About Nathan Young

Nathan Young is an experienced writer, blogger, photographer, and videographer who blogs at Geek Alabama. Nathan is a big Road, Weather, and News Junkie Geek and is a great person to be around who is funny and informative. Nathan is an accomplished media person who regularly covers topics on Geek Alabama and gets numerous requests to cover things from businesses, products, TV shows, movies, books, games, food, events, conventions, concerts, and other reviews. He is open to speaking, covering products or events, and representing your brand. The most interesting fact about me, I draw roads! #Aspie proud! #ASD

Crowdsourcing Mornings: Mighty. Mini. LED Light


Geek Alabama Crowdsourcing Mornings

This is Crowdsourcing Mornings! This post will take place every weekday morning and highlights one crowdsourcing project I liked from Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or other crowdsourcing websites.

The Mighty. mini. is a revolutionary type of LED lighting for both Photo and Video.  The Mighty. mini. triple purpose light is softer (LEDNatural technology), thinner (.5″) , lighter (12 ounces) and more flexible (triple purpose) than any conventional LED photo or video light. You can use the Mighty. mini. as a revolutionary continuous cool light source, a handheld light source, or as a small and powerful portable studio light.  Most pro LED photo and video lights are harsh and specular, unless diffused to within an inch of their life. Mighty. mini. uses Patent Pending LEDNatural technology to produce the smoothest, most natural LED lighting you have ever seen.

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The Mighty. mini. side-mounted LED lights are diffused multiple times before they light your subject.  You won’t get the typical squints, fake grins and hot spots that you get with conventional rear-mounted LED panels.  In the case of the Mighty mini, soft luscious light does not equal low power.  Mighty. mini. uses only high-grade Samsung daylight and tungsten balanced LED chips rated at over 50 lumens per LED.  In fact, Mighty mini delivers almost as much power as a 300 watt incandescent bulb.  These LED chips also have a high CRI (>=85) providing natural and vivid color rendition.  They think Mighty. mini. represents the future of photo & video lighting. By contributing you are making a difference in the lives of photographers and videographers everywhere.

As of April 16th, this project has raised around $7,049 of their $2,500 goal. This project only has 9 days left to raise as much as it can!  For a pledge of $145, you will get one Mighty. mini.  For a pledge of $240, you will get one Mighty. mini. DUO PRO.  To learn more and to pledge money, go to: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mighty-mini-photo-video-dream-light

 

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The Evening Post: How To Train Your Dragon 2 Trailer


Geek Alabama Evening Post

This week, the official trailer to the movie How To Train Your Dragon 2 came out, and it is looking like to be a great movie!  The trailer features Hiccup and Toothless journeying through the skies, charting unmapped territories, and exploring new worlds.  Also in the trailer, the pair discovers a new island with a lot of dragons, and they discover Hiccup’s mother!  Yep, this is going to be a great movie when it comes out on June 13th, enjoy the trailer and poster!

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Kickstarter Tuesdays: Satyr Stein / Surepaw Dog Gear


Geek Alabama Kickstarter Projects

This week on Kickstarter Tuesdays, let’s talk about two things most people love, brewing and drinking beer and keeping their dogs secure and safe!

Satyr Stein

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Mix homebrewing with dwarves, ancient god-like aliens, and modern science fiction and you have Satyr Stein.  Centuries of brewers have perfected the art of the fermented beverage and Don is eager to share it with you in a special way – a way that puts all of our passions in one pot and adds a bit of magic.  Homebrewing feeds both the creative and intellectual needs like a good hobby should.  By crossing beer with tales from both the future and the past, Satyr Stein allows us to explore worlds, both real and imaginary, through our taste buds. Pledge now to make it so.

Things that are part of the Satyr Stein project includes the recipe book.  Don takes as many things into account as possible, pulling from history, geography, and general aesthetics to put together the right mixture of malt, yeast, and hops.  He will share all of these details with you in the book so you will not only know how to make the beers, but why they were made the way they were made.  Along the way you will learn a bit of history, science, and perhaps even pop culture.  Themes are taken from science fiction, fantasy, games, mythology, and history; especially medieval history.

