Summer's coming! The tried-and-true food growing tool of the aspiring urban agriculturalist: self-irrigating planters. Make or buy one of these things and vegetable container gardening is a breeze. [more inside]
Do Your Own Adventure with Sue Teller: Customizing Your Kicks & Making Mash-Ups. [Warning: Extremely Obvious Product Placement.] [more inside]
Diana Eng (from Season 2 of Project Runway) has come out with a new book for the DIY fashion geek called: Fashion Geek! (Via Project Rungay.) Gives me something to do while I save up for one of these.
The Zine Library has hundreds of zines in pdf format for your perusal. They are organized into categories ranging from the common political (anarchism, political prisoners & animal liberation) and identity based zines (indigenous, race & gender) to the more esoteric (anarchist history, primitivism & theory) as well as the useful (cooking, DIY & organizing manuals) and arty (art, comics & music). Now, zines are by their very nature hit and miss but there are some real treasures to be found. I recommend these three: [all links pdf] The Rebel's Dark Laughter - The Writings of Bruno Filippi, Barefoot in the Kitchen and Delivery from Below, Resistance from Above - Electricity and the Politics of Struggle in Tembisa, South Africa. Note: Many if not most zines are set up to be printed out and bound together in chapbooks. That requires a bit of going back and forth when reading in pdf-format, but they wouldn't be real zines if they were straightforward to read ;) Don't know what a zine is? A pretty good overview is provided by zine librarian Jenna Freedman in Zines Are Not Blogs: A Not Unbiased Analysis. [This site has been posted previously but was buried deep in the weeds of more inside]
Two examples of community weblogs that revolve around DIY-comix-by-flash-template: Toonlet, where the comments are in comic form, too; and Pixton, which allows for a bit more creative control (but no comix-comments).
In Chinese, Shanzhai (山寨) literally means "mountain stronghold" and connotes a place with limited accessibility -- i.e. beyond the reach of authorities. In the past couple of years, it has come to refer to the manufacture of illicit tech gadgets by unauthorized factories: show us your shan zhai ji! But shanzhai can be used more broadly to describe knockoff culture, cheeky brand subversion, grassroots industrial creativity, and a certain DIY ethos. The latter may be best exemplified in these videos of a "Shanzhai Glider" in action. Apologies if the Chinese sites are slow-loading or unreachable for Western audiences. Mouse over links for descriptions, if so inclined.
DIY Portal Gun on flickr, with a few other pictures and build notes. You want of your own, you can either contact this guy or just ask Aperture about working at their test facilities.
It's the homemade PVC ice rink! (scroll down to comments for commenter's photos of barn loft rink and associated icicles.) [more inside]
A really useful legal help resource at e-Justice blog: 100 Free DIY Legal Resources on the Web includes The Attorneys Forum, free legal advice and support from professional attorneys, lawyers, and law firms nationwide. The archives include: How to Prepare for a Financial Apocalypse: 100 Tips and Tools to Secure What’s Yours l Top 50 Internet & Digital Law Blogs l World Watchdogs: Top 50 Human Rights Blogs l The Ultimate Guide to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu- 101 Resources to Help Anyone Learn the Gentle Art. [more inside]
R. Stevie Moore likes to stay home and play himself some music. Having done so for over 42 years--that's over 2000 songs and 400 albums--he has become the undisputed grandfather of do-it-yourself psychedelic pop and punk. Tagged for decades as underground, an outsider and criminally ignored local genius, R. Stevie is now exploiting and exploding that myth, no short thanks to the internets. Here's where he has scattered his recordings; here are two places where he keeps his home-made videos. WFMU archives his pioneering appearances on their great radio station from 1978-1998. Finally, here are two complete albums' worth of his Greatest "Hits": Hobbies Galore (1973-2005) and Tra La La Phooey (1959-2003). Long Live R. Stevie!
