Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Jazzed up bobby pins

000_0003.JPGWant to jazz up your plain old bobby pins? If so, then this tutorial is for you.
First lets gather up our materials needed for this simple project:
wire: 20 gauge/24 gauge
Pliers: wubbers (looping), flat head, cutters
Bobby pins
jumbo craft stick
seed beads
focal beads
black polymer clay

View the original article here

Falcon Pro, Our Favorite Twitter Client, Adds Multi-Account Support

Falcon Pro, Our Favorite Twitter Client, Adds Multi-Account Support

Android: Today, Falcon Pro got an update to support multiple user accounts, among a host of other features. Our favorite Twitter client just gets better.

In addition to multiple user accounts, the update brings a slightly more flat UI design and the ability to swipe between your feed, notifications, and DMs. You'll have to manually enable the latter feature under Settings > Display. Keep in mind that because of the way Twitter lets developers use its APIs, only a certain number of people can ever use Falcon Pro, so if you try the app and don't like it, be sure to release your tokens.

Falcon Pro ($1.96) | Google Play

How to Learn All About a New City Without Leaving Your House

If you're thinking about picking up and moving to a new city, you have a lot of research to do before you even begin looking for jobs there. The average salary, rental or real estate prices, crime statistics, best and worst neighborhoods, transit situation—they're all things you'll have to dig into before you decide if a city is right for you. Here's how to make that research go quickly so you can go back to job hunting in what'll hopefully be your future home.

Moving to a new city can go one of two ways: You can either take a risk, throw everything to the wind, and see where you end up, or you can do your homework ahead of time, consider your options, and research extensively before you move.

Most of us don't know the ins and outs of a city before we ponder moving there—we just know we have friends in town, or family nearby, or maybe we like something we've heard about, like the city's overall atmosphere or popular industries and companies nearby. If that's where you are, let's look at some tools you can use to research a town through and through before you book plane tickets to go visit.

Cities and towns are big places, and you'll probably want an idea of where in town you should live before you even begin looking at stats, prices, and other data. We've offered some great tips to help you pin them down, including visiting sites like StreetAdvisor, which is entirely dedicated to neighborhood reviews and information. We'd also suggest checking out neighborhood details on Foursquare or Yelp, even if you're not specifically looking for nightlife or restaurants—both apps have a wealth of information entered by locals for locals, and don't be fooled, there are reviews for entire neighborhoods at Yelp, and some of them are both hilarious and useful.

Similarly, City Data offers a wealth of information about the entire city, as well as specific neighborhoods. The site includes cost of living, average home prices, and even local attractions or famous destinations in the area. Plus, their forums are an invaluable resource—a treasure trove of information and locals who are willing to help you decide where in town you'd like to move, visit, or just learn more about. Similarly, Neighborhood Scout can help you learn more about specific neighborhoods once you've pinned down a few you'd like to live in. You can start with a bird's eye view of a city, and then zoom in on popular neighborhoods, up-and-coming ones, or test your luck with neighborhoods that are more affordable but offer a more authentic and less glossy experience. Whatever you're looking for, both sites will help you find a few neighborhoods you might want to look into.

How to Learn All About a New City Without Leaving Your House

Once you have an idea where in a city you might want to live, your next step is to see how much it would cost you to actually live there. Some of the previous sites will give you averages, like the average home price and average income in the vicinity, but there's no substitute for looking at what's on the market or available to rent right now. Here are a couple of options:

For home buyers, Trulia, Zillow, and Redfin all offer virtually every real estate listing in a given city. If you've bought a home in the past, you're familiar with them, but if not, looking for home prices on the market in an area is as simple as typing in the zip code or name of the area you're interested in. You'll see active listings, their asking prices, and even get to see photos of the home and the surrounding neighborhood. Obviously you're not putting in an offer just yet, but it's a great way to familiarize yourself with the real estate market in your preferred neighborhoods.For renters,, MyApartmentMap, Padmapper, and HotPads all collect the best of a city's rental listings and make them easy to browse. The real estate sites like Trulia and Zillow also offer rental listings, but go to the source. These are some of our favorite apartment search sites for good reason. There's always Craigslist too, but many of these sites pull in Craigslist listings. Still, if you don't see them, Craigslist has finally added maps, so they're worth checking out. There's also Lovely, which also caters to top-down neighborhood-browsing. In any event, the best feature of all of these is that they can help you figure out which neighborhoods have rentals you can afford and amenities that you'd enjoy while you live there, and they do it all on a map that you can click and drag around (or drop down into Google Street View with) easily. Many include information on transit options, walkability data (like how close a rental is to transit, shopping, dining, etc), and others, like previously mentioned AutNo, helps you find transit friendly neighborhoods and rentals directly.Once you have an idea of how much it'll cost to rent or buy a home in a specific neighborhood, take a street view tour of the neighborhood and look around. Check out what kinds of shops and restaurants are nearby. The more amenities like transit, dining, and retail are nearby, the higher you'll know the cost of living will probably be—but all of the tools we've mentioned will help you pin down exact numbers.

