One year ago today, Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories went live. Happy birthday to us!
We originally started this blog as a means to help us document and organize our various projects. Since then we’ve seen writeups about our projects on more than two thousand other blogs, and even in a handful of print magazines. We’ve contributed projects to an art show, sparked some interesting collaborations, and built some of the wackiest machines that we ever have. In the course of these projects we somehow found excuses to buy three old HP pen plotters, 2.4×10^4 LEDs, a Macintosh SE, Marshmallow Peeps, and three hundred pounds of sugar.
What will the next year bring? Who knows! But, we’re looking forward to it.
Thanks for reading Evil Mad Scientist!
- Lenore & Windell
(Pictured above: An alphanumeric persistence of vision display. Source code, how-to and more photos coming next Wednesday.)
Our new forums have been quietly live and gathering dust (and a few posts) for a little while now, so we thought it was about time to announce their presence.
We hope that the forums will be a good place to share information. Got stuck building one of our electronics projects? Want to know where to find parts in your town? Want to tell us what projects you want to see us cover?
Some of the places you can ask and answer those questions are:
Whether you are seeking help on a project, want to beseech us to stop posting articles about peeps (sorry– there’s one more coming this year), or just want to help out your fellow evil mad scientists, please join in!
“Phylm,” pronounced as “film,” is a portmanteau built out of the words “physics” and “film.” It’s also the name given to a new award, The Phylm Prize, aimed at spurring interest in physics and the educational use of new media. Translation: it’s a YouTube contest for physics geeks!
We’ve been invited to sit on the panel of judges for the contest, and so we’ll be looking forward to seeing the submissions. Videos up to two and a half minutes long featuring physics will be judged on clarity, accuracy, and creativity. This year’s winner will receive a check for $100 (US) to be dispersed in June 2007.
You can watch the video announcement at YouTube or (embedded) here:
We are guessing that many of you, our fine readers, already have an interest in physics and/or new media, so get started already! Let’s see your submissions! And don’t let the word “educational” intimidate you– educational propaganda is a highly appropriate diversion for evil mad scientists! (Besides, you could probably use the cash for your world domination scheme.)
Here’s some info from the rules on what kinds of things the clips can contain:
A critique/analysis of the physics presented in a fictional work. For example,
could the bus in Speed have made “the jump,” or how strong would Spider-Man
have to be to throw a car that far?
An analysis of physics as revealed by the examination of a real-world video clip.
For example, what forces does a gymnast experience during his routine?
An explanation/presentation of some physics concept or theory. For example, what is the conservation of energy?
Submissions are due by 12:00 am (GMT) May 1, 2007. We’ll be waiting.
We’ve also (somehow) become “authoritative” in several subjects. According to technorati we are an authority on cooking, DIY, and craft. What this really means is that not very many folks tag their blogs well for technorati, but hey, we don’t mind being the top authority on electronics.
So, maybe all this popularity and authority means that we really are making the world a better place (one evil mad scientist at a time). Or it could be a sign that our reign of terror is getting off to a great start, Muahahahaaaa! If you think so, (shameless plug ahead) feel free to nominate us for the 2007 Bloggies, perhaps in the new blogs category. But hurry, nominations end on January 10. In the meantime, we’re going to bask in the glow of our rankings and look forward to the next six months.
Minor announcement III: Today we’re adding a new section of links to our web page, “Honorary Mad Scientists,” a short, specific, non-exhaustive list of creative people, sites, and/or blogs that we admire. We thought about calling the list “people like us,” but (1) it’s cocky of us to think that we can be as cool as these people and (2) maybe these folks don’t want us to suggest that they are anything like us. So, we’ll just call them Honorary Mad Scientists; read on for a partial list. Continue reading →
Flickr has announced that they will be down at 10pm Pacific Time this evening (9/1/06) for approximately 2 hours. Since most of the photos at evilmadscientist.com are actually hosted on Flickr, we’ll be pretty close to down as well.
From 2002-2005 I worked in the NIST Time and Frequency division on a next-generation atomic clock.
The clock is based on a single trapped mercury atom. The most significant result of my work on the clock was a dramatic improvement in its precision, and the report on this progress was finally published this week.
The NIST Press Release compares the accuracy of the mercury clock to the NIST-F1 cesium fountain standard: “The current version of NIST-F1—if it were operated continuously—would neither gain nor lose a second in about 70 million years. The latest version of the mercury clock would neither gain nor lose a second in about 400 million years.”