I spent today with the good people of FUBAR Labs learning to assemble electronics at their “Soldering Sunday” class. I came out of it with a new skill, a couple minor burns, and a weapon against one of my most hated enemies:
This kit came from the übergeek Lady Ada, who provides the most complete instructions I have seen for any product. It's a do-it-yourself version of the commercial “TV-B-Gone”, and it will switch off most TV sets from 100–150′ away.
I can't count how many times I've wanted something just like this. Even so, I'm responsible enough that I just avoid places with TVs, so I'll probably never use this thing. Like most such behavior, it's more fun just knowing I could.
Lady Ada's master's thesis, “Social Defense Mechanisms”, included two devices for distancing yourself from the electronic noise around you. (Obviously a girl after my own heart.) The first was the Wavebubble RF jammer, for silencing pesky cell phones.
The second invetion was “a pair of glasses that darken whenever a television is in view”. That's right: She invented the Joo Janta 200 Super-Chromatic TV-Sensitive Sunglasses. Phreeow!