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Samuel Morey: an American inventor

If you've been along the Connecticut river in eastern Vermont, you may have crossed the Samuel Morey Memorial Bridge, relaxed at Lake Morey, or seen some road markers mentioning Samuel Morey. Besides being the second person in the world to be in a car accident, who was Samuel Morey? [more inside]
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike on Nov 30, 2012 - 8 comments

DJ Focus

DJ Focus couldn't wait to get back to Sierra Leone. AKA Kelvin Doe, this young man makes beautiful, functional and very useful electronic devices out of trash found in his native Sierra Leone. It's not clear whether he or M.I.T. was more impressed after his visit there.
posted by not_that_epiphanius on Nov 22, 2012 - 6 comments

Mr. Fix-It

Mr. Fix-It: The engineering mentality
posted by azazello on Nov 14, 2012 - 68 comments

" looking for images that would hold their own in a gallery such as Tate Modern or Tate Britain"

Caught on camera: engineering in action 'The winning entries of the 2012 Photography Competition at the Department of Engineering[Cambridge], sponsored by Carl Zeiss, provide a stunning visual insight into the ways in which engineering makes a vital contribution to our lives.' [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Oct 28, 2012 - 5 comments

Just Etchin' To Share My Work

Hailed as the Github of printed circuit board (PCB) design, circuit.io allows hobbyists and electrical engineers alike to share their designs, providing a full featured schematic & PCB editor in the browser. [via (sorry, I couldn't resist, hyuk hyuk hyuk)]
posted by spiderskull on Oct 24, 2012 - 23 comments

Architecture Porn (SFW)

Here’re some photographs of outstanding structures & buildings:
The Salk Institute in San Diego
400 Monte Vista Avenue, Mill Valley CA
Light Cathedral, Ghent Belgium
The Buzludzha monument ... [more inside]
posted by growabrain on Oct 21, 2012 - 35 comments

Mark Pauline: terrorism as art

Terrorism as art: Mark Pauline's dangerous machines. Robots, rebellion, and the post-apocalyptic performance art of Survival Research Labs.
posted by homunculus on Oct 9, 2012 - 29 comments

The Up-and-Down Design Hurdles of Pogo

For a few people, fascination with pogo sticks didn't end in childhood. The Smithsonian takes a look at the design challenges, and the sport, of modern pogo. They also provide a short video demonstrating these advances. [more inside]
posted by gilrain on Sep 11, 2012 - 20 comments

The Learning Bit

Recent developments in online learning have increasingly democratized the exchange of information in higher education: the launch of University of the People, a tuition-free online university; Khan Academy's acquisition of SmartHistory and its growing emphasis on humanities and liberal arts; the University of Reddit's crowd-sourced lessons being taught in real-world classrooms; Skillshare creating a community marketplace for teachers and students; Lore opening its doors to learners from all walks of life;  major institutes in India putting every class lecture on YouTube in English; LectureFox collating together free university lectures from across the web. Of course not everyone is happy with the way things are going.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Sep 2, 2012 - 67 comments

Finally, an alternative to Big Pedal.

Presenting the FLIZ velocipede, for anyone who's wondering what you get when you cross a German hipster and a wheeled banana.
posted by jimmythefish on Aug 28, 2012 - 40 comments

I love the T-Rex bit

Engineers at Rose Hulman design a pretty cool prosthetic arm for a kid according to his specs (4min, video). Looks like it's part of a program to connect students with kids in need that has produced similar projects in the past.
posted by mathowie on Aug 23, 2012 - 9 comments

City on a Marsh

Many visitors to Boston assume that the Back Bay neighborhood is one of the city's oldest. It's actually one of the newest, reclaimed from Charles River marshland at the end of the 19th Century. Before the completion of this project, Beacon Street to Brookline was the top of a tidal dam. Today's Boston Proper is actually mostly fill: in 1630, Boston was 783 acres of land. By 1901, it was 1,904 acres. Filling in Back Bay was an enormous project, but some valuable lessons were learned decades earlier while filling in the South End.
posted by Mayor Curley on May 15, 2012 - 43 comments

"Don't turn it on - take it apahhht!"

