Friday, October 3, 2008

DIY Parenting or Raising MacGyver

I've done the occasional dabbling in DIY projects like the playgarden and Q's robot costume but lately I've really started to re-catch the "hardware hacking" bug that I had as a kid. Spurred on by the short distance our dollars seem to be going these days and Q getting to an age where building stuff and basic science is almost as cool as Word Girl, I've found some fantastic resources and communities online.

  • The best DIY site I've found out there is An open forum for everyone to post and use instructions on building most anything you can imagine.
  • Curbly and the Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories are two great DIY blogs that are either posting their own projects or pointing us all to the innovative ideas of others. Curbly is centered on design while EMSL registers a bit higher on the geek berometer.
  • ReadyMade and MAKE are DIY magazines that also have great websites. A subscription to either one of them will definitely be on my xmas list this year.
And then there is Bre Pettis. Bre is the Jesus of the modern DIY movement. Formerly with MAKE, Bre is now creating videos for Etsy, blogging, and doing 700 billion other things to bring all us hipsters into the hardware hacker fold.
Coolest of all, his pilot tv show, History Hackers, just aired on The History Channel. (If you're like us and don't have cable you can find a torrent file online if you look hard enough.) The show is AWESOME! It even held Q's attention and he's 3... and its not a cartoon. History Hackers manages to perfectly blend Mr. Wizard, Nova, and Mythbusters together with a DO try this at home theme. The show is very well produced but still maintains a genuiness. I think the reason HH captures the attention of both adults and children is Bre's honest excitement for what he is presenting. Bre's ability to translate something like Nikola Tesla's ideas to something palpable like turning your bike into an AC generator with a few basic household items makes HH one program that I will make a point to sit down and watch with Q (and ozzi provided the show gets picked up for multiple seasons).

1 comment:

PumpkinGirl said...

You'll have to post if you guys make some stuff. I'm always interested to see what people come up with. I love going to my local True Value, but I never have the imagination to come up with anything cool.