First created in 1860, the Erlenmeyer flask has come to symbolize chemistry, and by extension science as a whole. I wanted to use that symbol to create an item of functional decor, and what better for that than a lamp, with the relationship between the light bulb and the “aha!” of an idea?
For over a decade I’ve had kicking around in my garage’s attic the cases from a couple of old original-style Macintoshes, waiting for just the right project.
One day, after staring at them stacked in my office, I realized that they had a similar form factor to the classic bullet-top garbage cans with the swinging lid. I could give one of these a new (slightly unceremonious) life as a garbage can!
I’ve been going through a moon phase recently (pun absolutely intended), and thought it would be fun to make a wearable or totable that displayed the current state of the moon. There would be a bit of hardware involved, so a purse seemed like the perfect vehicle—you’re already carrying a load of other things, so there’s no harm in the addition of a small battery pack or a pile of LEDs.
What’s eight feet across, has 90 teeth, and makes beautiful designs? Not a shark with an art degree, but this giant version of the classic Spirograph drawing toy. Chalk is the medium, and streets and sidewalks are the canvas.
LED candles not radical enough for you? How about some revolutionary chic in the form of an LED molotov cocktail! A bottle, a rag, and a flickering LED candle drop this high on the list of bad ideas sure to draw the attention of the local constabulary.
Up up down down left right left right B A Start… Who of a certain age can forget that code? I make no guarantees that this laser-cut mirror necklace will get you extra lives, but it will get you some extra attention.
After building the abacus bracelet last year, I wanted to explore the idea of archaic wearable computing a little more. An abacus wristwatch seemed like a good way to do so, and the project would challenge me to learn 3D modeling. Pebble or the rumored iWatch would have nothing on the computing power I had in mind!
Sticking with the video game theme for Halloween after last year’s Pumpktris, this year I decided to go as the classic game PONG. It’s a simple costume, and it can be put together with only about $15 of materials and an hour of time.
I’ve long been attracted to nixie tubes with their warm, glowing numbers, and wanted to build a clock with them. Not experienced in the high voltage circuitry required, I ordered a kit from TubeHobby. There’s still some DIY in it, but not as much chance of burning down the house as if I tacked it by myself.
"Officer, it’s not what it looks like! I did not steal this car; that’s my key! Why are you getting out your taser?!"
For no practical purpose at all, I wanted to see if I could make a screwdriver into a car key. What fun it would be to impersonate the look of a stolen car with a screwdriver jammed into the ignition!
Every year I throw an Oscar party with my friends, with lots of drinking, yelling at the TV, and low-stakes wagering. Everybody puts in a dollar as each category is announced, then that pot is split among everyone that made the right pick. After almost 20 years of doing it the same way, I finally got tired of counting out the change after each win. $1.65 times nine winners equals clinking coins for minutes.
So why not do what grocery stores and fast food restaurants figured out long ago and automate the change dispensing so any middle-school dropout can do it? I present to you the Change-O-Matic.