Crowdfunding Xylovan: a musical instrument mutant vehicle

Mack writes, "XyloVan is a roving musical mutant vehicle that our family built four years ago. Thousands of musicians, kids, Burners and amateur XyloVanists have enjoyed banging on the van, everywhere we've taken it. But its weird old heart blew a gasket last summer on the way to the playa, and we had to have it towed home. We're raising money to give it a new motor, some front-end work and general upgrades to get it back on the road, plus we're building a strobing, pulsing new lights-and-sound system for its reappearance this summer in Black Rock City, NV. Please give our Indiegogo campaign a look - we're offering some pretty neat hand-machined perks to our generous donors. Thanks!"

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Riding around Detroit's derelict Packard plant on a homemade dirt-bike

A reader writes, "In late October, we shot some video in Detroit's abandoned Packard plant. The reasons included, to test a motorcycle I built, and also to practice flying our drone. This is not a closed course, and not a professional rider. We were just looking to have some fun. Please enjoy."

Exploring Detroit's Packard plant on a dirt bike

Vehicles as dinosaur skeletons


Jitish Kallat's 2008 piece "Aquasaurus" is a massive replica water truck made to look like a great prehistoric leviathan's skeleton, with great bowed ribs and enormous grinding teeth. It's part of a series of pieces that includes a bone motorcycle as well. His work is currently displayed on the India stage at Art Stage Singapore.

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Cops parked in bike lanes


The Cops in Bike Lanes tumblr is just what you'd expect: photos from around America of police cars illegally stopped in bike lanes, a practice that forces cyclists to abruptly and dangerously enter the stream of automotive traffic.

The photos are often annotated by their submitters; the commentary on the photo above notes that "There is clearly plenty of room for this van to parallel park and not obstruct the bike lane if the officer gave half a second’s thought to cyclists' safety."

Cops in Bike Lanes (via Making Light)

LAPD declares war on downtown's pedestrians

Downtown Los Angeles's renaissance has led to a surge in pedestrian traffic, to the enormous benefit of local businesses and the neighborhood itself. The LAPD is having none of it, and have declared war on jaywalking, handing out $200 fines for infractions as minor as walking into the crosswalk after the pedestrian signal starts to blink red. Cory 55

Revamped Goggle Jacket recreates Italian endurance-race fashion


CP Company worked with the Royal College of Art to recreate and update Massimo Osti's "Goggle Jacket" -- a jacket designed for Italy's Mille Miglia open-road endurance race that ran between WWI and WWII. They modernized the materials, rethought some of the fit issues -- a clever flourish reduces bunching while sitting; another moves the watch-window so you can check the time without moving your hands from the steering wheel -- but still managed to produce something that looks simultaneously futuristic and retro. It's a gorgeous piece of clothing, though £879 is too rich for my blood.

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San Diego traffic, organized by color

Cy Kuckenbaker's Midday Traffic Time Collapsed and Reorganized by Color edits together footage of four minutes' worth of traffic shot from San Diego's Washington Street bridge, grouping the cars that passed by color. It's got a gorgeous surreality to it, as though the drivers had grouped by color for some sort of parade. Also, I learned that if you want to stand out in San Diego, you should drive a yellow car.

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Renault ships a brickable car with battery DRM that you're not allowed to own


You can't buy a battery for the new Renault Zoe. Instead, you have to rent it. And if you stop making payments, the battery's DRM will prevent you from recharging it. It's part of a larger product strategy through which the Zoe collects huge amounts of data on your driving and ships it all back to the manufacturer.

Just what the world needed: a car you're not allowed to own, and which you can't use anymore if you lose your job and can't pay the monthly battery rental fee. And if Renault's battery provider goes out of business, your Renault is bricked.

DRM in Cars Will Drive Consumers Crazy

Front-end loader pops a wheelie

From Modern Farmer's Jaw-Dropping Russian Tractor Videos collection, a front-end loader doing astounding, reverse-wheelies. Safety third!

Трактор акробат (via Kottke)

Portraits of Walmart's parking-lot nomads


Nolan Conway's photos of Walmart nomads document the lives of people who use Walmart's overnight-parking-friendly lots as places to camp on their way from A to B, or for the long haul. The communities that form there run the gamut from happy-go-lucky retirees to the slightly desperate and more than slightly desperate, and the portraits give a sense of camaraderie and community.

Meet the American Nomads of Walmart’s Plentiful Parking Lots [Jakob Schiller/Wired]

Smati Turtle: car made from scrap parts by Ghanian artisans and Dutch artists


The Smati Turtle 1 is an "African concept car" created by Dutch artist/researcher team Melle Smets and Joost van Onna, who worked with the artisinal car-makers of Suame Magazine, Ghana, to create a killer junker for the African market. Suame Magazine is a neighborhood full of people who take apart scrap cars and rebuild them for local markets, removing the difficult-to-maintain electronics, expanding the cargo areas. The Turtle 1 took three months to create, and had its test-drive inaugurated by the Ashanti king.

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Zippomobile!


This Zippomobile was created by Joe Griffin of Custom Upholstery in Memphis. He was commissioned by Zippo to reproduce the original 1947 Zippomobile, which toured all 48 states to promote the lighter in the post-war era. There were no plans from the original Zippomobile, built from a Chrysler New Yorkers Saratoga, so Griffin had to wing it, working with a second Saratoga and photos of the original.

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Scratch-built, thoroughly documented, working 1/4 scale V8 engine


An epic, two-year thread on the Home Model Engine Machinist boards documents Keith5700's astounding journey to scratch-build a working, 1/4 scale V8 engine. It's an insane read, as Mr 5700 discovers a lot of difficult things the hard way, while a community of teeny-thing machining enthusiasts cheer him on and offer advice, leading to triumph after triumph. The photos alone are worth clicking through all 35 screens (I've put some of the best after the jump).

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Lobstercycle made from discarded shells


Huang Mingbo, a Taiwanese food artist, made these lobstercycles out of discarded shells in 2011, for a cooking art show in Fuzhou, China.

Motorbike-shaped craftwork made of lobsters (3) (via Neatorama)

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Truckload of gas cylinders explodes 39 times

On a Russian highway, a truck filled with propane cylinders explodes 39 times, boom, boom, boom, each explosion more spectacular than the last.

Взрыв газели с балонами на МКАДе (via Kottke)