Conductor turns the New York subway system into an interactive string instrument. Pulling from the MTA’s actual subway data, trains pluck at intersecting lines. The piece begins in realtime by spawning trains which departed in the last minute, then continues accelerating through a 24 hour loop. The visuals are based on Massimo Vignelli’s 1972 diagram.
I am normally immune to high-design tomfoolery, but if I lived in a universe where I could justify spending hundreds of dollars on a set of nesting kitchen knives, I would snap these up in a second. The Meeting Knife Set was designed by Mia Schmallenbach and is sold by French cutler Déglon. [Thanks, Mom!]
OK, honestly, this has little to do with MAKE or making. It’s scenes from a ridiculously over the top Terminator-like Bollywood movie. But the inventiveness of the transformations of the killer android, and the perverse humor of it all, tickled me more than I expected. A giant bowling ball made of killer droid clones? Who’d a thunk it? Oh, and it’s an Indian film with Russian voice-overs. Caution: Contains tons of campy (largely bloodless) violence. [Via Nick's normalblog]
Last summer, the city of Boston’s North Street municipal print shop was closed down. Now, the contents of the shop, which served the city for 78 years, are going up on the auction block. Andrew Ryan, writing for Boston.com, says:
[T]he linotype machines and letter presses will go on the auction block in late February along with artifacts from generations of producing permits and birth certificates.
Row after row of creaky oak drawers hold thousands of letters, both metal type and wooden blocks, from fine print to 72-point Tudor. A cigar box brims with square block stamps of the city seal. And there are metal etchings of a few of the city’s forefathers, presumably used years ago to print their faces on official documents.
In February and March, O’Reilly Media is running two online classes with instructor Joseph Gray. The classes are free to attend if you’re watching them online live, and they will be available for sale after the classes are over:
Session 1: Build a Video Mixer–February 25, 2011, 10 a.m. (PST)
Create a video mixing application from scratch with Processing, the Arduino board, and the projBox Kit. The finished application will let you load video files and live camera input, crossfade between video sources, and display the mix in real time. You’ll also integrate effects, like color adjustment and playback speed. With the projBox, you’ll integrate custom hardware to control your application.
Build an audio visualization tool from the ground up with Processing and the Arduino platform. Your finished application will animate graphics on screen that respond to live audio input. The app will listen to external audio from a built-in computer microphone or audio input jack, and analyze that audio to display audio waveforms in real time. The projBox hardware will give you manual control of the audio visualization.
The kit, which requires no soldering, is ideal for beginners in electronics and physical computing. The projBox itself is a simple, laser-cut box designed to hold an Arduino and a breadboard (both included). The lid of the box has pre-cut holes for attaching knobs, switches, and other components. Ports cut in the end of the box allow access to both the USB and external power jacks of the Arduino. The projBox is particularly ideal for projects where the Arduino is being used as a physical interface for software running on a separate computer.
This earthbag dome Instructable simplifies the process and illustrates each step of construction with photos. The two critical drawings are also included here. Please refer to the complete article before asking questions.
This multi-purpose dome can serve as a storage shed or cool pantry above ground, or as a rootcellar or storm shelter below ground. No building permit is typically needed, because it is below the minimum size required by building codes, is not inhabited and is not attached to a residence.
Earthbag structures provide a cool space in summer and an escape from the cold in winter (ideal for humans and animals), which means this earthbag dome is well suited for many purposes, like a quiet space for relaxing or playing music, as well as those listed previously. Depending on your needs, the most practical combination of uses might be a rootcellar/cool pantry for daily use and a disaster shelter for emergencies such as tornadoes or hurricanes.
Rog of Temple of Steam has this to say about elusive German artisan-machinist Karsten Gintschel:
These pieces are generally NOT available on eBay, in antique stores, flea markets or the other usual sources. Each example I have was either a private sale, purchased directly from the gent who made them or in a few cases from an online retailer representing the maker’s commercialized offerings.
How does something become a “collectible” when it’s newer than the car many folks drive including myself? I guess it happens when word of mouth demand is larger than the supply available. You see, these engines are all made by a young model steam engineer named Karsten Gintschel of Gintschel-Modellbau, in Cottbus, Germany, a part of former East Germany.
The next time you gaze deep into someone’s eyes, you might be shocked at what you see: tiny circuits ringing their irises, their pupils dancing with pinpricks of light. These smart contact lenses aren’t intended to improve vision. Instead, they will monitor blood sugar levels in people with diabetes or look for signs of glaucoma.
The lenses could also map images directly onto the field of view, creating head-up displays for the ultimate augmented reality experience, without wearing glasses or a headset. To produce such lenses, researchers are merging transparent, eye-friendly materials with microelectronics.
In 2008, as a proof of concept, Babak Parviz at the University of Washington in Seattle created a prototype contact lens containing a single red LED. Using the same technology, he has now created a lens capable of monitoring glucose levels in people with diabetes.
It works because glucose levels in tear fluid correspond directly to those found in the blood, making continuous measurement possible without the need for thumb pricks, he says. Parviz’s design calls for the contact lens to send this information wirelessly to a portable device worn by diabetics, allowing them to manage their diet and medication more accurately.
Building a custom guitar, mandolin, or banjo has never been easier thanks to the popular Saga guitar kits from the Maker Shed! All the contours, critical angles, and pre-finishing work has been completed, eliminating any guess work, and the possibility of making an unplayable instrument. The kits are designed and crafted so that no sophisticated woodworking tools, complicated jigs, or soldering are required. Detailed instructions are included to make the process simple. Hack it and make it your own!
Some crazy Swedish dudes have equipped their tricopter with 100-packs of fireworks and gone to hunt some hydrogen-filled balloons. As an added touch, they created a “defense sentry” that automatically launches rockets when it detects the tricopter. The rockets’ fuses are lit with match-heads ignited by a 12-ohm, 1/4W resistor with 12V going through it. [Via Adafruit]