If the whole Potter franchise didn't already seem to give UK kids special powers, now this: primary and secondary schoolers can enter a contest by April 5 to program a Raspberry Pi for the International Space Station. Astronauts will upload kids' software to the newest credit-card-sized $35 computer for projects. That happens in November.
Meanwhile, I'm trying to think of a way to pass as a high school kid and also use the gyroscope, magnetometer, temperature probe, and infrared cameras on the Pi to do something cool 300 miles over the planet.
Paul Stankard's impossibly beautiful handblown glass pieces look impossible to create. In Beauty Beyond Nature, he discusses the craft while working in his studio.
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Artist Dan Tanenbaum makes fantastic motorcycle models out of vintage watch parts. Video below!
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The Jason Voorhees/Friday the 13th spoons from Black Death 777 are $37 each, made from recycled old silverware. (via Oh Gizmo)
Royce Hutain of GlowyZoey.com
returns after last year's hit costume for daughter Zoey. This year's rainbow LED and Velcro homage to Minnie Mouse includes instructions on making your own.
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Matt Mets has a Kickstarter for something he calls BlinkyTile.
It's a fun little set of pentagonal LED circuit board tiles that you can solder together to make
geometric shapes, and then program to make dazzling light shows. It's
unique because the LEDs are all connected in parallel, but each one has
it's own address, so you can make any kind of structural topology and
still control each light individually. I would of course appreciate any
attention I could get for it!
Retired naval mechanic José Manuel Hermo Barreiro makes incredibly intricate models of engines like the V-12. (via Devour)
BB pal Adam Savage of Mythbusters is very proud of his incredible new muscle suit! Check out those guns and boulders!
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In the studio with Reed Ghazala, "the father of circuit bending."
Sandman "up cycled" a vinyl record and camera tripod into a neat studio lamp
! (via Laughing Squid)
Colin Furze, who made the amazing DIY Wolverine claws, continues his X-Men experimentation with wristworn Pyro flamethrowers; demo above, how-to video below (via Laughing Squid).
Stanford bioengineer Manu Prakash and his colleagues devised a $5 "chemistry set" that can be programmed to mix various reactants by punching holes in a paper tape and feeding it through the handheld device. Prakash says he was inspired by a hand-cranked music box. This latest device for what Prakash calls "frugal science" is on the heels of his amazing 50-cent folding microscope that I blogged previously.
"Music box inspires a chemistry set for kids and scientists in developing countries" (SCOPE)
Ingenious tech/robot artist Kal Spelletich of Seemen and Survival Research Labs fame is teaching a maker class in San Francisco on creating art involving technology! It sounds fantastic -- a rare opportunity to learn directly from a master of this genre that blends art, science, engineering, cultural criticism, and high weirdness. (Above, a two-minute video survey of Kal's storied career.) Kal says, "We will explore: building installations, carpentry, home-brewing, guerilla gardening, electric wiring, robotics, fire-making, fixing things, plumbing, pnu-matics, pumps, water purification, high-voltage electricity, video surveillance, electronic interfaces, scavenging for materials, cooking alternatives, solar power, skinning a rabbit, lighting, remote control systems, survivalist contemporary art history, and promoting and exhibiting your art.." Kal Spelletich: Research & Survival in the Arts Class
Stanford bioengineer Manu Prakash devised a pretty amazing paper microscope that uses cheap tiny spherical lenses. The "Foldoscope" costs around 50 cents.
“I wanted to make the best possible disease-detection instrument that we could almost distribute for free,” Prakash says. “What came out of this project is what we call use-and-throw microscopy.”
"Stanford bioengineer develops a 50-cent paper microscope"
Over at Institute for the Future's Future Now blog, my colleague Rebecca Chesney writes:
Marc Roth moved to San Francisco to make a better life for his family, but he soon became ill and unable to work. After six months living in a homeless shelter, he used assistance money to take classes at TechShop, a makerspace that provides tools and training for members. Marc learned new skills that led to starting his own laser cutting business, and, more importantly, he found support in an active and engaged community. Now Marc wants to help others who have fallen on hard times and don’t have the skills needed to enter today’s technology-driven economy. He founded The Learning Shelter, a 90-day program that provides housing, training, and mentorship for obtaining a job. A true extreme learner, Marc is teaching others what he learned: that the “permission to fail and encouragement to break through the walls you run into [are] absolutely necessary.”
The Indiegogo campaign is over but Marc's work has just begun: The Learning Shelter (Thanks, Gever Tulley!)
Jeff Highsmith made a fantastic "Mission Control Desk" for his young son who has just started school. It's hidden under a regular desktop.