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Showing posts with label science. Show all posts
Showing posts with label science. Show all posts

I'm Doing 2 Presentations on Tiny Homes on the Move at the Maker Faire in San Mateo This Weekend

This thing is huge -- 50,000 people. And fun! Surprising to me because I'm hardly nerd-oriented. There's a wide range of things going on here, from ultra-geeky to downhome funk. This'll be the 4th time I've gone and I always have a great time. It's savvy, friendly, interesting, and very well run. I wander all over the large fairgrounds with my camera. It's great for kids, all kinds of robots wandering around, ingenious mobile vehicles, 3D printing (hot right now), the "HomeGrown Village" hall for gardening, homesteading, building, food preservation, etc.
   I'm doing 2 presentations on Tiny Homes On The Move:
    -Saturday May 17th, 3:30 PM on the Maker Square Stage in the Homegrown Village
    -Sunday May 18th, 3:00 PM on the Center Stage. Click here.

-Kevin Kelly will be talking about his best-seller Cool Tools at 1:30 PM Saturday on The Center Stage.
-Snowboarder Mike Basich (our star builder in Tiny Homes) will be talking about his remote mountain homestead and homemade ski lift at 2:30 Sunday on The Center Stage (just before me).
One thing: traffic is heavy. Check out the Faire's suggestions. You can bring a bike and park a mile or two away. General Faire info here.
Finally: Lew and Evan will be manning a Shelter Publications booth in one of the maker halls on how we make books. They'll be giving away free copies of the Tiny Homes on the Move mini-book and selling copies of the full-size book for $20 apiece (cheaper than Amazon).

Grandpa Launch

I just got this email from my friend John Hulls, whose dad recently passed away. Brought tears to my eyes.
"Hi, Lloyd,
One bit of sad news, Robin, who always enjoyed his visits to W. Marin, meeting you and reading your blog, passed away. He stayed alert till the end, and rather fancied what the children's author, Phillip Pullman (The Golden Compass) did for his dad, which was to scatter his ashes by means of 4 Guy Fawkes skyrockets. Robin told me not to try it because of the huge fines in Massachusetts for illegal fireworks. However, I discovered a loophole in the model rocket laws, (private property/calculated flight plan, and stay out of controlled air space) and we scattered his ashes over his favorite sailing spot. The grandkids all got together to help build the rocket, which I modified, and you can see the results in this video. He would have been delighted to be on YouTube, too.
 - John"

Nature By Numbers


From Lew Lewandowski
(I turned off the repetitive music.)

Logarithmic Spirals From the Garden

For lunch today.
"…Romanesco broccoli resembles a cauliflower, but is of a light green colour…with the branched meristems making a logarithmic spiral. In this sense the broccoli's shape approximates a natural fractal; each bud is composed of a series of smaller buds, all arranged in yet another logarithmic spiral. This self-similar pattern continues at several smaller levels. The vegetable is rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, dietary fiber and carotenoids.…The number of spirals on the head of Romanesco broccoli is a Fibonacci number.…"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanesco_broccoli

Climate Change/Global Warming

New Yorker Letters to Editor, February 4, 2013
"Eric Klinenberg, in his article on how New York City might cope with intensifying climate change, makes the valuable point that improving physical infrastructure—burying electrical lines and erecting sea walls, for example—is necessary but insufficient…. Robust social infrastructure and tightly knit communities are also vital. My interviews with scores of government officials, planners, scientists, and activists in various countries suggest that the most important elements of social infrastructure are the political, cultural, economic, and civil beliefs and practices that shape the way that societies address public issues.

The Scale of the Universe

From Paul Wingate this morning:
The URL below was a fun ride for me. Some of the best traveling I have done in a while! Scale is so important to understanding.
  Left me a little dizzy looking at the known Universe centered on my small screen.
  Many discoveries and clarifications.
  I now know why I can not find my top Quarks - They get hidden under the bottom quarks. The neutrinos are even harder to keep track of.
  Some things don't seem right in scale, but.........
http://htwins.net/scale2/scale2.swf?bordercolor=white

Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools


This is the single most useful site/blog on the web for me. I can't say how many useful things this blog has turned me on to. It's like the electronic Whole Earth Catalog, but what's better is that it uses no paper, and it's daily.

Kevin Kelly, ex-Whole Earth Review editor, founding editor at Wired mag, author, photographer, explorer, runs this operation, with daily reviews of useful stuff.

"Cool tools really work. A cool tool can be any book, gadget, software, video, map, hardware, material, or website that is tried and true. All reviews on this site are written by readers who have actually used the tool and others like it. Items can be either old or new as long as they are wonderful. We only post things we like and ignore the rest. Suggestions for tools much better than what is recommended here are always wanted. Tell us what you love."

Easiest way to get there is to go to kk.org, then click on "Cool Tools" at the left.

Geodesic Domes

Woo-woo moment of the week: David Shipway sent me this link to a number of large geodesic domes. At the exact moment that I was copying this image, I was listening to Etta James singing these words in the Dylan song "You Gotta Serve Somebody":
"You may be a construction worker working on a home
You may be living in a mansion or you might live in a dome…"
Cosmic, or what?
   Although I gave up on domes (as homes) in the '70s, I still am fascinated by the math, by the 5 regular and 13 Archimedean solids, by the appearance of these shapes here and there in nature, by the beauty and truth of geometric mathematics.
http://www.kuriositas.com/2011/05/geodesic-magic-theres-no-place-like.html

Stewart Brand's Summaries of the Seminars About Long-term Thinking


It takes me too long to get into San Francisco to see the seminars hosted by Stewart Brand, but I really enjoy Stewart's succinct summaries. (Back in the Whole Earth days I was surprised that no one ever commented on the quality of Stewart's pithy, concise, often witty reviews.) 
On the "Learning to Learn Fast" seminar by Timothy Ferriss last week:
"To acquire 'the meta-skill of acquiring skills,' Ferriss recommends approaching any subject with some contrarian analysis: 'What if I try the opposite of best practices?'  Some conventional wisdom---'children learn languages faster than adults' (no they don't)---can be discarded.  Some conventional techniques can be accelerated radically.  For instance, don't study Italian in class for a year before your big Italy trip; just book your flight a week early and spend that week cramming the language where it's spoken.  You can be fluent in any language with mastery of just 1,200 words.…"
Here are 100 of his pared-down summaries of the SALT seminars for three bucks on the Kindle:

Pendulum Waves


Fifteen uncoupled simple pendulums of monotonically increasing lengths dance together to produce visual traveling waves, standing waves, beating, and (seemingly) random motion.

For more details see http://sciencedemonstrations.fas.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k16940&pageid=icb.page80863&pageContentId=icb.pagecontent341734&view=view.do&viewParam_name=indepth.html#a_icb_pagecontent341734
Sent us this morning by Fig.