The EEV Blog is an "off-the-cuff" video blog that deals with pretty much anything related to Electrical Engineering, known for its very knowledgeable and enthusiastic host.
posted by Evernix on Apr 10, 2012 - 10 comments

A Woman's Story

A Woman's Story
posted by spiderskull on Mar 29, 2012 - 69 comments

Our project has been 90% complete for a year now...

Why are software development estimates regularly off by a factor of 2-3? Scroll down a page to learn why writing software is like a horror hike from San Francisco to Newport Beach.
posted by storybored on Mar 22, 2012 - 76 comments

Total Annual Building Energy Consumption for New York City

An amazing piece of statistical analysis produced this zoomable (down to the block level) map of energy consumption for New York City, based on Spatial distribution of urban building energy consumption by end use. [via]
posted by unliteral on Feb 5, 2012 - 30 comments

There is no law in France, it turns out, against the improvement of clocks.

This stealthy undertaking was not an act of robbery or espionage but rather a crucial operation in what would become an association called UX, for “Urban eXperiment.” UX is sort of like an artist’s collective, but far from being avant-garde—confronting audiences by pushing the boundaries of the new—its only audience is itself. More surprising still, its work is often radically conservative, intemperate in its devotion to the old. Through meticulous infiltration, UX members have carried out shocking acts of cultural preservation and repair, with an ethos of “restoring those invisible parts of our patrimony that the government has abandoned or doesn’t have the means to maintain.” The group claims to have conducted 15 such covert restorations, often in centuries-old spaces, all over Paris. - Wired.com "The New French Hacker-Artist Underground"
posted by The Whelk on Jan 24, 2012 - 20 comments

U. S. Historic Places Photostream

National Register Photostream — Authorized under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the U.S. National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect our historic and archeological resources. Properties listed in the Register include districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that are significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture.
posted by netbros on Dec 23, 2011 - 6 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

You can hear the whistle blow, across the Nile

When it comes to railways, the British are famous for their colonial legacy of one of the world's most extensive railway networks built across then British India but their lesser known and far grander vision was the Cape to Cairo railway network intended to stretch across the sea of colonial pink on the African continent. Left incomplete due to politics and geography, most of it is still almost as it was built in its day. [more inside]
posted by infini on Dec 22, 2011 - 27 comments

The Ladder of Abstraction

The Ladder of Abstraction does an amazing, Tuftian job of illustrating the convergence of science, engineering, and intuition that is involved in tackling the difficult problems of today's systems and software. [more inside]
posted by rsanheim on Oct 11, 2011 - 31 comments

We see the Earth, now.

On September 30, 2011 at 11:08am, Derek Deville's Qu8k (pronounced "Quake") launched from the Black Rock Desert in Nevada to an altitude of 121,000' before returning safely to earth. Above 99% of the atmosphere the sky turns black in the middle of the day and the curvature of the earth is clearly visible. Direct video links inside. [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on Oct 10, 2011 - 25 comments

C is still for Cookie, and that's good enough for me

Science! (autoplaying video) The 42nd season of "Sesame Street," which premiered today, will be including a few new educational categories for preschoolers in its usual mix of lessons and parodies: STEM skills — Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. In addition to more scientifically accurate slapstick, characters will try experiments, build bridges and boats, launch rockets and think through problems that require trial and error, observation and data -- all problem areas for America's students. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 27, 2011 - 34 comments

The luxury vehicle of choice... for the Apocalypse

The Knight XV from Conquest Vehicles: For when you absolutely, positively need a luxury ride that can withstand the Apocalypse. With a limited production run of only 100 vehicles, this luxury armored SUV - inspired by the Gurkha military vehicle - costs a paltry $310,000 USD; its nearest competitor, the Dartz Pombron, has no base price listed (estimated cost: $1.5 million USD). [more inside]
posted by Unicorn on the cob on Sep 19, 2011 - 56 comments

Creating the Future of Education and Work

In February 2011, every teacher in Providence, Rhode Island was pink slipped. Not all 1,926 of them got fired, of course, but with the district facing a $40 million deficit, anything is possible. The district says it needs flexibility, just in case. Every school district in the United States faces its own version of what’s happening in Providence. However, “IMAGINATION: Creating the Future of Education and Work” is focused not on how we got here but rather how we can move forward from here immediately even as the education system continues to struggle. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Sep 15, 2011 - 49 comments

It's solar noon, do you know what time your clock says?

