Studio711.com – Ben Martens

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Best of YouTube

After 2.5 years, I’m back with another “Best of YouTube” post! How have you found anything to watch without these incredibly valuable posts? I’m definitely not claiming that these are the best videos I’ve seen since that last post, but I don’t think any of them will disappoint you.

Frank Howarth’s meticulous combination of math and woodworking resulted in an amazing wooden globe. He went into great detail about the process and the complexities of getting this all to work correctly. Wonderful! If you like this one, his followup video where he makes a stand for the globe is good as well.

The Swiss Army knife that I’ve had since I was a child has a sewing awl in it. I’ve never had any idea how to use it. If I had to do it in an emergency, I probably would have poked the awl and thread through, pulled the thread out of the awl and all the way through the hole, rethreaded the awl on the other side and poked it back through. Now if I have to do it, I’ll know there is a better way… but I probably won’t remember the details so I’ll be stuck with the same dumb approach as before.

It’s a traditional old man joke to see a flyover at a game (remember when we didn’t have parenthetical comments after talking about public events?) to say “There’s our tax dollars hard at work.” It turns out that those flyovers are actually valuable training opportunities and not just ostentatious displays of money burning.

As penance for the last 2.5 years, I will not just give you a fourth video, but I’ll give you hundreds of videos. I recently started watching the very popular Donut Media channel. I wouldn’t call myself that much of a car guy but the production value of these videos is fantastic and most of the videos interest me. They put out videos every day and they have a variety of content types. My favorite so far was a “High Low” series where they bought two identical trucks and then outfitted them with overlanding gear. One truck would get an expensive version of the item while the other truck got the budget version. You can see the whole season in this playlist or just watch the summary video. That playlist also includes a previous season where they did the same thing with 350Zs.

Best of YouTube

About a month ago I wrote a post about how people on the internet are manipulating your emotions. Destin from Smarter Every Day completed four videos that are extremely helpful in understanding what’s going on and how to protect yourself from it. This is the kind of thing that I think will be critical to teach our kids as they grow up in a world that looks very different from our childhood. (Video links: 1 2 3 4)

Matt Cremona built a ridiculously nice tool storage cabinet. The highlight for me was how he used bookmatched pieces of wood surrounded by epoxy. They look incredible and the process for making them is wild as well. The video below should link directly to the point in his video where he talks about them, but if not, jump to 4:26.

Rocket powered golf club? Yes please!

Best Of YouTube

First up is Steve Ramsey with a bunch of woodworking tips. I love watching woodworking and making videos on YouTube, but it’s really easy to fall in to some traps if you only learn that way. Steve gets real and gives 18 good tips for woodworking. He labels the video as tips for beginners but I think that any level of experience would benefit, even if it’s as a reminder.

Over in Toledo, David Picciuto enjoys going to the antique mall and rehabilitating old things. His xylophone video is a great example and the soundtrack he made using the xylophone is one of my favorite parts.

And why not stay with David to show his “bowl without a lathe” video. Tyla has been asking me to make a bowl for a long time and this might be a way I could pull it off. I’m not sure it’s exactly what she’s looking for but I’m interested in trying this.

Calvary Christmas Videos

As the resident AV geek at church, holidays are a busy time. This Christmas was no different as I burned away the CPU cycles rendering out a lot of video. They’re all available in curated playlists on our YouTube channel, but I’ve listed them out here as well. If you’re just here for content featuring Elijah, check out the two kids Christmas programs and the first English verse of Silent Night (if you listen closely.)

Four Sheets

I first stumbled across Zane Lamprey when he had his Three Sheets show on a now-defunct cable channel called MojoHD. If you’re a Hulu subscriber, you can still watch the whole series and I highly recommend it. After Three Sheets, he had a show called Drinking Made Easy and then a Kickstarter show called Chug. All of them are travel/alcohol shows that mix comedy and learning about other cultures and their drinking customs. It’s a great formula that never seems to quite stick with the people writing the checks.

Now he’s off filming again for something he’s referring to as Four Sheets.There’s a Facebook page for it, but I can’t find a lot of other details. I know a few of you are fans as well, so you might want to follow that page and his Instagram account in hopes of finding out how we’ll be able to watch these new episodes.

Cheers!

Best of YouTube

OK Go is famous for their incredible Rube Goldberg style music videos. They recently published a series of videos that is kind of a mix of “how we make music” and “science for kids”. They have a playlist on YouTube. I’ll embed one example below, but if the whole playlist is worth a perusal, especially for parents.

