In 1979, a 14-year-old called Andy Popplewell started building his own six track mixer from a blueprint in an electronics hobbyist magazine. After it was finished he graduated to constructing his own synth before he turned 17 and then wrote a synth pop album in his mum’s garage and recorded it himself between 1981 and 1983; making one single cassette copy. Then due to a chance meeting with Andy Votel 30 years later in 2012, that cassette - not even a demo really as it never got sent to anyone - has now been released as an album.
Can common items sold in airports after the security screening be used to build lethal weapons? Yes.
"The Synth Kit that just hit the market originated a year ago, at a TED conference where Bdeir and comedian/musician Reggie Watts met backstage after giving talks, and started discussing the idea of littleBits musical instruments."
Have a nagging cavity but don't have the time or money to see a dentist? Luckily for you, there's DentiDrill. See the promotional video. [more inside]
Burlesque star Bunny Pistol shows off her method for applying decorative face makeup for Día de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead), while also providing a little history about the holiday. [via]
John Lloyd Wright might not have the renown for the architectural creativity of his father, but John found inspiration in his father's work and designed toys that are still being made today. I'm talking about Lincoln Logs. [more inside]
Create a high-powered microscope from a cheap webcam by following Mark's simple step-by-step instructions. Because your microscope is connected to your computer, you can save and share your images easily.
"They pay a lot of attention to detail." A DIY miniature world made out of household scraps.
The King of Random shows us how to make sparklers, shaken butter (that you can turn into a candle), instant ice (tutorial), and melting metal with microwave parts. [more inside]
To get you ready for Independence Day, National Geographic has provided some useful tips for photographing fireworks, complete with a pretty gallery.
Ken Imhoff wanted a Lamborghini Countach, but didn't have the money to buy one. So, over the next 17 years, he built one in his basement.
The folks at Mellow Pages, a community-run library/salon in Brooklyn (recently profiled in the NYT), have put together a how-to guide for building a similar kind of space in your neighborhood: short version here, long version (and Google Doc) here.
Step by step tutorial on making beautiful abstract Refractographs; caustic patterns produced as light reflects and refracts through an object. [check the via for some amazing examples]
In less than an hour you can build the simplified digital computer shown in figure 1, using only a pair of scissors, three dozen common pins, and the parts shown in figures 1 and 2.
Early in the 19th century, gas lamps first illuminated city streets, not long after the potential for gas lighting was publicly demonstrated. Less than a century later, electricity was seen as the future of lighting public spaces, thanks in part to technology that was demonstrated around the time of gas lighting. Arc lamps, the predecessor to filament bulbs, were much too bright for lighting homes and businesses, but a single arc lamp could light a whole town. [more inside]
A few years ago Charles Guan was a teacher's assistant in MIT's 2.007 introductory design and manufacturing class. To help out his fellow students he made a guide to building robots quickly and efficiently. Now he has expanded the original guide, retitled it How to Build your Everything Really Really Fast (HTBYERRF) and published it on Instructables, available for anyone wishing to progress from the "zip ties and duct tape" stage of building things.
Brooklyn-based Tools for Working Wood are in the process of weekly reprinting every single issue of Work: An Illustrated Magazine of Practice and Theory on their blog, having just finished the first year. The original magazine's first issue was published March 23rd, 1889, and the blog is republishing 123 years after the original. [more inside]
Lauren Rojas, a 12 year old from California, sent Hello Kitty on a return trip to the stratosphere (over 28 kilometres above the Earth) and recorded the results.
What do you do with all those empty lots that are left after major earthquakes? Gap Filler fills them with temporary community structures like the Pallet Pavillion. [more inside]
Saveur's utterly charming "Recipe Comix" features illustrated recipes/short stories by some of the web's best cartoonists covering a wide range of meals.
Cast Iron Pipe Legs? Check. Thick board top? Check. Basic plans for building this "industrial" table at home? Check.
In a sea of plastic USS Enterprise and Millennium Falcon model kits, models of the Doctor's TARDIS tend to be paper craft, DIY affairs or Cookie Jars, and imperfectly reflect some of the craft's more notable attributes. Until now.
The modern equivalent of hammering your ploughshare into a sword. Man sees a new AK-47 stock in a shovel handle, then decides to not stop at that.
The kickstarter satellites. Sandy Antunes, the author of the blog post has built his own picosatellite Project Calliope. A project he also chronicled in his blog Satelite Diaries. NPR story. [more inside]
The Genome Compiler is an IDE for DNA projects for all you DIYbio enthusiasts. Previously. Previously.
Peggy Wang, a senior editor at Buzzfeed, has recently displayed a pronounced knack for aggregating what feels like some of the best of Pinterest in tips/lifehacks, home decor ideas, and DIY projects shared around the web. Exhibit A: 52 Totally Feasible Ways To Organize Your Entire Home; Exhibit B: 22 Things You're Doing Wrong; Exhibit C: 33 Meticulous Cleaning Tricks [more inside]
Ben Krasnow shows us how he built a small hybrid rocket engine. Ben makes a lot of other cool things too, like astronaut ice cream, a DIY scanning electron microscope, and why not, carbonated fruit slices.
