reWIRed: February 2015

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It’s the end of February (or has been for a few days), and it’s time for the monthly round-up show that is reWIRed, where host Montez McCrary discusses his favorite stories of the last 30 (give or take) days from ThePractitioNERD.com, covering the nerdy-geekery on architecture, technology, gaming, and pro wrestling. Continue reading “reWIRed: February 2015”

Annie Easley’s contributions to Modern Spaceflight

During Annie Easley’s 34-year career, she worked on and contributed to technologies and software that led to hybrid vehicles and great strides in spaceflight and exploration, and she did all of this as one of the first few African-Americans in her field. Despite racial tensions and segregation, Easley rose above, earning top marks and was the valedictorian of her graduating class to earn her a spot at Xavier University in New Orleans.  However, when relocating after her wedding, she was unable to continue her education in pharmaceutical medicine. But that didn’t stop her from moving her career forward. Continue reading “Annie Easley’s contributions to Modern Spaceflight”

And Now: The Evolution of the Ugly Christmas Sweater

Thanks to Kyle Coats for sending me this story via “The PractitioNERD” Facebook page (by the way, be sure to LIKE the page).  Anyway, Former NASA engineer, Mark Rober has now joined the latest technology with the perennial favorite, ugly Christmas sweater…and it’s the best Cyber Monday deal you’ll see.  The ugly Christmas sweater has become a ubiquitous feature of the holiday season, on par with grumbling about Black Friday or wrestling with the Christmas lights.  However, former NASA engineer Mark Rober (remember the Halloween costumes he made that I talks about?) has now combined the latest technology with the perennial favorite, ugly Christmas sweater…and it’s the best holiday deal you’ll ever see. Rober’s designs include holiday sweaters with digital flickering fireplaces, kittens that meow, Santa Clauses, and snow-storm-y globes. Continue reading “And Now: The Evolution of the Ugly Christmas Sweater”

Itt In Japan Bullet-Timing Space Jams Piper’s Pit- WIRed #78

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This week on WIRed, there’s a building in Japan that looks like that guy from that thing, former NASA make something really cool — because reasons –, NBA 2K13 makes Space Jam even MORE awesome, why you should be weary before going on Piper’s Pit! Continue reading “Itt In Japan Bullet-Timing Space Jams Piper’s Pit- WIRed #78”

Some NASA Engineers Built a Complex Bullet-Time Rig. Just For Fun.

Why? BECAUSE REASONS, THAT’S WHY!

Rather than spinning the GoPro camera itself in his earlier bullet-time rig (which also used a fan and two flashlights), Mark Rober and another engineer friend from NASA JPL designed a newer revision (the latest of at least FIFTEEN revisions), where the rig uses a high-end Phantom camera and a scooter motor to spin two mirrors on aluminum arms. This way, the team was able to get that coveted rotating-around-an-object perspective, while the super-expensive camera is safe, sound and stationary on the ground below, shooting at an insanely awesome 7,200 frames per second. Check out that image on the left; it’s really pretty amazing.  Check the link below for the video. Continue reading “Some NASA Engineers Built a Complex Bullet-Time Rig. Just For Fun.”

This Aluminum Airship from the Future has Finally Taken to the AIR!

This is the Aeroscraft, a fully rigid airship that vastly differs from the MetLife and Goodyear blimps (both in size, features, and purpose). Typically with blimps, they do not have any internal structure and are only able to maintain their shapes through the pressure of the gas they contain.  Whenever the gas escapes, blimps deflate just like the gigantic balloons that they typically are. The more rigid-style airships, such as zeppelins (maybe of the “Led” variety — I apologize), are able to maintain their shape regardless of gas pressure due to their internal skeleton structure. Continue reading “This Aluminum Airship from the Future has Finally Taken to the AIR!”

Living Cubes, Digital Dudz, Retro Controllers & D’Lo Brown – WIRed #64

In this week’s episode of WIRed — coming “live” from Camp Crystal Lake — I talk about maximizing limited living space with the Living Cube, how a guy quit his job at NASA to design techy t-shirts, the return of 8-bit pixels in controller-form, and why D’Lo Brown got me back into wrestling. Continue reading “Living Cubes, Digital Dudz, Retro Controllers & D’Lo Brown – WIRed #64”

Engineer Leaves NASA Gig to Make Awesomely-Techy Halloween Costumes

Back on August 21st of this year, engineer Mark Rober left his position at NASA in Los Angeles and flew to London, England to become a Halloween costume designer. Yup, you read that right.  Rober himself even said: “I could see the London Eye and I think, ‘what in the world am I doing’. This wasn’t part of the script.” Up until June of this year, Robert was a mechanical engineer at NASA, where he had been for nine years. He spent seven of those years were spent working on the Curiosity Rover project. So, you ask, why the sudden career change? Rober is currently developing wearable tech Halloween costumes and recently sold his company, Digital Dudz, to the British company that makes Morphsuits, where he is now employed.

Continue reading “Engineer Leaves NASA Gig to Make Awesomely-Techy Halloween Costumes”