Archive for the hula hoop Category

Kinetic Hula Hoop

Posted in essay, how to, hula hoop, work with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2010 by tymora42

Kinetic Hula Hoops? They don’t work. There is lots of kinetic energy rolling around in a hoop as you spin it, twirl it, trick it, and work your body to keep it going. Unfortunately, this is a difficult energy to harness. It seems like the 30lb force magnet does not get enough force to travel fast enough through the wire coils to conduct the electromagnetic energy needed to power the 5mm LEDs. The centrifugal force tends to hold the magnet in place rather than rotating it quickly around the hoop. To harness the energy I would need spikes jutting from the outside for the magnet to travel up, but this would be unsightly and cumbersome for the hooper.

I was excited to write this article once the prototype was finished and proved to be viable; however, it failed. There are many articles on how to do something that does work. There are very few that tell you how to do something that does not. This is my eHowNot. Why? Because maybe you can tell me how to fix it. It is also a warning to others who decide to embark upon this venture. There are no articles online with the tags “kinetic” or “friction powered” combined with “hula hoop.” At first I thought, “Yes! I can be the first.” A month into the design and creation made me realize why.

This was the final implementation of my design including all of the experimentation that went along with it. Learn from my mistakes. And if you find a working solution, please let me know. I would also appreciate any suggestions on improvement.

I decided upon two tubes: an inner tube with the wire coils wrapped around it and the magnet would travel inside of that one. The outer tube would be for hooping comfort with holes cut into it for 5mm LEDs and their reflective housings. I chose the LED size of 5mm because it would take the lowest amount of energy to power them. The reflective housings were to strengthen their luminescence. The magnet was a 30lb force cylindrical 1″ x 7/16″ neodymium. This was the strongest at that size that I could find. The size was important because it had to fit inside the 1/2″ inner tube and be unrestricted in the travel around the hoop. I also used a spherical 7/16″ ball bearing magnet with considerably less pull. Both were tested in a foot long piece of the inner tube with the wire coiled 750 times in a 1.5″ section. This test proved that it could power the LEDs with enough force. The spherical ones were less effective than the cylinders and the more cylinders, the less friction necessary to power the light.

The ??? gauge copper enameled wire was wrapped 1500 times within a 2.5″ area on the final product. In one case it was wrapped 1370 because the wire broke in the middle of winding. In another case it was wrapped 2000 times for experimental purposes. I should have wrapped one 1000 times and one at 750, but I did not. When I feel like working on it once again I am sure these will be problem solving techniques I address. Both the LED leads and the ends of the wire attached to them were filed with a fingernail file to scrape any protective residue from them to ensure a sound connection. The conductivity was also tested with an ohm meter from the LED leads and the ends of the solder.

Each unit was treated as an individual circuit powered by one magnet. Two spherical magnets attached to either end of one cylinder were attempted first. The final problem I encountered in the structure was to connect the inner tube inside the outer tube’s connector piece. It was not a solid fit, so I resolved to put an assist on the cylinder magnet with the spherical magnets. To compensate for either way the hoop might be spinning, the spheres were attached to both sides. Also tried were a single ball, multiple balls, only the cylinder and two cylinders. My next trials will be the same combinations with grease on the surfaces of them.

The LEDs were secured using a nonconductive cement glue around the edges of the housing. I had no problems keeping them fastened despite much roughhousing with the tubes. They were dropped, pulled, and thrown in the name of testing and not necessarily frustration.

See? This was helpful. I found numerous new experimentation methods just by talking about it with someone to maybe make it actually work. The greasing is the prize, I think. First, I will try wrapping the magnet in wax paper like we used to do with slides in elementary school. This will keep it from getting dirty inside the seals. The other test will need to be the coiling amount and the span of the area. These will be done on a separate piece like the initial tests before doing the entire hoop. Truthfully, though, I believe it is the speed of the magnet that needs to be addressed.

Again, comments would be appreciated.

