Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Beaded beverage markers

IMG_1107.jpgMy parents enjoy having wine tastings and dinner parties and a common issue that arises is whose glass is whose! When everyone is drinking the same drink, it is easy to lose your glass. I found some wine markers online, but I thought they looked boring and very similar to each other, which defeats the whole purpose. I decided to make these more unique beverage markers using random beads I had left over from past projects. They're easy to make and they look good too! 

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Take Back Control of Your iPhone with Free DIY Repair Kits (Save $20)

Take Back Control of Your iPhone with Free DIY Repair Kits (Save $20)

iPhones annoyingly are put together with special Apple-devised pentalobe screws instead of standard Phillips screws. If you'd like the ability to open your iPhone instead of sending it to Apple for repairs, get these free iPhone liberation kits from iFixit.

The DIY repair site is offering two free kits to everyone through July 5th. The iPhone 4/4S and iPhone 5 kits include a pentalobe driver, Phillips driver, and Phillips screws so you can replace the pentalobe screws with Phillips ones and "liberate your iPhone."

Unfortunately, they've already given away the 1,776 of each set aside for free shipping. But you can still order the two free kits (one for you and one for a friend) and pay for the shipping, which looks to be about $5 for ground shipping. Not bad considering the kits usually cost around $20.

Liberation Week | iFixit

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Psychic Fortune Teller - An automaton that reads the mind of Twitter

The Psychic Hive Mind Fortune Teller is designed to be used at events where people are gathered and discussing online via Twitter. When people interact with the Fortune Teller, it gives them insights into the live Twitter conversations happening around them.

It is really a type of automoton, but one that can be tuned into the specific conversation of the event at which it is present. It just needs to be set up to target the event, then it will serve up real-time reflections automatically, based on the digital conversation happening around it. In effect, it reads the collective mind of the event, hence why it's called the Psychic Hive-Mind Fortune Teller. It can easily be programmed using simple admin settings that determine what it listens to on Twitter. These can be set remotely using a Google spreadsheet as a web database.

Here it is in action at museum-technology conference "MuseumNext", in May 2013, in Amsterdam.

This 47 second clip shows what an event-goer experiences when they come across the Psychic Fortune Teller - generally bafflement!


To have their fortune told, a person interacting with it just has to enter their twitter @username and press a physical button. The Fortune Teller's Twitter-app brain then reads tweets harvested in real time and dissects them into their component parts of usernames, hashtags, urls and other general words. It then rebuilds them with randomised sentence construction to generate rather leftfield recombinations. Finally it sends a tweet containing a summary of the fortune reading to the person's twitter account.

The Fortune Teller uses the irrestible appeal of freaky fairground things and plugs in the social web, piggybacking on some of the many data connections that we trace in our digital lives.

In using digital social media, aspects of our communal connections are translated into and back from data. The Fortune Teller uses this to create a new physical re-manifestation of our digital interactions. It ponders what it means to be part of a large-scale collective 'hive' conversation, how digital social media creates random and unexpected insights and connections with people clustered around interest, and reflects on the meaning of sharing ideas on the web.

But mainly it's just a little bit random :)

The automaton is tuned to an event discussion by being logged into Twitter. It is programmed to harvest tweets by conducting one of three searches. Usually this is a #hashtag search, but it can be set up to do a @username search or just a straight keyword search. It then extracts the basic content in four types The usernames of people who have sent the tweets being harvested Hashtags used in the discussion URLs sent round Finally a big list of all the words people have used to express themselves.  It then constructs random fortune readings using these terms, that it speaks to the visitor, and then tweets them a summary.
Here are some other baffled looking people!

Psychic Hive Mind FortunePsychic Hive Mind Fortune

Psychic Hive Mind Fortune Psychic Hive Mind Fortune

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The Less You Sleep, the More Weight You Gain

The Less You Sleep, the More Weight You Gain

If you need more convincing to finally fix your sleep deprivation problem, here it is: A new sleep study has found people who lose a lot of sleep eat more fatty foods and gain more weight.

The study, from researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, confirms several other similar studies conducted over the past few years. This one is pretty significant, because it used the largest, most diverse sample to date—225 healthy adults ages 22 to 50—and it was done in a controlled sleep lab.

The researchers found that on the days the subjects were restricted to four hours of sleep, they ate more meals, chose fattier foods, and shifted eating to later in the night. After five consecutive nights of this, they gained an average of 2.2 pounds.

The solution, of course, is to try to sleep more (or end your sleep problems). It might even help you lose weight.

Effects of Sleep Restriction on Weight Gain, Caloric Intake, and Meal Timing | Sleep Journal via NBC

Photo by ollyy (Shutterstock).

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Knex Ball Machine: Paradox

My long expected big ball machine has finally arrived!

Hi everyone!

Here is my 4th big ball machine, Paradox.
I’m very proud of this build and I hope you’ll like it as much as I do.
It has 10 lifts and 11 paths, organized in 2 networks:  Network 1 has 1 lift and 3 paths, and network 2 contains 8 lifts and  8 paths aswell. The 10th lift is the ball shooter in the floor. I count it as a lift too because it also lifts the ball (Not very much but it can be higher or lower depending on the rubber band)
4 new lifts are included: In network 2 the 1st, 3rd and 5th lift, and the lift in the floor. Also 2 new path seperators (each network one) and some new elements.
This machine height is 2m90cm, width 1m85cm and depth 1m25cm.

-Intro 20th century fox and Paradox title created with ivipid.com.
-Music by a friend.
-My sister for helping me with filming.
-My dad’s ladder.
-And offcourse all knexers who inspired me!

New elements (coming soon)
1st new lift (coming soon)
2nd new lift (coming soon)
3rd new lift (coming soon)
Floor lift (coming soon)

I would really appreciate it if you'd vote for it in the Toy Rods and Connectors Contest!

Thanks for watching and enjoy!


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