Walking your dog with a drone

Walking your dog with a drone

With isolation orders spreading around the world, people are staying inside to avoid spreading coronavirus. Some people are coming up with clever ways to avoid catching this disease…even when walking their dogs.

Oregon custom plate search

Oregon custom plate search

Want to get a custom Oregon license plate? You can check the availability of your desired vanity plate online here: https://dmv2u.oregon.gov/eServices/_/#1

Interestingly, even if the plate is available it doesn’t mean you can get it. All vanity plates must pass through 3 different reviewers independently to make sure you’re not trying to slip something nefarious by them. Also, there are some other limitations:

  • Currently 6 characters is the max and 1 character is the minimum
  • Transliteration happens for the letter O => number 0. i.e. LOOPY == L00PY
  • Just because a plate is Available for reservation, doesn’t mean it will be issued. Requests can be denied for a number of reasons.
  • All Oregon Custom Plates go through a panel, of 3 persons (I believe), who review appropriateness of each Custom Plate Request.
  • Just because because a plate configuration isn’t currently Restricted doesn’t mean it will pass the review panel.

This guy even made a twitter feed that checks for common and funny words you might want and when they come available.

Sugoi

Sugoi

This has to be one of the best series of Japanese commercials ever. A better story than 80% of current movies and tv shows…

Balancing a bouncing ball

Balancing a bouncing ball

Electron Dust shows off a nifty machine that can bounce a ping pong ball, while keeping it balanced and centered on its moving platform. It uses combination of open-source image processing software and Arduino-controlled stepper motors to work its magic.

It is an arduino project with 120 FPS OpenCV image processing and smooth stepper motor moves. The machine calculates the ball’s 3D position from the image processing data and uses this information to control the orange ping pong ball.

Uses an e-con Systems superb See3CAM_CU135 camera. Find out more about the camera here: https://www.e-consystems.com/4k-usb-c…

This machine requires the following things to work:

  • 1x Teensy 4.0 Microcontroller
  • 4x StepperOnline DM442S stepper motor drivers
  • 4x Nema 17 Stepper Motors with 5:1 planetary gearbox
  • 1x 48V 8A power supply
  • 1x e-con Systems See3CAM_CU135 camera
  • 1x Windows Computer with OpenCV installed on it –

All the parts defined the Fusion360 project – Custom Windows Application (made with Unity). Read more here: https://electrondust.com/2020/03/02/t… Complete code and Fusion360 data on Github: https://github.com/T-Kuhn/HighPrecisi…

Nightmare fuel

Nightmare fuel

Image result for faith game

While a relatively short game, the indie horror game FAITH has gotten great accolades. It’s available for free on itch.io if you want to give it a try.

One of the more frightening elements of the game are the voices of the encountered creatures. The voices for at least one of the creepy characters was generated using a text-to-speech program called SAM (Software Automatic Mouth) written in 1982 for the Commodore 64.

The C source code is available on github, or you can give some of your own phrases a try here via a clever web interface.

Procrastination is about managing emotions, not time

Procrastination is about managing emotions, not time

I, along with my fellow procrastinators, have a time management problem. By this view, I haven’t fully appreciated how long my assignment is going to take and I’m not paying enough attention to how much time I’m currently wasting on ‘cyberloafing’. With better scheduling and a better grip on time, so the logic goes, I will stop procrastinating and get on with my work.

This has long been the accepted view on procrastination. It leads to the idea that procrastination is simply a matter of planning and willpower – that one simply needs to buckle down and do it. This often leads to people taking extreme behaviors of forcing themselves to study/work in unhealthy and unhelpful ways – then beating ourselves up with guilt, fear, anxiety, depression, and unhealthy coping mechanisms when we fail to stay on task.

Instead, what if procrastination was more of an emotional regulation problem? Studies are showing that often if a task makes us feel bad – perhaps it’s boring, too difficult, or we’re worried about failing – we make ourselves feel better in the moment by doing something else. While somewhat intuitive, this view is getting some confirmation by empirical studies. If true, it means procrastination is not so much a question of poor willpower as much as it’s a question of poor emotional regulation skills.

This leads to some very interesting treatment techniques that have been developed by cognitive behavior therapy for emotional intelligence and emotional regulation. What are some of those methods?

Just get start

ACT/Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (a part of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) is a treatment method that helps patients to tolerate uncomfortable thoughts and feelings, staying in the present moment in spite of them, and prioritize choices and actions that help them get closer to what they most value in life.

Tim Pychyl of Carleton University says, ” When someone finally recognizes that procrastination isn’t a time management problem but is instead an emotion regulation problem, then they are ready to embrace my favorite tip: The next time you’re tempted to procrastinate, “make your focus as simple as ‘What’s the next action – a simple next step – I would take on this task if I were to get started on it now?’” Doing this, he says, takes your mind off your feelings and onto easily achievable action. “Our research and lived experience show very clearly that once we get started, we’re typically able to keep going. Getting started is everything.”

This takes your mind off the feelings and into an easily achievable action. Research shows that once you get started, we’re typically able to keep going. Getting started is everything.

Read the article from BBC here.

Other resources from the article: