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nanohub rulz ok!

nanoHUB is an information goldmine, aimed primarily at scientists and engineers engaged under the broad umbrella of nanotechnology research, funded by the NSF, and based at Purdue University. Start with a series of nano tutorial lessons at the undergraduate or graduate level. Move on to seminars from top researchers on a variety of topics, or try some self-paced learning modules. Then run (real, useful) simulations in your browser. [some stuff requires free registration]
posted by sergeant sandwich on Aug 25, 2007 - 2 comments

The state of technological labor resources

Where the Engineers Are - "To guide education policy and maintain its innovation leadership, the United States must acquire an accurate understanding of the quantity and quality of engineering graduates in India and China."
posted by Gyan on Aug 24, 2007 - 39 comments

Buildings UI, good and bad

Buildings UI, good and bad
posted by nthdegx on Aug 13, 2007 - 38 comments

Infrastructure Report Card

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) published their latest Infrastructure Report Card in 2005. America's infrastructure got a D. The ASCE estimate that it will cost $1.6 trillion over a five-year period to bring the nation's infrastructure to good condition. They also have a Critical Infrastructure blog. [Via Gristmill.]
posted by homunculus on Aug 3, 2007 - 49 comments

The Secret of Apple Design

"The difference between BJ and AJ, Before and After Jobs, is not the process," [Don Norman] continues. "It is the person. Never before did Apple have such focus and dedication. Apple used to wobble, moving this way and that. No more."
posted by Blazecock Pileon on May 8, 2007 - 26 comments

The Fifty-Nine-Story Crisis

The Fifty-Nine-Story Crisis. In 1978, renowned structural engineer William LeMessurier discovered a mistake in his design for the Citicorp (now Citigroup) Center. With hurricane season approaching, the skyscraper was in imminent danger of collapse. His handling of the situation has been praised as a "stunning example of good ethics in action" – but some disagree.
posted by smably on Apr 20, 2007 - 46 comments

So much drama off the LBC

Chaffee, White, Grissom & Freeman are the names of four artificial islands immediately off the Southern California port of Long Beach. From the shore, they each look like an inhabited island paradise, complete with waterfalls, interesting buildings, many palm trees and crazy nighttime party lighting. In fact, they are offshore oil wells, built on 10 acre Dubai-esque man-made islands created for the purpose of housing the oil wells, and disguised so as to comply with local aesthetic standards.
posted by jonson on Apr 11, 2007 - 25 comments

Now those are some bodacious Tatas.

For years, MDI has been developing a car that runs on compressed air. Last month, they signed an agreement with Tata Motors to produce the MiniCat - a zero-emissions vehicle that will travel up to 180 miles on $3 worth of fuel. See it in action here. (youtube)
posted by Afroblanco on Mar 19, 2007 - 45 comments

Beer! Now! Fire!

The Beer Launcher. From the starry eyed minds of the students of Duke University comes the next great innovation in humankind's continued struggle to stay sedentary.
posted by parmanparman on Feb 26, 2007 - 69 comments

Open source classics

You've heard of ScummVM and MAME, but harvest time is approaching in the field of reverse-engineered open source re-implementations of other classic games too:
OpenTTD (Transport Tycoon), LinCity (Sim City), Advanced Strategic Command (Battle Isle), Freeciv (Civilization), Enigma (Oxyd), Widelands (Settlers), OpenArena (Quake 3), Spring (Total Annihilation), JJFFE (Frontier First Encounters), Vega Strike and Oolite (Elite), FreeOrion (Master of Orion), Pingus (Lemmings), Stratagus (Warcraft II et al.), CloneKeen (Commander Keen), Exult (Ultima VII), FreeCNC (Command & Conquer), REminiscence (Flashback), LGeneral (Panzer General), Pioneers (Settlers of Catan), and Freedoom (Doom).
posted by hoverboards don't work on water on Feb 1, 2007 - 43 comments

Unique aircraft testing videos.

Load testing a Boeing 777 wing. To failure! Also, engine testing, and maximum rejected takeoff.
posted by loquacious on Jan 22, 2007 - 26 comments

A different kind of eco-challenge

mtvU and GE are sponsoring a contest among colleges to create sustainable energy projects. The finalists' projects range from campus-wide runoff reduction proposals to a public bicycle-based laptop charger for students. The winner receives a $25,000 grant to implement their project, which is unfortunately small potatoes compared to the millions of dollars required to, for example, convert an entire vehicle fleet to biodiesel. unrelated, previously.
posted by mkb on Jan 19, 2007 - 6 comments

Coolest tables evar

"Please understand that this is an extremely special piece of furniture, of exceptional quality and design – it is not for everyone by a very very long way and can only be afforded by the lucky few of us with exceptional wealth." (Videos [1, 2, 3.])
posted by mr_crash_davis on Jan 6, 2007 - 58 comments

