Saturday, April 23, 2011

Egg Drop Soup (with Helicopters)

Today, for reasons I cannot now fathom, we took the kids to a 30,000 Easter egg "hunt" where some of the eggs were dropped by helicopter. Sounds.... crazy, right?  It was.

After two days of rain, it did not occur to us that the whole thing would be a horrific quagmire. It was.

By the time we were actually in position for the drop 2 of my 3 kids had fallen and were covered in mud.

People came from miles to partake in the spectacle. It was packed. Once the call was given to go, the mad scramble left some children with huge bags of eggs, and some children left crying, empty handed.  My 6 year old got 5 eggs (and was not happy) and my girls got 5 eggs between them. This is definitely one time where the meek are not blessed.  Aggression and assertiveness win the day at an egg drop.  At least the organizers had the forethought to leave a few eggs in reserve for the poor kids who got none.

Once the eggs had all been collected, the search began for each child.  Parents were everywhere hollering names in every which direction.

We had planned on heading to my parents' house after the event, but with everyone covered in mud and our house almost an hour in entirely the wrong direction we decided to stop off and buy some clothes for them on the way.  $135 later, we were on the road again.  Admittedly, $20 of that was me impulse buying "Tales from Earthsea."  I didn't realize Miyazaki had adapted Ursula LeGuinn's stories (which I read as a teen) and I loves me some Miyazaki.

Egg dropping and a very curvy rotor.
Seeing the helicopter was fun, and if someone can explain to me why the rotors appear so curved in the photos?  I just can't figure why they would be in focus let look so curved, or why one side would look curved and not the other.  If it was from the motion of the rotors you would think both would be equally affected.

Rotors curving upward oddly.  Feel free to hum "Ride of the Valkyries" here.  I did.
Rotors curving downward...oddly.


  1. Those aren't rotors; they're bunny ears!

  2. The Rotors are not curved, its b/c you were only wearing one shoe when you took the picture.

  3. Actually, having been in an aviation unit.

    It is b/c the speed of the rotors exceeds the TRAVEL ROTATION of the SHUTTER. Yes, it is the shutter that does the bending as it spirals closed. And thus it segments the still frame of the fast moving rotors (about 700 rpm) So you get a "stilled" or "Captured" rotors that moves as the shutter also closes and thus it bends in the microsecond of light speed warpanomical hyperalagory synthesis. Or something that sounds as technical as what I just said.

    You think this is weird?Just try a clockwise rotor spin with counter clockwise shutter spin!

    (I was in an Aviation unit, but I have never been much for physics.)

  4. Angelos is pretty much right, although I think it is because you may have been using a mobile-phone camera? They don't have a conventional shutter, but in fact perform an near instantaneous read across the CCD detector, line by line. In most cases this is fine, but with extremely fast moving objects such as a helicopter rotor, the blade has shifted in the time between reading one line of the CCD to the next. This means it is in a slightly different position for each line giving the illusion of it bending.

    If you search on the web, there are some very interesting examples of photo's taken of aeroplane props due to the same effect.


I had to add anti-spam measures because, let's face it, almost nobody comments on blogs anymore unless they are spamming. Sorry.