How to make a powered speaker for your MP3 player

Make the Monobox, a nice speaker with a built-in powered amp.

How to draw Space Invaders-style characters

Pixel Dude is an image editing app for the iPad. Like the name suggests, it's pixel based, and is good for drawing chunky graphics.

Electric candle that runs on the heat from a real candle

Instructables user Randofo has created a tutorial for his ingeniously perverse candle-powered electric candle. As the name implies, it's an electric candle whose power comes from the heat given off by a real candle.

I have been thinking a lot lately about being more prepared, and what supplies we should have on hand for when the 'big one' hits. After prioritizing the three most obvious things to have in a severe emergency - water, food, and a fair-sized crowbar - it came down to figuring out what else one needs to survive. It did not take me very long to conclude this item was electric lighting. I use that all the time. How can I live without that?

After assessing the problem, it became apparent to me that after a few days of constant lighting, all of my batteries will be dead. This means that either I need rechargeable batteries, or a way to generate electricity without them. Not needing batteries to begin with seemed most sensible to me. I explored different options and finally figured out a low-cost, long-term, and portable, method to keep my electric candles lit. I am going to use heat generated by tea lights. The nice thing about this solution is that they are dirt cheap, small, and will last forever. You can buy about 1,000,000 tea lights at Ikea for $1.99. With a fair-sized stock of small candles, I can keep my electric candle lit indefinitely. Thanks to my candle-powered electric candle, I know that I will never be left in the dark.

Read the rest

Funny & profane guide to digital inking

On DeviantArt, Mayekoposted an indispensable and profane guide to digital inking called "Lie, cheat, steal your way to better art." The tl;dr is: work at very high rez (then shrink), and use texture brushes set to 100%. But the commentary is hilarious and convincing -- go read it.

LIE-CHEAT-STEAL LIKE A FISH by *Mayeko on deviantART (via Making Light) Read the rest

HOWTO make a Minecraft Herobrine costume

Matt sez, "Here's a link for the Herobrine costume I made for my son. After a bunch of requests, I put up the PDF files and instructions to make your own. It was a huge hit with the kids at his school. Even bigger than when we went as Finn and the Ice King last year!"

(Thanks, Matt!) Read the rest

HOWTO make a machete wrench

EV Builder and friends were in the midst of refitting a vehicle to be of use in a zombie apocalypse when it occurred to them to turn a machete into a variable hex wrench. They liked the result so much that the published the HOWTO on Instructables.

Perhaps one of the more useful tools I have ever owned was a flat bar with a series of hexagonal cutouts in it. While minimally useful as a wrench because of its long length, it proved invaluable as backstop for holding nuts in place while I was tightening them down. Not to mention that when my wrench set was annoyingly missing just the size I needed, my hard to misplace flat bar always had me covered.

It therefore stood to reason that a Katana with a similar series of hexagonal cutouts would be valuable both for taking down Zombies/Mutant wildlife and complementing any set of tools used for post apocalyptic DYI projects. However, after a bit of research it became apparent that in addition to being expensive to make, “Katanas are notoriously high maintenance”* and at ApocalypsEV we hate the idea of high cost high maintenance (

So seeking a simpler more affordable concept, we created the Mechanics Machete. It combines the Zombie fighting power of a machete with the utility of a set of wrenches. Also when using stainless steel for the blade, it eliminates the maintenance hassle of trying to keep the blade rust free.

Every time I see a hex-wrench made by cutting a shape out of a piece of metal, I remember the time Gatwick airport security stole my belt-buckle, including the little loop that held the belt's tongue, because the loop had a hexagonal cutout that was a "wrench."

Apocalypse Mechanics Machete (via Neatorama) Read the rest

HOWTO separate eggs with a plastic bottle

This Chinese-speaking woman has a cool tip for separating eggs, using the suction of a slightly compressed water bottle. That's a pretty clean separation. I could watch it all day.

如何巧妙分离蛋清蛋黄 (via Kottke) Read the rest

HOWTO survive a DDoS attack

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has published a comprehensive, multi-lingual guide to keeping sites that are undergoing distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks alive.

Denial of service (DoS) and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks are increasingly common phenomena, used by a variety of actors—from activists to governments—to temporarily or indefinitely prevent a site from functioning efficiently. Often, the attack saturates the target with server requests designed to flood its bandwidth, leaving the server unable to respond to legitimate traffic.

Though the owners of major sites often have the resources to fend off or even prevent such attacks, smaller sites—such as those belonging to small independent media or human rights organizations—are sometimes permanently disabled due to a lack of resources or knowledge.

This guide aims to assist the owners of such websites by providing advice on choosing an appropriate webhost, as well as a guide to mirroring and backing-up their websites so that the content can be made available elsewhere even if their site is taken down by a DoS or DDoS attack.

Keeping Your Site Alive Read the rest

HOWTO bake a cake inside the skin of an orange

Here's a cute idea from CHOW and Chris Rochelle for baking chocolate cakes in campfire coals, using scooped-out orange peels as molds:

Cut the tops off about 10 oranges and scoop out the pulp. Fill the oranges three-quarters of the way with chocolate cake batter (cake mix works fine), then put the orange tops back on and wrap each orange in aluminum foil. Place directly onto the smoldering coals of the campfire, avoiding any intense flames, and cook for about 30 minutes, turning once or twice.

I've had sorbet served in an orange and pate served in an orange (AKA "meat fruit). Both were delicious. You could probably do a whole meal inside of citrus peels.

