Tech Museum

Quote of awesomeness: “What we have to learn to do, we learn by doing” ~ Aristotle

YOU CAN BUILD ROBOTS… ROBOTS!

Okay, okay, let’s go back to the beginning.

<<<<<< reversing time <<<<<<

We went to this museum in San Jose at the heart of Silicon Valley called Tech Museum. You have to visit, go now, like I’m not joking. Joke. Finish this blog first. Anyways, this museum is made up of plenty of different things and we’re just about to dive into it any moment now.

Ticket Prices for Museum:

Adult: $24

Student/Senior 65+: $19

Child (3-17): $19

There is an Education IMAX center which is a separate payment and is excluded when you pay for the museum. But, if you would like to check out the IMAX (I haven’t gone to this one but it looks cool beans) there are different fees and combos you can check at their website The Tech.

 IMPORTANT NOTE: Don’t lose your ticket and keep it ready to use because most of the machines, videos and most activities will need the barcode on your ticket to activate (awesome stuff)

Top Floor

ANN & JOHN DOERR PRESENT BODY WORLDS DECODED

Our first stop which we went to, was the top floor where one side was actual bodies where they are posing in a specific way and the skin isn’t there so all you can see is the muscle. Sure, it’s not the best site to see but these people (Eight of them here to be exact) donated they’re bodies for the sake of science and for us to learn, so while respecting them, let’s start learning more. This area had the actual heart, lungs and the even the nervous system. 

LEARNING HUBS

When you leave the BODY WORLDS DECODED part of the top floor, you will pass by 5 small hubs located at the sides. These hubs were addressing a few and specific major problems which also have videos in each hub consisting of the problem, solution and the impact. It was hard to watch especially for my younger sisters, Chloe and Beatrize, who learned how so many families and kids their ages, our ages, were in need of urgent help.

REBOOT REALITY: a digital experience lab

The other end was way cooler than my mind expected. There were stations of interactive VR which looked extremely fun. A VR is also known as Virtual Reality. It’s a headset which you place over your eyes and this amazing piece of technology transports you to a totally different universe, place or world. There was this one station where you lie down facing downward, wear the VR, and put your hands through these two sort of flap looking like thing which lays at your sides. Anyways, there is a display screen which shows everyone what the person who is riding and wearing the vp can see. He was transported to the clouds, over the buildings and transformed as……. a bird! The flap things I mentioned that were located at the sides of the person using it were his wings. He had to flap it to fly higher and when he didn’t flap he went lower, also her had to turn his body slightly to the left or vise versa when trying to dodge the buildings. It was also really funny to see. There were other stations of VR as well but everything was occupied, unfortunately for us. TIP: If you want to make sure you would have your turn at the VR stations I suggest booking online beforehand. But, if you do find yourself in this situation where you aren’t able to book it and the interactive VR’s are not available there is a small area where you can just check a VR and see some of our “future buildings”. 

INNOVATIONS IN HEALTH CARE

Once you zoom past then digital experience lab, there is a small hall which leads you to a section of innovations which have been created and games. There were about 5-6 large looking iPads on the walls and each had a problem and the solutions that were found. The five things which you had the option to select from was: 


[For example the problem is vaccinations]

1. FIND YOUR WHY (This is the problem)

– There are plenty of kids and adults who are in need of vaccinations but they hurt right? 

2. IMAGINE (What the problem is and what needs to be changed)

– Yes, they are the most commonly used. But, did you know that 20% of the population fears needles (I certainly am part of this percent who gets the wobbly legs for needles) and avoid getting their supposedly rightfully needed vaccination? Also, there are about 1.3 million deaths each year caused by accidental needle sticks which causes infection to the person giving the shot. Terrible, I know. Another thing is these needles have to be stores in a cold place but this is a challenge for some areas around the world as electricity that could be relied on is lacking. So much requirements for this needle which most of our world’s population don’t enjoy to have.

3. CREATE

LUCKY for us, Mark Kendall (a biomedical engineer) has created a vaccination device which needles nor refrigerators don’t even come into the vocabulary. 

4. TEST

This invention is even more effective compared to the traditional shots, and it consisted of: a square, silicon Nanopatch which measures 1 Square cm, covered with 20,000 tiny spikes coated with vaccine. There is no pain and it’s way for efficient.

5. REFLECT AND SHARE


 

I give a huge CONGRATULATIONS to Mark Kendall because creating such a device as this is a tipping point for injections. And, I haven’t tried this silicon patch yet but I want to try to get my vaccination this way.

THE GAMES

OKAY, enough talk about needles and those stuff let’s talk more about the games they had!

Fuuuuuuun Fact: Dog’s sense of smell is over 10,000 times better than yours and they have 50 times more receptors than humans. And, we humans, detect odor chemicals in the air with these receptors. So, imagine having your sense of smell * 50, no wonder dogs have such sensitivity to the faintest smells.

Game #1: Sniff it out

I played this one game with my sister where you sniff from this hole and you have to identify what it is and choose your answer on the computer provided. It was funny because the deeper you went into the game the more intense it is. And, believe me when I say this, when you see your sibling or your friend or anyone repeatedly pressing on the button to release the smell, then, sniffing hard and bringing your nose closer on the scent and looking around with a Sherlock Holmes look while their nose turn slightly red from inhaling in too much just to distinct whether it was grass mixed bubblegum or popcorn, you can’t help but give out a good ‘ol laugh. It’s hilarious, really.

