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A site of endless curiosity

Posts Tagged ‘fun

Signs of the times

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With the real employment rate at about 17% (higher or lower depending on where you live) some people have found innovative ways to get some additional income.  As they say, when times get tough the tough get going.

I am not sure where these folks fit in.  But, no sense in not just “asking” for money in the “kindness of strangers” sort of way.  Perhaps these folks feel that the entertainment value alone of their signs will get them a monetary contribution.

Let’s see how good these folks are at marketing their cause and persuading you to open your wallet –

Here is a guy who gets right to the point.  Lets call this the Anna Nicole Smith approach

Unfortunately, we don’t get to see what Bill looks like. But, with the beard, looks like a catch.

Here is another approach that would appeal to the family man.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by frrl

April 12, 2011 at 5:28 am

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The Wayward Steer

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At Deep Springs, the ranch manager told great stories. He described how they used to drive cattle a thousand miles from Texas to the stockyards in Chicago. In the herd, one steer would take the lead and the others would follow. This alpha steer became recognizable to the cowboys and was a great help if he kept his bearings.  But sometimes this leader had a tendency to veer off to the side, taking the herd with him. Getting the herd back on track was hard work for the cowboys, so if the lead steer swerved too often, there was no choice but to shoot him in the head. Keeping him wasn’t worth the trouble. So many ranching lessons apply in business.  — Dave Hitz co-founder of NetApp

This story was told by Hitz when he and a few others met with the NetApp board of directors after raising $1.5 million dollars from 24 angel investors in chunks of $50K and $100K followed by a Venture Capital seed round of $5 Million.  The CEO was great at fundraising but not a good manager. Given that the initial fundraising rounds were over, and the CEO’s management capability was in question, Hitz worked to oust him.

Two rules for CEO’s of startups

  1. Never keep more in your office than you can fit in a gym bag.
  2. Always keep a gym bag in your office.

After the meeting, the CEO was out.  Replaced with a CEO that could take NetApp beyond preliminary fundraising to product development and marketing.

See the initial NetApp Business Plan Overview from 1992 and “lessons learned” –
https://frrl.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/netappbizplan1992.pdf

Written by frrl

September 29, 2010 at 1:23 pm

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Mont Blanc

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I know there is a recession.  But still, companies need to maintain high standards.
Poor John L.T. of California has suffered greatly.
Upon receiving his $400 Mont Blanc Generation Ballpoint Blue he wrote this review

It is truly very sad indeed to see Mont Blanc lower its superb standards of excellence in an effort to attract the unwashed masses to a name associated with sophistication and success. This writing instrument is hardly worthy of the name Mont Blanc and in reality bears very little resemblance to the authentic experience. One need not even bother to describe this tawdry imitation, a cheap attempt to share the aura of Mont Blanc with the plebian more suited to a Bic. In fact, if not for the Mont Blanc logo itself, this would appear to be something from the Office Max catalogue of Pilot pens boxed by the dozen for mass consumption in cubicles. Mont Blanc has betrayed its own legend by producing something of this sort. I have posted a quite vehement letter of protest to the directors of Mont Blanc in order to voice the dismay of Mont Blanc loyalists who find this creation an abomination and take it as somewhat of a personal insult. Their reply is awaited with anticipation of an apology and one hopes this is a terrible mistake, never to be repeated.

Very disappointing

Originally at here.

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September 29, 2010 at 3:59 am

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Java4Ever Movie Trailer

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Coming soon – take a look.  PG-13, please, not for sensitive viewers

Alternative link for above – http://jz10.java.no/java-4-ever-trailer.html

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June 27, 2010 at 5:01 am

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National Public Radio (NPR) does Lady Gaga

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Certainly it is a sign of Cultural Icon status when a staid organization like  National Public Radio does one of your hit songs.  Such is the status of Lady Gaga’s hit song “Telephone”.  This evening, Monday, Bill O’Reilly admitted that he is also a Gaga fan while a day before on CBS 60 Minutes Andy Rooney admitted he didn’t know who she was.  O’Reilly’s message for Andy was, “No, Perry Como is no longer in the top 40”.   This exchange suggested to me the inevitable “hand-off’ of the generations.  Why does being as old an Andy Rooney necessarily mean that you have to be out of touch with the popular culture?  Must it be so?

