Oven blows up and no photos.

My wife was making potato wedges last night when in the middle of cooking the bottom burner catches fire and starts to sparkle like a party sparkler. I run for my camera and when I get back to the kitchen its over my wife turned off the stove and when I turned the stove back on nothing happens. Now that the fun part is over does anyone want me to do an Instructable on how to repair an oven element? The white marks are from the electrical fire.

Posted by Josehf Murchison 5 years ago


Growing Grub

Here in France we suffer a lot with doryphores (Colorado Beetle). For the last few years I have grown my potatoes in straw which does seem to have reduced the number of beetles I've had to put up with. 1) A week or so before planting time (or, if you want to try and conserve water do this in winter), break open a few bales of straw and lay the wedges - tightly together - over your spud patch. 2) Soak for several days until saturated. (if doing over winter then forget this stage. The rain will do it for you) 3) Lay seed spuds over the soaked wedges and cover with loose straw. As the spuds grow just "earth up" with more loose straw 4) From time to time check the bottom is still damp. Water if required. I find that I rarely have to water 5)To harvest, or if you want just a few New Spuds, lift the loose straw and take what is wanted. 6) After all the spuds have been harvested you can either leave the straw in situ and re-use next year, dig it into the ground or move to a manure/compost heap to finish rotting down. Sorry I haven't got any pics. I didn't think of taking any as I've used this method for a few years and I've also broken my camera when I had a fall. Haz

Posted by Hazel Twig 9 years ago


who here plays the ocarina?

I play the ocarina. i got my very first one awhile back from my aunt alicia. it was from peru, and it had 8 holes. but 1 unfaithful day, as i was helping my sister clean our room, IT HAPPENED. the poor thing was in the floor under a pillow, and i stepped on it and *sniffs* it shattered! so my sister thankfully gave me hers. it's been about 4 years since that happened and now i have one made of plastic, and it has 10 holes, and it's a sweet potato ocarina.

Posted by the_TRUE_LINK_OWNZ! 9 years ago


What should I learn to cook? (Or, what would you like an ible on?)

I get seriously tired of the same old things. I want to branch out a bit.What should I learn? What are your favorite things to cook?What are your favorite things to eat?I think my next big thing will be scalloped potatoes. I love when my mom makes them, but I've never had success at it by myself. And perhaps new desserts and breakfast items?Obligatory Iron Chef apron picture activate!

Posted by jessyratfink 9 years ago


Chip Bag Survival

Hello Everyone: This is my first post in this forum. I have a website on preparedness and survival. I have posted also my first instructable as well basted on this topic. So my challenge to everyone is to use only chip bags and duct tape to come up with something that could save your life. Other than the fact that potatoe chips are part of a well balanced diet. The bags can be used to make all sorts of things. Have fun. Like this one below. Robert (Survival Central editor)

Posted by SurvivalCentral 8 years ago


And now we present the IGNobel peace prizes

Ig Nobels Salute Stranger Side Of Science:Audio for this story will be available at approx. 6:00 p.m. ETTalk of the Nation , November 28, 2008 - What do studies on potato chips, puzzle-solving slime mold and jumping fleas have in common? Each was awarded an Ig Nobel prize this year by the editors of the humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research.Annals editor Mark Abrahams serves as the emcee of this broadcast of the awards ceremony. Abrahams is author of The Man Who Tried to Clone Himself.The LINK to the IGnobel podcast from NPR

Posted by Goodhart 9 years ago


Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes

Thanksgiving dinner is coming up in just a couple weeks and we want you to be able to have the perfect feast ready. So we've whipped up a fresh batch of Instructables that will help you out with everything from the turkey to the side dishes and even a dessert and a bit of apple cider.These recipes have been tested out at the Instructables Test Kitchen in the Oakland Hills and are sure to be a great addition to the festivities. If there's something that you think that we missed, make one of your own!This topic is now an official Thanksgiving Dinner Guide. Turkey Recipe by noahw Cook up a delicious bird and get everyone in a festive mood as the aroma fills your house! This in-depth recipe will guide you on the way to greatness. Gravy Recipe by noahw Make this delicious sauce from the turkey's pan drippings. Stuffing by scoochmaroo An amazing stuffing recipe so good that it stands well completely on its own. Mashed Potatoes by scoochmaroo An essential part of the Thanksgiving dinner, mashed potatoes go well with everything else that will be crowded onto your plate. Cranberry Sauce by noahw Homemade cranberry sauce rules with its tanginess and wonderful texture. It cooks up easily and stores in the fridge like a champ so skip the can this year. Cornbread by canida Cornbread is a versatile dish, equally good with a big bowl of chili and as a holiday side dish for Christmas or Thanksgiving. Deviled Eggs by rachel While everyone's anxiously waiting for the turkey, bring these out to keep the hungry horde happy and content. You can also try the dill-variation of Deviled Eggs. Corn on the Cob by noahw Hot corn on the cob with a bit of butter is a simple pleasure that nobody should be denied on Thanksgiving. That's right, nobody. Green Beans by noahw Add some veggies to the meal with this quick and tasty recipe for green beans. They're so tasty that even those who normally have to be force-fed greens will grab them up. Apple Pie by randofo Learn the basics of apple pie making with this Instructable and then try out different kinds of apples to see which combination makes you happiest. Pumpkin Pie by ewilhelm This recipe turns out a pumpkin pie so smooth that eating it is like becoming one with the essence of pumpkin. Absolutely worth the effort. Apple Cider by nagutron Fresh cider has a life of its own that can't be matched with what you get in the store. Give this beverage the respect it deserves by juicing some up yourself.

Posted by fungus amungus 10 years ago


Garlic as health booster

From Unlocking the Benefits of Garlic in the New York Times:The power to boost hydrogen sulfide production may help explain why a garlic-rich diet appears to protect against various cancers, including breast, prostate and colon cancer, say the study authors. Higher hydrogen sulfide might also protect the heart, according to other experts. Although garlic has not consistently been shown to lower cholesterol levels, researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine earlier this year found that injecting hydrogen sulfide into mice almost completely prevented the damage to heart muscle caused by a heart attack."People have known garlic was important and has health benefits for centuries," said Dr. David W. Kraus, associate professor of environmental science and biology at the University of Alabama. "Even the Greeks would feed garlic to their athletes before they competed in the Olympic games."Now, the downside. The concentration of garlic extract used in the latest study was equivalent to an adult eating about two medium-sized cloves per day. In such countries as Italy, Korea and China, where a garlic-rich diet seems to be protective against disease, per capita consumption is as high as eight to 12 cloves per day.I read this and immediately thought, "1-2 medium cloves per day! Christy and I probably eat that much in a single serving!"Try upping your garlic with these awesome recipes:Roasted TomatoesRoasted Eggplant with GarlicRoasted Sweet PotatoesGarlic Mashed Potatoesand here are some more recipes with lots of garlic.

Posted by ewilhelm 10 years ago


Stay Warmer At Night

We keep a kind of chilly house in winter . Sweaters and sweatshirts are expected, except for company.  In our area, we heat and cook with natural gas and that is cheaper than electricity. But the cheapest heat is residual from cooking . So a kettle is always on for tea whenever wished. And most nights we bake potatoes unless the daughter bakes brownies or something. And, in addition to that we will stick bricks in the oven. Come bedtime, the bricks get wrapped up in towels and put in the bed. where toes can cling to the brick and other toes. Best strategy for bricks is to bake them at 175 for a couple of hours.  Please spare the obvious comments, but please make other homey suggestions.

Posted by Wilmette 5 years ago


Do you cook mostly or all vegetarian food? What are your tips for staying balanced?

Was anyone else raised eating meat, then switched to mostly or all vegetarian cooking? Any tips for how to shop, filling meals, and how to avoid eating too much starch and sugar (pasta & fruit)? I'm thinking about limiting how much meat I eat, but I'm curious how to switch out of a meat-and-potatoes model I'm accustomed to from childhood. I love a good salad, have an enthusiastic passion for bean dishes, and have access to good vegetables. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

Posted by garnishrecipes 6 years ago


Poll Question: Do you think health and safety has gone crazy?

I know that on Instructables we do some fairly dangerous stuff with all the potato guns and weaponry. This 30 years ago was perfectly acceptable, but in the modern society health and safety makes you wear goggles and be safe. The fact is you can do practically nothing in an open environment without being told to be safer. I brought up this topic when i heard that one school had banned all pencil cases as well... It might contain sharp objects-like pencils! So what do you think, is all the politics making health and safety a bit over the top or is it just there to protect us?

Posted by Mr Tenacious 10 years ago


HELLO

HELLO IM NOT FROM THE US BUT THIS IS THE BEST GROUP ( COULD BE ) IN THIS FORUM. WHAT ABOUT A LITTLE WEED GROVING INSTRUCTABLE HE HE MAYBE IF START IT COULD BE A SERIUSLY GOOD DISCOUSSION GROUP TO. ANYWAY IM NEW HERE AND BEFORE I START POSTING PROJECTS , I WILL FIND THE RIGHT GROUPS. IM A NERD AND DO A LOT OF STUFF WITH ELECTRONIC AND COMPUTERS , IM IN TO SCIENCE IN MANY DIFFERENT WAYS AND MAYBE IN THE FUTURE A FULLY AUTOMATIC COMPUTERIZED WEED CARE MACHINE WILL BE BUILD ? ANYWAY IM PLAYING MUSIC AND EXPERIMENT WITH SOUND AS WELL AS SMOKING WEED . I SMOKE BONG , WATERPIPE , CHILLUM , JOINT , EARTHHOOCAS , MELONPIPE , CARROT CHILLUMS , POTATOE BONG ,MANY DIFFERENT PIPES , BAKE WEEDCOOKIES GROVING WEED AND OF COURSE ENJOY WEED .

Posted by MR WEED 11 years ago


Happy newyears

What did you do on new years eve / the AM's of new years day... I ran around the suburbs with my friends and my ipod+speakers, When it got too cold we would hang in train stations where we ate off vending machines, one of the vending machines was very very very evil, because they arranged it so infront of all the swedish fish there was a thing of potato chips, and infront of all the starburst was a rollo! We listened to lots of good music and watched the sunrise while trying to ice skate in a empty parking lot....Im posting this video because i played this song on loop forever while running up and down traintracks. Oh and what did you do on new years?

Posted by astrozombies138 10 years ago


No patent on this one.

I have an idea. It could be a good one, and it could be a useful one. It could even be a money-spinning one, but I want to spread it instead of earn from it.What I'm thinking of was inspried by potato cannons:Imagine a combustion chamber of reasonable size, say a gallon volume. Cylindrical, it is domed at one end t withstand internal pressure, but the other end tapers to a narrow outlet.The idea is that an explosive mixture in the chamber (anything handy, but gasoline/air, ethanol/air and butane/air are the most likely) is ignited by a spark, just like a potato cannon. There is no ammunition, though.The tapered pipe (I hope) concentrates the blast to release a "bullet" of rapidly-moving gases.The whole cannon points down at the ground, the muzzle only a few inches from the ground. The detonation is triggered via a long cable (metres long). The "gas bullet" hits the ground with a large enough force to simulate the step of a human or animal, or the passing of a tyre. This triggers the landmine left months ago under the soil.My idea is, in effect, a low-tech device, capable of being built and repaired by semi-skilled locals, from scavanged materials, in war-torn areas. With a bit of training, a small team could use one to safely pound a mine-field hard enough to trigger the mines and make the area safe to live in. The cannon would be damaged by explosions, but not so badly that it would need repaired after every use, and it could be easily fixed with scrap from the nearest wrecked landrover.Would this work? Or would they need solid ammunition, say lumps of timber or rocks wrapped in rags to make a seal? That would need a staight (not tapered) barrel, but it's the same idea.I don't have the space or equipment to make one myself, and land-mine charities won't tell me how much force is required to trigger a mine, but most of you reading this are in the US, and it seems you have an easier time finding this kind of thing out.Run with the idea, chaps. Build one if you can, and ship it to somebody who needs it, or come up with better plans than my rough idea, and post them to those who need them.

Posted by Kiteman 11 years ago


Adding Other Materials to the Mix

Over the past couple of years, I've evolved from being totally captivated by my 3D printer, making everything I could think of out of the three plastics I can print with, ABS, PLA and Nylon, to having the Replicator, sitting in my shop and becoming "another tool".  A tool that stands in as an "employee", who can make things while I do other things. Along with doing a pretty good job of making my designs, I've experimented with stepping in, during the print, adding components made of other materials, such as cloth, metal and other plastics.  I've successfully made pulls on tie bags, an electric push button, aluminum mounts for my project car and spring clips to hang my wife's potato chip and popcorn bags in the kitchen. Has anyone else been able to use their printer to make items, not 100% plastic?

Posted by bfk 5 years ago


No patent on this one.