"It does not give you conspicuous, ephemeral extremes [..] You can absolutely rely on the styles given you in Butterick Patterns"
The New Dressmaker; With complete and fully illustrated instructions on every point connected with sewing, dressmaking and tailoring, from the actual stitches to the cutting, making, altering, mending, and cleaning of clothes for ladies, misses, girls, children, infants, men and boys; The Butterick Publishing Co., 1921; 168 p. illus. [more inside]
The first human-powered aircraft to achieve sustained and controlled flight, the Gossamer Condor (6.3 MB PDF), now belongs to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (2.2 MB JPG). So you'll need to build your own. (previously)
Nearly a decade ago, Sun Jifa lost his hands in a fishing-related explosion (he was building a bomb for blast-fishing). He soon realized that he couldn't afford the prosthetic hands recommended by the hospital. Undeterred, he decided to build his own bionic hands. Eight years later...
Do you like cats? Do you enjoy chemistry? Do you appreciate having contraptions sitting around that look a lot like you are working with dangerous and/or illegal substances? If so, here's a detailed DIY guide to steam-distilling concentrated catnip. [more inside]
Like coffee? Maybe even looking to buy a home-roaster? Not enough, you say? Check out the Hot Rod Home Coffee Roasters of those that have gone beyond. [more inside]
Prototypes are usually the missing links in the evolution of human technology, the dead-ends of ideas that give way to the refinement of the final physical product. Prototypes aren't just for Darth Vader. While the legal back and forth between Apple and Samsung continues, a treasure trove of prototype designs for Apple devices has been released to the public, showing insights into various design approaches and feature enhancements, including larger form-factor iPads with and without kickstands and landscape ports and iPhones that parody the Sony logo, show a different layout for camera elements, and look remarkably like fourth-generation models, as far back as 2005. On the other hand, some have made prototypes into the end goal itself, such as the folks at Dangerous Prototypes, a site which features a new open-source electronic hardware project each month. Some are just gratuitous fun, while others are a bit more practical, such as one project that recycles old Nokia displays and another that provides access to infrared signal, useful for hacking together remote controls for all sorts of IR-based devices. Other prototypes of tomorrow's technology are less concerned with shrinking down the guts of the invention itself, to make it disappear, but rather on how we interact with and integrate physical representations of these ideas into our daily lives. Above all else, prototypes are always forward-looking and are therefore inherently optimistic expressions of human creativity: Even children are getting into imagining the world of tomorrow.
Nice looking and sounding diy bass made with a C64. (SLYT). At first I thought she was just using the body of the thing, but there is some C64 goodness in the sound as well.
Making a Kitchen Knife - A simple video showing the art of crafting a chef's knife from scratch. [slyt] [more inside]
"One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man."
Upgrade Your Nintendo 3DS’s Sound. [SLYT] "Of the variety of things one might find to complain about in regards to the Nintendo 3DS, the sound doesn’t immediately come to mind. It’s not great sound, mind, but there are a litany of things that are more obvious. Thanks to one intrepid inventor, however, you are now just a series of tubes, clips and metal funnels away from awesome sound. Now, in order to figure out the exact combination of these things you’ll need to translate the instructions from Japanese." [Via].
Build a Hovercraft With Your Kids — When Jamie Hyneman and MeFi's Own™ Adam Savage built hovercrafts for Mythbusters, he realized that these floating-on-air vehicles were easy to make, not too expensive, and fun. So he built one with his kids. More diy hovercraft fun.
"From photography’s earliest days, enterprising practitioners realized they could take their services directly to the people. This lead to the horse-drawn wagons called “Daguerreotype Salons” and then to portable, darkroom tents that allowed wet-plate photographers to make pictures outside. As technology advanced, the tents morphed into a single apparatus that combined both camera and darkroom, which allowed photographers to work anywhere. Afghanistan is one of the last places where street vendor photographers still use such a hand-made, wooden camera called kamra-e-faoree or “instant camera.” Observing this practice lead photographer Lukas Birk & anthropologist Sean Foley to undertake the Afghan Box Camera Project." - Photo Technique Magazine introduction to an interview with Lukas Birk [more inside]
Sylvia's Super-Awesome Maker Show (demo reel) is a DIY webshow featuring 10-year-old Sylvia and her various science, tech, and craft projects. She will be on the cover of Make Magazine's Summer 2012 "School's Out! Best Summer Ever" issue. [more inside]
"Dingus is dedicated to the search [for new music on Bandcamp]. It's here, on this humble blog that we shed light on bedroom artists in their most defining moments. If you want what's popular today, Dingus is not the blog for you. But, if you want what's fringe, pure and passionate then you've somehow landed on the right URL." [more inside]