Florida man catches 400-pound Goliath Grouper fish with a wrench

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His tool of choice: a DIY wrench lure. It's a wrench, string, and two fishing hooks. With only this tool, Florida man Ryan Hein was able to reel in a 400-pound Goliath grouper while fishing in the St. Petersburg area.

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Amazing Rube Goldberg machine tells the Passover story

Mechanical engineering students from The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology built this fantastic Rube Goldberg machine last year to tell the story of Passover, the Jewish holiday starting the evening of April 22 that celebrates the biblical story of the Israelites' exodus from slavery in Egypt. Of course my favorite part of the story, and this video, is the Ten Plagues.

(Thanks, Candy Mabry!)

And here's a behind-the-scenes video:

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Remote control for your facial expressions

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Alec Smecher built a wireless electronmechanical system that enables him to robotically raise and waggle his eyebrows via remote control. Because, you know, he could. From MAKE:

Beyond its obvious practicality, this project makes a great introduction to DC motor control, infrared remote control, and moving from working with an Arduino to working with the bare ATMega328 chip. These concepts are combined with some minimal extra circuitry.

The end result will be a great conversation piece, that is… if you don’t stab your eye with a toothpick. My implementation supports calibration, independent control of each eyebrow, and a 1- to 9-way waggle feature. Expressions vary from skeptical to shocked to very, very shocked.

"Strap a Robot to Your Face! Your Expressions Are Now Controlled by Technology" (MAKE)

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Backyard astronomer discovered 300 asteroids so far

Meet maker Gary Hug who built his own home observatory, including a DIY reflector telescope, and discovered more than 300 asteroids.

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Ingenious pop-up shelter for people in wheelchairs

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Under The Weather is a single-person pop-up shelter to sit inside that my big brother Rick came up with a while back. (He was sick of getting soaked at his kids' soccer games and was inspired by a portable toilet he saw by the field.) Under The Weather is designed for spectator sports, fishing, and other outdoor events where it's raining, windy, or cold, but you are either obligated to watch or having so much fun you don't want to leave. Rick used his personal savings to have a bunch of the tents made and they mostly just sat in a warehouse until last year when videos and photos of the thing somehow went viral. Now this curious contraption is selling like crazy. I'm proud of him!

In the last few months, Rick received a bunch of requests for a version of Under The Weather that a wheelchair or stroller could roll right into. (The standard Under The Weather tent has a lip on the bottom of the door that makes this difficult.) So Rick designed a new model, the Accessipod, in which the entire back of the tent opens up for easy access. Check out the videos below!

You can buy all the tent models directly from him here: Under the Weather

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Meet the inventor of Whac-A-Mole and The Rock-afire Explosion

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Aaron Fechter is the creator of the Rock-afire Explosion, the animatronic band that made greasy memories at Showbiz Pizza throughout the 1980s. He also insists he's the inventor of Whac-A-Mole, based on a similar Japanese game that he saw in 1976, although the company that popularized it call bullshit on that claim. Now, Fechter has a new game in the works, Bashy Bug, and he's banking on its success to save his career, and his legacy. From Popular Mechanics:

Day two of the (International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions Convention) finds Fechter on the floor but with a non-working game. This is the first public debut of Bashy Bug.

As Fechter promised, the game is mechanical. The player operates a giant rubber flip-flop while a mutated cockroach skitters underfoot. If you can step on the bug, you earn a point. If the bug escapes when you bring your foot down, the bug earns a point. I know from experience that the system has been wired with a jerking intelligence to randomly stop the bug's run just short of the target that makes this harder than it sounds, and after the bug has scored a few points against you, you'll find yourself sucked in. But nobody here will have that opportunity.

"I haven't slept," Fechter tells me, standing in front of this monument of a purple machine with an animatronic roach face hovering above the scoreboard and Billy Bob painted on the cabinet. There is a mania in his voice that I would blame on fatigue if I hadn't interviewed him before.

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Last chance to buy a TV-B-Gone!

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BB pal Mitch Altman informs us that he's ceased manufacturing on his marvelous invention the TV-B-Gone, a keychain remote control that turns off any television with a push of the button. It's great fun in sports bars, airports, restaurants, and wherever else there's an idiot box that annoys you! Grab one now because when they're gone, you'll have to make your own (also great fun). Mitch writes:

In 2003 I quit my job to explore ways of making a living doing what I love doing. It was kind of scary, since I had no idea how I would make enough money after quitting my work. But I knew that I had to quit doing what was only OK, to make time to explore what I truly love. One thing I knew was that I wanted to design and make one TV-B-Gone remote control -- just for me. I wanted to be able to turn TVs off in public places!

