How did I get here?
Two weeks ago, I got 50€ in Bitcoin from someone whom I sold a Pokémon Go account to. I already had quite some experience with cryptocurrencies. In 2013 I mined bitcoin during the time before ASIC miner became a thing. It was pretty profitable to mine bitcoins with a regular gaming PC. I lost interest in mining when you had to go ASIC or multi-GPU to be able to make any profit. I came back in 2015 to trade Bitcoin with friends who didn't want to go through the hassle of registering on Bitcoin trading platforms and waiting days for verification and transfer times. Since I had already everything set up and knew all the basics, I helped them set up wallets and gave them the knowledge they needed to be freed into the wild world of cryptocurrencies.
After that, I lost my interest again because the only real use for Bitcoins that I could think of was Bitcoin trading and buying weed on Silkroad; both way too stressful for me. I mean, who wouldn't be stressed out if the mailman delivers a package that reeks like weed?
So two weeks ago, I had Bitcoins again, due to Pokémon Go (click here for my story on that). So I used the opportunity to read in on everything I've missed so far. Then I stumbled across a very interesting blog post on bitcoinblog.de about Steemit. I was intrigued by the idea that a social platform and a cryptocurrency would finally be combined. I simply registered. At first, to just look around and to see what it's really about. And here I am. It's now just over one week later and I am hooked.
There are so many reasons for that.... The content is amazing, the way the blockchain and the content are tied together, how Steemit is open source, that there are already so many beautiful 3rd party applications, and of course, how the system encourages people to make the best content and the best comments/conversations they can.
I'm Constantijn, but people call me Coco. Please just call me Coco. For some reason, that's the name I really identify with. I am a student of B.Sc. Environmental Sciences in Tübingen, Germany. I am currently working on my Bachelor's thesis on high-frequency, multi-channel data collection for UAVs and drones. The main purpose of my work is, to be able to measure turbulent energy exchange by Kolmogorov in the lower atmosphere, using automated drones. For that, we measure temperature, pressure and wind speed at 3000 to 5000 samples per second. It's very exciting and I absolutely love it.
During my free time, I also do quite a bit with electronics. Especially with microcontrollers. I could write an entire essay about what's so great about microcontrollers but the main reason why I love them is that they are very stupid, yet very useful. Programming microcontrollers is straight-forward and after programming, you end up with a perfect slave that does exactly what you want it to do, without worrying about any background processes. I have done projects like making Pong (the game) with a diy LED matrix, building a 3D printer out of scrapped inkjet printers and I built an electronic skateboard that could go well over 50km/h and was controlled by an Xbox controller. The last project seemed like a lot of fun at first but it turned out that it was dangerous as hell since the motor I used had way too much torque and would slingshot the board out from under my feet if not handled carefully. Also, the cheap lithium-ion cells that I got from China caught fire twice due to the high discharge rates and the extremely low quality of the cells themselves.
Here's a timelapse of my first ever 3D print. The print quality has gotten much better since but I was so happy to finally peel of my first print after about 50 failed prints.
I learned quite a bit about skateboards and longboards during the electronic skateboard project so I decided to build my own board.
The board turned out pretty good so many friends asked me to build one for them as well. Since I wasn't really proud of my first board myself and I didn't want to deliver a board that I wasn't proud of, I stepped up my game. The first board was made of sheets of birch plywood. Those sheets were then glued together in a press that I made out of books and planks. The weight that was needed to press the board came from a couch that i put on top of it.
For the next boards, I invested in proper Canadian maple veneers, very strong epoxy, rolls of fiberglass and carbon fiber in different thicknesses and weaves, a vacuum pump and vacuum bags to build a vacuum press and proper polyurethane lacquer. This set me back quite a bit, financially, but it had become really just a big hobby of mine to build longboards, so I didn't mind to just sell the boards to friends and break even. The main point of building longboards is, that I am able to just shut everything off. I build them in the basement where I have no internet and no phone reception. I don't even hear it if someone rings the doorbell. It's the time where I can just be for myself and create pieces art, that people actually ride on.
Photography & Digital Arts
It started out about 5 years ago when I wanted to buy a point-and-shoot camera to finally be able to capture some valuable moments of my life. So I went online and looked at some cameras. Very soon I came to the conclusion that the pictures of point-and-shoot cameras all look like garbage. There was no way I was going to spend all of my hard earned money into a camera like that. But what was the secret about nice pictures? Up until then I really thought that being a photographer meant showing off your useless brick of a camera and asking ridiculous amounts of money for snapping a picture (I know... shame on me). So I didn't buy a point and shoot and instead began learning about photography. I found the website 500px where I learned a lot by simply looking at the metadata of the pictures I really liked to see what camera/lens combination and which settings the photographer used. A year later I finally bought myself a Canon 600D. I also invested a crazy amount in to a proper 50mm prime lens, which still is my go-to lens. Anyway. I am getting nostalgic again. Paying all the money I have for one thing really meant that I am truly in love with it. No adult will probably spend all they have on one thing, except when it's taxes, but I doubt that anyone loves paying taxes.
I don't want to spam with all the pictures I take and make this post unnecessarily long, so if you're interested you can see some of my work in my 500px gallery.
Just recently I was introduced into digital arts when I wanted to have a high quality vector image to screen-print on to one of my longboards. I decided to give it a go and really liked the outcome:
I also like to draw funny animated gifs as seen in this post and my last post which was entirely built around those gifs.
Well, i like riding longboards... obviously. But I don't really consider that a sport. Although it is very exhausting, it's more like a form of transportation for me. So besides from that, I do trampoline. Yes, I know, it's a pretty uncommon sport and it probably reminds you of the round black trampolines that people have in their gardens for the children to play and break their arms. Well, our trampolines are rectangular and make you jump higher but other than that, it's about the same thing. We get together twice a week to do all sorts of flips. Sometimes we also go outside and try to do parcours or gymnastics. It's a beautiful sport because you really get to know your body. It also trains your coordination which makes you more in control of you body when doing other sports.
Since I live in the southern part of Germany near the Alps, winter sports are a big part of my life. The first time I went skiing, I was 4 years old. Around 6 years ago, I started snowboarding as well. I love doing both, so the decision whether to take my snowboard or my skis in the morning when I go up the mountain is the hardest decision ever.
The last hobby that I want to present to you is the hobby that I share with both my brother and my dad. Just because of that, it is already my most important one. We don't get to see each other often because my father lives in Spain, but every time my brother and I go to visit him, we go straight to the track to go motorbike racing. It started out when we were still very young; my brother was 9 and I was 14 when we got a small Chinese motocross bike. We had a lot of fun together, finding places to ride, repairing the bike together (it was a cheap Chinese bike, so almost all of our time went in to repairing it), learning different riding techniques, talking about it and dreaming about it. I think it is amazing how such a thing can really bond a relationship over such a long distance.
I myself am now riding a 1998 Honda Hornet and my brother is just doing his driving licence and will soon be driving with me not only on the track, but on the road. I really can't wait for that.
There are so many stories and cool things I've learned that I always wanted to share somewhere but I didn't really know where, since my interests are so diverse. For me, Steemit is the perfect place to finally share what interests me to a community that seems to really like those same topics as I do.