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Aug. 12, 2013

DIY Winner: Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Soap Dispenser

by Julie Leibach

Click to enlarge images
A few weeks ago, SciFri aired a segment about DIY projects and other summer hacks. We also asked you to submit your best DIY ideas. (Thanks to everyone who sent in suggestions!)
 
SciFri guest Mike Szczys, the managing editor of Hackaday.com, reviewed the entries and picked a few favorites. One project that stood out to him as "pretty darn awesome" and the most do-it-yourselfable (as in, I could perhaps even tackle it . . .) was a modified soap dispenser that plays "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" while you wash your hands. 
 
The inventor, DIYer Rajesh Verma, dreamed up the idea after learning that washing hands helps prevent the flu from spreading. "I heard that you should sing 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,' the 'ABC' song, or 'Happy Birthday' twice" to ensure a thorough scrubbing (15 seconds), he told SciFri in an email. So, Verma came up with a device that can help hand washers keep track of passing time and streaming soap bubbles. 
 
Watch Verma's modified soap dispenser in action in the video below, and find step-by-step building instructions at Rawdust, along with more of Verma's DIY ideas. 

Also, an honorable mention goes to SciFri fan Michael Ossman and his HackRF, a software defined radio that doesn't just receive information but transmits it as well. Such a device is capable of not only tuning to all the AM and FM frequencies, but it can also speak the language of a wifi router, nautical ship transponder, and much more, according to Szczys. Software defined radio "is one of the most amazing developments in the last few years," he says. In fact, Hackaday.com featured Ossman's idea last fall. 
 
related science friday link
About Julie Leibach

Julie is the managing editor of ScienceFriday.com. She is a huge fan of sleep and chocolate. Follow her @julieleibach.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Science Friday.

Science Friday® is produced by the Science Friday Initiative, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Science Friday® and SciFri® are registered service marks of Science Friday, Inc. Site design by Pentagram; engineering by Mediapolis.

 

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