Self-described "Mr. Fix-It" Trent Whatley was tired of having to replace parts of his gas grill every year, so he decided to build a brand-new one out of a V8 engine from an old Chevy. First he spent about 15 hours painstakingly removing the guts from the engine with a plasma cutter and smoothing all the jagged edges. Then he sand-blasted it to remove rust and had it cleaned professionally at a machine shop.
By Russ JuskalianPosted 06.22.2009 at 5:19 pm 2 Comments
There are a lot more clips out there than what turns up using YouTube's keyword-search function. On sites such as Hulu.com, you can watch free TV shows and movies. And "vertical content" Web sites focus on single subjects, whether bird-watching or extreme sports.
The retro-futuristic design of this skateboard was inspired by the look of rocket ships in old cartoons. Ryan Bavetta used a jigsaw to cut out the sleek deck and then mounted a propeller and 3.7-horsepower engine from a model airplane on the back to power it. A handheld remote controls the engine throttle, which can move the board 25 mph or more wherever he wants to go.
When your head hits the pillow, your eyes still function. "But they can only sense light versus dark," says physician Michael Breus, a clinical psychologist who founded SoundSleepSolutions.com, a sleep-information Web site. This explains why a bright light or the sunrise often wakes a person up.
By Mike RigsbyPosted 06.10.2009 at 7:29 pm 8 Comments
You're late for work. As you hustle out the front door, the furthest thing from your mind is the afternoon's dentist appointment that you'd scheduled last week. You'd have probably forgotten all about it — if you hadn't thought ahead by programming a home-built device to give you a voice reminder as you pass it on your way out.
27 hydraulic cylinders bring the mechs to life, its movements matching those of the person inside it
By Charles CrainPosted 06.08.2009 at 10:37 am 69 Comments
Carlos Owens had handled all kinds of machines as an army mechanic, but he always dreamed of using those skills for one project: his own "mecha," a giant metal robot that could mirror the movements of its human pilot.
You're halfway through listening to "Layla" when it happens: Your MP3 player's battery dies. Normally you'd have to wait until you were at your computer to finish rocking out, but there is an easy and eco-friendly way to do it on the go. First, slip a piezoelectric transducer -- a device that generates a tiny charge when touched -- into your shoe. A connected module collects the voltage created every time you take a step and continuously powers up a rechargeable AA battery. (It takes a lot of walking to get a full charge, but it's perfect for reviving or topping off a gadget.) Once the battery is charged, put it into a DIY five-volt converter, and plug in your dead MP3 player. Now you can listen to the guitar solo while you walk some more juice into another battery.
A veteran of the TV show Battlebots, Jamie Price has built plenty of destructive machines. But late last year, he designed a robot with a more mellow calling: offering cold beer and cocktails. The result — a masterpiece of plywood, plastic, aluminum and electric motors called Bar2D2 — serves up everything but the sage advice.
Arthur C. Clarke wrote that "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic," but he was wrong. It's easy to tell the difference -- technology works. For example, "remote-viewing" mentalists claim they can see events far away, yet they fail every test. In fact, remote viewing is simple: It's called TV.
Another example that recently circulated online was a fake video of someone charging his iPhone by jamming the end of a USB cable into an onion. How do I know it was fake? First, you need contacts made of two different metals, and second, you can't get enough voltage out of a single vegetable. What makes the ruse so disappointing is that it is possible to charge an iPhone this way, if you do it right.
I recently committed myself to the goal, before the weekend was out, of creating a device entirely from bacon and using it to cut a steel pan in half. My initial attempts were failures, but I knew success was within reach when I was able to ignite and melt the pan using seven beef sticks and a cucumber.