A Thank You to One Very Thoughtful Little Girl

This last Wednesday, while sitting in my daughter's hospital room,  I picked up my computer and checked my e-mail.  There was a message from Cattrampoline wishing for my daughter to get well soon.  It took me a moment to put it all together.  My little girl, known here as sistergldnhair, has a best friend, known here as themoose64.  Moose posted to let the Instructables community know about SGH's upcoming surgery. Here is the truth.  I am 45 years old and I did not see what one 11 year old little girl saw.  I should have know, but I missed how important this site is to SGH and just how much she would love to receive well wishes from the people here.  On a trip to California last year, all SGH wanted to do was see Instructables.  I heard for months about how she got to meet Fungus Amongus and Angelabchua and how she got to play with Angie's dog.  She was practically bouncing when one of her Instructables was Featured and squealed when Scoochmaroo and Penelopy sent her a comment.  She also did a Forensic speech on Instructables.  Wrote Eric an e-mail.  He responded with some links and she worked and worked on her project.  And a few months ago, we had planned to attend the Instructables event in Chicago.  Unfortunately the same day as that event, SGH had to have an MRI/MRA of her brain.  The dye made her quite sick and we were not able to go.  One very heartbroken little girl. She was scared to have the surgery, which was to her forehead above her right eye.  Afraid of the anesthesia and afraid of how she would look when it was all done. Moose wrote a post and received some criticism for spelling you as U and a few other mistakes in language usage.  I absolutely, 100 percent understand that criticism.  I edit and proofread for a living and I really do get it.  I am not at all fond of this texting lingo, but putting that part of the post aside, the meaning behind it was significant.  Two little girls that have been best buddies since Kindergarten and one of them did an amazing thing for the other in an effort to make this difficult time a little easier. So, I thank themoose64 and I am so thankful that I will have the opportunity to see her grow into an amazing young lady. As for my SGH, the surgery was a little more complicated than they thought.  She was very sick and the first smile she was able to give me was when I read her cattrampoline's message. She is very swollen and can't move her face yet.  This is all very traumatic, but we know it is only temporary.   Today is better, as I expect each day will be.  And she is working on her next Instructable, a hospital gown for children that keeps your backside covered =)

Topic by cdawisconsin   |  last reply

Do you have what it takes for the Design and Build challenge?

I have been researching and think a lot about mobile structures specifically campers that are light weight and highly efficient. After spending a substantial amount of time looking around to see what designs are out there I have concluded that there isn't much. This fact bothers me for a few reasons but mostly because I have a vested interests in this topic. Come march I plan to begin living in a small camper while traveling around the country for several months the only catch is I am going to build it. So my question is what idea's can you all come up with that fit within these guidelines. 1- It must be relatively comfortable for two to live in but cannot exceed 60 sq ft. 2- It must include a toilet, shower and sink as well as a space for a camping stove 3- It must be insulated and have windows for ventilation and natural light 4- It must have storage space 5- The interior must be no less than 6ft tall so that I can stand up straight while the exterior cannot exceed 9ft. 6- It must have a water tank but I do not want any electricity / plumbing and I do not intend on carrying water while in transit. As of now that’s pretty much it for requirements. I should mention that this structure is going to be towed by a ‘05 Honda civic 4 cylinder automatic so the entire unit cannot exceed 1100 lbs trailer included. I don’t wish to destroy this vehicle by towing a camper 5,000 miles around the country but I do plan to add an extra transmission oil reservoir for cooling purposes. I hope some of you find this of interest and have some ideas to share with me. I have some thoughts of how I can make this sucker but I wanted to put my thoughts out and see what someone else comes up with. Thanks and I hope you create something beautiful and functional. Sincerely, C 

Question by FAD construction   |  last reply

Anybody else wish other sites had pop-up photo notes?

Oh man, you know your on instructables to much when you see something highlighted or circled in an image, and mouse over it, hoping for a photo note to pop up explaining why its highlighted. I for one can't stop doing this. I always space out and get really frustrated when nothing pops up until i realize I'm not on instructables. I'm a total addict to this notes, they're so perfect! Just felt like sharing that. Who else compulsively mouses over images like me?

Topic by Andrew546   |  last reply

One of My Stories

I'm usually not one to write but...I don't know I guess I just had an idea for a story that might be good if I continued it. Right now the one below is still being worked on theres some parts that still don't sound right or are missing something. I also really shouldn't say "stories" because truly this is my only one. Anyway, just thought I'd share it. Any ideas for how to take the plot further would be greatly appreciated. Here it goes: My over-active imagination was running away with me again. I've woken up twice in the last hour to something...I can't explain the sound. I just want to sleep until morning and have been doing my best to ignore it, but it just keeps getting louder. Alright, thats it. I shoved off the covers and expertly dodged the piles of clothes that seem to grow bigger over night, to the door. Slowly, I turned the knob. It creaked. I breathed sharply through my teeth hoping nobody heard. Then again, who couldn't hear whatever that racket is? I nudged open the door and slipped into the hallway. It was dark but I wouldn't dare risk turning on the light. Luckily, the big bay window downstairs cast a light over the steps. Jeez, I never knew a house could have so many things that creaked. So I took the stairs two at a time to just cut down on noise. From where I stood, at the base of the stairs, It sounded like the noise was coming from the kitchen, though it was muffled. As I walked into the kitchen, I looked around. Nothing too out of the ordinary. Plates are still stacked up in the sink, waiting to be cleaned. The trash still needs taken out, but what's that sound? Wait, the trash...oops. I don't want that to still be here when Dad wakes up. I was supposed to take it out after dinner, well guess I'll take it out now... I bent down and jerked up the bag. It seemed heavier than normal but I didn't take that into mind. We did have a big dinner that night. I opened the back door to the night. The air was crisp and cool. It was the middle of fall and already it gets to be almost freezing at night. I shivered then walked quickly down the steps and down the sidewalk, careful to not let the bag scrape the ground. Heaving the heavy bag in the trash can, I looked around. It's been awhile since I've been up this late. I'm glad I'm usually not, it's eerie out here. Everything is quiet, there's not a person in sight, the road seems to just go on into the darkness. What makes it especially creepy though is that now that same sound is coming from the trash can in front of me. I just stood and stared. I have to see what it is. What if it is something alive and it needs help? Shakily I reached out and pulled off the lid. It fell to the ground with a loud clang, but I don't care. Now my curiosity was over coming the fear. Slowly, I reached up, untied the bag and looked inside. Then woke up. I reached down and unplugged my blaring alarm clock, not trying to even look for the button that would shut it up. Groggily, sitting up, I remembered the dream. I've been having weird dreams like that. Ever since we moved into our new...well new to us, but still old house. So I tried not to give it much thought. As I lumbered out of bed I could smell the aroma of breakfast come from the kitchen. I was hungry and the smell didn't help me whatsoever. I quickly pulled on a pair of jeans and the shirt I wore yesterday, then rushed out of my room, glancing at the mirror in the hall. Staring back at me was a kid who looked like he hadn't slept in years. My black hair was out in every direction and I had a looked like I was about to fall asleep right then and there. Well, good thing it's a Saturday! I was just starting to turn around to head downstairs when I saw my dad at the bottom of the steps holding a trash bag. "Crud", I said under my breath. I guess my dream was right... Silently I walked down the stairs. He didn't have to say a word. I took the bag out of his hands and headed out back. Lifting up the lid to the trash can I remembered my dream. What was in that bag? I looked around quickly. No one in sight. I undid the strings and looked inside the dark bag. Nothing but trash. Sigh. I almost wished there was something in there. Just to add some excitement to my week. With a dad being an ex-NAVY Sgt. He liked to keep everything on schedule and organized. for him everyday was nearly the same. Me? I'm anything but organized. Him being like that bugged me. I like change once in a while. Not just the same humdrum stuff everyday. But I'm used to it. "Matt?"-I nearly knocked over the trash can. "Are you OK?" My sister was standing beside me with a curious look on her face. I hadn't realized I had my head still in the trash bag for nearly five minutes. "Yeah, I'm fine." She still had that weird look, " Why did you have your head in the trash?" "I...uh...how 'bout you go inside and get some breakfast?" She didn't say anything. She just slowly turned around, still confused. For once she didn't keep asking me. Normally, If she asked something she wouldn't shut up until she got an answer. I shook my head. Why do I always do that? I get thinking about something and then sort of zone off. It's embarrassing sometimes, like just now. "Matt, get in here!" Bah, I did it again. I ran inside. It looked like I missed breakfast. All the plates were put up besides mine. I sighed, and then threw my plate in the microwave. “ Hey, Trash Sniffer!” I turned around , my younger brother Aaron was looking up at me grinning. “ What were you doing in the trash?” “ I was…um…thinking.” “In the trash?” “You won’t leave until you get an answer, will you?” He just stood there, still grinning. “ Fine, I was daydreaming again about a dream I had.” I glanced at him. He now had a more serious look. “ You said you didn’t have those dreams anymore.” Then I realized I shouldn’t have said that. Remembering how when I first told him about the weird dreams and how they about scared him to death. He would wake up every morning worrying about if I had a bad dream. I ended up lying to him that I didn’t have those dreams and that he helped make them go away. Now, I could tell he was already starting to worry. I quickly said, “ No, no, not one of those dreams. It was a nice one and I was just trying to remember it. “Really?” He said glancing up at me. I nodded. “Ok, I just didn’t want you to have bad dreams again.” And with that he turned and walked away. Crazy 6 year olds.

Topic by Rockerx   |  last reply

Best DC Motor Starter Circuit I ever Saw

I wish I had drawn this very good DC Motor Starter control. There are enough questions about a starter box, this is one. It has everything you need to wind up a big machine. A

Topic by iceng 

Years Back in the 80's a friend had a stereo from "Fingerhut" that had spinning l.e.d fans that reacted to the music? Answered

The stereo had two fan like l.e.d. arrays of about 10 each in different colors red green yellow that were on fan like structures inside each of the 12" woofers on his home stereo that he got from "Fingerhut" the l.e.d.s would pulse with the music one side of a blade to the bass and the other with the highs usually ending up making a red & green with yellow pulsating orb inside each speaker that was seen through the black speaker cloth, I have never seen anything like this before or after anywhere but it was a very nice display and could be made with wheels or ceiling fans or any fan I bet, I wish I would have taken electronics in high school instead of CAD but the cad system was cutting edge in 86 and our school had access to them...the only thing I have seen like this is the floating message thingys that use a back and forth l.e.d.s waving in the air. I know if someone builds it it would sell good even for the automotive speaker markets...this was cheap chines junk it could not have cost much to build it but it did look great!!!! I have seen the automotive led wheels that can display pictures and such but this is way simpler than that and the power source and electronics were not spinning withe the leds... trust me build it and you will spend hours watching them while listening to music almost as good as what music videos used to be :) Anybody Seen or Know where they can be bought or can build them? Fast Ed88

Question by FastEd88   |  last reply

Here are some opinions of what one person considered the TEN most annoying programs gotten from the Internet...

Tech Republic lists what it considers the 10 most annoying programs from the internet.....do you take issue with any of them ? "...Here are just 10 of the guilty parties that try to do the impossible: to make us hate the Internet and wish it had never been invented — and which very nearly succeed. "HERE is the link to the blogOh and I forgot to mention the Top 5 worst downloads of the Spring of 2009 - blog...

Topic by Goodhart   |  last reply

How do you make an action figure or a model with plastic?

Http://media.herald-dispatch.com/blog/games/uploaded_images/BaldBullActionFigure-763214.jpgI and many others have ever wondered how to create those beautiful Third dimensional vessels of imagination without get a crumbly, inanimated or/and flaccid modelling clay and sigh at the creations of others or the lack of imagination of some commercial figures.Why, i in my frustration learned to create Plas-ti-li-ne, clay and paper figures with great detail and now i seek to learn (and im pretty sure im not alone in this) the way to create permanent models just like the one´s we see at toy stores, hobby´s shops and the internet. But some times for one or another reason we are unable to find someone in flesh and bone to teach us as in my case in wich i live in the middle of nowhere.If i just knew the way to create those models i would had a way to give great gifts, to teach others and see my toughts in form but i cant go at trial and error forever, so i beg you to teach how to create an articulated shape! /@_@/ what is the material to make figures?what is the secret to turn a piece of ductil and malleable material into hard beautiful soft feeling piece of plastic?The Pieces of an articulated figure (like a detailed humanoid shape) must be shaped all together and then dismantled ?the experience of shaping is similar of that of modelage?I wish i know!!!

Topic by Plastic-the blue   |  last reply

Get well soon sistergldnhair!

After reading a very touching series of forum posts from sistergldnhair's friends and family, we were sorry to hear that this young author had to undergo some brain surgery. The procedure was successful, and we here at the Instructables HQ wanted to send our well wishes with a few gifts and a signed card.  Please take a minute to read through these posts, and leave your get-well-soon's in the comments below. PLEASE send sistergldnhair a get well message A Thank You to One Very Thoughtful Little Girl

Topic by kazmataz   |  last reply


On my way to work this morning I passed an amazing sight: a fountain of water shooting 50 feet into the air. A fire hydrant had come off (I wish I'd seen that bit) and the water from the main was spouting to the sky. I've often been vaguely impressed with the concept of water pressure in cities - it just comes out the faucet! What is pushing it? You used to have to pump water to get it Up to where you want it. This sight really brings that home, the massive pressures running underneath the streets in modern cities. It's highly impressive. When I first arrived there was simply the waterspout, but fire trucks and firemen arrived very shortly and started playing around in the water. One almost had his hat knocked off by it. It wasn't clear what they were doing in there, and I don't know how they were planning to get it under control again. The grocery store on the corner lost its awnings from the weight of water falling on them.

Topic by rachel   |  last reply

Little Camera Necklace

Hello everyone, So here is the deal, I wanna make a necklace that has a little camera inside that can shoot small videos, just for those moments when you wish you had a video camera, so you just happen to be wearing one. I thought about buying one of these: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/New-Lighter-Spy-DVR-USB-Mini-DV-Hidden-Camera-Camcorder-/150632633728?_trksid=p4340.m263&_trkparms=algo%3DDLSL%252BSIC%26its%3DI%26itu%3DUCI%252BIA%252BUA%252BFICS%252BUFI%252BDDSIC%26otn%3D8%26pmod%3D230632642485%252B230632642485%26po%3D%26ps%3D63%26clkid%3D1442896368867548212&_qi=RTM637057#ht_2083wt_1139 and adapting with the following tutorial. https://www.instructables.com/id/Easy-Hidden-Camera-on-the-cheap-Lighter-mod-B/ The main problem I am seeing is that I want to keep all the electronics towards the back of the necklace, with just the camera at the front. That means I need to extend the ribbon cable which looks extremely tricky, and I dont know where I would buy one from. Does anyone have any ideas on this? -Derek

Topic by djrobotfreak 

Proposition to Instructables.com

Hi, instructables. I've been following this site for a year now, and i like what you guys did and do here, i wish my country had this kind of "hobbies", wich is why i'm posting this message. I want to show people that we sometimes we can pick up simple things a make art pieces! :) I'm taking a Multimedia course at my school, and for my final project i need to do either create anything using 3d, since rooms to cars, or games/applications in Flash, or even create a website. And i'm about to choose the last one. My thought is to use your site as base to make my own. My problem is, i wanted to talk to you guys first so that you wouldn't consider that i'd be breaking any copyright, or whatever. And i wanted to ask you if i can go with this project onward. Best regards Frederico Ramos

Topic by AssAulterPT   |  last reply

The Living HELL of BED BUGS, does hydrogen peroxide kill bed bugs on contact É

Apartment living, (1st time), has introduced me to variety of insects that I never even knew existed , & wish i never knew. Therefore I have a theory on the maiming or killing, and hopefully blowing up BED BUGS !!Putting hydrogen peroxide on blood stains, takes the stains out. If you have a wound, putting hydrogen peroxide on it, will bubble the infection, dirt & blood. Therefore cleaning the wound. So, if we get a spray bottle of hydrogen peroxide, we could spray on, around & or in where the bugs are, and the theory is that the bed bugs would sizzle up or explode like it does when you put hydrogen peroxide on a wound.If anyone has the chance to spray hydrogen peroxide on a bed bug, ( make sure not to spray yourself because h peroxide dries out the skin ,Major wise )!! Please let me know. I pray I never see one anywhere near me. I get all `Buggzy wuggzy` Not a nice feeling,.... paranoid about every little itch, every little mark, terrible, terrible !But again, this is my theory about Bed Bugs. Maybe I`ll get my doctorate on Bed Bugs & Hydrogen Peroxide. lol

Question by LaurieD51   |  last reply

Instructables Book now in hands of mere mortals...(spoiler alert)

First off, naa-naa-na-na-na. I got my copy of the Best of Instructables, actually two that I purchased.The first copy has been thumbed through so much it is getting dog-eared. I would say it is a good mix of topics even though so much had to be left out.Which leads me to this rating, one thumbs up and one thumbs down.Kiteman was only quoted once - the Ubiquitous Kiteman, dang, I'm gonna have to look that one up , and listed in the back index.There was only a text list of winners for the favorites from the contest. No little pictures to show the final project.There is an acknowledgement page listing people and projects that were cut due to page limitations. Don't feel bad, even Kipkay made it on the list.There was a lot of stuff in the book I have not seen before so it just makes you want to wish for an easy way to scroll through everything on Instructables.The most interesting thing is the little tidbit bio's on the instructable's author/creator. This is quite a diverse community.I hope there will be a Volume II soon.edit- It was pointed out that Kiteman also wrote one of the intros.The book seems relatively Knex free except a few mentions in the contest listing. Good or bad depending on how you look at it.

Topic by caitlinsdad   |  last reply

A little Distractor

I tried to post this to the iRobot Create group, didn't work the first time. Hopefully 2nd time is a charm:Well, it's been a while waiting for this, and It's not quite over yet. So I had this little idea to keep us a bit busy.In the group, which do you consider to be the top 5 ideas? The ones you would vote for if you were a judge? No particular order. Only rule here is you can't vote for your own ideas.So here are my top 5.1) loubard's Plant Gardiner2) zachinme's ChumbyBot3) StepsOfTheSun's Tennis Bot4) Kira_Koenig's Security Bot5) SolamenteDoug's Lion (cat) TamerBTW, a disclusion doesn't mean I don't like your idea. There are a few ideas here that I think are really cool. There are a few ideas I think are really cool, but out-of-scope for the Create. Either way, I hope you'll post up your top 5, I'd like to see how our personal thoughts compare with each other, and eventually the winners.Again, I wish everyone good luck in the contest!

Topic by aarone 

the welder with sunglasses

I just ran into this interesting post of an italian woman living in Addis Abeba: https://ferengiaddis.wordpress.com/2010/09/21/il-saldatore-con-gli-occhiali-da-sole/ Since it's funny and explained with humor I wish to share it with you: I can of course translate it into English ;-) "The welder with sunglasses Today a man came to weld our gate, because it had come off a metal rod. He came with a wheelbarrow containing the tools of the trade: a hammer, a few pieces of iron and a welder. This one! https://ferengiaddis.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/saldatrice.jpg When I saw it I ran home to get my camera, deeply convinced that the entire operation had to be documented; and in fact I was not wrong. To connect the welding machine to the wall socket of my living room there was no extension cable. But here no one lose heart for so little: only took a few lengths of electrical cable connected to the least worst and fixed with a few pieces of cloth and the problem is solved. https://ferengiaddis.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/prolunga.jpg Of course, such a link at the end did not have a plug to be inserted into the socket, and when I pointed it out the welder looked at me with pitying air, and carelessly shoved the two bare wires in the little holes in the wall. https://ferengiaddis.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/presa.jpg Only a few sparks, but in the end it worked out great, the welder has completed its work smartly wearing a pair of sunglasses as protection, the power went out just three times and the gate is as good as new. Just for the record, the wall socket is now a bit melted..." I wish there will be many authors here like that "welder with sunglasses" ps: don't try that by yourselves!!

Topic by andrea biffi   |  last reply

Another new k'nex machine gun

I have just had a really good idea for a semi or full auto gun, although I do have a tendency to make weird guns but by all means try to make this one.Right here goes,You have arms 'thing that holds string' attached to the barrel by a hinge, there is a spring or rubber band underneath, when you pull the trigger the arms let go of something that keeps them back, the spring (or rubber band) will fling up making the string taught, which pushes the firing pin. The arms also push forward the slides on rails, they hit the springs at the left side and rebound with enough force to push the arms back down, then repeat.Pro's-It's quite compact-I'm thinking it might be powerful-It's new-and if someone makes the mech I�ll put it in an L85A2.Con's-Hard to make-Brain-bogglingly difficult to understand (just think about it a few hundred times and that's me!)I hope the drawing's detailed enough, sorry bout no pics of the real thing (I'm not very good at fixing things together).Hope someone makes this.Bye =DIf you don't understand or are just wondering bout something just post a comment.

