Greg Needel

Feb 212013


This coming weekend teams of Makers, Artists, Students, Programmers, Problem-Solvers, Designers, Performers, Filmmakers (and many others) from around the globe will gather, physically and digitally, to “deconstruct” the world around them. Their common goal: rethink existing objects, genres, and ideas…and create something new.

I am running a team at the Dallas Makerspace, so if you are in Dallas and would like to join you are more then welcome to come over. If you just want to watch the fun from home we will be live streaming/blogging right here, so stay tuned.

These events always have fun results such as the Dizzy Fling, so come and be part of the innovation.

Nov 282012


Since the world has gone nuts with this 550 million dollar powerball, I figure I will share my thoughts on the lottery.


  • The chances of winning are 1 in 175,223,510.
  • Each ticket is an independent variable only way to increase your odds are to buy more tickets.
    • If you spend $34645 on tickets you will increase you chances to 1 in 10,000.
  • The higher the jackpot the more likely it is that someone will win.
    • it is also more likely that you will have to split the prize, as the higher number of players also increases the likelihood of having the same numbers as someone else.
  • If you win and take the lump sum (around ~360.2million), you will have to pay 90 million in federal taxes + whatever you state takes
    • darn you only get to keep around 231 million. (darn)
  • If you take that 231 million and just put it in a regular bank account at 1% interest, you will make around $9092.26 per day in interest. (compounded quarterly and divided over 365)
  • You would become the ~2,169 richest person in the USA
  • $.30 for every dollar of tickets purchased goes to schools (in most states), This lottery is worth $311 Million for education.
  • You are more likely to do any of the following things then win
    • Odds of bowling a 300 game: 11,500 to 1
    • Odds of getting a hole in one: 5,000 to 1
    • Odds of being an astronaut: 13,200,000 to 1
    • Odds of winning an Olympic medal: 662,000 to 1
    • Odds of injury from fireworks: 19,556 to 1
    • Odds of injury from shaving: 6,585 to 1
    • Odds of injury from using a chain saw: 4,464 to 1
    • Odds of injury from mowing the lawn: 3,623 to 1
    • Odds of fatally slipping in bath or shower: 2,232 to 1
    • Odds of drowning in a bathtub: 685,000 to 1
    • Odds of being struck by lightning: 576,000 to 1
    • Odds of being killed by lightning: 2,320,000 to 1
    • Odds of being murdered: 18,000 to 1
    • Odds of getting away with murder: 2 to 1
    • Odds of catching a ball at a major league ballgame: 563 to 1
    • Odds of becoming a pro athlete: 22,000 to 1
    • Odds of getting a royal flush in poker on first five cards dealt: 649,740 to 1


I really do hope that you win so….may the odds be ever in your favor.

Nov 112012

As many of you saw from my facebook post last night my piece of art sold for $325, and I can now cross off “sell a piece of art” from my bucket list. I was required to keep my art under wraps until the event (not sure why, but I obliged). So here it is

I was given an 18″ x 18″ piece of plywood and with the help of Christina and the laser cutter at the dallas makerspace I built “circular logic.” I had the idea about 2 weeks ago to make a representation of how thinking and logic gets the gears turning in your head. Being me, I took a very literal approach to the art. The brain was designed in adobe illustrator and then printed 1:1 and used as a reference and then it was painted onto the board. I designed the gears to have a perfect 1″ center to center distance so that I could make a few sizes and adjust on the fly the layout. I laser cut a perforated drill guide which had the correct increment spacing for the gears which I used for the layout, I started with gear 1 then measure to the next gear and drill; move the guide to the new hole and continue, with this method I was able to make a cool gear train where everything spins smoothly with just a drill. Originally I was thinking of making a paper pattern for the axle locations and drilling but what I came up with allowed for each hole to take up the tolerance of the system. I am going to play with this method more in the future as you can do some fun layouts, and I think I could build some actual functional (robots) gearboxes with this method in without having a mill or cnc machine. For the axles I used t-nuts hammered into the back of the board and just 1/4-20 bolts. The hardest part of this was ensuring that the bolts were loose enough to allow everything to spin free, while not allowing too much slop (the largest gear has almost a 8″ dia), I did this all by hand and then red loctited** them in place.

As I mentioned in my previous post the piece was built as part of an organization called art conspiracy and this event specifically benefited “Girls Rock Dallas.” Girls Rock Dallas is currently offering a one week summer day camp to girls ages 8-17, providing music instruction in guitar, vocals, drums and bass, as well as life-skill workshops. The campers will form bands and learn how to write original songs together to perform at the camp’s showcase. As a beneficiary of Art Con 8, they will get closer to their goal of doubling the enrollment for the 2013 camp.

I am going to ditch my engineering dreams and become a full time artist after this event? Probably not, but I am more than willing and hope to be selected to participate again next year.

Stats: 150 pieces were for sale, the average sale price was $219.51, The max sale was $1050, the total amount raised through art $29,635(not counting admissions), My piece was the 28th highest selling piece 🙂

There are some more photos of the event available here.

**note: from experience previous to this build loctite reacts with acrylic and makes for a bad situation. If you have to use both together always put the loctite on the nut and not the bolt and don’t ever get any on the plastic.

Oct 292012

I was selected to be an artist for the ArtCon 2012 Event! The event features artists from all over the Dallas area to create a piece which will be auctioned off for charity.

The art is all created on a single day on the provided “board” (an 18″ x 18″ piece of primed wood). This year the art day is November 3rd and the Auction event is November 10th.

I will post a preview of my art sometime later this week.

You can check out all the details over on their site or their facebook page

Check out some videos from last year’s event.