Geekiness and life on the third coast

Mosquito control in the swap

Now that the drought is over we’re back to swarm levels of mosquitoes. I don’t really want to douse the yard with pesticides, it took years to get earth worms to move in after we bought the place. I’d hate to wipe them out again.

I’d be happy just keeping the mosquitoes out of the house.

Of all the things I’ve tried, what made the biggest difference was switching the irrigation system from spraying to drip. I guess there are not so many little pools of water around? idk.

Current attempt:
I purchased one of those electric room fresheners that you put in a bottle of liquid scent and some mosquito repellent. I picked a room freshener with plastic refills, they seal them up tight.

I drilled a hole in the bottom of the container, dumped out the scent, filled it with repellent and sealed up the hole.

There is an electric outlet right next to the back door, once the sealer dries I’ll plug it in and we’ll see how things go. If it works I’ll have to find a better way to refill the container but this hack will do for testing.

Failed attempts at mosquito control:
— I planted a dozen citronella plants around the back gardens. Removing a leaf and wiping it on your arms does keep the mosquitoes away from you. It has no effect on the population in and around the yard.

— I planted lemon grass in the back gardens, no effect, and it grew like a weed and had to be removed.

— I tried placing mosquito dunks in places with standing water. There are too many tiny places, you can’t get them all.

— I doused the hound with DEET to keep him from bringing in a cloud of mosquitoes every time he comes in. It helped a little, not enough to justify dousing the dog with neurotoxins regularly.

— I sprayed lemon grass oil around the front and back door frames. At first it seemed to be dropping the indoor mosquito population. But it turned out they were just down because it had been raining for a few days.

How to force a line break in a WordPress Post

Drove me nuts, that adding new lines in the post visual editor or adding <p> or < /br> in the text editor didn’t add extra lines in a post.

If you go into the post editor, go to text and add <br class=”blank”> you’ll get your extra white space.

Comicpalooza 2014

ComicPalooza Houston, is Memorial Day weekend each year. The lines are insanely too long, but otherwise it’s a pretty good show.















SxSW Day 5

Animate a smarter UI
Great talk, but I can’t find any of their notes online. Big take aways:
UI animation should only be used to improve user experience. Direct the user’s attention, feedback for user actions, notify user of something, orient the user in the website, personify ( add small surprise an delight to user experience)

Adding sight and hearing to our devices
Using hand to move game sprites and hand mapping, 3d image created from camera, ready to import into a 3D printer.




SxSW day 4

First talk was from Josh Clark slides! links etc , always a great speaker and on the bleeding edge of user device interactions.

Scientist to storyteller, ESWayne.com

Gazzaley Neuroscience lab, High Fidelity
Real time, live video inside a persons brain. The different colors are different frequencies. An MRI was taken of the brain for the initial map, an EEG is collecting the signals, they are cleaned up, processed and viewable in 2D, or using an Oculus Rift you can travel through the brain, in 3D in real time. Coolest thing I’ve seen yet.



Moff Wearables

Urban Librarians Unite

SxSW day 3

Alfred Lui’s talk on designing for the Internet of things was the best today. He has some slides from other talks up on the site, and this one’s slides should appear there in a few days.

Sung Kim only really spoke about 20 mins but shared more useful information than many speakers do in an hour.

Anne Wojcicki of 23AndMe mostly talked about 23AndMe, I was lucky enough to get my DNA to them before the FDA decided information was dangerous, I’m looking forward to them getting back into health information.

Blues singing robot

$15k Exoskeletons from Skeletonics, almost cheap enough to buy 😉

Launch a custom satellite, ~$3mill, Axelspace Microsatellites

Why watch movies on the treadmill when you can conquer space instead? Hakuhodo i-studio

Trending at SxSW:
Ambient information
Interpret the data for your users, data without purpose is noise

Example: one device increased the amount of information on display as the user came closer

AgIC, print a circuit instead of bread boarding it
I grabbed an 3 in 1 lens from Ollclio and a Mophie Space Pack both of which look like they’ll be fun and useful.