Archive for the cool stuff Category

Posted in cool stuff, personal with tags , , , , on August 6, 2008 by Lightborne

My best gal Denise just launched a website for her fabulous new crochet business. Please check it out! She makes all kinds of crazy things out of a variety of materials, including recycled plastic bags, and will custom crochet you anything you can think of (really – you suggest it and she’ll have a go!).



Roving sample robot

Posted in cool stuff, music, video with tags , , , , on March 31, 2008 by Lightborne

This apparently took just two hours to make with some simple components that came in the post. The creator has a walkthrough of how to make it, but I know I’ll never get around to it. I’m always seeing things like this that I’d like to make, and while I do think this is exceptionally cool, my soldering skills are exceptionally bad.

The robot randomly moves around the place until it senses something right in front of it using its motion sensors. Then it whacks it with is special hitting arm and records the sound. Its got a thumpy tail as well (which you can just about see in the video) that provides the kick drum. I think it must have some in built patterns, but the sheer coolness of it randomly finding the sounds by itself, playing the newly recorded pattern and then playing along on top of it is enough for me. I guess it would be extra cool if it had a little program to come up with spontaneous algorithmic patterns based on the timbre/frequency/loudness of the sound.

Actually, after watching the video again I think I just realized that what I like above and beyond the technological coolness of the thing (there are innumerable more sophisticated things that don’t get me near as excited), is the way it behaves. It bumbles along until it finds something to hit, then plays a little rhythm, looks like its having a think, is satisfied and goes off to find another sound. There’s a beautiful pause just after the rhythm is finished and before it starts moving again. The designer must have programmed that in, as well as the way that it rocks back in the middle of its performance and its little microphone eyes dart about in a half dance half nervous glance. And I love the idea of a simple thing like this, the sole purpose of which is to rove about and find sounds and make rhythms, and treat it like its the most important thing in the world.


Posted in cool stuff with tags , , on March 8, 2008 by Lightborne


I’m not sure why, but this post from the Flight of the Conchords Newzealandish website cracked me up something awful. I mean it made me laugh in a debilitating way. I couldn’t do anything else for about three minutes. Perhaps I was having some sort of strange psychotic episode, perhaps I’d been drinking, but I’m inclined to believe that it’s because it hits that sweet spot of humour just between clever and stupid. (But then, that may only apply if your brain consistently operates at that point between clever and stupid, as mine does).



April 5 2006

»Problem with Website discovered.

A catch 22 type dilemna has struck kiwi band Flight of The Conchords in relation to updating the band news on their website. Members of the band (Jemaine and Bret) have noticed that whenever there are doing things that could be reported on the website, they are too busy to update the website. In addition, whenever the band members have some spare time in which they could update the website, there is usually, as one member put it “nothing going on”. As a direct result of this problem The Conchords may resort to manufacturing news stories about themselves to bolster news items in less busy times.

»Conchords Develop Powers.

Last week while visiting New Zealand metropolis Palmerston North city, Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement of Flight of The Conchords were exposed to radiation from an explosion at a power generating wind farm leaving them with super powers. McKenzie found that after exposure to the radiation he was able to send text messages with his mind and Clement reported that he was a bit stronger than usual and could lift about three or four more shopping bags than he usually could. But really full ones though. Effects wore off after ten minutes but during that time McKenzie managed to text his mate Dave “HPPY BRTHDY DAV. I M SNDNG THIS USNG MND”.





That last line is devastating.