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    There are the traditional burgers - the griddle-cooked patties and toasted buns and standard fare toppings described in Jimmy Buffet songs. And then there are the pub burgers, the thicker brother, covered in everything from coleslaw and pulled pork to onion rings , cranberry sauce, and duck confit.    And then there's the Insanity Burger, by chef Jamie Oliver, which, according to Maggie Mariolis, is the kind of recipe that turns our a "worth-a-try-even-if-you're-sick-of-burgers burger."

    Thankfully, the insanity refers to the flavors (which, we presume, are insanely good) rather than the ambition of its construction and ingredients. Because, as least as we see it, the choices here are pretty standard - ground chuck, bacon, cheese, pickles, onion - just treated with a little finesse and technique that makes it worth trying at home. 

    And, it doesn't look too expensive, or difficult, so if you're the type for whom that photo above make you want to get cooking, then get cooking. 

    Read a review and get the full recipe at Serious Eats: Insanity Burger from 'Jamie Oliver's Comfort Food'


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    Mounting odd-shaped posters on plywood

    In my hometown there's a poster shop that makes letterpress posters for every band that plays at The Ryman Auditorium. The fun part is you never know what size the poster will be and you can count on the size being something that could only be framed in a custom size.     Custom framing is expensive! Here's a simple way to mount gig posters or any oddly-sized art you might want to hang. 

    What You'll need:

    • A poster (read on to see what kind you can actually use)
    • A container of Mod Podge (matte finish)
    • Paint Brush
    • Craft Paper
    • Ink Roller (like what you'd use for block printing)
    • 1/2 sheet of birch plywood cut to the dimensions of your poster
    • Frame mounting hardware

    Before you begin, it's very important that your poster is able to withstand water-based Mod Podge. The poster I'm using is about 100# (thick) paper and the ink is an oil-based ink that will not bleed when wet. If your piece is acrylic, water-based or washable you need to research methods for applying a polyurethane glaze.

    Before you begin gluing, measure and cut some birch ply to the exact size of your poster. I used the high-end birch because the edging of the board is more consistent and clean, whereas cheaper ply can have dark gaps and cracks that won't look as nice around the edges.

    Mount an odd-sized poster on plywood


    First, I put down some craft paper to keep my workspace clean. Then, I applied Mod Podge to the back of the poster. This will wet the poster and keep it from bubbling up when you place it on top of the plywood. Work quickly, this stuff dries fast.

    Mount an odd-shaped poster to plywood

    Quickly pour some Mod Podge on the face of your plywood and spread it evenly. 

    Mound an odd-shaped poster to plywood

    Place the poster onto the plywood surface. If you put enough Mod Podge, you will be able to shift and slide it around to line up with the edges of the poster. 

    Mount an odd-shaped poster to Plywood

    Next, smooth out the poster and get as many bubbles out as you can. I used an ink roller to smooth everything down. Any kind of roller would work just fine.

    Mound an odd-shaped poster to plywood

    Now, cover the top of the poster with a liberal amount of Mod Podge. You'll likely have to use your finger to smooth out some of the edges where the paper bubbles up, just hold it down for a few seconds to let the paper soak in the glue.

    When everything is covered, go back over with your brush and make uniform vertical strokes. Allow everything to dry for about an hour. You can add more coats and sand to a smooth finish if you'd like. I personally love the textured look after it dries.

    After everything dries, add some mounting hardware like hooks and wire or route a keyhole in the back. 

    Mound an odd-shaped poster to plywood

    And you're golden! I really love the modern look of the plywood edge and how it offsets from the wall like a decent frame does. Sure beats the college days with thumb tacks! 

    Mound an odd-shaped poster to plywood


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    Blickensderfer Typewriter

    Once upon a time the typewriter was as beautiful as the words it pounded out. Take a look at these exceptional examples of beautiful antiques that put our current tech to shame.   While most of today's keyboards look and feel alike, a few years ago the typewriter was as unique and eccentric as the writer who used it. The folks over at UberSuper take a good look at the antique world of typewriters and it's interesting to see how so many machines crafted for the same purpose took on wildly different designs along the way.