The Secret Life of Machines and the amazing Tim Hunkin

All the episodes of The Secret Life of Machines are available online. Created by engineer, artist, tinkerer and cartoonist Tim Hunkin, the show took a look at the science and mechanics behind common household objects, with a bit of social history, homemade laboratory experiments, and downplayed humor. The series grew out of a long-running strip, which Hunkin has now offers as his own cartoon encyclopedia. You can also try some experiments of your own, marvel at the coin-operated contraptions he made for the Under the Pier Show in Suffolk (don't miss the film), and read his thoughts about his brief foray into the fine art world and his ruminations about how art and engineering mix.
posted by hydrophonic on Jan 5, 2007 - 27 comments

Google Research Picks for Videos of the Year

Google Research Picks for Videos of the Year
Some examples: Ron Avitzur tells The Graphing Calculator Story [mefi thread], Dr. James Watson on DNA and the Brain, Steve Wozniak talks about founding Apple and Silicon Valley's boom period, Doug Lenat (of Cyc) on Computers versus Common Sense and a talk on The Archimedes Palimpsest [a little info]
posted by MetaMonkey on Jan 4, 2007 - 7 comments

FizerPharm: Flexible ethics for a complex world

Peter Watts on Vampire Domestication (embedded Flash video, must click to start). The mythical corporation FizerPharm ("Trust. Profit. Deniability.") share their detailed research into the evolution and possible commercial applications of Homo sapiens whedonum. You will learn: How and why the "crucifix glitch" came about. Why you should run from a blushing vampire. How many kilograms of human are needed to make one kilogram of vampire. How vampires resemble two year old humans, domestic shorthaired cats, and lungfish. And why "survival of the fittest" should be reconceptualized as "survival of the least inadequate". [more inside]
posted by maudlin on Dec 24, 2006 - 19 comments

De architectura - Vitruvius' The Ten Books of Architecture

De Architectura, known also as The Ten Books of Architecture, is an exposition on architecture by Marcus Vitruvius Pollio. Originally in Latin, here it is translated into English.
posted by nthdegx on Nov 9, 2006 - 15 comments

Shop Class as Soulcraft

Much of the “jobs of the future” rhetoric surrounding the eagerness to end shop class and get every warm body into college, thence into a cubicle, implicitly assumes that we are heading to a “post-industrial” economy in which everyone will deal only in abstractions. Yet trafficking in abstractions is not the same as thinking...
posted by Kwantsar on Sep 7, 2006 - 54 comments

New York City Water Tunnel No. 3

New York City Water Tunnel No. 3 has been under construction since 1970 and completion is expected in 2020. (Be sure to click the sidebars.) City Water Tunnels Nos. 1 and 2 have been operating continuously since 1917 and 1936, and currently cannot be shut down for repair without disrupting the city's water supply. Popular Mechanics and BLDBLOG have articles, Newsday has photos, and 60 Minutes has an article with video. Local paper The Villager covers the construction of one of the many shafts that connect to the tunnel. It has inspired a one-woman show. The Sandhog Project covers the workers, called "Sandhogs," with photos, sound, and video. Over twenty sandhogs died building the tunnel.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim on Jul 29, 2006 - 11 comments

Creepy, creepy, creepy.

Say Hello to the all New Genpets from Bio.Genica! The Genpets are Pre-Packaged, Bioengineered pets implemented today!
posted by boo_radley on Jun 17, 2006 - 19 comments

GATTACA

The Promise and Perils of Synthetic Biology
posted by Gyan on Jun 16, 2006 - 14 comments

cause and effect contraptions

Incredible Machine 01 - clever Japanese Rube Goldberg type devices in action. Film clip, annoying soundtrack alert. (via digg)
posted by madamjujujive on Apr 7, 2006 - 27 comments

The Future of Food

Everyone knows big business does things better than nature, god and everything else. Not everyone agrees though. The Future of Food (1hr 29 mins) has the nerve to criticize Monsanto for simply protecting its own rightfully acquired genetic property from thieving farmers. And why do they steel it? Because it’s good for you and it’s going to save the world. (warning: glossy corporate brochure in pdf format).
posted by piscatorius on Mar 29, 2006 - 16 comments

