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RIP Video Game Pioneer Gerald Lawson

Video game pioneer Gerald Lawson, co-inventor of the Channel F video game console, died this week from complications of diabetes. The LA Times wrote that his father was “a science-loving longshoreman” The obituary includes an except from a 2009 interview with Lawson in which his talks about the value of teachers and role models in shaping a young person’s destiny.

“He loved to teach,” said Erhart. “If there was a young person around,
he loved to slow down and talk to them at the level they could
understand and try to get them engaged in science and technology.”

The son of a science-loving longshoreman father and a mother who
worked for the city of New York, Lawson was born in Brooklyn on Dec.
1, 1940, and grew up in Queens.

His mother saw to it that he received a good education.

“When she went to a school, she would interview the teachers, the
principal, and if they didn’t pass her test, I didn’t go to that
school,” he said in a 2009 interview with the website Vintage
Computing and Gaming.

A photo of black scientist and inventor George Washington Carver on
the wall next to his desk in the first grade — and a comment by his
teacher — made a lasting impact on young Lawson.

“She said, ‘This could be you,’” he recalled in the 2009 interview.
“Now, the point I’m getting at is, this kind of influence is what led
me to feel, ‘I want to be a scientist. I want to be something.’”

While growing up, he made and sold walkie-talkies, built an amateur
radio station in the housing project his family lived in and repaired
TVs at different shops.

Gerald Lawson dies at 70; engineer brought cartridge-based video game consoles to life


Thereglyph, an RF Synthesizer

Reed Ghazala‘s Thereglyph looks oh-so sweet and sounds even better:

Radio interference, traditionally a problem in audio, can be used to our advantage. By means of the Thereglyph instrument I would like to introduce to circuit-bending a concept I call radiopool.

While Leon’s Theremin looks to onboard RF generation and sounds the same played anywhere, immersing a radiopool instrument to various depths within the RF field (the radiopool) yields changing results… similar to differing the length of the air column within a flute.

Here I’m playing the Thereglyph within the radiopool of a plasma globe – sometimes touched, sometimes not.

[Via GetLoFi]


Pyrotechnical Painting

File this one under art, Arduino, and pyrotechnics: Fire Painting by Sanela Jahic is described as follows:

The cybernetic construction in “Fire Painting” sets off explosive levels of kerosene. Its burning can be handled by subtile movements of the sensory data glove for tactile formulation of the fiery image. Thus, the image can be manipulated, yet it constantly escapes control.

It’s definitely worth watching Fire Painting in action:

[via VVORK]



Victorian House Has Secret Garage, Might Actually Be Robot in Disguise

The official word about this Victorian house that has a secret garage is that it was created by Beausoleil Architects as a way to comply with building housing codes. I’m not buying it though- I think that it’s actually just a cover for a large, house-sized robot that needs to be fed cars periodically. [via Laughing Squid]


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