By popular demand, we now have rugged metal buttons with a full-color NeoPixel LED ring light! These chrome-plated metal buttons are rugged, but certainly not lacking in flair.
This is a 19mm Momentary version of the RGB pushbutton. Simply drill a 19mm hole into any material up to 0.45″ thick and you can fit these in place – there’s even a rubber gasket to keep water out of the enclosure. On the front of the button is a flat metal actuator, surrounded by a plastic RGB LED ring.
To use the NeoPixel Color LED: Power the internal NeoPixels with +5V, ground and a NeoPixel signal line – it’s a lot easier than wiring up 3 separate RGB LED diodes. Best of all, the NeoPixel signal is chainable, so you can light up multiple switches in one panel.
This pushbutton has both normally-open and normally-closed contacts, and unlike our other rugged metal pushbuttons, these come with a detachable 7-wire cable harness to make wiring easy. Follow the datasheet for the wiring pinout.
The switch and LED are electrically separated, so to change the color, use a microcontroller to both read the contact pins and control the NeoPixel.
Margaret Atwood has taken a giant leap farther into the camp of writers who simply refuse to let us enjoy their work in peace by tweeting out an op-ed from the Toronto Star Tuesday, in which writer Rosie DiManno asks, “Why can’t we say ‘woman’ anymore?”
The article is behind a paywall but let me save you from your curiosity: It’s nonsense. There is absolutely nothing new in the entire essay, no new insights, just the same tired handwringing over the evolution of language to be more inclusive—and, it needs to be noted, more accurate.
Most of DiManno’s article takes issue with the shift a lot of institutions are making towards inclusive language in the conversation around reproductive rights, using terms like “pregnant people” instead of “pregnant women.” This, she says, is “all directly a phenomenon resulting from trans activism run amok.”
I’ve argued in favor of this shift in language right here on this site because it’s important and honestly, it costs cisgender women like myself absolutely nothing to embrace this language. How does it hamper my access to healthcare to refer to it by gender-neutral terms? It absolutely doesn’t, but it does help increase access for trans and nonbinary people, many of whom (as many as a third according to some polls) do not feel comfortable seeking healthcare for fear of being discriminated against.
DiManno tries to dismiss the needs of trans and nonbinary people as inconsequential. “Women have abortions. Or, I suppose, in the tiniest of numbers, people born with female genitals who identify as male or fluid can terminate a pregnancy,” she writes.
I do wonder what she thinks that number is. Because the number of non-cis people is rapidly increasing with every generation and according to one recent GLAAD study, 12% of people aged 18-34 in the U.S. identify as something other than cisgender.
12% is not a tiny number by any means. At the point that 12% of the population doesn’t fit the term used to describe them, it’s time to adjust the term. Which is why this shift in language isn’t just about inclusivity, it’s about accuracy. Trans and nonbinary people can and do get pregnant, they get breast and ovarian cancer, they have all sorts of reasons to need access to affirming health care.
This shift in language is most definitely happening in conversations around healthcare. But DiManno makes a giant leap when she extends the issue to other aspects of “womanhood.” This is how she opens her essay:
“You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Person with a Vagina.”
“Man! I Feel Like a Person who Menstruates”
“Oh, Pretty Person with a Cervix”
Apologies to Aretha Franklin, Shania Twain and Roy Orbison, but this appears to be where we’re heading if language radicals get their way.
That, it should be obvious, is ridiculous. While I would be more than happy to see less heteronormativity in pop music, what DiManno describes simply isn’t happening. She’s conflating an institutional conversation with a personal one, and the result is pure strawman fearmongering.
“Why can’t we say ‘woman’ anymore?” her headline reads. You can. Of course you can. No one is trying to tell anyone not to call women “women.” We’re just asking not to use that term to describe people who aren’t women. Why is that so threatening?
“CONSTABLE CONSTABLE PLEASE HELP someone… called me… a p*rson … in one specific setting so that their language would more accurately describe what they were trying to talk about”
DiManno also tries to claim that women are being erased because these conversations aren’t happening for men in the same way. “Why ‘woman’ the no-speak word and not ‘man?'” she asks. “Why not ‘persons who urinate standing up’ or ‘people who eject semen?'”