Live from the Pink Couch: Punks, Girls, Boys, Warriors, Witches, Kids, Comptrollers, and your new favorite band Best Friends Forever! (boyzone comment flamewar included) [more inside]
Using one of these Jeremy Peterson makes things like a folded box, a hex connector toy, and a calling card (he makes his project files available). His photos are cool and his art doesn't suck. [more inside]
Then, all of sudden, I saw a hand holding a piece of chalk and writing on a black-board something like a mathematical formula. The vision was very clear, but it stayed only for few seconds and disappeared again. The Internet is abound with a new, simple technique for at-home DIY multimodal (vision, sound) Ganzfeld Hallucinations (previously). [more inside]
F.A.O. Schwartz (doesn't everybody think of that first when they hear the name?) has come up with a Design Your Own Muppet Workshop (with appropriate video intro). Limited design options (they're the "Whatnot" Muppet extras, no identifiable characters) and a $90 pricetag for a custom-made Mup, but the design process is still fun (and better than their previous Design Your Own Tutu).
I first heard of a 'Paraset' when I saw a message on the QRP-L reflector announcing an upcoming 'June 6th Paraset D-Day' activity. A search for more information soon revealed that the Paraset was a small vacuum-tube transmitter-receiver unit built during WWII in the UK at the Whaddon Hall headquarters of the Secret Intelligence Service Communications Unit. Known officially as the 'Whaddon Mark VII', the units were either air-dropped by parachute or carried, by the jumpers themselves, into many of the occupied countries of western Europe. . .
While you may not be the shoe hoarder some people are, you have shoes in your closet you never wear and you'd like to know what to do with them. Are they just boring? In that case you could just experiment with new ways to lace them, or find a way to make them light up when you walk into a room. Or you could draw on the shoes with markers or sharpies. You could also paint them, going with the theme of your choice: Art Nouveau, Picasso, Day of the Dead, or any of the ideas here. You could cut motifs from fabric and glue them on to your lace-ups, cover your flats with new fabric, bling up a pair of strappy shoes with glitter, or embellish your flip-flops with some yarn. Is the old upper worn out? Knit or crochet a new one. Want to get where you're going faster? Make custom roller skates, or modify your bicycle. Do your shoes hurt your feet? Put them on your face instead as a wrestling mask, or turn them into an iPod case. Your shoes could also become a birdhouse, a planter, a centrepiece, or an integral part of a coat rack, bookends or leg lamp. If you're really not up to crafting, here are 11 non-crafty ways to recycle old shoes. But what fun is that?!?
[Warning: Not Safe For the Squeamish] "An Illustrated History of Trepanation": Although the reasons for trepanning and the instruments used for the procedure differ with time and from culture to culture, the result is always the same: a hole in the head, usually made when the individual was fully conscious and, often, unanaesthetized. • • From an interview with Heather Perry, who trepanned herself: "I used a hand trepan initially, but that wasn't proving to be terribly successful. Then there was a problem with the people who owned the property we were staying in, so we decided we'd have to just leave it. I wrapped my head up in a towel and we got out of there. A couple of days later, we had another go. We abandoned the hand trepan and got an electric drill instead." • • And, of course, the home version of the game. [more inside]
Parkour, it’s easier than you think to get started and you can keep your workout lively. Ryan Ford has a training center in Colorado , and there’s probably one right near you . Or DIY. [more inside]
GetBodySmart.com is a wonderful and remarkably complete resource to learn about the systems that keep our body running, including the skeletal , nervous and even urinary systems. What's more amazing is that it's all created by one man in his spare time and for no gain of his own. Read his mission statement here.
The Futility of Flogging Music "I was pondering the other day whether I actually have a field of expertise. I thought for ages, and couldn't come up with anything, and then in a blinding flash I realised, with a slight sense of despondency, what it might be: being in bands that people have never heard of." Actually you may have heard of Rhodri Marsden if you're caught the current Scritti Politti line-up in action, if you've ever followed the broadcasts of the late DJ John Peel, or if you've read Rhodri's technology column in UK newspaper the Independent. This week, in a speech to the Oxford Geek Night, Marsden shared his caustic yet heartfelt observations on DIY music from the early 90s through to the digital age, sighing "I can think of nothing more soul destroying" than social networking and quoting post-punk icon of Pere Ubu as saying musicians should "screw the audience".
Livejournal user absinthetic's girlfriend is having a birthday, so he made her a Wonderland Expedition Kit.
What's Folk-Punk? Although celtic-punk groups like the Pogues, Flogging Molly, and the Dropkick Murphys may have been the first bands to combine punk rock with folk music, other groups have been crossing over folk music and punk rock for some time now. [more inside]
Project Dalek: Alan has deliberately 'beefed up' the dome. From a child's eye view it looks like half an inch thick battle armour but the dome is really only four millimetres in thickness. This looks more substantial when viewed from underneath - an angle from which children often see Daleks. [more inside]
ilovebacteria.com explains science to people who do not necessarily have a scientific background. You'll find a selection of DIY experiments like egg osmosis, and strange facts like the ever popular why does asparagus make your wee smell? And don't forget to meet the microbes.
