Here at Provide Your Own, we are a big fan of LED lighting. Recent research has raised the alarm that LED lighting can cause retina damage. Is there any truth to this assertion? Can LEDs really be bad for your eyes, even causing blindness?
Fortunately for LED lovers, the answer is a resounding NO. When the facts are examined, if LEDs are bad for your eyes, then sunlight is at least ten times worse. Let’s first look at the basis for the assertion.
The Research Study
According to a sole news account:
The study found that LED radiation caused significant damage to human retinal pigment epithelial cells in vitro.
We irradiated naked retinal cells with intense light from LEDs in a petri dish and they didn’t do so well.
Keep in mind that damage would be done with any high intensity light. Have you stared into the sun lately? How about staring into lasers or high intensity LED flashlights? Think you might have some retina damage?
This research has not been peer reviewed, but is simply an account given by Dr Celia Sánchez Ramos. This fact does not invalid the research, but shows that we have absolutely no … Read the rest
Posted in Health, Tech
Tagged led lighting
My sister in-law has taken to washing her dishes by hand because her dishwasher no longer gets them clean. Millions of other Americans have had the same problem. Many have vainly replaced their dishwashers with new ones only to face the same problem. The problem is not your dishwasher. It is your dish-washing detergent. It has changed. It is not the same product it used to be. A vital ingredient is missing.
While you may have noticed the effects of this missing ingredient in your dishes, you may not be aware of the same problem with your clothes. That is because this vital ingredient was taken out of laundry detergents over twenty years ago. That is so long ago, that most of us just think clothes are supposed to be grungy after a few washings. I am old enough to remember clothes staying clean, but didn’t understand why they didn’t any more until recently.
The Missing Ingredient
The magical ingredient that is no longer present in commercial detergents is tri-sodium phosphate or TSP as it is commonly known. This natural ingredient is made from phosphate deposits primarily found in Florida.
In general, it acts as a detergent, but in the … Read the rest
Posted in Household
When I was a young man, I badly wanted to design and build my own stuff – even my own color television. One of my primary motives was a means to save money, of which I was sorely lacking. I was told by my elders that such thinking was incorrect. There was no way I could design my own television – that took a team of experts and that, in any case, I could not save any money in the process. I was better off to get a good paying job and just buy a television.
As I look back on that conversation, I have learned that the first statement was false, the second one true, and the third false. Let’s look at each assertion in more detail.
Building Your Own
In some ways I was ahead of my time. Designing and building a color television set was a daunting proposition back in the 1970s and 80s. Not impossible, but certainly difficult. Even with an electrical engineering degree the resources regarding color television design were slim to say the least. There was also no support from others for such a project when problems were encountered.
In modern times these limitations … Read the rest
Posted in Living
I have been wanting a 10″ Android tablet, but they have always been too expensive. Sure, there have always been cheap Chinese knockoffs, but they have always been pretty junky affairs – until now.
My family recently bought me a . While this manufacturer does cut some corners, amazingly it didn’t cut the ones that count. It sports stereo speakers that sound better than the original Kindle Fire and has more memory as well. It even has a front facing camera and an HDMI output jack. Speed is decent and WiFi works just fine. It lacks the sensors of high end tablets and cell phones, but does have a microphone and accelerometer. It is perfect for viewing movies, PDF files, web browsing and Skype – typical tablet stuff. It also has USB input so you can easily attach a keyboard as well. You can also charge it via USB as well as using the supplied fast charger.
As for the downsides, there are remarkably few. Its ARM-based processor is only single core, and battery life is a tad less than the Kindle Fire, but decent. The biggest issue with this tablet is the lack of the Google Play store. Polaroid … Read the rest
Posted in Tech
When collecting any data on the Arduino, it won’t be very long before you need to calculate some statistics on that data. While statistics can be a pretty intense mathematical field, some very basic statistics such as calculating the mean and standard deviation can be invaluable for many applications.
Fortunately, it is not only easy to make these calculations, but its usefulness can extend beyond just statistics. Many times data from a sensor may not be stable. Touch sensing is a good example. Each individual value (data point) can vary quite a bit, making it difficult to make an accurate determination. By averaging these values, a better decision can be made.
In a similar vein, by calculating the standard deviation, you can assess the quality of the values obtained. A large deviation from the mean can indicate problems with your sensor.