All I can say is that it’s very clear that DiManno hasn’t put much effort into researching the issue she’s writing about.
Planned Parenthood has little signs in the bathroom explaining how to collect a urine sample and it uses “people with vaginas” and “people with penises.” There are other examples of cis men’s bodies being described this way as well. pic.twitter.com/GL4SF44dcu
As for Atwood’s decision to share the article, it’s disappointing but not exactly surprising for anyone who’s been paying attention to her recently. Just as JK Rowling’s TERFdom took a lot of people by surprise with some recent especially egregious tweets, when, in reality, she had been leading up to full-blown transphobia for years, the Handmaids Tale author has been circling these ideas for quite a while.
For one thing, in 2018, Atwood signed that horrible Harper’s Magazine letter (along with Rowling) that hinted at vague notions of cancel culture and political correctness run wild but seemed to be centered around anti-trans dog whistles.
She been on some bullshit but because YT women wanted to hang onto her & her ~dystopian~ portrayal of YT ““womanhood””, now we’re here 🤨https://t.co/cMbA276MVu
This morning, at the company's virtual hardware event, Google is finally showing us what it means to pick up and start over again. From a report: In many ways, the Pixel 6 marks the most radical departure in the history of Google's flagship devices -- and its most serious attempt to take the fight to Samsung and Apple. The company gave us our first glimpse of the device back in August. It was a surprisingly complete look at a device it would take another three and a half months to announce. Hardware head Rick Osterloh primarily focused on chips, design and the fact that Google was becoming the latest company to buck its reliance on Qualcomm by building its own in-house chip, Tensor. And now it is. The Tensor had landed, alongside the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro it powers. I have the latter in my possession, and it's immediately clear that this is a radically new direction for the Pixel line. Google's clearly gone in a premium direction with the new device, which shares more common DNA with the likes of Samsung's devices than any of the Pixels we've seen to date.
The Pixel 6 sports a 6.4-inch FHD+ OLED at 411 ppi -- that bit, at least, is keeping with mid-range specs. The Pro bumps it up to a 6.7-inch QHD+ at 512 ppi. Those displays have refresh rates of 90 and 120 Hz, respectively, protected by a Gorilla Glass Victus cover, which curves on the edges. [...] The 6 supports two lenses: a 50-megapixel wide-angle camera and 12-megapixel on the 6, plus a 48 megapixel telephoto on the 6 Pro. That last one does 4x optical or up to 20x Super Res, though even with computational photography, things are going to degrade pretty quickly. The front-facing camera, meanwhile, is eight megapixels on the 6 and 11 megapixels on the 6 Pro, with 84- and 94-degree fields of view, respectively. [...] The company has addressed some of the battery issues that plagued earlier models. The 6 and 6 Pro feature 4,614 and 5,003mAh batteries, respectively -- that's a nice jump from the Pixel 5's 4,080mAh (which, in turn, was a nice jump from the Pixel 4). The Pixel 6 starts at $599 and the Pixel 6 Pro starts at $899.
So, I am like a week later than this than I wanted to be because I got really sick, but have you read “Who is the Bad Art Friend”? You should read “Bad Art Friend”. This will all make so much more sense if you just go read “Who is the Bad Art Friend”. If you do not want to go read “Who is the Bad Art Friend” I will do my best to recap one of the most bonkers pieces of writing that I have read in sometime for you so that the rest of this article makes sense, I guess. It is easier if you go read it though.
