This week:
The Gossamer 1 Art Machine, Making Tombodama, Digital Camera Goggles, The Reduino, Styrofoam Dome Homes, The Ferrofluid Sculptures of Sachiko Kodama, DIY 3-color Projections, iPhone from Beads, Mosquito Repellant iPhone App.

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The Gossamer 1 Art Machine
Moxuse demo’d this art/technology project at the latest EIZONE 2008 in Yokohama. With a canvas of paper, this machine, referred to as a “Gossamer 1” uses four glue guns that emit adhesive of various colors depending on the nature of the sound that is picked up by an attached microphone, resulting in a unique, Jackson Pollock-esque work of art each time that is the influenced by the surrounding sonic atmosphere.

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Making Tombodama
Crafted with molten glass, these “dragonfly ball” glass sculptures are artfully created by Tomoko Nangu, who goes by the craft name “Nangu.” PingMag tells all:

A tonbo-dama (literally “dragonfly ball”) is an ornate glass bead with a hole in the centre. Until today, their colourful variety, their style and shape is used for kanzashi, beautiful hairpins and also decorative kimono sash pins to compliment the kimono’s colours. However, as Japanese people sadly don’t wear traditional clothes so often these days, it is such a pity that these unique glass ornaments don’t have a chance to be shown. That is why today PingMag talks to Tomoko Nangu, who designs glass accessories under the name nangoo, giving this rich tradition an intimate, modern touch with fruit shapes, rainbow colours or polka dots.

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Goggles+Digital Camera=YouTube Gold?
These goggles allow you to get the digital camera experience underwater, now with a hands-free alternative to taking photos and video. These goggles let you concentrate on the task of avoiding sharks while you take video and snap shots of the underwater landscape/bathtub. For the cool price of 12,800 Yen (about $130) I could see the potential for a remake or repurposing project with this one, i.e., 3d, infrared, an underwater stabilizer weight that attaches to your head (careful!), etc.

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Reduino
Arduino variant alert! Microfan has released a new Arduino compatible board, the Reduino. As you can see from the picture, it comes in stunning red, and it’s got a built-in Mini-B USB connector as well as plenty of I/O pins sticking right out so you can dive right in and start connecting things without a breadboard.

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Styrofoam Dome Homes
Yes, we live in the future. Here are some amazing prefabricated houses made out of styrofoam. At $30,000 for a liveable space, it might actually be worth it to settle into one of these toadstool-like abodes:

While styrofoam may be most commonly associated with disposable coffee cups, meat trays and packaging, prefab home manufacturer Japan Dome House Co., Ltd. uses it to construct easy-to-assemble modular kit homes.

Dubbed the “habitat for the 21st century,” the Dome House is an igloo-shaped structure built from snap-together wall sections made of 100% expanded polystyrene foam (styrofoam). It might seem like an odd choice of material for a house, but the company lists a number of advantages that styrofoam has over traditional materials. Unlike wood and metal structures, for example, the styrofoam Dome House does not rust, rot or attract termites. It is also highly resistant to earthquakes and typhoons. In addition, the walls, which are treated with a flame retardant, emit no toxic fumes in a fire.


The Ferrofluid Sculptures of Sachiko Kodama
No, that’s not a chocolate fountain, it’s some stunningly vivid ferrofluid art by Japanese artist Sachiko Kodama. The video goes into quite a bit of detail about how this all works, but the basic ingredients are ferrofluid and electromagnets. It’s alive!

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DIY 3-color Projections
Using Gakken’s Primary Color Kit, the fine folks at DPZ have made some fine color shadow logos of a few of their favorite institutions, including McDonald’s, Matsuya, and 7-11, using these primary color lights, some junk from around the house, and lots of wire.

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Make a Fake iPhone Out of Beads
Another bold and crafty web gem from DPZ: For those parents out there who spent Christmas Eve putting the finishing touches on the wooden PlayStations that they’ve made their kids for Christmas, here’s an answer to those constant requests for iPhones: an iPhone made out of beads, flexible enough that it can be thrown over your current cell phone to look like a pixelated version of the real thing. I heard that this version might even do voice dialing.

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Mosquito Repellant iPhone App
Joke app or scientific breakthrough? Only time will tell:Here’s a Japanese iPhone app from Studio-Kura that claims to drive away mosquitos with a sound that they claim is hated by mosquitos. I haven’t heard this sound myself, but Gizmodo Japan says that this sound works equally well as a human repellant, so beware of these potential ramifications at your next mosquito-infested block party.