This castle has been 20 years in the making--and it's not even finished yet

In the north of Burgandy, France, a group of history buffs are hard at work building a castle, from scratch, using traditional building methods and materials--and they've been at it for TWENTY YEARS. The project is supported entirely on the backs of donations and hard, dedicated, manual labor.

Incredible. Read the rest

Making your own pasta is stupid easy

Given that I started a keto diet last weekend, I couldn;t have stumbled across this video at a worse time (farewell, carbs. I knew thee well.)

But just because I can only stare at this video longingly doesn't mean that you can't partake. Read the rest

Nintendo announced new Labo Vehicle Kit

My 12-year-old-son had a long weekend of fun with the original Nintendo Labo Variety Kit for the Switch. The cardboard contraptions truly embody some marvelous engineering and creativity. Admittedly, the novelty wore off fairly quickly but that doesn't mean we won't be buying the new Toy-Con 03 Vehicle Kit when it comes out in September. You can pre-order it from Amazon for $70.

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Watch how to make a homemade Van de Graaff generator

Ever wanted to build your own voltage generator for fun and profit? YouTuber ElectroBOOM shows how with stuff that available at better hardware stores. Read the rest

Suck up LEGO bricks with this DIY vacuum attachment

Grant Thompson of YouTube channel “The King of Random” has devised a way to clean up a pile of LEGO bricks quickly using a special vacuum attachment, and he shows you how you can build one for yourself.

(The Awesomer) Read the rest

A build-your-own casket kit

Buying a casket from a funeral home can be damn expensive. The average one costs a little over $2000. And while selling your soul to get one cheaper from Walmart may be tempting, it's not as inexpensive (or as awesome) as making one from a kit sold from Northwoods Casket Company in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. For $599 and some manual labor, you can make their simple pine box model with your own hands.

This casket kit comes complete with all wooden parts pre-cut. No cutting. No clamping. Kit includes Casket Kit Assembly Instructions, screws, glue, and a piece of sandpaper. The parts are smooth, but sanding is one of those tasks that is never finished. The kit assembles in 1-2 hours. Extra hands make for light work. Keep the blue-stained pine as is, or finish with oil, varnish, paint, or any creative method that inspires you.

Now, if $599 is out of your price range, perhaps you should consider cremation and putting the ashes in this Modest Urn?

All kidding aside, do check out the website for Northwoods Casket Company though. They've got all kinds of interesting things to look at.

(TIWIB) Read the rest

A homemade electric knife is a great idea if you enjoy terrible ideas

I can see no way in which modifying a kitchen knife to run a high voltage current through it could ever be a bad idea. The red glow of the blade's cheap steel is synonymous with safety. Breathing the fumes from a melting Rubix Cube? Totally cool.

Cool cool cool. Read the rest

Making cement from scratch is a massive pain

After watching this video of the gazillion stages it takes to make wood ash cement, not to mention all of the hand-made tools required to do it, I'll never complain about having to stir up a bag of instant cement from Home Depot again. Read the rest

Making chiptunes with a calculator

HoustonTracker2 is free software that turns your still-overpriced Texas Instruments graphing calculator into a synth. Demo above. Now, you will not only be the nerdiest kid in algebra class, but the coolest as well.

HoustonTracker 2 is a music editor/sequencer for Texas Instruments graphing calculators. It outputs 1-bit sound through the calculator link port. HT2 features 4 voice polyphony, tons of effects, and a simple, tracker-style interface.

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Adam Savage brings the mayhem with a 1,000-shot Nerf gun mod

You know what's better than a Nerf blaster that can whip out 100 rounds of fun in rapid succession? One that can handle 1,000 rounds! In his latest One Day Build for Tested, Adam Savage shows you how to build the Nerf gun of the Apocalypse. With the right tools and materials, you can do it too. Read the rest

Upgrade your trampoline by adding interactive LEDs

Adafruit Industries has created a tutorial to upgrade an ordinary trampoline by adding fun, interactive NeoPixel LEDs.

This is a really fun project that lights up when you jump on it! These trampolines are meant for exercising and jumping on this thing for just a few minutes feels like a working out so perfect for tiring out kids, just be sure to supervise them. It works really well and looks amazing at night, especially around a fire pit with a fog machine.

Yes, please!

(The Awesomer) Read the rest

Magical video for kids: How to make a duct tape coin pouch

In this lovely video by Joel Fox/Smile Mountain, young instructor Sally explains how to make a duct tape coin pouch with a ziploc bag closure. The video has serene, calming quality to it due to the colors, background imagery, and, of course, the stunning synth sounds by my pal Mikael Jorgensen, keyboardist for Wilco and Quindar.

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Watch this computer case mod made of wood and rope

If you like your PCs to look like a coffee maker from a 1970s yacht, you'll love this case mod. It's pretty neat in terms of heat sinks, but it has a rather large footprint. Read the rest

Watch ten eggs get sucked into a steam-heated jug

Plunging scalding hot glassware into ice water is not very safe, but it does create tremendous pressure, enough to suck ten eggs into a jug with a mouth slightly smaller than an egg. Read the rest

DIY: How to make an engagement ring in your workshop

It took maker Eli Peterson several weeks to make this silver and "nowhere near perfect" diamond engagement ring, making mistakes along the way that forced him to melt the ring back down and start over a bunch of times. But he's condensed his process into about three-and-a-half minutes to show us how he did it. Read the rest

Watch: These kids have to use rowing machine if they want to play their video games

Playing video games all day long becomes a healthy sport when you've got one of these genius contraptions. Maker Jeremy Fielding uses a rowing machine to make this human-powered generator, which is needed if the kids want to play their video games, and they have less than one minute to switch rowers – otherwise the power goes out and their game goes kaput.

Here's the full video, in which he explains how he made this, as well as four other things made from treadmill parts, including a bench top DC power supply, beautiful clock, wood lathe, and steel-cutting bandsaw:

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Flat earth-preaching rocketeer finally gets off the ground

You likely read about "Mad" Mike Hughes in the news last year – you know, when you weren't busy stockpiling canned goods and potassium Iodide tablets to help deal with the existential dread that's currently gripping the planet. Hughes is the flat-earth loving, paradoxical science-hating DIY rocket designer who stated that he'd blast himself into the sky in a steam-powered, homemade rocket to prove that the earth isn't round.

That was a mouthful, but there's a lot going on here.

The first time that Hughes attempted to fire himself into the air in a blaze of Darwinism, the Department of Land Management shut him down, as his flight path would have taken him into the airspace over public lands. So, Hughes scrubbed the launch. Yesterday, he took another go.

According to the Associated Press, Hughes's steam-powered death chair was able to carry him to a distance of 1,875 feet into the air before he and his capsule floated back to earth, in relative safety, via parachute. When questioned about how he was feeling after surviving his flight, Hughes seemed happy that it was over and done with, citing that his back hurt, but over all he felt relieved that it was over.

No matter what you believe about Hughes' beliefs about the shape of the earth, of the lunacy it takes to strap yourself to the tip of a homemade rocket, you've got to respect that he pulled it off. Maybe he didn't gain as much altitude as he'd wanted. Read the rest

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