Categories
awesome science video

Magnetic Attraction

Science is so cool.  Did you know that?  I can’t imagine what I would have done with things like this when I was a kid.  As far as I would have been concerned, it was magic.  And when you think about it, magnets are kinda magical aren’t they?

{reddit}

Categories
games LEGO science video

LEGO Engineering + Science

It’s always fun watching people push LEGO to the limits.  Here you can get a crash course in gear reduction and how to generate torque.  It’s interesting to see the differences in weights that can be lifted.  And it soon becomes apparent that the limitations aren’t in the gearing, or the motor, it’s the other materials which are failing.

Categories
awesome science video

Sea Level

These short YouTube videos make it very easy to learn things.  You might not get a quality education.  And you might get more of a cliff’s notes version, but you learn things.  And if it’s interesting for you, you can use it to learn more about things in general.

Such is the case surrounding trying to figure out what “sea level” is.

Or you can also watch this video that explains why rivers have bends:

{reddit}

Categories
awesome science strange

Fragile Engines

If for some reason you wanted to make a steam engine made entirely out of (what I can assume is hand-blown) glass, then the above video should be right up your alley.  I’m sure that is serves some sort of educational purpose, but I’m also sure that whatever purpose it is, this device is far to expensive to be practical.  So I guess it’s purpose is to be ace.

{Reddit}

Categories
awesome photo video

The Photo’s Rise

For over 150 years The New York Times has been the pre-emetitive news paper of the United States.  Yes, in recent times it has started to lean more towards the left, but it still presents mostly all sides of a story.  I won’t get into the politics of the paper, that’s not worth the effort.  What I do want to talk about is the above “time-lapse” put together by Josh Begley. In it he shows how the photograph became an ever increasing part of the front page.  It’s quite soothing, and at under a minute long, it’s worth watching.  Besides the rise of the photograph, the ever increasing text that appears along the headline was interesting to me too.  I wish he overlaid a year marker, this way you could get an idea of when certain events happened.

{Peta PIxel|Laughing Squid}

Categories
awesome science video

Fun with Magnets!

Powerful permanent magnets are fun to play around with and experiment and learn from.  Aptly named Instructables user Magnetic Games has a short 2 step instructable that  shows how to make a few neat things.

Actually, his YouTube channel is full of interesting experiments and toys you could make with ease with magnets.  I think the gears are pretty cool, and of course the accelerators are awesome, very MAC cannon like, which is a type of rail gun.

Unfortunately, none of these things are perpetual, so they won’t solve all the world’s problems at once.  But they will get kids thinking of new ways to try things, and with better electricity, and better components, we might be able to come up with innovative ways to do things using magnets.  Because Magnets Bitch!

Categories
DIY games science

Periodic Battleship

I’ve posted many different Periodic Tables over the years.  Here’s one that’s actually supposed to get you to learn things.  Although, I guess The Actual Periodic Table could have handled that too.

Periodic Battleship

The initial version of this doesn’t really seem that learning.  It’s just adding some letters to the rows so that you have a grid and then circling elements and playing battleship.  You don’t really learn much about the elements that way though.  Instead, you could try using the actual Chemistry involved with the elements and connecting like elements.  Maybe make different molecules and try to sink those (Except for H, that’s lighter then air and will explode on you).

{MAKE|Teach Beside Me}

Categories
awesome computer games nintendo video

How Gravity Works

In Super Mario Galaxy that is.  Not in real life.  In real life, Gravity is magic, end it there.  If you’ve never played Super Mario Galaxy, you should.  It really is one of the most fun games I’ve played in recent memory.  Nintendo really does know how to make an engaging game with tons of replay-ability.

{reddit}

Categories
DIY internet science strange video

Gears

Gear reduction is pretty basic mechanical engineering.  It’s used everywhere and in everything.  It’s a great way to give a person an introduction as how various machines work, and how to increase torque, or speed.  The above contraption, made by Oskar van Deventer, has an astonishing gear ratio of 11,373,076 to 1.  That means, the you would need to turn the crank 11.3 million times in order get the red gear to make one full rotation.

How does it work, well take a look at the exploded view of the contraption:

Gears exploded

The red & green stages are what he calls grinder gears, the inside gears have one less tooth then the outside, so they spin rather slowly.  Stack a few of those together, and then control it all with a regular planetary gear, and you have your 11 million to 1 ratio.

Now comes the important question.  What practical purpose could this solve?

At the moment, nothing.  But the theory exists, and now it just needs to become  more precise, and eventually, in space we’ll need things super crazy like this.  Or, you could reverse it, and get insane RPMs out of slow moving items.  Something like that would work well in space I think, where there’s no friction, and tons of slow moving things.

{MAKE}

Categories
awesome DIY science

Penny Crusher Machine

penny crushed

I’m sure you’ve all seen these penny crusher machines.  They are pretty ubiquitous on vacations and are a great cheap souvenir.  Well, besides the common question of is this legal, which it is, so stop asking, the other question is how do they work?

In actuality, it’s a pretty simple process, a penny is pushed through a space slightly smaller then the penny’s thickness made by two hardened steel dies.  One the die has a design carved into it’s face, and due to the process of stress and the deformity of metal, this image is transferred to the penny.  It’s pretty basic science and math.  If you want to get alittle more advanced, take a look at the Instructable mblem has made.  He is making his own Penny Crusher machine.

Penny design die

You would think that this is not a  simple process, and you’d be right.  There is quite alot involved, and he’s still not fully finished.  The design phase went through some tweaking after he used a laser cutter for a dry run on plywood.  He used a water jet to cut parts out of steel, (which he included a video of, which is super boring, don’t bother watching it).

water jet cutting gears

He still has a ways to go apparently, but he wanted to show his progress.  It’s also probably easier to break this up into different sections because each one requires different skills.  Next up is building the cabinet that will hold everything, that requires woodworking skills, and design skills, things that are very different from the engineering skills necessary to come up with the design and tolerances needed for guts of the machine.

I look forward to seeing him finish the project, and hopefully he posts some final cost values associated with this project.  It’s not something that a normal person would buy, or want to make, but it’s totally something I could see some places buying.  Support local artists, and people, I’d be for that.