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2016/12/29 Mini Europe in Bruxelles
π 2016-12-29 00:00 in Belgium, Public
For our first day in Bruxelles, we went to check out Mini Europe because it looked fun. and it was. The only mistake is that we should have gone to see the Atomium first, before the line got stupidly long. I did get a few pictures Mini Europe from the Atomium, and those were nice:






sacre coeur
sacre coeur

And here are some pictures taken from inside:









nice model of centre george pompidou
nice model of centre george pompidou


sacre coeur
sacre coeur



pisa
pisa

venice
venice






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2016/12/26 Bruges' Choco Story and Bruxelles' Chocolate Village Museum
π 2016-12-26 00:00 in Belgium, Public
Belgium is obviously known for good chocolate, and they have lots of it. In both Bruges and Bruxelles, we went to see chocolate museums, which were both informative.

Let's start with Bruges' Choco Story. Sadly by the time we arrived there, it was 16:30, or 30mn from closing time. so we had to go through it quickly. Still, it gave a good overview of how cocoa beans were discovered, which birds ate them, and the complicated process to turn them into yummy chocolate :) (they also had a demo showing how to make a specific kind of chocolate):



pretty, that bird that eats the cocoa beans :)
pretty, that bird that eats the cocoa beans :)

the beans are colorful too
the beans are colorful too





Choco frites, really? :)
Choco frites, really? :)


all the reasons why chocolate is good for your health :)
all the reasons why chocolate is good for your health :)




yummy samples to try on the way out :)
yummy samples to try on the way out :)

A few days later, while in Bruxelles, we went to see the Chocolage Village Museum, which sure took its museum job seriously, and had even more displays:



fantastic model of the basilica
fantastic model of the basilica


atomium
atomium

They also had a place where wthey were growing real cocoa plants:


chocolate is easy
chocolate is easy

a 'mere' 15 steps...
a 'mere' 15 steps...

I quite enjoyed their poster and comics collection too:






you be a good boy and you get chocolate, simple :)
you be a good boy and you get chocolate, simple :)

2016/12/11 Visit of Black Chasm Cavern, in Volcano, CA, on SR88 on the way to Kirkwood
π 2016-12-11 00:00 in Public
After having gone to Kirkwood where the conditions were terrible, we left early since skiing ice was no fun at all. Arturo made the great suggestion of going to visit Black Chasm Cavern on the road back, just off SR88.

So let's be honest, it's far from being the best cavern I've visited in the US, however, it has a vast arrays of rare helictite crystals, which I had never seen anywhere else. Water pressure causes water droplets to be pushed out of the rock, evaporate, and leaves behind very unusual organic looking growths:














Good call Arturo, thank you (and thanks to Johannes for getting us there)

2016/11/25 Chinese Illuminations at Gilroy Gardens
π 2016-11-25 00:00 in Public
Since Jennifer's parents were visiting for thanksgiving, Jennifer had the good idea to take us to Gilroy Gardens which had some really nice Chinesee illuminations and included a decent performance too:
















It was very well done, quite worth the trek there, and the money.

2016/09/13 Hummingbird in our Yard
π 2016-09-13 00:00 in Public
The Lantanas that have replaced our grass are in full bloom, and the local hummingbirds have noticed. Love those little guys :)





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2016/09/04 Burning Man's Red Lightening's 360 Dome, Showing Samskara
π 2016-09-04 00:00 in Bm, Public
Red Lightening at Burning Man 2016, had an awesome 360 video show by Android Jones. There were long lines every night to go see it, it wsa hard to get in. I got lucky and was able to, and I'm sharing a few shots and a quick summary video for those who weren't able to see it:









2016/06/04 Another Wine and Art Festival in Sunnyvale
π 2016-06-04 00:00 in Public
No frills, just a good excuse to go out and get a bit of sun :)











2016/05/22 Maker Faire
π 2016-05-22 00:00 in Public
I took another year to go to Makers Faire this year. Sadly, a lot of things there were the same, so it was really starting to be a repeat. Also, there weren't as many individual makers who did cool things that they were showing off.

Oh well.... A few pictures:


cool little roomba like weed cutter
cool little roomba like weed cutter

Google showed off a tethered drone that captures wind energy
Google showed off a tethered drone that captures wind energy

more 3D printers than I could count
more 3D printers than I could count



drone racing
drone racing












Anyway, that was that. Not a full waste of time, but didn't even need to stay until the end of the day.

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2015/09/01 Replaced Our Lawn with Low Water Plants
π 2015-09-01 00:00 in Public
We didn't really care for our lawn, so when we had a drought, it wasn't too hard a decision to get rid of it and put approved California low water plants in exchange for a $6000 rebate (although the work was a bit over $20000). We're likely not going to get our money back anytime soon, but that's fine, getting rid of the lawn was a good thing.

The lantanas are colorfull and pretty. Better than grass.












2015/05/16 Another Maker Faire
π 2015-05-16 00:00 in Public
Mmmh, I didn't read my own blog post from 2 years ago saying that going both days was overkill and unnecessary. I stretched the time by going to some talks Saturday and Sunday, and that was kind of a mistake as more than half the talks were not worth the time at all, and some were a total waste of time. Maker Faire really needs to improve their talks by giving full description, vetting speakers, and ensuring proper content, or people will know that talks are mostly not worth it.

But the rest was still worth seeing, and I enjoyed it. Big stuff outdoors:







backyard roller coaster, very nice
backyard roller coaster, very nice

Indoors:

very cool, you can now draw circuits with a silver pen
very cool, you can now draw circuits with a silver pen

food 3D printing, brilliant!
food 3D printing, brilliant!


very very nice hack
very very nice hack


big and small robots :)
big and small robots :)



the drawings were made with balls run with a magnet underneath
the drawings were made with balls run with a magnet underneath




They had a battle of the drones which really was quadcopter fighting (knocking the other guy out of the air):


One worthwhile talk was a status update on arduino, from its creator:


another talk from Atmel on arduino debugwire was very interesting too
another talk from Atmel on arduino debugwire was very interesting too


Google was showing off its original VTOL package delivery plane:


RC plane used for city imaging
RC plane used for city imaging

robot wielding a knife between a hand's fingers
robot wielding a knife between a hand's fingers

Anyway, I was mostly done by saturday evening. I went back sunday to see a few things I could have seen if I hadn't gone to some talks Saturday, and then called it a day.

See more images for Another Maker Faire

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