The MakeShift Challenge (or what would MacGyver do?)

For its first five years, Make: magazine ran a column called "MakeShift," edited by Lee D. Zlotoff, creator of the TV show MacGyver. The idea was to present Make: readers with a MacGyver-esque challenge in each issue, collect all of the submitted solutions, and then publish an analysis, along with all of the top submitters' notes and sketches, on the Make: website. The "MakeShift" challenge asked readers to ponder such conundrums as how to contain a viral outbreak on a plane, how to charge your phone with nothing but camping gear and a propane torch, how to fend off a zombie attack, and how to get help after a very bad fall.

The reader-responses were impressive. People really put a lot of thought into their solutions, sending copious notes and drawings. And in fully explaining the challenges and ranking the solutions in the follow-up website articles, Lee and Make: editor Bill Lidwell shared a lot of great MacGyvering tips and nutshell science and engineering.

Sadly, years ago, the "MakeShift" columns disappeared when a dedicated magazine area of the Make: site was discontinued. So, a few weeks ago, Make: decided to bring back "MakeShift," now publishing re-constituted columns every Wednesday. Here are the first three posted.

Dead Car Battery

You're 50 miles into mountainous woods, your battery is dead, and there's a big snowstorm bearing down. How can you revive your dead battery? On, and it's a automatic transmission.

Potable Water

You're in a village in East Asia and the water has become dangerously contaminated. Read the rest

Boing Boing: Ingenuity (Redux)

As our coverage of Boing Boing: Ingenuity draws to a close, we'd like to remind you that video evidence of our living cabinet of curiosities is now online for your viewing pleasure. Get illuminated!

Adam Savage video: Ground Rules for Success

Chris Noessel: lessons of science fiction computer interfaces

Nate Dimeo: Ferris wheels, giant lobsters, and Samuel Morse

Megan Prelinger: Art, Advertising, and Outer Space

• Astronomer Seth Shostak: We'll find ET by 2037!

• Tom Vanderbilt: the counterintuitive science of traffic

Ferdinando Buscema: magic, wonder, and ingenuity

Boing Boing: Ingenuity in partnership with Ford C-Max.

Read the rest

Boing Boing Hack Day: The Director's Cut

At Boing Boing Ingenuity: Data Driven, more than 50 folks got their hands dirty with data through our partner Ford's OpenXC open source hardware and software platform. Boing Boing's talented video director Eric Mittleman and his crew crated this rollicking short documentary about the experience.

Adam Savage video: Ground Rules for Success

The infinitely curious, brilliant, and kind Adam Savage gave the closing benediction at Boing Boing: Ingenuity with his ten ground rules for success.

Chris Noessel: lessons of science fiction computer interfaces

What can Logan's Run, Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, and Shrek teach us about how not to design computers? Veteran interaction designer and author Chris Noessel explored these very questions in his Boing Boing: Ingenuity presentation and book, Make It So: Interaction Design Lessons from Science Fiction.

Live in the Memory Palace: Ferris wheels, giant lobsters, and Samuel Morse

At Boing Boing: Ingenuity, The Memory Palace's Nate DiMeo took the audience on a captivating journey from the construction of the first Ferris Wheel in 1893, to a time when massive lobsters beckoned to us from the seashore, and closing with the tragic tale of why painter S.F.B. Morse invented the telegraph.

Megan Prelinger: Art, Advertising, and Outer Space

Rogue librarian Megan Prelinger is co-founder of the incredible Prelinger Library and author of Another Science Fiction: Advertising the Space Race 1957 - 1962, the launchpad for her captivating presentation at Boing Boing: Ingenuity.

Astronomer Seth Shostak: We'll find ET by 2037!

SETI Institute chief astronomer Seth Shostak bet hundreds of people at Boing Boing: Ingenuity that we'll hear from an extraterrestrial within 25 years. Find out why.

Tom Vanderbilt: the counterintuitive science of traffic

Tom Vanderbilt, author of the bestselling book Traffic: Why We Drive The Way We Do (And What It Says About Us), shares insights on late merging, the demographics of honking, and highway hypnosis.

Ferdinando Buscema: magic, wonder, and ingenuity

Ferdinando Buscema is a magic experience designer whose work draws from mechanical engineering, sleight-of-hand, and his explorations of hermetic traditions. We couldn't have asked for a more astonishing opening presentation at Boing Boing: Ingenuity.

OpenXC provides car data for cool hacks

We were blown away by the hackers' imaginative uses of OpenXC in their 8-hour projects. We saw a watercolor robot, a music composition system, an animated back window display, a cost-of-driving meter, and other projects that responded to OpenXC's car data.

A cost-of-driving meter for your car

Imagine a taxi-meter style display that shows you the true cost of driving for every trip you take in your car. That's just what David Harris and Steven Kryskalla built at our first hack day event.

Back window car display

The Smart Brake gives drivers behind you information about what you are doing, and says thanks to courteous drivers who let you merge into their lane.

Prototype could help save kids and animals locked in a hot car

TempAssure addresses the problem of children and pets suffering from heat stroke after accidentally being left inside hot cars.

Video highlights of the Boing Boing: Ingenuity hack day!

Our partner Ford created a terrific video highlighting the fun we had at Boing Boing Ingenuity: Data Driven, our first ever hack day that took place on August 17!

Car composes Kraftwerkian music

Project: Autobahn uses OpenXC data as MIDI data to compose and play Kraftwerkian music that matches the driver's behavior.

Car tells robot artist what to paint

A robot that paints water colors is super. A car that generates dozens of data streams is awesome. When you connect the two the result is super awesome

More posts