OK, a synopsis: a not very successful writer woman used to hang out at a writers’ group in Boston. She was not particularly well liked in said writers’ group but is apparently unable to recognize that fact. She moved to LA and decided to donate a kidney to whoever needed it. She also made a facebook group where she added a bunch of people from the writers’ group and told them all about how she donated her kidney. Then she went to a conference with all of the writers, and no one told her what a special and perfect person she was for having donated a kidney. Here is a direct quote about that experience, “I left that conference with this question: Do writers not care about my kidney donation?” Anyway, a more successful writer who was a part of the writer’s group in Boston wrote a short story with a character who donated her kidney because she wanted everyone to tell her she was a special bunny. Turns out this writer, in an early draft of the story, included a letter that the kidney woman had written and given to the recipient of her kidney. The successful writer sued the kidney writer for harassment. The kidney writer then sued the other successful writer for plagiarism, but mostly it seems like the kidney lady is mad because the successful writer lady is not her friend and did not tell her she is a modern hero and saint. It’s a mess. It is glorious. I love it.
ANYWHOO this kidney writer reminds me a lot of Margery Kempe (c. 1373 – 1438). As regular readers of the blog and my patrons know, I am somewhat obsessed with medieval people who are very clearly using their lives to aim for sainthood, but then don’t make it. This is a constant feature of medieval Europe and makes sense in the context of an overtly Christian society. If you are always having saints held up as the ultimate in how humans can be, then odds are a certain section of society is going to emulate that. If that is the case, then there is also going to be a certain section of society that emulates that but then doesn’t make the grade. Think of it like Influencers. For every one person that manages to snag a diet brand endorsement there are hundreds that are out here posting selfies that never make the grade. Same thing with saints, and one of those was Margery.
Margery is an interesting lady because we know about her through her own autobiography The Book of Margery Kempe. This she dictated and used as a chronicle of her many many (many many many) pilgrimages both in Europe and even all the way to the Holy Land. As you might guess from someone who managed to go on God-based holidays all the time and get someone to record what she was saying for her, Margery was born rich. She was a member of the prosperous Brunham familt in Bishop’s Lyn (which is now King’s Lynn” in Norfolk. Her dad was a sometime Mayor of the city and member of parliament, which should tell you what is up. At around twenty, as was normal, she married her husband John Kempe and when on to have something like fourteen children. I use “something like” here on purpose because we don’t really know for sure as it was defo a uterus as a clown car type situation.
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Not satisfied with being a rich wife and mother to a Gaelic football team worth of kids, Margery also fancied herself a mystic. After the birth of her first child she apparently experienced a period of visions where she was attacked by demons who among other things encouraged her to dump her husband and kill herself. But at the same time her boy JC also showed up and asked her to return to him and her faith. This kicked off a series of visions where she would chat with Jesus, Mary, and also showed up to witness the crucifixion one time.
This inspired Margery to really kick things up a notch. She went down the tried and tested methods for sainthood route which, as Jane Beal outlines meant that “[s]he prayed for a chaste marriage, went to confession two or three times a day, prayed early and often each day in church, wore a hair shirt, and willingly suffered whatever negative responses her community expressed in response to her extreme forms of devotion”.
I want you to focus on that last bit there, “willingly suffered whatever negative responses her community expressed in response to her extreme forms of devotion” because this is the thing about our girl Margery – she was A LOT. The sort of a lot that gets you negative responses for your community. Specifically, Margery was a crier. She cried when her husband wanted to have sex with her. (Ouch.) She cried in Church. She cried on pilgrimage. She cried a lot. In her own words: “And this creature had contrition and great compunction with plenteous tears and many boisterous sobbings for her sin and for her unkindness against her maker. …she beholding her own wickedness, she might but sorrow and weep and ever pray for mercy and forgiveness.”
And the thing is maybe you could put up with that for a while. I mean, sure, someone is very devoted and they are feeling a lot or whatever. It’s a massively Christian society and all that. But here is the thing, “Her weeping was so plentious and so continuing that many people said that she must weep … when she would and therefore many men said she was a false hypocrite and weep for the world for succor and for worldly good. And then full many forsook her that loved her before while she was in the world and would not know her, and every she thanked God of all, nothing deserving but mercy and forgiveness of sin.” In other words, she did it in a way that was just super performative, and it seemed to the people around her that she was specifically doing it so that people would pay attention to her, or for some sort of personal gain.
