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July 29, 2011

Build Dirt-Cheap Toys with Dave-o at Maker Faire Detroit this Weekend! #makerfaire

Just got back from the Maker Faire Detroit load-in/meet-n-greet. There are some *crazy rad* displays this year, many featuring fire and Mad Max locomotion: Giant Crazy Truck-crushing Mousetrap is back, and there is also an angry, fire-breathing bear-dragon mobile, and that water swing, and mobile cupcake launchers, and something--I dunno what--that involves six propane tanks and a *very sturdy barrier*.

I'll be there showing folks how to jam out on homemade electric instruments, and build cardboard boomerangs and Quick-n-Easy Water Rockets (forecast calls for 90+ degrees and sunny; perfect water rocket weather). I'm also speaking on the MAKE: Live stage at 2:30 about building cheap toys, innovation, and neuroplasticity. So, if you're at Maker Faire, come say "Hey!" Tweet me @SquiDaveo if you want to rendezvous. Hope to see you there!

July 27, 2011

DIY Flower-pot Refrigerator

‪Flower Pot Fridge!‬‏ - YouTube

Zeer pots are pretty rad, but be aware that your mileage may vary: These were developed in Egypt (albeit several millennia past) and rely on evaporation for cooling--just like you and me. Here in Michigan, we've had a straight 10 days or so with upper 90s temps and upper 90s humidity (FYI, although those temps are a lil higher than the traditional norm--say "Hey!" to total climate collapse!--the humidity is totally, totally the norm). Subsequently, this kind of "swamp cooler" tech has never caught on here in the pleasant penninsula. Our old-skool simple tech equivalent is the trash- can root cellar.

(props to Mojo for the vid link)

July 18, 2011

Tim Hawkinson's Möbius Ship is so damn lovely . . .

The Fox Is Black -- MÖBIUS SHIP by Tim Hawkinson

(thanks to everyone who's pointed me to this in the last week or two!)

July 15, 2011

Upcoming Events w/ Dave-o!


If you're a Michigan person and you have a driving desire to chill out with me, your opportunity has finally arrived! A week from now, during Ann Arbor's wonderful and occasionally soul-crushing Art Fair(s), I'll be at FestiBooks @ Workantile (two days! July 22 and 23!) On the first, I'll sell you water and candy; on the second, I'll make boomerangs with you. This is how I roll.

The second opportunity is at the Second Annual Detroit Maker Faire, where we'll be outside, and thus can make both boomerangs and water rockets(!!!)--plus there will be about eleventy-thousand even cooler things there, which will totally BLOW YOUR MIND. For reals.

So, that's me for the next two weeks. Hope to see you there!

It's like disposable lighter origami (thx @KipKay!)

This is 1) a great way to repurpose stuff that is otherwise going to the landfill and 2) something that my 5-year-old would *LOVE*! (Yes, the 5yo in question is a boy.)

‪The Lightercycle!‬‏ - YouTube

July 01, 2011

Cool Intermediate-level Water Rocket Design from the i3 Detroit Hackerspace

Water Rocket DIY Project | Metro Parent, Southeast Michigan

This is a pretty sweet rocket-and-launcher design, a good step or so more advanced than the one in my book. Very cool.

Incidentally, I'll be teaching folks to build their own cheap-n-simple water rockets and cardboard boomerangs at Make Faire Detroit at the end of this month; see you there!

*thanks for the tip, alan!*

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About the Author


David Erik Nelson is an award-winning science-fiction author and essayist. His fiction has appeared in Asimov's, The Best of Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, and Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded.

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    Make cool things (water rockets, cardboard boomerangs, a $10 electric guitar, a sock squid, etc.) while learning cool skills (basic soldering, sewing, carpentry, woodburning, etc.), and do it all on the cheap (most projects are under $10, many supplies are *FREE*).
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