Another part of this project is the DVD to accompany the book.  They are also developing a series of short videos to iteratively guide a new brewer down the first steps on the road to mastery.  Each video will use one of the recipes and go into more and more detail as the series progresses.  The first will just be an overview of the process.  The second will talk more about sanitation.  By the time they get to the episode on bottling, you’ll be able to make your own beer following precise instructions.  Each episode after that will expand and improve your process, giving you a better understanding of hops, yeast, and malt. These are all wrapped up with colorful introductions like the samples shown in the video above.

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As of April 15th, this Kickstarter project has raised around $3,020 of the $15,000 goal they need to be funded.  And as you know in Kickstarter, a project is not funded until the fundraising goal is reached!  This project only has 18 days left to reach the $15,000 goal.  For a pledge of $10, you will get the ebook, plus a new recipe every month until the ebook is done and delivered.  For a pledge of $20, you will get digital copies of the videos, digital labels, the ebook, and recipes!  To learn more about Satyr Stein and to pledge money, go to: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dondehm/satyr-stein-homebrew

Surepaw Dog Gear

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Ben Fowler has a passion for rock climbing.  He lives for dogs. He is dedicated to protecting our environment.  He remembers the moment he first caught a glimpse of a dog leash made from climbing rope and carabiners.  He was a college student walking to work at Climbmax Climbing Gym in Asheville, NC.  He remembers thinking that might be the coolest thing he has ever seen to walk his dog with.  It was such a simple idea, and offered so many advantages environmentally, functionally, and economically.  It took him some time, but then he decided to run with this idea knowing that people love unique things, their dogs, and good quality products.  Especially products you feel good about when it comes to the environment.

Back in his native environment of Atlanta, Georgia, he is now ready to show people the “ropes” of mixing climbing passion, with dog obsession.  If you clicked on his story on Kickstarter you most likely are a dog owner/lover, climber, and/or an interested Kickstarter stalker of projects.  You might be all three!  Regardless, we all know what a dog leash is and what its purpose is.  If you have a leash at home, or several right now, go ahead and grab them and study it for a second…Ask yourself some questions: 1) Does it have a story, or where did it come from before you bought it?  2) What is it made of, and did buying it help the environment in any way?  3) What do you gain from your leash?

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Your answer sheet will most likely look like this: 1) uhhh, I don’t really know. I don’t really care, it probably came from China, and I bought it at a pet store. 2) Leather, plastic, metal, and/or rope of some kind, and no it’s a dog leash how can it help the environment? 3) I don’t know. I clip my dog to it and I walk my dog, maybe run sometimes.  So, what is Surepaw Dog Gear?

  • Handmade, uniquely up-cycled, climber designed, dog ap”ruff”ved
  • No kinks, knots, or quirks about ‘em
  • Their rope is 6 x stronger and more durable than “Elven Rope” (Sam and Frodo would never have lost Gollum with a Surepaw leash)
  • The Tugachuk™ gives a future to fishes, and playtime to dogs
  • More color and pattern variety than a “double rainbow all the way”
  • Gives you an ice-breaker story at the dog park or the coffee shop ;)
  • Paws down inspired by the environment to reduce waste
  • “173 Year Guarantee” on all leash styles (send them an email with what happened, send all the pieces back to them, and they’ll send you a new one at no charge!)

As of April 15th, this Kickstarter project has raised around $9,896 of the $6,500 goal they need to be funded.  And as you know in Kickstarter, a project is not funded until the fundraising goal is reached!  This project only has 16 days left to raise as much as it can.  For a pledge of $20, you will get a MTN Line or EZ Summit Trainer.  For a pledge of $35, you will get the Ruff Guider.  To learn more about Surepaw Dog Gear and to pledge money, go to: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/245196919/surepaw-dog-geartm-rethinking-the-dog-leash

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The Oklahoma Minimum Wage Debacle / Why A Basic Income Is Good For America


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Today, a story from the state of Oklahoma went viral, and it involves some people and how much they make at their jobs.  Governor Mary Fallin today signed a bill banning any city inside the state from establishing a mandatory minimum wage.  Cities are also banned from enacting mandatory paid sick days or vacation requirements.  With this bill signed, cities can not enact a higher minimum wage than the current $7.25 an hour.  Fallin actually said the bill would prevent a hodgepodge of minimum wages in different parts of the state that could potentially harm the business community, really?  Is Oklahoma moving towards telling every city and country what to do?  I thought this was a free country?

