Saturday, April 30, 2011

Archive: April 2011

Unusual Musical Instruments,
Part 2

Some Odd, Forgotten and Bizarre Sounds
Keep Your Eyes on the Ball! (Funny Pics)

Everything depends on it. Everything.
The World's Most Powerful Mobile Crane

The Apotheosis of All Truck Cranes
Extreme Sleeping, Part 2

Tired! (Sleeping, no matter what)
Automotive Madness! (Funny Pics)

Idiotic drivers and their magnificent machines
Intricately Carved Pulpits

Stunning examples of religious art
Early "Photoshop" & April Fools Pranks

Beetles that mend your clothing, etc.

April 23, 2011 - Biscotti Bits

Mixed Links & Images

Incl. "Complex Numbers: Best Explanation"

April 14, 2011 - Biscotti Bits

Mixed Links & Images

Incl. "Epic Rally Video"

Link Latte #155 - Click Here

Link Latte #156 - Click Here

Check out previous Link Latte issues! - Click Here


Continue on to other monthly archives:

March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
Winter 2009-2010
Oct-Nov 2009
September 2009
August 2009
June-July 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
Link Lattes

Lack Lazy Susan Coffee Table

Materials: Lack Side Table Legs and Lazy Susan Table Tops

Description: This creation was inspired by the 24 left over Lack Side Table legs I had after I created a headboard for my King size bed (See the post entitled "Headboard fit for a King-sized bed" for more details on that project).

This table took a couple of sequential steps before finally assembling each piece to form the final table.

First I designed three "+" shaped legs using five Lack Side Table legs, per leg and used double sided carpet tape to hold each "+" shape secure.

For each "+" table leg, I cut out a 7" diameter piece of MDF and attached each "+" leg to the MDF using 14 x 1" flat head screws after pre-drilling with a countersink bit. I used metal brackets on the opposite side of the "+" legs to secure the whole leg together.

I designed the table base as a double layered, offset "T" shape using eight table legs (four sections grouped into twos).

I slotted the "+" legs into the "T" base and used 14 x 3 1/2 " round head screws to attach each section (I also spray painted 1/4 washers with a flat black spray paint and bought black screw caps to mask the round head).

I then turned the whole structure on its head, and slid the Lazy Susan tops underneath, attaching them to the 7" diameter MDF.

This project used a total of 23 Lack Side Table legs and three Lazy Susans. The reason I used 14 (width size) screws is because the pre-drilled holes in the Lack legs were sized at a 14 width.

It took a lot of preplanning and forethought to assemble this coffee table, but being my first ever built piece of furniture, I'm very proud of it.

Hope you enjoy.

~ Doug Lu, Ontario Canada

A headboard fit for a King-sized bed

Materials: Lack Side Table

Description: I built a headboard out of eight (black/brown coloured) Lack Side Tables. I attached them four wide by two high and turned all the table tops so the wood grain lined vertically. I then attached some of the table legs onto the structure to support the whole structure.

If I were to do it again, I'd probably wall mount it, but it is fine wedged between the wall and bed. Attached you'll find pictures of the actual headboard as well as figures 1,2,3 which show an illustration of the wood grain orientation, the back view, and the back view with the brackets, respectively.

I then recycled the unused table legs and a few Ikea Lazy Susans to create a coffee table. Please see the post entitled "Lack Lazy Susan Coffee Table" for more details.

~ Doug Lu, Ontario, Canada

IKEA Place Mats to Pillows!

Materials: IKEA Solbrand Place Mats

Description: Turning 2-sided IKEA Solbrand cloth placemats into pretty pillows!
1. With a seam ripper, take out the stitching along a short side of the place mat.
2. Fill with Cotton Batting.
3. Stitch.
4. Done! Easy Peasy!

See more of the placemats turned pillows.

~ Jo-Anna, Suburbia Canada

Friday, April 29, 2011

Ikea Lack table into Lack floating shelves!

Materials: Lack table, brackets (Dormer type probably or any other), L brackets, screws, saw, drill

Description: We wanted two side-tables for the bedroom, but we thought that it would be more convenient to be the floating type like the IKEA Lack floating shelf. So the next day I visited IKEA store, and tried to find one that would be matching the space in size. Unfortunately I realized that the Lack shelves are only made 110cm and 30 cm long and there is nothing in between, which would fit for my needs. So I had a brilliant idea! Why not make my shelves by cutting into half an IKEA Lack table which only costs 5 euros!

So on my way to the cashier with a black Lack table, I stepped in to the "as is" department and the exact time there was a batch of ex-display tables for half the price, 2.50 euros! So I grabbed one at half price, and left the other. I was so anxious to get in my workshop in the morning I couldn't wait, to start chopping that little table!

So as you see in the pictures I split the table into two halves. And then I picked some brackets that are similar to the Broder shelf brackets, and made some difficult for the average hobbyist machining, sawing and bending to have four "L" brackets with drill holes, so they can hold the shelves in total disguise like the original Lack Shelves.