A Date, A Command, A Band – A Good Time

Posted in band, boulder, colorado, faeries, hula hoop, music, review, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 12, 2010 by tymora42

I spent the early part of the day making faerie wings for a friend who will wear them next weekend at the Gay Pride festival in Denver. They were not being made specifically for this event. The faeries told me he needed wings, so I started to make them for him. Most times you have to do what the faeries ask of you after asking yourself why you think they want you to perform such an action. In this case their advice was noble. I set myself to task. No sooner than I had begun in this fashion than they took over my body and hands, sewing dark pink sparkly spines into the shoulders and span, attaching ribbons, and ripping white fish net fabric only to reattach it with tattered love. Some like to make their wings pristine. I prefer the worn throughout ages look, much like the magic of the “used future” that Lucas experimented with in the original Star Wars. At the end of this day’s enterprise I was confident that I would be giving him the gayest thing he might ever own. There is a certain amount of pride derived from this for me, a predominately heterosexual male.

No matter how much I wanted to keep them for myself, I knew they did not belong to me. I was the vehicle for the faeries madness to supply him with a set of aviary devices. But these pixies and sprites did not leave me with nothing. They inspired a story, still in progress, about life choices and consequences that should be released on Stories of the Flea later this season. Jotting this down for editing was the next part of my day.

I called him after his own work day to stop by the house and take a look. He mentioned the style of the lead character in Were the World Mine, a movie about a homosexual boy who gets the lead faerie Puck’s part in a highschool version of Midsummer Night’s Dream. He finds a love potion hidden in the play and turns the whole town gay, including his school basketball star crush. My buddy also had my hard drive, that he was transferring 250 gig of music onto from his personal collection. He could also bring that by. He said he had to leave now because he was going to a concert with another friend being met there. Based on his description, a punk marching band at the Fox on the hill, I invited myself.

They were amazing. March Fourth took the stage with percussive rhythm, a vaudevillian circus of performers, men on stilts, a human puppet show rebelling against the authority of the stringmasters for a night of DIY chaos. Speaking with Joel, a trumpet player in the baker’s dozen or so carnival players, everyone makes their own costumes. Decked in tribal silver face paint, twirling Dali moustaches, black and beaded bodices, striped socks and sleeves, welded spikes on bass drum shoulder pads like something out of Castle Grayskull if Skeletor would have beat that pansy He-Man, hairs of every color, and a layer of that apocalyptic used future dirt that I mentioned before coating their sweat stained bodies I knew there were faeries among us. I was with my people. They had a tribal feel in the same vein as Crash Worship, a similar style group from the 90s, except with a little less darkness and no fire. March Fourth could use a little fire, but that was the thing that got the Worship banned from most places. It was either the torches or the shooting of Roman Candles off the stage that did that. Finally, they resigned to only play in spots that had some sort of horrible accident in its past, like children drowning in the river or the end of a dead man’s curve or next door to a building that burnt down. That was back in the days before ‘goth’ was a genre, people still made their own clothes to go to raves, and raves were non-elitist outdoor events for adults in the know instead of a bunch of kids wanting to experiment with drugs.

LaTisha Strickland, named after a character in a Russian spy novel and one of the energetic dancers, caught my eye before the encore begging for one more song with a single digit pumping the air. She followed suit with her own finger brandishing wind, enthusing the audience for the chant of another. Our sign language conversation went from one finger to two, asking for a second song to be added to the one that looked like it was about to start. She returned my query with seven fingers in the air and I thought that was appropriate, although probably unreasonable. During the movements of that encore performance, she brought out the feather to fan and blow on the audience, who might just as well been working as hard as the band, but still I thought she needed the air more than us. Half naked and dripping with my own sweat, the room cleared as the music finalized. I lingered for a moment, catching my breath, and saw Ms. Strickland sitting on the corner of the stage talking with a group of fans. I went to thank her for her portion of the performance. She mentioned the sweet deal the band got on a house through the International Hostel and that they would all be hanging out there later. Of course I had to ask how a fellow member of this family could get invited back to this Thanksgiving Dinner of sorts and she said I was invited with the tone of telling a brother he was more than welcome to join them on their excursion back to their mother’s place.

