Friday, December 31, 2010

Friday fun: Polar bears destroying a BBC nature show's spy cameras

GIZMODO recently posted this article on how some remote controlled spy cameras faired against some very curious polar bears. Below is the video from the article:

Here is the original BBC article on the polar bears vs. the cameras. I doubt any of my robotics projects, or Arduino weather station will encounter any polar bears, but the video does make me consider what my projects might face out in the real world.

Happy New Year everyone ~ Jim

Friday, December 24, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wayward - the road ahead

Recently the Wayward Coffeehouse which is one of my favorite haunts was shut down due to fire that occurred just before Thanksgiving. The one thing that I really like about the Wayward is that it appeals to the geek in me, and for some time now I have been posting weekly notices on behalf Wayward Coffeehouse over on the NWSFS News Blog that I help maintain.

The last few notices I have posted for the Wayward have of course been about the fire, the possibility of reopening the business, and of the efforts of the Seattle Browncoats and their Wayward Phoenix Fund. I really think what the Seattle Browncoats are doing on behalf of the Wayward is a great, and I want to help them with their cause in any way I can, so I thought it might help the cause if I reposted the latest notice here in hopes of getting the word out to more people.

Check out the posting below and if you feel inclined send a few bucks to Wayward Phoenix Fund.

Cheers ~ Jim

Greetings to all the friends of Wayward Coffeehouse. We miss you greatly and are wishing you all the magic of the season.

We have not sent out any recent updates as we had little new information to report and were waiting anxiously for word on when repairs would begin.

It is with great sadness that we must now report that we have been told that the property owners are refusing to repair the building. Although as far as we know the damage is well within the scope of repair we have no control over this decision.

But we believe in what we created with Wayward Coffeehouse and want fervently for it to continue. We have received your messages of support and encouragement and know that there is a need for Wayward Coffeehouse for the communities we embrace. We are reviewing our legal options in the matter and pursuing other means of reopening. But it is not an easy path.

Much of what still lies ahead is beyond the scope of our insurance and we are struggling to find the resources to move forward. Many friends and customers of Wayward have already made donations to the “Wayward Phoenix Fund” and we are immensely grateful for their support.

More help is needed as we face the continuing challenges of survival and reopening. If you would like to help us rise from the ashes, please go to: Wayward Phoenix Fund Donations ( and look for the Wayward logo to donate online or for information on donating by check. We again wish to thank SBCharities for their support and assistance.

We aim to keep flyin’ ...

Wayward Coffeehouse, it's better than a plan
Closed Until Further Notice
Twitter: WaywardCoffee
Facebook: Wayward Coffee House

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday fun: Ladybug plays with sprinkles!

A friend of mine on Facebook recently posted the video below of a ladybug playing with candy sprinkles, and it reminded me of the "Minuscule hyperactiv ladybug" video that I posted on this blog a while back:

As for Arduino news I received my copy of the "Practical Arduino" book today, and also I found a page on the Practical Arduino site for building your own Weather Station Receiver. Now if I only had as much energy as the ladybugs in the two videos I would be making a lot more progress on moving forward with my own Arduino based weather station.

Have a great weekend ~ Jim

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday fun: Arduino Weather Station / Power Meter Receivers

Even before I purchased my Arduino I had decided to use it for a weather station project that I had been thinking of for some time. This video from PracticalArduino is definitely inspiration for me, and I hope it is for you too:

Here are the links for PracticalArduino web site, YouTube channel, and the book: PracticalArduino.

I know I am getting way ahead of myself here, but I am thinking it would be really cool if a bunch of Arduino enthusiasts got together to link their Arduino based weather stations together through some sort of service that offered virtual servers such as to analyze the data that all their stations gathered. To what end? Well maybe the data could be used with Google Earth or Google Maps to display the data for an amateur meteorological project. Students, DIY'ers, and geeks in general could contribute to the project regardless of their skill level or specialty.

Like I said I am getting ahead of myself, but it is food for thought. Have a great weekend ~ Jim

Friday, December 03, 2010

Friday fun: Homestar Runner - Techno (aka The System Is Down)

I have always been a fan of Homestar Runner and this is without a doubt my favorite Homestar Runner / Strongbad video:

To be honest it pretty much fits the way this day is going.

Have a great weekend ~ Jim