The Friday Fillip

It’s barely possible that if someone had told me when I was young that you could become an inventor as an alternative to becoming a “doctor, lawyer, teacher etc. etc.,” I would have gone for that as a career. I’ve always enjoyed dreaming up and building devices that do things that don’t get done otherwise or efficiently. Mind you, these contraptions — concatenations of bits and bobs and glue — more often than not turn into Heath Robinson (“I really have a secret satisfaction in being considered rather mad.”) or Rube Goldberg machines. Still, there’s something deeply satisfying to me in making something that does something. If there’s anything of the inventor or tinkerer in you, then MAKE might be interesting.

First of all MAKE is a magazine. But since everyone has one, it’s also a blog. And in a stunning retro move, worthy of a Heath or a Rube, it’s recently also become a TV show. For us, however, the video/podcasts make the most sense.

(As a side note, I have to say that the organizer in me desperately wants to clean up the MAKE sites and rationalize them better. There’s far too much clutter and too much overlap among modes, which makes this embarras de richesses a bit confusing. But this is a fillip, so to hell with order; go to one of their sites, see a link and just click it.)

From the video/podcasts we can learn how to make a mood light “from a flourescent lamp and a bunch of old memory chips,” or how to “use your cellphone camera for espionage,” or learn about aerial kite photography (or watch architect Cris Benton do it right with his stunning kites).

Geeky? Sure. Fun weekend projects? Well, maybe. Vicarious satisfaction? Guaranteed.

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