Archive for April 6th, 2012

Rebuilding The Forbidden City, Sorta

Anyone who has used Google’s 3D Warehouse to print elements of Beijing’s Forbidden City, aka the Palace Museum, will be excited to hear this. Loughborough University doctoral student Fangjin Zhang will be using 3D design and printing technology to bring thousands of ancient artefacts back to life.

After a few years of research into the implications of CAD and 3D printing for archaeological restoration. Now Chinese officials have asked her and her team to restore several specific items from the Palace. Let’s hope against hope that some of these end up on Thingiverse!

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Good Government: Iceland Goes Open Source

Hey, this is definitely Good: Iceland is migrating its entire public administration apparatus toward free and open source software.

The release indicates Reykjavik is going to pilot the transition with a few agencies over the next twelve months, such as the National Hospital.

Nick Clayton blogged at the Wall Street Journal that the move hasn’t been entirely without snags:

“The big public institutions are pretty locked in to some systems,” Bjorgvinsson said. “The government has set up a pretty tightly interwoven set of proprietary software which will be hard to untangle.”

As an example, he noted that in one government ministry, “the mail system is linked to our Oracle databases , which are also linked to our case management system, which is also linked to websites”.

One really nice element of the policy, which Iceland has long espoused, is the country’s insistence that students also be exposed to concepts of open source and collaboration.

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This Is Good: A Pot That Charges Your Cell Phone While You Cook

This Kickstarter project is an opportunity to help a company create a magic cooking pot. Apparently it’s not really magic, but the result is awesome!


Based on two thermoelectric effects, the Seebeck effect and the Peltier effect, you can use the heat from your campfire or other heat source to generate electricity. That means you can light your lantern or mp3 player as you cook your noodles, or a resident of a remote village can charge a cellphone without the need for batteries.

The 10-watt model currently being offered is enough to charge a tablet device, and the page indicates there is even a 15-watt PowerPot in the works!

Perhaps what’s most Good about this is that the $99 level contribution to the Kickstarter campaign automatically donates a PowerPot to someone in a developing nation.

If you’re still as skeptical as I was when I first saw this, have a good read of their How It Works page, and all supporting links.

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Open Source Art Is Good, Really Good

For over a billion people worldwide, today is Good Friday. Theological explications of this are the domain of Wikipedia, not the MakerBot Blog. However, Good Things in general are certainly within our purview.

Today we will feature things that are Good, like this:

What you’re looking at isn’t just incredible art on an iPad. It’s incredible open source art on an iPad! There’s a really nice piece at the Creators Project Blog that explains what it is about open source art that’s so cool.

Traditionally, iconic artists are upheld as innovators of the visual language of their time and we celebrate their genius because the myth goes that they came up with it alone, locked up in their garret studios (think Cezanne, Van Gogh, and Picasso). Modernist painter Mark Rothko was so protective of his arcane process that he never showed one single studio assistant the entire method. This “solitary genius” myth largely holds to present day, but it’s a fundamentally dangerous assumption that causes artists to be analyzed outside of their social context and one that is getting harder and harder to maintain in the age of the internet. Open source dismantles this notion, demonstrating more than ever that artists never work in a vacuum.

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Brine Shrimp Hatchery by sgraber

Brine Shrimp Hatchery by sgraber

Brine Shrimp Hatchery by sgraber

Who else had a flashback to the sea monkeys when they this brine shrimp hatchery by sgraber?

Error - could not find Thing 20839.
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