Wednesday, September 09, 2009

MakerBot Awesomeness

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Last night, after the Hive13 meeting Craig presented a quick tutorial on the basics of Blender and showed us how to make simple objects. This was incredibly useful because it got a number of us over that initial hump of not knowing anything at all about Blender. Blender can be tricky to understand, but I definitely felt like I was ready to start making useful models after tonight's short lesson.

In the class we made these hexagonal coin / keyring shapes. After class we started trying to print them out. With this result:

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After we played around with the MakerBot for a while, everyone left and I decided to learn how to create text in Blender and I added the "Hive 13" to the coin. I only was able to print it one time since it was getting really, really late, and I found some errors in the design, but I think I know how to fix them. Soon I will have an "official" Hive13 coin / keyring to give out. Be the first in your city to get one!

(Did I mention having a MakerBot is awesome?)

Friday, September 04, 2009

Growing Sprouts

Growing sprouts is hands down the easiest way to grow your own food. I had no idea until I saw a recent post on The Cheap Vegetable Gardener (which is an awesome blog, btw). Basically all you need is a mason jar. Growing sprouts is good for someone who is not home a lot and may not have time to tend to other plants. I recently grew a batch of fenugreek sprouts and they were delicious. I found a lot of helpful information on too.

The basic procedure goes like this:

1. Soak the seeds 6-12 hours
2. Rinse and Drain the seeds/sprouts every 8-12 hours for a few days
3. Eat

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I got a bunch of seeds that were sold especially for sprouting from Clifton Natural Foods. I don't know exactly if there is anything special about "sprouting" seeds versus any other seeds, but I'm pretty sure you can sprout just about anything.

I tossed about a tablespoon of fenugreek seeds in my jar and covered the top with a piece of cheesecloth. For the initial soak I filled the jar about halfway up and added a couple drops of liquid fertilizer, but I don't think the fertilizer is strictly necessary. Then after I left it over night I drained it. After that I just rinsed and drained the seeds every now and then whenever it occurred to me - like before work, after work, and right before going to to bed. After a couple days, bam I had sprouts.

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I ate half of them on a sandwich and ate the other half straight up. I kind of tossed them a little bit first to get some of the seed hulls off, but still had a lot of hulls mixed in. I just ate them.

If you like sprouts (which I know is not everyone), I highly recommend giving this a try. It really could not be easier.