I used to write ads for Sears, and I always admired their influence in American DIY/maker culture. They had a huge influence on reducing local general stores' price-gouging practices, and they gave consumers access to goods that were hard to come by (they started when there were no cars and only 38 US states). Back when Sears, Roebuck & Co. and Montgomery Ward were battling it out over who would be the analog version of Amazon, Sears offered increasingly ambitious and specialized catalogs. One of their most ambitious projects was mail-order homes, inspired by success of The Aladdin Company. Last year, Cory blogged about Thomas Edison's similar prefab concrete home venture. But Sears Modern Homes had huge success with their wood-framed homes from 1908 through the Great Depression. Their cheapest model was $107 in 1908 (about $2,000 today). Unlike a lot of modern prefab, these were made to last; you can still find these homes here and there around the country.
Last month, engineer Shane Wighton of Stuff Made Here impressed the Internet with his curiously engineered wooden basketball backboard that helps the ball into the hoop. (Video below.) His latest version, above, employs computer vision and robotics to track the ball and tilt the backboard to direct the ball through the basket.
Russian artist Roman Booteen modifies coins with incredible engravings and feats of mechanical engineering. This coin features a beating heart. Other exquisite examples of his work are below. He also customizes Zippo lighters. (via Kottke) View this post on Instagram #hobonickel #goldinlay #morgandollar #engraved #engravedcoin #hobonickel #hobonickels A post shared by Roman Booteen (@romanbooteen) on […]
A guy on the Apple discussion forum started a thread titled, “Why do your Charger Cables have the lifespan of a housefly?” That question is probably enough to elicit a whole bunch of head nods from virtually everyone reading this, whether you’re an iPhone user, an Android owner or have virtually any device that needs […]
For all their power and capabilities, image editing software isn’t like sitting down to play a video game. You aren’t there to have fun. You’re likely looking to make a few minor tweaks to an image to make it ready to be shared, then you move on with satisfaction in a job well done. If […]
This is truly a golden age for fans of a big ginormous TV screen. Not too long ago, to buy a television over 40 inches usually meant wheeling one of those massive Mitsubishi or Toshiba projection monoliths into your home, consuming a vast portion of any room at a cost of potentially $7,000 to $8,000. […]