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Science

CMI Director Alex King Talks About Rare Earth Supplies (Video 2) 11

Posted by Roblimo
from the the're-still-looking-for-unobtanium dept.
Yesterday we ran video #1 of 2 about the Critical Materials Institute (CMI) at the Iowa State Ames Laboratory in Ames, Iowa. They have partners from other national laboratories, universities, and industry, too. Obviously there is more than enough information on this subject that Dr. King can easily fill two 15-minute videos, not to mention so many Google links that instead of trying to list all of them, we're giving you one link to Google using the search term "rare earths." Yes, we know Rare Earth would be a great name for a rock band. But the mineral rare earths are important in the manufacture of items ranging from strong magnets to touch screens and rechargeable batteries, so please watch the video(s) or at least read the transcript(s). (Alternate Video Link)
Hardware

CMI Director Alex King Talks About Rare Earth Supplies (Video) 27

Posted by Roblimo
from the we're-talking-about-minerals-not-the-band dept.
CMI in this context is the Critical Materials Institute at the Iowa State Ames Laboratory in Ames, Iowa. They have partners from other national laboratories, universities, and industry, too. Rare earths, while not necessarily as rare as the word "rare" implies, are hard to mine, separate, and use. They are often found in parts per million quantities, so it takes supercomputers to suss out which deposits are worth going after. This is what Dr. King and his coworkers spend their time doing; finding concentrations of rare earths that can be mined and refined profitably.

On November 3 we asked you for questions to put to Dr. King. Timothy incorporated some of those questions into the conversation in this video -- and tomorrow's video too, since we broke this into two parts because, while the subject matter may be fascinating, we are supposed to hold video lengths down to around 10 minutes, and in this case we still ended up with two videos close to 15 minutes each. And this stuff is important enough that instead of lining up a list of links, we are giving you one link to Google using the search term "rare earths." Yes, we know Rare Earth would be a great name for a rock band. But the mineral rare earths are important in the manufacture of items from strong magnets to touch screens and rechargeable batteries. (Alternate Video Link)

Comment: Re: Traffic signals (Score 1) 70

by Roblimo (#48414991) Attached to: Collin Graver and his Wooden Bicycle (Video)

Even with my metal recumbent trike, position is a huge thing when tripping stop lights. This is one of the "discussed to death" topics on sites like http://www.bentrideronline.com.... A lot depends on the sensitivity of the loop and the circuitry it triggers, and a lot of the detectors are specifically set to be triggered only by a metal mass lots larger than a baby stroller, wheelchair or bicycle.

Transportation

Collin Graver and his Wooden Bicycle (Video) 70

Posted by Roblimo
from the we'll-stick-to-our-metal-bikes-for-the-moment-thank-you dept.
This is not a practical bike. "Even on smooth pavement, your vision goes blurry because you're vibrating so hard," Collin said to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter back in 2012 when he was only 15 -- and already building wooden bicycles. Collin's wooden bikes are far from the first ones. Wikipedia says, "The first bicycles recorded, known variously as velocipedes, dandy horses, or hobby horses, were constructed from wood, starting in 1817." And not all wooden bicycles made today are as crude as Collin's. A Portland (OR) company called Renovo makes competition-quality hardwood bicycle frames -- for as little as $2200, and a bunch more for a complete bike with all its hardware fitted and ready to roll.

Of course, while it might be sensible to buy a Renovo product if you want a wood-framed bike to Race Across America, you won't improve your woodworking skills the way Collin's projects have improved his to the point where he's made a nice-looking pair of wood-framed sunglasses described in his WOOD YOU? SHOULD YOU? blog. (Alternate Video Link)
Build

Maker Joe is a 'Maker' Sculptor (Video) 16

Posted by Roblimo
from the I-sculpt,-therefore-I-am dept.
Joe Gilmore was showing some of his work at Maker Faire Atlanta when Timothy Lord pointed his camera at him. Joe may never create a Mars colony or build the tallest skyscraper in North America, but what he does is fun to the point of whimsy, and seems to bring smiles to a lot of faces. (Alternate Video Link)

Comment: Let's sing! (Score 3, Interesting) 47

Two boosters for every boy!

I bought a 67 Soyuz and we call it a capsule
(Space City, here we come)
You know it's not very cherry, it's an oldie but a goody
(Space City, here we come)
Well, it ain't got a back seat or a rear window
But it gets me in orbit where I wanna go
And we're goin' to Space City, 'cause it's two to one
You know we're goin' to Space City, gonna have some fun
Ya, we're goin' to Space City, 'cause it's two to one
You know we're goin' to Space City, gonna have some fun, now
SpaceX is hiring every girl and boy...

And if my Soyuz breaks down on me somewhere out in orbit
(Space City, here we come)
I'll strap my oxy tanks to my back and hitch a ride in my spacesuit
(Space City, here we come)
And when I get to Space City I'll be shootin' the horizon
And checkin' out the parties for a surfer girl
And we're goin' to Space City, 'cause it's two to one
You know we're goin' to Space City, gonna have some fun
Ya, we're goin' to Space City, 'cause it's two to one
Ya, we're goin' to Space City, gonna have some fun, now
Two boosters for every
Two SpaceX launches for every girl and boy...