    Williams I Typewriter

    Looking at such intricate design makes me wonder how inspiration must have felt when pouring words through this marvelous machine. Have a piece like this in your office or home? We'd love to hear about it!

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    Raised Panel DoorsOne of the hallmarks of woodworking that just about everyone has come into contact with is the raised panel cabinet door. The solid construction, clean design, and intricate jointery are sometimes taken for granted; but for years I thought it was a skill just a bit out of my reach as a home woodworker. Turns out a few anchor tools and some awesome bits are all it takes to make doors worth bragging about.

    1. To get started, you will need a stationary table and a router powerful enough to spin the hefty bits. I opted for the following pieces:Router Table With Fence
      1. MLCS Router Table with Fence– $189 This table is strong, sturdy, and I went with the Aluminum plate for longevity. I didn’t get legs, because I decided to sink it into my countertop for a very stable cutting area. I picked it up on sale during black Friday for about $130 but even at full price it’s hard to beat.Craftsman Router With Plate
      2. Craftsman 1¾ HP router Kit– $90 The router is the workhorse of the table, and needs to spin a large bit with some power behind it. A ½” shank accepts the large 3.5” wide panel bit and has variable speed which is required when working with such hefty bits. I also chose this model because it allows for an above table lift via a small included hex so router setup is a bit easier. While it’s not as smooth as the more expensive dedicated router lifts, it’s a nice feature I use often when fine tuning.MLCS Raised Panel Router Bits
      3. MLCS 6 Piece Panel Cutting Bit Set - $120 This is another item I bought on sale during black Friday, and it came with a nice design software for calculating door dimensions. The 6 piece set includes every bit needed to construct raised panel doors and also came with a few set-up blocks which improves accuracy and speed during adjustments.

    Whatever set-up you choose to get or already have, here are a few items to keep in mind:

    1. A 3.5” bit moves with some force and can really eat into a piece of wood fast. When working with such large bits, utilize a few feather boards to make it all a bit safer and to keep from ruining premium wood. Also, make a few shallower cuts instead of a single pass, it's less work on the tools and the cut comes out cleaner.
    2. A solid fence is one of the most important parts of a stable router setup. Spend the extra for a tall, wide, and highly adjustable fence to make sure there’s enough support to hold it all steady.
    3. All bits are designed to spin at different RPMs. This is especially important when working with large diameter bits which need a slower speed. Spinning such a big bit at high speeds is dangerous and can result in a low quality cut. Here’s a rough estimation, but follow the manufacturer’s specs for best results:

    Router Bit Diameter - Max Speed

    Up to 1" - 22,000 - 24,000 rpm

    1" to 2" - 18,000 - 22,000 rpm

    2" to 2-1/2" - 12,000 - 16,000 rpm

    2-1/2" to 3-1/2" - 8,000 - 12,000 rpm

    4. While Oak and Maple are good for some projects, but they’re a beast to work. Poplar sands down silky smooth, and MDF is easy to work and looks great when painted. Also, when staining be sure to have the right wood filler on hand for the best results.

    5. Lastly, this process kicks up a ton of dust and chips. I have a dust collector system hooked up to the fence, but at least plan on running a shop vac to keep the wood from ending up everywhere.Featherboards and A Big Bit

    Next week, we’ll talk about setting up and making sawdust. Mastering a few basic steps add speed and accuracy to the process with great results.



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    I've got it. The crud, I mean. A virus, a winter illness, that thing that makes you ask, "Is it a cold? Is it a flu? Am I dying?" It's been over three and a half weeks, and no matter how many cups of tea I drink, or how much I allow myself to sleep, I can't shake it. 

    I'm at the point now where I doubt a prescription would help and I'm not contagious, but I just want this thing to go away. I suspect many of you are too. So, while I can't get this thing out of my body, I've been trying to put as much good stuff into it to help combat the bad guys. 