 Game #2: Surgery

I don’t exactly know why it’s called surgery but….oh well. This activity is played better with two people. On the table, each person would sit on the opposite side of each other while facing each other. Person No.1 would have the blocks on their side, while Person No.2 would have the instructions on how to build and what you will be building. There are a few choices you can pick from the instruction manual like: a skyscraper, a train, tower 1, and more. Basically, Person No.2 would just instruct Person No.1 using words and specifics. It is a fun game but can be challenging.

Game #3

This game consists of two challenges which you can pick from. The first one you have your blocks and a timer. You can have to build a house with a roof under an amount of seconds while closing you eyes. The second challenge is to make a building which has a weight of only 8oz. Don’t worry there is a small platform located at the side of the table where you place your building to measure the ounces. The challenge in this one is to only put one block on the pressure plate. It’s awesome especially if you’re practicing on balancing blocks on each piece.

THE LABS

[I’m going to add a story effect because it’s cooler that way]

You venture forward leaving the games behind and wonder how much longer the top floor has left, but it’s not like a bad thing because it’s just too fun. BUT THEN, you peer down on your watch or your phone and see the time veering towards lunch time. You look up and think to yourself “I’m not even that hungry anyway” but then another thought comes through your mind “I want to see the bottom floor of them museum” as you look to the lower ground and see the other activities which lies ahead. As all these things travel about in your mind, you find your feet suddenly stopping. Before you can complain there are bright colors and so much movement and motion which take place and distract you. You’ve just stopped at the lab. On your right, there are colors and machines which don’t seem familiar to you and a sign which says “living colors” also to your left you see a- your thoughts got interrupted once again but by someone else, “Hi!” A voice behind calls, you swerve around with a smile planted on your face and greet back [okay, story time over]….. we were greeted by yet another kind staff which showed us how to create these germs digitally which you can test and try out. There were about four more other stations which we’re occupied and we even programmed it like: When release red, turn into blue, or, when with stranger (like a germ which it isn’t familiar with) then turn fuzzy .

Bottom Floor

SPIES AND HACKS 

We first ran to this whole section which gave out a Spy and Hack type of vibe which really just temporarily blinded everything else around it once I saw it and stood out (in a good way) so we had to go to it first. 

a hidden message 

There are three steps which we carefully went through in order to the decipher the code given to us. The first one was called the Cardan Grille where we had to rotate the cylinder in order to find the hidden message. Once we found that, we went to the second step which is called Rail Fence where we moved the letter accordingly which matched from the hint we got from the Cardan Grille. Lastly, the Caesar Shift (It’s not a salad bowl), where you have to rotate the dial accordingly to the information you gathered from the Rail Fence. I’m not going to tell you what the message is because I’m not going to spoil the answer.

building robots

YOU CAN BUILD ROBOTS… ROBOTS!! To be frank, I enjoyed this the most because building robots is cooler than cool and funner than fun. It’s, in my opinion, both awe-spiring and very enjoyable. If you know how to make robots and do some programming you’re an awesome person, if you don’t know how you’re still very awesome. We were assisted by one of the staffs who joyfully showed us how to operate the whole system. We each had a portable source of power which were on wheels and which we placed our robot stuff on. First thing that we were taught was the input and output. We control our output with our input. An example, your switch is your input and an LED (Light-Emitting Diode) is your output. When you put your parts (the input and output) on the energy source and connect both the input and the output with [insert name of wiring connector] then your results would just be delighting, your LED would light up. Once we got down to the basics, we were given the independence of creating and adding more to our robot. And, the input and outputs didn’t consist of just ‘ol buttons and a few LED’s, there were a vast different kinds to pick from like: motors which spin around, distance sensors, and more. 

There are plenty more that is yet to be discovered such as the space section part where you can move a mars rover and go on a simulator which you move with two joysticks. I just have to say that going to this museum will give you a blast. I learned so much and at the same time had so much fun. This is the way to learn and it’s very effective. Yes, while books are good at giving information, museums such like these help as you can see the actual thing and the more interactive the more it helps to stick in your mind and aid in learning better and smarter.

Stay awe-spiring my awesome humans!

Yours truly,

L.O.A.SH

 

 

The great powers that come with wind turbines.

Wind turbines were invented way before you. Like a thousand years earlier. Circa A.D. times, Wind Mills already existed. Did you know that way back even in 5000 BC Egyptians already started using the concept of wind power for their boats? Yup, they did. Pretty awesome, I know.

My Question: Why are wind turbines not everywhere?

I would have thought that with these thousands of years that have passed we would have been able to establish some worldwide wind turbine system put both onshore and offshore around this planet. Although some would debate that it would be a disadvantage to some wildlife such as birds and bats and also some complaints on the noise pollution it creates, we can find a way to fix that problem (right?).

The simple principle on which wind turbines use to create energy and produce electricity

There is a small device attached to the very end of the wind turbine (kind of like a tail) which has two to three blades (but instead of being sharp it’s rounded and caved like a spoon and its movement is similar to that of mini propellers) and is known as an anemometer. This device (anemometer) is connected to a rotor which is connected to the main shaft which is connected to and spins a generator which produces and create electricity! 

 

02_tower_2
Creds: Department of Energy

 

There are a minimum and maximum speed of air which is needed for the wind turbine to move or stop (especially if the winds are too strong). And, according to WilloWindEnergy (which is both a developer and operator of wind farms in the UK), the wind turbine would need a minimum wind speed of 4 to 5 meters per second (circa 10 miles per hour) and a maximum wind speed of 15 meters per second (circa 33 miles per hour). 

