Stormtrooper Vision Test Tries to Get to the Bottom of Things

Have you ever wondered why Stormtroopers can’t hit the broad side of a barn with their blasters? Perhaps they’re not getting enough Vitamin C? Or is it that the lenses of their helmets distort their vision? Maybe they just all have bad eyesight and need glasses. This hilarious painting from artist Travis Chapman is going with the latter view of things.

This one-of-a-kind original 24″ x 24″ acrylic painting is available for sale on Etsy for $700, and features an image of a stormtrooper as he sits for a vision test at the Empire’s designated optometrist, as the eye doc tries to figure out how to correct the soldier’s eyesight. Is this one better? Or this one? 1 or 2? 2 or 3? Better… or better?

Perhaps if all of the stormtroopers went through a proper eye exam and got contacts, they would have done so much better, and taken down that pesky rebellion back when they first tried to get their hands on the Death Star plans.

Polaris Builds a Working Replica of an Apollo Lunar Rover

There have been lots of cool things going on to celebrate the 50th anniversary of NASA’s Apollo 11 moon landing, but this might just be the coolest. Off-road vehicle maker Polaris Industries created a virtually perfect replica of the original NASA Lunar Rover Vehicle (LRV), which first appeared on the moon in 1971.

Polaris teamed up with the U.S. Space and Rocket Center (USSRC) in Huntsville, Alabama to recreate not only the vehicle’s familiar looks but made a version that can actually drive. It can accelerate, brake, and has four-wheel Ackerman steering, just like the original vehicles that are still sitting up there on the lunar surface today.

To build the replica LRV, they first created a custom chassis, then scavenged parts from a variety of Polaris vehicles, including snowmobiles, motorcycles, Slingshots, ATVs, side-by-sides, electric GEM’s and military vehicles. In order to complete the look, they even got their hands on the molds that were used to cast the fenders on the original LRVs.

Polaris hasn’t shared any video of their LRV in action, but it would be pretty awesome to take a ride on this amazing custom-built vehicle (while wearing a spacesuit, of course). The replica made its public debut at the USSRC Apollo Celebration Car Show last week in Huntsville, and is expected to appear at at a few more events throughout the year, including a lap around the Talladega Speedway this October.

[Photos by Raeley Stevenson]

Stress Tardigrade Can Handle Whatever You Can Dish Out

Tardigrades are one of the strangest creatures known to exist. These microscopic organisms – also known lovingly as “water bears” are best known for their incredible ability to survive just about anything. Apparently, they can survive extreme temperatures, complete dehydration, and even the vacuum of space. How scientists have tested these capabilities, I don’t know, but what I do know is that tardigrades are awesome. Or at least Star Trek: Discovery told me so.

Knowing that tardigrades can take whatever you can dish out, it only makes sense to turn one into a squishy stress relief toy.

In fact, Archie McPhee’s Stress Tardigrade is labeled “extra squishy,” something I’d like to see on more product packaging. Basically, it’s a 4-1/2″ long foam model of the impervious little critter designed to help keep you from going postal at the office. I only ask that for every time that you squeeze him, poke him, or prod him, that you give him a little pet on the back or a tickle under the chin. After all, he’s absorbing all of your stress, and he doesn’t have to do that.

And now, sit back, relax, and watch the wonder of the Stress Tardigrade as he works his magic:

If you need a tardigrade to take away your stress, you can grab one over at Archie McPhee now for $7.50.

The Skittle Pixel8r: Print the Rainbow

The dot-matrix printer may seem like a relic from the past, but just about every TV set, mobile device or laser printer still relies on creating images from a matrix of dots. They’re just smaller, and perhaps more colorful than the old Okidata Microline 320 from your youth. And speaking about colorful printers, how about one that prints with Skittles?

What you’re looking at is the Skittle Pixel8r, a contraption that works much like a printer, depositing row by row of dots. But in the case of JohnO3’s entertaining build, it uses Skittles candies to create its images. The system can output any image up to 31″ wide x 24″ high using Skittles as pixels.

John built the system using an Arduino controller and a motorized dispensing rig, which is attached to eight bins of Skittles, each in a different color of the rainbow. The Python application he wrote takes a PNG file that’s already been converted to the Skittles color palette, then commands the moving print head to move back and forth over a grid where the candies will be dropped. As it moves, a series of eight containers use servos to release individual Skittles through a funnel and down to the print head.

It’s a pretty awesome build, though when you’re all done, you have to eat your creation before you can start another one. Also, you have to painstakingly sort all of the Skittles into their individual colors, which I’m sure takes quite some time. If you’d like to create your own Skittle Pixel8r, you can check out the full build details, including schematics, template files, and code over on Instructables.

I imagine you could also use M&Ms or Reese’s Pieces, though your designs would be a bit more limited in color palette.