    So, here are six DIY cold, flu, and allergy fighting remedies that will get you out of the pharmacy, into the grocery store and garden, and hopefully, stay out of bed. 

    1. Homemade Fire Cider [pictured at top]- we discovered this recipe last year, which claims to "have anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting, decongestant and digestive properties." Worth fermenting up a batch to find out. Get the full recipe at Kaufmann-Mercantile

    2.  Make Kimchi–jjigae, Korean cold fighting soup: the funky, fermented, and flavorful power of kimchi is known for its health-boosting powers, and combined with sinus-clearing chiles and warm broth, this one will kick the snot out of those germs...and, well, you. :) Find the full recipe at Wild Apple.


    3. Go Outside [Preferably into the woods]: Probably not for the first day of a bug, but once you're back on your feet, bundle up and get outside. The movement is good for you, and, as our grandmother's always said, you should get some fresh air.  But there also might be some truth to the idea that exposure to green spaces can actually improve your health, mental acuity, and (TA-DA!) immune system. The Japanese have a concept of shinrin-yoku, or "forest bathing," and there's increasing scholarly research into what's actually happening when we spend time among the trees. Anecdotally, it's good for you, and you know it's good for you, so even though your journey might be short due to low energy, it's good to go outside when you're sick, provided you stay warm and dry. Read more at Mother Earth News - Your Brain on Nature: Forest Bathing and Reduced Stress


    4. DIY Honey Ginger Throat Drops: David spied this recipe last week. He says, "With the dry, cold air, my throat is sensitive to the temperature swings, and so I'm dealing with a sore throat just about every morning. While there are plenty of sugar-laden sticky throat drops at the store, I thought it may be better to make a batch of my own. Here's a great recipe for some delicious drops from Sarah McGill.

    5. No Allergy Tea: If you suspect your crumminess is caused by allergies, or other inflammation or anti-immunity issues, check out this custom tea project at Gardenista.  Key ingredient? Nettles. You should be able to put this together at any herbal shoppe or natural foods store, or you can order the goodies online. 

    6. Drink a Bunch of Hot Water + Lemon. This one's easy. Boil some water squeeze a half a lemon in it. Drink it. What's it good for? Google it. And keep this one up once you get better, too. 

    What are some of your favorite homemade and DIY cold and flu remedies? Let us know in the comments below. 



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  • 01/23/15--09:00: How Great I Am [Sponsored]
  • Amy Purdy triumphs to the iconic words of Muhammad Ali. To save her life, her dad had to make some life changing decisions. She then went on to win a medal in Sochi and dance in front of millions. Nothing can stop Amy Purdy. #OneBoldChoice

    Check out the video above then share photos of your dad on Twitter using #OneBoldChoice to join our big game celebration.

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    created at: 01/19/2015If you're a living person in the workforce today you've probably considered the use of learning to code at some point. This article takes a look at the why's, where's, and how's of getting started with a new coding language.    

    Why Learn To Code?

    All of us use technology everyday, yet so few of us have a solid (or even basic) grasp on how our daily technologies function. As a young man with a solid DIY ethos, I feel an imperative pull to have at least a conceptual connection (if not an actual one) to the technology and contraptions in my everyday life. Numerous tech honchos have declared coding to be the new literacy and frankly it never hurts to add a skill set that will flex your brain's computational problem-solving skills while also giving you the potential for a raise.

    Especially if you're a man with a DIY attitude who's limited by physical resources, coding can be a great way to experience the zen space of a methodical building process, except without the need for tools or materials. Plus at the end of the day, you'll have something cool and tech-geeky to show for it. 

    created at: 01/19/2015 

    Where To Start?

    The first question to answer after embarking on a quest for coding literacy is which language to learn. Unfortunately that depends on what you're interested in, and even then there's some disagreement about which languages are easiest or most useful to learn. 

