Students Set Rube Goldberg World Record, Water Flower
The 2011 Rube Goldberg competition tasked college students to create an overly complex device in the spirit of the famous cartoonists that completes an everyday task. This year, students were challenged to water a flower in as many steps as possible. The team from Purdue University did not win the competition--that honor went to the team at UW-Stout--but they beat the previous Rube Goldberg world record with a total of 244 steps when they got their machine up and running after the competition ended. The device shows the entirety of existence -- from the big bang to the forthcoming apocalypse -- and has many a bouncing ball bearing, and mechanized madness along the way. Congratulations to the winning team, and your prizes are, I'm sure, in the mail. Unfortunately, the delivery process will take well over 200 steps, so don't hold your breath. (via Neatorama)Read on...
The 10 Greatest Interactive YouTube AdventuresThere is no greater modern hub for diversion than YouTube. But sometimes the experience can just be too passive. Sometimes sitting back and watching other people get hit with things isn't enough. Sometimes, you need to choose what they get hit with. And when you're in that mood to interact, YouTube is still there to help you (because video games are expensive). Below I have compiled the list of the top ten interactive YouTube videos. Choose your own adventure as you click through from video to video as the narrative, game, or whatever the flip it is unfolds. Make sure your annotations are on, and happy voyaging!Read on...
Stephen Hawking Fills Us in on How to Build a Time MachineIn a column for noted scientific journal The Daily Mail, accomplished physicist Stephen Hawking -- who's been more at ease talking about out-there topics of late -- writes an instructive DIY guide to time machine construction. Though he admits to past concerns that he'd be "labelled a crank" in stodgier scientific circles for his explorations into time travel, he now admits to an open fascination with the subject. The Daily Mail headline ("STEPHEN HAWKING: How to build a time machine") and dek ("All you need is a wormhole, the Large Hadron Collider or a rocket that goes really, really fast") may oversell the piece a bit, but its value is as a popular science primer. Like his remarks about alien overlords, if Hawking has to give some writers easy misconstruable headlines and pop-up jokes in exchange for a lively debate about science (and publicity for his new TV show, Stephen Hawking's Universe, which debuts on May 9th), so be it.Read on...