How to Learn All About a New City Without Leaving Your House

A Google Street View tour will help you determine whether a neighborhood looks a little rough or looks a little too clean for your tastes, but there's no replacement for real, public crime data and police blotter aggregators for the areas you're thinking about moving to. Crime Reports is a great first stop for information on any city in the United States, and Family Watchdog lists convicted sex offenders. SpotCrime is another great database of crime statistics and data, and signing up even gets you regular alerts from a neighborhood or town so you get to see what's going on there before you even visit.

Beyond online databases and search tools, you can (and should) reach out to the local police department for the city you're thinking about moving to and ask them for a crime report. You may have to find the precinct or district that covers the neighborhood you want to move to, or you may have to give the department a specific address to get a report of all activity within a given radius of that location, but it's worth doing. It's the only way you'll get completely accurate information, and you'll be able to dig through the reports yourself and judge with your own eyes. Some police departments only provide aggregate data, so keep that in mind when you ask—but almost all of them are willing to give you some information so you can make an educated decision about moving.

How to Learn All About a New City Without Leaving Your House

If you have children or are planning to start a family, you'll naturally want to find the neighborhoods with the best schools—or at least with schools that are well regarded but are still affordable to live in. A good first stop is GreatSchools, a site that helps you find good schools in a specific area, or will guide you to schools within a certain vicinity. The site is more than a search engine: You'll find tools that will walk you through defining "good" or "bad" schools look like, tips on how to assess a school, and even tips for navigating tricky school systems to get the information or help you need.

Similarly, Neighborhood Scout's school district ratings page can help you find the best public schools in any area, complete with aggregate data like test scores, class sizes, and student achievement. SchoolDigger is another resource with free, complete metrics on school districts and systems around the country. Before you start piling up statistics though, this old op-ed in the Washington Post, although some of its information is specific to DC residents, is worth a read—it'll calm your nerves and help you focus on what's really important when picking a school system, especially since the competitive rush for exclusive private and charter schools can get out of hand in some cities.

How to Learn All About a New City Without Leaving Your House

Finally, once you have the details you need to decide whether a neighborhood sounds like a good one, take a step further and really dig into the local culture, attractions, and atmosphere. City-Data's forums are perfect for this, because you can probably find someone who's local to where you'd like to live to speak with directly. Look at the city from this perspective: If you moved there, what would you do for fun? The answer doesn't have to involve the city's famous destinations or popular locales (although it certainly should—if you're moving to a new city, we have plenty of tips to help you get the lay of the land once you're there), but it should also involve your own interests and passions. If you're a movie buff, look for movie theaters close to your preferred neighborhood, and check out which movie theaters are the most popular and well loved by local movie fans.

Ask yourself what the city is known for, cuisine-wise, and check Foursquare, Yelp, and Google Local for reviews and recommendations. Then think about your favorite foods, and check out where you can get them near your future home. If you're a big fan of Japanese food, make sure you can find a decent restaurant somewhere nearby. If you find a half dozen and a couple of ramen shops to boot, you're in great shape. Repeat the process with your other interests, whether it's live music, nightlife, museums, even local festivals and block parties. Some neighborhoods even have their own Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, and websites designed to alert locals to events happening in their backyard. Pretend it's your backyard too, at least for the time being. Before long, you'll feel like a local.

Photos by ollyy (Shutterstock), Perfect Vectors (Shutterstock), Andy Dean Photography (Shutterstock), Carl Wycoff, Seattle Municipal Archives, and dumbonyc.

Dragon Bowl: Inverted Watermelon

For a long long time people have created functional containers from fruit/vegetable skins. I aimed to do the same from the skin of a watermelon instead of being discarded or composted.

This is a product made through the experimentation with different materials and processes, which is always interesting and provides a large amount of challenges for me. Check out my other Instructable projects, and website if you are intrigued.

Things you will need:
+ A watermelon or part thereof
+ A spoon
+ A craft knife
+ A small bowl for shaping
+ (ideally) warm dry air
+ some patience.
Optional: Oven, hair dryer, rice, plastic container.

