Mechanisms: Solenoids

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Since humans first starting playing with electricity, we’ve proven ourselves pretty clever at finding ways to harness that power and turn it into motion. Electric motors of every type move the world, but they are far from the only way to put electricity into motion. When you want continuous rotation, a motor is the way to go. But for simpler on and off applications, where fine control of position is not critical, a solenoid is more like what you need. These electromagnetic devices are found everywhere and they’re next in our series on useful mechanisms.

A Coil and a Plunger

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Young girl shocks parents with hilarious answer to why people get married

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When parents ask their daughters why Prince Harry is getting married, the younger of the two says, “Harry is getting married because they want to get married.” But when asked what you do when you get married, the younger girl is stumped. That’s when her older sister jumps in with a hand gesture that could be interpreted as crude.

She points her index finger with one hand and sticks it into a circle made with the other hand. “Don’t do that!” a man – presumably her father – says. “Whoooa! What are you doing?” a woman – presumably her mother – says.

The girl responds with a heartwarming, logical and very innocent answer. Or, maybe the girl is just really great at thinking on her feet.

Boring company makes “the world’s most boring billboard” and promises to keep it up for 12 years

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Sioo:x Wood Protection is a boring company. That doesn’t mean its products aren’t important. It’s just hard to jump up and down with glee over wood protection. Nevertheless, the “world’s most boring billboard” that Sioo:x installed in Malmö, Sweden is pretty cool. It’s a triple sided outdoor display made of wood that’s been treated with preservative. The billboard will remain outdoors for 12 years as a way to demonstrate the effectiveness of Sioo:x’s treatment against long term exposure to the harsh environmental insults handed out by Sweden’s unforgiving weather.

Live Editing HTML and CSS With Chrome DevTools

See the original posting on DZone Python

Chrome DevTools is a powerful suite of web development tools built right into the Chrome browser. One of the most useful features of DevTools for web developers is the ability to live edit the HTML and CSS on a page. This functionality allows any developer, even those with weaker HTML and CSS knowledge, to quickly prototype and iterate on potential changes to a web page.

While working on Lucidchart, one of my recent projects was to add some check marks into the inputs where users fill in their billing information in order to convey immediate feedback when the users entered properly formatted and valid information. Even though I am more comfortable working in our backend code than I am with CSS and HTML, I was able to easily implement these check marks with the power of live editing.

Acer’s new Predator Helios 500 is a 17.3-inch gaming laptop with Intel’s best chips

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<em>Acer Helios 500.</em>

Acer has announced a new gaming powerhouse today with the Helios 500, which is a bigger, more powerful version of the Helios 300 model it released last year. It bumps the screen size up to 17.3-inches and includes options for even more powerful graphics cards and processors.

The Helios 500 has the choice of either a 4K or 1080p 144Hz display (both with Nvidia G-Sync), and it can be configured with up to an Intel Core i9+ 8950HK processor, GTX 1070 GPU with 8GB of memory, and 64GB of RAM for the top-of-the-line model. Like Acer’s other gaming laptops, the Helios 500 uses the company’s “Dual AeroBlade 3D fans” for what it claims to be improved cooling. And, of course, there’s plenty of LED lighting built in.

Acer also teased a new…

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Music production software Fruity Loops is now available for Mac

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FL Studio for Mac

Image-Line has just released the newest version of its Digital Audio Workstation FL Studio (Fruity Loops), and with it comes native Mac support for the first time since its creation in 1997, as reported by Pitchfork.

Although the ability to use the program on Mac is the biggest news, FL Studio 20 also includes other updates. This version has support for time signatures, freezing for clips in order to free up CPU, and the ability to have multiple “arrangements” so users can work with different versions of a project at one time.

