Last Saturday night, Carla (my wife and editor-in-chief of CRAFT
magazine) and I were judges in the first Dorkbake challenge
, held at Machine Project in Echo Park, Los Angeles. A few weeks earlier, entrants who paid the $13.37 (heh heh) entry fee were issued a 100-Watt light bulb to use as the heating element for a home made oven.
The other two judges were Tom Jennings (an old friend and geek / artist / trailblazer extraordinaire), and Jonathan Gold, who writes the world's greatest restaurant column, Counter Culture, for The LA Weekly.
It wasn't easy choosing the best oven out of the eight that made it to the finals. Each oven was unique: a cardboard box with foam insulation, a disk drive enclosure, a Mac Classic, a terra cotta pot, an insulated bag dressed like a Viking opera singer, a cooler with a vacuum pump, a silver case, and a flying saucer. I sampled food cooked in each oven -- everything, from chicken with cheese and tomato sauce, to chocolate mint star cake with a cream filling, was delicious.
In the end, we chose Eric and Jodi Kurland's (AKA "Team Rosswell") elegant and playful flying saucer oven, which had a ring of blinking LEDs and a retrofuturistic tripod. Eric wore a gorilla suit and a home-made spaceman helmet with a robot voice changer, and his deadpan description of the oven was the highlight of the evening. Here's a video of Eric describing his and Jodi's oven.
My Flickr set of Dorkbake photos
Eric was dressed up like The Robot Monster from 1953. (Thanks, Coop!)
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
With the cacophony of an election year ablaze with unparalleled drama being fought on the front lines of Twitter, we find ourselves slowing down and staring at it like a bad accident. The need for escapist relief is perhaps more dire than usual right now. This fall, if it’s drama you crave, but the Hillary […]
I’ve never really felt the need to purchase a smartwatch because a lot of them aren’t very functional, but at just shy of $30, the Martian Notifier Smartwatch was worth checking out. For that low of a price, it actually does feature an impressive amount of functionality, and comes in handy when you don’t want to be carrying around your […]
Geek Fuel is a subscription delivery service that caters to those of us that love comics, gaming, and general geek culture. Every month, Geek Fuel will assemble a box of goodies with a value of $50 or over. The specific items are a mystery, but you’ll always get an exclusive t-shirt not found anywhere else, a full […]
If you like to DIY and you like helicopters, you’re going to really love the Flexbot Hexacopter Kit. This copter blows traditional models out of the water: it includes everything you need to actually build your own hexacopter, and then pilot it like a pro, too.The construction is complicated enough to give you a challenge, […]