Happy Freak Night, kids! Or, if bone-chilling masks and gory body parts aren't your thing, Happy Tame & Friendly Halloween! Do you know that yesterday someone who owns a child told me his kid's school allows Halloween parties and costumes, but only if the latter are "helping" costumes. Like, costumes representing people who help others. So Tony Jr. can go as a doctor or a policeman or a firefighter, but not a witch, a ghost, or a zombie. I wonder where politicians falls on that school district's spectrum. Another dude told me his kid is allowed to wear "non-helping" costumes...as long as they don't come with a mask. No. Masks. They're too concealing. Too scary. Holy crap, are you kidding me? I'm pretty sure when I was in the 4th grade I showed up to school wrapped head-to-toe in bloody gauze and wearing a Kirk Cameron mask. For the ladies.
Anyway, bridging the gap between the good ol' days and the hyper-paranoid-and-PC present is this motherf**king rad DIY playable Tetris pumpkin, called Pumpktris. Though uploaded to the Instructables website a few years ago now, I think this magnificent, live-action creation wholly withstands the test of time. Both in the awesome and in the acceptable-at-your-kid's-school sense.
Ironically, the simplest thing about making a Pumpktris is carving it: get your pumpkin; scrape it out; and carve out many squares in a row. Then...get 128 5mm amber LEDs, an Arduino microcontroller, 11' of 1/16" heat shrink tubing, an arcade joystick with a removable handle, and a handful of other general construction items. And get ready to build some matrices, solder a bunch of wires, and fairy godmother a pumpkin stem into a sweet Tetris game controller. If you can get through all that like original Pumpktris creator HaHaBird did, you'll have a fully functional (pumptional?) 8 x 16 Tetris game to call your Halloween jack-o-lantern.
Muchas danke to Manny for the Dude Product Tip.