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Here are some recent video clips from George Sanger and Jeri Ellsworth, aka The Fatman and Circuit Girl. In the first vid, Jeri attempts to build a Sprinthariscope, a tool for viewing radiation, using the radioactive Americium from a smoke detector. She also attempts to pronounce Sprinthariscope and Americium. All three attempts fail, but it makes for an entertaining and educational video.

In the second segment, Jeri has the entire Fatman and Circuit Girl crew in hysterics when she shows off her drive bay heating and cooling cupholder which employs a Peltier thermo-electric junction she’s overclocked to 16MHz using three early 8-bit microprocessors, a Z80, a 6502, and a 8088. Geek hilarity ensues.

Fatman and Circuit Girl

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor for Boing Boing and WINK Books. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.


  • ubiq_01

    Starting the day with videos like these – makes my day a productive and inspired one. Great – many thanks!

  • tony

    humm…right they are “low” level radiation and can be stopped by a piece of paper, that i remember from school physics, but i also remember that they are highly ionizing and can penetrate a few skin cells deep and i also remember that their mutagenic power is some what 100 times more than any other of the radioactive particles.
    Playing with it and no gloves or just careless as “circuit girl”?? does is little humm… careless? and whats more i wonder if there in the USA you’ll have problems with some kind of federal agency and showing around that this things are radioactive.

    On the other hand smoke detectors work when smoke gets into the alpha radiation chamber and its thick enough to stop the particles from bouncing of a receiver and that makes the alarm go off.

    Don’t get me wrong, i love cracking up all this king of goodies and zapping myself “dangerously” with things that have a clear “danger” seal but… learning your physics won’t make any harm. Maker or Hacker with no brains…

  • Sam

    No ring on her finger? What’s this world coming to?