How Not to Install a Water Heater

Say your water heater leaks, and the home warranty company sends a plumber, who tells you the water heater needs to be replaced. Say that same plumber arrives the next day with a new water heater that has fewer BTU than the last one. Say you discover this while the water is being drained from the tank, and the pipes have been cut. Is it too late to tell the plumber to stop working? Or do you let him install a lower capacity tank?

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Pixel Paint - Shyguy

Learn to make a Pixel Painting

One of the many skills I’ve developed in my time as a creative geek is pixel painting, the art of painting video game sprites with acrylic paint on canvas. I recently started picking it up as a hobby again, and I thought I’d share some pointers on how to get started–in case anyone would like to paint their favorite old school video game character!

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Create Your Own Snap-Together Plastic Models

Last week I had the opportunity to conduct a camp titled Beginning Electronics and Robot Building (BERB) to a group of 21 kids, ages 8 to 12. It went great, and I’ll be holding the camp again for another group in late July. In addition to learning some basic electronics skills (such as soldering and breadboarding), the kids also got to build a full-fledged Arduino-based robot that they took home. It was a great week, and it also gave me an opportunity to introduce the kids to some other concepts and tools, including 3D printing.

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Steampunk Style Cover

Get a Glimpse of Amazing Steampunk Style

I’ve got a number of steampunk-related artwork books on my shelves full of paintings, sketches, jewelry, sculptures, clothing, weapons, and goggles… lots of goggles. But most of them have a decidedly British or American style running behind the scenes, probably due to the fact that I’m an English speaker and tend to collect books that I can actually read and don’t require any translation. This means that I’m most assuredly missing out on a number of foreign books that focus on steampunk, and that’s a real shame.

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Twin Cities Makers Find a Home?

Seeking to fill a perceived need for an adult hackerspace in the Twin Cities area, a guy named Paul Sobczak has created Twin Cities Maker, a forum to discuss founding such a space. Twin Cities Maker was created to spark the discussion about creating a maker shop in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area in Minnesota A […]

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5 Simple Ways to Stretch Your Gaming Dollar

Image by Simon Davison via FlickrBeing a geek is both time-consuming and expensive, and being a gamer-geek even more so. Sadly, with our economy in perpetual shambles, the latter seems to have become an even more difficult issue than the former. So how’s a gamer supposed to afford new titles as well as incidentals like, […]

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Your Costume Automatically Loses

I’m not one to talk; if I make a costume at all this year, it’s likely to be something that’s geek simple, like MC Frontalot. Still, I think everyone can agree that this AT-ST costume by Cheston wins the geek costume contest hands, or at least articulated legs, down: Design and construction are described in […]

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Geeks Getting Off the Grid

So you think it’s hard being a parent in today’s society?  Try having a newborn in a one-room house you built out of mud and rocks! Actually, my brother-in-law Abe and his wife Josie, are doing just that, and he tells me that little Leo fits quite nicely into their off-the-grid lifestyle. And they’re happy […]

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Making a Pirate’s Treasure Map

You’ve got the eye-patch. You’ve got the peg-leg. You’ve got your sword. You’ve got a Jolly Roger ready for hoisting. Your voice is hoarse from talking like a pirate all day yesterday, but you don’t have a treasure map…What do you do? Make one.  It’s what we did on a rainy Saturday morning. And you […]

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