How NASA brought the monstrous F-1 "moon rocket" engine back to life - "The story of young engineers who resurrected an engine nearly twice their age." [more inside]
Meet Bertha, the world's largest underground tunnel boring machine that will soon begin digging a controversial roadway underneath downtown Seattle, similar to Boston's Big Dig
The Forces Of The Next 30 Years - SF author and Mefi's Own Charles Stross talks to students at Olin College about sci-fi, fiction, speculation, the limits of computation, thermodynamics, Moore's Law, the history of travel, employment, automation, free trade, demographics, the developing world, privacy, and climate change in trying to answer the question What Does The World Of 2043 Look Like? (Youtube 56:43)
Animated Engines has been mentioned a couple times before, but I wanted to highlight the site entire, along with its sister site, 507 Mechanical Movements. Both sites have animated diagrams of a huge variety of engines and (relatively) simple machines, the latter based on an 1868 book by Henry T. Brown of the same name. While all of the engines are animated, the animated machines start on page 3, and go on from there. And every diagram leads to a page that explains the machine's function — step-by-step in the case of the engines.
"That got me thinking: Could the Romans have built a digital computer using only the technology and manufacturing processes available to them?"
How good is Zaha Hadid's new building? So good it's already being copied. And the copy may be finished before the original. [more inside]
Surely you've heard of the physicist Maxwell, but what about Oliver Heaviside? Oliver Heaviside: A first-rate oddity.
"A nanoscale coating that's at least 95 percent air repels the broadest range of liquids of any material in its class, causing them to bounce off the treated surface...". Video of the coating in action.
Tomorrow, January 19, you can watch as the Sellwood Bridge in Portland, OR is moved 33-66 feet to the north in order to allow a new bridge to be built in its place, while still allowing traffic to move over that part of the Willamette River while the construction is taking place.
New research can detect five different emotions with 81 percent accuracy. [Additional project information].
Alan Cooper and the Goal Directed Design Process The heart of the problem, he concludes, is that the people responsible for developing software products don’t know precisely what constitutes a good product. It follows that they also do not know what processes lead to a good product. In short, they are operating by trial and error, with outcomes like customer satisfaction achieved by little more than blind luck. By Hugh Dubberly, first published AIGA GAIN Journal, 2001
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]
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.
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]
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)]
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]
The Salk Institute in San Diego
400 Monte Vista Avenue, Mill Valley CA
Light Cathedral, Ghent Belgium
The Buzludzha monument ... [more inside]
Terrorism as art: Mark Pauline's dangerous machines. Robots, rebellion, and the post-apocalyptic performance art of Survival Research Labs.
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]
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.
Presenting the FLIZ velocipede, for anyone who's wondering what you get when you cross a German hipster and a wheeled banana.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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]
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"
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.
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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?
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]
Sticks is a Flash game where you use some minor engineering skills to make a dude rich. [more inside]
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.)
Kevin Kelly describes how a clock designed to run for 10,000 years will function and the efforts behind its creation and building.
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]
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?
Law enforcement authorities are in awe of the new wave of narco "supersubs" that are being found in the jungles of Colombia. [more inside]
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.
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]
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]