What is the difference between offshore and onshore wind turbines?

First and the main difference between the two types are the locations. Offshore wind turbines are in the ocean and onshore wind turbines are on land.

 

Windturbines on the ocean
Offshore Wind Turbine

Offshore wind turbines are farther away from humans which makes it safer and less irritating (with its noise pollution). Also, because winds are usually higher at sea, they built these wind turbines to be stronger and they are also better at producing as well. But, unfortunately, it is more difficult to install offshore wind turbines compared to onshore because it’s like in the middle of the ocean. Okay, fine, not exactly at the center of the ocean but really far from civilization in the middle of rough waves and strong winds. Also, the wind turbines (offshore) have the disadvantage of having less maintenance as it’s not such an easy task to grab a boat with the tools and fix the underground wires or other problems that may occur. According to GroundSure, they install the wind turbines in open water by bringing the parts and assembling the parts like a kit. They ship the parts, dividing them by their main components and then when they’re at their location they assemble the turbine piece by piece. Also, the drilling is different (and in my opinion) much harder than onshore because they need to drill deep underneath the seabed whereas onshore wind turbines just need to drill a deep hole underneath the surface of the earth (on land, which should be obviously easier. At least, I think it will).

 

east-renfrewnshire_windfarm-2
Onshore Wind Turbines in Scotland

 

Onshore wind turbines, on the other hand, have their advantages and disadvantages as well. For your onshore wind turbine (just like the offshore wind turbine) you’ll need to dig a hole where you will place the turbine. The depth of this hole would be around 1 meter or 3 feet but it varies with the size of your wind turbine. The bigger the turbine = the bigger the drill and dig. Most cons lie on the noise pollution they omit, the dangers of wildlife getting hit by this that onshore wind turbines, and apparently, they also don’t look a pleasant sight to some.

 

Creds: Union of Concerned Scientist This is the revolution of how wind turbines came to be today and probably in the near future.

 

How do we calculate wind power?

We can calculate the wind power that is used by the anemometer on the wind turbines with the equation: P = 1/2 ρ A v3  

P = power (W)
 
ρ = density of air 
 
A = area wind passing through (which is perpendicular to the wind)
 
v = wind velocity (m/s)
How do we choose which is the best place to put a wind turbine?
First, you should:

Choose a location

  1. Avoid slow winds
  2. Avoid turbulent wind
  3. NEVER put the wind turbine on top of a building
    1. It creates loud noises which won’t be pleasant for the people in the building
    2. It’s not always a site for everyone to enjoy
    3. It might not be that stable (compared to the once that have a foundation and are built and stabilized underneath the earth surface a bit

High wind speed tip:

  1. Open areas are best
  2. Upppp high (but not on a building [<— REMEMBER])
    1. If you want it on a higher area just extend the stand to be longer (but you will also most likely need to dig deeper, as well)

And, according to the wind energy association, 

The output of a wind turbine depends on the turbine’s size and the wind’s speed through the rotor. An average onshore wind turbine with a capacity of 2.5–3 MW can produce more than 6 million kWh in a year – enough to supply 1,500 average EU households with electricity.

BIGGER TURBINE = MORE POWER

BIGGER TURBINE = DIG DEEPER

Something that just blew my mind with it’s awesomeness…….

If you check out this website, you will see (in real time) the movement of wind happening around the globe! And, that’s not all! You can also see the global map of wind, weather, and ocean conditions. Here’s a small take on what you will see once you visit the website.

Mind – blowing,

I know,

I know.

Check it out!

 

So, here we are again: why don’t we have more wind turbines? It mostly lies on a couple of problems such as —> the fund. Although you might think that the price of the wind turbines by themselves is quite reasonable (especially considering the length and how much non-polluting energy and electricity it can produce), you would still have to consider all the other factors such as taxes, labor, and transportation expenses on the bill. But, with global funding, greater engineers (to solve the endangerment to flying wildlife and loud sounds emitted), awesome artists (to fix the “looks” maybe so that it could be a sight to sore eyes, too) and imagine that! Teamwork. Passion. We can probably make this work. And, think about it, we could even reduce the problems that come with burning fossil fuel in the long term.

Yours truly,

L.O.A.S.H

Ibajay Journey: Third day, A Wedding

The third day in this beautiful place

Our third day begins with some Longganisa and eggs. Excited, we left to the mangrove eco – park. One of the men, Denise, who works at the park called us. We went to him and he pointed to a bucket and told us he caught two mud – lobsters. Ate Aga picked it up, but we only saw one mud – lobster. We told him there was only one, then he said that the other men ate it. I was shocked, but after, he said it might have just been a crab. So, which really ate it? I guess we had to accept it. It affect us that much.

A wedding

Denise showed us another passage to enter the starting of the park because there will be a wedding. The wedding was starting in the afternoon but we have to be prepared. We can’t just walk through a wedding all muddy and stinky.

Shovel Time

Unfortunately, when we checked our traps nothing popped up. We left the traps behind and went to our first station. The first two mounds we dug with our hands and when we used the shovel, it kinda went terribly wrong because the mounds got clogged. The third one was going alright and deep but high tide was coming. A few minutes after, we started to pack up. Luckily, we hung our bags on a branch. The water was already on our knees. You could see some worms and other weird bugs floating around already.

