Math foods for Pi Day

There are a great many ways to celebrate Pi Day, and food is one of our favorites. While pie is obviously appropriate for Pi Day, there are so many other fun ways to explore math and science through cooking. Here are some of our food projects that can be great ways to explore math concepts on Pi Day:

Happy Pi Day!

Linkdump: February 2019

Evil Mad Scientist Valentines: 2019 Edition

2019 valentines

Today we are releasing our newest set of “Download and Print” cards for Valentine’s day. This is our seventh year, and seventh set of cards. The 2013 set had six equation-heavy cards, the 2014 set was a set of six symbol-heavy cards, and the 2015 set included love, hearts, and arrows. The 2016 set featured Pluto’s cold heart, and the perfect card for your robotic expression of love. In 2017 we featured atomic orbitals, exponential growth, and an epsilon delta declaration of love. The 2018 set featured normal force, stable equilibriums, and something about RPN calculators.

This year’s set features geometry, division by zero, batteries, a nod to quantum chromodynamics, and two very bad puns. (Sorry not sorry.)

Be my Valentine. Any other choice would be irrational.

To the extent that it is important that romance is rational, this is an extremely romantic card.

Roses are red, some quarks are blue. The strong nuclear force is what attracts me to you.

A proton or neutron is made up of three quarks, but its mass turns out to be dominated by chromodynamic binding energy, not the mass of those quarks. Corollary: By weight, humans are almost entirely binding energy.

Unlike most Valentine’s cards, which neglect the vast majority of your potential paramour, this card will let them know that you appreciate more than a tiny fraction of them.

It's hard to define home much I like you. But we should.

I tried to compute my love for you but my calculator gave me an error.

You get me all charged up.

Like a LiPo battery charged at the proper rate so that it does not explode.

You must have taken my electron, because I've got my ion you.

You had better be positive before you give this card to someone.


2019 valentines

You can download the full set here, which includes all 42 designs from all seven years (PDF, 1.8 MB).

As usual, print them out on (or otherwise affix to) card stock, personalize, and [some steps omitted] enjoy the resulting lifelong romance.

Linkdump: January 2019

AxiDraw on MythBusters Jr

I’m super excited to see the new MythBusters Jr episode tonight, because I’m in it with the AxiDraw!


I had a fun time working with Valerie, Rachel, and Elijah, as well as the great crew.

Plotter People Talk

Lenore on stage with slide of electronic kits in background
Photo courtesy of @plotterpeople

Yesterday I gave a talk at the inaugural Plotter People meetup titled Plotter Projects from Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories. My slides were a series of pictures from our projects, so rather than publish the presentation itself, I’m publishing a list of links to all of the projects I talked about.

The first part of the talk was introductory information about Evil Mad Scientist with some example projects from our blog and our early kits.

The main part of the talk delved into all of our plotter related projects, including hacking plotters, things we’ve made from plotters, software we’ve made for use with plotters, and plotters we’ve made.

Many thanks to Plotter People for inviting me to speak!

Linkdump: December 2018

Plotter People Meetup

There’s a new get-together just for plotter people!

Plotter People is a meetup for creative coders and people interested in collaborating with robots to make art. You’ll get to talk to folks who make generative art in a wide variety of programming languages and software environments, and you’ll get access to pen plotters and the people who make them.

The inaugural Plotter People meetup will be hosted at Github in San Francisco on Monday, January 14 at 6:30 pm. There will be two speakers, including Sher Minn, who will be talking about Recreating Retro Plotter Art, and me, Lenore Edman. I’m excited to have been invited to speak and I’ll be talking about the Plotter Projects of Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories, from the Analog Plotbot pictured above to the AxiDraw. There will also be time to mingle, talk, eat, and even play with plotters.

The event is free, but please head over to the invite page to RSVP!

Stroboscopic Ornaments

Jiří Zemánek, whose EggBot work we have featured before, sent in this wonderful video of stroboscopically animated Christmas ornaments.

The stroboscopic patterns are designed in MATLAB and drawn by EggBot Pro on colored glass Christmas ornaments. Motion of the balls is controlled by custom mechanism built using components from two Prusa i3 MK3 3D printers, like six stepper motors and two Rambo boards. On top of designing the patterns, which is Jiri’s hobby (when he is not busy with research) and building the whole contraption in a very short time, the team had to deal with issues including non-spherical ornaments, or how to use Rambo board to precisely control the velocity profiles.

We love to see how people make things, and Jiri did not disappoint, sharing process photos of making the rotation mechanisms.

With great help from his colleagues Martin, Krištof, and Filip they took Christmas ornaments to the next level and taught them to dance!

The final setup shot captures how they created such a beautiful video.

Merry Christmas to Jiri and the Advanced Algorithms for Control and Communications group! Thank you for sharing your project!