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!

Ice

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).

Quadcopter Footage

Here’s some video footage from a remote control quadcopter I was given for my birthday. It has a camera on it and I was able to take a video of a flight. In the future I plan to fly all around QIVC and edit together a video of the land from above. The quadcopter is difficult to fly, but I am learning and getting better at it.

October MFS Trip

The October MFS trip was great. It was the first time that intend of replacing my “normal” schedule with doing other interesting things, I kept up with my other work while doing cool projects. This way, I didn’t have to scramble to catch up once I got home. These are some of the things we did. Some parents brought in a fog machine, so we got it running and filled a couple of rooms with fog. Then: Light bulb! There was a pumpkin sculpting class happening in another room, so I went over there and and told them my idea. A few minutes later we had a beautifully carved pumpkin with fog gushing out of its open mouth!

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A while late (after I went off to do some other things) a few people took the fog machine and started pumping fog out of the window. At that moment, a Google Street View Car drove past the building. Maybe in a couple of months, if you look up Manhattan Free School on Google Maps, you’ll see fog pouring out our window!

Geva, an MFS parent, brought in an extremely strong laser, strong enough that we had to wear special goggles and go into a separate room. After burning and melting several things as tests…

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Before

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After (Back)

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After (Front)

a laser was attached to the head of the 3D printer and, using some code I wrote to control the printer from the command line, we were able to laser cut paper into shapes. Here’s a video:

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There is a plan to cut cool stencils out of vinyl with this at some point.

Other things that happened included:

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Destroying stuffed animals,

Skateboarding and Ripstiking in the park,

and of course, tons of Pokémon!

Update: Stop Motion Animation, Pokémon, and Literature

Yesterday I made a stop motion animation of my username:

These 15 seconds of video took almost half an hour to create. I propped my iPod up on an old fencepost, and captured frames little by little until I had the video. You can find a lot of beautiful colors in the outdoors.

Screen shot 2013-10-16 at 11.32.50 AM

I never had any “Game Systems” besides computers so I never got into any games for GameBoy and other such devices, but recently a friend of mine showed me a GameBoy Advanced Emulator for iOS and I got it on my iPod. Now I’m hooked on Pokémon FireRed! It’s amazing how, when you think about it, Pokémon is a very simple and slightly silly game, but when you play it, it’s super entertaining!

In my Literature Class, I’m reading a bunch of old science fiction novels by people like Aldous Huxley and Ray Bradbury. Recently I wrote a paper on Huxley’s Brave New World. You can see it here: http://tinyurl.com/ojj9ydf It was an interesting experience. I’ve had bad experiences with “English” classes before (that’s why I call it “Literature”) but this is more interesting to me than those other classes, and it will be a lot more fun.

Last, (and pretty much least) I’ll soon be posting creative or reflective work every Friday (or something like that).

Cow Jokes

Here’s a chain of comments (some of them of my doing, my username is “qubist”) on Thingiverse, a website where makers can share their designs for 3D printing. These comments were on a Robotic Cow that a guy by the username of dutchmogul made. They’re pretty funny.

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:161686/#comments

Scroll down to read the comments, and be prepared to whack yourself in the forehead a couple of times at the quality of these puns.

More 3D Printing Adventures

Today we’re back in the city at Manhattan Free School!

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Douglas (an MFS student) and his dad Geva got a 3D printer for the school–in kit form. I came down to helped them set it up. It was an awesome experience. Since I got my 3D printer pre-assembled, it was great to be able to build a similar (same company, different model) printer from the ground up. I also had a great time joking around about rhinos, bicycles, superglue, nanobots, and hegemony/world dictatorship with Douglas and Geva. I’ll be going back down at least once a month. Some of the things I’ll be doing include helping set up the Makerspace there and, at some point, helping Geva run a “Make Almost Anything” class for the students and others.

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A bag of partsIMG_1400

Building it…

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Almost there!

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Finished!

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Setting it up to print

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It works!!!

Things I’ve 3D Printed (So Far)

I’ve been doing a lot of 3D printing lately. Actually no. That’s an understatement. Here are some pictures of the things I’ve printed so far:

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Little tiny Cloudhouse logos

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Feather earrings for Abby (a MFS volunteer and Agile Learning Facilitator)

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A gear-y cube (it doesn’t turn yet, but it will!)

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A board game called Pocket Dungeons

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A replacement button for one of my favorite shirts

May there be many more prints to come!

All of these designs (except the Cloudhouse logo) are not mine, but were made by someone else and put under the Creative Commons License.

Attributions: Feather earringsCube gearsPocket DungeonsButton