What Have We Learned?

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Octopus + Coconut

Posted by Tony Padegimas on June 12, 2015

Longtime followers of this blog might remember that we chronicle the antics of our flexible friends the octopi from time to time.

This is one of those times:


The octopus is apparently using the coconut shell as some sort of portable shelter. Draw your own conclusions.

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Placeholder with links

Posted by Tony Padegimas on December 19, 2014

And not all for this blog either..

For Are We Lost Yet:

Walnut Canyon designations proposals from AZ Daily Sun

Exploring Venus via Blimp


More later.

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Because it is hard…

Posted by Tony Padegimas on November 21, 2014

We have decided to learn Blender not because it is easy, but because it is hard. Also, it is free, and established past the point where it will not suddenly vanish.

It is not, however, well documented. We’ll dump sone links in that regard in a moment.

The hard part of 3D printing does not seem to be the printing. That can be an annoying technical challenge, but I am a technician by trade, so undeterred by that. The hard part – the value-added part – is turning an idea into a useful digital file. There are many applications that can do this, but we have chosen Blender because it is free hard.

Anyhoo – here’s where that process is starting:


That site warns:

Blender is not the kind of software you can launch into and grope about until you find your way. It’s not like exploring an unfamiliar city. It’s more like flying a spaceship. If you hop into the pilot’s seat without knowing the fundamentals, you’ll be lucky to ever get off the ground, and it’d take a miracle for you to reach your destination safely.

Okay then.




I’ll update on this subject once I’ve plowed through this.


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3D printing research link dump

Posted by Tony Padegimas on November 18, 2014

I’m looking into getting a 3D printer for reasons, and this is the link dump for that research. Not constructed for public consumption, but you are welcome to come in (in the same way that my storage room is not fit for company, but if you want to poke around while I have it open…)

Today we’re looking at software requirements.


A very basic FAQ site.


and their list of software.

Makerbot’s flowchart:



Wikipedia – because I’m not being graded for this assignment:



Now for some shopping around:


So 2-3 grand for the top name brand models.

Wirde on how SLA beats FFF except when you want to actually buy the thing:


Same model FFF (filament layering) on left. SLA on right.

So let me explain real quick. There are two basic consumer-level 3D printing technology approaches. One is the FFF approach which adds layers of melted filament – essentially a highly precise glue gun. This is fast and cheap but with real limits on the resolution. This is waht most of the consumer level printers use.

The other approach is laser or even photemetric reduction of resin, where lasers, or even specific light melts a volume of resin. This is more expensive, both for the printers and the resin but the results are far superior.


An example of a good laser/resin printer:


(this is a kit – remember, off-the-shelf does not exist yet.)

A review of a highly rated FFF printer for similar money:



So if I’m willing to learn Blender, I can do what I want for $2k,  or  $2.5 k comfortably.

Now you know.

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TARDIS / Outhouse correlation taken a bit too far.

Posted by Tony Padegimas on August 31, 2014


An actual thing in Bristol, England.



Now you know.

Posted in Toilets around the world | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Octopus vs jar

Posted by Tony Padegimas on May 12, 2014

On occasions, this blog monitors the antics of our future replacement species: the octopi.




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My weird book contract dillema

Posted by Tony Padegimas on April 11, 2014

So I entered my space opera novel (one of 64) in a contest and placed – I guess. Anyway, I “won” a publishing contract with the publisher, a small outfit that does mostly e-books (that I will decline to name at the moment). It is a surprisingly hard decision whether to sign t or not. So if you have a moment, follow me while I puzzle out the problem.

There’s no out of pocket for me. The Publisher covers or provides editing, cover art, printing and the like.

They are not asking for all rights, just license to publish.

There is zero advance.

The royalty rates are at the low end of acceptable, but acceptable.

I am required to complete their 3 month marketing academy (In lieu of an advance, they claim).

I would be required to establish a website that they approve, at my expense.

They want me to cut down from 130k to 110k words.

These guys are small, but they are not a vanity press. The money flows (or at least trickles)  in the right direction. I am resigned that no matter where I go with this, I will not see a sizable advance, and I will be called upon to do the bulk if not the entirety of the marketing work.


  • I could have a book out by this time next year.
  • It would be from an actual publisher that is not myself.
  • This offer is in my hands, right now. All other opportunities currently exist only in my mind.
  • I might actually learn something in their class.


  • I’ve never heard of these guys, and likely, neither have you.
  • The contract is not as clear as I would prefer about which rights I am granting.
  • 20k words is about four full chapters, or all references to a major character. The plot has a lot of moving, interlocking parts.
  • I don’t mind putting together a website. I  mind getting someone to sign off on it that isn’t paying for it.
  • No sensible adult mistakes a required class for payment.
  • This is a small pond when I honestly think I could make it in the open ocean.
  • I could write a lot of fun books using this universe, unless I somehow lose control of it all right here.

There are logistical benefits to having a decision by Monday. I will update as thoughts occur.

UPDATE: This thread continues in my other blog “One of 64″ (who would have seen that coming?)




Now you know.


Posted in Writing, writing biz | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Physicists speculate on making a space-time crystal

Posted by Tony Padegimas on March 31, 2014

Physicists speculate on making a space-time crystal

From Physics.org, via Popular Science

Nobody knows what this thing could do or lead to, and it requires a “better ion trap” thatn we can devise right now, but the point is coming home and saying, “Today, we crystallized space-time” and NOT be quoting Dr. Who.

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Ancient toilets

Posted by Tony Padegimas on February 11, 2014

This guy also has some great vids on the use and abuse of ancient weapons.
Oh – and this blog is not dead.

Posted in Toilets around the world, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

The problem with Facebook

Posted by Tony Padegimas on January 21, 2014

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