Category Archives: Being a Wikipedian

Articles on promotion of Wikipedia and Wikimedia.

NorCal for the model aeronautically-inclined

This is a guide and a preview to upcoming articles I’ll be publishing, on Northern California through the eyes of a New Yorker, with an inclination to see things from a model aeronautic perspective. It is similar to my model-aeronautic take on Ogunquit and its bipolar beach. Here I’ll examine various Napa Valley and Sonoma vineyards on their applicability to flying, while accompanied by my brother’s family. I’ll show you where to find legitimate flying fields manned by AMA chartered clubs, as well as secret flying places that fanatics frequent. We toured San Francisco, Golden Gate Park, Half Moon Bay, Point Lobos, Fort Ord Dunes State Park and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Continue reading

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What is a Doob 3D Selfie?

Last year my family visited the miniature park, Madurodam. We had ourselves scanned at the Fantasitron, and subsequently our 3D selfies printed by Shapeways. I was so impressed that I wrote an entire article about 3D scanning, stereophotogrammetry and gypsum-based 3D color printing. We have since found another venue for making 3D selfies, this time in New York City. The company, Doob, delivers an impeccable service, starting from the first moment we made an appointment online. This smooth and professional experience extends to email reminders, in-store consulting, and actual 3D scanning. It concludes with flawless 3D-printed figurines delivered to our house.

However, Doob as a company is rather secretive about its scanning process and 3D-reconstruction software. It is almost impossible to find any information about its 3D printing process. Unlike Madurodam and Shapeways, Doob offers no technical details on either its American website, or the English version of its main German website.

Hopefully this article will help answer some of most frequently-asked questions folks may raise, concerning Doob 3D selfies. If you come across this article, make sure you first read the one about Madurodam 3D selfies, to understand the basic concepts. Continue reading

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3D selfies made in Fantasitron at Madurodam

Writing a computer program to map 2-dimensional drawings to 3-dimensional models had once been my obsession. This stemmed from the endless hours I spent drawing, by hand, orthographic projections of 3D models, and vice versa. While this was condemned as a chore universally by my classmates at Escuela Técnica No. 28 in Buenos Aires, I quite enjoyed it. After my family moved to New York, I no longer had to make these homework drawings. Instead I wrote a C program to generate 3D polyhedrons from 2D polygonal views. The long paper I wrote alongside this program won the gold medal at the New York Math Fair.

That seemed like a lifetime ago. In between then and now, algorithms had been invented to generate 3D models of people in color and with great details, all from simple 2D photos. But it is only in recent years that such technologies started to become commoditized. Just a month ago, Elisha and I stepped into, for a few seconds, a photo booth the size of a restroom, at the miniature park Madurodam. Three weeks later we received an exquisite 3D selfie printed by Shapeways.
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Droning at and around Ogunquit Beach

This article is a part of the Ogunquit in September Guide I am writing, for the model aeronautically-inclined. It is the main and the last installment in the series. Together with the modern beach equipment installment, it details everything you will ever need, before you head out to fly a drone or two in this beautiful beach town. Continue reading

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Ocean Terrace Rooms at Cliff House

This article is a part of the Ogunquit in September Guide I am writing, for the model aeronautically-inclined. This installment is about the Ocean Terrace Rooms at Cliff House, near Ogunquit. We stayed at this place during the second leg of our trip. And I had a good time flying my model sailplane, while standing on perilous rock formations, with multi-person-tall waves pounding on these same rocks.

We called the booking service of the hotel directly when making our room reservation. The agent convinced me to book a room at the highest floor available, for it afforded the best view of both the ocean and the cliff, despite its higher room rate. But I read afterwards on TripAdvisor that some of the rooms on the higher floors actually had balconies with partially blocked views. Some rooms were situated directly behind other buildings, so they looked over ugly rooftops instead of the ocean and the cliff.

I agonized over this issue before the trip. The uncertainties tortured me. There wasn’t much useful information and pictures to be found online, to ease my mind.

Those who have read the previous article on Tidal Rooms at the Norseman can be forgiven for thinking that I have the buyer’s remorse syndrome as a chronic condition. This article is born after the trip, partly because I am anal, and partly because I want to help the next guy in my situation.

