[FoRK] Re: Howtoons gets press, if only from MIT's own magazine

Jeff Barr jeff at vertexdev.com
Thu Apr 29 12:29:11 PDT 2004

"Meltsner, Kenneth" <Kenneth.Meltsner at ca.com> says:

> http://alum.mit.edu/ne/noteworthy/howtoons.html
> The world needs this.  My childhood (and university education) was
> filled with projects built after dumpster diving for scrap -- the old
> Polaroid building near my dorm was especially interesting as it often
> contained mill ends of polarized or mirror coated plastic.  Today's kid
> spends too much time in virtual worlds rather than getting his or her
> hands dirty (or cut, burned, etc.). 

This is exactly why I just bought a MIG welder and am in the
market for some more metal working equipment (mill, bandsaw,
etc). My boys (14 and 18) both want to quote "make things", 
and I'll be happy to learn alongside them.

We have jointly decided that knowing stuff is useful, but being 
able to actually *do* stuff is vital. Case in point, my son
Stephen put bigger tires on his Ford pickup truck. He then 
had to move the bumper forward. After he did this, the
"cow catcher" on the front wouldn't fit anymore. We looked
at the brackets and realized that we could simply make new
ones with some angle iron. I was happy to buy an angle 
grinder (a very handy all purpose tool, by the way) and help
him make very nice brackets. He then powder coated them
and they look really spiffy. This was a giant enabling
moment for us.

The various "garage" and DIY shows on cable now seem to be
tapping into what seems like (to me) a resurgence in
interest in hands-on work.


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