Watermelon Carving – Jack (Frost) o’ Lantern


So I went to the store in search of Halloween supplies, and what do I find? Aisles and aisles of Christmas stuff. This year I just decided to roll with it. I put up the Christmas lights, and we dressed up as Santa, Mrs. Claus, and the Grinch, and handed out candy canes to the trick or treaters, blaring Christmas music.

Of course, no Halloween would be complete without carving a Jack o’ Lantern.  I skipped the pumpkins and hit the melon aisle, choosing out a watermelon, a honeydew, and a mini watermelon. After removing the skin they were a nice snowy white, with Christmasy red and green interiors. I stacked ’em up and carved a wicked snowman, complete with carrot nose and twigs for arms, and then packed him with Christmas lights. The results were pretty awesome for how easy it was. Of course now the neighborhood thinks we’re crazy, but I can live with that.

Christmas Halloween watermelon carving

For the Christmas lights, I used a string of these fairy lights I found dirt cheap on amazon.  I’m super impressed with them. They are LED, so they are cool and low energy, the string is really flexible, the lights are really tiny and bright, and it has a controller with several different blink/steady burn options. These melons can’t handle the heat of a candle. This isn’t the first time I’ve tried this. I’m pretty proud of my previous watermelon skull and brain carving.

See all my previous watermelon carvings here.

Ninja Turtle Nose

Ninja Turtle Nose Ron Paul

This is one of those ‘once seen, cannot be unseen’ kinda sites. Draw a ninja turtle nose on a picture and send it in. My submission above, freedom ninja Ron Paul. Check out the Teenage Mutant Ninja NosesTumblr here.


update: Well, it looks like the Ron Paul media blackout is moving to the internet as the picture was never posted on their site.

Camera Ball Omni-Directional Throwable Camera

Throwable Camera Ball

Throwable Cameras are an awesome concept, and this 3D printed ball with 36 cameras by Jonas Pfeil takes it to the next level. Just toss the ball in the air and when it reaches the vertex, all the cameras take a picture. The result is a stitched together panoramic image with a full 360° unobstructed view. I can think of all sorts of variations of this that could be useful, from adding infrared and using it for military and police actions, to using a launcher to get a shot of the whole neighborhood, to doubling the cameras for 3D shots. Video Below

The camera isn’t yet on the market, but I’m sure the first question they are going to get from the masses will be: Can I get it in purple?

Advertising with Land Mines

Unicef Sticker - Front

The land mine sticker above is part of a land mine awareness campaign by Unicef (United Nations Children’s Fund). The other side is sticky and camouflaged with a pattern to match flooring. When the camouflaged ad is stepped on, it sticks to the bottom of the shoe. The text on the front reads, “In many other countries you would now be mutilated! Help the victims of land mines!”

Land Mine advertising - Unicef

There is a beauty to this type of guerilla advertising. It allows for an organization without a lot of resources to spend a small amount of money on a clever advertising gimmick and then see their message spread multiply through the internet as sics like ours report the gimmick. Some of us even have enough shame to spread the message as well.

Where we live, if we fail to watch where we step, we end up with a smelly shoe. Other countries aren’t so lucky. For more on Unicef and land mines, see their page here:


Ten Million Dollar Idea?

I’m a big fan of X-Prize style innovation. Instead of hiring a research team, and building a whole facility to research a subject, just start adding to a prize fund for whoever the first person is to give you the answer you seek. This way, you end up getting facilities, minds, correlations, and other resources you may not have realized existed working for you, all without paying a cent until you see results.

Several years ago, Google started a project along these lines, asking the public for their ideas to change the world. They offered big connections and prize money to those ideas they chose as the best. They ended up far behind schedule, and I wasn’t that impressed with their choices in the end, but I like that they tried. My submission is below:

A data path exists for processing credit and debit transactions at stores. Use this system to upload store receipts to online accounts. The customer could then use their account at home (like online banking) to use this information as they see fit, and the aggregated data could be used to varying degrees (allowing for privacy) to better the retail system.

