is a terrific youth media organization that teaches journalism, production, and tech to underserved young people aged 14-24. I hang out at their Oakland studio some and always have a great time. The kids are very bright, curious, passionate, and really funny. And they crank out great content for National Public Radio, local stations, and of course streaming online. Recently, we were talking about how the media can help bring science to life by conveying how wonderful and weird the natural and engineered world can be. So we came up with Brains & Beakers, a series where I bring in a scientist or engineer to hang out at Youth Radio for a couple hours doing demos, presenting, and answering questions. The students document the whole thing and produce media from it.
For the first Brains & Beakers, my friend Tom Zimmerman
was kind enough to join us. Tom is a research scientist at IBM Almaden who is probably best known as the inventor of the Nintendo Powerglove. (I profiled
Tom in MAKE Vol. 4) These days, Tom's still an avid maker who builds things like electronic drum kits from plumbing parts, cheap microscopes for backyard biology, and a slew of other fun projects. Tom had a blast at Youth Radio, jamming on his PVC drum kit with the students and exploding a plastic bottle filled with hydrogen. Check out Youth Radio for video and audio from the evening. As their t-shirt says, "I hecka love Youth Radio." "Brains and Beakers: Inventors and Explosions!" (Thanks, Lissa Soep and Erik Sakamoto!)
This gadget does exactly as promised: it looks like a thumbdrive (sort of) and fries the circuitry of any computer it’s plugged into. It’s made from camera flash parts, is charged with a standard AA battery, and delivers a 300V zap of DC destruction to the port for all your USB-murdering needs. Note that this […]
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 […]
Holiday shopping is in full swing, and the Striiv Touch is one of the best gift ideas I’ve landed on. Its simple design works for females and males, and its wide range of features makes it suitable for even the non-fitness enthusiasts in your life.Unlike traditional fitness trackers, the Striiv Touch also acts as a smartwatch. It […]
The Pocket Tripod PRO had massive Kickstarter success in 2013, raising almost $85,000 in a single month. But this isn’t just another case of pre-release product hype. This ingenious little device folds out from a credit-card-shaped plastic slab into a sturdy stand with a surprisingly wide range of motion. In portrait orientation, your phone slides […]
Loot Crate is a totally different kind of subscription service that mails subscribers monthly boxes filled with curated geek, pop culture, and gamer paraphernalia. Its cult following awaits a box every month filled with everything from bobble heads to T-shirts to special edition collectibles. But nothing gets Loot Crate fans as excited as the limited […]