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Gravity Catapult

Gravity Catapult

I have long been enamored of catapults. Invented around 400 B.C., they were used until nearly A.D. 1300. So for 1,700 years, catapults were arguably the largest, most expensive, and most powerful machines on the planet. Today, people build catapults for fun: Scout troops, historical reenactors, fathers and daughters, beer-stoked college students. Having built more […]

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Lumia Lunchbox Laser

Lumia Lunchbox Laser

Back in the 1970s, my friend Wayne Gillis and I used to do light shows at science fiction conventions. We had the usual panoply of overhead, slide, and custom-made projectors, and a single, very expensive, helium-neon laser from Edmund Scientific. Calling ourselves Light Opera, and later, Illuminatus, we performed at ConFusion conventions in Ann Arbor, […]

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Infrared String Bass

Infrared String Bass

In this project we’re going to take inspiration from Len Keeler’s original Elastic String Bass. We’ll pick it up (no pun intended) and run with it, adding multiple strings for different tonal qualities, etch our own printed circuit board (PCB), and of course, demonstrate the instrument. First we will breadboard the basic version of this […]

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