Kale. That green leafy “superfood” everyone raves about (or loathes, depending on who you talk with). Kale is jam-packed with more vitamins and minerals than any other comparable green. It’s the do-all veggie. From smoothies to chips, pasta to pizza, kale makes everything better (well, at least better for you). Is there anything kale can’t do?
Believe it or not, it even makes excellent wood. There is a catch, though. And it’s a real stinker.
Kale is a cultivated variety of Brassica oleracea, a plant native to Western Europe. Broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts are also derived from this species.
I have the fondest memory of an early Christmas; I couldn’t have been more than four. My not-much-older brother woke me up sometime after we went to bed. “Santa’s been here,” he whispered. “Quick, come, and look.”
I jumped from bed, and we went into our living room together. It was dark except for the lit Christmas tree. Under it, I could see many new presents, including two gleaming toy tractors. One for my brother and one for me. They were identical, blue painted metal, modeled after those huge farm machines with dual rear tires.
Santa had been to our…
To many, it’s as recognizable as Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber.
The saw’s modified housing fit where Ash’s right hand once was. He used this very saw to lop off his own paw before the evil that infected it took hold. Gruesome, I know. But it’s a fantastic story coupled with exceptional effects.
The Evil Dead chainsaw is a heavily customized Homelite, as any fan will attest. My build is a take on this beloved power ax. Not merely for the display shelf — my donned this working prop for Halloween 2020.
The loftiest goal in physics research is to discover a unified theory of everything. This key to the universe, if found, could unlock untold potential. Unlimited energy and even time travel could be possible if we understood it.
The problem is, what we know so far doesn’t add up.
An ever-present challenge in physics is the mathematical inconsistency between prevailing theories. Physicists cannot reconcile these at the extremes — exceedingly small or infinitely grand scales. The assumption of continuity in space-time is lost.
As kids, all we want to do is overcome our limits. It’s programmed into us to learn. We ache to be able to ride a bike. Master swimming. Know how to read and write. Everything we do while young, including play, is all about learning. If things go well, this lust for knowledge continues our whole lives.
But knowledge isn’t everything. Sometimes not knowing can be the reason to get excited.
When I was young, I was wildly naive as most kids are. I was as apt to believe in the science fiction I saw on TV as I was…
A thought exercise: think about before you were born.
I’m not suggesting you ponder the history and pre-history before your birth. Instead, think about you before you were you.
Imagine not existing.
Does it make you feel uneasy? A little scared? It should. Existential reflection challenges our highest cognitive and emotional abilities.
This is existential dread.
Visualizing a time that each of us did not exist is virtually impossible, even though we know it to be true. Easier to imagine is that one day each of us will die.
Death, although readily anticipated, is a more troubling thought. There’s something…
Remember the now-classic 1980s TV series The A-Team? It was about a crew of ex-special forces guys who traveled about getting into adventures and saving the day through crazy schemes. Often the team appeared to luck out by each episode’s end, but truth-be-told, their success was all by design. The leader of this rag-tag group, John “Hannibal” Smith, was famous for saying, “I love it when a plan comes together.” He invariably said it with a grin.
The man knew what he was doing and enjoyed doing it.
For makers, when a project works out, it elicits a similar grin…
I always knew creating things was special. But I, like many, came to believe that creativity was a side-pursuit, not a profession. Be it lack of confidence, denial, or veering off course, I decided somewhere along the way that work was just that, work. And the fun things — for me, making and writing — were, at best, a hobby. Now in mid-career, I’ve taken the leap to put creating back where it belongs — front and center in my life. But getting there has been a challenge greater than I could have ever imagined.
I was a creative kid…
I’ve been on an organizing kick lately, getting The Lab (my shop) in order. It’s a small space, and optimizing it requires judicious selection of what to retain and what to discard. Tool choice is paramount — from hammers to chop saws, I put a lot of thought into what I buy, keep, and use. If something is going to take up space in the limited real estate of my life, it needs to be worth its three dimensions.
Learning to pick and employ the right tool for the job is an essential skill in making. Sometimes the situation calls…
The Mos Eisley cantina in the original Star Wars is my favorite scene in any film ever. Ever. I love it because here we first see how diverse this fictional universe actually is. All manner of creatures co-exist, and most seem relatively at ease around one another, despite their apparent differences. But as diverse as the beings of Star Wars are, they are all about the same size. Sure there are big ones, like eight-foot-tall Chewbacca the Wookie and small ones like the three-foot-tall Jawas. Generally, though, the sentient creatures in Star Wars are within the size extremes of humans…