Another Passage

We trudged under the bridge and through the mud where we could hear the music from the wedding. And, today we learned many different things from the local people who work in the park. They told us how they cut down the nipa and sell them for about 300 PHP per sack. It’s exciting learning about their culture here and because they stay here every day they know a lot of things about mangroves and mud lobster and other wildlife.

It’s beautiful how they take care of the land so much. They know how to find the right food. But, we need to make more people aware. And, not just aware but also care about these mangroves. Are you in?

~ Juvenile L.O.A.S.H

I became a wizard at Harry Potter Studios

Hello, everybody! Ok so lets fast forward. Woke up, ate some breakfast, prepared, got my raincoat (it was raining hard out there) and left (of course with (aunt) Kristine and Saoirse).

Oh, I was so excited.

We were all scared we would miss us our 3:00 pm bus going to the Harry Potter. We didn’t, of course, thanks to our speed walk. There was a diversion on the bus which meant we had to get out of the first bus and ride the second bus. While waiting for our second bus, we bought our ticket at this booth which seemed to be decorated with harry potter pictures and stuff.

~~~~~ 1 YEAR LATER ~~~~

Just kidding.

Anyways, the bus (FINALLY) arrived and we were informed that it would take one hour to arrive at our destination. Fortunately for us, there was a Harry Potter film that showed inside the bus.

One hour later and we stepped off the bus. A sort of magical breeze blew in my face the moment we stepped out. A building came into view. The sign read The Making of Harry Potter. It was so cool. I ran up to the building, happily. I felt myself totally fan girling here.

Outside there was a ticket machine where we printed our tickets for the Harry Potter. We got two tickets and proceeded inside. Our first mission that came across all our minds was: Eat. Right Now…. It was quite convenient for us because as soon as entered, a coffee shop lit up in the distance. We ordered some cheese touts (which were basically bread and grilled cheese) and one caramel and chocolate cupcake.

We grabbed the food from the Pick-Up area and immediately lined up to enter the Studio Tour. I heard “Oooooh”s and “Ahhhhh”s the closer went to the big door leading to something quite interesting. Well, I would have predicted it was something AWESOME judging from all the “OOOOOH”s and “AHHHHH”S. But, anyway, while we were still waiting for our turn to enter, there was a display of Harry Potters room that lay under the stairs.  When it was our turn to get inside the room we all scurried in.

The host was talking about the movie and J.K. Rowling (the author). Do you know J.K Rowling? She started out unemployed and living a hard life then became a multimillionaire in five years! She’s best known for her series the Harry Potter. She actually first wrote about her first ideas on a piece of tissue on a train going to London in 1990.

Now, back to the present.

The host then asked which house everybody would like to be in. You could hear a few kids screaming Slytherin, nobody picked Hufflepuff, some picked Ravenclaw and finally, the rest picked Gryffindor. Yes, I chose Gryffindor. What would you choose?

We went inside a kind of movie house place, and the seats were perfect. They joked “Okay, everybody. We are going to play all the movies of Harry Potter back to back!”, and just in case you haven’t watched Harry Potter, it is about 2 hours and a few minutes each movie! I actually wouldn’t have minded if it weren’t a joke. Anyways, they played a short film where some parts were time-lapse of how the place was built and how long they took. I’d say it was pretty interesting.

When the film finished we went to the great big doors that would lead us to the Great Hall, and the person who opened it was one of the birthday celebrants in our group. Did you know that the Great Hall in Harry Potter is where they ate their food or made announcements in the movie? I can’t begin to describe how honored I was to be actually standing here.

Interesting/Awesome Fact: This (the hall and I guess the studio) has stood for about 10 years already

The table was filled with delicious food. I wanted to munch it all down. I know, I know I just ate but it looked all so good. But unfortunately for me, it was fake food.

We followed the guide who showed us all the clothes that the movie actors wore such as the robes and stuff. We saw all the special effect such as the green screen. Have you ever heard of the green screen? They use it in movies to make the backgrounds. For example, if you were to be flying away from a dragon on your magic broom stick, all you had to do was sit on a broom stick in front of a green screen. Once the perfect lighting is set on the green screen than just about anything you could imagine could become a reality.

One of my favorite parts of this studio was the hut of Hagrid. It looked exactly the same compared to the movie! Well, it actually is exactly the same because this was the same hut that they used in the movie!!

There was also all the faces of the small creatures (I think they were goblins) that were in the bank. They even showed us the snake looking door that led Harry Potter into the Chamber of Secrets. Every turn that you took would show another awesome thing from the movie. The room of Severus Snape was displayed and there was a pot that was being mixed with a rod that no one was holding……… magic?

We got a Harry Potter passport where we had to stamp into each page each place you go to, and there were even these small quizzes inside.

The other room we went to was the town place where Harry went to get his money, owl, and his wand in the first movie. In the town, there was the candy store where some of the candy would turn you blue or make your voice sound like an animal. I remembered in one of the Harry Potter films I watched I saw them eat some chocolates that could make you sound like a lion or a chicken.

