This little library in Detroit looks like Doctor Who's TARDIS

We have little free libraries where I live in California but none as are half as cool as this one in Detroit, Michigan. Dan Zemke spotted an empty lot across the street from his house on Detroit's Warren Ave. and thought it needed something. He decided it would be the perfect spot for a life-size replica of a TARDIS that would double as a little library.

Unlike the fictional TARDIS, Zemke’s creation is not bigger on the inside, but does have room for around 140 books that he hopes people will circulate and replace as they trade them out. Where the original TARDIS has signs around the top saying, “Police Box,” this one has signs saying, “Take A Book, Leave A Book.” Other than that, it is a spitting image of the iconic BBC ship.

(One might argue that it IS bigger on the inside because of the knowledge within its books.)

(Parade)

Previously: Doctor Who-themed shed Read the rest

Watch formerly homeless people make jackets that double as sleeping bags

The Empowerment Plan is a Detroit-based organization that creates manufacturing jobs making EMPWR coats that double as sleeping bags:

Via designboom:

the empowerment plan is a detroit-based, nonprofit organization focused on permanently elevating families from the generational cycle of homelessness. it hires single parents from local shelters and provide them with training and full-time employment as seamstresses so that they can earn a stable income, find secure housing, and regain their independence. the individuals it hires manufacture a coat designed to meet the needs of those in the homeless community. the durable ‘EMPWR coat’ can transform into a sleeping bag at night or an over-the-shoulder bag when not in use. since 2012, it has provided employment to 34 homeless individuals—all of whom have now secured permanent housing for themselves and their families—and distributed over 15,000 coats to those in need across the US and canada.

REDFworkshop.org (Vimeo / The Empowerment Plan via designboom) Read the rest

Yes, Trump just said "titties" (Update: sadly no)

At a rally in Detroit, Donald Trump said "titties" while attempting to say "cities."

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Man claims he don't take no orders from no women

He admits he's from Mars. An unpleasant gentleman whose flatbed truck dumped a bunch of wood all over a residential street tells Detroit 7 Action News he don't take no orders from no women. Good to know.

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Cybercrime 3.0: stealing whole houses

Articles in the UK and US press describe fraudsters who used public document registries to steal entire houses, using forged documents to list the houses for sale, transferring title to them, and disappearing (or attempting to) with a lot of money in their pockets.

Gorgeous nerdy textiles

Detroit's Cyberoptix make hundreds of beautiful, nerdy textiles: linen library due-date scarves (also available as silk ties); bandana print neckties; chemical warfare ties; civil defense med-kit scarves; notebook-paper silk pocket squares (also scarves) and felted wool neckties -- all made to order in a wide variety of colors! Read the rest

Incredible Science Machine team seeks Rube Goldberg record with chain reaction gizmo

Chain reaction artists and domino builders have collaborated to create what they hope will go on record as the largest chain reaction in history. Read the rest

WATCH: Drone-eye view of a Detroit hotel demolition

Detroit's historic Park Avenue Hotel was demolished on July 11, and YouTuber TheGadgetGuy1 caught all the action via drone. Read the rest

Detroit News documents the decimation of one city block

Over the holiday weekend, The Detroit News published a remarkable analysis of what happened in Detroit's foreclosure meltdown. One block on Greensboro Street saw 33 of 38 homes go into mortgage or tax foreclosure in the last ten years. Read the rest

WATCH: Detroit ruin porn in reverse - David Whitney Building

The Detroit News has an uplifting story about the David Whitney Building, newly renovated in time for its centennial celebration. Think reverse ruin porn. Read the rest

NZ's National Party sued by Eminem for copyright infringement

The National Party was instrumental in passing the harsh "strict liability" NZ copyright laws that offer no relief from liability, even for people who buy licenses that turn out to have been offered in error -- as appears to be the case in the National Party campaign ad that used Lose Yourself for bed music. Read the rest

SF predicting the present: novel anticipated Detroit water crisis

Paul Di Filippo describes Ben Parzybok's new novel, Sherwood Nation: "The book is obviously as headline-friendly as the Ferguson riots, inequality debates, Occupy protests and climate change reports; but there's also a Joseph Conrad-Grahame Greene-Shakespeare style concern with the nature of power, the roles that are thrust upon us, and the limits of friendship and love." Read the rest

Michigan's Penguicon will focus on crypto and privacy this year

Scott sez, "Privacy and security has been a huge problem since the Snowden revelations, and midwest SF/open source software convention Penguicon [ed: near Detroit!] wants to be part of the solution. With Guest of Honor Eva Galperin from the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Cory Doctorow returning as Guest Emeritus, much of their tech track is focused on finding answers to the recent privacy problems highlighted by Snowden. Pre-registration tickets are available until April 1st. Programming was just announced." (Thanks, Scott!) Read the rest

Historic "mixfilm" in Detroit this weekend

Archivist Rick Prelinger sez, "I'm bringing a new archival 'mixfilm' on Detroit's rich history to the beautifully restored, vintage-1927 Detroit Film Theatre this weekend. This is the fourth of my Detroit compilations, and it's packed with new footage (especially home movies shot by Detroiters themselves) that's never before been publicly screened. It's a fully participatory show, meaning that viewers (hopefully you) are invited to identify places, people and events, ask questions, and converse with one another as the film unreels. And it's anything but nostalgic -- rather than lamenting what's gone, it aims to contribute to the ongoing, spirited discussion about Detroit's future, and encourage people to talk with one another."

Events: Detroit Film Theatre — The Detroit Institute of Arts Auxiliary (Thanks, Rick!) Read the rest

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 Read the rest

Free houses for writers

Writeahouse is a Detroit-based charity that trains people in carpentry and related trades by having them renovate houses, then gives the houses to writers (novelists, journalists, poets), encouraging them to relocate to Detroit. Applications open in spring 2014. Writers are given a house that is 80 percent renovated, and are responsible for finishing the work and paying insurance and taxes. After two years, they are given the deed to the house, with the stipulation that if they sell the house within five years, Writeahouse gets the right to buy it back at an independently appraised value.

WRITEAHOUSE.ORG (Thanks, Fipi Lele!) Read the rest

Monster portraits made from candy mosaics: TOTALLY SWEET!

Eric writes, "I am Eric Millikin and I am an experimental artist from Detroit who has created a series of portraits of monsters, each built out of Halloween candy. I call this series 'Totally Sweet.' So far, this series includes everything from classic monsters like The Bride of Frankenstein to modern killers from slasher movies. And I've been taking requests; one of my favorites has been Gort, the alien killer robot from the 1950s sci-fi classic, 'The Day the Earth Stood Still.'" Read the rest

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