How To Turn ATH-MSR7s Into Balanced Headphones

So, I've Had a Pair of ATH-MSR7 Headphones for a few months now and I've wanted to know how to turn them from standard wiring to balanced wiring with 3.5mm jack endings (Got the Idea after reading how to do this with the ATH-M50X Model, If Anyone can give me an answer or point me to a tutorial (Trust me, I've searched, can't find a tutorial) i'd be mighty grateful. Many thanks for a reply. Also this is for a portable DAC with two headphone Jacks like a Pono or an AK240. Thanks again.

Topic by Desmin Grey   |  last reply

How to make a balanced spool valve? For a PVC airgun, need quick release valves.

I'm trying to make a 50 caliber airgun, but this time with a better valve. My previous one had a ball valve, and it's sticky, hard to aim, and just troublesome. I did a bit of research on airgun valves, and it seems as though the balanced spool valve is a good one to try. However, all the searches seem to be focused on the discussion, not the making of the valve. I'm going to be using PVC, hopefully 3/4"+ for the air chamber. Anyone know how, or know a better valve? Thanks! 

Question by Batryn   |  last reply


HI. My mom is bed ridden and we have to give her baths in bed. We have tried several different foaming no-rinse soaps and have found on that works the best: Medline Remedy 4-in-1 Body Cleanser. It is good in so many ways, pH Balanced, Non-allergenic, leaves her skin soft, smells great...nice sort of mango-vanilla smell. Problem is, it's $10 + per bottle, depending on where we get it. Here is the product description: Remedy 4-in-1 Body Cleanser cleanses, moisturizes, provides mild protection against transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and nourishes skin in one step. Helps reduce odor. Optimizes shelf space and nursing time. Ready-to-use, no-rinse foam stays in place to prevent product spills, waste and patient discomfort. One bottle contains over 340 pumps of foam.Harsh soaps and surfactants strip skin of moisture and contribute to TEWL. Remedy 4-in-1 Cleansers have a phospholipid base that binds both water and nutrients to gently clean and condition the skin. Remedy cleansers contain ingredients derived from natural and organic oils that mimic the body's natural lipids. Remedy cleansers can also be used during showers in place of soaps. The phospholipids will gently cleanse the skin without stripping it from its natural oils.Olivamine is a blend of antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM). These ingredients are all known to play a vital role in basic cellular construction and protection. Olivamine contains antioxidants like hydroxytyrosol, the most potent antioxidant known today (derived from olives). It also contains amino acids like L-proline, L-cysteine and glycine - three of the main building blocks of collagen. These components are also treated with photoacoustic resonance to help minimize the tendency for inflammation, and to ensure they can be rapidly accepted by the skin.No-rinse foam for head-to-toe cleansing and conditioning. Indicated for hair, body, perineal and peristomal areas.Remedy is a trademark of Medline Industries, Inc. UPC is: 0 80196 30616 2 CAN ANYONE COME UP WITH A LESS EXPENSIVE, HOME-MADE OPTION TO THIS? Thanks

Topic by oreoero   |  last reply

I Challenge You: Cable Driver

The new challenge!A cable driver!It's relatively simple idea, but balancing it will be hard!Tip:Use an engine or else it would just roll of the cable.Use weights for balancing.Best of luck, dudes!Link to the group.

Topic by Skreetsha   |  last reply

Where is the center of gravity usually found in a sword? Answered

I'm atempting to construct a sword, and even though its mostly for show, i want to get the weight and balance right.

Question by The Ideanator   |  last reply

Why Knex bullpups are (mostly) useless and a stupid idea.

So in the real world the point of a bullpup design is to either reduce the overall length of a gun, or to have the same length of gun but with a longer barrel, which results in a higher velocity bullet which can go further.  Another often added bonus is that the gun is more balanced weight wise around the handle, making it easier to handle.   Now to crush your dreams. Not a single on of those advantages carries over to knex guns.  Not one.  A bullpup knex gun will only end up longer(yes LONGER), use more parts, have theoretically lower range, it is less balanced, and more complicated with more things that can go wrong.   With a knex gun, you want as short of a barrel as possible for the shot to go through, so that there is as little friction as possible on it.  This is one reason that turret guns can be so powerful.  Now with a bullpup design, you almost automatically have to add a longer barrel, as the shot has to leave the action area AND go over your handle/trigger mech.  Not good. The gun will be less balanced because now basically the entire gun is behind the handle, unless you put some fat barrel on the front to balance it out, but then that breaks the first point I talked about, as well as using many more parts and defeating the purpose of being a shorter weapon.  Most ram guns now are mostly balanced, as the handle is usually in the middle of the gun, as the ramrod has to be pulled behind it as well as going in front of it, so you place the handle and trigger as close to the middle so as to make the trigger simpler. Now as to why making a knex bullpup will make it longer, just look at the pictures.  It will make sense then.  Also this is why you need many more parts for a gun like this.  Also the stock becomes disgustingly long. And finally, this is more of a design issue than a complete flaw, but the trigger is usually(USUALLY) weaker and more prone to failure/not working correctly with a bullpup gun.   Now this doesn't apply to everthing.  Slingshot guns and repeating slingshot guns actually benefit from a bullpup design, that will actually make them shorter and more balanced, because they are more similar to real guns in their layout in that the shot/magazine is the farthest part back in the mechanism.  Also replicas, well duh.   The pictures should make this all make more sense.  And I assumed a build for performance, so the pin draw is long and the magazine is as far away from the pin as possible.  Because all knex guns should be built like that.

Topic by TheRacker   |  last reply

wii game?

Because i got into a good high school my mums getting a nintendo wii and she sed that i can pick a game but im stuck i was thinking skate IT and can you use a wii fit balance board with it or do you need a special one???

Question by knexdude152   |  last reply

Ikea hack with magnets

Hey guys!I just bought myself a Ikea PS laptop workstation. I thought it was heavy enough to stand on its own, turns out it isn't. I don't want to drill holes on the wall, I thought about using magnets to give balance to it.Questions are:- can I do that? I mean, magnets to hold a metal structure plus using that to hold electronics such as laptop, DS, camera, mobile etc.- in case I can, which sort of magnets should I buy? The open lid on the Ikea PS supports up to 25kg/55lb, plus 15kg/32lb from the PS itself. There will be support underneath to hold the weight (thought about using glass jars, grouping three on each side, totaling six), so the magnets will mostly add balance to the structure, and not hold its entire weight.Thanks a bunch for taking the time to read this! A good day to all.Cheers,Diogo Slov

Topic by slov   |  last reply

Speaker switch box (2 x 2 or 4) with automatic ohm balance / adjustment, has anyone got a design for it please?

Hi, I have a cheap speaker switch box connected to my stereo amplifier as it only had one set of speaker outputs. When the smaller higher power demanding speakers are switched the box causes the more efficient floor standing units to shadow the sound which is annoying. The reverse does not happen, but when all 4 speakers are switched on the sound quality drops noticeably, as it would since the ohm matching is not right. I could buy an expensive Niles box but I don't exactly know the ohms for the smaller speakers since they have had the main drivers replaced (the original foam cone supports hardened and cracked in the dry heat of a few Australian summers). I suspect one set on, and one set off is a simple enough device even I as a novice could design it, yes i can, but would just building a better switch box using higher quality switches solve the shadow effect? and I have no idea about the 2 sets on so any ideas - a internet search didn't help much but maybe you call these things differently in the USA?