They fitted like charm, and now I couldn't wait to go home and start the installation! Oh this was a very bad time so I had chosen a time that my fiancé was absent, a total mess!

First I took meters, and draw the points to drill. Then I started installing the "L" brackets. As you may notice under the "L" bracket I slipped a small L shaped bracket so I can use it to lock the shelf in place. After all this mess I had the two shelves installed and checked the alignment. Success!

That's it. Go on and chop those tables!!!

See more of the floating Lack bedside shelf.

~ mikenuke, Greece

Broder turns into kitchen workbench

Title: Materials: IKEA BODER, Koskisen Koskidecor (finnish birch plywood), IKEA BREDSKÄR etc

Description: Wanted to have a functional kitchen system which can grow easily on demand and has a flexible working height.

~ Bruno Schulz, Bad Kreuznach - Germany

Lack Book shelf

Materials: Lack

Description: To construct the bookshelf I took several Lack shelves. The challenge was to cut them to the right size. Therefore, I had to remove the end-caps by heat and, after cutting, replace them.

To allow precise assembly I installed first a chipboard wall.

To achieve a higher weight tolerance of many books, I used aluminum pipes, placed as seen on the pics.

~ Alex Mildner

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Link Latte 156

#156 - Week of April 28, 2010

Eerie London Post Office Underground Railway - [abandoned]
Russia's Crime of the Century, video - [real story]
Floating Super-City: Awesome Lotus Shape - [futurism]
The Most Beautiful Mountain on Earth, photos - [scroll down]
Another Haunting Shipwrecks Compilation - [wow pics]
Galaxy Rose: Fantastic Hubble Photo - [wow space]
Stylish Chair Made From... Hemp - [design]
The Most Polluted Spot on Earth, info - [shocking]
Also: Huge Nuclear Accident, (Kyshtym Disaster) - [wow info]
Our Place in the Universe - [huge pic, but worth it]
Epic Battle of an Ant with a Spider - [wow video]
A Dictionary Source for All Languages - [finally published]
Download it as one PDF, Nostratic Proto-Languages - [info]
Extreme Urban Graffiti Art by MTO - [flickr set]
A Star Torn Apart by the Black Hole - [space]
Stolen Camera & Photos Can Be Found Here - [cool site]
Size of Africa: Quite a Revelation - [infographic]
Steampunk Cell Phones, Rubik Cubes - [wow designs]
Probably the Craziest Japanese Show of All - [who watches it?]
Perhaps the Ultimate in Animated GIFs - [wow art]
Ladies Do Bicycle Stunts: Impressive - [wow video]
All in a Day's Work: Feeding the Sharks - [wow video]
Humans in Flight - [artistic, weird video]
Getting Airborne in NASCAR - [wow video]
Whacked by a Tornado! (inside car) - [wow video]
Real Life Mr. Magoo Gag - [fun video]
Self-Sufficient Dog: Perpetuum Mobile - [fun video]
Hamsters' New Way to Roll - [fun video ad]
Avalanche Cliff Jump! (Watch in HD) - [wow video]
Amazing Views from Other People’s Windows - [travel]
Some of the Most Dangerous Spiders - [cool photos]


Expedit standing desk

Materials: Expedite shelving units


A large standing desk using Expedite shelving parts. At 48" high, it's high enough for a tall person to rest their elbows on. At 73" width, it's large enough to hold a bunch of gear AND eat meals on. At ~$250 in parts, it's a great value for the size.

Ikea items:

2 x 2x2 Expedit shelving unit (801.352.98, $40 each)
2 x 5x1 Expedit shelving unit (201.162.74, $60 each)
1 x 73"x10" Lack shelf (601.037.50 $30)

Hardware store items:

- 8 x metal braces
- 96" 4x1.5" board cut up for shelf supports (can substitute for Capital legs for class).


1) Lay both fully constructed 2x2 units across from each other.

2) Lay fully constructed 1x5 unit across back of top (one step ahead of construction photo 2)

3) Lay partially constructed 1x5 on front of top. This partially constructed shelf should only include three pieces: two short sides and one long side. This leaves enough space underneath to slide a high chair or bar stool underneath.

4) Bolt pieces together using braces and screws.

5) Attach lack shelf, supported by Capita brackets or cut up boards.

See more of the Expedit standing desk.

~ Peter Marks, Portland, OR

Hoop art

Materials: Needlework hoops, Ikea fabric scraps

Description: Repurposed needlework/embroidery hoops painted and used as frames for beautiful Ikea fabric leftovers. (All frames were charity shop finds.)

See more hoop art.

~ Tilly

How To: Give an inexpensive door mat a welcoming modern makeover

Materials: TRAMPA door mat, contact paper, spray paint

Description: After a winter of salt and snow, my hardwood floors had taken a beating. So, once I got them scrubbed down, I vowed to keep them in better shape with a door mat at every entrance. So I did what most DIYers would do - went to IKEA. I snagged a basic, large coir mat for $8.00, and picked up a can of spray paint on the way back. Add an hour of work, and you've got a custom, mod mat that you whipped up yourself.

