Awesome Blacksmith Machines

Posted by ted @ 11:32 am, January 16th, 2012

I would have to assume that there are old-school hammer and anvil type blacksmiths out there who consider these Hebo machines “cheating”, but wow are they cool to watch, and certainly much faster. I wonder is the iron is heated before going in, or is manipulated cold?

Watch in awe as they “Twist, endforge, scroll, emboss, texture, hammer tube, make baskets, and press belly pickets, and much more. ”


via Gizmodo

How To Take A Really Great Photo of a Really Big Tree

Posted by ted @ 4:10 pm, October 1st, 2009

In my amateur photography efforts,  I have noticed over the years that trying to capture the grandeur of a beautiful tree can be a frustrating endeavor. I seem to end up with a boring little picture of the whole tree from a distance, or  give in to just capturing a piece of it in a closeup. More often than not my new strategy is to stop and just appreciate the beauty of the moment with my eyes, then move on to another subject to photograph. And I am usually dealing with normal run-of-the-mill size trees, not giant redwoods. When wildlife photographer Michael Nichols wanted to create a truly stunning image of a 300 foot redwood tree that would in some way capture is true size, he created a custom camera rig with a gyroscope and three camera aimed at different angles that was lowered from another tree capturing 84  individual images that were then stitched together into a giant vertical panorama.


The result is incredible. Look for a huge foldout of the image in the October issue of National Geographic, and here’s a video of Nichols talking about the process of capturing the image. Click on “More” to see a version of the final image.

[NPR via Gizmodo]

(click for more…)

Happy Make Pi Day 2009!

Posted by ted @ 2:00 pm, March 12th, 2009

Pi day (March 14 or 3/14) rapidly approaches once again. Last year we celebrated with . . . a pie. This year we are going to be in Minneapolis for my son B to play in a state piano competition, so I was not sure how we would recognize the day short of buying some pie. But now, salvation! Make: TV is having a Make: Day at the Science Museum of Minnesota.  We are SO there. As a subscriber to Make magazine, and the Make philosophy I often lament that all of the Maker Faire events take place in far off Texas or California, so I am very pleased to be able to attend a Make event right here in my home state of Minnesota, and even on a day when I will be driving to the Twin Cities anyway.

Celebrate the ingenuity and inventiveness in our community. Make: television, Geek Squad® and the Science Museum of Minnesota join forces to create a new event giving local engineers, artists, tinkerers and inventors the opportunity to showcase their DIY creations to museum visitors.

This family-friendly event features arts, electronics, musical performances, green technology, crafting and more!

Happy Pi Day!

The Many Faces of March 14

The World’s Fastest Pumpkin Carver

Posted by ted @ 6:15 pm, October 13th, 2007


Over at they have lots of examples of fantastic pumpkin carving, but I am particularly fond of the “World’s Fastest Pumpkin Carver” video. This guy welded up a set up blades shaped like a classic jack-o-lantern face and attached them to a long pipe handle. With one swing at a pumpkin he produces a basic jack-o-lantern (or a smashed pumpkin when it goes wrong.) Nice.


R2-S2 (R2 Steam Too)

Posted by ted @ 3:33 am, April 9th, 2007

This steam powered R2-D2 by I-Wei (CrabFu) is too cool.


Fun is where you make it

Posted by ted @ 5:03 am, January 10th, 2007

Living in a foreign land, in a small apartment without all my usual distractions and entertainments of home, it can take some creativity to fill those long cold, dark nights when the one computer is being used by the one employed person to do work (I already figured out the combination to the bike lock I found by using trial and error) so I was happy when I found a intact Trivial Pursuit game thrown out by a neighbor (woot!) – but when I got it home and opened it I discovered it was in danish (doh!), not even the language of the country I am living in (Iceland). So how do you entertain yourself with a Trivial Pursuit game in a foreign language? Well, I started by making card houses from the cards.


B used the little wedges and circles to invent a cool new game with various rules and moves (like switch, send and forfeit) in which you rearrange the wedges between the holders and a pool to try to get each holder filled with the correct color wedges.


What else….how about a little stop motion animation with the card deck?

I hate to destroy an intact game, even though I did find it in the trash, but maybe in time I will move on to folding or cutting the cards for some interesting craft creation. Maybe one of those chains people made from gum wrappers would be fun….

Any suggestions?

Man builds 90-ton scale model of cruise ship in back yard

Posted by ted @ 10:34 pm, May 20th, 2006

François Zenella, an ex-coal miner, spent 25,000 hours building a 90-ton one-eigth scale model of Royal Caribbean International’s cruise liner, the Majesty of the Seas. In his back yard. He launched it in 2005 and has sailed it ever since. Link via Boing Boing: A Directory of Wonderful Things