Made in Japan – Volume 30

Made in Japan – Volume 30

This week:
Kirigami by Kanako Yaguchi, The Web Server is Running, Controlling a Model Train with Acceleromoters, an iPod Touch and Gainer, Denkuri Master – Completed, Controlling the Gakken SX-150 with MIDI via USB, Making a Bug Trapped in Amber (Candy), High-Temp Superconductor Coaster, Rabbit-kun garbage bag + friends.


Kirigami by Kanako Yaguchi
Kirigami is a variation of origami, but unlike origami, the cutting of paper is encouraged. This combination of cutting and folding is traditionally used to make symmetrical objects such as snowflakes, orchid blossoms, and other hypnotic patterns. Once again, PingMag is there to find a master of the artform:

…PingMag talks to Kanako Yaguchi, who brings the art of classic cutting paper techniques to another level with her funky textile patterns and clothing and accessory designs.

The Web Server is Running

Here’s a funny little video by akio0911 of Hacker’s Cafe of a laptop-endowed radio controlled car running a web server and getting directions via the internet from an iPod Touch. Does this seem a tad overly-complicated? Well, it is, but it’s from a project called “Hacker’s Cafe Reinvents the Web Server” which judging by the laughter at a recent presentation is most definitely is an exercise in overly-contrived hackerism delivered with a hilarious nod to Steve Jobs’ keynote addresses. Just as the iPhone was supposed to combine the best of a phone, PDA, and web browser, Akio says in his presentation that this device is supposed to be the culminating combination of a remote control, a web server, and a radio-controlled truck. It’s good to see people doing cool stuff and with a sense of humor.

Controlling a Model Train with Acceleromoters, an iPod Touch and Gainer
The Ouch Ouch Ouch blog chronicles this model train whose speed and direction is controlled by a variety of clever methods. First he does it with a Macintosh, then with Gainer + accelerometer controls, and then with an iPod Touch accelerometer + Gainer interface written with PyGainer+PyObjC (shown above). Now you can really “feel it” when you’re drivin’ that train.

Denkuri Master – Completed

I’ve written about Recotana’s Denkuri electrical current click track for drummers before, singing praises of its innovative way of giving percussionists a reference click without blowing their eardrums out, but in the past it has always been prototypes, in their gritty, raw form. As MAKE: Japan has recently reported, the project has finally been presented as a finished product, and the result is quite nice to look at. Part Tupperware, part alarm clock, the red LED numbers glow through like an Art Deco spaceship that is sure to keep the drummer rocking at a very precise beat. The device features a MIDI-in that can control the strength of the pulse, and although the picture shows it being attached to the arm, the actual design intends for the electrical contact to be placed on the drummer’s waist (where there’s less movement that could cause the contact to fall off).
recotanaDen-kuri Master完成披露

Controlling the Gakken SX-150 with MIDI via USB
The blogosphere has been abuzz over the Otona no Kagaku synth that is included with the newest issue of their magazine. Well, sure enough, it was just a matter of time before people started doing Make-y things with it. A while back we saw how to control the SX-150 via 5-pin MIDI with a ATtiny2313. Don’t have a lot of 5-pin MIDI devices laying around? Now here’s a hack in which a computer sends MIDI data directly via USB to the ATtiny45P-based device, which turns the MIDI into PWM that is sent to the synth, giving you a more precise way of controlling the pitch than the Theremin-style sliding that one would typically get with the included stylus. Check out the details, schematics, etc. (Japanese): Pepper-MIDI. via MAKE: Japan.

Making a Bug Trapped in Amber (Candy)
Now here’s the perfect treat for that Jurassic Park screening you’ve been planning. This DPZ writer always thought that hard candy looked like amber, so decided to make a bug trapped in an amber-like candy substance. Blow-by-blow instructions (in Japanese!) on how to make your own, either for decoration or adventurous eating. BYO bugs though, as those might be hard to find in stores.

High-Temp Superconductor Coaster

Here’s an awesome roller coaster where the “coasters” are pieces of what appears to be high-temperature superconductive material that is kept cool inside a puck of liquid nitrogen (“high temperature” here is of course a relative term). It glides along very quickly and makes smoke, so it’s pretty cool by me.

From the Wikipedia entry in high-temperature superconductivity:

High-temperature superconductivity allows some materials to support superconductivity at temperatures above the boiling point of liquid nitrogen (77 K or −196 °C). Indeed, they offer the highest transition temperatures of all superconductors. The ability to use relatively inexpensive and easily handled liquid nitrogen as a coolant has increased the range of practical applications of superconductivity.

Rabbit-kun garbage bag + friends
Pink Tentacle presents a clever way to make people feel ok about carrying around a bag full of trash:

Meet Rabbit-kun, a plastic trash sack with pink eyes, an X-shaped mouth, and a pair of bunny ears that double as handles. Designed by Tokyo-based creative group MAQ, Inc., Rabbit-kun aims to inspire a more responsible attitude toward waste by providing a cute and stylish way for people to carry their trash home after a day outdoors. Whether it’s a picnic in the park, a hike in the mountains, or a day at the beach — or any place without public trash cans — Rabbit-kun is charming enough that you might actually enjoy carting your garbage all the way home.

Look what they’ve done with Grover Oscar the Grouch, too:

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