Tail Toppers

These people emailed me and tried to get me to feature their project while it was still running. Presumably they were hoping I’d send them some ‘ironic’ backers, but that’s not how I do things. So here’s “Tail Toppers” a year after their project failed.

Tail Toppers journey began about one year ago when I scored a dream job at a major toy company. I noticed that leaving my cat alone for over 12 hours a day had a toll on the overall quality of life for my kitty cat. He wasn't as frisky as he used to be. He was depressed.  I did some research and realized this was a major issue with many pets, and rightly so, I mean we're the only ones who are their whole lives. It's especially worse if your cat is an indoor animal at an apartment. I feel terrible.

Aww… So sad. Poor kitty.

Ok, so … you invented a thing to pinch the nape of their neck?

Oh. Hmm…, that’s not…

Do you even know where your cat’s neck is?

Really? Huh. I would have thought that the risks of leaving a piece of plastic clipped over your cat’s butt-hole while you spend 12 hours at work would have risks that were more scatological in nature.


One Click Garbage


(Ignore the photograph, he just stole that from Amazon.)

This is a small, low power web server to be installed on your home network. In the bad old days of 1995, installing a home server was a common way to have a “personal home page” (Which is what we were forced to have before Facebook existed), but nowadays, it would be pretty unusual. Even for purely internal things, people tend to just use super-cheap cloud hosting.

The Software

As far as I can tell, there’s a javascript interface to trigger the installers for web apps like WordPress. I guess that might be slightly handy if I ever forget how to install WordPress.

Oddly, it’s called “WebKit 2.0”, which implies that it’s his second released version, but I can’t find any evidence of a first version. (Never mind that “WebKit” is a name that’s already in use by Apple to describe an important piece of their operating system. Good Job on researching!)

But what about connectivity?
webkit_04bee OH NO! BEES!

The Hardware

Looks like he “invented” this brand new piece of hardware by buying a RaspberryPi educational computer and cutting off the HDMI and USB ports.


Brilliant. This man is a true genius among engineers.

Good job on putting that tape over the logo, though. That shows real effort.

The Customer

As this person pledged €1 to point out, there’s absolutely no customers for this.
Who would need a personal server, but not have the confidence to just use a regular one? (Like a Raspberry Pi for example!)

It’s targeted at IT nerds who don’t know anything about IT. I know that sounds like the setup to a joke about the IT guys where you work, but actually it’s just the description of a stupid product nobody needs.

This project was kindly suggested by Andrea L (Who also identified the stolen case photograph.)


Rocketships for the Imaginationless


Generations of children saved up their allowance and lemonade-stand money to take advantage of this amazing offer.

Imagine how disappointed they were when they finally realized it was made of cardboard!


Oh, But how times have changed! Nowadays the cardboard is a selling point!

That’s right, It’s another cardboard box specially manufactured for kids to play in. No longer will kids have to take a refrigerator box and design their own spaceship.

But, don’t put away those crayons just yet! Just like last time, there is a single panel specially designed by adults to be drawn on by children. (Or by an adult moving a child’s hand around, as shown in the video.)

It also comes with “Imagination Triggers” which are “Short stories” to help you “improvise” when you play. Because apparently some people can’t think of a way to make spaceships and astronauts interesting to a four year old!


Currently available are Castle, Space Capsule, Teepee, and Windmill. (Volcano coming soon!)

But don’t worry, they all come with “Imagination Triggers”, in case you have so little faith in your child’s intelligence that you don’t trust him or her to come up with a fun fantasy involving a castle.


Kickstarter Loves Balls

Haha, it’s a pun, right? I said “Balls” to make you think of testicles, but actually I’m going to show you articles about baseballs, or footballs or something, right?

No. Wrong. This is about testicles.

So let’s give those balls a kick!



This project is still underway. It’s a pair of balls to hang from the underside of your desk. … so you can fondle your balls while you work.

I bet it’ll succeed. Kickstarter loves balls. Just look at this project from 2015!


Bike balls! Why should trucks get all the ‘fun’? This project was successfull, and they’re now selling them as a product. You can order these from their web site.

They even made it on the news in Norway.
balls_03 “Confused” isn’t the word I would use.

balls_04 I’ve wondered this. If truck-nuts are supposed to make a truck look like a dog, why don’t we see female trucks with truck-vulvas? Or, I don’t know, why not just a nice, innocent truck-tail?

Why’s it always about the balls?