Question by dgeer 


 I HAVE A BASIC, BELT-DRIVEN, PIONEER TURNTABLE. THE TURNTABLE IS USED FOR REGULAR PLAYBACK, NOT FOR TURNTABLISM. THE TABLE CURRENTLY SITS ON A SMALL, FLAT, LEVEL, WOODEN TABLE (APPROX. 18 INCHES HIGH.) THE TURNTABLE HAS FOUR PLASTIC FEET ATTACHED WITH SMALL SCREWS. THE CARTRIDGE HEAD RIDES WELL, WITHOUT SWAY, AND WITHOUT RIDING TOO HEAVILY ON ITS NEEDLE. HOWEVER, THE CARTRIDGE DOES TEND TO SKIP WHEN PEOPLE WALK THROUGH THE ROOM, WHICH HAS OLD WOODEN FLOORS THAT CARRY VIBRATIONS(ESPECIALLY FOOTSTEPS,) WELL. IS THERE A SIMPLE SOLUTION e.g., rubber mats, padding, etc., or a more involved solution,e.g., floating platforms, spring cushioned platforms, suspension systems? * I prefer not to add weight to the cartridge head balance e.g., turning balance weights forward on arm, adding pennies to cartridge head. etc. thanks, and sorry about previous caps. in text.

Question by andrewgembala   |  last reply

what does a Canadian penny weigh? Answered

I'm working on a model plane right now, a mig 31, and you have to add in the weights before you have any chance of actually knowing if they are enough or not. the instructions say to put in 7grams, but i don't know how many pennies i would need for that. can someone tell me how much a penny weighs., or better yet, just how many i need? thanks.

Question by the poodleo   |  last reply

How to let something spin in water without moving ? Answered

Ok, first ill explain what I have built, and excuse me if it already exists, I can't even think of how to google/name it. A can floats in water, there is a candle in the can. On top of the can there is a propeller which is stuck to the can. The hot air rises and lets the fan (and therefore the whole can) spin. The power is very little and the can tends to move to a side of the bowl and that friction stops it. Is there a balance problem ? Is the not perfect propeller working like a sail and therefore pushing it to the side ? What could I do to let the can stay perfectly in the middle while spinning ? Thanks in advance.

Question by DaanV1   |  last reply

New categories? E.g. Homesteading

Dear Instructables, I am an organic gardener and smallholder/homesteader and most of my instructables are related to these topics, however apart from 'Pets', which is OK because my birds are very friendly and tame, there is no specific category for my Instructables. I have noticed that there are many people posting poultry instructables and it would be great if they could be grouped together. I also suggest, seeing the amount of relevant posts, that there should be a category which covers, permaculture, organic (food/horticulture and agriculture) and one for homesteading. Instructables is very well served on the engineering/science/computing side but it would be great to have a balance. Best Wishes, Pavlovafowl aka Sue

Topic by Pavlovafowl   |  last reply

LOSA Pistol Review

So someone asked me to make a review about Lowney's "LOSA" pistol and here it is. -Comfort 7/10 sometimes the ram nips your hand -Range 8/10(I only got 48ft angled with 2 64's) -Power 6/10, I shot my hand and it really didn't hurt at all -Accuracy 8/10 the gun is pretty accurate -Reliability 4/10 as long as you use a good strong band on the trigger, your good -Body Weight/Balance It's kinda heavy for a pistol -Magazine 4/10 I shot the gun and the mag wall closest to the trigger broke a few times So overall I'd give it a 6/10 and would not recommend it to anyone.

Topic by bigdylan91   |  last reply

Turntable Skipping

One of my records is scratched, and I thought it was impossible to play through perfectly because of how scratched it is.  I found out today that it IS possible!  I found that by adjusting the tone arm to track more lightly, the record would paly over the scratches instead of following them.  Alas, there is a pop when the needle goes over the scratch, but a pop is better than a skipped section of a song.  My tone arm doesn't have a counterweight on it, so I MacGyvered a way to balance it; I taped a fifty-cent piece to the end of it on the top to make it track lighter.  If your record player is skipping, give this a try before you clean your record in hopes of getting rid of the scratch.  This way is a lot easier. 

Topic by KaydenST   |  last reply

Does your partner / spouse get annoyed by your constant making and tinkering?

I find that whenever I start working on a new project I can get rather passionate and excited about it. This usually results in me getting a little carried away with the making process (typically spending every spare minute I have working on the "next big thing"). It sometimes gets on my girlfriends nerves and you could say she becomes a bit of a "workshop widow". I'm just wondering how everyone else manages with their work / making / life balance. Looking for your stories and experiences (any tips would also be appreciated!). I've tried getting her involved in some of my projects, but that's easier said than done!

Topic by ThirdEarthDesign   |  last reply

Auto-Loading 10 Shot Rifle Review *By Ratchet and Clank*

Hey guys! Today, I'm going to be reviewing a 10 shot, auto-loading rifle by Bannana Inventor. Some notes before I start. -All credit goes to the builder, not me. -I'm rating on a 1 to 5 scale. -I review guns by request.(the dragonuv is up next) Ok. Now that you have that. I'll start the review. Handle/Gripping-3.8 The handle could have been a little slimmer. Plus there isn't really a good front grip-type-thing.(Yes. I had no word for that situation.) Range-4.5 Pretty good, especially for its size, and the fact that it is a magazine-fed gun. I got mine about 35 feet. Accuracy-5.0*** One word- Pinpoint. Power-3.0 It's power is restricted, since the bullet is so light. But for the bullet, it has some power. Body/weight balance-5.0*** Great balance throughout the gun. The body isn't flimsy. Stock is comfortable. But on a note, which was stated by The Jamalam, it was made by him and used on his storm guns. Credit goes to him. And now one word. AWESOMENESS!!! Reliability-4.0 Since the magazine uses blue 3-d connectors, you have that millimeter sized jut on the inside of the magazine. So, the magazine sometimes jams, but you only have to push up slightly on the magazine ram. OVERALL-4.2!!!!!!!!!! Overall, great rifle. Auto-loading is a good feature, and a true trigger pleases a lot of k'nexers. Take those, and you get a gun like this. One of Bannana Inventor's best. Review by Ratchet and Clank. Gun by Bannana Inventor Thanks for reading this review! I hope you enjoyed it! Good luck building this, becouse this rifle is a must in your arsenal.

Topic by Ratchet and Clank   |  last reply

Z35 Assault Rifle Review

Ok so I built the Z35 assault rifle to day and I thought why not make a review for it. Link- -Comfort 6/10(the handle was really flimsy) -Range 9/10(I got around 65-70 ft flat with 2 strands of 32's tied together) -Power 8/10(when I shot my hand it really didn't hurt to much) -Accuracy 8/10(the gun is kinda accurate) -Reliability 9/10(the gun is really reliable) -Body Weight/Balance 8/10(the gun is kinda heavy it helps if you include the carrying strap) -Magazine 9/10(never jammed for me) So I would recommend this to anyone who wanted a blue rod mag fed gun or just an assault rifle.=)

Topic by bigdylan91   |  last reply

Speaker on the blitz

I moved all my stereo equipment around a month ago or so. And I noticed that my speakers never sounded the same as before the move around. Today I got a little fed up with the shitty sound they had, and apon turning my balance on my mac to the left, the music sounds very tonal. It's not very bassy like my right speaker. If I turn it over to the right speaker it sounds normal, and shakes the room, but the left one does not vibrate my room worth 2 cents. I even switched the speakers around to see if it was my left channel on the amp, and it's not, it's the speaker. Anyone have any ideas why it sounds like this?? And yes, it was hooked up correctly, I did try switching the wires around, and it sounded worse, so yes it was connected correctly. These are technics twin woofer floor speakers, thought they were decent but my faith in them is very little right now. Thanks guys for anything you come up with.