I have an idea. It could be a good one, and it could be a useful one. It could even be a money-spinning one, but I want to spread it instead of earn from it.What I'm thinking of was inspried by potato cannons:Imagine a combustion chamber of reasonable size, say a gallon volume. Cylindrical, it is domed at one end t withstand internal pressure, but the other end tapers to a narrow outlet.The idea is that an explosive mixture in the chamber (anything handy, but gasoline/air, ethanol/air and butane/air are the most likely) is ignited by a spark, just like a potato cannon. There is no ammunition, though.The tapered pipe (I hope) concentrates the blast to release a "bullet" of rapidly-moving gases.The whole cannon points down at the ground, the muzzle only a few inches from the ground. The detonation is triggered via a long cable (metres long). The "gas bullet" hits the ground with a large enough force to simulate the step of a human or animal, or the passing of a tyre. This triggers the landmine left months ago under the soil.My idea is, in effect, a low-tech device, capable of being built and repaired by semi-skilled locals, from scavanged materials, in war-torn areas. With a bit of training, a small team could use one to safely pound a mine-field hard enough to trigger the mines and make the area safe to live in. The cannon would be damaged by explosions, but not so badly that it would need repaired after every use, and it could be easily fixed with scrap from the nearest wrecked landrover.Would this work? Or would they need solid ammunition, say lumps of timber or rocks wrapped in rags to make a seal? That would need a staight (not tapered) barrel, but it's the same idea.I don't have the space or equipment to make one myself, and land-mine charities won't tell me how much force is required to trigger a mine, but most of you reading this are in the US, and it seems you have an easier time finding this kind of thing out.Run with the idea, chaps. Build one if you can, and ship it to somebody who needs it, or come up with better plans than my rough idea, and post them to those who need them.

Posted by Kiteman 11 years ago


bar fridge and footstool in one?

My husband really really wants a footstool for his potato couching comfort. He has also always joked about wanting a bar fridge in the lounge for keeping his beer in close proximity to the TV. (he's a lovely but lazy lazy man). I am NOT the 'handy' type, but I do know one end of a screwdriver from the other (just). My first thought was just to tip a bar fridge on it's back and cover it with fabric so that iyou would lift the 'top' to get to the fridge part, but the 'what-cha-ma-callit' at the back of the fridge (the coil looking bit) would be on the ground.. now I am a natural blonde but even I know this is not a good idea! If anyone has ANY ideas on how to go about combining the 2 I would be very very grateful, and my husband would have the best christmas present ever! I am especially looking for any ideas using the KISS principal. thanks!

Posted by jag5000 10 years ago


Instructables Statistics

Monthly TrafficPeople 4.3M (US 2.7M)Page Views 45.6M (US 27.1M)US Demographics55% Male, 45% Female82% Caucasian"This site attracts a less affluent audience.""There is a high index of College Graduates here."Audience Also Searches For"instructables""how to make moonshin" "how to kiss" "make""mouse trap car""how to make a still" "origami rose" "potato gun""how to draw graffiti" "homesteading""adio""how to make a bomb""how to make a bow""how to make wine""how to solve a rubix"All this and more statistics here.By catergory Global People Global People %tech 1,490,650 32.90%craft 960,306 21.20%offbeat 604,246 13.30%index 476,859 10.50%life 444,854 9.80%home 440,639 9.70%green 420,722 9.30%art 409,729 9.00%food 386,673 8.50%games 324,747 7.20%science 269,921 6.00%ride 255,199 5.60%outdoors 234,394 5.20%music 139,924 3.10%kids 108,103 2.40%photography 106,470 2.40%pets 87,112 1.90%sports 68,147 1.50%knex 45,614 1.00%holiday 25 <1%

Posted by lemonie 9 years ago


Diy LED strip light powered from a solar powered battery bank (for painting/drawing at night)

I like to paint nightscapes and so far headlamps are not working so well for me. I used a portable light bar one night that worked well (on loan) but it was too heavy. I've been through stores looking for the right thing...and harbor freight came close. But I need something lighter weight and less expensive.  Two or three led lights don't cast enough light and 30 led storebought lights are too much light. I have a solar powered phone charger with battery bank (with usb connections) that I now plan to use as the portable power source. I plan to use a pringles potato chip tube as the light housing that can be attached by clips to my pochade (really a mod'd cigar box) on top of a camera tripod. I guess my main concern is weight on the box, so I thought running a cable off a power source hanging from the tripod would be more secure and less likely to fall in my palette (as has already happened). I need help figuring out the circuit board; and also choosing the right white led for color purposes. Any thoughts?

Posted by sreudianflip 1 year ago


I need help with my website forum and need to boost traffic

Hello, I want to ask about your opinions about my websites forum (not mine per say but my good friends), http://yowee.netai.net My friend, the admin, hydronator, is considering taking the site down because we dont get much traffic, and no-one other than a few of the members of the old forum which crashed, have joined the new forum. I want to know, what could be done to improve the site, and also, what would be a better way to describe the forum, other than "fun weapons designing ", since that doesnt exactly sound right, at yowee i and a few others design things that might be considered weapons, like potato launchers or pen catapults , things that you wouldnt call toy weapons. anyway, we need a positive way to describe what we do, as well as ways to attract more traffic, or else hydronator is going to shut down the site :( because he is depressed, and is being rather negative in turn of recent events. Basically what yowee is, or what it was originally was " a community of friends having fun  conspiring against society and plotting fun ways to have fun ,prank and be a nuisance" somewhat like anarchist community in many ways, except completely different, not being anarchists and all. Its hard to describe, which is one of the reason ide like to ask for help!

Posted by oldmanbeefjerky 7 years ago


Thanksgiving Reuse Challenge Winners Announced

Instructables is happy to announce the winners of the Thanksgiving Reuse Contest. As this was a speed contest, all of the voting was done by YOU and (for the random prize) a cardboard box.Since this was also an international contest and Thanksgiving is pretty American, we kept the definitions of "Thanksgiving" and "reuse" pretty loose. If it had to do with food, celebration, or the detritus thereof, we were happy to include it.To see the full list of entries simply check out the group. More Thanksgiving instructables can be seen in last year's contest group as well.But enough about that... on with the winners!Pageviews and Ratings Prizes - For receiving the most pageviews and the highest ratings, the authors of these Instructables will each receive an Instructables Robot t-shirt and a laser-engraved cutting board. How to Make Delicious, Healthy Homemade Potato Chips With a Microwave! by thatkidwithayoyo A Thai style Chicken BBQ cooked outside in 10-15 minutes. Using an old can, empty beer bottle and some hay. by dandym Ratings Prize Runners-up - For receiving the next highest ratings, the authors of these four Instructables will each receive an Instructables Robot t-shirt. The World's Loudest Party Popper Easy Tasty Milk Pudding Microwaved Grand Marnier chestnuts, flambe' Turkey Time Tesla CD Turbine Random Prize - For being lucky enough to have its name pulled out of a cardboard box, the author of this Instructable will receive an Instructables Robot t-shirt and a laser-engraved cutting board.and the random winner is...Turkey Chili

Posted by fungus amungus 10 years ago


One-Stop Shop for Makers

Hi Everyone,  I'm Sarah Calvillo, a visual artist and interactive designer based in San Francisco. I created Steampunk Mr. Potato Head on instructables a while back.  I recently built the first one-stop shop for makers in the U.S. to find and book affordable studio time. Growing up, I've watched my father build our house from his personal workshop. Living in the city, I've found there is limited space to build my own projects. I wanted to create a platform where you could rent space and resources from your community. Funding this project was a major challenge, so I resorted to bartering design for development services with a friend to build Concourse. It took us a couple months to build and launch the site. My only advice for someone replicating this project like this is not to fear being scrappy or hacky. Build what you can, then iterate on what you've built. As a one-woman operation, I’ve been focusing my efforts on helping the Bay Area to start. However, Concourse is open for anyone anywhere to use. You can either rent out your workshop or rent someone else. Visit us Concourse.co.  Hope I can help you continue making a create cool stuff on Instructables. DM me for more information about Concourse. Alright ladies and gents, take good care and thanks for your time. All the best, Sarah

Posted by saritamarianyc 1 year ago


POLL Which gun to finish first

Hi, I am making my 2 first guns at the same time, they are of different types. the first one is your run of the mill sniper with the bolt action, modded sprinkler and barrel LEDs, this one shoots big marbles and the traditional potato. the second one is not as constructed as I started it when I got tired of making the first one ( I swap between them depending on which one i feel like making) anyway it shoots the small type of marbles, but this one uses a hammer valve Which I'll try to explain now, the cylinder is pressurised to about 100 psi, the hammer is drawn forward which pulls the whole barrel forward, this is then caught on a sear trigger, when the trigger is pulled the barrel is pulled back by rubber bands and hits the hammer valve, this opens the seal allowing air to escape, then once the projectile has been fired a spring pushes the valve closed, blocking the air, there is an animation that helps exlain it down the bottom (it isn't mine but works on the same principle) also I am not going to make a magazine for it as I cant find a way to make sure only 1 marble falls into the barrelP.S if you find anything wrong with my designs tell me as I am only 13 and these are my first gunsP.P.S I will only be able to post around new year as I am busy with exams and the suchP.P.P.S If i am to make the hammer valve gun first it will take longer because I am not as far advanced in itthanks for reading be sure to check my topics on some of the aspects of the designs:optimisation of pneumaticsbest chamber to barrel ratio

Posted by cheeseboy 10 years ago


(newsletter) Kilo-Lumen Bike Light, Sparkleball, Amazing Pumpkin Pie...

Nov 26, 2008 Sign-up for this newsletter: function openSubscribePopUp(src){ var emailValidate = /\w{1,}[@][\w\-]{1,}([.]([\w\-]{1,})){1,3}$/ if(emailValidate.test(src.value) == false){ alert("Please enter correct email"); return; } window.open("/newsletter/newslettersignup?email=" + src.value,"newslettersignup1","status=yes,scrollbars=yes,resizable=yes,width=420,height=250"); } Welcome back! Making something sweet for the holidays? Then enter it in the Holiday Treats Contest and win a custom laser-etched rolling pin! Show us your best creation powered by AA, AAA, C, or D batteries and win a full set of eneloop rechargeable batteries in the SANYO eneloop Battery Powered Contest! Color a robot and send it in to help us decorate Eric's office!Coming very soon... our biggest contest yet! Any project using tools will be eligible, so start tinkering now! (no-melt) Sparkleball by sparkleball_lady Perfect Oven Sweet Potato Fries by jessyratfink Cook a Huge Dinner w/ Spreadsheets by canida Kilo-Lumen bike headlight by kc6qhp Win a sweet set of rechargeable batteries! Win a custom laser-engravedrolling pin! Homemade Flavored Marshmallows by cainunable Build a Greenhouse for under $25 by PondPlantGirl Turn a Photo into a Stencil! by Weissensteinburg Amazingly Smooth Pumpkin Pie by ewilhelm "Dead" Battery Lamp by zjharva Arduino Controlled Servo Robot by Stuart.Mcfarlan Modular Pie-cosahedron by turkey tek Bicycle Oil Lantern by alpacalypse Make a gift special with these customizable Instructables Vote for your favorites! How to make Soft Drinks by SFHandyman Bench Saw Table for a Wood Lathe by Phil B Cranberry Relish by LasVegas Hard Drive Persistence of Vision by vishnubob Now go make something awesome, and I'll see you next week! - Eric Sign-up for this newsletter: function openSubscribePopUp(src){ var emailValidate = /\w{1,}[@][\w\-]{1,}([.]([\w\-]{1,})){1,3}$/ if(emailValidate.test(src.value) == false){ alert("Please enter correct email"); return; } window.open("/newsletter/newslettersignup?email=" + src.value,"newslettersignup2","status=yes,scrollbars=yes,resizable=yes,width=420,height=250"); }

