Commentary, Technology & Science

Liberate the Animal

06.26.12 | Permalink | 4 Comments
Recruiting Animal's photo from his About page

Recently a business acquaintance had a horrible incident happen to him. He has been building his business under the brand of “Recruiting Animal” for years and had the foresight in 2007 to register the Twitter handle @animal as part of that activity. About a week ago something happened (hack? hijack? bug? – doesn’t really matter) @animal transferred ownership to some other person causing the real owner, Recruiting Animal, to be assigned an automatic handle @animalaaa2.

You can read his story here. And you should. Suffice to say @Twitter is non-responsive on this matter and is content to let this injustice stand.

Now, you are probably saying “I don’t know the Recruiting Animal, why should I care?” The answer is if it can happen to him, it can happen to any of us. And that’s a rotten state of affairs. Not to mention the fact that it’s just good karma to help a fellow human in need. I’ve written the current holder of the @animal account asking him to do the right thing by 5pm PT tomorrow. What’s the right thing? Hand account control back over to the “real” Animal.

Assuming he doesn’t cede control, I suggest we (the Twitter community) start making his life miserable. Let’s stage a tweet storm that makes it impractical to block all the tweeting addresses and let’s copy @Twitter, @TRex, @DickC, @ev, @biz, and @jack. Let’s use the hashtag #LiberateAnimal. Let’s help the “real” Animal recover his Twitter account. If you have other suggestions on how to attack, please leave them in (my lightly moderated) comments or tweet them with #LiberateAnimal. Let’s commence this activity at 5pm PT June 27, 2012.

And oh, BTW, “real” Animal didn’t ask me to do this. It’s just the right thing to do. Let’s help him!

Business, Coastal Stuff, Oddyssea

Our Beautiful Fans

06.26.12 | Permalink | 2 Comments
Fan Drive Motor Fixture

It’s been a little while since a blog entry – things have been terribly hectic as we close the month/quarter and finish our preparations for opening Oddyssea.

We’ve had new fixtures and products arrive since the last entry, we’ve had a chance to share the Oddyssea concept with the HMB Rotary Club and with a few HMB Chamber of Commerce members, we’ve made progress on hiring our first team member, and generally have advanced the state of the situation. However, there is still SO MUCH to do.

In the midst of all of this, one of the fixtures I’ve been over the moon excited about and impatiently waiting to arrive are belt-driven ceiling fans. There is a practical reason for this in that the air in the create room gets quite stale if the HVAC system isn’t powered on – thus we decided that fans would be a good idea to keep things circulating. But the main reason is that these fans are drop-dead gorgeous.

As I install the system, I’ll share photos. The photo above depicts the fan motor drive mount (click the image to enlarge.) You can see the pulley that the leather belt wraps around that links it to the fans. It’s on top of the shipping crate (which itself is the single most attractive shipping container we’ve gotten to date.) Our fan artist produces great work. We’re delighted to have the fans at Oddyssea and to be able to represent these fans for sale in the shop. It’s a win/win I think.

Can’t wait to get these things installed, perhaps this week if the schedule will allow….


Delicious Raspberry Pi

06.14.12 | Permalink | Comments Off on Delicious Raspberry Pi
Delicious Raspberry Pi

The image to the right is a portion of the screen on initial Raspberry Pi boot.


This $35 full fledged computer is poised to change the way we think about where and how to use computers. They will certainly make the education mission the project started with a reality. But will also, intended or not, start a whole new class of computing applications because at the price point, it’s compelling to have them all around.

Now, this supposes that the project can escape the current supply challenges – limiting Pi’s to one per person. One can only suppose that if supply were available, these little gems would be all over the place. I know that we will carry them at Oddyssea as part of the DIY geek section.

Meanwhile, the Pi itself works as advertised. The only thing that was the slightest bit of a hassle was transferring the Debian Squeeze image to the SD card – it took over 2 hours to move about 2Gb of image over. It packs surprising capabilities into such a small package. Can’t wait to play with it some more and figure out how to make the Raspberry Pi part of the Oddyssea experience.

Business, Coastal Stuff, Oddyssea

What do we call these things?

06.12.12 | Permalink | 4 Comments
Pods in the Explore room of Oddyssea Half Moon Bay - Explore. Create. Discover.

In order to populate Oddyssea with furniture and fixtures, we’ve been working with a local artist, Terra Amico, who creates using reclaimed and salvaged material. Our work table and benches in the Create room came from them and new we have a new fixture, that I call a ‘pod.’ You can see an example of one in the photo to the right.

However, Spouse doesn’t like that moniker so we’re looking for a better term. We’ve tried different names on for size like ‘station’ and ‘exhibit’ – but haven’t quite found the right name. Jokingly, we’re now calling them ‘units’ – if you chuckle at that, we’ll know you’re a Mike Judge fan ;-).

We really like these pieces, kind of like life-sized erector sets. I’ve already been tweaking things around because I can. Coupled with the shelves installed yesterday, the Explore room is starting to come into shape and we’ve taken a big step toward being able to open. The punch list with work to complete is still very, very long but it feels as though progress is being made.

Business, Coastal Stuff, Oddyssea

New Explore Room Shelves

06.11.12 | Permalink | Comments Off on New Explore Room Shelves
Pipe shelving unit at Oddyssea Half Moon Bay

It was a big weekend for the Explore room at Oddyssea. The pods we ordered from Terra Amico showed up and were assembled (more on that in a later post) and I was inspired by The Brick House’s pipe shelving and decided to build a unit for the Explore room.

You can see how they turned out. Not bad for 24′ of 1″x12″ doug fir, ~45′ of 1/2″ steel pipe and accessories, a little stain, and some black spray paint. The prep work was really the effort in this project, getting the lumber conditioned and ready to stain, drilling holes in the right place, etc. The pipe was pretty easy even though a number of them needed to be specially sized to make the shelving work (thus I learned how to use a die to thread 1/2″ steel pipe.)

I’m happy with the result and the shelves are very solid. I might do a smaller version on another wall in the same room to keep things consistent – but not conforming. I’ll write another entry on the pods tomorrow as I’m still tweaking them from their natural state at the moment…..stay tuned.

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