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About wizardofeyes

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    Auburn, NY
  1. It's time once again to play "Name That Tune!"

    Thanks for the additional information. The linked YouTube account has been terminated for "multiple copyright violations". I agree that the lyrics are not the most optimistic, but that tune has stuck in my head like a 54 year long ear worm, and I always wondered about, as I only recalled a couple of words and measures of the music. Probably not one of Rodgers' finest works.
  2. It's time once again to play "Name That Tune!"

    Interesting, Thanks, Randy. Another mystery solved!
  3. It's time once again to play "Name That Tune!"

    Wayne, Thanks very much for posting this compilation. I have been puzzling over a catchy melody that seemed to play continuously at the admission booths to the Fair, but I had never heard it on any of the numerous NYWF videos that I have watched, and haven't heard it since then, except playing in the back of my mind. I found it on Tape 1, Hour 2, Track 23: "Fair is Fair". Somehow, this version isn't quite the same as what I remembered, as this is just a men's chorus, and I thought I recalled female voices as well, but I could be mistaken. After 54 years, the details got a bit fuzzy. A Google search isn't much help as to the composer and original source. It sounds like it might have come from some now-forgotten musical film or Broadway show. The title has been co-opted by Sesame Street as well as some punk rockers. Do you have any idea what the original source or composer was? One source ascribes it to Richard Rodgers of Rodgers and Hammerstein, but I can't find any mention of it in his opus list. Dave
  4. More Mystery Photos

    Kevin, Thanks for offering to scan the article. If you burn it to a CD, you can make a nice high resolution color scan. Drop me an eMail at the address available in the "Find a member" eMail option, and I'll send you a postal address. or you could try eMailing it to my address. I know that there are download managers that help with getting big files on slow connections, but I don't know if they work in the other direction. I wonder if you could FTP it to my site. I have 60 meg of free hosting space to capture it. Thanks again. Dave
  5. More Mystery Photos

    Randy, KPSZ, Thanks for the pointers to the Summer '64 General Electric Research Laboratory Bulletin. I put in a request to the GE website. Don't know if I'll hear anything back from them, but if not, I'll try the interlibrary loan service from Union College. They are about 3 hours down the road from me, so it's a bit of a drive, but I'll keep it in mind. They do have that neat round Victorian library buiilding (The Nott Memorial) there which houses a museum of technology, so it might be a fun day trip. OK, well, scratch that idea. I just checked the Union Colege online catalog, and the bulletin is listed as a "non-requestable" item. They also do not show that particular issue in the database. KPSZ, If you have an actual copy of that journal, I'd pay you for a good color copy of the relevant pages, plus your time, assuming I don't hear anything from GE. I do have access to a large format scanner and could post the article if I can get it. Dave Bradd, I can't remember what sort of item I had autographed from the carillon. I just remember it was miserably hot that day, and we waited what seemed like an eternity for the concert. As I was actively playing organ at the time (still do, though rarely now), we wanted to talk with the carilloneur. I can't remember who it was, but he was very gracious, and we chatted for quite a while. Dave
  6. More Mystery Photos

    Randy, I have a chair that I thought came from the Bell exhibit. Memory gets fuzzy after 42 years. It's a white fiberglass egg with dark cobalt blue nylon upholstery inside, and internal speakers on each side. It stands on a pedestal, and is about 5 feet high and nearly 4 feet in diameter. It doesn't look anything like the chair in your photo, though. Perhaps it came form a different ride. It's surpisingly comfortable. I thought is would make a neat environment for computer gaming (assuming I ever find the time to play computer games!) I'll have to get it out of storage and snap some photos of it. Dave
  7. More Mystery Photos