Posted by fungus amungus 9 years ago


Favorites and Ratings

In our recent update, one of the major changes is the removal of ratings and emphasis on favorites. Key points: We did this because most people rate either 1 star or 5 stars The ratings ended up extremely close to one another and became meaningless Our experience with a +/- system showed that having a down vote made for a toxic experience for everyone We're now just using the favorite button now to simplify and keep it a positive experience for all Read on for more details. We've had a rocky relationship with ratings.  When we started Instructables in 2005, we had a "+/-" rating system where members could express either an up or a down vote for an Instructable.  Good Instructables generally received lots of "+" votes, and the list of the most negatively voted Instructables was pretty amusing (with this taking the bottom position for quite some time).  Our experience with this system was two-fold: first, negative ratings really didn't add much value to the community and were often given in a mean-spirited way rather than in a spirit of constructive criticism; second, the community expressed an interest in giving a more nuanced rating to an Instructable.  In fact, for a while members would comment on a project and assign it a letter grade from A to F.  So, we implemented a 5-star rating system.  An Instructable's rating was calculated by the average of all of its ratings.  This method is fine when there were lots of ratings, but gives poor results when there are few.  For example, if the first two raters of a newly published Instructable both rated it 1 star (for whatever reason), that Instructable would appear to be terrible by its rating, and its rating would only improve as more people decided to give it a chance and perhaps rate it.  It is an awful experience for new authors to watch their work be initially down rated and then maybe improve over several days. To address this, we built a Bayesian rating system with 5 stars.  The objective was to push the rating of an Instructable towards the average rating of all Instructables when it had few raters.  As more people rated it, the rating could diverge further and further from the average.  We spent quite some time optimizing this system: we built messages helping people understand what 1 star meant vs. 5 stars; we made it so the first couple dozen ratings of a new member had lower weight than later ratings (so it was difficult to change an Instructable's rating by rating it with lots of newly created accounts); and we tweaked all of the underlying knobs and ratios.  When everything had settled, a newly published Instructable would have a rating around 3, a very good Instructable could get to around 4, and an extremely popular and highly rated Instructable approached 4.8 or 4.9.  It seemed like the system was working, and it gave a quantitative measure of the quality of an Instructable in relation to other Instructables.  However, it was ultimately deeply dissatisfying.  After all this work, and lots of input from the community through ratings, thousands of Instructables were all rated pretty much the same, with only slight differences in the rating's third digit.  The slight variations were most likely noise, and the ranking didn't give a definitive sense of quality to a new visitor nor a sense of accomplishment to an author.  What does it mean to say Sweet Potato Fries is rated 4.22 compared to Arduino-Controlled Robotic Drum at 4.23?  Is the rating going to help you decide which Instructable you might try your hand at?  Further, when we looked at how people actually rated, it turned out that ratings were heavily skewed towards 1 star or 5 stars.  Even after requesting more nuanced ratings, and despite how we described what various star levels meant, people were still only giving As or Fs -- either they liked the Instructable or they didn't.  This system probably would have been ok if not for two factors:  star ratings appearing in Google searches and the rise of the "Like" button.  If you search for "sweet potato fries" on Google you'll likely get a couple of recipes including one from Instructables.  Many first time visitors to Instructables find us through searches -- many of them food-related -- so it's very important how our content appears in search results.  A while back, Google started including star ratings in some of the search results, primarily recipes.  Many recipe sites have 5-star rating systems, so I guess the presumption was that including the ratings might help searchers better choose between results.  Unfortunately, this doesn't work because you cannot compare the ratings of one site to the ratings of another.  For example, many of the results for a "sweet potato fries" search have 5-star ratings using a basic average system (you can easily tell by the number of raters), while the result from Instructables might have more raters giving it 5-stars, but because of our Bayesian system, the overall rating might only be 4 stars.  On Instructables, 4 stars represents a very good project, while on another site, everything -- even garbage -- might be rated 5.  All of our work to create a meaningful rating system was being used to penalize us in search results -- why would a searcher click through to a 4-star sweet potato fries recipe when they could go to a 5-star recipe? We couldn't tell how many people were choosing not to visit Instructables because our projects had lower star ratings, but we needed to do something.  I'm not proud to admit this, but our solution was to inflate all of our ratings by a full star.  Instructables rated 4.9 were suddenly joined by Instructables previously rated 3.9.  The ratings became even more meaningless because lots of Instructables were now all rated 4.5 or greater.  At this same time, Facebook's "Like" button was gaining momentum.  The "Like" button is a pretty nice concept as it eliminates the ability to express a negative preference and it associates an individual with the rating.  I think it's more meaningful to know that 10 people like my Instructable than it is to have a 4.5 (or whatever) rating, even if that rating is the result of 10 people giving me 5 stars.  Not everyone on Instructables uses Facebook, nor do we want to outsource our rating system to Facebook, but we wanted to learn from the success of the "Like" button and expand upon the concept to make our rating system less like giving a grade or being graded.  To accomplish this, we've removed our ratings and made the "favorite" action the way to express a preference on an Instructable.  Marking something as a favorite is more of a commitment than saying you like it or giving it a rating, but this is a distinction I see as important and worth developing.  At Instructables, we hope to inspire you to take action and build something great which requires a greater commitment than simply liking something.  In the future, we plan to expand what you can do with favorites, exploring concepts such as "I made it" and "I want to make it" among others. Do we need something more akin to a like button in addition to favorites?  I'm not sure, and I'd love your feedback.  We'll be closely watching how people use favorites in its new, highly prominent position.  As with most things, this is an experiment, and we're collecting data to see if this change is something that helps our authors.  I hope you've enjoyed seeing a little bit under the hood about our rating system!  Let us know what you think.

Posted by ewilhelm 6 years ago


UPDATED: I am having difficulties deciding which book to pick from AMAZON

I will get a list of the ones I am considering at the moment soon, and would like suggestions from you all too. Ok, here is my list; I want to pick one of these, OR if someone has a better suggestion....let me hear it:   Backyard Ballistics: Build Potato Cannons, Paper Match Rockets, Cincinnati Fire Kites, Tennis Ball Mortars, and More Dynamite Devices by William Gurstelle Whoosh Boom Splat: The Garage Warrior's Guide to Building Projectile Shooters by William Gurstelle Adventures from the Technology Underground: Catapults, Pulsejets, Rail Guns, Flamethrowers, Tesla Coils, Air Cannons, and the Garage Warriors Who Love Them by William Gurstelle MAKE: Electronics: Learning Through Discovery [Paperback] Charles Platt Getting Started with Arduino (Make: Projects) by Massimo Banzi Practical Arduino: Cool Projects for Open Source Hardware (Technology in Action) by Jonathan Oxer 30 Arduino Projects for the Evil Genius [Paperback] Simon Monk 51 High-Tech Practical Jokes for the Evil Genius by Brad Graham Mechatronics for the Evil Genius: 25 Build-it-Yourself Projects by Newton Braga 123 Robotics Experiments for the Evil Genius (TAB Robotics) by Myke Predko 22 Radio and Receiver Projects for the Evil Genius by Thomas Petruzzellis The Geeks' Guide to World Domination: Be Afraid, Beautiful People [Paperback] Garth Sundem Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments: All Lab, No Lecture (DIY Science) by Robert Bruce Thompson Chemical Magic by Leonard A. Ford The Best of Make (Make 75 Projects from the pages of MAKE) by Mark Frauenfelder Theo Gray's Mad Science: Experiments You Can Do At Home - But Probably Shouldn't by Theodore Gray BTW:  I have the one pictured, and actually am not pleased with this particular one.  Which is why I am being cautious....

Posted by Goodhart 7 years ago


Super iPod, USB Fridge, Wood-Fired Hot Tub...

Sign-up for our newsletter here. Nov. 29, 2007 Welcome back. Don't forget to enter our Thanksgiving ReuseChallenge. Win an engraved bamboo cutting board! Check out all these cool Instructables! $5 Mini USB Fridge! Keep your drinks coldnext to your computer with the power coming out of your USBport.postedby babblin5 on Nov 28, 2007 High-powered LED Mag-lite Conversion Make you Mag-Liteshine brighter and longer with the addition of a dozen LEDs. posted by MustangChris429 on Nov 27, 2007 How to Make Delicious, Healthy Homemade Potato Chips With aMicrowave! Make your chips withwhatever seasonings you like!postedby thatkidwithayoyo on Nov 22,2007 How to build a wood-fired hot tub It's getting colderout there so build a hot tub for less than $75 and stay warm thiswinter.postedby veloboy on Nov 26, 2007 How To Turn an ice cream Stick Into aKey Make a copy of a keywith a popsicle stick and some simple tools.postedby tycoyoken on Nov 26,2007 Replicating body parts in plaster Preserve a part ofyourself forever with a plaster replica.postedby donnauwanna on Nov 25,2007 Super iPod Mega is the new mini soit's time to make an iPod pillowcase that plays music and has fabricbuttons to control it.postedby sun on Nov 24, 2007 Win a laser cutter worth over$15,000! Cook a Chicken in 15 minutes with an old can, a beerbottle, and some hay. Warm yourself up witha quick fire that delivers a roasted chicken. posted by dandym on Nov 22, 2007 The Poor Mans Paint Job: How to paint your car for$75 Try on a different carcolor with this new trick for painting with Rustoleum.postedby Styluss on Nov 27, 2007 Ultra-cheap router lift Make the router lift onyour own and save over $100. postedby Vestus on Nov 25, 2007   Now gomake something awesome, and I'll see you next week! -Eric

Posted by lebowski 10 years ago


Design Changes on Instructables

As you've noticed, we've been making some design changes to Instructables.  We're trying to accomplish a number of things including making it easier to find content you're interested in, creating more compelling products for advertisers, and supporting and growing what we've already built.  Here, I'll share the details around some specific design changes. One of my big goals for 2010 is to increase our direct visitors.  A direct visitor might type our URL into their browser, click on a link in a newsletter, come to the site from one of their bookmarks, or search for a phrase that includes "Instructables".  Other types of visitors include searchers, who come to the site from phrases such as "sweet potato fries" but aren't specifically trying to reach Instructables.com, and visitors from blogs or news portals.  My thesis is that more and more brand advertisers will want to reach our true community, and not people who are just passing by.  A pretty good proxy for our true community is direct visitors, and we've already seen the savviest advertisers try to reach only that community by advertising exclusively on our homepage (the recent Apple campaigns, for example).  To grow our business and ensure that Instructables thrives, it's important that we have great opportunities for advertisers, and a stronger community means more great Instructables and more intelligent people seeing and commenting on your Instructables. To this end, we've been working to increase the likelihood that someone will go deeper into our content, and remember to come back in the future.  Said another way, we want that sweet potato fries Google search to introduce someone to Instructables, and then have them think, "wow this site is amazing, I'll bookmark it, sign up for the newsletter, come back, etc..."  Some of the most dramatic changes are on the homepage and channel homepages.   On the homepage, we've removed the intro text from the links to Instructables.  By making the homepage less cluttered with words, I was hoping to increase the number of people clicking on an Instructable.  Also, I felt that the beginning of the intro text didn't contribute much to my understanding of the Instructable, and often it was no more than a repetition of the title (and at worse a note about how it was someone's first...).  Removing text to increase engagement might seem counter-intuitive, but with too much going on, visitors sometimes just leave rather than decide what to click on.  So far, clicks from the homepage are flat or slightly up, so this change hasn't had a negative effect on deepening visits, and may over time move us in a positive direction.  On the channel homepages, we've drastically changed the layout to be more blog-like.  My theory here was to give people a format they were more familiar with from elsewhere on the web, and results have been dramatic.  The exit-rates (the percentage of visitors that leave Instructables from a particular page) on our channel homepages have been cut in half.  For example, the exit-rate on the home channel homepage has dropped from 12% to 4.5%.  This is really good!  To me, this indicates that on the channel homepages we're giving visitors more compelling content, and they are more likely to dig into that content. In support of our efforts to deepen visits, we've been doing similar smaller changes all over the site. Most of these are based on our traffic and click analysis, and if my theories are wrong, we change back or try something else.  One particular change that has generated concern is the removal of the Answers link from the header.  This has nothing to do with our support of Answers in general -- it's based on data.  That link was almost completely unused.  Coming again from the perspective of making a slightly cleaner look, we removed it.  As the link wasn't generating any clicks, traffic to Answers has been unaffected.  In fact, as we're highlighting specific answers on the channel homepages, traffic to the Answers section is actually up 7% since we removed the link:  from Feb. 1 - 18 answers did an average of 11.1 K pageviews per day; from Feb. 19 - 28 it's done 11.9 K pageviews per day.  Perhaps that's noise in the data, but removing the link certainly hasn't been the end of answers, and the trend since the change is positive. So, we do rearrange the furniture from time to time, but it's never without reason.  We're always trying to make Instructables better.  We've messed up in the past, and we'll surely mess up in the future; but I think this is good, because if we're not reaching and striving a little bit beyond our comfort zone, we're not learning and improving. 

Posted by ewilhelm 8 years ago


I can only eat small bites of food

Let me just get it out of the way, I have a genetic deformity. My Esophagus is VERY small. Mashed Potatoes get stuck in my throat (without choking though,) So today, I was looking forward to going to Wendy's for the first time in 3 months. So, I took 1 bite of my Spicy chicken sandwich... Swallowed, and took another bite. As soon as I took my second bite, I felt the first bite get stuck, so since it happens when i eat ANYTHING, I don't panic and take a drink of my coke.... I forget about the food stored in my cheek. The stored food in my cheek goes down my throat with the coke on top. I am in serious pain, and my breath is so short, I barely had enough time to *I can't breath*. My mom tells me to put my arms in my air, so I do. My dad come up behind me and squeezes my stomach... the food that I was choking on kept flip-flopping between my windpipe and throat. Finally, It gets out of my windpipe and into my throat... I run to the bathroom... I belch up out 4 mouth fulls of chewed up chicken sandwhich and coke. The chicken was stuck in my throat (but not choking) for about an hour. Finally, I decide to drink water and it slips down my throat... Now, I feel like I am learning to eat all over again. Everyone wanted to go to a diner at 10 pm... so I go, scared to eat (odd, huh?). I get the grilled cheese with a pickle and fries. About half an hour later, everyone is putting their food into boxes to take home... I haven't even touched my second half of grilled cheese. I chew everything into applesauce - like cider. Luckily, my dad, who also had this problem as a child, has a doctor who stretched his throat out, and when I get older, I will get that done to me. My mom and brother laugh about my incident... but now, I am still in shock and having trouble eating...

