An ad found in Astounding Science Fiction, December 1956:  “HOW IS YOUR ROBOT SUPPLY HOLDING OUT?”   Is last year’s model broken, or have they all just wandered off?  I suppose there’s also subtext as to whether your robots have revolted and killed all their masters, or…well, I suppose that’s where all roads lead anyhow.

It’s offering a ‘turtle’, a light-sensing robot with ‘hungry’ and ‘avoid’ states called the Machina Speculatrix, which was actually a significant leap in technology: remember, this is the mid-1950s, experimental robotics wasn’t something they taught in an afterschool program using Legos, Radio Shack was still focusing on radios, and the original plans are vacuum-tube based.  The ad was from Oliver Garfield Company, whose biggest contribution was the Geniac calculators, and also offered basic instruction in ‘hyperspeed reading’, modelling a nerve cell in electronics, and digital and analog computers.

The instructions for the Machina Speculatrix were $5, which is a pretty hefty amount — $50 in today’s dollars — and buying the unassembled kit would set you back a cool grand in 2019 money.  But, really, isn’t a few weeks’ salary a small price to pay for cutting edge robotics technology?

Trans-FOUR-mers When You Turn Four

The spread at Camden’s Trans4mers birthday party, which includes the incredible cake and inspired paper Transformer cards etc. from Paper Robots 1999. (Photos by Rebecca Watkins.)

Craft Scan Friday: Nifty Nerds & Space Age Puppets

Nifty nerds posting with groovy kitschy puppets; photo found inside Space Age Puppets and Masks by M. C. Green and B. R. H. Targett, published by Plays, Inc, 1969. (My copy, a stated First American Edition, is available.)

Knit Converse Chuck Taylors Are A Shoe-In, Even With Dogs

BlueAndRedCows knit a pair of Chucks and shares the pattern too.

Clearly, these shoes are dog approved — and not (just) for chewing.

I don’t knit (yet), so I’m not sure if this is the same pattern or not… And I wonder if they could be modified for these Converse shoes?

If you also haven’t (yet) learned to knit, check out handmade knitted sneakers by Katie at Pretty Sneaky where you can find Converse Chuck Taylor high tops hand knit in many designs and patterns, including the classic pirate skull and crossbones.

Or maybe you’re more of a robot lover?

Don’t worry; if you can’t find your size, she’ll make them in your size — just for you.

Katie’s sneakers are made a bit differently; the handknit uppers are stitched over the original shoe. I’d imagine this helps the shoes keep their shape better.

No word on whether or not dogs love them just as much.