Building The World’s Smallest Jet Turbine By Hand

See the original posting on Hackaday

There are very few machines as complex to build as a turbojet engine. The turbine blades on a commercial airliner are grown from a single crystal of metal. The engineering tolerances are crazy, and everything spins really, really fast. All of these problems aren’t a concern for [Igor], who’s building what will probably end up being the world’s smallest turbojet engine. He’s doing it in his home shop, and a lot of the work is being done by hand. We don’t know the Russian translation for ‘hold my beer’, but [Igor] certainly does.

The design of this turbojet — as …read more

When it comes to Sharpies bigger is better

See the original posting on Boing Boing

King Size “Pro” Sharpies are my go-to Sharpie.

Whenever I need to leave a message for a friend inside of a public restroom or cover up some light colored stitching on a black garment, I reach for a King Size Pro Sharpie! The familiar chisel tip, mated with a honking big cylinder that fits your grip like sidewalk-chalk or window-wax, smells like fresh street art.

This set comes with two black, one red and one blue marker. I usually keep a black in my travel bag, and the other in my desk pen tray.

There is no marker as trusted in the world of “I need to trust my marker” as a Sharpie.

Sharpie Pro King Size Permanent Marker via Amazon Read the rest

Listen to the “sounds” of wind on Mars for the first time ever

See the original posting on Boing Boing

For the first time, we can hear the “sounds” of wind on Mars as captured by the scientific instruments on NASA’s InSight robotic lander. From NASA:

“Capturing this audio was an unplanned treat,” said Bruce Banerdt, InSight principal investigator at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California…

Two very sensitive sensors on the spacecraft detected these wind vibrations: an air pressure sensor inside the lander and a seismometer sitting on the lander’s deck, awaiting deployment by InSight’s robotic arm. The two instruments recorded the wind noise in different ways. The air pressure sensor, part of the Auxiliary Payload Sensor Subsystem (APSS), which will collect meteorological data, recorded these air vibrations directly. The seismometer recorded lander vibrations caused by the wind moving over the spacecraft’s solar panels, which are each 7 feet (2.2 meters) in diameter and stick out from the sides of the lander like a giant pair of ears.

image: “One of two Mars InSight’s 7-foot (2.2 meter) wide solar panels was imaged by the lander’s Instrument Deployment Camera, which is fixed to the elbow of its robotic arm.” (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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These videos of Radio Shacks and Furry Conventions in the 1980s are incredible time capsules

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Watching this 1987 video of two Radio Shacks (one with Madonna music in the background) makes it clear that 30 years can be a long, long time ago. Prancing Skiltaire (the person who uploaded this video) said, “This was shot in Garden Grove, CA and Buena Park Mall, CA. The person who recorded was an employee working with a regional manager who was inspecting under performing Radio Shacks they were going to renovate.” I was fascinated for all 15 minutes of this spellbinding video.

Be sure to check out Prancing Skiltaire’s other amazing videos, like the Equicon Costume Presentation (1988):

And the first Furry Convention! (1989):

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Great deal on the Kano Computer

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Kano is a Raspberry Pi based computer system. It comes with everything you need besides an HDMI monitor. I love the keyboard with the included trackpad. At this sale price, it’s probably cheaper than separately buying a Raspberry Pi, a microSD card, a case, a keyboard and pointer, a power supply, and cables. Plus, Kano’s Linux OS is packed with fun goodies.

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Magic Wand Learns Spells through Machine Learning and an IMU

See the original posting on Hackaday

Jennifer Wang likes to dress up for cosplay and she’s a Harry Potter fan. Her wizarding skills are technological rather than magical but to the casual observer she’s managed to blur those lines. Having a lot of experience with different sensors, she decided to fuse all of this together to make a magic wand. The wand contains an inertial measurement unit (IMU) so it can detect gestures. Instead of hardcoding everything [Jennifer] used machine learning and presented her results at the Hackaday Superconference. Didn’t make it to Supercon? No worries, you can watch her talk on building IMU-based gesture recognition …read more

Couple built a two-story house for $12,000

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Sam and Simone realized they could build a house for the same amount they would have spent on a year’s rent in Australia. So they did, in one of their parents’ backyard. It looks great.

From Living Big in a Tiny House:

In this video, we discuss how they were able to construct their tiny house for such an affordable price and tips for building tiny houses for less. Especially in a country like Australia, where the material cost of building can be very high!

As students of wildlife and environmental sciences, the couple now have plans to regenerate the property where the tiny house is parked. They are also using the tiny house as a base to launch a new online business. I hope you enjoy this full video tour of this stunning tiny home.

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There’s a new Katamari Damacy title for the Nintendo Switch: Reroll

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“Katamari” is the Japanese word for “clod” or “lump,” and people familiar with the Katamari Damacy video game franchise know that the object is to created a giant clod of stuff by rolling it around like a snowball, picking up increasingly larger objects over time.

Reroll is a new Katamari Damacy game for the Nintendo Switch and it looks like fun. I’m going to get it and I’ll let you know what I think.

