Street Use

Homemade Charcoal Tongs

Cute set made from wire. Found in a farm house in Zhongdian, Yunnan, China.


Posted on May 30, 2007 at 7:30 pm | comments

Russian Lamp

This is one of a series of images floating around the internet, forwarded to me by Bruce Sterling. It’s labeled as somewhere in Russia, but that might be only a tasteless joke. But in any case it’s a handy lamp.

Posted on May 29, 2007 at 7:51 pm | comments

Tump Line/Human Delivery of Heavy Goods

For thousands of years humans have transported heavy goods on their backs using a head held tump line. The loads a fit porter can carry are astonishing. Some can manage 100 kilos (220 pounds), which considering their own body size is incredible. These guys in Nepal can manage both heavy and awkward loads with ingenuity. Keep in mind that the coke bottles below are heavy glass (made to be washed and re-used many times), and are filled. Just one wooden tray would be a load for most of us. I’ve seen these porters pack in refridgerators, heavy lumber, furniture, and mother-in-laws. These photos are by Jeff Greenwald.

Coke Sit      Trike Man

Posted on May 28, 2007 at 7:12 pm | comments

Flashlight Broom Handle

A discarded flashlight becomes an ideal broom handle. Photographed by Jeff Greenwald.”The little girl with the flashlight broom worked in her mother’s lodge in the village of Chomro, in the Annapurna mountains of Nepal.”


Posted on May 27, 2007 at 7:10 pm | comments

Improvised Scrap Metal Detector in Vietnam

The title of this set of photos from the Flickr photo stream of Clear Path International is “Hobby De-Miner”. Clear Path International is a non-profit devoted to serving the survivors of landmines. As the unnamed photographer explains, “We ran into this boy collecting scrap metal from the Vietnam War alongside the road near Da Nang. Often, while searching for scrap, people that do this will find a bomb and attempt to dismantle it and sell the metal. Many are killed or injured.”


The equipment apparently works. Here is a piece of iron found and recovered.

Posted on May 26, 2007 at 7:06 pm | comments

Lamp from Lightbulb

World traveler and author Jeff Greenwald sent me this photo of a improvised kersone lamp. He writes: “The light bulb/kiwi tin lamp was photographed some years ago in an inn along the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, probably in Hikkaduwa.”


Posted on May 25, 2007 at 6:45 pm | comments

Home-made Marble Shooting Air Gun

Looks dangerous. Probably is. I found this streetuse weapon on Matthias Wandel’s website, where in addition to the air gun he documents his other benign and geeky pursuits, including what he calls his “insane contraptions.” He writes:

Marble Rifle

Air guns are normally small air powered rifles that shoot relatively small projectiles, primarily used for target practice. Usually, they are pumped up with an internal cylinder, activated by hinging the barrel towards the stock. My home made air guns experiments however take their lineage more from potato gun technology than target practice rifles

Rifle Trigger

The nice thing with an air gun like this of course is that it can be used to shoot all kinds of stuff. AA batteries, for example. Or Pens, or sticks of wood. Or filling the barrel with water. One Idea I got relatively late was to try to shoot the big chocolate covered peanut M&M’s. They are about the shape and size of a marble, but not as heavy, and not as round. I wasn’t expecting to put one through 1/2″ plywood, but I figured with 1/4″ plywood, I’d have a chance.

M And M's

M And M Impact1

The Wasp sucking machine in action on my roof. This machine was the fulfillment of a childhood fantasy!

Sucking Machine

Posted on May 23, 2007 at 9:37 pm | comments

Handcuff Bicycle Lock

In addition to this photo of a bike where the police rider used their handcuffs as bicycle lock — previously posted on Street Use — here is another one with the same idea (found on this guy’s blog).

Handcuff Lock

Posted on May 20, 2007 at 11:27 pm | comments

Russian Match Box Camera

Don’t know much about this other than the tiny hint posted on a English/Russian blog says:

“One Russian blogger made a camera from the two matchboxes and a tin beer can. Somebody submitted us his camera and photos he made in St. Petersburg.”

Two shots of the camera itself, and one photograph made by the camera.




Posted on May 19, 2007 at 11:33 pm | comments

Toilet-Paper Napkin Roll

I like this thrifty way curbside restaurants in China served up napkins: in a toilet paper roll, from the inside out. Cheap, and handier than cut napkins.


Posted on May 18, 2007 at 4:02 pm | comments

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