Topic by CrazyCHRIS!!   |  last reply

Balance Bike type of RideOn but for grown ups? NoPedals

You know all the kind of training bikes LikeABike and Strider RideOn so many different brands and varieties and naturally them are for the kids so young them have not learned to pedal and keep balance so these first "bikes" are for them to run along like on a "Hobby Horse" kind of thing that have the added safety of both feet on the ground when them need to gain balance again. Them sit and walk or run and seem to really enjoy it. Now suppose you are some 65 years older than these kids. You have the balance and can go by pedaled bike but them are not allowed to take on the Commuter Train or on the Bus that goes to the big Mall you want to visit and when you arrive no bike is allowed in so it get vandalized or stolen outside. But if you had a Walker or Rollator kind of mobility aid then that would be allowed. So what if one took a "Toddler" bike and made a grown up RideOne or BalanceBike for grown ups. No pedals on it. That would not get allowed either unless it has an electric motor and look like an expensive Mobility Scooter. So one need a Rollator that transforms into a RideOn. type of seated thing that can be used to move around on. I wish one could easily combine these two things but I fail to have enough innovation fantasy on how to accomplish this. So I test if kind people here get a clue or hang on how one could do such a thing. Transformer Bike/Rollator or what to name it. I have bought several Rollators and several KickBoard GoPed similar versions one are supposed to stand on or walk behind All of these are hurting the knee. So one need a seated thing. Sure it does exists already. The KneeScooter but that one have a seat that is too narrow so it hurts the butt. The customers complained so now one can buy an extra seat or saddle to it that is broader and less painful. But the KneeScooter does not look like a Rollator at all. It looks like a Scooter. A Rollator need Castering wheels in the front that seems a must. It can be a three wheel as long as the caster is the front wheel. Now if you sit on a four or three wheel thing and push of or kick off with feet on the ground then there is now way to steer the thing. so a transformer bike/rolator need to change from free wheeling caster to a steered caster to be safe. So that is the criteria and difference. In one position it looks like a real standard Rollator that you walk behind or in front off. Then after pushing the magig button it turns into the steerable seated balance bike kind of mobility RideOn for grown ups with knee problems. I have written about this in another post too so hope I am not breaching a hard hitting rule. Here I ask more what to name such a thing and how to make that thing so popular that the accumulated popularity makes the commercial companies aware of the need. If we can come up with a catchy name for such a thing then somebody maybe make one and test the market? On the other thread I ask for somebody to help me figure out how to DIY make one or to modify a standard Rollator so it can fill both functions. You would make me very happy if you come up with a catchy name for such a thing.

Topic by kneeproblemguy   |  last reply

Free Rice

A lot of you probably already know about this, but I thought I would post it anyway.The site FreeRice.com is a fantastic charity site that helps fight world hunger through a game.I had heard of this a long time ago, but I never actually tried it until today. I researched a bit, and was very impressed by it, which is why I'm posting this.How it StartedFreeRice began on October 7, 2007. It was created by John Breen, a computer programmer from Bloomington, Indiana, who also created thehungersite.com, therainforestsite.com and Poverty.com. Breen invented the site, and typed in all 10,000 definitions, after observing his son study for the SAT.How it WorksVisitors to the website are presented with a word and four definitions. If a user selects the correct definition, FreeRice.com donates 20 grains of rice through the United Nations. Another word is then presented. Special graphics symbolizing 100 and 1,000 grains of rice are displayed on a graphical tally if the player's total reaches these numbers. Various landmarks are represented with different messages of encouragement such as: "You have donated 10,000 grains of rice. Wow! Now THAT is impressive!" after the 10,000th grain is donated, and after 20,000 grains, "You have donated 20,000 grains of rice. Wow! We're speechless!" After every ten thousand grains thereafter, the message "Wow! We're STILL speechless!" will appear. The last message of encouragement appears when you reach 100,000: "You have donated 100,000 grains of rice. May you have a lifetime of happiness..." and then the donation comes back at 0 grains.The difficulty of each displayed word is measured from 1 (easy) to 60 (very hard). The game begins with four introductory definitions to set an initial vocabulary level. From the fifth question onward, three consecutive correct responses raise the difficulty level by one. Every incorrect answer lowers the level by one. Users can play for as long as they wish. The game determines difficulty level dynamically by analyzing the results from all users' game play.A speaker icon has been added to each definition to provide an audio pronunciation of the word.How its possiblen exchange for advertisements on the website, various sponsors donate the money necessary to pay for the rice and other costs to run FreeRice. The donations are distributed by the United Nations' World Food Programme (WFP), starting with Bangladesh in early 2008. By this time, the site's creator had given over $213,000 to the WFP which encourages people to visit FreeRice.com.For example, On 20 November the WFP launched a campaign to 'feed a child for Thanksgiving'.Has it Worked?One month after the inception of the viral marketing program, users had earned enough points for one billion grains of rice. The United Nation's World Food Programme stated that this amount could feed 50,000 people for one day. Thus, approximately 20,000 grains of rice provide enough caloric intake to sustain an adult for one day. Using this calculation, enough rice is donated to feed about 7,000 people daily. In its first six months of operation, FreeRice donated over 25 billion grains of rice.I think its a great cause, and truly a noble deed. So, when you're bored, instead of playing solitaire because you need something to do, why not help feed those who truly need something?By helping this cause, you are also helping yourself. Since the game consists of word definitions, you might be suprised

Topic by Keith-Kid   |  last reply

Change instructables header from orange! Update 4

(Made new topic because old one was getting crowded and ugly)Yes, folks, the moment we've all been waiting for...you can customize the header at long last!For years the instructables header has been full of orangey goodness. Maybe a little too much orangey goodness. When I first saw the site, I thought, "Huh. It's February. A little early for halloween...". No lie. When I realized it's like this all the time, I realized something had to be done. I finally got around to sitting down and once and for all giving full control of the header to the user. Now, don't get me wrong. I love orange. I think the admins did a great job picking colors, I'm not trying to hate on them. But let's face it, sometimes change is good.With these handy-dandy styles, you simply install stylish, load them, and presto! No more header screaming ORANGE ORANGE ORANGE and pounding you over the head with shocking vibrant hues until you die. No more co-workers saying "are you on instructables again?! " Yes folks, the header is in your control! Yellow! Green! Invisible! Lots more! Links are all black, to avoid conflict with buttons and such. Link colors (and header color) are easily edited. To install, Firefox users can just install this addon and load the ClearHeader style. However, that's not the only way to install. Firefox users can use greasemonkey if you want. Opera users, IE 7 (ptooie!) can load the style as a userscript. It's cross browser!Many thanks to Gmjhowe for his generous contribution of mad photoshop skillz. New! Red: http://userstyles.org/styles/21622Blue: http://userstyles.org/styles/14765 Invisible: http://userstyles.org/styles/15029Yellow: http://userstyles.org/styles/15107Green: http://userstyles.org/styles/14804Eric's shoes Purple taken from his famous shoes instructable!: http://userstyles.org/styles/15032Gray: http://userstyles.org/styles/15030New! Black: http://userstyles.org/styles/21620Kiteman: http://userstyles.org/styles/15039Ewilhelm: http://userstyles.org/styles/15099Edit, tweak and post these to your heart's content. If you want THE WHOLE ENTIRE HEADER gone, not just graphics - you want EVERYTHING GONE from that bad boy, see here: https://www.instructables.com/community/Remove-the-entire-instructables-header-NOT-just/If you have questions, problems, etc, please post them here or PM me and we'll get it worked out.Many, many thanks to Yokozuna for providing me a handlogo file so I didn't have to color them in pixel by pixel like I was earlier, or mooch off gmjhowe like I did after that. :-DUPDATE: I have made substantial changes to all scripts. Please update your old versions. Due to name changes, some of them may not even update properly. If this happens, please uninstall any previously installed versions and install the new ones.Changelog:* Fixed bug in Blue header causing header to appear in all websites, not just instructables* Added the hand logo to Blue header * Marked obsolete versions of scripts* Changed all titles to reflect the application to instructables* Changed all descriptions to reflect the application to instructables* Made Black header* Made Red header* Gave all headers (except black) hand with proper white outlineFAQ:Q: I installed one header, then another one. Now I see the first one that I installed flash briefly before it goes to the current one. Now what?A: Make sure you disable all header scripts except for the one you are currently using.Q: Why are there CSS color codes at the top? That's extraneous code! You're dumb!A: Actually, I left it there on purpose, to make it nice and easy to refer to should you wish to change the link colors. Q: It's not working! Ahh!A: Make sure you have greasemonkey/stylish and the script itself enabled. If you continue to have issues, uninstall and reinstall.Q: I want to make my own. How do I do this?A: How to change the scripts:To change link colors, open the script and go to the sectionlinks */a {color: #000 !important; and change from #000 to whatever color you wish. To make custom-color scripts, download this file: . Edit it to whatever color you wish. Upload the file to an image hosting site such as tinypic or picoodle. Next, go to the first place where you see a url like (www.foo.jpg) and replace the url with the url of your uploaded picture.To make avatar headers, upload the appropriate file to an image hosting site and change as above. Then, go to the second url location and delete the url. Please upload any cool new scripts you make so others can enjoy them! If I like them I'll link them up here, too. ;)As always, please post bug reports and color requests in the comments.

Topic by Lithium Rain   |  last reply

Water Bottle (Nalgene/Camelbak) Repair

My Friend,                      I decided that I did not like the color of my Camelbak water bottle. I had it hanging from the strap on my backpack as I was walking to class, and thought that I might do something about the color. I then proceeded to throw myself off of my ripstick, squarely on my back, so as to hit the bottle against the ground and break it, thereby creating the necessity of buying another. Well, it worked, and I now wish to make amends. (Long story short, [despite my previous alibi] I accidentally fell on my Camelbak water bottle, and put a breach in the base/bottom.) How might I repair this without the use of fire, (I am a little wary of melting it and releasing undesirable chemicals into my drinking water) duct tape or some other highly unsavory method of repair? (Slightly unsavory methods are just fine) Thank you for your advice!                                                                                                                               Much Obliged,                                                                                         One Moore Guy

Question by nomooremr.niceguy   |  last reply

Magpul PDR

Here's a project Trauts and I are working on. Trauts still has to fine tune my version. I was actually only going to build the back and firing mechanism and leave the front to trauts and have him mod whatever needed. I just added a front on for the heck of it. Here's what the PDR is http://www.magpul.com/pdfs/PDRtech_PR.pdf I had a video but it wasn't working so I'll just have to explain some of the features for now. This version wasn't made for looks but just to show off the trigger, magazine, and mag release. So understand that this is by far not the final version. Alright to explain some of the features now: - I made a quick adapter for rail accessories from airsoft and maybe real firearms. The adapter can then attach to my K'nex rail. I used this very low quality red dot scope for an example. I wish I had batteries for it so I could at least use it as something more than a viewfinder. -The trigger is complicated looking but it's pretty basic. I took my old bullpup trigger (could probably be used to all kinds of bullpup weapons) and modified it a little so that I wouldn't need such a long barrel. To do this I brought down what normally would be the part you'd pull and placed that early and then made a sliding trigger that pushes that part back. It's actually pretty reliable. -The magazine is a somewhat new design (that or hardly ever used) that is really close in size to real STANAG magazines. The real version doesn't used curved magazines but I decided to make a curved magazine anyways to demonstrate how to make a gently curving magazine for guns like the Magpul Masada. You can lock the mag pusher down if you're using a weak enough rubber band. -The mag release isn't what's used on the real one but it would be impossible to make one like that. This is pretty simple but very effective. It's just a little lever switch that you pull back and the magazine will pop out. You put the magazine in firmly and you should be able to hear it click. It's rock solid when locked into place. I'll show you pictures of it later.

Topic by TheDunkis   |  last reply

How to make a replica of The Riddler's Box (Work in progress)

All right, I admit it. I liked Batman Forever, and still do. I also liked the "Box," which was the film's signature gadget. (And no, I don't count the Batarangs--they're equipment. The Box is a gadget in the purest sense of the word.) To that end, I decided to build a replica of the Box last summer. It's still not finished--I need to work out lighting, a motor, and the lower coils. (EL wire, maybe?) By the way, I'm posting it on the forum first because it's still a work in progress. I have no Monet to buy Degas to made de Van Gogh, as it were... YOU WILL NEED: One clear 28-oz. tumbler, acrylic (I got mine from Jewel for $1 last year...I don't know if they still carry 'em) One 20-oz. tumbler, acrylic (I got mine from Walgreen's last year...ditto) Two super-size cup lids from McDonald's One large bottle of Gesso One bottle of gold paint (Antique Gold works best) One bottle of green glow-in-the-dark paint A really long paintbrush, preferably made of foam A normal paintbrush The wings are made of a piece of foam I had lying around...I need to get them made specially. It's also got some Christmas-wreath lights stuck inside, just for the picture. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ SO: For the 28-oz. tumbler, first you need to thin your Gesso out with water. This will allow you, later, to add the paint in such a way that light can shine through. Then, you will want to paint the INSIDE of the tumbler with Gesso, and then with the green paint. Simple as that. For the 20-oz. tumbler, you can leave the Gesso thick if you wish. Depends on your preferences, really...Then, you'll want to paint the outside of the 20-ouncer with the gold paint. With me so far? Then, you'll want to glue the two McDonald's lids together for a bit of sturdiness. I recommend Gorilla Glue for this. When that sets, you'll want to paint the outside and the inside with Gesso. The outer lid is gold in color; the inner lid is black. This prevents light from shining through the lid, which could give the game away. WINGS: As for me, I cut a pair of 11 3/4" oblong triangles from foam for the wings. They're not stable at all, but at least you get the basic idea of what it is. I stacked the 28-oz. tumbler on top of the 28-oz. tumbler, put the lids on, and stuck the wings on with tape. It's a crude mockup, but it works for now. I put the Christmas-wreath lights inside just make it look like it's doing something. I'm thinking about adding a "Fusion" light from Windy City Novelties for the finished result. The final version of this will involve some very tricky wiring--I want to wire the light-up gadget and the motor to one switch or button. If any of you have suggestions, the mailbox is open and waiting. I've very little technical experience, and would like as much input as possible from anyone who knows something.

Topic by Sharaz Destler   |  last reply

Octopart - search engine for electronic parts

Two weeks ago I met with Andres and Sam of Octopart. Andres had literally dropped out of graduate school the day before to join Sam full-time building their search engine for electronic parts. You enter the part number, or simply its title or use, and Octopart returns the best matched specific components, their prices and availability from several suppliers, and links to the relevant catalog pages. I wish this had existed back in 1998. At the time, I was in charge of building the power controller for a web-controlled, wireless robot with a live video feed as part of the ultimate class in MIT's undergraduate mechanical engineering program, 2.009 Product Design. What is now a relatively easy task, was really kicking my butt then. After two painstakingly hand-built MOSFET H-bridges driven by charge pumps had exploded in my face, I was at my wits ends. I knew there had to be a better solution, but could not find it anywhere. At one stage, I even sat down with the Digikey catalog, and started reading through all of the components in the sections I thought might have something relevant. Pop "h-bridge" into Octopart and the fourth result is my favorite chip (and what eventually saved my skin in 2.009), the LMD18200. Hey look, the cheapest price with the highest availability is at Digikey, I think I'll get it there...Octopart is pretty cool as is, and I'm sure there will soon be lots more distributors. What's even more exciting, in my opinion, is the concept of Octopart searching through a webpage, determining what specific parts are mentioned, and generating a personalized shopping cart with the cheapest and most readily available parts. When we spoke, Andres and Sam said it might be a few months until they were ready to release at all - it would seem quiting grad school has been good to Octopart, so I'm sure cool new additions are right around the corner.

Topic by ewilhelm   |  last reply

So long and thanks for all the arduinos

Adios, everyone! Tomorrow is my last day here at Instructables and even that will mostly be clearing out my desk and distributing materials for future projects. First and foremost, I love you all. If you're here reading this then you're someone who has chosen to dig into the world and learn much more than most of the people out there. That's a cool thing. An amazing thing. Cherish it and make that grow within everyone else you know. More is more here. Also thank you to everyone for sharing your ideas. One of the biggest things I've learned is that you should share your ideas with others. There will always be more ideas and it's more fun this way. I wish I had a couple more lifetimes for the ideas that I'd like to work on. It is way worse to live a life keeping an idea secret for fear of someone else stealing it and never seeing it develop. OK, going into debt to patent it would probably be worse. Is this a graduation speech? No? Fine, here's some unsolicited advice anyway: run into new areas. Don't give yourself a chance to think about it and go back to doing what you've already been doing. Mental ruts are comforting, but oh so boring. Listen to music you don't know, watch movies you know nothing about, just shake it up once in a while. No, shake it up all the time. The world is full of new ideas you've been depriving yourself of enjoying. Then when your brain is thoroughly jumbled, start mashing up all the ideas. Combine all the things! One idea I want to work on is to make a UAV candy bomber. Attach candy to parachutes and drop them from quadcopters as they fly around in the sky. It would be a modern version of the candy bombers from WWII. It's not about anyone getting the reference, that's for wikipedia. It's about moving faster. Worrying about originality is for people who don't do stuff. And that's the long version of saying that I'll be gone from here, but you should all keep the party going. Then again, you were going to do that anyway and that's why I love you. For me the future is a little uncertain. There are a couple of VERY COOL THINGS that might happen, but it's not definite yet. In the meantime, I'm wrapping up my kickstarter calendar project. If you haven't looked at it yet, please do. The calendar is awesome and I want more of them out there in the world. Other than that you can find me on twitter as @edabot.  Now stretch your arms out wide and then give yourself a hug. Pat yourself on the back if you want. You're the future if you want to be. Take it, it's right there. Love you all. Ed

