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Lots of Energy Around Solar Innovation

To be an inventor you have to believe you can make a difference. If you sit and look at it alone it can feel that there is nothing left to invent, or that all the technology is too advanced for a layman to contribute a significant innovation. Recently MakeHaven hosted an event that proves the people of New Haven are not deterred and can find lot of ways to innovate.

Casting with MakeHaven's New Melting Pot

The melting pot is a great tool for taking 3D printed prototypes and turning them into finished products like game pieces or jewelry in a relatively quick process. I ended up making a small series of geometric, asymmetrical earrings, and the whole project, from printing my prototypes to buffing my final designs, only took a couple of days.

 

Making the Mold

 

 

The Art of Millinery

               Ok, I am in love with sinamay. felt, feathers, leather, biais binding, petersham ribbon and many other ingredients that make the wonderful world of millinery. While I am stumbling in finding wood blocks - I need them in order to mold the hats -  through the years I have learned to be more patient and I truly enjoy the power of thinking outside the square. Still looking for those expensive commodities has been somewhat turned around last night, by my Australian Master Milliner Instructor Miss Elaine from The Hat Academy, bringing much hope. She is so clever.

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3D printing is an amazing technique for prototyping, and with surface finishings like Smooth On's XTC-3D, you can turn those prototypes into even better finished products.

I chose to print a small planter I designed in Fusion 360 just with one extrude and one chamfer command.

Sous Vide Hack

Sous Vide is a cooking method with which you immerse vacuum sealed food in a hot water bath and cook it slow and low. The hot water bath is controlled by a water heater/recirculator with a very tight range of temperature control (to one degree F). Since proteins in particular are more temperature sensitive than time sensitive, sous vide allows one to cook and hold food for long periods of time without degradation or loss of moisture. These temperature ranges for various states of doneness are often from about 120F - 160F.

Guerilla Hopscotch

It all started with an innocent Slack post from Paul Novaks (@novakps -- blame credit where credit is due): "This should be at 770 Chapel", linking to a video of hopscotch on a city sidwalk. A little bit of chatter with @BenBerkowitz and the ball started rolling.

And now we have a (mostly) short-term pair of hopscotch boards chalked on the sidewalk in front of the building.

Porchetta Ravioli in Brodo

Not too long ago I ate at a small family run Italian restaurant in Dallas. Their claim to fame is handmade pasta and they have one of those $15K bronze die pasta extruders that leaves proper tooth on the surface of the pasta in order to better hold sauce. We tried many of their wares and the the standout dish was not an extruded noodle but a fresh egg noodle made for ravioli. The dish is called Pasta in Brodo (pasta in broth). More specifically it was a porchetta ravioli served in a chicken broth with a full sprig of rosemary dunked into the broth.

Gnocchi Paddle

Like Aziz Ansari, I dedicate a substantial portion of my life to  making and consuming pasta. This little device allows you to make ridged dumplings like gnocchi, capunti and cavatelli. It’s also very easy to make and is a great holiday gift. 

Coffee

On weekend mornings, I like to treat myself to home brewed coffee; high quality, whole bean, ground on the spot and french pressed. Takes about 20 minutes but well worth it. I’m lucky enough to own an antique coffee grinder that has an interesting story. In the early 20th century, my Irish grandparents were servants at the Brewster Estate (now Edgerton Park) in New Haven. Frederick Brewster was the equivalent of New Haven's John Rockefeller. When he wasn't off on safari, he was making phat stacks of Benjamin’s with a life size train set that covered most of New England. Mr.