DIY


I’ve often contemplated purchasing a standing desk as I have to sit for long hours. Now there’s this newfangled invention: The Hamster Wheel Standing Desk. As nifty as it is, I can’t help but…






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.




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.



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…


Exploring the radical roots of a popular science fiction genre. Via Airships, Anarchists, & Anachronisms: Steampunk began as a radical satirical form of fiction, but today it encompasses much more. What precisely…



The U.S. government considers anyone who travels 264,000 feet above the ground as an astronaut. So, this rocket did pretty good. The video is more telling, quite the backyard project:

Led by Derek Deville, the rocketeers launched their custom-built 26 ft. (8 meter) Qu8k (pronounced “Quake”) rocket on September 30, 2011 from the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. It reached an altitude of 121,000 feet (36,880 meter) in 92 seconds, at speeds of 2,185 mph (3,516 km/h).






Attention cyber criminals, subversives, and ne’er-do-wells: place this handy sticker in the correct spot on your computer, just in case. Via DesignTaxi: Your laptop, with all its sensitive data and/or ill-gotten gains,…


Spencer Ackerman writes in WIRED’s Danger Room:

How ill are the Mexican drug wars getting? The drug cartels are building their own armored trucks.

Rival drug gangs are playing around with really serious military hardware, including .50 caliber machine guns and grenades. At least some of them figured out an armoring solution for the uptick in firepower: armoring. Chop shops add inch-thick steel plates to a standard truck chassis like that of a Ford F-150. At least 100 of the so-cold “El Monstruo” monster trucks have been discovered by Mexican security officials this spring, with the most recent two found this weekend.



Via TED:

Using wikis and digital fabrication tools, TED Fellow Marcin Jakubowski is open-sourcing the blueprints for 50 farm machines, allowing anyone to build their own tractor or harvester from scratch. And that’s only the first step in a project to write an instruction set for an entire self-sustaining village (starting cost: $10,000).


Afraid that the world is collapsing and your hard-earned dollars will soon be worthless kindling? At heart, monetary systems are based upon a shared delusion, so you might as well get empowered…