Placing other people's poop in your person is a piss-poor plan

I can't believe I have to write this, but maybe jamming other people's shit up your ass isn't a great idea.

When done by medical professions, under very specific circumstances, a fecal transplant can mean the difference between life and death: implanting feces containing healthy gut microbiome into a patient's body has been used by doctors as a way to help fight antibiotic-resistant super bugs, like Clostridium difficile.  A lot of folks online have been blathering away about how research shows that the same sort of treatment could also act as a cure for obesity. As reported by The Guardian, on hearing this news, people are now shoveling other people's crap into their bodies without a doctor's supervision.

What's the problem, you say? Well, before the treatment is administered in a clinical setting, the fecal matter used is screened for disease and other nasties in an effort to make the transplant as safe as possible. Without proper screening, the risk of transferring diseases like Hepititus or HIV from one poo owner to another is pretty high. Additionally, a DIY fecal transplant conducted in the name of losing weight could have the opposite effect. A case study from a few years back illustrated that a woman who underwent a fecal transplant to deal with a drug resistant super bug ended up becoming obese as a result. Oops.

So, if you're feel that you could stand to lose a few pounds, take a look at your eating habits, exercise more or visit a doctor for help in losing weight before reaching for a bag of liquefied shit. Read the rest

Build your own Boring Company flamethrower!

I'm not saying that building a flamethrower is a responsible use of your time – but I'm not saying that you shouldn't take the time to build one, either.

In January, Elon Musk's Boring Company built 20,000 $500-flamethrowers and sold them all to the tune of $10 million. $500 is a lot of cheddar to throw at what basically amounts to a fancy tiger torch. Provided you've got the right tools on hand, as you can see in this video, it's possible to build one for considerably less.

Disclaimer: Despite the fact that you can totally play with it, a flamethrower is not a toy. Always use fiery weapons that are the stuff of nightmares responsibly. Read the rest

Learn to 3D print your own sneakers in just a few minutes

This modern cobbler shows us how to make a smart pair of sneakers using a Prusa i3 MK2 3D printer, some fabric, and a few other household tools and materials. Definitely worth a try! Read the rest

DIY cat scratching post, fun but spendy

I made my own cat scratching post out of sisal cord and a poster tube. It cost more than just buying one.

50' of 3/8" sisal rope ($0.25/foot) winds almost perfectly around a 30" by 2" diameter poster tube ($3.33.) My daughter and I had a wonderful time wrapping the tube up, securing the ends with binder clips, and then using a strip of old bedsheet to hang the scratcher from a doorknob! Rubbing a little catnip on it encourages our Maine Coon to scratch away!

Total cost invested was around $15.00.

Even if reusing the tube, binder clips, and sheet I can easily find an equivalent scratcher for less. Even using cheaper cord only changes things by a few cents.

I'll put the two side-by-side and we can see the wear over time and judge which is more popular. Perhaps my cat will appreciate the love and effort that went into making him a toy.


Petlinks Hanging Rope Relief Cat Scratcher via Amazon Read the rest

Woman learns how not to cut her bangs

I've been cutting my own hair since I was 18, so I learned not to do this a long time ago.

Instant regret
Read the rest

A mini boat you can build yourself with zip ties and epoxy

Your dreams of captaining your own tiny-but-shiny electric boat are about two grand and a fair amount of elbow grease away.

Donald Bell (previously) of Maker Project Lab shared Rapid Whale's Mini Boat with me yesterday and I'm already sourcing a captain's hat.

The Mini Boat is a kit you can buy for $950 and then assemble with cable ties and epoxy. No, really, look...

It'll cost you another $510 to $1140 to complete it. From there, it's all smooth sailing.

photos by Rapid Whale Read the rest

Watch: Man drives snowplow made from lawnmower and TV box

A resourceful Pennsylvania man had a lot of snow to shovel, so he made his own snowplow with a lawnmower and a 50-inch HDTV box. Works like a charm!

Via CNN Read the rest

High school student built chip fab in his garage

Sam Zeloof, 17 built out a 1970s-vintage chip fab in his parents' New Jersey garage so he can make DIY integrated circuits. Why? So he can better understand how they work.

It's a "way of trying to learn what’s going on inside semiconductors and transistors," Zeloof told IEEE Spectrum. "I started reading old books and old patents because the newer books explain processes that require very expensive equipment.”