Funko A Christmas Story PEZ Dispensers: You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out, Kid

Christmas might be 6 months away, but it’s never too early to start thinking about what gifts to buy. Funko is showing off what could be the best stocking stuffer of 2019, a pair of PEZ dispensers based on the holiday classic A Christmas Story. Funko recently started popping the cartoon heads from its POP! figures onto PEZ dispensers, and these ones of Ralphie are two of my favorites so far.

They’re teasing two limited edition PEZ versions of the kid with a simple holiday wish of a Red Ryder carbine action two-hundred shot range model air rifle (with a compass in the stock). In his first PEZ incarnation, Ralphie looks like a pink nightmare in the fuzzy bunny outfit that Aunt Clara made for him. The only thing missing here are the fuzzy slippers to complete the deranged easter bunny look.

The other design features PEZ head Sheriff Ralphie as he say Adios to Black Bart and his evil posse at the business end of Old Blue. Cheese it boys! The jig is up!

Both A Christmas Story PEZ dispensers are due out this October, and you can pre-order them now over at Entertainment Earth for $4.99 each.

[via Funko Blog]

Pac-Man Toiletry Bag: Doppa Doppa Doppa

When you travel, you need a place to keep all your grooming and toiletry products organized so they don’t just fall out all over your clothing and spill everywhere. A toiletry bag, aka “dopp kit” is a must have, and I think I must have this one.

This shiny black PVC bag from Balvi is embellished with the maze from the classic arcade game Pac-Man. Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and Clyde are all there, along with lots of dots to gobble, and power pills for taking down the ghosts roaming around your suitcase.

The Pac-Man dopp kit is available from Madrid, Spain retailer Curiosite for €14.99 (~$17 USD) but if you don’t want to try and deal with international shipping, you can find a similar (but not as good looking) bag on Amazon.

Raygun Nosehair Trimmer: Grooming Gun

Why is it that the body insists on growing hairs where we don’t want them? I mean, sure facial hair can look good on a guy, but hairs inside of our noses and ears are just a nuisance. Sure, they serve some physiological purpose, but they look nasty sticking out of there. That’s why you should clean up your act and get a nose and ear hair trimmer. I suggest this one.

This ray gun trimmer makes it look like you’re blowing your brains out every time you go to groom yourself. Actually, it kind of looks like that scene in Total Recall where Quaid sticks the thing up his nose and pulls out the tracking device:

When you hear the crunch, you’re there. Actually, if someone sees you sticking this inside of your nostrils or ears, just tell them that you’re blasting the aliens in your head. You can grab one over at Firebox for $16.99.

This BBQ Grill Is Built Into a Jet Engine

Think the BBQ grill on your back deck is impressive? Get a load of this custom-built grilling station, which was built into the side of a jet engine. As a bonus, if this thing gets hit by a bird, you can just toss it on the grill and hit it with some barbeque sauce.

The grill was built by the Delta Airlines TechOps team in Atlanta, Georgia, using scrap parts from a Pratt & Whitney PW2000 jet engine from a 757. Both sides of the engine can open up to reveal a grill and workstation, and each side has its own cooking station. The finished grill was installed at the Delta Air Lines Operations Control Center.

The video below shows the motorized door as it opens up, along with some cool blue illumination on the hinges.

This is a truly incredible build, and should make any backyard grillmaster jealous.

[via Reddit]

These Qi Wireless Chargers Look Like Lollipops

Qi wireless charging docks are a dime a dozen these days. So if you want your desktop to stand out from the crowd, you might want to pick up something a little different. How about a charging station that looks like a giant lollipop?


If Willy Wonka made wireless chargers, they’d look something like these. While they look delicious in those festive colors, I don’t imagine they’d taste very good if you bit into one. Better stick to licking. Or maybe skip that too.

They come in four festive colors, and you can grab one of these festive wireless chargers over on Amazon for about $27.


Artist Turns Bus Into a Swimming Pool

Artis Benedetto Bufalino likes to make some pretty wild things out of vehicles. He’s transformed a construction digger into an aquarium, a Ford Mondeo into a pizza oven, a cement mixer into a disco ball, and both a car and a camper into swimming pools. Now he’s gone and turned an entire city bus into a swimming pool.

While swimming bus can no longer drive, it’s still a pretty amazing build. It looks like he basically laid the bus on its side, then sliced one side off of it and gutted its insides. He then created a custom swimming pool liner and a set of stairs, then filled it up with water. I’m sure the build process was way more complicated than I’m suggesting, so kudos to the artist for pulling off such an impressive feat. Check it out:

Work in progress… le bus piscine est presque ready… prends ton maillot de bain et rendez-vous samedi 22 juin au parc des îles à Hénin-Beaumont…

Posted by BENEDETTO BUFALINO on Saturday, June 15, 2019

If you happen to be anywhere near the Parc des îles, in Hénin-Beaumont, France, the pool bus will be on display at the Plongez dans l’inconnu (“Immerse yourself in the unknown”) exhibit, which kicks off on June 22. You might even get to take a dip in it if you bring your swimsuit.