Mind Games 2.0

Bloggin' 'bout science and life

Side Tables

Last week, while writing and deriving equations on paper, I decided I didn’t have enough surface area in my office at home.  So last weekend I whipped up a couple of side tables.

Oak Side Tables Side tables made of red oak in 2019.

In the future, I might turn these into Shaker sewing tables, by adding hanging drawers under the table tops.  I’ll update this if I do.

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Sarah’s Dresser

This fall (2019), I made Sarah a dresser of cherry and spalted, birds-eye maple. All the drawers are dovetailed.  No screws, all hand-cut jointery.

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Sarah’s Desk

Yesterday I finished a desk for Sarah to take to school with her this fall.  It has a cherry frame, with spalted birds-eye maple top and drawers.  

Sarah's Desk Desk made of cherry with spalted birds-eye maple top and drawers I built for Sarah in 2019.

 

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Saturday Project

I built this maple bench and coat rack last Saturday.   This was a fun little project to throw together.

Bench and Coat Rack Maple bench and coat rack I built one Saturday in 2019.
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Burkean vs. Randian Conservatism

As is my want first thing, I got up and turned on the news this morning.  They were talking to two lawyers from the Federalist Society about their opposition to Trump and his attacks on the rule of law. One of the questioners made a quip that it must be tough to go home for Thanksgiving to a house full of Republican relatives who must be Trump supporters now, and she said it wasn’t because her parents are Democrats.  She said she became a conservative as a teenager when she first read Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.  

A couple of minutes later, another one of the questioners of these two lawyers made a joke about throwing in some Burke to round things out.  The juxtaposition of Ayn Rand with Edmund Burke was jarring to me, and I’ve been thinking about it on and off all day, because it highlights the two major strains of conservatism in very stark contrast. 

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New Bookshelf

All our bookshelves were full.  So, last month I built a new bookshelf from red oak.  It’s the height of a normal table and is designed to be both a table and a bookshelf.

Low bookcase I made of red oak in 2018.

So for those of you who know your Plato, which form does this “thing” have?

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My Current Shop

If you’re going to build things, you have to have a place to do it.  Over the years and many houses, I’ve had shops in all kinds of spaces – small storerooms in the basement mainly.  At our last house, I had the biggest shop I’ve ever had, a two-car garage with very large bays.

In our current house, I’ve downsized to only one bay of a two-car garage. 

My current shop.

One makes due.  Unlike our last house, the garage bays in this house have drains to take out the melted snow off the cars, which is great if you store cars in here, but bad for a shop. The floor is essentially a cone with a 4º slope down to the drain the middle (covered with a piece of gray fabric cloth in the above picture).  But again, you make it work.

See, it really is a garage.

This shop is also now well lit because I just finished replacing all the original light fixtures with 4′ LED fixtures.  It’s amazing what a little light will do.

Now, back to building something. The stack of oak on the workbench are the legs to a desk I just started.

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Another Seminar Video

Here’s a video of me giving a seminar at the 2009 celebration of Charles Darwin’s 150th birthday at Stony Brook University.

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A Couple Of Side Tables

I just finished a couple of side tables.  The one on the left has a birds-eye maple top, and the one on the right has a curly maple top.

These are presents I made this week.  I’ve made a few of these tables now, and I like them very much. I can knock one out in a weekend, and people seem to really like them when I give them as presents.  I hope these two are well-received when we give them.

Kenyon Side Tables Two cherry and maple-topped side tables I made as presents in 2018.

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The College Admissions Game Continues Unabated

The Washington Post has a new article on the “haves” and “have nots” in the insane college admissions race.  Elite colleges-I work at one-keep this game alive.  For example, US News reports that Dartmouth admitted 11% of applicants to this upcoming class of 2018 admissions.  Colleges use these statistics to make them selves look “in demand”, but this is all a cynical game that I cannot believe people actually play. 

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