Dada poetry printer by Alessandro Giacomel

Arduino tinkerer Alessandro Giacomel is interviewed in Circuit Cellar. The best part of the interview is where he describes his Dada poetry printer: “The box uses an algorithm to compose the poems in autonomy. You push the button and here is your Dadaist poem. Normally, the poem is a valuable asset, the result of an […]

Getting pummeled by morons

I’ve never been to the XOXO festival in Portland, but in this article I was moved by this comment by the organizer, Andy Baio: “The overarching theme, he said, is that creators are not alone. “Every one of you needs to remember this when you are getting pummeled out there by morons. It’s so easy […]

Giant Digi-Comp

Another non-electronic computing machine: in 2011 I saw a giant version of the ’60’s Digi-Comp at Maker Faire, it was killer. If you’re not familiar with the original, some info here.

3D printed mechanical computer!

I’m keeping a collection of such projects:

16-bit ALUs in Minecraft

More non-electronic computing stuff: back in 2010 this guy built one of the first 16-bit ALUs in Minecraft. Later he built the CPU too.

Vesa Lehtimäki – Star Wars in our town

Finnish photographer Vesa Lehtimäki ‘shops his kid’s toys into scenes suggesting awesome presence:

Turn your standing desk into a giant hamster wheel

Awesome project! Thanks too to Autodesk for supporting the quirky arts (the maker built this during an art residency there)…

That’s a weird looking out-of-town bird, let’s kill it…

I love this footage of gulls trying to chase off Festo’s SmartBird robot! 

Robot struggling adorably to fold clothes

It’s hypnotic watching this robot fold. It’s great how hard it looks at a towel before it ‘gets’ it.    

Age simulation from baby photos

This work on age simulation from baby photos is interesting. I like the subtle changes in facial outline, sagging, wrinkling, but I don’t think it is extreme enough to be accurate.  Also wish they could adjust the hair color, texture and qty…   

Coin universal credit card

Not only do I really admire the creativity behind the subtle design experience of this smart card aggregator which looks like an old-school card to legacy systems, but personally I really want just a single card in my wallet someday. Having said that, it is clearly just a stepping stone toward a physical card not […]

S.T.E.A.M. Machines

For those in the Los Angeles area, the S.T.E.A.M. Machines event this weekend looks worth checking out.  

Paper-roll music machine

This is a beautiful little piece of retro hacking, reviving two lost pieces of tech, the paper roll music player and the 555 timer:

Multi-switch Useless Machine

Most efficient (and lifelike) useless machine variant I’ve seen. Brilliant! Watch the video, it’s hilarious. Inventor includes schematics and code too, which is champ.


Interesting article about successes with non-hierarchical business organization! Introduced me to the Holacracy process, which is quite thought-provoking. Wonder if such practices can work in very large organizations?

Oil-pipeline leak-finding robot ball

Oil pipelines may not seem that interesting, but this robotic leak-finding ball is fascinating.

I wish I had a Petman

There’s something hypnotic about watching this garment-testing robot look so lifelike and at the same time so…not! I feel compelled to make an endless silent loop of this video running on an old iPad or digital picture frame on my wall.

Water balloon hats

These awesome photos were made in a pitch dark room with an open shutter and a bulb flash triggered by the sound of a water balloon exploding on a bald dude’s head.

Walking on water

Some of these “floating on water” images are beautiful.

Shooting lightbulbs full of paint

This guy’s hobby is to fill light bulbs with colored things and shoot them in his garage. Some of the photos are great.

Anthropomorphising robots

Is this weird or entirely natural? People feel bad seeing dolls mistreated too. I suppose robots are an extension of that same anthropomorphism. I guess there’s no downside to more empathy in the world…

Video game gender hacking

Not one but two great video game gender hacks! Donkey Kong, and at the bottom of the article, Legend of Zelda:

Tesla vs the New York Times

I love electric vehicles!  But being stuck for hours charging one?  Don’t love.  Interesting debate between Tesla and NYT!

10 Great Ideas Someone Should Invent

I spend a lot of time innovating, but reading James Altucher is humbling; is there a Nobel in there somewhere?

Open Wireless: good idea or…?

