Archive for the ‘To be used for Evil’ Category

The AVR Treasure Chest

My friend Kelly built this:

When my boys were very young, I made a treasure chest from a cheap toolbox, placed an electronic lock in it (AT90S1200) and sent them on a treasure hunt, solving clues and ultimately opening the chest to get their pirate booty, a pair of N64 games. Over the years that chest has been used on many such hunts, created by myself or the boys.
Fast forward over 10 years later and I felt it was time for a new chest, one that would run the treasure hunt itself, playing videos, sound effects, and even hand out paper clues. The typical scenario would start with the chest playing a video clue on the iTouch, which would send the treasure hunters off looking for more clues and eventually get a key. Returning to the chest they would insert the key which would signal the chest that they completed that scenario and it’s time to start the next one, which could be another video, or dispensing a paper clue or map. Once the last scenario was completed the chest would release the big spring loaded trunk latch and the treasure hunters could reap the reward of what ever was inside waiting for them.

This is a pretty amazing project and the documentation is top notch. Thanks for telling me about this Kelly! Once you have seen the chest writeup go have a look at his robots, the man is a master of ingenuity and creativity. I’m proud to say that my robots have had their tin cans kicked by his ‘bots a number of times.
Treasure Chest

Posted: November 15th, 2010
at 5:52pm by John


Categories: Computers,Cool,Design,Hacked,Robots,Technology,To be used for Evil

Comments: 2 comments


Giant Insects For Science, Honest!

DragonflyI’ve waited a long time for someone to run this experiment!

The giant dragonflies of ancient Earth with wingspans of up to 70 centimeters (28 inches) are generally attributed to higher oxygen atmospheric levels in the atmosphere in the past. New experiments in raising modern insects in various oxygen-enriched atmospheres have confirmed that dragonflies grow bigger with more oxygen, or hyperoxia.

I can hardly wait for more work to be done in this field. I expect that after many generations of insects being raised in a hyperoxic environment there might be some substantial differences between them and their low O2 brothers. Maybe they should try this on fruit flies due to they rapid reproductive rate. The stated goal should be a humming bird sized fruit fly within 20 years. Quite safe outside the lab due to the extra oxygen needed unless someone invents a tiny SCUBA system for them to wear… Please don’t tell DARPA about this one!
Raising giant insects to unravel ancient oxygen

Posted: October 30th, 2010
at 12:54pm by John


Categories: Amusing,Cool,Hacked,Mad Science,To be used for Evil

Comments: No comments


The Mechanical Mustache

“A mustache party? By Jove I’ll be there!” I exclaimed as I dashed forth from my lab!

I few weeks ago I got wind of a party that the local hackerspace here in the greater Phoenix area was having. They decided to celebrate their one year anniversary by holding a mustache party. So I decided to live the hacker dream and build my own mustache (yes, I have a natural one but that was easy to make).
Take a look at the process that I went through to build my creation. I give you the  Mechanical Mustache Project!

Posted: October 29th, 2010
at 10:32pm by John


Categories: Amusing,Artistic,Cool,DIY,Dumb,Mods,To be used for Evil

Comments: 7 comments


Torrents In Space!


Yarr… The idea of placing a file server in orbit around Earth sounds cool but the practicality of it verges on the crazy insane. Anyway, a server that is on orbit my be exempt from international law but the ground stations that serve it are not. I suppose you could put a satellite up/down link on someplace like Sealand and worry about feeding data to and from that. It’s still not going to solve the problem of hosting data that countries don’t want being hosted.

This week, Pirate Parties worldwide started brainstorming about a similarly ambitious plan. Instead of founding their own nation, they want to shoot a torrent site into orbit.

Pirate Parties Plan to Shoot Torrent Site Into Orbit.

Posted: October 21st, 2010
at 6:19pm by John


Categories: Amusing,Dumb,Space,Technology,To be used for Evil

Comments: No comments


HDR Video: The Next Overused Effect?


Shoot the same scene through a beam splitter on two Canon 5D MKII digital cameras. Under expose one camera by two stops, over expose the other by the same. Mix in post with some custom software that compresses the brights and shadows and you have what will probably become the next over used video effect, once the hardware gets sorted out… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: September 11th, 2010
at 9:02am by John

Tagged with , , , ,


Categories: Artistic,Computers,Cool,DIY,Film,Photography,To be used for Evil

Comments: 1 comment


ATOMIC-ANNIHILATION

The name says it all. Atomic Annihilation, what a more fitting title for a page dedicated to the art of the atomic age. See the atomic powered bombers, the ‘duck and cover’ posters, downwind fallout projections, the very missiles that were to rain vaporizing death in the event of the balloon going up. This is a wonderful collection of cold war inspired artwork and photography that has played a vital role in shaping the very way we think and speak. Enjoy the trip to the past and hope that it truly is behind us.

ATOMIC-ANNIHILATION

Posted: July 29th, 2010
at 9:59pm by John


Categories: Artistic,Cool,Historic,Mad Science,Technology,To be used for Evil

Comments: No comments


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