The program is affordable in comparison to some other DAWs, and it has gained many prolific fans, like Martin Garrix, Metro Boomin, and Porter Robinson. The company initially said it had begun working on a Mac…

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YouTubers are hiding softcore porn behind fake diamond ads

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The YouTube video titled “Best Diamonds in the Sky – Jewelry of life Life insurance, Diamond of God #21” opens on what looks to be a poor-quality jewelry ad, panning slowly over diamond-encrusted cat figures, rings with enormous purple stones, and even Titanic’s flashy blue diamond. Then, around the two-minute mark, everything changes. The video inexplicably cuts to a shaky-cam clip overlooking a boat and then to videos of several young women undressing. While there’s no visible nudity, it’s a mix of provocative close-ups zooming in on their scantily clad breasts and butts while they sensually rub themselves.

There are thousands of these softcore videos on YouTube right now that are hidden under variations of “Best Diamonds in the Sky.”…

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Acer’s new Swift 5 cuts down on bezels with a bigger 15.6-inch screen

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Acer has just announced a new, updated version of its Swift 5 laptop, which follows the trend of 2018 laptops by cutting down on bezels. The company is swapping out the old 14-inch screen from previous models for a new 15.6-inch 1080p display that offers an 87.6 percent screen-to-body ratio.

Also new on the updated Swift 5 is the latest eighth-generation Intel processor, and a slimmed-down design, built from a magnesium and aluminum alloy. As for specs, the Swift 5 is configurable with up to 1TB of SSD storage and 16GB of RAM, although there are no details as to what the base configurations are or what specific processors Acer will be offering. On the port side of things, the Swift 5 offers two USB-C ports, two USB 3.1 Type-A ports, an…

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Adam Savage at Maker Faire: the importance of sharing

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Adam Savage gives a talk every year at Maker Faire. It’s one of the highlights at the Bay Area event. This year, Adam talked about why sharing is such an important part of the maker movement.

I’m here to defend sharing as a vital aspect of maker culture that is intrinsic to the underlying ethos of what it means to be a maker, and by extension, a human being.

Some people don’t want to share

I once attended a gallery show where the artist had done some fairly novel executions of portraits using common materials in a way that was really surprising. I asked them about their process and they told me they didn’t want to share it with me. They wanted to keep the technique a secret

At one point, when I was working in a special effects studio, a friend of mine was making these large round forms using a very specific set of techniques. He was doing it for a week and a half, and it was fascinating — all the levels that he went through. I asked him if I could take pictures of the process and he said yes, but he would withhold key parts of the information from me so that I could not learn how to do this. He considered it part of his job security

For years the makers of Barbie dolls have shut down any and all Barbie themed art shows and artwork. This is a grossly misguided form of copyright and trademark protection. It seems that they imagined somehow that they can dictate how people think about and discuss Barbie through their enforcement.

I disagree vehemently with this stance. I view it as antithetical to making as a practice, as a discipline, and to being a member of any community. As a member of a community of humans, art is one of the key ways in which we converse about the world and what is going on around us. Human progress is made not simply because of how we make things but also because we share what we make and how we made it.

The first two examples I gave are examples of people mistaking the techniques that they know for a commodity. The third is based on the specious idea that one can control everything about a brand

And I know that unique processes have a value and the inventor of those processes should benefit from that value. I believe that – that’s what our patent and copyright acts are built to address. But each of the three examples I gave are about treating something as a scarce commodity when it is not scarce at all because sharing defies the laws of physics — the more you give away the more you have.

Image: YouTube screenshot/Make

Mindbendingly cool Mexican psychedelic music from 1981

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I’m familiar with the psych music scene that emerged in the 1960s-1970s in some Latin American countries like Brazil, Chile, and Argentina, thanks to fantastic reissues of rare LPs on labels like Luaka Bop, Goma Gringa, Now Again, and Mr Bongo. Now, the esteemed diggers at Mr Bongo have brought us a stunningly spacey psych record from Mexico: Luis Pérez’s “Ipan In Xiktli Metztli, México Mágico Cósmico, El Ombligo de la Luna.”

In the 1970s, Pérez studied the pre-Columbian instruments and musical traditions across Mexico, from the Maya and Nahuatl to Raramuri and Wixarika. He channeled those influences into his own deeply original and gorgeous electronic and experimental psychedelic songs that make up this record first released in 1981. Listen below.

