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BMX Vampire Hunters IN PARIS – DIY Film Project

BMX Vampire Hunters IN PARIS from Mike Senese on Vimeo.

My sister and I met up in SF a few week back and did a fun video project called BMX Vampire Hunters IN PARIS. Deliberately full of mistakes, translation errors and misconceptions. Filmed on the Powershot SD1000 and edited in iMovie HD. Music: Air – Radian; Mordred – Falling Away.

Volvo Impact Test Using Rooftop Drop

The best part is when the video shows the car skating forward, balanced on the crumpled up front end.

Starting a Tomato Garden

Suppose you like to make pizza, so much so that you cook it a few times a week. At that point, you’re probably exploring all the tips and techniques to make all the ingredients fresh and delicious. Which is exactly why I decided to start a tomato garden.

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How Did I Get 150,000 Views on Flickr in One Day?

In mid-January 2009, a nerdishly awesome thing happened: one of my flickr photos got 150,000 views over the course of a day. How did that happen? It got onto the front page of Digg.

At this point, there’s no secret that Digg is a huge site that generates a tremendous amount of traffic for any link that gets a lot of votes (“diggs”). That said, getting ANY link promoted to the front page of Digg, much less one of your own, is a challenging and commendable feat in itself, and from what I’ve learned is something that rarely if ever happens accidentally.

Back in autumn 2005, while working at Wired magazine, I designed a DIY paper case for the then brand new and unbelievably tiny iPod nano, and posted it on my site Sneakmove.com. A couple days later, the traffic on the page began to skyrocket. Someone had posted the link to Digg, a newish “user submitted content” site that was becoming hugely popular very quickly.

On January 11 (2009), I was taking photos of the full moon out the back patio of my apartment in San Francisco. It was the closest the moon had been to the earth since 1993. Low in the sky, the moon was huge, but even with a 200mm lens I couldn’t make out all the details without zooming in after snapping each photo. I noticed what appeared to be tiny aircraft far off in the distance, following a similar path. I realized one might even pass in front of the moon. I watched for about 30 minutes until seeing a trajectory that looked just about right. I propped my camera up and snapped a single shot of the blinking light as it passed across the moon’s face. Zooming in on the LCD screen, I was amused to see that the aircraft was a tiny Cessna, silhoutted against the bright moon. It looked awesome. I immediately posted it on Flickr, and just for kicks, on Digg. The community quickly started posting compliments.

By the next day, the photo was already closing in on 100k views. During the night, it had made it to the front page of Digg. As the day went on, the Diggs accumulated and the photo made it to the “Top in all sections” sidebar, keeping it on the front page and keeping the diggs and views coming in. It finally moved off the front page about 24 hours, 2800 diggs, 150,000 views, and hundreds of comments and favorites later.

Oxy-Acetylene Cylinder Explosion in a Van

An Explosive clip showing why firefighters put up 200m exclusion zones around Oxy-Acetylene Cylinders during and after a fire.

Via YouTube.

Totally Cool: Propane Torch with Push Button Igniter

Turbo blast trigger. I’ll take a couple of these, thanks.

  • Ideal for melting ice or burning weeds on sidewalks and driveways
  • Attaches readily to propane tanks
  • Push button igniter ignites torch without matches
  • Wand comes with a flow valve and turbo blast trigger

from Harbor Freight for just $29.

Propane Torch with Push Button Igniter

UPDATE: I finally bought one of these to disassemble for a project and was somewhat disappointed. The threading on it is reversed, most likely for safety, but not useful for repurposing. I had to spend a few extra dollars but had good results with this torch instead.

Video: Brush Clearing Monster Machine Shreds a Minivan

What guy hasn’t fantasized about a machine that can tear apart practically anything in its path? This Slashbuster brush cutter is just the thing to have on hand anytime you find yourself trapped deep in the Darien, or deep in an automotive graveyard. 

Now, I’m more of an environmentalist than most people tend to be, but I have to respect the destructive power of these tools. Check out how this thing flattens a 14″ diameter tree by simply lowering the 52″ blade down on it.

The DIY Microwave Welder

First, and foremost: do NOT attempt this project if you do not have a thorough and in-depth understanding of the nature of the components that are involved. The current involved can easily kill you.

That said, here is a three-part video series on how to repurpose the large transformers from two microwave ovens into your own stick/arc welding unit, using the steps provided in this instructable. It involves rewinding the transformers with a heavier gauge wire, and connecting them in series to produce enough power to blast the welding rods and material.

Good luck!

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Tune Up Your Bike: Adjusting the Derailleurs

Almost all multi-speed bikes have two sets of gears: front and rear. Over time, the shifting of these gears can become out-of-sync, possibly due to the cable stretching, the shifting mechanism getting bumped, or a “friend” trying to make adjustments without really knowing what to do. Here’s how to fix those problems, and a couple very useful youtube videos to accompany the instructions.

Rear derailleur:

Front derailleur:

Land Rover: How to Replace the Rear Crossmember


When I bought my land rover I knew that it had a rusted rear crossmember. I drove it for a year and then decided the danger was too great and it was time to fix things. The springs connected right into the rusted area and could have busted free at any time.

I bought a replacement crossmember with rail extensions and proceeded to dismantle the body from the frame. While replacing this section I will took some steps to curb any future rust, and addressed some other issues underneath. Here’s the notes on how I did it.

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