Waste Plastic Used to Make Filament for 3D...
College student Tyler McNaney became obsesses with 3D printing and not long thereafter designed a machine that grinds waste plastic down, melts it and creates spool of filament that can be used in 3D printers that make plastic objects. Listen to a report on Vermont Public Radio. And, Tyler, get your butt back in mechanical engineer class!
The Michael Jordan of Dwarf Basketball
Listen to Only A Game this weekend to hear a story about Jahmani Swanson, the 4’5” point guard for the New York Towers, a basketball team comprised of men that are between 4’ and 4’6”. The 27 year-old New York City native is poetry in motion on the basketball court.
Dorothy Day's Granddaughter
Martha Hennessy divides her time between Vermont and Manhattan’s East Village where she volunteers at a house of hospitality founded by her grandmother, Dorothy Day. Listen to the story on Vermont Public Radio.
3D Printed Firearms
This is a lower receiver for an AR-15 rifle. It’s the chassis on which all the other components of the weapon are attached. It was made on a 3D printer and there are amateur gunsmiths who think that one day almost an entire firearm will be produced with a 3D printer. Oy. Listen to my report on All Things Considered.
Radio Ambulante is a long-form narrative radio project that aspires to create the kind of storytelling magic a anumber of public radio prograns are known for but they hope to do it for Spanish-speaking listeners. Read about the Radio Ambulante crew here.
Judith Malina and the Living Theatre
Read a blog post on The Arty Semite about the closing of the Living Theatre’s performance space on the Lower East Side. Or listen to the story on NPR. End of an era…
Sam Lovejoy, the Anti-Nuke Firebrand Who Became a...
39 years ago today Sam Lovejoy toppled a tower in Montague, Massachusetts and declared the Montague nuke will never be built. He was right about that. But who could’ve predicted that more than 30 years later Lovejoy would become a civil servant in the state of Massachusetts. Listen to a story about a key figure of the anti-nuke movement of the late 1970’s. It aired this morning over...
R.I.P. Maxie Kalish, beloved pussycat
We miss our sweet, sweet Siamese cat, Maxie.
Vermont Sculptor Eben Markowski
Eben Markowski makes life-size sculptures of animals on a Vermont homestead that doubles as an animal sanctuary. Listen to the story on Vermont Public Radio.
The Collector of Bedford Street
Larry Selman will collect no more. He passed away last Sunday at the age of 70. I wrote a remembrance for the NPR web site that you will find here. You’ll also find audio there for a short piece on Selman that aired this morning on Weekend Edition. There are also obits on-line for the New York Daily News and The Forward. The Forward obit includes a link to 10-minute podcast I produced...
Listen to a story on NPR about the bookstore Printed Matter. It was devastated by flood caused by Hurricane Sandy and is struggling to keep going in Manhattan’s Chelsea art district.
This Israeli Life
Four young Israelis became enamored of This American Life, the wildly popular American public radio series. So, they started an Israeli version. Read about it in The Arty Semite.
The Weberman Mishpocah
So, Paul Krassner gets up one morning out there in the desert of Southern California and forwards me an email with a link to a wonderful new web site dedicated to the Satmar mensch Nechemya Weberman, who is facing a serious time out behind bars for sex crimes. I’ve long struggled with the question of who is more despicable: African-Americans who won’t “snitch” on a...
Collector of Bedford Street, Part 2
Thanks to a saint from the Bronx and a cabal of neighbors in Greenwich Village, Larry Selman survived Hurricane Sandy. Listen to the podcast that details doings on Bedford Street on the web site of The Forward.
Listen to a report on NPR’s Weekend Edition about the emergence of groups around the country offering a co-ed DIY alternative to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. We attend a gathering of the Hacker Scouts in Oakland, California and visit the headquarters of diy.org which kids use to show off their projects. We also meet 11 year-old Grace McFadden who made a pair of felt slippers using a juice...
Downtown Community Television
Listen to a story about Downtown Community Television on NPR’s “Weekend Edition.” DCTV, which is headquartered in an old firehouse in the Chinatown section of Manhattan, is celebrating 40 years as a community video center that also produces hard-hitting documentaries for major broadcast and cable networks.
Gay Orthodox Jews
For Orthodox Jews, being both observant and actively gay is a theological taboo. Listen to four gay Orthodox Jews who are trying to grapple with their two identities. The group includes an ordained Orthodox rabbi and a Hasidic lesbian living in a frum section of Brooklyn. Listen to the podcast on the website of The Forward.
Listen to a story on “Here and Now” about a web site where kids can show photos and videos of their do-it-yourself projects. The radio program is produced at WBUR in Boston and is heard around the country. diy.org has some awesome patches for kids who master more than 40 skills!
