dreaming of a life after cubicles

Famous Albuquerque Invention – the Rolamite
December 8, 2006, 10:08 am
Filed under: albuquerque, engineering, science

Mark Frauenfelder: Kaden says:

200612071646-1 Ever hear about Rolamites? The only “basic mechanism” invented in the 20th century, they came out of Sandia Labs in the mid ’60’s.I’ve prototyped a few variations, and they’re *damned* fascinating… almost like alien technology, or something that fell through that rip in the space-time continuum that leads to the parallel universe.

A guy named Don Wilkes developed them, and they’re pretty freakin’ cool. A couple of rollers tracked into a spring metal band, and Bob’s yer uncle: stored energy with (no shit) frictionless constrained movement,

I remember reading about them in PopSci when they were first developed, then promptly forgot about them, what with being 9 years old and all. They popped back into my mind last night while pondering the Zen of primary mechanisms.

They currently seem to be *somewhat* popular in force sensor mechanisms, and there’s ongoing research into using ’em in prosthetic joints, but for all intents and purposes, they’ve fallen through the cracks, Makerwise.



Is there life on mars?
December 7, 2006, 8:46 am
Filed under: geek, science

NASA Finds Evidence of Recent Flowing Water on Mars

SonicSpike writes to mention that Scientists are claiming that they have evidence of water flowing on Mars within the last five years. From the article: “Subsurface aquifers or melting ground ice were floated as possible sources of the water. One of the springs even appears at a fault line, according to Malin, just as they often do on Earth. The shortness of the gulleys, which seem to flow for but a few hundred yards, might be accounted for by a process similar to a volcano’s eruption on Earth, with water instead of magma building up underground, and ice, instead of fire, characterizing the resulting flow.”

grandaddy stonehenge
December 6, 2006, 12:35 pm
Filed under: engineering, science, streaming media, video

Check this guy out. He’s building Stonhenge in his backyard, by himself and using no equipment… Mmmm.. elbow grease

edit: so how did he get the first “stick” under the see saw? I guess Stonehenge is still a mystery…