Finally, a reasonable method for quickly and precisely folding those
RF Cafe T-shirts!
Engineers are all about efficiency and elegance in solutions when tackling difficult
problems such as this. Materials cost is minimal if you go to Wal-Mart during re-stocking
hours and pick out an appropriately-sized cardboard box and a roll of packing tape.
The video demonstrates both construction and use of the apparatus. A patent is probably
pending as this is being written. If you are fortunate enough to win my monthly
drawing and choose a "We Are the World's Match Makers" T-shirt as the prize, you
are now prepared to handle the responsibility of ownership.
Here is an opportunity to vent some frustration over that old troublesome
printer, refrigerator, lawn mower, or even your 1980 BMW that wouldn't start on
cold mornings. A company called
shredders that will make mince meat out of just about anything. It is awesome to
watch these machines seemingly effortlessly devour everything from engine blocks
to great chunks of reinforced concrete. Note the design of the "teeth." This video
shows a little about how the monsters are
SolidWorks has a winner in their series of spoof videos called "3
Dudes Gone 3D." The tag line is, "CAD Brought Them Together. A Trailer Might Tear
Them Apart." It probably takes someone who appreciates Dilbert humor to relate to
the situation, with about a dozen productions in their repertoire. The series has
been running for a couple years. It features the trials and tribulations of Stephen,
Kish, and Bob. This episode is called "Blessed CAD."
A lot of people new to the use of spectrum analyzers have some difficulty
grasping the concept of video bandwidth (VBW), resolution bandwidth (RBW), video
averaging, and peak hold. This short video from Anritsu explains the functions and
demonstrates how settings affect signal display and sweep time. There are many similar
test equipment instructional videos available online. HP (now Agilent) had the best
SA app note (AN-150) for years, and it was used by a couple generations
of engineers as a must-read document.
Unless you've been held prisoner in a Taliban cave for the last couple
weeks, you know about the whole Apple iPhone-4G-prototype-left-at-a-bar-and-exposed-by-Gizmodo
thing. Jon Stewart took a poke at Steve Jobs for his company's approach to resolution.
"Apple, you guys were the rebels, man, the underdogs," he says at one point. "People
believed in you. But now, are you becoming The Man? Remember back in 1984, you had
those awesome ads about overthrowing Big Brother? Look in the mirror, man!," says
This video certainly helps explain why the U.S. Congress cannot manage
the country. This freaking moron, Hank Johnson, who is on the House Armed Services
Committee, is actually lecturing Admiral Robert Willard, commander of the U.S. Pacific
Fleet, about overloading the island of Guam with Navy personnel and materiel to
the point that it "will become so overly populated that
the whole island might tip over and capsize." You can see that the good admiral
can barely contain his incredulity. You must see this to believe it!
Lego robots have for many years been a favorite pastime for nerds
young and old alike. A Google search of Lego videos will result in a plethora of
cool projects that hobbyists have dreamed up - like this Lego Pen Plotter. Lego
manufactures a large selection of components for robotics including motors, gears,
vision systems, microprocessors, sensors, gears and drive belts. Their
Mindstorms NXT series is a good place to start if you are inclined to join the
club. Don't bother trying to sell your manager on the cost savings of building this
plotter and selling the $8k HP model; it's not quite that good.
Another Google Earth
3-D map of the globe? Not this time. IBM researchers have developed a method of
"drawing" these kinds of textured images by using an extremely small silicon tip,
about 100,000 times smaller than a sharpened pencil tip, to create patterns and
structures as small as 15 nanometers across. Nanomachining is now possible without
chemical etching. The video shows how the system works and explains a wee bit of
the magic behind it.
The Blendtech guy is at it again.
This time, his victim is the venerable (to many) /
despised (to many) iPad. "Will It Blend?" you might
ask. How does he get that iPad into the blender? Watch the video to find out. iPad
lovers with weak stomachs might want to skip this one. You have been warned. There
have been more than 5,000,000 views thus far.
Blendtech has gained
much publicity via the antics in their "Will It Blend" video series, in which all
kinds of popular consumer products have been subjected to the ultimate test of ruggedness.
Q: Will the Blendtec blender blend?
Modern technology allows amateurs to accomplish
amazing feats of "extreme" endeavors, be they athletic or scientific. High altitude
balloon flights with camera payloads are in vogue these days. Altimeters trigger
payload release and parachute deployment, and tracking beacons allow the descending
equipment to be found once back on terra firma. Ancients could not infer a round
Earth from its shadow cast on the moon during a lunar eclipse. I wonder what they
would conclude from images like this?
IEEE Spectrum has
titled a story "The Most Disturbing Presentation of the Year," where game designer
Jesse Schell lays out a scenario where ad designers and government entities manipulate
behavior to cause people to voluntarily - indeed passionately - pursue life choices
solely out of a compulsive drive to "win" a game. Ostensibly, the goal is to improve
the human condition. Right. Will it cause us to be better people? Well, maybe, if
you believe that the people devising the behavior modification carrots are infinitely
smarter than you, and they have the ability to "improve" you. It looks like another
master race experiment akin to others that have failed miserably over the centuries.
You have heard of, read of, and/or experienced how major sun eruptions
impact Earthly electronic communications, but have you ever seen a video of the
event's source? Most coronal mass ejections (CME) are minor and do not project
in the Earth's direction, but the ones that are of significance have the potential
to be catastrophic. This video shows a rather extreme example that was imaged by
a white light coronagraph in 2003. Billions of tons of mass are ejected along with
an entraining magnetic field. When the particles and associated fields interact
with the Earth's magnetic field and ionosphere, sparks can fly - literally.