I haven't had much time to update the site, being busy with Weird Oklahoma and all, but I thought I'd at least take the time to share a few things I've recently come across in my work-avoidance surfing.
First up, a man after my own heart. Steve Lodefink has discovered what he believes will replace the Altoids tin as the homebrew tinkerer's project box: the coconut.
"The shell is hard and durable, easily machined, has a pleasing organic texture which can be left hairy, sanded smooth, or anything in-between. The little brown dome of a half-shell is cute as a bug, bringing a smile to all who see it. The dome shape is extremely stable and tip resistant. I could go on all day."
For anyone who loves the look of tiki as I do, Steve's innovative implementation has opened a whole new chapter in retro design, which it appears he himself has termed "cocopunk." His inaugural project: an amplifier for a homebuilt electric ukelele.
Next, a wonderfully optimistic view of the future of highway travel from Walt Disney. Titled Magic Highway U.S.A., this 1958 piece of nostalgia ended with 8 minutes and 47 seconds of beautifully rendered dreamscapes depicting a world of rocket transports, atomic-powered autos and streamlined, art-deco overpasses. (Video below.)
In retrospect, it's amazing to see how many of their prophecies turned out to be true: enormous electric road signs, heads-up windshield displays, rear-view video monitors, traffic-monitoring centers, intermodal cargo containers and GPS maps are all prevalent today (although their version of the Nuvi is programmed with paper punch cards).
Of course, there are a lot of predictions on which the future has yet to make good, like glow-in-the-dark roadways, car escalators and automated highway-construction behemoths that lay down new, ceramic-based byways in a single pass. But if Disney's hit-to-miss ratio works in our favor, it will be only a matter of time before we're all speeding through tubular, sub-oceanic highways in our "sun-powered electro-suspension" cars.
Lastly, if you've ever wanted to own an easily recognizable road-trip destination, Berwyn, Illinois, has put their famous cars-on-a-stick up for auction on eBay. For a mere $50,000, you can own artist Dustin Shuler's masterpiece The Spindle, a 5-story tower of vehicles impaled on a spike. But you'd better hurry; you've only got 3 hours left.
If you miss out, though, don't worry. You can still bid on Santa Monica, California's celebrity solar-powered Ferris wheel, also priced at $50,000. Just a word of warning: the base is not included. And they don't accept PayPal.