Oct 11th, 2010

The Petaluma Whiskerino- Beardo Optico

Posted by Blogsnapper at 07:10 am

The Petaluma Whiskerino is a fantastic celebration of all things beard, mustache, sideburns, goatee and peach fuzz. It’s an exhibition and competition that draws hipsters and bikers alike, each one with hopes of taking home the grand prize. Last year, I had a total blast, mingling with the elite of the competetive bearding world. This year, the organizers are taking it to the next level with the addition of the Crafterino- an impressive selection of purveyors of the handmade. But with all the excitement building, the pressure might be getting to some contestants. Beard enhancing substances are tempting even the top seated-entrants in the Full Natural Beard category. The explosive results have to be seen to be believed.

If you have some sweet chops, a perfectly manicured soup strainer, or even a smoking hot soul patch, it’s still not too late to register in person. The action begins in Petaluma’s Walnut Park Gazebo at 11am with the Crafterino and Farmer’s Markets, and the judging gets underway at 4pm sharp.

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Oct 11th, 2010

Self-destructing robot contest

Posted by Blogsnapper at 07:10 am

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Next weekend, Sparkfun is hosting the first ever Antimov Competition, which is a competitive competition for self-destructive robots. Here is their description of the task:

Do you love robots? Do you love destruction? Are you tired of the same old robot competitions? We’ve got just the thing for you: the SparkFun Antimov competition! Based on Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics, the Antimov competition challenges you to design a robot which breaks the laws of robotics (well, except for hurting humans of course). A robot is traditionally designed to perform a complex task as efficiently as possible. Building a competent and efficient robot that completes its task unharmed is SO last year.

We want you to build a robot that completes a trivial task in the most inefficient and laborious way possible. Oh yeah, it needs to destroy itself doing so. Intrigued? We thought so! We ultimately wanted a competition that focuses less on engineering abilities and more on creative ingenuity.

This seems like it would be a good use of one of my latest inventions: a version of the most useless machine, whose arm is too short to be able to reset its switch, which causes it’s motor to overheat and catch the machine on fire… Ok, don’t take my idea! Actually, please do, and send me a link to the video. [thanks, Lea!]

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Oct 11th, 2010

Brass and wood “pressure door” with iris, handwheel

Posted by Blogsnapper at 07:10 am

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Chris Schaie just e-mailed me this picture of a recent commission. It’s a custom Nautilus-style submarine door that incorporates Chris’s familiar irising peephole as well as a new multiple bolt mechanism that locks and unlocks by turning the handwheel. Beautiful work, Chris!

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Oct 11th, 2010

BraceLED 2.0

Posted by Blogsnapper at 07:10 am

I worked hard to make the first BraceLED a cool project and a good
Instructable… I really did! …and yet, a few days after
publishing, I got uncomfortable. Restless. Although I had plenty of
other things to do, I couldn’t get my mind off the BraceLED. It seemed
to me that I had left something out…
By: ynze

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Oct 11th, 2010

New in the Maker Shed: SunMod kit

Posted by Blogsnapper at 07:10 am

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Add the SunMod kit to your remote control and you will never need to replace the batteries again! Just turn your remote over, place in the sun, and let the charging begin. Hack any AA or AAA powered device to make it solar powered. Please Note: Rechargeable NiMH batteries are required, and not included.

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Oct 11th, 2010

Thermal Shutter

Posted by Blogsnapper at 07:10 am

The windows on your house are huge energy wasters during the cold
season.  One solution to this problem is to cover the windows at
night with well insulated thermal shutters.   You may not wish
to go to the trouble of making these for all your windows, but I do
think it’s worth the time to make them…
By: SteveGerber

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Oct 11th, 2010

Ideal and cheap San Francisco location for a hacker space

Posted by Blogsnapper at 06:10 am

My friend Greg Long of the wonderful Gama-Go emporium of cool products is looking for people who are interested in starting a hacker space in a building that Gama-Go might move into.


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He writes:

My partner Chris and I are scratching our heads and wondering if there’s someone who’d make for an awesome and complimentary neighbor to our shop.

Basically this is a 3600 sqft space. But 1400 sq ft amounts to a warehouse space. That 1400 sqft GAMA-GO would be interested in if the tenant didn’t want it.

The rest of it is this large, hardwood floored open space with a huge multi-faceted window and street entrance/storefront. 

It’s a nicer, larger space than our office/store area and would make for an AWESOME shop or office + shop or workspace + store, or any number of things.

The real kicker is the price. The landlord is offering it at *well* under market value

I quite literally had this proposed to me this morning and have been scratching my head about it all day. I can’t tell you how much I’d love to have something like a homebrew 3D printing club or a do-it-yourself maker store with workshops next to us. Something fun, ya know?

Anyway, if you know of anyone that might be a good fit, hit me up and I’ll give them the scoop.

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Oct 11th, 2010

Skull pillow

Posted by Blogsnapper at 06:10 am

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Katie made this rad cross stitch skull pillow, great work!

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Oct 11th, 2010

Custom camera mount & telescope tracking motor

Posted by Blogsnapper at 06:10 am

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Craig Smith of South Milwaukee, WI, wrote in to share the progress he’s made on his homebrew astronomy rig:

Since my moon photo was featured almost a year ago, I have a better telescope, a homemade tracking motor and some ok planetary photos. Saturn is currently on the other side of the sun, but earlier this year I took some shots. Also that brightest ‘star’ in the sky lately is Jupiter. In this shot there is a moon about one planet width to the left of Jupiter. The purpose of the tracking motor is that in the 4 second exposure, the subject moves almost an entire width due to the earth’s rotation. Also my shot of an almost full moon’s shadowline and crater detail.



The camera mount was a hacked table top mini tripod. I removed the 2 movable legs and kept the 1 fixed leg. The eyepiece clip was a 1″ PVC coupler cut short, then cut in half about 60-40. This made a ‘C’ that clipped onto the eyepiece tight. A small screw and epoxy holds the tripod leg to the clip. Then a custom PVC pipe and coupler was bored to accept the eyepiece on one side and my digital camera lens on the other side to keep eyepiece and camera perfectly aligned.



The custom tracking motor was added to the telescope’s equatorial mount tracking knob. The main axis is aligned with the north star. One rotation per day on this axis tracks any sky object perfectly and stays with it as the earth rotates.

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Oct 11th, 2010

So that’s an Aluminum Falcon…

Posted by Blogsnapper at 06:10 am

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Made from cardboard, styrofoam, and aluminum tape. Another eBay listing by the same chappy who brought us that duct tape AT-AT. [via Boing bada Boing]

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