Quadcopters and the revival of the RC Enthusiast 

Quadcopters are the latest craze in RC technology. One day, these machines may take the place of cargo planes and delivery trucks, eventually flying over your doorstep to drop off DIY patches. The technology is already there, and companies like Amazon, UPS and FedEx are exploring their own autonomous delivery systems. FCC rules and red tape notwithstanding, kids that are adept at flying RC quadcopters today may be the ones designing these delivery systems tomorrow.

There’s been a revival of RC hobbies as the cost of building RC devices has plummeted and the curiosity for quadcopters has surged.  This is one of the many reasons why RCer is the latest skill on DIY.  Aside from the fact that attaching a camera and flying a thing around is really cool, building your own RC focuses on a broad range of skills – from mechanics, to technology, and even artistry.

Although these are rich subjects on their own, when combined, they complement each other superbly. Building an RC car, boat or quadcopter allows you to experiment with complex systems on a small scale, which is a great jumping off point before scaling up to actual cars and helicopters.

The process of building your first remote controlled anything - figuring out it’s mechanics, gears, sanding it down, and the comradery experienced in a flying range are some of the most awesome memories a lot of us cherished as a kid. Now, it’s possible to take that same experience and also take a video 200 feet in the air.

Check out the latest RC Skill on DIY.

1 day ago 41 notes


Close-ups of butterfly wing scales! You should definitely click on these images to get the full detail.

I’ve paired each amazing close-up (by macro photographer Linden Gledhill) with an image of the corresponding butterfly or moth.  The featured lepidoptera* are (in order of appearance):

*Lepidoptera (the scientific order that includes moths and butterflies) means “scaly wing.” The scales get their color not from pigment - but from microscopic structures that manipulate light.

The great science youtube channel “Smarter Every Day” has two videos on this very subject that I highly recommend:

(via meganleppla)

1 day ago 3,497 notes



Bookbinding let’s you stitch your stories together. Like papermaking, bookbinding has a long history of being an excellent resource for recording thoughts. To bind a book you simply need to attach pages together. Stitching techniques can be as decorative as you’d like, or as simple as a staple. Binding your own book means you can bind your own sketchbook, and no artist should be without a sketchbook.

What else?
Bookbinding gets us thinking about the sequence of things – the cover, the beginning, the middle, and the end of the book. Construct your own narrative of a real (or imagined!) event by writing, illustrating, and binding your story. More curriculum connectors can be found here.

3 days ago 467 notes

13-Year Old Mongolian Eagle Hunters

by Asher Svidensky

During my last voyage to Mongolia, I flew over to Ulgii (or ölgii), the capital of the far west. I went there in order to document the Kazakh eagle hunters’ lives in west Mongolia. These eagle hunters, who preserve an old tradition that’s passed from generation to generation, tame eagles and use them for hunting smaller animals, such as foxes and marmots. The eagle hunter’s families live on this side of Mongolia after having migrated between Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia until the fall of communism and closing of all borders. The tradition’s preservation was what drew me to them. They preserve it without any touristic nature, unlike in Kazakhstan. These Kazakh eagle hunters, who live in Mongolia today, are the last ones on earth who still deserve the title “Eagle Hunter”. It is not merely a title to them, but a way of life.

At first, I was doing everything according to my plan. I hired a chauffeur and a local translator who would guide me and take me to the eagle hunter’s families in the mountains. I made sure I would spend at least a day with every family for the sake of personally getting to know them. I had played with the children and I had taken photos that document their way of life’s atmosphere. Afterwards, I had gone to the mountains with the family’s father, and documented him over the course of a hunt. I also photographed him during sunset, on horseback, proudly holding on to his golden eagle.

On the way back from the mountains, however, it felt like something was missing. I felt like all the photos I’d taken over the last few days were a mere reflection of previous photos and stories, distinguished only by slight light and place differences. It wasn’t enough for me. I knew I had to find another way and tell a new story that was not yet told in the snowy Mongolian mountains. (Read more)

3 days ago 191 notes

DIY & Heartbleed

Last week a security vulnerability known as “Heartbleed" was announced that impacted a large number of internet services which use a piece of Open Source Software called "OpenSSL". Unfortunately this vulnerability made it possible for attackers to potentially gain sensitive information from any system that used OpenSSL including usernames and passwords. We are happy to report however that this bug did not impact DIY users’ credit card verification and billing information.

DIY is one of the many services that use OpenSSL, and within 24 hours of the vulnerability being announced we had patched our servers. We have also rotated our private keys to ensure the security of everything served over diy.org and our iOS app.

While we have no indications that DIY user information was leaked, we recommend that you take the following steps to ensure that your DIY account is safe:

  • Change the password on your DIY account
  • Update the DIY iOS app to the latest version (2.5.3)

You can learn more about Cryptography, Systems Administration, and Open Source Software at DIY. As always, feel free to contact us at help@diy.org if you have any questions or concerns.

5 days ago 11 notes