Obviously, Margery did not see it that way. Margery was very much of the opinion that she was simply experiencing religious ecstasy, which she had no choice but to respond to with absolutely copious weeping. Indeed, she experienced everyone’s dirty looks and direct avoidance of her for being personally unpleasant as a part of her theoretical religious trial. As she said, “She was so used to be slandered and reprieved, to be chastised and rebuked of the world for grace and virtue with which she was imbued through the strength of the Holy Ghost that it was to her in the manner of solace and comfort when she suffered and disease for the love of God and for the grace that God wrought in her.”
And this is where kidney lady and Margery differ, to be fair. Margery experienced the direct disapproval of her community for her whole deal and internalized that as a part of her religious sacrifice. Kidney writer, on the other hand, was attempting to create an online community focused specifically on her donation, not work within an established one. Both Margery and the kidney writer were engaging in performative sacrifice, but Margery was doing it in people’s faces because, well, that was sorta the only choice. Kidney writer’s intended audience was able to disengage when they wished to because she wasn’t near them. They were able to dip in and out and just make fun of her on the low without having to necessarily challenge her in her face. This means that kidney writer didn’t have to face the kind of opprobrium that Margery did. However, it also means that she avoided the sort of push back that may have told her that people don’t like it when you need everyone to know very publicly that you are special and good.
Miss Kidney never got the direct feedback that Margery experienced, but she did end up engaging in similar justifications for other people’s actions. When the other write sued her for harassment or whatever, and her group chats were made public as a resul,t we get to experience kidney writer’s complete inability to understand what she is being criticised for. The other writer wrote about using kidney lady’s just … incredibly self-absorbed letter to her kidney’s recipient as a part of her story. She texted her friends, ““I think I’m DONE with the kidney story but I feel nervous about sending it out b/c it literally has sentences that I verbatim grabbed from Dawn’s letter on FB. I’ve tried to change it but I can’t seem to — that letter was just too damn good. I’m not sure what to do … feeling morally compromised/like a good artist but a shitty person.”
Obviously, this is a direct reference to how bonkers the letter is and how good it is at illustrating that its author is insufferable. Yes? According to kidney writer no. According to her it is evidence that her letter is good writing. She says, “The whole reason they want it in the first place is because it’s special,” Dorland told me. “Otherwise, they wouldn’t bother.”
This is just incredible. It is so good. I could think about this willful refusal to engage with normal human behaviour for years, and also it is just such a Margery move. Rather than engaging with critiques, the kidney writer just comes out with a justification that makes her the protagonist of all reality. They aren’t making fun of her for being self-absorbed. They are jealous of her writing! This is the 2021 equivalent of Margery refusing to admit that her behaviour is just fucking annoying and that the reactions of her neighbours are justified, and instead repurposing her ostracisation as a holy trial.
The final Margery/kidney overlap is, of course, in the fact that we know about both of these women and their OTT desire for you to see them as special because they absolutely insisted that their lives be made a part of public record. Margery hired a scribe to record her oral testimony about her life so that now, hundreds of years later, I can talk about how she was an absolute nightmare person. Kidney lady tried for years to get someone to write about this. She wrote to podcasts, she pitched repeatedly, and then she finally managed to get a NYT writer to take the story on. (Gotta say as a writer myself I don’t really understand why she needed someone else to write her own story, but hey ho!) Neither of these women could accept that maybe they are just sorta weird and annoying and they moved heaven and earth to make sure that they will go down in posterity as just that. It’s incredible. I love it. I love it so much.
This is of course a deeply hilarious thing to think about, but I also think it is an important one from a cultural standpoint. People like to act as though we live in a uniquely self-absorbed era and that this level of personal regard is new. It is often argued that medieval people, in contrast, lacked a sense of self that only the modern era was able to provide. Obviously, that is not the case. People have been acting like self-satisfied jerkoffs since time immemorial and these two women are absolutely prime examples of that.
Keep that in mind and also just never trust the sort of person who needs you to know all about their volunteer work. Honestly.
