DIY 100″ TV

BonMul had a problem, his 50″ Rear Projection TV was just not big enough for him anymore.  Sure he could have shelled out a few thousand bucks for a newer, 72″ tv or bigger.  But he’s a crafty fellow, he said, I have a perfectly good RPTV housing here, why not try and get the picture to be bigger?  And bigger he made it.

He took appart his tv, and searched around and made his own screen and housed it in front of the TV and bam! he doubled the size of his screen!

I love the black edges, and red curtins around the sides.  Very classy.

Now, personally, I would have just shelled out $1,200 or so for a new projector which would probably be brighter, and offer a larger screen if i wanted.  But I’ve been spoiled on projectors for 3 years or so, so I also wouldn’t have had an old RPTV to take appart and use.

Regardless, good job.  You can read about the steps here.

{Gizmodo}

Best Stumbles 5

Best Stumbles 5 marks the return of Hitler!  To most people that is probably not a good thing, but to people who know my wicked sense of humor, that means much inappropriate humor is to follow.  Also, it’s election time, and that means, it’s time to vote.  Be sure you vote for evil.  If you don’t then evil will just take over anyway.  Might as well have your say in the evil takeover!

As always, (well, always from now on anyway), full list of awesome stumbles after the click:

Continue reading “Best Stumbles 5”

Snowflake Maker

I love interactive things like this.  Just alittle click of the mouse, and I have a beautiful work of art.  This time it’s some snowflakes.

As you can see I spent some time and had fun with it.  It took me 3 tries before I got a “typical” snowflake, at least in my mind.  The 3-D rotate function is cool, I just wish it would be still on 3-D, cause that would be cooler.  Also, it’s missing a clear button, but otherwise, its a fun way to kill some time on a dull day.

Lovely Woodwork

From the same people who made the Marble Table, come the lovely woodwork joints above.  Ontwerpdup makes them, among some other cool ideas.  Although, my two favorites are the able, and those joints  And is it me, or does that little peice of dark wood in the middle look like a Tetris peice?

End of an Aviation Icon

The F-117 Night Hawk, the first true stealth aircraft was retired in April of this year.  Now it looks like the first one has met its end with a garpple-equipped Caterpillar:

It looks like the operator had some fun.  How Ironic would it be if it was a Russian behind the wheel of that?

I feel bad because all my favorite planes are being replaced with new ones.  Granted these new ones are more advanced, and stuff.  But they are also way more expensive.  Not only that, but with the advent of faster and faster fighters, dog-fighting as it was invented just isn;t the same anymore.  And that’s sad, because that’s what made fighter pilots so awesome, at least to me anyway.

Until we have an epic space war with some aliens (or ourselves) (no robots though!), I think the fighter pilot as we know it right now, is gone and done.

{Gizmodo}

Tetris in your Shower

More proof that Tetris is the game that is everywhere.  Interactivity is no longer involved.  Well, at least multiple times interactivity anyway.  Since you get to play with these Tetris themed tiles a few times while you set them up to go on your wall.  Once they’re in though, no more.

I think they are awesome.  And when I make my own house, these will be in at least one bathroom, somewhere, wall or floor, not ceiling, that’s weird.  Hopefully by then they will have custom Pantone colors up, this way I can submit the official Tetris colors from the Original game (played on a GBC).  Cause those blue and black, and pink and white colors, yea, not for me…

{Geekadelphia}

Stiky Note Awesomeness

EepyBird, the guys behind the Diet Coke & Mentos phenomenon, brings a new type of funness: Sticky Note waterfall things!

They used the Post-It Notes that are like accordions and made a bunch of awesomely choreographed videos.  Most of it reminds me of Slinkys going down stairs and the like.  It’s still awesome.  If there’s one thing the EepyBird guys know how to do, it’s make a beautiful video.

They also have some nice How-To videos on how to make Pinwheels:

And another one on how to make Waterfalls:

Some good fun it looks like to me. However, that’s easily a few hundred dollars worth of sticky notes, better know someone who works at Staples or something…

Open request to College Professors

Stop. Please, just stop.

That’s the simplest thing i can say to you.  Stop doing things the way you currently are, it’s not working, its annoying, and, most importantly, I don’t like it.
I just started my 5th year, and last semester of college here at the lovely University of Hartford, and I must say, some things never change, especially professors, and the way they teach/treat their students. This is sad, because professors have a big impact on students.

I’ve made a list of some things I think professors need to stop doing, and a few they need to start to do.  Because there’s more don’t’s, and I’m in a negative mood, I’m gonna start off with those:

Firstly

On the first day of class, DO NOT read the syllabus to us word for word.  For some reason, every single professor feels the need to spend the first day going over the entire syllabus back to front, letter for letter.  There is nothing worse then to  go to class, only to be forced to sit there and listen to your teacher read to you, like you were in 1st grade again, isn’t that just a bit degrading to students.  You are assuming that they don’t know how to read, and if they do they won’t read it.  Well, let me assure you, we can read.  If we couldn’t read, then you should be asking who did we bribe/sleep with/kill, to be admitted into this school.

