Sunday, March 16, 2014

Houston, we have a problem...

...our desks aren't as cool as this kid's:

(H/T to Silicon Graybeard.)


Anonymous said...

That is to die for!

Maybe he'll swap it for my Captain Video Space Helmet and decoder ring???


Kevin said...

That is a DAD.

bluesun said...

Now he needs to hook it up to Kerbal Space Program.

Old NFO said...

Outstanding!!! :-)

Sebastian said...

I've been playing with Raspberry Pi and Arduino boards. Cheap and powerful. I said to a coworker "If this shit had been around when I was younger I would have been launching shit into orbit."

Graybeard said...

Thanks. Coolest dad of the year, by far.

And I made my son a toy box that looked like a barn when he was that age.

Anonymous said...

wow. 50$ desk, with a multi-100 dollar panel, and I'm not counting his time and effort.

That kid better appreciate that, or will personally come over and smack him on the derriere until he realizes what a cool dad he has.

Speaking of which who has the time

Sean said...

Subtitled: how I overstimulated my kid and gave him ADD.

"Johnny, stop staring at all the blinking lights and do your homework!"

"Don't make me tell you again. Do your damned homework!"

That sure seems like a lot of work for something the kid will probably be bored with within a month. He should have spent the money on an indoor pellet rifle range; at least the kid would have learned a skill.

Kristophr said...

Beats the hell out a Lionel train set.

Tam said...


I'm not sure we can be friends anymore. :|

Windy Wilson said...

I grew up with the space program. As Apollo 11 neared, we sat in our classes in Jr. High School and wondered if the surface would be all dust or whatnot. My GI Joe had the (presumably to scale) Mercury capsule, and I had the Major Matt Mason-- Jeff Long, Sgt. Storm, and Callisto, the green translucent alien (And I still remember the names!) WE had to make do with cardboard, magic marker, tape and left over pieces of model kits for this sort of thing. This would have been so neat, but also kind of limiting without a computer to control which lights worked, and how and when.
If I had one of those, I would have it still, 45 years on.

Ed said...

Sigh... So much for cardboard appliance boxes.

Sean said...


My opinion would be different if he had done it WITH his kid, but he didn't. He did it by himself and most likely for himself. Notice in the video that it's all him: I did, I made, I built...

Anonymous said...

@Sean: That kind of "ADD" is what I grew up with as an inner-city poor kid. Now I design the stuff for aerospace and have a nice life as a result. Stimulating the mind of a kid is a good thing. And I bet dad got something out of it, too.

I'm a gun nut, but understand the world to be bigger than what I see in my reticles.

Lighten up, bro. Cool is cool.

Anonymous said...

That sure seems like a lot of work for something the kid will probably be bored with within a month.

I'm not so sure he built it for his son.


Sean said...


Understand my perspective. I was a middle school science teacher for a dozen years, and I've seen this kind of thing more times than I can count. The dad pours hours of his time into building a gizmo that the disinterested kid drags to school and can barely describe, let alone explain.

I totally get how cool it is, but I have my doubts that the kid understands what any of it means. Maybe dad will spend some time with him explaining why sometimes a cryo tank stir means "Houston, we have a problem". I hope he does. Still, I maintain this would be much cooler if it had been a father/son bonding moment rather than dad indulging himself. Imagine how proud the kid would be even years later to have contributed to something so awesome.

This is one of those cases where I would love to be proven wrong. I would love to discover that little Johnny helped dad trim some of those panels or stripped some wires, or even helped tighten a couple of screws.

Anonymous said...

@Sean: Me again. Sorry to post anonymous but I've had issues posting as myself. Google keeps giving me heartburn (ads) because of it (I need a toss-out email addy).

I hear you. Dad got more from this than his kid. If you haven't seen the "Make" magazine/site you need to check it out. Everything this guy did is part and parcel of what you learn on that site, and through those who do hobby-level electronics and "making stuff".

I actually volunteer for STEM activities at my kids school. Of 300 kids maybe two dozen are the kinds who might run with it. So I hear ya. But if I don't get into their heads today, some potentially happy future engineers might end up in the hell (for them) of a liberal-arts education pushed on them by people who know nothing but. They way I see it, we don't push STEM. We just open a door and see who will walk in. That starts with seeing stuff being made.

I grew up watching people around me making things when I was a kid. Now I make lots of things I could buy for a buck at Ikea. I am surrounded by parents who have never been around "people who make things". They cannot make or fix or troubleshoot anything. Their parents always called someone. The resulting general incompetence is not good for our future. I think there is value in this kid seeing his dad making stuff. Non-dystopian self-sufficiency starts somewhere.

I bet as a former science teacher, we might agree on that one.

Plus: cool.

- Patrick

Sean said...

I bet as a former science teacher, we might agree on that one


Keads said...

That is covered in awesome sauce!

Oh, Lionel trans now run DCS and are REALLY expensive!