In honor of How It Works Month here at PopSci, please enjoy with us this elegantly done film explaining how a differential gear works. It dates from the 1930s, but BoingBoing reminded us how truly excellent it is.
A couple of engineer buddies have designed the latest must-have accessory for the coffee drinker. Joulies are metallic beans you drop into your hot cup of coffee to make it exactly 140 degrees. They haven't even been manufactured yet, but already the project has accumulated some $35,000 in Kickstarter cash. I guess a lot of people are tired of blistered tongues.
This week, if you've been watching television, you may have seen Dr. Nathan Myhrvold dipping his hand in liquid nitrogen on the Colbert Report or making a striped omelet on the Today show. We also saw the Modernist team at the New York Academy of Sciences, where everyone in the standing-room audience got a bowl of modernist pistachio gelato, which is made of nothing but pure pistachios ultra-homogenized into a cream.
After being stuck on Earth for months longer than expected, robot astronaut Robonaut is right at this minute being released from his crate, on board the International Space Station.
"The lids off!" he excitedly Tweets.
In subway stations in Berlin, new projectors cast glowing advertisements on the walls, exhorting commuters to buy Volkswagens or something. In this video, a group called Post marches into a subway station carrying mysterious apparatus, and proceeds to modify the projectors so that they display pleasing fragmented images instead.
We've seen footage from rocket-mounted cameras before, but this is a particularly stunning example of the genre: cameras mounted on the solid-fuel rocket boosters that lifted the shuttle Discovery into space last week document their entire 30-minute voyage, from liftoff to splashdown.
If any of you weren't glued to your livecasts over the weekend, you should know that the first ever robot marathon has come to an end. In a near-photo-finish, the "I Love Osaka" bot crossed the finish line inches ahead of the second-placer, while the crowd roared and a straggler in the race stumbled and pounded the floor in frustration.
The first ever full-length robot marathon is being run right now in Japan. And one of the bots is live-streaming its point-of-view video so we humans can see what it's like to run around and around for 26 miles, without leaving our comfortable chairs.
Tiny-fingered researchers at the University of Michigan have created this computer, the world's first complete millimeter-scale computing system. It is a prototype designed to be implanted in a human eye, to monitor internal pressure there for signs of glaucoma.
As I may have mentioned, I have lately developed a bit of a thing for pea butter. Not some sort of pea-infused dairy butter, but the real deal, the pure green fat of tender garden peas laboriously isolated and concentrated, and spread on toast. I first had it when I was visiting the Modernist Cuisine laboratory/kitchen in Seattle last month, and now I very much want more.