In Kottayam, a spice trading city in the southwest state of Kerala, India, summer means rain—and lots of it, averaging 2.7 meters of the wet stuff each year. From June through September, monsoon waters cool down sweaty bicyclists, and the winds wreak havoc on foot passengers’ umbrellas. But in Kottayam, they don’t throw away broken umbrellas, engineering professor David Kraemer tells me.
David lived in India for six months last spring, researching ocean wave energy conversion and teaching at the Indian Institute of Technology at Kharagpur—8,000 miles from his home university in Platteville, Wisconsin. Walking around the streets of Kottayam during a visit south, he happened upon an umbrella repairman. The man sat on the ground, umbrella in his lap, mending a bent rib with nimble fingers and wooden tools. It was only spring, not yet monsoon season, but he seemed to have a little business—nobody wants to be without a working umbrella when the rains hit. David was pleased to see someone spending so much time on an item that many treat as disposable. He explained, “So often I’ve seen broken umbrellas crammed in the trash cans on a subway platform here in the US.”
One of the reasons we really like iFixit is they’re a great example of being a cause *and* and a business.
We are angry, frustrated, and in pain because of the violence and murder of Black people by the police because of racism. We are in the fight AGAINST RACISM. George Floyd was murdered, his life stolen. The Adafruit teams have specific actions we’ve done, are doing, and will do together as a company and culture. We are asking the Adafruit community to get involved and share what you are doing. The Adafruit teams will not settle for a hash tag, a Tweet, or an icon change. We will work on real change, and that requires real action and real work together. That is what we will do each day, each month, each year – we will hold ourselves accountable and publish our collective efforts, partnerships, activism, donations, openly and publicly. Our blog and social media platforms will be utilized in actionable ways. Join us and the anti-racist efforts working to end police brutality, reform the criminal justice system, and dismantle the many other forms of systemic racism at work in this country, read more @ adafruit.com/blacklivesmatter
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.