Is Gilligan the next Jules Verne?

Craft & Design Energy & Sustainability
Is Gilligan the next Jules Verne?
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Tired of steampunk, you say? Maybe it’s time to ditch combustion altogether, kick it really old school, like with pedal-power, home-spun rope, bamboo, and coconuts. Welcome to cocopunk. What ya say, little buddy?

It all started with this post by Mark Frauenfelder on D+R:

In Praise of the Coconut Shell

Although coconut shells do have some well established niche market uses such as novelty tableware and small caged-pet shelters, I can’t help but to feel as though too many of them are going to waste.

The New Altoids Tin?

No I don’t mean as a mint holder, but as an improvised homebrew electronics project enclosure. The Altoids tin does make a nice project case. It has a hinged lid, giving you easy access to your business, a great pocketable form factor, and of course they are everywhere for free. But despite these merits, I think that the ubiquitous mint tin has been used to excess, and its use may be nearing the saturation point. I have a hunch that the coconut shell might just turn out to be the next big thing.

When I was recently trying find an enclosure for the ukulele amp that I was building, a coconut came to mind, and I don’t think that I could have found a better case. In addition to the obvious thematic tie-in with the ukulele, the coconut shell has a number of other redeeming qualities.

The shell is hard and durable, easily machined, has a pleasing organic texture which can be left hairy, sanded smooth, or anything in-between. The little brown dome of a half-shell is cute as a bug, bringing a smile to all who see it. The dome shape is extremely stable and tip resistant. I could go on all day.

Coconuts.


The Cocopunk Chronicles on Dinosaurs + Robots

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at garstipsandtools.com.

View more articles by Gareth Branwyn

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