Do-It-Yourself Porn

Wait, that entry title sounds really bad, doesn’t it? Just to clarify, this is no endorsement of homemade, basement-variety, videotaped amateur pornos (not that there’s anything wrong with them).

Make MagWhat I’m talkin’ ’bout instead is Make Magazine, one of the newest entries in the ever-expanding category of self-improvement mags like Real Simple and Every Day with Rachel Ray. Until a couple days ago, I had no idea that there was a publication devoted to remodeling old, outdated electronic equipment into cat toys. What’s more, my friend Mike Garrett pointed out one article about how to turn an aging VCR into an automated catfood dispenser. Now, I’m not sure if Mike was aware of my excruciating, two-year ordeal searching for an automated cat feeder, but this article just about the greatest piece of literature I’ve encountered since A Treasure’s Trove. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mike.

Mike pointed me to this Newsweek story that further addresses the rise of Make Mag and other DIY pubs:

All this is evidence of a growing movement of people eager to tinker with high-tech gadgets and Dumpster detritus—and, I suspect, an even bigger population harboring fantasies about modding their espresso machines, building their own printed circuit boards and engaging in the brave new world of kite aerial photography. We’ve already seen the popularity of house porn (shelter magazines and “Extreme Home Makeover”), car porn (auto mags and “Pimp My Ride”) and food porn (“Iron Chef”). Now we’ve got geek DIY (do it yourself) porn. Just as would-be Emerils pore over lushly illustrated cookbooks with recipes involving hard-to-find morels and complicated instructions for roux, Tom Swift wanna-bes are devouring Make and reading books like William Gurstelle’s “Backyard Ballistics,” which has sold more than 160,000 copies.

MouseyIf I haven’t already lost you at this point, may I point you to one more recent Make feature, about how to turn a computer mouse into a robot mouse for your kitty to chase? Behold, a PDF on how to create Mousey the Junkbot.

Yes, you can learn how to make other gizmos, ones that aren’t solely designed to feed and entertain cats. But that would just be cruel, wouldn’t it?

Advertisements