Topic by Punkguyta   |  last reply

Knex sniper rifle

HI. This is my new knex sniper rifle that i made. Here are some features. 1 the ram dosent fall out, the ram dosent stick out of the gun, begging true trigger, fires yellow rods, powerful, sturdy desine for minimum breaking, recoil is in the mid to balance it out, detachable tripod or bipod, and its longer than my paint ball gun. Here are some pics, if you like go to dannys fourum topic and vote on is the pic order.1 as you can see this sniper is longer than my paintball gun2 Hahahahahah i got more knex than yoooouuuu!!! =P3 this is the trigger mechinisum when its not pulled. 4 Sorry for the blurry pic but this is the trigger when pulled.5 looking at the stock of the gun.6 The front7 The chamber where you put the rods in8 a last look at the trigger mech.9 the whole gun. Beuty eh?I hope you like this, dont forget to vote on this in dannys fourum.

Topic by knex hater hater   |  last reply

banking software for monopoly board game..? Answered

I saw an electronic banking edition of the monopoly board game in the shop  and was pretty impressed by it. But its too expensive to purchase and i already have a normal version of the monopoly board game and also the electronic banking unit alone is not available for purchase.  After thinking for sometime i came up with the idea of making a software for mobile phone that will act as a monopoly banking device. But I don't know programming. Can anyone here help me in making such a software? I don't think that will involve much work. All the software need to do is allow the user to select the number of players from 2-6 and assign each of them a custom start balance and then allow them to transfer money between each other and also pay fines to the bank.  I hope someone is ready to help me. I am just sharing an idea/thought that will help many others like me who play the monopoly board game.

Question by sreeraj   |  last reply

Lowney's Tempest Review

Well this is Lowney's Rifle that he posted yesterday, and I built it and with his permission I have reviewed it! So, here it goes: Normally, if you wanted an excellent oodammo single shot, you were left with a choice of two: The original KillerK pistol and Oodalumps' rectangle.  Now however, there is the tempest. It boasts something that only it has ever had in the world of k'nex: a rifled barrel attachment.  So let's get on with the specs: Use Firing Interval 8/10 this is based on the fact it is a single shot though. Five seconds is what I average. Bullet Lock 9/10 The bullet has never fallen out for me, but it doesn't feel quite the same as a ball joint Rifle Attachment 9/10 Works very well, but it's not a 10 because it can only do oodammo and velcrammo Smoothbore mode 6/10 Brilliant for any ammo that is shorter than a yellow rod but otherwise not so good Handle 8/10 It's a very very nice handle, second only to the ZKAR and MEZAK Trigger 9/10 Has yet to fail for me, but the movement is quite slight Reliability 10/10 Never failed: single shots rarely do Robustness 10/10 I test robustness by standing on a garden chair and drop in on concrete. It didn't break Other Aesthetics 4/10 the rifled barrel is ugly, but smoothbore mode this gun would be a 9/10 Innovation 9/10 the concept is so simple, yet it works like an absolute charm! Very innovative Range/accuracy 10/10 it shoots 160ft approx. and 80ft with cannon ammo without the rifle Power 10/10 again, this gun is mighty powerful, more powerful than the KillerK gun Pain factor 10/10 don't shoot yourself with cannon ammo, it will draw blood. Metallic or Old? I think comparing mine and Lowney's, old colors look better Weight Balance 7/10 The whole gun is so light there is no need to worry about the balance Totals Use: 86.25% Other: 71.42% Grand Total an impressive average score of 8/10 (1dp) which means I rated this gun 4* and would recommend it to anyone.     -Jesse Barns AKA The One And Only

Topic by The One and Only   |  last reply

How to keep door ajar for winter. Cat keeps opening it.

Winter is approaching in Australia. I work in my home office and my computers and sometimes heater [or bread machine :)] keep the office warm. My cat likes to visit for a scratch several times a day. For this, the door must be openable otherwise i have to let the cat in and out. I have been keeping the door nearly closed which keeps the warmth in. However, my cat arrives and virtually bashes it open. The heat in the room is sucked out within minutes if I am distracted by work enough to not close the door ajar on entry or exit of cat. How can I add an upgrade to the door which will keep it closed-ajar if a cat or human uses the door. I would like to solution that can be disabled as in summer I would like the door to be open (which is working and does not need a solution to keep it open). The door is on equal balance (if that makes sense) and I would not like to modify the door hinges. (I had attached an image but must not have enough trust with this site for it to display). The door is a colonial door if you see pictures on google images.

Topic by valamas   |  last reply

Connecting Two Water Storage Tanks

There was a similar post to this one a couple of years back, the difference being that both my tanks are filled from separate branches of the same supply using a ball valve in each tank to stop them filling. I then have an outlet from both tanks connected together that then goes off to a pump. One tank is 5000 litres and the other is 3000 litres, currently the larger of the two is redundant and its outlet valve is off, but come the summer i will need to introduce the second tank. I am located in southern Spain and in the summer they turn off the water supply to save water hence the tanks. My question is as the tanks are of a different size, if i were to fit the smaller tanks outlet with a non return valve so that the larger tank can not fill the smaller one via the outlet pipe, would this work i.e. would the joint outlet pipe still feed the pump correctly or would it have more or less pressure. I appreciate that i could balance the two tanks, but i would much rather be able to use all the volume i can. Many thanks.

Topic by Prospidnick 

Are Americans Losing Touch with DIY Skills?

Click for Full Story*Link Fixed*Science-fiction author Robert A. Heinlein once wrote: "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."...Are hands-on skills — building things, fixing things, operating machines and so on — really in decline?...Does this matter? And if people are becoming less mechanically handy, is that so bad? I think so — and not just because specialization is for insects.We don't all have to be MacGyver, but from time to time all of us will face problems that can't be addressed with a laptop and a cellphone. In a genuine emergency, having some basic manual skills could be the difference between surviving comfortably and being totally helpless.That is a very interesting article. What do you think about it?

Topic by Bran   |  last reply

HSE says "there is too much HSE"

The British Health and Safety Executive has published a list of bizarre decisions justified on the grounds of "Health and Safety". Far too many "party pooper decisions" are justified by statements along the lines of "it's not us, it's Health and Safety", when, in reality, the HSE had nothing to do with it, and it is purely cowardice on the part of officials trying to avoid responsibility should things go wrong, and (even more) shielding themselves from vultures in suits lawyers in the modern litigious culture. It's not on the most recent list, but my "favourite" activity banned on spurious grounds of Health and Safety was conkers in school... From the BBC: One health and safety expert said the law required people to approach risks in a balanced and proportionate manner. "Overzealousness about trivial risks gives health and safety a bad name but there are actually many more cases where people are under-hitting," said Roger Bibbings, occupational safety adviser for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. Good health and safety practice was all about "exercising judgement", he added. "People in authority such as councillors and managers need to be much more 'risk literate' or 'risk intelligent'. And third partiers such as clients, funders or insurers need to avoid requiring people to do things in the name of 'elf 'n' safety' which are not actually required by the law."

Topic by Kiteman   |  last reply

Just 24 more hours..

