Clearly it’s that time of the year when I have a boat-load of grading to do. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be procrastinating with posts to my website.
Here’s a video of how Mandy – The Bright Periodic Table looks on the inside, and a demonstration of how she responds to a user’s commands.
A while back, my wife knitted me a BB-8 which was pretty awesome. What’s even more awesome is that she used that pattern to knit me a BB-9E. He’s bigger, blacker and badder. Now I’m ready for The Last Jedi!
BB8 and BB9E knitted by my wife
I asked my students what these silly things on the back of their phones were, and why they were needed. Apparently, phones are sufficiently heavy that you’ll drop them on your face while trying to read/text while lying down. They also seem to help with taking selfies. It turns out that they were thought up by a philosophy professor so tell that to your Mom and Dad when they ask why their paying so much money for your liberal-arts education. Heck, I’ll even give you some inspiration, because one of my students bought me my very own popsocket (I feel sooooo millennial) and I just had to customize it.
My kickin’ T-Mobile slider phone – unlocked and now Popsocketed.
A few weeks back, my wife (Rozenn) came home with a broken cane chair, which looked something like this, and wanted to try repairing the seat. A few tours through youtube videos, a visit to Amazon and some time with my Dremmel (she’s logged more hours on that thing than I have) and she managed to replace the seat. Even I can sit in it!
Now that it’s completed, I think we both agree that the project was very doable. The hardest part was removing the old spline (don’t believe those Youtube videos where it comes out with one tap of a chisel). Once the spline was removed, however, the rest of the process was a breeze. Yard-sale season may be wrapping up, but I’m sure we’ll find a few more broken chairs at rock-bottom prices that will not only give us a fun project, but also result in a nice-looking chair in the end.
The staff over at the Wolfram Community have recognized Mandy – the bright Periodic Table as one of their Staff Picks. The forum post, which can be viewed here, highlights how Mathematica was used in various parts of the project. In the design phase, Mathematica was used to create the layout of the periodic table, which then could be exported to Inkscape/Adobe Illustrator for final processing of an image that could be recognized by the laser cutter. The curated data provided by the Wolfram platform is used to create the trends, and I used some notebook Manipulate commands to visualize the RGB-LED output for (rapid) rapid prototyping. The actual operation of Mandy uses a Python-based speech recognition script that calls on Mathematica to communicate to the Arduino controlling all of the LEDs. (Yes, this is an ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ project.)
Thanks, WC Staff, for the recognition.