Ward Kimball's home movie footage
of Walt Disney playing with a backyard scale model railroad in 1948.
'At Angola Prison in Louisiana, model inmates or "trustees" are encouraged to participate in "hobby craft" as a part of their rehabilitation. Hobby craft is an arts program that involves painting, wood & leather working, taxidermy, furniture building, and many other disciplines.In many cases, they are given special workshops, tools and even private studios to work in.The goods are sold to the public at the prison’s annual rodeo and art fair. The money raised is then split mainly between inmates' families and prison administration, with the inmates themselves receiving only a small amount to buy more materials for the next fair. A sad irony is that this rehabilitation will rarely benefit the prisoners in the outside world because 90% of them have life sentences, and will end up being laid to rest at "The Farm."' A photographic essay.
Dominick Carpenter builds and sells
miniature cannons and mortars. Sometimes he fires them
. [more inside]
Since the Spring of 1997, Joe and the Lil' Giants Construction Company have been excavating his basement
, one truck load at a time. Joe uses Wedico
and Stahl RC trucks, bulldozers, excavators and a dirt lump crusher
to build, remove, repair and sculpt his basement. You can follow Joe and his progress here
and on his youtube channel
Through a Glass, Smartly
Larry Sherk is one of the world's foremost brewerianists, a collector of beer stuff who over 40 years has amassed the country's second-largest private collection of beer labels (about 3,000), many of which date to the late 1800s. [more inside]
Frederik and Gerrit Braun, energetic twin brothers with no shortage of dreams, have just finished construction of the world’s largest model airport. With 40,000 lights, 15,000 figurines, 500 cars, 10,000 trees, 50 trains, 1000 wagons, 100 signals, 200 switches, 300 buildings and 40 planes, Knuffingen Airport is both a wonder to behold as well as a technological tour de force. The best part of Knuffingen is that it’s alive. Forty planes and 90 vehicles move about autonomously.
Not in the headlines:
Swedish parlor philosophy of fair play, law and order, slooowly explained by police chief John Lind. [more inside]
While Pablo Picasso’s Tête de femme (Jacqueline)
is clearly no L’Homme qui marche I
, Tête de femme was recently sold to an anonymous telephone bidder for £8,105,250. Let's go to the videotape
And oh, for staying on top of things while jet-setting, there is indeed an app
Carl Rankin builds awesome RC planes
out of straws, plastic wrap, tape, and foam take-out boxes. (via
Got some spare time? Then let's learn origami
! Check out this large collection of origami designs
(suitable for beginners too), and here's some instructional origami videos
to help you along.
Recent MeFi threads
have suggested how easy
it is (or not
) to build a gun
. The comparison to dynamite
is made, frequently, in these sorts of discussions, supposedly to illustrate another "weapon"
which is in the public corpus but largely outlawed. [more inside]
The Online Paper Airplane Museum
. Hundreds and hundreds of designs. Also check out The Paperang
, which bills itself as "The Best Paper Airplane System In The World."
It's spring, and that means its convention time!
In Las Vegas, tomorrow, don't miss the Virtual Air Traffic
Convention in Las Vegas! Dusseldorf on Saturday? There's Top Hair 2007 wow!
But wait there's more--- Perhaps you'd like to polish your skills in treating the multiple-disordered suicidal client
! I know I would! Functional Foods?
Learn why seawater has a salty taste at the Bagkok International Book Fair
! Hot! Find your own convention.
As a hobby, this guy built his own Boeing 747 flight simulator. No, not just a PC simulation, but a full cabin with hydraulics motion simulation a correct control panel and the full works, just like the real thing. (via Neatorama)
Making a watch by hand. In these days of “fast” and “convenient” I decided to commence a work of “painstaking” and “craftsmanship”, making my own wristwatch. I have had the idea for a certain arrangement of the watch dial, as on the image at the right, for a while now. My investigations into available movements showed that no production movement would give me this layout. After a long period of indecision and wondering what I was really getting myself into I decided to make my own movement, followed by the case and dial.
Pressed pennies, flattened pennies, squished pennies, smashed pennies, whatever you call them, they are an exciting, kid-enticing presence at any tourist attraction, amusement park, or museum
. For two quarters and a penny (pre-1982 preferred by the serious buffs
) you can legally flatten the lowest of our nation's currency (and sometimes Canada's) into a souvenir disk that's embossed with a picturesque reminder of your trip. But these pennies don't live and die by the child's pants pocket, pressed penny collecting is serious business. Heck, there's even a museum
devoted to the hobby, as well as a thriving collecting scene
. So next time you pass by one of these cool machines
, pause, elbow the penniless kids out of the way, and get yourself a neat little trinket of remembrance.
With 12,568 scans available to peruse, Uncle Corkie is the winner in my books. Franco Ferretti
may have the largest collection of bottle caps but it's not online. Collecting, a postmodern pastime?
I love beer mats. Those with a low tolerance for slow-loading pages with too many graphics on them - or pages that require horizontal scrolling need not click
. Other tegestology pages
. I had no idea.
and Council sponsored "mayhem".
Teens in Israel need to find a new hobby:
Incoming recruits to Israel's Defense Forces (Tzahal)
who divulge playing Dungeons & Dragons
are being flagged with low security clearance and psychological disorders. New guidelines are in place that limit D&D hobbyists from being considered for sensitive army positions such as Sayeret Mat'Kal
, one of the most elite designations of Tzahal. Why does the IDF believe the game is so dangerous?: "These people have a tendency to be influenced by external factors which could cloud their judgment, a military official says. "They may be detached from reality or have a weak personality – elements which lower a person's security clearance, allowing them to serve in the army, but not in sensitive positions."
