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.
posted by cthuljew
on Mar 23, 2013 -
When the machines take over, how will people make a living?
Paul Allen: Futurists like Vernor Vinge and Ray Kurzweil have argued that the world is rapidly approaching a tipping point, where the accelerating pace of smarter and smarter machines will soon outrun all human capabilities. They call this tipping point the singularity, because they believe it is impossible to predict how the human future might unfold after this point. Once these machines exist, Kurzweil and Vinge claim, they'll possess a superhuman intelligence that is so incomprehensible to us that we cannot even rationally guess how our life experiences would be altered. Vinge asks us to ponder the role of humans in a world where machines are as much smarter than us as we are smarter than our pet dogs and cats. Kurzweil, who is a bit more optimistic, envisions a future in which developments in medical nanotechnology will allow us to download a copy of our individual brains into these superhuman machines, leave our bodies behind, and, in a sense, live forever. It's heady stuff. [more inside]
posted by kgasmart
on Oct 26, 2011 -
. They dice
. They make tempura shrimp
. I'm not exactly sure who or what PF Max Company
is, but this collection of YouTube videos -- featuring factory machines designed to cut, slice, sort, and do unspeakable things to fish -- is fascinating to watch. There are dozens of videos; these were selected for their toe-tapping (rolling out imitation crab & scallop) musical accompaniment (shredding fish to make Surimi)
. ⚠Warning: these videos depict bad things happening to (dead) fish so if that upsets you, don't watch. [more inside]
posted by Deathalicious
on Sep 7, 2009 -
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 -
, 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
, 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
posted by Smedleyman
on Mar 15, 2006 -
do it yourself plans, vintage reprints and building ideas from the 40's, 50's and 60's for farm, workshop, woodshop, machineshop, kids and camping. Includes plans for a pop-up
camper, toy excavator
, snow blower
, and concrete block
posted by Mitheral
on Sep 9, 2005 -
Knight's American Mechanical Dictionary
Containing over 3000 pages the Knight's American Mechanical Dictionary was billed as
A description of tools, instruments, machines, processes and engineering; history of inventions; general technological vocabulary.
Published in 1876 it is a great resource for those trying to figure out how things were done in the time of our great (great?) grand parents. Ilustrations, upwards of 5000 engravings
, include a ride inside monocycle
, trestle bridges
, compound microscope
, clod crushers
, washing machines
, spoke driver
, hydraulic wagon-tipper
, and a farmers tool-house
. Warning: the book has been scanned in and all the item links are to 100-150K images.
posted by Mitheral
on Jan 12, 2005 -
Vending Machines of Japan
PhotoMann recently decided to 'collect' images of unique vending machines found in Japan. They are everywhere. Estimates suggest there are 5.6 million vending machines which works out to be one for every 20 people in Japan. Sales from vending machines in 2000 totaled $56 billion! The most common are drink and cigarette machines followed by machines with pornography
posted by Postroad
on Apr 30, 2004 -
The steam-powered drum machine
- an astonishing extract from the journal of Charles Franklin, the founder of the London Museum of Techno. Written in 1894, Franklin describes a steam-powered drum machine and what may have been the world's first rave. "Driven by the thunderous rhythms of Hoovenaars tremendous "drum machine" the crowd - academics and dockers, architects and cobblers - were whipped into a frenzy, dancing and screaming like savages until sunrise, when the Machine finally ground to a halt with a suffering hiss.
posted by adrianhon
on May 20, 2003 -
The Chuck Hagel voting machine ownership story gets even scarier.
In today's Best of the Blogs, Jerry Bowles reveals more bizarre details about the Chuck Hagel/voting machine story, including the fact that the majority ownership stake in the voting machine company that counted Senator Hagel's upset victory in 1996 (and his reelection in 2002) is held by a man long associated with the radical organization Christian Reconstruction, which believes in overturning democracy and replacing it with a Christian theocracy. This is really weird and frightening stuff, if it checks out.
posted by mitsu
on Feb 5, 2003 -
Who Counts your Votes? This book published back in 1992
is a good launching pad to begin the quest regarding elections and election fraud in America. Joseph Stalin had a saying: ``Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything.'' When I voted on November 5, I was handed a little card stuck it in to a Diebold voting machine and presto all the votes I submitted were counted correctly right? Well I'm not sure after I read the article Diebold: The face of modern balloting at http://www.bartcop.com/110702otter.htm
and some of the articles at
Perhaps we Americans have handed a bit to much over to computers and the people who own the companies that make the computers and that write the code. Perhaps to restore faith in our Democracy its time to to go back a simple hand counted system, with observers from multiple parties stationed in the local precincts counting the paper ballots.
posted by thedailygrowl
on Nov 9, 2002 -
Florida Machine Records Votes for Wrong Candidate.
OK, I know Matt Drudge isn't exactly a venerated news outlet, but he is
in South Florida. And he's reporting that a West Palm Beach voter called in to a South Florida radio talk show to report that when he voted for McBride this morning the machine counted his vote for Bush. After he'd tried three times, the voter said, an observing poll worker finally acknowledged that the machine would have to be reprogrammed, since earlier voters had experienced the same problem. There is no official confirmation of this problem, but calls to the same radio show two years ago evidently foreshadowed the 2000 election debacle. I'll be keeping an eye on sites like Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo
as the day wears on. In the end, what should the electorate do (in addition to initiating lawsuits) if outcome-determining irregularities surface in yet another Florida election?
posted by maud
on Nov 5, 2002 -