    One thing that people often repeat is that no matter which coding language you pick, your first language is going to be the most difficult to learn. As with spoken languages, it takes time to wrap your head around understanding a foreign syntax and language structure, but once you're able to get past that, it's much easier to apply your newly limber conceptual framework to comprehending a second and third language. In that sense, the most important skill is learning to "think like a coder."

    created at: 01/19/2015If your interest lies in design and/or the front-end of web development it's a fair toss-up between HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. HTMLis the basic language you might have dabbled in in high school and has always been the one I've gone back to when I want a conceptual refresher. JavaScript gets a lot of love for being easy to dive into since it doesn't require a lot of setup and it's already built into web browsers. In my experience it seems like all three are important to learn if you're interested in exploring interactive web design in any serious way. 

    Con the other hand is one of if not the most popular language to learn, but it has one of the steepest learning curves. Lifehacker writes, "C is a 'machine level' language, so you'll learn how a program interacts with the hardware and learn the fundamentals of programming at the lowest—hardware—level (C is the foundation for Linux/GNU)" and also makes the comparison that C is to programming what basic anatomy is to a doctor. Everyone that I've spoken to that started with C is happy that they know it, but only about half of them recommend it as a starting language since it takes so long before you can really do anything cool with it. That said, maybe you're one of those people who doesn't have a problem plunging in and sticking with a difficult course of learning and you just want to commit to being a badass from the get-go… then C might be a good one for you. 

    created at: 01/19/2015Java (no relation to JavaScript) is either tied with C or in second place for popularity and happens to have lots of online places to learn it. One the big benefits of learning Java is that it's incredibly practical and also allows for easily horizontal learning with other OOP languages such as Python, PHP, and C++.

    Python is pretty well-loved for its simplicity and far-ranging capabilities. It generally requires fewer lines of code that are easier to read and is also more forgiving with mistakes. It's been rising in popularity since it's been used on websites like Pinterest and Instagram. It's also the official language of United Space Alliance (NASA's shuttle support contractor) which isn't nothing. 


    Places To Learn:

    Codecademy is undoubtedly the most popular online resource and is noted for it's easy lessons and interactive courses that allow you to see what you're building in real time (see layout below). Take your pick between courses in HTML &CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, PHP, Python, Ruby, or general Web Development. Each lesson explains the next step in your learning, gives you a space to try it out for yourself, and then gives you hints if you make mistakes. I've personally found Codecademy extremely helpful as a kinesthetic learner. It's the simplest introduction you'll get to whatever language you choose; think of it like the Wikipedia of coding languages. I highly recommend starting here. 

    CodecademyMIT's Open Courseware offers quite a few courses you can pick through such as Introduction to Computer Science and Programming, Introduction to Programming in Java, and Practical Programming in C. The entire class materials are online including lecture notes, homework sets, exams and more – and it's entirely free. Other great places to look for free course offerings are on Kahn Academy and Coursera, or try googling CS courses from Stanford University

    Introduction to Computer Science is just one of Udacity's many well-regarded college courses in coding. You can peruse the course materials for free, but this one costs money to take one of their guided courses (although it does come with a personal coach).

    Finally, it's worth looking for intensive code boot camps in your area. The courses are usually 2-3 month intensives for guys who are looking to improve their personal market value. These real-world courses have been cropping up all over in the past few years and are great for those who are looking to learn skill in a classroom setting alongside peers who are pursuing the same ends. 


    Here are some great resources that helped inform this article if you want more in-depth information on the next steps in learning coding:


     Learn To Code

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    Two visually striking materials - molded concrete and live-edge walnut - get combined to make this industrial/modern/awesome-looking nightstand project, complete with both visible and hidden storage.    And! Get this: Dude used LEGOs to make the mold for the concrete shape. Jup, it's true: 

    The drawer "slides" are integrated right into the mold, so you just build a box, add the nice hardwood face, and slip it in. 

    See the full how-to at Homemade Modern. Even if you don't make this exact project, there's lots of clever technique here to inspire. 

