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Solar Heater From Can Lids and Woven Plants

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An interesting experiment from students in a course at Humboldt State University called Appropriate Technology Engineering 305. The parabolic form is essentially a large, shallow basket woven with fibers of locally-gathered Himalaya blackberry, which the students identify as an invasive species. In good weather, their dish could boil a jar... Read more »

Analog Tide Computers and the D-Day Invasion

Bruce Parker, former Chief Scientist and eleven-year veteran of NOAA’s National Ocean Service, wrote this fascinating article in the September issue of Physics Today. It covers the technical history of the science of tide prediction leading up to the beautiful mechanical computers developed in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries... Read more »

Compressed: Ferrofluid and Bubbles

Kim Pimmel of San Francisco, CA, created this “experimental art video of ferrofluid and bubbles.” I combined everyday soap bubbles with exotic ferrofluid liquid to create an eerie tale, using macro lenses and time lapse techniques. Black ferrofluid and dye race through bubble structures, drawn through by the invisible forces... Read more »

How-To: Build With Pumice

Interesting off-beat find via kris de kecker's "No Tech Magazine," which today linked to WIKI-style and PDF versions of Klaus Grasser and Gernot Minke's 1990 book "Building With Pumice." Turns out pumice, a foamy igneous rock, often tan in color and generally known for its ability to float in water... Read more »


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