DIY Ideas

  • Hack a Day – Updates regularly and hosts a wealth of creative ideas. Granted, most of them are a bit above ‘entry level,’ but it’s still interesting to see what people are up to out there. The basic idea for the first synthesizer I made came from a post on here.
  • Hacked Gadgets – Like Hack a Day, the projects highlighted here usually have an advanced level of difficulty and prerequisite knowledge and experience, it’s also more of a showcase for what people have done than a how-to-guide.
  • Tangentsoft’s guide to building a CMOY – This is the most comprehensive guide I’ve found to building the now-ubiquitous ‘altoids-tin-amplifier’ designed by Chu Moy from Headwize. This guide details what parts to use (with suggestions for alternatives and improvements), explains step-by-step how to complete the build and even has sections for troubleshooting and future modifications.
  • E-Drums – A fantastic resource for anyone looking to build their own (acoustic or electric) drum kit or modify their Rock Band/Guitar Hero drums.
  • Instructables – One of the best places to find ideas and see creative implementations. It’s all user-submitted content and it is on the internet, though, so expect to do some sifting.
  • LadyAda – Turning DIY into a veritable cottage industry, she’s transformed her projects into kits that can be purchased. They’re all completely open-source, though, as she includes the exact components, schematics, and assembly instructions on her site. The link is to her Minty Boost project, which turns a tiny mint tin into a portable USB charger, but she’s got a lot of projects that are far more advanced and visibly impressive.

Art – Various artists I find impressive or influential. Just a scant few are being linked here for the time being, as I seem to have misplaced a great deal of bookmarks. (Imagine there’s a scowly-faced emoticon here.)

  • will-ashford-madness-only-makes-them-go-fasterWill Ashford – Recycled Words – The concept alone is noteworthy, but his execution is what really shines. By taking old books in various states of distress and using a carefully selected page as the backdrop for his work, he’s created some outstanding and poignant work. Typically I regard anything that damages a book as being anathema, but in this case, I not only make an exception, but praise the methodology. His gallery is really quite compelling.

Webcomics – I have quite a few that I check out regularly, since most update only once or twice a week and they’re usually a very quick read. I’ll spare you the full list, and just give you some highlights.

  • Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal – It’s hard to describe SMBC without using words like “The Far Side,” “inappropriate,” “nerd” and “balls,” which leads to a description that doesn’t do it any justice at all. Actually, ignore everything I just said and read it. Trust me, it’s funny.
  • Dr. McNinja – This harrowing, epic tale of an Irish Ninja/Doctor teamed with a small mustachioed child gunslinger who rides a velociraptor is laden with the kind of left-field absurdity I love so dearly in a webcomic. As previously mentioned, it does also contain the sage advice that ninjas are unable to grab you if you’re on fire.


  • Photoshop Disasters – Cataloging the worst specimens of professional photochoppery, this one’s as good for the perpetually argumentative comments section as it is for the botched images.
  • Cake Wrecks – I wouldn’t think a blog about disastrously bad cakes would be this entertaining, but who knew? If not for the existence of such a website, the world might never have been exposed to the naked mohawk baby carrot jockey cake.
  • Cracked – So what if the magazine was aborted almost before it began? The website’s funny eight times out of ten, and that ain’t bad.

Other Online Time Sinks

  • Ball Droppings – Physics/music engine. Semi-hypnotic and very hard to put down.
  • Canabalt – Flash game that started out as an iPhone app. Run like hell from… something.

%d bloggers like this: