From the mailbag: Sciencey!

Dave wrote in about the EggBot:

My daughter wanted to tell you that she loves your creation. The other day she told me that she is more sciencey than girly, and I told her that she could be both. I have attached a picture of her with her first multi color print, Wonder Woman.

Thank you for sharing, and the egg turned out great!

Linkdump: March 2017

Linkdump: February 2017

Evil Mad Scientist Valentines: 2017 Edition

2017 valentines

Today we are releasing our newest set of “Download and Print” cards for Valentine’s day. This is our fifth year, and fifth 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.

This year’s set features relativity, atomic orbitals, exponential growth, an LC resonator, and an epsilon delta declaration of love.

You put me in an excited state

“You put me in an excited state.”

Roses are red...

Roses are red. Which does suggest that they’re moving away from us, quickly.

Epsilon delta proof

While this sounds much like an “epsilon delta proof,” it lacks the logical rigor that we would normally associate with one. It’s more of a postulate, really.

Limit of sin(1/x)

“You make my heart feel like sin(1/x)….” If your heart isn’t jumping yet, you’ve probably never tried to graph that.

exponential

The original title for this one was “my love for you grows exponentially.” But hey, your valentine is smart (or you wouldn’t be sending these kinds of valentines): Let them do the math.


2016 valentines

You can download the full set here, which includes all 30 designs from all five years (a 1.5 MB PDF document).

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

Linkdump: January 2017


Linkdump: December 2016

Robert Dering: Batik Egg Artist

Daniel Clifton wrote up a nice article at 101highlandlakes.com about Robert Dering, a retiree who makes batik dyed eggs he gifts to people in his community. The article talks about the process of making them, including using an EggBot.

He started batik egg coloring about 15 years ago after Martha Stewart demonstrated it on her TV show. (Dering said it’s a bit embarrassing to admit he watched the show, but he pointed out he was retired and you never know from where you can learn something new.) The first few were terrible, but he continued, improving with each one.

“I’m still improving,” he said.

For most of those years, he used a small, hand-turned lathe designed for batik egg coloring to pen on a design. It was a bit tedious. But recently, he came across a mechanical device called the EggBot, which does that step for him using a computer program. The program frees up Dering’s creativity. He simply scans a photo or a design into the computer program, which adapts it for the EggBot, which, in turn, draws it on an egg.

There ends the time-saving. Now it’s back to the dying, waxing, and washing.

Holiday Cards with AxiDraw

Pitch Interactive, a data visualization studio, sent out “Happy Holidata” cards made using the AxiDraw.

This year’s card features a snowflake that uses two data points in its generation: how long we’ve known the recipient and the air quality where we’re sending the card. It is unique to the person we sent it to, and no two snowflakes are alike.

After getting some inspiration from dozens of photos of snowflakes, we brainstormed about the different types of symmetry and shapes that would make our design. We then generated the snowflake with a script that draws a certain number of radial spikes based on how long we’ve known the person we were sending them to. Other parameters for the generation rely on random numbers, ensuring that each generated snowflake was completely unique.

They’ve published the code on github, as well as a set of svg files.