Nathan made this "Counting Box" for his son -- I love LED displays set into hand-crafted wood boxes, and the simplicity of this toy makes it a nice blend of traditional toymaking craftsmanship and high-tech electronics:
My son—now four, but three when I conceived this project—loves numbers and counting. More than a few times I’ve peeked in at night to find him asleep with a calculator in one hand and a flashlight in the other. And one of his favorite things to do with the calculator is incrementing “1 + = = = = = = = = = =” until he can’t keep his eyes open any more. I decided to build him a dedicated machine that would do nothing but count up and count down.
My initial concept was simple: a seven segment LED display so it could be read in the dark, a rotary switch in the middle to choose the value to operate with, and big buttons for adding and subtracting. Green makes the number get larger and red makes the number get smaller.
Behold, the Blue Marlin, a “semi-submersible heavy lift ship” that is capable of hoisting and transplanting other, full-sized ships (that is ships as big or bigger than a US Destroyer-class vessel) all around the oceans.
Mister Alphabet is an action-figure designed to cleverly bend and contort into every letter of the Latin alphabet; the website is long on trademark warnings and arty Instagram photos, but short on details, like, “Is this an object of commerce?” and “If so, where does one buy it?” (via Kottke)
Phone chargers usually only deliver a few volts of juice at a feeble amperage, but they’ll deliver a lot more if you give them the chance. The BBC writes that a UK man died in the bathtub after being shocked by a charger connected to an extension cord. Richard Bull, 32, died when his iPhone […]
What could be more fun than a slingshot that shoots tiny airplanes? A slingshot that shoots tiny glowing airplanes of course! These toy planes are outfitted with ultra-bright LEDs, so you can fly all night without losing them in the trees.Whether you are a regular-sized child, or an overgrown adult one, these light-up flyers offer […]
You know the drill. You go to the dentist and they ask you how often you floss. You lie through your teeth and say, “every day!” (Bonus points if you have some cilantro or chives stuck in your gums from lunch). You don’t want to keep up the charade any longer, but rubbing that tiny strand […]
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has done outstanding work packing a fully capable desktop computer into a package the size of a deck cards—especially one that only costs $35. But if you already have a working laptop, why should you care? Oh, how much you have to learn. Besides operating well as a compact digital media hub, […]