Tune: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Ignore the lyrics on that one. They're WRONG!

Build

HYREL 3-D Printers Were Developed by 3-D Printer Users (Video) 55

Posted by Roblimo
from the we-aren't-going-to-excited-by-a-printer-again-until-we-see-a-4d-one dept.
HYREL 3-D had a display Timothy spotted at last month's Maker Faire Atlanta. They're not trying to hustle Kickstarter donors; they exceeded their $50,000 goal by over $100,000. Their main pitch was (and still is) that they are making high-reliability 3-D printers that can run many hours without breaking. Project spokesperson Daniel Hutchison says he and other people he knows who were making prototypes and short-run parts in the Atlanta area were continually disappointed by the poor reliability of available 3-D printers, which is why they decided to make their own. Open Source? Somewhat, partially, kind of... but they have a bunch of proprietary secret sauce in their software, too. Daniel goes into this in more detail in the video, so there's no need for us to repeat his words when you can hear them (or read them in the transcript) for yourself. (Alternate Video Link)
The Internet

LibraryBox is an Open Source Server That Runs on Low-Cost Hardware (Video) 47

Posted by Roblimo
from the share-thousands-of-books-no-matter-how-far-you-are-out-in-the-boonies dept.
The world is full of wireless servers -- or at least some of it is. There are still many places, including parts of the United States, where you can have all the laptops, smart phones, and other wireless-capable devices you want, but there's no server that caters to them. Enter LibraryBox. It's open source and it runs on a variety of low-cost, low-power hardware. The project's website calls it "portable private digital distribution."

A lot of people obviously like this project and wish it well. LibraryBox ran a Kickstarter campaign in 2013, hoping for $3000, and raised $33,119. But today's interviewee, Jason Griffey, can explain his project better than we can, so please watch the video (or read the transcript) if you want to learn more about LibraryBox -- including the story behind the project's name. (Alternate Video Link)
Sci-Fi

Michelle Sleeper Creates 'Gaming, Comics, and Pop Culture Based Props' 35

Posted by Roblimo
from the add-one-part-3-d-printing-to-three-parts-imagination-and-you're-good-to-go dept.
If you go to a sci-fi or gaming convention you'll see people in exotic "character" costumes, often holding exotic props, with some of the most popular being futuristic firearm mockups of one sort or another. Who makes all these cool fannish items? A whole bunch of artists and artisans, including Michelle Sleeper (who says she got tired of jokes about her name many years ago). She's not only one of these artisans, but is also a committed 3-D printer user, since 3-D printing is how she forms a high percentage of her props (with the word "props" being used here in the theatrical rather than the nautical sense). To keep up with what Michelle is making, you should check her blog. One of her most interesting posts, titled Atlanta Mini Maker Faire: On missing deadlines, failure, and triage, is about preparing for the event where Timothy Lord met and interviewed Michelle.

Even if gamer gatherings and SF conventions aren't your thing, the interview (along with the links above) gives a nice glimpse into the life of an independent artisan who uses technology to create a lot of her art. (Alternate Video Link)
Technology

Remote Vision Through a Virtual Reality Headset (Video) 44

Posted by Roblimo
from the it-looks-much-better-over-there-than-it-does-here dept.
Add some material-handling devices and you'd have software-controlled Waldos, first described by Robert A. Heinlein in the 1942 short story titled Waldo. So while the idea of a pair of artificial eyes you control by moving your head (while looking at the area around the artificial eyes, even if it's in orbit), sounds like futuristic fun, especially if you use an Oculus Virtual Reality device instead of an LED screen, it not only hasn't caught up with science fiction, but is a fair ways behind science fact. Still, the idea of being able to control a vision system deep under the sea or in orbit around Saturn is certainly interesting in and of itself. (Alternate Video Link)
Build

A Low Cost, Open Source Geiger Counter (Video) 46

Posted by Roblimo
from the be-sure-to-take-one-of-these-on-your-next-trip-to-chernobyl dept.
Sawaiz Syed's LinkedIn page says he's a "Hardware Developer at GSU [Georgia State University], Department of Physics." That's a great workplace for someone who designs low cost radiation detectors that can be air-dropped into an area where there has been a nuclear accident (or a nuclear attack; or a nuclear terrorist act) and read remotely by a flying drone or a robot ground vehicle. This isn't Sawaiz's only project; it's just the one Timothy asked him about most at the recent Maker Faire Atlanta. (Alternate Video Link)

Comment: Re:Um... okay...? (Score 1) 44

by Roblimo (#48199847) Attached to: The Bogus Batoid Submarine is Wooden, not Yellow (Video)

i kan(t) read:

You know very well that Tim hits various events and videotapes whomever or whatever he considers interesting. If we were paid for running "video ads," each one would be clearly marked "ad" or "sponsored content."

Should we interview you? Know someone else we should interview? Email me with contact info. Maybe we will.

If God had a beard, he'd be a UNIX programmer.

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