Topic by fungus amungus   |  last reply

The worst time of my life

If three years ago somebody had told me that I would be at Maker Faire, using my cyborg arms, watching Arc Attack playing the “Doctor Who” theme, and meeting Adam Savage from “Mythbusters”, I would have said that person is crazy or is mocking me. But I was there. With Instructables. It was awesome when Adam Savage, in the middle of his conference, yelled to me “Hey man! Nice borg!!”. “OH MY GOD!” I thought, “ADAM SAVAGE FROM THE MYTHBUSTERS TOLD ME I MADE A NICE BORG!!” But, beyond Adam Savage, the giant robots, the fire and electricity shows, the beautiful steampunk women, the good energy, the delicious food and the pictures with Daleks; the most beautiful, shocking, awesome and magical moment of the Maker Faire 2013 was when I had just arrived at the Autodesk booth. I saw the giant map of DIYers from around the world, and I realized my picture and profile were representing Colombia and I was one of the three leading makers of South America. I was paralyzed remembering all this journey, from being a complete loser without a future to that point in time and space when I felt absolutely happy, calm, and at peace with myself. It was worth it to keep fighting, just for that sublime moment. I felt like a Rock Star. Not because I was, but because Instructables and Autodesk made me feel like one. ……………………………………… When people ask me “Why do you love Instructables?” my answers are always the same: because the site is awesome, has amazing projects and great contests with cool prizes; because Instructables is the only one who has supported my DIY activities, especially in my country (Colombia) where science and technology aren’t priorities, and so on. But I never gave the complete answer. And now, after these fantastic five months as Artist in Residence, I want to tell the truth: I love Instructables because they were with me in the worst time of my life. ……………………………………… In 2009, I lost my job as Security Analyst in an important Colombian company. I thought I could subsist thanks to my junk projects and creating my own business, but almost nobody was interested on buying recycled crafts (besides, I wasn’t as good then as I am today.) And the only interested people wanted my works for free. It was not enough for a living, so after a few months I started looking for a job. Due to its economic situation, Colombia has high rates of unemployment and it’s very hard to find a job, and there’s no government subsidy for unemployed workers (sorry Colombia! One day, I will talk about all your beautiful and fantastic things, because you have a lot. But not today). Besides, when you are a former military officer the only civilian jobs you can apply for are in security because nobody thinks you can be creative; and if you are, nobody takes you seriously. Every two weeks I had an interview. Every interview ended with just another “we will call you.” It’s time to confess something to the world: at the same time, I was diagnosed with mild Borderline Personality Disorder and depression. It’s not something that “SHAZAM! You are nuts!”. No. I knew from years ago there was something wrong about me, but just in that moment I found out what I have. Just in case you ask: no, this condition doesn’t make me a bad employee, and I’m very competent in my work. No, I’m not some kind of evil psycho. Just a little bit creepy sometimes, but I always try my best to be a good person. And no, I’m not trying to look like a “dark and bizarre, Tim Burton style” character just because I want to look interesting. It may work for an artist or a teenager, but not for somebody trying to get a job in the security business or a stable relationship. I didn’t have any health insurance; I didn’t have money for any treatment and, in case I could afford it, there is a social stigma about persons with some kind of mental disorder, and no company would be interested in hiring a security manager with that kind of problem. So, I had to keep it to myself. I didn’t even tell it to my family. And my girlfriend broke up with me. So, my life was “complete.” I was without a job, love and almost without my sanity. Almost all of my “friends” were gone. I was drowning in debts. I didn’t have money even for basic things. I had to return to my mother’s house. I lost every goal, every dream, and every hope. The situation was so desperate that I seriously thought about giving up. But only two things stopped me from doing that. One was Carolina, the only friend I had in that moment. The other thing was Instructables. ……………………………………… I found the site several months after because I was looking for simple robots ideas. Then, I saw Instructables has contests, and I entered my first project (the “SPD Exoskeleton”) for the 2009 Halloween Contest. A lot of people made awesome comments about my project, and I received my first prize: the “Photojojo!” book and a Robot T-Shirt. “What? I just post pictures of my project on an internet site and they give me free stuff? Interesting!” Then, I made another project, the “Valentine’s RoboGrinch”. I was a finalist in the 2010 Valentine’s Day Contest. People around the world commented about my ideas, and my projects started to become popular being featured in other sites and blogs around the planet. When I got the First Prize on the Dead Computer Contest, I gave to my mother the netbook I won. It was the only present I could afford to give her in a long time. In my darkest moments, when I thought about giving up, I remembered I had some project on Instructables I didn’t finish or publish, and then I keep fighting just one or two days more, because I didn’t want to leave it uncompleted. When I finished it, I endured one week more, just for knowing if it was successful in a contest. Sometimes I won. Sometimes I lost. When I could get some money, I used it for buying tools or materials for the projects, instead of food or paying debts. Because I started to think that every project, every idea I was making, every instructable I was writing, was my little legacy to humanity. Probably one day I will die, but at least in some part of the Internet, it would be a proof that I made something good, something that could be appreciated by anybody, and my life was not in vain. And I started to win more contests. It felt good, because I thought “I’m a loser, but this loser is kicking butts!” With so many fantastic authors, the competition got tougher, so I had to improve my skills (and my English. Instructables was the only opportunity I had to improve and practice this language.) I became very good at making stuff with plastic trash and limited resources! Besides, without knowing anything about me and my personal situation, even without being on the same country, the Instructables staff and community were (and are) very special and kind with me. They always made me feel respected and loved. Instructables was the only escape I had from my reality. This site has thousands of users and still they had the time to talk to me, to care for me, to make me feel like part of a bunch of friends! They were the only people that didn’t see me or treat me like a loser or somebody who needed to be pitied. They were the only ones that made me feel I wasn’t completely alone on this planet. All of this situation lasted one year and two months. Instructables kept me fighting almost all of that time. ……………………………………… Finally, in September of 2010, I got a job. It wasn’t the best (honestly, it was horrible!), but at least I was working. Four months later, I got a better job as security manager of a business center, enough to start paying debts. On October 2010, I went to the Colombian equivalent of Comic-Con, using the Cyborg suit I built for the Instructables’ Dead Computer Contest. Thanks to this, a beautiful woman found me out of the crowd, because she loves robots. She became my biggest fan and we shared a big love. I never thought I could find a love like that. She was the girlfriend I got thanks to Instructables! She was the inspiration of my “Cyborg Heart in a Can”. And I gave it to her. And then Instructables interviewed me as Featured Author. I would be the first Colombian to be a Featured Author! That was awesome! In total, I have won twelve Instructables contests and two challenges. Thanks to Instructables, people of all the world know about my cyborgs and my Roboplanters. (The funny thing is I’m still feeling like the black sheep of the family!) ……………………………………… It was 2012. After one and a half year of relationship, my girlfriend and I broke up, for good (our respective problems were stronger than our love.) Besides, I was stuck at work and I couldn’t study something art or robotics related because the restrictive schedule of my job. So, the depression was returning… I was lying on the couch watching “Doctor Who” when a phrase get stuck in my mind: “All of time and space. Everywhere and anywhere. Every star that ever was. Where do you want to start?” And then I realized that nothing was tying me to Colombia and I could apply to the Instructables Artist in Residence Program. I wanted to know, at least for a few months, how it was to be in the most awesome company in this world. So I quit my job, I sold most of my belongings, I packed my Dremel, my trench coat and my sonic screwdriver, I said goodbye to my family and I traveled to San Francisco on February 27th of 2013. I didn’t come for the “American Dream”. I came for the “Instructables Dream”! ……………………………………… What can I say? How can I describe the most fantastic experience of my life, using just a few words? How can I summarize five months of happiness, learnings, DIY and good energy, when every day was an amazing adventure? I felt, after 35 years of life, I finally arrived in the place I belong. I met the faces behind the site I love and admire. You know who they are (sorry for breaking the magic but, please! Update the Instructables Team page! A lot of awesome people are not there!) I’m trying to not mention specific persons, because I shared awesome experiences with each one of you. Every one of you taught me something, every one of you made me feel appreciated, every one of you does a fantastic job keeping this site working. And I want nobody feels excluded of this post (Sherry always fights for sending out prizes on time, silently. Why nobody says “Thanks Sherry?”) Because Instructables is more than servers and computers and projects and internet. Instructables is the people. From the beginning, Instructables and the Autodesk Consumer Group made me feel like one of the team, like part of something bigger than myself. The Pizza Thursdays, the Marvelous Mondays, the Build Days, the Design Nights, became magical events for me. But it wasn’t only Instructables and Autodesk. This beautiful city of San Francisco taught me real lessons about tolerance, respect and being yourself. It doesn’t matter if you are radically different to the other people. Just be a nice person, do your job and respect the others, and everyone will respect you. I had never touched a CAD software, because I didn’t see any possible use for it in my life. And I thought it was something so complicated that only engineers and designers could use that kind of program. But then I went from 0 to 123D Design! I learned the basics in just two days and I fell in love with this awesome program, and it’s free! (But, seriously guys, try to fix that problem with the crashes. Everyone in the lab knew that when I screamed, it was because the program had a crash and I hadn’t saved the progress). And later, I learned how to use a 3D printer, a machine beyond my wildest dreams! I remember the infinite sadness the first time I went to the amazing Pier 9 (new installations of Instructables and the Autodesk Consumer Group) and thought I could never try that fantastic technology; and the happiness when Noah told me I could stay two months more! You have all the best freaking hi-tech tools in this freaking world, and you don’t need to be a NASA scientist or a millionaire to use them! This place is waiting for people of all the world, to come with their ideas! (It doesn’t matter how crazy they are). 3D printers, laser cutters, a water jet, a bunch of expensive machines I still don’t know the names of, an awesome test kitchen, metal and wood shops, even a sewing area! And all available for the DIY community! But, more than being on Pier 9 because the fantastic machines, I loved to stay here because Instructables.  My life has good things and bad things, successes and failures. But being part of Instructables and sharing moments with all of you has been the most memorable experience of my whole existence! ……………………………………… I want to say something to my dear friends of Instructables and Autodesk: if one day, for some inexplicable reason, you feel like your work is meaningless, you don’t like it’s Monday or simply you forgot what this is all about, just remember something: you will never know exactly how many lives Instructables has touched: how many persons found their true calling thanks to the projects, and how many persons found a hobby that makes their life happier. How many couples fell in love thanks to the delicious recipes and romantic crafts, and how many parents shared precious moments with their sons building something. But now you will always know, at least, Instructables and Autodesk saved one life. My life! ……………………………………… I wish to finish my post with some “Doctor Who” quote. I love “Doctor Who”, because is all about being awesome and optimistic and keep smiling even in the worst situations or despite you are feeling absolutely sad and alone. And the series has a lot of badass and beautiful quotes! But now, when I have to start packing my bags, when I have to return to my hometown where I have to pretend I’m a “normal” person and try to get a “normal” job again, when I have to say goodbye to my coworkers (that are at the same time most of the only real friends I have had in my life), and to the greatest organization I have had the honor of being part (where for first time in life I felt truly appreciated, respected and loved, and happy because it was Monday and I could go to work in a company that is making of this world a better place); there’s one, and only one phrase that I got stuck on my head; the last words of David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor when, standing alone after saying goodbye to his loved ones (and to the most awesome time of his life), his final moment comes: “I don’t want to go.” Mario Caicedo Langer Former Artist in Residence. Instructables

Topic by M.C. Langer   |  last reply

Knotless way of tying a fish hook - how to animate it?

Recently I went to "fishing expo".Down here it is on some lake, freshly stocked with fish and on top of all the anglers you get stands with all sorts of fishing stuff to check out.Weather was not to my liking so I stayed dry under the tends and had some smalltalk.It was not long until I wanted to check some braided fishing line offered at one of the stands.And with nothing bad on my mind I took one of the hooks to test the knot strenght.The guys had a nice rig for it.Little did I know about their teaching intentions, claiming that a lot of people have no clue how to properly deal with braided line.Let's just say their way was way too complicated and time consuming for my liking.On a rocky boat you want to be able to do things quick and easy.It was a line rated for 25kg and with their best know on offer it lasted till 22kg until the line failed at the knot.Asked if I could test my way as I would like to know how the line would perform and my wish was granted.The line failed at 27kg and snapped quite some distance form the knot.....Never mind the 25kg rating....The fellow fisherman around as well as the guys selling the line wanted to know how I did my knot without actually making a knot.What was easy out there tunred into a nightmare at home.I tried my biggest hooks and a camera on the tripod but it is not giving me a detailed enough view of how the "knot" is done.Now I could try to make a hook template from some aluminium round bar and use paracord or a thin rope....Then I found a nice app for the phone that uses animations to teach knots.Is there a simple way to create an animation showing a "rope" and a hook with the required details and motion?Would love to share this way of attaching a hook to braided line in a way that is easy to understand and follow....

Question by Downunder35m 

Blakes 7 Teleport Bracelet

This is how to make the magic blakes seven teleport bracelet!Ingredients:one cardboard roll, such as a poster or postal cylinder or the cardboard roll from inside a roll of packing tape; diameter 8.5cm, width 4cm (cut to this width if need be, using a saw or knife)cardboard, thick enough to be sturdy, thin enough to be flexiblethin cork (optional)plain paperglueblack or dark brown foam rubber (optional)silver tape width 1.5cm OR aluminuim foil cut or folded to width 1.5cmAntique Gold or metallic brown paintgrey paint OR a round grey button 2cm diameter OR grey tapered paint OR pink paint OR red paint + pearl nailpolishbrown packing tape or beige paintclear or red contact (optional)Visual Reference:Refer to the Liberator Teleport Bracelet diagram in the Horizon Technical Manual.Instructions:Cut your roll to the right width if need be. If the roll is too thin and flimsy, stick a layer of cardboard over it. Cover the rough edges with paper.Cut five strips of cardboard, one 15x3cm, one 9x3cm, one 1.3x3cm, and two 2.5x1cm (measurements will vary depending on the precise size of the cardboard roll). If the cardboard is thin, cut twice as many strips. If you are using thin cork, cut one strip each from the cork also.Stick the strips onto the roll, making sure they evenly positioned in the center. Check the diagram for where to stick them: the two long strips should be next to each other with a small gap representing where the hinge of the bracelet would go if it had a hinge. The small 1.3x3cm strip goes in the larger gap between the long strips - this is where the red button will go. If using cork, stick the cork down first, and the cardboard on top.When all the glue is dry, paint the bracelet with antique gold or metallic brown enamel paint. Do more than one coat if you think that will look better. Wait for the paint to dry.The red receive-button is made from the two smallest strips of cardboard stuck together, covered with white paper, painted red, and covered with contact to make it shiny. Another way of doing this is painting it red, and then painting it with white-pearl nailpoilish to get that glowing pink-red effect. Glue this as indicated in the diagram.The grey transmit-part is made either from cutting a circle of paper or thin card (1.5-2cm diameter) and painting it grey, or by using a grey round button and cutting off the shaft so that it will stick on flat. Stick this on as indicated in the diagram.Cut out silver tape or foil and stick on the bracelet as indicated in the diagram. Cut out (very cleverly) pieces of brown packing tape in the shapes of the alien characters that decorate the rest of the bracelet and stick them on, or else paint them on with beige paint. You may wish to paint the whole bracelet with clear enamel to protect it.Optionally add a lining with foam rubber, to aid the bracelet in not falling off when you wear it.NOTES: Cardboard rolls: the roll from inside a large roll of packing tape comes closest to the right size. A large postal cylinder is too large and a small one is too small. A Pringles packet is too small, but may be easier to obtain. A Pringles packet is easier to cut but is also flimsier; it is recommended to add bulk by sticking on more cardboard to thicken it up.Cardboard: most cardboard you can buy will probably be too thin. The backs of note-pads may provide thicker stuff. The disadvantage of thicker cardboard is that it will not bend as easily, and the cardboard used here must bend. An alternative if available could be thin cork (a few millimetres thick); this will bend fairly easily and add the bulk you need. But only bother if you happen to have some (maybe left over from someone's redecorating or the like). I used it for mine, it worked beautifully.The red button: building this up from strips of cardboard is fairly tedious, and if you can think of a better way, do that.I know Michael Keating!He Played Vila.

Topic by Bartboy   |  last reply

Story of a spelling mistake

Body { background: rgb(245,245,245); } *.container { width: 500.0px; text-align: center; margin: auto; } *.copyright { margin-top: 50.0px; font-size: 12.0px; text-transform: uppercase; } *.copyright a { text-decoration: none; padding: 5.0px; background: rgb(192,57,43); color: rgb(255,255,255); } *.copyright a:hover { background: transparent; color: rgb(192,57,43); } *.button { height: 50.0px; line-height: 50.0px; padding-right: 30.0px; padding-left: 30.0px; background-color: rgb(41,127,184); color: rgb(255,255,255); text-decoration: none; text-transform: uppercase; letter-spacing: 1.0px; margin-bottom: 15.0px; } * { } * { } * { } * { } * { } * { } *.button span { left: 0; width: 50.0px; } * { } * { } * { } * { } *.button:hover span, *.button.active span { background-color: rgb(0,102,26); } *.button:active { margin-top: 2.0px; margin-bottom: 13.0px; } * { } * { } * { } *.button.orange { background: rgb(255,127,0); } *.button.purple { background: rgb(142,68,173); } *.button.turquoise { background: rgb(26,188,156); } *.button.red { background: rgb(231,76,60); } ul.a { list-style-type: circle; } ul.b { list-style-type: square; } ol.c { list-style-type: upper-roman; } ol.d { list-style-type: lower-alpha; } Hello all, today I have a tale of why you should proofread your Instructables... Or just laugh at the annoyed faces of grammar pendants as you watch Steven fry shame them.  Now recently I made an instructable, it was named and "Breathe new life into an old computer" and being the grammar illiterate person I am, combined with the fact the article was written out of pure boredom, I misspelled the article title in two different places. Instead of "Breathe new life into an old computer" I wrote "Breath of new life into a old computer". The reason is, after writing the article, I felt the original title of "A breath of new life into a old computer" didn't really sound good. So I axed the A and called it a day (Rhyme not intended). It was late and without another thought I hit publish and eagerly awaited its appearance on the new ibles page. Nothing happened for 20 minutes, so I went to bed without a second thought. Maybe the database server just crashed or something :P The next day, after a long day of school, I eagerly sit down at my computer and watch youtube... After enjoying at least a few hours of Pwediepie screaming at disfigured goats and Linus (attempting) to colour a $500 motherboard I decide to check my Instructables page. A few clicks to my current Instructables page and WOAH. I see the featured banner draped proudly across the front of my project. My eyes dart down, desperately looking for a view counter and then they find it, "10 thousand views!" I cry. My mouse cursor automatically clicks, my world in slow motion, I scroll down... 3 comments greet me. I just sit there, mouth wide open. A crazy thought slams right into my face, my mouse cursor waddles over to the corner of the screen and suddenly the homepage sits there, my project stands in its little box, like an expensive toy, on display for all to see. My mind is racing, In disbelief. I look around, a hidden camera maybe, I shout upstairs to my brother "good prank". But all I hear is a surprised moan, "what?!" he shouts.  It took me a few hours for anything, whether it be ME being featured, or the chicken I had for dinner, to sink in. But eventually it did and I took a some rotting fleshes advice, Keep Calm and Carrion. The last thing on my mind at this point was spell checking, no one in the comments had pointed anything out, and well... I couldn't see anything wrong. It's like that thing when you're looking for something in that horrific mess you call a fridge, after spending what seems like hours looking at every little detail you still can't find the butter. Then your girl friend, Wife or Mum comes along and after giving you a lecture on tidiness they find that one thing you're looking for instantly... Anyway, I decide in the spirit of things I will go and enjoy some facebook, I take a trip to the Instructables facebook page and see my article, AWESOME! I open up the comments section and... Correcting my grammar Correcting more of my grammar I'm not an English professor Correcting my grammar Correcting my grammar Someone who doesn't understand that: 1. I am not American, 2. Americans are smart and awesome people Correcting my grammar Someone who uses such bad grammar that I can't even figure out what they are saying   Now at the sight of this I quickly ran back to my article and changed the picture and title, on facebook... It doesn't update. I have learned my lesson, proofread and double check your article, before you post!  What can you take away from this? What I have learnt:  Theres no 'Be Nice' policy on the internet Proofread your work! Admins are humans and might not pick up on a spelling mistake Write every ible like its the best one you have ever made, because you never know, your ible might be featured down the road and you will just wish that you double checked that title and fixed that little spelling mistake. Also dont ever use facebook because :( it dosnt update live :P lol The Facebook Post My Instructables

Topic by EvolvedAwesome   |  last reply

Registration and password update accepts a password that cannot be used on the site for logging in later

According to "How to Submit Bug Reports" here come the details: (A) Registration and password update accepts a password that cannot be used on the site for logging in later 1. Acer laptop, T4400 Dual-core CPU, 4GB RAM with Win7 (6.1.7601) Home Premium x64 Service Pack 1 running 2. Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:33.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/33.0 3. Instructables dot com Signup 4. Screen shots attached 5. Steps to reproduce: go to Signup, enter a valid e-mail address You remember and enter a random password e.g. 34 characters long, containing A-Z, a-z, 0-9, and some special characters, e.g. #%'(*.:?@ (I can send You the exact passwords used upon request) You can repeat this as many times You wish with the useful feature called Forgot Username/Password -> You will get the code, You can enter another password like the above and still cannot login. Another strangeness was to me that the 'restored' account had a totally different username from that I originally entered when signing up. Interesting 'phenomenon'. This does not happen with other types of passwords (weaker passwords) Suggestions & ideas: while I did not check page source, input field checking might need improvement. (Bobby Tables: A guide) Another thing (B) is that SSL on the site 'has its limits' B.1, B.2 Same specs apply B.3 Instructables dot com Signup via HTTPS B.4 I trust Your imagination, maybe there is no need for a screen shot B.5 NET::ERR_CERT_COMMON_NAME_INVALID *.a.ssl.fastly.net certification provided by DigiCert (High Assurance CA-3) Steps to reproduce: - reset or check out certificates in test browser - just open the site via https:// Suggestions & ideas: the website could use StartSSL Free or StartSSL Verified Certificates An issue connected to this one is that the SSL Signup page is useless anyway, since captcha cannot be seen and/or entered the via the HTTPS version... (screen shot attached) Suggestions & ideas: make the captcha work on the https page and redirect signups and logins there by default (and then redirect back to http if the original login request came that way) Best Regards, pc-fan

Topic by pc-fan 

Macbook Pro and Following Heartbreak

I have a problem and the people on Instructables are so smart I am hoping someone can advise me.   A year ago I used my Macbook Pro in my kitchen and happened to leave it on the kitchen table over night. I never did this before.  We had a huge storm that night and my roof leaked.  I had it repaired following Hurricane Ike and it had been fine but then something happened (I got it fixed - kind of like locking the gate after the cows get out)  and that one night was the only time I ever left my computer there or had a roof leak that was pretty bad and covered my entire table with water. When I saw my table and computer I thought I would fall out!  I picked up the computer and water ran out of it!  I didn't know then to take the battery out and let it dry out completely and I don't know if it would have worked anyway.  I whined for a day or two and then bought a new Macbook Pro.  Now I can get it to power up and it seems like it is working but there is no display. First I wonder is there a way to get that computer to work again.....Second - Is there a way to recover my videos and pictures even if that computer never works again so I can have the pictures of my best friend who recently passed away and have the pictures and videos of the wildlife I love to photograph? I am a principal so I take a lot of pictures and videos at school and make videos for students and staff.  Previously I was the assistant principal and my best friend was my principal and I have a lot of video and pictures of all the fun stuff we used to do just on off time or at school.  My best friend and principal ended up with a brain tumor and passed away a few months ago. She was young and vibrant and larger than life. The staff I inherited from her would love to see some of our videos and pictures from the days when she was healthy and our principal.  It really bothers me that I can't get my videos and pictures for both reasons, the loss of the videos that would remind me and my staff of fun times with my friend at school and because of the animal videos I feel I have lost that I would love to be able to see and use again.I spend my free time making videos and doing animal photography. I have 10 game cameras set up on my property in East Texas and I love to watch the animals.  All of my previous pictures, video, etc....is on that hard drive. I removed it and I can save to it but I can not open up the picture and videos on it. The new Macbook has updated software and I have not been able to open up iPhoto, IMovie, or IDVD and get my my pictures and videos from it.    I really wish I could get those images and videos back.   I now have that hard drive in a hard case to be used as an external hard drive.   If you read all of this, Thank you! If you have any helpful ideas I would love to hear them.  If you have any interest in the type of videos I make feel free to visit my Youtube channel at FoxysMyGirl@youtube.com  Foxy was my first great dane and I was crazy in love with that dog hence the username!   Thank you! Amy

