Tag: Popsci Archive

How plant hunting has evolved over the centuries

Chief among the many wonders encountered by Renaissance explorers were the novel plants never before seen in Europe. In Spanish geographer Martín Fernández de Enciso’s 1519 account of his experiences in the Americas, “La Suma de Geografía,” he described a delectable new fruit, writing, “when it is ready for eating it turns yellowish; that which […]

How to make a walkie talkie for your dog

Before Dug the Dog—the lovable talking canine from Disney’s 2009 blockbuster animation Up—there was Zoe, the Alsatian police dog. While Dug’s goofy gaffes and brainwave-reading, voice-box collar endeared him to audiences, Zoe’s ability to follow her master’s commands from afar–performing tricks like climbing a ladder, turning a faucet on and off, and even removing her […]

How to make a coffee can camera—in 1961 and today

At about the time when coffee gained ground across the Near East in the 16th century—giving rise to coffee houses which quickly became important cultural centers—optical inventions like the compound microscope and telescope were also making their debut. Among these, the camera obscura became an essential tool for artisans to capture relatively detailed real-world images. […]