A visit to Makerkids, Toronto's makerspace for kids

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.

Read the rest

Minecraft torch torch

ThinkGeek's Minecraft Light-Up Torch is funnier if you speak one of the Commonwealth English variants where "torch" is a synonym for "flashlight" -- but even in the rest of the world, it's still pretty awesome.

Minecraft Light-Up Torch (via Wonderland) Read the rest

EFF creates the "Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents"

Broadcast.com founder Mark Cuban and Minecraft creator Markus Persson have donated $500,000 to the Electronic Frontier Foundation to endow the "Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents," which will be occupied by an attorney tasked with hunting down and destroying crappy patents that have been recklessly granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office to unscrupulous "inventors" who claim to have invented things that were obvious and/or already extant; and to pay for activists to fight for substantive patent reform:

Cuban's $250,000 donation also funds the hire of a new attorney experienced in patent reform and high profile patent litigation: Daniel Nazer, who will join EFF in January as a Staff Attorney. The rest of EFF's seasoned intellectual property team includes Intellectual Property Director Corynne McSherry, Senior Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl, and Staff Attorney Mitch Stoltz. The team is also assisted by EFF fellows Michael Barclay and Jason Schultz.

Persson's separate donation of $250,000 cements EFF's ability to tackle the systemic problems with software patents. With a blend of lawyers, technologists, and activists, EFF will push for reform in the courts, through activism campaigns, and by educating the public and politicians about what is wrong with software patents and what needs to change.

"Temporary fixes aren't good enough – we need deep and meaningful reform to protect software development and keep it as free and democratic as possible," said Persson, creator of the popular videogame Minecraft. "New games and other technological tools come from improving on old things and making them better – an iterative process that the current patent environment could shut down entirely.

Read the rest

Found: a child's drawing for creating a prosthetic limb

My friend Bob Knetzger, who is a toy inventor and does amazing preliminary sketches of his creations, came across some hand-drawn plans for a prosthetic limb. He says:

While on my usual lunchtime walk last summer I saw this piece of paper on the ground and picked it up.

I love this drawing, obviously done by a young maker.

I don't know who [the kid] is but I like how s/he shows the tools and material needed for this project: wood, saw, glue and pensile (sic).

Draw the shape on the wood, then cut it out with the saw and glue it to the kid, replacing the missing hand!

I'll bet the person who drew this plays Minecraft! Read the rest

Trailer for Minecraft: The Story of Mojang

The Kickstarter-funded documentary about Minecraft and its creator, Markus "Notch" Persson, debuts on Saturday, December 22 on Xbox Live.

Play Minesweeper in Minecraft

Recently-added bugfixes—and player ingenuity!—led to a selection of Minecraft minigames built by playing Minecraft. Here's Minesweeper, created by Seth Bling. [via Digital Tools] Read the rest

Makie doll in a Minecraft sweater

This adorable Makie doll went to MineCon, a Minecraft convention in Paris, with its owner MoggyMoo and her son, a Minecraft enthusiast. In honour of the occasion, Moggymoo knit a tiny custom Minecraft creeper jumper for it to wear.

Meena is going to MineCon (Thanks, Alice!)

(Disclosure: My wife is the founder of MakieLab) Read the rest

Gift Guide 2012

Welcome to this year's Boing Boing Gift Guide, a piling-high of our most loved stuff from 2012 and beyond. There are books, comics, games, gadgets and much else besides: click the categories at the top to filter what you're most interested in—and add your suggestions and links in the comments.

Minecraft Creeper hoodie for kids

I've got one of Jane's Christmas presents taken care of.

Minecraft Creeper Premium Zip-up Youth Hoodie Read the rest

Minecraft creeper mug

"It’s a magnificent piece of Minecraft merchandise." Pre-order now for $21. Get it for now for $15! (Via WTC) Read the rest

HOWTO make a Minecraft Herobrine costume

Matt sez, "Here's a link for the Herobrine costume I made for my son. After a bunch of requests, I put up the PDF files and instructions to make your own. It was a huge hit with the kids at his school. Even bigger than when we went as Finn and the Ice King last year!"

(Thanks, Matt!) Read the rest

Minecraft Style versus Gangnam Style

CaptainSparklez's "Minecraft Style" is a spot-on perfect "Gangnam Style" parody featuring all the eight-bit tropes and memes we love from Minecraft, scaled up in glorious jaggievision. Love the "sexy piggies."

33 new biomes to explore in Minecraft

The Biomes O'Plenty Minecraft mod adds wild varieties of landscape to the blocky exploration and building game: wastelands, craggy outcroppings, hazy savannah, ominous woodlands, orchards, and much else besides. [via RPS] Read the rest

"Real-life" Minecraft game

Ben Purdy created this incredibly fun "real life Minecraft" game, which was set up and relentlessly thrashed at XOXOfest in Portland.

I would like to, in no sarcastic manner what-so-ever, officially dedicate this to all the people who commented on my original minecraft block video and accused me of faking it via green screens, after effects, black screens, blue screen, gray screens, etc. Looking forward to comments that the whole thing is staged and all those people are actors that are just pretending to hit the blocks.

I can assure you he does not lie, as I gave it a good thorough pounding myself. The textures are in fact projected onto the boxes; the implement is a foam pixel-art pickaxe. [via YouTube] Read the rest

XOXO: Maker Love, Not Thwart

I have fallen in love with a building, hundreds of people, a MakerBot, a portable toilet trailer, food trucks, and two men each named Andy. Is it possible to fall in love with a conference? If so, I have. The organizers named the conference XOXO for hugs and kisses. This was presented without hipster irony or marketing-speak. They meant it. They delivered.

HOWTO make huge, wall-mounted papercraft Minecraft scenery

Jeff sez, "Some gamers need a Railgun, others choose an M1A1, most seem to desire an Energy Sword...but what we need is a pickaxe! That's right, our current favorite diversion from lab work is Minecraft. We didn't want the fun to stop on the screen, so we created giant, 3-D, papercraft Minecraft terrains on our walls and show you how to build your own."

Build 3-D Papercraft Minecraft Terrains (Thanks, Jeff) Read the rest

Minecraft gets major update

A wild array of new features arrived today for Minecraft, the all-conquering digital RPG Lego addiction vortex: trading with villagers, bonus chests in new worlds, and countless new map features and block types are in the list. Most interesting of all, though, is the new (and definitively alpha) "adventure mode", which makes it far harder to move or destroy blocks—an essential tool for map-sharing storytellers. [RPS] Read the rest

Previous PageNext page