Topic by FoxysMyGirl   |  last reply

Damaged disc(s) in the lower back - what to do and what not ;)

I got diagnosed with a damaged L5 and L6 disc in my lower back about 8 years ago and I thought writing about my experience might helps others facing the same problems. Keeping your back straight when lifting or moving heavy things was a thing I already learned and followed during my school times and as you might have guessed it helped to keep my back healthy - at the expense of my knees... But the knees are a different story, today I want to help you understand lower back problems caused by damaged or bulging discs and how this will affect your life. For me it began with a little shock. One day I got out of bed, wanted to grab something I dropped and got stuck half way up. Knowing that there are some nerves that can cause the same issue and that a simple injection will fix me I called a cab to be dragged laying down on the back seat to my GP. As you might have guessed his diagnosis was a bit worse than what I wanted to hear... Many painful hours and some scans later it was confirmed that my L5 and L6 disk have collapsed on one side and started to push on the nerves next to it. Funny side not that I never really checked was that my doc said not everyone has a L6 disk... Anyways, as with most first "accidents" involving your lower back the so called recovery was long and painful. Sure the painkillers help to numb the worst, the anti inflammatory stuff covers some pain too but actually I did not want the full pain free package deal. Pain is the bodies way to let you know something is wrong, so I kept the pain medication at a level where I got that information when making a wrong move... The first 6 months I was literally confined to my bed, the shower and the toilet. I tried to keep a position with the least amount of pain for as long as possible and for obvious reasons was not too happy that my body not only required food intake but also the disposal of the waste products - getting out of bed and onto the toilet meant experiencing huge amounts of pain every time. But after those 6 months I started to adjust, to the pain as well as what my limited body was now capable of in terms of movement. Needless to say that all this time of not doing anything really meant my scale started to scream tripple digets at me one day... Luckily around the same time my pain levels went to a level that allowed my to walk around 500-600 at slightly slower speeds than normal before the pain got too much. My doctor also got quite concerned about my blood work and body weight recommending to loose a lot if I every intent to get back to a more normal life. So I started to walk several times a day, no matter how bad the weather was, just a bit up and down the street. The distance got longer, the fitness a bit better and the pain levels a bit lower too. Using my old weight lifting belt to keep the back supported helped me a lot during these times, especially when driving or doing housework. During those times I was still on 6-8 panedine forte tablets (paracetamol and codein) plus 2-4 tablets of 20mg oxicontin and not happy about the last anyway. Despite the added levels of pain I started to reduce the level of oxicontin and started to exercise more. My focus was getting the core muscles stronger and to get better support for my back. Also started riding my bike again, although I had to replace it for a bigger model to allow me a more upright position with less stress on the lower back. The kilos started to tumble very slowly but I was already quite proud when I got bak to 90kg. :( Good thing was that I got motivation to continue as every kg I lost and every little bit more on distance I got out of my walks and rides without getting too painful also meant that my average pain level went down too. Two years after it all happened I got rid of the oxicontin completely and reached the 80kg mark. My doc was happy too, my blood work looking good but of course he still suggested to loose a few more kg. Being able to move around again also meant being able to work again and with that came more food, less exercise and a lot more stress. I did manage to hold my 80kg but after about 6 months or working I noticed my back problems started to limit me again. My back belt covered for me and I was able to keep going a while longer but in the end I got hit by another attack on my back. The diagnosis was not good at all as now on top of the pain goind through the back and leg I also hab numbness and a feeling like ants crawl over the leg and chew on it every few mm. As with most lower back "revenges" this one only needed strong pain killers for a few weeks until I was back to something more normal in terms of pain and movability. Sadly the ongoing side effects did not go away the way they did the first time. This meant especiall finding the right position to sleep with the least amount of pain was becoming a nightmare on it's own. Either you got pins and needles keeping you awake, you lost your feeling in the leg to the point where it becomes useless or the pain in the back is just stabbing you all the time. Starting some projects here on Instructables kept my mind busy and gave me some welcome distraction from the daily routine. Eventually I manged to find a job again that allowed me to have enough different movements with only a bit of lifting so things started get back to normal. My doc put me on some amitriptyline to help with the pain at night and although it took some time to get used to the stuff it really started to help after about two weeks. The job was only for a fixed term but it gave me back some confidence that not all is bad or lost. Life went on and I actually manged to get down to just 75kg and only used some painkillers once or twice a week if it was really bad. Then, a few weeks back I started to notice that the top of my foot and the outside of my leg felt different to touch, especially in the shower with some brush or rough sponge. Not being happy already I agreed to some new scans to check if the discs started to cause problems or if the nerves are just inflamed. You might have guessed already, the scan confirmed that my two discs desintegrated further putting more pressure on the already suffering nerves. With the "help" of some quite strong anti inflammatory stuff, cortisone and other meds my doc managed to get me back to "normal" but he also informed me that this won't last forever. The current outcome (without surgery but more on that later on) I have two choices to keep going: a ) I continue with pain killers and other meds to keep the problems at bay. b ) I limit myself to basically not doing anything involving the movemnt of my lower back, keep to a strict calory intake and hope for the best. The first option won't do me any good in the long run except liver, kidney and digestive problems. The second option will allow me some sort of a normal life at the expense of never finding a job to support me again. So once again we soldier on knowing that it will only make things worse as giving up and relying on social services is no option for me. Hoping that you might just had your first encounter with lower back injuries and pain I will give some advise on the things that helped my most so that you might not have to suffer as much I did and still do. So read on please... Diagnosed with a damaged or bulged disc in the lower back - what does it acutally mean? If you check all the available images of the human skelleton you will quickly notice one thing: Our lower back is not really straight and not designed to carry a lot weight when it is put on the wrong way or direction. Noone with a sane mind would use a support beam shaped like that but the human body adapted to this problem caused by changing from using all four limbs to walking on just two legs. The muscles and tendons in our back work in such a way that they support the fragile construction of discs and bones that keep us upright. Sadly modern life, personal decisions and only too often a busy work shedule prevent us from using our body the wa we should. Be it too much lifting, being far too short for your weight or simply laziness the factors causing our muscle to degrade are too many to count. But once you are in the worst pain you ever felt and your doc tells you that there are damaged discs you suddenly wish you had it all done differently years ago - trust me, I have been there and I have done it ;) Or it might be like in my case that a healthy and fit person just cracks one or more discs for no obvious reason. Either way it means you have to change your life to be able to keep going. Pain killers help to ignore the problem and pretend all is good but they should be used with great care as most are highly addictive and the long term side effects are no fun either. The one thing you must never forget is although being a life sentence it must not mean you will be crippled forever! What can I do once it happened to help the pain and my sanity? Nerve pain is one of the worst pains there is and there are only two more or less working medications to deal with it. The first meds are opiates to literally numb the pain but due to source of the pain very high levels are required until the body adapted to deal with the wrong pain information. The second group of meds that offer help and that are often used together with pain killers are old sty anti depressants like the try-cyclic (was that right?) amitriptyline. Back in the days they were not really good for the advertised job but one of the common side effects was how they worked on the pain centers of the brain. In much lower dosages as used to treat depressions these meds help the brain to deal with the pain caused by the damaged or pinched nerves. As a long term solution they should be prefered over opiates so that the strong pain killers are only taken when really needed. If you are anything like me than not getting enough sleep over weeks on end will take a toll on your mood. So being able to sleep at least a few hours in one go is a real thing to aim for unless you prefer to harm your body with pain killers. What is there to help with the pain so you can sleep? I know that you now already think you tried it all and that nothing good comes out of here but keep reading as you might be surprised... The first thing that jumps into mind when it comes to sleeping is a bed - be it you by yourself or with a partner. And here also is the first point to improve! In many countries a bed for two persons has one bad feature: A single mattress! Any movement from the person next to you is transfered more or less onto your body - you don't want that! So if you own a big bid that you share with someone think about investing into a bed with seperated matresses and support frames. That brings us to the mattress itself. A lot of people think being soft and flexible is a prefered thing, not so much if you have back problems. You want enough support to keep the back straight without everything feeling like you sleep on wooden floorboards. Keep in mind though that when changing from soft matress to something much firmer you will need to adjust. Really the best option is to seek professional advise in a bedding studio or similar. And no, you don't have to go to the most expensive place to buy a mattress, you just try them out, get expert advise and use that new knowledge to find a suitable mattress to fit the budget. With no offence meant: If you are over the normal weight you really want to loose the excess and that means selecting a new matrress on your weight goal and not on your current weight! It is also good to have adjustable supports under the mattress itself, this way you choose a thinner and bit softer mattress but still get the firmness your back requires - again seeking proffessional advise on the right combinations is highly recommended here! Ok, your bed is sorted but still there is that nagging pain in certain positions or the tingling in your leg preventing you to go to sleep. Believe it or not but what you do before you go to bed affects how you feel when you hit the sack. So sitting like a bag full of water in front of your TV until just manage to crawl into bed won't do you any good. Same for having your dinner and hour or two before bedtime... What does help is to move your body and to burn a few kalories! If it helps you use a weight lifting belt but just a walk around the block with a little bit of bending and flexing will get the tension out of muscles. A nice partner giving you a proper massage might help too but I doubt you will get one every night ;) And before you start to complain: Yes, I know there are times where simply can't do any exersise as you will be happy to make it to the toilet or to make some dinner. For those times and especially during times of experiencing higher than normal pain level ther is something you can do to ease the pain. Some doctors will tell you but a lot of them wont: Cold actually helps to numb the pain and the symptoms like tingling, pins and needles or the constant stabbing when you made a slightly wrong move. But you need to apply the cold in the right way to get the benefit! The key here is timing. Using real ice in a suitable wrapper, so no vegetables or meat, you apply the cold where the damage is - not where the pain is! You want to cool down the area around the damaged discs for about 5 to max 10 minutes. Put the icepack back and repeat every hour! Nothing will happen after the first two or three round but then you will notice improvement - how much depends on the individual and extend of the damage of course. When I have bad days I usually start around mid-day and keep going every hour until either the pain is gone or it is time to drag myself to bed. The worst you can do is o apply heat! A warm (not hot!) bath can help to ease some muscular tension but hot packs or heat lamps will make your pain get worse quickly. Just imagine and inflammation somehwere else, the area is already hot and painful so you really don't want to add more heat, do you? ;) What can be done to keep mobile and improve? As said earlier the key is support for the damaged areas and of course a limitation in movements that put additional stress on the damaged dics - this includes weight, be it from your own body in terms of excess fat or simply be lifting things! You will have times of no pain and where you think you are 20 years younger again but never use that as an excuse to think your discs have improved! Once damaged they stay damaged and everything putting more stress on you dsic(s) will make things worse. A friend of mine loves to play golf - if you have back problems you want to find a different hobby! Coming from three digits I can tell you without being offensive in any way that being fat means having problems that you don't want to add to your list caused by a bad back! So like it or not you really need to loose all the excess you can find wobbling around your body! For me every single kg I lost was a step forward to being more fit and being able to more things for longer before my pain got too much. And no, there is no excuse for keeping those kilos if are able to leave the bed for more than a few hours. Turst me, you will feel better, need far less medication and like yourself much better once the benfits of less weight kick in! Exercise is the key to getting your life back to a more or less normal level! If you are a "first offender" than you have a good chance that a change of habbit and maybe job will make sure it stays a single incident and that you can have a pain free life after the initial recovery! Getting a higher core strenght and overall fitness level helps your body to heal but most importantly gives you the option to gain muscles where needed to support your back. You might think there is nothing you can do if you are in pain and can't really move anyway but if you do then you are wrong. I am not a personal trainer but I found a lot of ways to use my muscles without using my back for it... There is enough info on the web for exercise methods without any training gear and if you think "really hard" you might notice you can use a lot of positions to exercise your arms and legs without stressing you back ;) And even for the back you can do good without damage: If you lay flat on your belly you just slightly lift your arms and legs off the ground - this will need the support of the muscles in lower back! No need to actuall lift anything high, just enough to only slightly bend your back up - you might not even notice any bending at all. What you don't want is exercise like running, jogging or even contact sports, really nothing that might force your back to move more than what is possible without stressing your discs... Better fitness and more strenght means you will get better flexibility and movablity but never let that fool you into thinking the damage is gone! I can not stress enough than even if you don't need medication and feel fine a single wrong move can make all null and void! What are the options if despite loosing weight and excercise my pain is not going away or syptoms get worse? Well, we can ignore it, we can hope it all goes away but the sad reality for most is that sooner or later you reach the point where the damage is too much too handle. The first one to tell you that your lower back is now due for a pit stop is your foot. The pain might be more than what you ever experienced the pins and needles might drive you mad but as long as it just that you are fine, really :( For me it was during some light gradening when I got my "first hit" so to say. I brushed it off thinking I tripped over something that got kicked away while I struggled to keep my balance. A few days later I noticed that I had to put some extra efford to prevent my toes from scraping the floor while walking. It was there when I also realised that most of the feeling on top of my foot was gone. Same story for the outside of my calf by the way... For me, thanks to a non working medical system and no private health cover the story ends here... Since you might have more luck: Modern medicine has gone a long way when it comes to minimal invasive operations and they are the key to performing operations that otherwise would be impossible or require months of recovery. For the "treatment" of damaged discs in the lowest part of the spinal area the old conventional treatment was to fuse the bones together using some steel or titanium rods. To give the patient relief the dmaged disc was more or less mutilated to free the damaged nerve(s). Several weeks of bed rest and great loss in movement was the price to pay for less pain. Today we are much further and can use micro instruments to perform operations deemed impossible only a few years ago. One of the operations with the greatest and fastest recovery rates is actually quite smart if you think about it: A small portion of bone is removed to give more room for the nerve and to aid in the healing - without fusing the bones! The next step is remove the part of the disc that is bulging out - without removing the strong support layers around it, only the mashed up bits are taken away. The patient is literally pain free ( from the back pain) right after the operation. Healing takes about 2-3 weeks but by then even the pain from the cut bones will be gone. Some health insurers see these operations as a means to get a person back to work and into a normal life, so they support it. Others use simple math and decide pain killers are cheaper... In any case you should seek professional advice from your doc and health care provider before it is too late! Diagnosed and operated early can mean you get the option to have an almost normal life again, or at least a few years of being able to enjoy life much more than before the operation. There are of course risks involved and an opration might not be an option for every case but knowing your options and what form of treatment might be available for you can be reall life changing... Ok, but what's the worst that can happen to me if a simple operation is no longer an option? One of the first things you will notice after loosing control and feeling for your foot is a more or less contant need to go the toilet. Despite having an empty bladder or just using the toilet minutes ago you can develop the feeling that you really must go the toilet again. Sadly this is only the beginning... If things get worse you can loose control over your bladder and bowel. Simply put it means you no longer control the muscular tension required to keep you vital openings closed when required. Usually at this point your doctor will recommend to operate one way or the other. For you, if affected, this means you have to decide between the risk of an operation that might only last for a few months or years or wearing adult nappies... If you already had one or more operation or the damage to the disc(s) is too severe it can mean that there is no other option but to fuse the bones into place to prevent further damage and allow for some healing. But trust me, for your doc to even consider an operation you need to loose all the weight you can! What are my limitations after having my back bones fused together? Well, as it reads you will be fused together, meaning you level of movement will be severly limited. It also means you beep all the time at the airport security or when entering a court or other place with metal detectors - but that is the least of the worries I guess... The main problem after such operations is getting back to a life as normal as possible. You get a lot of help in rehab and will learn what you can and can't do, plus of course how to keep you fit despite these limits. Some people cope really good with the new limitations but others struggle a lot. This especially true if before the person was really active and doing a lot in terms of sport and outdoor activities. Learning to adapt to the changes allows you have many more years without too much pain or limitations. Sure, Golf is out of the question, playing soccer or riding a normal bike too but life goes on and being a part of it is always better than just looking at it through your bedroom window ;) In any case giving up should not be an option for you! No matter how bad it looks when the pain is too much, there are always more good days than bad days ahead of you! Go ahead, share your experience with back pain, what you do keep going and handle the pain. Share you information about what treatments helped you the most and share how you recovered to where you are now. Be an inspiration for those facing what we already went through! Real back pain based on nerve damage will only be understood by someone who experienced it - what did you do to make the people around you understand it? Whatever helped you might help someone wha just started to learn how to deal with damaged discs and back pain, so sharing is caring! ;)

Topic by Downunder35m   |  last reply

How to Go to Maker Heaven

Dear Pier 9, You are a place like no other, and I’m so glad you came into my life.  I was a full time Artist in Residence at the Pier for 4 months, and I doubt I have ever been so simultaneously intellectually stimulated, inspired and intimidated at any other point.  When I came to the Pier I had been living in New York for 8 years, and I had just decided to make a permanent migration back to my homeland on the West Coast.  I’d heard rumors about the rampant culture of innovation in the Bay Area, but I was still totally unprepared for the explosion of creative energy and excitement that is the nerdy artist heaven called Pier 9. Maybe I’m just getting older and less jaded… but in the last few years, I have felt a change in the world, a shift in attitude from angst to optimism, from critique to creation, and I think places like the Pier exemplify this new positive force.  The fact that a multinational corporation like Autodesk has allocated a significant amount of resources to giving the imaginations of a bunch of madcap inventors, artists, engineers and other creatives free reign in a beautiful lab with a bunch of cutting edge machines… well, to me that says good things about the direction of the world.  But what really makes the Pier special, I think, is the fact that all the creativity taking place there is fundamentally motivated by the philosophy of Instructables; by the idea that knowledge should be shared.  I have never encountered a group of people so willing to share their ideas and skills, and so excited to help make other people’s dreams a reality.  And the feeling was really infectious!  Everyone was so ridiculously helpful, that on the rare occasion I had the opportunity to teach someone else a skill, it felt like a treat. That’s not to say that my experience at the Pier was all sunshine and roses.  It was exhausting and draining, and very ego challenging.  When I first arrived I was incredibly overwhelmed by all the new information I was intaking.  I had projects in mind, but those ideas were quickly swept away in the tide of new ideas that arose with every fascinating technology, and possibility I encountered.  Having nearly unlimited options can be paralyzing, and I fell pray to this paralysis many times at the Pier.  One of the pitfalls of having so many amazing minds in one place is that someone always has a new idea that will either revolutionize the project you are working on, or cause you to completely change direction and start working on something new.  That can be great, but if you aren’t careful it can cause acute artistic ADD. I think most creative journeys have a similar arc.  When you are learning new skills, it can take a while for the quality of the work you are producing to catch up with your creative vision.  I definitely felt that way at the Pier.  During my time there, my work ended up going on a journey from two dimensions to three dimensions.  I started out by experimenting with laser cutting.  I am a costume designer, and was interested in creating a wearable mechanical flower that would illuminate and open and close in response to its environment.  My first attempts to create this form felt very flat and lifeless to me, so I stepped away from the flower project and focused on figuring out how to create something much more three dimensional with the two dimensional process of laser cutting.  The result was a costume constructed from laser cut leather and el wire.  After that I decided I was ready to tackle 3D modeling and 3D printing, so I went back to my flower idea, and spent the rest of my time at the Pier testing and developing this form.  It was a really new and interesting process, 3D modeling and prototyping with the amazing Objet printers.  It also gave me the chance to work closely with two other awesome Artists in Residence, Paolo Salvagione and JoeJoe Martin.  It really underlined for me that the most important resource at the Pier is the people.  No matter how many incredible machines you have under one roof, they are only as good as the minds running them.  Noah Weinstein and the other amazing innovators who run the Pier have done such an incredible job of gathering together a diverse, brilliant, exciting, and truly kind-hearted group of people… the place practically buzzes with welcoming creative energy as soon as you walk through the door.  Also, putting relatively self-actualized creators in an environment where there are so many options and resources results in some incredibly interesting glimpses into individual human passion and curiosity.  I might not have fully understood why some of my fellow AiRs were so fascinated by stacking tetrahedrons, drawing graphically detailed pictures of intestinal parasites, or creating physical bodies for virtual bots, but witnessing each artist’s commitment to their singular pursuit was in itself a fascinating and beautiful experience. So much of our lives are spent trying to make practical things happen, it’s an rare opportunity to get to spend a dedicated amount of time just exploring the potential of creative ideas.  I really think that is what Pier 9 is about, providing a place that nurtures our human desire to create, explore and learn… with a kick ass set of resources to facilitate that exploration.  Honestly, during my time there I wish I had been able to let go and enjoy that process more.  It’s not always easy to escape the concepts of deadlines and expectations, but sometimes freeing yourself from those constraints is the only way to create anything truly new.  I very much believe that what is growing at Pier 9 is a new and exciting kind of creative ecosystem, and I hope it will inspire the creation of many more similar environments.  I feel incredibly lucky to have gotten a chance to be an explorer on the frontiers of Maker Land.  Thank you so much Noah and Vanessa.

