"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!
It's holiday time! Perhaps you'd like to add some DIY decoration to your gifts. Let's make some "Literary Leaf Gift Tags." Which book should you make them from? Oh, any old book will do—say, this one looks splendid. Et voila! Gift tags that are perfect for the literate aesthete, complete with mentions of "gaunt human skulls" and "slave labor camps." [more inside]
Top 10s of 2010. Each Saturday, we pore through our favorite tips and tricks to find 10 great hacks surrounding any subject, from food and thumb drives to browsers and Wi-Fi. Here are our most popular Top 10s of 2010.
Strange CW Keys, a collection of interesting and totally unique Morse Code keys made by Jari Vainio, OH6DC in Finland.
Strange CW Keys, a collection of interesting and totally unique Morse Code keys made by Jari Vainio, OH6DC in Finland.
Holey sweater? Fixed! Use a piece of foam, some wool and a felt needle. No knitting skills required.
Molecular gastronomy - the use of industrial and scientific processes in the culinary arts - has been discussed before, but in the last few years a number of tools and techniques have appeared that make some of the fancy pantsy schmanzy creations of molecular gastronomy possible for the home cook... [more inside]
Last.fm Listing History via LastGraph As Wall Decoration - Andy took his LastFM listening history, rendered it via LastGraph as PDF document and created some stunishing simple and yet beautiful wall decoration for his home. [original text is german - read a google translated version here]
"I'm doing this for my pride. I'm doing it for the principle of the matter. I'm also doing it because it's going to be awesome to have a robot pony bicycle when this all ends."
"The Home Owner's Association at my building has been leaving me notes asking me to clean up my parking spaces in the garage...Apparently, the rules say that only bicycles are allowed to be stored in these spaces. In the spaces I have: 2 bicycles...and one mechanical pony..." [more inside]
Insiders Tour of Akihabara. The guys over at toykohackerspace provide us with a guide to the ultimate in geek shopping; whether it's custom CNC'ed radio enclosures, every tweezer imaginable, or you just want to buy a robot, Akihabara is the place to be. [via /.] [more inside]
Make your own glow sticks! No, not like that! With complete chemical recipes for different colors, information on how fluorescent dyes work, and bonus fun camera light balance behavior. [via]
(MLYT) Danyk666 and his microwave oven, danyk and his unshielded Source, danyk's little jacob's ladder, danyk heats water, zaps a CD, uses wrong AC power. Also hairspray high-volt abuse, his flyback transformer no workee (wait for it), carbon scoring on your droids? And danyk's small shaded-pole motor ...OF DEATH!!! [more inside]
Some people make DIY drones. Some people build WiFi-hacking UAVs. Somethingawful members build their own submarines, floating launch-platforms, and tow their own manned spacecraft out to sea.
An oral history of DIY pioneers CRASS - with details about the court battle that may soon mar 30+ years of advocacy for anarchism, permaculture, workers' rights, and free thinking. [more inside]
Got a lot of tomatoes? Looking for some thing different to DIY? How about DIY ketchup? "Whether it's pickles or preserves, DIY food is all the rage. But when I told a group of food-loving friends that I was planning to make my own ketchup, their response was muted. First, there was an awkward pause. Then, one piped up with the question that everyone must have been thinking: Why? Ketchup, apparently, is an exception to the everything-is-better-if-you-make-it-yourself ethos. "
"In April 2010, Ashley Rawlings and I used community fundraising to raise nearly $24,000 to breathe new life into our book, Art Space Tokyo. My goal [in this blog post] is to outline what we did and why we did it, with the hope of inspiring anyone with an itch, gumption and a good narrative, to do the same. To bring beautiful, well-considered things into the world."
Tired of that NES controller digging into your palms? How about playing with your face? (SLYT) [more inside]
So, you always wanted to be a musician, but your pops wouldn't send you to music school? And you can't afford a decent instrument? Aw, quit yer whining and go get a garden hose.