The Place For All Things Fran
Bookmark this page and check back every day for something new!
Welcome to my daily update page!  What does this mean?   This is the place where I will post things of interest, stuff about  science, the purely entertaining, corsetry, my side projects both past and present, and any other thing that I feel like sharing.  Enjoy!

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January 1, 2013
Fran and The Mysterons perform "Surf's Up!" live and loud in a dark cavern in Philadelphia in 1997.  Musky analog from VHS, audio clipping comes free of charge, and the blurry video has been further enhanced for your viewing pleasure.  Enjoy!

December 31, 2012
Here is hoping for a better new year for all -
Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt say it well.

December 29, 2012
Mission Commander Chris Hadfield performs his original song "Jewel in the Night" in this first recording from the International Space Station!

December 28, 2012
I'm Back!  So, here's a little story....

In 1985, when I was 18, I answered an ad in the local paper for a job - MOS Technologies was hiring clean room technicians, and the ad stated "will train" so I went over to the MOS plant which was in Audibon PA and applied.  For those of you who do not know, MOS was where the revolutionary processors were
made that powered the Commodore 64, and it was just a stone's throw away from my house.  Based on my experience with the C-64 I got an interview and a tour, and it was all very impressive.  But I did not get the job - I was far too young and far too weird for them.  It bummed me out at the time but in retrospect it was a good thing.  The MOS property was declared an EPA clean up site in the 1990's and the building is now abandoned.  In the 1990's too the high rates of cancer in clean room workers came to prominence, and the lingering contamination at the former MOS site makes me realize that this technology was a high stakes game played to win at all cost.  Still, I love my Commodores, and I cannot fault them with being created in perhaps a slightly evil way. 

December 26, 2012
Here is a video that I made 22 years ago of the events of Xmas eve when I was assistant manager of a video store.  Look out for my cameo - and enjoy.... Suncoast Xmas Eve, 1990!

December 25, 2012

December 24, 2012

December 23, 2012
The Apollo Saturn V Launch Vehicle Digital Computer
In my opinion it is the most important circuit board in history - and I examine in detail this historic relic from my own personal collection.  The LVDC is a strangely obscure footnote in the history of computing, yet it represents some of the greatest leaps that computers ever took.  I have spent a good portion of my life designing printed circuit boards, so I have a perspective on this magnificent artifact that I will do my best to convey in this video.  But there is so much about this board and its history that I simply do not know - and I hope that some of you who watch this can add insight into the mysteries of the Saturn V Launch Vehicle Digital Computer.  Thanks for watching!

December 22, 2012
Happy Holidays!

The cover of my homemade holiday card from 1991.  Ah, to be 25 again....

December 21, 2012
My lab got flooded last night and I still have some mopping to do, so
no post today as I clean up and catch up on work.

December 20, 2012
Idle time in the office..... Guitar and webcam. Song by James Taylor.

December 19, 2012

December 18, 2012
In 2008 continued to do my work in electronics design by expanding my Frantone custom shop, and through this I forged a friendship with Brian Fallon.  Brian had commissioned a unique pedal from me that I evolved into the Frantone Hi-Ball.  I saw Brian as someone who would really make it big someday, and I was thrilled to make this new pedal for him. 
The Hi-Ball became my premiere production overdrive pedal, and I made Brian and the Hi-Ball the focus of one of my podcasts in 2008.  The Gaslight Anthem has certainly brought Brian much well deserved success too.

The original Brian Fallon Hi-Ball, 2008.

Dressed for Rock-N-Roll: Me and Brian Fallon
at a Gaslight Anthem Show in Philadelphia, 2009

December 17, 2012
Okay - the VERY LAST Gangnam parody video I will post - but it is the absolute best one in my opinion because it stars real astronauts and NASA scientists.  Enjoy!

