Descriptive Camera, 2012 "The Descriptive Camera works a lot like a regular camera—point it at subject and press the shutter button to capture the scene. However, instead of producing an image, this prototype outputs a text description of the scene." [more inside]
DIY Audio, DIY Electronics, DIY Guitar, DIY Synthesizers, DIY Recording. Fundamentals of audio. Optimize your Mac for audio. Build a music server. How vacuum tubes work. Tour a brass instrument factory. How to maintain your clarinet, trumpet, flute, saxophone, guitar. All this and much, much more at THE ELECTRIC WEB MATRIX.
The SAFETY PIN REVIEW is a new, weekly literary magazine featuring fiction of less than 30 words, with a major D.I.Y. twist: in addition to being published online, each story is hand-painted onto a cloth back patch, which is attached (via safety pins) to one of our operatives—a collective network of authors, punks, thieves and anarchists—who wear it everywhere they go for a week. [more inside]
Proof that libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries
Build Your Own Little Free Library. Check out some others. These too. The scoop and the FAQ. "Question #1: Won't People steal the books? No. You can't steal a free book. And if you have a good steward and lots of active users, eventually someone who tries to "steal" books will realize that it's not a good thing to do."
"Ever wish you could see the strands of genetic material that make you...you?" NOVA shows you how to extract your DNA with this do-it-yourself tutorial using household items. [via]
Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills. You know, like nunchuku skills, bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills...
Jack Hargreaves the presenter of Out of Town and the author of The Old Country explains the finer points of dog training; ratting sticks, coppicing, and wattle hurdles; and rabbiting. [more inside]
Ana White shares hundreds of free furniture plans on her website, encouraging those who may have never built furniture before. Formerly known as "Knock Off Wood" since she had DIY versions of popular retail styles, she changed her name after receiving a cease-and-desist letter from Williams-Sonoma (owner of Pottery Barn and West Elm). An audio interview with Ms. White and a Flickr pool of completed projects. (via Balancing Everything)
Paper flowers are lovely, but if you are feeling crafty and want to make your loved one something a bit different this Valentine's Day, why not make them some Realistic Duct-Tape Roses? [via]
The WALL-E Builders Club formed in October 2007 as an offshoot of the R2 (yes that one) builders club, to create their own WALL-E replica. This is their current progress on the project.
Laser Pointer Hack! A DIY guide to turning your laser pointer into a laser cannon.
In response to ongoing police brutality, particularly aimed at the non-violent Occupy Movement, B. Dolan (w/ Sage Francis, Toki Wright, and Jasiri X) have turned NWA's classic "Fuck The Police" into a call to citizen journalists to stand up and FILM THE POLICE!
Make Magazine has released its Ultimate Kit Guide which rates 175 DIY kits. Kits like the: 6-in-1 Solar Robot Kit, the Infrared Jammer Kit, the KaraKuri Somersault Doll kit, the Loud Objects Noise Toy Kit. But best of all you will find the astounding MakerBot Thing-O-Matic 3D printer. "The Thing-O-Matic is a breakthrough in 3D printing technology. The Thing-O-Matic prints thing after thing, it's completely automated! You hit print and the machine does all the work. Want to print 100 butterflies? Easy. Want to print an entire chess set? No problem. Buy it, assemble it, and enjoy being the first on your block to live in the cutting-edge personal manufacturing future of tomorrow!" [more inside]
The quest for the $500 home molecular biology laboratory Molecular diagnostics and molecular biology in general are becoming more pervasive every day in a range of applications. For some time there have been attempts to build an affordable diy machine to explore this fascinating science. OpenPCR (polymerase chain reaction) received quite a bit of publicity with their $599 system. Each of these have had problems and were not quite suitable for students. Here is an attempt to get the price even lower and to simply the construction process. Previously on Metafilter
A hypnotic little tutorial on 25 Ways to Wear a Scarf in 4.5 Minutes. Here's a behind-the-scenes look at how it was made (filmed in her bedroom). (via Already Pretty)
WoodTreks is a well-produced video blog about traditional woodworking with hand tools. Many of the videos are aimed at the beginner. [more inside]
Concerned about getting reasonably priced free-range grass-fed protein? Why don't you make your own archery bow, atlatl, slingshot or sling?