Posted by Flumpkins 9 years ago


Food Creator and dispensor

This project is currently in the research stage. Having been reading the books 'Zero to Maker' by David Lang (OpenROV) and 'The Toaster Project' by Thomas Thwaites I have realised what I need is a project with a goal to take me out of the Arduino blinky light and solder kit zone, in to real making/hacking. Lang suggests an 'Unknown Project' which as I understand it is one that has been unexplored or under-explored, and he also suggests that using a popular forum to log, share and discus ideas would help the process along. So my idea, is an open hardware food creating machine, that will produce a large array of food, from a limited array of ingredients (approx 50) that can be made easily, and a ingredient markup language. 3d food printers in current development are either impractical or unappealing to me. They range from candy makers, ones that still need to be hand finished and cooked or the one publicised for receiving NASA funding recently used dead bugs. They seem all to focus on the gimmick, and not the food, and I like food. The other approach is the barbots, which seem to mostly perform flawlessly, but are unable to produce food. So my approach is to work through the process logically and break it down to sub projects. Design meals by hand using the limited ingredients for proof of concept, choose the ingredients to provide the widest possible range of nutrients and transpose the recipies to psudocode that can be easilly transformed in to a markup language later. Design a process for mixing and cooking ingredients. I envision a system of different food processors, steamers, boilers etc. and a range of extruding dies. Design a self cleaning system. Possibly ultrasonic or ionic. To that end, here is my preliminary list of ingredients. sugar, salt, oil, water, co2,Alcohol 37.5%,pectin,bicarb,nutritional yeast coffee,tea,mint,cocoa,garlic,oregano,chilli powder, paprika rice,soya,corn,wheat lemon extract,orange extract,tomato powder,dried apple,dried carrots,dried peas,potato powder. These ingredients can be used to make among other things, sausages, burgers, curry's, pasta, fries, soups, cereals, 'cider', cocktails, deserts, sodas, sauces, egg cheese and milk substitutes. So that's my plan. What do you guy think, and what ingredients would you add and why? And what would you call it? There are loads of things I left out as everything will change as I work through the process. Thanks for reading, Haydn

Posted by HaydnJones 4 years ago


Solar Death Ray, Robot Foosball, Snow Cannon...

Sign-up for our newsletter here. Dec. 27, 2007 Welcome back! The Laser Cutter Contest ends on Jan. 1, 2008. If you're still sitting on an amazing Instructable, submit it now to win a VersaLaser worth over $15,000! Don't forget to enter the Homemade Holidays Contest! Share your homemade holiday gift ideas through an Instructable, a Slideshow, or a Video, and win great prizes from CRAFT magazine! Check out these cool instructables! Giant Fresnel Lens Deathray: An Experiment in Optics So you don't have access to your own rail gun or military space laser....but never fear, we'll use the sunlight in your yard to instantly set things on fire! posted by DrSimons on Dec 26, 2007 Build a Microwave Transformer Homemade Welder Making a DIY welder is easy to do and it's pretty much FREE! If you feel comfortable playing with electricity, check this out.posted by stasterisk on Dec 24, 2007 Fix a stuck pixel on an LCD monitor Fix those pesky stuck pixels in just a couple of minutes and enjoy a fully functional monitor. posted by Line Master Jorbob on Dec 23, 2007 The Ambience Enhancer Listen to your music in style with this wondrous steampunk device.posted by Porkshanks on Dec 21, 2007 How To: Jailbreak your Ipod Touch 1.1.1 to 1.1.2 (Windows) Jailbreak your iPod Touch to add some custom applications. This is worth it for the instant messenger alone. posted by RTheaven on Nov 19, 2007 Just a few days left to win a $15,000 VersaLaser! The Stirling Engine, absorb energy from candles, coffee, and more! A simple way to get introduced to the Stirling engine. Unleash the power!posted by thecheatscalc on Dec 21, 2007 Build a Wind Harp!A wind harp is just what the name says, a harp played by the wind. You don't need lessons with this instrument, just a light wind will do.posted by botronics on Dec 26, 2007 Cheap secret compartment! Learn how to make a secret compartment that can be built into a bookcase, or some other piece of furniture. A sneaky lock keeps it hidden. posted by Hoverboy06 on Dec 21, 2007 Autonomous Foosball Table The robots are take over living rooms one foosball table at a time. Are you with them or against them?posted by eski on Dec 25, 2007 Pneumatic Snowball Cannon A lot of people make potato guns, but it's winter so let's shoot some snowballs instead! posted by cvxdes on Dec 18, 2007   Now go make something awesome, and I'll see you next week! - Eric

Posted by fungus amungus 10 years ago


Mags, Websites, Fairs Tap Tech DIY Boom - Instructables in the Washington Post

Instructables, Make, and Dorkbot are all mentioned in this Associated Press article: Mags, Websites, Fairs Tap Tech DIY Boom By SETH SUTEL NEW YORK -- What do you do when you've bolted a computer onto a remote-controlled car, hooked it up with Internet access, a wireless router and a camera but you don't have anyone to show it off to? Just ask Mike Davis. He brought his mobile Internet access point to a meeting with other readers of Make magazine, a how-to publication for people who just love to tinker with stuff. The 28-year-old systems engineer from Brooklyn found people who built homemade LCD displays, a clock that makes you solve a math problem before setting the alarm and a class in mastering pipe mechanics - something with many uses beyond just making a potato cannon. Make magazine, not yet three years old, is leading a new wave of interest in build-it-yourself projects. Even as technology comes to us in packages that are ever harder to take apart and tinker with, Make harkens back to a time when it was OK to build your own radio, get under the hood of your car and open up electronic devices like record players just to see how they worked. Its Web site sells hooded sweat shirts emblazoned with the credo: "If You Can't Open It, You Don't Own It." People seem to be catching on. In the summer of 2005, not long after Make's first issue came out, an MIT-educated engineer named Eric Wilhelm launched a site called Instructables.com with how-to instructions for all kinds of projects, while a meet-up group called Dorkbot has been springing up in cities around the country to showcase artistic, musical and just plain quizzical inventions with one thing in common - using electricity. ... Wilhelm started an early version of Instructables.com while still a starving grad student because he was seeking advice about how to make equipment to support his kite surfing hobby on the cheap. The site is now nearly profitable and is seeing online traffic grow about 10 percent a month, hitting 2.5 million unique visitors in January, said Wilhelm. One of the most popular projects is the "Invisible Book Shelf," made by attaching an L-bracket to a book which you then attach to your wall, and then pile more books on top. More news articles about Instructables here.

Posted by ewilhelm 10 years ago


Amazon.com&reg; and Instructables Science Fair Results!

Amazon.com® and Instructables are pleased to announce the winners of the Science Fair! The entries were sweet, and I personally learned quite a few new things. Check out all the projects here.Grand PrizeThe grand prize winner for will receive a USD $1,500 Amazon.com gift certificate, a custom laser-etched Leatherman Juice S2 multi-tool, and an Instructables Robot t-shirt.The Rubens' Tube: Soundwaves in Fire! by yourtvliesFirst PrizeEach first prize winner will each receive a USD $250 Amazon.com gift certificate, a custom laser-etched Leatherman Juice S2 multi-tool, and an Instructables Robot t-shirt.Build an antique style crystal radio by OhmWiimote Rubens Tube: Control Fire With Sound! (And a Nintendo Wiimote!) by ScaryBunnyManKitchen laboratory II: The CO2 trap by syribiaThe Hilsch vortex tube by thecheatscalcRunners UpThe runners-up will each receive a USD $25 Amazon.com gift certificate, an Instructables patch, and stickers.A simple mechanical resonance demonstrator by 5VoltHow to make plastic by aaPreparing your own thin layer chromatography plates (and then using them) by allanf0Make a Voltage Controlled Resistor and Use It by BioteleElectromechanical Transducer Out of a Polystyrene Conical Section! by BookburnMake Potato Plastic! by Brandon121233The Bio-Battery - Power for the future. (So easy a 10 year old can do it.) by chowdeshellMotor Speaker by guyfrom7upHow to make air muscles! by HonusMeasure the drag coefficient of your car by iwilltryBarbie Doll Electric Chair Science Fair Project! by jessyratfinkMake an Evaporative Terra Cotta Beer Chiller by jolshefskyBe a scientist: make your own force meter. by Kiteman8X10 foldable pinhole camera by lennybBuilding a better Guinea and Feather by Luke LuckGrowing Mushrooms: PF Tek by nakKelvin's Thunderstorm - Create lightning from water and gravity! by NK5Be a Scientist: Learn about Triboluminescence (or Lightning in your by RedNeckOreoLet's go green! Build a Solar Powered Parabolic Cooker! by WeissensteinburgGeodesic Dome Greenhouse by yes2techFamily CollaborationThese collaborating families will receive a matched set of Instructables Robot t-shirts and an acrylic Robot plaque laser-engraved with their names!The Bio-Battery - Power for the future. (So easy a 10 year old can do it.) by chowdeshellLaunch it: the Huffin' Hoopster by KitemanAll winners should watch their inboxes for a private message with prize-claim instructions.The following Instructables were rated high enough to be runners-up, but the authors already had a winning entry:Hack The Spy Ear and Learn to Reverse Engineer a Circuit by BioteleBuild a solar hot dog cooker by iwilltryMeasure the specific heat of water and other fluids by iwilltryBe a Scientist: map your skin by KitemanThe Chaos Machine (Double Pendulum) by Luke LuckKitchen laboratory: Proteins and Cheese making by syribiaMake Rheopectic slime in less than 15 minutes! (It is not Oobleck) by syribiaGive a big round of applause to our awesome judges who spent hours going through each project:Bill Burkland, CameronSS, canida, dan, dave spencer, ewilhelm, fungus amungus, jeffkobi, KaptinScarlet, lebowski, noahw, Peanut, turkey tek, viron, and zieak.From complete voting results, go here.Amazon, Amazon.com and the Amazon.com logo are registered trademarks of Amazon.com Inc. or its affiliates.

Posted by ewilhelm 11 years ago


2008 IgNobel Prizes announced!

The IgNobel Prizes are awarded annually for research which "cannot, or should not, be reproduced"; achievements that "first make people laugh, and then make them think". The prizes are meant in good humour, and many winner pay their own way to attend the ceremonies. Past winners have been known to return to ceremonies in later years to show off their achievements to a receptive audience (this year it was a sword-swallowing doctor).The Japanese team that showed slime moulds can solve mazes sang their acceptance speech.The Winners:NUTRITION PRIZE.Massimiliano Zampini of the University of Trento, Italy and Charles Spence of Oxford University, UK, for electronically modifying the sound of a potato chip to make the person chewing the chip believe it to be crisper and fresher than it really is. They also showed that playing the sound of bacon frying can make ice-cream taste bacony.PEACE PRIZE.The Swiss Federal Ethics Committee on Non-Human Biotechnology (ECNH) and the citizens of Switzerland for adopting the legal principle that plants have dignity.ARCHAEOLOGY PRIZE.Astolfo G. Mello Araujo and Jose Carlos Marcelino of Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil, for measuring how the course of history, or at least the contents of an archaeological dig site, can be scrambled by the actions of a live armadillo.BIOLOGY PRIZE.Marie-Christine Cadiergues, Christel Joubert, and Michel Franc of Ecole Nationale Veterinaire de Toulouse, France for discovering that the fleas that live on a dog can jump higher than the fleas that live on a cat.MEDICINE PRIZE.Dan Ariely of Duke University, USA, for demonstrating that high-priced fake medicine is more effective than low-priced fake medicine.COGNITIVE SCIENCE PRIZE.Toshiyuki Nakagaki of Hokkaido University, Japan, Hiroyasu Yamada of Nagoya, Japan, Ryo Kobayashi of Hiroshima University, Atsushi Tero of Presto JST, Akio Ishiguro of Tohoku University, and Agota Toth of the University of Szeged, Hungary, for discovering that slime molds can solve puzzles.ECONOMICS PRIZE.Geoffrey Miller, Joshua Tybur and Brent Jordan of the University of New Mexico, USA, for discovering that a professional lap dancer's ovulatory cycle affects her tip earnings.PHYSICS PRIZE.Dorian Raymer of the Ocean Observatories Initiative at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA, and Douglas Smith of the University of California, San Diego, USA, for proving mathematically that heaps of string or hair or almost anything else will inevitably tangle themselves up in knots. Their paper has one of the best genuine research titles I have seen for a long time: Spontaneous Knotting of an Agitated String.JOINT CHEMISTRY PRIZE.Sharee A. Umpierre of the University of Puerto Rico, Joseph A. Hill of The Fertility Centers of New England (USA), Deborah J. Anderson of Boston University School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School (USA), for discovering that Coca-Cola is an effective spermicideJOINT CHEMISTRY PRIZE.Chuang-Ye Hong of Taipei Medical University (Taiwan), C.C. Shieh, P. Wu, and B.N. Chiang (all of Taiwan) for discovering that Coca-Cola is not an effective spermicide.LITERATURE PRIZE.David Sims of Cass Business School. London, UK, for his lovingly written study "You Bastard: A Narrative Exploration of the Experience of Indignation within Organizations."Journal of Improbable ResearchThe site will be hosting video of the ceremony in the next few days.

