Current Event Aug 2015

Current Events

Just to let you know that I've not been goofing off. There has been a lot of activity going on - well, they say that busy hands are happy hands.

Speaking of hands, I'm volunteering for Enabling the Future - a group that donates 3d printed prosthetic hands.  I'm just finishing my first "audition" hand to send in for quality control.

In order to create 3D printed objects, I have to have a 3D printer.  I've built a Kossel 2020 3D printer by FolgerTech of Milford, NH - just up the road from me here in Nashua. I've added some of my own modifications, plus what I've found on the Interweb.  I'm really pleased with both the quality and functionality of my printer.  This is not a kit for those who want a "plug and play" experience - there was a lot of fiddling and adjusting to get the quality and consistency out of the printer, but I've got it working.

My other activity is working with the SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) as a Corner Marshall.  I've written an article about my flagging activities here at GIZMAG.  This season I've done about 10 races so far, including the IMSA Northeast Grand Prix (Tudor Racing Series) at Lime Rock Park.
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My GIZMAG Author's Page

I've written quite a few articles for GIZMAG, the online technology magazine.  Why don't you follow this link and take a look?  You'll find flying cars, 3D sensors, 3D printers, and all sorts of other things

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These books have become part of the popular culture, have influenced thought, or become popular memes in our society, some to the point of the ideas becoming separate from the book that launched them.  Just think of “Open the Pod Bay Doors, Hal”, or Frankenstein’s monster, or the Three Laws of Robotics. Some have even introduced new words to our language, like “grok” or “Waldo”.

Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
Synopsis: Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who lives in Middle Earth, and finds a magic ring, which he leaves (50 years later) to his nephew Frodo Baggins to destroy by throwing it into a live volcano. 
Why: This story is now famous thanks to the movies, but used to be a geek right of passage.  The archetype of all “swords and sorcery” fantasy since and the inspiration for countless video games, Dungeons and Dragons, etc.   While this fantasy book is not science fiction, its influence on the entire genre is so great it has to be included.

Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
Synopsis:  Don’t think you know this story if you have not read the book.  The monster (properly called Frankenstein’s Creature) in this book is intelligent, articulate, and longs to be accepted by other humans who seem to fear him.   In the story, Dr. Victor Frankenstein re-animates a body pieced together from various corpses.  The resulting creature is abandoned by his creator and suffers a lot of neglect and abuse.  The creature gets revenge by murdering Victor’s brother.  The creature demands a mate be made, which the Doctor complies with, then destroys.  The enraged creature murders all of Victor’s family and leads Frankenstein on a chase across the world, ending in the Arctic.
Why: This story has become so much a part of culture that we take its precepts for granted, that man should not “play God” and bestow life, a concept that was repeated with later robot stories.  Most of our impressions of this story – the mute creature with the flat head – come from the movies, not from this book.  Read the story yourself and learn why this is a classic. 

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