Understanding How Things Work From the Inside With ‘Explain 3D’

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Do you remember books like “The Way Things Work” or “How things work”? These books were best-sellers and helped a lot of people understand how things work. They sold millions of copies and taught countless people. Now, ‘Explain 3D’ brings those kinds of books to your mobile devices, and delivers the future of learning how things work. Continue reading

Final Hours: PancakeBot Kickstarter

PancakeBot Kickstarter

The first time I saw the PancakeBot in action, I was hooked. It was at the 2012 Maker World Faire in New York and it was just fascinating to watch in action. Voluntold by his kids that he needed to create a robot that could print in pancake batter, Miguel had created a machine that actually prints in pancake batter. Continue reading

Kickstarter Review: MudWatt Getting Dirty With STEM

MudWatt-feature

MudWatt is a microbial fuel cell kit that is intended to teach and spark an interest in energy, biology, physics, chemistry, and engineering across a wide-range of ages. Continue reading

Calling All Makers: Be a Part of the Denver Mini Maker Faire

DenverMakerFaireBanner

Fire up your soldering irons and sharpen up your scissors. The 2015 Mini Maker Faire is returning to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science June 13-14, and they want you. Continue reading

Tech vs. Global Poverty: Berkeley Lab’s To-Do List

Tech vs. Global Poverty: Berkeley Lab's To-Do List

“Find a need and fill it” is common advice usually given to budding entrepreneurs and inventors, but it’s not often that someone hands you a concise list of needs to fill. A new report from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Institute for Globally Transformative Technologies does just that. So how do we start crossing things off of that list? Continue reading

Acer Switch 11 DIY Tablet Stand

The old control laptop on the left, the new portable control tablet on the right.
Photo by Anton Olsen

As part of Acer’s Seize The Idea contest I’ve been looking around the house at my half finished DIY projects and thinking of innovative ways to use one of the Acer products to finally wrap a few of them up. Since nearly of all my recent projects involve one or both of my 3D printers, it seems fitting that I should take this opportunity to solve a little control issue I’ve been having. Continue reading

Batman and Aliens Meet the Real World: GeekDad Interviews Nate Ball

Nate Ball power ascends.

I spoke recently to uber-geek and new dad Nate Ball about his inventions, his books, and his role in helping a new generation of makers get inspired about engineering. We didn’t get to discuss his beatboxing, but you’ll find a link to his Ted X talk on that here also. Continue reading

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

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

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

The Martian — Mars Meets MacGyver

The Martian

Do you remember that scene in Apollo 13 when the engineer dumps a bunch of parts on the table and tells the other engineers in the room they need to create a carbon dioxide filter using nothing but that pile of parts? Did that scene totally make you smile? Yes? Then grab a copy of The Martian before anyone ruins it for you and read it. Seriously Read it. You won’t regret it. Continue reading