Trebuchets, Geohashes, and Richmond, VA

A while back, I was home in Virginia for a little while, and my friend James decided it was time to build a trebuchet

Pictured: James, Doug

I say measure once, cut eighty or ninety times.

As you can see by Doug’s hat, trebuchets are very serious business.

I had to leave before we could test it, but they finished up the last touches in my absence. This week, we got a chance to fire it for the first time.

The projectile (three full Dr Pepper cans taped together) vanished off into the woods. Firing successful! In the video, you can see falling leaves cut by the projectile.

In other news, Geohashing is working out wonderfully. At the most recent meetup I attended, we flew a camera from a kite and then tried to spell words under it.

There’s a new feature in the map-locating program where you can suggest and vote on alternate meetup sites for a given day. So far, the pattern is generally that we show up at the location, then find a nearby park or restaurant to hang out at. Bringing games and activities is encouraged.

I wasn’t able to make it to the most recent meetup because I was at MoCCA. By the way — thank you to Chris Hastings of Dr. McNinja for his generous hospitality. He gave me a place to sleep with no advance warning and didn’t even get mad when I spent the night sick on his couch, beat him at Mario Kart, and stole half his stuff. (If anyone wants a good deal on some of his erotic Batman fan art, let me know.)

This afternoon (starting 4:00-ish), some friends and I are heading to Belle Island in Richmond, VA, which is an alternate location for today’s geohash. I hear there are fireworks or something?