And this week is over.. I'm about to whine about life, so back out now if you like. What a hell of a week, I started going to UCF monday. Now, admittedly, I'm happy about that, even though it's terribly stressful. But that's not the problem, really. No, would you believe that monday I bit into a brownie at work and cracked a molar on a nut? So my first day of school was accompanied by horrible pain. Followed by a dental crown on tuesday. Yeah that's not that bad, so I'll add in that my wife's truck needed a new differential on thursday (somewhat more expensive than a calculus book). And today?The washing machine broke. Spent three hours tearing it down, it's a goner. Leaking pump, with horrible grinding noise, broken balance strut, and no power to the motor. Only six years old too. And worst of all i didn't win the explicative deleted bike. That's an almost $2500 outlay this week for broken things.. Oh yeah one more really irritating thing, I finished up my A.A. and received my diploma this week, in a big flat envelope stamped all over "Do not bend", which the mailman folded in half and stuffed in the mailbox. I'll probably read this in the morning and decide I'm a self absorbed SOB and delete it. ;-)

Topic by Tool Using Animal   |  last reply

DD-27 Compact AST rifle review

Hey guys! Today I'm going to review a gun called the DD-27 compact AST rifle by dsman195276.Before I start, sorry if I hurt anyone's feeling's or say the opposite of your opinion. I'm going to review in sections. So be aware of what part I'm reviewing.Handle/gripping--------4.0The handle by perfect duck is amazing and it fits well with the rest of the gun.Though the front grip could be improved.Range---------------------5.0***Magnificent range. And the gun is a firing pin type gun!Accuracy------------------4.6Very accurate, but at around 20 feet it isn't that accurate.Power---------------------5.0***One of the main things that makes knex guns actually shine is the power. On this gun, Dsman is not lying when he says strongest to date firing pin type gun! Great power. It even made me bleed!Body/weight balance--3.9Body is fine, but the heavy front end of the barrel is annoying.Reliabilty-----------------3.0The trigger is too fragile. If you pull it too hard, it snaps.OVERALL----------------------4.8!!!!!!!!!!Overall this gun is pretty good. You have the range, power, true trigger, and accuracy all put together to make a beautifully crafted gun. Great job Dsman195276!Review by Ratchet and Clank. Gun by Dsman195276Hope you enjoyed this review! I think this will help some people tom decide weather or not to build this gun. R&C;

Topic by Ratchet and Clank   |  last reply

Ask a Scientist [topic: ancient science]

Topic: The 2000-Year-Old Computer (and Other Achievements of Ancient Science)We learn in school that the science of our ancestors included such endearing bunk as flat planets, geocentric solar systems, and the balancing of the body's four humors. (Even the pre-internet decades of my youth now seem to me like a dark, distant era of ignorance that I can't believe we all survived.) Did our ancient predecessors get anything right? Of course they did. Tonight, science historian Richard Carrier will discuss the nature and limitations of ancient science.While crucial contributions have come from many different cultures throughout history, Richard will talk about a handful of Graeco-Roman scientific and technological advances that might surprise you. Here's a teaser: we'll learn about the Antikythera mechanism, the oldest known computer discovered in a 2000-year-old shipwreck near Crete (pictured below). Cool.ABOUT THE SERIES: Ask a Scientist is an informative, entertaining, casual science lecture series, held at a San Francisco cafe. Each event features a speaker on a current topic, a short presentation, and the opportunity to ask all those burning questions that have been keeping you up at night. No tests, grades, or pressure, just food, drinks, socializing, and conversation about the universe's most fascinating mysteries. February 26, 200807:00 PM - 09:00 PMCost: FreeLocation: MapAxis Cafe1201 8th Street (btw. 16th & Irwin)San Francisco, CA 94107Additional Info:

Topic by noahw   |  last reply

Futuristic Concept Guns that may be worth a Build with your twist!

Ahhh... I feel sometimes the k'nex gun builders community lacks a bit artistic visions, so I scraped the worldwide web for some images that would pump some artistic juices into the community. With no offence to our replica builders out there, (you guys are awesome at what you do!) but I feel that building a k'nex gun is an art. Trying to create that right balance of flow of a gun while incorporating a twist that catches the persons eye is a challenge, a skill, and I feel may be a bit more challenging than making a replica. With replicas you have the comfort of a defined shape and measurements, when guns like these (some virtual, I know one is real, the harmonica gun) are built to be within a similar scale but again with that unusual and pleasing twist of the imagination.  Again I don't mean to offend anyone with the idea that replicas are not cool, replicas are awesome and I find it really hard to stay within a replicas measurements (more power to the people who can). I would just like to see some more unique visions of the builder. Build a gun that defines you and your vision of what a great gun looks and feels like. Then make it perform how you want it too. It's a complex process capturing the beauty of a well crafted k'nex gun through not only aesthetic appearance, but physical performance. These unique guns are what defines us as a K'nex gun community, a community of artists.   At the end of the pictures, I've included a couple of my best Art. (two which didn't perform as planned but nailed appearance)

Topic by JonnyBGood   |  last reply


Alright, well here's the gun I was talking about in my other thread. I'm doing pretty good, I actually got you guys a thread out the day after making the weapon. The name? It stands for TheDunkis' Bad A** Gun. Obviously, it doesn't mean worth crud. I just made it work out so it'd have the acronym TBAG =P.  It's a rather basic weapon. It ties with the BAW for my favorite weapon based around simplicity. I decided to scrap the removable magazine idea and just make it breach load. You can chamber a round directly so you can fire it like a single shot or you can continue to force rounds in to load the magazine. It has a charging "handle" in the side of the stock. And then of course I have the optional sight that I made and never wanted to take apart. Y'know how hard it was getting the little suckers to bend into the connectors like that? The main feature of this gun though is its ability to fire multiple rounds of a new ammo I've been experimenting with. They're not made of K'nex. Rather, they're pen ink cartridges from those bigger, more expensive kind that I can't remember the name of. They're almost the exact same diameter as K'nex rods. They're rather lightweight but, like oodammo, the majority of the weight is focused on the front. It's also somewhat pointy so it's just a tad more aerodynamic and fun to shoot into objects =P. They're very accurate and stable without the use of fins or anything so they get decent range. Obviously I wouldn't fire them at a living thing but it did give me the idea of using some sort of foam armor or something so that you could keep track of hits and such. Anyways, I like the feel of it. It's rather balanced and compact enough without being awkward to handle. I'm probably going to tape the handle. Expect a video tomorrow. I'm not sure when I'll post but might do it this weekend if I have the time.

Topic by TheDunkis   |  last reply

Core Skills

I've been thinking about writing on the subject of core skills and or resources that branch out to other skills and allow a person to get the most out of living, building, making etc. I think that the Instructables members have these skills in spades but there are plenty of people that look at what all of you do and think "That's cool but I could never do that". Which is the opposite of what this site is about. Now I'm saying skills but I think there are also other factors that apply. Obviously having enough time to work on projects is important but really that's a skill too, time management. Tools might be another factor, things like a Dremel tool, Sugru, etc. really open up what a person can do. I'd like to consider things like that also in this endeavor. These are the core skills I've identified, some of them seem really simple but I think they need mentioning. I'm also pretty sure a few of these are already covered by ibles. Measuring Length Checking for Level and Plumb Using a Claw Hammer Using a Sledge Hammer Identifying Screwdriver Bits Powertools - Saws (what they are best used for, describing Circular, Table, Jig, Band, Scroll, etc) Powertools - Drills (best practices, maybe identifying drill bits etc.) Powertools - Grinders (Hand, Bench, Die, etc) Reading a Multimeter (and what to do with those readings) Reading a Schematic Welding Gluing (and what kind of glue is good for different purposes) Then I got a little esoteric and thought about what it takes to accomplish projects. When to do research and when to just start doing. (Because I used to spend way to much time worrying about accumulating data on a project) How to balance projects with living your life. (Because I still have problems with that. But I do have some tips. Falls into time management.) How to find that part you're missing (I haven't really thought about this one much, but it would be great to have a thought process in place. There are likely a lot more. I admit this would be a large project to compile and may span several ibles. Do you have any input on how to accomplish this? What skills have you found to be at the core of your efforts to make things? Instructables has some real brainpower here I think if there is a group that could distill this down to something manageable it would be us.

