Record Player

Pro-Ject RPM 1.3 GenieI bought a record player in the UK that I’d had my eye on for a while and brought it back to the USA with me, since I saved about 50% on buying the exact same thing over here. I got the Pro-Ject RPM 1.3 Genie in white with an Ortofon Red cartridge and also took back with me some great vinyl that I found at a shop called Stamford Audio in my parent’s tiny village.

One problem – when I plugged it in at my house in the USA, it ran too fast. 🙁

The problem is that it uses a synchronous AC motor, whose rotational speed is determined by the frequency of the AC, which in the UK is 50HZ and in the USA is 60Hz. Fail.

My options were:

  1. Buy a smaller spindle. I ordered one but it was way too small, so I sent it back. I couldn’t find the right one.
  2. 3D-print the right spindle. This requires some skill and access to a 3D printer.
  3. Order a 60Hz motor. I looked into this, and the cost was $100. No way, that’s how much I saved by getting this from the UK.
  4. I’m an engineer – build a 50Hz power supply.

Of course, I picked 4.

Atheist Bus Update

Slogans saying “There’s probably no god. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” have started appearing on London buses in response to a particular religious message that pointed readers to a website telling them they were going to have to endure torment in hell for all eternity.

As expected, the campaign has already drawn complaint from a religious group.

Now, a few things piss me off about the complaint. If it’s fair to have religious slogans on buses, then it’s also fair to have these atheist/agnostic ones. You could even argue that it’s fairer to have the atheist messages, since they are based in science. Put simply, if I told you that there was an invisible flying spaghetti monster that created the earth, you would have absolutely no way to disprove it. After all, non-believers cannot even see him. The lack of a way to disprove him simply means he has been designed to be impossible to disprove, not that he exists.

I hope when the complaint is brought to the Advertising Standards Agency, it is laughed at.

The Atheist Bus

The BBC and other news sources are reporting on an initiative to start promoting atheism to counter similar public religious messages. They want to put signs on London buses telling people to enjoy their lives and stop worrying about nonsense questions. A fundraiser was started, and the aim was to collect £5500. As of the time of writing, £125,711.32 has been collected so I hope to see lots of these signs.

Thought for the Day


If equal amounts of matter and anti-matter were created in the beginning, where is all the anti-matter? If light from an anti-matter universe set off towards us, how would we see it? Since their light would consist of anti-photons, would they ever reach us, or would they just annihilate photons along the way?