weekend fun

Weekend fun: An Engineer's Guide to Cats

In the name of Friday unproductivity and the worship of our felines companions, I present you with the following gem from YouTube:


Share MP3 Mix Tapes at Muxtape

Webapp Muxtape lets you upload MP3′s into a streaming playlist for anyone on the internet to hear. Register for a free Muxtape account, and start uploading MP3′s (which you have permission to share), and send your Muxtape URL (youraccount.muxtape.com) to others, who can play your tunes directly from the page. Muxtape’s interface is bare-bones—no album art and sparse song metadata—and there’s no obvious way for listeners to download the tunes you uploaded. Check out Wired’s field guide to existing Muxtape playlists for finding good listening there. Muxtape


Watch Star Wars in Text via Telnet

While it’s not technically an Easter egg, one of the most eye-popping tips in last Sunday’s Top 10 Easter eggs post comments was a pointer to a telnet server that broadcasts Star Wars Episode IV to your command line as animated text. You didn’t read that wrong. Give it a try: from any command line, type telnet towel.blinkenlights.nl and sit back to watch the show. This is the least productive thing you’ll do all day, but you know what they say about all work and no play. After the jump, see a handful of screenshots—just 4 of the 13,935 frames that make up the entire movie.


Roll Your Own Coffee Roaster On-the-Cheap

Love the taste of fresh-roasted coffee but don’t feel like shelling out $100+ for your own home roaster? The Cool Tools weblog details how to use an old popcorn popper (the author bought his for $3 at a thrift store) to roast your coffee beans. His method, which works virtually the same way as popping popcorn with the gadget, is simple, and the results look promising. If you’re a coffee connoisseur you may eventually want to go all out and purchase a more expensive roaster, but if you just want to try it out, the popcorn-popper-as-roaster looks effective. Popcorn Popper as Coffee Roaster [Cool Tools]


DIY iPod Nano Video Enlarger

Okay, so we just highlighted how to build your own iPod projector, but consider this the power-of-optics weekend, because another iPod nano owner frustrated with the small-screen viewing experience has transformed a 35mm slide viewer to a full-fledged nano TV, complete with speakers. The result is called the Nanoscope, and it’s awesome. Introducing Nanoscope [YouTube via Retro Thing]


See the best short films at Tropfest this weekend

If you’re looking for something free and fun to do this weekend, look no further than the 16th annual Tropfest short film festival, which is happening on Sunday night.

Tropfest is happening in all our capital cities barring Darwin, and some regional areas too – so check the site for screening details for your area. You can get more information on the Tropfest near you at their website – be warned the page starts up with a blaring promo video. :/

This year for the first time they’ll be streaming Tropfest live over NineMSN, so wherever you are you can watch it live. You can also watch the short films that won previous Tropfests at the 9MSN Tropfest site.

One final note – the event is rated MA 15+ so you’ll want to leave the little kiddies at home.


Make a Reindeer from a Computer Carton

So it’s not the most productivity-related thing in the world, but hey, we couldn’t resist when Danny sent us instructions for turning a big computer box into a reindeer. (He says that if it were a Gateway box, he would’ve made it a cow instead.)

Make a Reindeer from a Computer Carton [Instructables]


How to Fold an Origami Star

Ready to blow off some steam after a very productive week? Sure you are. It’s Friday, which means it’s time to whip a handmade origami star at your cubicle mate just to wish him or her a happy weekend. Wikihow runs down the instructions for transforming a simple piece of paper into a four-point ninja (shuriken) star. Looks like another good way to entertain young kids for under a buck. Just don’t poke anyone’s eye out. How to Fold an Origami Star (Shuriken) [wikiHow]


Print Your Own Halloween Mask

Forget a store-bought mask for Halloween: put that photo printer to good use and make a custom mask of your dog, your boss or your favourite celebrity. Microsoft offers instructions on how to print out a handheld mask glued to a piece of balsa wood (or tied around your head with ribbon) with the right photograph. We shameless nerds can download some Star Wars character mask templates for free in the, ahem, kids section of the site. (Totally printing out Chewbacca this weekend and cutting out the eye holes.)

Make your own Halloween mask [Microsoft Home] Star Wars Character Printable Masks [via BuzzFeed]