Posted by Kiteman 10 years ago


Official Rules, Scoochmaroo Weekly Challenge: Potatoes

PLEASE REVIEW THESE OFFICIAL RULES BEFORE ENTERING THE CONTEST.  ENTRANTS WHO ARE MINORS: YOU MUST OBTAIN THE CONSENT OF YOUR PARENT OR LEGAL GUARDIAN BEFORE ENTERING THE CONTEST. ENTRY TO THE CONTEST IS FREE AND NO PAYMENT OR PURCHASE IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN, EXCEPT FOR THE STANDARD CHARGES OF YOUR INTERNET ACCESS PROVIDER. A PAYMENT OR PURCHASE WILL NOT IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. BY ENTERING THE CONTEST YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU HAVE READ AND AGREE TO THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE INSTRUCTABLES TERMS OF SERVICE AND PRIVACY POLICY   SECTION A – SPECIFIC TERMS FOR THIS CONTEST Sponsor. The Instructables Scoochmaroo Weekly Challenge: Potatoes (the “Contest”) is an on-line contest with skill, ability and knowledge components that is sponsored by Autodesk, Inc., a Delaware corporation having its principal office at 111 McInnis Parkway, San Rafael, CA 94103, USA (“Sponsor”), in connection with the Instructables service and website, www.instructables.com, (the “Sponsor Site”). The Contest is co-sponsored by the company or companies listed here, if any (each, a “Co-Sponsor”): None. The Contest is governed by these Official Rules (these “Rules”). For any questions regarding the Contest, the Sponsor may be contacted by email at [service@instructables.com] or by phone at (01-510-473-7626) or by mail at the address identified in Section B.18 (“Winner’s List; Mailing List”) below. Overview; Object of the Contest. The object of the Contest is to create an Instructable that incorporates a potato not limited to food that meets the Criteria (as described in Section A.8 [“Judging”] below) and are submitted in accordance with the format, content and other requirements identified in Section A.5 (“How to Enter”) below. All currency value references in these Official Rules are to United States Dollars, Euros, and British Pounds Sterling as indicated. Eligibility. THE CONTEST IS OPEN ONLY TO NATURAL PERSONS WHO, AT THE TIME OF ENTRY, ARE REGISTERED MEMBERS OF THE SITE, WHO ARE AT LEAST FOURTEEN (14) YEARS OLD AND ARE LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 50 UNITED STATES (INCLUDING THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA BUT EXCLUDING PUERTO RICO), CANADA (EXCLUDING THE PROVINCE OF QUEBEC, CANADA), UNITED KINGDOM, AUSTRALIA, BELGIUM, CHINA, THE NETHERLANDS. If on the Start Date you are a “minor,” meaning that you are under the age of majority in your jurisdiction (currently 18 or 19 in most U.S. states, and provinces of Canada and Australia; 18 in Belgium, China, and, for the UK, 16 in Scotland and 18 in most other parts of the United Kingdom), you must obtain permission from your parent or legal guardian, and your parent or legal guardian must consent to be bound by these Rules as if he or she were an entrant, before you submit an entry. Sponsor reserves the right to require minors to submit proof of parental/guardian permission and consent to these Rules at any time, without which they may be immediately disqualified from the Contest. Certain individuals are excluded from eligibility to enter or win, as described in Section B below. No purchase or payment is necessary to enter the Contest, and no purchase or payment, including choosing to purchase any “Instructables Pro” or other paid membership to the Sponsor Site will improve your chances of winning in any way. Deadline. The Contest begins at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (PT)/8:00 a.m. GMT/9:00 a.m. CEST/4:00p.m. CST (China Standard Time), on May 28, 2012 (the “Start Date”). Entries for the Contest must be received by Sponsor by no later than 11:59 p.m. PT June 3, 2012 7:59am GMT/8:59 a.m. CEST/3:59 p.m. CST (China Standard Time) on June 4, 2012 (the “Deadline”). (GMT + 1 hour for Belgium, the Netherlands, GMT+ 8 hours for China). How to Enter. All entries must comply with the entry requirements identified in these Rules (including in this Section and in Section B below), as well as with any specific formatting or content requirements identified in Section A.2 above or on the "How to Enter" page https://www.instructables.com/id/Scoochmaroo-Challenge-Potatoes/ for the Contest on the Sponsor Site. It is each entrant's responsibility to ensure compliance with those requirements. To enter a new project in the Contest, follow these steps: First document your project in the step-by-step, video, or photo Instructables format. When your project is ready to be published to the Sponsor Site, visit the Sponsor Site and follow the instructions for publishing your project to the Sponsor Site.  You must be a registered user of the Sponsor Site in order to publish a project to the Sponsor Site. If you are not already a registered user of the Sponsor Site, you will be prompted to create an account on the Sponsor Site during the publication process. Please note: in some jurisdictions, the publication of your project on the Sponsor Site could materially affect rights (e.g., adversely affect patent rights), you may own in the project.  You should make your own inquiries and seek your own advice on this issue. When you have published your project to the Sponsor Site, if you have reviewed the entry requirements for the Contest, believe your project qualifies for entry, and want to enter it in the Contest, leave a comment on the Contest page, and include a link to your published Instructable. Instructable must be published during the Contest period. You may not enter the same Instructables project in more than three (3) Instructables contests in total. Projects published prior to the Start Date are not eligible for entry.  You may not register the same Instructables project in more than three (3) Instructables contests in total. Further information about entry can be found in Section B below. Winner Selection. There will be a possible 21 total winner(s) for the Contest. The winner(s) will be selected on or around June 5, 2012, and Sponsor will announce the winner(s) on or around June 5, 2012 Each winner will be awarded only the prize(s) for which that winner was selected, as described below. Prize(s). The prize(s) to be awarded in the Contest is/are as follows: Tier #1: If there are 5 entries, but no more than 9, 1 winner will receive a prize package including a 1-year Instructables Pro membership, and a Sugru sample pack; or Tier #2: If there are 10 entries, but no more than 24, the entrant with the highests judges' score will be awarded a prize package including a Digital Scale, 1-year Instructables Pro membership, a Sugru sample pack, and an Instructables robot apron.  The entrants with the next 3 highest judges’ scores will each be awarded a prize package including a 1-year Instructables Pro membership, a Sugru sample pack, and an Instructables robot apron; or Tier #3: If there are 25 entries, but no more than 49, the entrant with the highest judges’ score will be awarded a prize package including a Waring Pro Deep Fryer, 1-year Instructables Pro membership, a Sugru sample pack, and an Instructables robot apron.  The entrants with the next 5 highest judges’ scores will each be awarded a prize package including a 1-year Instructables Pro membership, a Sugru sample pack, and an Instructables robot apron; or Tier #4: If there are 50 entries, but no more than 99, the entrant with the highest judges’ score will be awarded a ScanPan 32cm Wok, a 1-year Instructables Pro membership, a Sugru sample pack, and an Instructables robot apron.  The entrants with the next 10 highest judges’ scores will each be awarded a prize package including a 1-year Instructables Pro membership, a Sugru sample pack, and an Instructables robot apron; or Tier #5: If there are 100 or more eligible entries, the entrant with the highest judges’ score will be awarded a prize package including an iPad 2, a 1-year Instructables Pro membership, a Sugru sample pack, and an Instructables robot apron.  The entrants with the next 20 highest judges’ scores will each be awarded a prize package including a 1-year Instructables Pro membership, a Sugru sample pack, and an Instructables robot apron. Any awarded prizes will be provided to a winner only after the winner has signed a Winner's Declaration and Release. Sponsor's current Winner's Declaration and Release for the Contest may be obtained upon request by contacting Sponsor by email at [service@instructables.com] or by phone at (01-510-473-7626) or by mail at the address identified in Section B.18 ("Winner's List; Mailing List") below. The winner(s) will be solely responsible for complying with any and all applicable federal, state, provincial, local or other statutes, laws (including, without limitation, common law, if applicable), rules and regulations relating to the prizes and for bearing any personal income, VAT, withholding taxes, customs duties, or other taxes, fees, insurance, surcharges or other costs relating to receiving, claiming or collecting any prize. Without limitation, for residents subject to tax obligations under the People's Republic of China, the winner shall be responsible for reporting his or her individual income tax generated from the prize to relevant Chinese tax authorities on his or her own and shall then submit the Sponsor a tax payment proof showing the tax is fully paid. If the winner fails to submit the afore-mentioned proof within a reasonable period of time as required by the Sponsor, the Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify the winner from entitlement to the prize. All prizes that are items or services which are subject to third party terms and conditions or restrictions, acceptance and use of the prizes are subject to all eligibility criteria, expiration dates, service or dormancy fees, and all other terms and conditions (if any) imposed by the issuer of such items or services, which are available on the Prizes page https://www.instructables.com/id/Scoochmaroo-Challenge-Potatoes/ for the Contest. Please be aware that Contest prizes may not be usable or function properly in certain countries and Sponsor has no knowledge relating to the use or functionality of such prizes in those countries. Use or operation of prizes in certain countries may require additional parts, components or adapters, and Sponsor has no knowledge of any such requirements or any responsibility for obtaining any such parts, components or adapters. In addition, certain countries may prohibit the use or operation of the prizes, in whole or in part, and Sponsor has no knowledge regarding, and shall have no responsibility for determining, whether the winner(s) are permitted to operate or use the prizes in any particular country.   The estimated retail value of each prize to be awarded in the Contest is as follows: Tier [1] one top prize: Sugru and 1-Year Pro Membership; Total retail value: 44 United States Dollar, 33.71 EURO. 27.19 British Pound Sterling Tier [2, 3, 4, and 5] two, three, four, and five runner up prize: Sugru sample pack, Instructables robot apron, 1-Year Pro Membership; Total retail value: 63 United States Dollar, 48.26 EURO. 38.93 British Pound Sterling Tier [2] two top prize: Digital Scale, 1-year Instructables Pro membership, a Sugru sample pack, and an Instructables robot apron, Total retail value: 88 United States Dollar, 70.16 EURO. 56.10 British Pound Sterling Tier [3] three top prize: Waring Pro Deep Fryer, 1-year Instructables Pro membership, a Sugru sample pack, and an Instructables robot apron, Total retail value: 158 United States Dollar, 125.98 EURO. 100.73 British Pound Sterling Tier [4] four top prize: ScanPan 32cm Wok, a 1-year Instructables Pro membership, a Sugru sample pack, and an Instructables robot apron, Total retail value: 243 United States Dollar, 193.75 EURO. 154.93 British Pound Sterling Tier [5] five top prize: iPad 2, a 1-year Instructables Pro membership, a Sugru sample pack, and an Instructables robot apron, Total retail value: 562 United States Dollar, 430.55 EURO. 347.26 British Pound Sterling The total estimated retail value of all prizes possibly awarded in the Contest is: 1822 United States Dollar, 1395.85 EURO, 1125.80 British Pound Sterling 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"): originality, usefulness, simplicity, and clarity of instructions, each of which will be given equal weight. Sponsor will decide who judges.  Further information on the steps and process of voting and judging can be found in Section B below. Size of Entry Pool. Winning entries will be selected by the Judges in accordance with the Criteria as described in these Rules. The chances of any entry winning a prize depend on the number of eligible entries received between the Start Date and the Deadline and the quality of that entry as compared to the other eligible entries, as evaluated by the Judges in the manner described above. Sponsor does not know in advance the number of eligible entries that will be received. The number of entries received, and the number of winners chosen, in prior contests of Sponsor, including the three (3) most recently completed contests, can be found through the "Contests" page of the Sponsor Site, which can be found here [instructables.com/contest]. The number of eligible entries for Sponsor's recently completed contests generally has ranged from approximately forty (40) to approximately six-hundred fifty (650), and generally has averaged approximately one-hundred fifty (150), but Sponsor cannot predict or guarantee any specific number of eligible entries for the Contest. SECTION B – ADDITIONAL TERMS FOR THIS CONTEST   General Conditions. By entering the Contest, each entrant agrees to abide by the terms of these Rules and by the decisions of Sponsor and the Judges, which shall be made in all cases in their sole and absolute discretion and are final and binding on all matters relating to the Contest. These Rules are a legally binding contract, with equivalent effect to a private contract between each entrant and Sponsor. The Contest is void where prohibited by law The Contest is governed by Sponsor's Terms [https://www.instructables.com/tos.html] and Privacy Policy [https://www.instructables.com/about/privacy.jsp]and other policies (collectively, the “Policies”) pertaining to the Sponsor Site, although the Rules will govern any conflict between the Rules and the Sponsor’s Terms or the Rules and the Privacy Policy. Exclusions from Eligibility. Employees of Sponsor, any Co-Sponsor, or their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, partners, suppliers, or advertising or promotional agencies (including without limitation any Judges who are employees of Sponsor, any Co-Sponsor or any of their respective parents, subsidiaries, or affiliates), as well as members of their households or their immediate families (i.e., spouses, parents and children), may submit entries in the Contest, but any such entries are for information and entertainment purposes only and are not eligible to be considered for the purpose of selecting finalists or winners. Judges who are not employees of Sponsor, any Co-Sponsor or any of their respective parents, subsidiaries, or affiliates, are not eligible to enter or win, nor are members of their households or their immediate families (i.e., spouses, parents and children). Notwithstanding the foregoing, Sponsor shall have no liability to any entrant or any other person in the event that Sponsor inadvertently awards a prize to any non-eligible person(s). In addition, each entrant acknowledges and accepts that Sponsor may be prohibited by applicable law from permitting entry by or awarding a prize to any person falling into one or more of the following prohibited categories: (a) a national or resident of Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, Syria or any other country for which trade with the United States has been prohibited or restricted by any statute, regulation, order, rule, treaty, or other law of the United States or any other applicable jurisdiction in any manner that would prevent the awarding or delivery of any prize to the entrant; (b) a person on the U.S. Table of Denial Orders, Entity List, List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons, or any other similar list of any applicable jurisdiction, or any person affiliated with any person or entity on any such list; (c) an official or representative of any foreign government; or (d) any other person to whom the awarding or delivery of any prize would violate any applicable statute, regulation, order, rule, treaty, or other law or any of Sponsor's policies (See: https://www.instructables.com/about/privacy.jsp). If an entrant falls into any of the above prohibited categories, such entrant is not eligible to win any prizes. Entry. Multiple entries are permitted, but only one entry per entrant can win a prize in the Contest. Entrants must be registered members of the Sponsor Site to enter the Contest. Registering for a Sponsor Site membership account for purposes of entering the Contest is free of charge. Entries can be the work of more than one person, but for purposes of the Contest, each entry will belong to the “Primary Author” named in the entry, regardless of the number of contributors to that entry. For winning entries, Sponsor will award the applicable prize to the named entrant only, except in the case of a minor, to such minor’s named parent or legal guardian only unless specific consent from such parent or legal guardian to award the prize to such minor in accordance has been obtained by way of a duly signed Winner’s Declaration and Release (See Section A.7 above), and will not be responsible or liable for apportioning any prize among contributors to a winning entry. Upon submission, all entries become subject to the Policies (including without limitation the provisions regarding ownership and use of user submissions as stated in Sponsor’s Terms [https://www.instructables.com/tos.html]) and further described in Section B.15 (“Advertising and Marketing”). Notwithstanding the foregoing, entries to the Contest shall only be valid after the entry is accepted by Sponsor, and its acceptance occurs at Sponsor’s location in the United States.  