Image: Nintendo Read the rest

How to make some cool balancing toys

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High school science teacher Bruce Yeany says, “Here are a few more example of balancing toys that are made with simple materials. Making these types of toys have been especially popular with students. Toys can be a great lead in to the study of center of mass, center of gravity, levers, torque. Also makes a good STEM challenge for students to come up with their own balancing toys and investigate factors that influence its behavior.”

Here’s Bruce’s first video about making balancing toys:

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Better Mechanical Keyboards Through 3D Printing

See the original posting on Hackaday

You’re not cool unless you have a mechanical keyboard. No, you won’t be able to tell if your coworkers don’t like it, because you won’t be able to hear their complaining over the sound of your clack-clack-clacking. You can even go all-in with switch modifications, o-rings, and new springs, or you could use your 3D printer to modify the touch of your wonderful Cherry MX switches. That’s what a few researchers did, and the results are promising.

The ‘problem’ this research is attempting to solve is bottoming out on Cherry MX keyswitches. If you’re bottoming out, you’re doing it wrong, …read more

This is a terrific weekend for alternate realities

See the original posting on The Verge

There are so many streaming options available these days, and so many conflicting recommendations, that it’s hard to see through all the crap you could be watching. Each Friday, The Verge’s Cut the Crap column simplifies the choice by sorting through the overwhelming multitude of movies and TV shows on subscription services and recommending a single perfect thing to watch this weekend.

What to watch

2013’s The Double, a loose movie adaptation of a Fyodor Dostoyevsky novella, directed by The IT Crowd star Richard Ayoade and co-written by Ayoade and Avi Korine. Jesse Eisenberg stars as meek office drone Simon James, who spends his days being undervalued by his boss (Wallace Shawn) and pining for his co-worker Hannah (Mia Wasikowska). Then…

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Cross-Browser Compatibility and React.js Web Apps

See the original posting on DZone Python

Sometimes I feel that events in life happen in a sequence so that you regularly come across ‘cringe’ moments. Like when you have sand in your mouth or you hear the excruciating sound of nails against a chalk board. For me, personally, the worst cringe-worthy moment is when I come across a really bad web app or website. When I say bad, I mean Internet Explorer bad (just kidding, it’s a nice browser). Directionless navigation, features that are not working, bad design, and painful UX. But, the biggest problem is missing cross-browser compatibility.

Why React?

React is simply a UI and functionality library for JavaScript-based apps. We recently talked about React.js in our last post, Choosing the Right JavaScript Framework in 2018. So, in this post, we would look in more detail at how React.js helps in the development of cross-browser compatible web apps.

Vergecast: 5G phones, Juul, and Microsoft’s move to Chromium

See the original posting on The Verge

This week on The Vergecast, Nilay, Paul, and Dieter are joined by Verge science reporter Rachel Becker to discuss what’s going on in the world of Juul — why it’s so popular, how addictive it is, and where it’s being restricted.

Also, Qualcomm had a conference in Hawaii this week, so the crew goes through the announcements, including the Snapdragon 855 processor and its support for 5G networks.

There’s a whole lot in between that — like Microsoft abandoning its Chrome competitor strategy, the latest with SpaceX, and RCS Chat coming to one phone — so listen to the whole episode to get everything you need.

02:05 – Qualcomm announces the Snapdragon 855 processor for 5G phones

18:36 – “This week in Elon Musk” with Liz Lopatto

24:49 – Juul…

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The next Avengers movie has a title and a cryptic first trailer

See the original posting on TechCrunch

If you’re reading this post, you probably want to watch the first trailer for the new Avengers movie. So go ahead, watch it. I’ll wait. To be honest, the trailer doesn’t show much that viewers of “Avengers: Infinity War” hadn’t already guessed (spoilers!): Namely, that the villain Thanos has succeeded in his plot to eliminate […]

Retro tattooed mermaids made just like the Chalkware you used to know

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Ok, if you’re old enough, you’ll remember those cute vintage Chalkware ceramics they used to make to hang in the bathroom. There were a bunch of designs like anthropomorphic seashorses and fish, and mermaids. Well, California artist Erin Tinney Halverson of Hell in a Handbag is bringing them back. Her mermaids are especially cool because she custom paints tattoos on them. They’re $79 each which may seem steep, but for the right person it would make an amazing gift.

Thanks, Erik! Read the rest

This compact pipe is perfect for smokers on the go

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Smokers on the go can breathe a little easier. With an innovative, easy-loading spiral design, the Twisty Glass Blunt offered a smoother, more consistent draw than conventional pipes. Now the Twisty Glass Mini delivers the benefits of its heavy-duty sister pipe in a more discreet package.

For those that haven’t already made the Twisty Glass Blunt their new smoking buddy, the Mini loads just as effortlessly. Just pack up to .5 grams of the tobacco of your choice into the tube, twist the screw and light up. The smoke travels through five chambers into a cherry that’s a particular highlight of this model. (It’s 50% smaller and therefore a cleaner hit.) It all adds up to a smoking experience as smooth as it is compact, and it cleans just as easily – just twist the screw out. Want an even more comfortable hit? The mini is compatible with your favorite water pipe.

Right now, the Twisty Glass Mini is $39.99, more than 20% off the MSRP of $50.99. Read the rest

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