Friday, October 31, 2014

Again, boo,


Friday Links: October 31

I'm slacking this week, I know, but I'm getting ready for a major house renovation.

Game: Phoenotopia - A long and involved 8-bit game. Aliens are coming, your village has been kidnapped, you must solve the puzzles and beat the monsters to find the ancient weapon to save the world. [link]
This is a long game that will likely take you days to complete. When you get stuck you can watch the 10 part walkthrough here

Parrots have names.

ISS supply rocket explodes after takeoff. [link]

Adjectives are supposed to have an order. [link]
pffft, whatever.

Finally, a cat with mutant powers. [link]

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

RIP: Angie Morrison

My great-grandparents adopted MaryLou. I'm not sure if it was formal or how she came into their lives, but for several years she lived on the family farm and became a de facto little sister for my Dad's mother. Her husband Angie (pronounced An-gEE) passed away the other day. In memory of Angie I want to tell this story of his from WWII.
Angie came home near the end of 1946, but not before he got the scolding of his life.
He'd been in charge of the first tank sent to raid a small Bavarian town. He stopped it at the top of the hill outside town and waited for the rest to get into position.
The Americans had moved in under darkness, lights out. They planned to use the element of surprise, go in together and flush out the SS soldiers believed to be there.
As they waited in the silence, Angie's tank driver asked him to double check the running lights, to make sure they were off. Angie leaned out of the turret. He realized too late his chin strap wasn't fastened. His steel helmet clanked against the cobblestone road, echoing as it rolled toward down the hill.
Soon after, Angie noticed someone walking up with the wayward helmet. All he could make out were the white grips of the man's pistols.
I hope that isn't who I think it is, the tank driver whispered.
It was.
Who owns this helmet? Gen. George S. Patton III shouted, his voice booming. Angie's bowels turned to ice.
It's mine, he answered.
Soldier, you have woken up every damn Kraut in this town, Patton said, shoving the helmet in Angie's gut.
The teasing began as soon as Patton was out of earshot. The three men in Angie's tank wondered why he didn't ask for an autograph.
Quoted from the Casper Star Tribune. full article

Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Links: October 24

A goat and rhino playing.

Douglas Adams' daughter is cute. [link]
RIP Jane, his wife, dead now 3 years. 

They Might Be Giants' "Fingertips 21 - I Walk Alone" set to Star Wars footage.

Air umbrella. [link]

Maple syrup is good for you. [link]

The number of the beast is a poor translation. [link]

Sheep don't know each other after being sheared. [link]

Building the biggest ship in the world. [link]

History of merfolk mythology. [link]

Aren't you just the cutest giant, motherfucking spider? [link]

Not the most effective way to hoist a bucket, but the most fun.

How to minimize divorce risk. [link]

The woman who should have been an Apollo astronaut. [link]

Pictures of the comet that just buzzed Mars as seen from Mars. [link]
look for the satellite, too

How a professor deals with students who think men have fewer ribs because of the Bible. [link]

An autistic boy bonds with Siri. [link]

Where did last names come from?

Plants feel and respond. [link]

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Faceless man mask project

To build a better Faceless Man mask I needed to work on a head that wasn't attached to me. So, I remade my own head. I have no pictures of me casting my own head. To do that I put on a bald cap, covered it and my face and neck with Vaseline, plastered the back, more Vaseline along the edge of that, plastered the front, pulled it off in two pieces.

The cast being held together with duct tape.

The cast filled with paraffin wax. 

Sitting up... with help. 

The wax head with the plaster ripped off. 

See previous caption.

Bald cap reapplied to the wax head.

Nylon stocking over the head. It didn't come down as well as it did over my own head. 

Cotton around the nose to lose some of the features. And coated in two layers of latex. A third might have been better.

Makeup applied to the head. Hopefully the coloring evens out with time. I'll touch it up more later.

The question now is whether I can peel it off this and on to my head as is, or if I have to slit open the back, put it on, and wear a wig.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Pear tree - year 2

My pear tree after 1 year. No pears, yet.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Links: October 17

6 minute film about a neon bender. [link]
No, it's not some anime thing.

Fire chasing beetles. [link]

The potato people are taking our jobs! [link]

The most certain way of curing hiccups. Gloves recommended. [link]
See also [link]

The cost of raising Calvin. [link]

The design history of the Michelin Man. [link]

A 5 year old gets reassured about his worries about the Voyager probe getting hurt or lost. [link]

Who wins the scene? A breakdown of the shots of a scene in Silence of the Lambs.

