The Future of DIY (Maker Faire and Beyond) | Fw:Thinking

In an era of modern manufacturing, is there a place for tinkering and DIY? (Spoiler alert: Totally.) Jonathan takes us inside Maker Faire 2013 and shows us how with resources like crowdfunding and 3D printing, it’s simpler than ever to jumpstart your innovation.

Still curious? The audio podcast team explores their favorite Tinkerers, Inventors, and (Productive) Madmen, plus dig deeper into the best (and weirdest) inventions — from musical Tesla coils to fire-breathing robot wolves — in Maker Faire’s Greatest Hits. (You can also check out more video from the Faire in Jonathan’s show notes.)

But we want to know your thoughts. If you had unlimited time, money, and resources, what would be your DIY project?

10 Innovations That Lead to the Modern Bullet

When people talk about guns, they often focus on the weapon itself — its magazines, buttstocks, scopes, trigger guards, compensators and suppressors.

Any gun, though, is a means to an end, and that end is hurling a projectile — at high velocity — toward a target. Today, almost everyone refers to such a projectile as a bullet, a word derived from the French boulette, meaning “small ball.” And that’s what early bullets were — lead balls fired from smoothbore weapons — although they evolved into cylindrical, pointed objects launched from rifled barrels.

Although much has been written about the evolution of firearms, less attention has been paid to the development of the modern bullet. For example, did you know that the earliest black-powder weapons were bamboo tubes reinforced with metal that used a charge of black powder to shoot arrows? Or that lead became a popular musket ball material because iron balls required such extreme temperatures to melt and often ruptured the musket barrels trying to fire them?

Keep reading to learn more…

motherjones:

sade:

ahhhhh

We feel like that Double Rainbow guy right now.

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." ~Arthur C. Clarke

motherjones:

sade:

ahhhhh

We feel like that Double Rainbow guy right now.

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." ~Arthur C. Clarke

(Source: thedeserttales)

How Cardboard Works

This article never actually made it to (digital) print, but I’m so fascinated by that machinery graphic.

Pertinent reading: How Recycling Works; 10 Ways to Reuse Cardboard. (They send me to bed without supper if I don’t include links in these posts.)

Alas, poor Twinkies! We knew them.

From How Twinkies Work:

Monoglycerides and diglycerides, which replace eggs in the Twinkie recipe, are chemicals that act as emulsifiers. They stabilize the cake batter, enhance flavor and extend shelf life [source: Ettlinger]. A very small amount of egg is used to leaven the cake. Polysorbate 60 serves a similar function to the glycerides, keeping the cream filling creamy without the use of real fat. Hydrogenated shortening replaces butter, giving the cake some of its texture and flavor and prolonging shelf life.

Taste tests by flavor experts have revealed that artificial butter flavoring is used in the cake and artificial vanilla flavoring goes into the cream filling [source: Ettlinger]. Both flavorings are chemicals derived from petroleum.

Despite the Twinkie’s reputation, only one ingredient is an actual preservative: sorbic acid. Other ingredients have preservative functions, but sorbic acid has one primary purpose — it stops the formation of mold [source: Ettlinger].

Finally, cellulose gum replaces fat in the filling. This ingredient can absorb 15 to 20 times its own weight in water. It keeps the filling smooth and creamy.

Keep reading…