Topic by MikaelaHolmes   |  last reply

Anyone ever read this book? "Boys Handy Guide" (?)

I used to have a book, from about the 1920's, which I believe was called something like "The Handy Book for Boys" or "The Boys handy Guide" or something similar. It was a HUGE book, with illustrations, on how a boy could make just about anything - from building a raft, or a rowboat or a sailboat, to making root beer, fireworks, forts, aquariums, aviaries, traps, bows and arrows, games to play, how to whittle - it was a most amazing book, and of course, I lost my copy. So when this new book came out: "The Dangerous Book for Boys", everyone & myself included, got all excited about it, but it seems to be a pale imitation of what I used to have. the one thing I do remember about that old book, was it made a lot of assumptions about being able to easily acquire things that I would have no idea how to go about today - chemicals and glazier's leading and such, but I sure wish I could find another copy of that book. I bet it would be a great resource for creating new instructables or getting ideas - anyone else out there know about this book, or where to get myself another one? It seems like perfect reading material for this website! Some other things I remember; I remember the book being red, and being printed in England - it made a lot of references to the United States and had a very "English" writing style and wording. Ah-Hah! thank you Tool Using Animal - your perseverance has paid off for me. If anyone is at all interested in these books - look at the links in the comments below for a Project Gutenberg copy of the Boy Mechanic and a PDF version of The American Boys Handy Book from Google - both great resources for How-To's for all ages. Especially check out the illustrations for the boy-sized glider inside the Boy mechanic book - can you imagine allowing a kid to do something like that nowadays? Think of the lawsuits!!! :-)

Topic by timgesner   |  last reply

A week in a proper car.

I've been driving Womble for exactly a week now, and some things have occurred to me. I thought I'd share them, in no particular order.I enjoy driving again.Because I'm driving, not steering. No power steering, no servo brakes, I am in touch with what the car is doing every second I'm driving. I do something, and I get instant feedback. I'm suddenly redeveloping all the good driving habits I used to have - looking further ahead and watching traffic more, correct hand-position on the wheel, feeding the wheel through my hands as I turn, slowing with gears before brakes.It's a cliche, but it's seat-of-the-pants driving.I drove Kitewife's Focus a couple of days ago, it was a disaster! Taps the brakes, do an emergency stop - steer with two fingers, weave all over the road. There's no feedback, nothing to tell me by feel exactly how much braking I'm doing, or how fast the wheels are turning. I had to look at the dials to check the speed and watch the revs before changing gear.Modern cars, I have decided, are only one step short of video games.Maybe that's part of the reason for the rise in roadrage?There's no need to take pride or care, because the car does it all for you. Spend enough money, and the only thing that will kill you is if you drive at a tree. Even that may not be possible with radar-triggered brakes soon to become more common.If you have abdicated all responsibility for your safety to a mindless mechanism, who do you blame if something goes wrong? Where do you direct your anger? The only target left is the other driver.I seem to have joined a sub-culture.I'm not the only driver of a proper Mini in my area. I pass two or three every day. Amongst others, I've seen a white one, striped pink, with a bubbly blonde driving. I've seen a 70s Traveller in immaculate condition. Several jobbing Minis, in every-day-driving state, and a Mini wedged full of teenage lads, fully kitted out for racing, roll-cage and all.Every single one of them waved, flashed their lights or otherwise said "hello" as we passed. I have never seen drivers of other kinds of car do that. It's pretty good, getting a friendly wave from a stranger. It lifts your day, puts a smile on your face.It's like we share a happy secret. Minis attract comment more than cars that cost fifty times as much.If people see a Ferrari in the car park, they might nudge each other and make admiring comments, but if they see a Mini, they come over, say hello. On Saturday, a huge hairy rocker, returning to his big Japanese family car, children in tow, left his children in his car, and came over for a chat about the surprisingly roomy interior of my Mini, and an idle chat about the type of engine (single-point injection, if you're wondering).People might wish they could afford a supercar, but they are genuinely jealous of people who actually own a proper Mini.Everybody has a Mini in their closet.I'm not really a petrol head, and I don't work with petrol heads, but suddenly everybody wants to talk about cars. They all seem to have had an adventure in a Mini, their own or a friend's. Half of them regret having sold their Mini years ago.OK, so the old Minis don't meet modern safety rules. They're slow, utterly lacking in luxuries (my heater has two settings - on or off), but if somebody started building them new, using the original molds for the panels and frames (they still exist), and charged five or six thousand pounds a pop, they would make an absolute fortune.

Topic by Kiteman   |  last reply

Pier 9 is Disneyland for Makers

The amount of resources this place has is impossible to describe. If you really want to learn all the equipment at Pier 9 it will probably take you 2 years to fully know how every machine works. People here love making things and it felt like home. For me making is not only the transformation of the object into the final piece but it's a transformation in me, how my emotions change as I build. I never felt more connected to my work as in Pier 9. It's been a few months since I finished my residency and to be honest every week I think of quitting my job and going back. It has been one of my most memorable experiences in the past couple of years and if you are thinking of applying, stop thinking and APPLY! (3 good friends: John, Xander and Wei are now AiR after I shared my experience with them) I applied to be an AiR because I had a bunch of personal projects I wanted to make and had been really busy working at SRI designing really amazing robots to "save the world". Most of the projects I was working back at that time were kind of long and most of them involved DARPA funding (confidential- can't talk about). In contrast, I wanted to make shorter projects, just for fun. Pier 9 seemed like a perfect place. It is located over the water, you will be literally cutting wood on the table saw with the most amazing view of downtown SF. I live in Menlo Park so I would take the Caltrain and get of at King St. Then I would bike for 10 minutes along the Embarcadero. At night, I would bike facing the Bay Bridge Lights. Overall beautiful commute. When I joined in November 2013, things were still being organized at the Pier. For example, making a reservation for a class was super easy and intuitive. a few months after that there was a more complicated process and it felt the classes were always full. The AiR lounge/office had white walls and no furniture so I decided to make a few projects to make our space a little nicer. I also made the AiR wallet to keep the credit card safe (we used to have a big clamp to store our credit card). One final addition, was the AiR roster that I pulled together to know all of the other AiR and have their contact info. One of my objectives at the Pier was learning to do CNC. I started working with the ShopBot and learned to do 2.5 CNC fairly quickly. I enjoyed making CNC furniture for the Pier. I hope the Piggy Coffee table is still in the AiR lounge. After that I continued working with CNC and made a clock and a sunglass case. I wished the DMS 5 axis was running before I left the Pier so I could make my lounge chair from a tree trunk. I do want to say sorry for all of the router bits I broke, all of the toxic materials I used and any other unethical things I've done! I will miss Pier 9 but I what I will miss the most is the people. There were about 10-15 Artists in Residence at any given time. That meant that every week or two, a new talented artist was joining and another one was saying goodbye. The best part was that we all shared our work and got great comments and feedback from the rest of the group. The amount of creativity and diversity was unbelievable. I have to make a special mention to my shop teacher and friend Sean. He has been a great companionnon several all nighters at the Pier. We would be doing some crazy amount of work in the evening and going to bed around 7 am. I would go and sleep for a long while but he always had to come back to the Pier and teach a class. Sean was responsible for teaching me some tricks on a couple of machines so thanks to him my time was more effective. Another thing I will miss is going to the woodshop and see Sam working on the next modification to the shop. He was always with a friendly smile giving us advice while he was finishing his project. I also would like to thank Taylor Stein and Arthur Harsuvanakit. Both work at Autodesk and they have tought me and a bunch of AiR how to use some of the Autodesk software. Last, another thanks to Randy Sarafan, he also was another late night worker and companion. Thanks again to Noah and Vanessa for making my dreams come true. Alejandro (alepalan)

Topic by alepalan 

Project: bead printer

Hey everyone! My name is Michael and I have a project I'm working on: a fuse beads automatic "printer". After I got my mechanical eng. degree I was looking for a project to prove to myself it was worth it. I guess being a maker was my secret ambition, and I felt I needed some project to be proud of.  While babysitting my little cousins and doing some works with Perler beads, I thought to myself: hey! this is cool- I should try making something bigger! and so, as my works grew larger, I began to wonder- can I make it automatic?   What are fuse beads?  These are small beads made from plastic that come in various colors, and can melt under a regular home iron. Its a kids toy- you place a pattern on a mat, iron it- and get cool results. google it!   What is it supposed to do?  The idea is simple: place individual beads of various colors on a mat full of small spikes according to a pattern. sounds simple, doesn't it? I think its good to first look at a 2 color (black-white) simple scheme and try to print it on a small part of the board. Once the mechanical part is finished, the real programming will start.   Some numbers:  The beads are about 5[mm] in diameter and in height. A typical board is 30X30 spikes. A piece could usually contains 2-10 main colors.   !!STOP!!! Before you read my concept, I would like to know- how would you try to make this project? I have had this idea in my mind for over a year now, and I'm looking for new ideas.   The concept so far: As I've mentioned, its been a long journey already. I am far from having a working prototype and am open to suggestions. The "printer" I designed is similar to a CNC machine: a tube has 15 beads in it. The tube is moved above the board, placing the beads. Refill will be done manually since I wish to prove the mechanics first. I made the printer with Lego and an NXT controller and engines, simply because I had it at home. I tried making a 2 axis motion using a rack and gear (with transmission), moving a tube with beads in it. To my dread, the beads do not like falling off when placed on top of one another (in the tube), so I used a third engine, converting the rotary motion into linear one, applying a small force over the tube to prevent the beads from falling, moving them to the next position, than letting go. I discovered the engines are not as accurate as I would have wanted, and the results are meh. I will add some pictures at a later time as I need to re-assemble it.     Thanks a lot for reading, and I hope we can make this dream come true- lets have some fun!  

Topic by TheWildShnitzel   |  last reply

My experience as an AIR

Wow! What an experience. Probably the most enjoyable, action packed, creativity-loaded 2 months of my life.  I have been tinkering in what I used to call shops; building, hacking, creating, for as long as I can remember but this... this was more than I had ever dreamed. The residency program at Instructables is a dream come true. Access to a state of the art shop, surrounded by creative, inspiring, fun people. What more could you ask for. Take one of the most creative, forward thinking, cutting edge areas of the United States (the Bay); the coolest city in that area (San Francisco); the prettiest/most unique part of that city (the Embarcadero) and slap the worlds best creative work shop on it, right over the water (Pier 9). Walking in the doors for the first time was surreal. From the swinging meeting table to the coolest kitchen I have ever seen; water jet to brand new Bridgeport; 3-D printers to industrial sewing machines, Instructables has done it. Within hours of being assigned a desk I was signing up for workshop classes and using Autodesk software to mock up some design ideas for the bicycle frame jig I spent most of my residency building. I later used this jig to build a bicycle frame.  Not only was I having a blast building what I wanted to build, I was building skills I hope to use professionally. I am hoping to start my own business building custom bicycle frames. The time to tinker and build at Instructables gave me a tremendous jump start. I wish it hadn't ended.

Topic by Tanner W   |  last reply

The Middle East and the Global Hackerspace Movement

Please follow me and imagine this. You're in a city and are taking a rattling train somewhere to the edge of town. The buildings get shorter as they get wider. You are entering the industrial area where the jobs dried up long ago. Where there are more broken windows than whole ones in each building. You pass the streets your parents warned you about and a street covered in "DO NOT CROSS" tape. Two stops later you get off at the stop your friends told you about questioning your sanity and wondering why your friends brought you out there. The graffiti is beautiful though, and somewhere in the distance you can hear the thump of heavy bass. The address your friend gave you can't be right, you look up and see a massive complex thankfully this one seemed to have more of it's windows intact. You push the rusting door noticing the rough texture and surprising heft. You walk in and see a roughly refinished hallway. The drywall isn't yet painted but it appears that this massive factory has been transformed on the inside. You pass a few drywalled off artists studios on the first floor and they smile at you with plaster in their hair. It smells like lavender and you notice you just passed an artist making candles. The "hackerspace" your friend told you about is on the second floor. So you walk to the cargo elevator and push the call button. It makes a horrifying rattling sound as it descends to meet you, instead of a door it has a grate. You take it up and as it slowly moves you can see concrete, then wood and suddenly the thumping bass get's louder - Hello Skrillex. It's too much to take in at first, you only notice the chaos. There are tools everywhere and in every state of operation. A wall of computer monitors lines the back wall. There's someone binding books in the corner, and what appears to be a viking with knitting needles sitting in what appears to be a lounge, he looks up and smiles at you and says "welcome to Scrumspace*!" you've arrived at your first hackerspace. Notice an open basket of dollar bills and place a 2 dollar donation in the basket near the fridge and grab yourself a drink from the fridge in the kitchen. You walk into a common area painted like a scene from Super Mario with what appear to be server racks painted as the tubes. Finally you see your friend. He walks in with a scorched shirt and you see his eyes twinkling through the welding goggles. "Told you this place is awesome!" he says. Hackerspace Values and Culture Hackerspaces like this exist almost all over the world. These places collect (and perhaps helps inspire) people who are passionate initiators. Walking into one you might find someone who wants to share a new iPad application which monitors the GPS on the weather balloon they've released -"It's over //CHINA// right now!!". People in hackerspaces are happy to share, it's a part of the culture! Interacting with them is often uplifting and inspiring. They are building and creating things they think is amazing. They may be playing with technology or science or art without concern for the categories. The only apparent question they ask themselves is how AWESOME is this!? It's a contagious atmosphere of capability where people learn from each other constantly. They can't help it! People are so passionate about what they are doing, they inadvertently teach. The other feature of a hackerspace which is more important is that they give people a venue. It's an open space that is owned by the members. Need a place to host a workshop on hat felting, it's yours! Need a place to build the first prototype of your product? Just make sure you pack it in the lockers when you're done working on it! The atmosphere is fundamentally collaborative. It can't be anything except participatory because of the way the spaces are most often organized and run. There is no single owner. Everyone pays for a portion of the rent, and more importantly everyone brings something new to the table. They might bring with them a new tool, their coffee machine, a desire to set up a program to run a STEM program for children. The spaces become a snapshot the local community of amazing people and their projects. Many of these people started developing their projects during their final years in university. But their is a gap between a school project and feeling capable to take it and turn it into something yourself. I'd love to start here. With these fresh graduates. These young people who (perhaps not coincidentally) are also the driving force behind the revolutions of the middle east. This is a great place to start. These are the young people changing their countries today. They feel empowered to change long standing traditions and the culture of oppression in their governments. Perhaps it's also time to give them the tools to do the same for their local communities. Where they have the ability to have a more direct impact. Who the heck cares about the government if you are free to repave your roads, create alternative energy from solar power, clean your own water and start your own online webstore distributing products that are rapidly prototyped and drop shipped to other places around the world. Sure you might call this line of reasoning anarchistic. But when the systems around you are falling apart, banding together to pick up the pieces is the admirable thing to do. Social entrepreneurship in the states often focuses on countries outside the states. They basically act as for profit NGOs. Non profit organizations as they operate in America don't exist in the middle east. Thus I'm beginning to think that the concept of social entrepreneurship might just be a great way forward for these countries. Doing well by doing good! This concept is a development hack, and one that could possibly have it's roots in the Hackerspace scene. There are features of hackerspaces that I see can give rise to more DIY social entrepreneurship in the middle east. They are: 1) The culture of good. Make something wonderful. Share it with others online and off. Be inspired and inspiring. 2) The availability of tools along with the docracy culture. If you want to see it, do it. 3) A supportive global and local community which has within it stories of other successes to emulate. Where does this culture come from? It appears to be derived from the open source movement. Open source technology is often spearheaded by a few individuals but is maintained, built and supported by a global community of makers who want the tech for themselves as well. Do you want to see that feature? Write it? But don't edit the program and keep it to yourself! Share! That's a doocracy combined with the culture of sharing that the internet helps so much to support. All of this seems to be directed by the common value for people of all ideologies. The golden rule. Do for others as you wish to have done for yourself. Do you want free tools. Freedom. Access to clean water? A cheap space to build projects? Free vector drawing software? Be a doer. Be a part of the change. And then share with others. Your vision is what makes the future. These are some of the amazing features of these spaces. This is why I am in love with hackerspaces, open source technology and makers of all types. They are beautiful people who come from all types of backgrounds who get together to create a culture of sharing and collaboration that enhances their local communities and connects them globally. If you have not visited your local hackerspace yet, visit it. If you live in a place without a space, put your name up on hackerspaces.org, I'm sure you will find like minded people who crave this type of community. Hackerspaces in the Middle East Now that we have described hacker culture and hackerspaces can a space like this become a the hub and home of amazing people in the Middle East? Does the west have a monopoly on awesome. Absolutely not. Are middle easterners creative Heck yes! Are they inspired to work collaboratively? Heck yes! Are they educated? Heck yes! Do they want to fix the problems they see around them? Heck YES! Are they powerful? Heck YES! Again and again I've seen example after example of the young people in the middle east (yes, those that are 30% unemployed) showcasing example after example of incredible projects. And talking to them a message I hear over and over is that they want to show the world that in Beirut, Baghdad, or Cairo things other than violence is created. They want to create positive news that goes out to the world. They want to reach out to the world and participate in sharing! Here's a short list of incredible people I've met personally in my two short trips to the middle east: Bassam Jalgha Tarek Ahmed Ahmed Tohamy Salma Adel Rami Ali's Smart Breadboard Marc Farra Maya Kreidieh Cairo Hackerspace Book Scanner Project An awesome home automation system in Baghdad Iraq Mustafa Elnagar Furkan Alp Pehlivan Hind Hobeika's Butterfleye Project Jad Berro's Tank Robot Mounir Zoorob Octocopter! Here's a video of Munir's octocopter: Beirut is beautiful:   One incredible graduation project by Cairo Hackerspace organizer Salma Adel is one that focuses on the very heart of the maker movement and looks at the artisan as the creator of value. How do you take new design, match it with old technology and create amazing new products. I'm proud to know she's an active memeber at Cairo Hackerspace:  I hope I have shown you that there are already "hackers", makers and entrepreneurs there in the middle east. People with the open source attitude Arabs with the culture of sharing and collaboration. There are many here that work with the Google Technology User Groups or other open source initiatives. Linux user groups. Tons of coworking spaces. And some incredible incubators and entrepreneurship cultural development projects. Android phones are more popular in Egypt than the iPhone from my own small survey. It might have initially started as a cost issue has turned into a passion with Ubuntu, firefox, Android and other open source technologies really taking off. A few things were missing though. If you read hacker news you will begin to think that anyone with a desire to make foursquare mashups is an entrepreneur. In the middle east we have incredibly skilled people languishing after college while their counter parts in the west are out attempting to recreate Facebook. Why?! I think it has to do with the lack of proper story telling about entrepreneurship in the Middle East. Wamda seems to be helping greatly in that regard, but we need more publications talking about this issue! This also comes in concert with an inability to find cofounders. Why? A lack of collaboration? Why? A lack of self initiated projects? Solution? Do stuff. Just do it. Where? Here. At your local hackerspace. Do you have an interesting idea you want to try? A drone to take ariel pictures of the pyramids? Or a service like Utlub which delivers soap to bathers who are wet and realize they ran out of soap. Well in a space like a hackerspace you can do it! The tools are there. But more importantly you will find collaborators! People who are willing to jump on board to help!al Patterns of Propagation The Arab world is not just ready for Hacker culture, hacker culture is already there. My work with GEMSI is simply to connect the right people together and showcase the awesome possibilities hackerspace afford their communities and attempt to create the right environment to allow these amazing people to take their own future into their hands like they already are, but to do it not only politically, but financially, and with direct community education and organizing. Before I went to the middle east I was privileged to participate in the rise of the hackerspace movement in the United States. In 2007 there were very few (if any self identified) hackerspaces in the United States. That same year Mitch Altman, Bre Pettis, and Nick Farr went on a trip to Germany visiting the hackerspaces that were there. Being filled with inspiration and the realization that these spaces were created by PEOPLE who wanted to set them up. They came back to the states and started Noisebridge, NYCResistor and HacDC respectively. Due to the culture of sharing, they started putting up projects online. They shared the process of creating these spaces. And slowly at first people started noticing that they too could start their own local community spaces for creation and we started seeing them grow rapidly. The mathematical name of the function that describes this type of growth is exponential. The more spaces that existed that have this culture of sharing the more people heard about them and wanted them in their own cities. Then something wonderful happened. The economy collapsed in 2008 which had two very positive effects on the development of hackerspaces:  People were freed from their jobs  Space was becoming cheap as tons of manufacturing facilities were abandoned. Check out this chart which shows the rapid growth of hackerspaces and the acceleration around 2008/9. Hacker culture is an attitude that anything can be done by any resource available. MacGyver will make you a mouse trap from your sunglasses and your underpants. A hacker would use it to make a one way privacy screen for your cellphone. But how do you transmit a culture? This is why a space is so important. Having a place where people can sit with others and recognize the possibilities. To see the value in the stuff they know, to share it with others and to build together. The first few hackerspaces that are being set up in the middle east have the same property of viral transmission as we saw in America. Istanbul Hackerspace and Base Istanbul are both hackerspaces in Turkey. Istanbul Hackerspace being in the European part and Base Istanbul in asian section. As widely spread apart as they are, they both have something in common. Both founders had visited a hackerspace, one in Japan and the other in Germany before coming home and deciding they wanted to start one there. It's kind of incredible to see the same pattern repeat in the middle east. This appears to be a universal need, the need for community, creativity and having a open space to build your future. The pattern has been proven in Egypt as well. Alexandria's hackerspace initiative was galvanized after a delegation of students visited  Cairo Hackerspace two hours to the south. It's exciting to see the very same forces at work that took the hackerspaces from being a concept barely known to having a large impact on the American Entrepreneurial and cultural landscape in five short years years at work in Egypt. Cairo Hackerspace currently is without their space but is actively seeking a new one and it's one of my current goals to help in any way I can. Let's conclude with the list of hackerspaces just starting up in Egypt and Beirut. This is just the start. Keep an eye on these guys and know that there will be many many more to come: Egypt: Cairo Hackerspace El Minya Hackerspace Alexandria Hackerspace Mansoura Hackerspace Egypt Fablab (Same idea ;) Lebanon: Beirut Hackerspace (link coming soon) If you'd like to talk more about the global development of hackerspaces. Let's continue talking online at GEMSI's facbebook group. *Scrumspace does not exist as a hackerspace. If you like the name take it!

Topic by lamedust   |  last reply

Hydrogen Peroxide at home and in the Garden

Although the topic is quite old for some of us and mostly because I am too lazy today to make an Instructable: Hydrogen Peroxide ! Back in the day Hydrogen Peroxide was mainly known for the ability to bleech your hair, later it replaced chlorine based products for the preparation of paper and organic fibres. For me it is a good opportunity to go back in time and to pull out some of the remedies my grandparents already used. Who knows, there might be something that helps you or you might know other good uses that I failed to mention here, so feel free to comment. First off: What actually is hydrogen peroxide? We could check Wikipedia but I think it is enough to say that it basically water with an added oxgen mulecule which turn the stuff into a quite powerfull oxidizer. When hydrogen peroxide reacts the added oxygen is released and the normal water remains. Precausions and health risks. In the normal supermarket form hydrogen peroxide comes at a strenght of just 3%. This is just enough for wound treatment or cleaning off a fresh and small stain. The stuff you can buy at your hair dresser comes in concentrations of 5-15%, above that it is of little use to them. Pool grade peroxide however can come as high as 50%. It often requires a permit of at least leaving a copy of your drivers license to buy such high concentration but well worth it price wise. The downside of anything above 5% is a risk for your skin, eyes and airways. So when handling hydrogen peroxide you should waer long sleeve rubber gloves, safety or better swimming goggles and make sure that you don't create vapour by spraying it against the wind direction. Having water at hand to dilute and spillage on your skin is always good. What happens to me if things go wrong? Well, if handled correctly nothing should go wrong but of cause the worst would be eye contact. Getting concentrated hydrogen peroxide in your eyes means extreme pain and even with rinsing it out asap eye damage is more than just possible. Again: wear proper eye protection and if spraying use a filter mask, the paper type is enough!!! Nothing immediate happens on sking contact but a few minutes after contact the skin will turn slightly brown or goes white. This is caused by the oxygen release into your skin cells, if washed off quickly after noticing the discoloration will fade after a few hours. Prolonged exposure of the skin can cause skin cells to fully discolor and living cells might get damaged - a burning sensation is usually the sign that you need to wash the area now ;) Enough bad stuff said, let's see what we can do in the garden.... Fungal infection of your old roses or on your fruit trees? Sometimes the weather does not like our plants and by the time we discover a fungal infestation it is usually pruning time. There are commercial producta available that work quite well but especially the copper based ones tend to do more harm than good in th long run. An alternative is a solution of 10-20% hydrogen peroxide. Spray generously over all affected parts of the plant, leaves, twigs, stem and all. Make sure everything is properly wet! In some cases the fungus can act as a water replellent and it seems impossible to get any of the solution to wet these areas - a drop of dish washing liquid into the bottle will fix this! Watever runs off can be left as it only helps to get oxygen into the soil but of course you should not soak the area... Leave it on for about an hour, around 20 minutes if it quite warm. Rinse all off with clear water and repeat every 2 days for 5 treatments all up. After this time wait 2 or 3 weeks and check if the fungus still gows in some hard to reach areas. If so then repeat the treatment there until satisfied but wait another 2 weeks every 5 single treatments. In some areas of the world certain types of fungus on roses are refered to as "rust". ----- Moved into a new home and the garden beds smell really bad? The last house I moved into had a previous occupant with a big dog but no time to clean after his pet. The garden beds looked dead and I mean so dead that I could not even find weeds in them. And the smell was a distinct mix of old dog poo with lots of fresh cat poo mixed in it - the perfect outdoor pet toilet :( Trying to dig it all under made me recover that the top soil was more §$&*# than soil. I had to get rid of the bacteria of all the poo and somehow neutralize a lot of the unwanted "nutrients". The solution was to first loosen all the soil as deep as I could go. Then I added rice straw (but anything straw like or dry grass will do) to mix it through. At this stage I wished I had a gas mask LOL All up the contaminated garden beds covered about 20square meters. I got a 10 liter canister of pool grade hydrogen peroxide, from this I diluted down with 20 liters of water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid to help with the soil wetting. All was applied as evenly as I good with a watering can and then the area was covered with some tarp to try keeping as much oxygen on and in the soil as possible. A day later the tarp was removed and all beds watered with hose to drowning point. This watering was repeated every 3 days for 3 weeks to drive out all the excess and unwanted nutrients from the poo. The smell was already gone except for some cat urine residue which disappeared after some rounds of watering. Three months after the initial treatment I did some soil tests, added nutrients were required and the next season I had vegetables growing :) ----- Planting? Whether from seeds or seedlings, give hydrogen peroxide a try! I use a 5% solution to soak the potting mix I use before putting my seeds in it. Not only does it kill a few of the unwanted things that might still be in there but it adds a lot of oxygen into the soil, which gives the seeds a much better start. For seeds I use a 5% solution as well but only leave them in for about an hour before placing them between some wet paper towels until they start germinating. This way I can be sure all harmful bacteria and fungal spores are dead and I can use a sterile seed to keep going. Might just be my opinion but I think the germination rate is better and seedling in comparison start growing faster and stronger. Home uses.... As we learned before hydrogen peroxide, at least in higher concentrations is a powerful way to remove fungus. In our bathrooms we often have the problem that the ceiling starts to develop black spots as in the colder times water condenses here and takes a long time to dry off. If you now go to your favorite hardware store they will recommend the use of a chlorine based product, basically bleach... And although it does the job it also means your house will stink for days and if you scrub the ceiling you will get it on your sking and stink too. Hydrogen peroxide at 20% or higher concentrations can be sprayed onto the cleiling :) Of course you will need good protection for this and all things color should be removed, like towels or floor mats. By protection I mean a minimum of swimming goggles, a tyvek suit or similar to cover all exposed skin areas and at least a paper dust mask, better a filtered respirator like you use for spray painting or using insecticides. If you have a spray bottle with an adjustable nozzle then a stream is far better than a spray mist!! Not only is your exposure far lower but it much easier to wet the ceiling quickly. Wet all affected areas, then leave and the room, close the door and take off all clothes you used t protect you. The clothes can be left out to dry but double check that you had no soaked spot where your sking might have been in contact - if so rinse the skin with plenty of water! It will take some time to work and then dry, so best to do this in the summer time or if during the colder times you need to make sure the room is porperly heated and aired out to dry! Repeat until all black spots are gone, really bad areas will leave a permanent discoloration looking like a slight brwonish color is the ligh it right otherwise you won't see it. Once fully dry it is best to scrape off all lose paint and then to use a acrylic based sealer before giving the ceiling a fresh coat of white. The sealer will prevent the water to penetrate more than the paint level and if you get the fungus back on the paint it is far easier to clean ;) ----- Carpet cleaning.... When moving into a new rental with carpet on the floor you often are left with areas indicating the carpet might be "clean" but the underlay certainly is not. You can fix the underlay but you certainly can make sure all harmful stuff is gone from the carpet. Carpet cleaning machines can be hired but often much cheaper if you buy the "recommended" cleaning product with it. Rent is usually based on a daily base and price depends on how much cleaner you need. If you only want to desinfect the carpet which otherwise looks mostly fine than go for the smallest pack available and use it to spot clean areas you want cleaner first. For the desinfecting part I recommend to test how high you can go with the concentration of the hydrogen peroxide before using it on a big scale - keep in mind the carpet will never be fully dry and the remaining peroxide will continue to act! Test a 10% solution first before you go higher as you don't want to buy 30 liters or more of pool grade peroxide - just trust me on that one and only try to buy this much you do want to get into trouble a few days later! If 10 percent solution left on the carpet does not cause any bleaching of the fabric (unwanted bleaching that is) you can try higher for spot cleaning in demanding areas. A good spot to try the solution is under the cover or duct outlets, under these joining bars where carpet changes to tiles (if you can lift them off) or in wardrobes if the carpet goes inside. There are two way to treat your carpet once the general cleaning is done. a) use a garden sprayer or similar to wet the carpet This is good for single room treatment like for the baby room but especially on thicker carpets it requires a lot of solution and can become costly. Once wet leave for at least 30 minutes so the peroxide can do its thing, then use the machine with either the solution filled or just to dry off the carpet. I recommend to use the peroxide solution in the machine as it allows for better penetration and it will remove more soiled solution this way. If your catching container starts bubbling like mad it means you have a lot of §$%&#+ in the carpet and it might be best to first clean it all with the normal carpet cleaning agent before using the peroxide again - again tesing on smaller areas can help wasting the peroxide. If you need to store prepared solutions than it is best in a cold place. It will take several hours on an otherwise clean carpet for the peroxide to fully disappear so it best to use shoes and prevent skin contact during that time - especially if a baby crawls around ;) ----- Toilet.... We don't want to talk about it but everyone needs to clean their toilet sooner or later. For most things in there using the toilet brush when it happens will keep things clean and healthy. But what if someone in the house is sick or with a weak immune system? You could use all sorts of commercial cleaners and desinfectants but a wipe with wet towel or cloth soaked in a 10% solution of hydrogen peroxide will quickly eliminate all harmfull things on your seat, lid or bowl, including the buttons to press and the door handles ;) Just wipe and leave it wet for a minute or two then wipe again and ry - done! Personal use I always pack a small bottle of supermarket grade peroxide when going off road or camping trips. Although we now have modern desinfectants that won't stink or otherwise harm you I still prefer the old stuff ;) If you are far from civilisation than the last thing you want to need is medical attention for something that started as small as a scratch or graze.... Out in the unkown wilderness you will never know if the rockk you just crash landed on was used as a urinal by a fox the night before... A bit of gravel left in your skin might contain harmful bacteria... A cut with your own knife?? - What did you all cut since the last proper cleaning of the blade? You see where I am going here, a small thing might turn into something really nasty a day or two later. If you clean a freash and minor wound properly and then rinsie it with hydrogen perodixe most if not all harmful leftovers will be killed by the releasing oxygen. Of course this pretty much useless on bleeding wounds or where it is obvious that you won't be able to remove all debris from the wound - here it means you trip is still over in favour for proper medical treatment. The thing is that hydrogen peroxide was basically abandoned for all wound treatment once the modern "cleaning aids" became available as the peroxide will not only attack harmful things but also living tissue. The claims goes as far as causing bad scar tissue, damage to blood vessels and even "burning" of the tissue. One big problem I have with all these claims is that they were never really mentioned until the new meds came out. IMHO exposure time and how you use it it the key - common sense if you ask me. Noone should ever soak a wound in peroxide, if it is that big that you need to soak it you need medical attention anyway. And as said you should rinse the wound, that means all remaining liquid should be allowed to flow off - this will only leave a minor amount of peroxide in the wound and the exposure time will end with once all oxygen is released. For minor wounds I only use a paper tissue or cotton bud soaked in peroxide and wipe the wound.... ----- Smelly feet? Ok, maybe not the best way to start a conversation but we all know what sneakers do to our feet in the summer... Insoles with copper and activated carbon will help a lot and at least "cure" your sneakers while they are off your feet and have time to dry. But the smell is actually cause by bacteria growing from everywherey in your sneaker to your sking, actuall starting at your sking... If you wear your sneakers for long periods of time time or even whenever possible and also suffer from a bad smell hydrogen peroxide might be able to help you. Most sneakers will tolerate a machine wash and should come out germ free, if that is no option pack them in a sealed back and leaven them in the freezer over night - this will kill all bacteria and remove the smell. Now to break the endless cycle you need to remove the bacteria from inside your skin. So daily sock changes, freezing shoes and washing feet is a must! Your feet will really benefit from a foot bath in a 5% solution of hydrogen peroxide. To keep costs at a minimum use a container that is just the right size for your feet and prepare the solution from pool grade peroxide. I an ideal case you should not need more than 2 liters but all used product can be stored cool and re-used the next day, after that you need to make a new batch. Keep your feet submerged for at least 10 minutes. This will allow a deep penetration of the skin but might result in some white spots that will disappear after a few hours. Consenquent foot baths can be reduced to 5 minutes. After about a week you should notice that wearing your sneakes no longer causes and bad smell and you can stop the treatment. Freezing the sneakers over night, dialy (or more) sock changes and daily, proper cleaning of your feet should prevent any further bad smells :) ----- Bleaching your hair Althoug it was done for many years I really can't recommend using hydron peroxide for this purpose! Any concentration strong enough to have a proper effect in a reasonable time will at least cuase skin irritation. Back in the days they said your burning scalp is what you need to endure to get blonde hair :( And as said already you really don't want to get that stuff into your eyes... General uses If you have a fruit based stain then cahnces are hydrogen peroxide will remove it, especially if fresh. Even at supermarket concentration repeated application and proper drying off with a paper towel or similar will remove even red wine or beetroot stains. ------ Blood... On you skin blood is easy removed with cold water, same on other surfaces but washing off is no option a wet cloth or cotton piece will work fine. Hydrogen peroxide is good if things need to go fst or if the surface is porous, here the releasing oxigen will drive out the blood with the bubbles. ----- Fish tanks... If you love your tank then you really hate to medicate or even worse have a bad algea infestion, especially the stuff of the black kind. A change to activated carbon filter material is always recommended after a medical treatment to remove all leftovers from the system. However, certain medication simply won't be affected by a carbon filter and stay in the system until fully used or broken down otherwise. Especially in bigger tanks a partial water change is often out of the question as it would cause too much additional stress to the fish and plants. Hydrogen peroxide can help to break down most if not all remains of the used medication while at the same time adding more oxygen to the water. To be sensitive and safe in all enviroments I recomment to calculate the concentration based on the volume of your tank and to add the required amount of peroxide very slowly into the outgoing water stream from your pump. By slowly I mean in terms of a slow drip if using solutions over 10% to be added to the tank. If in doubt remove a suitable amount of tank water into a bucket and add the concentrated peroxide to reach the final tank limit. I strongly recommend to stay below 2% in favour over additional treatments a few days later if required. That means the diluted solution you add should be entered into the tank slowly if in doubt add a glass full every few minutes. For the treatment of the dreaded black algea you do the same 2% solution but be prepared that it will take several treatment until you see them die off. If you can then it is best relocate the fish for a few days so you can use a stronger solution of 5-8% just with the plants left in the tank. When transporting fish in a bag it can pay off to add a little bit of 3% peroxide to the bag to give additional oxygen for transport. I do this maually for every fish I buy from a store so I can be sure all fungus and bacteris is killed of before I introduce it to my tank. Really helps to prevent loosing a lot of fish just because you added one or two more to your tank ;) For the normal sized transport bags I use a good shot glass full of 3% peroxide in case you wondered. ----- Fridge and freezer Be it after long use or because you bought one second hand - once empty and warm some of our colling gadget just smell bad. A good clean with a hot water and your favourite cleaning agent is a good start, no need for aggressive stuff ;) If clean but still smelly, like after a power failure with fish in it you might want to go one step further. Best option is to use a spray bottle and a peroxide solution of at least 15% here. Use proper protection as mentioned above and spray all surface with the solution until soaked. What you can take out you take you take out, clean properly and then wipe or brush with the same peroxide solution. Bare aluminium should be handled with caution as in some cases it can oxidise badly, leaving a white and not removable crust behind. Here it is best to wipe and then wipe again with a cloth soaked in clear water to limit exposure time. No need to dry out - wipe out and check if it still smells, if so repeat and wiped off all areas as good as you can with a solution soaked cloth. Once the smell is gone dry out and enjoy smell free use from now on :) ----- Fruit and vegetables Unless you know exactly what happened to it you might want to clean your vegies and fruits properly before using them. Pesticides, herbicites, fungicites.... Not mention normal fungus and bacteria on the product.... On a commercial base hydron peroxide baths are often used to clean products for sensible people, hospital use or long term storage. For a personal use this only makes sense if you have free and unlimited access to the peroxide. An alternative are ozone bubblers. Expensive models can eb bought in shops or online, complete with timers or even a gauge showing the concentration in a room. On a hobby level for the kitchen sink we can use an ozone generator, air pump and bubble stone from the aquarium store ;) Let the pump bubble out the ozone for a minute or two, fill the sink with the fruit and veggies and move them around every few minutes. Best of course with an open window to limit you exposure to the ozone! Rule of thumb: If you can smell it is already too much in the air! The ozone in the water does the same as the peroxide: It breaks down harmful things with pure oxygen. The downside is that it is very harmful for your airways and body in general, so against all what youtube can offer I actually prefer to treat my fruit and veggie in a sealed bag. Place them inside, push out as much air as you can and then fill up with the ozone from the generator. Once the bag is full leave for about 30 minutes then wash and use or place the things in the fridge.

Topic by Downunder35m   |  last reply

Green Science Fair Winners

Instructables and Discover Magazine are happy to announce the winners of the Discover Green Science Fair for a Better Planet Contest!We asked you to show us some great green ideas and you responded with a flood of them. Over 200 Instructables were submitted over the past few weeks and tons of useful information has been put out there to help others with their own green projects. You are all an inspiration, truly.Thank you for putting so much time and effort into these Instructables. As always, we wish we had more prizes to give out. Now, on with the winners! First 10 Entries For jumping into the contest early, the authors of these Instructables will receive a Discover Magazine t-shirt. Ways to be green How to get FREE 9 Volt Batteries Recycle plastic grocery bags into Loons! Tips on how to improve gas mileage All-Natural Incense Burner Science Fair Display Board How to recycle an old sweater How to Boycott the Bottle Easy Seed Starter Supercharged Lemon Runners-UpThe authors of these Instructables will each receive a copy of 20 Things You Didn't Know About Everything, a book from the Editors at Discover magazine. Mini Wooden Portable Compost Bin How to build a 72Volt electric motorcycle How to Make an Easy Inverted Planter £5 Japanese lamp from recycled materials Trickle charging auto-switching LED helmet Make your own plastic tote bag from recycled plastic bags From old Tourist Map to Gift Bag How to Make A Solar Powered Fan! solar lawn mower How To Smell Pollutants Third Prize The authors of these Instructables will each receive an Eton FR150 Microlink, a Solar-Powered, Crank-powered Portable Radio with Flashlight and Cell Phone Charger. Cheap solar tracker Organic planting pots from newspapers Bike Generator Recycled Denim Shopping Bag The Green Pail Retained Heat Cooker Second Prize The authors of these Instructables will each receive a Sansa Express 1GB MP3 player, Instructables Robot t-shirt, patch, and stickers. Solar Powered Trike Urban Homestead Garden (squarefoot gardening abridged) First Prize The author of this Instructable will receive a Celestron Skyscout that uses advanced GPS technology with point and click convenience to identify thousands of stars, planets, constellations and more. Plus Instructables Robot t-shirt, patch, and stickers. Make Your Own Biodiesel Processor Thank you to all of our judges for helping to choose the winners. Colin Bulthaup (CTO of Potenco, co-founder Squid Labs)Christy Canida (Instructables)Stephen Cass (Senior Editor at Discover Magazine) Saul Griffith (President of Makani Power, co-founder Squid Labs, MacArthur Fellow) Corwin Hardham (CTO of Makani Power, co-founder Squid Labs)Jeremy Jacquot (treehugger.com, USC student in environmental sciences) Tom Kostigen (co-author of The Green Book: The Everyday Guide to Saving the Planet One Simple Step at a Time)Ed Lewis (Instructables)Corey Powell (Executive Editor at Discover Magazine) Sarah Richardson (Senior Editor at Discover Magazine) Gemma Shusterman (Media Lab grad, Juror for the 2008 SIGGRAPH art gallery)Tyghe Trimble (News Editor at Discover Magazine)Eric Wilhelm (Instructables, co-founder Squid Labs) Daniel Wilson (Roboticist, author of How to Build a Robot Army) Laura Wright (Senior Editor of On Earth Magazine, published by the Natural Resources Defense Council)

Topic by fungus amungus   |  last reply

It's weird, looking back after a few years.

