Tag Archives | DIY

How To Keep Your Home Garden Monsanto-Free

Should you choose to create your own fruit or vegetable garden in your backyard or on your windowsill, how can you keep Monsanto from reaching its grubby fingers into your home? The corporate behemoth has gained control of 40% of the U.S. vegetable seed market by buying up smaller companies, and now owns the rights to the names themselves of many kinds of seeds. Thus these tips from Healthy Home Economist:

Avoid buying from the seed companies affiliated with Monsanto. Here’s a list of these seed companies: http://www.seminis.com/global/us/products/Pages/Home-Garden.aspx

Buy from this list of companies Monsanto HASN’T bought and are not affiliated or do business with Seminis: http://www.occupymonsanto360.org/2012/03/06/monsanto-free-seed-companies/

Avoid certain heirloom varieties because Monsanto now apparently owns the names. This article lists the seed varieties to avoid: http://www.occupymonsanto360.org/2012/03/17/monsanto-owned-seednames/

Ask seed companies if they have taken the Safe Seed Pledge. Here’s a list of companies that have done so: http://www.councilforresponsiblegenetics.org/ViewPage.aspx?pageId=261

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Boston Police Pose As Indie Rockers Online In Hilarious Fashion

“Whats the 411 on the local music show tonight?” …Life imitates art as authorities attempt, very poorly, to infiltrate and break up youth subculture by creating imaginary electronic personas, Slate reveals:

Boston police are finding out as their bungling efforts to infiltrate the underground rock scene online are being exposed. A recently passed nuisance control ordinance has spurred a citywide crackdown on house shows—concerts played in private homes, rather than in clubs. The police, it appears, are posing as music fans online to ferret out intel on where these DIY shows are going to take place.

This week the St. Louis band Spelling Bee posted a screencap of emails from an account that they believe was used by the police in a sting before their recent Boston show. It reads like an amazing parody of what you might imagine a cop trying to pose as a young punk would look like:

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Do-It-Yourself Animation With Terry Gilliam

Wondering how to make your life a bit more weird? Gilliam explains how to produce strange and wondrous things from household materials on the 1970s how-to series the Do-It-Yourself Animation Show. The rare television show which flips the tables by encouraging engagement, not passive consumption, of media, it was created and curated by British cartooning legend Bob Godfrey, who died this past week. Cartoon Brew explains:
The Do-It-Yourself Animation Show, which made animation accessible to the masses by taking the mystery out of the production process, was vastly influential and inspired an entire generation of kids in England, including Nick Park, who created Wallace & Gromit, and Richard Bazley, an animator on Pocahontas, Hercules, and The Iron Giant.
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A DIY Hat To Prevent Your Visibility On Cameras And Video

Via Quora, how, with a couple dollars and a few spare minutes, to make yourself invisible to Big Brother:

Most cameras (especially black and white security cameras) will see low levels of infrared light. This helps them video at dusk/dawn and in lower levels of light. To test this theory turn on your video camera and point your TV remote control at it. Change a few channels and you will see a pulse of light flash that the naked eye obviously can’t see.

With that said you can easily make an infrared hat with cheap $1 infrared LEDs stitched into the front of the hat, the more the better… Attach a 9 volt battery to the LEDS and bam you are now a giant LED flash light. People will see nothing out of the ordinary, but CCTV cameras will only see a large flash of infrared light coming from your head, hiding your face.

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Guerrilla Urban Planners Redo Mexico City By Painting Bike Lanes, Sidewalks, And Crosswalks

This Big City talks to Camina, Haz Ciudad, a group which extralegally redesigns public space to benefit ordinary residents:

Camina, Haz Ciudad started as a project to recover space for pedestrians. It was inspired by a modern development that happened here in Mexico City in an area called El Puente de los Poetas. Amazingly, there was no pedestrian infrastructure at all, the whole place seemed to be designed for cars. A group of citizens decided that couldn’t be, so they painted a sidewalk in an area where lots of people walked but had no safety. But the sidewalk was erased, and the people who painted it were really mad.

With our first painted bike lane [which is 5km and ends at Congress in Mexico City] we were trying to make a political point. We didn’t have any expectation of how long it would last. But the bike lane is still in place.

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A Biopunk Manifesto

From last year's Outlaw Biology? Conference at UCLA, hacker Meredith Patterson on a manifesto for the biopunk movement:
The prevalence of citizen science has fallen. Who are the twentieth-century equivalents of Benjamin Franklin, Edward Jenner, Marie Curie or Thomas Edison? Perhaps Steve Wozniak, Bill Hewlett, Dave Packard [etc.] -- but the scope of their work is far narrower than that of the natural philosophers who preceded them. Citizen science has suffered from a troubling decline in diversity, and it is this diversity that biohackers seek to reclaim. We reject the popular perception that science is only done in million-dollar university, government, or corporate labs; we assert that the right of freedom of inquiry, to do research and pursue understanding under one's own direction, is as fundamental a right as that of free speech or freedom of religion. A Biopunk Manifesto by Meredith Patterson from SMA on Vimeo.
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Can’t Buy a Gun? Soon You Can Print One

Alexander Reed Kelly writes at Truthdig:

A new dimension is emerging in the battle between gun enthusiasts and their less-thrilled opponents. A 3-D printer, which is exactly what it sounds like, has been used to make parts for a firearm. The composite gun works, and the plans are available freely online.

Smithsonian reports that a person with the username HaveBlue posted pictures of the parts he or she printed on a forum for gun aficionados. “It’s had over 200 rounds of .22 through it so far and runs great! To the best of my knowledge, this is the world’s first 3D printed firearm to actually be tested,” HaveBlue wrote. He or she was proud to have survived the testing, saying: “No, it did not blow up into a bazillion tiny plastic shards and maim me for life – I am sorry to have disappointed those of you who foretold doom and gloom.”

Stratsys, the company that manufactures the printer that was used to make the gun is anxious over the development.

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DIY Ganzfeld Hacks

The sound artist Kim Cascone passed along a great link for making DIY Ganzfeld goggles.  When I was at the Rhine Research Center we were able to see their Ganzfeld rooms, and I’ve been interested in experimenting with the technique once I get more time. These kind of ‘hacks’ are a great way to work with some of the consciousness studies research without having the benefits of grant funding or donors!

“The Ganzfeld effect is a form of visual sensory deprivation.  The idea is to give the open eyes a blank visual field of uniform color.  Since there is nothing for the eyes to see, the brain cuts off the unchanging input, and often manufactures its own images – these may be thought of as mild hallucinations.  Personally, I haven’t experienced any vivid hallucinations via a Ganzfield, but I find the effect to be rather relaxing.  I’ve found that a Ganzfeld is very good for helping to eliminate excess chatter in the mind, especially when practicing meditation.… Read the rest

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