Many find this policy inexplicable, and are turning to humor
, I just love Alphabetilately
, and I think you will too! Yours sincerely, taz.
is a great primer on how to make shapes (be they molecular models or wiener dogs) out of balloons. Be sure to check out the gallery
for some cool photos of balloon molecules and a comment from Francis Crick
Old River Bill
really knows inland workboats. Besides exercising his novel system of punctuation, Bill makes model tugboats
and is a part of an avid community of workboat modelers
. You can find out everything you ever wanted to know about how real work is done on rivers on how the hell we move 100's of thousands of tons of crap around the country every day.
Nothing to do but surf group weblogs? No worries, there's always some hobbies that you haven't considered. Try collecting sugar packets
, fruit stickers
, toilet seats
, join a club
, or just go for broke and cover yourself in porridge
. There's no excuse to be bored...
The Postage Stamps of Donald Evans
(scroll down a paragraph or two) A rich and complex internal world expressed through postage stamp art.
'When Donald Evans (born Morristown, New Jersey USA in 1945) was a boy, he drifted from his hobby of collecting postage stamps to creating his own postage stamps of countries he made up in his imagination ... He left behind an astonishing planet seen through its nations' postage stamps, thousands of them, all drawn to postage-stamp size, with all the familiar periphery of postage stamps hand-done ... '
New Bog Snorkeling World Champion Crowned
People have such odd hobbies and collections.
I'm not talking about things like CrossStiching
, or Air Guitar
, or Naming Your Pens
, but really strange ones.
Air Sickness Bags are art
to some, so are Wal-Mart Purchase Receipts
, and Nobs
, always fun at parties there's collecting navel fluff
, I'm not Sure What To Call This
, there's Squirrel Fishing
, collecting Odd Rod Cards
, heck, Books Have Been Written
, even The USAToday
I dunno, is Mefi a strange hobby?
I'm here to tell you about the ultimate sporting clash of the titans-Air Hockey!
That's right, the ultimate rec-room sport of the '70's is alive and well. There's leagues galore
including one in Austin, Texas
(home of numerous MeFite's.), and cool Flash animations
of some slick moves. Ever since I bought my first table at age 10 at a yard sale, this has been my game. Nice to know it's still out there. There's even places to buy nifty tables
if you're in the market. Me and the missus used to love playing at the local arcade on this beauty
with the nifty flourescent puck. Now drop the puck and play!
New type of RC plane going for around $100
They're electric as opposed to gas powered, lighter than their gas powered cousins, and a fraction of the cost. I've always wanted to get into RC planes, but the cost was prohibitive until now.
has an interesting way of keeping their costs low. They do it "through mass production, and by putting the extensive assembly instructions and fact sheets ... online, rather than mailing them to you."
I think that's a great idea. That way if they want to revise some part of the instructions, or add schematics or notes or ideas from people who might have experienced problems, they can allow all
customers to see the new instructions without having to send recall notices or try to track exactly who owns their product. This gives a company the ability to hyperlink instructions with tons of additional information, as well as definitions and photographs. I really think all toy manufacturers should do this. It would also be great for furniture makers - Sauder and those places that make built-it-yourself desks and bookcases, etc. That way you could order that missing bolt or screw or broken piece of shelving directly from the manufacturer ...
Not everyone understands the
Certainly not the
[WSJ subscription link]
jailed a group of plane spotters
maybe. But spies?
Ask the Romanians and Poles
One of my favorite things about surfing the web is stumbling upon someone's magnificent obsession.
In order to qualify as a Magnificent Obsession (M.E.) -- at least according to my definition -- the hobby must strike me as slightly-to-extremely insane while, at the same time, fill me with admiration for the hobbyist's discipline. Some M.E.s are about collecting totally useless data (like the main link above), or like this research into EXIT Sign Coloration
; or strange items, like Wal-Mart receipts
or air-sickness bags
. But my favorite M.E.s are the ones that lead to huge expense and huge amounts of time spent building or fixing wonderful, useless objects -- like planetarium projectors
or Lost in Space robots
, which "can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $35,000 and vary in detail depending on the abilities and resources made available to the builder. A project like this can take months if not years to complete."
Know any other good M.E. links?
is a way to put your useless GPS device, and your lazy internet to work for your important fun needs. People hide Stuff on earth, and mark the spot. Publish the coordinates, and you go find the stuff. Sometimes toys and cameras are involved. Link via my good friend J.Bu
, who probably did not realize he was giving away a perfectly good Old School style MeFi post.
is the misunderstood love of owning stocks and bonds that shouldn't be worth anything anymore. So why not make a business
out of it? I'm just glad to see that e-toys
is doing good once again.
Everyone has a hobby.. mine is is playing the guitar (rather badly I may add). I love wholenote .com
. Are there any other hobbyists out there who have a site to reccomend?
"People, let me tell you 'bout my best friend.."
Are you too much alone? Does time hang heavy on your head? Do even the cold comforts of Internet chat rooms and community blogging reject you? There's hope.
Find the warmth of solid state friendship with the companionship of computerized buddies. It worked for all the greats - Luke Skywalker, Baltar, the Robinson boys (Will
and Joel) and even that creepy tree-hugger Freeman Lowell.
A servomotor, some fiberglass, and a sturdy car battery is all you need to guarantee that you will never be lonely again.