The next room was the train that Harry rode to his first trip to Hogwarts! I never imagined it was beautiful. There was actual fog rising from the bottom of the train as if it were about to run off. I asked Kristine where nine and three-quarters were, and she said there is no such thing. Or is there?

We went through a tunnel, and I honestly wanted to scream ‘Nine and three-quarters!!’. I was scared passing through the wall would break my nose. I pass through quite well, no need to worry.

Outside, there was this place where you could take a picture of the flying car that Ron and his friends rode or the flying motorcycle where Hagrid rode with Harry to keep him safe. After this, I explored around.

Here are the places that I stamped on my harry potter passport:

Hogwarts Express (the train)

The Sets (The Great Hall)

Special Effects Area

Backlot

Creature Effects

Art and Graphics

Props

Costume

Last but not least…… The Studio Shop

Before we end this, I just want to talk about the Studio Shop. I honestly wanted to buy….. everything. There was hats, shirts, wands, jelly beans (in ALL flavors),  glasses (which looked the exact replica of Harry potters), wizard hats, keychains, necklaces and more. I just ended up looking around the shop for 30 minutes before leaving.

I had such a fun and amazing time on the actual set of Harry Potter. I think that you would enjoy it as well! If you would like to visit it, you could buy tickets at their site: Warner Bros Harry Potter.

~ L.O.A.S.H

Ibajay Journey: Second Day, Mangrove Exploration

Circa: JUNE 7, 2016

Second day

We went back to the park to check out our traps and the mangroves. This time, we came at 8:00 am. The sun was shining through the trees and the birds were chirping beautifully. We arrived at our trap site.

Did we catch any?

From afar we could see the trap was touched by something. The trap was deactivated, but by what? We walked down the muddy stairs and to the traps. One was under a bridge and the other was near the oldest tree. We got both the traps and checked them. We were able to peek through a small hole which was created for inserting the paddle. We saw a claw and an antenna. It was possible that it was just a crab, but I guess we’ll find out soon.

Frightened Creature

We slowly lifted the opening for the creature to get out. On the other end of the trap, we put a container to catch it. We didn’t know exactly how the attitude of this animal was. We prepared to catch it as a mix of excitement and curiosity took over. We surrounded our trap and waited patiently. Silence filled the air. You could probably hear a leaf fall from a mile away.

But, fortunately for us, slowly it came out. It meaning the mud – lobster. We closed the lid of the cylindrical container. The mud – lobster pushed the cover and was trying to claw its way up. Very intelligent animals, indeed. It stopped moving when I ventured toward the container it was in. I put a small stick in front of its face to see what it would do. It didn’t move but after a few seconds, it loudly tried to clamp it with both its claws.

Plot 2

After capturing the mud – lobsters we went back to our second plot. We measured the starting of the plot and went further inland. We noticed there were a lot of Nypas on one of the mounds. We studied how the other mounds were surrounded by other kinds of plants. We were trying to measure the other mounds on the other side but it was covered with Acanthuses and Nypa Fruticans. After measuring all the mounds visible, we went back to the old tree.

New Plot

Since we found some interesting things happening on this small piece of an island with the tree, we decided to make a plot there. The circumference of the whole island was 18 M 77. We wanted to look at the mud – lobster better so we decided to let it go for awhile. Scared it would run, we tied a small piece of string to its body creating a leash. It looked pretty funny, leashing a lobster. After realizing they are actually very, very slow we just unleashed them. We barricaded their surroundings with small logs and pieces of stick we found lying around, even an old boot. The biggest mud – lobster kept escaping and trying to get into one of the holes. They both stopped moving so we put them back into their containers.

Traps

We decided the best idea was to set up the traps in the same mound to check if more than one lobster lived in it. After setting up the traps, and nearly catching some mudskippers, we rested on top of one of the open bridges. This bridge wasn’t completely finished so the sides had no railings yet. We spotted a medium-sized jellyfish that got itself tangled up in the vines. It was beautiful and after few minutes untangled. The cool breeze was passing as I stared through the binoculars. I could barely make out the sweet songs of the birds anymore. The sun started to fall and the night was filled with partying crickets.

Night Sky

It’s been two hours since we left the trap and made a decision to check them out. We steadily made out our way with some flashlights. The ants started to appear everywhere, we could barely touch the railings for support. There was this one time when we found five ants all tearing up one ant. It was crazy. We did our nocturnal prospection for maybe 45 minutes. We went back and forth quietly trying to spot some mud – lobsters burrowing away. On our way out we closed all our lights and stared into the sky. All the stars were out, and the moon was like a shimmering diamond. We told each other stories and left back to go home.

THUNDER!!

We’ve finished freshening up and we were just laying around studying. We could see the flashes of lightning through our window. There was no after sound with the lightning in a long time. The silence in the air was occupied by the sound of the aircon. All of a sudden a loud boom came screaming through my ears. I jumped, accidentally pulling off my earphones with it. We all looked at each other, surprised. The ground shook for me, it felt so close by. It was past 9:00 pm so we decided to sleep already.

~ Juvenile L.O.A.S.H

Dyson Foundation