Here is the staff of National Public Radio doing “Telephone” by Lady Gaga.  Good for her; good for them!
Nina Totenberg?  Heaven help us!

Lady Gaga has become the first artist to have her music videos watched over one billion times online.  It seems the Fame Monster, as she calls herself on her album, has become an unstoppable beast.  Her outrageous, often obscene style and her synthetic dancefloor pop has gripped the attention of the music world since her debut single LoveGame in 2008. 

But it is her videos that really allow her to express her vision of herself as an in-your-face, other-worldly star. Her success has been helped by savvy marketing such as the Facebook organised National Gaga Day. 

She also advertises products in her videos and has taken a post as a creative director at Polaroid.

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May 11, 2010 at 3:14 am

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American Military Strategy … on one page

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April 27, 2010 at 4:00 pm

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Clifford Stoll on Everything

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I ran across this TED talk by Clifford Stoll – Clifford Stoll on Everything

You need to prepare yourself for this talk.  This is not for everyone.  A combination of eccentricity, insight, the bizarre, Klein bottles, and how children learned how to measure the speed of sound.

Very entertaining.  Strap in, my friends… Read the rest of this entry »

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April 25, 2010 at 4:13 pm

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Having Fun with the Desktop Metaphor

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Innovation and unconventional thinking as applied to the desktop metaphor.  The motto of one entrepreneurial  company is “Lets have fun – and make money.”  When I saw this demo of BumpTop I knew Anand was, at least, having fun.  Check out the demo at TED on BumpTop.

I am filing this entry under “Playful”.

Anand Agarawala demos BumpTop

Anand Agarawala presents BumpTop, a user interface that takes the usual desktop metaphor to a glorious, 3-D extreme, transforming file navigation into a freewheeling playground of crumpled documents and clipping-covered “walls.”

http://www.ted.com/talks/anand_agarawala_demos_his_bumptop_desktop.html

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April 4, 2010 at 4:57 pm

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Do you drink wine out of a box? Then get some help

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(Nearly) Excellent (but not Remarkable – thanks, Seth) – http://tv.winelibrary.com/

Archives by Month and by Subject – http://tv.winelibrary.com/archive/

And why “is there something, rather than nothing”?  The raison d’etre – http://tv.winelibrary.com/about/

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March 11, 2010 at 5:12 am

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Life is too short for social interaction” – Let Google live your life for you

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Google Xistence

Check out the video –

Written by frrl

January 27, 2010 at 6:19 pm

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Automotive myth busting from The Redneck Resort – Davids Farm

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Automotive Batteries

In many parts of the world it will be a cold winter.
What better way to prepare for Winter than listening to Canada’s favorite redneck – David?

  • How does joyriding kill your battery?
  • How do you store a battery?
  • Can a battery self-detonate?
  • What is a sediment tray?
  • How does a battery commit suicide?
  • What happens when your battery is low on acid?
  • Will a battery discharge faster if you put it on concrete then stored elsewhere?
  • Which is worse for batteries – extreme hot or extreme cold?
  • What happens when you add tap water instead of distilled water to a battery?
  • And much more…

Written by frrl

December 31, 2009 at 12:58 am

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The Concise New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English

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“Danger, Will Robinson”

Be careful what you say – it might not mean what you think it means.  For those in the United States that “conversate” with new found friends or business colleagues in the United Kingdom or Australia what you think you are saying might not mean what you think it does.  And what they say, in the UK or in Australia, to you, might  not be, at all, what they mean.  Even though they are using common English words.

The decorum of this web site prohibits me from revealing the  faux paux in interpretation made in a business conversation between myself and a colleague in the UK.

Lets just say that he told me that he was “going to wake up his wife”  in a British sort-of-way.  But “wake up my wife” were not the words he used. (See reference section to look up the phrase)

This encounter netted me a gift from the UK – The Concise New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English

The best defense is a good offense

A tag line for The Concise New Partridge Dictionary… is “A veritable Madame Tussaud’s of the vulgar language”.  Not that we are advocating coming up to speed on vulgar language – but, you may find yourself in a situation where had you known the “multi-cultural” interpretations of common English phrases you may have avoided embarrassing situations.  So, “To be forewarned is to be forearmed”

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by frrl

December 29, 2009 at 8:38 pm

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How to Make the Most of a Flying Saucer Experience

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Have you really ever thought about it?

