I have never understood why people who aren't circus clowns ride unicycles. They seem designed specifically to create wipeouts and, subsequently, schadenfreude (a lesson our writer learned all too well in 1967 when he undertook the massive challenge of learning to ride one). But who knew that tucked away in the pages of PopScis past were some of the weirdest, most delightfully retro-futuristic unicycles of all time? Now we all do. And I don't think it's a stretch to say our lives are all the better for it.
Whenever you run into a snag on a project, it's a pretty safe bet that somewhere there is a grizzled old man who's solved it many years before you and will be happy to tell you it. That's why I never miss the chance to chat up the old guys working at or just hanging around lumber yards, machine shops and scrapyards. I always walk away smarter.
One recent example: While helping PopSci's John Carnett with his Green Dream house, we had to make a number of bolt holes in thick structural steel. (I would have preferred that the beams had come from the steel yard properly cut and drilled, but sometimes things don't work out as we'd like.) The drill just wasn't cutting it, so I turned to the oxy-acetylene cutting torch. It would easily pierce the thick steel, but I wasn't sure it'd cut clean holes. Then I remembered a great trick for burning accurate holes that I learned from an old-timer at the structural steel yard.
Who isn't amused by the rare and impressive science-savvy party trick? One that involves the potential to risk death death by flinging yourself Superman-like at a bouncy training ball, only to have it pop you back up in an amazingly graceful backflip? Before you cry "Sir Isaac Newton!," here are the physics behind this seemingly impossible stunt.
Make your iPod play games and more by giving it a second personality with iPodLinux
By John MahoneyPosted 07.01.2006 at 2:00 am 1 Comment
Out of the box, the iPod is basically a one-trick pony. The games and applications found under the â€Extrasâ€ menu get old faster than Britney. But thanks to four years of work by a crafty group of programmers, you can now use your iPod´s processing power and scroll-wheel interface to play dozens of games, record voice memos, or browse Wikipedia, all without messing up the existing software or your music.
The secret is iPodLinux, an alternative operating system you can install free alongside the existing one on any iPod model.