Friday, May 9, 2014

and I'm caught in the crossfire of my own thoughts

And today, a clip post. Because reasons.
"A sizable coalition of technology companies has today taken a stand in favor of net neutrality in the form of a letter to the Federal Communications Commission. The group, led by giants including Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Netflix, Twitter, and Yahoo, challenges a proposal the FCC is considering that threatens net neutrality."
Now, this is interesting. There are some big tech giants in this--Google, Netflix, and Amazon among them--and they're all protesting this change as an essential violation of net neutrality. And the thing is, they're right, and the FCC is wrong, so why is the FCC pushing forward with this plan?

The simple answer's usually the right one, and in this case, that means pressure from the government, or the cable companies. My bet's on the cable companies. Comcast, for instance, desperately wants to start charging higher fees for data-heavy video streaming from sites like Netflix, Youtube, Hulu Plus and other streaming sites. The problem with that is, back in 2011, the report was that Netflix accounted for 22% of all internet use, and three years later, it's higher. And the problem with that is how the data's structured in the first place.

Without restructuring how the data's presented to the individual, there's no way to get away from that heavy data hit in the beginning. And without that heavy data hit, Comcast (and other companies) likely wouldn't care about charging different rates to different clients. Or maybe they would, and all of this would've happened eventually. Who knows?

In the meantime, none of these I'd count in the average DIY camp. Still, if you're interested, the pictures don't help much, so...
  • HildenDiaz did the actual "Forms in Nature" (aka, "haunted forest" or "forest shadow") chandelier, but if you want to attempt it yourself, watch Threadbanger's Man vs. Pin video first. Recommendations I'd add to that: forget the spherical branch globe, see if you can get a cylindrical or a square base frame instead to add branches to, or at least, a cylindrical or square shape made of twigs, over the round globe. The various branches aren't the worst idea, but remember this picture? Yeah, a skill saw and some thin plywood will likely serve you better. Finally, because you want a really bright light, try to find a 250 watt bulb. (just make sure your light kit is rated for a bulb that high), or go with what the original artists did: a custom-designed LED frame lamp inset that is designed to cast crisp, clean shadows. Without that, it just won't work in the same way.
  • Designsponge has the paper orb drop lamp project (along with a popsicle stick/tongue depressor chandelier that looks very stylish).
  • Kevin Champeny's Tumblr mentions the construction of his Gummi-bear chandelier; while nylon string, the ring, and mesh of sufficient size and sturdiness could be fairly easily acquired, his personalized casts aren't. How'ver, if you're willing to use Gummi-bear-sized bears, this is a fairly simple way to cast your own. Then all you'd need is a Dremel tool to drill each bear lengthwise for stringing. Use Champeny's Candelier as a tutorial for how to string it all together--but keep in mind, even a smaller-sized Candelier will be significantly heavy, and take some serious time to make.
  • Yaroslav Olenev's plastic spoon lamp doesn't have a complete tutorial, but it does have several enlargeable photographs, and sometimes, that'll work too.
  • Ludwig Metals made the drum-kit lamp, but Makely Home has a good handle on a smaller version. Plus, this site has a good breakdown on various pendant-light kits and what each lamp might require.
  • Tongue and Groove sells Gregory Bonasera's ceramic teacup lights, but in addition to this lovely list of pictorial inspirations, Man vs. Pin made the definitive teacup lamp DIY vid. Don't want a desk lamp? No problem--use the same tricks to make a pendant lamp, or a group of pendants, with teacups of your choice.
  • Calabarte makes the gourd lamps, and they are luscious things of beauty. How'ver, since they are ridiculously priced, Makezine has a really simple version (see the video on the Lifehacker site), Martha Stewart has a slightly more upscale version, and the Goods Home Design blog offers a Calabarte-style pictorial tutorial on how to make a gourd lamp.
  • made the "Ballroom Luminoso", but to make one yourself, you're going to have to remember the tips from the first lamp: because this one also uses a custom-designed LED rig. Also, you'll need to know how to weld, because these are a lot of bike gears, and they'll all need to be welded to each other. There are some better pictures from the PDF the artists released, but there's not a lot to reproduce this exact design. I did find a gear table lamp made from car parts, but that's not the same thing, is it?
  • Graham and Green makes the Jeeves and Wooster pendant lamp set, but if you want a similar look, they're not wrong, and a tutorial really isn't needed. Two hats, two pendant light electrical kits, two bulbs, done. (How'ver, if you really want a step-by-step to the style, try Scraphacker's entry, which also features a history of the bowler hat! Yay!)
  • Finding a lace lamp tutorial was not hard; finding one that was applicable to most climates? That was tricky. The trick seems to be to use wall size, not wood glue or wallpaper paste. Everything else uses the same tips we've been talking about--find a low-heat or LED light source, so there's no chance of burning the doilies; get a complimentary lamp kit; and use a smaller bulb if, for some reason, you want a table lamp version. (I wouldn't recommend a desk-size lamp, simply because even an LED light will be too close to the doilies.)
  • On the other hand, the cloud night light tutorial proved impossible to find. The sketch of it's here, but the original account on deviantArt has been deactivated. Bother. On t'other hand, the limited instructions given there aren't bad: buy a cheap nightlight, buy a low-wattage lamp kit cord, and use a hobby saw to cut out your cloud shape to cover the actual light part of the night light. Might also toss in a cube of wood or plastic, or even a square of styrofoam, between the light base, and the back of the cloud. Then paint as you will, add other clouds if you like (those can be cut from craft board), and plug in. You're done!
  • The cheese grater chandelier was a bit difficult; electrical tape seemed to be the bulk of the DIY tutorials out there, but there is one I found that employs a drill for a less 'junky' look. (Also, that site has a page on cheese grater history, which I found amusing.)
And...then I realized I had forty tabs open from all the research, so...that's what you're going to get. I might revisit this later, but yeesh, closing tabs down now! And keep in mind, all of these are intended as inspirational tutorials, not to encourage outright art theft from the artists mentioned.

In more DIY news, here's a showing of twenty-five nifty home mods. Some are more for style, others are really useful, but all are fairly cool.

Want to know a little bit about the history of crochet? How about tambour stitch, which is thought to be where crochet eventually evolved into crochet?

In new food trends, so-called "female-friendly" restaurants were the next hottest thing, but initial backlash is forcing backers to reconsider. Which is a good thing--I, for one, find the entire idea horrifying. If I go to a steakhouse, I want what I want, not a "smaller", more "feminine" cut for the same--or likely a higher!--price. I also don't want to eat dinner while watching the Pussycat Girls strut down a runway--I like dancers as much as the next person, but unless I'm in a Moroccan restaurant sitting on the floor, keep the dancing girls home. And mirrors on the dessert menu? Say it's for fixing makeup all you want, for many of us, we'd take it as a criticism.

While we're here, have a handy guide to where to pet animals, a lushly beautiful picture series of innovative treehouses, some really, really terrible childrens' toys, and a list of odd things spotted in Australia.

And that's all for now! More later when I have too many tabs open!

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