Viewing all threads involving Stephen Meschke
How to Build a Claude Shannon Juggling Machine - video and instructions here: https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Build-a-Claude-Shannon-Juggling-Machine/
Building is not my thing, but it was still interesting to watch and hear about his learning process and how he experimented and adjusted to make the corrections needed to get it reliable.
I built a Claude Shannon Juggling Machine. Instead of using physical objects, I built this machine virtually. This physics simulation is written in Python 3. The UI and some of the functions use the computer vision software library OpenCV. Like Scott said in the original post, the fun of this device is not in building it. The interesting part is tuning the device so that it juggles.
This program is object-oriented. The balls are the objects. Each ball object has two attributes, (1) a tuple to describe the ball's (x,y) coordinates, and (2) a tuple to describe the ball's velocity vector (speed and direction).
Several functions allow the ball to interact with the environment. These functions move the ball, apply gravity, bounce the ball off an object, etc... In the main loop of the program, all of these functions are called on the balls to produce juggling.
The machine is tuned by adjusting the parameters. The parameters are defined before running the program, or changed during runtime using the keyboard. The most important parameters are speed and rotation. Each number of balls requires a specific combination of speed and rotation to juggle. This graph shows the combinations of speed and rotation that work for 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11 balls.
To find these values, I tuned the machine during runtime. It was tedious to tune the machine, and I am searching for a way to mathematically derive the parameters that will produce juggling for n number of balls. Is there a formula that relates the number of balls and the combination of speed and rotation?
Please try this out for yourself: Link to Code on Github
Video: Link to video on juggling.tv
Link to Gifs: Gifs on Imgur
I can use linear regression to predict values that will work for 13 balls, using the known solutions for 3,5,7,9, and 11 balls. I'd like a way to compute a solution for n-number of balls that does not involve using experimental data.
Very nice simulation, thanks for sharing it.
I did some simple spreadsheeting on your results. While the speed and rotation are roughly linearly related (R2 = 0.98) the speed is better correlated with the log of the number of balls (R2 = 0.99 for a log fit and 0.93 for a linear fit).
It might be that you could get better correlations by slightly adjusting your speed and rotation estimates. How do you decide what are the best parameters for each number of balls? Can you get it to juggle for all the different balls with a forced perfect linear relationship between speed and rotation?
I didn’t see any reference to masses in your code. I think that implies the paddle and the floor effectively have infinite mass and don’t move due to the balls hitting them. It might be simpler to see the underlying physics if the collisions were perfectly elastic. It could help me to know the units of time, distance and gravity to try to relate it to Newtonian physics.
I found these parameters by trial and error. The program allows me to adjust the parameters during runtime. I ran the program and manually adjusted the parameters until the machine achieved juggling. The parameters that I found are not optimal, but the best that I could do. Tuning this machine is difficult because changing one variable effects the whole system.
The machine will juggle if the parameters are in the correct range. For example, the optimum speed for 5 balls is 0.0148, but all values between 0.014 and 0.016 are valid for juggling. The ball will hit the middle of the paddle when the parameters are optimized.
There are no masses in my code, which by the way is not quite an accurate physics simulation. Here is some more info about the units:
angle, speed = addVectors((angle, speed), gravity_vector)
When the balls bounce off the floor, they return with 75% of the energy. This makes juggling easier. Because the balls loose energy in the bounce, they can be thrown at the top of the stroke and caught at the bottom of the stroke. This helps avoid collisions.
When the balls are released from the paddle, they are released with the same velocity vector as the nearest part of the paddle.
RIP Ricky Jay
Not sure I could pick a favourite video:
I'm not sure why, but I find the shell game very frustrating. Jay's shell game is much more satisfying to watch with ball tracking: https://imgur.com/a/kBeddvU.
Having rewatched the original, it’s definitely wrong. So very wrong! Whoever made that gif has no idea what’s going on there
As it’s a classic of magic, I don’t mind tipping you the secret phrase “chop cup”
New Yorker profile from 25 years ago: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1993/04/05/secrets-of-the-magus
Digital rights and juggling resources in the public domain.
I am creating a juggling app. My app requires several digital resources.