Topic by EmmettO 

Constantly Evolving MMO Roleplay

So I came up with an idea for a pretty awesome MMO game.  Basically it's set in medieval times with swords and armor like your typical Elder Scrolls game.  You play as an adventurer building wealth getting a house ect. like a survival server in minecraft.  The only computer characters in the game are ones employed by a person to do work.  In a minecraft role-play server the downfall is nobody wants to sit around in a shop all day.  To solve this problem people employ workers in their shops.  The cool thing is people get a lot and can basically take to building anything they can afford.  The employed people come with various skills, wages, and levels.  The shop keeper can set up trade routes and gather supplies for his shop.  People who build better shops make more money by having better signs and better hospitality (more expensive to employ but happier customers).  You can build as many shops as you can afford and they can do anything.  To keep the virtual economy flowing people must eat food and consume a specified amount to be able to live.  So you must have so many grams of food each day which you can buy from shops, get from your farm ect. and then every week you must flow money out which can be in the form of repairs or sickness, or theft.  Now this all sounds pretty cool right, but wait for what comes next.  Lets review first though Join the game as adventurer Gain wealth Choose a career: shopkeeper / warrior / thief / assassin / ect.  If the thief of criminal is caught the fate is decided by the king. Gain power, prowice, friends Keep the economy flowing As I am typing this I realize the game would need to employ an economist to help prevent an in game depression or economic collapse. Now its time for some fun.  The game encourages the development of kingdoms.  By making friends and gaining in-game recognition someone can become king and gain ownership over a kingdom.  With enough wealth and land possession a king will be able to choose to build a kingdom.  These kingdoms are pre-set with boundaries and costs already incorporated.  As with all MMO games there are multiple worlds to log into and each one has multiple kingdoms within.  This allows for kings to go to war ect.  The whole game has very few limits on what can happen, however seeing as monopolies can ruin a game when someone becomes too powerful the game automatically sends bad things their way such as plague, fire, catastrophe ect.  Also to prevent one king from keeping power for the whole existence of this game every week things get a little harder for the king and his subjects are manipulated to go against him more and more until the kingdom finally collapses and starts anew.  This helps keep people hoping and wanting to try.  This is the basic idea of the game and I will now go into more detail on the interworking details.  Feel free to share your ideas to help with the development of this game. Details in a completely random unorganized order: King can collect taxes spend in various ways and do all that he can to maintain power.  He can employ and army and select various people to go underneath him such as dukes and lords.  The arm can be commanded by the king and at his expense be transported very quickly to a battlefield.  Generals command groups and keep track of all their men which helps the king prevent deserting soldiers.   The game's currency is dealt out to new players in various ways.  A quest may be formed, or a reward/bounty given to players so they can start making money.  The money payed to computer controlled employees goes out of the game and is carefully monitored to help keep the economy balanced. The total currency in the game can be increased or decreased in additional balancing attempts.  Thats what the full time economist is for. Resources are out there and just like with the currency, their appearance is carefully regulated.  Giant forests will exist making wood and endless resource, however from the start wood is fairly cheap.  Stone can be mined all over, however it is difficult to collect, shape and transport making more expensive.  Then there are gold diamonds iron ect. which are hard to find and appear in mines based on special algorithms.  The game will constantly be improved and will launch with hundreds to thousands of items which people can make and purchase.  Items can also be custom crafted either by the blacksmith or a painter which allows for unique items and helps create a competitive market.  There are in game "easter eggs" which can be found through experimentation so when a blacksmith gets it just right he can have super strong and lightweight armor, bound to his name which can create a buz about how special so and so's armor is.   Your help: How do we develop this, how do we get it out to the public, is it a good idea? What is wrong, what is right?  We were thinking kick-starter then employing a game development company.  How much does one need to develop a game like this?  Will it have public support?  How should you get the game.  Single purchase,  monthly subscription, in game purchases, purchase a character when character dies he is gone or some other ideas? Thanks

Topic by   |  last reply

Oodassault 4 Prototype

Well, here's my first attempt at making my V4. It's packed with features but unfortunately it isn't reliable yet so DON'T BUILD IT! I'm probably going to end up having to totally modify it to work so I wanted to get a picture before I ended up destroying it without hopes of getting it to work. Anywho, I don't care for block pistols but after giving it a shot, it's much easier to incorporate things like a pinlock this way. I'll start listing off the features because I don't want my entire picture to be comprised of yellow boxes. Starting at back working to the front: 1. Uses a new pin concept that I've been working with. There's a red connector connected to the pin, and then the yellows are connected as show to absorb the force. In theory, this should mean that because the force isn't transferred to the connection of the pin and the band holder, it shouldn't require any sort of other force suppressors to keep the pin in. However, it does make a loud clap so I'm probably going to try adding rubber bands around the connectors (but not around the pin) to quiet it. 2. I finally added a pin lock. I'm bleh on it though as it requires a broken orange in the barrel (I just have these pieces "naturally' so I figured most K'nexers would) and a band to ensure it works, but it works nonetheless and it adds almost no friction from the way it's on. 3. I stole KSC's idea for wheels. I'm not sure how much it'll help but I figured, eh, it doesn't hurt. 4. It uses the bullpup trigger idea from my PDR so that I can have a more compact weapon with good power. 5. The handle is from my new UMP and was added to give a more comfortable angle. It also is three layers with no white rods needed. It's decent as far as comfort goes. 6. Finally, it has a tilting mag that's right in front of the handle, so it's easy to access. The problem is I need to make a better pusher and figure out a lock for the new pusher. I think the barrel is part of it because I went back to the old blue rod style. The gun isn't reliable at all. 7. Oh yeah, almost forgot to mention that I'm experimenting with adjustable sights. I didn't make adjustable sights for this gun, per se, but rather I added multiple folding sights that are at the same height, taller than the front sight. This means that the closer the rear sight you use, the more of an angle the gun has. I doubt this'll be useful at all but there was room so I just threw them in there much like the wheels. And that's that. The feel of the weapon is pretty nice. It's balanced. But yeah, that's all I've got to say.

Topic by TheDunkis   |  last reply

Is this site a scam or is it good? Answered

The site  is: I just wanted to know because i sent them a song and they sent me some information and a contract. The email says: Congratulations! We are impressed with your song lyrics (BLANK) and I’m happy to tell you that we have accepted them to be set to music and Professionally Recorded! We have many credentials and accomplishments and we hope to add your song to our list. With sales, radio air-play, television, motion pictures and live performances a prolific songwriter can easily earn in excess of One Million Dollars! Please open and read the attached letter and contract. Our contract is for your benefit. It protects you as 100% owner of your words and provides that you receive all money that they may earn, in addition to, our "Cash Bonuses"! I look forward to a rewarding relationship. Respectfully, Ronnie James President, Horizon Music (615) 417-1945 The contract says:                                                                                      SONG RECORDING CONTRACT                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Date: May 25, 2011 Songwriter: Vincent Dolliole I would like for Horizon Music to produce a professional recording of my song listed below: (Blank)                                                                                                                                                     Horizon Music agrees: 1. To compose music for the Songwriter’s words and produce a professional song recording using five Nashville musicians and one Nashville singer. 2. To provide the Songwriter with two compact disc copies of the completed song within approximately three weeks from the date that their contribution is received in full for that song. 3. To submit the song to music industry professionals as Horizon Music deems appropriate. 4. To ensure that the songwriter is paid 100% of all money that may be earned by their words from sales, radio airplay, television, motion pictures, live performances and to pay $80,000.00 Cash Bonus for each song that reaches the Number One position and $20,000.00 Cash Bonus for each song that reaches the Top Ten position in the internationally recognized Billboard Magazine Chart. 5. To edit the Songwriter’s words only for phrasing and commercial time allotment and to protect them from plagiarism to the best of our ability.                                                                     Songwriter agrees: 1. To make a one-time contribution of $369.00 for the song listed above to be professionally recorded. 2. To make a partial payment of $_______________________ (minimum $123.00) and send the balance in payments that are convenient for my budget. I understand that I may use a personal check, money order or use my charge card below. 3. Please charge my: Name on Credit Card: ____________________________ Amount $_________________ Card Number: _______________________________________________ Expiration date: _______________ Check song style preference: ____ Country ____ Pop ____ Christian ____ Rhythm & Blues ____ Rock Print, sign and mail one copy of this contract with your contribution to: Horizon Music, P.O. Box 292006, Nashville, TN, 37229 If you do not have a printer, e-mail us your regular address and we will send you copies by regular mail. _____________________________________ _________________________________ Songwriter’s Signature Ronnie James, President

