Posts

LGBT grandstanding and whatnot

Back a few years ago, one of my favourite singers, Joyce DiDonato, made a few headlines outside of the classical music world by dedicating her performance at the Last Night of the Proms to the LGBT community.  Over the previous year, the singer had made a few outspoken interviews criticizing the heavy handed Russian tactics against the LGBT community.  She was not entirely alone, but in at least one interview JDD mentioned having turned down offers of work in Russia on the grounds of continued harassment of that community.

The context of the day was of course, also the annexation of the Crimea and ongoing harangue of the Ukraine.  This was prior to the more notorious political meddling in elections in both the UK and USA, with severe repercussions for the future of democracy still playing out.  So it was a very big surprise to hear that JDD is booked for two concerts in Moscow next week, after all of that.

Russian is as much of an international pariah as ever.  However, with a constan…

eBay nonsense

While many are often critical and sceptical of ebay, etsy and aliexress small ads for fake goods or nonsensical crafting, it is by no means the domain of identitarian crafters or Chinese fraudsters.  I found this auction on eBay, from a respectable Dublin based 2nd hand tech dealer, who otherwise seems to be selling respectable items such as power supplies for 10 year old HP servers and the occasional 2nd hand monitor.  As you can see, it appears to be a sale of a batch of empty iPhone boxes.  Which is rather nonsensical as the only possible value in a box is if you subsequently want to sell the phone.  To be honest, even this justification is dubious as many refurbishers sell over the counter these days, and a box isn't particularly relevant.  But hey, the internet is just as dodgy as ever.

Hot Bed stickiness!

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Another issue I occasionally come across in a large 3d print is the print suddenly losing grip and being swept off the bed by a quick moving delta head.

There are a number of reasons why prints don't "stick".

The first is simply the head not being level or z-axis wrong height, usually after changing a nozzle or hot end.  Do this before any print.  Also watch out to make sure any bed change is even.  My delta is setup to do a "4 point" test, which means it checks the center, x, y and z axis. But if I've stuck a smaller blue 3m paper sticker (see later) the surface isn't even at the edges, so I allow a couple of mm extra for "give."

Blue paper is generally good for adherence on a bigger item, however, you need to cover the whole surface for a full print. Its expensive, so other options might be attractive.

Get a surface "sticker" for the hot bed.  Mine ended up wrecked after one of my axes slipped due to a loose screw, and the nozzle g…

Fixing a blocked PFTE Tube [3d printing for total and utter idiots]

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I recently built a clone Delta 3D printer, and after a couple of weeks of grief, fixed 95% of the problems (just a hot end fan that suddenly stopped running last week to fix), but ran into serious issues when my hot end became completely clogged.

So many learning issues here, but just a quick few.

Firstly, the fan problem probably caused this.  Because the "cold part" of the hot end basically feeds in the filament, it shouldn't get too hot. Because it is only less than 2mm, its very easy to melt filament from an uncooled hot end and block other parts.  The difficulty in unclogging this is that it is actually quite difficult to replicate overheating!  (This sounds surprising, but it takes some hours of use for the hot end even without fan, to reach sufficient heat to start melting filament.  My workaround for the moment (I suspect the issue is a mosfet blown or connection to pin loose on the motherboard) will be to attach a small device such as Arduino or Pi Zero to the f…

Hysterectomy & the Eighth Amendment

Some time ago I found out, as I had suspected, that a cure to a rake of health issues that have been bothering me for a few years would be a hysterectomy.  Unfortunately, due to the cause (what turned out to be a 5kg, 28cm rugby ball sized uterine fibroid) the options were limited.  According to my Gynaecologist, a fibroid (that he guessed was at least 20-25cm) had only a 50% chance of being shrunk by 50%, which would make anything less than an abdominal operation difficult, and at my age 45, the uterus had probably (correctly) already served its purpose (i.e. in my case, nothing).

Ireland is not a stone age country, and despite what you might hear in the press, women's opinions are not entirely ignored in the area of reproductive medicine.  I do respect, however, that in the area of pregnancy, the presence of the 8th amendment brings the constitution into the consulting room, where really, it has little useful presence.  In my youth I felt this was no big deal, in my older and ho…

Music education: stifling creativity or generating inclusion?

I read through Charlotte Gill's piece on the problem of learners of music struggling with notation and an appeal to perhaps try to find different ways to cater for those who just cannot get along with notation, thought, "yes, she has a point there", and moved on.Then a few weeks later, I spotted online that no fewer than 600 (600! WHEN do 600 people sign a letter to a newspaper) and saw some of the comments, and realised that Ms Gill had unwittingly released a rage amongst music educators.I was surprised to see this, because as somebody who worked in music education from the age of 18, until I was about 29, and saw at first hand the conflict between musical capability and notational literacy, I agreed that there was a problem that isn't just mitigated by "more money" or "more formal music education."

It also comes from my experience conducting choirs.It was a feature of the job that a very good singer would sometimes resolutely have given up on tr…

Fit Food from Dublin Meat Company: A quick review

I heard that Dublin Meat Company, a large butcher located a short walk from home was now doing healthy meals for those of us who like working out, and watch what we eat, so I decided to drop by and try out some of their ready to go meals.

Unlike the mass-produced rubbish sold in bulk under brands such as WeightGainers and UniFat, the Fit Foot range is carefully curated to suit the eating habits of active people.  In other words, its focused on good quality proteins, vegetables, healthy fats etc.  A number of other butchers have paired up with Butchers to help put together good quick meals to go for customers, who spend so much time in the gym there isn't a lot of time to cook.

From what I could see a lot of the range was already semi if not fully cooked, though the instructions mostly seemed to include both oven and microwave instructions.  With a full dish taking 25 minutes in the oven, this isn't too bad.  Date ranges were decent enough.  I bought at the weekend and everythi…