Australian library releases free, remixable webcomics maker

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Australian libraries and games guy Matt Finch (previously) writes, "This year the Queensland State Library has designed and built a drag and drop comic maker for Fun Palaces and released the code on Github too. Read the rest

DIY Epipen: the $30 Epipencil

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Mylan, the company with a monopoly on FDA-improved epinephrine auto-injectors ("epipens") has quintupled the price of their life-saving technology since 2004, to $600/unit (and they have the be thrown out and replaced every year); for this, Mylan CEO Heather Bresch (daughter of US senator Joe Manchin, who secured her initial job interview through political connections while he was Governor of West Virginia, moving her laterally from her gig as an aerobics instructor) received a 671% raise , bringing her compensation up to $18,931,068. Read the rest

A modern rebuild of the Radio Shack 150-in-One electronics kit

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While looking into the Kano snap-together learning computer kit (Kickstarted in 2013, reviewed here last January) I got to thinking about Radio Shack's classic, much-loved 150-in-One Electronics Kit, which occupied literal years of my time when I was a boy. Read the rest

How to make your own magic "forcing pad"

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"Svengali pads," are magic props that, like a Svengali deck of cards, selectively shaves down alternating leaves so that a performer can seemingly riffle all the pages but only display every second page. Read the rest

Adafruit's Tempest in a Teacup: the world's smallest MAME cabinet

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The fun-lovin' hackers at Adafruit banged together this teensy weensy MAME cabinet over a weekend; it's more of a kludge than a project, and they didn't document the build in its entirety, meaning that making your own is a challenge that the Fruits have thrown down before you. Read the rest

Adafruit's new subscription boxes for makers and hackers

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Phil from Adafruit sez, "Adafruit released and shipped one of the only maker/hacker subscription boxes." Read the rest

WATCH: forging a d20 out of red hot steel

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How many burritos does it take to forge a giant steel dice of doom? Watch Gil Ramirez (aka Vlogsmith) excellent process video and find out!

[via] Read the rest

Supermaker John Edgar Park shares his bitters recipe

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Within days of our move to Los Angeles last summer, John Edgar Park and family came over with a bottle of his homemade bitters. It's been a year of astounding cocktails, thanks to him. Read the rest

Octopus George backpack

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Belarusian crafter Orange Cat created the Octopus George felted backpack for "crazy octopus lovers" and "sailor man who loves the sea and marine creatures." Read the rest

The Mutant Vehicles of Burning Man

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Scott London, a longtime burner and photographer (see his 2014 photo book, Burning Man: Art on Fire), produced an amazing set of portraits of art cars -- "mutant vehicles" -- from this year's event, including Maria Del Camino (previously), a flying El Camino/tank hybrid that lives in Liminal Labs, where I camp with its creator, the amazing Bruce Tomb. Read the rest

Jimmy DiResta makes a wooden spoon

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Jimmy DiResta shot this video of his spoon-making process for MAKE.

Lately I have been seeing the complexity inside seemingly simple objects. I recently made a simple bell in brass, which caused me to look at other products I can challenge myself to make. A funny thing is that I approach the creation of a new object like this spoon without knowing exactly how I will solve all the problems to create it. The joy comes from figuring out this process along the way. This was a 100-plus-year-old piece of yellow pine found in a dumpster in New York City. It was part of a beam. Notice the many growth rings. I didn't use any finish because the wood was still somewhat sappy. Please enjoy.

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Shaper Origin is a handheld CNC router

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I just watched a few of the demo videos for the Shaper Origin. It's a handheld, computer numerical control, router that allows you to cut precise shapes into flat stock. Since it is handheld, there's really no limit to the size of the things you want to cut out. Looks really cool. It costs around $1500. Read the rest

Lost in Space prop computer remake

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Brian Mix shows off his replica Jupiter 2 computer, a remake based on the 1960s TV Lost in Space show -- which was also used as the 1966 Bat Computer in the Batman TV show. Read the rest

Great deal on Electronics for Kids book

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I have a copy of Electronics for Kids: Play with Simple Circuits and Experiment with Electricity, by Oyvind Nydal Dahl. It's a full-color introduction to electronics, and is useful for kids and adults who want to get started in hobbyist electronics. Right now, this 328 page book is on sale for just $11 on Amazon.

Why do the lights in a house turn on when you flip a switch? How does a remote-controlled car move? And what makes lights on TVs and microwaves blink? The technology around you may seem like magic, but most of it wouldn't run without electricity.

Electronics for Kids demystifies electricity with a collection of awesome hands-on projects. In Part 1, you'll learn how current, voltage, and circuits work by making a battery out of a lemon, turning a metal bolt into an electromagnet, and transforming a paper cup and some magnets into a spinning motor. In Part 2, you'll make even more cool stuff as you: Solder a blinking LED circuit with resistors, capacitors, and relays Turn a circuit into a touch sensor using your finger as a resistor Build an alarm clock triggered by the sunrise Create a musical instrument that makes sci-fi sounds

Then, in Part 3, you'll learn about digital electronics--things like logic gates and memory circuits--as you make a secret code checker and an electronic coin flipper. Finally, you'll use everything you've learned to make the LED Reaction Game--test your reaction time as you try to catch a blinking light!

With its clear explanations and assortment of hands-on projects, Electronics for Kids will have you building your own circuits in no time.

Read the rest

What's inside a Tiki Bird?

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Kevin Kidney owns a couple of audio-animatronic birds from the Enchanted Tiki Room, the first Disney showcase for robotic animals, still running and glorious today -- he's decided to make them good as new, and is documenting his process. Read the rest

Print Workshop – Print up all kinds of fun stuff with this step-by-step handbook for the DIY artist

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See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Print Workshop: Hand-Printing Techniques and Truly Original Projects by Christine Schmidt Potter Craft 2010, 176 pages, 7.5 x 9 x 0.7 inches (softcover) $16 Buy a copy on Amazon

A year after moving, I am still finding miscellaneous books tucked into previously unpacked boxes. Luckily, that means I get to rediscover favorites like Christine Schmidt’s Print Workshop: Hand-printing Techniques and Truly Original Projects. With step-by-step instructions, project templates, and illustrated project and resource guides, this book serves as both an exhaustive guide for the DIY-er just starting out in printmaking, as well as a jumping-off point for artists who need a nudge toward new ideas.

Schmidt, the creative force behind San Francisco’s Yellow Owl Workshop, organizes the book into several helpful and easy-to-navigate sections. She opens with a brief but thorough introduction to the processes of printmaking, followed by a comprehensive guide, complete with photos and drawings, to setting up a home studio and choosing materials. These initial images of materials-for-making reappear in the technique chapters, plucked from the original grid shots to become part of each project, transformed into visual verbs for the printing process.

As someone who has no formal training in printmaking, I was especially interested in the breadth of the form. The “Relief Printing” chapter, for example, hosts a wax seal project, and “Image Transfer Printing” includes refreshingly simple pin-prick stationary. This book is full of fantastic gift ideas (I’ll be making the sweet-potato-printed picnic set for a wedding present, and my holiday preserves are about to get gussied-up with water-slide decal jars), and because printing is made for multiples, I plan to make a whole cache of go-to homemade presents to pull from throughout the year. Read the rest

Two new great books for Arduino and electronics projects

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No Starch Press just released two nice books. Arduino Project Handbook by Mark Geddes has 25 beginner-friendly projects that use Arduino (a low cost electronic prototyping platform), including a Simon-like memory game, a weather station, and a wireless ID card entry system. Electronics for Kids, by Øyvind Nydal Dahl, starts with an easy-to-grok explanation of voltage and current, and has a lot of practical information about components and tools and instructions on how to use breadboards and a soldering iron. The projects look like fun, too. One is a musical instrument that makes sci-fi sounds, and another is a sunrise-activated alarm clock.

Both books are full color throughout and beautifully designed.

Read the rest

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