Monday, August 26, 2013

Umschalt: Typewriter Innards Earrings

As a counterpoint to last week's flash drive earrings, here is a pair of earrings fashioned from the innards and keys of an old German typewriter. "Umschalt" is the shift key, making this good jewelry to wear when a change is in the air or when moving into an alternate reality.

Typewriter keys, typewriter innards, pop-top tabs

And while typewriter key bracelets are nothing new, as long as I had my tin of typewriter keys out, what the hell.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

When Memory Fails: Flash Drive Earrings

A fashion accessory for techies, trekkies, multi-taskers, spies, survivalists, climate change refugees, folks on the run from the Zombie apocalypse, and gray-haired hipsters sliding down the gentle slope towards death and scattering memories behind them along the way.



These flash drive earrings (aka jump drive earrings, memory stick earrings) hold 8 GB of storage each, for a combined total of 16 GB; more than enough to store copies of your current projects, all of your vital info (including scans of your passport, license, etc.), and anything other random memories you'd like to transport.

For comparison's sake, one of the early Apple computers, the Lisa (1983), had just 5 MB of hard drive memory and the Mac Classic (1990) had just 40 MB. These earrings have 3,277 times more storage than the Lisa and 400 times more storage than the Mac Classic.

The Japanese calligraphy reads "cherish memory" on the front of the earrings, with two different styles of calligraphy used for left and right earrings. The calligraphy simply reads "memory" on the back of the earrings.

Back (left) "memory"; front (right) "cherish memory"

Materials for the earrings include vintage typewriter shift keys (the black disks at the top), pop-top tabs, paper printouts of Japanese calligraphy (downloaded from the Web, images then inverted to produce white on black), and two SanDisk 8GB flash drives. Total cost: less than $15 for the pair.

Make your own flash drive earrings out of bits of broken jewelry, random scraps, and apt images or print, and never worry about forgetting anything again.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Cranking Whatnot Prototype

Materials: Small recycled plastic chewing gum tub; found goose feathers and foliage; seaglass; wire; beads from old junk jewelry  

There is no better way to exercise your brain and get those neurons firing than trying to figure out how to build a little cranking whatnot. This one is a first stab and a prototype for a more complicated kinetic assemblage.  Turn the little crank on the side and the feathers and foliage go up and down (see video below).

Tweaked a bit with more foliage added.

The diagrams below should give you some idea of how it was done (though figuring out how to do this is source of the fun).

I wound thread at the bend in the wires as shown to form little barriers because the vertical rods kept slipping.

Here I've drawn in how the internal "gears" look.

And here is a very short little YouTube video showing the thing in action.

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