Don Hertzfeldt's opening to The Simpsons. [link]
Don't get the gag? [link]

How an obsessed explorer found and lost the world's oldest subway. [link]

What? Really? Birth control decreases teen pregnancy?! WOW! <----Sarcasm [link]

Spiders use electrostatic repulsion to fly. [link]

What if California's draught lasts another 70 years? [link]

Guy makes film of a tiny planet. [link]

Most useless objects ever. [link]

Filming guitar strings with an iPhone. [link]

Nobel prize awarded for a microscope resolution enhancement. [link]

Getting through airport security may be tough. [link]

Getting to know the girl shot by the Taliban as she recovers and sees the world. [link]

Alzheimer's Disease developed in a petri dish. [link]

How Minecraft encourages reading. [link]

The problems experienced by the first person to go on a space walk. [link]

Animal family photos. [link]

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

More kids doing construction

Another week of kids doing construction at my house.

More or less random curves being cut on a bandsaw.

A roof for a ... turtle house? I cut the notches in the roof for the walls to sit in. He did the rest. 

Having made one box with my scrap wood, he came back with his own wood for the sides of this box.

Same box, lid open. You can see wood putty in holes and seams.
I had a picture of the box painted white, but my phone denies it's existence.

Not pictured: Kids soldering Larson Scanner kits.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday Links: October 10

Obscure and complicated easter egg for Fallout: New Vegas.

Robot Octopus. [link]

Using the Leidenfrost Effect and specially cut grooves to make water run uphill. And then build an awesome water maze. [link]

Baltimore woman locks a cop in her basement and gets away with it. [link]

Planets in binary star systems are rare. But here's one they're already calling Tattooine. [link]

A genetic mutation that heightens HIV resistance. It has Norse origins and may have been selected for due to smallpox. [link]

Comcast calls employer of complaining customer and gets him fired. [link]

You can fry japanese maple leafs for snacks. [link]

Detroit even loses money on parking tickets. [link]

The most Australian pig ever, drinks 18 beers and started a fight with a cow. [link]

Most people with addictions grow out of them with time. [link]

The benefits of being polite protesters. [link]

How a custom puzzle maker works.

Microsoft has some interesting smart covers for their tablets. [link]

Underwhelming Lovecraft. [link]

Dancing traffic light.

Combination locks can work backwards, too.

Japanese Maple Leaves can be fried and eaten. [link]

Monday, October 06, 2014

Weekend projects

This weekend I ended up working on other people's projects.

I had made a cast of my head for a project and some of them saw me working with it. One kid wanted one of his own. I put him off for a bit, but he came back Saturday still wanting it. So I agreed. I don't have early pictures, but here's how it turned out.

I put a bald cap on him, slathered his face and neck in Vaseline, and used up the rest of the plastered bandages I'd picked up at Michael's as well as some supplemental plaster just to fill all the holes in the fabric. Then I showed him how to spray paint in such a way that he maintains control. Lots of long, light strokes and shields and masks to control where it goes. We did cut eye and mouth holes, eventually.

While working on that, another kid came along looking for some lumber. I checked with his father before letting him in my house. What started as a lumber grab soon became a full bike ramp building project.

Luckily, the kid had some experience with power tools. I still hovered and showed him some new tricks, but he did most of the cuts. Some of the other kids got to cut some, once I was convinced they could handle it safely. After the table saw, we got out the nail gun to put it all together. Good news/bad news, the kid now is pretty good at clearing jammed nails safely.

This last picture is a crew of kids helping him take the ramp home. It was well tested before he took it home. It holds up well.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Friday Links: October 3

Thermal imaging for the iPad. [link]

The Chubbchubbs short cartoon.

City population replaced with dolls. [link]

But Mexico went one creepier. [link]

Surge is coming back through on a trial basis. [link]

All footage of the 10th Doctor running edited together. [link]

Dolphins doing drugs. [link]

The ABCs of Hand Tools.

How a bean becomes a fart. [link]

TED video on mental illness in animals and it's treatment. [link]

Corporate death penalty. [link]

Two days to move 11,500 miles of track 3 inches. [link]

Testing the limits of a building hardening agent.

Stronger nano-tubes give us another step towards space elevators. [link]

The CIA Starbucks. [link]

ISIS and American Christians have a common interest - ban evolution in schools. [link]

Bill Murray on Letterman in the very early days. [link]

3 girls win Google's Global Science Competition with a way to speed germination of some cereal grains and increase their growth rate. [link]

Kansas proves that the Conservative utopia is an economic and cultural disaster. [link]
Kansas repeatedly votes a couple of Republican Governors and then a Democrat when the Republicans become too insane to vote any other way.