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Waterproof RGB LED Strip

This week I’m going to show you a 16-foot reel of WS2812B LED lights. I got these for under $30 on Amazon. There are an incredible range of maker projects out there that take advantage of Adafruit’s Neopixel Arduino code and Neopixel brand of LEDs. Using the code, or a competing code library like FastLED, you can control and animate the color and brightness of each LED on this strip using just a single data wire.

The WS2812B variety of addressable RGB LED strip is compatible with both Neopixel and FastLED code. It works with Arduino or Raspberry Pi. They run off 5 volts, though you can get away with 3.3 for short runs. And you can cut it to whatever length you need using the cut lines on the strip.

This strip in particular has a black backing and comes with a waterproof casing. Both ends are wired with a 3-pin JST connector.

Best of all, with 16 feet of this stuff for under $30, it’s an incredible savings over the name brand stuff. I bought this specifically to give my Kitty car some animated underglow so it will look cool at night. This, a $10 Arduino-compatible Gemma board, and a battery pack were all I needed. I even had LEDs left over.

Now the downside to using this stuff is that it’s not enough to just wire it up to power — you have to have a board of some kind sending it instructions over the data wire. So if you’re not at all comfortable with Arduino of Raspberry Pi project boards, these are not the LEDs for you.

For me though, having a cheap, quality source for these has really opened up some project possibilities. If you’d like to get some for yourself, using the link in the description takes you right to Amazon. And remember, you can see thousands of reader recommended tools like this at

— Donald Bell

ALITOVE 16.4ft Individually Addressable LED Strip Light ($28)

Available from Amazon



How New York Breaks Your Heart: A Photographic Elegy for the City of Electric Beauty with an Edge of Sorrow

“First, it lets you fall in love with it…”

How New York Breaks Your Heart: A Photographic Elegy for the City of Electric Beauty with an Edge of Sorrow

“A poem,” E.B. White wrote in his timeless 1949 love letter to New York, “compresses much in a small space and adds music, thus heightening its meaning. The city is like poetry.” The poetics of any city, but especially of this city, springs from its glorious, unmetered humanity. The New York poem is sometimes a serenade to loneliness, sometimes an ode to unsung heroes, and always an elegy in the classic poetic sense of celebration and lamentation welded together. That electric beauty with an edge of sorrow comes alive in How New York Breaks Your Heart (public library) by Bill Hayes.

After his stirring memoir of Oliver Sacks and New York, Hayes — himself an elegant science writer as well as a photographer — turns his sensitive, sympathetic lens to the human poetics coursing through the streets of the iconic city at all hours of the day and night, across every social stratum, every age, every feeling-tone. From the hipsters and the homeless and the protesters and the lovers — oh so many lovers — emerges a chorus of humanity singing the siren song of New York.

Accompanying Hayes’s expressive photographs are his minimalist words — a kind of spare, lovely prose poem, nestling into the larger portrait of this tessellated city his own story of love and heartbreak.

First, it lets you fall in love with it.

And lets you think it loves you back.

You begin to forget the sorrow that brought you to New York in the first place and the love you feel for the city becomes the love you feel for another man.

But then, when he is taken from you late one summer night,
there is New York — right there, outside your window.

Complement How New York Breaks Your Heart with Hayes’s splendid prose counterpart, Insomniac City, then revisit Walt Whitman’s sensual ode to New York.

Photographs courtesy of Bill Hayes

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from Brain Pickings


Image: Wikimedia Commons

The Guinness Book of Music Facts & Feats nominates Luigi Boccherini as “the most ingratiating composer”: In nearly 600 works comprising 1400 movements, the following directions appear:

  • Affettuoso (“affectionately”): 20 times
  • Grazioso (“gracefully”) or grazia (“with grace”): 25 times
  • Amoroso (“lovingly”): 37 times
  • Soave (“agreeably,” “sweetly,” “delicately,” “gently,” “caressingly,” “lightly”), also soave assai (“extremely …”) and soavita, and once even soave e con grazia: 54 times
  • Dolce (“sweetly”) or Dolcissimo (“very sweetly and gently”): 148 times

“Also to be found are Armonico (‘harmoniously’), con innocenza (‘with innocence’), piacere (‘pleasingly’), and allegretto gentile (‘not too fast, lightly and cheerfully,’ ‘pleasingly,’ ‘elegantly,’ ‘gracefully’), together with hundreds of directions calling for very quiet playing (pp and pp sempre).”

For comparison, Appassionato (“passionately”) appears only 8 times, con brio (“with fire”) only 6 times, and con forza (“with force”) only once.

The post Concord appeared first on Futility Closet.

from Futility Closet


The science of skin

Between you and the rest of the world lies an interface that makes up 16% of your physical weight. This is your skin, the largest organ in your body: laid out flat, it would cover close to 1.7 square metres of ground. But besides keeping your organs in, what is its purpose? Emma Bryce takes us into the integumentary system to find out.

Learn about The Science of Skin in this TED-Ed lesson by Emma Bryce, animated by Mimi Chiu.

Follow this with The Science of Skin Color. Plus: What Really Causes Sunburns? and How do wounds heal & how do scars form?

from The Kid Should See This


Falcon Heavy & Starman, a montage of SpaceX’s historic test flight

On February 6, 2018, SpaceX successfully launched a heavy-lift rocket called Falcon Heavy, making it “the world’s most powerful booster since NASA’s Saturn V.” For dummy payload, a Tesla Roadster belonging to SpaceX founder and Tesla co-founder Elon Musk was launched into space, too. In the driver’s seat sat a mannequin dressed in a SpaceX spacesuit.

The historic test flight has been captured in a video montage created by Westworld creator Jonathan Nolan and set to David Bowie‘s song Life on Mars? You can also glimpse at the third booster as it crashes near the drone ship it was aiming to land on.

When Falcon Heavy lifted off, it became the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two. With the ability to lift into orbit nearly 64 metric tons (141,000 lb)—a mass greater than a 737 jetliner loaded with passengers, crew, luggage and fuel–Falcon Heavy can lift more than twice the payload of the next closest operational vehicle, the Delta IV Heavy, at one-third the cost.

Following liftoff, the two side boosters separated from the center core and returned to landing site for future reuse.

Falcon Heavy put a Tesla Roadster and its passenger, Starman, into orbit around the sun. At max velocity Starman and the Roadster will travel 11 km/s (7mi/s) and travel 400 million km (250 million mi) from Earth.

The roadster was live streamed in space after launch:

Next: SpaceX’s Falcon 9 crashes & landings, SpaceX’s Grasshopper hover and landing, and Falcon 9 falls back to Earth to The Blue Danube.

Bonus: The Chemistry of Rockets: How do rockets work?

via Petapixel.

from The Kid Should See This


Very few women oversee US companies. Here’s how to change that

Very few women oversee US companies. Here’s how to change that Women’s participation in the labor force has soared over the past 50 years, rising from 32 percent in 1948 to 56.7 percent as of January.
Yet those gains have not translated into the U.S. corporate boardroom, where women held just 16.6 percent of seats in 2015, according to a Credit Suisse …

Read More Very few women oversee US companies. Here’s how to change that


When we permit an object to output a small amount of data and to receive input from its neighbors, we change an inert object into an animated node. #newrules20th