It's not really much of a secret that I haven't been an active member here for years now (I joined Oct of 2007). Honestly I'd be suprised if many of you still remembered me. Now that I'm heading off to college (Actually, I already started) it's a bit of a shock to read over some of the stuff I posted (especially the early stuff). I'm pretty thankful that all of you put up with me. Look back over everything I posted, I'm a bit tempted to go back over my old instructables and fix up all the errors in them and such, and if I find time I might seriously consider doing that. Because ofcourse when i was ~14 I didn't really notice but some of those Instructables are a bit ugly. I'm a bit hesitent to just go and fix them up though. I think they may best be left the way they are, with all their numerious spelling and grammar mistakes, considering how long it's been now. I also went and updated 'The Christians' group (First update in 4 years, woot!). I'm sure those other 87 members will be very glad lol, honestly I don't know if it's gained or lost members since I've been gone. I'd personally guess lost simply because it would probably be somewhat hard for anybody to find the group at this point (You'd have to search for the exact name, find it, and then join) and some of the old members might not even be on here anymore. Not really sure, but it needed an update anyway. Most importantly though, I really wanted to thank everyone here at instructables that was here and talked to me and such back when I was still K'Nexing. I was ~14 at the time, could barely type (Infact, Instructables taught me how to type, When I joined Instructables I had almost no typing skills at all). Everyone here was kind, didn't hold grudges or get mad at me even though I was obvioiusly a little kid, younger them most of the regulars on here, and my typing skills and grammar were definitly not up to par. Reguarless, I really found a nice athmosphere here, and I'm very lucky I did. I was never a very social kid (The fact that I had, something like the 4 most comments out of every member on instructables one of the years I was here should be evidence of that.) and I'm still really not that sociable. I really don't know what I would have done with myself if it wasn't for me being on instructables. Instructables literally shaped my life, and I'd go as far as credit Instructables as the reason why I'm now going into Computer Science and Engineering in college. It's all because one day I went through an Instructable on Windows Batch coding, and that led me to take a BASIC computer programming class at my highschool, and now here I am ~4 years later going into CSE with a full tuition scholarship. Honestly I wish there was more I could say, but really all there is to say is that Instructables really effected me at a key point in my life and really if it wasn't for Instructables chances are I wouldn't be where I am now. On another note... Where'd all the orange go? All this white is hurting my eyes :P DSMan195276

Topic by dsman195276   |  last reply


Hi there, I would like to say hi to the instructables members for a start. Hi! I have always enjoyed reading from this site and I see that there is a lot of help in the topics posted here. I am a Computer Technician that now wants to play in the hardware game (Are you all enjoying Windows 10?). So I'm starting small with an arduino and the raspberry pi, (not side by side yet,) a few motors, servo's, 7" color crystal display, and other things that I have salvaged from stuff or found cheap. I have a few of these CD drive eject motors with lil' knobs I was reading this post about how to make an electric magnet as I am trying to manually make my own point motor for my model train set.  For those in and not in the know, here is some information about what I am trying to do. Create 2 electric magnet coils that pull or repel a nail or metal bar where an upright pin ~2-4 mm is able to travel a distance of ~6-8mm (oo Gauge) in order to change a track piece from one position of a "junction point" to the other, allowing the train to change track or take another route. I would like to try and do this myself as I have plenty of different types of gauge wire, dpdt's (for pole switch?), nails or metal bars(to act as middle pin maybe and bar to be pulled back and forth), diodes (for bridge rectifier) , resistors (to calm the voltage down if I have to as I think it will get rather warm else), a constant power supply (16V ac admittedly)  and plenty of BABY BABY small yet rather strong.. magnets..etc.. ( BTW These were taken from a motor that was inside some water speakers, for perfect reasons the motor had a spin disc attached to it with 3 very small magnets, then in the water compartment there is a spin disc with more magnets attached and a wirly-gig to create the siphon to jettison the water up when the music is played so I now own 60 of the little blighters, (that's if i need them at all to be honest I'm a little lost in this idea))  So please take me as a n00b and please help me in going about this. Yes I could go buy one, but what does that achieve, when I believe I have everything I need at my fingertips and I wish to learn. I presume I will need to deal with the constant AC in order to be able to make a switch to change the polarity of the two coils in order to pull or repel the magnet or nail in either direction to then move the tracks junction from one line to another. I'm going to try and make some coils, in some rather thin wire that is insulated.  Thanks again for any replies. EOL

Question by WAREZRONIN   |  last reply

Howtoons the Book Launches!

It's been a long journey since I first looked over Saul's shoulder in our shared 4th-floor MIT Media Lab office and saw the proto-sketches that would become Howtoons, but today the book finally launches! Here's the word directly from Saul:I along with my co-authors and illustrators, Nick Dragotta and Joost Bonsen are proud to announce that today is the official publication and release of our fully-illustrated, science-meets-adventure-and-mischief comic book, HOWTOONS ! The Possibilities are Endless. I know I personally am nervous, relieved, and all of the other things that a first time author can be. You can buy the book directly from AmazonAlthough all of the authors wish to compel you to walk, run, or ride a bike to your local book store and get one there (or demand that they carry copies!).We'd like to thank each and everyone on this email list for their moral and other support in the gestation of this exciting project. Thanks for loaning us your children, your ideas, your inspiration and your feedback. Hopefully we are now returning all of them to you in good healthy order and with interest on top!We'd love to encourage you all to buy hundreds and thousands of copies of this book for all of your favourite 4-94 year olds. The jacket copy says 8-12, but we know that our group of friends have nothing but the most intelligent children (hence extending the age range down to 4) as well as being fundamentally immature and appreciative of fart jokes (hence increasing it to 94).HOWTOONS seeks to put the joy, the story, the adventure, the free-spirit, the fun, the downright ridiculousness, and the real heroicism of science and engineering back into education. We do this through stories and illustrations designed to show children that science and engineering is not only one of the coolest possible things that you can study, but that it touches upon everything in modern life and can be found in the simple objects around you... One tag line we often like to associate with the book is: "See the world for what it can be, not for what it is." The world is increasingly technical, and many of the greatest challenges of the 21st century will require technically aware people whether they are working on science and engineering themselves, or whether they are the artists, writers, accountants, musicians, lawyers, politicians and educators who make the world a rich and interesting place to live. I believe the magnificent artwork of Nick also highlights that there is a genuine marriage between the arts and sciences and the oft cited tension between the two is un-necessary as both come from a desire to create and share new ideas and ways of representing them.You can see our new website, including many samples of HOWTOONS and a regularly updated blog at www.howtoons.com. We'd like to send an especially big thanks and shout out to Ryan McKinley for help with the website (if you don't know him you should! He's a programming powerhouse), and of course also to Phil Torrone, everyone's favourite blogger and DIY mastermind. We'd also love to thank all of the people at O'Reilly media, especially Dale Dougherty, Tim O'Reilly, Mark Frauenfelder and Carla Sinclair for including HOWTOONS in their fabulous magazines MAKE and CRAFT (www.makezine.com, www.craftzine.com). Also in the thank-you list should be Judith Regan who plucked us from obscurity to help us get started down the book-making path, and now the wonderful people of Harper Collins Children's Books for all of their help. We should include all of our apologies for editorial lateness!. Naturally we'd like to thank the people at Squid Labs and Eric and Christy of www.instructables.com fame for their support and work in bringing the make-it-yourself ethos to a much larger audience. MIT, MIT's media lab, and MITERS (MIT Electronic Research Society) are also to be whole-heartedly thanked for turning a blind eye to our insanity. The support of all these people and more (you) has been invaluable to us.Not to rest on our laurels — we are already working on a 2nd HOWTOONS book full of more wonderful projects and crazy storylines to encourage you to grab a 9-year-old and relive the joy of messing with world around you just because it's interesting, because rockets are cool, because bugs are fascinating, because flying is magnificent, because mechanisms are intriguing, because a sheet of paper isn't a sheet of paper, it's a work of origami art waiting to (un)fold.Furthermore, we are working on another book project, specifically a selection of DIY projects around the topic of renewable energy presented HOWTOONS-style, in order to encourage energy literacy and intuition amongst the next generation of engineers and scientists. Energy will be one of the key issues of this century and helping people understand all of the options and the promise and beauty of renewable energies is something we believe we can do to help.If you'd like to help support Howtoons in any way we'd love to hear from you; it is still a fledgling project in its infancy trying to wend its way towards fiscal sustainability. The biggest thing most of you can probably do to help is SPREAD THE WORD! Buy some books! Go out and give yourself the experience of reliving the joy of discovering the world by working on some Howtoons projects with your favourite kids (or even better, kids you don't know yet). If you have suggestions for future projects we'd love to hear about them. One of my favourite projects in HOWTOONS Book 1 is an open-source whooppee cushion that delighted my father (and haunted his teachers) when he was a 9-year-old and will hopefully induce raucous laughter everywhere.Again, thank you all.Saul Griffith, Nick Dragotta, Joost Bonsen,co-creators of HOWTOONS!www.howtoons.comPS. Finally, and most importantly I want to wholeheartedly thank my co-authors for their friendships, musings, and hard-work. It's tremendous to work with such great people at the top of their respective games.In case you don't know them (or me):Nick Dragotta first knew the power of comic art when he drew pictures of injuries on the blackboard at school that were so graphic that his fellow classmates had to leave the room to throw up. Since then he has tirelessly practiced the art of comics and researched the great artists of the field. Nick has drawn for Marvel and DC, including Spider-Man, X-men, Fantastic Four, and X-static titles. He is currently passionate about making more comic books for kids. Nick lives in a small apartment with walls lined by the shortened stubs of ruined pencils. He sleeps in a pile of eraser filings, drinks black ink, and exists on a diet of pureed superhero comic books.Joost Bonsen immigrated as a young boy to the United States from the Netherlands with his parents and his personal suitcase full of LEGOs. He grew up in Silicon Valley, California, immersed in that creative and entrepreneurial culture. While Joost was growing up, the vacant lot across the street from home served variously as play space, special effects set, race track, rocket launch pad and more as he and his friends made home movies, practiced being space explorers, and plotted space projects. Joost went to MIT for undergraduate studies in bio–electrical engineering and recently finished his graduate degree at the MIT Sloan School of Management looking at how labs are run, how research themes emerge, and how new technologies are commercialized.Saul Griffith grew up in Australia and his earliest memories of inventing things were of making grappling hooks for climbing trees and buildings. His childhood adventures included making his own rocket–powered toy cars, kites, and enormous puppets. He kept a diary of drawings of his inventions as a kid that included fantastic monorails and airplanes shaped like manta–rays. Saul ended up studying materials science—the structure of the materials we use every day—before going on to MIT to do a PhD in building self–replicating machines and a theory for folding 3–dimensional objects. He now works at Squid Labs in California inventing cool new things for making the world a better place. He still builds kites, they are just much, much bigger now.

Topic by ewilhelm   |  last reply

"Secrets" about CB/UHF antennas on your car

Despite more and cellphone and internet coverage mobile radios are still a favourite of people in remote areas or just loving to explore by 4WD.And for most the complex task of starting with this great hobby ends by buying a radio and antenna.Of course the raio goes it fits best and that is fine but what about that antenna and while at it what type of antenna do you need?Let's start with the great myth that so called rugged or heavy duty antennas are really worth their money.Durability and stiffness is their main selling point or better was.At highway speeds they won't bend and flex around like your whip antenna.In the bush they won't swing all the way down onto the painted parts of your car either.But then again, a more solid steel whip on a spring base would do the same - but won't look as cool or proffessional...Inside those plastic or fibreglass rods is a dipole antenna, in rare case you get a 5/8 configuration or even a normal steel whip with a pipe around it...Means in terms of reception or transmission quality they are not a tiny better or worse than any other antenna out there.Come down to well it is tuned and where the radiating part is located.Location...There are often obvious choices to put an antenna, like that nice mount or your nudge- or bull-bar.Or the good old boot clamp in the back.I have even see 4WD's with the antenna mounted onto the rear bumper :(Why is it so important to place the antenna correctly?Place on the front corner of your car it is not only quite low but also partially covered by the metal parts of your car - limiting where the antenna can properly radiate.If you ever got some half decent training on a tiny handheld UHF radio then you remember to seek higher ground if you can't get anyone to hear you.The same is true for the antenna on your car.You want nothing obstructing it.People with a long spring base often think of it as just an elevated foot.Most of these however are "ground idependent", which means they actually form a dipole with the antenna you screw on the top.Having this "pole" below bonnet hight is quite bad for your reach and reception quality already.Mounting just a normal whip on a direct foot here means you might have better luck with a handhelp from inside the car...The best would be right in the center of your roof, the highest and most centered point.This provides not only the optimum radiation pattern but also give you that little edge in terms of higher ground.How much gain do I need and how long should my antenna be?Gain is quite relative if you ask me as it far more important to mount the antenna in the best possible place.A 3DB antenna on the roof will often provide better reception and range than a 9DB mounted on the bullbar.Assuming you have the best feasable location than to simplify it:The further you can see the higher DB you want if reaching far is the main objective.For general use a 4.5 - 6DB antenna is always good.In hilly terrain range does not matter that much, here you want the outgoing signal to be as strong as possible and with a shape that allows better coverage by being more like a sphere.For extreme cases it can mean on a 9DB antenna your friend that is just over that little bump ahead is not visible and with that can't hear you.On a 3DB antenna however the signal is strong enough to reach that blindspot at a short distance.The overall length of an antenna can be deceiving for UHF frequencies.What matters is where the antenna is radiating from.In most cases it will be the top 15 to 30 cm of your antenna.For a dipole or ground independent antenna you often need to include the entrire base mount.Antenna tuning....For the good old 27MHz bands we always had our SWR meter at hand and tried to get the best tuning.Since the big jump to UHF the commercial antennas come pre-tuned and are claimed to be good to go.That means that are within acceptable performance to fit almost all installation locations.In terms of SWR reading it means that 1 over 3 is still perfectly fine.Would have been an outcry on 27Mhz though in my times.What is true though that there is not that much real difference to notice between a near perfect 1 over 1.1 to 1 over 3.If you would bother to a distance test it might be less than 200m you gain on the near perfect antenna.For the reception it does not even matter all, so why bother anyway?On the much lower frequencies a really good SWR does not only mean you can get your signal much further out there but also that your transmitter is happy.Modern ones are now all digital and have ways to protect and compensate for bad antennas or cables.Together it means we could just forget about these few extra meters and move on.The stress on the transmitter in your UHF radio however is still there ;)The reflective energy from a badly tuned antenna has to go somewhere and that is usually back into the transmitter.The bit that lost directly to your antenna, as said, does not matter too much with the overall limited range of the UHF frequencies.I did quite a lot of experimenting with my own and commercail UHF antennas, so a network analyser and SWR meter was a requirement anyway.In terms of output power a good SWR reading means you get what your transmitter is capable of and set for.With an SRW reading between 2.5 and 3 however a 4W radio might only actually transmit 3-3.5W.With a bad mounting and an not so optimal cable it might go below 3W!Distance is not so much affected by this as we now know, but the loss in power on 3DB antenna in hilly terrain can make the difference between being heard and your signal getting lost in static on the other end.Repairing a blown transmitter often costs more than a simple SWR meter for UHF, so why not add it to the Xmas wish list? ;)Two antennas...In some case you want two antennas.Be it for two different DB ratings on the same radio or for totally different frequencies.High and centered is still best here but you should keep the antennas as far apart as possible, preferable at different heights as well.On a single radio it does not matter too much but right next to each other the unused anteanna is like these beams on your TV antenna on the roof.Unlike the directional and watned features in a Yagi antenna the unused element means we change the radiation pattern.In the worst case creating a blindspot from which direction we won't get any signals.As a rule of thumb let them be apart at least twisc as far as the wavelenght, so for UHF over 65cm.

Topic by Downunder35m 

South By Southwest (SXSW) 2009 Interactive Review - It's a Party Masquerading as a Conference

It's no secret that SXSW is more about the parties than the conference, but when you have so many smart people who run interesting businesses together, it's a pretty significant lost opportunity that the conference isn't better. Christy and I attended the 2008 SXSW Interactive conference, and decided it wasn't worth coming back. However, Instructables was a finalist in the Web Awards "Classic" category at the 2009 SXSW Interactive conference, which netted us two free passes. So, we attended again this year. This is my review of the interactive portion of the conference.High level - I'm glad we didn't pay. If you go, admit that you're going for entertainment, not to learn something about the interactive industry. The keynotes were excellent -- even if I didn't come away from them with anything actionable to do --, while the rest of the panels and talks were terrible. Having the resources to get to Austin doesn't mean that most conference attendees will have done their homework -- otherwise interesting panels with smart people were nearly always hijacked by stupid questions, and unfortunately it was rare that a moderator would shut down the stupid questions and get back to anything engaging. For example, at How Safe is Your Domain Name? someone actually asked "What does ICANN stand for?" If you're the type of person who reads reviews, and tries to determine if a conference has value for your business, SXSW does not. It's a party masquerading as a conference. If you go, think of it as a vacation, enjoy the evening events and keynotes, and when you learn one or two interesting things by accident, you won't be disappointed. Longer Review:Plan B: Can an Ad Guy Bring Bike Sharing to America?The story of how an advertising agency exec. was able to start up a bicycle sharing venture. Worth checking out just to understand how Crispin Porter+Bogusky works, and to see how they keep their thinking fresh about advertising.Spying 2.0: Can America Compete With Web-Savvy Enemies?Quickly devolved into an I-use-Twitter-so-should-you panel. Yawn. Is Privacy Dead or Just Very Confused?Academics talking about websites they use, and privacy issues they think might apply. A discussion of "experiences"; nobody on the panel is actually doing anything real, nor do they have any insight into major players' privacy policies or how those policies affect users. How did they get a panel?Change v2Lawrence Lessig's non-keynote-scheduled keynote on how money reduces our faith in politics. Excellent. Find a video of this and watch it.Opening Remarks: Tony HsiehTony Hsieh has given this identical talk at other conferences, but the message is so good, it's worth seeing twice. Slides available here.Feed Me: Bite Size Info for a Hungry InternetThis had an interesting set of people on the panel, but it nonetheless turned into a why-Facebook's-new-homepage-sucks-because-it-copied-friendfeed fest. Then, the panelists started openly wondering why they hadn't invited anyone from Twitter to be on the panel.Collaborative Filters: The Evolution of Recommendation EnginesThis was one of the biggest disappointments. Anton Kast of Digg is clearly top notch, and has spent deep hours thinking about recommendations and the math behind them; and, the people making up the rest of the panel were no slouches either. Unfortunately, they spent more than half of the time describing in layman's terms how each of their websites work, and we never got to anything juicy. "On Digg, users rate up a story they find interesting by clicking the Digg button..."! Edupunk: Open Source EducationThe description of this panel really got me pumping: DIY teachers around the world are using open source course management systems, open access textbooks, and other open source tools to buck the chains and limitations of corporate education software. What the panel really turned out to be was a bunch of ineffectual academics having a cat fight over who was more ineffectual. They all tried to outdo one another with stories of how management at their university prevented them from having any impact, and the winner seemed to be the panelist who accomplished the least. Seriously.This was only topped by the first question from the audience, which opened with: "I've learned a new word at this conference, and I'm going to use it here: monetize..." Seriously? I now have a new rule for conferences: Stay away from all education topics. The ratio of people with opinions to people who can/are having impact is way too high. How to Create a Great Company CultureThis is a tough topic, and one in which there's no right answer or overarching theory. The only way to get data is to listen to anecdotes, and this session gave me a few more. Although to be fair, I probably could have spent the same hour reading blogs written by company founders and gotten more out of it. Sunday Keynote: Stephen Baker / Nate Silver InterviewInterviews with really passionate people are always a treat. Nate Silver fits the bill.From Flickr and Beyond: Lessons in Community ManagementI was baffled why Metafilter was invited to be on this panel. In a discussion of privacy policies, the director of operations from Metafilter said "We don't have one. We're not there yet." Despite obviously having the most to contribute, the representative from Youtube didn't share anything; his lawyer must have told him to keep his mouth shut. Overall this was let down.New Think for Old PublishersThis panel was deceptively described, and the audience was annoyed to find a group of publishers simply looking to scribble down suggestions rather than having a conversation about the industry. Fortunately, Clay Shirky was animated enough to heat things back up.Presenting Straight to the BrainRunning a panel on better ways to use slides and graphics where each panelist presents slides might seem a bit hubristic, not they pulled it off. Take home: Use your slides to tell a story.How to Protect Your Brand Without Being a Jerk!This powerhouse panel was interrupted a mere 15 minutes in by a self-described-artist-from-Europe who raised (and shook) his hand for 5 minutes until the moderator eventually gave in. His question: "Do I need to copyright my songs? No really, do I need to copyright each one?" This softball opened a pandora's box of stupid questions from audience members clearly unable to format their questions into that tricky search engine text box. Monday Keynote: Virginia Heffernan / James Powderly InterviewJames Powderly is a friend and deeply fascinating individual. I wish this interview had been longer so they could have gotten deeper into his motivations and experiences. Advertising is Entertaining - Who's Selling Out?I came out of this session thinking it was pretty good. However, on further reflection, since it was more conversation than lecture, and lots of people had the opportunity to speak their mind, I was just happy no one said anything particularly stupid. This should give you a sense of my expectations at this stage at SXSW.New Threats to New Media: Fair Use On TrialThis was an excellent panel, particularly because Jason Schultz ran a very tight ship, kept things moving, and prevented questions from derailing the session. In my opinion, all three videos shown were clear examples of fair use, and I would have appreciated one that was a little closer to the line, but the session overall was still both enjoyable and useful. Building Strong Online CommunitiesWhile too general to have any actionable items, this was still pretty good. It's also fun to hear Drew Curtis's irreverent opinion on community. Tuesday Keynote: Chris Anderson / Guy Kawasaki ConversationThis made me really look forward to Chris Anderson's coming book Free. Guy Kawasaki did a fantastic job moderating, especially with respect to mocking people who ask questions just to insert a pitch for themselves, and limiting meaningless follow-up "questions."Nom Nom Nom: The Secrets of Successful FoodbloggingGet a DSLR, all other rules of successful blogging apply.The parties and evening events were good. I enjoyed Dorkbot Austin and Plutopia, and still think often of the food at The Salt Lick. The Web Awards were surprisingly fun. We were up against some much bigger names, and Flickr won (which in my opinion, was the expected value; I use Flickr at least weekly, if not more). Baratunde Thurston emceed, and he kept it spirited and fast-paced. His interludes were funny, and when no one from Flickr showed up to claim their award, he claimed it for them. "I remember really wanting to share some photos online..." I've been to other conferences where the parties are fun, the talks are engaging, and you come away with a laundry list of actionable items that will make measurable improvements in your business (or life). The SXSW interactive conference has all the ingredients to make that happen, which is why it's so disappointing when it doesn't come together.

