Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Inspiration for Slap Shed Studio

I remember the first time I saw Gizmo when I was young. It was truly an inspirational moment. It is a documentary mainly about old inventions that never caught on but it ends up making a statement about the human spirit and it has a sweet soundtrack to boot. I’m not going to write a full review of this movie, I’ll just say you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll say why didn’t I think of that. This is part 1 of 8. I will update with a new installment every week.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Bear Killed in Bear Attack

The weather is improving, which can mean only one thing. A rise in bear attacks. I am not sure if anybody saw the story about the Ashley Swendsen in Colorado Springs, CO. She was out hiking when she came across a bear. At first it followed at a distance slowly. The bear was almost casual. Then Ashley made a break for a nearby road. The bear gave chase, but before he could catch her she rushed out onto the road and was promptly hit by a car. Ashley shouted for help, but the driver fled the scene. Oh yeah, Ashley was pregnant. Long story short Ashley and her unborn child are fine, but the bear is dead.

The moral of this story is even bears aren’t safe from bear attacks. “So what can I do?” you ask. Well watch the video and find out.

Nintendo Guitar Hack

I’m not sure if this is cool or incredibly nerdy. Either way it definitely fits the Slap Shed profile. I found this Nintendo guitar hack on a site called NES Paul. The site shows how to take a mini Les Paul and an old NES and make a pretty sweet electric guitar.

NES Paul doesn’t go into a lot of detail about building the guitar, but is enough to give us the basic concept. A couple issues I think you may have with this guitar is artifact noise from the weak plastic frame of the Nintendo. I also think this guitar may have issues staying in tune. I think both these problems could be addressed by internally reinforcing the Nintendo frame and adding speaker foam.

Apply this principle to the bass, standing keyboard, and drums and you are ready to start the ultimate Devo tribute band.

I found a video of a SEGA being used the same way.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Dancing Cornstarch Creatures

This is a great experiment to create a really cool effect. You simply take cornstarch add in some water until it forms a thick consistent mix. Add the mix to an old sub woofer. You want to make sure its old, because this is going to pretty much ruin the speaker. Place the Cornstarch mix in the speaker and play a 120hz wave through the speaker. You can find sound modulators online that will allow you to play specific frequencies through your speaker. Blow a little air into the cornstarch and a very interesting thing begins to happen. Little creatures form in the cornstarch and start to dance.

This is a really fun experiment. It could be used to make a pretty cool music video, if you cut out the sound and added another track. Try adding food coloring or the solution from a glow stick. Have fun.

How to Toilet Train a Cat

So I was watching a friend’s cat a few weeks ago. He was a sweet enough cat but he was really getting on my nerves. He would knock over glasses, scratch my feet with his claws, and tried to jump out a 10 story window. The thing that annoyed me most about this feline was his litter box. This is why I couldn’t have a cat. The concept of the litter box is pretty nasty. Every time he jumped up on my counter or my lap or couch or anything, all I could think of were his paws digging around in a box of litter. I cleaned it every day, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s pretty nasty.

Well apparently there is a solution, right out of Meet the Parents, with what seems like an incredible amount of effort you can train your cat to use the toilet. Problem solved, right? I’m not so sure. The more I think about this one the more I am torn. Would I rather have little bits of litter everywhere and dirty paws touching everything in my house or have the pleasure of random cat turds floating in my toilet. How embarrassing would it be if you had a date over and they asked to use the restroom? So, until they figure out to teach the cat how to flush too, I’m probably going to hold off on cat ownership.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Lazarus The Fly

I would like to start this blog by stating that I do not condone animal cruelty nor playing god, but I thought this was too cool not to post. Apparently, it is possible to revive a nearly drowned fly with a little bit of salt. I say nearly because dead is dead and there is no coming back from that. I am not a biologist but I would imagine the fly enters a state of suspended animation similar to hypothermia and the salt acts as a catalyst to speed up the reanimation process.
Again this would be a cool way to win a bet, but I ask that you use it wisely and don’t torture any innocent flies. SO if you are going to attempt this please only attempt it on drowning flies you are trying to revive too impress your hippy girlfriend or flies that have committed the most nefarious of acts.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Musical Fruit

