Category Archives: Ryan-Schenk-Is-So-Awesome

Ryan Schenk on the Radio

Ryan Schenk was featured on a Cape Cod NPR program: The Point. In the piece he’s interviewed for about a half hour by Heather Goldstone.

I truly recommend that you give a listen. Ryan does a good job of talking through the finer points surrounding the blend of science and art within his art projects, most specifically his project BreedLight



Yesterday I received a call from Ryan Schenk.

RyanSchenk: You near a computer?
Mike D: I could be. What do you need?
RyanSchenk: Go to google image search.
Mike D: okay. Now what?
RyanSchenk: Do a google image search for “Chinstrap”. One word.

I encourage you to give this a try.

Image #4 is a RyanSchenk original from January 16th of the 720 post adventure of years past. I checked a few more google image searches.

In general, Ryan does much better when you include a definitive article. Ryan shows up in page 5 of a search for “the lemmy” page three of “the groucho” page two of “the goatee”

Burritos, an exercise in simple mathematics.

Ryan Schenk sent out an e-mail this weekend to document his mathematical approach at optimizing burrito filling.

Let’s take a look at his work:

Sheet 1

Sheet 2

End result?

Pi*((.816*dT)/(2*Pi))^2 * 2 * sqrt( (dT/2)^2 – (.816*dT/2)^2)

or roughly 0.031*dT^3
(where dT is the diameter of the Tortilla.)

It should be noted that this is the theoretical maximum. Experimental results are forthcoming.

Still, what does this mean in layman’s terms?

Basically, the optimal filling ratio is a square with dimensions in a ratio of ~8.1:5.7 laid out with the longer dimension NORMAL to the axis of wrapping (wrappation axis)


It’s true! I have been wrapping my burritos completely wrong! Readers, for heaven’s sake, don’t pack your burritos long, pack them wide! WIDE! This is the key to maximum filling.

Who knew?!

Math knew.

UPDATE: better scans and a third page of calculations
burrito 1.
burrito 2.
burrito 3.

Ryan Schenk’s Arm.

Darn it!

Ryan Schenk busted his arm!

When he messaged me to tell me, I’d already got the news through my network of blog readers. Our conversation went a little something like this:

Ryan: yo D
Mike D: Schenk Tank!
Mike D: hey, I bet I had a worse weekend than you did
Ryan: i bet you’re wong
Mike D: Get this. I was making some chocolate cake
Mike D: and it turned out totally delicious
Mike D: but, in the process
Mike D: I did not break my arm.
Ryan: hahahaha

Ha! I’m such a jerk. But seriously, I’m disappointed that Ryan’s arm is out of commission. Ryan Schenk is a pillar of intensity, and anything that stands in the way of his extreme way of life only serves to depress the quality of life for all of us. Join me in hoping that Ryan a) gets better soon and b) uses this time to do something totally awesome even if it’s not directly related to kiteboarding backflips or running into mattresses.

Good luck Mr. Schenk.

Vacation 2010 – The Castle

It’s hard to describe the experience of Sandcastle Day on Cole Road Beach. Ryan Schenk, Tom, and Mykal had driven out to meet me in Cape Cod on Saturday evening. After a fitful sleep, I arose at 5:00am. Tom and Mykal were sleeping in a little, but Ryan Schenk and I headed out the door ready for action.

Unfortunately, the tide wasn’t quite ready. Cole Road Beach is uniquely shallow. As a result, when the tide goes out… it GOES out. Probably a quarter mile off shore. This provides plenty of sand for castle building. The strategy is placing the castle close enough to the shore so that you get the most amount of building time, but far enough off shore that the tide will easily slaughter the castle once it’s built.

I didn’t time our beach arrival quite right. We showed up about an hour early. Here’s a picture of Ryan Schenk sad that we’d have to wait to begin construction.

The Tide is Wrong!

After a trip to Hole in One Doughnuts for transcendental doughnuts, we came back to the beach and BAM! The Tide was at the ready!

The Tide is Right!

Official ground breaking went down at 6:50am. We shoveled for 5 hours and then began carving. Originally the plan was to make a tall castle with a single elongated peak, but after discussions we thought a dual peak would look cooler. Tom and Mykal showed up shortly after we began to contribute – sadly they had to leave before the castle was complete. Dad D came by as the castle was coming together to complete his time honored task of building the official castle wall.

Here’s the construction time lapse:

The Castle Rises!


To celebrate the castle’s completion, Ryan Schenk and I performed two epic high fives, both of which are chronicled here in this animated gif. Apparently, today’s post is very animated.

Style! Flare!

You can see the water fast approaching the seaside fortifications during our high five!!


Tomorrow, the castle goes down!


Can you even fathom the awesomeness of Ryan Schenk’s latest mobile?


This mobile features Charles Bronson wakestyle kiteboarding over an angry ocean. Underwater is a shark with a laser beam attached to its head, fighting a t-rex in snorkeling gear. Placing money on the fight is a barracuda incarnation of Tom Waits, to the backbeat of a mermaid playing Kerry King from Slayer’s flying-v guitar through a stack of Marshalls.

Let’s look at each part in extreme depth.

Charles Bronson Kiteboarding


Ryan Schenk reports:

I made several revisions of Charles Bronson to get him structurally sound enough to support himself from the arms. This is the first revision, which didn’t make it into the finished mobile, but looks pretty good.

You can see his wake boots and his Slingshot Fuel in the background.

The final Chuck Bronson was made out of 4 sheets of cardstock laminated into a curved shape by using a mold inside a vacuum bag.


Appreciate Bronson’s incredible bravado.

The Mermaid


You can feel the crushing crunch of this mermaid’s distortion. Appreciate the guitar, expertly made to mimic the flying-v guitar designed by Kerry King from Slayer.

The Mermaid with her stack of Marshall amps.


My heart is warmed by the thought of underwater distortion.

Laser Head Shark


Simple. Elegant. A shark with a laser attached to his head.

The Barracuda


This raspy voiced barracuda comes equipped with top hat, cigarette, and a stack of money clutched tightly in its confident fin.

Snorkeling T-Rex.


If you thought it was safe to enter the waters, you were wrong. Perhaps the most renowned predator of all times might be lurking beneath the waves in full snorkeling regalia. Be wary.

Great job Ryan Schenk.

The Tide Knoweth No Mercy

On Wednesday, Cape Cod’s tide was particularly high. At one particular beach not far from Ryan Schenk’s workplace, the water advanced so far up the beach that the waves crashed against the tidal wall. As the waves drew back from the wall they would expose a small swath of sand, only to wash over it again after a fleeting moment.

To the women amongst us, this may seem like nothing unusual. To the men? It’s a challenge.

Ryan Schenk recognized the challenge and responded. He tossed a log onto the short-lived beach and watched carefully again and again as the tide washed back and forth. The goal was simple: As the water pulled back, Ryan would leap heroically off the jetty, sprint 10 feet across the sand, scoop up the log in his hands, and vault over the sea wall – all before the persistent waves reclaimed the beach.

Ryan Schenk leaped.

It was a perfectly timed endeavor. His foot landed on the soft sand just as the water retreated from its hold. But Ryan miscalculated the softness of the sand and instead of fearlessly dashing across the receding dry ground and retrieving the prone log, Ryan promptly fell flat on his face. Just as his chest hit the ground, the steadfast wave returned in full regalia and ended the exercise.

Ryan Schenk as he’s falling. The wave on the left is advancing.

Mission failed.