Archive for October, 2009

An experiment in chill

October 16, 2009

Check it. @mewdriller and I are bringing some natural light and water sounds (not obvious in the picture) to the ICC office. We get some looks.

Seriously, I’d starve to death first…

October 16, 2009

Crispy Cones!

Give me a break…

October 15, 2009

I want to be a fictional scientist too!

Aaaaaaand it’s winter

October 15, 2009

Remember fall? Me neither. Fall seemed to come and go faster than I was able to come up with a cute way to say how quickly fall came and went. Yea, it’s like zero here (well, 44, but what’s the difference?).

This has made it so much harder to get back onto a polyphasic schedule. I barely remember resetting my alarm this morning at 5. This is what I remember: it was Fargo-cold in my room–the only thing missing was Steve Buscemi and a wood chipper–and my survival instincts kicked in. And I don’t know about you, but my survival instincts are very passive-aggressive. “Oh, sure,” my survival instincts like to say, “it’s warm and safe here in bed, but you go ahead and leave. I wouldn’t get up right now, because it’s nutsackshrinkingly cold out there, but you’ve made it this far calling the shots. I’m just your survival instincts, don’t mind me. I’m not here.” And so on.

So I gave in. Passive-aggression gets me every time.

In other news, I’ve been working on my first Arduino project. I’m building a binary clock with a solderless breadboard (so dumb…always solder) 10 LEDs and a piece of cardboard box. The hours will display on top and the minutes on the bottom. If an ‘x’ represents an LED in the on position and ‘o’ represents off, 10:05 would be xoxo oooxox, 1:30 would be ooox oxxxxo, noon would be xxoo oooooo. And so on. Quick binary lesson: 00000001 is one, 00000010 is two, 00000100 is four, 00001000 is eight, 00010000 is sixteen, 00100000 is 32, 01000000 is sixty-four and 10000000 is one hundred twenty eight. Then you can add them: 00000011 is three, 00000110 is six, 11111111 is 255 and so on.

And now a link to someone who has already crushed me in the LED-clock-making trade.

Well, I’m sitting here missing Julie, thinking about going back to being a vegetarian and whether or not I should take up binge eating to deal with the cold.  All possible zacklab experiments.  Well, this feels like the end.  More experimenting to come, dear readers, but for now, I’m off to brave the tundra for a brisk jaunt home.


October 14, 2009

Polyphasic: I’m Back…

October 13, 2009

…and I got a chance to play with lovelycharts. If you like making charts you will ❤ this.

With very burned fingers, I write to you from zacklab

October 11, 2009

Hour three, my soldering-iron-induced second degree burns continue to swell and blister on my left thumb and forefinger.  Typing the word ‘the’ hurts pretty bad (though not as much as the word ‘pretty’) and I have lost my ability to be an ambi-spacer.  I spent four hours soldering a paperduino today and that was not a good idea.  Two reasons–the first: it turns out that building a paperduino takes something like four-hundred hours (I’m exaggerating, but it’s a lot) and the second reason: because the paperduino uses paper instead of printed circuit board, you have to connect every individual component with wire and solder.  Somewhere in the second or third hour of soldering tiny components together and making sure that there were still nanometers of padding between the bird’s nest of exposed wires, hot metal and circuit components, I decided to move the metal stand holding the soldering iron to make the process a little safer (wouldn’t want to get burned, would I?).  What I failed to grasp was that a metal stand in contact with a hot iron for two and a half hours will be hot.  What I succeeded in grasping was a near-molten-hot soldering iron stand.  It felt like cupping the devil’s ballsack.  Seriously.

If you are thinking about getting into playing with the Arduino, just shell out the $25 and buy one.  As I continue to work on my first Instructable–code named “Project Sunrise”–I plan to use the Arduino I got from Adafruit.  Today’s class wasn’t all bad.  I learned how to solder and got many many hours to practice.  In the future, I’ll just have to remember to better respect hot things, lest zacklab be burned to the ground.