Step Up the S'more: 7 Ideas for Campfire Treats by Chris Rochelle (via Neatorama) Read the rest

HOWTO use skateboards as ceiling-fan blades

Converting three skateboard planks to act as the blades on an electric ceiling fan is surprisingly straightforward, as Notcot's NOTlabs demonstrates: "staring at the ugly, boring ceiling fan that hung above us led to the idea of of skateboards as fan blades! And sure enough a few days later, skateboards and a nice simple ceiling fan was acquired to test with!"

NOTlabs: The Skateboard Fan- 07.05.12 (via Neatorama) Read the rest

HOWTO make unicorn poop cookies

In case the Epic Poop post has you reaching for a unicorn chaser, I bring you...unicorn poop. Specifically, DIY unicorn poop from Instructables user kristylynn84. The secret ingredient is love. And poop. And "sugar cookies, rainbow dragees, rainbow star sprinkles, white sparkle gel, and rainbow disco dust."

Unicorn Poop! Read the rest

HOWTO make Star Wars vehicles from 3.5" floppies

Instructables user Jetpack5 created a series of Star Wars space vehicles out of floppy-disk parts and office supplies. There's even a rubber-band-ball Death Star! Also in the set: a Millennium Falcon and a truly spiffy X-Wing fighter. This is a potentially productive way of using up the 5-billion-odd 3.5" floppies kicking around, slowly decaying. Better than my idea of a massive Beowulf cluster of 486s with four floppy drives each, rack-mounted and spanned to create a massively inefficient, room-sized virtual ZIP cartridge, which would be serviced by a dozen rollerbladed teenagers who would whisk around, swapping out corrupt disks.

Millennium Falcon and X-Wing from Floppy Disk (with Special Guest Appearance: Death Star) (via Neatorama) Read the rest

Casemod that grows wheatgrass

Mike Schropp's "BioComputer" is a PC casemod that actually grows wheatgrass, using waste-heat from the computer to provide a hospitable hothouse environment. He's posted detailed build-logs from the project, and plans more ambitious horticulture.

I can’t exactly recall when the idea came to me, but at some point I started wanting to use the heat from a computer as a way to warm the soil and help with germination/growth. I’m about as far from a botanist as it comes, I did some reading online and became pretty interested in the effects of soil temperature on germination/growth. I read different studies and papers from various universities. It was not too long into that process that I became hooked on the idea of using computer heat as a way to control the soil temperature of some sort of living plant life.

As the idea developed further I started looking into wheatgrass as a plant option. There is something clean and natural about the look and idea of a piece of grass growing in my basement. I thought the look would alter the space a little bit and add a bit of color along with something more than just metals and plastics. After reading enough studies and papers on the effects of soil temperature and germination with wheatgrass I felt like I had a good enough handle on the basics to tackle this.

Bio Computer (via Neatorama) Read the rest

HOWTO make a CAT-AT Star Wars cat-condo

Redditor BillyAppletini surprised a friend with an "Imperial CAT-AT (All-Terrain Armored-Transport)" -- a cat-condo/AT-AT walker. His Imgur gallery , which documents the build, has some rudimentary plans as well.

I wouldn't consider myself a great woodworker or an artist - but I will take credit for being committed to a joke. I wrecked my house for a month building this, which was about 27 days longer than I wish it would have taken. The trickiest part was keeping any of my friends from coming inside my place for that whole time - I knew they wouldn't be able to keep it a secret!

The inside of the CAT-AT has a fully furnished luxury cat condo.

I was originally going to forge an Amazon receipt and make it look like my buddy's cat ordered it on his Amazon account and have it delivered while he was at work, but enough was enough - when it was complete, I had to get it out of my loft and clean up.

My buddy loves Star Wars, and has two cats. So I built him this, and put it in his apartment. Read the rest

HOWTO make a very tiny kitchen knife

On EnglishRussia (and apparently ganked from a possibly defunct LiveJournal -- It looks like LJ had an outage earlier today), a wonderful detailed HOWTO for making the tiniest, most adorable kitchen knife you ever did see.

A kitchen knife may become an end in any argument… This knife is made on a scale of 1 to 12 from flat stained steel sheet 1.5 mm thick. Other elements are made of plastic and the clinchers are from aluminium wire 0.6 mm in diameter.The needed tools: a vise, 2 files, 3 broach files, abrasive paper of two types, a drill fixed on a vertical support – 1 set, a drill bit 0.6 mm, a piece of thick felt for polishing the handle, an extra wooden bar.

How To Make a Tiny Kitchen Knife (via @jwomack) Read the rest

HOWTO make a novice-baker TARDIS cake

Bruce sez, "How Stella made her own Doctor Who themed TARDIS cake at home on her own with no previous experience. Includes pictures throughout the process."

I wanted a TARDIS cake that actually had the shape of the police box. I didn’t want to just draw a TARDIS on top of a cake. The TARDIS is vertical, not horizontal, so I knew I would have to stack cakes to make it work. Without wanting to make it too impractical or large, I decided to make a flat cake and cut smaller square pieces until I got to the right height. This would be my TARDIS, and then I’d put this on top of a second cake to make a scene featuring the TARDIS landing on a grassy field, which would also ensure I’d have enough cake for the guests, since the TARDIS itself might not be big enough.

Geeky Homemade Doctor Who TARDIS Cake (Thanks, Bruce!) Read the rest

HOWTO make zombie chocolate bunnies and undead eggs for Easter

At the Criminal Crafts blog, a fun tutorial on "pairing zombies with a fuzzy pastel holiday," through delicious zombie bunny rabbits and haunted eggs. There's a photo gallery here.

(via Boing Boing Flickr Pool) Read the rest

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