Outside I met Blake and Matt flirting with the stilt man, Aaron Lyon, and a cocompatriate, Christopher (not Chris), last name unknown but it might be Long, who has a wife that would happily pay big money for photographs of her hubby making out with another dude. We parted ways with the promise of return later in the evening. Despite work in the morning, Blake agreed to accompany me to the afterparty after a stop at home for a quick refresh, a beer pickup, and a hula hoop grab. LaTisha informed me that Amy was very particular about who played with her hoops so I figured I would bring my own.

We sat outside on the front stoop for a spell crafted of fresh Twilight beer from Deshutes Brewery in Oregon (the origination of this motley crew) and an American Spirit smoke from an African guy outside the Mountain Sun’s Fish Out of Water show a couple nights previous. Christopher joined us while we talked about tigers in the trap with Uranium bullet teeth and frickin’ laser beams. Rich Cawley, the metal worker who designed the M4 ninja star belt buckle, assisted the esoteric conversation out there on the porch and would be a major player in our later evening rendezvous on top of the bus.

Amy Hatfield, the focus of the front page ad and hOt.hOOps teacher, spurred conversation about the kinetic LED hoop I was building for my sister with her collapsible hula hoops. We played with the 40lbs force weighted neodymium magnets I had in my pocket to power the thing as I explained the design of tubes within tubes and coils and reflector sockets. Throwing the ball bearings at her broke one of the cylinders. I did not mind. She could break anything of mine I owned including my heart. She invited us inside to come check out their home on wheels in the back yard. It is nothing special from the exterior, but getting inside is another story. They had beds and seats for the bulk of them in a red tinted glamour of stow away compartments, iTunes flowing music provided by Sid Phillips, the Boone Fairy, and a no ladder entrance to the top, where the rest of the gang drank dangerously from the external sundry supply box seats.

Giggles, Jen Forti, People’s Republic of Portland (buy her stuff here), proclaimed she has been told that she laughs too loud by her fellow bandmates. She brandished this natural talent of amusement for us and still I thought it could be louder. Not that it was not enough to put smiles on our faces, but to be obnoxious it would have to sound more like a cheerleader through a megaphone huffing helium. Anyone who tells you that it is wrong, honey, is just jealous. Jen’s character was one of my favorites. With the spirit of a mime she tried to fit in with the cool kids a la a rope tussle and a stilt war. Constantly, she ducked under and hopped over members without a single place because her skills were too broad to be pigeonholed. Good for you. Keep on chuckling.

We also met Faith Jennings, another dancer of the macabre and hatmaker clothing designer. Utilizing my mnemonic devices to remember names, i told her I did not believe in her nor did I believe anything she would say based on principle. Her famous quote from the evening – “The best part about being in the band is not about the music. It is about making out with the groupies.” They debated about the usage of the word ‘groupies’ and concluded it for our benefit with the change of the word to ‘fans.’ Andy Shapiro, a newer member, who learned to play saxophone just so he could run away with the M4 circus, retorted, “You guys are fans for life. Right?” Sure, you guys are great, unless you do something stupid like go J-Lo ubermainstream and stuffy. I will tell you though, I am not rushing out to get a tattoo right away, buddy.
Even though it is a cool logo. Later he would end up with the perfect traffic cone and Katie Presley’s cell phone sized MP3 player pretending to be the modern punk rock equivalent of the RCA dog. Are those bugle boy jeans you are wearing?

We stayed on top of that bus most of the rest of the night. On a restroom run into the house, trying to conserve the interior traveling tank’s capacity, I saw LaTisha, the instigator to this journey, sitting on a vinyl couch with Luke Solman, trumpet player. She welcomed me, glad I made it, and I let them continue. Twos had begun to separate for the sake of intimate conversation time. Jenny DiDonato and a former member of the band who moved to Boulder a while ago talked on the stoop near the tigers with frickin’ laser beams while I hooped in the street to realign my bearings.

