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frugal engineering can boost your space program

Trip to Mars Doesn’t Have to Break the Bank
Just days after the launch of India’s Mangalyaan satellite, NASA sent off its own Mars mission, five years in the making, named Maven. Its cost: $671 million. The budget of India’s Mars mission, by contrast, was just three-quarters of the $100 million that Hollywood spent on last year’s space-based hit, “Gravity.” “The mission is a triumph of low-cost Indian engineering,” said Roddam Narasimha, an aerospace scientist and a professor at Bangalore’s Jawaharlal Nehru Center for Advanced Scientific Research. “By excelling in getting so much out of so little, we are establishing ourselves as the most cost-effective center globewide for a variety of advanced technologies,” said Mr. Narasimha.
(NYTSL)
posted by infini on Feb 18, 2014 - 44 comments

Cheap Bourbons, Ranked

A Timely Ranking of Cheap American Bourbon in Time for the Holidays
posted by Renoroc on Nov 25, 2013 - 107 comments

Collecting comic book mail-order crap

Remember those little ads in the pages of comic books that offered mail-orders of cheap toys, novelties, and gags? (Previously.) Kirk Demarais collects that stuff so you don't have to. [more inside]
posted by hydrophonic on Jun 25, 2013 - 36 comments

To Be Highly Praised And Appreciated By Consuming Public!

Rhinoceroses are purple, they have rounded faces like hippos, they have long, curved stinging tails like scorpions, and they have flashlights in their mouths. Oh, and when those lights are activated, they make pig noises. This is actually a great toy for a kid who’s afraid of the dark and also afraid of conventional, non-cute, non-noise-making flashlights. Or for someone who needs a primer in the genetic-engineering technology of 2075 and how it will be used to create monstrous hybrids to serve our every need, including our need for rhinoceroscorpion light sources. It's time for the A.V. Club's annual Cheap Toy Roundup.
posted by davidjmcgee on Dec 22, 2012 - 14 comments

The best free games from across the web

For about three years, the A.V. Club ran Sawbuck Gamer, a regular column reviewing the week's most notable free and cheap games across all platforms, from web games to handhelds to console downloadables. It's a treasure trove of content, especially since more literary sister site The Gameological Society took the helm, and it's publicized great desktop projects like the luscious platformer Frogatto (previously), feature-rich Super Mario Bros. X (previously), the evocative faux-web Digital: A Love Story (previously), interactive fiction gem Rover's Day Off, and the hyperkinetic RunMan: Race Around the World (previously). But if you're in the mood for something more immediate, why not start with a list of all the original column's free A-rated online titles? [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Oct 24, 2012 - 20 comments

free & cheap ebooks

Books on the Knob, Pixel of Ink, and iReader Review are three blogs that feature free & bargain ebooks daily. If you want to start simple there's OpenCulture's 375 Free eBooks list but if you don't mind doing some footwork then there's this very comprehensive 614 Places for Free eBooks Online post (with divisions of content by genre) on Gizmo's Freeware. [more inside]
posted by flex on Oct 4, 2012 - 12 comments

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

What do you do when you own the IP to a beloved 28-year old family classic widely regarded as one of the finest Christmas movies ever? Why you make a sequel of course. [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Sep 10, 2012 - 174 comments

Cheaper versions are on the way

Raspberry Pi the £22 ($35) computer was launched today and sold out immediately. It is intended to encourage children to develop a better understanding of computers and get involved in programming. The design is based on a Broadcom BCM2835 SoC with no keyboard or other frills; it's meant to run Linux.
posted by Segundus on Feb 29, 2012 - 128 comments

If you liked it, then you should have spent 7p on it

Times might be hard, but romance can still thrive. [more inside]
posted by mippy on Feb 2, 2012 - 52 comments

One Dead Hippie and a bacon and egg martini, garcon

Young and Foodish give you their Top 10 London burgers. Not in the mood for minced cow? Then they also have rundowns of their favourite pizzas, coffees, sandwiches, bagels and salt-beef sarnies. And if you want to read more about food in London, in a way that doesn't suggest that one can't eat well without laying at least £70 at the wagyu-flecked boots of a Michelin-starred chef, then there's £31.75, which took its' inspiration from the infamous Aberdeen Steak House.
posted by mippy on Jan 6, 2012 - 48 comments

Nothing gets this girl excited like a good meat sale!

