Now go outside and look at the sky.
To Make a Toaster
Whenever I think I have too many too complicated projects I find something like this on the web... here is the Toaster Project. Thomas Thwaites is attempting to build a toaster from scratch, starting with iron ore, crude oil and other raw materials.
It's an interesting project, based on some very interesting and deep thoughts around our way of life and our complete disconnect from how the things in our lives are made.
Most of us have only a very basic idea about how everyday objects are made and I'd guess that 95% of the average population in a typical high-tech society could not build the first thing in their own house from scratch. A toaster is actually very ambitious. Yes, you can buy one for ten bucks down the street, but just because it is cheap doesn't mean its manufacturing isn't complex.
Our way of life is based on very complex machines that were made through amazingly intricate processes with materials that are far removed from anything found in nature. We all are resting on the shoulders of giants, with just the barest knowledge of how we got here.
I know that I will follow Thomas' progress in making his toaster, if for no other reason than to learn a little bit more about how all that stuff around us is actually made.