My app has a library of juggling tricks. Each trick has a name, animation, capacity, difficulty level, description, and a video tutorial. Other sites (Juggling Wiki, Library of Juggling, and others) have already created data for this library. For the purposes of my app, it would be very useful to have this data consolidated into a single JSON file. Do I have the rights to do this? Can I combine the data from Juggle Wiki, Library of Juggling, and other sites into a single JSON file, and then use it in my app?
Please provide any insight or opinion you may have on this matter.
As I understand it, copyright law in most countries says you cannot use any of these resources unless the copyright owner has said you can.
Check the licensing conditions on all the websites concerned to see if they have put the resources in the public domain or otherwise licensed them for wider use (for example using Creative Commons licensing).
You could also approach the site owners to ask them.
Often copyright owners will be more receptive to licensing content to not-for-profit endeavours. So if your app is free and doesn't have adverts they might be more inclined to let you use their content.
But you always need permission, so do check each resource.
Thanks! Copyright law is incredibly confusing.
Everything on Juggle Wiki is technically licensed CC BY-SA. I don't think anyone really minds what you do with it though.
Same goes for Wikipedia
Also, I encourage the strategy of using everything you like, and appologize and retract later, especially if you're not making profit and helping us jugglers.
.. plus including a general passage in the app, like "Any software, videos, sites linked to in this app carry property and credit to their owners." plus "Please contact, if you feel any your rights offended!" or alike.
Good suggestion. I will take the time to ask for permission, read licenses, and cite each piece of data properly to avoid conflicts.
Also, if you want to contribute a trick to my library, you welcome to! I just need the following bits of information about the trick:
Great, thanks for the link. That license means that I can share and adapt the work, as long as I attribute and share alike. I have consolidated the data, and it is available here in .csv format, and JSON.
When is a good time to start learning 6/7 Balls ?
What do you think is a good proficiency level to achieve for 5 balls before moving onto higher numbers.
I.e Number of catches, height of pattern, confidence ect?
I am learning to juggle 5 ball cascade I have been for a couple months now.
My personal best about 70 catches at the time of writing this, (will record and check this weekend).
When I get going on a good session about 30-40 catches average for the runs.
Do you think I should try learning; 3 in one hand in each hand, 3 ball snake ect and other pre-requisites whilst learning 5, or just go for it with 6/7?
Any advise would be much appreciated.
Thanks in advance!
Can't tell for 6b, 3 in one hand, just for 7b:
first thing will be to get used to the additional balls in hands at launch; that can make sense already when you get 5b runs of like 30-50 catches ( which I believe is a first level of running 5b before new hurdles appear like drifts, twists, bad posture, smoother technique that you need for enduring longer ); but you can't yet expect to get longer runs of 7b, much over a flash, before you don't with 5b feel comfortable also at 7b-height and 7b's speed.
I'd say, just try out how good you're doing with 6b and-or 7b - if you're mainly failing and dropping and losing time picking up drops and don't get into any practise rhythm that feels like getting you somewhere -> go back to rather invest that time into controlling 5b better in all kinds of simple variations of height, width, speed, moving with the pattern, short dwelltime, higher handspeed and alike. A (`the´) relevant vid for systematic practise is here: http://juggling.tv/16767. For 6b, that would then be doing those exercises with the fountain with 4b. The more you feel that you're actually really improving with more ball(s), the more investing more time into it makes sense and is then more fun and feels better.
Oh, forgot, .. if you're familiar with and feel comfortable doing siteswaps and don't mind doing with gaps (0-s) and holds (2-s) and fast hand to hand passes (1-s, Ones), aaahnd don't mind doing in a `broken´ rhythm, then a just as good an approach is to train siteswaps with consecutive 6-s, resp. 7-s, in them, like 5b-77722, 5b-771, 5b-7733, 5b-66661, 6b-77772 or alike ( cf. http://jugglesensei.net/SiteswapFun1.htm ).
Thank you very much for your response, 7B_Wizard
Firstly I think you have summarized it very well in terms of the drifting and twisting, I am just getting used to wrangling it under control, which is very Satisfying! And I now see how being able to maintain the pattern with clean lengthy runs over time seems to be the best method to preparing for 7.
