Piano Lock

Unauthorized music not allowed.

Attention: Does that Make Me Crazy?

I went to Pratt Institute design school and used plenty of acrylic/lucite. Never heard this word once.


“Go-Green” Anytime Soon?

Who doesn’t like a tree? Especially in NYC? My request to have the DPR (department of parks and recreation), which is responsible for tree-planting in NYC, decide whether they will come out to Brooklyn to investigate whether they will plant a tree into the forlorn tree pit in front of the building, will be taken care of…within two years.

That is some impressive long-term planning.

Post Office Precision

The United States post office must use the most sensitive scale in the world.

I thought that a package I mailed weighed 13 pounds. I was mistaken. It only weighed 10 pounds and 4.960000000000008 ounces.

Does that equal eight trillionth of an ounce, or 800 quadrillionth? A pico ounce or a femto ounce?


Public payphone

At the Brooklyn public library’s mysterious 3rd floor

LEGO Workshop

People really love LEGO.



Excel Formula?

I keep the data for the Debate program – wins, losses, etc. I wanted to see how often the team that called the coin toss and won the coin toss, then went on to win the game. Should be simple, but it was very challenging.

To compare how often a team called the coin toss and won the coin toss was relatively easy.

For example, in this image, column A is coin toss caller and column D is coin toss winner. There were three times that a coin toss caller was a coin toss winner. (Bob, Phil, and Jane). The formula to compute this is absolutely convoluted, but everyone on the Net seemed to know it.


Not that I could come up with that formula on my own, mind, just that the ‘Net is awash with easy-to-follow formulae. I Googled “excel count number of matching values between two columns”and got quick satisfaction

Two columns was easy. Three columns, impossible.

I searched through Google with so many phrases and got just the worst results.

  • count matches between three columns
  • how to match values in nonadjacent columns
  • count matches between three ranges
  • how to match values in non consecutive columns
  • excel counting + matching 3 columns
  • count matches between 3 columns in excel
  • how do I compare three columns in Excel for matches?
  • how do I compare three columns in Excel for matches using sumproduct?
  • how to Compare Three Columns and Return a Value in Excel
  • count matches between 3 columns in excel (I had no better luck the second time I tried this)

Finally I emailed the expert, Loren, the CEO from Evolving Technologies Corporation, who knows all there is to know about Excel. He had the formula!


So now I know that two teams called the coin toss, won the coin toss, and then won the game (Bob and Phil)

P.S. Also, I submitted my question to Stack Overflow website and got a different formula, which also works, though it appears to be more complicated than the one above:


Running Horses, Empty Skies

Canva online graphics tool removes backgrounds from video.

Scrib Robot to Follow Lines


A line-following robot is always exciting, and may serve as an entry point into robotics, especially for younger students, lower-functioning students, or any student, really!

When I first bought OWI Robotics Scrib last year from a third-party vendor, the Scrib robot was broken right out of the box!

The wheels on the robot did not turn, so it could not move. Probably a gear was broken inside. So frustrating. It sat in the closet for a year while I sulked.

Last week I bought a replacement robot and it works! Considering the Ozobot line-following robot costs over $50, the Scrib robot is a way less expensive alternative.

The complete robotics kit comes with a jigsaw puzzle track board that the robot travels across.

Completing the puzzle took me about an hour. It was fun and challenging.

There is also an activity booklet with ideas like having the robot travel across möbius strips. Of course, the robot follows a line drawn on paper, too.

The robot tends to turn to the left when approaching forks in the road, fyi.

LittleBits, in Bins

Look at this meticulous display of LittleBits — electronics components that magnetically snap together to form circuits– organized into bins.

The LittleBits company was just bought by the Sphero robot company, fyi.

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June 2023