Guest blogger: William Gurstelle

Bill Portrait Small

I'm really looking forward to what our next guest blogger, William Gurstelle has in store for us. I met Bill a number of years ago when he started writing how-to articles to MAKE and since then he's become a good friend and inspiration.

He's one of those people who is curious about everything under the sun, and the only way he can satisfy his curiosity is by rolling up and sleeves and getting his hands dirty. For MAKE, he's written about potato cannons, Tensegrity towers, ornithopters, Stirling engines, giant whistles, bullwhips, taffy pullers, gunpowder, mast photography and dippy bird science. He also appears on Make: television as a host and technical consultant.

Bill says:

I'm very pleased to be your guest blogger for the next couple of weeks. I guess I'll begin by introducing myself.

I'm a engineer, a writer, and I give talks, sometimes on cruise ships. (It's good work when you can get it.) I like to write and talk about technology, especially if it the fun sort of tech that shoots, flies, flops, or goes boom. I spend a lot of time in my workshop out back which I like to call the Barrage Garage.

In 2001, I wrote Backyard Ballistics, which is a book of PG-13 science projects, all of which go whoosh or boom at some point in their fabrication or operation. It's a weird little niche I concede, but by golly, it's my niche and I try to make the most of it.

My other books include The Art of the Catapult, Whoosh Boom Splat, Building Bots, and Adventures from the Technology Underground, all of which tread inside my strange little space of book store real estate.

I'm also a contributing editor at MAKE Magazine (I wrote, among other projects, the Jam Jar Jet Engine, The Hamster Powered Night Light, Orly the Ornithopter, and my personal favorite, the the Taser Powered Spud Gun.) That led to a stint writing for and appearing on air on Make: television, the national television show that's carried on most PBS stations.

And today, my sixth book comes out. It's entitled Absinthe and Flamethrowers: Projects and Ruminations on the Art of Living Dangerously. I'll describe in more detail in post to follow shortly, but it's the kind of book that the world needs more of.