Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Paper Electronics: Make Interactive, Musical Artwork with Conductive Ink

Before you go crazy with your conductive ink, there are a few constraints to your artwork.

1. There must be four separate sections of conductive ink. One acts as a distance sensor and will eventually control the pitch of the audio. This part of the artwork should ideally be as large as possible as the larger it is, the more sensitivity the sensor will have. The other three sections  will act as buttons that will allow us to control the frequency of the audio and don't need to be as large. It is important that none of these sections touch each other.

2. The four sections should have traces (a painted/printed line no thinner than 1mm) taking them to the edge of the paper terminating in a 5mm x 5mm square of ink. These squares of ink should be side by side with a 5mm gap in-between. This is clearly shown in the image of my print on the bottom right hand corner. This print was A5 in size.

When it comes to creating your artwork it doesn't really matter how you do it, but the two easiest ways are to either paint by hand or to screen print. Screen printing means that not only do you get a high quality print, but you can print as many as you like easily.

Painting is easy, just remember to follow the constraints above.

Screen printing with Bare Conductive is a little trickier as it tends to dry quickly in the screen. To get around this I found it best to dilute Bare Conductive with roughly 1 part water 10 parts Bare Conductive. This makes the whole process a hell of a lot less stressful. When it comes to selecting a good screen for the ink, I recommend using a textiles screen with a mesh of around 90t.

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Duplicate an Existing Window in the Finder with Two Clicks

Duplicate an Existing Window in the Finder with Two Clicks

Sometimes you need two of the same Finder window open in order to move files around or see them in different views at the same time. Normally you'd need to create a new Finder window and navigate to that folder again, but Cult of Mac points out you can open a duplicate with a double click.

For this to work, you need to have an existing window open, then go to the View menu and choose Show Path Bar. (You only have to enable this once, not every time.) Find the current folder in the path bar at the bottom of your finder window and double click on it while holding the command key. In an instant, you'll have a second window with the contents of that folder.

Easily Open A Second Finder Window From The Same Folder | Cult of Mac

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Beans vs. No Beans: Your Arguments for the Best Chili

Chili lovers often have a strong opinion about one specific ingredient: beans. Last week we asked you to debate whether or not beans belonged in chili. Today we're taking al ook at your best arguments.

This Post Represents How You Feel
We didn't write this post to share our opinions on the chili bean war, but rather to aggregate what you, the readers, feel as a whole. This post attempts to represent both sides of the arguments equally, but may be weighted more towards one side or the other due to your responses. Please keep this in mind as you read and share your thoughts in the discussions.

Many readers felt chili wasn't chili without meat or beans. Wolftech provides a simple argument for beans:

Chili without beans is not chili. It is meat sauce.
Jas0n_Myers argues the opposite, on behalf of the meat lovers:

Chili is short for CHILI CON CARNE...which is spanish for meat with chilis. Does it say Chili con carne con frijoles? NO. Beans do not belong in true chili. If you add beans, it's no longer chili, it's stew.

ArmySheepy points out that chili is stew regardless of its ingredients. Additionally, our editorial fellow Andy Orin refutes Jas0n_Myer's argument, claiming that beans are a standard assumption:

The half of me that's Mexican cannot comprehend chili without beans. What would that be? A slurry of well-spiced sadness? Then I remember that chili as a condiment, say on your dogs and your fries, is indeed very often beanless with no loss of enjoyment. We must bridge this cultural bean gap!

While chili with beans earns the title of chili inherently (in some cultures, at least), bean-less meat chili doesn't lose its title due to a lack of beans. That said, some consider it a condiment and not a meal.

Many meat lovers feel very strongly against the inclusion of beans. In fact, reader SilverX2 shared that a group called the International Chili Society. They insist traditional red chili cannot contain beans:

Traditional Red Chili is defined by the International Chili Society as any kind of meat or combination of meats, cooked with red chili peppers, various spices and other ingredients, with the exception of BEANS and PASTA which are strictly forbidden.

That said, they allow the inclusion of beans in other types of chili. Also, it's important to remember that the International Chili Society consists of regular, opinionated people who hold themselves to their own standards. As you'll learn later on in this post, no argument for the inclusion or exclusion of beans or meat in traditional chili is historically correct.