From IEEE Spectrum:

He obtained much of his raw materials and equipment from online sellers, in various states of repair. “Acquiring all the equipment and building and fixing all the stuff I take off eBay is half of the whole journey,” he says. His equipment includes a high-temperature furnace, a vacuum chamber built from surplus parts, and a scanning electron microscope. The electron microscope was “a broken one from a university that just needed some electrical repairs,” says Zeloof. He estimates that the microscope originally cost about $300,000 back in 1996. It was listed for sale at $2,500, but Zeloof persuaded the seller to take “well below that” and ended up spending more on shipping than it cost to buy the microscope.

“If all goes well, maybe I could make chips for people in the [maker] community—in small batches," he says.

"The High School Student Who’s Building His Own Integrated Circuits" (IEEE Spectrum)

And here's Zeloof's blog.

(photo at top: Beth Deene)

Read the rest

Watch: Here's an easy way to make a fancy gift box

With just paper, a pencil, a saucer, some ribbon and glue, it looks like even the least crafty of us could make this pretty gift box. Read the rest

How to patch the velveteen side of an air-mattress

Welcome to the holidays!

After many a slumber party, my kid told me the air mattress had developed an annoying slow leak. I used this patch kit.

The guy in the video found his leak a lot faster than I did. A LOT. Sigh. I used a spray bottle of soapy water. I used a safety razor to shave the fuzz off the mattress.

Tear-Aid Repair Type B Vinyl Inflatable Kit via Amazon Read the rest

Watch a guy fly his handmade electric plane

This maker has a lot of model building experience, but this is his first electric homemade plane that he can actually fly, and it's pretty spectacular. Peter Sripol, from Dayton OH, made his plane with 103 parts. He has a list of supply links on his YouTube page in case you're thinking of making a plane of your own. Read the rest

More DIY shoe repair with Freesole urethane glue

Freesole urethane shoe glue saved another pair of shoes.

A well-loved pair of Keens that needed the toe caps re-glued. They were coming off and needed to be re-sealed with something that would also be flexible, and relatively watertight if properly applied. My shoe glue of choice is Freesole.

I store this adhesive in the freezer. Carefully cleaning the threads and pushing the glue all to the top of the tube before putting away helps ensure it is easy to open, and flows well for future use. Thawing it is easy, I just drop the tube, cap up, in a glass of hot tap water.

I gave the entire area inside the toe cap on my shoe a good coat of glue and then slowly eased the cap back into place. I used some elastic hair-ties, stolen from my daughter, to hold the cap in place.

24 hours later and the shoe is ready to go on a rainy day. Freesole has held on every pair I've used it on, including re-affixing the sole to a neoprene bootie. Good stuff!

Gear Aid Freesole urethane formula via Amazon Read the rest

Victoria Villasana yarn bombs vintage photos

Textile artist Victoria Villasana breathes new life into black and white photos by sewing vividly-colored yarns and threads onto them. Amy Winehouse, Nina Simone, and legal tender all get the treatment. Read the rest

How to make a matchstick bracelet

Here's a fun little project with wooden matchsticks: weave them into bracelets using no glue. Read the rest

Home Depot teaches millennials to use tape measures

Many parents were apparently too lazy to teach millennials how to do even the most basic DIY projects like how to use a tape measure, so Home Depot has released a series of videos based on popular millennial search terms. Read the rest

Stash your valuables in this DIY spray paint can safe

Sure you could buy a pre-made spray paint can safe but what's the fun in that? I mean, it doesn't appear to be that difficult to craft one of your own out of an empty can.

Besides the used can, you just need a can opener*, PVC coupling, two-part epoxy, sticky-back craft foam, masking tape, and a rotary tool with sandpaper attachments. This tutorial by Instructables user seamster shows you how.

*I'm wondering if one of these Tupperware can openers would work better to take off the bottom of the can. It pops the seal off of (regular food) cans instead of cutting into them which means there are no jagged edges. Read the rest

1950s Morse key turned into a USB keyboard

Nomblr created a fully-functional USB keyboard out of a 1950s Morse Key he inherited from his dad.

I can just about remember growing up around beautifully designed analogue devices like rotary dial phones, typewriters, and record players. I’ve always like the idea of converting these largely defunct objects into digital devices, and my Dad’s old Morse key seemed like a simple project to get started on.

It was a surprisingly involved process, requiring not just learning to program a Teensy but also some good old-fashioned woodwork. Read the rest

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