Can you split atoms in your kitchen? "My project is to build a working nuclear reactor. Not to gain electricity, just for fun and to see if it's possible to split atoms at home..." [scroll down to the bottom for the beginning of the experiment]. [more inside]
Hesperian is a non-profit publisher of books and newsletters for community-based health care, mostly aimed at the third world. Their first book, Where There Is No Doctor, A Village Health Handbook, has been translated into 88 languages and is one of the most widely used training and work manuals for community health care in the world. They have now made 20 of their publications available for free download, many of which can now also be browsed online through their website using an "Ebrary" in-browser interface. [more inside]
"Gambiarra refers to an unlikely mend, an unthinkable coupling, a solution so raw and transparent that it illustrates the problem at hand instead of eliminating it."
In Brazil, "gambiarra" is the art of improvising makeshift repairs - spontaneously solving the problem at hand with whatever is in hand. Wikipedia Brazil has a bit more on the topic and how it extends to architecture and programming. Gambilogia is an arts group exploring this DIY aesthetic. Interestingly, there's lots of discussion around gambiarra. Personally, I find the original quick fixes more compelling (examples at bottom of the article).
OpenPCR now has a kit available to build a thermal cycler for $512. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is one of molecular biology's most common and often indispensable techniques, used for wide ranging purposes including testing (e.g., uncovering sushi fish fraud) and genetic engineering. OpenPCR puts the technology within better reach of educators and amateurs: commercial thermal cyclers normally cost thousands of dollars. via.
Shawn Thorsson makes costumes for his friends Shawn Thorsson, self-professed busiest man alive, uses a laptop, a printer, a carving machine, and a mad scientist's lab of home-made tools to make costumes based on Star Wars, Halo, LEGO, and other appropriately nerdy, sci-fi related media artifacts. He shares them with his friends, and they have the best Halloween ever!
Bob Ferry used Google Books to find old magazines that described mechanics, showed pictures and gave descriptions of a 1906 Oldsmobile Model B Runabout so he could build it 100 years later. Lots of pics and "how to" info at the article.
What follows is a D.I.Y. cooking starter kit: small kitchen projects that any cook can tackle. What they all have in common is that they are simple, season-less and a clear improvement on the store-bought version. Includes: Chinese Chili-Scallion Oil, Chocolate-Hazelnut Paste, Corn Muffin Mix, Crème Fraîche, Cultured Butter, Fresh Cheese, Horseradish Beer, Mustard, Kimchi ,Maple Vinegar, Preserved Lemons, Tesa (Cold-Cured Pork Belly), Tomato Chili Jam, Vin d'Orange
Cities as Software is an article by Marcus Westbury about Renew Newcastle's low-budget, DIY model for renewing urban spaces. "...You need to start by rewriting – or hacking – the software to change not what the city is but how it behaves." [more inside]
You're Doing It All Wrong A collection of How-To cooking videos from Chow.com.
Let's say just for a moment that you were ready to cash out. Quit your job. Sell your house. Take you and yours out of the rat race with a few hundred of your friends and family and relocate onto arable land. What tools would you need to sustain a livable—maybe even comfortable—lifestyle? Open Source Ecology suggests you start with ~2.6 million dollars and these | fifty | machines (← watch this first), collectively referred to as the Global Village Construction Set.
World control panel Continuing a trend of modern parents that put the boring, lifeless drones that raised you and ruined your life to shame, is Steve Lodefink, a UI designer for the Walt Disney Internet Group in Seattle. His latest project, The World Control Panel, was designed at the request of his son, Harlan. Harlan wanted a light panel to use for secret missions when he and his friend play "agents." The resulting UI design, which took three weeks to build, displays a variety of light combinations and includes a voice recorder and the Larson Scanner (used in Knightrider and Battlestar Galactica).
