The MIT Media Lab's Lifelong Kindergarten Group has shipped version 2.0 of Scratch, the justly famed and much-loved programming language for kids. Scratch makes it easy to create powerful simulations and games, even for small kids (basically, if you can read, you're ready for Scratch). The new version of Scratch runs right in a browser (no downloads or installs required), and is remarkable in its polish and power to excite. The programming environment is embedded in a sharing and shareable community, with millions of Scratch projects ready to be downloaded and remixed. It's just amazing.
With Scratch, you can program your own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share your creations with others in the online community.
Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively — essential skills for life in the 21st century.
Etsy maker CthulhuWakeUp made this stonking chestburster necklace pendant, and granted an interview to the Girl Gone Geek blog about his art:
Practicing digital sculpture in my own time, I came up with the Cthulhu pendant and I really wanted to do something with it. I put it up in kickstarter and raised money to make 150 of them. I was thrilled not only that I was able to share my personal work but to make some money along the way too. After that I decided to work towards making a side business of it. Unfortunately, I can’t work as fast as I would like to towards that goal but I’m getting there!
McArthur Genius Grant winner and maker hero Saul Griffith and his friends have a fully funded Kickstarter on the go for the "Othermill," a computer-controlled mill for creating your own custom circuit-boards -- and for milling decorative or functional shapes from "metal, wood, wax, and plastic." It's a compact desktop tool designed for home use.
With our mill, you can produce custom circuit boards quickly and cheaply. You can make all your projects light up, beep, and move. Wearable circuits, custom guitar effects pedals, and quadcopter electronics are all within reach - without waiting for boards to come back from the manufacturer. Even though the Othermill is optimized for cutting circuit boards, it can also cut metal, wood, wax, and plastic. It is great for engraving and milling 3D shapes for jewelry or mold making.
The Othermill was designed with PCBs in mind, and they were the very first thing we tested when we had a working machine. The precision and accuracy of the Othermill allows you to reliably cut 10 mil trace and space on FR-1 PCB stock. You can create custom circuits that fit into odd 3D printed parts, seamlessly integrate electronics into your clothing, and free up your Arduinos for other applications.
In 1948, a group of makers in Chicago's "National Bicycle Dealers’ Association" took to modding their bikes in very creative and downright weird ways. They are the progenitors of Cyclecide, San Francisco's crazy bike carnival and rodeo creators! Above, the "Gangbusters Bike" outfitted with "13 shotguns, two revolvers, six bayonets and a flare gun." At right, the "Uno-Wheel," which "if braked suddenly, has been known to spin its rider round and round inside the big main wheel." More photos at LIFE. "Hell on Wheels: Life With Mutant Bicycles"
Disunion is a guillotine simulator that uses the Oculus Rift VR headset to bring you a realistic experience of being beheaded (this experience is enhanced by a strategic neck-chop!). It was created in two days at the Exile game jam by Erkki Trummal,
André Berlemont and
Morten Brunbjerg, who clearly enjoy making people feel like they're had their heads lopped off just a little too much.
Rick sez, "Hannah Peel found an old musical box in her grandmother's trunk, and rebuilt it, sampled it, looped it and created this lovely cover version of the OMD song Electricity. The very inexpensive EP includes similar versions of Blue Monday and Tainted Love. Exquisite!"
Scott A. Stevenson modded a Blu-ray laser flashlight to run at 500mW and used it to pop 100 black balloons. For science!
100 black balloons vs. Blu-ray laser! It is all over in under 8 seconds. The sound they make as they pop is a bit mesmerizing!
Note: The laser used in this video is custom made from a flashlight body and the laser diode from a 12X speed Blu-ray burner drive and not purchased in a store or online.
This ingenious technique for safeguarding books from falling in the bathtub was invented by redditor Crash-From-Space's 8-year-old daughter. The suction cup came from the plumbing aisle at Home Despot.
Not content with a "crappy plastic Thor's hammer," Caleb from Hackaday made himself a Tesla-coil-equipped Mjolnir with a tiny, 80,000 volt Tesla coil in its head. It shoots lightning! Lots of built photos on the Hackaday site, too.
I had seen some videos of [Staci Elaan] showing off her battery-powered coils and I really liked her results. I figured, with her experience, she could probably do a better job than I could on getting the most bang out of a small package. She was happy to be involved and delivered a small 12v powered coil for me to work with. I should also point out that the coils [Staci] makes are usually donated to educational groups. This woman is awesome.
She had built this big flat head on it, with the initial plan being that it would be the front “face” of the hammer. It didn’t really work out that way though. I ended up having to increase the size of the head a bit and change the orientation of the coil. I experimented with different types of foam and you can see in the “making of” video what I finally ended up using. The blue insulation board you see in the pictures melted way too easily.
With just a few steps, you can turn one of Adafruit's Massive Red Arcade Button kits into a working (ish) HAL9000 computer:
Devoted film fans will spend countless hours and hundreds of dollars (occasionally even thousands) to create flawless replica props for their personal collections. The iconic eye of HAL 9000 from 2001: a Space Odyssey is one such object of desire…popular enough that detailed (and pricey) licensed reproductions exist. This is cool stuff! But if we relax our criteria just a bit, you or I can turn out a pretty decent, recognizable facsimile in a weekend for just a small fraction of the cost. The 80/20 rule in action!
We’re not selling a prop or even a kit here…that would raise a big licensing stink, so please don’t ask. What follows are some ideas on creating one yourself. Much like our not-a-Back-to-the-Future-clock project, the concept came about when customers noted that a component already in our shop resembled an unrelated film item — in this case, our Massive Red Arcade Button and HAL’s distinctive lens.