Question by VinceJDJ   |  last reply

TheDunkis's War Game Idea

*=UpdatedAlright well here's an idea I had for awhile and I've posted it in a comment but I wanted to post a topic to see how others like it. Going a long with my style of naming things I'll just call it the TDWG. Please note you may change any number that you like in here. These are just my recommendations. Here's how it works. You'll have any number of teams that will each get a split amount of knex pieces. You'll be given an amount of time say a half hour or so to build up-1. Defenses2. Weapons3. Any other extra things such as traps or ammo holders stuff like that*You'll have to use an honor system (until someone come's up with "Splody Armor") Basically you can set up an amount of health like 10, 25, or whatever and then you assign each type of bullet a damage amount. For example you could say-Green Rod=1Dark Grey=1.5White/Dark Grey+Green Rod= 2Orange connector= 2.5Blue Rod= 3Orange Connector+White Rod (What was going to be the ammo for my repeating crossbow)/+Dark Grey= 3.5Yellow= 4/5Red= 5/7Grey= 6/10The last three rods may be changed depending on your starting health. I didn't want people just making simple guns that shot grey rods to get an instant kill with little effort but I also didn't want to discourage snipers from wasting the extra pieces just to do like 1-2 extra damage.*There are now two different types of ammo: Piercing and Blunt. Piercing are any rounds that have the tip of a rod (or any bow styled tip). They need to hit you with the tip or they only do half damage/ whatever less amount but they also OHK vital organs (Head and heart) and if we ever develop armor they would "pierce" the armor and only have the damage reduced by so much. Blunt rounds would be any connector made bullet. These are like dark greys and orange connectors. They do the same damage no matter how they hit you. They don't "pierce" through the body or armor though. Notice that connectors take up more space in a magazine (even if you add a rod for the tip to change the ammo type to piercing). Also they are pretty much the only ammo a rbg gun can fire which are all almost semi-autos with decent range. I figured this made the ammo types balanced out.~Extras~-The host can select the amount of knex that is used. You could give each team only small amounts so that they use them wisely or give everyone a lot to spam the parts as much as possible.-Fix Mode Basically if any piece is busted off from it's place you are not allowed to reconnect it and must take it out and add a new piece. This requires you to save pieces in case your gun breaks. *-/Medic Mode You can choose one team member to be a medic. They then have to stand by the person for 10 seconds for each health point and if you allow it 30 seconds to revive the person who has second chance perk (which would give them only 10-20% of their entire health so that someone doesn't purposely die to regain more health)-Originality rule. You make it so no one is allowed to use guns on the "banned" list so that we don't see a flood of killerk pistols. You could also make it where they have to build purely their own designs.-Perks (yes I play CoD Too much) Basically each player gets to select one special ability they get for the match. Stopping power would add 1 point of damage to the original damage for each bullet. Martyrdom would let you throw an explosive within meters of yourself when you die. Second Chance would let you lie on the ground shooting your side arm for 10 seconds or whatever your "bleed out" time is set at. In this time you may be revived by a medic. Juggernaut will give you an extra 20% health or so.~Strategies~Alright so here are some things to remember/ take into account/ try out/ blah blah blah/ I'll stop making things up now/ and minute now/ ok I'm done.-You must analyze how much knex the host has given you to make sure you don't accidentally run out half way through building.-Yes bigger ammo means more damage but maybe the bigger pieces are limited? They also take more pieces to make magazines for and need more power for distance.*-Take into account the different ammo types. Rods may be more accurate but you have to make sure they hit the person right to deliver the most damage. Blunt ammo takes up more room but they do the same damage no matter what and can be used in rbg to deliver heavy support fire.-Remember think assembly line. Would it be easier for everyone to make their own guns? It would probably be smarter to have like a couple people make the guns and then another part of the team build a wall or armor for defense.-What kinds of guns should you use? Small guns like pistols generally only use small ammo and thus less damage but you can build more in a small amount of time. Snipers with bigger ammo and longer distances would make awesome weapons when appropriate but take time and pieces. Making support weapons like rubber band powered semi autos offer great support power because they fire fast and have decent power. They take ages to reload and take up many rubber bands so they would be best used in bases with protection. Make sure you have a wide and smart spread of jobs for your teammates. -Setting up mines and making grenades could offer great defensive and offensive support. Throw grenades on charging enemies to make them retreat. The are usually easy to make although the best ones are also rubber band consuming and you'll have a limit to those.-If playing in large areas or better yet, dark areas, it might pay off to have silent weapons so that they don't hear you firing at them.-Set up an explosive environment with knex bombs such as IaC war bombs or DX8 (Compact version coming soon) Suplodies to shoot at to make burst of pieces fly everywhere. Set them up in the middle of the war zone or in areas with a lot of cover to make a no man's land where no one can hide.-Yes if the gun fires shot as in more than one piece of ammo at a time then each piece does the same amount of damage. So if a gun shoots 5 green rods then for each green rod that hits they receive the damage of a green rod. If all 5 hit then they receive 5 points of damage. With the spread of the shot you can dish out a lot of damage on a group of foes. They do usually have short ranges though like real shotguns.-Got any more ideas?Anyways I know there are other guides for things like this but I'll make this just for my game.~Classes~AssaultBasically the ones who get to charge the enemy. They'll fight using generally the "assault" rifles or true shotguns. MedicThe almighty healer of the team. You'll need to protect them. You have the option of giving them the ability to self heal although they cannot fight during this time. They will generally be equipped with light weapons to run around such as pistols and "sub-machine guns" Sometimes can be partnered together with the Support Class.SupportThey usually have the fast firing guns or repeaters with good distance to help suppress the enemies. They usually stay back at base or from a far distance. Sometimes they can be partnered with the Medic class.SniperThis is an obvious class... You hang back either at the base or another sniper point and snipe others. Obviously they are usually equipped with rifles with high power and large calibers. SmithKind of a lowly class. They're in charge of making more weapons and fixing them+your defenses after the building stage is over and the battle has begun. With them being the only ones who can build after the building stage they are more valuable than you think.*DemolitionShotguns and explosives! Basically a more destructive close up version of the support class. Being the pyro-masters they are they can build more explosives with spare parts like the Smith ClassI'll think up other classes later.Personally if I were to be in a battle like this I would probably pick the support class or medic. I'd probably arm myself with the Stg44 and then I'd use the TDS2 or a similar weapon just something small that I can use to defend myself while trying to reload the weapon. I'd probably make a few splody like weapons to lug out.What would you guys be and use? Also what would be your strategies? Most importantly how do you like the idea/would you ever play a game like this? I was just bored and wanted to post this.