"Looptaggr drive-by stenciling technology is infinite fun. Create your own Looptaggr today!" For those days when the thought of traditional tagging wears you out, there's Looptaggr from F.A.T. Lab, the team that brought you Notorious R&D. Now out: the Charlie Sheen Browser Blocker. [more inside]
Lepht Anonym is a DIY biohacker (a.k.a. a grinder) who, with vodka, scalpels, an anatomy book, and a spotter if she passes out, inserts tings like RFID chips, compass chips, and nedymium discs into her body in order to expand her senses.
Parents are a pain. Kids are a pain. But kids have their uses--and sometimes, parents do too. They can build things like a marble track around your room. Or just hire someone to design a pirate ship bedroom for you. Maybe teach you the alphabet in Star Wars. Build a mini catapult for your toys. Turn you into Robocop for Halloween (or the Death Star). Cut snowflakes with you in the winter. If they get tired of pulling you and your sled up that hill, they can rig an engine to do it for them. And who knows, they might inspire you to start building your own projects. [more inside]
The Tatara Project: Learn how to make your own Japanese tanto knives from homemade steel; just follow these explicit directions and 125 photos.
Vimeo pros and seasoned amateurs are developing the ongoing and rapidly growing project Quick Tüts, short video tutorials that usually focus on one specific skill or technique and last no more than a minute. Oftentimes Quick Tüts show you how to use readily available items in lieu of more expensive equipment, so for video creators operating on a low budget, they are especially useful. A good way to think of them is as little tricks of the trade.
Filed under strangely fascinating: Popin' Cookin', powdered miniature sushi that one makes oneself and eats as a candy. Wait for the salmon roe at the end. There is a type of sweet in Japan that’s sold under the category of "intellectual education candy". These are sweets you must make yourself using the ingredients contained in the box. This way, children can enjoy the process of making candy, which allows them to develop their creativity. The non-edible version, Konapun. [more inside]
Getting your music out of an Ipad. A fairly thorough overview of connecting an Ipad to external gear, covering input and output, as well as midi and audio.
Amateur radio gets stick for being home to a lot of reactionary weird old buffers. How true. Many are put off by this. And that's a crying shame... [more inside]
Based on a quirky animated short that charmed MeFi four years ago, Pendleton Ward's Adventure Time is arguably the most delightful thing in animation right now. Following the surreal adventures of 12-year-old Finn and his magical dog Jake in the fantastical post-apocalyptic Land of Ooo, the series has breezed through two seasons and secured a third -- while generating a devoted fandom along the way (partially through savvy callbacks to things like 4chan's Courage Wolf meme and Kate Beaton's pudgy Shetland pony). There's an exhaustive wiki, an active discussion board, oodles of fan-art, and AdventureTi.me, a fan-made repository of previous episodes (complete with a mobile version) that makes catching up a cinch. Want more? Then check out the show's bountiful production diaries, its equally in-depth blog at Frederator Studios, catch some official clips, follow Pen Ward on Twitter, or buy or make your own awesome Finn hat (though not necessarily what lies beneath). Oh, and a new episode is airing... oh, right now. Totally math! [more inside]
How To Make Stuff has four ways to make plastic at home, from stryofoam with acetone, potatoes with vinegar and glycerin, milk with vinegar, and cream with lemon juice. Instructables has similar recipes with visuals (styrofoam plastic, potato or corn starch plastic, and milk and vinegar plastic).
"I see you have constructed a new lightsaber. Your skills are complete. Indeed, you are powerful, as the Emperor has foreseen." The lightsaber prop to own all lightsaber props, complete with crystal chamber and a blade bright enough to blind with the lights switched on. TL;DR? YouTube vids - with the blade attached; the crystal chamber. [via Geekdad, via Make]
Bram Bos, maker of easy-to-use programs for making electronic music, has released all his old software for free download. Get some free VST instruments and samples from KVR Audio and make some music, or at least download Hammerhead and make some beats!