How to Butcher a Chicken. From killing to plucking to gutting and freezing, Herrick Kimball takes the budding poultry farmer step by step through the process.
Wine jelly. Yes, wine jelly. It isn't bacon flavored, but you can make it yourself and its damn good. Distilled beverages can also be made into jellies, though they tend to be mixed with fruit juice.
Allotments: how to get one, and what to grow in it once you've got it. Lots of people have allotments. Lots. Geddit?
Plans for a Simple Atmospheric Gas Forge that can be constructed using mundane tools. Zoeller forge is also a parts source for speciality items you may not be able to source locally.
Do You Want To Know RIGHT NOW How You Can Drive Around Using WATER as FUEL and Laugh At Rising Gas Costs, While Reducing Emissions and Preventing Global Warming?
Do-it-yourself film manufacturing. "Can't buy the film you want any more? Just make the stuff! In this set you will find random photos and information on a project a friend has undertaken - a machine to make his own camera film. Plastic and goop go in one end, and camera film comes out the other end. This is not a trivial undertaking."
Steve Gisselbrecht writes about his experiments taking chocolate from beans to bars at home. [more inside]
Paracord is a perennial survival kit favorite, but why carry a boring ol' hank of it when you can get crafty? Parachute cord lanyards, bracelets, watchbands, belts, and other braided items are surprisingly easy and fun to make by following some simple instructions. But they're just the beginning! From water bottle carriers and camera tripods to knife handles, Khukri conversions, flashlight & stick wraps, pace beads, magazine pulls, rifle wraps and rifle slings, there are tons of useful things you can make out of paracord! [more inside]
Paradise: The Gardens of Tokyo. A collection of amazing photographs of Japanese gardens as taken by Tim Porter. [more inside]
Blooming is booming. Whether you prefer DIY or professionals, knowing what to plant and when can be daunting...unless you've got some really excellent websites on your side. And you do! Plantwire will help you find plants through conventional search, tags, or even by colour. Fine Gardening Magazine's site has much to offer: how-to section with videos, design ideas, and a fabulous plant guide. Garden Simply can help you achieve sustainable, organic gardening. Garden and Flower has several convenient guides on how to achieve gardening nirvana - including butterfly garden essentials! [more inside]
DIY Ceiling Cat. That is all.
Scandinavian Grace's beard cap has inspired the internet. Now plans are available to make your own bearded cap. Have a large head? No problem! Skeleclavas lack a beard, but make warming your head a little more hardcore
Worried about the state of biodiversity? Why not make some of your own? Moore’s law is all over biotechnology right now. Can the hackers be far behind? MIT's Drew Endy doesn’t think so. Ready to get started? You might already have some of the tools that you will need. Plans for others are available on the web. All you need now are some parts.
DIY Drones "a site for all things about amateur Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)"
What do you call capturing sound the way the human head hears it, that is, three-dimensionally? Nope, not stereo. Binaural recording. Holophonics. Dummy head (no, not you) recording. [more inside]
Housing, preserving, and providing access to these small-scale, homemade rags that document some corner of [often do-it-yourself and punk rock] culture, zine archives can be found via independently operated centers in Georgia (physical library in construction), New Orleans (myspace link, www address out-of-commission), Florida, Minneapolis, Denver, Cambridge, Olympia, Chicago, Seattle and... [more inside]
Surely this must be a double, right? I mean, you've got this great and strange program, Addi's Inflatable Minute, and this incredibly strange but somewhat haunting instrument and its all in one You Tube Link? People don't actually make this sort of content in real life, do they?
It's that time of year again. The RPM Challenge has been opened again for 2008. Can you record an album of 10 songs and/or 35 minutes during the month of February and send it in by the end of the month? Previously
Make your own attack ad. The Democratic party is uploading all its "tracker" videos of the top Republican candidates out on the campaign trail, for use by anyone for anything. "The party hopes that thousands of eyes might find something the mainstream media has missed, or that a new way of juxtaposing the video with something else will be revealing about the candidates," says the NYT. Gimmick or political sea change?