Fantastic Rube Goldberg-esque dog-petting machine

"Humans have massage chairs so why shouldn’t our pets have petting machines. I gave it a Rube Goldberg style flare to make it interesting to watch."

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Make: an adorable crocheted AT-AT Walker

You can make your own perfectly adorable chibi crocheted AT-AT Walker with this $5.90 pattern from Polish textile artist Kamila Krawczyk, AKA Krawka. (via The Stars My Destination) Read the rest

3D printed Braille D20 dice

Ingo Dwelling designed a Braille D20 die and uploaded the model to Thingiverse. Here's a time-lapse of it being 3D printed by the folks at Adafruit. Read the rest

Make: Slithy Toves, a kinetic Lego sculpture

aeh5040's kinetic Lego sculpture is a gorgeous and hypnotic piece; you can build one yourself from the plans provided. (via Beyond the Beyond) Read the rest

Braille RPG dice

Jack Berberette's Dots RPG project creates free, CC-licensed shapefiles for RPG dice with Braille faces (you can order readymades from Shapeways); they're part of a larger project to produce accessible RPG materials of all kinds for people with visual disabilities. (via the-a-r-t-i-s-t) Read the rest

Play thousands of retrogames with this DIY table arcade game player

[This post is sponsored by Glowforge. To get $100 off a Glowforge Basic, $250 off a Glowforge Plus, or $500 off a Glowforge Pro use the link glowforge.com/boingboing.]

My 15-year-old daughter and I love retro video games. We often go a retro video game arcade in Pasadena, California, and we also play a lot of computer games from the 1980s and 1990s. We thought it would be fun to build a dedicated machine at home that we could use to play these retro games.

After a bit of online searching, we found out it’s easy to use a Raspberry Pi, which is a $35 single board computer the size of a credit card, along with a free Linux based operating system called RetroPie that has emulators for every arcade and console imaginable. We could use a Raspberry Pi and RetroPie to play every arcade game we want. And with our Glowforge laser cutter, we could easily make an arcade cabinet for ourselves as well quickly make them for friends and family.

In this 2-part video series, which was underwritten by our friends at Glowforge, I’m going to show you how we did it.

Parts and Materials

First, we bought all the parts and materials we needed to make the cabinet. We got a Raspberry Pi Model 3 B+, a 32GB MicroSD card, a power supply, a 10-inch HDMI monitor, a set of arcade buttons and a joystick, a pair of speakers, some cables and a box of various machine screws and nuts and standoffs. Read the rest

Celebrating a decade of writing a song every day with a best-of album

Jonathan "Song A Day" Mann (previously) writes, "On 1/1/19 I hit ten full years of writing a song a day. Part of the idea behind my Song A Day project has always been to find the 'good' songs in that pile (10 years = 3,652 songs) and come back to them to rework until they're great. With that as my aim, I spent the last two years working on a new album, I Used To Love My Body which I just released. It deals with themes of: Adulthood, forgiveness and what it feels like to live in this moment of imminent societal collapse." Read the rest

Mutantini: eyeball and viscera-encrusted martini glasses

Etsy seller Timothy "Cthuluforyou" Kostelnik sells a wide variety of tentacle- and eyeball-themed housewares, but few match his $38 mutantini glass for sheer encrustation with pseudopods, viscera and staring, disembodied eyes; it makes a hell of a sludgabilly accessory. (via Creepbay) Read the rest

Underclocking a baseband chip creates a stealth wifi channel

CNLohr discovered that underclocking the ESP8266 wifi module's Baseband PLL made the wifi channel progressively narrower, until it could not longer be detected by an unmodified wifi receiver -- but a similarly modified wifi module can detect the narrow signal, creating a s00p3r s33kr1t wifi channel; here's sourcecode (which may violate FCC Part 15 rules, so please use responsibly). (via Four Short Links) Read the rest

The most magical little free library is inside a hollowed-out tree stump

Librarian, artist, and bookbinder Sharalee Armitage Howard of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho decided that rather than dig up the stump of the 110-year-old cottonwood tree in her yard, she'd transform it into a little free library, or rather little tree library. Her creation sparks the imagination and exudes a sense of wonder and welcoming. Like a good book.

(via Bored Panda) Read the rest

Cool Raspberry Pi retro-game player

Love Hultén makes beautiful game devices based on the Raspberry Pi and RertroPie. His latest design, which has a speckly textured finish, is called the Geoboi. Read the rest

How to make an optical drum machine disc sequencer

John Park conducted a video workshop on how to make a drum sequencer by putting black and white markings on a disc. When he spins the disk, a row of optical sensors trigger the different drum sounds. It could be used to sequence any sounds, visuals, or actions. Read the rest

Watch this fantastic "Circle in Circle" optical illusion machine in action

When this curious contraption is switched on, an inner circle of white balls appears to be rolling inside the outer circle, but that's actually not the case at all. Below is a video explaining this circular motion illusion. Learn more about the mathematics behind it, specifically Copernicus’ Theorem, and the ingenious hypocycloid mechanical gear design by Girolamo Cardano (1501-1576) over at The Kid Should See This.

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Fantastic electric guitar built from 1,200 colored pencils

Flyjumper crafted this magnificent Stratocaster-shaped guitar from 1,200 colored pencils and a lot of grit. He's posted many more photos and GIFs of the build here.

"I saw a lot of people online making bowls out of colored pencils and I wanted to take it up a notch and make something that I can actually utilize and enjoy more so than a bowl," he writes.

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Model makers Kayte Sabicer and Adam Savage build a jaw-dropping replica of the Blade Runner blimp

Adam Savage keeps mining deeper and deeper strata of nerdly obsessions, with recent Tested projects including collaborating with other prop makers to create a spot-on ACES NASA astronaut suit for cosplay, building a 3D-printed hand cannon from Mortal Engines, and another pilgrimage to Middle Earth, aka Weta Workshop in New Zealand. Read the rest

Behold the jukebox of tomorrow

Chris Patty made a wooden mini-jukebox where you pick songs by swiping magnetic cards. It's like a prop from an old BBC sci-fi show about how great it would be to listen to music would be in 2019.

The Verge's Jacob Kastrenakes:

Patty created the jukebox as a Christmas gift for his father, after his family decided to only swap handmade presents this year. He later posted a short video of the creation to Twitter, where he’s received enough positive responses that he’s working on an open source version of the software and instructions so that fans can make their own. ...

“I think [the response] speaks to a shared displeasure with the current state of our music services,” Patty tells The Verge in an email. The limitless libraries inside Apple Music and Spotify cheapen the experience, he says. “There’s something about the limiting factors of physical media that force you to choose ... the music that is most meaningful. And that kind of curation, I think, is something we all deeply miss.”

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Keytar made out of a Commodore 64

Enjoy this completely perfect keytar made from a Commodore 64. The pickups send sound via an FPGA to the original SID chip to allow a variety of chiptastic effects, applied using the computer's keyboard. Read the rest

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