The Digital Bridges Project

The Digital Bridges Project Digitized 19th century bridge engineering documents. Luckily for people like me, they've collected links to all the illustrations on one page. See for instance an amazing chronological series of pictures documenting the construction in 1892 of the 330 feet high, 3000 foot long, Pecos Viaduct in Texas.
posted by carter on Mar 25, 2006 - 6 comments

the crew that never sleeps

Rube Goldberg, former mining engineer, Godfather to Mad Magazine’s “Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions,” cartoonist for Boob McNutt and Mike & Ike (they look alike), is best known for the now eponymous machines he started cartooning back in 1914 such as: how to not forget to mail a letter. Or the reminder to take out the garbage. Or the local government efficiency machine. Or the oversleeping cure. Or the German webserver wakeup device (it’s got sound). There are amateurs making ‘Rube Goldberg machines,’ but there are also serious contests, sponsored by serious engineers. (There are even do it yourself plans - y’know, for kids). Goldberg’s influence can be seen in a variety of media, but by the time he turned 80 he’d tired of cartooning and decided to begin sculpting. Needless to say he excelled and of course, influenced humorous kinetic sculpture.
posted by Smedleyman on Mar 15, 2006 - 13 comments

"There it is. Take it."

Eighty years ago, William Mulholland completed his final project: the St. Francis Dam, which converted San Francisquito Canyon--about 5 miles northeast of what is now Santa Clarita, California--into a 38,000 acre-foot reservoir for Los Angeles/Owens River aqueduct water. You're probably familiar with Mulholland's name --he designed and built the Los Angeles Aqueduct and the beginning of the system with which Los Angeles is supplied water from the Central Valley--and as a gesture of gratitude, the city named its most scenic highway in his honor. Mulholland, the California Water Wars, the aqueduct, and the dam were also referenced and alluded to extensively in Roman Polanski's Chinatown. But the man who helped build an immense metropolis by bringing water to the desert has only a small fountain as a memorial to his legacy. Three minutes before midnight, on March 12, 1928...
posted by fandango_matt on Mar 13, 2006 - 20 comments

Ripple Tank Simulation

Ripple Tank Simulation is a delightful, mesmeric java applet simulation of a ripple tank. It demonstrates two dimensional wave phenomena such as interference, diffraction, refraction, resonance, phased arrays, and the Doppler effect (do try the 3D view). From Paul Falstad's fantastic collection of Math, Physics and Engineering Applets.
posted by MetaMonkey on Jan 25, 2006 - 14 comments

Asymmetric Aircraft

Asymmetric airplanes may look weird, but the idea isn't just for the luftwaffe anymore: Burt Rutan has done one too. Not counter-intuitive enough for you? How about an asymmetric helicopter?
posted by phrontist on Dec 13, 2005 - 17 comments

How to Draw a Straight Line

How to Draw a Straight Line - Until 1873, virtually all mathemeticians and engineers agreed that it was impossible to build a linkage that could convert circular motion to perfectly straight motion. In that year, Lipmann Lipkin rediscovered the Peaucellier cell which had been quietly created a decade earlier. Although much simpler to build, it was predated by Pierre-Frederic Sarrus' non-planar solution. Nowadays, though, linkages can do some extremely complex things. (via)
posted by Plutor on Nov 28, 2005 - 25 comments

Burbclaves are for losers

What to do when you have more richies than quaint antique European towns for them to buy? Create a new one. The newest in über premium five-star living for the non-cyclical rich. [via We Make Money, Not Art]
posted by Ogre Lawless on Oct 28, 2005 - 11 comments

Can We Rebuild It? Yes, We Can!

David Brooks makes an interesting point. Rebuild New Orleans to ensure that the cycle of generational poverty is broken. Does this seem like social engineering? There is a precedent for this, though. Can it--should it?--be done on a citywide scale? Should the government meddle this much in the day-to-day lives of people?
posted by John of Michigan on Sep 13, 2005 - 30 comments

Java applets to help visualize various concepts in math, physics, and engineering

Java applets to help visualize various concepts in math, physics, and engineering
posted by Gyan on Sep 9, 2005 - 13 comments

BookFactory

BookFactory At BookFactory we understand the importance of documenting your work, research and inventions. Through innovation and technology we provide the highest quality books at economical prices without requiring large runs. We specialize in making custom Laboratory Notebooks, Engineering Notebooks, Journals, and Log Books with custom page designs, company logos, book numbers, and more, for less than you pay today.
posted by ColdChef on May 2, 2005 - 16 comments

The Boeing 737, Nose to Tail

All things 737: aircraft systems, pilots' notes, deliveries and fleet movements, production methods, technical photographs, blended winglets, rudder news, illustrated history, accident reports, Q's and A's. Know it all? Take the quiz.
posted by breezeway on Apr 27, 2005 - 19 comments

Tour of the English canal system

On the revival of a forgotten piece of infrastructure: Britain's massive canal system was constructed in the late 18th century to move goods throughout the country and provided an extensive logistical network for the industrial revolution. Since the rise of rail and truck transport, the canals were left to decay for generations. Today many are being restored, providing revenue for local communities and acting as a catalyst [PDF] for urban renewal.