As Mr Bongo writes, Pérez “delves deep into the past but also exists entirely outside of time.”

Far fucking out.

How stalking is romanticized in movies

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This episode of Pop Culture Detective is called Stalking for Love, and explores the movie trope about “nice guys” who relentlessly stalk and harass women they are obsessed with. It’s remarkable how frequently this trope appears in movies.

Stalking For Love is a popular media trope where invasive stalker-like behavior is presented as an endearing or harmless part of romantic courtship. The hero will often go to extraordinary lengths to coerce, trick or otherwise manipulate his way into a woman’s life.

Why Android P gestures are a risk worth taking

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Now that those of us brave enough to install the Android P beta have had a week or two to kick the tires, I wanted to revisit them again. Chaim Gartenberg has rightly pointed out that the combination of swipes and buttons means that the core navigation is a set of mixed metaphors. Others have called them “bad” and “a hot mess.” A gentler way to characterize the new system would be “polarizing,” but for Android users a better way might be to call it “rejection.”

Having spent some more time with the Android P beta, I tend to agree — but for different reasons. I am not at all put out by the mixed metaphors in the UI; some button taps and some swipes. Nor am I really annoyed that the gesture system hasn’t reclaimed any screen real estate, if…

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This startup is building self-driving trucks and SUVs for futuristic off-road adventures

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With every month that goes by, it seems like another electric vehicle startup comes along and promises to disrupt the auto industry. This month, it’s Rivian, a California-based startup, emerging from stealth for the first time this month with aspirations to be something of a Land Rover for souped-up EVs. The company is intent on launching an all-electric five-passenger pickup truck in 2020 and a seven-passenger SUV after that, though it will show them off later this year at the LA Auto Show.

Rivian claims these vehicles will cost between $50,000 to nearly $100,000, deliver between 200 and 400 miles of range, offer “blistering” on-road speed, “incredible” off-road performance, and, eventually, will drive themselves. Want to drive to a…

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Nvidia’s GTX 1050 3GB graphics card will cater to the budget PC gamer

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Nvidia is prepping the next generation of graphics cards, but it’s not too late to unveil a new budget model for this generation, specifically the GeForce GTX 1050 3GB.

The GTX 1050 3GB sits between the lowly 2GB GTX 1050 and higher-end 4GB 1050 Ti, bringing a faster base clock but lower memory bandwidth (84GB / second versus 112GB / second for the other two GPUs) with 760 CUDA cores to its name.

Interestingly, Nvidia is cutting the concept of crypto out from this graphics card. Having 3GB of memory makes it possible to play PC games, but cryptocurrencies like Ethereum require 3GB at the minimum, so you’re better off looking elsewhere.

The GTX 1050 will be available from Nvidia directly and from partners such as EVGA, Asus, and…

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Matt Groening’s new animated fantasy show will premiere on Netflix in August

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Matt Groening’s animated epic fantasy series has a release date: Netflix has revealed that Disenchantment will premiere on August 17th. The company also shared a handful of pictures that show off an art style that will be familiar to anyone who’s watched Futurama or The Simpsons.

Netflix officially announced the series last year. It’ll follow a “hard-drinking young princess” named Bean, an elf companion named Elfo, and her personal demon named Luci as they encounter all manner of fantasy creatures in a magical kingdom known as Dreamland. Netflix ordered 20 episodes of the show; the first 10 will premiere this year.

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Plant Biology is a Gateway

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Too many college students have been subject to teachers’ aids who think they are too clever to be stuck teaching mere underclassmen. For that reason, [The Thought Emporium] is important because he approaches learning with gusto and is always ready to learn something new himself and teach anyone who wants to learn. When he released a video about staining and observing plant samples, he avoided the biggest pitfalls often seen in college or high school labs. Instead of calling out the steps by rote, he walks us through them with useful camera angles and close-ups. Rather than just pointing at …read more

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