Entries will not be acknowledged or returned. Entrants are permitted to modify or update an entry after submission, but are not permitted to do so after the Deadline. Entries may remain posted on the Contest page of the Sponsor Site indefinitely following the Deadline, but Sponsor reserves the right to delete entries from the Contest page after the Contest ends, in its discretion, and Sponsor reserves the right to delete entries from the Contest page and other pages of the Sponsor Site, at any time in its discretion, if such entries infringe or may infringe any third party’s rights. Entries may not be created or submitted through any software-generated, robotic, programmed, script, macro, or other automated method. Sponsor and Co-Sponsor will have no responsibility for, and will have the right to refuse in its discretion, any entries that have been tampered with, or entries that are misdirected, incomplete, non-conforming, corrupt, lost, late, or ineligible, whether due to Internet or e-mail server failure or otherwise. Proof of transmission of an entry shall not constitute proof of receipt. It is each entrant’s responsibility to keep Sponsor informed of any changes to entrant’s contact or other information during the Contest. Use of Personal Information. Registering for an account with the Sponsor Site, which is required to enter the Contest, may require each entrant to submit entrant’s name, e-mail address, age or date of birth, and other contact details, and in the case of a minor, contact details for a parent or legal guardian for purposes of obtaining proof of parental consent, if Sponsor elects to do so. For further information concerning how Sponsor handles personal information, as well as provisions on confidentiality and the cases in which Sponsor may be entitled to disclose entrant’s information to third parties or upon request of an authority, consult Sponsor’s Privacy Policy [https://www.instructables.com/about/privacy.jsp], which is incorporated herein. Additional Entry Requirements. Each entry must comply in all respects with the Policies, including without limitation all requirements for user submissions, as stated in the Terms and Conditions of Use [https://www.instructables.com/tos.html] for the Sponsor Site. Without limiting that requirement, each entry also must comply with the following: Each entry must be entirely the original work of the persons identified in the entry; If persons other than the entrant have contributed to an entry, the entrant must have the written permission from each contributor prior to submitting the entry; Entries must not have been published prior to the Start Date; Entries must not have been entered in more than two other contests of Sponsor; Entries must not contain anything that is or may be: (i) threatening, harassing, degrading or hateful; (ii) defamatory; (iii) fraudulent or tortious; (iv) obscene, indecent or otherwise objectionable; (v) deemed to cause feelings of disharmony, enmity, hatred or hostility between different religious or racial groups; (vi) protected by copyright, trademark, patents, utility models, design patents or other proprietary right without the express prior written consent of the owner of such right; or (vii) dangerous or potentially dangerous, or that would encourage dangerous behavior from viewers, such as use of explosives and/or harmful substances; or (vii) contrary to governmental policies of any country whose residents are eligible to enter the Contest. Entries must provide proper safety instructions, as applicable, such as with respect to the use of knives, cutting devices and other tools; and Entries must not contain any material that would give rise to criminal or civil liability or that encourages conduct that constitutes a criminal offense. Judging Process. The winner(s) will be determined by the Judges, who will apply the Criteria to evaluate entries. The entries with the highest score(s) will be selected as the winner(s), and the number and type of winners will be as identified in Section A above. The Judges have the right to disqualify any entry that is not in compliance with these Rules, in the Judges' discretion. In the event that a winning entry is disqualified, the next-highest scoring entry will be selected as the alternate winner.  In the event that one or more of the identified Judges is unavailable, Sponsor reserves the right to substitute Judges of comparable qualification, to be determined by Sponsor in its discretion. The Contest is entirely skill-based and contains no elements based on chance. The standards applied during the judging process focuses on assessing each entry’s properties. By the mere submission of an entry, an entrant acquires no automatic right to be awarded a prize, nor any other right except for the right to have such entry reviewed and evaluated subject to these Rules.   Prize Terms. All values are stated in United States Dollars, Euros and British Pounds Sterling, as indicated. If a stated prize is unavailable, Sponsor has the right to substitute one or more items of equal or greater value, in its discretion. No prize is, and the winner(s) have no right to claim that any prize is, exchangeable, transferable, or redeemable for cash. The winner(s) will be solely responsible for all expenses related to the receipt and use of all prize(s) other than those expenses expressly included in the description of the prize(s) in Section A above. The winner(s) will be solely responsible for complying with any and all applicable statutes, laws (including, without limitation, common law, if applicable), rules and regulations and for bearing any personal income, VAT, withholding taxes, customs duties, or other taxes, fees, insurance, surcharges or other costs relating to receiving, claiming or collecting any prize.   Winner(s) are hereby informed of the liability to pay all taxes on the prize(s) received; such taxes shall be paid by the winner(s). Each winner shall be responsible for reporting his or her individual income tax generated from the prize to relevant tax authorities on his or her own and, for residents subject to tax obligations on the prize by any country, shall promptly submit to Sponsor a tax payment proof showing that such tax has been fully paid. If the winner fails to submit such proof within a reasonable period of time as required by Sponsor, Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify the winner from entitlement to the prize and the winner shall be deemed to have waived his or her right to claim the prize and shall be further obligated, upon Sponsor’s request, to return the prize to Sponsor at his or her own cost. THE PRIZE(S) WILL BE GIVEN AWAY BY SPONSOR AND ANY CO-SPONSOR(S) “AS IS.” SPONSOR AND ANY CO-SPONSORS DO NOT MAKE, AND EXPRESSLY DISCLAIM, ANY WARRANTY, WHETHER EXPRESS, IMPLIED, OR STATUTORY, REGARDING ANY PRIZE OR PORTION THEREOF, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION ANY IMPLIED OR STATUTORY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, TITLE, OR NON-INFRINGEMENT. SOME JURISDICTIONS MAY NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OF IMPLIED WARRANTIES, CONSUMER GUARANTEES AND SIMILAR RIGHTS, IN WHICH CASE SUCH EXCLUSION SHALL APPLY ONLY TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW IN THE RELEVANT JURISDICTION. WITHOUT LIMITATION, TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, ALL WARRANTIES AND REPRESENTATIONS, IN RELATION TO THE PRIZES, WHETHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED BY STATUTE, LAW (INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, COMMON LAW, IF APPLICABLE), RULE, REGULATION, OR OTHERWISE, ARE HEREBY EXCLUDED. Announcement; Award of Prize(s). The winner(s) will be notified by e-mail within seven (7) days of selection. The winner(s) (and, if a winner is a minor, the winner’s parent or legal guardian) may be required to sign a Winner’s Declaration and Release which includes a declaration of eligibility, grant of publicity rights and a liability release, to the extent not prohibited by law, prior to receipt of a prize. The prize(s) will be awarded by way of delivery to Winner’s designated valid delivery address set forth on the Winner’s Declaration and Release. Unless otherwise specified in Section A, and provided that direct shipment costs by mail or parcel post (expressly excluding import duties and other duties or taxes, which are the winner’s sole responsibility) to Winner’s designated valid delivery address shall be borne by Sponsor, provided, however, if delivery is declined or fails by reason of winner’s failure to timely accept receipt or pay appropriate import duties and other duties or taxes) then the winner will be deemed to have declined acceptance of the prize and Sponsor reserves the right to reclaim the prize whereupon the prize will be returned to Sponsor and winner will no longer be eligible to receive the prize. The winner(s) may be required to provide Sponsor with a social security number, taxpayer identification number, or other identification or account number (if applicable) for tax purposes, and will provide Sponsor with all other information as may be required for Sponsor to comply with all applicable laws in connection with the award of any prize(s) to the winner(s). The winner(s) also may be required to provide Sponsor with proof that he or she is the Authorized Account Holder of the e-mail address associated with the winning entry. An “Authorized Account Holder” is the natural person who is assigned to an e-mail address by an Internet access provider or other organization responsible for assigning e-mail addresses to the domain associated with an e-mail address. In the event of a dispute, an entry will be deemed to have been submitted by the Authorized Account Holder of the e-mail address submitted at the time of entry. Failure to respond to a winner announcement, or return any required declarations or releases within fourteen (14) days (or any longer time specified by Sponsor in the applicable winner announcement) or to comply with any of the foregoing may result in disqualification and the selection of an alternate winner. It is Sponsor’s policy to assist U.S. government employees in meeting their obligations under their standards of ethical conduct; any prize(s) won in violation of those Standards should not be accepted and should be returned at Sponsor’s expense or destroyed. Without limitation, Sponsor shall not be liable for any failure to deliver any prizes due to any winner’s failure to accept delivery, to meet any of his or her obligations hereunder or due to the submission of any false, inaccurate or misleading information. Representations. By entering the Contest, each entrant represents and warrants that: (a) the entrant meets all eligibility requirements of the Contest; (b) in entering and participating in the Contest, the entrant has complied and will comply in all respects with these Rules, the Policies, and all applicable statutes, laws (including, without limitation, common law, if applicable), rules and regulations; and (c) the information provided in the entrant’s entry, including without limitation all contact information, is true, accurate, and complete in all respects. Assumption of Risk. By taking any action to create an entry for the Contest, each entrant, on his or her own behalf and on behalf of his or her personal representatives, heirs, executors, and assigns, acknowledges and agrees that: (a) ENTRANT AND HIS OR HER PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVES, HEIRS, EXECUTORS, AND ASSIGNS HAVE THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE CREATION OF THE ENTRY, WHICH IS DESIGNED AND CREATED BY THE ENTRANT FOLLOWING HIS OR HER OWN DECISION AND INITIATIVE DEPENDINGG ON THE WAY, IN HIS OR HER SOLE DISCRETION ENTERANT DECIDES TO CREATE SUCH ENTRY, AND EVEN THOUGHT THE CONTEST DOES NOT REQUIRE OR OTHERWISE ENCOURAGE DANGEROUS BEHAVIOR, THERE MAY BE DANGER AND RISK OF BODILY INJURY, DEATH, OR PROPERTY DAMAGE INVOLVED IN CREATING AN ENTRY; (b) THESE RISKS AND DANGERS MAY ARISE FROM FORESEEABLE OR UNFORESEEABLE CAUSES; (c) SUCH ENTRANT AND HIS OR HER PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVES, HEIRS, EXECUTORS, AND ASSIGNS ASSUME ALL RISKS AND RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY PERSONAL INJURY, DEATH, PROPERTY DAMAGE, OR OTHER LOSS ARISING OUT OF THE CREATION OF ANY ENTRY, WHETHER CAUSED BY NEGLIGENCE OR ANY OTHER CAUSE; and (d) Subject to applicable law, such entrant and his or her personal representatives, heirs, executors, and assigns are relinquishing any and all rights he, she, or they now have or may have in the future to sue or take any other action against Sponsor, any Co-Sponsor, the prize manufacturers, any other entities involved in the administration of the Contest, each of their respective parents, subsidiaries, and affiliates, and each of their respective officers, directors, employees, agents, and representatives (the “Sponsor Parties”) on the basis of any injury, death, damage, or other loss that may be suffered arising from any action taken in the creation of any entry, including but not limited to claims based on allegations of negligence by any of the Sponsor Parties or use of any machinery or materials. Without limitation, Sponsor Parties shall have no liability to any entrant or any other person in the event the entry or any acts or omissions of the entrant violates any of these Rules. Release. To the maximum extent permitted by law, by entering the Contest, each entrant releases and holds harmless the Sponsor Parties from any and all responsibility, liability, damages (including, without limitation, direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, punitive, statutory, and other damages), losses, costs, or expenses of any kind arising out of or relating to: (a) entry or participation in the Contest, including but not limited to disputes among individuals claiming to have contributed to any winning entry; (b) any violation by the entrant of these Rules, the Policies, or applicable laws; (c) misappropriation, infringement, or other violation of any copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret, right of publicity, privacy, or other legal or contractual right of any person attributable to entrant or any entry submitted by entrant; (d) the acceptance, possession, receipt, or use of any prize or any item purchased with any prize (e.g., if the prize includes a gift card); (e) any entries or votes that have been tampered with or that are misdirected, incomplete, non-conforming, corrupt, lost, late, or ineligible; (f) any problems or technical malfunctions (including but not limited to errors, omissions, interruptions, deletions, defects, or delays in operation or transmission) of any computer, telephone, modem, cable, satellite, network, hardware, online system, server, software, or other equipment or provider, including any incorrect, incomplete, garbled or jumbled information resulting therefrom; (g) any Internet traffic congestion or website accessibility or delays; (h) printing or typographical errors in any Contest-related materials; or (i) any other technical or human error that may occur in connection with the Contest (the “Causes”).  If anyone makes any claim against any of the Sponsor Parties arising out of or relating to any of the Causes attributable to the entrant, the entrant will pay for any damages, losses, liabilities, costs, penalties, and expenses, including without limitation attorneys’ and experts’ fees and costs, incurred in connection with such claim. WITHOUT LIMITING THE GENERALITY OF THE FOREGOING, THE SPONSOR PARTIES SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY LOST PROFITS OR ANY SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, INDIRECT, PUNITIVE, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF THE CONTEST, HOWSOEVER CAUSED, WHETHER ARISING IN STATUTE, TORT (INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, NEGLIGENCE) CONTRACT, OTHER LEGAL THEORY OR OTHERWISE, AND ALL SUCH DAMAGES ARE HEREBY DISCLAIMED AND EXCLUDED. SOME JURISDICTIONS MAY NOT ALLOW THE LIMITATION OR EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY FOR DAMAGES AND OTHER LIABILITY (INCLUDING INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES) IN WHICH CASE SUCH LIMITATION OR EXCLUSION SHALL APPLY ONLY TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, RULE, STATUTE OR REGULATION IN THE RELEVANT JURISDICTION. NOTHING IN THESE TERMS EXCLUDE LIABILITY FOR FRAUD, OR FOR PERSONAL INJURY OR DEATH CAUSED BY NEGLIGENCE TO THE EXTENT SUCH EXCLUSION IS PROHIBITED BY APPLICABLE LAW. Misconduct. Sponsor reserves the right, in its discretion, to disqualify any entrant who: (a) tampers with the entry or voting process, the operation of the Contest, the Sponsor Site, or affiliated websites; (b) acts in an unsporting or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy or harass another person; or (c) is otherwise in violation of these Rules, the Policies, or any applicable laws. Termination. Sponsor reserves the right to suspend, modify, or terminate the Contest at any time for any reason, in its discretion, including without limitation in the event of fraud, abuse, tampering, technical, administrative, financial, or other difficulties. In such cases, Sponsor will post a notice on the Contest page of the Sponsor Site. Should the Contest terminate prior to selection of the winner, Sponsor will announce an alternate means of awarding the prize on the Contest page of the Sponsor Site. Any entrant may withdraw from the Contest at any time by contacting Sponsor by email at [service@instructables.com] or by phone at (01-510-473-7626) or by mail at the address identified in Section B.18 (“Winner’s List; Mailing List”) specifying the name of this Contest and any other relevant information.   Advertising and Marketing. By entering the Contest, and in consideration of Sponsor’s potential review and evaluation of his or her entry, each entrant grants to Sponsor the non-exclusive right to use his or her entry as provided in the Policies, including without limitation the provisions of the Terms and Conditions of Use [https://www.instructables.com/tos.html] regarding ownership and use of user submissions. 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Posted by scoochmaroo 6 years ago