  • Can you smoke on board a flying saucer?
  • Do you shake hands with them?
  • Should you bring a flashlight?
  • Can you bring your car aboard a flying saucer?
  • Will you be able to communicate if you don’t speak english?
  • and many more questions…

Can’t figure out what gift to give that “special friend” who talks about conspiracy theories and wears a tin-foil hat?  Then why not give them (send them) a free e-book by Professor Solomon?  Of course, at no cost to yourself!

Can I Smoke Aboard a Flying Saucer?
http://www.professorsolomon.com/graphics/canismokeaboardaflyingsaucer.pdf

How to Make the Most of a Flying Saucer Experience
http://www.professorsolomon.com/ufobookpage.html

Not to your liking?  How about “How to Find Lost Objects”
http://www.professorsolomon.com/graphics/howtofindlostobjects.pdf

and more – http://www.professorsolomon.com

Better yet, why not send your friends the free e-books…
PLUS a link to this site – the gift that will keep giving almost every day?

Written by frrl

December 19, 2009 at 1:07 am

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Got nothing to do this weekend – why not build a laser?

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Got an old DVD burner that is headed for the trash?
Wait!  Use that for your weekend electronic project and build a high powered laser


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5erjj6aS5Ws
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfj1n8vPWCE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIwaMNab5pw

As always, frrl.wordpress.com provides this for information purposes only.
As your mom & dad told you when you wanted that BB gun…
Build these projects at your own risk and with your own personal judgement

Written by frrl

December 13, 2009 at 1:11 am

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Expert Village – How to use Ham Radio

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There is one word to describe this contribution of Expert Village –  “Yowza”.

Test you ham radio knowledge by watching these videos and finding the misinformation.
No fair looking at the comments made by other amateurs.
The comments to these video are priceless.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4TtdKSvBmc&feature=channel
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6xe13TnCKg&feature=channel
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWrXzFJYYaY&feature=channel

So much for our educational system
How to use a volume control – “from a leading expert”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OKzh9hX3ts&feature=channel

Written by frrl

December 4, 2009 at 1:14 am

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The “Illustrated Man” – implantable LED Tatoos

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The world is full of unprecedented opportunity.  For those who think that companies can not continue to grow year after year don’t realize that human desires are infinite and unquenchable.  This drives infinite product innovation.

So, what’s new at the University of Pennsylvania and Phillips?

New LED tattoos from the University of Pennsylvania could make the Illustrated Man real (minus the creepy stories, of course). Researchers there are developing silicon-and-silk implantable devices which sit under the skin like a tattoo. Already implanted into mice, these tattoos could carry LEDs, turning your skin into a screen.

The silk substrate onto which the chips are mounted eventually dissolves away inside the body, leaving just the electronics behind. The silicon chips are around the length of a small grain of rice — about 1 millimeter, and just 250 nanometers thick. The sheet of silk will keep them in place, molding to the shape of the skin when saline solution is added.

The following video may be too much for “sensitive viewers”

http://link.live.philips.com/services/player/bcpid23188062001?bctid=25240201001

We, of course, are considering the geekier side of this tech. GPS, with a map readout on the back of the wrist would certainly be useful, as would chips that cover your eyeballs and can darken down when the sun is shining too bright.

And a full-body display will eventually be used for advertising. Combine this with bioluminescent ink, for example, and you could turn yourself into a small, walking version of Times Square. At least, unlike a real tattoo, you can switch this one off.

Here is the story from Wired Magazine

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/11/the-illustrated-man-how-led-tattoos-could-change-the-face-of-humanity

In fact, if you start to imagine the possible uses, they seems almost endless. Just like the stories that play across the body of the Illustrated Man.

