Anxiety occurs when people try to do today’s jobs with yesterday’s tools.

-- Marshall McLuhan

(Via Paper Bits and Stowe Boyd)

First Session RobotsSecond Session Robots

Today I was lucky enough to participate in Gr8 Designs for Gr8 Girls, a program to introduce young women to the interesting side of computer science. I ran two sessions using Lego Mindstorms NXT kits; the girls had to build a robot to activate a Staples That-Was-Easy button.

It always amazes me; out of eight groups, we had eight very different robots. To see some close-ups, check out this gallery on flickr.

The End of Cyberspace: Rediscovering the virtues of the manual
Some engineers and designers are realizing that there are losses that come from virtualizing. There have long been stories of students who design things on CAD that are impossible to manufacture, or that are 10 or 100 times too large, because virtualizing the design process divorces it from actual things.
10 Futuristic User Interfaces | Monday Inspiration | Smashing Magazine
And here is where creative ideas and unusual interface approaches become important. Innovative doesn't mean usable and usable hardly means innovative. As usual, it's necessary to find an optimal trade-off. And some user interfaces manage to achieve just that.
Mockup Frenzy #3: Game Boy De-Makes!
To sum up, de-makes are the inverse of the "next-gen" game update. Take a new game, and roll it back to an older piece of hardware. Only we're going to be rolling it WAY back; all the way to the original Game Boy! Goldeneye 2D is a perfect example, and the inspiration for this theme!
Mozilla Labs - Blog Archive - Introducing Ubiquity
Today we're announcing the launch of Ubiquity, a Mozilla Labs experiment into connecting the Web with language in an attempt to find new user interfaces that could make it possible for everyone to do common Web tasks more quickly and easily.
Surfraw - Shell Users' Revolutionary Front Rage Against the Web
Surfraw provides a fast unix command line interface to a variety of popular WWW search engines and other artifacts of power. It reclaims google, altavista, babelfish, dejanews, freshmeat, research index, slashdot and many others from the false-prophet, pox-infested heathen lands of html-forms, placing these wonders where they belong, deep in unix heartland, as god loving extensions to the shell.
micromov004 - Assemblage #1 on Vimeo
Assemblage #1 is music set to a repurposed industrial video found in the Prelinger Archives that shows a 40s telephone being assembled from individual parts. I didn't edit the video at all; it is as it is found in the archives. Rather, I timed the music to follow the video.
It Ain't Dead Yet: Webster Chicago Wire Recorder
This is a Webster Chicago wire recorder. It was manufactured sometime between 1945 and 1955.
[photos] White River Falls Power Plant (post 1 of 2) | jlake.com
Today tillyjane and I went hiking at White River Falls State Park, on the advice of ramblin_phyl. It's a beautiful little park in a small canyon, which features an electric power plant built in 1901, expanded in 1910-1911, and abandoned probably sometime after WWII. The walk down to the power plant is a short, steepish trail with good footing in dry weather.
Nuclear Winter in Chernobyl | Stuck In Customs
I spent the day in Chernobyl. One of my Kiev game dev friends hooked me up with a private tour, so I decided to go for the day to check it out. Every woman in my life told me this was a bad idea. Every man said it sounded awesome.It was awesome, although I really usually fare better when I listen to the women. For the guys, here is a picture of me holding a Geiger counter at the main reactor.
www.toastermuseum.com - ABOUT - Collecting Toasters
...that a simple technical task - e.g. toasting bread - can be celebrated in so many different ways. I was deeply impressed, how much creativity engineers spent on flipping bread! Being a designer, this fact fascinates and inspires me every day.
Gallery: San Francisco Cable Cars Still Humming on 19th-Century Tech
The picturesque mode of transport narrowly escaped extinction after the 1906 earthquake, which devastated the city as well as the cable car barn and tracks. New tracks were laid and the system was rebuilt -- despite the advent of more cost-effective electric streetcars -- partially due to cable cars' superior ability to climb the steepest hills in San Francisco.