I'll try some runs of 6/7 this week and continue working on the height and "simple variations of height, width, speed, moving with the pattern, short dwelltime, higher handspeed and alike". That is extremely helpful, and a great way of putting it.
I definitely agree with putting in more time when you feel it paying off, my 4 ball has gotten much better recently since my in air awareness with 5 has gone up and everything in general is slowing down in the air and collisions are less common.
Thank y o u for giving the opportunity to - unlike in this very sentence right now - say something useful :o} ( = You're welcome, great, it helped! )
wrangling it under control, which is very Satisfying! .. yeah, the difference between being chased about the place by your pattern and putting it where you want to.
Jus' one more idea .. it might or might not help to use smaller balls to start with higher amounts (unless these slip through your fingers).
Additionally in response to your sideswap assistance, I have been doing basic sideswap patterns but will have to give the ones mentioned ago, they look like great fun!
In regards to the balls,I have been using a mixture of Juggle Dream Pro Sport 120g, and Silx Light (120g) 78mm balls.
I think that the juggle dream help with getting longer runs, and recoveries and controlling the pattern, which I only use inside.
Juggling 5 balls with the silx light balls helps for well scooped throws and better arches crossing in the air and consistent timing, and they look much better, and as I practice outside alot, they are my go to as I live in a rainy country.
I have found that warming up with the bags and then moving onto the balls works really well for me, when I feel the pattern sinking in.
Your advise is very much appreciated
For 6 balls, you want to be able to run 3 in one hand, in your worst hand, for ~15 or more catches at best before you start learning the fountain (remember, scoop!).
For 7 balls, I think you need to be over 100 catches of 5 balls before you start work on 7 (5 balls is not really under any proper amount of control before you break 100 catches).
Thank you for your response, apologies for the delay.
I think that the numbers you have set out are very reasonable and I really like the Scoop Imagery!
I think i'll put learning 7 ball back on the shelf for a bit, and learn more of the pre-requisites, and spend lots of time on 3 in one hand!
Several years ago I think it was Haggis Mcleod who used to recommend starting to learn 5 clubs as soon as possible purely because it took so long to learn which I think is as good a reason as any. The sooner you learn a skill the sooner you can enjoy using it.
Instead of thinking about whether to start learning something, can you think of any reason that starting to learn it would be detrimental to you?
You don't need permission to start learning a new skill, if you think it is fun just get to it!
Thank you for your insight,
I like the mentality of getting the ball rolling, however slowly.
Now that I have 7 Juggle dream balls, I will try doing some 7 ball flashes every now and then! In addition with lots of sideswap techniques that 7B_Wizard recommended. But leave the serious practice until I get a little better with 5.
And get 2 more Px3's for the 5 club cascade, however far ahead it is!
It's too early to start training with 6 and 7. You can maximize your learning rate by training with 2,3,4, and 5 balls. It's okay to give 7 balls a try, but don't spend too much time on it.
Please record more records, so that it is easier for others to see your skill level.
Thanks for your advice,
I will be concentrating on sideswaps and some different 4 and 5 ball tempo/ height variations ect.
Giving 7 ball flashes a try every now and then after warming up and going back to 5 to slow the pattern down even more.
I will upload some more records over the next few weeks to give users an idea of my skill level.
Urbex/spelunking - a look around an abandoned Soviet-era circus theatre in Chisinau, Moldova.
And what a grand building it is. I have a feeling I recognise it, possibly from the film called Inside The Soviet Circus or something similar, but I think that was made just before this building was erected. Or maybe I've just seen this article before. Whatever it is, that looks a pretty impressive edifice in which to celebrate the circus arts.
And for those of you too blunted to read through the entire article, here's a link to some pictures of the place when it was still in use submitted by a local.
It feels familiar to me as well, but not so familiar that I’m certain I’ve seen it before.
Really does make me wish I could have seen a show there when it was at its peak though. Must have been a really interesting atmosphere.
Please correct me if I am wrong, but it seem that during 1920 to 1960 the primary big circus animal in American Circuses was the elephant, while in Russian Circuses it was the bear.
Ethics aside, using each type of animal has it's unique advantages and disadvantages. Which factors drove American circuses to choose elephants, while Russian circuses choose bears?