It took me a year and a half to make the first TV-B-Gone remote control. And when I did, I went all over San Francisco turning TVs off everywhere I went -- and enjoying the hell out of it! And, of course my friends all wanted one. So, I made them for all of my friends. But, oddly, most of their friends wanted one. And when it turned out that many of the friends of my friends' friends also wanted one, I thought it would be interesting to make a bunch.

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Bizarre mechanical techno music machine driven by a DJ turntable

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Graham Dunning made this fantastic techno music-making contraption in which a DJ turntable triggers a variety of mechanical percussive sounds that are fed through effects boxes. Incredible!

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Man built an incredible underground bunker in his backyard

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British maker and video host Colin Furze dug up his backyard and built a fantastic underground bunker under his lawn to save himself from the apocalypse or at least hide out and play videogames, rock out on his drum kit, and chow down on canned goods.

"There are more things to add such as air filtration and different power source but it's a great space," Furze says.

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Upvote this: Teach kids in underserved communities how to code with Minecraft

Camp Minecraft. The goal: Bring it to more kids whose families can't pay.

LA Makerspace co-founder Tara Tiger Brown shares a project that her kid-friendly maker workshop is trying to make a reality.

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Rube Goldberg Machine? More like Rube Slowberg Machine.

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Inventor, director and tinkerer Bob Partington made what he claims is the world's slowest Rube Goldberg Machine. Read the rest

Fan of TV painting host Bob Ross? Watch the very first episode of his show.

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What a gem was released upon the internet today! This video of Bob Ross: A Walk in the Woods, was Season 1 Episode 1 of his long-running “anyone can paint” television HOWTO show.

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Obama's coming for your Christmas drones

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Amid growing fears about safety and security risks from unauthorized drone flights, federal regulators say they plan to require pretty much all recreational drones in the U.S. to be registered. Read the rest

Weird sights inside a French museum of miniature scenes

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The Musée Miniature et Cinéma in Lyon, France is home to more than 100 miniature scenes painstakingly crafted by Dan Ohlmann. The artist is a former cabinetmaker and interior designer who has spent two decades hand-making these pocket universes.

"The subtle lighting arrangement, the painstaking replication of old textures, the use of the same original materials, all contribute to the creation of a moving poetry that resonates with each new miniature panorama."

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Fantastic DIY robot "juggles" more than five balls

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Nathan Peterson built this fantastic "juggling" robot that can be programmed with different juggling patterns and handles more than five balls.

"I believe this is the first juggling robot to juggle more than 5 balls," Peterson says. "Yeah it's not toss juggling (into the air), but that would be my next project."

Build notes and images on imgur here.

Here's his full project page with previous designs.

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PocketLab: a $100 scientific "Swiss Army knife"

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The PocketLab is billed as a "Swiss Army Knife of science." Launched via Kickstarter, the small device contains numerous sensors to measure acceleration, force, angular velocity, magnetic field, pressure, altitude, and temperature and send that data to smartphones or laptops. According to inventor Clifton Roozeboom, it's a tool for students and citizen scientists who can't afford to spend tens of thousands of dollars on lab equipment and will get the data they need from this $100 gadget. From IEEE Spectrum:

“If you are doing a classic experiment in AP physics, you might have, say, a track and a pulley and you want to attach a sensor to a cart to measure acceleration, force, and momentum transfer,” says Roozeboom. “The typical gear available is wired, plugs into a specialized handheld gadget with a host of menus to navigate. The students spend a lot of time understanding how to use the gear instead of learning concepts.” In other traditional physics experiments, Roozeboom says, the device can be attached to a rocket to study projectile motion, stuck to a pendulum to look at harmonic motion, or placed inside a tube to measure changes in pressure with volume.

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Man built full-size emoji keyboard(s)

Tom Scott built an "full-size, real-life emoji keyboard" from 14 keyboards labeled with 1,000 stickers to cover everything from Unicode 8. "It's a bit ridiculous," Tom says. 👏 Read the rest

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