Some chili recipes change based on your location. Reader beowulf7777 explains that beans never belong in Texas chili:

Not in Texas chili. Take that bean stew up north, yankee.

Bogus Maximus agrees that things are a little different up north:

I'm a New Yorker and I love me some beans in my chili.

So, your locale may inform your preference.

Reader ecsquared notes that chili was originally a poor man's meal, and that means it needs beans:

Yes, Chili has to have beans. I don't believe the idea that original chili was just meat. Chili, like many famous dishes, originated as a "poor man's meal", and beans are an inexpensive filler...only makes sense to have them in chili!

But according to Thom, there's so much meat in Texas that it doesn't matter:

We have had an ample supply of beef in Texas for centuries. Beans just dilute real chili so that babies and the elderly can stomach it.

Toltepeceno notes that chili started in Texas, but that doesn't tell us anything specific about an originating recipe containing chili. Food web site What's Cooking America decided to take a look at the history of chili and found the first chili-related commentary from 1926 American J.C. Clopper:

When they have to pay for their meat in the market, a very little is made to suffice for a family; this is generally into a kind of hash with nearly as many peppers as there are pieces of meat - this is all stewed together.

Clopper's comment focused on San Antonio's chile carne, so it seems American chili did originate in Texas and contained meat. Chili didn't require meat, however it served as a meat distribution device. That said, What's Cooking America found that the original stew came to Texas from the Spanish Canary Islands during the 18th century:

On March 9, 1731, a group of sixteen families (56 persons) arrived from the Canary Islands at Bexar, the villa of San Fernando de BĂ©xar (now know as the city of San Antonio). They had emigrated to Texas from the Spanish Canary Islands by order of King Philip V. of Spain. The King of Spain felt that colonization would help cement Spanish claims to the region and block France's westward expansion from Louisiana.

These families founded San Antonio’s first civil government which became the first municipality in the Spanish province of Texas. According to historians, the women made a spicy “Spanish” stew that is similar to chili.

Chili got its name because it made use of chili powder to add an extra kick. The inclusion of the spice appears to matter more than whether or not the stew contains meat, beans, or much of anything else.

The argument comes down to this: chili can take many forms, and you can make it however you want. In the same way language evolves and changes, so do recipes. Even caviar, which traditionally refers to fresh roe from wild sturgeon in the Caspian and Black Seas, now includes other types of fish roe and even completely unrelated dishes. While some might consider a total change a perversion of the dish, we have to allow for a few small changes with ingredients as no single person enjoys the exact same food as another. Reader BlueBeard sums up this argument nicely:

There is some weird chili-elitism where people insist their chili recipe is the only one true recipe to rule them all, and that is patently ridiculous (because mine is the best, cretins!). In the old days, maybe they didn't have beans handy and made the "bowl o' red" with just tomatoes and meat—these being cowboys, one would assume meat was never in short supply. Then, for others in different circumstances meat may have been too costly so it was supplemented with another protein source, the bean. Who cares, at long as there isn't corn in it. That's just wrong.

Chili is an entirely egalitarian meal—there is almost no wrong way to do it, as long as you like what you made. Personally, I love my own chili so much I generally end up eating the entire pot for 3 meals a day for a week, and want more while I'm eating the last bowl. God, I am overdue for some chili.

So do beans belong in chili? Only if you like them.

This Week's Most Popular Posts: May 24th to 31st

This Week's Most Popular Posts: May 24th to 31st

This week we looked at the best paid apps around, kicked ourselves into healthier habits, built a do-anything home server, and learned about deodorant. Here's a look back.

This Week's Most Popular Posts: May 24th to 31stS

Don't get us wrong: free apps are amazing, and we're awfully thankful for them. But sometimes, you get what you pay for, and a few bucks can get you a much better app that'll make your life so much easier. Here are 10 paid apps we think are well worth the price.

This Week's Most Popular Posts: May 24th to 31stS

We all know our health is important, but we often neglect some of the little stuff that comes back to bite us later. Here are four of the simplest and cheapest things you can do now to make your future self happier and healthier.

