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Singin’ Senior May 30, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Music, Video.
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My sainted, white-haired mother in concert.  She’s 85, and maybe the oldest one there.

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The List Which Cannot Be Named May 23, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Brilliant words, Uncategorizable.
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I belong to an unintentionally exclusive e-mail list and have for more than twenty years, consisting of scientists, journalists, engineers and philosophers.  If sped up it would resemble a cocktail party of genteel geniuses, all engaged in the most stimulating discourse it has ever been my pleasure to eavesdrop upon.*

Genius #1:

>> Social Darwinism is the view that there is a Darwinian struggle between humans and that humans with a high social class are the biologically fittest.

Genius #2:

>Though "Darwinian" had to be tailored to serve what is, ultimately, a pseudoscientific retread of old dogma.  What was "fittest" in Darwin’s work is that which happened to adapt successfully, regardless of strategy.  The strategies he documented varied widely.  Most of them were cooperative, birds and bees and such.  Some of them were survival at the expense of others, via domination, stealing, and killing.
Social Darwinists ignored strategies other than domination, claiming that this was nature’s way and that science proved it.
It’s just the Divine Right of Kings in a funny hat.
To this day, the dogma persists in some form or another, since it so useful as a justification for any form of profit at the expense of others.  Creationists have no trouble believing in Social Darwinism, because as a fellow pseudoscience, it won’t sully their fragile little minds with any of that tricky actual science stuff either.

* Since I am no longer a scientist, philosopher or journalist, I tend to not participate much.

Taking the Mask of Nature Off the Face of God May 21, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Brilliant words, Uncategorizable.
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First, a flowchart:

Flowchart

Then the Caloric Operator:

Caloric Operatopr

Take notes; there’s going to be a quiz.

Ergonomics May 21, 2014

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This is my wife’s typical office space:

wife's workspace

Here is her office building:

Wings in profile

And here’s my office space:

typical workspace

Clearly, one of us got the better deal.

Good Ship Steampunk May 21, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Geek Stuff, Mutants, Octopus, Photography, Toys, Video.
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The door to this

looks like this

The perfect door handle

and leads inside to this:

Maker Faire 2014 (and others, to be faire).

UPDATE:

Printing Circuits With Conductive Ink May 20, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in 3D Printing, Awesome, Geek Stuff, Science, Star Trek Technology, Toys.
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Printing circuits with conductive ink

These guys were printing with (various) conductive inks, making little circuits right in front of the inquisitive crowds of Maker Faire 2014.  Sadly, I have lost their card. Sad smile

I want this.

EXCITING UPDATE: I found their card, and thence this URL: http://www.botfactory.co/blog/17-botfactory-presents-squink

Homebrew 800-pound Electric Auto May 20, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Toys, Uncategorizable.
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LightweightElectric Car

The most interesting thing to me is that the steering arms are Lexan.

A Good Bad Day May 20, 2014

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Even a bad day in The Most Beautiful City in the World is better than a good day elsewhere.

Even a bad day is glorious2

Sunset in the Parking Lot May 20, 2014

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Another view from the parking lot

My car has a much better view than I have from my office.

Sweet Sixteen May 20, 2014

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My stepdaughter was grumpy that her sweet sixteen was delayed by bad behaviour.

17th birthday party prep

Too Much Free Time, and Beer May 19, 2014

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Intel had a booth with scotch tape, LEDs, 2032 batteries and copper tape.  And I had beer; creativity of a dubious kind followed naturally thereafter: the fingertip flashlight.

Portable PrintrBot May 19, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in 3D Printing, Applications, Toys.
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In case you break some small, cheap, worthless item during your extended camping trip.

Lucid Piano May 19, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Brain, Geek Stuff, Music, Toys.
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An 88-bar spectrum analyzer using LEDs.  Very pretty. This piano was mostly unsupervised during Maker Faire 2014; it is astounding to me how beautifully the very young children attending the Faire can play, and how many gifted children are here.

Immoctopus May 19, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Toys, Uncategorizable, Video.
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I never did get any video of the choregraphed routine this device at Maker Faire 2014 can perform.  Looks impressive as all hell, doesn’t it?

Fountain Magic May 19, 2014

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This guy had tricked up the actual fountain choreography just before Maker Faire 2014 opened the gates.  Sorry about the sound; it’s just terribly loud in the Dark Room.

Safe Soccer May 16, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Mutants, Toys.
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I do grow weary of soccer stars bemoaning mild injuries.  No longer; the logical safety equipment has been introduced in Italy.

Retirement Plan May 13, 2014

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I kept asking the mailroom guys where my box of diamonds was, usually with an accusatory tone.  Today I got this package.IMG_20140513_095202

No idea who sent it, but whoever it was probably heard me laughing all the way down the hall.

Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman by James Gleick May 9, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Applications, Books, Brilliant words, Geek Stuff, Mutants, Science.
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Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman is a very thorough biography of the other guy who might have thought of relativity if Einstein hadn’t beaten him to the punch by being born a full generation earlier.  It’s got embarrassing details from the days when people wrote letters with content because a long-distance call was outrageously expensive, no highways existed to speak of and nobody owned cars anyway.

Besides being  the best possible biography of a recent scientist, it has magnificent quotes from scientists of the age (“Going to MIT and suicide were not commutable operations”), fascinating anecdotes about Feynman and colleagues and a bit of history I surely did not know before: American (and expatriate European) physicists were working secretly on the Bomb long before they had US government help.  Hitler scared the crap out of them, and they knew they were onto Something Big with fission.

I do heartily recommend this book for biography buffs, history buffs, war history buffs, science buffs and science history buffs, and Gleick’s other books as well (except Faster); this one especially for the philosophical musings about the nature of genius and why we don’t seem to have any lying around anymore.

Amphibious, But Prefer to Keep Out of the Rain May 8, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Photography, Uncategorizable.
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