Stuff I Think is Cool at the Moment

The following post is about beer, distilling, and growing plants.

Stuff I still find amusing: Distilling. Made from ebay parts, this is surprisingly easy. But still entirely illegal if done to make liquor. However, this is required if you want to distill fuel. Like ethanol. With an octane rating of 113, ethanol is a great fuel for your turbo but don’t store it i your vodka bottles. It’s one of those things which is simply illegal in an antiquated way.

Haiku continues to develop some cool stuff, but it also continues to be plagued by lack of drivers, lack of office suites and lack of a web browser. It plays TV though! That’s what the users want, right? At this point, I think the minimum three for an OS are Web Browser, Office, and printing. Without any modern printing system, haiku isn’t going to take center stage any time soon. (For all the people about to flame me, yes I know it has a printing system but no, it’s not nearly as elegant as it should be for what the OS aspires to). I can’t help but feel like I’m using a mac when I fire it up, but I am continuously impressed with how it Just Works and works quickly. On the other hand with no flash support, or web browser, stick to VMWare.

University Scientific looks like the old Zany Brainy (now defunct). What pissed me off about Zany Brainy is that sometimes the “learning toys” went way too far into merchandising. Case in point, the I-DIG treasure kit looks like it might be an awesome learning toy, but instead of letting the kids excavate a bucket of sand with a paintbrush, pick, and whatever else, it’s a styrofoam block, a crappy set of glasses, an equally crappy hammer and chisel (in real life this would destroy your site) and some paint. Wow. I could do better simply making a batch of opaque jello. Science kits are the same way. I’m playing through Fallout 3 now and realizing that the 1950s were the golden age of responsible youth products. Huge amounts of electricity, radioactive material, and chemical sets were distributed to kids while the everpresent pipe smoking father watched over their play. I even had one of those breadboard sets which I mercilessly destroyed but taught me the foundation of digital logic. That’s cool stuff! That’s a learning toy! Kids today are simply screwed. Actually I like the Snap Circuits thing, I remember blowing a diode and the vapors were terrible along with the pop it made.

Beer – All grain first batch is going down tomorrow. Wish me luck.