Drea Cooper & Zackary Canepari of California is a Place offer a unique view into a fascinating social expression, a fight club for computer geeks.
"In Silicon Valley we have the highest concentration of aggressive people in the United States. And it's a place where all life has been reduced to working in a cubicle and then after work going out to have a Merlot at the Fromage bar. I'm kind of looking for something a little more primitive, a little more basic, something that appeals to the essential nature of a man."
This video is endearing and terrifying. Excellent work.
John wanted to watch Watson take on the Jeopardy champs this week, but wasn't a cable subscriber. With only 30 minutes til the IBM behemoth was set to swamp Ken and Brad, he got creative...and watched the show, for free!
The new Tumblr blog Nerd Valentine subtitles itself, "Valentine's Day gift ideas for the nerd in your life."
And, it delivers. But! I don't really find the picks to be particularly directed at geek culture fans. I mean, some of it isa little tech-heavy, but what isn't in 2011? I just think they're good, solid, well-designed, and thoughtful picks. Unless I'm a nerd and don't know it...
ManMade reader Aaron sent me a link to the amazing, new Nerd Merit Badges store. Here, you can browse and purchase actual embroidered badges for contemporary, geek-leaning accomplishments, such as achieving a completely empty email inbox, providing tech support to every member of your family, or having a project appear on Boing Boing.
Yeah, sure, I like having every song I own in my pocket, able to be plugged into my car, several spots in my house, or any number of hotels, friend's homes, etc. But, many of use still miss the day where listening to music in public took effort. Where you'd have to run extension cords outside, tune the radio, or get enough D batteries to juice your huge Radio Raheem-style boombox.
Thankfully, the folks at TDK have heard our prayers. The same folks who's blank cassette tapes were iced out by the MP3 revolution are releasing a new take on shoulder-mounted magic. "Currently there are two models, the 3 Speaker Boombox and the 2 Speaker Boombox
Normal touchscreen devices operate by passing just a small bit of current through the users finger or stylus...which is why you can't work your fancy smartphone with your mittens on, or when your hands are particularly cold.
But the Teslatouch uses "an electrostatic force [that] physically attracts the finger (almost like a magnet) to the interactive surface. Additionally, the input signal is uniformly propagated across the touch surface; therefore, the resulting tactile sensation is spatially uniform."
I'm not entirely sure what all of that means, but this video that shows it in action is completely awesome:
I'm still young, so I haven't yet had trouble seeing things on or manipulating my iPhone. Thought, that doesn't mean I wouldn't like a giant 58" version of it as my dining table.
"Table Connect for iPhone is a superb project which makes an exact copy of the iPhone onto a huge 4 feet 10 inch table. All of the same mulitouch movements (swipe, pinch, etc.) apply. We have seen some epic DIY furniture before, but nothing comes close to this fully functioning 58″ capacitive multi-touch surface."
Check out the video:
It's amazing, really. You work with hardware pieces all the time - rounded tops of bolts, the strong facades of a flanged hex nut - and note them for the mechanical fasteners they are. But when a sculptor and avid chess player walk through the hardware store...well:
When I saw the little bin containing two different types of castle nuts,I immediately thought of rooks. At the time my three sons and I hosted a weekly chess club,so chess was on my mind a lot. With my boys in tow,I returned with graph paper and we computed what sorts of bits we might want (we didn't know for sure) for each type of piece and how many in total. An hour later, after poring over numerous bins and waiting for the clerk to saw the threaded rod into measured lengths (for kings, rooks,and bishops), we went home with about fifteen pounds of loot, including spray paint for the black pieces.
Hit Chicago-based chef and restauranteur Grant Achatz had an interesting weekend dabbling in a bit of molecular mixology.
"Achatz tweeted... that he and [Chef de Tournant] Schoettler were "playing with sensation and texture in a gin and tonic," with a link to the above video (h/t Grub Street Chicago). "Playing with sensation and texture" seems to be an understatement. The gin and tonic Achatz is sampling in the video contains Anchor Junipero gin, yellow chartreuse and "cucumber alginate encapsulation."
The Batman logo...talk about brand recognition. That symmetrical slash of black, looking neither like a man or a bat, and somehow exactly like both.
The Caped Crusader has been around for nearly seventy-five years, and continues to be reinvented to keep things contemporary. The same goes for his iconic logo - immortalized in Bat Signal, and in the backs of suburban kid heads circa 1990 after the release of the Tim Burton films. (Please tell me I'm not the only one who remembers this)
There are millions of computers produced each year...let's hope the cursors are harvested with sustainable practices.
And don't even get me started on the emissions of the spinning beach ball of death factory.
SoftMachines Inc describes itself with the the tagline - "original German cuddle engineering," which is about as apt as it gets. The Deutsch seamsters create pillow versions of classic analog technology, like the Roland TR-808 drum machine, Sequential Circuits Pro-One synthesizer, the Big Muff distortion pedal, and everyone's favorite Tetris format, the original Nintendo Game Boy.
I've been honest in the past about my lack of Star Wars experience in the past, and a few have said to me, "How can you post Star Wars crafts if you've never seen the movies?" "Well," I usually say, "I post about houses I've never been in, designs and artwork I've only seen pictures of, and link to how-tos I've never followed myself."
Retorts aside, last night, I watched "A New Hope" for the first time. (Rather, finished it for the first time...I'd seen the first half hour once or twice). And, wouldn't you know it, TODAY, May 4, is official Star Wars Day - "May the Fourth Be With You"...get it?
Rachel Hobson has assembled a fine collection
What do four pencils, tape, ball point pen, rubber bands, and a bamboo skewer equal? An obligatory safety warning, that's what.
Actually, it equals a mini-crossbow built from office supplies that COMES with an obligatory safety warning, which is simply this: don't be an idiot. Now to the fun part.
Straight from John Austin's Mini Weapons of Mass Destruction: Build Implements of Spitball Warfare, this office supply crossbow seriously looks like something that can actually stand up to some repeated (safe!) firings.
Who Needs a Space Shuttle? Amazing Pictures of Earth Captured by One Man, a Balloon, and His Compact Camera
Robert Harrison loves space.
And, like anyone with a DIY-bent and a passion, he wanted to do what he could to participate in space exploration: so he made a space craft, and then took pictures of the Earth with it.
The materials? Some styrofoam, duct tape, a Canon CyberShot, a big ole helium balloon, and GPS/radio transmitter combo so he could find it once the balloon burst and it returned to earth.
ManMade reader Stephen sent in this heads-up on an awesome sound festival that happened last week: BarBot 2010, a cocktail party served by RoboBartenders. Imagine the soundtrack - a little 8-bit bossa nova? Some Switched-On Esquivel! or Moog-y Martin Denny?
"BarBot is a celebration of cocktail culture and man-machine interface. Get a drink from an actual robot. Chat up a snarky electronic bartender. Listen to some graceful tunes being played by robotic music makers. And, after downing your sixth martini, you can finally admit that it’s the geeks who shall inherit the earth."
It seems like the original cocktail making robot fest is Roboexotica in Germany, where the robots above and below - Hobot and Bar2D2- were featured.