“I haven’t failed. I just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.” ~ Thomas Edison

First of all, thank you Dyson Foundation for the Ideas Box!!!! :). This has disciplined me with the patience of building a device or an item.

Dyson Foundation Ideas Box is one of the few projects that I am doing. James Dyson, a British inventor, is the industrial designer and founder of the Dyson Company. He is best known for inventing the Dual Cyclone bagless vacuum. But maybe you’re asking yourself, “why? Why did he make this [cool, really cool] vacuum?”. James, one day, was feeling irritated with the vacuum that he was using due to its poor performance. He decided that he wanted to make the product that would be, in his thought, much better. So, five years and 5,127 prototypes later, he made this new vacuum which was the first bagless vacuum in the world. But, that isn’t all! In 2002, Dyson set up this foundation which has the goal to inspire young people to study engineering and maybe even become one someday. He wants students to make mistakes and think in a different way. His “Engineering Box” (which is the one that I received) is filled with activities! Some of the activity cards that were included in the box are:

media-20170103 media-20170103-3media-20170103-1 media-20170103-2

And, on each of the activity cards are information on like how it works or some small trivia. It’s just very engaging and you could actually find more of these project on their site!

Well, since we’re on this topic, I’d like to share to you guys a few things I have created:

  1. Spy Pen (can shoot far)
  2. Book with hidden camera

I’ve honestly been very excited when it came to making things and the Dyson Foundation is such an excellent way to learn more and get your learning fluids up and running!!

Dyson Ideas Box has pushed me to the limit that I can create anything if I try :D. Inside the box they have sent me, there was a bladeless fan inside but when they sent it to me I had to connect the head to the body (it was very simple). I would recommend homeschoolers to use this and other schools because I think that it would be a great opportunity for kids to get inspired and learn this.

f0ef0668c6f9f861d8af03cdc5fc32a4457cab152bd2cf605a9ca74e6154dfa0

The information which it has for the reader (me or you) has given me a lot of fine concepts to form something out of nothing. They told me that frustration helps you to make an invention because when you’re frustrated at something you will want to do something (exactly how Dyson was with his vacuum). If you made an improved product than the other person, then you should show and tell the advantages. Here is an example:

Original computer

  • Can hold about 50 movies and 75 songs
  • Comes in color black (only)
  • Small

Your computer design

  • 100 movies 200 songs
  • Can come in all colors
  • Can come in small, medium or big

[That was just an example I made up]

Do you see??? You have to make your invention more interesting and a better product. When you are writing an invention (you want to make it “TOP SECRET” so that no would steal it from you) you should sketch, and write down the details. Remember if you are making it better than someone else explain the difference. James Dyson had a vacuum which kept breaking apart, and he was frustrated; therefore, he started to make his own vacuum and finally his invention is around countries and even on ads :). He wanted to make kids explore their inner inventor, make mistakes and invent. You’ve got this. We all do! Now explore and try! Find a problem and create a solution. hank you again to James Dyson!! 🙂

Before I end this, I just have to say again…. Thank you James Dyson!! 🙂

Yours truly,

L.O.A.S.H

My Journey at Ibajay Begins….

So, here we go. We are about to dive into this adventure I took a while back. Get ready!!

IMG_8816.jpg

Circa: JUNE 6, 2016

Arrival at Ibajay, Panay

Our journey finally begins as we arrived in Ibajay, Panay at 6:00 pm. Me, Kuya Garrett and ate Aga went to our room and cleaned up our baggage. After preparing our backpacks with some of the survival and mangrove equipment needs such as :

Flashlight
First Aid Kit
Lunch
Bandana
Measuring tape
Ribbon
Binoculars
Old newspapers (for press drying the leaves from Mangroves)
And more….
we ate our dinner and hit the snooze button.

Start of our field work

Around 5:00 am we ate our breakfast and headed straight to the Ibajay Mangrove Eco – Park where we waited for our guide. There were a lot of different kinds of mangroves it was sometimes difficult to tell apart. You really needed to check the bark, leaves, texture, color, fruits, and flowers. We would even use our newspapers to dry and identify them while we had our guide around. While walking through the park I found a few of the 28 kinds of trees :

1. Avicennia Alba / Marina / Officinalis / Rumphiana
5. Acanthus Ebracteate / ilicifolius / Volubilis
6. Aegiceras corniculatum
7. Bruguiera Parviflora
8. Ceriops Decandra / Tagal
9. Pemphis Acidula
10. S. Alba / Caseolaris
11. Xylocarpus Granatum / Moluccensis
12. And exploring more…
We went deeper into the park and went to explore the ground and get our hands dirty. We started to plot ten by ten meters square for our stations. Each station we would measure how big the mounds were, the circumference and the height. We have now created two stations and are planning on hitting 5 stations. Each side of the square we would use an app, altimeter, to find out the coordinates and the degrees. Measuring the plot would, sometimes, get us stabbed by the Acanthus Ebracteate, This plant was very sharp and you can find almost everywhere around or on top of the mound.

IMG_8827.jpg

Mounds and Mud – lobsters

Mounds are like big lumps of soil which are made by mud – lobsters. You can find these mounds almost everywhere near the mangrove trees or the saline environment. The biggest mound we’ve measured had a circumference of 14 meters, which was pretty large.

Looks pretty cool, right?