One member I would like to discuss is the bus driver, the Neal Cassady of the group, known by the crafted name of Bangkok, don’t ask him why, and better known as Alex. They have the categories of the Brass, the Beauties, and the Beats on their website, but not the vehicular counterparts that get them to where they are going. They are a valid an important part to the crew. They keep it all moving. They make sure everyone who needs to be on the bus is on the bus when the bus starts moving by taking off at scheduled times. At the very least he needs a spot on the web lauding his accomplishments and relationship with the craft affectionately known as the Razzle Dazzle, or Razz, or a number of other nicknames they declined to tell us. Razzle needs a spot in that category as well. We need the story of the name derived from the Hollywood Bowl and that ninety year old Broadway showtunes singer, who gave it her ancient energy, her blessing, through song to keep on trucking from town to town for the sake of entertaining these millions stuck in the real world.

We left the night with that song in our own hearts.We hugged you all. We never gave Aspen the whiskey, but he found it anyway. We hope you enjoy your travels not only when you look back after the time has gone, but while you are in the midst of it despite the strength of such magnanimous personalities because I know they can be oppressive. I have been there. Keep beating your drums. Keep blowing your horns. Keep on moving and keep on playing. As the command goes, “March Forth!”

Duel-a-Hoop vs the Hula Strip Tease

Posted in blog, boulder, colorado, hula hoop with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 31, 2010 by tymora42

The other night at a BBQ party in Denver I found out that I could hula hoop all of my clothes off. We tried to think of catchy nicknames for hula-stripping, but none were as clever as “duel-a hoop,” another game we played involving two opponents facing off in a battle to the hula death. We imagined momentarily, or at least I did, what society would be like if we evolved with this barbaric sport as the symbol of true brute force masculinity instead of football or wrestling. A caveman version would have bone spikes on their hoop. The middle ages would bring fire to the spinning ring. Asian kung fu cultures would use perfectly timed drop kicks to bring the hoop to certain demise. Nicknames for our fighting styles in duel-a hoop emerged. There was the Pigeon, the Dodo, the Chicken, and finally the Peacock orchestrating a rear entry maneuver deflected by the Irish Aggressor.

At another BBQ just a few short weeks ago on a night when I should have been sleeping for early job interviews that I failed the next day, a hula girl stopped by to show me some tricks and convince me that I did not want that job anyway. On Mother’s Day my sister showed me the start of the one that goes around, then up to your hand, then back down onto the waist. The hoop I was using had too much water in it and was considerably smaller than the one I made. It was more of an exercise workout ring, than a trick. On the last BBQ I got it on my stoner-ring, which is what we call the bigger, slower moving, self created one. I can sort of do it on the speed-freak now too. It is a clumsy approach on either, however, fluidity is certain to arrive. The hula girl who stopped in showed me a couple others. The ‘elbow bump’ brings it up to your neck. The ‘second hand’ after the ‘hand up’ continues the flow of the ‘turnstile.’ I am totally making all of these names up right now. All of them paved the way for the stripper hoop.

One guy at the party, who fought in a style called the Fabio, was getting the hand up once we moved to the courtyard. He was younger, handsomer, had longer hair, looked more like a model, and wore a button down shirt two buttons opened already. The roommate of the girl who hosted told him to take his shirt off. Evidently, she had a guy at the party, who was more like Fabio than any of us, leaving her wondering about his sexual preference. They concocted a scheme to find out. Both of them would bend over to pick something up and a coconspirator would watch to see whose ass he looked at. The real Fabio lifted weights. His sexuality was in question because of, among other things, a picture of him in a Charles Atlas pose hanging on the wall. She was excited to have a new gay friend and ended up with the start of a boyfriend. That Fabio never hula hooped. When the other unbuttoned two more, the games began. I was intrigued to see if it could actually be done and how far it could go.

What I lack in other areas I make up for in women’s clothing and shock value. A t-shirt is easy to strip away while maintaining a core centrifugal force. Pants are more difficult. The cameras were out, so I did not try so hard. As soon as they went away it was down to the skivvies for me. I could even get my shoes off with it still going. Underwear is a different story until I can perfect the elbow bump to the neck. Getting your hands down there to zip off while the hoop is on your waist provides certain difficulties. With a borrowed button down and a studded leather belt from the host, I dropped trouser with a small group and no recordable media to put my skinny butt on You Tube. Sorry, audience, you will just have to imagine it. Next time I am going to go for the full length dress.