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    NYC SubwayIn 1946, an 18 year old boy named Stanley Kubrick took these photos of life on the New York City subway for LOOK magazine. As LOOK's youngest photographer at the time, Kubrick published more articles than any of their other photographers in his five year stint.   

    NYC SubwayKubrick shot these images over the course of two weeks (often after midnight), using natural light in innovative ways as he later would on Barry LyndonNYC SubwayKubrick would later use his keen photographic eye to revolutionize cinema with films like 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Shining, A Clockwork Orange, and many more.

    Check out the rest of the photographs of

    NYC SubwayNYC Subway

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    There's something about a custom trailer that can't be imitated by fiberglass and plastic. This inspiring look at a custom teardrop trailer build will have you looking for a spot in the shop big enough to make your own.   Teardrop Trailer

    Years ago I used to cruise over to the coast to getaway and enjoy the ocean. During those trips I'd turn into a vagabond, living out of my car with the seats folded down and trunk popped. Every now and then I would enviously spy a sleek little teardrop trailer tucked into the sand with a million dollar view and a very well rested occupant, and I would dream of making my own one day. Teardrop Interior

    While I still haven't crafted my own trailer (and I'm not sure the whole family would fit in there anymore), I still love those teardrop trailers and this build is nothing short of inspiring to see from start to shiny finish. Inside of Teardrop Trailer

    Now go take a look at the build and you may just be inspired enough to start your own. Be sure to send pictures, and don't blame us if your spouse gets a bit confused as to why they have to park out there on the street while it happens.Finished Teardrop Trailer

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    This is a fun, basic storage box DIY project to stash some secret goodies, or to set on the coffee table for a solid conversation starter. The construction is surprisingly simple, with no fancy cuts involved, just accurate cuts and square corners.   Jimmy DiResta says, 

    Many years ago, I found this idea in a magic shop. It was small and made of plastic. Recently, a friend asked if I could make a puzzle box, and this idea came to mind. I set out to make it on the table saw... To get [the best] result, I used the sled and a hold down on the jig. I used a few different woods to compare the end result; bamboo worked the best. A sharp blade and a good sled is the way to get a good result. Be careful on the table saw if you attempt this. Enjoy!

    So, a table saw and crosscut sled, plus a little glue and tape. Go make a box!

    See more at DiResta: Puzzle Box [] 



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    created at: 01/27/2015It's important to invest in high-quality style staples that will last a long time, and be easy to wear in variety of settings. And! It's just as important to take care of those staples properly, keeping them clean and stain-free, and storing each piece well, so its ready to go and wrinkle-free when the time is right.    Joe from Dappered offers "10 Common Laundry Mistakes Guys Make" with the idea, of course, that once you know 'em, you won't do them.

    created at: 01/27/2015

    They range from proper machine use, sorting, folding and hanging, to the nature of dry cleaning and "washable" blazers (hint: they're not). 

    Check out the tips here, memorize, and go forth and launder (or not): 10 Common Laundry Mistakes Guys Make[]


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    Mixology of Martinis

    Who doesn't love information beautifully laid out into a colorful infographic? I've wrangled up some of the best charts regarding our favorite beverages of the adult kind for your viewing pleasure. Heck, you might even learn something!

    First up is a lovely graphics on the types of Martinis (pictured above). See the full size image over at Pop Chart Labs.

    Check out this chart that highlights all the extreme ingredients brewers have used in beer. Notice "Whole Pies"—Gonna have to try that one...

    Extreme Ingredients in Beer


    Here's a beautifully illustrated family tree of whiskey. I love how this one easily shows you the differences in the names. 

    Whiskey Family Tree


    Here's a rather large one called Beer 101. As the name suggests, it profiles every type of beer.

    Types of Beer


    I absolutely love this hand-illustrated how-to on making wine. Anyone up for the challenge?

    How to Make Wine


    And for the finale, a super-long graphic plotting out the profiles of 86 scotch whiskies.

    whiskey flavor profiles infographic

    Now, all I need is an infographic on how I can drink all of this without breaking the bank!


