Dining Etiquette & Table Management

Found this wonderful video on dining etiquette & table management.

Simple Tablet Wall Mount

2014-12-29 22.47.24We have been slowly collecting tablets in the form of iPad (original), iPad mini, HP slates, and recently through a purchase of 2 RCA slates that we got for $65 from Walmart during the most recent black Friday sale.

My wife had a good idea of mounting one in the laundry room so that she can listen to music while doing laundry.  We have been thinking of other uses, example: intercom.

There are many options available for mounting.  They make mounts just for this purpose and there are a few really cool DIY ideas.  However, looking for something quick and simple, I decided to go with adhesive valcro tape.  This worked wonder.

I just put two strips on the back, and attached to the wall

2014-12-28 12.41.33
2014-12-28 12.41.43


Conferences I Hope to Attend in 2015

Quantified Self

March 13-15, 2015

San Francisco, CA

Registration Fee: $499

QS15 is a two-day working meeting of pioneering self-trackers, toolmakers, artists, designers and engineers, followed by a grand, day-long, public exposition. Please join us as we inspire each other with our self-tracking projects, try out new tools, and shape the future of Quantified Self.


International Space Elevator Conference

August 2015 (exact dates TBD)

Location: TBD

Registration Fee: TBD


100 Year Starship

TBD (in 2014 it was in Houston in September)


Mars Society Convention

TBD – In 2014 was in League City, TX in August


(keeping an eye out for others… leave a comment if you know of something really interesting)


Project problems

Really funny video about when the impossible (un-useful) things are asked for.

Also, the classic “project disconnect” cartoon:

Project Joke

Sleep Number – Sleep IQ Bed

Makes a really good point

Quantified Self – tracking yourself

Source on Git Hub.comgithub.com/sachac/quantified

Running version where you can set up your own dashboard at quantifiedawesome.com/

Created by Sacha Chua (who I remember from years and years ago when I was researching wearable computing…Kind of neat to run across some of her more recent work. )  Sacha’s blog is at sachachua.com/blog/

There is a whole movement of people who track themselves.  You can learn more at quantifiedself.com/


Viewing the Total Lunar Eclipse from Houston, TX USA

What time is the Lunar eclipse ( EarthySky.org):

Central Daylight Time (April 15, 2014)
Partial umbral eclipse begins: 12:58 a.m. CDT on April 15
Total eclipse begins: 2:07 a.m. CDT
Greatest eclipse: 2:46 a.m. CDT
Total eclipse ends: 3:25 a.m. CDT
Partial eclipse ends: 4:33 a.m. CDT

Wow! that is really late (early?!), How to see it.


Nasa will be providing live commentary (see details below).  Could record it on video.

Right now the weather in Houston is very cloudy, but looking at weather.com the forecast is to be clear starting at about 11AM.

But I am wondering if I could use a raspberry pi and web cam to capture the event.  Hopefully I will have more details to share.

April 11, 2014

NASA to Provide Live Coverage and Commentary of April 15 Lunar Eclipse

The public will have the opportunity to view and learn more about the Tuesday, April 15 total lunar eclipse on NASA television, the agency’s website, and social media. Coverage begins at 2 a.m. EDT and will last about three hours. The eclipse’s peak, when the moon will enter the Earth’s full shadow or umbra, will occur at 3:45 a.m.

The United States will be in a prime orbital position and time of day to view the eclipse. Depending on local weather conditions, the public will get a spectacular view looking into the sky as the moon’s appearance will change from bright orange to blood red to dark brown and perhaps gray. The eclipse is a phenomenon that occurs when the Earth, moon and sun are in perfect alignment, blanketing the moon in the Earth’s shadow.  The United States will not be able to witness a full lunar eclipse in its entirety again until 2019.

Leading up to the eclipse, NASA will host a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Monday, April 14 at 2 p.m. with astronomers from the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center. Various NASA researchers also will be available for media interviews. NASA Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Instagram followers will be able to join the conversation and ask questions using the hashtag #eclipse.

The public will be able to tag and share their images of the eclipsed moon on Instagram and on the agency’s Flickr group at:


Lunar eclipse video resources are available at:


Live NASA TV coverage and commentary will begin at 1 a.m. To view the coverage and access eclipse streaming video, visit:


For more information on NASA’s eclipse activities, visit:


What happens when you like your job.

Routine pre-flight safety announcement that is usually is usually a boring and is at best ignored, and at worst, endured. This flight attendant has turned it into a completely funny, and enjoyable experience that had everyone paying attention. Fun & Safe, enjoy

Of course this is not the only such example:

Building a transatlantic autonomous boat

See http://www.robotshop.com/blog/en/robot-reverse-engineering-designing-autonomous-transatlantic-boat-12848

Robot Airhocky