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)

*SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION!* Great Deals on Dad-appropriate DIY Books for Father’s Day: SAVE 40%!

My publisher, No Starch Press, is promoting several books–including mine, the only non-LEGO book here–as Father’s Day gifts. I own all of these books (and was just raving about Yoshihito’s Technic books the other day), and they are pretty rad, with projects suitable for kids as young as four (my boy’s age when my book hit stores last winter) to teenagers (I also have two nephews, and used to teach in a K-12).
At any rate, buy *before midnight Pacific time on June 5* using the coupon code DADS11 and save 40%–that’s cheaper than Amazon, for God’s sake, and an especially good deal on several of these titles, since the publisher will throw in the ebook pack (DRM-free PDF, Kindle, and ePub versions) for free with the purchase of a print copy.

More LEGO Technic Awesomeness from Yoshihito Isogawa

I *love* Yoshihito’s LEGO creations, and these two videos really spotlight how awesome his little movers are. I’ve got a couple of his Technic idea books: They are beautiful to look at, and totally inspiring when you’re looking for new ways to tinker in LEGO (my boy just turned 5, and is mad-crazy for LEGOs, so this isn’t a weak endorsement; I’ve got LEGO opinions, folks).