Instead why don’t you hand out the syllabus to your class, give them 10 minutes to read it over, and ask any questions they may have.  At that point you can get on with life, be it class, or letting them out early, whatever you choose.  I’m paying something more then $300 per class, please don’t fucking read to me.

Secondly

You can no longer assume that you are smarter then your students.  Period. End of sentence.  With the advent of the internet, (well, mostly Wikipedia), anyone can learn (nearly) everything there is to know about anything.  This is especially relevant for web programing, and programing in general.  Also related to this, do not assume that you’re students don’t know anything about the course.  While it’s probably true for most classes, most of the time, it is not 111% true 111% of the time.

I have had teachers assume that they are automatically smarter then me, no matter how much i demonstrated that I knew the material, I knew shortcuts, and I knew more efficient ways to do what they wanted.  Not only did i feel like i was treated like crap, i got the impression that the professor really didn;t know what he was teaching, and that is NEVER something you want to convey to your students, ever.

Thirdly

Do not require students to do things your way.  Ever.  This goes for writing homework assignments, writing papers, coding (especially coding), doing equations, and pretty much anything.  Regardless of what you were taught, that was at best 10 years, and at worst 50+ years ago, things have (probably) changed.  Calculators were invented for a reason.  Just because you were forced to use a slide ruler to do your math doesn’t mean you can force us to use it.  It’s like saying a paper needs to be typed, but you can only use a typewriter, pointless right?

As soon as a professor tells me “This is how I was taught,” “This is the way i prefer you to do it,” or “You should do it this way” I immediately come up with my own way to do it.  Even if my way takes twice as many pages/lines and requires more time to do, I will insist on doing it my way, and that it’s easier.  Just to be different then you.

I cannot tell you how frustrating this is in coding.  I’ve had teachers tell me that my variable names weren’t specific enough.  I used “t” to represent time.  He wanted me to use “timeItTakesToFall”.  I’m sorry, but no.  I could list a thousand things wrong with your variable, and I will, because I hate you, and if you so much as even think of failing me, I will have the Dean on your ass/job (if not tenured), and you will learn what a proper variable is, when we play Russian Roulette…with a semi-automatic…and you go first…

Fourthly

Do not get the new edition of a book.  You don’t need it, your students don’t need it.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with the current version, copyright 2007, no need to get the version copyright 2008.  Cause guess what, the only difference between those two versions (besides the obligatory different colored cover), is that date. Everything else is the fucking same.

On the subject of books, do not require books for the class, if you have no intention of actually assigning work out of them.  Those can go in the recommended reading part of the book list.  There is nothing I hate more then spending $80 on a book I never used, and then not being able to sell it at the end of the semester because you’ve decided to get the new edition of the book you wont use.

Fifthly

Power Point slides.  This is a tricky situation.  On the one hand they are useful because you can do so much with them.  On the other, no one knows how to properly utilize Power Point.  Do Not read from the slide.  This is more of the same as the first point, but also, just plain boring.

If you say that you are posting these slides online somewhere I can guarantee you you have lost the attention of at least 75% of the class.  You have lost mine.  Because I am assuming that you are just gonna read from the slides, something I can do myself thankyouverymuch, I’ll be good just downloading them before the test/quiz and read them then.

Well, those were the bad things, now, onto the good things

One

Be fun.  Joke with your students.  Be politically INcorrect. Trust me, any class I have where the professor starts out with a question like “How many of you all are Jews?” (from a class on the Holocaust) makes for a fun time.  Especially when the teacher knows how to take a joke.  This is important.

Spend some time not doing something related to class.  Show us a funny video you found online.  Class doesn’t always need to be serious all the time.

Two

Know when your class starts, and ends.  Show up on time, and let us out on time/early.  Unless there is an exam, there is really no excuse for keeping us late.  I’ve gotten up and left classes while the teacher was still talking because time was up, and I had somewhere else I had to be.  If/when that happens, don’t get mad.

Three

Tangents.  Like Power Point, tangents can be both wonderful, or deadly depending on how they are used.  Good tangent: humorous story about your weekend.  Bad tangent: 20 minute discussion about the football game that only you and one other student watched.  Talking about sports is good, but only if your class likes sports.  I hate sports, I don’t care about it.  You can ask if anyone watched the game last night, and then what did they think.  And thats it.  No discussion as to how so and so played, who was better.  Nothing.  The only exception is for the school’s actual game, and only when an athlete on that team is in your class.

There, that’s my list of things that professors need to start doing, or stop doing.  School life would be so much better.  I hope someone listens to me…

How the LHC works

Here’s a nice video describing in simple detail how the LHC is going to destroy us all in a few weeks after it’s had enough time to throw a bunch of particles around in giant circles for awhile.

I think it’s pretty awesome how we can get something up to 99.9% of the speed of light. Granted it’s a super nano tiny particle, but it’s still a step in the driection of FTL ships, and that’s a step in the right direction in my book.