DARPA-funded High School Hackerspaces
Listen to a report on NPR’s “All Things Considered” about the military putting millions of dollars into hacker spaces. The money is coming from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA. It’s been called the Defense Department’s venture capital firm — in the past it played a key role in the development of GPS systems and the Internet. Now, a big...
Larry Selman Needs a Kitten
Listen to a story about Larry Selman, the Collector of Bedford Street, and the home care attendant who stood by his side during Hurricane Sandy. It aired on The WBGO Journal last night.
It's the Itzhak and Yitzchak Show!
Listen to a story on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday about violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman’s collaboration with the cantorial superstar Yitchak Meir Helfgot. And in the Forward there’s a print story and podcast on the topic. Perlman and Helfgot have a new album called “Eternal Echoes” on the Sony Classics label. On the Forward’s Arty Semite blog there’s a...
Brooklyn According to Kalish
This hour-long radio documentary about the Orthodox Jews of Brooklyn resulted in a producer-in-residence gig at KCRW in Santa Monica. The doc was commissioned by WNYC and contains recordings made over a 16-year period while working on stories for NPR, WNYC, Reuters and New York’s daily newspapers.
Newspaper Legend Jimmy Breslin
Listen to a half-hour radio documentary about the legendary New York City newspaper columnist Jimmy Breslin.
Lord Buckley Radio Documentary
Listen to a half-hour radio documentary about the hipster comedian Lord Buckley. More than 50 years after his death, Buckley still has a cult following. This original radio documentary was commissioned by KCRW Santa Monica.
Jim Brown and Major League Lacrosse
The great Jim Brown is considered by many to be the greatest player to grace the gridiron, but he was also a standout lacrosse player in college. Brown has frequently expressed his love of lacrosse. And so, when the opportunity arose to buy a stake in the Long Island Lizards, he jumped at it. Listen to a feature on Jim Brown and the Long Island Lizards this week on Only A Game. Photo above: A...
New Zealand Playwright Michelanne Forster
Thilde Foerster worked in the European film industry in the 1920’s. An affair with a hotshot Hungarian director resulted in a son and a battle for child support waged on two continents. Foerster’s granddaughter, a prominent New Zealand playwright, tells the story in a play titled “Don’t Mention Casablanca.” Newspaper story and podcast in this week’s Forward.
Tiny House Summer Camp
Listen to a report from Vermont’s North East Kingdom where tiny house evangelist Derek Diedricksen and Adirondacks carpenter Bill Rockhill taught 20 people from around the country how to build a tiny house. And check out Deek’s tiny house blog. Or watch an audio slideshow about Tiny House Summer Camp on the MAKE blog. The four-day workshop was attended by the notorious Sims...
Slot-Together Crib Made by Adam Seim
Check out this beautiful mini-crib made by Adam Seim, the Blissful Bedrooms wunderkind who happens to be a master woodworker.
The Mighty Atom
They don’t make ‘em like Joseph Greenstein any more. Greenstein, a.k.a. the Mighty Atom, was a Jewish strongman who raised 10 kids in Brooklyn. This story starts in Poland, makes stops in Texas and Vaudeville, involves feats of strengths still standing in the record books and includes a tall goy known as Slim the Hammerman who performs with a star of David embroidered on his shirt...
Andy Statman A Most Happy Fellow
Bluegrass and klezmer virtuoso Andy Statman is a recipient of the NEA’s National Heritage Fellowship. Read about the Brooklyn-based clarinetist and mandolin player on the Arty Semite blog. Listen to a half-hour radio documentary about Statman commissioned by KCRW.
Listen to a story on NPR’s Weekend Edition about digital fabrication. We meet Duann Scott of Shapeways, who fixed his Bugaboo baby stroller by 3D printing a broken part in stainless steel, visit the Ponoko home office in Wellington, New Zealand and chat with designer Tiago Rorke, part of the team responsible for SketchChair.
Archery on the Silver Screen
Listen to a feature on how archery’s recent inclusion in major motion pictures is drawing new people to the sport. A link to Only A Game is here. The story includes a visit to Proline Archery Range in Queens, New York.
Check out the June 11th issue of Current. The newspaper, which covers public broadcasting, has a story about broadcasting legend Bob Fass, whose late night free-form radio show has been on the air for close to 50 years. Watch a trailer for a new documentary on Fass here.
Web Site For Kids Who Make
Go to makezine.com for the lowdown on a new web site where kids can upload digital photos of their handiwork. It’s more than a web site, though. It’s a new youth organization that will eventually help kids who like to make stuff to meet up in person.
Yoonseo Kang named Thiel Fellow
Yoonseo Kang is one gutsy young dude. The 18 year-old Canadian robotics wiz resisted parental pressure to go to college and instead moved to the Open Source Ecology farm in Missouri to help make the world a much better place to live in. Now comes word that Kang has been selected as a Thiel Fellow which comes with a $100,000 grant that he will use to buy equipment and materials for his open...