Freezer Meals on the Cheap.
posted by bwg on Jun 26, 2011 - 94 comments

The 15 Quid USB PC

David Braben, developer of games such as Rollercoaster Tycoon and Kinectimals has turned his sights to hardware, to develop a £10-£15 PC in a USB stick form factor, to make computers universally accessible to children wanting to learn computing and programming.
posted by benzo8 on May 6, 2011 - 41 comments

Bargain Junkies Are Beating Retailers at Their Own Game

A new brand of super shoppers use coupons and other discounts to get products for absurdly low prices. The Web has turned this group from a series of independent operators into cohesive groups, frustrating retailers.
posted by reenum on Dec 3, 2010 - 126 comments

"You can get here by bus!?"

Want to get to that town in the next state on the cheap? Sure, there's Greyhound, but it's hardly a bargain at $32 for a journey from Seattle to Portland. When you really need to save the cash, use Epic Transit Journeys wiki to plot your route entirely on local transit carriers, allowing you to get to Stumptown for only $11.50 and a paltry five transfers. For a truly epic journey, cross international borders for the trip to Vancouver, BC, which includes a lovely 2.9 mi stroll across the border. Oran Viriyincy's travelogue of this trip includes lots of photos of buses and trains, and the border official's shocked reaction.
posted by grouse on Nov 9, 2010 - 42 comments

travel to cities in Europe

europe-cities is a beautifully organized, practical site for information about traveling to cities in Europe. All the information is in one place: info about specific cities, cuisine, history, overview information, weather, a variety of cultural interests from English Christmas Markets to Hungarian culture. And, best of all, finding the cheapest/best places to stay. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Aug 28, 2010 - 16 comments

It isn't every airline offers flights for 50p...

Cheap Flights by Fascinating Aida is a new song from a trio of satirical women who have been making people laugh for over a quarter of a century. As they say on their homepage "It started by going fungal, then it went bacterial, and is in severe danger of going viral. Hurrah! We write a hit - it's only taken 27 years!". Other notable songs include their ode to viagra Getting it, White's Blues, and an old gem Time, from 1987.
posted by handee on Aug 26, 2010 - 9 comments

Eating Well On $1 A Day

Jeffrey believed that with couponing, he could live on $1 a day for food and have plenty to eat. [more inside]
posted by gman on Jun 28, 2010 - 181 comments

Good enough or just cheap crap?

Robert Capps, Wired senior editor, has an article up called The Good Enough Revolution: When Cheap and Simple Is Just Fine. It explores what happens when an established product meets a competitor that has most of the features at fraction of the price. Think hi-fi vs MP3s, A-10 bombers vs Predator drones or landline vs Skype. [more inside]
posted by Harald74 on Sep 1, 2009 - 74 comments

Hurry! Cash For Clunkers Ends Monday

What’s so special about the super cars that make people spend cosmic sums on a single car to buy it? Here are the Most Expensive Supercars: Exotic Showcase. Looking for cheap wheels? Here they are — the ten least-expensive 2009 cars on sale in America. But sticker price insn't everything; here are the 10 most and least expensive cars to insure.
posted by netbros on Aug 22, 2009 - 57 comments

“I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor. It is a symbol of despair. Cheap prices make for cheap goods; cheap goods make for cheap men; and cheap men make for a cheap country.”

Crestwood is the "best-run town in America" because it's "run like a business".
"Our budget is $2 million dollars a year while a town of similar size, with 12,000 people, might have a budget of $10 million["], said City Director Frank Gassmere. Added Mayor Stranczek: "Folks are happy here and I intend to keep them that way."
Taxes are so low, property tax payers get rebates! Privatizing local government works brilliantly!As long as you didn't drink the cheap, cheap municipal water -- for the last twenty years.
posted by orthogonality on Apr 21, 2009 - 103 comments

Anomalous Materials

Ten years ago Valve released Half Life, to the delight of gamers, modders, critics and people who hate cut scenes. Marc Laidlaw, writer for Valve, talks about the genesis of scientist turned crowbar wielding survivor, Gordon Freeman. Somehow avoided playing it in all these years? You can buy it on Steam for less than a dollar until midnight November 21st.
posted by Artw on Nov 20, 2008 - 86 comments