One group of fun-lovin' Brits has been touring these man-made waterways since the 1970's and documenting their journeys in copious detail. The canals traverse every conceivable type of landscape, and evince some pretty amazing engineering.
posted by pieisexactlythree on Apr 22, 2005 - 14 comments

Kinematic Models

19th century mechanical models for teaching the principles of kinematics, the geometry of motion. Includes images and descriptions, QT movies of some of the models in motion, javascript simulations, and an online library of historical mechanical and engineering texts in html and pdf, including da Vinci's Madrid Codices, and Charles Babbage on On a Method of Expressing by Signs The Action of Machinery.
posted by carter on Apr 18, 2005 - 10 comments

AK's got a real cool tunnel.

The U.S. Army Permafrost Tunnel provides researchers a unique opportunity to study the composition and behavior of ice structures, ice-saturated soils and frozen bioorganics dating over 40,000 years before present.
posted by breezeway on Apr 5, 2005 - 4 comments

Transhumanism and effective use of the Web

More than Human - Ramez Naam's site promoting his new book (about emerging technologies for engineering human biology, more or less), has excerpts, a list of upcoming appearances, and even a full-fledged blog linking to articles and commentary that might be of interest to people curious about the book's transhumanist ideas. Now this is the way to do it.
posted by Mars Saxman on Mar 13, 2005 - 11 comments

Your princess is in another castle

And this is what college is all about.
posted by pantsrobot on Feb 23, 2005 - 20 comments

Resources for lighting designers and enthusiasts: The Lighting Wiki; [extensive] Glossary of Lighting Terminology (and another); Lighting Design Resources (inc. "Fun with Light"; and Professional Lighting Resources.
posted by nthdegx on Feb 16, 2005 - 4 comments

Fantasy Planes

Fantasy Planes. Sometimes I think the most interesting airplanes are the ones that never got built
posted by growabrain on Feb 10, 2005 - 7 comments

If they can't even play with trucks correctly...

"In his talk... [Harvard President Larry] Summers also used as an example one of his daughters, who as a child was given two trucks in an effort at gender-neutral parenting. Yet she treated them almost like dolls, naming one of them 'daddy truck,' and one 'baby truck.'

"It was during his comments on ability that Hopkins, sitting only 10 feet from Summers, closed her computer, put on her coat, and walked out. 'It is so upsetting that all these brilliant young women [at Harvard] are being led by a man who views them this way,' she said later in an interview." Summers then responded with the currently in vogue non-apology apology.
posted by occhiblu on Jan 18, 2005 - 182 comments

Gecko Feet might hold the key to inventing a self-cleaning adhesive.

Gecko Feet might hold the key to inventing a self-cleaning adhesive. The super-sticky feet of geckos allow them to adhere to almost any surface. But even though geckos never groom their feet, they don't lose their sticking power over time. Why? Turns out they're self-cleaning. . Scientists hope to be able to use this knowledge to create new, better kinds of dry tape and adhesives, like "duct tape that never loses its stick or bandages that come off without sticky residue or an 'ouch.'" Research info is here, along with some gecko pics.
posted by zarq on Jan 4, 2005 - 11 comments

Gotta go!

Oh, the fun things a man can build with $10,000! "Some folks like to take their time on the can. Not Paul Stender. When the 43-year-old former pit mechanic feels the need for speed, he straps himself into his jet-engine-equipped toilet and roars off, trailing flame."
posted by miss lynnster on Jan 1, 2005 - 9 comments

Hack a fibre optic display. Blow up smarties. Make a lava lamp (that actually works). Things to make and do from Big Clive.
posted by nthdegx on Dec 21, 2004 - 12 comments

The Dome Home, baby !

Hurricane Ivan VS soy sprayed house that wouldn't look bad in Star Trek. Results of the match: house wins ! Proof proved that if you build to last, the building lasts ...but if you don't for whatever reason.... More info on the building here
posted by elpapacito on Sep 18, 2004 - 19 comments

Industrial Art Galllery

Draft machine parts, not people! The Industrial Art Gallery is a collection of vintage engineering drawings. Perfect cover art for all you emo/math rock types. [via mimi smartypants]
posted by arto on Apr 20, 2004 - 8 comments

A Sightseer's Guide to Engineering

A Sightseer's Guide to Engineering. Engineering sights around the USA.
posted by plep on Dec 21, 2003 - 8 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

Seven hot technologies

Seven hot technologies that we'll soon see on the market, according to MIT's Tech Review magazine. The spam blocker sounds like it might work. But the babelfish?
posted by iffley on Nov 30, 2003 - 14 comments

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