The Collector of Bedford Street
Listen to The WBGO Journal on Friday evening, May 4th for a story about a Greenwich Village neighborhood that started a trust fund for a developmentally disabled man and has kept him in his own apartment with his beloved cat and dog. Larry Selman, who just turned 70, is the subject of Alice Elliot’s Academy Award-nominated documentary, “The Collector of Bedford Street.” Selman...
New Zealand Kite Maker Peter Lynn
Coming up in Make magazine… a visit with engineer Peter Lynn who has played a pioneering role in giant soft kites and traction kites used for surf boards, boats, sleds and sand buggies. We visit Lynn at his home an hour south of Christchurch and tour the kite factory where Lynn-designed kites are made.
Ed Sanders' new memoir "Fug You"
Tune in to NPR’s Weekend Edition on Sunday morning, May 5th for a feature about the poet and troublemaker Ed Sanders. His new memoir, “Fug You,” deals with life on New York’s Lower East Side during the 1960’s, a neighborhood its bohemian denizens thought of as “a little zone of revolution.” The Fugs co-founder show us his archive in Woodstock and we hear...
Listen to an 18-minute documentary on the Bay Area DIY super hero Tim Anderson on the web site of San Francisco’s KALW-FM. It aired on the program “Crosscurrents.” Listen to the doc on-line here. Photo above by Timothy Beaulieu.
Inside Etsy Headquarters
Read about the office decor inside Etsy’s Brooklyn headquarters on makezine.com. Here are some more pix:
Adrienne Cooper Podcast
Listen to a podcast about the memorial for the Yiddish singer Adrienne Cooper, who died December 25, 2011 at age 65. Cooper’s family, friends and colleagues remember the woman who “had the voice of a diva, and the soul of a bundist.”
Helfgot Perlman Podcast
Listen to a podcast on The Forward’s web site about a forthcoming album and tour featuring Itzhak Perlman, Cantor Yitzchok Meir Helfgot and Hankus Netsky of Boston’s Klezmer Conservatory Band. In early December they were joined by a 20-piece chamber orchestra composed primarily of the violin virtuoso’s former students and several members of KCB to record cantorial and Yiddish music at...
Anti-Roll Away Device
Read a post on the Make blog about a new system that prevents truck roll aways. 44 year-old mechanic Tom Accardi of Long Island, NY managed to create it without the help of venture capitalists or companies that prey on aspiring inventors. His small company is here.
Open Source Ecology
On a farm in Missouri physicist Marcin Jakubowski is building tractors and a slew of industrial machines from scratch. Listen to a report on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday. The CBC version of this story features 18 year-old Yoonseo Kang of Ontario, Canada. A robotics wiz in high school, he resisted parental pressure to go to college and moved to the Open Source Ecology farm where...
Give a listen to a feature on the eclectic holiday mixtape my neighbor Bill Adler has been doing for close to 30 years. It aired on WNYC this week. The man has a long history in the music business and it turns out that when he worked at Def Jam Records in the late 1980’s, he was responsible for Run DMC recording “Christmas In Hollis.” You can listen to all 32 tracks of this...
Hackerspaces at Public Libraries
Listen to a report about two public libraries that are hosting hackerspaces on their property. Part of NPR’s continuing coverage of the DIY scene broadcast on Weekend Edition. Pictured above is the logo for the upstate New York Fayetteville Free Library’s Fabulous Laboratory.
Lower East Side Girls Club & L.A. school farms
Early on a recent Friday morning, a crane hoisted an old Airstream trailer onto the second floor of a building under construction in the Alphabet City section of Manhattan. The shiny aluminum trailer (circa 1958) is destined to become a recording studio inside of the Lower East Side Girls Club, currently just a concrete shell on Avenue D between 7th and 8th Streets. Read more at makezine.com. ...
DIY Coffin Making
In October 2010, a woman named Marilyn Bader drove from Grand Marais in northern Minnesota to her home in downtown St. Paul. She was actually hoping that a cop would pull her over during the five hour drive. And who could blame her? It was Halloween and Ms. Bader had a freshly made coffin in her car. Read all about it at makezine.com.
Cooking for Change
The Community FoodBank of New Jersey in Hillside has a Food Service Training Academy that trains people as cooks. A new book titled “Cooking for Change” tells the stories of people whose lives were transformed by the academy. Listen to students and staff at the academy, along with Doris Friedensohn, author of the new book. It’s on the award-winning WBGO Journal.
Sous vide cooking
Listen to a report on the DIY sous vide cooking scene on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday. What’s sous vide? It involves cooking meat, fish, fruit or vegetables for long periods of time at relatively low temperatures. The result is often described as mouth-watering.