Computers & Mobile
Top 10: Most controversial posts

Although many of us grimaced to read your comments when these posts first went up, time heals all wounds, and we’ve been having a great time on the mailing list bandying about our memories of our best/worst “ouch” moments from Make: Online and CRAFT. I’ve compiled a list of the top/bottom 10 best/worst posts from our collective trip down memory lane, and have included my favorite comment, from each, to summarize. Enjoy! /ducks



“I’m sure these would go over great in West Virginia.” — Blood puddle pillows



“Phew! Good thing it’s not ‘art!'” — Cross knife



“YOUNGSTERS: If it don’t belong to you, don’t touch it. ” — Parasitic bike pump steals air from car tires



“I look forward to his renderings of Castro, Stalin, Hitler, and Pol Pot.” — Che Guevara in dice



“What will they do next, throw tea in the harbor?” — LED art all over Boston today



“One filthy habit disguised as another.” — Graffiti marker disguised as cigarette



“Horrific, barbaric, sadistic.” — Squirrel Feet Earrings



“Not all craft pieces need be cheerful bunnies and cute knit clothing.” — Columbine Cross Stitch


Click to view offending image.

“This is a deeply worrying sign that you have mental problems that need to be looked into.”
Taxidermy, rats, LEDs – and more…


Click to view offending image.

“Makers and making are one of those things that Red and Blue America both take part in.”
Opening the Mailbag

30 thoughts on “Top 10: Most controversial posts

    1. Well, my criterion wasn’t exactly “repugnance,” but had more to do with the amount of discussion raised by a post. I think I chose that one as #1 because I feel like we learned more from it than just about any of the other controversial posts. I was not working for the blog when it happened, but the lesson I think everybody took away was: Stay away from political issues.

  1. “Obama turned the U.S. from a nation of makers into a nation of takers” as one person wrote a while back.

    Glad to see those clueless, rich “hackers” in California and New York City had their little liberal world come crashing down around them…

  2. I’m a bit disturbed by the reaction of the person in #1. I suppose such a concept caused some cognitive dissonance for someone, but I’ve always felt that such blind statism ran counter to the fundamentals of the maker culture.

    1. I have a hard time to see where the offensive part was in the article. It is offensive to have open data? Isn’t that something that we can all agree with?

  3. I found reading the comments for #2 hillarious and inspirational. Suddenly, I’m tempted to canvas animal shelters for dead Great Dane carcases. A few industrial magnets, car/motorcycle batteries, high powered LEDs, and a homemade trebuchet and I’ll have the worlds largest taxidermied throwie.

  4. #10,#9, and #8 completely surprised me. It wouldn’t have even occurred to me that some people found them offensive. (I can see how a weapon hidden in the symbol of Christ would be offensive, but that doesn’t seem to have been the issue.)

    #2 and #4, I’m always surprised at the people who react so strongly against taxidermy projects. Logically, it’s no worse than a leather couch, or buying a can of (non-farmed) fish. In fact, the rat one is not nearly so ‘bad’ as it uses a pest species that would have otherwise been killed and dumped in a dumpster.

    Even human forms of taxidermy like the “BodyWorlds” exhibit, it never even occurs to me to be offended, I have a hard time remembering that other people are offended by it.

    Actually, I was expecting to see on this list the article about the guy who was having all sorts of bureaucratic trouble registering his homemade pedicab, then when he showed pictures of it all the comments said “That thing looks like a deathtrap, also you were a jerk to that official.” I seem to recall that article being full of controversy.

    1. …I’m not sure that “fewer controversial posts” is necessarily an improvement. You obviously don’t want to cheese your readership off on purpose, but I still personally like to see the content occasionally skirting the edge of deviance.

  5. @vrandy: Yea, now that you mention it I’m surprised that one isn’t on here. The dust-up spanned over multiple posts where he kept trying to defend his position. It wasn’t even just people saying it looked like a deathtrap. There were loads of engineers pointing out long laundry lists of funadamental structural issues that made it inherently unsafe for prolonged use such as the fact that it was bolted together instead of welded and the fact that he used corrogated metal square tubing designed, specifically, to collpase (it was intended for use as road sign posts and needed to collapse easily when hit by a car to minimise damage to the car and risk to the passengers).

    Also, they forgot to include the recent wind powered car posts (the ones that are supposed to be designed to move in the direction of the wind faster than the maximum wind speed). That discussion was a hoot. They had an author that wrote an article (what, in my opinion, seemed more like a hit peace to be honest) in Make magazine claiming to debunk the concept behind the car as a hoax endlessly arguing with the designers on one long, petty, flame war. This is even after a respected, third party, agency confirmed their record breaking run.

    1. Yeah, the pedicab post would’ve been a good one to include; wasn’t even on my radar until you folks brought it up here. I did consider the DDWFTTW posts, but they’re pretty fresh in everyone’s mind. But then, so is the parasitic bike pump. Probably should’ve at least mentioned DDWFTTW.

  6. I’m offended by the omission of the article about preventing other airplane passengers from reclining their seats ;)

    Seriously though, I love the blog and appreciate that you guys can look back at some regrettable posts with a sense of humor. Keep up the good work.

    Also, fix that darn comment posting problem. As I think back on it, I’ve always had trouble with my comments getting approved (or whatever the issue is).

    1. The comment problem you mention is pretty much my fault, in this case. OpenID is asposed to work with MT, but apparently sometimes it does not. Your earlier comment was sitting in my in-box waiting for me to click on “approve” when your second comment came in. Apologies!

      1. It’s cool. There were similar issues when I tried posting comments earlier this year and late last year… It’s the bummer that openid causes troubles sometimes, but I understand.

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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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