TNT Newsletter for March 23, 2007
You're on fire, being picky, the history of the grapevine, learning to communicate, and the nitty gritty.
It's come to my attention that perhaps there are those of us out there who need a helping hand from time to time. Maybe it's a tiny pick for getting into tight corners; maybe it's a dental mirror with an LED that helps illuminate the dark corners of a late-night project. Maybe you need someone to put words in your mouth, or to fill you in on the history of a different kind of communication. Or maybe you just need some kick-ass pants. Only you know which it is, but hopefully one of these reviews will strike a chord. If not, send in one of your own!
Staff Editor, MAKE magazine
Got a jones for caffeine and technology? Mod your espresso machine to dial in the perfect shot, with precise temperature control and a filter hack that kicks out maximum tasty crema. Roast your own with a hand-built custom coffee roaster. Hack a toaster timer to perfect-brew your tea every time. And fire up your coffee pot from the internet using X10 automation. Using home-grown techniques and off-the-shelf parts, caffeine junkies will find everything they need to overclock the fix from their favorite shade-grown beverage.
Reviewed by dingolishious
Firefighter pants are the best snow pants ever. They are waterproof, durable, and warm. Large snaps and buckles can be put on while wearing bulky gloves. Double-padded knees and large cargo pockets make them perfect for working in the snow. Used pairs can be picked up off of eBay for $25 from local fire departments that just used them in brush fires.
Reviewed by monopole
Three indispensable tools for any maker are dental tools (for poking around in little things), dental (i.e. inspection) mirrors for looking in difficult-to-reach places, and of course flashlights to illuminate dark corners. So I was overjoyed to discover at the local supermarket that GUM is selling a neat pack of two nice dental picks and a dental mirror with an integrated flashlight in the handle, all for less than ten bucks! The mirror with the integrated flashlight is worth it alone. When you need a dental mirror, you invariably need a flashlight as well as a free hand!
Reviewed by Bre Pettis
The Museum of Telecommunication in Seattle (a.k.a. The Telephone Museum) is a must-see for any tinkerer. Run by folks who spent a good chunk of time working for the phone company, this place is a treasure trove of gadgets and telecommunication devices. Rich Barger took my friends and I on a tour around two floors of amazing clicking machines, and explained the magic of telephones, switchboards, relays, and showed us how it all works. If there is a machine that has been used in communicating over wires, theyve got it there and it works. (There's a human-sized phone! There are a lot of antique ham radios, too.)
Reviewed by Andrea Steves
A neccessity I recommend including in your column: Sappycards ... the
right tool for dealing with holidays, awkward crushes, and general
communication of love for the socially inept.
My next door neighbor, Tim, makes these sarcastic, hilarious cards using
designs inspired by security envelope patterns and old book covers. Tim
is a linguist and all-around amazing guy with an amazingly blunt and
refreshing sense of humor that comes across in his cards:
"Something always prevents me ... from killing you."
You need them in your toolbox, too.
Reviewed by mussont
I picked up one of these years ago when I was working on tape recorders (audio/vidio) for replacing belts. Now I keep one in my kit and use it to manipulate all kinds of things in hard-to-reach places.
One end has a hook for grabbing and pulling. The other end is designed to push things around.
The tool is about 1/8" diameter and almost 8-1/2" long.