A Libyan volunteer attaches a rocket launcher to a pickup truck May, 2011. From this gallery of DIY weapons of the Libyan Revolution.
Welcome back to the Rundown, this blog's occasional, handy roundup of things that are interesting, totally in keeping with our theme and that I don't have more time to write about at the moment.
• Syria's DIY Revolt Interesting Foreign Policy piece on how Syria's rebels are patching together new weapons (or finding new ways to use old ones) to even the playing field against the Assad regime's forces. A reminder of how an inventive opposition can put up a fight against forces that are larger and better equipped.
• The Age of Weartronics While this piece focuses mostly on the efforts of tech companies, this field is particularly rich for improvisation. Expect people to start jailbreaking the hell out of this stuff once it reaches a wider market, and some of the basics are already here. Of course, the authorities' reaction to such tinkering can range from understanding to, well...
• Young Pirates evicted from festival for giving out free waffles The Swedish Young Pirates made free waffles at a local festival, only to get thrown out for the threat this posed to the merchants selling waffles at the festival.
Wow, this in no way perfectly makes their point about existing business using laws just to preserve their turf.
• Of Course I Can! As an example of how attitudes have changed over the years, take a look at these posters from the two World Wars and New Deal era, when governments were actively encouraging their populations to can their own food and buy less.
Of course, not everything can be done DIY...
• Pertussis outbreaks may be worst in 50 years and modern medicine is one of those things. While there are a variety of causes behind outbreaks like this, the wider spread of anti-vaccination crap is certainly a factor. It's a handy reminder that on some things, conventional wisdom (vaccinate your kids) is actually wise, and that centralized structures with the massive resources to respond to health issues have their place. Like everything, DIY has its limits.