Dancing LEDs Promises Maker Christmas and Hacker New Year

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What do you get when you hang a Christmas tree with 4,000 LEDs connected to a Teensy board? In the hands of Austin maker and electrical engineer Jarrod Eliason, you get, well, you get this… Continue reading

To Catch a Comet: PBS Documentary About Rosetta

Rosetta PBS

You may have heard the amazing news last week that the European Space Agency successfully landed a probe on a comet. This week as part of its “Think Wednesday” programming, PBS will broadcast To Catch a Comet, an hour-long, in-depth documentary about the the mission and how the ESA managed to land the Philae lander on an icy rock hurtling through space. Continue reading

Big Hero 6 Challenge Asks Kids What Big Problem They Want to Solve

BigHero6

In anticipation of the release of Big Hero 6, Disney has teamed with partners XPRIZE, LittleBits, FIRST LEGO League, and the USPTO to create a contest for kids. Continue reading

Countdown To Maker Faire 2014 — Get Prepared

Year of Maker

Just a few more days… and it’s Maker Faire Time! I know a lot of geek dads and moms make the trek each year to attend what is called The Greatest Show (And Tell) On Earth, and there’s are solid reasons for it. Two days of open-mouthed staring and double-takes. Two days of access to experts (self-taught and otherwise), makers, inventors, tinkerers, dreamers, builders, hackers, and hobbyists. Two days of sightseeing, hands-on activities, and pure surprises. Continue reading

Just Two Weeks Left to Enter MoonBots Robotic Competition

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Registration for the 2014 MoonBots competition is coming to a close. It’s a great way for kids to get involved in robotics… and it doesn’t cost anything. Sign up today! Continue reading

When the World Ends, You’ll Need The Knowledge

The Knowledge

I’m not a sky-is-falling kind of guy. I don’t have a bunker behind my house and a decade’s worth of food stocked away for my family (although I do sometimes think about it). Every generation has had its concerns about the world ending, but I’m one of those optimists that hopes we’ll be able to solve our problems — water shortages, global warming, pandemics — and not be despised by our great-great-grandkids.

But who really knows? Asteroids are flying around our universe with sufficient mass and speed. New and scarier viruses seem to pop up every few years. So many countries seem to want their own nuclear bombs these days. Experts seem to think a major financial collapse lurks around the corner. Just how prepared are we if the world we know it stopped functioning normally for an extended period of time? How long would we last without the modern conveniences of electricity, medicine, clothing, food, and clean water? Continue reading

Turning Off The Conair CD108 Infiniti Curling Iron Via Email

Problem - Solution

My wife sometimes leaves things plugged in and turned on. Dangerous things. Like her curling iron. It’s not unheard-of for her to be a couple miles down the road, heading out to run some errands with the boys in the back seat all buckled in. “Did I leave the curling iron on?” she wonders. This problem called for a drastic solution. A solution that would justify four years of engineering school. A problem that so many of us geek spouses wait 20, 30, or even 40 years of marriage to encounter… and then take down with extreme prejudice. Continue reading

Registration for the 2014 MoonBots Challenge is Now Open

MoonBots

Registration for the fourth edition of the MoonBots challenge is now open. Red more about this year’s competition and prizes. Continue reading

The GeekDads Guide to SXSW 2014: 10 Must-see Events at the Nation’s Largest Interactive Festival

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I can’t tell you every session or event to be at, but I can recommend ten events that every geek dad should go to. Continue reading

A Tale of Two Drones: Parallax ELEV-8 & AR.Drone 2.0

[Parallax ELEV-8] [Parrot AR.Drone 2.0]

As we come out of a cold and bitter winter into spring, you may look towards the sky yourself and think of getting a UAV or drone of your own. There are lots of great smaller models of drone out there but in this article, I take a look at two of the heavier hitters, the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 and the Parallax ELEV-8. These are two very different commercial options, in a similar class, and both are outstanding for their different uses. Continue reading