Topic by TheDunkis   |  last reply

Damaged disc(s) in the lower back - what to do and what not ;)

I got diagnosed with a damaged L5 and L6 disc in my lower back about 8 years ago and I thought writing about my experience might helps others facing the same problems. Keeping your back straight when lifting or moving heavy things was a thing I already learned and followed during my school times and as you might have guessed it helped to keep my back healthy - at the expense of my knees... But the knees are a different story, today I want to help you understand lower back problems caused by damaged or bulging discs and how this will affect your life. For me it began with a little shock. One day I got out of bed, wanted to grab something I dropped and got stuck half way up. Knowing that there are some nerves that can cause the same issue and that a simple injection will fix me I called a cab to be dragged laying down on the back seat to my GP. As you might have guessed his diagnosis was a bit worse than what I wanted to hear... Many painful hours and some scans later it was confirmed that my L5 and L6 disk have collapsed on one side and started to push on the nerves next to it. Funny side not that I never really checked was that my doc said not everyone has a L6 disk... Anyways, as with most first "accidents" involving your lower back the so called recovery was long and painful. Sure the painkillers help to numb the worst, the anti inflammatory stuff covers some pain too but actually I did not want the full pain free package deal. Pain is the bodies way to let you know something is wrong, so I kept the pain medication at a level where I got that information when making a wrong move... The first 6 months I was literally confined to my bed, the shower and the toilet. I tried to keep a position with the least amount of pain for as long as possible and for obvious reasons was not too happy that my body not only required food intake but also the disposal of the waste products - getting out of bed and onto the toilet meant experiencing huge amounts of pain every time. But after those 6 months I started to adjust, to the pain as well as what my limited body was now capable of in terms of movement. Needless to say that all this time of not doing anything really meant my scale started to scream tripple digets at me one day... Luckily around the same time my pain levels went to a level that allowed my to walk around 500-600 at slightly slower speeds than normal before the pain got too much. My doctor also got quite concerned about my blood work and body weight recommending to loose a lot if I every intent to get back to a more normal life. So I started to walk several times a day, no matter how bad the weather was, just a bit up and down the street. The distance got longer, the fitness a bit better and the pain levels a bit lower too. Using my old weight lifting belt to keep the back supported helped me a lot during these times, especially when driving or doing housework. During those times I was still on 6-8 panedine forte tablets (paracetamol and codein) plus 2-4 tablets of 20mg oxicontin and not happy about the last anyway. Despite the added levels of pain I started to reduce the level of oxicontin and started to exercise more. My focus was getting the core muscles stronger and to get better support for my back. Also started riding my bike again, although I had to replace it for a bigger model to allow me a more upright position with less stress on the lower back. The kilos started to tumble very slowly but I was already quite proud when I got bak to 90kg. :( Good thing was that I got motivation to continue as every kg I lost and every little bit more on distance I got out of my walks and rides without getting too painful also meant that my average pain level went down too. Two years after it all happened I got rid of the oxicontin completely and reached the 80kg mark. My doc was happy too, my blood work looking good but of course he still suggested to loose a few more kg. Being able to move around again also meant being able to work again and with that came more food, less exercise and a lot more stress. I did manage to hold my 80kg but after about 6 months or working I noticed my back problems started to limit me again. My back belt covered for me and I was able to keep going a while longer but in the end I got hit by another attack on my back. The diagnosis was not good at all as now on top of the pain goind through the back and leg I also hab numbness and a feeling like ants crawl over the leg and chew on it every few mm. As with most lower back "revenges" this one only needed strong pain killers for a few weeks until I was back to something more normal in terms of pain and movability. Sadly the ongoing side effects did not go away the way they did the first time. This meant especiall finding the right position to sleep with the least amount of pain was becoming a nightmare on it's own. Either you got pins and needles keeping you awake, you lost your feeling in the leg to the point where it becomes useless or the pain in the back is just stabbing you all the time. Starting some projects here on Instructables kept my mind busy and gave me some welcome distraction from the daily routine. Eventually I manged to find a job again that allowed me to have enough different movements with only a bit of lifting so things started get back to normal. My doc put me on some amitriptyline to help with the pain at night and although it took some time to get used to the stuff it really started to help after about two weeks. The job was only for a fixed term but it gave me back some confidence that not all is bad or lost. Life went on and I actually manged to get down to just 75kg and only used some painkillers once or twice a week if it was really bad. Then, a few weeks back I started to notice that the top of my foot and the outside of my leg felt different to touch, especially in the shower with some brush or rough sponge. Not being happy already I agreed to some new scans to check if the discs started to cause problems or if the nerves are just inflamed. You might have guessed already, the scan confirmed that my two discs desintegrated further putting more pressure on the already suffering nerves. With the "help" of some quite strong anti inflammatory stuff, cortisone and other meds my doc managed to get me back to "normal" but he also informed me that this won't last forever. The current outcome (without surgery but more on that later on) I have two choices to keep going: a ) I continue with pain killers and other meds to keep the problems at bay. b ) I limit myself to basically not doing anything involving the movemnt of my lower back, keep to a strict calory intake and hope for the best. The first option won't do me any good in the long run except liver, kidney and digestive problems. The second option will allow me some sort of a normal life at the expense of never finding a job to support me again. So once again we soldier on knowing that it will only make things worse as giving up and relying on social services is no option for me. Hoping that you might just had your first encounter with lower back injuries and pain I will give some advise on the things that helped my most so that you might not have to suffer as much I did and still do. So read on please... Diagnosed with a damaged or bulged disc in the lower back - what does it acutally mean? If you check all the available images of the human skelleton you will quickly notice one thing: Our lower back is not really straight and not designed to carry a lot weight when it is put on the wrong way or direction. Noone with a sane mind would use a support beam shaped like that but the human body adapted to this problem caused by changing from using all four limbs to walking on just two legs. The muscles and tendons in our back work in such a way that they support the fragile construction of discs and bones that keep us upright. Sadly modern life, personal decisions and only too often a busy work shedule prevent us from using our body the wa we should. Be it too much lifting, being far too short for your weight or simply laziness the factors causing our muscle to degrade are too many to count. But once you are in the worst pain you ever felt and your doc tells you that there are damaged discs you suddenly wish you had it all done differently years ago - trust me, I have been there and I have done it ;) Or it might be like in my case that a healthy and fit person just cracks one or more discs for no obvious reason. Either way it means you have to change your life to be able to keep going. Pain killers help to ignore the problem and pretend all is good but they should be used with great care as most are highly addictive and the long term side effects are no fun either. The one thing you must never forget is although being a life sentence it must not mean you will be crippled forever! What can I do once it happened to help the pain and my sanity? Nerve pain is one of the worst pains there is and there are only two more or less working medications to deal with it. The first meds are opiates to literally numb the pain but due to source of the pain very high levels are required until the body adapted to deal with the wrong pain information. The second group of meds that offer help and that are often used together with pain killers are old sty anti depressants like the try-cyclic (was that right?) amitriptyline. Back in the days they were not really good for the advertised job but one of the common side effects was how they worked on the pain centers of the brain. In much lower dosages as used to treat depressions these meds help the brain to deal with the pain caused by the damaged or pinched nerves. As a long term solution they should be prefered over opiates so that the strong pain killers are only taken when really needed. If you are anything like me than not getting enough sleep over weeks on end will take a toll on your mood. So being able to sleep at least a few hours in one go is a real thing to aim for unless you prefer to harm your body with pain killers. What is there to help with the pain so you can sleep? I know that you now already think you tried it all and that nothing good comes out of here but keep reading as you might be surprised... The first thing that jumps into mind when it comes to sleeping is a bed - be it you by yourself or with a partner. And here also is the first point to improve! In many countries a bed for two persons has one bad feature: A single mattress! Any movement from the person next to you is transfered more or less onto your body - you don't want that! So if you own a big bid that you share with someone think about investing into a bed with seperated matresses and support frames. That brings us to the mattress itself. A lot of people think being soft and flexible is a prefered thing, not so much if you have back problems. You want enough support to keep the back straight without everything feeling like you sleep on wooden floorboards. Keep in mind though that when changing from soft matress to something much firmer you will need to adjust. Really the best option is to seek professional advise in a bedding studio or similar. And no, you don't have to go to the most expensive place to buy a mattress, you just try them out, get expert advise and use that new knowledge to find a suitable mattress to fit the budget. With no offence meant: If you are over the normal weight you really