Bottlecap Lamps

April 20, 2010

These bottlecap lamps come in a kit with some of the caps included; the owner can customize the pattern and colours by using different caps from 2L plastic bottles. I likey.

Thanks to a reader named L for the tip.

Here’s another neat idea I posted about a while back- clever people in Brazil lighting their homes using “skylight bulbs” made from plastic bottles filled with water.


Fixed it! Epic kludges and jury rigs

November 5, 2009

There, I Fixed It! is a hilarious collection of the very best crappy fix-it jobs.

hidden sign

Once I got a ticket for not stopping at a stop sign hidden by a tree. Lazy homeowners couldn't be bothered to clip a simple tunnel through the foliage. Why I oughtta...

camping toilet

Once upon a time, there was a lazy farmer who hated the job of fertilizing most of all. One day he invented this puppy. By moving the chair a foot or so each day, he was eventually able to enrich the soil of his entire acreage while he did his morning Sudoku.


I actually quite like this one. Using a wine cork to fix a martini glass is kind of classy. Plus it's totally something my dad would do. Dad, how much effort does it take to drill through a cork and carefully strap it all together with zip ties? Wouldn't it be easier to just buy a new glass? Kid, you're missing the point. Sometimes the joy of ingenuity trumps practicality. Now hand me those salad forks.

salad tongs

Wait, did you say salad forks? Ha ha, Dad, don't you mean Salad Tongs? I've never heard of.... oh.



Lots more here. I love this site; thanks to Leslie P. for the tip!

PS- I always thought the phrase was “Jerry-rig”, and came from WWII when British soldiers perjoratively called the German soliders “Jerries”. While “Jerry-rig” is indeed a real expression that began at that time, turns out that “jury-rig” is an even older expression dating back to nautical usage in the 1700s. It’s thought that in this case, “jury” is a contraction of the Latin adjutare (“to aid”), via Old French ajurie (“help or relief”), or perhaps even the English word, injury.
Thank you Internets.

Water bottles repurposed as 50w bulbs

April 28, 2009

This video depicts a bunch of people in Brazil who light their homes with plastic bottles of water wedged through holes in the roof. The water acts as a reflector, bouncing the daylight all over the room. In the video you can see them popping black plastic film cannisters over the lids of the bottles- they do that because that type of bottle comes with a cheap lid that cracks when exposed to sunlight for too long.

Each bottle gives off about as much light as a 50w bulb, reduces energy use, and is a clever way to divert those bottles from becoming waste. This whole idea made me really happy.

Amish steampunk

February 11, 2009

Neat article about the Amish (and Mennonites) and the way in which they adopt new technologies.

I visited one retrofit workshop run by a strict Mennonite. Marlin was a short beardless man (no beards for the Mennonites). He uses a horse and buggy, has no phone, but electricity runs in the shop behind his home. They use electricity to make pneumatic parts. Like most of his community, his kids work along side him…. they manufacture very precise milled metal parts for pneumatic motors and for kerosene cooking stoves, an Amish favorite. The tolerances needed are a thousand of an inch. So a few years ago they installed a massive, $400,000 computer-controlled milling (CNC) machine in his backyard, behind the horse stable. This massive half-million dollar tool is about the dimensions of a delivery truck. It is operated by his 14-year old daughter, in a bonnet.