this is the archive for the ‘geek’ category:


the crookes radiometer

have you ever heard of a crookes radiometer? it’s a little gimmick, a glass campanula with a sort of windmill inside… except, it has no batteries at all and it’s not the wind making it go, it’s the sun!

there’s not much to it: four very lightweight panels resting on a pin, inside a glass bubble with gas at a specific pressure. one side of the panels is coated in black. as it heats up with the sun, it creates some temperature differential in the gas which makes the whole thing spin. the more the sun shines on it, the faster it goes! (here’s a more scientific explanation)

pretty neat, right? we have one sitting in a table that gets sunlight throughout the day, and don’t seem to get tired of seeing it spin. it definitely feels like magic! :)

analogue wednesday #220

this meiadeleite.com domain turned 16 years today! although i don’t write much these days, i’m still happy to have this collection of stories and images, from so many years of adventures past. onwards, to the next 16!

regexcrosswords


so here’s something we stumbled some months ago which made us happy: regexcrossword.com is a geeky crossword puzzle made of regular expressions.

the idea is cleverly simple: find the character that fits both the patterns on the vertical and horizontal clues. they start with super easy crosswords on a tutorial of sorts, and then advance to more complicated concepts and grid-shapes which are trickier but just as much fun to figure out.

we’ve done all of them now, but if you’re up to a challenge or a way to brush up on those skills, give it a go! :)

the arthur conan doyle room

libraries are nice places in principle… but a beautiful one, with a literary giftshop aaaaaand an arthur conan doyle room definitely takes the cake! :D

we read about the room on (where else?) atlas obscura and put it on our plans. then, on a day of walking around downtown toronto, we made a detour to the toronto reference library, to discover this room.

it looks like a place right out of baker street, with its carpet and bookshelves, where you can find not only books by doyle, but also books about doyle and his works, translations in many languages, pastiches (which are sort of fanfiction!) and more. some are rare books, but despite this, the nice librarian just let us have a look around and even read, if we wanted.

we had it all to ourselves for a while, snapping photos and taking our time admiring all the spines of books collected over the years, from collections, auctions or just donations.

for a fan, this was such a treat! :)

kill doctor lucky

we started enjoying playing board games with friends around the time we turned 30, i think… there’s something about the quietness of an evening in that just suits us. if you’ve stayed over at our house for a few days, then it’s probably guaranteed that we’ve played a game with you at some point after a meal. and of all the games we own, kill doctor lucky has been a staple for a few years.

the free version (in a photocopied prototype) was given to us by dear friends who heard about it through kickstarter. we liked it so much that we used to carry those bits of photocopied paper around with us to evenings with other friends! :D

the game’s premise is simple: your goal is to kill doctor lucky, an old man who lives in his mansion. but doctor lucky is (as his name implies) rather lucky and thus not at all easy to kill. so you end up chasing him around his house, going from room to room, foiling other participant’s murder attempts (or not!) until eventually his luck runs out and you manage to kill him. it takes a bit of explaining to get things going, but in the end, one trial run is enough to get everyone excited and up to speed.

after a few years of playing the photocopied version, we finally caved in and bough the proper game, which is filled with witty ways to kill the doctor. it continues to make us happy, even after all this time.

does your home have a favorite board game too? :)