MAKE: custom action figure head paint job

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Even when action-figure head sculpts are great, the paintjobs can be pretty indifferent, with eyelashes on foreheads. Ibentmyman-thing has, through trial-and-error, come up with a method for priming and painting heads, with gorgeous results. Read the rest

Kickstarting a jewelry-making kit for girls that teaches coding

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Robbo writes, "Giapetta's Workshop is a multi-faceted interactive adventure story and hand-crafting jewelry kit, all-in-one, for 8-12 year olds that teaches the fundamentals of coding. They're running a Kickstarter campaign to get everything rolling with the goal of getting 5,000 girls coding in 30 days." Read the rest

Mark on Skillshare AMA

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At 1pm PT today (in 5 minutes!) I'll be on a Skillshare Ask Me Anything. As the title suggests, you can ask me anything, but I'll primarily be talking about Arduino and DIY tools and techniques for makers. Read the rest

Ar ar humor: Generating jokes algorithmically with Wolfram Mathematica

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Kathryn Cramer writes, "Jesse Friedman, age 14, has developed some code for getting Wolfram Language to tell a few jokes. Although most of WL's jokes are not funny, the generative language tools are an interesting toy." Read the rest

This woman made an alarm clock that slaps her in the face

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Simone Giertz says, "I built an alarm clock that wakes me up in the morning by slapping me in the face with a rubber arm. I picked apart a clock, wired it to an Arduino UNO and controlled a 165 rpm brushless DC motor through a relay."

(Thanks, Matthew!) Read the rest

Make: Humble Bundle: name your price for books for makers

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The latest Humble Ebook Bundle features Make: books from "Planes, Gliders, and Paper Rockets" to "Bicycle Projects" to the "Illustrated Guide to Home Forensic Science Experiments" -- 17 titles in all, with more to come. Name your price and get $200+ worth of ebooks, with charitable donations to the Maker Ed projects. Read the rest

Celebrate Media Literacy week all-year round with these fabulous resources

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Gus writes, "November 2-6 was Media Literacy Week, that great traditional festival of questioning everything we read and talking back to the TV. OK, so it's only ten years old... and this is the first year it's been formally observed in the United States, which has long lagged behind other English-speaking countries in media literacy initiatives (even South Africa before the fall of apartheid!) [pdf]. But why shouldn't it become a tradition? It makes a great lead-in to Buy Nothing Day at the end of November." Read the rest

Typewriter portraiture, the strange story of 1920s ASCII art

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In 1919, a 16-year old LA Times office boy named Kenneth Taylor was given a back-page spread to show off his typewriter portraits of film stars; Taylor's work then spread to Photoplay, and a new medium was born. Read the rest

Protopiper: tape-gun-based 3D printer extrudes full-size furniture prototypes

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The Protopiper (white paper [PDF]) is a modified tape-gun that extrudes regular, precise lengths of hollow tubing made from packing tape, with which you can prototype room-sized objects at full size to get a sense of the masses and scales involved. Read the rest

Best of MAKE, Vol 2: 65 cool DIY projects from the magazine

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My favorite part of MAKE has always been the how-to projects, and this second volume of the Best of MAKE contains complete instructions for 65 projects ranging from a sous vide cooker, to a beginners Arduino Robot, to a helium balloon imaging "satellite," to a cigar box guitar (written by yours truly). Most of these projects were published while I was editor-in-chief of MAKE, and it's great to see them available in one low cost volume. The Kindle edition is just $8. The first volume of the Best of MAKE is still in print, too. Read the rest

New Zealand's lost colossus: all-mechanical racetrack oddsmaking computer

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In 1913, George Julius installed a building-sized, all mechanical odds-calculating computer at Auckland, NZ's Ellerslie racetrack, powered by huge iron weights that slowly pulled down bike chains over sprockets, driving the clockwork device as it "totalised" all the bets laid on horses at the track, keeping the odds in constant balance so that all the bettors were effectively betting against one another, in a system called "pari-mutuel" betting. Read the rest

GIF Dance Party lets you get down with all your favorite loops

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There's even a dancing baby! It's based on a mobile installation for hire that prompts your guests to turn themselves into loops that they can then drag around on a virtual stage. Read the rest

A fictional but physically real world of dolls that heal a beaten man

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See sample pages from this book at Wink.

For much of the 1990s, Mark Hogancamp of Kingston, New York, adhered to a predictable pattern of waking up, going to work, returning home, drinking as much as a half-gallon of vodka, and then passing out. He was a serious alcoholic, as Hogancamp and Chris Shellen make clear in Welcome to Marwencol (Shellen produced a documentary on Hogancamp’s life in 2010). He also liked to dress in women’s clothes.

Hogancamp didn’t know it, but this last fact would change his life when he drunkenly mentioned it to a stranger in the Luny Tune Saloon, sometime before closing in the wee hours of April 8, 2000. Shortly after exiting the bar, he was brutally beaten by the man and four others, who left his broken and bloodied body in the middle of the street. He would spend nine days in a coma and more than a month in the hospital.

After his release, Hogancamp’s recovery was aided, essentially, by playing with dolls. He got into it when he rediscovered his childhood interest in World War II miniatures. The tiny objects, though, were too small for Hogancamp’s shaky, post-recovery hands to paint, so the owners of his local hobby shop suggested he try detailing figures at a larger 1:6 scale. Dressing the figures proved good therapy for Hogancamp, and before long he had moved on to Barbies and action figures, for whom he eventually built a fictional but physically real place called Marwencol, named after himself, a friend named Wendy, and a neighbor named Colleen. Read the rest

Gorgeous book of paper airplanes collected by anthropologist Harry Smith

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h Brian writes, "Avant-garde film maker and producer of the highly influential Anthology of American Folk Music series Harry Smith was also an avid collector of folk art. This book compiles some 251 paper airplanes Smith collected from off the streets of New York City, along with the date and location at which they were recovered. It's a really beautiful collection." Read the rest

Inkjet Samhain: awesome, printable Hallowe'en masks

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Super Punch's annual roundup of printable Hallowe'en masks includes some old faves and some stunning new entries in the race to celebrate a truly incredible inkjet Samhain. Read the rest

This USB charger is powered by an electric wheelchair

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Josh Winkler is the engineer & inventor behind Cripple Concepts - an innovative startup that provides assistive tech for people with disabilities, made and designed by people with disabilities.

Read the rest

Handmade glowing radio-tube USB drives

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Created by Latvia's Slavatech, these glowing, copper-chased USB drives come in 8/16/32/64GB starting at $39 -- they glow LED blue when plugged in. (via M1k3y) Read the rest

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