Your Great New Business Opportunity

Around ten years ago, a friend got involved in multi-level marketing (MLM) — in other words, a pyramid scheme. I could see straight through the hype, but he was a beLIEver. My attempts to open his eyes were futile. In 2013, the FTC kicked the scam off the map — and its founder, a narcissistic bullshitter, died. Of cancer. I greatly enjoy the irony of that; the creep pushed bullshit products that supposedly prevented cancer.

As I wasn’t at all happy with what was going on, I went on somewhat of a vendetta. One of my weapons was a PowerPoint presentation, which I made available on my old website. I’ve made some slight revisions to it, and you can download “ygnbizop” here.

It is easier now to turn presentations into videos, so I thought I’d fool around with it. PowerPoint exported a passable version on the first try. After hours of dealing with cranky video editors, I managed to stick it with a soundtrack and throw it at Youtube.

You can find out more about the realities of MLM at hese sites:

www.mlm-thetruth.com
www.falseprofits.com
www.pyramidschemealert.org
www.merchantsofdeception.com

Anti-cult site with articles about MLMs:
www.freedomofmind.com

Masu Module Drawers

I love small things. Looking at origami furniture models, I thought how fun it would be to assemble a paper suite for Borrowers. But out of all the chest-of-drawers type models available, I found none that I really wanted to fold. Either they were fussily complex, or not proportioned right.

So I took paper in hand and started experimenting. This is what I came up with. Based on the traditional masu box, it works and looks pretty cool. I’ve constructed three so far, and I’m sure there are some variations that will be lots of fun to discover.

For the shelf units, start with a square of paper folded for a masu. You need to know how to do that anyway. 😉
shelf unit base

Fold two of the triangular sides back. The points are going to remain outside the box.
fold sides back

Fold the front flap inward. This leaves the front open, and creates side pockets that will receive the pointy tabs of another unit.
fold the front flap in

Fold the rear point down, because we don’t want it getting in the way of the drawer!
fold point down

Collapse the back in as you would a normal masu. A little glue here is good, because you can’t get back in there handily after the whole thing is assembled.
close the back

Here are some finished shelf units.
shelf units

Now for the drawers. They need to be a little smaller so they slide well. Exactly how much smaller depends on the paper. Using heavy paper for the shelf units gives greater solidity, but it also fattens the sides, leaving less room inside. You will have to do a test fold to see exactly how much smaller your paper should be. It could be cut smaller, but I prefer to fudge-fold it so I can use the same size sheets for all parts. The fudge-fold also strengthens the drawer and helps make a nice pull.

Before finishing a drawer, you might want to test your fudge. This is also useful in making covered boxes.
fudge test

Fudge folds are done on the backside of two-color paper. They must be straight and even. If your fudge is sweet, the paper will still be perfectly square 🙂
fudge folds

Anyway, on with the folding. Do the same old masu folds, with the fudge-folds inward. Then open it up and find the point where the fudge-folds meet. Fold it up so that the double fudge triangle peeks over the edge.
front point

Now fold the point over the edge to make a nice drawer-pull.
fold point over

Bring the front and back up, ready to fold in the sides. You can fold the side and back points under first; if your Borrowers are neat-freaks they’ll appreciate this. We’re doing the collapse-in on the sides because 1. the front flap is altered and 2. it makes the sides of the drawers stronger.
ready to bring it together

Finished drawers
drawers

Putting it all together!

Now, put the loose flaps into the pockets. Put a dab of glue in the pockets first, and make sure all sides are aligned and tight together before clamping.
tab A, slot B

There’s nothing like a bunch of cheap made-in-China hair clips for origami clamping.
glue clamps

When it’s all solid, in go the drawers.
all done

Note that the top unit has its “ears” folded in. Even if you forget to do it while folding, they should tuck in fairly easily…usually with a little help from a paper creaser and a sharp knife point. I always forget. :p

The bottom shelf unit can be folded differently to give it a more polished appearance. It doesn’t need the gozintas anyway.
bottom unit

Fold it down onto the underside. The side flaps will cover the odd bits, and lock it in place.

If you don’t want an open space in the bottom, you can simply make a base with all four sides by not folding the front side in, or maybe do something creative with a menko or modified Sonobe unit or whateverg. It has to have something under the bottom drawer, but it doesn’t have to be a space to chuck shoes in.

Number of drawers is up to you too, of course. The ceiling’s the limit. It should also be pretty easy to side-connect two or three sets for a wide storage unit. I can imagine two linked by a flat piece for a desk or vanity. That kind of flexibility was one of my requirements for this project.

Full Metal Petal

Origami Lotus Flower with slight modification
silver lotus

A bit of background first. Twenty-odd years ago I was heavily into origami. Because my health was poor (as a result of poverty) and my low-paying job was exhausting, I needed something to do while mostly doing nothing. Origami was my key to couch occupation.

Since then I’ve forgotten a lot, including some original models that I didn’t bother to diagram. But it’s coming back with a bang. Now that I can afford to buy pre-cut paper, and can order online, I have material to fuel my passion to new heights. So far I haven’t accomplished any noteworthy feats, but my reclaimed skill increases with every fold. And I am diagramming anything that I give a personal twist to. This is about one of those little modifications.

In order to fold a Lotus Flower from three-inch paper, I simplified the method a bit. Skipping one round of corner fold-ins allows me to produce a respectable lotus without straining my not-so-young eyes and fingers.