Some of the mounds are all clumped together, we called these condos. When we open up these ‘condos’ there would be dozens of holes leading somewhere deep. We couldn’t even reach the bottom, the mud – lobsters are really good at making mounds. The mud – lobsters use their claws to burrow a mound. They are called engineers sometimes. When mounds are created it also helps the soil. People usually see these mounds as useless lumps on the ground, but actually, it provides homes for special snakes, ants, crabs, spiders and other animals. Mud – lobsters are very timid and nocturnal creatures so it is low probability to see one.

 

Some Rain

On the second plot, we started to hear some thunder. We hurried up our business before everything started to pour. We didn’t have time to measure any mounds because the hard rain started. We ran up the stairs to the nipa hut where we ate some snacks. Our research did say that the mud – lobster come out when it’s raining so me and ate Aga went to look at some of the mounds.

Blue Water

The rain somehow changed the color of the river to blue. Awhile ago it was murky green now it was just light clear blue. I wanted to get a sample but I didn’t find time to get any. We didn’t know why it changed the color. We were thinking maybe when the fresh water and the salt water mixed it did some things and changed color? I still need to research on that

Damaged Mounds

We came up with an idea to conduct an experiment and see if the mud lobsters repair their damaged homes. We started to shovel up open the tunnels from the mounds which were really deep. We never reached the bottom but opened up everything. The next spot we dug up was near the biggest in width tree which was a 750-year-old Avicenna Rumphiana.

High Tide

We all decided to check our second station and start doing our measurement again. Everything was covered with water, all the small plants. The water was so high up our knees we couldn’t find the path we were in awhile ago. We decided to do our studies of our second plot in a few hours.

Starfish

While waiting for the tide to lower down a notch we swam in the beach. Not one single fish did I see. The water we swam in was clear. No corals. No fish. No seaweed. Nothing. We started to swim further from shore. There, in the middle of nowhere, a blue starfish with small spikes on top. We picked it up and I noticed one of its arms were missing. It must have been washed here by the tide. But, it was awesome that a starfish out of, so far, a clear sea just popped up here.

Setting up traps

After cleaning ourselves up we walked back to the eco – park. Finally, the tide calmed down and we could do more field work. We went to the spot where we opened a hole to see the progress. We raced back to the scene where we shoveled the mounds. Amazed, the mounds were covered with fresh mud. They say that this creature only does their work at night because they are nocturnal. This time, we planned to trap the mud – lobster with a snare trap. Luckily, we had a few which were made of bamboo. We put two snare traps in two holes which were in the area of the oldest mangrove.

Snare Trap

A snare trap is bamboo contraption which was designed to lure in animals and trap them. This is the trap that was set up to catch them in the park.

Fiddler Crabs

While the others were setting up the snare trap, I and my brother looked for some fiddler crabs. The fiddler crabs (color: red, blue and gray) which were hiding under the soil were fast. We caught two each. One of them had a big claw and the others were spotty. We put them in a small plastic container to identify them later. Our guide said that the light red one was the female, while the fiddler with the large claw was a male. The crabs with the one big claw are the ones who fight for the female and gain their territories. If you stay quite and watch carefully you could find two crabs fight with their large claw. Their claw is the size of their body. While I held them captive I was watching what they would do when their just not bothered. The female crab was using its small claws to like scratch her eye.

There are about 100 species of the genus Uca. We have 5 in the mangrove park. I did identify it to be a genus Uca but not the exact species.

~ Juvenile L.O.A.S.H

 

Homemade Acai Bowl

 Fruits! Glorious Fruits!!

Gather the following ingredients:

  • Bananas 
  • Mangoes 
  • Strawberries
  • Granola 

I know right such simpleness. -_- (That’s a real word)

Step 1:

Cut your fruits (7x bananas, 3x mangoes, and 8x strawberries) and put it in the freezer overnight. For the bananas, all you have to do is break it in half. For the mangoes, you should peel it and separate from the skin. For the strawberries, you could just cut it in three pieces each. Place the fruits you cut, peeled and sliced in a container and into the freezer. 

Tip #1: You could leave some fruits to chop it and later on put it on top of your acai bowl as a topping.

Tip #2: Don’t forget to place the fruits in the freezer, not the refrigerator. 

Step 2:

Good morning! 

Get the frozen fruits from your freezer and blend them all!

Tip #1: You don’t have to put all the fruits at once. Especially if it won’t fit or you want to have an easier time blending.

Tip #2: Every now and then, you could push the fruits from the top to the bottom of the blender to help it to blend quicker. BUT MAKE SURE THE BLENDER IS OFF.

Step 3:

Once your fruits are done blending and have a good thick consistency and there aren’t any whole fruits anymore, transfer your mixture into your bowl or bowls. 

Step 4:

Top everything off with some granola, freshly sliced bananas, and strawberries.

Step 5:

ENJOY!!

In case you don’t have any strawberries it’s fine! Your acai bowl will still taste amazing! Bananas and Mangoes alone are still a perfect combination. It’s a good breakfast food.

Yours truly,

L.O.A.S.H

 

 

 

 

L.O.A.S.H’s Arduino Projects: Controlling Servo Motors with a Joystick

With this project, you will be able to control two servo motors with a joystick with Arduino! 

For this project you will need to gather:

  • Arduino Board

0-02-06-3e61517352900af7aca75ae80bd8bb003f5bb9e72a9e9557f75162f83bbd25fa_full.jpg