This Week's Most Popular Posts: May 24th to 31st

Most people know that rolling t-shirts is the most efficient way to pack them into a suitcase, but not all shirt rolls are created equal. For a truly tight suitcase, you should master the military-style roll.

This Week's Most Popular Posts: May 24th to 31stS

You've heard the word "server" thrown around a lot, but usually in the context of web sites or big companies that have a lot of data to store. In reality, a server can be just as useful in your home. In this guide, we'll walk through how to create your own home server out of an old or cheap computer that can do all your downloading, streaming, and backup tasks 24/7.

This Week's Most Popular Posts: May 24th to 31stS

Dear Lifehacker,
When I go to the drug store, I see so many different types of deodorant. Putting aside the huge number of scents, many offer a variety of features as well. Some feature antiperspirants while others claim to block body odor better than others. Does it really matter which one I get?

This Week's Most Popular Posts: May 24th to 31stS

When you're on the go and need a little extra power for a dying phone, a fading laptop, or a weary camera, carrying extra batteries is prudent, but it takes up space and you need one battery for every device. An external battery pack lets you carry one gadget that can charge up anything you plug it into. This week, we're checking out five of the best, based on your nominations.

This Week's Most Popular Posts: May 24th to 31st

If you don't know very much about beer, you probably can't make heads or tails of the expansive menu at your local beer garden. However, there are a few keywords, prefixes, and suffixes you can learn to get a better idea of what you're looking at.

This Week's Most Popular Posts: May 24th to 31stS

Hard drives get messy. You save files and forget them, download huge chunks of data that pile up, and change your naming schemes a hundred times. It's spring, though, so why not do a little tidying up?

This Week's Most Popular Posts: May 24th to 31stS

Dear Lifehacker,
I want to set up some basic home automation tasks but I've never done anything like this before. How do I get started? For that matter, what kind of things can I do and how much should I reasonably expect to pay?

This Week's Most Popular Posts: May 24th to 31stS

We've all been there: you're away from home, you need to fix something, and you don't have access to any tools. With a little preparation, you can trick out your pockets with just about everything you need to provide a temporary repair no matter where you are. Here are a few ways to do just that.

This Week's Most Popular Posts: May 24th to 31stS

Although not one of the DIY All Star materials, people use PVC pipe to create all sorts of awesome things because it's cheap, sturdy, and versatile. This weekend, grab some at your local hardware store and tackle one of these fun projects.

This Week's Most Popular Posts: May 24th to 31st

Finding a job is a challenge these days, but keeping one can be a challenge as well. US News describes eight simple mistakes you can make to ruin your professional reputation, from leaving a job to early to failing to keep your commitments. What mistakes have you made, or seen others made, that hurt their reputation and made it more difficult to get another job?

This Week's Most Popular Posts: May 24th to 31stS

Think you might be stuck in a career rut? The good news is, career ruts are easy to spot. There’s that telltale sick feeling in your stomach every Monday morning, jealousy when a friend gets a new job that they’re excited about, and a tendency to quickly change the subject when someone asks you what you do for a living.

Let's hear your employment war stories.

Let's hear your employment war stories.

Great discussions are par for the course here on Lifehacker. Each day, we highlight a discussion that is particularly helpful or insightful, along with other great discussions and reader questions you may have missed. Check out these discussions and add your own thoughts to make them even more wonderful!

For great discussions any time, be sure check out our user-run blog, Hackerspace. And today being Friday, don't forget to check out this week's Open Thread.

If you've got a cool project, inspiration, or just something fun to share, send us a message at

Happy Lifehacking, everybody!

Making a convertable bracelet / necklace/ choker handknotted

You will need:

6mm beads (about 50 beads)
8mm beads (about 10 beads)
larger focal bead
wide needle, head pin or some other object of similar shape
3 magnetic clasps
Strong thread (I am using nylon can also use silk)

source of fire
flat non-flammable countertop or surface

Work out your design and cut 3 lengths of thread (knots should take up 1-2mm in length (depending on how tight you can get them). Each length of thread should be at least three times longer than the intended bracelet length (wrapped it 4 times around my wrist).

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Mount Your Knives to the Wall with Hard Drive Magnets

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