Things to do on a rainy Saturday Morning

Distract me ... now

Kathleen Maher

I consider John Nack a friend although I haven’t seen him in a very very long time probably not since Adobe was headquartered in San Jose and Nack worked on the Photoshop team. I’ve been on his email list, the Nackblog since its inception, that’s how we keep in touch. So yeah, we’re not close.

He’s now on Adobe’s AR team but John Nack has time to prowl the Internet for examples of art, design, or maybe just weirdness that he feels needs to be shared. What I find really helpful about Nackblog is that it's a great mix of technology news and fun stuff.

His latest post is a promotional video for the Navy’s indoor ocean facility called MASK, for “maneuvering and seakeeping.” The navy maintains this facility to test ship designs and learn more about the action and effects of ocean waves. Thanks to a system of “fingers” and “pedals,” the scientists at this facility can create a variety of wave systems that are similar to what sea-going vessels might encounter as they ply the ocean. Scientists float replicas of proposed boat designs to see how they might perform in operation.

It's 240 feet wide, 360 feet long, and holds over twelve million gallons of water.  This is the MASK, the maneuvering and seakeeping basin at the Naval Surface Warfare Center at Carderock.


A visit to his site reveals more wonders, including a drone tour of a bowling alley. Nack found two wonderful drone videos and published them in a blog entitled, “The Drone Abides.” The New York Times also published a story about the drone visit to the bowling alley. Writer Mike Ives discusses the video's cinematic power by comparing it to the famous Goodfellas tracking shot and The Big Lebowski

How do they do that? I have no idea, but if you want to see more check out Urbantheory on TikTok.

Never mind, on this cloudy cozy Saturday morning, I originally found the bowling alley video on another favorite resource I wanted to tell you about: @TheFigen on Twitter. The author, a Turkish woman who promises “the best old and new videos” comes through regularly. 

So, if you haven’t been following these @TheFigen and Nack, I think you should, they are bright spots in a sometimes not very bright world. (Please take that with all the attached nuances of meaning.) I only wish I had thought to tell you about them at the start of the pandemic.

You are welcome.