Core77 has a short post on The Hoffman Dovetail Key, what appears to be a simple, elegant and compact system for dovetailing wood parts together.

For those not grasping it right away, this system can enable an absolutely radical change in your production system. Consider that items joined with these HD Keys require no glue, no glue-up, no cleaning up the squeeze-out, no clamps, no drying time. Finished pieces can be stacked as soon as they’re together with no worries about glue squeeze-out from one piece marring the one beneath it, obviating the need for racks.

I’ve been saying “biscuit joiner” when people ask me what my favorite tool is (they do ask, I don’t know why). I might have to change my answer now.

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Sublime micro-sculptures made of mechanical junk. Looks like watch parts, silverware, other shiny bits. I could stare at these for hours. I used to take anchor bolts and turn them into giant machine guns for my GI Joes, but those pale in comparison to the intricacy of these bugs:

Muti-Valchev Dimitar Valchev on deviantART.

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Disney’s Aireal lets you feel the imaginary | The Verge.

Puffs of air (like smoke rings) create a tangible interface for you and your video games. (It’s more sophisticated than I make it sound.) From Disney, with video.

Also from Disney:
Disney Research » Computational Design of Mechanical Characters.

A (relatively) simple tool to replicate complex 2D motion with cranks and gears. It’s so smooth it made me sit upright so I could see the rotating ellipses better. The implications? You can 3D-print gears to create toys that move as naturally as you want them to. Yes, there’s a video demonstrating this.

And just for good measure, if you haven’t seen the game Disney Infinity, go take a look now. It’s probably unlike any video game you’ve seen before. (There’s Wikipedia, for those of you who want the quick read.)

Interesting.

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It cannot, however, keep your cat from messing it up | MetaFilter.

Pretty clever. With tutorial.

Reminds me of two things: the useless machine and the barrier transfer machine, one of my all-time favorite vehicles.

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Mapping Manhattan: A Love Letter in Subjective Cartography by Neil deGrasse Tyson, Malcolm Gladwell, Yoko Ono & 72 Other New Yorkers | Brain Pickings.

More here:

The concept is simple, but executed brilliantly. In the summer of 2009, Cooper walked the length of Broadway in Manhattan, handing out self-addressed stamped cards that were letter pressed with an outline map of Manhattan. She asked people to map their memories, filling it with whatever was meaningful to them.

The tumblr here.

This really is an elegant project. I wonder if anyone cut up the map or added to it. Origami?

via MeFi, where someone has linked to a horizonless projection of the city. Golly.

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I just learned about The Ideal Palace of Ferdinand Cheval. Another write-up here. NYT description here.

In 1879, a postman in southeast France builds an monument out of rocks that he would carry home on his daily route.

If palaces made from pebbles doesn’t impress you, how about 1000-tree forests, each tree planted by hand by one Jadav “Molai” Payeng? He’s at work at his second forest now.

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Incredible Time-Lapse of Graffiti Artist Sofles Covering a Warehouse in Street Art.

Incredible indeed. Very clever bit at 2:50.

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Flickr: Nguyen Hung Cuong’s Origami Photostream.

A master’s creations.

via NOTCOT

My friend Ming tells me you can see this and more at the OrigamiUSA convention in a few days (6/21-24) at FIT.

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Bespoke Innovations. Fantastic-looking coverings for prosthetic legs.

Bespoke Fairings™ are specialized coverings that surround an existing prosthetic leg, accurately recreating the body form through a process that uses three-dimensional scanning to capture the unique leg shape. But Fairings not only return the lost contour, they invite an expression of personality and individuality that has never before been possible.

Fairings infuse the individual’s lifestyle and taste into the design from the start. But to make this an even more personal part of the prosthetic leg, Fairings can be enhanced with patterns, graphics, and materials—including leather, ballistic nylon fabric, chrome plating, and even tattoos. By creating a unique custom form that presents the individual, Bespoke Innovations hopes to change the way the world thinks of prostheses.

See gallery and read more at Inhabitat. These people deserve to win multiple awards.

UPDATE: compare to 3-d printed casts, a conceptual project by Jake Evill.

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The Welsh Space Campaign.

Student project blending the old world crafts of Wales with the ambitions of space exploration. Poetic and lovely, all that is between the hand-made and the interstellar.

More links at MeFi and WMMNA.

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