Slap Sim


Let’s talk about game engines. They’re a wonderful thing.

Back in 1993 when Doom came out the impressive thing was that players could walk around a 3d environment and shoot things. Nowadays that comes free. So does physics simulation, lighting, animations, VR Support, and lots of other things.
Yes, with a modern game engine, you can have a simple “game” up and running in under an hour. And with all the ready-made artwork in the “asset store”, you can fill your game with half-way decent environments and characters for under a hundred dollars, and maybe another hour of your time to drag-and-drop everything in place.
This explains why we see so many amazing “indie” games these days. A small team of two or three people can skip all the hard technical parts, and concentrate their efforts on the creative things that are going to make their game interesting, creative, and unique.

… but it’s also the reason we see games like “Monterey Jack : Pimp Simulator”.


First, they got their engine up and running. Then they drag-and-dropped some characters into it. Then they ticked the boxes to turn on the physics simulation, and the VR support. All that took about an hour, and most people would consider it just a first step. A test to make sure all their tools were working properly. but, imagine you were lazy, and didn’t have any good ideas for games anyway. You might start to think “Hey, now I’ve got a ‘game’ where I can knock people over by slapping them. All I need to do is think up a story about slapping people and I’m done!“.

…And that’s exactly what they did. It’s blatantly obvious that they took what should have just been an engine test, bought a little city scenery at the asset store to make it “open world” and decided that they’d “created” a gamed about a pimp who walks around slapping people. Easy.



Scam a Million People

Kickstarter - What would you say to a million people - We're making a book, written by everyone. Your story can inspire others and we would like to share it in this book.

Here’s a classic scam!

Step One : Convince people they’re writers (or poets)

Tell people how creative they are, and how you’re eager to print their work.
Kickstarter - We all have a story to tell. Your story matters to us and we would love to publish it in this book. We aim to create an interesting read that will hopefully inspire at least one person.

Step Two : Print a cheap book

Give each sucker as little page space as possible, to keep printing costs low.

Step Three : Charge a fortune for the book

Everybody who contributed will want a copy! They’ll probably be so proud they’ll buy extra copies for their parents or grandchildren!


Gizmo – The Dog Bowl

Kickstarter : Gizmo The Pet Bowl - The friendlier and engaging pet bowl made to reflect the personality of your best friend in the simplest way.

A pet bowl? Hope this is better than that last one.

Kickstarter : Most pet bowls on the market today aren’t made to reflect the fun and spontaneous personality of our pet friends. My goal was to conceptualize and develop a pet bowl that characterizes the key attributes of a pet while still reflecting balance and elegance. Engaging and simplistic, Gizmo is a product that a pet owner would be proud to display in their home.
Well, that’s quite a load of designer-speak.

I don’t really know what any of that means, so let’s check out the picture.

Kickstarter : Bowl set $45
They’re two thin, vacuum-formed plastic bowls with a colored stripe.

I guess it’s “fun and spontaneous” because the top curves a little?

Kickstarter - From ideation to fabrication, gizmo has made quite a journey. Through concept development and establishing various design constraints, Gizmo is finally ready for production. The prototypes for the Gizmo bowl set were made at the University of Illinois at Chicago using our lathe and vacuum-forming machines.
This project is a perfect example of why I hate the word “ideation”. It’s only ever used by people who think the act of having an idea is magical and special. It’s supposed to imply that having an idea is a process that talented people have to work very hard at.

That’s all complete bullshit. Everybody has a hundred ideas every day. Having an idea is not something to be proud of. It’s not something to brag about. It’s just a thing that happens to anybody that isn’t isn’t functionally brain-dead.

The thing to be proud of is figuring out which ideas are good, Figuring out which ideas will work, Figuring out which ideas are valuable and desirable, and then (and this is the important bit) doing all the hard work to make the idea a reality.

Kickstarter - sketches of dog bowls

So before you put yourself up on a pedestal for being special and creative enough to “have an idea” and then rush to Kickstarter to unveil your idea to the world, stop and figure out if the idea is honestly better than the sea of ideas we all wade through every single day of our lives.

Because this one wasn’t.


Steampunk Jewelry


I’ll grudgingly admit that this project, to make jewelry out of 1950s watch movements ‘counts’ as real steampunk, and not just just glue-some-gears-on-it opportunism.

But here’s what caught my eye :

These are bracelets, with small clocks attached to them. You’ve probably heard of this invention before, but these are special : The clocks don’t work.