I'm going to guess that P.T. Barnum had a hand in popularising elephants in North America, since he made Jumbo internationally famous. And likewise the bear has been a symbol of Russian-ness for a very long time, has it not?
Bears don't take up much space or eat much. But they're a bit boring, not very impressive - the poor man's elephant. Also, bears aren't very intelligent and can't really stick up for themselves. Remember Nellie.. left the circus and even made the effort to say goodbye. Now that's a classy beast.
Bears need feeding pots of honey, whereas the capitalist north americans will have realised that they can sell the bags of peanuts to the public to feed to the elephants.
Bears are better as they can ride bicycles, while elephants have to drive cars.
Guide to Juggling Patterns.
It has come to my attention that the copy of Ben Beever's Guide to Juggling Patterns hosted on the jugglingedge.com here, is a shortened online version of the book.
There exists a full version of the book that is 7 pages longer, with easier to read font and better resolution images. This full version is considerably easier to read.
This book is neither in print nor available for download from authorized sources. Has this work fallen into the public domain? If so, could the version hosted on the jugglingedge.com be changed from the online version to the full version?
Hmm, apparently so... I've just found the better copy I believe you are referring to & updated the file in the Edge's pdf folder. Thanks for letting me know.
Ben was happy for his book to be distributed for free on the IJDb & other websites. The pdf that I had was widely shared on usenet too. I really don't think Ben would have a problem with this file being shared.
I think I am going to get some zeekio Pegasus juggling clubs.
what color should I get. Is one color better for the audience to see, is one easyier to see while juggling what would you say is the best crowd pleaser.
Thanks for the help
I just don't really want to much more money the pegusas is already pushing my buget. what brand would you recomend?
When in doubt about color, pick white. When in doubt about type and your budget is limited, pick px3 from play. When in doubt and your budget is not limited get henrys pirouette...
Juggling is a cheap hobby, these clubs can last you over 10000 hours of practise!
Both of those are out of my budget really I would prefer like $30 for all 3 of them so $40 for pegusas are already more then I would prefer
Have you considered buying used? I have a set of Beard Circus clubs for sale (USA).
If you are buying new I strongly suggest you spend a little more, there will be a big jump in quality. Higher quality clubs are much easier and comfortable to juggle.
The advice about getting better props is actually about making you a better juggler. Unlike, say, photography where an amateur won’t get anything good out of a more expensive camera compared to a cheaper one, with juggling equipment that isn’t the case.
For example, a cheap diabolo is with used string is frustrating to learn with, as you’ll spend most of your time struggling to control it, and the string will bind up and snag all the time. The best way to make someone give up diabolo is to buy them a cheap one as a gift.
With clubs, it’s quite similar. If you buy cheap clubs, without good quality handles and knobs and ends, you’re setting yourself up for uncomfortable frustration while learning. It means you’ll spend less time juggling the clubs, and just won’t improve very much and at any good rate.
If you can’t afford a set of three nice PX3 or Pirouettes now, I’d suggest saving for 6 months and then buying a set. They will last you years of *hard* practice. If you buy the cheap ones, not only will they not last, but you won’t want to put in the hard practice anyway, and in 6 months you won’t bother juggling clubs any more.
You might like to build your own.
I have a set of these and they are fine for practice and performing solo. The major drawback is passing with other people who expect your clubs to be like theirs.
Sharing and Viewing Juggling Videos: Problems and Solutions
I use several websites and social networks to view and share juggling videos. Each portal has advances and disadvantages. Advertising content, promotion by algorithm, and biased voting are frustrating disadvantages to the mainstream portals, like Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, etc...
To overcome these frustrations, I have written a simple app that just plays juggling videos. The app queries the juggling.tv database for videos that are tagged with #jugglegram. The videos are then displayed in a list of thumbnails. When a thumbnail is clicked, the user is sent to a detail activity were the video plays.
Link to video of the demonstrating the app.
Screenshots: Img #1, Img #2.
The app can be download here*: Link to .apk.
The source code can be found here: Source code Github repository.
*To install this app, download the .apk file. Transfer the file to the Android device. Navigate to that file, and click on it to install. You may need check the 'Unknown sources' box in Security. Internet is required to use the app.
