Submit a link Features Reviews Podcasts Video Forums More ▾

Kickstarting a cardboard CNC mill for mixing drinks, drawing circuit boards and frosting cookies

Ryan Wistort is an MIT roboticist (we covered his dancing bird robot while back) with a new project up on Kickstarter. He sez, "I am a MIT nerd/robot maker and just released a CNC Robot for Makers on Kickstarter. It's like a Shopbot or other CNC mill, but made for doing things like drawing, painting, frosting cookies, and mix drinks."

This is one of my favorite kinds of Kickstarter projects. It embodies the greatest of Eno's oblique strategies: "Be the first person to not do something that no one else has ever thought of not doing before." In this case: build a super-cheap CNC mill by constructing it out of flimsy materials that won't manage any of the usual milling projects, and then find other use cases for it: frosting cookies and painting pictures, mixing cocktails and drawing circuit boards with conductive ink.

Wistort's had some successful business experience before, suggesting that he has at least a fighting chance of shipping something here. Kits start at $250.

Read the rest

3D printer that draws pictures in jello shooters

Jeroen Domburg's friend was having a 25th birthday party at which jello shooters were to be served. Jeroen decided to liven these up by creating a 3D printer that inserted a needle into each shot and injected an ink made from banana liquor, food colouring and corn starch in 3D patterns like cubes and spirals. Even cooler: the main body of the electronics in the printer were harvested from superannuated DVD and CD drives, and the firmware for the printer is free software (TGZ) for your pleasure.

Jello 3d printer

The science of eggnog

Actually, it's technically the science of creme brulee, but, more broadly, the science of custard totally applies. Also, in one of those "oh-geez-that-should-have-occurred-to-me-a-long-time-ago" moments, it turns out that the only thing that separates eggnog and ice cream is bourbon and some time in a freezer. Maggie 13

The tools of cocktail science and engineering

Popular Science has a great slideshow of tools used to make the sort of fancy, $15 cocktails that are served to you by gentlemen wearing handlebar mustaches. From CNC routers that carve ice, to drinks aged in sous-vide machines, to repurposed lab equipment like centrifuges and rotary evaporators, it's a cool behind-the-scenes view of the gadgets used by the modernist bartender. (Random shout-out to Peder at Marvel Bar!) Maggie 2

David Nutt wants to make non-addictive, safer synth-booze that comes with a sober-up pill


"Risk of addiction," fotoknips/Shutterstock.

David Nutt is a brilliant psychopharmacologist who once served as the UK's drug czar, until he was ousted for refusing to suppress the data that showed that many legal drugs were as bad or worse for you than illegal drugs, and that the war on drugs was a losing battle that wasn't reducing abuse or crime.

Now he's back in industry, and he's got an awesome idea he's trying to get funded: a tailored variation on alcohol that has exactly the same intoxicating effect but inflicts none of the physical damage of booze, and lets you get instantly, totally sober just by taking an antidote.

Read the rest

New Rob Ford video: Laughable Fumblebuck drops a gigaton of F-bombs

A new video of Toronto Mayor Rob "Laughable Bumblefuck" Ford has surfaced. For a change, the mayor is not smoking crack in this video. Instead, he's incredibly drunk, and vowing to graphically murder his critics, while swearing in a way that is surprising for its creativity and imaginativeness, if not its sobriety.

Read the rest

Brewbot: Kickstarting an Arduino-based automated brewing system

Jonny sez, "I'm Jonny, from Belfast in Ireland. I was just at XOXO and I've spent over a year working on a project to make brewing simple, accessible, and beautiful. The appliance can be monitored and controlled with your smartphone; it's called Brewbot."

Read the rest

Auto-brewery syndrome: A medical mixed blessing if I ever heard of one

A gentleman in Texas briefly became an involuntary drunk (at one point ending up in the hospital with a blood alcohol concentration of .37, despite not having imbibed all day) when a colony of brewer's yeast took up residence in his gut and started converting every starchy food he ate into booze. Maggie 32

Rum-filled chocolate rotting body-parts


Miss Cakehead writes, "A macbre preview of some 'treats' which will be sold in Miss Cakehead's infamous Eat Your Heart Out Halloween pop up cake shop in London - the theme for 2013 being 'Feed The Beast'. Undoubtably these rum filled chocolate body parts make the world's most disturbing liqueur chocolates, and there is much much worse to come!"

Read the rest

Chemist presents results of study on booze, irony

Scientist sets out to determine the chemical differences between bourbon, rye, Tennessee, and other whiskeys. His name: Tom Collins. No. Seriously. Maggie 11

Bar needs new human toe after mystery man consumes their mummified garnish


A bar in the Yukon needs to source a new human toe, because a patron ate the one they used to use as a cocktail garnish.

The sourtoe cocktail was legendary at the Downtown Hotel in Dawson City. Over 52,000 people have drunk cocktails garnished with toes at the bar, and were on notice that they faced a $500 fine if they swallowed the toe. But two weeks ago, a mysterious stranger stepped into the bar, ordered the sourtoe, drank it down, toe and all, plunked $500 on the bar, and walked out into the night.

Read the rest

Basement rec-room


Both sets of my grandparents had basement rec-rooms that were clearly grasping after this magnificence. But this is the Ur-room, the thing that casts the shadow upon the wall of Plato's cave. It is the rec-room none of us would ever be allowed to behold, for none of us is pure enough for a rec-room such as this. If you want proof of the lapsarian hypothesis, look no further: the world is in decline. Everything is worse than it was. Oh, rec-room, you were too good for this world of sin.

Pink Basement [Branwynn/Vintage Ads]

Ancient Grumpy Cat LOLs

Yesterday, guest blogger Madeleine Johnson had a story here about a piece of ancient Peruvian pottery — in the shape of a very grumpy little cat. If you haven't read her story, you really should. It's all about the great cat memes of ancient history and how archaeologists can use clues from an artwork to track down who made it, where, and when.

My friend Andrew was kind enough to adapt Ancient Grumpy Cat into the form of a modern cat meme. That's his picture above. Madeleine and I also put together another one, based on Ancient Grumpy Cat's probable history as a ceremonial mug for drinking a corn beer called chicha:

Read the rest

Replica 1920s lightbulb voltage tester with a bar inside it


Restoration Hardware's "1920s German Light Bulb Voltage Tester Bar" sells for $2000. It's a replica of a century-old refitted German lightbulb voltage tester salvaged from a German factory, and it oozes Weimar decadence. It weighs 265lbs.

1920s German Light Bulb Voltage Tester Bar (via OhGizmo)

Map of local word for "beer" in each European country

(Click to embiggen)

Feòrag NicBhrìde has provided us with a vital cartographic reference: a map of Europe showing the word for "beer" in each country.

The Essential Map of Europe and Environs. (Thanks, Charlie!)