For this week’s installment of From the Makery, we have a photo essay of the rural El Salvadorans who put on a family circus, the beauty and power of repairing your possessions, and a do-it-yourself record made of frozen water.
The sidewalk hustle: hawkers, vendors, merchants, traders, and craftsman, their wares lined up on tables or spread out on plastic tarps. The shouts, sounds, and smells of streetside commerce are unique in every corner of the world, with each culture putting a local twist on this brand of work.
We worked with Autodesk, Core77, and iFixit to create the Design for (Your) Product Lifetime competition, a challenge that tasked students to envision a product of the future: durable, repairable, and easily broken down into components for recycling when its useful life was over.
Here’s what’s cooking this week: desperation being the mother of invention, a group of Syrian rebels built their own armored vehicle, driven by a Playstation controller, a rare shot at freedom of expression for South Korean students, and a trip back to 1974 through images of the earliest Amtrak trains.
A giant hydrogen balloon catches the wind and floats swiftly upwards. The balloon travels 26 kilometers in total. It passes minefields, barbed wire, and steep mountains before releasing its payload on the lesser-known side of the world’s most militarized border: information from the outside world.
For the Communication installment of Observed, we meet a chalkboard blogger in Liberia, an interactive drone in London, and one of the thousands of vendors in Lagos who have enabled the rise of communication in emerging markets. We receive godly messages to stop pissing in India’s streets, send information out of one of the world’s most dangerous locations, and read some cross-cultural free speech in Cairo.
Last year, Mexican police raided the drug cartel Los Zetas three times. They weren’t looking for cocaine or marijuana; they were targeting the homegrown radio network that stretches across the northeastern chunk of the country, where the Zetas control drug and migrant smuggling routes.
From submarine fiber to towering transmitters, technology has laid the piping for us to connect across vast distances. And more nodes are in more hands: there are nine mobile subscriptions for every 10 people. But how does this affect how we communicate?
200 computer screens, stationed one foot apart, flicker through smoky air and fluorescent lighting. Some have as many as four males huddled around with their arms hanging on each other, mostly shirtless. It’s 11pm on Thursday, and even though discounted night hours haven’t started, the Internet cafe is near capacity.
This week, we have a bike built from the wreckage of a cluster bomb in Syria, some gorgeous satellite photography of the world’s great cities, and a math-nerd take on burrito origami.