Saturday August 27 Bill Nye dedicated a solar noon clock he designed. The clock is embedded in the facade of Rhodes Hall. At Solar Noon, when the Sun culminates, that is, reaches its highest point in the sky, the sun-shaped feature will light up. It is the marrying of mechanical and electrical engineering with astronomy. What could be better?
posted by IvoShandor on Aug 29, 2011 - 27 comments

HABS, HAER, HALS, CRGIS, NRHP and NHL. Together at last.

Heritage Documentation Programs is part of the National Park service and administers the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) - the United States government's oldest historic preservation program - Historic American Engineering Record (HAER), Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) and Cultural Resources Geographic Information Systems (CRGIS) [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor on Aug 7, 2011 - 2 comments

but no stones

Sticks is a Flash game where you use some minor engineering skills to make a dude rich. [more inside]
posted by DU on Jul 22, 2011 - 13 comments

Quadrotor Fail

Waaah, quadrotors will take over the world. Waaah, quadrotors will kill us all. Here's what your quadrotor is really like. (Also here's what your quadrotor is really like with Yakety Sax played over it.)
posted by griphus on Jul 2, 2011 - 35 comments

The Clock in the Mountain

Kevin Kelly describes how a clock designed to run for 10,000 years will function and the efforts behind its creation and building.
posted by reenum on Jun 18, 2011 - 73 comments

Engineering Gloriousness

To the aficianado, a clicky keyboard is the only keyboard. For PC users, nothing is better than an IBM Model M. For Apple lovers, it never got better than the Apple Extended Keyboard II. [more inside]
posted by whimsicalnymph on May 2, 2011 - 115 comments

It's a finglonger, obviously

The NIST Digital Archives is an online collection of scientific instruments from the National Institute of Standards and Technology. But even the experts don't always know what it is they've got, and they'd like your help. Any idea what you're supposed to do with Eight Dials Set in a Wooden Frame? How about Metal Instrument in Wood Case?
posted by Horace Rumpole on Apr 14, 2011 - 20 comments

Loaded

Law enforcement authorities are in awe of the new wave of narco "supersubs" that are being found in the jungles of Colombia. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Apr 13, 2011 - 60 comments

master of information

The New Biology - Eric Schadt's quest to upend molecular biology and open source it. (via)
posted by kliuless on Apr 9, 2011 - 35 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

Women and Engineering no longer

Women More Likely To Leave Engineering Over Work Environment, Study Finds [more inside]
posted by jillithd on Mar 11, 2011 - 134 comments

Nofer Trunnions

For a number of years now work has been proceding in order to bring to the crudely conceived idea of a transmission that would not only supply inverse reactive current for use in unilateral phase detractors, but would also be capable of automaticaly synchronizing cardinal grammeters. Such an instrument is the turbo encabulator. [more inside]
posted by Orange Pamplemousse on Feb 8, 2011 - 65 comments

Simply Incredible

Stephen Biesty is an award-winning British illustrator famous for his bestselling "Incredible" series of engineering art books: Incredible Cross-Sections, Incredible Explosions, Incredible Body, and many more. A master draftsman, Biesty does not use computers or even rulers in composing his intricate and imaginative drawings, relying on nothing more than pen and ink, watercolor, and a steady hand. Over the years, he's adapted his work to many other mediums, including pop-up books, educational games (video), interactive history sites, and animation. You can view much of his work in the zoomable galleries on his professional page, or click inside for a full listing of direct links to high-resolution, desktop-quality copies from his and other sites, including several with written commentary from collaborator Richard Platt [site, .mp3 chat]. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Feb 4, 2011 - 24 comments

The cutaway drawing and its artists

The cutaway drawing and its artists. Enjoy. [more inside]
posted by clorox on Dec 3, 2010 - 15 comments

Confessions of a recovering engineer

Confessions of a Recovering Engineer
posted by aniola on Dec 2, 2010 - 52 comments

