At long last, here's video of the Cambodian bamboo railroad I wrote about in 2006; this being a homebrew railroad running at 40km/h off an electric motor, along decrepit and degenerating rails that only see one scheduled train per week. It's a pretty amazing ride.
Noah sez, "What goes together better than Alice in Wonderland and black-light posters?! I'm excited to be a part of this cool project that just launched on Kickstarter. Eight artists have worked together to create a set of 16 original black-light reactive screen printed posters inspired by characters and scenes from the classic Lewis Carroll stories. The best part is that each of the posters actually transforms in surprising ways in their black-light lit state. Now we just need your help to make them a reality!" $25 gets you a small print, $55 gets you a big one, $400 gets you the whole set of 16.
Black Alice: a screen printed, black-light poster series
David sez, "The Restart Project is a London-based social enterprise and charity aiming at changing our relationship with information technologies by empowering people to repair and reuse their electronic devices.
The Restart Project's vision is one based on collaboration and creativity -- combining online knowledge sharing and cooperation with tangible activities in real life. One of the main such activity have been 'Restart Parties', community repair events, where all kinds of electronics are taken apart and repaired by owners together with volunteer repairers (Restarters). The aim is to promote increased lifespan, share repair skills and promote sustainable and informed consumption of information technologies.
The Restart Project just celebrated its first birthday. In one year, it has thrown 27 Restart Parties, involving and empowering over 500 Londoners of all ages, backgrounds and groups and saving an approximate 393 kilograms of electronics from waste, which is roughly the weight of a polar bear."
the restart project | repair, don't despair! towards a better relationship with electronics
This wonderful porthole-made-of-books is part of the design for the John W. Doull Bookseller store in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and warrants a side-trip all on its own.
John W. Doull Bookseller
(via That Book Smell)
Celia Moase Photography)
TRAQ is a senior project from a group of Northeastern University engineering students; it's a quadcopter that seeks out and homes in on radio signals. As they write, "The quadcopter's potential applications include disaster relief, surveillance, search-and-rescue, and stolen goods recovery."
I'm interested in the technology as a way to get cameras automatically directed to hotspots in places like Gezi Park -- the drones could automatically focus on police based on their emergency radios, ensuring that the cops were always in shot.
This 3D printed bowtie ain't cheap ($115), but it's got a clever little fitting (it buttons straight onto your collar-button), and it also looks like a fun project to recreate with your local hackspace's 3D printer.
Make Magazine interviews Werner Strama, who built his own teardrop camping trailer (here's a detailed HOWTO if you want to try it yourself). Strama talks about how he approached the project and the lessons he learned about scratch-building something ambitious and wonderful:
After we decided on the teardrop, I started collecting hundreds of pictures of all the items we believed would be best for our needs: that is, three person sleeping area, a small kitchen in the back, self-powered when needed, very well insulated, for we would be going camping year round to different places, especially hot springs (we have very nice ones in Colorado). Also I needed to keep the costs down so not to be a burden on our finances, and not to fall into the “credit card trap.”
I enrolled my neighbor Denny since he is just an amazing bargain hunter on camping stuff; he was the one who found the old popup camper for free, as well as the stove with the oven, which turned out to be a very nice touch. With the trailer chassis, I set to calculate dimensions and average weights to maintain 12–15% of the total weight on the hitch, which would make sure the trailer would be stable. All it takes is some simple math and three bathroom scales. Then it was a matter of getting the wood, some extra tools, like a router, and a sabre saw to cut the profiles.
How and Why I Built My Own Teardrop Camper Trailer
Scott Bedford is creative director at an ad agency in London and for the past several years has been writing and illustrating a how-to column of kid-friendly projects for MAKE. His sense of humor and artistic skill appeal to me, so I was excited to find out that he's got a new book out: Made By Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff.
Here's a few of the projects in Made by Dad: Martian Door Decal, Earthquake Coat Hook, 1-Ton Lampshade, Cat-Trap Birdfeeder, Table Leg Moon Mine, Snappy Toast Rack, Titanic Bookshelf Art, Slingshot Car Launcher, Marvelous Marble Bouncer, Teddy Through the Center of the Earth, Snail Soup Decoy, and Surveillance Camera Stash. How can you go wrong with a list like that?
