Monthly Archives: January 2010

Fiat Lux

A while back, I inherited a surgical lamp from a decommissioned hospital in Mt. Vernon. While astoundingly awesome in its light throwing and ambiance-enhancing abilities, it weighs about 150lbs. And so it sat on the floor of my workspace for a couple of months, waiting for the help of motived strapping lads to hold it up while I bolted it in place.

Well, it turns out that waiting for strapping lads is a silly strategy, especially when you have the able assistance of brilliant (and also quite strapping) ladies.

suspension

Rather than just hold this squirrelly hunk of steel and awesome above our heads, I installed some heavy eyelets and carabiners in the ceiling, and slipped some ratcheting straps around the lamp. With the incredibly generous help of Willow and Star, the beast was wrangled into place to mate with… the 30lb steel mounting plate.

mounting plate

Oh, didn’t I mention the plate? It has six 1/2″ x 4″ lag bolts that grip into a huge 16″ x 20″ timber on the ceiling. It only took about an hour of machining and wrestling with a ratchet (and round with a burly Italian) to get it in place. That plate isn’t coming down until the building comes down…

fiat lux!

…which means that I can now do chin-ups on the awesomest work lamp in the universe. I mean really, does your Chinese luxo-lamp knockoff give you 300 Watts of cool white love with six degrees of freedom on a six foot swingarm?

work light

Didn’t think so. Now, to illuminate Moar Science!

The DIY Hacker Fest on KUOW

Matt Westervelt (Metrix:CreateSpace), Willow Brugh (Jigsaw Renaissance), and Eric McNeill (Seattle Dorkbot) had a discussion about hacker spaces on KUOW.

I find it interesting that it’s 2010 and the mainstream voice is still hung up on the definition of “hacker”. Do people really still think that hackers are a bunch of thieves, spammers, and vandals? When much of the rest of the world recognizes the value of ingenious engineering, and DIY hackery is becoming so obviously mainstream, I can’t help but think that the old “hackers are evildoers” saw is only still around to provide a vaguely controversial lede.

Still, these folks manage to paint a pretty good picture of what’s going on in their respective spaces. And Matt, as usual, keeps things on target with a barrage of crushing one-liners. Great job, guys!