John Cleese's "Letter To America"

Forwarded along by an Aussie. Enjoy.Dear Citizens of America,In view of your failure to elect a competent President and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. Her Sovereign Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths and other territories (except Kansas, which she does not fancy), as from Monday next.Your new prime minister, Gordon Brown, will appoint a governor for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:1. You should look up "revocation" in the Oxford English Dictionary. Then look up "aluminium," and check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it.2. The letter "U" will be reinstated in words such as "colour", "favour" and "neighbour." Likewise, you will learn to spell "doughnut" without skipping half the letters, and the suffix "-ize" will be replaced by the suffix "-ise."3. You will learn that the suffix "burgh" is pronounced "burra"; you may elect to spell Pittsburgh as "Pittsberg" if you find you simply can't cope with correct pronunciation.4. Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels (look up "vocabulary"). Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as "like" and "you know" is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication.5. There is no such thing as "US English." We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter "u" and the elimination of "-ize."6. You will relearn your original national anthem, "God Save The Queen," but only after fully carrying out Task #1 (see above).7. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday. November 2nd willbe a new national holiday, but to be celebrated only in England. It will be called "Come-Uppance Day." 8. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not adult enough to be independent. Guns should only be handled by adults. If you're not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you're not grown up enough to handle a gun.9. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. A permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.10. All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and this is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean.11. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric immediately and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrification will help you understand the British sense of humour.12. The Former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling "gasoline") - roughly $8/US per gallon. Get used to it.13. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call french fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called "crisps." Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with malt vinegar.14. Waiters and waitresses will be trained to be more aggressive with customers.15. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as "beer," and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as "Lager." American brands will be referred to as "Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine," so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.16. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors as English characters. Watching Andie MacDowell attempt English dialogue in "Four Weddings and a Funeral" was an experience akin to having one's ear removed with a cheese grater.17. You will cease playing American "football." There is only one kind of proper football; you call it "soccer." Those of you brave enough, in time, will be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American "football," but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of Jessies - English slang for "Big Girls Blouse").18. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the "World Series" for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable and forgiven.19. You must tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us mad.20. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due, backdated to 1776.Thank you for your co-operation.John CleeseLink

Posted by canida 10 years ago


lifes unanswered questions...

Great questions to ponder over (great conversation starters!)Can you cry under water?why does a round pizza come in a square box?What's the difference between a novel and a book?How old are you before it can be said you died of old age?If nobody buys a ticket to a movie do they still show it?if a person owns a piece of land, do they own it to the center of the earth?if you have a cold hot pocket, is it just a pocket?Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the bottle?Do penguins have knees?Why is it said that an alarm clock is going off when really its coming on?How come people tell you not to stand in front of an emergency exit when if there was an emergency surely you would run through it?Why did Sally sell seashells on the seashore when you can just pick them up anyway?Why are both of Spongebob's parents round like sea sponges while he is square like a kitchen sponge?(isn't this one great?)Does a two-humped camel store more fat than a one-humped camel?If you pamper a cow, do you get spoiled milk?Why is it that if someone yells "duck" they are helping you, but if they yell "chicken" they are insulting you?why do we drive on the parkway and park on the driveway?If the FBI breaks your door down do they have to pay for it?If they have angel food cake on earth, do they have people food cake in heaven?(don't start a war over that, its just a joke!)If you fart and burp at the same time, would it make a vacuum in your tummy?Why do you put two cents in when its only a penny for your thoughts?You know the signs on restaurant doors? No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service? what if someone goes in with No Pants? Would the restaurant still have to serve them?If a doctor suddenly died while doing surgery, would the other doctors work on the doctor or the patient?Why do we sing "Rock a bye baby" to lull our little ones to sleep when the song is about putting your baby in a tree and letting the wind crash the cradle to the ground?Why do we say we're head over heels when we're happy? Isn't that the way we normally are?If the Wicked Witch of the West melts in water... how did she ever bathe?If bald people work as chefs in a restaurant,do they have to wear hairnets?Why do sleeping pills have warning labels that state :'Caution: May Cause Drowsiness?How can Darth Vader breathe and talk at the same time?If there's a wheelchair-bound comedian, is it still called "stand-up"?When the French swear do they say pardon my English?Do people who use sign language see little hands in their head when they think about what somebody said, or do they hear the words in their head?How did Walt Disney figure out how to make people pay to stand in lines all day?Why do people constantly return to the refrigerator with hopes that something new to eat will have materialized?Why is it that no matter what color bubble bath you use the bubbles are always white?Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?Why do they call someone "late" if they died early?If the serving size on a can of soda is one can, then why is the serving size on the little can one can, too? Wouldn't the little cans be 2 cans?If a king is gay and marries another guy what is that guy to the royal family?Why are red buttons always the most important?How is chess considered a sport?Why is it when your sleeping it`s called drool but when your awake its called spit?If a teacher were to teach a younger grade than they were teaching before, would they be "degraded"?Why does every Abraham Lincoln impersonator sound the same, even though there are no known audio recordings of the man?How's come people tell you to stay a kid for as long as you can. Yet the moment you do anything childish or immature they tell you to grow up.Why does the Easter bunny carry eggs? Rabbits don't lay eggs.If marbles are not made of marble, why are they called marbles?If you dig a hole through the center of the earth, come out on the other side, and then let go, would you be falling down or floating up?Could you be a closet claustrophobic?Could someone be addicted to counseling? If so, how would you treat them?If ketchup is good on french fries, how come it isn't good on mashed potatoes?Where do all the daylight savings hours go?Why doesn't the hair on your arms grow as fast as the hair on your head?What happens if a black cat walks under a ladder and breaks a mirror?Why when people ask you "what three things would you bring with you on a desert island?" no one ever replies, "A BOAT"Why are elderly people often called "old people" but children are never called "new people"?Why doesn't broccoli come in a can?Can you slam a revolving door?What would happen if you found a four-leaf-clover under a ladder?Can a cross-eyed teacher control his pupils?If Winnie the pooh was civilized enough to keep his honey in jars, why did he eat it off his hands? Surely he had spoons?What happens if you get a paper cut from a Get Well card?Can you read a picture book?Why does it say "shake well" on ketchup bottles, but not ketchup packets?Is there ever a day that mattresses are not on sale?Is eating a mermaid considered cannibalism?If mirrors need light to work, what happens if you put night vision goggles on in the dark and look at a mirror?if you're on an American airline, and you land in Canada and stay on the plane, is the drinking age still 21 or does it change to 19?What happens if every team in the NFL goes 8-8?What shape is the sky?If a Jewish person goes to court and is asked to put their right hand on the Bible, do they use a Torah instead? (again, don't start a war over that)Why is it written "May contain traces of peanuts or other kind of nuts" on peanut butter jars. Are people stupid enough not to realize it themselves?If you only have one eye...are you blinking or winking?If you have a gun and you ask, "can I ask you a question?" and they say "fire away" should you shoot them?What is a chickpea if it is neither a chick nor a pea?Why is it called the People's Republic Of China when China's not a republic?Why are dandelions considered weeds when daisies are considered flowers?Why does Sea World have a seafood restaurant?Whenever an adult is kidnapped why isn't it called adultnapped?Why do black lights look purple?Did Yankee Doodle name the feather, hat, town, or his pony Macaroni?Why is it that people duck in the rain, do they really think the rain won't hit them?Why isn't the caps lock capitalized?If someone with a nostril ring takes it out, then blows their nose, do they have to cover that hole as well as their nostril holes so that snot doesn't blow out everywhere?Isn't it weird that if you rearrange the word "teacher" you get "cheater"?How come whenever you start to sing, you automatically sing in a higher voice than you talk?How come people say they ate the last piece of gum, when they really just chew it?You know the saying "throw ya hands in the air like ya don't care"? why bother doing that if you don't care?Why is there no pine or apple in pineapple?Why do water bottles have a "best if used by" date?\If you called the police station to talk to an officer and he was not there, would that be considered a cop out?Why do they put holes in crackers?How come on TV the bell always rings and then the kids go to class, but in real life you need to be in class before the bell rings?Why can the saying "it's all downhill from here." mean both that it will be easy and that it is going to get worse?If all of ACME's products backfire, why does Wile E. Coyote keep buying them?Why do "cool" and "hot" mean the same thing?If you sneeze and fart at the same time, does a vacuum form in your stomach?Why does triangularly cut bread taste better than square bread?Does a baby feel the umbilical cord being cut off?Is it legal to name your kid "Anonymous"?If you have a pet with 2 heads do you have to name both heads?Why can't liquor freeze?If you dig a hole in the south pole are you digging up or down?How come they don't add the time that we are in our mom's to our age?Why do people squint their eyes when they can't see? Wouldn't that just make it less space to see out of?What is a hacky, and why is it in a sack?Who was in the kitchen with Dina?Why do we have to pay a toll on "freeways"?Why do they call them pepperoni if there is no pepper in it?How old does something have to be to become an antique?Can a school teacher give a homeless child homework?Do babies produce more spit than adults?How come French fries are not considered a vegetable, they are just deep fried potatoes?Do cows have calf muscles?Why is shampoo clear but conditioner not?If conjoined twins participate in sports, do they count as one or two players?If a singer sings their own song during a karaoke party, is it considered karaoke?Why do mattresses have designs on them when they're always covered with sheets?If you died with braces on would they take them off?If a person suffered from amnesia and then was cured would they remember that they forgot?Can someone have their head in the clouds and be down-to-earth at the same time?Why is Joey short for Joe, when Joey has more letters?If you were a pastor, and you were getting married, would you hire a pastor, or would you do the wedding yourself?Is there a certain temperature at which it stops being qualified as cold? At what temperature does it qualify as hot?if someone tells you not to be your self, who should you be?Why is most lunchmeat bigger than the bread?Why is it that whenever you sing to the radio, your voice is higher? Even when you have a low voice?How come toy hippos are always blue, or purple, when real hippos are brown?Have ex-mathematicians become dysfunctional?Have ex-locomotive engineers been derailed?Have ex-civil lawyers been distorted?Have ex-bankers become disinterested?Are there seeing eye humans for blind dogs?You know that little indestructible black box that is used on planes, why can't they make the whole plane out of the same substance?After eating, do amphibians have to wait an hour before getting out of the water?Can fat people go skinny-dipping?You know how most packages say "Open here". What is the protocol if the package says, "Open somewhere else"?Would a fly without wings be called a walk?Why isn't there mouse-flavored cat food?Why isn't phonetic spelled the way it sounds?Why isn't "palindrome" spelled the same way backwards?Why is there an expiration date on SOUR cream?Why is the word "abbreviate" so long?do the ABC's and twinkle twinkle little star have the same tune?Why is the alphabet in that order? Is it because of that song?Why is Mickey Mouse bigger than his dog Pluto?why does Goofy live in a house and Pluto in and dog house if there both dogs?Why is it, whether you sit up or sit down, the result is the same?Why is it when two planes almost hit each other it is called a "near miss"?Why is it called 'after dark', when it is really after light?Why is it called a TV "set" when you only get one?why is a pair of underwear one item?Why is it called a "building" when it is already built?Why do we say something is out of whack? What is a whack?Why do women wear evening gowns to go out at night? Shouldn't they be wearing night gowns?Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?Do Roman paramedics refer to IV's as "4's"?olive oil is made out of olives, and peanut oil is made out of peanuts. What is baby oil made out of?!If drinking and driving is illegal, why do bars have parking lots?If someone leads but no one follows... are they just out for a walk?After they make styrofoam, what do they ship it in?Are part-time band leaders semi-conductors?Before they invented drawing boards, what did they go back to?.............the list goes on and on, maybe i will make a sequel.i can not take credit for all of these, most of them were from this website

