Technology and Recreation – a recipie for AWESOME

For gadget geeks like myself, there’s always been an opportunity to mix technology with what we do when AFK (away from keyboard).

My first heart monitor watch *had* to be imported because no one in this country was selling the IR receiver (connecting through a DB9 (serial) cable no less.. for the more normal, serial cables were “how things were done” before the simplicity of USB arrived). Continue reading “Technology and Recreation – a recipie for AWESOME”

Chrysalis Cam – Using Open Source to Open Minds

The kids in Room 3 had a problem, all of the caterpillars that went into the pupa stage of their metamorphosis were emerging when the students were out of the classroom.

The solution was to setup a laptop with a web camera programmed to take a snapshot of a waiting chrysalis once every minute. These images were stitched together into a time-lapse which captured the butterfly emerging in this video.

Feel free to skip over rest of the content in this article as what is of interest will vary greatly between viewers – but I wanted to present the whole story in one location in case it is useful to others who are studying similar processes.

The Lesson

Before getting into the detail of the ‘how’ the project was done, it was fascinating to watch the kids go through the journey of:

  • Identifying the problem of missing the butterflies emerging
  • Strategising what they could do to overcome the issue
  • Discarding ideas which were unworkable
  • Agreeing on using the computer / webcam
  • Thinking about what other things time-lapse would be useful for

Continue reading “Chrysalis Cam – Using Open Source to Open Minds”

Visualising Public Data – Auckland Transport

Chris McDowall is a very, very clever person. In addition to all the other cool stuff he’s done in the NZ data space, he has just released this post on taking the Maxx public transport data feed of movements over a day, and plotting it out on a map. It’s hypnotic and astounding in the sheer volume of movements – but you need to see it to appreciate how cool it is.


An animated map of Auckland’s public transport network from Chris McDowall on Vimeo.


Well done Chris, my hat is (once again) off to you sir – keep creating…

How to kill that pesky creativity in your business

This video by Harvard Professor Youngme Moon has been sitting in my open tabs for a couple of weeks now as a irreverent reminder of the safe-play bingo phrases which find their way into so many meetings…

My Anti-Creativity Checklist from Youngme Moon on Vimeo.

 

I’ve got *my* personal favorites (being one of the guys mentioned in rule #13) – what are yours?

PS – Anyone want to buy me Youngmes book ‘Different‘ ? I want to build up my shelf-help library… (yes, SHELF – I need a good excuse to take some time to read AND implement 🙂 )

youngmemoon.com

Google Maps Navigation

Oh very very cool… and if you are lucky enough to be able to source an Android 2.0 based phone (like the Motorola Droid) it’s also very very free.

Couple this with the just announced Google Music service and Google Voice and you have a take everywhere, contact, entertain and communicate solution – Not much else to add apart from, what will this do to the dedicated GPS device market?!

Site Design and UI – An Educational Video

The embedded video came across my Twitter feed this morning (thanks @rgoodchild) under the heading of ‘The Perfect Geek Rapper’. Now while m0serious may not be in the same league as NerdCore rapper MC Frontalot,his material will still coax a smile from those of us who have an interest in site design, UI and Ux – as well as imparting some good coding behaviors…

Slap on your headphones and have a listen:

Peace out yo… (Man, I’m soo hip and street and stuff… *makes complicated gesture with fingers*)

Inside a Tornado

Now – while storm chasing may not strictly be the realm of geek, I’d argue that there’s a heck of a lot of technology, knowledge and innovation going on in this space – all in the aim of understanding these powerful events of nature.

For one group of storm chasers, it’s paid off and the guys in the clip below actually managed to get themselves inside a tornado – awesome!

Ahh – where’s Helen Hunt when you need her aye?

Portable Hacking Device for Soldiers

Now *this* is why it’d be fun to work in/with the Military in an innovation (non-lethal) capacity… loads of funding, loads of scope… okay, perhaps not here in New Zealand, but for economies such as the US, the defense contractors must get to play with some awesome toys, years ahead of the technology hitting the general populous…

Portable Hacking Device