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    created at: 01/25/2015

    Let me say off the bat that I'm generally skeptical of meals touted as gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan, raw, etc. I love the idea of eating as healthily as possible but finding good recipes can be pretty hit or miss when you try to meet some of those qualifiers. This however is one recipe whose gospel I can preach.   

    My friend Haley started a food blog about a year ago called Brewing Happiness and every Friday she gets together with a friend to make a new, ultra-healthy dish together. This week was my week and we made an incredible Spicy BBQ Tofu Flatbread with Lemon-Dill Sauce that she thought up. I know a lot of you start looking for the exits when you hear the word "tofu," but hang in there. I rarely (re: never) eat tofu but I really enjoyed this meal and I was SHOCKED at how hearty and filling it was. The recipe features a good kick of spice with pickled jalapeños and a sweet (but sugar-free) barbecue sauce drizzled with just enough creamy lemon-dill sauce to balance it all out. 

    I recommend it to any man looking to try out some healthier eating without skimping on feeling a full stomach. This would also be a great recipe to try out for those of you looking to bless your healthier-minded significant other with a meal you'll both enjoy. 

    First up, you've gotta pickle some sprouts (which I promise is way easier than it sounds).



    • 1 cup brussels sprouts
    • 2 jalapeño peppers


    • 3 parts distilled white vinegar
    • 1 part apple cider vinegar
    • 1 part umeboshi plumb vinegar (or just rice wine vinegar)


    1. Put all ingredients in a jar.
    2. With the lid on, let it sit for 5 hours to 2 days in a cool, dark place.


    Next up is the Homemade (and sugar-free) BBQ sauce, you literally make in a blender.



    • 1 sweet onion, diced
    • 1TBSP crushed garlic (or two garlic cloves)
    • 1TBSP olive oil
    • 6oz tomato paste
    • 3/4C water
    • 1/4C balsamic vinegar
    • 6 dates (boiled with 1/2C water)
    • salt, pepper & cayenne (to taste)


    1. In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium low heat.
    2. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté for 5-7 minutes.
    3. Add the tomato paste, water, and balsamic vinegar.
    4. Stir while sautéing for 10 minutes.
    5. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne.
    6. After 10-15 minutes of sautéing, pour ingredients into a blender and add the dates and boiled water.
    7. Blend until smooth.


    The last sub recipe before you throw it all together is the chapati. We ended up keeping ours pretty thick which I was a fan of, although I think most people tend to flatten them a good deal. 



    • 2C brown (or white) rice flour
    • 3/4C warm water
    • 1TBSP grape seed oil (can sub for canola or olive oil)
    • 1TSP sea salt
    • 1-2TBSP olive oil (for cooking)


    1. Mix flour and salt in a bowl.
    2. Add the warm water and oil slowly.
    3. Mix until doughy.
    4. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes or so.
    5. After 30 minutes, uncover move to a floured surface and knead.
    6. Split the dough into two pieces, and smooth into a flatbread shape and size (pick yours, we went with about 1/4 inch thick).
    7. Heat each flatbread in a skillet with 1TBSP of olive oil over medium-low heat.
    8. Cook each side for about 30 seconds, or until brown spots show up.

    And finally, you throw them all together to get that delectable-looking feast pictured below.

    created at: 01/25/2015



    • 2 Chapatis flatbread "crusts" (see above recipe)
    • 1C firm tofu, drained & cubed
    • 1C pickled brussels sprouts (see above recipe)
    • 1-2 pickled jalapeños, sliced
    • 1/2C homemade bbq sauce (see above recipe)
    • 1TBSP olive oil
    • salt & pepper
    • 2-4TBSP lemon-dill aioli (see Eggplant & Sweet Potato Crisps post)
    • 1 handful of arugula


    1. In a small pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.
    2. Add pickled brussels sprouts, jalapeños and tofu. Sauté for a few minutes.
    3. Once the veggies start to brown, add the BBQ sauce and sauté for 5-10 minutes.
    4. After 5-10 minutes, take the pan off the heat.
    5. Layer the BBQ tofu and veggies on top of your Chapatis flatbread.
    6. Top with arugula and drizzle with lemon-dill aioli. 


