I'm in Toronto visiting my family with my daughter, Poesy. I was intrigued by Makerkids, a makerspace for children that does after-school and summer programs for kids who want to hack toys, use the woodshop, learn Arduino and electronics, use Minecraft to product Printcraft 3D prints on the Makerbot Replicator, and more. Andy Forest, the space's co-founder, was gracious enough to show us around and to get Poesy started on hacking a robot, and to get her cousin Jaxon working on disassembling a Wall-E robot and changing its arms and such. It was a great day -- and it's a great space -- and Andy has put up a blog post about the day.
My daughter Zhen figured out how to make candy flowers, and kept us well fed with sugar.
Next to arrive, Alex brought with him a huge box of speakers. He loves taking things apart, so he brought the parts in to see what he could make. He ended up making a speaker box out of wood and wiring it up to our stereo!
Audrey arrived with her brother Wilder and a plan – she didn’t want to slip on the ice any more! So after designing some strap-on ice cleats on the whiteboard, she got right to work. Next, she moved to the wood shop. She mastered the jigsaw to cut out some plywood soles and drilled holes in it for the ice-cleat screws. She’s coming back next week to finish it off.
First time visitor Arbor produced a huge list of crazy ideas and narrowed down to making a light-up head. She learned to solder and wired up LEDs, batteries, resistors and switches like a champ!
We also had a maker kid creating a video game with the Alice software. I peered over his shoulder and it looked interesting!
Friday Open Shop
The Mercator projection maps we’re all familiar with dates to a 16th-centry Flemish cartographer who wanted to emphasize colonial trade routes; as a result, it vastly distorts the relative sizes and positions of the world’s continents, swelling Europe and North America to absurd proportions and shrinking South America and Africa.
The WOOBI is a sad sign of the times. It’s a toylike respirator system designed for the 300 million children living in severe air pollution.
Wishbone is an online survey creation tool that’s popular with teens, who use it to post quizzes, one of the top ten social Iphone apps in the USA. All of its records have leaked: millions of records, including millions of email addresses and full names, as well as hundreds of thousands of cellphone numbers.
The Lightning port has thus far resisted the cruel fate that befell the headphone jack, and despite rumors that it may be disappearing come iPhone 8, for the present and foreseeable future, Lightning cables are a hot commodity for iPhone users. As such, we must make do in this strange time in which long, glorified […]
All the filters in the world won’t save your smartphone pics from a shaky hand. To really step up your mobile photography game, you’ll need some kind of mount to hold it steady. You could buy a smartphone attachment for a conventional camera tripod, but who wants to carry that kind of gear everywhere they […]
The forced transition from analog to digital TV signals was probably met with relative indifference from people with Netflix subscriptions and the “I don’t even own a TV” snoots. But anyone living in the vast swaths of the country that don’t have guaranteed high-speed internet, broadcast TV is a perfectly valid (and 100% free) way […]