Are there good coaches (teachers) in Juggling? I am beginner is Juggling with 7 mo experience and the advice I most freguently got from obviously advanced guys sounds like "Keep practicing" )) I am pretty good coach in Karate (4 degree black belt) and Chess (International Master in Blitz) and to my non-humble opinion advice like "keep doing" is total disaster. Even pretty good tutorials lack extremely important thing, that is transition from preliminary exercises to full patters. Niel's video on 3 b Box is typical example of BAD tutorial because it is very superficial. From the other side Niel's video on "W" pattern is very GOOD )) So I repeat my question : are there GOOD teachers in Jugging World ?
Box is quite difficult trick when you just start with it, so it isn´t easy to describe it and teach it, especially on the video. It is much easier to teach somebody something in real life because you can see mistakes and errors and give advices. When I have workshops, I am able to teach people to juggle at least 3 balls if they really want and try, but it is just because I see how did they try to juggle. If they just write me why I can´t learn it, I have no idea what is their problem. Maybe it would be much better for you to make a video of your box attempts so we could give you better advice)
It is also a question who is a good teacher - because it is not only in the teacher but also a client or student has to try and have a motivation to do it)
what I mean GOOD coaching is helping the client to go through several easy understandable steps as I can explain "Ura-mawashi-geri" that is pretty complicated karate kick. And I am 100% sure I can teach everyone not depending age, sex, or religious affiliation )) I have got the advice here to try 441 and the first preliminary 2b exercise was very useful to improve my juggling "feeling" as a whole. I guess I have my own way in this art ))
I do karate too, so I know^^ Wish you a good luck with the box and glad tvar that my advice helped a little
Richard Kennison and Yuri (from Russia) come to mind as two legendary juggling coaches.
I'd like to think my tutorial videos are reasonably good. Here's one on siteswap that I made about siteswap: https://youtu.be/rWQXOHn3sw8 It's a little old, and will probably someday get wrecked by Youtube changing how annotations work, but it did teach my non-juggling grandmother siteswap!
The transition from exercises to full pattern is an interesting point. I recall Ivan Pecel's DVD Advanced 4 and 5 Ball Moves pretty much always ending with "and now that you have done it on either side, run it" which often worked okay for me. I can think of some examples when running the pattern introduces problems that flashing did not: with 645 with the 6s as fountains, make sure you keep those 6s rolling out far enough to not cause collisions. What are the problems you're running into in the particular tutorials you're watching? Do you think there are generalizable difficulties across patterns?
Back in 2011 I made a list of attributes of good vs bad tutorials. Finding it now would be a nightmare, but I'll be redoing some of that research because I'm going to be involved in the IJA making some tutorials soon (I hope!). Maybe I'll start a new thread for it.
"Here's one on siteswap that I made about siteswap"
Great proofreading, Mike! Still a bit drained from the IJA.
Of course there are good teachers! But YouTube is not necessarily the best medium for good teaching...
I'm sure I could teach you the box if we met in person... Also I'm a fan of the methodology of Craig Quat, he explains some of it on vimeo and is now training teachers all over Europe.
On a higher level, I have interviewed juggling teachers such as Jay Gilligan, Sakari Mannisto and Gregor Kiock, if you look up Juggle Jabber on YouTube you'll find them. I would say they are good teachers, although they don't really discuss the subject of learning single 3b tricks such as the box...
Craig Quat - good idea running balls. I was doing it on inclined surface, but using lines will be much better for stability. I guess I can build Craig's board myself. Now I am pretty sure I will learn Box and 4 balls stuff in nearest 6 months. Thanks a lot!
There are good teachers out there. I think the best thing is if you can get to a juggling club or juggling conventions and there you will often find very helpful, knowledgeable people who will gladly help out your juggling (and they are usually pretty good).
I think what can lead to huge progress in juggling is to progress as quickly as possible to 5 ball juggling and to learn siteswap notation. With siteswap notation learnt, you will have the ability to put patterns into freely and widely available simulators and watch them in slow-mo at various heights and speeds, hugely helpful. With 5 ball juggling learnt, you will have the fundamentals of juggling down. I don't know what your current juggling level is? But I would advise to try to go through 4 & 5 ball juggling until you are making 100+ catch runs of 5 balls (or around 25+ seconds), at which point, you will have a level of control sufficient for numerous tricks.
