Name ONE reason why you just bought a flat screen over a projector

I’m not going to go on a whole banter (I’ve already done so here on the topic here) but I simply don’t understand the logic behind getting a TV. Honestly, no matter how many times I see someone with a new TV, I never understand why they just wasted their money on something like that. Maybe I’m mentally insane, but I just don’t understand why people craze over TV’s that are less than half the size of a projector.

Even the whole new “Smart” TV thing, you know, where a Japanese company throws in 5 crappy apps and calls the TV “smart?” I mean, you can plug in a Mac/PC/iDevice/Game Console to a projector. BAM. Smarter than ANY TV on the market. Oh well. Life will go on, I suppose

Pig Shaped Headphones. The Greatest of Them All.

I wish I was kidding when I say this, but believe it or not, these are the best headphones i’ve ever owned. Sure, it’s hard to justify being a guy and wearing pink obnoxious earbuds, but the quality honestly justifies the humility. Unfortunately, finding a pair of these headphones are near impossible. Originally, I bought a pair for my sister in an airport store as a gift. However, when my cousin and I tested them on the plane, we were beyond jealous. Long after, my sister admit to having lost the pair so I decided to buy a pair myself. After much searching, I found a pair under $20 on a foreign site.

The point of this little story? Well, there is none. When is there ever a point to anything I say? Just go scavenge the earth for a pair.

Home Theater Quality Projectors For Less Than the Ones at ToysRus

Home Theater Quality Projectors For Less Than the Ones at ToysRus

So there are a lot of articles for the best projectors under $100 online. But most of them all show the same thing. Those crappy little projectors that are unable to project an image larger than the size of a computer monitor! And even the ones they sell for kids, you know, to play video games on their bed to project onto the ceiling. Those are even more unrealistic (and overpriced) since not only is the image quality absolutely ridiculous, but in order to keep them upright to the ceiling is near impossible. So I set out to find a projector of worth, that would fit my 3 requirements:

  1. It had to be able to project a large enough image to fit the size of my attic room wall (100 inches across exactly)
  2. It had to be bright enough to see if the lights were off  (and if possible, when they’re on)
  3. It had to fit my budget of $100.

My Family History: Not Your Usual Storybook

I’d like to start with some background:

After WWII, the area which is now Osor, Croatia was under the “Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia.”
This simplifies down to: The government was communist.

My great uncle, Zio Antonio, and two of his other friends decided to try escaping communism…. on a row boat. Lost without compass, attempting to steer toward Italy, the boat ends up half way down the 1,104 mile long coast of Croatia. Who would imagine that a large fishing boat would have spotted them despite the fact that they were in a row boat! Further, who would imagine that that the captain of the ship was a man who lived in his hometown of Osor…… across the street from him his entire life.

So the boat drops them off in Italy and they ask for political exile and that’s that.

Another thing I learned in this conversation was that my grandma, who grew up in Ventotene, Italy (Shown above) met her husband from Osor by prank calling him for MONTHS, until, he figured out who had been calling him. All the girls who were involved in the scheme were offered to dinner so he could finally meet the girls he had wondered so much about.

After the dinner, my grandfather walked out with the “main” prank caller, who spoke to him the most, holding an umbrella over her head, and they all went to see a movie.

When the movie was over, my grandpa was holding the umbrella over my grandma instead.

Coleman lanterns are durable: Fact.

On our way camping, full speed down a CT highway, an entire bin flew off the car and onto the road. Glad bags and cups went flying, but to my surprise, our Coleman lantern survived being thrown from a car, hit by another and rolled off to the side of the road.

Never drive with anything on the roof.
Lesson learned!

European Fanta Vs. American Fanta: HUGE difference

On my trip to Italy, I realized the fanta (still made by the Coke company) tasted MUCH better than the American version. Since no one believed me, I vowed to prove it when I returned. So I took the product information label off a bottle of Fanta to see how different the SAME drink may be, when it is produced in different countries. Here’s what I found.

Italian Version:
Senza aggiunta di conservanti = No preservatives
Senza coloranti = No dyes
Aromi naturali = Natural flavors (This is the only one that they have in common!)
di aranciata al 12% di succo di arancia si è preparato con il SUCCO di ARANCE= 12% of orange juice to orange juice is made with orange juice. (What that means is beyond me.)

“Non-alcoholic Orange juice.” I really enjoy that sentence.

What’s green is not found in the American version.


Water. orange juice. carbon dioxide.acidifier citric acid, natural flavors. stabilizing gum acacia. antioxidant ascorbic acid.”Store in a cool, dry, clean and odor-free, away from sunlight and heat sources.

Informazioni nutrizionali per 100 ml: (Nutrition information per 100 ml:)
Valore energetico (Calories) 48 kcal, 202 kj
Protiene: (Protien) 0g
carboidrati (carbohydrates AKA sugar) 11.7 g
Grassi: (Fat) 0g
fibre alimentari: (dietary fiber) 0g
Sodio(Sodium) 0mg
Now for the American Version:
“Contains No Juice”
100% Natural Flavors
What’s red is the different ingredients not found in the Italian version.

Carbonated Water, High fructose corn syrup, citric acid, sodium benzoate (To protect taste (AKA PRESERVATIVES), Natural flavors, Modified food starch, Sodium phosphates, glycerol ester of rosin, yellow 6, brominated vegitable oil, red 40.”Low Sodium”

Per 100 ml (Did some math here)
Sodium: 16.4mg
Fat: 0g
Total Carbs: 13.1g
Sugar: 13.1g
Protein: 0g.

To sum up the Nutritional Facts:
The Italian version has less Sodium, Sugar and Carbs.

To sum up the ingredients:
Look up. I think it’s clear.

To sum up the taste:
There is no comparison to the taste of the Italian version of Fanta.

The Minibot – FRC at 263

Team 263, Sachem Robotics’ Prototype and deployment.

The new bot has two motors, the second is attached to the smaller wheel. Since it has a 2:1 gear ratio, the smaller wheel goes twice the speed.

The last trial runs were:

2.9 – 3.1 range
  • There are no magnets other then the ones inside the motors 😀
  • There is ghetto wiring currently installed on the bot and there has not been any programming set on the controller yet.
  • When the power is manually cut at the top of the pole, it slowly goes back down the pole.
  • It is very picky of it’s center of gravity. The bot will fall off the pole if a wheel is too far in.
  • The wheels were shaved down to the shape of the pole, as well as adding grip to it.
Update: (Febuary)
Our minibot and deployment have changed dramatically while maintaining relatively the same speed. The following video is our fastest, yet unstable model.

Early stages of deployment:
[vimeo w=400&h=300]

Old Prototype:

Update: (April)
See the video of our final version in action, with an Uber tube tied behind our back, for the win.
Copyright 2011, Sachem Robotics