October 31, 2013
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.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Cut the white tape into 1″ strips and apply it as a border around the foam core board.
Cut some more of the tape into 1″ squares and apply it as a dotted line down the middle of the board, one inch apart. Skip the middle, because you’ll be cutting that out to put your face through.
What score do you want your game board to show? Cut the numbers from the tape and apply on either side of the center line.
Cut two paddles and a ball from the styrofoam. Remember the game is low-res, so your ball should be a cube. Mine was 2″x2″x2″, and the paddles 2″x2″x6″. Cut two handles from the scrap cardboard. Cut a slot into each paddle, then insert and glue the handles. The notch between the handle and the styrofoam lets you hook your paddles onto the board when you take your hands off.
Cut a 1/4″ slot along the short sides of the foam core board, inset enough from the border that your paddle stays in bounds. The paddle handles will slide in these slots.
Cut the skewer, coat hanger, or dowel to 12″ long. Paint or stain it black so it disappears against the background of the foam core board, then spear it into the foam cube.
Cut a face-sized hole in the center of the foam core board.
Tape or glue the elastic band on either side of the opening in the center of the board. How much elastic to use depends on how big your head is.
Strap on the foam core board and mark on your face where the dotted line down the center would continue. Fill in those areas with white makeup and the rest with black.
That’s it! Put the dowel in your mouth to move the ball back and forth, and either find a player for each paddle or control them yourself. Sound effects are optional, but be sure to keep them lo-fi; this game is 40 years old.
IMPORTANT SAFETY WARNINGS: Running around with a stick in your mouth is a bad idea. Be careful. Also, taking the game board off so you’re basically running around in blackface with a few dots down the middle is also a bad idea.
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February 17, 2016
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?
February 04, 2016
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!
January 20, 2015
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.