want to loose the excess and that means selecting a new matrress on your weight goal and not on your current weight! It is also good to have adjustable supports under the mattress itself, this way you choose a thinner and bit softer mattress but still get the firmness your back requires - again seeking proffessional advise on the right combinations is highly recommended here! Ok, your bed is sorted but still there is that nagging pain in certain positions or the tingling in your leg preventing you to go to sleep. Believe it or not but what you do before you go to bed affects how you feel when you hit the sack. So sitting like a bag full of water in front of your TV until just manage to crawl into bed won't do you any good. Same for having your dinner and hour or two before bedtime... What does help is to move your body and to burn a few kalories! If it helps you use a weight lifting belt but just a walk around the block with a little bit of bending and flexing will get the tension out of muscles. A nice partner giving you a proper massage might help too but I doubt you will get one every night ;) And before you start to complain: Yes, I know there are times where simply can't do any exersise as you will be happy to make it to the toilet or to make some dinner. For those times and especially during times of experiencing higher than normal pain level ther is something you can do to ease the pain. Some doctors will tell you but a lot of them wont: Cold actually helps to numb the pain and the symptoms like tingling, pins and needles or the constant stabbing when you made a slightly wrong move. But you need to apply the cold in the right way to get the benefit! The key here is timing. Using real ice in a suitable wrapper, so no vegetables or meat, you apply the cold where the damage is - not where the pain is! You want to cool down the area around the damaged discs for about 5 to max 10 minutes. Put the icepack back and repeat every hour! Nothing will happen after the first two or three round but then you will notice improvement - how much depends on the individual and extend of the damage of course. When I have bad days I usually start around mid-day and keep going every hour until either the pain is gone or it is time to drag myself to bed. The worst you can do is o apply heat! A warm (not hot!) bath can help to ease some muscular tension but hot packs or heat lamps will make your pain get worse quickly. Just imagine and inflammation somehwere else, the area is already hot and painful so you really don't want to add more heat, do you? ;) What can be done to keep mobile and improve? As said earlier the key is support for the damaged areas and of course a limitation in movements that put additional stress on the damaged dics - this includes weight, be it from your own body in terms of excess fat or simply be lifting things! You will have times of no pain and where you think you are 20 years younger again but never use that as an excuse to think your discs have improved! Once damaged they stay damaged and everything putting more stress on you dsic(s) will make things worse. A friend of mine loves to play golf - if you have back problems you want to find a different hobby! Coming from three digits I can tell you without being offensive in any way that being fat means having problems that you don't want to add to your list caused by a bad back! So like it or not you really need to loose all the excess you can find wobbling around your body! For me every single kg I lost was a step forward to being more fit and being able to more things for longer before my pain got too much. And no, there is no excuse for keeping those kilos if are able to leave the bed for more than a few hours. Turst me, you will feel better, need far less medication and like yourself much better once the benfits of less weight kick in! Exercise is the key to getting your life back to a more or less normal level! If you are a "first offender" than you have a good chance that a change of habbit and maybe job will make sure it stays a single incident and that you can have a pain free life after the initial recovery! Getting a higher core strenght and overall fitness level helps your body to heal but most importantly gives you the option to gain muscles where needed to support your back. You might think there is nothing you can do if you are in pain and can't really move anyway but if you do then you are wrong. I am not a personal trainer but I found a lot of ways to use my muscles without using my back for it... There is enough info on the web for exercise methods without any training gear and if you think "really hard" you might notice you can use a lot of positions to exercise your arms and legs without stressing you back ;) And even for the back you can do good without damage: If you lay flat on your belly you just slightly lift your arms and legs off the ground - this will need the support of the muscles in lower back! No need to actuall lift anything high, just enough to only slightly bend your back up - you might not even notice any bending at all. What you don't want is exercise like running, jogging or even contact sports, really nothing that might force your back to move more than what is possible without stressing your discs... Better fitness and more strenght means you will get better flexibility and movablity but never let that fool you into thinking the damage is gone! I can not stress enough than even if you don't need medication and feel fine a single wrong move can make all null and void! What are the options if despite loosing weight and excercise my pain is not going away or syptoms get worse? Well, we can ignore it, we can hope it all goes away but the sad reality for most is that sooner or later you reach the point where the damage is too much too handle. The first one to tell you that your lower back is now due for a pit stop is your foot. The pain might be more than what you ever experienced the pins and needles might drive you mad but as long as it just that you are fine, really :( For me it was during some light gradening when I got my "first hit" so to say. I brushed it off thinking I tripped over something that got kicked away while I struggled to keep my balance. A few days later I noticed that I had to put some extra efford to prevent my toes from scraping the floor while walking. It was there when I also realised that most of the feeling on top of my foot was gone. Same story for the outside of my calf by the way... For me, thanks to a non working medical system and no private health cover the story ends here... Since you might have more luck: Modern medicine has gone a long way when it comes to minimal invasive operations and they are the key to performing operations that otherwise would be impossible or require months of recovery. For the "treatment" of damaged discs in the lowest part of the spinal area the old conventional treatment was to fuse the bones together using some steel or titanium rods. To give the patient relief the dmaged disc was more or less mutilated to free the damaged nerve(s). Several weeks of bed rest and great loss in movement was the price to pay for less pain. Today we are much further and can use micro instruments to perform operations deemed impossible only a few years ago. One of the operations with the greatest and fastest recovery rates is actually quite smart if you think about it: A small portion of bone is removed to give more room for the nerve and to aid in the healing - without fusing the bones! The next step is remove the part of the disc that is bulging out - without removing the strong support layers around it, only the mashed up bits are taken away. The patient is literally pain free ( from the back pain) right after the operation. Healing takes about 2-3 weeks but by then even the pain from the cut bones will be gone. Some health insurers see these operations as a means to get a person back to work and into a normal life, so they support it. Others use simple math and decide pain killers are cheaper... In any case you should seek professional advice from your doc and health care provider before it is too late! Diagnosed and operated early can mean you get the option to have an almost normal life again, or at least a few years of being able to enjoy life much more than before the operation. There are of course risks involved and an opration might not be an option for every case but knowing your options and what form of treatment might be available for you can be reall life changing... Ok, but what's the worst that can happen to me if a simple operation is no longer an option? One of the first things you will notice after loosing control and feeling for your foot is a more or less contant need to go the toilet. Despite having an empty bladder or just using the toilet minutes ago you can develop the feeling that you really must go the toilet again. Sadly this is only the beginning... If things get worse you can loose control over your bladder and bowel. Simply put it means you no longer control the muscular tension required to keep you vital openings closed when required. Usually at this point your doctor will recommend to operate one way or the other. For you, if affected, this means you have to decide between the risk of an operation that might only last for a few months or years or wearing adult nappies... If you already had one or more operation or the damage to the disc(s) is too severe it can mean that there is no other option but to fuse the bones into place to prevent further damage and allow for some healing. But trust me, for your doc to even consider an operation you need to loose all the weight you can! What are my limitations after having my back bones fused together? Well, as it reads you will be fused together, meaning you level of movement will be severly limited. It also means you beep all the time at the airport security or when entering a court or other place with metal detectors - but that is the least of the worries I guess... The main problem after such operations is getting back to a life as normal as possible. You get a lot of help in rehab and will learn what you can and can't do, plus of course how to keep you fit despite these limits. Some people cope really good with the new limitations but others struggle a lot. This especially true if before the person was really active and doing a lot in terms of sport and outdoor activities. Learning to adapt to the changes allows you have many more years without too much pain or limitations. Sure, Golf is out of the question, playing soccer or riding a normal bike too but life goes on and being a part of it is always better than just looking at it through your bedroom window ;) In any case giving up should not be an option for you! No matter how bad it looks when the pain is too much, there are always more good days than bad days ahead of you! Go ahead, share your experience with back pain, what you do keep going and handle the pain. Share you information about what treatments helped you the most and share how you recovered to where you are now. Be an inspiration for those facing what we already went through! Real back pain based on nerve damage will only be understood by someone who experienced it - what did you do to make the people around you understand it? Whatever helped you might help someone wha just started to learn how to deal with damaged discs and back pain, so sharing is caring! ;)

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