  • Breadboard

0-02-06-cd66c6b6d65f22179fc1a06c362c44db50bc340f3218d339911b1eb0709a55b8_full.jpg

  • Wires | x13

0-02-06-b48c27591fb83fd36c03c33e241a51a1f619e6b1d07f0de5cb66f1b076e17d8b_full

  • Servo Motors | x2

0-02-06-656ab4f6bc88f237b866d892bdb219fefa5e480bf645f88fc2cbfc55f749f569_full

  • Battery 

0-02-06-8ac9e32dd7aa2cab229409c610e5218da78fd9469262db96a33691471e1b1a6b_full

 

To make this (really cool) project, you will need to:

Step 1: Battery

Connect your external battery to your breadboard.

0-02-06-fa93aff5c167975906e799e6193fd5bb7e4fdcd8271bcebacdfc368bc592e900_full  

Step 2: Wiring 

Get a piece of wire and connect one end to GND on your Arduino Board and the other end to the negative channel on your breadboard.

0-02-06-fb2c30416f0bc5b94c8d3c9d743bffc1439a17d6e5c06e1fe5028219feafe597_full

Step 3: Servo Motors

Get your two servo motors and 6 wires. Connect the VCC and the GND of the two servos to the VCC and GND on the breadboards inputs. Then, connect your first Servo Signal Connect to the Arduino Digital PMW 3 on your Arduino Board.

0-02-06-3daf95e97aa092d7453a4010191438347de1b18e134785dded2454d5d49c5d69_full

 In case you aren’t very familiar with the Arduino Digital PMW 3, it looks like the photo below as well as the Digital PMW 5 and the blue wire from the first servo

0-02-06-24edbd7bb8929ca5eab0480444ddfbfd4030d44cc1b9499de030c0acd518d611_full

Your second Servo Signal Connect should be connected to the Arduino Digital PMW 5.

0-02-06-a98f20a183f18ace8fc31c4260055729730df7fcbc957b428a9d8c2ed68210af_full

Step 4: JoyStick

Connect the GND on your Joystick to the GND on the Arduino Board.

0-02-06-750f14cd78d2d4ccb1571cc4bb98c5cce58194a7654087ed21c9b2f5a411bcaa_full

Then, connect the +5V on your joystick to the 5V on the Arduino Board.

Then, connect the VRx on your joystick to the A0 on the Arduino Board.

Then, connect the VRy on your joystick to the A1 on the Arduino Board.

The photo below shows where I connected what and where. Just look at the corresponding colors to which wire and the connection.

0-02-06-5542b4f4d9b290f3f778bc26fd3dc21fc12fd4cef7fe95ce67ab70ada427e734_full

It also looks something like this….

Screen Shot 2017-07-03 at 13.40.11

 

Step 5:  The Code

Open up your Arduino on your computer and copy the code below:

//add the servo library
#include <Servo.h>

//define our servos
Servo servo1;
Servo servo2;

//define joystick pins (Analog)
int joyX = 0;
int joyY = 1;

//variable to read the values from the analog pins
int joyVal;

void setup() 

{ //attaches our servos on pins PWM 3-5
servo1.attach(3);
servo2.attach(5); }

void loop() 

{ //read the value of joysticks (between 0-1023)
joyVal = analogRead(joyX);
joyVal = map (joyVal, 0, 1023, 0, 180);
servo1.write(joyVal);

joyVal = analogRead(joyY);
joyVal = map(joyVal, 0, 1023, 0, 180);
servo2.write(joyVal);
delay(15); }

Screen Shot 2017-07-03 at 13.54.02

Step 6: Verify, Connect and Upload

Once you verify and save the code, you can connect your Arduino board to your computer and upload the code to your board. Tada! 

Step 7: Have fun and Experiment

Yay! We’ve finally finished yet another Arduino Project. You guys are so awesome! Now, after playing around with this, you can try to experiment maybe add more things (an example, “lights, perhaps?”).

Wait, if you are having any problems uploading or your project isn’t functioning properly, you should double check your wiring and maybe check which Port your Arduino (on your computer) connected to in the tools. If there is anything else don’t be shy to comment down below!

Screen Shot 2017-07-03 at 13.57.45

 

Yours truly, 

L.O.A.S.H

 

 

Project Python | Command Line Calender

You can make your own calendar and even add, update and view.

For your python code, copy and paste the following:


from time import sleep, strftime
name = “Libster”calendar = {}
def welcome():    print(“Welcome, ” + name + “!”)    print(“Calendar starting…”)    sleep(1)    print (“Today is “) + strftime( “%A %B %d, %Y”)     print (“The time is “) + strftime(“%I:%M:%S”)    sleep(1)    print(“What would you like to do?”)    def start_calendar():  welcome()  start = True  while start:    user_choice = raw_input(“Please choose A to Add, U to Update, V to View, X to Exit. “)    user_choice=user_choice.upper()    if user_choice == “V”:      if len(calendar.keys()) <1:        print “Your calendar is empty”      else:        print calendar    elif user_choice == “U”:        date = raw_input(“What date? “)        update = raw_input(“Enter the update: “)        calendar[date] = update        print(“Update successful.”)        print calendar    elif user_choice == “A”:        event = raw_input(“Enter event: “)        date = raw_input(“Enter date (MM/DD/YYYY): “)        if len(date) > 10 or int(date[6:]) < int(strftime(“%Y”)):            print(“Invalid date.”)              try_again = raw_input(“Try again? Y for Yes, N for No: “)            try_again = upper.try_again()            if try_again == “Y”:                continue            else:                start = False            else:            calendar[date] = event            print(“Event update successful.”)            print calendar    elif user_choice == “D”:        if calendar.keys(len(date)) < 1: #check this line if fail            print(“The calendar is empty.”)        else:            event = raw_input(“What event?”)             for date in calendar.keys():                if event == calendar[date]:                     del calendar[date] # deletes entire entry, inc date & event                print(“Event deleted.”)                print calendar            else:                print(“Incorrect date.”)    elif user_choice == “X”:        start = False    else:        print(“Invalid command.”)        breakstart_calendar()


 

Then in the command line, play your python code.

Screen Shot 2017-07-02 at 17.40.47

Above, the picture is an example of how it should turn out to be. I added an event, updated that same event and viewed! Don’t forget to try to experiment and maybe make this cooler.

Yours truly,

L.O.A.S.H