I have spent ~10 years teaching circus skills, including juggling and can help you out if I know your level.
Thanks for the comments. I seriously doubt you will teach me, the 67 old guy, who started juggling 7 months ago ))) selfteaching with no juggling club or convention. I am just at the beginning level haveing 3 b cascade, reverse, "W" over 100 catches plus stable 3b cascade in laying down position (because it is good for my old spine) Right shower up to 37 catches. I will be completely satisfied with stable LEFT shower + stable Box )))
If you will be happy with box, then it will not be too hard. It will also be worth learning some other tricks other than just focusing on shower & box, to improve your throwing, catching and understanding of juggling in general. It might be a less painful path to left hand shower and box in that case. Usual beginner tricks are:
441: https://youtu.be/2jmL-T1IdSY <-- This guy does good tutorials. Unfortunately, mostly for the intermediate 3 ball juggler
Two in one hand: https://youtu.be/_LZKSyhj__g?start=216
I think the first two should also fairly directly help your box, whereas tennis and windmill, while improving your overall ability, will not focus as hard on exactly what box and LH shower need. 441 helps you learn the '1' throw in both directions, crucial for box. Two in one hand, particularly in your left hand, will improve your speed & accuracy in the weaker hand perhaps more than anything else you could practice at this stage.
Have you considered a program like this one? Its an affordable way to get high quality coaching advice. Along with instructional videos, Juggling Mastery students are granted access to a private Facebook page, where the instructor (Lauri) is consistantly answering questions and doing live video calls.
Here's an interesting article with interviews with Dan Holzman, Jay Gilligan, Richard Kennison and Paul Arneberg, "Juggling Coaches", by Scott Cain on IJA's juggle.org.
I've attended classes with many great teachers, I'm thinking of Sean Gandini, Jay Gilligan, Wes Peden & Matt Hall in particular. In each case what made them great for me was their individual enthusiasm & their ability to open my eyes to new possibilities & ideas. The teaching in terms of breaking down the mechanics of individual tricks was not important to me.
I would guess that the vast majority of jugglers I know are mostly self taught like me. I think there is an expectation in the juggling world that you should develop your own unique style which shuns rigid coaching. If I want to learn a new trick I will always want to figure it out my own way of doing it partly due to a desire to be unique, partly because I enjoy figuring things out on my own & partly due to simple arrogance. I don't think I'm alone in this which I believe explains why there aren't many juggling coaches to choose from.
Anthony Gatto & Jason Garfield have tried & failed to make a go of the professional juggling coach to hobby jugglers (as opposed to circus school teachers which I think is a different thing entirely) in the style of music/dance/martial arts instructors that exist everywhere. Anthony Trahir seems to be doing ok for himself, as does Lauri Koskinen (who is a new name to me), I wish them both success.
I vaguely recall Erin Stephens(?) who put out a video which was a good example of effective coaching. It showed the juggling of a group of young girls that she had trained, all of whom were very accomplished & had a style that clearly came from one instructor (eg. I recall a particular under the leg catch where the right hand goes inside the right leg & the ball is caught on the outside that many of the girls performed very well).
Anthony and Nick Gatto worked with a number of jugglers such as Gena Shvartsman Cristiani, C.J. Smith Jr., Mark Kolbusz, among others (I believe they worked with Francois Rochais too). I took a workshop led by Anthony and Nick at the IJA in 2003 (it was about 2 hours a day for 3 or 4 days).
At one point about ten years ago Anthony let people know that Nick was interested in coaching people, but he was retired at the time and it's not like he was trying to do it full time as a profession.
I don't think Anthony ever tried to coach juggling full time either. It was just something he was willing to do a little on the side.
Yes, there are many GOOD teachers in the juggling world. You already got some great advice in this thread.
I recommend posting your questions here, or on the reddit juggling forum (r/juggling).
If possible, upload videos of yourself to youtube. By seeing videos of your juggling we can give you better advice.
If at all possible, you should go to a juggling club and/or festival.
If you have any juggling questions, you can email me: jlouisdavis at gnail.com
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