Let me start off by saying, I’m not “into” Legos, robots or the Rubik’s cube. My son is, however, so that makes me an honorary fan. He’s seven years old and just recently discovered the Rubik’s cube. He loved it so much that he couldn’t stop watching all the various solving videos on YouTube. Then he came across the ultimate solving video, a Lego robot solving the cube, a.k.a. MindCub3r. If you don’t know what MindCub3r is, prepare to be amazed. My son loved it so much he insisted that I build one. Well. I just couldn’t let him down. Luckily, the instructions and software for MindCub3R are all online at mindcuber.com. I bought the Mindstorms EV3 kit from Lego and we set out building this thing with very little knowledge of Lego Technic and the Mindstorms software tool. The instructions were easy to follow. And once you get a hang of the software, it’s pretty simple as well. David Gilday, the MindCub3r designer, was also ready to help, if we had any issues. Lucky for us, we were able to resolve them. The mutual cooperation and problem solving was a great father/son bonding experience.
An excerpt from my latest blog post for the Beacon Broadside (courtesy of Beacon Press), an online venue for essays, news items, and dispatches from respected writers, thinkers, and activists about our times.
“The last time Ramadan and the World Cup crossed paths was in 1986 and 1982 respectively. I’ll never forget the summer of 1982. I was in Egypt, visiting my father’s family on a much-delayed bereavement trip. My father had died of cardiac arrest in October of 1981. We buried him in a Muslim cemetery in Houston, Texas and had to wait eight months before we could visit our relatives in Cairo. Those eight months were tough on me, a nine-year-old boy who just lost his father, soccer coach, and mentor.”
My dad was a proud hard-working man. Back in the seventies, he worked as a food chemist for a very large beverage corporation. He took great pride in his work and often encouraged his team to refrain from using artificial preservatives in their products. His claim to fame was a lemon juice (Read more)