This week:
Nanonano Tech Junk Buddies, Arithmetic Gardens, The Analog “iPod Touch,” Beetle Cross Stitch Kits, QR Code Hats, Nipple Hats, Can-Crushing Frogs, Cyborg Glasses, Nuigurumi Giant Isopods, Home Dinosaur Excavation Kits, and plenty more action from the 4/20 Make: Tokyo Meeting.
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Nanonano – Tech Junk Buddies by Kouichi Miyajima
Artist Kouichi Miyajima makes adorable little technojunk critters called Nanonanos out of capacitors, resistors, diodes, and, um, magic. Mayajima was the winner of the 1995 Tokyu Hands Mind Award for this creation:

Here’s another elaborate scenario: The Nanonanos as a very popular rock band, playing a concert to screaming fans:

More Nanonano on YouTube
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Arithmetic Garden
In this interactive art piece/game by media creator Masahiko Sato at the Open Space exhibit, participants are given RFID cards with a number like 8, 13 or -1 written on them. The task is to walk through gates with labels such as [+5] or [x7], the calculation of which is written to your RFID card. In order to leave the garden, you have to get the value written to your RFID card to equal 73. When you’re done, you get a printout of how you got to 73, and it even tells you how long it took you to get out. I generally consider myself pretty good at getting out of gardens, but without a calculator, this is a garden I might get trapped in. [via]

080422memo_pad_like_iPod_touch01.jpg“iPod Touch” w/ 60-Page Memory
It’s wireless, requires no recharging, and comes with sixty “pages” of the new “paper” storage medium! It’s a pixelated craft version of the iPod Touch, which apparently looks strangely like a real one from about ten steps away. Go ahead, try it. At 2,625 yen, why not? It can even be upgraded to 120 pages of storage. This fine product is brought to us by crafty crafters The Mint House, who also sell beetle cross-stitch kits:
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QR Code hats, stitched with care:
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as well as nipple beanies!:
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I like this company’s style.

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Can-Crushing Frog
Leave it to Japan to take the everyday activity of crushing a can and make totally cute-tastic. Also, if this picture is right, this means that you can finally crush Budweiser cans with your socks on. Finally. I bet it springs back real cute, goes “boingggg!”


Cyborg Glasses Project
So, you think your bluetooth earpiece makes you look like a cyborg? You’ve just been one-upped, amigo. The good folks over at hackerscafe.jp bring us this mashup of portable movie glasses, a webcam, and directional data logging. What you see when you wear these glasses is simulated on the computer screen shown, indicating your direction (to .1 degree accuracy), overlaid landmarks in the direction you’re facing, and geotagged pictures taken from the direction in which you’re pointed. At 0:48, it has located some delicious eats in the neighborhood. As you can see at about 0:52, it’s not all one piece yet, but it looks like it’s coming together. Futuristic hair/music is optional, but helps.

RIMG11485.jpgExtreme Nuigurumi: Trying to Bring Cuteness to a Giant Isopod
If ever there was a creepy-looking crustacean, it would have to be the Bathynomus giganteus, or giant isopod. In real life, it looks like this:
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Those cool kids over at Daily Portal Z do a step-by-step how-to on making one of these in the nuigurumi style, complete with shiny foil eyes. They tried to make a scary creature look cute, and you have to admit, they did a pretty good job.
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Home Dinosaur Excavation Kits
The Copitar company has released home dinosaur excavation kits. Unfortunately for dinosaur snobs, they are only available in the four most obvious dinosaur choices: tyrannosaurus, veloca raptor, triceratops, and stegosaurus.

The kits feature a block of hardened sand containing dinosaur “bones.” Using a hammer and chisel, users chip away at the block to uncover the bones, and then put them together to form skeletons of various dinosaurs.

Officials are targeting fathers and children with the products, hoping they will uncover some fun family moments as well.

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2,940 yen = cheaper than a real dinosaur dig. [via]

More Coverage From the 4/20/08 Make: Tokyo Meeting!
From fumi’s blog: Make Tokyo Meeting: (nice and long video, includes fresh footage of The Breadboard Band at 3:55.)

Gainer workshop footage:

A walking video monitor by KIMURA:

KIMURA also makes dangerous-looking gas-powered walking machines:
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Freakin’ sweet! The people watching be all like “whaaaat?”!

Aaaaand one last gem from the Make: Tokyo Meeting, here’s a slow-mo video of the NIT Physics lab destroying a whole head of cabbage with their tennis ball bazooka:

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That’s it for this week. All this Make: Tokyo stuff has got me pumped for the Maker Faire this weekend, so if you see me, gimme a high five or something. I usually look about like this:

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I will definitely be seeing Gowns on Music Stage 1 at 6:00PM on Saturday. I’ll be the guy headbanging and “going ape.”

Mike Dixon

Bored? Really? Visit the Made in Japan Archives, dude.