Archive for June, 2011


Screen capture of Deckard drinking, looking out of his apartment balcony in the movie, Blade Runner. It's probably not apple juice.

Over on Reddit, someone posted this rather well done YouTube doubler – Vangelis’ Blade Runner Blues, plus RainyMood.  Go now – drink apple juice from a dirty tumbler, gazing out into the uncaring night, and pretend that it’s whisky you’re drowning your sorrows with.

Your secret is safe with me.

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So maybe I oversold the ominous nature of this video – a 1 minute animated short from Japan about a cat that keeps getting its tail trod on – but it seems a running theme.  “Watch out!” we say, “Be careful!” we think, lest the cats count and scheme and plot and plan and eventually take us to task for our myriad of trespasses.  In this video, they ‘Voltron-style’ combine into a giant, Japan stomping, cat for the crime of stepping on their poor tails.

In other stories, such as “The Dream of a Thousand Cats” story in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series, the cats are called to dream of a world where cats are in their rightful place – giant masters of humanity, fickle gods to tiny human playthings, snacks and slaves.  Worse still, are the nightmares caused by the (frankly terrifying-for-all-the-wrong-reasons) fan-made trailer for the story.  NSFSanity.

3d printed basic buttons in black

A (Blurry) Handful of 3d Printed Buttons in Black PLA

Please forgive my terrible ‘phone-photography (my camera is on a tripod for time-lapsing my tomatoes) but if you can’t make it out – above is a handful of 3d printed black PLA buttons.  Common or garden variety – two hole, 2cm diameter – buttons.  They’re not big, and they’re not clever – but they print in under 2 minutes and they don’t melt in the tumble-dryer (I’ve tested them – 3 times).  I broke the top button on my favorite pair of combats recently, and it was a few days before my brain finally had that eureka moment!  I designed and printed a replacement, sewed it on, all in the time one morning before leaving for work.

This is not a grand story of 3d printing – it’s no breakthrough development – it’s another grain of sand on the beach.

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This is fantastic – but I cry out for more information on it!  This machine (by Markus Kayser) uses Fresnel lenses and solar powered motors to focus the light and heat of the Saharan sun on to the moving bed of sand – melting it as it travels and forming a crude glass.  The bed is lowered, another layer is sprinkled and leveled, and the sintering, 3d printing, sun-worshiping, dance goes on.  But I have questions!

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Stilts in Edinburgh, by Flickr user, Lee Carson

Peg stilts and owners, off for a stroll - by Lee Carson, on Flickr

Triumph!

A couple of weekends ago, I woke up with an idea for a project (a not unusual event for me) and it started with – “Why don’t I have a pair of stilts?”

An excellent question, I’m sure you’d agree, and one that after two weekends of buying the wrong kinds of saw, discovering I’ve got the wrong kind of velcro, and general dilly-dallying, I’ve now made my own pair of 18″ rising peg stilts!  They’re a little wonky, the wood is bowed in places, but after my first trial run (and my first go on stilts of any kind since I was 8) I declare them to be a success!

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Bioshock Infinite teaser video from the Sony E3 conference, where Ken Levine also talked about the Playstation Move, and a secret pet-project set in the Bioshock universe on the newly announced PSVita handheld.

Excited?  I certainly am 😀

OpenSCAD parametric, 3d printable key (on a RepRap)

Nirav Patel's successful RepRap printed house key test!

Imagine that one day, you get locked out of our home, but instead of calling the locksmith, or furtively smashing your own window, you call up a friend and ask them to print you a new one.  Better still, you ask to borrow your neighbors printer, just for a 10 minute print.

Over at his blog, Nirav Patel has done some tests with his RepRap printer, and created a pair of OpenSCAD files that can parametrically be set to print any possible key combination of the two most popular US door key types (Kwikset KW1 and Schlage SC1).  Cleverly, he didn”t try this in his door lock first try – having no desire to try to pick plastic out of his front door if the thing snapped off – but tried some second hand tumblers instead.  He was successful!

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Nifty, somewhat mind-bending (if you’re not used to it), live-action video of two cloning/time travelling opponents sending their duplicates out to fight each other.  First, they can only send out one copy each, but with each round’s end, they can send another (differently colored) clone out to accompany the first.  The fun is when the clones start setting up opportunities for each other.  Then, when actions of later clones, interrupt the behaviors of earlier clones (the “Unlinked!” effect over their heads).  Think of it as squad based combat, where you are the entire squad.  Single player co-op, even.

Some people, who know who they are, might recognize some of the ideas here 🙂  Either way – it looks fun!

(Seen over at Reddit, in the Gaming subreddit).

Here’s a quick video tutorial on how to build an NPC house in Terraria.  The game itself doesn’t offer much help in this respect, and I noticed a few people searching for some tips.  Personally, I love embellishing the houses to be more specific to the NPC who occupies them, but the video will get you the basics.  More tips, mostly for decorating, follow:

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