 See, Jane Beal, “Margery Kempe.” British Writers: Supplement 12. Ed. Jay Parini. (Detroit: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2007), pp. 167-184.  “And this creatur had contrycion and gret compunccyon wyth plentyuows teerys and many boystows sobbyngys for hir synnes and for hir unkyndnesse ageyns hir maker. Sche bethowt hir fro hir chyldhod for hir unkyndnes as ower Lord wold put it in hir mende ful many a tyme. And than, sche beheldyng hir owyn wykkednes, sche mygth but sorwyn and wepyn and evyr preyn for mercy and forgevenes. Hir wepyng was so plentyuows and so contwnyng that mech pepul wend that sche mygth wepyn and levyn whan sche wold, and therfor many men seyd sche was a fals ypocryte and wept for the world for socowr and for wordly good. And than ful many forsokyn hir that lovyd hir befor.” Lines, 290-300 <https://d.lib.rochester.edu/teams/text/staley-book-of-margery-kempe-book-i-part-i>. Accessed 13 October 2021.  “Sche was so usyd to be slawndred and repreved, to be cheden and rebuked of the world for grace and vertu wyth whech sche was indued thorw the strength of the Holy Gost that it was to her in a maner of solas and comfort whan sche sufferyd any dysese for the lofe of God and for the grace that God wrowht in hyr. “, Line 33 – 37 , Ibid.
Fifty years ago—on October 15, 1971—Nutting Associates debuted the first-ever commercial video game for sale: Computer Space, a coin-operated arcade machine. Unlike arcade games before it, it utilized a TV set for a display—and it launched the video game industry, in an article by How-to Geek.
In Computer Space, you play as a rocket ship flying around a starfield while hunting flying saucers. If you’re familiar with Asteroids, it’s similar, but without any space rocks.
Despite having the name “Computer Space,” no computer is actually involved in the circuitry of the game. Instead, Computer Space uses TTL logic chips to control gameplay. Instead of a software program running on a computer, the game exists entirely as a hardware implementation of moving spots around on a TV screen (in the form of a finite state machine), which is almost mind-boggling to consider in our software-dominated era.
Two men, Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney, created Computer Space and licensed the design to amusements manufacturer Nutting Associates of California. In creating Computer Space, Bushnell took primary inspiration from Space War!, a pioneering action computer game that ran on expensive mainframe computers in the 1960s. He wanted to make an arcade version of Space War!, but computers proved too expensive to use in 1970.
The following year, Bushnell and Dabney went on to found Atari and sell the smash-hit arcade title Pong. Computer Space wasn’t nearly as successful as Pong, but it sold an estimated 500 to 1,000 units, which was on par with a moderately successful electromechanical arcade game at the time.
I had an opportunity to play Computer Space at the (shuttered, sadly) Living Computer Museum + Labs in Seattle back in 2019. It was not possible in a short time to pick up the controls, so I just kept dying. I may have gotten one UFO. It was hard to understand how exciting the game must have been at the time. (Why did you need a scantily clad woman to advertise it tho?)
Often, when we see a colorful lamp project, it’s something that makes use of RGB LEDs and all manner of lovely animations and fading effects. This project from [Raymond Power] features beautiful shifting colors, but foregos fancy LEDs for the magic of dichroic film.
Dichroic films work with thin-film interference, with the wavelength of light passed through the film changing depending on the angle of incidence. Thus, as the observer’s viewing angle changes, the apparent color of the film changes, too. It creates particularly beautiful effects when several layers of film are laid on top of each other.
[Raymond] happened to source some of this film from a fancy IKEA lampshade. At the time, he’d been experimenting with folding paper cubes and similar constructions, and decided to meld the two ideas.
The result was a cubic dichroic lampshade, which looks truly fantastic. Sitting on top of a simple white LED light, the structure lights up with a rich blend of complementary and shifting colors.
It’s a beautiful thing, and something we’d love to have in our own home. Dichroic materials find themselves being used in some more scientific uses, too. Video after the break.