Contact Juggling Day

Today is Contact Juggling Day!

So the blog post theme today is contact juggling.

For me, today is a celebration of an art form that combines dancing  and prop(s), with gravity as your silent partner(props make noise or make you make noise :) ), in other words, Gravity Prop Dancing(TM) heheh.

My flow journey started with the words ‘I call it contact juggling‘. Thanks James for my first steps on this journey and for coming up with a name that can include so many things.

So if you haven’t already, go grab a prop, go out, or stay in, and make your prop float all over your body.  Spin it, roll it, and even throw it.  Connect with what you are doing and move beyond gravity and the prop into a place many call flow.

I am excited to share more of this art in future blog posts.

For now I am going to go play with a sphere, roll a fushigi, and spin a metal.  I will be enjoying dancing with props using gravity as my partner, or in other word, I will be contact juggling.

Happy Contact Juggling Day 2014 Everyone.

Rich Shumaker

The Raspberry Pi

I thought my first post beyond the “It work’s” would be about Contact Juggling but oddly it is not.

My first blog post is about ‘The Raspberry Pi’

Raspberry what? You might ask.

Try searching Google for Raspberry Pi and you will find projects using the Pi to create mini arcade emulators,  to make beer, to drink beer, to create a DSLR camera controllers for timelapse, and  water droplets.  The Rapberry Pi has an IR Camera(the PiNoir), can be a Web Servers, or OwnCloud Storage Device, oh you need a Media Centers the Pi’s got that covered.  Wait you wanted to do a Near Space Missions, don’t forget your Pi.

So what is this Raspberry Pi again?

Before I tell you anymore about ‘what the Pi is’ I need to tell you how I found it.

Several years ago I was at an LAUSD(Los Angeles Unified School District) elementary school with a friends 3rd grader, yeah I have a friend, heheh. I asked to see the computer lab and they said it was closed.  I found out later it was closed after some kids were electroshocked.

Wow electroshocked, so I guess no computers for them.  Well that was one school, in one place, then I asked friends and they said almost the same thing about their kids schools minus the electro shocking part.

So I was upset, no computers for kids, now what am I going to do.  I did what anyone who is upset does when frustrated about not being able to solve world problems.

I went to the internet to find others with the same problem so we could blog our anger together one comment at a time.  While I was shaking my virtual fist in the air internet lighting struck and I found the Raspberry Pi.  RasPi

If you are of my Atari 2600 era you have noticed the ‘cmd prompt’ disappeared years ago, ‘dir’ is nowhere to be found, and the period, I mean dot, has taken over.  For as little as you see the computer of ‘my day‘ with a cmd prompt, and blinking cursor, you have a computer in almost everything you own, in your phone, your tv, and your modern touch screen tablet.

So what? That just means things are better and easier and more ‘user friendly’, right?

Sure if by more ‘user friendly’ you mean “I got an app for that(*)”, then yes they are.

Learning computers now is using apps, not dir(rectories) or creating code, wait what is code?

Code is where apps come from so learning code(computers) means making apps, not buying apps.

Wait I can make an app?  Must be hard or everyone would do it right?

Nope the barrier to entry is learning code, which is like reading and writing, something we should be learning right?!?  Probably teaching kids too!!!  Which reminds me of when I was a kid with a C64C64-mmmmmm-homer

So what is this Raspberry Pi again?

The Raspberry Pi is a credit card sized computer using computer chips you find in cell phones, it has HD video and can do what computers do, oh and it costs $25(Model A).   They also have a $35 version(Model B and just released B+) which is the one most people get.  The Raspberry Pi Model B+ is the evolution of the original Raspberry Pi.  The original B which came out before the Model A had 256mb ram, 2 USB ports, 26 GPIO pins, SD Slot for OS and an Ethernet port.  The newest revision the B+ has 512mb ram, 4 USB ports, 40 GPIO pins, MicroSD Slot for OS and an Ethernet port.  The new B+ is even more power efficient than the original B and easily runs off the charger you use for your phone.(B+ Spec from Adafruit)

Now after reading all that you are probably thinking, ‘oh an Arduino?’

And I say ‘exactly like that, and nothing like that, all at the same time, heheh.’

Honestly the Arduino and Raspberry Pi are more like peanut butter and chocolate, they go great together but they are not the same, <insert techno babble micro-speak, computers this, micro controllers that, CPUs, GPUs.>

So why did this Raspberry Pi get created and by who?

The Raspberry Pi or RasPi or Pi was created with one simple mission, ‘Teach “Kids” Computers’.  I put kids in “quotes” as I am a big kid now, heheh. The Raspberry Pi Foundation was formed by Eben Upton, Rob Mullins, Jack Lang and Alan Mycroft, based at the University of Cambridge,(Wikipedia).  In 2006 the Raspberry Pi Foundation noticed that same trend I found years later, kids don’t have ‘computers’ they don’t learn ‘computers’, they learn apps.  So they created a computer for kids to learn, the Raspberry Pi.

Keep Up the Great Work Raspberry Pi Foundation!!!!!!

Why I like the RasPi

Or Why you need one or two or more for yourself.

#1 “Kids” get computers(please don’t get me started on last years LAUSD mice for iPad debacle wireless mouses are necessary to be able to use the tablets to take the new tests”) – Remember why I put quotes on kids earlier, heheh.

#2 Making cool stuff and learning computers at the same time, Tetra Pi coming soon.(**)

#3 Minecraft, Mathematica, and Sonic Pi too, all free – Have you seen how much Mathematica costs for your PC?

#4 HD Video Looper – waking up to What Does The Fox Say?

#5 Cuz it’s a credit card sized computer you can create anything your imagination can think up.

Some Raspberry Pi Resources

Raspberry Pi Dot Org Blog

PiWeekly

MagPi

EndNotes and disclaimers

* Future #1 hit for DJ Plague

** Coming out shortly before DJ Plagues #1 Song ‘I have an app for that’

I do not work for the Raspberry Pi Foundation and all views and opinions of the AWESOMENESS OF THE PI are mine, heheh, hopefully you will share them too.