Campy-est Credit Card Ever!

(Originally posted on 2008-11-19 as /archives/1513)

xprize

Yes, this was my credit card. Most of the available designs were very conservative, but then there was this one. I chose this design because I wanted to see the look on cashiers’ faces when I produced it. It mostly elicited no response at all. I mean LOOK AT THAT THING! The designer’s Mom, and myself, had to be the only two people that chose it. Using that card is like legally changing your middle name to “Danger”. Nobody would do it. Oh. Yeah. Right.

The credit card was meant to help fund the first X Prize project (Ansari).

The card came with a super-low interest rate, a free coffee table pictures-from-space book, and an entry into a sweepstakes every time that you used it.

I won lesser prizes in the sweepstakes many times; you would think that I had that thing rigged. I won a Seiko chronograph watch (3rd prize). I also won multiple ball caps (5th prize), multiple desk sets (5th prize), these Swiss-army-like credit card things that had knives and such in them (ironic, being that it was a credit card sweepstakes)(5th prize): weird stuff. Unfortunately I didn’t win the Big Kahuna Burger prize of $100,000.

The X Prize (I am no longer talking about the sweepstakes prizes here) was eventually won by the SpaceShipOne team. The spacecraft was designed by the famous aircraft engineer Burt Rutan’s Scaled Composites company, and funded by Paul Allen (the quieter Microsoft founder).

Here is the sweepstakes information for those that wanted to enter via the send-in-a-postcard route. I found this information here:

First USA X Prize Sweepstakes
prizes: Grand (1): A flight for one person to sub-orbital space, includes air for 2, lodging, meal allowance, ARV $100,000, if available at time of winner selection,or $100,000 cash alternative. Quarterly (1): A MIG 25 flight for one person, or a Zero G experience, or a trip for 2 to the Kennedy Space Center, or a Space Camp Adventure. 2nd (2): A 286X astronomical telescope, a “Starship Earth” 3D star atlas globe, a Konica digital still camera or a Casio hand-held personal computer, ARV $599. 3rd (5): Seiko chronograph watch, night scope binoculars, a Franklin Mint Columbia Shuttle replica in porcelain or a Grundig aluminum finish short wave radio, ARV $223. 4th (25): Apollo official patches, Nikon aviator frame sunglasses, a 200 x 50mm refractor telescope or an international Star Registry, ARV $70. 5th (200): Merchandise or a mug, ARV $19.
TO ENTER: On plain 3×5 paper, hand print NAZ, Phone, and the words: X PRIZE.
* Mail in envelope to:
      X PRIZE
P.O. Box 7290
Melville, NY 11775-7290
NOTE: Must be at least 18. Unlimited entries. Open in US. Entry also online at www.firstusa.com/xprize. F/E ineligible: Visa, First USA, Don Jagoda. J/A: National Judging Institute. W/L: Send SASE beginning after 9/30/98 to X PRIZE SWEEPSTAKES WINNERS, P.O. Box 7999, Melville, NY 11775-7999. The name of the Grand Prize winner will be made available as soon as possible after the drawing but in no event later than 8/30/07.

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onOne Photo Editing: Masking Trees

(Originally posted on Mar 13, 2016 as /archives/10878)

onOne has a good video on how to make complex masks.

The video exclusively uses the onOne Photo 10 suite. Instead I copy the new mask from onOne into Photoshop and use it there. I find that easier to do than using Photoshop’s masking tools, and it’s more flexible than limiting myself to onOne’s suite.

I usually only post videos that I need to use in the future. That means that you won’t see the most common photography and post processing tasks here. Those are easy enough to find via Google.

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USA Rules for Model Aircraft (Planes, Drones, Helicopters, Etc.)

(Originally posted on /archives/10835)

Short Story

  1. Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) members may continue to follow AMA’s safety guidelines, even if in some cases those conflict with the FAA’s rules.
  2. All model aircraft users, with radio controlled aircraft over 0.55 lbs. (aeroplanes, quadcopters, helicopters, drones, etc.), need to register with the FAA at https://registermyuas.faa.gov/ .
By U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Daniel J. McLain [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Background

It’s called “UAS” registration, but all model airplanes over 0.55 lbs. come under this umbrella.

Congress specifically excluded the FAA from regulating model airplanes flown by AMA members, as part of the “2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act“, section 336, which is law.

No matter, FAA officials saw YouTube videos of people doing dangerous things with flying toys, and proceeded to impose the new regulations on everyone.

Recently, the FAA agreed that AMA members are allowed to follow the AMA’s Safety Guidelines, even if those conflict with the FAA Safety Guidance. That’s consistent with section 336.

What part was a concern? The no flying over 400 feet part. There are model airplane competitive events that would be unflyable under that rule, and there are model airplane competitive events that would be more-dangerous under that rule. Also: there are model aircraft flying events that are actually held at airports (famously: Joe Nall Week) .

You Must Follow This Ever-changing List of Temporary Flight Restrictions (traditionally communicated as NOTAMS)

AMA Academy of Model Aeronautics National Model Aircraft Safety Code

FAA Safety Guidance

  • I will fly below 400 feet
  • I will fly within visual line of sight
  • I will be aware of FAA airspace requirements: www.faa.gov/go/uastfr
  • I will not fly directly over people
  • I will not fly over stadiums and sports events
  • I will not fly near emergency response efforts such as fires
  • I will not fly near aircraft, especially near airports
  • I will not fly under the influence

AMA FAA FAQ

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