Get Loopy With These Digital Mixing Tricks
There is pretty bad joke that begins with “Knock, knock. Who’s there?” and is followed by “Philip Glass. Philip Glass who?” Instead of the typical and expected knock-knock conclusion, however, the joke works only if the initial interlocutor then repeats her initial question, thus dooming the responder to an endless, enclosed, and dorky loop that honors the famed minimalist composer, renowned for his work with repetition. With growing frustration and waning enthusiasm, the iteration changes, evolving beyond the simple-mindedness of its own content, and becoming a sort of commentary on the incessant existence of knock-knock jokes in general.
Of course, Glass is quite recent in the long history of musical looping. Meditative, pulsating, and oftentimes trance-inducing rhythms are about as old as breathing itself. Though not necessarily novel, 20th-century composers embarked on a never-ending cycle to break the chains of the 12-tone plateau. In doing so, composers including Glass, Maurice Ravel, Erik Satie, Terry Riley, Steve Reich, Brian Eno, and many others elevated the possibilities of looping towards an impossible limit. Robert Fripp invented his analog Flippertronics, a guitar and tape delay setup, in 1979, though the accessibility of digital machines has since marked looping as somewhat of a musical norm. Stuck in an antiquated Ouroboros? This how-to just might help you jump the track.
(Photo by Jeff Vogt/flickr/CC)
Estimate the Time of Sunset with Your Hand
If you’re out in the unforgiving wilderness (or just want to get home before dark), you can easily estimate how long until the sun sets using your fingers.
All you need to do is extend your arm fully and count the number of finger widths between the sun and the horizon. Each finger is about 15 minutes, which means each hand width should be about an hour. Remember that this is just an estimate, so if you want to be conservative, make sure to give yourself a bit more time than you measure if you want to get home before dark.
Use Camera Tricks to Paint Light in the Sky
If you’ve ever seen a shot in which car lights seem to leave an ethereal trail behind them, or sparklers spell out a message in midair before the holder, you’ve seen a light painting. Light painting involves leaving a camera’s shutter wide open and overexposing it to moving objects that emit light, creating a continuous capture until the shutter closes. This can be done on any kind of camera that has an adjustable exposure time (props to those of you still sporting analog equipment). And even if you don’t have access to any of these cameras, not all hope is lost — there’s an app for it!
Thinking of some bright ideas for cool pictures yet? Read on to get illuminated to the methods of DIY light painting.
(Photo from Wikimedia Commons)
Are you reaching a stage in your life where it seems like everyone is having babies, and you can’t escape the little rascals—even when you go to check Facebook in your alone time? A new Chrome extension called Unbaby.me offers a way to expel digital infants from your newsfeed; simply install it and tell it what to look for, and it will replace any toddlers with awesome pictures from a customizable photo pool. Thanks, Internet!
How to Make Mozilla Firefox Fast Again
From How-To Geek:
Have you noticed your usually speedy Firefox browser slowing down, or even crashing on you? Unnecessary plugins, extensions, and even browsing data can slow your browser down to a crawl, or make it crash. Here’s how to fix it.
We’ll show you how to speed up Firefox by disabling plugins and extensions and clearing the browsing data.
Watch the Olympics Online
The 2012 Olympics in London will soon be in full swing. Many events are being broadcast either live or same-day by the major networks, but there’s even more action to be found online.
NBC is the games’ official media outlet in the United States, and the network will be providing thousands of hours of content on the web. However, the only way to truly ensure you won’t miss too many record-breaking moments is to spread yourself across the web and take advantage of the many video outlets online.
Keep Your Head Above Water While Navigating Rapids
Is there a more perfect summer pastime than bumping along some rapids in a raft? We think not. But before you throw on your life jacket and grab a paddle, there are a few things you should know. As benign as a merrily burbling river might look, it can disguise all manner of dangers. Here are some tips for anyone unwilling or unable to hire a guide.
How to build a Twitter-controlled pet feeder
A great project for busy pet owners. This Twitter-Controlled pet feeder automatically dispenses food in response to activity on your Twitter account. The project is controlled by an Arduino and uses the Arduino Ethernet shield to receive data from Twitter. I hacked this automatic Pet Feeder from Amazon to build this project, but you could easily modify your own motorized feeder to work.
How to make an iPod heads-up display for your car
My girlfriend, a music buff, asked me to come up with a better way for her to look at the track information of the current song playing on her iPod touch while she was using it in the car. Those of you that have or have had an iPod touch know that it’s not the easiest thing to read while driving. To see the song information you have to double tap the home button and then still the text is extremely small.
My solution was to construct a device that would interface with the iPod and take the song information and then display it on a screen somewhere in the easy view of the driver. After quite a bit of work and research I finally arrived at the product you see here. My iPod information screen displays the song title, artist, album, song time, and play/pause symbol. It provides skip back, skip forward, and play/pause playback control as well as charges the iPod.
How to build a self-watering plant with Arduino
Plants liven up any space by adding a sense of airiness and life. That is - of course - when you don’t forget to water them, and they shrivel up and die. I am very bad at remembering to water plants. That is why I built this self-watering plant to do it for me. Using a soil sensor, and an Arduino-controlled water pump, I have created a system that will never forget to do it. Instead of remembering to water my plants when the soil goes dry, I only have to remember to once and a while refill the water reservoir. In this way, I have decreased my obligation to these plants and put it off to a much later date. Perhaps further iterations of this device can be connected to a rain barrel so that I won’t even have to worry about refilling my reservoir, and the entire system can be fully automated.
How to Magnetize Your Own Silly Putty with Iron Oxide Powder
Silly Putty is already a bit of mad science in itself. It bounces, sticks, and stretches, but also breaks if it hits something too hard. It can flow like a liquid and will melt into puddles given enough time. It’s both a liquid-y solid and a solid liquid, and has the amazing power to amuse children and confuse adults. So why not make it even more crazy by adding magnetism?
We love making stuff here at Wired Design, and the projects we geek-out on most tend to include some electronic element. Marrying gadgetry with off-the-shelf materials can be tricky, but is also highly satisfying to pull off. Contributor Jan Halvarson, co-founder and editor of maker blog Poppytalk, put together this roundup of 10 rad DIY projects with a techie twist.
How To Turn Your Nintendo DS Into a Retro Game Machine
From How-To Geek:
If you have a Nintendo DS there’s no need to limit yourself to just modern game releases. Read on as we show you how to turn your NDS into a retro-gaming marvel that plays old NES, Gameboy, and even Arcade games.
The Nintendo DS might not be the most powerful handheld gaming system on the market but it’s plenty powerful to emulate many arcade games and console systems of yesteryear. If you’re willing to invest a small amount of money and a small amount of time, you can easily turn your Nintendo DS into a veritable Swiss Army knife of gaming goodness.