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Best of Maker Faire, NYC: day two

If you missed the Maker Faire this weekend, catch up on some of the best gadgets and whosie-whatsits I saw with the second installment of the Maker Faire, best in show (and check out the first installment if you missed it yesterday).

6. The Enough Already: The practical applications of this lovely little piece of hacker technology are seemingly endless, especially since reality TV shows no signs of slowing. I’ll explain. The Arduino-based solution “is able to decode the closed captioning transcription track. The incoming text is processed for a set of keywords such as “Kardashian” or “Snooki” and sends [your] TV’s IR remote control mute command, muting the TV for 30 seconds and then unmuting it, as long as a keyword isn’t mentioned.” That means you never have to hear about “the Situation” ever again!

7. The DecaDome: An amazingly simple and potentially life-saving DIY project for building emergency shelter for “disaster relief and scalable housing for the poor.” Prefabricated panels are sent to an area in need and houses can be built quickly with a system not unlike a Buckminster Fuller-inspired kid’s Snap-Tite model.

8. TechShop: If you’re familiar with Third Ward in Brooklyn, then you understand the idea of a members-only workshop where you can use equipment you’d never be able to afford on your own in a large space with other like-minded craftsmen. TechShop is like that, but better. No offense to Third Ward (which is a great community organization that offers wonderful classes), but they’d better watch themselves when TechShop moves into the borough. Founded in San Francisco by Jim Newton, “a lifetime Maker, veteran BattleBots builder and former MythBuster,” the array of equipment they offer is astounding (“milling machines, lathes, 3D printers, welding equipment, sheet metal equipment, laser cutters, CNC mills, plastics equipment, a CNC plasma cutter, finishing equipment and more”) and at a mere $100/year, their membership is cheaper, too.

9. OhioMike: Mike is on a mission to make 10,000 matchbook portraits, drawn with one continual line in under a minute. I timed him drawing one this weekend and he clocked in at an impressive 36 seconds. Even though he’s apparently been wandering the streets of New York, drawing portraits for strangers since 2007, this is the first time our paths have crossed. He’s still got a long way to go to meet to his 10,000 matchbook goal, but my question is: once he’s finished, then what? First, I foresee a gallery show in which everyone who’s ever had their portrait sketched by Mike mails in their matchbook for the exhibition. But after that? 1 million landscapes, perhaps?

10. Switch: After watching so many episodes of Quirky, I can’t tell you how exciting it was to actually come across one of their products in the Make Magazine shop. The Switch is an especially cool idea. Invented by James Robinson, it’s like a customizable Swiss Army knife, with 18 different interchangeable parts “so you can mix and match your most frequently used tools.”

Tune into Quirky to see what invention gets made next, every Friday at 10pm on Sundance Channel.