  • Like online banking or Amazon recommendations, it could be both secure and useful to all involved.
  • Allows people to track their own spending in an interactive fashion while saving manhours.
  • Potential for adsense like contextual marketing.
  • Could merge with personal finance software, calculate nutritional intake for dieters, alert people with allergies. etc.
  • Affects a large portion of the world (everywhere you want to be).
  • Employers can keep tabs on company credit card usage.
  • Checkboxes to make easy tallying and splitting of bills for roomates.
  • Reminders or suggestions for recurring purchases.
  • Easy to find one click tech support, manuals for bought products.
  • Competing stores could send advertising telling you how much you would have saved shopping with them.
  • Quicky target customers with product recalls. This could have prevented many deaths recently in China.
  • Could integrate with massive medical databases to find hidden correlations between products and health.
  • Manufacturers could target customers with coupons and offers.
  • Environmental: Saves paper on receipts, manuals, coupons, advertisements, as well as the other impacts from creation and delivery of such products.
  • Google is one of the very few companies with the resources, expertise, and trustworthiness to make this a reality. If you don’t do it, who will?

What problem or issue does your idea address?

  • Waste Management
  • Deforestation
  • Clutter
  • Wasted man-hours
  • Unnoticed product recalls
  • Compulsive spending
  • Allergic reactions
  • Credit Fraud
  • Running out of milk
  • Lost product manual/warranty
  • Advertising wasted on the uninterested
  • Medical research
  • Landfills

Involuntary Collaboration

Involuntary collaboration- Monsters in landscape paintings

Involuntary collaboration refers to a project contributed to by multiple parties in which at least one of those parties did not intend to be working with the others. Examples include things like covers of songs, spoofs of movies, and in the case of the pictures above (painted in part by Chris McMahon), unwanted landscape paintings bought at yard sales, which he then painted monsters into. I think they’re brilliant, and would be a perfect DIY project to hang in your kid’s room, or send to your grandmother.

A similar process (seen below from The Monster Engine), has adults upgrading children’s drawings of monsters to add realism. Sometimes the toughest thing for an artist can be just sitting in front of the canvas wondering what to paint, or going through all the trouble of painting a whole landscape when what they really want to paint is a big hairy monster, and it can be hard to throw away original artwork, even if it is boring.

Children's Drawing Collaboration

Update: It looks like more people have been picking up on this idea.

Dave Pollot and his thrift store paintings:

UFO stuck in the mud

Related Posts:

Involuntary Collaborations

Lunch Thief Stealing Your Lunch?

Prevent lunch theft

Lunch theft is a serious problem in some offices. You go through all the trouble of shopping, cooking, and then hauling it al the way to work, only to find yourself hungry, angry, and without a plan. Well heres the plan for next week: anti-theft lunch bags, available here.

Alternatively, you could just sprinkle a bit of spirulina powder on the bread. This will make it more healthy and give you the same effect.

If all else fails, this Ghost Pepper Naga Jolokia is one of the hottest hot sauces out there.  Add a very liberal dose to a decoy lunch, and then go out to eat, secure in the knowledge that while you are enjoying your lunch, some thief is getting a preview of their afterlife.

Green Advertising with Reverse Graffiti

Reverse Graffiti Advertising

Eco friendly marketing is a rapidly growing field, as it should be. With an ever growing number of consumers taking such things into account when choosing which companies to support, a marketer needs to as well, or see their market share go to their competitor.

Now this method in particular isn’t for everyone, as it has social implications from being a bit radical, but some companies have taken to power washing their logo onto dirty sidewalks. It’s hard to prosecute someone for only cleaning part of the sidewalk, and if anyone wants to remove the branding, they have to finish the job. It’s win-win.

See Also:

Reverse Graffiti

(via DudeCraft)