Streaming live from Kevin Kelly's house right now: the first Cool Tools Show and Tell meetup! A couple of dozen folks are demonstrating and talking about their favorite tools, and Kevin will show everyone his new book, Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities. Watch the live stream here or at the Google Plus event page.
There's still time to start or join a Cool Tools Show & Tell Meetup in your town. But if you can't make it for some reason, you are invited to watch the live video stream of the Show & Tell taking place at Kevin Kelly's place tomorrow (December 4, 2013) at 7:30pm PT. I'll post a streaming video here on Boing Boing, or you can visit the Google event page here and watch the video.
To learn more about the Cool Tools Show & Tell Meetup, read Kevin's post about it here.
MacBreak Weekly is one of my favorite podcasts so it was a nice surprise to see Andy Ihnatko and Leo Laporte review Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools book on it. Leo said the book is “the best Christmas present for everybody in your family ever!” (I'm editor-in-chief of the Cool Tools website.)
Do you have a favorite tool that you’d like to let other people know about? Then come to the first Cool Tools Show & Tell Worldwide Meetup on December 4, 2013! Bring your favorite tool (hand tools, maps, how-to books, vehicles, software, specialized devices, gizmos, websites — and anything useful) and be prepared to talk about it and (if feasible) demonstrate it to other cool tools enthusiasts.
To lead a local Cool Tools Show & Tell, visit the Meetup page and enter the name of the city or zip code of where you would like to host a meetup into the field in the upper right corner. Then, click on the community of your choice and RSVP.
If you are not yet a member of Meetup.com, you’ll be given the opportunity to sign up for a free account. Once you’ve joined your community and RSVP’d for the Cool Tools Worldwide Meetup date on Dec. 4, you can suggest a location for the event and begin inviting your friends.
Share on Facebook or Twitter or use your community URL (example: http://www.meetup.com/Cool-Tools/Boulder/) to invite local friends via email. Otherwise, use http://www.meetup.com/cool-tools to spread the word to people around the world. Please consider videotaping your local meetup and uploading the videos for others to see. We will post links on the Cool Tools website.
Bonus! If you are in the United States would like to lead a local meetup and are able to host at least 10 other people, we would like to send you a complimentary copy of Kevin Kelly’s new book: Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities.
My friend and Cool Tools review website partner, Kevin Kelly, made a cool video about the making of his new book, Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities. He says: "The Whole Earth Catalog was a bible for DIYers in the last century. Cool Tools is the same for this century. Here is what you can expect from this huge oversized book."
Musicians beware! The OP-1 is a synthesizer that some may love and others may dismiss as a mere overpriced toy.
For myself, Teenage Engineering’s OP-1 has been an indispensable addition to my synth arsenal: partly because it produces sounds I can’t find elsewhere and partly because it’s so incredibly easy (and yes, even fun) to use. (See video below.)
The color-base interface took me by surprise! There’s practically no learning curve for adjusting the eight separate sound engines (and effects) — the machine is highly visual in this regard. In fact I love handing my OP-1 to non-musicians and watching them as they almost instantly begin “programming” a sound. For a performer, this kind of ease-of-use is power: to effortlessly turn a few knobs and get to the sound one is after. No fiddling around. In this regard, the OP-1 is a musician’s instrument.
Anyone working with metal should be aware of these two tools. They make finishing metal a smoother experience. I prefer these two attachments over composite disks, belt sanders, or orbital sanders.
I learned about them as a construction worker while prepping process pipe for welds on oil refineries. Both tools are standards in the steam fitting trade. I’ve since used them on robot creations, blacksmith projects, and anywhere else metal is involved.
I like to say it is self-published for all the right reasons — not because I could not find a real publisher to back it, but for three other important benefits. I’ll describe those below and I’ll also tell you how the economics of self-publishing work for this book. Finally, I’ll include a few of the cool tools used to create this huge book with only two of us on staff.
The first benefit of self-publishing was speed. I finished writing and assembling the book in September and by October I had the book listed on Pre-Order status on Amazon. It will be available to customers (in bookstores, too!) the first week of December. If this book was being published by a New York publisher I’d still be in negotiations to maybe have it available next summer.
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In this episode of Gweek, I interviewed Kevin Kelly about his upcoming Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities an oversized book that reviews over 1,500 different tools, explaining why each one is great, and what its benefits are (Kevin is my partner at the website Cool Tools). Stewart Brand, the creator of The Whole Earth Catalog, calls it "The real deal." Read Kevin's essay about the Cool Tools book here.