No not beans. I am not much of a musician, but I came across the idea of musical fruit recently on the internet. The idea of making musical instruments out of food is actually a pretty old idea. Gourds have been used to make all kinds of instruments since humans started keeping a beat. Of course Slap Shed Studio isn’t content with a plain old gourd. I found a video showing how to make an Ocarina out of a carrot. This definitely qualifies as a Slap Shed instrument.

Of course an instrument doesn’t have to be made of fruit to be inventive, creative and completely ridiculous. There seems to be a whole trend of crazy homemade instruments. Some of them actually sound pretty good others not so much.

Let’s see what kind of instruments the Slap Shed Studio community can come up with. However, I encourage all those making fruit out of produce to please buy local

Check out this blog for more on food and inventions: Tasteful Inventions

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Build Your Own Hover Board

It seems that the dream planted in every child since the release of Back to the Future II has finally been realized. Okay so maybe the Airboard is not quite as cool as the hover boards in Back to the Future II, but it has the distinct advantage of being real. It works on the same principle as larger hovercraft. A powerful motor is use to direct air contained by a rubber skirt downward. This causes the craft to hover above the ground on a cushion of air.

These are available for sale, but I have also included a clip from the Gadget Show on how to build your own hover board. Since that is what this blog is all about.

So here is the deal I would like to challenge all my faithful readers (I am pretty sure there are 3 maybe even four of you) to build their own hovercraft and submit pictures or video of it.

Remember “You can’t take a hover board on water unless you have power!”

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I know this is the second day in a row that I'm going to an outside source for the randomness. This was posted on a great blog called failblog.org. Quickly becoming one of my favorite blogs.

fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures

Interesting Inventions

Thought this video was pretty cool and I wasn't able to come up with any of my own ideas today, so I took the easy the way out and posted a funny invention video.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Reliable Transportation for under $200

I can’t wait to get a bicycle so I can convert it into a moped. There are several kits available, on the market that allow you to convert your pedal powered bicycle into a gas fueled machine. The kits come with everything from the engine to the fuel tank. They claim to go up to 40mph, which makes them adequate for getting around in town. What I love about these kits is your bike retains all the cool benefits of making you look like your athletic, while not actually requiring you to make any of the effort. They also get great gas mileage, and are pretty affordable starting at $150 (this includes the engine). Depending on your local laws you may not need a driver’s licenses or tags because of the small engine size. Make sure you check because these laws vary from state to state.
All you have to do is dust off that old bicycle sitting behind the mower in your garage (if you don’t have an old bike, trade for one on craigslist). Purchase a helmet for $50. Purchase a bicycle motor conversion kits for $150, and follow the instruction to install. There you know have reliable transportation for under $200.
I will put of video of me installing one of these as soon as I get a bicycle.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Updating the Jug Line
The Jug Line is a pretty simple concept. Tie some fishing line to a milk jug. Tie a hook and bait to the other end of the line. Place the jug in water populated with fish. Return in a few hours and collect fish. Of course there are a lot of things that can go wrong with a jug line. The first is the current or a hooked fish may carry the jug line away from where you placed it. Now, you have to spend all day looking for it. The second problem is a hooked fish is an easy meal for other fish. So the longer a fish stay hooked in the water the more likely you are to have caught a fish head.
Well I came up with a Slapshed update to the jug line that will solve both these problems. By placing a GPS tracking unit in the milk jug and having it activated by a simple circuit when the jug hooks a fish, you can be notified on your cell phone when you catch a fish and where you caught it is located. To make it easier to identify the jug when you go to retrieve it I also added a beacon light.