Here is my diagram, created with Inkscape:
lotus_simplified.pdf

3261c

3263c

3265c

3268c

One thing I found difficult at first was pulling out the main petals. This Youtube video helped me:

Now I often do this step with my eyes closed, the better to feel the movement of the paper. It almost never tears when I don’t watch.

small lotus flowers
More small lotus flowers

Youtube didn’t exist when I first leaned origami; I had nothing but diagrams in books. However I do find videos helpful and recommend them to all beginners.

Happeh Geekness

Not getting too much done on this site, but I set up another for a friend last weekend. Used WordPress, with a theme called Universal. It’s a beautifully tweakable theme that is friendly to all devices. I tested it on a phone just to see how it went.

He’s pegging away at adding content now. Check out the Well Laid Stone (and don’t be surprised if stuff is changing!).

Brickwork 2010

CENSORED

I followed this link from Twitter, enjoyed it immensely, retweeted it, and tried to post it on Facefuck. I was prevented from doing so. FINE! I will share it even more. If you think it is offensive, don’t share it.

3 Dads

I’ve encountered Facecrap’s nannying before, and I will never condone it. Why stop people from posting good things, but allow bullying and bullshit?

Star Dreamer

A song that I passed some time with ca. 1991

Star dancer, far dreamer, my ship on the sea
Nightmist and starwind bring visions to me
Flowers are opening under the sky
Come with me, dream with me, just you and I
Breathe deeply the sweet air of earlier times
Rest in the soft darkness as the moon climbs
Soon we’ll be traveling far out in space
Safe in the shelter of our secret place

The other person in this scenario was a cat. Horbie Adorable was an angel who put up with me for many years. She still guards my heart.

A Better Mouse Trap

How to Build and Use a Mouse Cannon

In a moment of desperation, I added what I know to what I have and came up with the simplest — and most effective — mousetrap I’ve ever used. Click the images to view full size.

pvc tube, can, duct tape

tape together

peanut butter bait

deployment

The main tube of mine is about 27 inches long, and it’s 4 inches wide. You can use a cardboard tube if it’s smooth enough, but you might want to paint the inside anyway to waterproof it. Metal would work fine too, of course. The bottom part has to be waterproof if you use the wet method of mouse deletion. It should not be any shorter, lest the mice jump out.

Getting rid of the mouse may be a problem for some. My method is to dump in some water and put the cannon on an unheated porch for an hour or so. Hypothermia takes down the wet mouse, and there is only body disposal to deal with. Whatever you do, don’t just softheartedly dump a live mouse outside, because it will just come right back in.

After deleting the mouse, add fresh peanut butter and re-deploy the cannon. Smearing the peanut butter with a small piece of cardboard or paper and dropping the disposable utensil in the tube adds to the allure. So will adding a slice of potato or apple, if your mice are seeking out moist food.

Good hunting! I caught 8 mice in about a week and a half.

Infographics hastily and crudely executed in InkScape, with a little help from The GIMP.

Empty Or Not?

From the Department of Insane Hacks

On Halloween, Windows played a dirty Trick on me, so I gave myself a great Treat: I blew Windwoes to hell and installed Debian. Life has been wonderful ever since — but that’s not what this story is about.

Because I like playing World of Tanks, I ended up installing Windows again, but only as a slave chained in a dark little dungeon that I could access when I damn well felt like it. One day, when I had booted into my little slave Windows to play, I wanted to do something Internettish. I opened the portable version of Firefox that was in a shared NTFS partition. Windows blue-screened out.

Something in that portable ffx was deadly. It may have come from an attempt to run it in Wine, or from an update done through ‘nix. At ay rate, it was thoroughly poisoned. I couldn’t run it, couldn’t delete the cache, couldn’t poke my nose into it at all without crashing Windoze. After three bluescreens, I stopped trying. It didn’t knock the virtual Windows over, so I tried to get rid of it from that.

Using Free Commander’s wipe function, I erased — oops, not quite all of it. The “Some files could not be deleted” dialog popped up. I looked. All that was left was a nested directory with NO FILES IN IT. OK, I step away from Windows and take a look with Nautilus. Yep, empty. But I still can’t delete it because it is “not empty.” Bash, what do you see? Nada. No files. It’s EMPTY. No command shows anything, deletes anything, does anything. It is empty, but it is “not empty.” I can even rename the top dir (from “Firefox” to “poison”), but I can’t delete anything!

I get mad. OK, you little SOB, you’re not empty — let’s see what happens if I put a real, visible file in you. Copy, paste. Ha.

Then I up-dir to the root of this odd family of not-emptines and…DELETE the whole shebang. No complaints. It’s gone.

I suspect a wee fukup in the Master File Table. Wottever, it’s just another one of those crazy hax where doing *something* shakes something loose and whothehell cares, it works.

The late perp:
/media/(UUID)/progs/poison/Data/profile/safebrowsing

The hack that wasn’t

I thought I got hacked yesterday. This line of text appeared — with no apparent cause — in a text file that was open but out of sight:

Cracked and cul De SAC and all will have some fun and this one th at a picnic

After finding no clues in any obvious way, I slept on it; modem and router unplugged, of course. Lying under my quilt this morning for some post-pee horizontal thinking, I went over my memories of events in the time between opening the text and being asked if I wanted to save it when I started to close it. The video player behaving oddly while the speech recognition software was still running…. I got up and performed some experiments. Uh-huh. The only hacker was in the movie.

I couldn’t reproduce the exact results, too many environmental variables, but oh teh lulz. That such a near classic neener line could result from a random series of coincidences. Must soak head more often.