I also interviewed Joshua Glenn about his Best Ever Adventure series of posts at HiLobrow. He says, "This month, I’ve been making two kinds of lists of my favorite adventures: the 21 best adventure novels of each decade (of the 20th century), and adventure novels and movies that best typify the genre’s 20 key themes and memes (e.g., treasure hunt, hunted man, conspiracy theory, DIY, frontier epic)." Josh is also working with Singularity & Co., the Brooklyn science fiction bookstore that runs the book club Save the Sci-Fi. They are preparing to launch a second book club dedicated to rescuing out-of-print adventure stories from copyright limbo. "The new book club will be called Save the Adventure," says Josh, "I’ll be the club’s editor! With 23 days to go on our Kickstarter campaign, we’ve raised $4,300 of the $12,000 we need to cover costs."
Links to other things we talked about: APE (Guy Kawasaki best guide to self publishing), 99Designs (crowdsourced professional design), CreateSpace (on-demand publishing), Martian Dice (customized dice game), and much more!
Here’s a great “off label” use of an old product for a completely different application that a guitar player turned me on to years ago. The Zenith Tibet Almond Stick is an oil- and cleaner-impregnated plug that comes as a tightly rolled up cloth in a metal can. Its original use is to “efface 1,000 scratches from pianos—radios—furniture—etc. It’s amazing!” I use it to refresh old strings on guitars, banjo and mandolins. Just swipe the stick along the strings, then pinch each string with a rag and slide along its length. All the nasty bits of rust, dirt, and finger cheese come right off. It’s especially good at helping to remove the crud that get trapped in the coils of wound strings and restores that brilliant “new string” sound. I also like the art deco inspired litho steel tube it comes in.
By the way, it will last forever: my 40 year old stick is still going strong! -- Bob Knetzger
This is a lifetime piece of kitchen equipment, made in Finland of quality stainless steel. With almost no mess or work, it turns quantities of fresh fruit into clear, sterile, hot juice which you can then pipe directly into Mason jars, where it will self seal with no further processing.
Picture a multi-layer double-boiler sort of arrangement, the size of a big soup pot. All stacked up, it’s 16″ high, and about 12″ across. The lowest pan gets water in it, to boil for the steam. The topmost pan is a 10.5 quart colander basket, where you put the fruit; this has a lid. The middle pan looks like an angel-food-cake pan, with a conical hole in the center. This is where the juice collects.
In a brilliant move, they attached a hose to the lower part of the juice-collector pan. This has a spring clamp to close it off, which clamp also serves as a hook, to park it on one of the side handles when not in use.
We like to let our dogs take us outside for both our benefits and theirs. But keeping them hydrated without letting them resort to slurping up who-knows-what from puddles has been a sort of a problem.
We’ve tried a variety of doggy-intended canteen things. Nalgene bottles & floppy bowls. Little buckets & bottles. Everything was either a pain for us or the dogs weren’t interested in some stinky wet plastic — no matter how thirsty they were.
I recently bought some bottles from H2O4K9.com. The dogs took to them immediately. The bottles themselves are stainless steel. The “insulated” version’s dog-trough is big enough that both our dogs get water at the same time, sorta, and it looks like it’s big enough for large-muzzled pooches.
The insulated “K9 Unit” and non insulated bottles are both 25 ounce capacity. There’s a 9 ounce model for dogs-who-are-cat-sized too. -- Wayne Ruffner
I converted from a toolbox to this Craftsman tool bag last year and I could not be happier. I live in an apartment in Singapore with no tool bench and limited space. Over the years I’ve kept my tools in a series of metal and plastic toolboxes. The boxes always seemed to be too full.
Then I visited a friend in England who had a wonderful canvas tool bag, which held assorted screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers, hammers, tape measures and other tools compactly and efficiently. Though I could not locate a canvas bag in the United States, I found this synthetic bag at Sears. I’ve consolidated my tools from my hard toolboxes into the bag and am pleased with the accessibility of my tools and the compactness and portability of the bag.
I have used this for 2 years. It is very effective in narrow spaces such as IDF (Intermediate Distribution Frame) closets, where I have to add switches or UPS units to rack units. The wand shape makes using this screw driver very effective since it gives me the additional length from the chuck to the screw that a normal electric drill configuration fails to achieve.
I wish it also had a LED illumination adjacent to the chuck, which Dewalt is adding to its newer electric product line. -- Stephen S. Wizowski