Hackaday Links: October 21, 2018

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A few weeks ago, we got word [Fran] was being kicked out of her workshop. You might remember [Fran] from her exploits in reverse engineering the launch computer for the Saturn V, her work on replicating the DSKY from an AGC, her visit to the Air & Space Museum annex (so jealous), and her other musical adventures. Why is she getting kicked out? Philly’s getting gentrified, ya jabroinis. Now, there’s a GoFundMe for a new Fran Lab. Go on and ring that bell.

Everyone needs a Sharpie sitting around, so how about one that weighs a pound or so? [MakingStuff] created a new body for a big ‘ol Sharpie marker, complete with knurling. Oh, man, the knurling.

A Powerball ticket costs $2. Last Friday, the expected return on a single Powerball ticket was more than $2. This doesn’t happen often, but last Friday the most logical course of action for everyone was to buy all the Powerball tickets they could.

Boston Dynamics built another dog robot and made it dance to Uptown Funk because we haven’t heard that song enough. No one has listened to Uptown Funk enough times in their life. It’s a great song that never gets old or overplayed.

[Wintergatan] is building a drum machine. You might remember this artisan of plywood from various marble machine builds that also play music. This build goes deep into the techniques of building gigantic mechanical contraptions out of plywood and steel.

Speaking of plywood, Rockler had a contest a while back to build something out of a single sheet of plywood. [OSO DIY] came up with the most interesting table I’ve ever seen. A lot of the entries into this plywood contest turned the plywood on its end, resulting in something that looks like it’s made out of skateboard decks. [OSO DIY]’s coffee table is no exception; it’s basically just a panel of edge-grain plywood made into a table. Where this gets really good is the actual design of the table. It’s clearly a mid-century modern piece, with threaded inserts holding the legs on. However, instead of something that was pressed out of a factory, this table just exudes an immense amount of manual labor. It’s a counterpoint between craftsmanship and minimalist design rendered in plywood and by far one of the most interesting pieces of furniture made in the last few years. Here are some more entries that also capitalize on edge-grain plywood

31 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: October 21, 2018

    1. You really have to buy every ticket to guarantee the profit. There was a syndicate, and a documentary about it, in the UK that did this. It was a double-rollover, so the expected jackpot was over £14 million, which was the odds of winning (and tickets were then £1). The syndicate only just made it, and actually missed a few, but managed the jackpot. As well as all the other sub-prizes.

      The fixed prize of £10 for 3 numbers was opined to be a bad idea. After that, I’m fairly sure the law changed to disallow acts like that, though really there’s no reason to. The thing’s a mug’s game anyway.

      1. One way to think about is, consider how many tickets have been sold in the run up to $1.6 billion, without anyone winning.

        Buying 100 tickets doesn’t really improve your chances at all over buying 1. Same for 1000 tickets, or 10000.

        On the other hand, buying *A* ticket costs less than a Starbucks coffee, is less unhealthy, and has a much greater chance of changing your life in a signifcantly positive way.

    2. “This doesn’t happen often, but last Friday the most logical course of action for everyone was to buy all the Powerball tickets they could.” Thus driving down the expected return, because the fixed pot is more likely to be split (more). And equilibrium is restored.

      Anyone know what the take is of the lottery companies? 40%?

      Here’s a good joke: Three statisticians walk into a Vegas casino. They have a relatively inexpensive, if unrefined, lobster dinner and head back home.

      1. I was told by a university Ph.D. math(s) instructor that a mathematicians group was “disinvited” to ever again hold their convention in Las Vegas.
        1. they didn’t gamble.
        2. they were lousy tippers (by Vegas standards).
        3. they would spend evenings in the lounges, buying only one drink, and use up a pile of napkins for their formulas.

      2. I don’t know what the lottery companies make in regards to money, but some States use 50% of the purchases in their state, (Powerball and MegaMillions) for funding outdoor recreation (improvements to State Parks and such).

      1. Yes and no.

        Classic casino house games are, but parimutuel betting and poker are not. Those are games of skill where the house has no interest in the outcome and merely takes the pot. Those who are better than average at those games can be successful.

          1. You’re misunderstanding poker. You’re not taking the casino’s money, you’re taking someone else’s money. The casino just deals the cards and takes a cut of that action. They’re actually glad if you’re good at playing poker because that means you continuously play and they keep taking the rake. Heck, if you play the high stakes, they give you free food, drinks and massage. Because once the pots are typically 1000 dollars or more, they are taking a nice rake every single hand.

          2. Las Vegas *hates* poker. The only reason they put up with it is that it’s expected. Apart from July, when the WSOP is happening (and there IS no other possible reason to be in Las Vegas in July), there is no sorrier collection of tiny, lonely poker rooms to be found. You want to play poker, you go to Los Angeles.

  1. You are not really correct on the Wintergatan story. Marius is NOT building a drum machine, and he’s NOT done “various marble machine builds that also play music”. He’s built ONE previous marble machine that played ONE song (that went viral) and didn’t work as intended. So he’s now building a new marble machine (dubbed Marble Machine X, or MMX for short) that INCLUDES a drum machine (The video linked).

    What I DO love in seeing that series as a mechanical engineer is watching someone from a decidedly non technical field (musician) learn about the challenges and techniques in a very technical field like engineering.

    1. You got it. MMX has been a beautiful thing to watch grow, and if Marius wanted he could probably get a job managing production just based on his experience with it. He’s made a right professional jib of the whole thing.

      1. IMHO it’s much much weaker.
        Reference the corner easily coming off in the video. This table’s strength is like a massive chain with one weak.

        The strength of an LVL comes from orienting the grain perpendicular to the load and spanning the entire distance from bearing point to bearing point with wood, not glue. In this table application, the grain is occasionally oriented in the right direction, but then butt-glued. These shear planes are the weak link.

  2. “No one has listened to Uptown Funk enough times in their life. It’s a great song that never gets old or overplayed.”

    Yes, I have. No, it’s not. YES, it is/does. That being said, the video was awesome!

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