Posted by dsman195276 10 years ago


Sharpening knifes and similar tools

On the weekend a friend of mine asked me if I could get his 2 fishing knifes ready for the season.Being a nice guy I agreed as they were so blunt that you could sit on the knifes edge without even getting a scratch.Did just the usual, you know, cleaning it first, grinding a proper angle back on it with a very coarse stone, sharpening from a 300 grit down to a 1000 grit and then of course polishing and removing the burr.Was quite pleased with the result and decided to bring the finnished knifes back to my friend....There are several ways to check if a knife is sharp.Most know the newpaper cutting thing.Some dare to try if the knife i able to shave some hair off.And a few actually know that it is enough to check if it won't slip of your fingernail.My friend however was used to knifes that I would consider to be piece of steel with a rounded edge...Of course he had to try to run his finger down the blade and before I could stop him....He said "Feels nice and smooth but I think you ruined the edge with your polishing!".I only said "Get some bandaids before you check your finger and reconsider."Lets just say about 10 seconds after his test he started bleeding like a pig.He actually managed to get the cut about 5mm deep :(We agreed that it would be best to keep these knifes in the boat and to put a note on them so he won't check their sharpness again.There are tons of tutorials and videos showing various ways of sharpening a knife that can be used as a general reference.But if you already know all the basic while still struggling a bit to get the edge and sharpness you desire:The most important thing to know is what type of steel is used in your blade.I don't mean the grade or composition, just the difference between stainless steel and old style steel that is able to rust.You never want to sharpen a stainless steel blade with a stone that is well used on normal steel.If in doubt clean it out!The reason behind is that you cause the steel that is able to oxidise or rust to be worked into the stainless steel surface.In the worst case this can cause rust spots or smalle pits in your sharpened edge.When it comes to restoring the edge of a well worn knife some beginners and so called expert struggle to keep the angle and edge itself even and straight.Tools to overcome this are available, like these guides for a diamond stone on a stick where you cplamp your blade in.There are also "trolleys" that hold your blade at a fixed angle on the stone by means of small wheels.Both have their uses but also a lot of limitations, especially when it comes to the rounded parts of a blade, like the tip or filet knife that is generally curved a bit.Special knifes like the old Kukri knifes have a curved part that goes to the inside, these are a true pain with normal grinding and honing stones, so I will leave them out here, but feel free to ask in the comments if you need more info.The best way I found for restoring a rounded knifes edge without special tools is by using a long diamond file.Preferably with a quite long handle and not too wide.Like with the guide tools the key is to cheat your way through ;)But unlike most guide tools you will still keep the same angle in the curved parts ;)Here are the basic tool required:Long handled diamond fileSome wooden block or similar to get work platforms of different heights (lego blocks work too)A long enough clamp to secure your blade on the block(s)For the last you can also make a screw clamp like a hinge to hold the blade in place.You want to knife to be secured so it won't move and so that you can reach all parts of the edge with the file.Depening on what side you work on or what you prefer the file will rest with the handle either above or below the knife.With the length of the handle you can adjust the required angle, preferably in the 20-25° region.For the straight parts of the blade you work in overlapping sections.Rest the handl so it aligns close to the knifes handle and move the file along the knifes edge.It helps to use a permanent marker on the endge to visualise where you take material off and to check the work area creates a parallel area in the painted bits.When you see some material removed move the handle of the file a bit further towards the pointy bit and continue to create the parallel boundaries.Kepp going back and forth along the straight part of the blade until there is only a tiny area left on the edge where the marker stays visible.For the rounded tip part you place the handle so you can follow the curve on the knife at the same angle as on the straight part.Most knife have this area badly neglected once well used so you might end up with a slightly wider area where material is removed.Once the edge is all reduced to the same slim marker line it is time to repaet the process on the other side at the same angle you used before.Don't be too scared to see in a close up that your edge is not perfectly even or straight, a few imperfections will be buffed out in the next step.To finnish the edge and smooth it out you use a flat stone or diomand plate of similar grid to the file, for example 300.If you do this step right you won't even need fancy guides or tricks after doing it a few times.The key from now on is keep an even angle that matches your initial angle to restore the edge.The old masters were right here to use stones that are either secured tightly in a wooden frame or "clamped" down by a leather strap.Apart from needing a perfectly clean and flat surface on the stone and movement will cause a more or less rounded edge again.Every use one of these fancy chesse slicers that work like a potato peeler?You wanna do the same with your knife on the stone.With the stone in front of you start at the far end and move the blade down like you want to cut a thin slice of the stone.Always with the edge towards you like cutting something off, never the other way around.If you don't mount your stone too high you will notics that it is quite easy to use your palms as a guide to keep an even angle throughout a cutting stroke.To find the right angle you again cheat with a marker.But no matter what type of stne or diamond sharpener you use: use lube!!The coarse types usually are fine with water, diomand anyway, finer or so called "oil sones" require honing oil.Do a few strokes and check the marks you left on the marker.Adjust until you get about the same work area cleaned as in the previous step with the file.You will soon see that there are now uneven areas which cause a wobbly outline on the marker.Continue with this grit until you get a nice and even outline.For the rounded tip area you do it similar but with a slight twisting motion.It can help to do a few dry runs on a piece of cardboard to find the right twist.Simply place the rounded part on the cardboard at the approx angle for the sharpening.Now move the handle so the edge follows the curve on the cardboard - the circular motion you need to get from the straight part to the tip is the "twist" you want during the sharpeing of this area.Again, once satisfied do the same on the other side.Now it is time to decide if you want to keep the angle all the way or if you prefer a beveled edge with a slightly wider angle for actual cutting edge.The later is good for knifes that see a lot of abuse and hard work, the first for everything that needs to be really sharp.I prefer sharp so lets continue with this and if you can't figure out how to get a second agnle on the edge ask me in the comments ;)Depending on the quality of your blade you now need to work your way up the grid.If your edge (the part with marker left) is more than half a mm wide you might want to keep going with 300 grit until no marker is left and the edge develops a slight bur on the other side.From now on cleaning the blade and stone every few minutes is a good thing!Rinse it off, wipe it off, flush it off, whatever works best to keep it clean.If you go to 600 grit you will clearly see the difference in the work area.The scratches buff out an the surface becomes smooth.You keep doing the same slicing technique but only do as many strokes as required to get a slight bur throughout the edge on the other side.You will feel it when you move your finger along the side, one feels smooth, one feel very rough.Areas that stay smooth indicate that there is either still material to be removed or that you created a small dint while sharpening - the marker will tell you.Once you get a bur with just a few strokes you know the edge is there.Time to move the next higher grit you have available.From here on you might need to use oil instead of water and depending on the type of stone you will need to leave some slurry on the stone - check the manual ;)Either way the procedure is still the same: Slice a thin piece off until you get a bur.Then do the other side until both are even.Assuming around 1000 grid is the usual max on a hobby level and that you don't have any finer stone it is now time to take of the bur on the edge.No matter what you try there will always be some but created when sharpening.A lot can be prevented and smoothed out though.To do this you reduce the pressure during the last few strokes and turn the knife around often.When you get to the point where a single stroke causes a bur and another single stroke on the other side inverts the bur the knife is almost ready.Polishing a knifes edge can cause a bit of bluntness.For obvious reasons it is best to sharpen to the honing point where a 5000 - 20000grit wet stone is used, but these are quite expensive and require special care.In other cases like our example here you need to make the best out of it:Get some sturdy old leather like some belt.Use proper glue and clamps to glue it onto a really flat piece of wood.You want the smooth side glued and the rough side of the leather facing up.Prepare the leather with some kitchen knife that is need of sharpening anyway by placing it almost flat onto the strip with the edge facing away from you.With good pressure move the blade toward you.You will have to do this several times to align the fibres in one direction only.Now get some metal polishing paste or if nothing else polishing wax for metal - the fine stuff for the wax type please.Rub it in and work in with the kitchen kifes the same as bafore, always in the same direction.You will create a bit of a mess but that does not matter for now.The leather will become more and more smoth on the surface until it appear quite even.Clean the excess off and grab the real knife.There is now enough lube and polishing material in the leather to last quite a while.Start with the knife as flat as possible, again the edge facing away from you when you move the knife in a slicing motion towards you.Do this for a few minutes and you will see that the sharpened edge becomes shiny where it goes into the knifes body.Once all is polished increase the angle slightly and repeat.In a perfect world the polishing should now go almost to the last bit of the edge, only leaving a very thin rough line.This last line is the critical bit.There are two ways to deal with it, pressure or time.If you keep the last used angle but increase your pressure the blade will go deeper into the leather and the polishing should reach the front of the edge.In the other case you slightly increase you angle but only use very little pressure, more like letting the knife rest on the leather while you move it along.In either case you check the edge often with your finger and once it feel really smooth throuout you stop.Turn the knife over often during this last step as even with the polishing you create a slight bur.Only repeated turning and using as little pressure as possible will remove this last bur on both sides.If you know think your knife is still not sharp enough than you might just have a very cheap knife... ;)

Posted by Downunder35m 5 weeks ago