The Ultimate Altimeter

Last day of Butthouse!

OK. I signed up for an online Secret Santa thing with redditgifts, and my giftee was into RC planes and such. I made this Altimeter for him, and published how I made it. Check out the Instructable:

Also, you can vote for my post (top right corner of the post) if you think it is worthy. If I win we get free stuff!


A Look Into my Week

This will be a look into my week. There will be names of some of my Kanban Board sticky notes and short explanations as to what they were and what I did. I will be doing this sometimes when there is no other big event to write a large post about.

Scale of the Universe

Looked at Scale of the Universe for about 30 min. It was very enlightening. Especially the part about the sun (haha).

Scale of the Universe is a website that ingeniously represents the biggest and smallest things in the universe. I highly recommend you take a peek at that.

Quadcopter Aerial Videos

Went outside to film houses around the land with quadcopter. At some point I will make a video of  “QIVC from the air.”

Stream Trips

Went to stream with Eric Bear and others. Found Glass Bottles and Watercress. Tightrope-walked across stream on small bent over sapling. Fell into stream. Twice. Made prototype catapult out of bent over sapling. Found old boot. It was awesome to find old stuff and to be outside for a chunk of time.

Stranger in a Strange Land Paper

Wrote paper for Lit. Class about Stranger in a Strange Land and what people think of it based on reviews. It was strange to talk about a book that many people really love, and many people really hate, and try to view it from both sides.

Cool Tools

Looked at some cool tools on the Cool Tools blog.

Cool Tools is a blog where community members post about and recommend their favorite tools. It contains posts about awesome products such as this Wireless Rechargeable Touchpad and this Lithium-Ion Mini ScrewdriverIt is extremely cool!

Fix 3D Printer

Replaced broken motor on the 3D Printer. Took Printer apart, untangled wires, unplugged old motor, plugged in new motor, re-tangled wires, put printer back together. Frustrating but a relief to have a working printer!


Here begins the first of the weekly blog posts that I will do every Thursday. It’s late.

I’ll usually be doing these posts on Thursdays, but last Thursday I was outside walking around on a frozen stream. There I learned many things including the safety of ice thicknesses. If the ice is 2 inches thick, it is safe for a person to stand on. If the ice is 10 inches thick, it is safe for a car. If the ice were 900 meters thick it would be twice as tall as the tallest building in Chicago. We were standing on ice of about an inch of thickness. This led to practice using caution, and a few wet feet. I also found an old glass bottle which I have plans for…

This (last) week I learned some random stuff:

There is a flying car that is being developed for consumers! It will be able to drive and fly and even land itself. I’m starting to save up now!

There is a parasite that bites off a fish’s tongue and attaches itself to the stub that is left. It then becomes the fish’s tongue.

Ladybug wings are actually quite big. There is a video of this here.

So yeah. I feel like this post wan’t one of my greatest ones simply because of the lack of thing so write about, but I hope that it provided a glimpse into my week.

Space Invaders on the Ceiling, and the Rise of Arcade Games

As soon as Geva, Timo, and Douglas came to Cloudhouse from MFS for a week, the spirit of making cool stuff was activated and a flurry of creation begun. The place was buzzing with activity and that made it seem so alive and happy that it got everyone making. Douglas started on his elaborate Rube Goldberg Machine, Timo coded games in BASIC, and Geva and I poured our  hours into an almost-bottomless pit of a project. We intended to cover the ceiling in a grid of RGB LEDs (LEDs that can light up almost any color).

3 days, 240 soldering joints, 320 wires stripped, 40 wires cut, 170 staples, 2 trips to the hardware store, 1 taken-apart PC, and 282 lines of code later, we had this:

This is a game of Space Invaders, played on a 4×10 pixel, 8×24 foot, full color screen, on the ceiling. More programs are to come, in the making is one that fades between different colors and shades, creating an ambient glow in the whole space.

Another interesting thing about the screen is how each pixel is really 3 LEDs in a row, so that the pixel your ship is in is actually 2 different colors.

On the topic of old video games, I recently enlisted Geva’s help to get MAME (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator) running on my computer, started dabbling in some classic games that my dad played when he was a kid like Marble Madness and Qix. Here’s a video of me playing Defender:

Post Script: I will now be posting a post every Thursday, starting after Christmas Break (I hope).

The Cloudhouse Space

Eric Bear and I are working on the space for Cloudhouse (in my basement). We’re putting up whiteboards for the walls! I really enjoy planning, measuring, and cutting the holes in the whiteboards, and then see them (sometimes) slip perfectly into place. Here is a time-lapse of the work we did: