Astronomy Cookies

We love any excuse to create science themed food, and we had a blast brainstorming our contribution to “Astro-Gastro” contest at the annual member meeting at the Fremont Peak Observatory. We settled on some of the things we love to show visitors to the observatory: Galaxies, globular clusters, and nebulas. Cinnamon Pinwheel Galaxies are inspired … Continue reading Astronomy Cookies

Linkdump: June 2016

A tour of the MegaProcessor (YouTube) Inside the tiny RFID chip that runs San Francisco’s “Bay to Breakers” race Inkscape extension: Trace along centerlines A 3D-printed light-based zoetrope Dinosaur-era feathers, preserved in amber. Feynman diagram sculptures by Edward Tufte Schematics and manuals for the 1979 Asteroids video game cabinet Fliers for a Father’s Day Sale, … Continue reading Linkdump: June 2016

Winter Holiday Projects from Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories

The Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories Holiday Project Archive!

We’ve rounded up our projects from holidays past and present and will add future projects to this archive each year. You can start with decorations or jump straight to food projects. We’re also including our cookie posts for your geeky holiday cookie making fun.


EdgeLitCard - 49

Holiday Edge-Lit Cards

Edge Lit Cards

Edge-Lit Cards (Refined)


LED decorations


LED Hanukkah Menorah Kit

Christmas fractal

Christmas Chaos

Ornament with Stars in Eggbot

Decorating Ornaments with the Eggbot

LED Micro-Readerboard spells out MAKE

LED Micro-Readerboard, version 2.0

Gingerbread readerboards

Electronic Gingerbread Men

Ornamental Components 08

Deck the halls with fine components

Component Wine Charms

Solder your own wine charms

Vector Snowflake Application:
open-source snowflake generator

Evil new year: Turn your Champagne into a DEADLY weapon!!!!

Clear overview

Easy high-power LED blinking circuit


Star Spangled Biscuits

Spangled Star Biscuits

Five Tricks for Thanksgiving Leftovers

Apple Pie

Now that’s an Apple Pie!

Cranberry Chutney

Indian-style Cranberry Chutney


Pumpkin Spice Truffles

Chocolate Debian

A Chocolate Debian

koch snowflake cupcake

Fractal Snowflake Cupcakes


Fractal Cookies

Atomic Cookies

Asteroids Cookies

Ice Cream Gyoza

Circuitry Snacks

Edible Googly Eyes

On the dwarf planets


When Pluto was “demoted” from being a planet some years ago, I thought that it was pretty stupid. After all, I had learned about our set of nine planets as a simple fact in grade school. If anything, I had expected the number of planets to grow as they were discovered, not shrink.

What’s the big deal? Why not just grandfather Pluto into the club? The principal consequence of which objects are called “planets” is how many little plastic balls go into a solar-system model kits, right?

Well, yes and no. It turns out that our solar system has a huge number of objects. Not just the sun and a handful planets, but also hundreds of thousands of other cataloged objects (“minor planets”), the vast majority of which are now classified as small solar system bodies. These include most of the main-belt asteroids, comets, centaurs, trojans, kuiper-belt objects, scattered-disc objects, and other trans-neptunian objects. And, we will discover more.

Today Pluto, like Ceres, is proudly known as one of our five wonderful dwarf planets.

What distinguishes these dwarf planets from their larger and more familiar cousins? An intuitive and powerful discriminator: Simply put, planets are out there orbiting on their own, while dwarf planets are found in belts of objects that share the same orbit. Putting this in mathematical terms, there’s a stark difference between our eight planets– which dominate their orbital neighborhoods –and our five known dwarf planets, which at best make up mere fractions of their respective belts. Now that we’ve recognized the difference between major planets and dwarf planets, it’s clear as day which group Pluto belongs to.

And, despite poor Pluto, the minor shame of having “lost” one of our planets seems more than made up by the discovery in 2003 of Eris— a dwarf planet both larger and (usually) more distant than Pluto. Already, some dozens of other dwarf planet candidates have been identified, and there are countless others yet undiscovered.

The simple fact is that we live in an exciting time of discovery. While it may feel natural in a sense to enshrine an immutable list of “the planets,” it is instead our humble duty as scientists to accept that we don’t — and almost certainly never will –know everything.

Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories: Year 4


Happy birthday to us! Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories has now been around for four years.
We’ve collected some interesting projects from this past year to celebrate.

Microcontroller and Electronics Projects:

Tabletop Pong

Tabletop Pong


Moving from breadboard to protoboard


Revenge of the Cherry Tomatoes

drink making unit

Drink making unit

pin 1

Finding pin 1

xmega - 2

Say hello to xmega


Adding a Chronodot to Peggy 2

Meggy Twitter Reader

Meggy Jr RGB Twitter Reader

twisted wire bundle

Twisted Wire Bundles

LED graph

Some thoughts on throwies

rovin pumpkin

Rovin’ pumpkin

ADXL335 - 10

Accelerometer with an AVR (updated)

LEDcalc - 20

Wallet-size LED Resistance Calculator


seeing magnetic fields

Seeing Magnetic Fields

Ice Spikes

Ice Spikes

opposition effect in clover

Opposition effect

Kitchen Science 18

Litmus Candy

Beans day five

Gibberellic Acid and Giantism in Sprouts

Simple LED Projects:

fake seven segment display

Fake seven segment display

LED-lit sea urchin

LED-lit sea urchins

Edge Lit Cards

Refining edge-lit cards

Food Hacking:

Ice Cream Gyoza -13

Ice Cream Gyoza

Lemon Pickle

Lemon Pickle

The array


coffee bean cooler

DIY coffee bean cooler

Marmalade 30

Marmalade: easier than it looks

AtomicCookies 7

Atomic Cookies

asteroids cookies

Asteroids (the edible kind)

Crunchy Frogs01

Crunchy Frog

Kit Projects:


Bulbdial Clock Kit


Peggy 2LE


LED Hanukkah Menorah Kit

Larson Scanner

Larson Scanner

D12 bag8

Handbag of Holding Kits

Crafty Projects:

arecibo 2

SETI Scarf

scrap acrylic

Scrap acrylic shelf


24 hour tombstones

ipad 3

iPad lap stand

Custom iron ons 10

Custom iron-on techniques

Geek Design:



Typographic Coasters

Typgraphical Character Coasters

Ornamental Components 08

Ornamental Components

Cat String 6

Radio controlled string

Bookend - 9

Bookends for physics geeks

Lego business cards-2

Lego Business Cards

Tie Stools2

Portable Stools

And, don’t forget, you can win a Peggy 2 or one of 13 other prizes in our clock
concept contest
, going on this week.