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How did your life collide with the headlines in 2007?
Iraq, the subprime crisis, Facebook, immigration, oil prices - 2007 had no shortage of hefty headlines. We'd like to hear about how these and other major news events of the past year affected you. Where did your life collide with the news in 2007?

What's your holiday performance story?
The office talent show, the neighborhood caroling posse, the school pageant ... At holiday time we often sing, dance, and dress as shepherds. Did you bloom in the warmth of your audience's adulation, or freeze up like the snowman you'd rather be building? Did your holiday performance change your life or that of someone close to you?

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Resources for June 12, 2004
Bright Whites Big City

by Mark Robohm
More projects at ReadyMadeMag.com

Few consumer products have more Andy Warhol appeal than Concentrated! Colorfast! detergent bottles. While I was still in college, I saw all kinds of post-purchase potential in these bright orange-and-blue empties. I began making what I call cleanlamps as gifts for friends, and soon everyone I knew wanted one. And not just for novelty's sake-the lamps also deodorized foul-smelling dorm rooms. So save your coins for the Laundromat and make a few yourself.

Pre Wash
1. Clean out your empty bottle, flushing it of all but the thinnest film of soapy residue. Unscrew the top and set aside.

2. Trim off the tiny seam along the bottom with the X-acto knife (Fig. 1).

3. Carefully drill three holes in the container's bottom: one at the midpoint of the side with the handle and one in each corner of the spout side. These are the leg holes. It's easier if you use a smaller bit first and work your way up to the 5/16" bit.

4. Drill a lamp socket hole directly under the center of the spout of the bottle. Drill another hole about 1" away toward the handle side. Use your X-acto knife to carefully trim rough edges around the holes.

5. Now cut off the spout, creating an opening large enough to slip your hand inside (Fig. 2).

6. Screw a nut about 1" down on one of the carriage bolts, then add a washer. Stick that end through one of the bottom corner holes.

7. Reach inside the bottle and place a washer and then a nut on the other end of the bolt and tighten the nuts inside and outside until snug. Repeat steps 6 and 7 for the remaining two legs.

8. Once all the legs are installed, place the container on its feet. Adjust each leg by screwing it in until the bottle sits level (Fig. 3). Use the wrench to tighten each nut on the outside of the container while holding the carriage bolt with your other hand until secure.

9. Strip the end of the lamp cord wire, removing the plastic sheathing about 1/2" from the end. Now twist the bare wire ends so they don't splay out.

10. Thread the lamp cord, from outside to inside, through the bottom hole closest to the handle. Once it's through, tie a knot about 4" down the cord to keep it from slipping out the hole.

11. Attach each end of the cord to the socket (Fig. 4).

Final Touches
12. Remove the nut from the end of the socket, then stick the socket through the hole in the bottom (you may need to nudge it a bit to get it through).

13. Screw the nut onto the socket from the outside. 14. Tie another knot in the cord on the outside to keep it in place. 15. Snap the quick wire plug onto the cord.

16. Screw in the light bulb, plug in your lamp, and bask in that fresh laundry glow.

Photo by Andrew Nagata
Illustration by Kate Francis


Empty detergent container
3 6" x 5/16" carriage bolts
6 5/16" nuts
6 5/16" washers
Lamp cord
Bottom-switch lamp socket
Light bulb (no more than 25 watts)
Quick wire plug


Drill or electric drill
5/16" drill bit
Wire strippers
Wrench that fits the 5/16" nuts
X-acto knife (with fresh blade)
Phillips-head screwdriver

Tip: To avoid a meltdown, use a bulb that is 25 watts or less, and be sure that it's not touching any part of the bottle walls.

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