If you landed on this article during your research for a room at the Cliff House, then you have found the right resource. Most of pictures showcased here are taken by Elisha Huang.
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Tidal Suites at the Norseman Resort on Ogunquit Beach

This article is a part of the Ogunquit in September Guide I am writing, for the model aeronautically-inclined. This installment is about the Tidal Suites at Norseman Resort we stayed at, during the first part of the trip. As is usually the case, I spent time writing this article after the trip, because I wished someone had written something about this topic, and had posted some pictures of this place online. It would have helped me tremendously during my trip planning. And it would have eased the anxiety I continued to feel until the day of departure. But there was very little information to be found online about the resort, and almost nothing about the new Tidal Suites. Continue reading

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Modern beach equipment for the model aeronautically-inclined

This article is a part of the Ogunquit in September Guide I am writing, for the model aeronautically-inclined. Obviously, those who enjoy flying radio-controlled planes at a beach will find this article useful. But I am also certain that any modern man or woman planning a trip to the beach will not want to miss this one.

I know it, because I’ve spent countless nights before the trip googling for the best beach equipment to bring, to no avail. If you are looking for novel contraptions that solve known problems with ancient beach equipment technology, you will not be happy with what you find online today. Even Google isn’t smart enough to weed out hastily-assembled, so called “top ten beach equipment” websites that simply scout Amazon for highest-ranking sales. YouTube is full of computer-generated videos with screenshots stole from above-mentioned “top ten beach equipment” websites. And most search engines nowadays only want to show you online shops, because… that’s how they make money. This leaves old fashioned research work as the only option. I read and combed through tons of user reviews, and wrote notes. The trip proved that I did find the right beach equipment to buy.

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Ogunquit in September – for the model aeronautically-inclined

This is a guide to upcoming articles I will be publishing, on Ogunquit, a small town at the southern tip of Maine. The guide serves as a preview to these articles, before they are written and published, showing this beautiful river, the town and the beach named after it, in September. This was when kids had to leave the beach, to go back to school, and just before the autumn arrived in full force. Some articles will explore the Marginal Way, Perkins Cove, Cape Neddick, York, Wells, Kennebunkport and plenty of public beaches in the area. Some will focus on hotels we’ve stayed at – the Tidal Suites at the Norsemen and the Cliff House at Bald Head Cliff.

I’ve also brought the current obsession of my life together with travel and videography. Most of these articles will be of interest to those who are model aeronautically-inclined. While I did not have room to bring big model airplanes, I did pack two micro airplanes and a variety of kites. While flying a sailplane on the peaceful and expansive Ogunquit Beach proved to be a relaxing pastime, fighting the precarious Bald Head Cliff in inclement weather against a stormy sea turned out to be quite challenging.

Did I mention that I adopted a pet seagull during this trip?

Pictures I’ve taken on a meager iPhone will be culled in time, and the remaining usable and useful ones uploaded to Wikipedia for illustrations on various relevant articles, continuing my series of Wiki Vacations (from here and there). Continue reading

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Restaurants – Sarasota wiki vacation part 5

This is part five of the Sarasota Wiki Vacation series. This trip to the Sarasota barrier islands yielded a large number of pictures which I’ve added to various Wikipedia articles. The unusually-long post I wrote became too long and unfocused. It is about 90 pages long. I am now breaking it up into specific posts by location and theme.

This one is about restaurants we we stumbled upon in this trip. I loved them, and their food. In the order we visited them: Mar Vista, Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar and Ophelia’s on the Bay. Continue reading

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Siesta Key – Sarasota wiki vacation part 4

This is part four of the Sarasota Wiki Vacation series. This trip to the Sarasota barrier islands yielded a large number of pictures which I’ve added to various Wikipedia articles. The unusually-long post I wrote became too long and unfocused. It is about 90 pages long. I am now breaking it up into specific posts by location and theme.

This one is about Siesta Key. We visited three beaches on this barrier island: Siesta Beach, Crescent Beach and Turtle Beach. Continue reading

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