Because statistics often require some extensive data collection, normal methods can be too memory intensive for small microcontrollers like the Arduino or ATtiny based designs. Normally each value is stored and, when all the data is collected, various calculations such as the mean and standard deviation are calculated on the data set. Storing this much data can … Read the rest
If you have any interest in either electronic circuits or micro-controllers, you have probably heard of the Arduino. Unless you have actually worked with the Arduino, you may only have a vague idea of what all the excitement is all about. If you are one of those who have wondered what the Arduino is, would like to know more about it, this article will answer most of your questions and give you a good grasp of the concepts.
Since this article is geared toward those with no or little prior knowledge of the Arduino platform, you may be inclined to skip it if you are more experienced. There is however, some useful information for the more experienced. You may often find yourself at a loss for words when describing the Arduino or your Arduino based projects to your family and friends. In that case, you might find this tutorial provides a good framework for improving your communication.
What is an Arduino?
The Arduino is a microcontroller based platform. It is not a microcontroller, but is an entire development/engineering environment and eco-system based on a family of microcontrollers from the Atmel corporation.
There are many microcontrollers from various corporations available, and … Read the rest
A new study (NOTE: link is invalid, see update at end of article) from mainstream sources has not only confirmed that chemotherapy does more harm than good, but discovers the mechanism by which chemotherapy almost ensures death by cancer. This finding is nothing new to those who have much experience with the medical industry’s track record in treating cancer. The typical process experienced by most cancer patients is as follows:
- Get biopsy confirming cancer
- Become scared and sign up for whatever treatment the doctor recommends – usually chemotherapy
- Endure months of living hell (from the chemo) and withdraw from normal life
- Doctor declares the cancer is gone and a new day dawns
- Six months to a year later, the cancer returns
- More chemo, radiation, etc. – nothing works now and despair begins to set in
- Doctor says nothing more can be done and gives up
- Patient looks to natural alternatives and usually heads to Mexico
- By this time, even natural methods don’t work and patient finally succumbs
I don’t have exact statistics, but I would venture that this scenario is played out with some variation about 90% of the time or more. As I mentioned in this article, as … Read the rest
I recently tried to login into my Google account that hosts my YouTube channel. I had set the channel up a few years ago, and only used it once, so I had forgotten the e-mail address associated with it. Google however, lets you login using your channel name so that is what I tried to do. The problem was that since I had set up the channel, I also added a gmail address with the same username.
To my surprise, whenever I tried to login into my YouTube channel, it logged me into the gmail account, and that account had no YouTube channel. After some forum posts, a lot of research and trying a lot of things, I finally recovered my YouTube channel. For those in the same boat, there is a way to recover your YouTube channel, but the standard advice is a bit sketchy, and doesn’t really help without an understanding of what is going on. Here is how Google handles accounts:
Google Account Rules
The way Google sets up accounts, you provide a username and an e-mail address. The wrinkle is the fact that gmail accounts are also Google accounts. What is not obvious, is that they … Read the rest
Posted in Tech
Tagged security, youtube
A new study shows that eating 2 slices of cheese a day cuts the average person’s risk of type 2 diabetes by 12 percent. Of course such findings seem to be causing the health authority mentioned in the article to have a cow:
We recommend a healthy balanced diet, rich in fruit and vegetables and low in salt and fat. This study gives us no reason to believe that people should change their dairy intake in an attempt to avoid the condition.
The reason being according to the article:
The findings go against current health guidelines, which advise cutting back on dairy products and other high-fat foods to help prevent the illness.
The current low-fat high-carb diet recommended by health authorities is just nonsense. For example, the study also showed similar reductions in diabetes when subjects ate yoghurt instead of cheese. The facts are that quality whole foods such as cheese and yoghurt are not the health demons they are claimed to be. Rather, these are the very foods that will keep us the most healthy.
It is no mere coincidence that the incidence of diabetes began to skyrocket when fat consumption was demonized. Eating healthy fats are how you … Read the rest
When you finish the design and prototyping of your project and you want to make a PCB, you need to use some kind of PCB layout software. While there are a plethora of commercial products, most of them expensive – very expensive, there are relatively few that are low cost or free for the open source designer. This guide will look at the options available and make recommendations based on the author’s knowledge and preferences.
NOTE: There may be some other applications than the ones I have mentioned. Since I use Linux on my PC, I have only looked at the packages than run under Linux. I believe the ones listed run under all three mainstream operating systems, but I am only certain about Linux versions.
Online PCB Software
Some commercial PCB fabricators offer their own free online software. While some of these products may be quite capable, they suffer from one huge drawback – you are locked into their services. If you want to have your PCB made elsewhere, you are out of luck. For that reason I don’t give these programs a second look.
The Eagle CAD package offers both schematic and PCB layout programs. It … Read the rest
Posted in Tech
Tagged electronics, pcb