And for those not familiar with The Illustrated Man – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Illustrated_Man

Related – Bio-luminescence – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfQ5lHMCEDA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icKB9EfURhQ

Written by frrl

November 21, 2009 at 1:24 am

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Burning Man

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2010 Art Theme: Metropolis

Tumult and change, churning cycles of invention and destruction – these forces generate the pulse of urban life. Great cities are organic, spontaneous, heterogeneous, and untidy hubs of social interaction. In 2010, we will inspect the daily course of city life and the future prospect of civilization…

Check out these Burning Man videos and other links


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlCt2IFxCRE&feature=fvw
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burning_Man
http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/weird/Images-of-Burning-Man-2009-58182727.html

http://www.burningman.com

Written by frrl

November 14, 2009 at 1:27 am

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Learn Morse Code the Military Way

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From the treasure trove of You Tube – historical army training film

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNLlaE56I6Q

Written by frrl

October 27, 2009 at 1:32 am

Halloween – Watch (ONLINE) these Movies that were so bad they’re good

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Full length movies that are so bad, they’re good
http://www.amctv.com/videos/b-movies/

Don’t forget to watch the classic “Dark Star” in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy section

The Prisioner from the 1960’s starring Patrick McGoohan
16 full length episodes
http://www.amctv.com/videos/the-prisoner-1960s-video/

Plus many more in the categories of Action/Adventure, Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Crime/Thriller on the same site.

Written by frrl

October 23, 2009 at 1:35 am

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A Low point in Microsoft Marketing

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Windows 7 “Launch Party” video and Parody

Microsoft is inviting people to have a Windows 7 “Launch Party”.  Wow.  If you have seen those Infomercials for the Magic Bullet you will notice the similarity.

This is amazing

As is the parody (Warning – “Adult Swim” for more sensitive viewers)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyas7BrbUFY

Written by frrl

September 25, 2009 at 1:44 am

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When will you kick the bucket?

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“The site, DeathRiskRankings.com, is the brainchild of researchers and students at Carnegie
Mellon University. It provides answers based on publicly available data from the United States
and Europe, comparing mortality risks by gender, age, cause of death and geographic region.
Put your info in, and it produces the probable causes of your demise and provides insight on the
timing of that unfortunate event.”

Read the article – https://frrl.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/deathcalculatorarticle.pdf

Then use the calculator – http://www.deathriskrankings.com/

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August 29, 2009 at 1:53 am

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What’s inside that VCR ?

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In this world of consumer electronics many people don’t really know what’s inside some of these devices.  So don’t throw out that old VCR.  What the consumer electronic people don’t want you to know is that is that if you salvage that old VCR you might find that inside is everything you need to make a Blu-Ray player.  Check out the video to see what’s inside that VCR that you are about to thow in the trash.

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August 10, 2009 at 2:00 am

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What they don’t want you to know about batteries

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Here are a couple of videos on the little known facts about batteries….
… first, the little known quad-A (AAAA) battery…
… and the real reason why 12 volt car batteries are “sealed” and they don’t want you looking inside

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August 3, 2009 at 2:01 am

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Self-assured and Confident

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Down and out?  Depressed?  Don’t have an Extra Class Amateur Radio License?  Do you need an uplifting message?

Lisa Nova can give you a positive affirmation and make you self-assured and confident.

Check out her video

Written by frrl

July 6, 2009 at 3:51 am

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Radio Shack history – catalogs and TV commercials going back to 1939/1976

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Radio Shack started in 1921 in Boston, Mass., by London-born Bostonian brothers Theodore and Milton Deutschmann. These brothers wanted to provide amateur and ham radio equipment to the public. At the time, this technology was cutting-edge and the field was wide open. To pursue their interests, the brothers opened a retail store (a block from the site of the Boston Massacre).  William Halligan, one of Deutschmann’s first employees and later the founder of Hallicrafters, suggested the name, “Radio Shack”.

The brothers thought the name was fitting since their store would supply the equipment for ship’s radio officers, as well as ham radio operators. But it wasn’t until 1939 that Radio Shack introduced its first catalog when it entered the high-fidelity music equipment market…

Read the rest of the history, view the catalogs going back to 1939,  and check out the videos at the links below

http://www.radioshackcatalogs.com/history.html

http://www.radioshackcatalogs.com/catalogs/1939/

Main site – http://www.radioshackcatalogs.com/

Written by frrl

June 28, 2009 at 3:53 am

How to Auction off an Ordinary Twenty Dollar Bill for Fun and Profit

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How to Auction off an Ordinary Twenty Dollar Bill
for Fun and Profit

twentyDollarAuction_logoIt’s June 2009 and in the Midwest of the United States where this blog is being written it’s time for patio parties, picnic’s, pool parties, barbecues, and a lot of other outdoor activities.