    That's it! Now simply enjoy yourself like I did and feel free to check out more healthy recipes at

    created at: 01/27/2015

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    Each Wednesday, I post some of my favorite can't-miss links, images, and otherwise mindblowing goodies from across the web.

    Apparently, video game addiction is a very serious problem, and it's destroying people's lives. For real? For real. Vice explores the issue in "Inside the Tragic, Obsessive World of Video Game Addicts," where Cecilia D'Anastasio reports, 

    Experts estimate that more than 3 million Americans between eight and 18 could be suffering from video game dependency. And medical authorities are finally noticing. The latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders recently christened the phenomenon as "internet gaming disorder." The DSM warns that such "persistent and recurrent online activity results in clinically significant impairment or distress," adding that certain neural pathways are triggered just like a drug addicts' would be when ingesting their substance of choice. To put that comparison in perspective, there could be about 1 million more diagnosable dependent gamers in America than coke addicts.

    Read the full piece on Inside the Tragic, Obsessive World of Video Game Addicts

    I suspect this is old news for many of you, but I just blitzed through "Broadchurch" in three nights, and holy cow. Much of the setup is familiar, but they handle it best. It's streaming now on Netflix.


    Apparently, we should all be flipping our steaks more. Like, a lot more. Learn why on Serious Eats.

    Clever. Very clever. See more at Colossal. 

    created at: 01/28/2015
    Head Shots of Hand Models
    featured on It's Nice That



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    Salted Caramel Milkshake

    When a great night with friends is wrapping up, why not wrap it up on a sweet note. This Salted Caramel Milkshake will leave your guests with great memories and a sugar high they won't soon forget.   

    An adult nightcap doesn't need to be spiked to make a great night better. This salted caramel milkshake from Drizzle and Dip is fast and easy enough to make while still fielding the friendly conversation. 

    Salted Caramel Milkshake Prep Work

    Just a few ingredients are needed to whip up this frothy blend so it's easy to have on hand for a go-to sugar fix. A word of warning- although it's not spiked, your sweet tooth will definitely still get a buzz off this sugar-laden concoction. Cheers!

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    NASA TourismI dunno how you boys feel about interstellar travel, but I'm a hardcore sucker when it comes to anything relating to the subject. Whether it's a comical take on its treatment in movies or a serious treatise on the realities of the universe, I check yes every time. So you can imagine my excitement when NASA's subsidiary computing project, PlanetQuest, came out with these fake, retro travel advertisements for recently discovered planets.    

    Kepler 186f (seen above) was the first planet discovered in the habitable zone of of another star where liquid water could theoretically exist. Since the planet orbits a much cooler (and therefore redder) planet than our sun, the photosynthesis of any potential plant life would naturally be skewed to a different color pallet due to the red light's longer wavelength. 

    Or check out this advertisement for Kepler-16b which orbits two suns, not unlike Star Wars' Tatooine. NASA TourismYou can download hi-res images from the PlanetQuest website and then consider mounting them on plywood like Bryson did. 

    Space Tourism

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    Each week in 2015, ManMade is sharing our picks for the essential tools we think every creative guy and DIYer needs. We've selected useful, long-lasting tools to help you accomplish a variety of projects, solve problems, and live a hands on lifestyle that allows you to interact with and make the things you use every day. 

    created at: 01/28/2015

    I'm not going to insult you. You know the cordless drill/driver is the most useful, popular, and can't-live-without-it portable power tool in the DIYer's arsenal. It can do everything from drilling holes to driving screws to twisting wires to drilling bigger holes, and mixing paint, all in with a completely cord-free, clip-it-to-your-tool-belt ease. I wouldn't hang a picture or a shelf without one (or two) and its certainly a tool that gets touched on nearly every project.

