73 Plans That Will Change the Way You Grow Your Garden

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See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Groundbreaking Food Gardens: 73 Plans That Will Change the Way You Grow Your Garden by Niki Jabbour, illustrations by Anne Smith, Elayne Sears and Mary Ellen Carsley Storey Publishing 2014, 272 pages, 8 x 10 x 0.8 inches (softcover) $15 Buy a copy on Amazon

Fittingly, the layout of Groundbreaking Food Gardens is similar to a community garden. Within the landscape of this one book, readers find 73 distinct plots, each neatly contained, each with its own character in the beds of text and image. In it, edible gardening expert Niki Jabbour curates 73 thematically diverse illustrated plans contributed by master food growers and writers with unendingly fresh perspectives. Each mini-chapter opens with three or four cornerstones of the design therein, and these points become headers for each section, like garden markers for the reader.

Even the most bibliophilic gardener has to admit, it’s hard to find a good gardening book that says or does something new. But within the first 24 hours of bringing home Groundbreaking Food Gardens, I had filled it with every bit of scrap paper in our bookmark pile. Though more of a design lookbook than a how-to, it still offers plenty of information. Woven throughout the plans, there are both practical tips and historical gardening factoids to appeal to new and seasoned gardeners alike. You wouldn’t use a bean pole to support a squash, and so the scaffolding of each design chapter changes slightly to reflect the 73 unique concepts. Read the rest

Snail shell helmets

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Heather Ann, a Dallas costume/prosthetics maker, created these $110 snail shell helmets (tentacles not currently included). Read the rest

Watch a fake head of cabbage and other fake food being made

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Watch this talented guy make realistic food by pouring melted wax in a water bath. He's making the samples seen in Japanese restaurant windows.

Gujo town in Gifu prefecture of Japan is the place where technology of making these ultra-realistic food samples used to show menu in Japanese restaurants began. These samples are made out of plastic, wax and other materials, and then painted. It is also possible to try making some simple samples by yourself.

Read the rest

How to bake a Pie-Ger: the HR Giger Pie

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"HR Pieger" Recipe by Jessica Leigh Clark-Bojin (aka @ThePieous) Read the rest

The Zen of Making: 13 Rules for Creating an Open Source Community

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I was using Spotlight on OS X to find my Zen Desktop Cleaner app when "The Zen of Making" showed up. I forgot all about it, but I'm glad I came across it again.

Adapted from a talk by Massimo Banzi, co-founder of Arduino, presented at World Maker Faire 2011 in New York.

1. Don’t make something you don’t use yourself.

2. Know who you are making it for.

3. Know what you want out of it.

4. Make projects, not platforms.

5. Respect the intelligence of the beginner.

6. Experts are not the best advisors when you want to make tools for beginners.

7. If nobody complains you're doing something wrong.

8. Including people is hard (but necessary)

9. Good hardware, good software, good explanations, and generous users make a great project

10. If you're not prepared to have someone adapt, improve, clone, or trash your work, don't share it.

11. Open source software doesn't necessarily translate into a business model... open source hardware must.

12. Expect resistance... and conspiracy theories.

13. Don’t let the fact that you don't know what you're doing stop you.

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Mover Kit - a programmable wearable kit for kids

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My friends Bethany and Daniel, founders of Technology Will Save Us, have developed the "world’s first active wearable that kids, young and old, can make and code themselves." It's called the Mover, and it looks like a lot of fun to build, program, and use! Read the rest

How to build a microcontroller-driven cold brew coffee drip tower

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Our friend and frequent Boing Boing contributor John Edgar Park built a large cold brew coffee drip tower using laser cut parts, lab glassware, a food-safe solenoid valve, and Arduino-based controller. I'm waiting for him to invite me over for a glass of ice coffee!

I love cold brew coffee. Its rich and delicious flavor, and low acidity, means it tastes great over ice. Traditional hot-brewed coffee methods simply can’t compare; when chilled and served on ice they tend to taste diluted and acidic. I have a small commercial drip tower that works very well, however, given the fact that cold brew takes up to 18 hours to brew, it’s disappointing to finish it off in just a few drinks. You can buy large cold-brew towers, but they’re very expensive, aimed at coffee shops. I decided to build a much larger brewing tower from scratch, and to make it considerably higher precision while I was at it — drip rate is everything when it comes to cold brew — using a microcontroller-driven solenoid valve for exact drip rate.

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What's the best way to distribute numbers on the faces of a D120?

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Exotic polyhedron purveyor Dice Lab's crowning randomizer is its monstrous, $12 120-sided die. Read the rest

Knit facehugger masks

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These facehugger facewarmers come from Brooklyn weird textiles queen Knitrocious (previously). They're made to order from acrylic yarn and cost $150 each: "Legs have clips so that they can be worn around the head (you know, during sexy time) or unclipped just hang out." Read the rest

Tiny, 8-bit console designed for hackability and homebrew game development

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Pocket CHIP is a tiny, $50, ARM-based pocket games console with a full keyboard and a Bluetooth interface. Read the rest

Prolific and talented D&D map-drawer

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Dyson Logos's G+ account is an endlessly scrolling inventory of hand-drawn D&D maps, each one cooler than the last. Read the rest

A Burglar's Guide to the City: burglary as architectural criticism

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For years, Geoff Manaugh has entertained and fascinated us with his BLDGBLOG, and now he's even better at full-length, with A Burglar's Guide to the City (previously), a multidisciplinary, eclectic, voraciously readable book that views architecture, built environments, and cities themselves through the lens of breaking-and-entering.

R2-D2 derby

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You know, for your Star Wars/Mary Poppins mashup theme wedding! $550 from Etsy seller The Blonde Swan, who makes them to order, and will also do you a BB-8 bowler (same price) if that's your thing. (via Geeks Are Sexy) Read the rest

Musical salute to mechanical keyboards

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The latest Pseudorandom installment features Limor "Lady Ada" Fried and Collin Cunningham extolling the virtues of mechanical keyboards for 40 fascinating minutes:

The climax of this is the video at the top of this post in which a musical number is backed with an all-mechanical-keyboard rhythm section. Read the rest

Star Simpson is designing classic circuits from Forrrest Mims' "Getting Started in Electronics"

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The talented engineer Star Simpson is designing circuits from in Forrest M. Mims' terrific 1980s electronics books published by Radio Shack. They look great!

Each circuit depicts an original, traced and hand-drawn schematic created by Forrest Mims for his iconic books Getting Started in Electronics, and the Engineers’ Notebook series. Every board includes a description of how it works, in Mims’ handwriting, on the reverse side.

Alongside the schematic is the circuit itself. Paired with the components you need to build up timeless examples such as the Dual-LED Flasher, the Stepped Tone Generator, and the Bargraph Voltage Indicator, each board is carefully designed for easy assembly recreating the wonder of learning how electronics work— whether it’s your first soldering project or your fifty-thousandth.

Here's Star on the O'Reilly Hardware podcast talking about designing beautiful circuit boards: Read the rest

Classic paper on economic models is secretly a masterclass in thinking, talking, writing and convincing

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Hal Varian, now Google's chief economist, wrote "How to Build an Economic Model in Your Spare Time," a classic paper, in 1994 while teaching at UC Berkeley (he's still an emeritus there). Read the rest

Bake: An amazing space-themed Hubble cake

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Baker/cookbook author Heather Baird was so inspired by a book of photos from the Hubble space telescope that she created a "Black Velvet Nebula Cake" that is studded with edible white confetti sprinkles to create a starscape that shoots right through the whole cross-section, while the surface is intricately painted with gorgeous nebulae made from tinted edible gels. Read the rest

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