Oh – this is great! I’m off to my kids school to make sure we get some of these kits …
What’s MaKey MaKey?
MaKey MaKey is an invention kit for the 21st century. Turn everyday objects into touchpads and combine them with the internet. It’s a simple Invention Kit for Beginners and Experts doing art, engineering, and everything inbetween:
Take 2 minutes to checkout the video … and if you can, spend $35 and order one for your kids … they’ll thank you!
There are many things that consistently vex me. Solutions for three of them presented themselves this rainy Tuesday morning – too good not to share.
I don’t have a problem with bookmarks. (We’re talking about the physical book mark here – something you use to keep your place in a real, physical, book). My wife however very much does. I’ve started printing business cards just so she can use them as book marks. She gets through so many and nobody knows where they go. However, and via Swiss Miss, the solution has presented itself: The Albatross Bookmark. Looks perfect.
Our current coffee table is functional. It’s big, it’s the right height, it’s fine. But it’s not a thing of beauty. And a coffee table should be a thing of beauty. At least once you learn not to put hot mugs of tea on top of it – which might happen one day. And when that does happen, then this coffee table will be waiting for me:
Until that day, I may just have to ‘put up’ with this:
Developing grid systems for responsive web sites is a pain in the butt. I’ve used a couple of frameworks before – some of them have been really good, but when Mark Boulton proposes a new tool, you sit up and listen. Mark is working on a web based app for creating flexible grid systems. This is awesome news. It’s not another framework – this is something that we’ll be able to tinker with and customise for our own purposes. As he says:
Gridset is a tool for making grids. It lets you create whatever type of grid you want: columnar, asymmetrical, ratio, compound, fixed, fluid, responsive and more. It serves multiple grids to your site based on breakpoints for different devices. Using it is as simple as embedding a link.
I love needmoredesigns.com – they’re a web firm based in Portland, Oregon. They do good work, which you can check out on their site. But it’s their blog that is never less than informative and frequently fascinating.
Today, for instance, I learnt that boiling water first and then letting it cool, reduces the oxygen in the water – perfect for making clear ice cubes that last longer! I’m going to be needing a Gin & Tonic this evening to test this out …
… one key to making great ice cubes is to boil water and let it cool, and use that to make the cubes … full article
Follow their blog here: Needmore designs blog
It had to happen … and it did in 2011. Sales of smartphones outstripped sales of traditional computers. Apparently, there was a 60% increase in smartphone shipments from 2010 to 2011 – which is remarkable in itself when you think how ubiquitous iPhones and the like have been – or, rather, for how long they seem to have been part of our lives.
Clearly, as more people have smartphones, it seems unlikely that such growth will be repeated (the figures, of course, hide the fact that most people already have a PC), but what is undoubted is the fact that more web browsing is being done on smaller devices than ever before.
File this under ‘brilliant ideas’. PaveGen – a UK Company no less – has come up with what appears to be a product of absolute genius. Each time a person steps on a little rubber mat, their kinetic energy – the energy expended with the foot fall – is converted into electricity. A single step is said to generate 2.1 watts … not much, but in areas of high foot traffic that could turn out to be huge.
This is just brilliant. Apparently they’ve already installed a bunch outside a school of 1100 pupils and are scheduled to use them in some places during the Olympics. There are case studies on the PaveGen site.
Simple ideas like this do get me excited to the point where sometimes I even feel that maybe we’re not all off to hell in a hand basket!
Sometimes I’m just about the luckiest person I know. One of those times was yesterday when the most deliciously colourful, sumptuous and beautiful piece of artwork arrived on my doorstep. It came courtesy of the Kenspeckle Letterpress. It’s hard to do it justice on such a small web page. In real life it measures 4ft by 3ft. That’s huge! Laurena and I are both so thrilled with it.
So, I know, I know … ‘Where an I get mine?’ … well, just here as a matter of fact: As Above, So Below. Ours was a custom size, so you’d have to get in touch with Kenspeckle if you wanted one that large (they go up to 5 feet wide!) … but it’d be stunning at any size.
(Lara sees it as trees. Jonah sees it as rain – the Irish in him, I first saw it as river delta’s but now can’t get past trees. I’ll update later with Laurena’s take!)
So, this is always worth a quick Friday blog post … there’s a new Tom Waits video, and it’s for Satisfied. The Sunday Times, in it’s review of Bad As Me, described Satisfied thusly:
… his most extraordinary vocal performance yet, in a career that has been pretty much nothing but extraordinary vocal performances.
It’s not his strongest song, but I just love the energy: