Rachel James of CBS Interactive's Smart Planet interviewed me about making stuff around the house.
You are currently working on a new book. What’s it about?
I haven’t seen a lot of cool project books for girls. My girls aren’t that interested in the kind of crafting books that are out there right now. So this one is going to have fun projects for dads and daughters together, which is rare. A lot of the time the projects are fun for dads, while the girls don’t find them that interesting, or vice versa.
So one of the projects we’re working on now is a kitty cam. It’s a way to put a miniature video camera on a cat’s collar. Then when your cat runs around, either outside or in the house, you get the kitty’s eye view. We have one cat who likes to jump up in trees and on the roof. So we get all these great scenes from our cat.
That’s great. Where does the camera come from?
You can buy these tiny cameras that look like a key fob. They’re smaller than a Tic Tac box and cost about eight dollars. We’re still working on the rig.
Tell me about your process of inventing. It sounds like you do a lot of this work in collaboration with your family. Do you come up with the ideas on your own?
My daughters and I come up with the ideas, and my wife gives us great feedback on everything. For example my younger daughter Jane and I are writing a program for a retro arcade-style video game. We’re using a program called Scratch, developed at MIT’s Media Lab. Jane and I have written the program together and she’s created the art for it. A little character collects different kinds of droplets that fall out of the sky – some are bad for you, some give you bonus skills, etc… We collaborate with all of our different projects.
Q&A: Mark Frauenfelder, editor-in-chief at MAKE magazine, founder of Boing Boing
My friend John Edgar Park made this cool MIDI controller in a pizza box with a conductive ink surface.
Chemist George Zaidan makes homemade toothpaste using the same ingredients in commercial toothpaste. It includes abrasives, humectants, sweeteners, flavors, foaming agents, thickeners and binders, sodium fluoride, and a few other things. He uses chalk, xylitol, peppermint oil, and glycerine.
The October issue of Make is focused on making props and costume armor (natch!) and on the website, master propmaker Shawn Thorsson shares an elaborate and fearsome set of instructions for making your own gigantic, embossed battle-axe.
When you’ve had a long day and it’s time to unwind, there’s a lot you can do to relax: drink some tea, take a shower or even read a book. But there’s one thing that’s essential to a comfortable night’s rest—and that’s investing in some really good sheets. Enter Bamboo Bed Sheets. These quality sheets retail for $120, but […]
The Avantree Powerhouse 4 Port Fast USB Charging Station brings high quality, high power, and still keeps your work space or home looking neat and organized. The best part about this charger is its capacity. It comes packing 4 USB charging sockets and a powerful 4.5A/22.5W output.. Its smartport technology means you don’t have to worry about frying your battery, either—it […]
With this comprehensive course in App & Game Development for iOS and Android, you’ll be able to take full advantage of this career opportunity without committing to going back to school full time. You’ll learn how to build immersive, interactive games and apps from start to finish using Python, C#, Unity, and HTML—some of the most in-demand programming […]