What do you think of the open wireless movement? Intuitively, it seems to me like the right thing to do. But is it?

Tom Friedman is a very funny guy…

…and a great artist.  At first his work seems a bit emperor’s new clothes, but look closer.  Here’s a funny article about his work flummoxing buyers at Christies: And here is a nice representative collection of his work.  Read the materials descriptions:

Taiyo Kimura is an awesome and funny artist

Taiyo Kimura is an awesome and funny artist. Portfolio site: And an easy video overview here:

Robot sex

It may surprise you to learn that mechanical+sex is a subject category full of interesting thought experiments, art and strange products; from the film Dead Ringers to the emerging business of teledildonics.  Millie Stein’s Sex And Fashion blog has a nice video interview with filmmaker Michael Sullivan:   The lady from Metropolis is a clear […]


Airmobs is a fascinating invention. Sure, it may be useful, but the social engineering is what’s really interesting:


Portals, a project by Jayne Vidheecharoen, explores some pretty interesting technology-culture-intersection questions:

Technology reduces opportunities

What do you think about the idea that, historically, technological advancement has reduced opportunity for the middle class?

Humans as machines

A cool collection of vintage advertisements which depict human body processes as mechanisms:

Matthew Albanese

Compelling diorama photos, and fascinating behind-the-scenes shots and construction details, from Matthew Albanese:

Google Earth glitches

Fascinating article on Google Earth glitches, with great photos, from the always-awesome Rhizome (please support them):

Lego assembly line

Amazing dedication to the art of the Lego assembly line! Great purity, too; all product comes back to the start:

Grandfather clock update

In a previous career I made a living intersecting old and new tech. This grandfather-clock project is brilliant!

Blind Appraisal

For those interested in contemporary art, or existential philosophy for that matter, “Blind Appraisal” in the latest Harpers (Feb 2013) is a truly fascinating discussion! It’s a thoughtful analysis of the European Union’s decision that sculptures which are made from industrial materials, when disassembled for shipping into the EU, should be charged import duty on […]

Free hugs: myth or fact?

At the Ojai farmer’s market there was a guy standing under a hand-written sign that said “free hugs”. Unkempt, immobile, unsmiling, making eye contact with no one. Perhaps not surprisingly, apparently invisible to passersby. Curiously he seemed bemused when I took him up on it; but after a pause gave a good sincere hug, firm […]

Trillions, a book about the future and pervasive computing

Currently reading a book called Trillions. Downside: a bit turgid, a bit too much self-promotion, light on specifics. Upside: for those interested in meta-systems, it’s worth the read for three or four subtle but possibly fundamental concepts. “Any person or firm that desires to be an active participant in creating, influencing, or making money from […]

Massive, awesome 3D sculptable wall surface

Hyundai Hyper-Matrix is a massive, awesome 3D sculptable wall surface.  Let’s make some smaller versions of this!

The TempeScope is lyrical

I love ambient information objects! The TempeScope is lyrical. Where can I buy one?

Real-life Pixar lamp

Some good interaction design thought went into this simple robot experiment; nice use of Arduino and Processing too:

Gravitylight is awesome

Gravitylight is clever appropriate tech! Support the campaign:

Finally! We can now prove whether we live in the Matrix or not

Finally! We can now prove whether we live in the Matrix or not

Do We Live in a Computer Simulation Run by Our Descendants? Researchers Say Idea Can Be Tested:

Sad days for Microsoft’s SkyDrive effort via the Walled Garden

When will iOS be considered a regulatable infrastructure?  It’s frustratingy hard to use a for-profit monopoly system for my life’s information management.  Case in point:

Is IFTTT great, or an Apple experience?

Apple experience = OK if you want to do exactly what they design, terrible if you don’t.  Can I make my own trigger?  No.  Can I make my own action?  No.  Can I customize the actions and triggers that are too simple for my needs?  No.  Do they decide which partner technologies to support?  Yes.  […]

Nice collection of clever and useful If This Then That recipes

Geeksugar put together some very clever uses for IFTTT recipes:

Ars Technica guys play with the Internet Of Things

They monitor their wash with an Electric Imp WiFi widget.