Above, you can see my weekend project – a 3d printed, no-soldering-iron-required, LED using miniature anglepoise lamp. I printed it on Saturday, and assembled it on Sunday – it’s fitted with 6 UV LEDs (because I couldn’t find any white at the time) and the lamp shade has a thin accent line of glow-in-the-dark plastic as a highlight.
Tag Archive: light
Certain things give a very tactile impulse – things you wish you could reach into the screen for, that make your fingertips tingle with anticipation for – things that you may never touch, because they’ve never existed. Things like the globs and gibbosities of this video, glowing even and steady, slowly drooping from their sconces or oozing across the ground. Molten metal and still red lava are the nearest equivalents, and I’m in no hurry to reach out and touch those.
Some people find the light in the video scary, even oppressive – I find myself torn between wanting to feel my hand on the softly yielding glowing surface, and the fear that every science-fiction story has conditioned me to feel. Maybe, one day soon, I will be able to reach out and touch the rolling drifts of light, feel it envelop my hand and grasp viscous lumpfuls that then drip through my fingers. Or I could make some oobleck and pretend I suppose.
I’ve been playing Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and reveling in the stealth-puzzle options available to me. It means I spend a lot of time in one area, creeping around like the Creeping Kid, and because I’ve turned off the object highlighting and mission arrows, I need to actually look at the environments.
One environment that struck me more than many others, was Jensen’s apartment – the second the artificially intelligent door opened for me, I was drinking in the strong Bladerunner vibe. Noir-ish lighting spills through room high, slatted windows, casting long dark shadows across the jumble and accumulated debris of Adam’s life and upheaval – it feels like a refugee from Tron was put under house arrest in a long abandoned, 18th Century Parisian flat. In short, I liked it.
I’m still having fun with the best toy in the world – my 3d printer! This week, I decided to try to make a tiny, light up, TARDIS model – ideally to fit on one of my hair clips. At the moment, the LEDs are too big, so the model above is approx 5cm tall – way too big for a hair clip.
Ok, I need you to squint a little at the photograph above – look for a vaguely crescent-moon shaped outline, with a yellowy-whiteish blob in the middle. Found one? That’s a Pyrocycstis Lunula alga! They’re about 0.1mm to 0.14mm in length, and they’re one of the bioluminescent algae strains that I’ve been culturing.
How excited am I allowed to be about this, without getting sectioned? Ah, who cares. The video above shows the operation of a computer controlled bioreactor and integrated vending machine for spirulina – a form of blue-green algae and all round science celebrity!
Like an old storyteller spider, I’ll weave an idea in your mind, a dream round your heart, that you may be happily trapped thereafter. Imagine, first, a solar system writ in miniature life; a botanical orrery suspended from your ceiling with spheres of moss and other plants, bound tight in brilliant white cordage. This string garden of kokedamas (moss ball bonsai) rejects your puny attempts at gardening in two dimensions, and insists you think in three.
Sometimes those crazy things we see in games which are too good to be true, have more than an ounce of truth in them. Those CG scenes of Pandora that so wowed 3d audiences showing an alien landscape more alive in the dark, than during the day – had some small element of more terrestrial lifeforms at their heart. Bioluminescent fungi like Panellus Stipticus.
I love things that glow; that flicker and twinkle, fade and pulse. Obviously then, I love LEDs! Soft circuitry and electronic clothing facinates me, but like great swathes of fashion, I’m convinced that they’re usually doing it wrong. The LEDs you see on clothing, frequently flashes, blinks or blinds – these LEDs I do not care for. How, and why, I made the gentle glowing LEDs above, is below.