If you have a nice friendly neighborhood party on the deck or patio with a fire pit going, you might want to try this… well… sort of… party game

It’s really not a game at all – it’s some serious business as you will discover.   You could make some money, get entertained, and learn something about human behavior all at the same time.  What a deal.

Auction off a twenty dollar bill

twentyDollarAuction_logoPit

Why not auction off a twenty dollar bill at your party?

Pull a twenty dollar bill out of your pocket.

Auction it off  according to these simple rules

  1. Bids are in one dollar increments
  2. Highest bidder wins
  3. The second-place bidder has to pay his/her bid and get nothing.

“You can observe a lot by watching ” – Yogi Berra

twentyDollarAuction_logoTableThis is no ordinary auction.  I am not going to tell you what might happen.  It is highly likely that you are going to make a profit on this auction.

This is really a game of strategy, negotiation, commitment, and loss aversion.

Give it a try.  What you learn from observing the behavior during this auction is going to give you some insight into the thinking and behavior of your friends and neighbors that you probably could not get any other way.

Warning – you might see some very bizarre behavior during this auction.

Think through what might happen.  At the time of this writing, the highest documented bid for an ordinary twenty dollar bill was $204.

What can you learn from this acution?  Stay tuned for an upcoming posting on this site and watch how it can be applied to organizational behavior.  Best if you try this acution for yourself in advance – before we post the analysis and how it can be observed in an organizational context.

Written by frrl

June 14, 2009 at 4:45 am

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How does your ham shack stack up?

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Check out this video complements of Dave ,KC9MAV

and … the Big Gun Station –

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June 10, 2009 at 4:00 am

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NYC Resistor Hacker Space

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NYC Resistor Hacker Space.  Take a video tour of a collaborative lab were people build funky electronics and gadgets.  What is the goal? – Learn, Share, and Make things.

Maker Bot – A 3D Printing Robot. All open source.  Build one for yourself from a kit.  Check out a video of how it works.  What’s the goal? – Make manufacturing for the masses.

Check out an article from Wired Magazine on Hacker Spaces

Written by frrl

April 15, 2009 at 4:19 am

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CB Radio – 4,000 watt mobile station

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CB folks do crazy stuff.

Check out this video of a car of a CB’er decked out with a 4,000 watt  mobile station.  Near the end of the video he keys up this setup and gets nearly 3,600 Watts on a power meter.

I have a suspicion that this is perhaps a bogus video.  The reason is that I have seen videos of other high power stations and usually high power knocks out or distorts the video image.  When this guy keys up 3,000+ watts about 15 feet from the video camera there is no affect on the video image.

http://www.worldwideamplifiers.com/index.html

See our related article on CB nostalgia
Uncle Eddy:  the black sheep of the family that Amateur Radio does not talk about

Written by frrl

March 18, 2009 at 4:28 am

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A FM Radio for one-dollar – How is this possible?

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dollar_logo1We love Walmart

On the way out of the Walmart store – right where you check out – the place where smart merchandising people place items for those people who are impulse buyers and those who are unable to delay gratification – I saw a FM Radio for the price of one dollar.  For the exchange of one dollar in United States fiat currency I could have in my possession a FM radio.  Wow.

The radio runs on 2xAAA batteries, came with a earbuds, tunes the whole FM broadcast band, and has a light.  Wow.

The radio runs on 2xAAA batteries, came with a headset, tunes the whole FM broadcast band, and has a light.  Wow.

In a few moments, the prize was mine.

Can’t break old habits.

I have heard people tell stories of when they were a kid they liked to take things apart to see what was inside.  If you are a kid, maybe 5-10 years old, then its fun taking things apart but unfortunately sometimes they did not go back together.  Maybe your parents told you to stop doing this – taking things apart to see how they worked.  But for many kids, myself included, one could not resist taking things apart to see what is inside and what makes it work.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by frrl

February 28, 2009 at 8:06 am

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