Icarus' Dream Finally a Reality

The dream of Icarus has been one shared by many throughout history. University of Toronto Engineering students made history this week when they successfully flew a human-powered aircraft with flapping wings continuously. The flight of the Snowbird is beautiful to watch. [more inside]
posted by smitt on Sep 23, 2010 - 42 comments

I Got It One Piece at a Time

Canadian Jiffy Jeep Crews can completely disassemble and reassemble a Willys Jeep in less than four minutes.
posted by mattdidthat on Sep 11, 2010 - 37 comments

Almost two decades of scientific answers for (young) inquiring minds

The internet is full of answers, and some of them might even be true. For almost 20 years, the the Newton BBS has been a source of answers to science questions that may be accessed directly via the Web as well as through telnet (no public telnet access any more, sorry). The Newton BBS "Ask A Scientist" archive has answers from 15 science fields, from astronomy to zoology, for a total of more than 20,000 questions answered. This was covered previously, and the site is aimed at teachers and students from grades K-12, so io9's Ask a Physicist questions (with answers from Dr. Dave Goldberg) might be more engaging. See also: MIT's Ask An Engineer.
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 9, 2010 - 4 comments

You have a drinking problem. We have data.

John Billes—whose extracurricular exploits as an undergraduate at UT Austin brought us iPhone-controlled dance floor lights, R/C cars, and yes, even full-size automobiles—has created the KegMatea keg-mounted, Arduino-controlled data-logging suite with an iPad-based user interface—in his spare time, while working at Yelp.
posted by defenestration on Aug 17, 2010 - 9 comments

Let Me Tell You The Tale Of A Hot Rod Race

Colin Berry's Spinout is a a touching, tragic story about his older brother, Kevin. Kevin competed in--and very nearly won--the All-American Soap Box Derby, but lost to Bobby Lange, the son of ski-boot magnate and engineer Robert Lange Sr.. [more inside]
posted by mattdidthat on Aug 8, 2010 - 19 comments

Chuck Schumer, raising the bar. Nevermind that $42,000,000,000 trade deficit thing.

iPhone 4's reception woes, wherein bridging the area where the metal bands meet (affectionately dubbed "the spot") results in a dramatic loss in signal strength, have been widely covered in the media over the past few weeks. Apple acknowledged the concerns publicly with a letter to customers where they concluded that the issue was not with the phone, but rather that they were being too generous in the way the software communicated signal quality as bars. After an update to iOS, the bars are in fact different but the problems persist. Most recently, Consumer Reports stated it was unable to recommend iPhone 4 because of the significant design flaw, despite listing it as the highest rated overall smartphone they've tested to date. The latest wrinkle in the story has been an open letter to Steve Jobs from Chuck Schumer, yes -- United States Senator from New York Chuck Schumer, in which he questions the adequacy and transparency of Apple's response to customer concerns. Apple will be holding a press conference at 10AM tomorrow in San Francisco to address the matter. [more inside]
posted by cgomez on Jul 15, 2010 - 465 comments

To Swimfinity And Beyond

Take a swim in the Infinity Pool, at the Marina Bay Sands Sky Park. The Sky Park has rooftop restaurants, nightclubs, gardens, trees, plants, and a public observatory with 360-degree views of the Singapore skyline. The Infinity Pool is the world's longest elevated swimming pool, with a 475-foot vanishing edge, 200 meters (55 stories) above the ground.
posted by mattdidthat on Jun 25, 2010 - 48 comments

Frankenstrument

The Bassoforte is made from a broken bass guitar and a dismantled piano. The end result is awesome.
posted by fizzzzzzzzzzzy on Jun 18, 2010 - 55 comments

Star forts from above

Star forts from above (Google Maps links): Alba Iulia, Arad Fortress, Almeida, Bourtrange, Coevorden, Estremoz, Goryōkaku, Naarden, Neuf Brisach, Nicosia, Palmanova, Retranchement, Terezín, Willemstad. More.
posted by nthdegx on Jun 8, 2010 - 47 comments

Steve Durnin's D-Drive

Steve Durnin's D-Drive is a fascinating new infinitely-variable transmission that doesn't use friction components or a clutch of any kind. Video of a prototype with detailed explanations is included.
posted by odinsdream on May 15, 2010 - 44 comments

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