Hackaday Links: April 28, 2019

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Lego is releasing a series of Braille bricks. As near as we can tell, these Braille bricks are standard 2 x 4 bricks, with studs corresponding to Braille letters on the top. There are also screen/pad printed legends on top. I don’t mean to be a downer, but why, exactly, is this being created now? Did it really take fifty years for someone to say, ‘hey, if you don’t put some studs on top of a brick, it becomes Braille?’ How is this not already a thing? This isn’t me being facetious — how did it take so long for this to be invented?

KiCon is this weekend, so here’s a tip for everyone in Chicago right now: get a hot dog. Don’t put ketchup on it, or else someone will shoot you.

KiCon and Moogfest in one weekend? Yes, and that means new toys. The Matriarch is Moog’s latest synthy boi and the apparent successor to last year’s Moog Grandmother. The Matriarch is a four-note paraphonic synth that is semi-modular; no, you don’t need patch cables to make noises, but there are ninety-odd patch points for modular fun. It’s two grand, which is getting up there in the synth game. If only Radio Shack were still around and sold Moog synths…

We’re all aware that Russia launches rockets out of Baikonur cosmodrome, and the first stages eventually make their way onto the steppes of Kazakhstan. The locals, few there are, end up recycling these rockets, scrapping them, and sometimes taking space tourists and photojournalist out to the crash site of these boosters. Russia has other spaceports, and now we’re getting pictures of booster crashes from the frozen north. These rockets came from the Plesetsk cosmodrome and fell in the boreal forests near Arkhangelsk where hunters discovered them. Yes, these boosters are carcinogenic, but that’s what you do when a few tons of aluminum and titanium fall in your backyard.

No spoilers, but oh man the after-credits scene in Endgame was hilarious.

19 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: April 28, 2019

  1. I like the LEGO braille bricks, it a good idea. I suspect that it hasn’t been done before just because nobody thought of it, its one of those things that when you hear it you say “Why didn’t I think of that!” but you never did so someone else had to. As for harvesting boosters, hey I see people digging tin cans out of recycling where I live so why not harvest a rocket booster?

  2. ” Yes, these boosters are carcinogenic, but that’s what you do when a few tons of aluminum and titanium fall in your backyard.”

    Brinks trucks crashing out front should be interesting.

      1. No, the fuel is “likely carcinogenic” based on dubious California type protocols used for guessing when you don’t know for sure. It is a half-step from “might be carcinogenic”, when the real warning should be don’t touch it or breath it or drink it cuz it will eat you up like acetone on Styrofoam.

        1. Given that hydrazine has been shown to be carcinogenic in animal models, and that the 1,2 isomer of Dimethylhydrazine is a methylating agent, it might just be that the decision to label 1,1 Dimethylhydrazine as a possible carcinogen is as a little above “a half-step from might be carcinogenic”… And don’t worry, warnings about acute toxicity and being carcinogenic are not mutually exclusive.

  3. At D T Kirby’s in Lafayette a little bit of the City happens and it says on the entrance NK-14, like some advisory for TV. No ketchup for adults. I was there to watch the Cubs win the W.

    1. “Formaldehyde dimethyl hydrazone (FDH) has been identified as a minor product or intermediate in the UDMH/NTO reaction but as the major product In the UDMII/air reaction” because formaldehydes aren’t at all carcinogenic? Oh wait…

  4. I suspect there weren’t Braille bricks before because there isn’t actually a need for them. It’s great that bricks now have a Braille letter on them, but what are blind kids actually going to do with them? If it does help then learn Braille then great but I’m not sure it will. We don’t use Lego bricks with letters on to teach sighted kids to read.

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