Ebay Art

"What would you say if I told you that I filled my entire living room with completely original works of art for less than $300?" Andrea Dickson from Wise Bread has found an unlikely -- though, the more you think about it, almost obvious -- place to find original art from new artists: Ebay. If you can filter through the crapload of "artistic nudes", there are plenty of gems, and usually at buyers' market prices. And, as Andrea's mother mused, when it comes to decorating the house, it beats buying mass-produced art from Costco, which is about as original as a Big Mac.
posted by chakalakasp on Oct 1, 2008 - 35 comments

I see wizardry

Attach syringes full of oil to the temples of a pair of double-lensed magic Harry Potter eyeglasses and let poor people see.
posted by orthogonality on Aug 4, 2008 - 57 comments

Anything you want, for $2

Webcomic artist D.J. Coffman offers to draw anything you want for $2 apiece.
posted by divabat on Jul 23, 2008 - 42 comments

Notch tubing without a notcher.

Cope pipe without a jig. Enter a few parameters and get a pdf that will give you a printable pattern that will allow you to notch tubing for welding or brazing to another pipe.
posted by Mitheral on Mar 15, 2008 - 35 comments

Lee press-on car

The Tata Nano (pic) is a car that costs less new than the amount I've spent on gas during single car trips, recently announced to the auto market in India. The Chery QQ ^, successful , widely exported, and recognized as the Hostage Taker's Vehicle of Choice by China Car Times, is the runner-up for the world's cheapest car but is still approximately twice as expensive. Yes indeed, the price of gas is not going to come back down. So much for my coast-to-coast road trips. [more inside]
posted by XMLicious on Feb 3, 2008 - 42 comments

Of course, the frames are probably made from Chinese toothpaste...

A selection of eyeglasses for $8. (That's including your lens prescription.) Or if that's not to your liking, there's $39.
posted by Arthur "Two Sheds" Jackson on Sep 19, 2007 - 81 comments

Cheap booze!

When happy hour's over, and it's time to cruise back to trash someone's loungeroom, continue the tight-arse tradition with Boozle!
posted by pompomtom on Sep 18, 2007 - 8 comments

100 Things You or Martha Stewart Can Make

Since the US economy will soon explode and eat all our monies, I give you this: 100 Things You Can Make Yourself!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Aug 17, 2007 - 48 comments

possum living

POSSUM LIVING: How To Live Well Without a Job ..building a $100 Log Cabin, a geodesic dome out of cardboard.. handbook for cob building.. cheap solar power system.. stocking up on food.. some more
posted by petsounds on Feb 15, 2007 - 37 comments

Airline travel on the cheap made easy

WhichBudget.com: a site that helps you find a low cost airline flight for your destination
posted by champthom on Nov 20, 2006 - 40 comments

Darren Sherman is cheap

Attention Darren Sherman: When you go on a date with someone, and they offer to split the tab, once you've declined their offer it can be perceived as bad ettiquette to threaten to get a court summons for the money if they refuse a second date with you. Voicemails & emails of a JDate gone awry.
posted by jonson on Jul 5, 2006 - 73 comments

Want to be obsessed with your grocery store?

It took 30 years to spread from California to New York but the Trader Joe's grocery store chain is finally making a foothold in the Big Apple. The deniznes of NYC will now be able to obsess about something new. Not everyone is a fan, but maybe it's just that they haven't yet tried the Two-buck Chuck.
posted by scblackman on Mar 8, 2006 - 113 comments

What does a dollar buy these days?