    Randy, The display was definitly operative. About every ten seconds, there was a lout snap accompanied by a ruby red streak passing at a random angle through the chamber. Just knowing how it worked was thrilling to me, though no one else in our party seemed much interested. I remember the flash as being much more red than the photo shows, more like the color of a red laser pointer than the orange color in the photo. The gas in the chamber is probably standard spark chamber mixture -- 90% neon, and 10% helium, saturated with ethyl alcohol, a quenching agent that prevents the whole cylinder from lighting up like a neon sign after each discharge. The display probably ran at atmospheric pressure, and it would require a continuous supply of new gas, albeit at a low rate, to replace the neon that was trapped by the sputtering effect of the sparks. Supplying the gas for two years could get pretty costly. I have a former high executive of GM as a patient, but he says that their company archives are not open to the public, and even their own staff can get acceses only on a "need to know" basis. I've thought of going back to NYC to see what if anything is in the NYPL archives, but I have a hard time getting away from work. I do eye surgery for a living, but electronics (particularly high voltage stuff) for fun. As long as you don't disturb the neighbors too much, there are no restrictions on what you do with electronics. OTOH, if you try to do medicine for fun, they put you in jail! I live in Auburn, NY, right in the middle of the state, about 280 miles from Flushing Meadows. I can't say I have a lot of NYWF memorabilia -- just a couple of fliers I picked up recently at a local antique shop. What I wouldn't give to find all the souveniers I brougnt back from NYS a long time ago, like the autograph of the carilloneur who played at the Coke Carillon, or my Futurama pin. I do have one of the white "egg" chairs that I believe was in the Bell Telephone ride. The spark chamber is a neat combination of mechanical engineering, high voltage power circuitry, nuclear physics, high speed signal processing, and vacuum technology. The voltages in the chamber drive circuit can easily be lethal, so you do have to exercise extreme caution working with the device. Your first mistake can easily become your last. Through the magic of eBay and the internet, I have been able to collect all the parts I'd need to recreate it. Nice thing is that there's nothing really all that hard about building one. I found one of the other posters who offers a CD of sounds of the Fair. I'm sure that will bring back a lot of memories. Now, I have to see what is posted about the nuclear fusion exhibit in the GE pavilion. All I remember is that you couldn't see much except some guys in white coats. I think I was too short to see over the railing into the demonstration pit. I still wonder what happened to that exhibit, and how it worked. Of course, there is now a little tabletop device that allows even a high school student to make dangerous levels of neutrons from real nuclear fusion on a table top for less than $100 (Google for "Farnsworth Fusor"). I'm also going to see if I can find some extended movies of the high voltage exhibit in the GE pavilion at the '39 NYWF. I've corresponded with one of the engineers who knew the designer of that display. It's a shame that there is no place where you can see that sort of demonstration any more. If there are any NYWF enthusiasts in central NY, I'd like to get to know them. All the best, Dave
  8. More Mystery Photos

    Oh, My goodness! Unbelieveable!!!! I just found this site, and this is my first posting. I've looked for 42 years for this photo, and indeed, the very first photo I get when I search the site on "Spark Chamber" is, indeed the "World's Largest Cosmic Ray Spark Chamber", in the exit rotunda of the GM exhibit. I was only eleven when I first saw this display, but having just seen the wonderful Bell Telephone educational film "The Strange Case of the Cosmic Rays", I was totally enthralled by this exhibit. I've been collecting parts to recreate a somewhat smaller version of this display since college. I now have everything I would need to recreate it, except, perhaps, a couple of free months for fabrication, testing, and tuning. I've been actively looking for info about ths spark chamber for well over 10 years. An unanswered post to the Tesla Coil mailing list was discovered by a researcher in Leeds, England, perhaps 5 years after I placed it, and he directed me to Prof. Donald Meyer, at U. Michigan, who consulted on its design. Dr. Meyer was the world's leading expert on design of spark chambers at the time. I finally got in touch with him about 2 years ago, and he filled me in with what details he could remember about the construction of this display. Apparently, it was built in-house at GM. No one seems to know where it went after the fair. Others have more recently recreated similar devices. I have a standing invitation to go down to Princeton, where there is a small (6"x 6") working model on display. See: <a href="http://www.physics.princeton.edu/www/jh/ne...rk_chamber.html" target="_blank"><a href="http://www.physics.princeton.edu/www/jh/ne...rk_chamber.html" target="_blank"><a href="http://www.physics.princeton.edu/www/jh/ne...rk_chamber.html" target="_blank"><a href="http://www.physics.princeton.edu/www/jh/ne...rk_chamber.html" target="_blank"><a href="http://www.physics.princeton.edu/www/jh/ne...rk_chamber.html" target="_blank"><a href="http://www.physics.princeton.edu/www/jh/ne...rk_chamber.html" target="_blank"><a href="http://www.physics.princeton.edu/www/jh/ne...rk_chamber.html" target="_blank"><a href="http://www.physics.princeton.edu/www/jh/ne...rk_chamber.html" target="_blank">http://www.physics.princeton.edu/www/jh/ne...rk_chamber.html</a></a></a></a></a></a></a></a> Prof. Shoemaker eMailed me the schematic of the electronic driver circuit for the chamber, and some details on its operation, which is pretty much a lost art now. The NYWF photo must have been taken soon after the opening of the fair, as when I saw it, the glass cylinder was heavily coated with metal sputtered off the electrodes by the discharges. I could not remember seeing any of the detail of the plates inside it, as is apparent in the posted photos. I'm really glad to see the photo, 'cause the interior construction is entirely different than I would have imagined. I wonder if the horizontal plates were solid metal (the most common construction technique), or made of wire mesh, which would have allowed much better 3-D visualization of the spark path. The chamber was not operational when we when we went back in 1965. My only disappointment is that it is so very much smaller than I remember. I recall it is the size of a 55 gallon oil drum, perched way above my head. I didn't remember all the cone shaped fairing above the unit, either. I now know that there were scintillation plates above and below the display cylinder which triggered the high voltage pulse after the passage of a cosmic ray particle through both plates. Of course, your perspective an an 11 year old is somewhat different than that of an adult. Dr. Meyer ultimately went on to build a chamber that was a cube, 8 feet on a side, before other, more precise detection and localization techniques became available. If anyone has any more photos, recollections about the operation of this display, or its ultimate disposition, I would be most grateful to hear about them. Thanks in advance! David D. Speck MD