December 16, 2012
From the Huffington Post: "Stephen Hawking and other eminent scientists called Friday for the British government to pardon computer pioneer Alan Turing, who helped win World War II but was later prosecuted for homosexuality. In a letter published in the Daily Telegraph newspaper, Hawking and 10 others urged Prime Minister David Cameron "formally to forgive the iconic British hero. "

Turing worked at Bletchley Park, the wartime code-breaking center, where he helped crack Nazi Germany's secret codes by creating the "Turing bombe," a forerunner of modern computers. After the war, Turing was prosecuted for having sex with a man, stripped of his security clearance and forcibly treated with female hormones. He killed himself in 1954 at age 41 by eating an apple laced with cyanide." 

For more about the genius of Alan Turing I also recommend the recent book "Turing's Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe" by George Dyson.

December 14, 2012
Citizen!  New opportunities await you in the exciting field of Friction Welding..... At Home!  Yes - you too can enjoy the countless wonders of permanently attaching some plastic things to other plastic things - at will.  In this video you will learn how to make your own friction welder, and I demonstrate just how amazingly strong a spin-weld is.  Have fun, be safe, and enjoy!

December 13, 2012
From The Atlantic - "A group of filmmakers, making a movie called, aptly, Chasing Ice, have captured what they claim to be the largest iceberg calving ever filmed. After weeks of waiting, The Guardian reports, the filmakers witnessed 7.4 cubic km -- nearly 2 cubic miles -- of ice crashing off the Ilulissat glacier in Greenland. The movie, which is playing in the States in a handful of theaters and will be released in the UK tomorrow, follows photographer James Balog's mission to document the Arctic ice that is being melted by climate change."

December 12, 2012
Behold.... The awesomeness of:

December 11, 2012
 A large portion of customers for any corsetiere are somewhere in the BDSM/fetish scene.  In 2006 I started Laced and Locked as an outlet for my collaborations with my partner Amy Crowder in making special locking corsets, harnesses, and other highly specialized custom gear for the BDSM and fetish community.   After several months of discussion Amy completed our original prototype for the Laced and Locked single panel locking corset design in the summer of 2006. 

The original promotional video that I made for Laced and Locked of Amy putting herself in that prototype locking corset was a big hit, and it became the single most popular corset video on YouTube by December 2008 with over 495,000 views - a record at that time for any YouTube corset video.  If you were on YouTube back in those days, odds are that you saw it!

December 10, 2012
Think Big...  Stay Curious!

December 9, 2012
A simple demonstration of resonance....


December 8, 2012
In the summer of 1999 JC Morrison and I had an experimental music project with fellow EH tech Ross Totino, Resentments front woman Jenni Muldaur, and late legendary Voidoids guitarist Robert Quine called NEED.   I made cassette recordings of our rehearsals at the Beastie Boys' Dessau Studios in Manhattan which are all that remain of that project.  It was just another one of those ephemeral and amazing New York experiences.

December 7, 2012
The 'Miss NASA' contest was definitely the product of a 1960's secretary pool mindset, but today too women still struggle for legitimacy in the field of engineering.  The deeply technical worlds of high stakes electronic and mechanical design are still a largely (well, almost entirely) masculine realm, and even today women will find it hard to be taken seriously for big corporate projects.

If you are a woman you will have to do more than your male counterpart to be noticed, and in these extremely competitive fields the idea that you have to be twice as smart and inventive as the next guy just to be considered for the same job gives you quite a handicap.  But hey... it's a man's world, right?

"Now go and get us some coffee dear.  Time for the guys to talk." 

Miss NASA, 1968
"Say.... check out the those pumps!  No - the centripetal pumps!"

December 6, 2012
I finished my Arduino Fireflies project and you can read about it on my design page.

December 5, 2012
Taking a break from posting stuff just about myself (Me, me, me, me, me..... )
Check out these amazing close up photos of human eyes taken by photographer Suren Manvelyan - and before you think "Ewwww!" just look at his page and you will be saying "Ahhhhh!" 

December 4, 2012
Opps... I have skipped a couple days in my updates while busy on some projects.  Here is a sneak peek at the prototype stage of one project I will be publishing later this week - my Arduino Fireflies project!

Shhhhh... lets keep this between us, okay?  thanks ;)


To view previous posts go to the
Fransworld Daily Updates Archive

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