Below, complete instructions for making a Godzilla Skyline.
Read the rest
"Hi, and welcome to Game of Drones, the new show where we design, build, and fight unmanned aerial vehicles." A fun show with a lot of good info for budding drone enthusiasts.
Shintaro Hayashi, a Tokyo prosthetics maker, spent most of this life making medical prostheses for people who'd lost breasts, limbs, etc, but now does a booming trade in fake pinkie fingers for ex-yakuza gangsters who don't want to broadcast their criminal past (yakuza members who screw up have their pinkies lopped off in retaliation).
The doctor molds silicone prosthetic pinkies, made to seamlessly mask the amputation, making for a smoother transition to the outside world. Priced at nearly $3,000 each, the fingers are carefully painted, to match the exact skin color of the client. Former yakuza members, who make up 5 percent of Hayashi's business, often keep several sets of fingers for different seasons – the light skinned version for winter, and a tanned look for summer.
Hayashi sums up his clientele in three categories: Those who are dragged into his office by girlfriends worried about their reputations, ex-members who are eager to move up the corporate ladder but worried about the repercussions of their past being exposed, longtime yakuza who have no intention of getting out, but need to cover up for a child's wedding or grandchild's sporting event.
"Many people keep a fist, to prevent detection," he said. "But there comes a point where you can't hide your fingers any longer. Some people have one joint severed, others have worse," he said.
Prosthetic Fingers Help Reform Japan's Feared Yakuza Gangsters [Akiko Fujita/ABC]
Todd sez, "Check out this awesome LED strip lights controlled by a simple controller board. Matt Mets went through the Haxlr8r program and came out with this project, with the help of Marty McGuire and Max Henstell. Just a few days left to get in on it."
BlinkyTape is a one meter long, full-color light tape with 60 independent RGB LEDs controlled by our custom light processor. Power and communications are provided by a built-in micro-USB connector. An on-board button allows for simple interactions such as choosing between effects.
BlinkyTape is flexible, so you can easily integrate it into any shape your project needs. BlinkyTape also comes enclosed in weatherproof silicone, so it's suitable for outdoor use!
It's $50 minimum pledge for a meter of the tape (as with all Kickstarters: caveat emptor, you may get nothing).
BlinkyTape: The LED Strip Reinvented
Everything I hear about Mystic Manor, the new Haunted Mansion at Hong Kong Disneyland, makes me insane with desire to ride this thing. It's like something that sprang full-blown out of my fevered imagination and into a pile of landfill in the South China Sea. Case in point: this short doc on the ride's operation from Inside the Magic.
Making of Mystic Manor with Imagineers and executives at Hong Kong Disneyland
Here's a sweet little cookery show that will tell you how to make a facsimile egg from Aliens and a chestburster cake. The former is something you could actually serve at a dinner party (it sounds delicious!), but the cake requires a volunteer willing to lie on her/his back.
Edible Alien Eggs | BITE CLUB - Alien (1979)
I enjoyed Dark Rye's video about I3's Nicholas Britsky and the maker movement in Detroit. Dark Rye's entire Detroit issue is excellent.
Michael Birken lays out, in detail, a method for teaching a computer to draw arbitrary 8-bit images by playing Tetris, strategically deploying blocks of various colors to cause exactly the picture you want to emerge. The method is (as you'd imagine), starkly terrifying in its complexity, but the video speaks for itself.
The algorithm converts pixels from a source image into squares in the Tetris playfield, one row at a time from the bottom up. To generate an individual square, the algorithm assembles a structure consisting of a rectangular region fully supported by a single square protruding from the bottom. When the rectangular region is completed, its rows are cleared, leaving behind the protruding square. Three examples of the process appear below.
The algorithm can also generate multiple squares with a single structure as shown below.
During construction of a row, all of the squares produced by this method must be supported. In the images above, the generated squares are supported by the floor of the playfield. However, if an arbitrary row contains holes, it may not provide the support necessary for the construction of the row above it. The algorithm solves this problem by constructing a flat platform on top of the row with holes. In the animation below, a platform is built above a row comprising of a single red square. The platform is a temporary structure and inserting the final piece removes it.
Tetris Printer Algorithm
(via Hacker News)