The Fire Piston

Carl von Linde was dead tired. The eminent engineer, considered the father of the modern refrigerator, had just returned to his home in Germany from a lecture tour that took him to, among other places, Malaysia. This being the late 19th century, the voyage had taken months. Von Linde had... Read more »

Hypertufa Planter

The ultimate Zen garden accessory is the stone urn. Filled only with water and a few fallen leaves, it defines tranquility. Unfortunately, these stone beauties cost hundreds of dollars. Luckily, a concrete mix called “hypertufa” was developed that has the look of stone, specifically the volcanic rock called tufa. In... Read more »

Carbon Fiber Primer

It seems as though nearly everything “high performance” these days boasts some amount of carbon fiber in its construction. Originally used in aerospace, carbon fiber has moved into the mainstream and can be found in luxury automobiles, mountain bikes, and sports equipment. Some laptops and cellphones even use printed decals... Read more »