The STEMpunk Project: Literally Reducing a (Black) Box

I have described The STEMpunk Project as “an exercise in black box reduction”, by which I mean the project’s bread and butter is making sense of the previously mysterious inner workings of the objects which make up daily life. Recently I took this phrase more literally by ripping apart a malfunctioning box fan. As it […]

The STEMpunk Project: My First Solder

I spent almost the whole of last Tuesday morning doing a soldering kit from Elenco toys which, when completed, results in a circuit that produces a siren noise similar to the one on European police cars: This is my second Elenco kit, and they continue to be a bit of a mixed bag. On the […]

Profundis: The Deep Range

I picked up Arthur C. Clarke’s “The Deep Range” because the only other Clarke work I’ve read is “Rendezvous with Rama”, and having explored so little of one of SF’s titans is a grave mark mark against my credentials as a nerd. The book began exceptionally well. It follows the life of Walter Franklin, a […]

The STEMpunk Project: Beginning Schematics

As of today I am excitedly in the middle of stage I of the electronics module. I have been working with the Sparkfun Inventor’s Kit and the Elenco Electronics Playground, learning a ton along the way. One of the first problems I ran into was trying to figure out how to read the schematics that […]

The STEMpunk Project: Third Month’s Progress

Normally I include an image in these summary posts, but since I spent pretty much all of May working on Mike Meyers’ “CompTIA A+” the picture would look nearly identical to last month’s. That book was much more formidable than I thought it would be, but I have to say that it was well-written, thorough, […]

An Experiment in Focus

Myriad studies show that our focus is fragmented much more than is commonly realized and that this is much more damaging than is commonly realized (for a brief account of some of this research, see Worker, Interrupted). At the beginning of May I devised an experiment to develop greater powers of attention. It began as follows: every […]