Meet America’s mad professor. For nearly 40 years Bob Iannini, founder of Information Unlimited, has been mail-order mentor and parts supplier to electronics hobbyists willing to take on some of the most dangerous DIY projects in the world.
Need kits, plans or supplies for a Tesla coil? Pick a size — Information Unlimited carries itty bitty 2-foot science-project-type Tesla coils, all the way up to terrifying 6.5-foot, 2-million-volt monstrosities. More practical consumers can pick up laser components, bug zappers and high-voltage transformers and switches. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, Iannini offers a massive EMP blaster gun kit capable of disrupting electronics or igniting explosive fuels with a radiating electromagnetic pulse — a pre-assembled unit will set you back just $32,000
ArduSat is a (funded) Kickstarter project that aims to launch an Arduino based satellite into space that will run experiments designed by people like you. The idea is that, since it will use open source hardware, you’ll be able to design your own research experiments and submit them to the ArduSat team. They’ll test your experiment and, if everything seems legit, upload your experiment to the satellite, collect data and send it back to you to do whatever you’d like.
Here are some possible applications of ArduSat from the Kickstarter page:
SCIENCE: Meteor Hunter - Small meteors that strike the atmosphere every day created trails of ionized gas in the atmosphere in the upper atmosphere. Write an experiment to try and detect meteor impacts, by listening for radio stations beyond the horizon, reflected by the meteor trails!
ENGINEERING: Your Eye in the Sky - Try writing an app that would synchronize the output of a head mounted-gyro to the steering system on the satellite. If you’re feeling really ambitious, try downlinking the attitude vector in real-time to watch the satellite follow your head - you could even tie-in your head-steering to our program that takes pictures! (Talk to Joel if you’re interested in this experiment!)
ENGINEERING: Point-and-shoot - The following settings can be set on the camera: “exposure, gamma, gain, white balance, color matrix, windowing”. Try designing an algorithm that fine-tunes the settings to take even better pictures or more artistic pictures!
ENTERTAINMENT: Geiger Counter Bingo - Write an app that transmits a message with a random number and letter every time a particle hits the satellite with enough energy. Have a ‘bingo from space’ game between HAM radio amateurs.
ENTERTAINMENT: Photography Competition - See who among your friends can snap the coolest/most interesting picture from space. The eye of a hurricane, sunrise over the Indian ocean, even aurora from space – see what marvels you can capture!
Take Pictures from Space
The satellite is not just for scientific purposes; ambitious photographers and artists will be able to steer the satellite cameras take pictures on-demand of the Earth, the Moon, or the stars. Especially from the Artist community we expect to see some spectacular private space pictures so we all can marvel at the beauty of Earth from above.
At the LA Zine Fest, V. Vale tells Henry Rolls about about his idea for an “Occupy Handbook” collecting posters and slogans from the movement worldwide. Rollins talks about his collection of George W. Bush graffiti from around the world.
(via V. Vale on Twitter)
I can see the appeal:
“I’m in love with all of them,” said Louis Smith, 28, a lanky drummer from Williamsburg. Five minutes later, he had bought a dark blue 1968 Smith Corona Galaxie II for $150. “It’s about permanence, not being able to hit delete,” he explained. “You have to have some conviction in your thoughts. And that’s my whole philosophy of typewriters.”
Whether he knew it or not, Mr. Smith had joined a growing movement. Manual typewriters aren’t going gently into the good night of the digital era. The machines have been attracting fresh converts, many too young to be nostalgic for spooled ribbons, ink-smudged fingers and corrective fluid. And unlike the typists of yore, these folks aren’t clacking away in solitude. […]
That doesn’t make them Luddites. For many younger typewriter users, the old technology rests comfortably beside the new. Matt Cidoni, 16, of East Brunswick, N.J., keeps a picture of his favorite machine, a Royal No. 10, on his iPod Touch so he can show it off to friends. Online, he is a proud member of the “typosphere,” a global community of typewriter geeks. Like many of them, he enjoys “typecasting,” or tapping out typewritten messages, which he scans and posts to his Web site, Adventures in Typewriterdom. One of his favorite typecasting blogs, Strikethru, is run by a Microsoft employee. In Mr. Cidoni’s world view, there’s nothing technologically inconsistent about such things.
Atemporality keeps everything from dying.
See also: The Guy I Almost Was.
(Via William Gibson, who writes: “Get one now. You saw what happened with mechanical watches.”)
Industrial noise artists TCHKUNG have posted their “Post World Manifesto” online:
The Post World Movement maintains that the apocalypse has already happened and you missed it. It concerns itself not with reforming the excesses of the dominant culture, but rather with forming the culture that is to come after its last death throes. A virulent hybrid, Post World architects manipulate the scrap, garbage, and artifacts of the “real” world to create new forms of art and technology. Everywhere that you see a sculpture forged from industrial refuse, musical instruments created from car parts, baling wire and duct tape, and vehicles that run for no apparent reason. Whenever you see coyotes and raccoons dumpster diving in the heart of the urban metropolis, rogue clowns, predatory computer viruses cobbled together on makeshift systems, and squatters fabricating furniture and tapping into power lines; whenever you see these things you know the Post World Movement thrives.
See also: 10 Chapters on Tchkung (live show review)