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October 22, 2013

World's Smallest Roadworthy Car Enters Guinness World Records 2014


Wrote Amy B. Wang in the Arizona Republic, "Hunched over and grinning wildly while crammed into what looks like a toy car, Austin Coulson seems like the world's most ecstatic man for having such little legroom."

More: "That image of Coulson is immortalized in the 'Guinness World Records 2014' book, released on September 11, 2013. The Phoenix native recently broke the record for building the world’s smallest roadworthy car, earning him a spot in the book he has obsessed over since he was a child."

And: "The vehicle — 2 feet 1 inch high, 2 feet 1.75 inches wide and 4 feet 1.75 inches long — is fully drivable, licensed, and registered, a requirement of the book."

Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 9.17.06 PM

October 22, 2013 at 08:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Pure Contour Fruit Bowl


A 2001 design by Mark Naden, made of birch.

So very elegant.

$70 from the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis — in 2002.


Good luck.

October 22, 2013 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The magnificent gorilla of Andrew Chase — "Hand over hand"

Gorilla - hand over hand

He emailed me in late July as follows:


Hi Joe,

I finally finished the animation and in the process was forcibly reminded why stop motion guys use small and above all lightweight puppets.

Working underneath a 100 pound metal gorilla dangling from a thin wire seven feet in the air certainly focuses the mind, I highly recommend it to all my fellow ADDers :)

Here is the back story:

The gorilla was originally intended to be a quick rough draft for a much larger life-size static sculpture. I didn't really understand how gorillas were put together and the client and I were unsure what the best pose for the final piece would be. So I decided to kill two birds with one stone and make a rough, fully-articulated 2/3 scale model to work out the anatomical puzzles and to really nail down the correct pose. In the long run, I reasoned, whatever time I spend on the model will be more than made back on the final piece, so a rough draft will actually save me time. And with that thought foremost in my mind, I happily began to build.

Around week four, I realized to my horror that I had done it again. Somehow, I had lost sight of the larger goal and instead of making a rough and ready design aid, I had spent the last month and a half fiddling with it as if it were the final piece, remaking the head twice, obsessively redesigning the knuckle joints and making multiple versions of the legs and arms because at certain angles they just didn't look quite right. To make matters worse, I was nowhere near close to finishing. The head and arms looked pretty good but I still hadn't figured out the hind legs, the chest was skeletal and his torso was disturbingly anorexic. I suppose at this point I could have declared it good enough and started on the final piece but I hate leaving projects unfinished and surely, if I really focused up, I could have this sucker whipped in to shape in two weeks, two and a half at the most.

Eight weeks later, a mere month and a half past my self imposed deadline, I finished. 

I really have to work on my time management skills.

A couple stats in case anyone is interested:

The gorilla weighs somewhere around 100 pounds. On all fours he is 30" long and 24" high at the shoulder; standing up, he is 46" tall.

He's made from recycled transmission parts, conduit, black pipe, four trailer hitches, odd widgets I found at an industrial salvage yard, and a (hopefully) unused plumbers snake. The eyes are glass marbles, hand made by David Salazar at salazarglass.com.




His previous creations, all featured here, include the Steampunk Mechanical Elephant, Steampunk Mechanical Giraffe, the magnificent Steampunk Mechanical Cheetah,

Robotic cheetah runcycle

and most recently T. Rex.

Can he make something for you?

You bet — give him a holler:photographer@andrewchase.com

Tell him I sent you.


October 22, 2013 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

IKEA Hand-Powered LED Flashlight


Below, excerpts from Remko Klaassen's Cool Tools review.


Over the last five years I have owned a number of hand-powered LED flashlights, some of them using a 'direct feed" approach (generated electricity is used directly to power the light), others using a rechargeable battery to store the electricity.

My issue with the direct feed type is that you need to "keep the motion going" — stop operating the generator and you don't have any light.

This means that you cannot put the flashlight down if you need both hands to do a job (replacing a defective fuse comes to mind).

The rechargeable battery type tends to work a little bit better but I've yet to find an affordable type where the battery capacity does not start to diminish sharply after a fairly low number of recharge cycles.

Then, when shopping at IKEA a couple of months ago, I came across this LJUSA flashlight.

It's not the nicest looking or smallest flashlight out there but it does have a number of things going for it:

• It's sturdy

• Quick to charge (wind lever 20-30 times for 1-2 minutes of light)

• Fairly bright.

Furthermore, it uses a capacitor rather than a battery to store electricity so no more degrading battery capacity.

What really blew me away, though, was the price: at $4.99 it is a true steal!

I immediately bought a couple for my kids.

While I had some initial concerns about the quality of the lever, both flashlights have withstood months of abuse without breaking and still function as well as the day we bought them.

I've since been back to IKEA and have bought a couple of additional units to keep handy in our car, near our home's fuse box, etc., and have also recommended them to family and friends.



October 22, 2013 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Caterpillar crossing the road — up close and personal through Google Glass

YouTube caption: "Res ipsa loquitur."

October 22, 2013 at 04:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Dog Travel Canteen


Below, excerpts from Wayne Ruffner's Cool Tools review.




We like to let our dogs take us outside for both our benefits and theirs.

But keeping them hydrated without letting them resort to slurping up who-knows-what from puddles has been a sort of a problem.

We've tried a variety of doggy-intended canteen things: Nalgene bottles & floppy bowls. Little buckets & bottles. Everything was either a pain for us or the dogs weren't interested in some stinky wet plastic — no matter how thirsty they were.

I recently bought some bottles from H2O4K9.com.

The dogs took to them immediately.

The bottles themselves are stainless steel.

The 25-ounce "insulated" version's dog-trough is big enough that both our dogs get water at the same time, sorta, and it looks like it's big enough for large-muzzled pooches.




October 22, 2013 at 12:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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