Review: Make Magazine

need a hand 450x337 Review: Make Magazine

Photo by roberthunt1987

Being able to interact with the environment around you is at the core of dying less. Whether the car won’t start, you’re lost in the woods, just had a car accident, or are trying to find your way around a downtown area you’ve never been to before, we all have skill sets that need to be improved.

Learning to build just about anything teaches you the basic skills you will need if you have to MacGyver something in order to make it home. More importantly, making or repairing things teaches us how to step outside of ourselves and consider the problem from another perspective. “What does the car need in order to start?” If being handy with tools is a skill you want to develop there are few better places to start than Make Magazine.

There are almost no skills you cannot learn from this site. Whether you want learn to solder, make a machete sling shot, or put together a fire piston, Make magazine has you covered. The site also has skills tutorials which demonstrate basic skills needed for working with just about any kind of material. Warning: reading Makezine can lead to impulsive dismantling of appliances, furniture and/or the collection of items your friends might refer to as “junk” but which you know, in your heart of hearts, may come in handy someday.

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Conceal all the guns! (fear-based marketing 101)

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This woman is concealing enough weaponry to arm Sudan. (img by Ali Eminov)

This just in: Companies interested in selling high tech gadgetry come up with hilariously scary marketing materials. TSA scares up $8 billion per year for sexy backscatter xrays that scare you out of your change so they can rake in even more dough.

This one cracks me up, though:

Mostly because I’m pretty sure the minute this baggy-pantsed, untuck-shirted dude tried to take a step, most of that stuff would come rattling down to his ankles. Have you tried walking around with a rifle in your pant-leg? Exactly.

But it apparently sells metal detectors to schools.

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Hooning for fun and safety

Every driver can benefit from taking a performance driving course. The techniques used to extract maximum performance are often the same as those used in emergency situations like black ice.

Not too long ago Mercedes Benz created the AMG Driving Academy which was an excuse for people with very expensive cars to get together and actually, ya know, learn how to drive the damned thing. Luckily for the those of us who can’t afford to drop 80K or more on a car, the good folks at Mercedes recorded a bunch of their lessons. The series is now available to the rest of us thanks to the miracle of the series of tubes. Even if you have no intention of racing most of the principals and techniques explained in this series has a very real application to everyday driving.

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TSA doesn’t need more money…

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Of course this was shot at airport security. See the shoes in the background? (img by Douglas Muth)

You and your fellow travelers abandoned over $400,000 in change at airport security in 2010. FYI, TSA already spends $8.1 billion per year confiscating your cupcakes, looking at you naked, and poking your junk in the name of security. Oh, and uh, heckling Occupy Boston and stealing their cell phones for some reason. The last thing they need is handouts.

This year, keep track of your change. If you have to give it away, give it to someone more deserving. Like this guy:

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This dude probably hasn't seen you naked and probably won't try to touch your junk. (img by Keith Tyler)

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USA probably not as beleaguered as you think

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The world sent us a cupcake! (img by kayepants)

Face it, the average American loves the idea of the apocalypse. Zombies make tons of money. Everyone’s looking forward to the Mayan calendar running out of days or the rapture or peak oil, and there’s a ton of money in survival manuals and paracord. Not to mention in 24 hour news coverage, advertising, and military equipment sales.

So here’s a downer for all the apocalypse-lovers. Yes, it comes from, so take it with as big a bag of salt as you take Fox News. Here’s the crux:

Just as the Western media is better off when you think the world is a horror movie teetering on the brink of a post-apocalyptic tale of survival, the guys controlling every army in the world are better off if you think you need them. If everyone likes each other, then they’re the weirdo bringing a gun to a tea party.

So the next time you hear a politician or pundit going on about how people from countries like Iran want to see America destroyed, think of them like the mean girl in middle school who makes up rumors because it’s the only way to get people to listen to her. Saying, “Iran is a little suspicious of America but wants to get to know her better,” may not make for good television, but it’s way closer to the truth.

By all means, be prepared. Learn to defend yourself and to be self-sufficient. Learn to get along with the people around you enough to be able to function together in a hurricane or earthquake or whatever. It’s a good idea to think about the problems of the now instead of borrowing Red Dawn scenarios from profit-seeking channels.

Know, Live, Play » No Comments

Bee defense FAIL

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Warning: hornets like this one will kill insane numbers of bees. (img by Scott Paterson)

In case you forgot that nature is a giant death machine, watch 30 Japanese hornets kill a fuckload of honeybees. It’s no contest at all (I’ll admit to being completely manipulated by the epic soundtrack):

After the initial images from the movie 300 ran through my head, new images from Black Hawk Down followed. The lopsidedness of this battle is ridiculous. The losers don’t try to bug out, and they apparently haven’t heard about the second principle of self-defense: don’t defend your property.

Either way, this is the way the world works. It’s hideous and fascinating.

Fight, Know » No Comments