"If ever a company needed a marketing department, it's New Choice, whose Original Flavor Round Crackers take the cake for stating the obvious. Points should be awarded for attempts to woo health-conscious consumers with facts about added DHA ("prevents heart attack, enhances eye sight"), but there's no two ways to look at Round Crackers: It's a badly executed Ritz rip-off." So sayeth the wits at the Onion A.V. Club, who scour the nation's dollar stores for food products to evaluate in their sporadic feature "Dining for a Dollar." Round crackers too boring? You might prefer Freakin' Nuts (tagline: Is it a chip? Is it a nut? Yes!), Thick Mints, or maybe just a handful of Balls. Their annual Cheap Toy Roundup is just as good; last year's featured products such as Preeminent Car ($1), Stretchy Body Bits ($1.19), and a DVD titled Clothes That Went to a Party ($2). Perhaps the all-time best, though, is the Mini Wooden Furniture: Table: a "plain, unadorned wooden table." ($1)
posted by anjamu on Mar 4, 2006 - 12 comments

Dumb terminals are cool again

Ndiyo systems consist of a central PC running Linux, serving a bunch of ultra-cheap, ultra-thin VNC-ish clients over 100Mbit Ethernet connections. The developers hope that mass production will soon make the clients cost as little as a typical video cable.
posted by flabdablet on Jan 16, 2006 - 32 comments

Restive masses grasp knowledge: outcome ?

Simputer : High tech meets extreme poverty
posted by troutfishing on Sep 29, 2005 - 22 comments

White noise

White plastic chairs - Jens Thiel blogs his research of the ubiquitous chair we all love to hate for an upcoming monobloc monograph and museum exhibition. The first chair emerged midcentury, devil spawn of a noble heritage. Today, some fear the monobloc population rivals or exceeds that of humans. Some view the chair as art, others see their place in history, but I agree with the wag who dubs them tupperware containers for lard butts.
posted by madamjujujive on Aug 2, 2005 - 20 comments

Travel Aggregators

Upstart travel sites challenge the big three Catering to skinflints who can't be bothered to check multiple sites for the best fares, travel aggregator sites like Mobissimo, CheapFlights, Qixo, or Sidestep allow you to search Expedia, Orbitz, and Travelocity with a single query, as well as bargain airlines like JetBlue and Southwest, which aren't covered by the big three. (note: Sidestep requires a download, and only works on Windows; the others are all just regular websites.) But maybe you'd be best off just heading straight to an obscure Belgian travel site.
posted by yankeefog on Dec 13, 2004 - 13 comments

Sexy, smart, and cheap date ideas.

Friday night is date night.
posted by oh posey on Aug 13, 2004 - 16 comments

Conversational cheap shots

It seems evident that here we all too aware of these, but just in case you're knee-deep in a flame war: conversational cheap shots.
posted by xmutex on Jul 22, 2004 - 24 comments

Travel,edification,breakfast-cheap!.

The Educator's Bed and Breakfast Network Lodging for US $34 per couple per night, and breakfast too! Required - a house of your own (or maybe a large apartment, I suppose) to host fellow members. Membership costs $35 per year with a one-time $10 initial registration fee. "Educators" is a broad category which includes teachers of all sorts, writers, journalists, researchers, librarians, probably DJ's....many bloggers...
posted by troutfishing on Jul 14, 2004 - 5 comments

The Computational Complexity of Air Travel Planning

Do you have problems finding the cheapest flight? Well so do computers.
Carl de Marcken, the man who created the engine behind Orbitz and other travel search engines posits that finding the cheapest fare from one point to another is a NP-Hard problem. Even if you fix the specific route between destinations there can be as many as 1036 combinations.
posted by patrickje on Dec 9, 2002 - 18 comments

Dr Venter says he will be able to provide an individual's genome on a CD in about a week for $712,000 (£400,000) from later this year with the ultimate goal to sequence someone's entire genome in 24 hours for $1,000 (£562).
posted by nasim on Sep 23, 2002 - 9 comments

Speed of light broken with basic lab kit.

Speed of light broken with basic lab kit. Physicists at Middle Tennessee State University report that they've broken the speed of light using only $500 in off-the-shelf equipment that can be set up in less than an hour. Don't expect warp drives any time soon, but this does open up a cool area of science to the "two guys in a garage" arena. Is there a Jobs & Wozniak out there who will kick start a transportation revolution?
posted by mkultra on Sep 17, 2002 - 22 comments

Rabbits with big pointy teeth

Rabbits with big pointy teeth are on my list of gifts for friends this holiday season. What other cool gifts are there that you can get for under $50?
posted by fleener on Dec 13, 2001 - 23 comments

Ebay just gets weirder and weirder

Ebay just gets weirder and weirder Going cheap, at only a fiver! Bargain, eh?
posted by metaxa on Dec 11, 2001 - 30 comments

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