View the original article here

True Rock Climbing Day Pack

13, 10:41 AM.jpgThere are a few very nice daypacks our there that are marketed towards climbers. While they are nice, and from respected brands, climbers weren't the main priority in the design process. Four gear loops on the waist belt doesn't justify the title Climbing Day Pack. This day pack is geared towards climbers in every way. It houses comfortably three peoples gear with the rope attached to the outside or carried by a buddy in a rope bag, or two peoples gear and a rope attached to the pack. The photo below is exactly what I pack for a day of climbing with myself, my roommate, and my fiancĂ©. My roommate carries the rope in a rope bag and my fiancĂ© carries a regular day pack with snacks and water. DE3059886_cust_packfitting_860.jpgPurchase a Double Bin daypack. Military Packs have a lot of ability to add and hang gear/accessories to the outside. I used the daypack from my days in the Marine Corps. If you want to purchase a backpack, for this instructable or for general use, the good folks at REI have these infographics on their websites. The link is on the graphic for your convenience. 

Materials you will need: Double Bin Backpack Lanyard Scissors Package of Zip Ties Velcro  High Strength Fabric Glue Ruler PVC Clear Vinyl Tubing  Dental Floss or Fishing Line 550-cord or General Purpose Cord

View the original article here

Snorelab Tracks Your Snoring, Helps You Find Out Which Sleep Tips Work

iOS: If you have a snoring problem, there are plenty of things to try to alleviate it, but if you don't have a way to find out if your snoring is getting better, you'll never know what works. That's where Snorelab comes in.

Snorelab records you while you sleep every night, and tracks your snoring on a helpful graph that shows you the intensity of your snoring as the night dragged on. You'll see when you snored the most, when you were the quietest, how long it took you to fall asleep, and more. The app also records snore samples that you can play back, so if you go to a sleep specialist, you can play examples of your snoring for them so they can listen before bringing you in for a full sleep study.

The app also helps you gauge how effective different snoring remedies you try really are. If you go to sleep for a few nights wearing those nose strips, the app will show you whether they've actually improved your snoring (related: There's a great study worth reading in the journal Rhinology that says those strips actually work pretty well). As you try different methods, Snorelab will help you figure out what's working and what isn't.

You can see more of the app's features at the link below and in the video above. It'll set you back $4 on sale for a limited time—it's normally $5, and you can grab it in the iTunes App Store. For more tips to improve your night's sleep, check out our guides to getting a better night's sleep, and on rebooting your sleep schedule.


Salmon Sushi Earrings

Here's what you'll need!

Clockwise (more or less), starting from top left:

Varathane: a satin-finish water-based floor sealer that works nicely on cured polymer clay. It sells by the pint at hardware stores, but you can also get it here in smaller bottles:
Kato Liquid Polyclay: Like regular clay, but in translucent liquid form. Cures hard and clear in the oven. 
Kato Concentrate Clays (yellow, red): Also like regular clay, but with much higher pigment content. These are too brittle to use normally, but they work well for color tinting and other fun effects. More info at
Detail brush: because it's the little things. 
Sterling silver wire, 20ga (I think): I like to buy this from You can use other metals, but sterling is my favorite. 
Wire cutters: for cutting wire.
Round nose pliers: for plying noses. I guess.
Tissue blade: Originally used for harvesting tissue from people, or corpses, dogs? (See for yourself: They're also great for crafting, and they're sold in more reasonable quantities at crafting stores. 
Rice-colored clay: this is my own mixture, a 30:1 mix (by volume) of translucent clay and white clay. I wouldn't recommend eyeballing the amounts, because slight variations in the mixture can result in weird-looking cured results. If you have a pasta machine, measuring is easy: roll out equal thickness sheets of both clay colors, then mark out the proper areas with a ruler (multiples of 30 cm^2 and 1 cm^2, respectively) and cut them out with the tissue blade. One more thing: this mixing ratio is for Premo Sculpey, because that's what I usually use. I'm not sure how it would differ with other brands. 
Glass cutting board: Clay doesn't stick to it too much, and the flat surface is nice for precise cutting. 

NOT PICTURED (sorry, guys):

Earrings hooks: because, well, we're making earrings. Cheap ones are available here, alongside many other great things:
Jump rings: little wire rings for attaching the earrings. You can make these yourself if you're ambitious and/or thrifty.
Extra pliers: not strictly necessary, but really useful for opening jump rings. 
Bristle brush: for texturing.
An oven: for curing the clay.

View the original article here