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!

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)

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!

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!*

Behold the LEGO ukulele

Brickley’s Words — Blog Archive — Ukulele out of LEGO bricks?
And it’s playable–although, interestingly, only in a really cocky low tuning. The builder indicates that, on earlier designs, the bridge popped off well before he’d tuned the root to C, which is why he went with this slightly unconventional (although rad as hell) tailpiece-style saddle. Very cool, and much more playable (and far more mellifluous) than the infamous LEGO harpsichord.
I *love* these tuning gears, incidentally. Since a uke C isn’t all that tight, I wonder if the final tuning is more a result of the bridge/saddle, or the tuning machines.
(via the CRAFT blog)