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Welcome to Ben Krasnow! (Also seen as bkraz333 on YouTube)
- We decided we had to have Ben on the show once we saw his crazy LED in a contact lens video:
- Ben started as a researcher/technician with a TMS lab, which led him to starting his own business, Mag Design and Engineering.
- That also led him to experiment with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for a YouTube video:
- This is just a single pulse, the commercial/research ones do a pulse train at roughly 30 Hz.
- Ben also has built a DIY Scanning Electron Microscope, with an oscilloscope used as a display:
- But now, Ben is getting out of the magnetics business and into the tinkering business.
- And once Ben is done for the day, he kicks back and either has a glass of argonated beer or a skewer of meat cooked on thermite.
- Google Patents is a great source of ideas of things to try in the shop.
- Apple was recently in the news for patenting fuel cell technology, a possible hint towards their future (or not, often patents are published to throw people off).
- Ben tells us about all the gear in his shop. Perhaps Dave’s new shop (below) could use some metal working equipment?
- The education system is broken. Ben believes that its far too academically focused and not practical enough.
- Perhaps there should be a “tinkering” degree? Travis Goodspeed is getting a PhD at Penn in Reverse Engineering, which he did on the Girltech IM me.
- Stanford is re-upping their free participation online courses (similar to their recent AI class), now offering CS 101, Machine Learning, Game Theory, Natural Language Processing, Probabilistic Graphical Models, Software Engineering for Software as a Service, Human-Computer Interfaces and more.
- MIT is continuing their classes as well, now also offering a certificate of completion, perhaps the first step towards educational reform.
- Hackerspaces are another possible avenue for educational reform. Ben lives near Noisebridge but hasn’t had the time to attend regularly.
- Ben prefers mechanical equipment and has other machines he wants before a 3D printer, which he demonstrates for elementary schoolers.
- Dave is getting a MakerBot soon! Awesome!
- Other chemistry-type videos on YouTube are great (though they get tagged as “dangerous” because it’s associated with bomb/meth making). Ben likes NerdRage’s Youtube channel.
- And at the end of the day, all of the electronics and chemistry videos are out-watched by his own cake-making videos!
It was great getting to talk to Ben, even though Dave had some technical difficulties. We can’t wait to see what he’s cooking up next!
If you are going to do metalwork get the quietest canister vacuum you can find, it will be very useful. The quieter the better, the ones to look for are those that you can have a phone conversation standing next to while it is running. A plus for the quiet ones is they have better filters.
The first time was so good that I’m going to liten to the whole show all over again.
Hope too hear Ben on the show again soon.
I wish you didn’t interrupt him as much though.
PHD = someone who knows a lot about 1 thing.
Sal Khan, the guy who singlehandedly revolutionized education, just posted an interesting prediction about education for the year 2060. A must watch.
Interesting that Trans Cranial Stimulation should be brought up this week. The BBC are showing the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures and are demonstrating exactly that with a medical rated device.
I suspect this will only be available for UK people: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b018l6vy
They may be available here later http://www.richannel.org/christmas-lectures
Nice to hear Ben on the show. Good stuff all round.
I must say Ben is quite awesome, I love the mix between chemistry, physics and electronics! Very good episode, thumbs up Dave and Chris! 🙂
Nice show! As a current student, I really agree with most of the comments regarding higher education.
Also, Dave talking about the variety of positions he’s had, and about the engineer/technician distinction, reminded me of something I heard in my first year of uni:
One talk that was given to us first year students, was saying that the main distinction between engineers and technicians, was that technicians specialize in a narrow set of skills and engineers are expected to have a more broad skillset. It seems that different people define the distinction different ways, and it’s interesting to compare the different perspectives. Personally I’m of a somewhat “jack-of-all-trades” mindset, but I certainly appreciate that specialization has it’s merits.
Just tried to do a donation to the show, but seems blasted paypal is requiring use of a bank account for donations, so that’ll have to wait till after winter vacation.
Toward the end of the show you guys were talking about how certain people in the industry have poor social skills and a hard time relating with the “real world.” I suspect that some of these people suffer from Asperger syndrome. Asperger syndrome is basically a form of high functioning autism.
I’ve worked with several people that I suspect suffered from Aspergers. They were all very smart but could only relate to very specific (usually technical) subjects. They are hard to socialize with due to always wanting to discuss only what interests them. They are basically brilliant in their areas of interest due to how they can singularly focus on them but often lack “real world” know-how.