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5 posts tagged with Engineering and invention. (View popular tags)
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A Better Cardboard Box

Two engineering students attempt to revolutionize the cardboard box
posted by roaring beast on Dec 23, 2013 - 76 comments

Angle poise

The story of the modern desk lamp in four parts by hipstomp [more inside]
posted by infini on Dec 23, 2011 - 15 comments

ooooo shiny

Ever made an indie action film and needed something for that epic glass-break scene? How about the blackest black you can find? Want to adjust your boots so that they are mud repellant? Inventables has everything you need - for the budding inventor, busy set designer, or Q in training.
posted by divabat on Mar 26, 2011 - 43 comments

Fixing the world on $2/day

Amy Smith and MIT's D-lab apply engineering principles to real-world problems that affect the world's poorest residents. She organizes an annual conference. Hear her talk at TED. Previously
posted by lalochezia on Nov 2, 2008 - 4 comments

Portable and off the grid

Necessity Is the Mother of Invention. (NY Times, reg. req.) Amy Smith teaches MIT students about the politics of delivering technology to poor nations and the nitty-gritty of mechanical engineering and helped start the IDEAS competition; she herself designed (among other things) a screenless hammer mill suited to third-world conditions and using "materials available to a blacksmith in Senegal."
Smith's entire life is like one of her inventions, portable and off the grid. At 41, she has no kids, no car, no retirement plan and no desire for a Ph.D. Her official title: instructor. ''I'm doing exactly what I want to be doing. Why would I spend six years to get a Ph.D. to be in the position I'm in now, but with a title after my name? M.I.T. loves that I'm doing this work. The support is there. So I don't worry.''...
Likewise, the inventors who most inspire her will never strike it rich. ''There are geniuses in Africa, but they're not getting the press,'' she says. She gushes about Mohammed Bah Abba, a Nigerian teacher who came up with the pot-within-a-pot system. With nothing more than a big terra-cotta bowl, a little pot, some sand and water, Abba created a refrigerator -- the rig uses evaporation rather than electricity to keep vegetables cool. Innovations that target the poorest of the poor don't have to be complicated to make a big difference. The best solution is sometimes the most obvious.
A rare optimistic story for these downbeat times.
posted by languagehat on Dec 3, 2003 - 18 comments

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