Children in the First World have a lot of choice when it comes to scientific toys. In fact, there are whole stores devoted to selling things like robotics kits
, ant farms
, and simple microscopes
. In the developing world, however, such fancy toys are relatively scarce. So, what's an adult to do if they want to get the local children interested in the sciences? Well, in the case of Arvind Gupta, they show the kids how to make scientific toys from trash.
The near concurrent rise of Kickstarter and semi
-affordable 3D printing means we live in a time when it is easier than ever to be an inventor of physical things. Gizmag spoke at length to David Alden, whose spring-loaded Recoil Winder
cable management device clearly struck a chord raising more than 14 times the original US$10,000 investment target. Both Kickstarter and 3D printing may have been essential to the development of the Recoil Winder, but Alden's story also demonstrates the need for good old-fashioned perseverance.
The final hammer has come down on the Milhous Collection auction
we previewed last week. The two-day event resulted in 100 percent of all lots being sold for a total of US$38.3 million. The item to fetch the highest price was a 1912 Oldsmobile Limited Five-Touring, which set a world record auction price for an Oldsmobile at $3.3 million.
An entire thesis could be constructed on what turns an otherwise normal person into a collector. Whether it be fine art or beer cans, passion for collecting things knows no bounds. Take Bob and Paul Milhous for example. They started out working in the printing industry, and along the way Paul discovered an interest in musical instruments after buying a piano, while Bob kicked off his fascination with desirable motorcars with a 1934 Packard. Eventually a decision to combine the two individual, and very eclectic, collections into one saw four changes of location before finally settling in at a huge, purpose-built private complex in Florida. Now this fascinating array of historical objects is up for auction.
You may have already come in contact with the work of techno-artist Yasuhito Udagawa (AKA Shovelhead) before and not realised it. He has created many of the theme icons of major art, technology and other exhibitions and shows over the last decade, and has become far better known since his sponsorship by Nike. Shovelhead's work is mesmerizing. A Japanese salaryman who found himself jobless in 1995 when the company he worked for went into bankruptcy, Yasuhito turned to his passion for making models and his fertile imagination and attention to fabricating the minutest detail have propelled him to the brink of superstardom. Make sure you browse the extensive image gallery
for this story. Spellbinding!
When you think about the best-loved movies depicting space travel, what names come to mind? Star Wars
, 2001: A Space Odyssey
, Star Trek - The Motion Picture
, Silent Running
, Battlestar Galactica
? Interestingly enough, all of those enduring films were made decades ago, and utilized hand-built model spaceships for their space-flight sequences. Today, even low-budget productions usually use CGI (computer-generated imagery) for the same purpose – it’s logistically much easier to create and “film” a virtual spaceship on a computer, than it is to build, light and shoot an actual model. Nonetheless, that second approach is exactly what New York film-makers Derek Van Gorder and Otto Stockmeier are taking with their short film, C
Anyone who appreciates the precision art of engine design ought to get a kick out of this offering from a Spanish engineer named Patelo. Starting with hunks of aluminum, bronze and stainless steel, he spent over 1200 hours designing, milling, turning and drilling what he claims is "probably" the world's smallest V12 engine. Powered by compressed air injection (0.1kg/sq cm), this little marvel boasts a total displacement of 12 cubic centimeters from its twelve 11.3 mm diameter pistons and works like a charm. Best of all, you can see it come together in the detailed video that follows.
Prolific Spanish designer Bernat Cuni has come up with a whimsical way to help bring the relatively new 3D ceramic printing
process into the mainstream. Recently, he unleashed his creative energies on what he termed the "coffee cup-a-day" project to highlight the versatility and immediacy of what is also known as "additive manufacturing" - the layer by layer construction of tangible objects from digital models. The results, while not necessarily the most utilitarian, could be just the thing for the coffee drinker who has it all.
Why on Earth would you want to strap one of these to your wrist? It barely tells the time, and it can't take pictures, tweet or connect to your Facebook. In fact, very few people would have the faintest idea what it is, or why you'd want one at all. But for those that do recognize its intricate gears and dials, this tiny, complex piece of machinery tells a vivid and incredible tale. It's a story of gigantic scientific upheaval, of adventure and shipwreck on the high seas, of war and death. A story of amazing intellect, lost riches and impossible chance - a sunken treasure that Jaques Cousteau once described as "more valuable than the Mona Lisa" - and it's connected with an ancient celebrity whose star shone so brightly that he's still a household name more than 2200 years after his death... Read on!
You just never know what you've got in the shed. This horary quadrant was found in a bag of old pipe fittings in a shed on a farm in Queensland, Australia, forty years ago. Last year the owner of the quadrant was surfing the internet and came across this article
where he recognised not just the same tool, but the same stag-coronet insignia that was on his quadrant (he thought it was an astrolabe) signified it was made for King Richard II (of England). He subsequently contacted the British Museum, which identified the item sitting on his desk for the last forty years as a 1396 horary quadrant. It will be auctioned next month and is expected to fetch between GBP150,000 and GBP200,000.