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DIY Dad Recreates Star Trek’s Enterprise As a Playset

Set phasers to fun! David Weiberg wanted to do something special for his 8-year-old son, who recently became a Star Trek fan after discovering the beloved sci-fi series and his father’s old action figures from the early 1990s. So the DIY designer built his son an amazing replica of the bridge of the Enterprise from the original series as a playset.

“Inspired by the clean wooden design of some of his other toys, I set out to design and create a modular playset that he could use to assemble various rooms aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise,” Weiberg explained. “I wanted a set that could break down and store easily. I tried to use scrap materials where I could. The bridge was the biggest challenge so I started there.”

The mostly wooden structure was created using a variety of easy-to-find materials, including pine, PVC sheet, filler putty, RTV silicone, and Flexstone spray (which gave the floor texture and mimicked the carpeting from the original TV set). Weiberg even built several crew chairs plus railings that resemble the ones found on the Enterprise, along with a master captain’s chair that he made from polystyrene and Apoxie putty.

For the bridge’s visual components, including its computer displays, Weiberg used Photoshop and printed the images out on glossy photo paper to make them shine like glass panels. When he was finished, Weiberg sprayed the playset with clear Polyacrylic to give it a glossier and more “toy-like” finish.

Weiberg’s son is thrilled with the finished product, which he’ll no doubt be using to boldly go where no kid has gone before.

If you want to build the Enterprise’s bridge yourself, Weiberg has posted step-by-step instructions, and a materials list, at Instructables.com.

[h/t Make]

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Comics
The Origins of 36 Marvel Characters, Illustrated
Pop Chart Lab
Pop Chart Lab

No matter what their powers, every super hero has an origin story, from Spider-Man’s radioactive bite to Iron Man’s life-threatening chest shrapnel. In their latest poster, the designers at Pop Chart Lab have taken their infographic savvy to the Marvel Universe, charting the heroic origins of 36 different Marvel characters through miniature, minimalist comics.

Without using any words, they’ve managed to illustrate Bucky Barnes's plane explosion and subsequent transformation into the Winter Soldier, Jessica Jones’s car crash, the death of the Punisher’s family, and other classic stories from the major Marvel canon while paying tribute to the comic book form.

Explore the poster below, and see a zoomable version on Pop Chart Lab’s website.

A poster featuring 36 minimalist illustrations of superhero origin stories.
Pop Chart Lab

Keep your eyes open for future Marvel-Pop Chart crossovers. The Marvel Origins: A Sequential Compendium poster is “the first release of what we hope to be a marvelous partnership,” as Pop Chart Lab’s Galvin Chow puts it. Prints are available for pre-order starting at $37 and are scheduled to start shipping on March 8.

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technology
The Design Tricks That Make Smartphones Addictive—And How to Fight Them
iStock
iStock

Two and a half billion people worldwide—and 77 percent of Americans—have smartphones, which means you probably have plenty of company in your inability to go five minutes without checking your device. But as a new video from Vox points out, it's not that we all lack self-control: Your phone is designed down to the tiniest details to keep you as engaged as possible. Vox spoke to Tristan Harris, a former Google design ethicist, who explains how your push notifications, the "pull to refresh" feature of certain apps (inspired by slot machines), and the warm, bright colors on your phone are all meant to hook you. Fortunately, he also notes there's things you can do to lessen the hold, from the common sense (limit your notifications) to the drastic (go grayscale). Watch the whole thing to learn all the dirty details—and then see how long you can spend without looking at your phone.

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