Roy Wood

About Roy Wood

Father of two, fan of open source software, outdoor enthusiast, eater of pie.

Trek Wars Cookies

Trek Wars Cookies (photo by Sarah Trefny)

Star Wars, Star Trek, and cookies are definitely near the top of my list of favorite things, so to discover Sarah Trefny’s mashup masterpiece makes me a very happy GeekDad today.

Sarah was inspired by the “Quogs” released for the new Star Trek movie and Star Wars day on May 4th (yes, I’m a little late on this one). She has a fantastic collection of photos of her work over at her site, including a few shots of the design and decoration process. Continue reading

Roy Wood

About Roy Wood

Father of two, fan of open source software, outdoor enthusiast, eater of pie.

Automated Combination Lock Cracker

The Combination Reclamation Device (screenshot from YouTube video)

The Security Breach Team, a group of students at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, recently finished work on a class project that offers an interesting twist on computer security. Computer “cracking” normally involves breaking access control systems in some form of computer — these guys have given things a twist in developing a device that can brute-force the combination to a physical padlock.
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Roy Wood

About Roy Wood

Father of two, fan of open source software, outdoor enthusiast, eater of pie.

MythBusters Season 10 Tonight!

Mythbusters

Have you noticed a decided lack of explosions, duct tape, and gratuitous gunfire in your life? Fear not, for the 10th season of Mythbusters premieres tonight.

For the season opener, Adam, Jamie, Grant, Kari, and Tory revisit the rocket car myth that started the show 10 years ago. GeekDad was given a sneak peek at the episode, and we are pleased to report that it was everything we’ve come to expect from the Mythbuster crew, and we’re looking forward to the rest of the season.
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Roy Wood

About Roy Wood

Father of two, fan of open source software, outdoor enthusiast, eater of pie.

Successful Virgin Galactic Test Flight!

SS2 Takes Flight (photo by MarsScientific.com and Clay Center Observatory)

Commercial spaceflight just took another huge step closer to reality! Earlier this morning, Virgin Galactic completed a successful test flight of their SpaceShipTwo rocket-plane. Continue reading

Roy Wood

About Roy Wood

Father of two, fan of open source software, outdoor enthusiast, eater of pie.

Psst — Like Intelligent Science Fiction?

Screenshot from "New" concept video

I’m a huge fan of science fiction, but I sometimes despair at the weak characterization and shallowness of writing that the genre tends to attract. Here’s a short peek at a crowd-sourced science fiction short film that promises to be both inspiring and intelligent. Continue reading

Roy Wood

About Roy Wood

Father of two, fan of open source software, outdoor enthusiast, eater of pie.

Arduino-Powered Testing Proves That a LEGO Brick Wears Out in 37,112 Clicks

Arduino-powered LEGO brick tester (screenshot from YouTube video)

Phillipe Cantin started with the question “How many times can I assemble LEGO bricks before they wear out?” From there, a little ingenuity and some Arduino expertise soon led to a mechanical testing rig that would provide an answer.

The entire story is summarized over at Phillipe’s blog. As well, Ars Technica has an excellent extended writeup on the project. Continue reading

Roy Wood

About Roy Wood

Father of two, fan of open source software, outdoor enthusiast, eater of pie.

Solar-Powered, Wireless-Enabled Trashcans?

BigBelly Trashcan (image from Wikipedia, Creative Commons Licensed)

I like technology and progress a lot, but I have to admit that when I first heard about the solar-powered, wireless-enabled trash-cans from BigBelly Solar, I was pretty skeptical. Then when I learned that the high-tech trash-cans each cost about $3700, and that over 15,000 of these things had been deployed in the US, I was stunned. Why on earth would anyone pay that much for something as simple as a metal box to hold garbage?

Well, it turns out that my initial reaction was wrong. In this particular case, investing that much money up-front actually makes sense when you look at the bigger picture of trash management. In fact, Philadelphia projects to save almost a million dollars a year, thanks to their rollout of 500 BigBelly trash-cans. Continue reading

Roy Wood

About Roy Wood

Father of two, fan of open source software, outdoor enthusiast, eater of pie.

Calvin and Hobbes: The Movie

calvin_hobbes_gritty_reboot

I’m a huge fan of Calvin and Hobbes, and I completely respect Bill Watterson’s desire to not merchandise the heck out of his work. That said, I also loved the trailer for a Calvin and Hobbes movie put together by the Gritty Reboots guys… Continue reading

Roy Wood

About Roy Wood

Father of two, fan of open source software, outdoor enthusiast, eater of pie.

Review: Python for Kids: A Playful Introduction to Programming

Python_For_Kids

As a kid, I spent a lot of time playing computer games. And I mean a LOT of time. I’m sure it drove my mother crazy at the time, since I distinctly recall a lot of forceful encouragement to “Turn off that stupid computer and go outside!” Thankfully, my interest in video games led to a desire to learn how games and computers work, which eventually led to me spending more time learning and programming than playing games. Of course, my mother’s message didn’t change, since it all looked about the same to her. Sorry, Mom!

Now that my own son is hooked on computer games, I’m hoping to lure him on to an interest in programming, too. To that end, I’ve been looking for a really great introductory book on the subject, and I think I’ve found it in Jason Briggs’ Python for Kids: A Playful Introduction to Programming. Continue reading

Roy Wood

About Roy Wood

Father of two, fan of open source software, outdoor enthusiast, eater of pie.

Build a Giant Cardboard Robot Arm!

Claw_Crane

Back in July of 2012, GeekDad pointed out Ken Ihara’s terrific Kickstarter project to fund the design of a giant cardboard robotic arm. Well, Ken easily reached his funding goal and produced his initial run of cardboard robots, and now he has chosen to share the complete design with the world. Continue reading

Roy Wood

About Roy Wood

Father of two, fan of open source software, outdoor enthusiast, eater of pie.