Topic by ewilhelm   |  last reply

Contests Are Rewarding Unoriginality, Threatening Creativity

It is truly a shame that judgments in our contests have again been made which serve to promote rehash and discourage creativity. After having watched the Make It Fly! contest make this mistake last month, I could only shake my head as the DIY Summer Camp Challenge also fumbled the ball and awarded a prize to an unoriginal post. Once again, unoriginal projects have landed in the winners' circle while new creations have been left to flounder. On a site that prides itself on people doing things for themselves, this is cause for alarm. Posting someone else's creations under your own name is not doing it yourself. It's high time that that be acknowledged and it be discouraged. Rewarding unoriginal projects is not an avenue to promoting new ideas, developments or breakthroughs. On the contrary, this approach provides an incentive and a compelling case to not pursue new ideas.  Instructables' successes are based on its being a center for new ideas, not old hat. Nevertheless, we are teetering dangerously toward that point with moves like this. Rehashes' qualifications are questionable The statements made in the commentary for the contests--the language of the competitions themselves--speak a resounding "no" against unoriginal content. In the header for the DIY Summer Camp Challenge, it is asked: "What interesting things can you do or make to keep the kids entertained this summer? [...] Share your games, activities, craft projects, and more." In the header for the Make It Fly Contest 2016, the opportunity is given for: "Three, two, one… ignition and lift off! The Make It Fly Contest has taken off and that gives you the perfect excuse to let your creativity take to the skies." There is nothing indistinct about the terms. They clearly outline the project is to be your own, not someone else's. If you are reposting another person's creation, you are upholding neither the contests' specifications nor spirit. In the standard contest terms for each contest, the judgment criteria is given: "Judging. All entries that are in compliance with all terms and conditions of these Rules will be judged on the basis of the following criteria (the "Criteria"): clarity, ingenuity, creativity, quality of presentation, and execution of the Instructable." Rehashed projects which contain contents from others' makings are neither ingenious nor creative. As a result, they ought to receive the minimum score in the sections of ingenuity and creativity if they are not barred from the competitions outright. What this means for makers now: Speaking in reference to how I had handled the contests myself, I spent several weeks perfecting several entries of my own. One of the projects, entered into only the DIY Summer Camp Challenge, was the result of many months' worth of development and refinement. The news that my efforts in those months were all for naught while similar themed but wholly unoriginal projects were selected as winners only served to tell me one thing: the time I spent developing and fine tuning the new projects was all for naught. Currently, the appeal for a person to set their best DIY foot forward and actually do something for themselves has become troublingly shaky. There is now a track record of rehashed projects taking home prizes while other original projects have faced ignominous defeats. There is a precedent to unoriginal trumping original. With rehash supported and honored, it is now reasonable for users to conclude that creativity is neither valued nor worth its costs and that unoriginal copying is a better way of doing things. This could ultimately promote a worsening spiral of disinterest in, apathy toward, and the stagnation of new developments in the numerous fields of endeavor makers strive to go forth in. The chances at falling into this trend draw increasingly close and they cannot be allowed to continue if we wish to see progress. Where we need to go from here: Creativeness must be shown to be valued by Instructables or makers are not likely to pursue it in future competitions. As I did a year ago, I recommend the Instructables staff and judges: Judge unoriginal projects as such and give them the earned low marks for ingenuity and creativity based on their lacking in both regards (if they are even legally fit to continue on in the competition) Not promote unoriginal designs by featuring them Reposting old things is a slide to the past, not a ladder to the future. Makers must act today to make a better, more creative tomorrow and copying is no way to do that.

Topic by OrigamiAirEnforcer   |  last reply

TR8-2015 Review

I received my TR from Killerk this morning. I've had a little hands on time with it so I'll write up my text review now, though I'll also be making a video review in the near future. For now, here's the unboxing and first impressions video: So just to start, I've never made a TR before. I have limited experience with turreted weapons. So what I knew about them I only got from videos and other people's reviews. I didn't doubt the TR was a great performing weapon, but I was wondering what all the hubbub was about. After finally messing around with one for the morning, I can see where the praise comes from. I also noted some things I'd still like improved, at least to personalize on my variant.   I'm going to use a grade scheme (because everyone's impressions on stars and scales are usually biased toward higher numbers). So, just to clarify, don't think of C as bad. It's average. I'll point out what's subjective. I'll nitpick a lot of little things, and I'll give credit where credit is due. Anywho, on to the review. Aesthetics: C+ My impression of the TR has always been that it's been a rather simple weapon. I'm a rather hard man to please in this category. The front is a tube barrel construction. I don't care for the looks of turrets because they're rather chunky for the amount of ammo they take up. The stock is a little skeletony. And it seemingly has weird support pieces thrown in random places. But it's not bad. It still looks like a good weapon. The stock has a nice design. It has a relatively clean cut design around the outside. Ultimately, I know most was for the sake of a strong, durable weapon, and I'll be sure to personalize it more.   Ergonomics: D+ This one I gotta be honest on. The handle just doesn't float my boat. My hands are shaped oddly so I've always made weird sorts of handles myself. While the tires are a cool concept, they help keep your grip on the weapon, and I thought they'd be comfortable, their edges tends to stick out and dig into my hands. They also bulk up handle in a way that my hand just doesn't easily fit it. Like, I know my Oodassault's handle is also rather big, but my hand still fit around it naturally with a flat back and indents around around my thumb and point finger web. But this is something I can customize in the future, so it's not the end of the world by any means. I can still use it as is without being in total pain.  The trigger is a bit different. Not uncomfortable, but not the way I like triggers. Something I'll want to change, but I don't want to compromise its strength, so I'm going to keep analyzing it. The stock is a bit compact. This is yet another preference thing, but I'd like it at a slightly longer length. The charging handle isn't too comfortable to use either. With the rear sight integrated into it, it's a bit difficult to get a good grip on, which is important when you have the bands loaded up on it.  And again, this is subjective so I'm sure I can improve it for my preferences and it'll be just fine. I otherwise appreciate what Killerk attempted here. The front grip on the other had is rather comfortable. I don't think I'll need to change that ever. Ease of Use: B Things look up from here. The ratchet mechanism wasn't immediately obvious to me, but with previous K'nexing experience, I figured it out. Still, I wouldn't trust a newbie to be able to pick it up and know how to use that part specifically without direction. So that's part of the reason it's not a higher grade, but again, nitpicking. It's otherwise incredibly useful to be able to wind the band without turning the turret itself. It lets you load ammo and then just twist the ratchet, which isn't too difficult, to make sure it loads after each shot.  When I change the charging handle to be more comfortable, I'll appreciate it much more. Having a charging handle on a weapon loaded up with a lot bands makes it a lot easier to use. The rail guides and the pin guide are all perfectly constructed to make sure it's a smooth, straight pullback.  On that note, back to the stock from an ease of use perspective, because it's a bit shorter than I'd like, I don't feel like I have proper leverage on the charging handle. It's one thing I like about pistols, being able to use both arms to pull apart the gun and the pin to make it easier to draw. For this weapon, it's recommended to shoulder the stock and push back against you, which would be a little easier for me with a longer stock. It probably won't be a problem for others. Overall, I think someone strong enough could pick it up and, with a little direction, figure it out pretty quickly. It's something I could easily teach a friend how to use and then they shouldn't have a problem with it. Reliability: A This is one of the areas where the TR shines. It's only not perfect because of a few possible things you can do to mess it up. Now, to be fair, I haven't fired it enough to have a misfire, but I doubt that'll ever be a problem. The nature of the turret itself means that you shouldn't have any problems. However, I'd worry about little things like bumping the turret in such a way it skips a round. The power transfer pins offer a point of failure for the gun if you're not careful. Removing a round requires you to manually push back in the pin to avoid accidentally firing off an empty chamber, which I can imagine might be bad. I'm also a wee bit skeptical about the trigger setup but it hasn't failed on me. I may want to make a safety mechanism for this weapon, though. Something that wouldn't allow the trigger to move out of the way of the pin at all. Construction: A-  It's pretty dang solid. I did notice (more nitpicking) that the handle connection creaks a little bit. So it's not perfectly solid, but Killerk did a pretty good job at constructing this in such a way there shouldn't be many points of failure. It held up in shipping after all. There are some odd support structures here and there, but then some areas that are either neglected, or he just didn't care about. Honestly, I have no idea what he added because he thought it was necessary, what he added because it looked cool, and what he added just because he could. So there are some things I might change for the sake of consistency and aesthetics, but it's otherwise something I'd trust be able to drop, pickup, and use just fine. I'd only worry about dropping it right on the turret.  Performance: A+ This is the one area you can say is perfect for the TR. Basically, it's designed to maximize power, and finned ammo are designed to be stable, thus increasing range and accuracy. The tube barrel minimizes the snag on the pin from hitting any gaps and gives the gun a solid mounting point for bands. The turret treats each round as a single shot. The length of the charging distance is maximized while still being practical. It's as good as you can do for a pin gun, and it's as accurate as you can make K'nex ammo with minimal modification/using entirely different materials.  Overall Thoughts as a War Weapon:  I'm not going to grade this because there's so much opinion thrown in here, it wouldn't be fair. I can see where this thing would be everyone's weapon of choice. It has an 8 round capacity, which seems limiting, but you can reload whenever you happen to find ammo, so in theory it shouldn't be a problem until you're rushed with low ammo. If fin ammo is allowed, then clearly it's the best you can do for a repeater at the moment. Without it, it's got the most effective range you'll possibly find for a pin gun, though it's just not as easy for me to prime as a pistol. It's a weapon more about picking your shots instead of dishing them out as fast as possible. I'll need to do some raw comparisons with my Oodassault pistol to see which I'd prefer after I see all the differences. For example, what if the range really does make a difference compared to the ease of recharging? I'll just have to make it to a war with both weapons sometime and see which I do better with. Overall Thoughts as a Fun Weapon: Its main novelty is the range and accuracy you get in a repeater. It's satisfying to shoot multiple rounds down range and hit your target with ease. Other than that, it's mostly featureless. It's not something I'd dink around with in the house (mostly out of fret of damaging the walls). It might impress my friends the first time they see it and how far it fires. The ratchet mechanism might also be cool to show. But after that, there isn't much wow factor. Not that you'd need much more. It shoots hard. That's all you'll need to wow someone with plastic and rubber bands. I'm personally the kind of guy that likes having things like realistic charging handles, removable magazines, adjustable stocks, etc. just for novelty's sake, but that's just me. This is a no-nonsense weapon built for performance, and in that regard it does very well. I'll keep mine around and make small modifications to it. I won't deconstruct it for pieces to make other weapons. It'll be nice to have a raw performance weapon around all the time so I can focus on new concepts without think "I wish I had something that fired well, I'm going to rebuild my Oodassault." So it's fun enough to be worth keeping.  Overall, I'd highly recommend making it at least once just to experience it, see what it's all about. If you enjoy performance, taking highly accurate and ranged shots at targets, you'll appreciate it. It's also pretty modular in that if you keep its base construction intact, you can personalize it reasonably well. Better weapons can be built just for the sake of having fun, so it's not something everyone might want to keep permanently, but if you have the pieces, I think a lot of people will like to keep it around, as many already have.

Topic by TheDunkis   |  last reply

Bio-Char Pellets

I didn't see a speel on this topic yet so now we have one. I wrote this to a forum for bio-pellet maker's and thought that I would pass it along to you to read. Enjoy. ______________________________________________________ Hello, I am new to the forum and to pellet making altogether really. I am an open researcher of the net at the present time have become interested in many topics I come across. The downfall of the net, for some, is that there so much information, it can boggle the mind. I ran across the videos put out by the web site on YouTube and decided to pose a question to the site administrator. They still have not gotten back to me, but I think from the posts on the forum you are a pretty busy group - he is likely looking into it. The newest thing on the 'Save the World' front is Bio-char. I asked if the pellet machine would be able to convert bio-char into a pellet form. I do know that the bio-char can be hand pressed, or screw extruded into briquettes. This is done in many countries around the world. What I think would work the best is the small pellets that your group are making. I will give a little bit of back ground for my idea. Researchers who have explored the rain forests of the Amazon have come across a soil type which is man-made. They call it 'Terra-Preta' or 'Dark Earth'. I have found out that the soil of the rain forest is not particularly suited to growing vegetation (this surprised me) and the ancient civilizations in the area would treat the soils. These plots of land they are finding today are estimated to be 100's of years old (in terms of last use) and are amazingly fertile as compared to other soils in the immediate area. They only run 4-5 feet in depth and cover the known growing plot area of the period. Today’s natives actually hunt out these plots and sell the fertile soil as an income. The keys to this fertile soil is a high carbon content and pottery chards. Both materials are very porous in nature. What happens is the nutrients that come to the treated soil gets trapped in the pores of the material and are held there, rather than being washed straight through the soil. These nutrients are then extracted from the material be the root systems of the plants as they grow. As the spaces in the material open up again they are refilled with newly arrived nutrients. This material has proven that it can remain in the soil for 100's of years - as is found in the 'Terra-Preta' plots. By the way these plots are not isolated to the Amazon they are found around the World in different areas. The thing is that the way they are made - the technique was lost. These plots around the World are being used up and the farmers are running out of nutrient rich natural (organic) soil. Some feel that the burning of the fields in the way to go as it has been done that way for ages. Well, the soil is dying and it working. The soils are being depleted. Plant matter which is made of carbon, takes its building blocks from the soil and therefore the soil is lacking carbon after centuries of use. But, because we had one lazy, or work saving generation, who knows how long ago, we have lost the technique of how to care for the soils. Tests run in Africa are showing an amazing 500+% increase in crop yields in the first year. They are still using un-organic fertilizers as that is what they thought they needed, but that can change now. Their soil is so bad in some areas that nothing would grow. If any farmer could get a 20% increase in annual yields they would be happy. The reason that the use of chemicals came into large use was because of the depleted soils. If the chemicals did not wash away (trapped in the carbon for future use) there would be less need in the future. Ideally there would be none needed in the future. So what are we doing? At present we grow plant material, burn it, and release the carbon into the atmosphere. I don't go for the global warming thing, but do feel it is not a good thing happening. The dirt on my car every day tells me that things are changing for the worse - I didn't see that as a child. What we can do is grow the plant material, burn a portion of it to covert another portion of the material back into carbon, and put that carbon back into the soil. This cuts emissions to the air (from that aspect of society) to 50% of what it was. Pellets can play a big part in this. My idea was to convert plant matter to char and the char to pellets. The pellets would be good as they are finding in test fields that the microbes in the soils like to grow in the larger pieces. 'It makes the soil happy' - they have a community of their own. You do not want too large of chunks as that makes the soil difficult to work with. Too small of piece (on surface soil) will be blown away on windy days. The windblown soil may not seem like a big thing, but the carbon has the nutrients now remember. Keep all you can on the fields instead of the forest. If you wish to recarbonize the forest soil, spread it through the forest in your spare time. It should be said here that the carbon upon introduction to the soil will deplete the soil of nutrients at first. This is the carbon 'charging' itself. The pores of the carbon are filling and will have the nutrients there; it just looks like the nutrients are gone. This is why it is a good idea to pre-charge the carbon before introduction to the soil. Mix it with compost or manure for a couple of weeks and let the pores fill. The nutrients will then be added to the soil with the carbon. This where the pottery chars they find in 'Terra-Preta' come from. They are the holding vessels from the indoor urinals and toilets - charged and stinky they were broken in the fields. This may not work as far as making pellets from bio-char goes. What about bio-char from pellets. This would be easy to test for you people. You have the machines and the wits to do it. The market is there if you want to sell the end material. Every back-yard composter, in every city will want this stuff. I hope I wasn't too long winded on this. It is an important topic, especially if you are a rural resident. City dwellers with a green thumb can help, but the rural residents hold a majority of the bio-matter. For more information Google 'bio-char' also 'making charcoal from wood' you can get into the worm castings and all that, but once the nutrients are in your soil the rest of the good things will come and live there without help.

Topic by strmrnnr   |  last reply

AVR, Variable resistors, USB

Hello everyone,What a great site this is, I've only seen like 50 projects so far and I know there are an incredible large amount still left to discover on the site.. for all of you who write the guides and articles, great job! =)So on to my questions..I'm trying to learn how to build and program a circuit with an AVR uC. Previously I've played with NE555 circuits and I've connected those normal HD44780 LCDs to the LPT port and so on..I've also worked with repairing TV sets earlier, replacing both normal components and SMBs..So I got some basic knowledge of soldering and reading schematics, so thats no problem.However the programming part is more problematic and also how to connect some components to the uC.. My wish to learn is how to connect variable resistors to the uC and connect the uC to a computer (via USB perhaps) and then read the values there and perhaps sending them further to another program.More simple, I want to be able to connect a variable resistor to a uC and then be able to read the value and use that value on the computer..In the long run, what I want to accomplish is a similar piece like the Aurora open source mixer. http://www.auroramixer.com/But first I want to learn how to connect lets say 2-3 variable resistors, which I believe should be connected to the ADC channels on the uC, right? Together with a low value resistor between the variable resistor and the uC, I've got that info from somewhere so I hope I'm on the right track.Ok, so that's quite simple, I guess.. But then, how do I read the values on the uC? I think the uC should poll the ADC pins with a few milliseconds in between, or does it work in some other way? Before I connect it to a PC, a simple way to see if it works would be to send the "value" from the variable resistors to a led for each resistor and increasing or lowering the brightness of the led depending on the value from the resistor.That should be quite simple to rewrite when hooking up the uC to a computer, just forward the info the PC instead of to the led.. or to them both perhaps..What would the code be for doing such?My "problem" as most people think, is that I learn by examples, not by books or pages on the net with advanced explanations.. I need to have it quite simple, even though I have no problem learning new stuff..I've been working with PHP programming for a few years and even though I know its far from PHP in a uC, its still programming so I have some sort of basic thinking, which I hope will be handy somehow =)I've searched through the net, also searched AVR Freaks and I've even asked on the forums of AVR Freaks who tells me, sure you can do that, you just have to start programming.. But I really dont know where to start..I learned PHP by downloading examples, see what they do, change a bit and see what happens and so on.. Sure I can do that with the AVR as well, but there are no examples that even read just one pin with a variable resistor connected.. if I had that I would be able to duplicate and make it read on more pins and so on..I should be able to emulate the code somehow with the AVR developer software, so somehow I should probably be able to emulate a variable resistor and find out what values I get from it.. but I havent been able to get something like that working either..Finally, I'm now writing here cause this page hosts a great load of great guides, from "how to sew your own panties" to "building your own waterbottle rocket".. and because I didnt get that much help from AVR Freaks..so you guys are my last hope, I hope you could help me out..// Chrisps. if someone would be interested in making a guide on how to accomplish this and perhaps even connect the uC over USB to a computer, that would be the best thing ever ;) but I'm not gonna go that far, just some help would be enough.. hehe .ds

Topic by toffie   |  last reply