This year’s Halloween may be a little different from years past. But maybe you’re doing a Zoom costume contest? Want some spooky snacks? Or want to get in the mood with seasonal decor? Is it not Halloween for you if there isn’t pumpkin carving? Head over to the Halloween Project Archives for inspiration and ideas.
- Restored, upscaled, and colorized film of a 1902 ride on a suspended train in Germany
- Early web artwork restoration at the Guggenheim
- Doubts, a carpet by artist Faig Ahmed
- “The Different Useless Machine” (Rotates the switch instead of flipping it.)
- Introduction to the FOSS Governance Collection, for documents about how open source projects are managed.
- Musings on maker businesses: Makers in the Mittelstand
- Moon behind the NG-14 Antares launch
- Models of sprue card kits for quick 3D printing, like this DH.98 Mosquito
- What happens when an architect sees the movie “Parasite”
- Goodyear’s Illuminated Tires
I was recently interviewed for HackSpace Magazine and just got the copy in the mail! It’s a meandering conversation about how Evil Mad Scientist got started and covers some of the wide variety of projects we’ve worked on.
Thanks to Hackspace for the opportunity to ramble on about the things we love!
It has been a great season for plums, so I’ve updated the lemon plum jam recipe that I’ve been gradually refining over the years. The new basic recipe is below along with other tips I’ve gathered.Ingredients:
- 8 cups cut up pieces of plums, pits removed, skins left on, fresh or frozen
- 3 lemons, (optionally peeled) cut into small pieces, seeds removed
- juice from 3 more lemons
- 6 cups sugar
Put the plums, lemon pieces and lemon juice in a sauce pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fruit starts to soften. At this point, you can use a potato masher to crush the fruit pieces for a more even consistency.
Add sugar and cook, stirring regularly, until it thickens. You can test the consistency for doneness by putting a spoonful in a cold dish in the fridge for a few minutes. After chilling, it’s ready if it holds its shape a bit when you move a spoon or finger through it. You can also follow your favorite canning procedure for longer term storage. Makes about 4-5 pints.
Tips and techniques:
For cutting up the fruit, I like to put a small cutting board inside a baking sheet. This catches the juice much better than any cutting board with a moat that I’ve ever used. It makes cleanup much easier, and you can pour the juice from the baking sheet into the cooking pot.
Most jam recipes call for approximately equal quantities of sugar and fruit. I prefer my jam a little more tart, so I’ve revised down the sugar.I’ve stopped adding water to my preserves. It cooks a little faster without as much liquid, and there’s enough liquid in the lemon juice to get it started cooking even if the fruit isn’t covered.
I also often leave the lemon peel out for the preserves I make (other than marmalade). The peel gives it a stronger lemon flavor, but keeps the jam from gelling as well. If you want a thicker consistency that gels a little earlier, you can leave the peel out. If you want zingier lemon flavor, leave the peel on and cook a little longer.
During fruit season, I try to preserve as much as I can by making jams and chutneys, but I usually run out of time and end up cutting up the last of the crop and freezing it. Using frozen fruit for jams seems to work just as well as fresh. I measure out 8 cups and store it in a one gallon freezer bag. Then it’s ready to pull out start a batch of jam. I also recently revised my Plum Chutney recipe, and it starts with 8 cups of fruit as well.
A couple of months ago, we wrote about our status under our county’s shelter in place order and it’s time for an update! The situation has been gradually changing locally and the newest guidelines allow for us to bring our employees back to work. With their help, we’re starting to ramp production back up and that feels great.
Our Sunnyvale retail location will remain closed to walk-in business for the time being, but we are offering no-contact local pickup for orders placed online.
We have been excited to be able to help out on a few COVID-19 research projects during this time. We want to reiterate that if your order is related to health care or related to COVID-19 research, please let us know so that we can prioritize and expedite your order.
We’re grateful to all of our customers and community for being so understanding and helpful during this time.
Heather Seeba wrote in to let us know about a gathering she has hosted around the EggBot.
The EggBot brunches have been big hits with my friends. Seeing the fascination and excitement showing new people my EggBot has to be my favorite part of playing with it. The inspiration came when I took the ‘bot to my (engineering) office so colleagues could make eggs for their kids: people were skeptical then couldn’t stay away. Thus for an EggBot brunch, invite awesome nerdy people over, feed them, and gather round the EggBot.
Heather told us about her events earlier this year, before the advent of physical distancing. Many of her suggestions can be adapted for family groups living together and we’ve added some suggestions for remote attendees as well.
Some recommendations for an EggBot brunch include:
- Print outs of suggested (speedy) designs will engage interest quickly.
- For in-person attendees, buffet and easy lap food works better than a sit-down meal so the focus can be on the drawing.
- For remote attendees, have a camera set up pointing at the EggBot so they can see their design being drawn.
- Print some outline designs in advance and let folks color eggs if they like.
- Make a photo shoot station for guests’ creations. Flower pots with herbs and blossoms are a great example.
The photo booths can be used even for eggs decorated without the EggBot!