Airport security confiscates three year old's fart gun

The eagle-eyed aviation security humans at Dublin Airport prevented a desperate toddler from boarding a flight while in possession of a Despicable Me Fart Blaster: "We don’t make the rules but we apply the rules consistently." (via Lowering the Bar) Read the rest

Interview with TV show host and maker Jimmy DiResta


Our guest on the Cool Tools Show podcast is Jimmy DiResta. He is a maker, toy designer, and TV show host. He’s been the host of a number of DIY shows including Dirty Money, Trash to Cash, Against the Grain, and Hammered with John and Jimmy DiResta. He co-hosts the Making It Podcast, and has a fantastic YouTube channel called DiResta with videos on his latest builds and handy tool tips. Read the rest

America's "worst voting machines" dropped in Virgina (at last)

AVS Winvote machines are so insecure that if they weren't hacked in the last election, "it was only because no one tried." Read the rest

Exotic polyhedra: RPG dice made from carbon fiber, marble, bourbon barrels

Beyond wolly mammoth ivory dice, a whole multiverse of polyhedra cast and carved from exotic woods, metals and stranger substances still, from Artisan Dice.

There's carbon fiber dice, white marble, gator jawbones (combined with resin for added resilience); bourbon barrel staves and more.

But they don't have my favorite high-ticket D20: the one made from sky-metal.

Just remember: if you don't shame your dice, they'll never learn.

Drool-worthy dice for discerning rollers [Michael Franco/Cnet] Read the rest

HOWTO build an Endor Speeder Bike/rocking horse

HOWTO build an Endor Speeder Bike/rocking horse

AKA, how to win parenting forever. Read the rest

Skeletal, poseable life-size critters

Just got a good ole look at these things at Burbank's spectacular Halloween Town; they're poseable, have a nice, grippy matte foam-rubber finish, and are so swell that I may just go back for the whole set! Read the rest

Wireless wall switch remote


Amazon is selling the GE remote wall switch for just $15 right now. It's a good solution for being able to turn on a floor lamp (including ones with LED or CFL bulbs) or other electric appliance from across the room. The battery operated switch looks like a regular wall switch (but a bit thicker to hold the battery and radio transmitter). The receiver plugs into any grounded AC outlet up to 100 feet away. Read the rest

Bionic Bird: a cat-foolin', smartphone-controlled ornithopter

Kyosho's $150 Bionic Bird is a smartphone-controlled ornithopter that is birdlike enough to fool a cat (or at least, the cat is pretending to be fooled). Read the rest

Blobtastic ferrofluid display

Ferrolic is a prototype ferrofluid display that draws blobby, weird, awesome imprecise bitmaps by manipulating magnetic particles suspended in liquid. Read the rest

Tweezerman hangnail clippers


Hangnails bother me so much that when I get one, I can't think of anything else until I get rid of it. I will even bite it off if I am without clippers (this doesn't work well and usually results in blood being drawn). The Tweezerman Power Hangnail Clipper ($8 on Amazon) is the ultimate hangnail clipper. It removes hangnails down to the nub without going too deep into the skin. They are sharp and easy to control. Read the rest

Crowdfunding Battle Blimps: "Small, open-source, RC blimps + hydrogen + red poker tips"

Eric writes, "Battle Blimps are: Small, open-source, RC blimps + hydrogen + red poker tips = SENDING YOUR FRIENDS DOWN IN FLAMES." Read the rest

The rise and fall of cellphone company HTC

Wired's Brian Barrett reports on how the company became worth less to stockholders than the cash in its own pocket: "a smartphone market that simply doesn’t have room for more than a handful of players, one in which being different no longer counts for much." Read the rest

The best 'budget' barbecue grill I've found: Char-Broil Performance TRU Infrared 480

I don't expect a $200 grill to last a lifetime. But it has to cook meats and veggies evenly, with good temperature control. And I found a pretty affordable grill that does that reliably.

Chinese mega-manufacturers set up factories in India

Foxconn is opening a $5B facility in Maharashtra; Huawei just got a green-light for a networking gear factory; Xiaomi already runs a phone assembly plant in Andhra Pradesh that will announcing new products today. Read the rest

This small intelligent orb guesses what object you are thinking of in 20 questions


This tennis ball-size orb knows what you are thinking. Most of the time it will guess what you have in mind after asking you twenty yes/no questions. It is eerily smart, and slightly addictive. The toy is remarkable. Because it is so small, so autonomous, its intelligence is shocking to the unprepared. Most children can’t stump it, and if you stick to objects it will stump smart adults about 80% of the time with 20 questions and most of the time with an additional 5 questions. I love to watch people’s reactions when they think of a “hard” thing, and after a seemingly irrational set of questions you are convinced are dumb, the sly ball tells you what you had in mind. (For instance, it can correctly guess “flying squirrel” without asking “does it fly?”) People who play chess machines won’t be surprised, but just about everyone else will be tickled. It feels like the future. But right now, for fourteen bucks, you can get an amazing little artificial intelligence, about as smart as an insect — but an insect which specializes in guessing what object you are thinking of. And in that part of the brain, it’s smarter than you are.

See more photos at Wink Fun.

20Q Deluxe by Techno Source Ages 7 and up $14 Buy a copy on Amazon This link is for 20Q Deluxe, a newer version from the photos above Read the rest

More posts