Archive for the ‘Cool Stuff’ Category

Easy Recipes for that Leftover Turkey

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

You’ve pushed away from the dinner table, helped with the cleanup and know that tomorrow you can look forward to reliving the feast thanks to all the leftovers now crammed in every corner of your refrigerator. But what about the days to follow? Do you crave something other than reheated leftovers?

Here is a collection of recipes from famed-cook, Rachael Ray.

Let us know if you tried any of these.

Who is Cooking Your Turkey?

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

If William Shatner stopped by your house to deep fry your Thanksgiving turkey, here’s a short video to show you what the experience might be like.

Follow Shatner’s advice and stay safe this holiday!

Leonardo Da Vinci’s Unique Piano Heard Again After 500 Years

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Artist, inventor and genius, Leonardo da Vinci, drew up plans for a piano and cello combination instrument 500 years ago. While we don’t know if da Vinci ever built the ‘viola organista,’ Polish concert pianist, Slawomir Zubrzycki, used copies of the original drawings to bring the instrument to life.

Check out this short video of this musical and mechanical work of art and listen to the first performance at the Academy of Music in Krakow.

Let us know what you think of the sound. Pretty amazing!

What are the best Halloween Songs?

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Billboard looked back over several decades and created a list of their staffs’ picks for the 10 best Halloween songs to add to your party playlist.

The list contains some – of course – titles like Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” but also some lesser known titles like Rob Zombies’ “Dragula.”

What would you add to the list?

Interview with Bob Metcalfe on the First Ethernet LAN

Friday, October 4th, 2013

Bob Metcalfe on the Creation of the Ethernet

What is a rat’s nest in terms of the Ethernet? What did the Bravo text editing program become? What is Simonyi’s Infinitely Glorious Network stand for?

These and other questions are answered in the video interview of Bob Metcalfe about his work at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center 40 years ago.

What surprising fact did you learn?

What’s your color IQ?

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

Can you pick out the perfect hue or saturation for the sample colors? How good are you at identifying complimentary or triadic colors?

Take this simple test at color.method to find out.

Share it if you had fun!

Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Here are a few to pique your interest:

#5 – Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You’ll feel like you are losing valuable stuff but it sets you free.

#12 – Discount the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.

#21 – You gotta indentify with your situation/characters, can’t just write ‘cool.’ What would make YOU act that way.

Check out the rest of the rules in Imgur.

What would you add to the list?

Interesting Interactive Audio Project

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

As a species, people are a curious lot. We like to play with stuff and the first thing many of us do when confronted with something to touch or knobs to turn is – well, touch and try to figure out what those knobs do.

Stephanie McCarty and Andrew Siu created this intriguing interactive audio gadget. They put it together using Arduino Boards, Wave Shields, IR Sensors and Servo Motors.

Watch the video and let us know what you think?

Animation for Game Class Video

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

The Animation for Game class worked hard all summer – producing 30+ assignments over the course of the summer.

Near the end of the summer, they held an Open House to show off their work. Faculty member, Jonali Bhattacharyya who teaches the class, said she was really pleased with the quantity and quality of work the students produced. “I wanted them to learn how to work under the pressure of a real work situation,” said Jonali.

Here are a few video clips taken during the Open House as faculty, staff and students tested out the video games. Clip one. Clip two. Clip three.

Cogswell Faculty, Bret Sweet, Announces Publication of First Book

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

If you are looking for a fantastic read that will transport you to another time and place, grab you by the lapels and keep you enthralled from beginning to end, then Cogswell faculty, Bret Sweet’s, first work of fiction completes your quest. “Among the Veils,” the first book in the Paper Thrones series, was released in paperback on August 19th and Kindle version on September 4th.

Bret conceived the book during a difficult period in his life. His father suffered from dementia and eventually spent time going from assisted living to emergency rooms for extended periods. A musician friend told Bret that he wrote songs in his head when he was worried. Bret took the suggestion to heart, though he didn’t want to write music, he challenged himself to write a book in his head during the many long hours devoted to making sure his father would not be alone and received the best care.

“The story just sort of came to me,” said Sweet. “I started feeling isolated because caregivers I met at groups seemed to have more resources than I did. I began feeling like maybe the odds were against me. The book was how I stayed on point.”

“Among the Veils” plot follows Clay Durward who works with young people in San Francisco. When he is called to a crime scene and asked to protect a small old boy, he learns the child carries the spirit of a ten thousand year old energy locked in his subconscious. In trying to help his ward, Clay finds himself embroiled in a civil war between two factions of Ancient Egyptian deities fighting out their rivalry among the darkest streets in America’s crumbling cities.

“The conception process took about 3 months,” said Sweet, “and about another 3 months to get it down on paper. The hardest part was the editing and getting it ready for print. About the 4,000th time I had to read through the book, it was really hard to concentrate.”

Bret said he wrote the book for people who are taking care of their parents or other loved one suffering from some kind of neurological disease. He understands that these people are burning the midnight oil as they try to take care of the people they love. He hopes they will feel less alone, that they will feel validated. He wants them to know that they are his heroes.

The book embraces the culture of today with an effective use of modern technology through the use of a sound track, illustrations and wiki. The goal was to create an interactive experience for the reader and really involve them in every aspect of the story. Bret calls his unique genre, ‘urban sci-fi’ or ‘street sword and sorcery.’  His wife calls the style, ‘Harry Potter meets The Wire.’

“Brilliant is an overused word, but appropriate for this story. Bret is an exceptionally talented writer and clever speaker. I’m sure he relates to Clay’s character because Bret is also connected to the minds of the youth and has an unwavering passion for helping them….even if it means putting himself at risk among the darkest streets of America.”
— Enitan Bereola II, Author ‘Bereolaesque’

You can purchase a copy of “Among the Veils” at CreateSpace or Amazon.

About Bret Sweet

Mr. Sweet is the director of Digital Media Management at Cogswell, following his work in launching the College’s Entrepreneurship initiative in 2010. He continues to develop Cogswell’s entrepreneurship curriculum and teaches a variety of “business for artists” courses. He is certified by the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), and has taught business building strategies to thousands of Bay Area low-income youths and their families. From 2003-2007, Mr. Sweet was the lead entrepreneurship instructor at BUILD, which provides entrepreneurship education to high school students in low-income areas boasts an excellent college acceptance rate for its seniors. His activities have garnered him a host of accolades, including the NFTE’s prestigious Teacher of the Year Award in 2004 and a speaking engagement at the 2012 NAACP National Convention. Mr. Sweet’s background is as an entrepreneurial musician, music promoter and restaurateur. He received a B.A. in Television and Radio Production from San Francisco State University and a dual-MBA from the University of San Francisco.