At the same time, Fallin signed some other bills including tax credits for banking institutions and public investments.  Good job, give more tax credits to the rich and well off folks while leaving poor people in the dust!  Some people that say the minimum wage should not be increased say most of the people working at minimum wage jobs are students or people wanting only part-time work.  And these people are so wrong!  The average age for a person working a minimum wage job is 35 years old.  A half million people working minimum wage jobs are college graduates.  And 90% of people who would benefit from a hike in the minimum wage are over 20 years old.  Get the message, because of the bad economy, older adults with families to support are working minimum wage jobs, and it’s not right!

Years ago, the city of Talladega was about to get a Louisiana grocery store chain to move into town.  But there was one problem, the business had employees who were union represented, and that meant everyone working there had a good pay.  Not a huge amount of pay, but enough to live comfortably.  Some employees, like the bagboy for example, made more than a bagboy working at another store in town.  So the city council rejected the store from coming into town, because they were afraid the higher wages would drive up the costs of other things, really?  Even today, the Honda Plant in Lincoln will not work with the city of Talladega.  And the Talladega/Sylacauga region is the 5th poorest region in America.

So my point is this, yes, Oklahoma has more jobs available than what is available in Alabama.  But playing politics and denying cities an opportunity to raise their minimum wage is a slap in the face to all low-income working people in Oklahoma.  I thought this was also a good time to bring this up.  With more and more jobs becoming a thing of the past, what are people who can not find anything going to do?  Hope they can get on Social Security Disability?  Not everyone has an opportunity to find a job.  Some have gone through so many jobs no one will consider them.  Some have been unemployed for years, and employers look the other way.  And some are not attractive, and no amount of work experience and college education will help them.

From the CNN opinion article written by David Wheeler, what if the government guaranteed an income for everyone each month?  Just enough money to take care of the basic needs of everyone, like rent and utilities.  The current government safety net programs like Food Stamps and welfare costs more than $1 trillion a year!  If the United States Government gave everyone a monthly basic income, all welfare programs could end, people who are struggling could be comfortable with the funding to pay their bills, people would be lifted out of poverty, and economies in poorer areas would improve!

People who are struggling with long-term unemployment, like me, would gain some huge  psychological benefits knowing that people with no work do not have to worry about food and shelter.  Look, technology and new technology in the future will eliminate more and more jobs, even in places like China and India.  With fewer and fewer jobs available for the growing amount of people around the world, what are people with no prospects of hope going to do?  Starve and live on the streets?   If countries like Brazil and states like Alaska are already giving out money to everyone living there, this country can do the same thing.  Ever watch the series Star Trek?  Money in that series is not a basis for their economy and everyone lives at a comfortable level.

If everyone got a basic income, it does not mean jobs will disappear forever.  People can still find and work at a job and receive a basic income at the same time.  If something is not done, more people are going to remain unemployed, and if safety nets like SNAP are cut, as some politicians are wanting to do, than eventually civil unrest is going to happen.  People will not live in misery without doing something.  A basic income would prevent the misery and potential civil unrest, it’s the right thing to do!

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Would You Accept The World’s Toughest Job?


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Someone created a very special video on YouTube and it’s going viral!  The YouTube channel cardstore created a video for The World’s Toughest Job.  Cardstore hired the agency Mullen to run a job ad that mostly everyone would avoid!  The job listing was for a Director of Operations at a company called Rehtom Inc. The brutal requirements would chase mostly everyone away:

  • Must be able to work 135+ hours a week
  • Ability to work overnight, associate needs pending
  • Willingness to forgo any breaks
  • Work mostly standing up and/or bending down
  • Must be able to lift up to 75 lbs. on a regular basis
  • Ph.D. in psychology or real-life equivalent
  • Crisis management skills a must
  • Ability to manage a minimum of 10-15 projects at one time

Yep, requirement like the ones above and the ones on the job listing would chase mostly everyone away.  Also, no health or dental insurance, no pension, and no paid holidays are also a turn off for many people.  But here is the surprising thing, some people actually did apply for the job!  The job ad got 2.7 million impressions from ad impressions.  And 24 people actually inquired about the job.  These people held an interview for the job via video chat, and after you watch this video below, you will find out what the job is really for, Mother’s Day is fast approaching!

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