classic Chinese store and I bought it instantly. Why I bought it? So I could make that video clip from the embedded playlist... Ok, really, this is not why I really bought it. Its just a collateral thing I had in my mind. But having something like this similar to those gadgets that Tesla made and experienced when he first experimented with high-voltage currents in vicinity of noble gases is making you wonder. Experiments like this directly preceded of many other great inventions like light bulbs and tubes, transformers and coils, alternate current applications etc.

Also it is a nice night lamp. ;-)

What you see in the middle is a high-voltage electrode emitting plasma filaments toward outer glass insulator. If you increase capacity of some portion of outer globe, like I did in this video with my finger, you will force plasma to flow to that area creating single or several brighter and ticker filaments. Cool. More of the science behind please read in below Wikipedia link. I used small and cheap Coolpix camera and slowed down the video with Microsoft Movie Maker by ratio of one per quarter. The toy I filmed above doesn't have sophisticated oscillator capable of changing the frequency which would be cool addition to the lamp giving it possibility to respond to surrounding sounds but you can glimpse one big singing tesla coil filmed at Duckon 2007 doing just that. Scientific toys never cease to amaze me and I am literally always looking forward for the next one I can play and enjoy with. More than several I bought during our travels and visits of museums and fairs. After two years of the original post I realized that we made pretty big number of 'nerdistic' videos and images, especially after several visits of 'Nauk nije Bauk' fair in Niš and 'Experimentarium City' in Copenhagen, so in today's update I decided to create 'Nerdiness or Geekdom' playlist especially for this post you can see embedded above and special photo cover with multiple Viktors I made from one taken in front of the green background inside the Tycho Brahe Planetarium also in Copenhagen.

Science behind plasma globe:

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