Get the full how-to on the welcome mat modern makeover.

~ Chris Gardner

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Unusual Musical Instruments, Part Two

Link - article by Simon Rose and Avi Abrams

Some Odd, Forgotten and Bizarre Instruments from Around the World

Also Read Part 1

Most of us are familiar with pianos, guitars, drums, the wind and percussion instruments that make up many orchestras, plus many others. However, considering the multitude of different cultures that exist on our planet, its not surprising that mankind has also managed to come up with some pretty unusual musical instruments over the course of history. Here’s a look at some of the little known, odd, forgotten and at times bizarre looking instruments from around the world.

(steampunk styled guitar, by Lirio Salvador of the Philippines, more info)

This is the Pikasso, and it certainly looks like something the renowned surrealist artist would have devised. The Pikasso took two years to build, has four necks and 42 strings in total and you probably need more than two hands to play it:

(image credit: Manfred Schweda,

(left: Pikasso Guitar; right image: unknown fantasy-style, via)

The zither, an instrument with strings stretched over a resonating wooden box, is familiar to some people as a result of its use in the 1949 movie The Third Man (listen here), but the instrument has been largely forgotten since that time.

(right: bowed zither, images via)

The Erhu from China is similar to a Chinese violin, with a base that is more oblong in shape. The word Erhu can be roughly translated into English as a ‘southern fiddle’. The small sound box at the bottom of the instrument is covered with... python skin:

(images via)

The Harp Guitar, while not being that well known, has in fact been around for at least two hundred years. It’s basically an acoustic guitar with an additional neck containing strings like a harp:

(the Wingert guitar, the Knutsen guitars and the Gibson harp guitar - images via 1, 2)

The Javanese Bonang has a wooden frame on which brass gongs are strung together. The brass heads are struck with padded sticks to create the desired sound and tone:

(images via, Frank W. Baker)

The alphorn, alpenhorn or alpine horn is mostly associated with Switzerland and the Alps, but similar wooden horns have been used in most of Europe’s mountainous regions over the centuries:

(image via)

This variety of trumpet called the wakrapuku is made from metal or cattle horn and is a very old instrument, dating back to pre-Columbian times in the Andes:

(images via 1, 2)

The clavichord, which could be described as a tabletop piano, was invented in the early fourteenth century and was very popular from the 16th century to the 18th century, when the piano first appeared. The clavichord was almost forgotten by 1850, but enjoyed a revival among enthusiasts at the beginning of the twentieth century:

(image via)

The distinctive humming of the didgeridoo from Australia is so closely associated with the land down under. The instrument is made from eucalyptus wood that’s hollowed out by termites and dates back over 1500 years:

(images via 1, 2)

Uillean Pipes and are type of bagpipes, used in traditional Irish music. The pipes are not blown into like the Scottish version, but instead the right elbow operates bellows, which pumps up a bag at your left elbow. This then produces the air for the instrument’s seven pipes:

(image via)

The Kaval is a type of flute used at various times by musicians in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Macedonia, parts of Northern Greece, Romania, southern Serbia and Turkey:

(image via)

The bombard is similar to an oboe and is used in Breton music in Northern France. The bombard is apparently very loud and requires so much breath to play, that the player needs a rest after as little as ten seconds:

(images via 1, 2)

The ocarina is a very ancient flute-like instrument, dating back at least 12,000 years. Instruments of this type were known in ancient China, but the Spanish first introduced the ocarina into Europe after their conquests in Central and South America in the sixteenth century. It became known as a toy instrument for children, only capable of playing a few notes, until the modern version of the ocarina was developed in Italy in the mid-nineteenth century:

(images via 1, 2)

The three-string Shamisen from Japan is a little like a banjo, but with a smaller base and slimmer neck. It developed from the smaller Sanshin, the body of which is covered in python skin, which originates from Okinawa and the Ryukyu Islands. The shamisen is used in Japanese folk music and is popular with street performers:

(images via 1, 2)

So that’s our second look at some of the world’s more unusual musical instruments (read the first one here). Be sure to join us here at Dark Roasted Blend for Part Three.

Bonus: Brazilian radio station KISS FM invented a cassette-tape musician, who can play standard instruments to their hardest rock potential:

(image via)

Bugs are falling in love by sharing a DUET:

(art by Balazc Papay, CG Society, click to enlarge)

Meanwhile in Soviet Russia, it was all about how you listen to the instrument, too:

(original unknown)



Simon Rose is the author of science fiction and fantasy novels for children, including The Alchemist's Portrait, The Sorcerer's Letterbox, The Clone Conspiracy, The Emerald Curse, The Heretic's Tomb and The Doomsday Mask.