The LEGO sets of our youth promote creativity better than the kits of our kids' The take-away (for me) was that people like kits, because worrying about building something from scratch is hard, but that reliance on kits decreases creativity, not only around the original topic but also across other activities.
Animal Planet presents The Cute Channel, with clips from their show Too Cute. Caution: With this much concentrated cuteness, you may be rendered temporarily speechless. [more inside]
“Parts & Recreation” by Jeff Greenwald
“What makes people devote hours to the frustrating task of gluing together pieces so small you have to pick them up with tweezers? And does this obsessive hobby even matter anymore? To find out, a devotee of the art dives into Revell’s world of plastic models.”
ShotKit, A Peek Inside the Camera Bags of Professional Photographers (Browse by subject, brand, or submit your own.)
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]
An entire opera in sock form. Although the opera has a happy ending, alas, the pictured sock seems to be unmated. Another opera sock: La fille du régiment. Apparently, she often creates "stitch patterns out of something very nearly approximating whole cloth." [more inside]
For Sale: Slightly Used, Amazingly Versatile 7-Letter Kit. (Letters included: L-I-N-D-O-W-S) Warning: Improper placement of W may result in lawsuits.
SpacecraftKits.com 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 ...