Bob Clagett makes yet another appearance in this post category for his recent ping pong table build. It’s a collaboration with two of my new favorite YouTube makers, Evan and Katelyn.

Colin Furze has another ridiculous build: a huge Hulk Buster from the Avengers movie. It’s full of hydraulics so it’s not just a big statue. The reveal is embedded below, but I recommend watching his build videos too: Part 1, Part 2

Disagreeing With Grace

When you give a speech, you’re advised to think about the one or two things you really want people to takeaway from your presentation because they’re going to forget 90% of it. My guess is that parenting is somewhat similar so I spend quite a bit of time thinking about the most important traits that I’d like to instill in my son. One that I’ve been pondering lately is the ability to disagree with someone without getting angry at them. I’m always pleasantly amazed when I witness or participate in a discussion where people take opposite sides and walk away smiling. Every discussion doesn’t require a winner. Isn’t it enough to just exchange ideas? How many people have changed your mind by yelling at you? Why do we wall think it will work on other people?

That’s one reason why I enjoy the “No Dumb Questions” podcast. I originally heard about it because one of the hosts is Destin from Smarter Every Day. I really enjoy Destin’s work but his co-host, Matt, is equally enjoyable. They’re not totally different humans, but they definitely disagree on a variety of topics and it’s extremely enjoyable to hear them hash out the different sides of a topic while remaining amicable throughout. I learn so much more than when two people are screaming at each other.

Matt recently wrote a good post for the Christian Post entitled Why Are We Suddenly So Bad at Disagreeing? and it’s a good read. You can guess some of the points but he makes a couple others that I had never considered.

I won’t spoil his fun and summarize his article, but give it a read if you’ve thought about that topic before too and also consider giving a couple episodes of No Dumb Questions a listen. If you have to pick one, give episode 29 a listen. They gave into requests to discuss gun control. I don’t know that I fully agree with either one of them but it was really enjoyable to listen to them have a rational, friendly discussion on a topic that seems instantly explosive.

 

Property Tax Lookup

People around here can’t get enough of paying taxes so our property taxes keep going up and up. I knew that much, but when I was recently asked how much property tax I was paying, I didn’t know. My property tax is rolled into my mortgage and the mortgage company pays it out of escrow. It felt hypocritical that I say “Everyone should look at how much tax they are paying when they file their taxes” but at the same time, I don’t know the amount of another huge chunk of taxes. Thankfully it’s easy to look it up.

There are plenty of websites that help you do this, but for King County, go to the department of assessments page and you get a lot of great info all in one spot.

I’m glad I looked it up because I still had a number closer to what it was when we bought the house stuck in my head. I think a lot of the increase that people see is because of the astronomical rise in real estate prices, but the continuous flood of approvals for tax increases doesn’t help either.

Best of YouTube

I hope you got a chance to watch the Falcon Heavy test launch by SpaceX earlier this week either live or afterwards. If you didn’t, grab your popcorn and fire up this video. I watched it live at work and it was quite a thrill to watch the biggest rocket since the Saturn project lift off and then see the two boosters land simultaneously back on earth. Unfortunately the main booster didn’t land successfully back on the floating platform (not in the video), but two out of three isn’t bad. Since this was a simple test flight, Elon loaded his personal Tesla Roadster into the rocket for weight (generally companies just use heavy chunks of metal, etc) and there was a subsequent live stream of the car floating through the solar system.

I love the videos about the science behind games at the fair, but Mark Rober’s video was the first time I’d seen the same formula applied to an arcade. it taught me something about the rainbow circle game that will change my life forever.

And everyone’s favorite woodworking geek, Matthias Wandel, posted a video showing how you can use a free app on your phone or tablet to measure the RPM of your shop tools.

 

Best of YouTube

I started watching William Osman earlier this year. He’s a maker who created his own laser cutter (The Retina Smelter 9000) and has a very comedic style while producing some interesting creations and wearing crazy cat shirts. In a sad twist of events, his house burned down in the California fires. He has documented some of that process on his channel. His most recent video was probably the last one that was filmed before his house burned down and it’s a gem.

Evan and Katelyn are a husband and wife team that make stuff with a lot of different mediums. They are fun to watch and produce projects that aren’t so complex that you have to devote a month to make something similar.

And the last one isn’t a YouTube video. It’s a podcast episode. It’s probably the best explanation I’ve ever heard of blockchain (the tech behind Bitcoin, etc) and how the basic idea could impact your life in ways far beyond weird investments. They intentionally structured the episode to be approachable regardless of your comfort level with technology. Whenever someone has questions about blockchain or BitCoin, this is the single place that I will point them to: https://after-on.com/episodes/017