Monthly Archives: March 2014

Homemade Infrared Goggles

For about $10, you can build your own infrared goggles. No, these goggles won’t let you see through houses, clothing, or in the dark. These goggles work simply by blocking all light that is not infrared. In technical terms, the goggles are infrared-pass goggles, meaning they filter out everything that is not infrared.

The inspiration and design of these IR goggles comes from Bill Beaty.

Warning: Wearing these goggles causes dilation of your pupils, which means more infrared light is entering your eyes than normal. I can’t tell you whether or not this is dangerous.

The first thing you do is purchase a cheap pair of welding goggles with replaceable filters. I got these ones on Amazon, and they work great. You’ll also need a sheet of 181 Congo Blue gel filter and a sheet of 106 Primary Red gel filter.

Welding goggles

Welding goggles

Take the colored filters out of the welding goggles and for each eye, add 1 red filter and 1-6 blue filters. Put the goggles on on a bright sunny day, and enjoy walking through a surreal world of infrared light.

Red and Blue gel filters

Red and Blue gel filters

Most infrared light is invisible to the human eye. These goggles do not allow you to see more infrared light than you normally can–they just block everything else so that all you see is the infrared light. To “see” infrared light that is invisible to the human eye, try this IR detector. The way these goggles work is that the red filter blocks the various shades of blue light and the blue filter blocks the various shades of red light. Together, they block almost all shades of visible light except infrared and the very near-infrared.

The picture below is sort of what it looks like to walk the sunny outdoors while wearing the infrared goggles. The reality (looking through human eyes instead of the eyes of a camera) looks even more surreal. The purple/violet colors are a lot more powerful and vibrant than what you see through the eyes of a camera.

It looks even cooler through human eyes!

It looks even cooler through human eyes!

Warning: Do not look directly at the sun with these goggles. Even though the sun looks a lot dimmer, the goggles are not blocking any of the visible or invisible infrared light, which can severely damage your eyes in seconds.

Categories: Poor Mad Science | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

The One Year Anniversary of the New Me

Even our Amish parents and siblings made it to our beach wedding.

Even our Amish parents and siblings made it to our beach wedding.

One year ago I was working a dead end job and “investing” in a business by going into credit card debt, I was several thousand dollars in debt, I was living in a big house with people I wasn’t getting along with anymore, I had too much stuff, I was addicted to Mountain Dew, I was struggling with personal upheavals related to a fundamental shift in my worldview, and I was dreaming of someday getting a college degree.

I had always planned on enrolling in college as soon as I was financially stable–as soon as all my debts were paid off, the business was doing well, and I could afford to take a several year sabbatical to pursue an education. Then almost exactly a year ago, I was encouraged to enroll in college despite my responsibilities. I was encouraged to enroll in college even if it was just to take one course at a time. I was persuaded to enroll in college and try it despite my constantly-changing plans for the future.

It didn’t take a lot of consideration before I decided to enroll. My life was getting stagnant, and college, it seemed, was exactly what I needed. I enrolled in college, but I did way more than that. I took the opportunity to completely reorganize my life and my priorities.

The first thing we (myself and my fiancee at the time) did was move out of the big house where we lived with 5-7 other people. We moved into my aunt’s nice vacation home and cut some of the toxic personal relationships that had been dragging us down for the past year. I quit the minimum wage dead end job that I had been using to help make ends meet until my online business brought in more sales, and I stopped deluding myself into thinking that I would be able to survive on my business income anytime soon. I quit pumping money, energy, and time into the business. Instead, I began a part-time lawn care job. The work was hard, but it paid way more than minimum wage.

By transferring my time from internet marketing and a minimum wage part-time job to lawn care, I was able to pay off several thousand dollars of debt that I had incurred over the previous three years. In fact, working only 2-3 days a week, I was able to pay off most of my debt and still have the time and money to go to college full time. The only debt I have left is a bit on my vehicle loan (which I had purchased a month before losing my internet marketing job about three years ago). To help support my addiction to higher education, I also sold most of my stuff and cut my expenses as much as I possibly could.

Because my life was changing so much, I decided it was also time to quit my excessive inhalation of Mountain Dew. I quit that without a problem and even cut down on my smoking.

The biggest change in the last year, however, was getting married. When I asked her about 9 months ago, we had been dating for more than 5 years. Why so long? First of all, we lived together for most of those 5 years, so getting married wasn’t something that seemed like too big of a lifestyle change. More importantly, much like college, I had been waiting to get married until I was “financially stable” whatever that means. Enrolling in college without that financial stability forced me to question my justification for waiting to marry. Long story short, we got engaged and had an awesome beach wedding five days ago.

That, in a nutshell, is how my life changed over the past year. Sometimes, you gotta know when to fold ’em and start fresh with a new hand, and that’s what I did a year ago. So far, life is looking much better. My only regret is that I didn’t do all of this when I first lost my job instead of wallowing around for next three years in various entrepreneurial pursuits.

Categories: College, College Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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