    Right? Right. But if we're sharing our picks for the most essential of tools, this guy's gotta be on the list, so instead of convincing why you should own one, let's turn our attention into making sure you own the right one, and know how to use it. 


    created at: 01/28/2015

    The anatomy of the cordless drill is simple: it's a motor attached to a keyless chuck, that spins very fast and whose jaws accept all sorts of round or hexagonal things such as any manor of drill bits, driver bits, sanding drums, burnishing wheels, hole saws, and the like. It can help bore holes, that is, displacing the wood fibers through compression and moving them up the fluted shank of a drill bit. Or, it can cut holes through use of a Forstner bit, hole saw, or spade bit. All modern drills have a slip-able clutch that allows to apply the right amount torque to drive or drill, and a pressure-sensitive trigger so you can select the right speed for power or precision work. 


    created at: 01/28/2015

    So, with all the options, which one should you select? Unless you're going to keep a diversity of drills and drivers around for specific tasks (impact driver, pocket driver, hammer drill), we suggest looking for an all-in-one, beefy model with the following features:

    • 1/2" ratcheting chuck
    • Two Lithium-Ion batteries and included charger
    • between 18-20 volts that can achieve 350-450 in-lbs of torque
    • Hammering action (if possible)

     Oh, and here's another way of looking at it: you should expect to spend around $90-150. If it costs less that $75, you're looking at the wrong tool. 

    created at: 01/28/2015

    The most important aspect of a drill/driver, which is designed to twists things, is torque, or twisting force. There are plenty of tests to assess torque, and your favorite magazines and review sites have posted the results. Go check them out. A hammering-action is nice, particularly if you live in an older home with plaster and lathe, or concrete block or masonry walls. But it can add some heft to the overall price. (But, if you ask me, its definitely worth it. I can't count the number of projects and repairs that wouldn't have been possible without this feature.)

    Battery life, and number of batteries, are also extremely important, particularly when working with denser hardwoods, or larger hardware such as lag screws. Battery reversibility is also a nice feature; it allows you to load the battery in either direction, providing balance when using one hand, and an ease of access when working in tight places. 

    created at: 01/28/2015


    If we were going to buy a new 18 or 19volt driver, I'd look at the following models. 

    ManMade recommended: 


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    created at: 01/29/2015

    I've worked on and off for the past decade as a theatrical fight director and stunt coordinator and so I've spent a lot of time investigating historical uses of weaponry. Lars Andersen has spent years investigating and perfecting his period archery skills to attain an unparalleled level of greatness.   

    As opposed to modern archers who have multiple gadgets and unlimited time to hit a stationary target, this truly mind-blowing video demonstrates the skill set historical archers needed on the battlefield, such as the ability to run and jump while hitting multiple targets within seconds. It's s a true showcase of someone who has dedicated years of their life to perfecting a craft that most of us would simply pass over.  And while I have no intention of becoming an expert in period archery, I was inspired by the tenacity it takes to perform at Andersen's level, regardless of the category. 

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    Hobbyist woodworker Jesse McKee of Dallas, Texas recently finished up a seriously awesome project: a mid-century modern-inspired walnut coffee table complete with storage and visible box joints that show off the piece's handcrafted origins. 

    Jesse says, "[This is] a common mid century design that I added some of my favorite details to. Mainly the box joinery... I didn't come up with plans for this since I judged the height first by the height of my couch, then by proportion of the legs and box opening last. The end product ended up being 24x48" and the box is 9.5" tall and the legs are 6" tall. My favorite wood is walnut and I ordered around 200 board feet of 4/4 S4S (surfaced on all 4 sides) from my local hardwood dealer."

    And by box joinery, he means this unique divider that adds structure with a series of small mortises down the center to accept the box fingers. Cool, right?

    Here it is all finished up. As Jesse mentioned, this isn't an actual how-to with plans, but anyone familiar enough with this type of work could figure out the build through the process photos. The leg assembly is particularly helpful. 

    See the full build process at Instructables: Mid Century Coffee Table

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