science
Here’s How Scientists Bent Diamonds

A team of physicists has figured out how to bend diamonds, according to a new paper. Okay, we’re talking about nano-scale diamond needles here. But it’s an impressive feat, because while diamonds are known for their hardness, these rocks will break if they are bent even a tiny bit. Read More >>

gadgets
For £262,000, This Clockwork Machine Will Save You the Hassle of Writing Your Own Name

Are you a billionaire suffering from wrist cramps brought on by the endless stacks of cheques you need to endorse? A two-pound rubber stamp is one solution, but more befitting of your fiduciary status could be Jaquet Droz’s Signing Machine, which uses sophisticated clockwork mechanisms to flawlessly recreate your signature. Read More >>

nasa
Please Enjoy This Compilation of NASA Test Dummies Having Their Day Ruined

NASA test dummies go through a lot so humans don’t have to. They get used for brutal impact tests, and sometimes said tests don’t go so well... for the dummies, not necessarily the scientists. Read More >>

science
Graphene Scientists Invent World’s Most Hardcore Hair Dye

Researchers at Northwestern University think they’ve stumbled upon an unexpected new use for the so-called supermaterial graphene: an easy-to-apply, safer, and sturdier black hair dye that could give other permanent dyes a run for their money. The new dye even made hair immune to frizz and static electricity. Read More >>

engineering
Bus Tours of Roadworks and Building Sites Offered to Make People Want to be Builders

Do you think you have what it takes to engage in banter on a building site? If so, you might be interested in a promotion the government is running at the moment, where members of the public can tour building sites and infrastructure projects to get some sort of idea of what the work entails. Read More >>

toys
50 Engineers Spent Six Months Designing a Fidget Spinner That Set a New World Record

Just when you thought that the fidget spinner fad had gone the way of the dodo bird, hoverboards, and 3D TVs, a Japanese company, MinebeaMitsumi Inc., known for manufacturing electronic components, and Mitsubishi, used 50 engineers to design and build a near-flawless fidget spinner over a six-month period that eventually set a new Guinness Word Record. Read More >>

photography
Picture of Single Trapped Atom Wins UK Science Photography Prize

Zoom in close on the centre of the picture above, and you can spot something you perhaps never thought you’d be able to see: a single atom. Here is a close-up if you’re having trouble: Read More >>

science
Why the Drinking Bird Toy Is Actually a Brilliant Piece of Thermodynamic Engineering

At some point in your life you’ve almost certainly marvelled at the classic drinking bird toy, and probably lost a few brain cells trying to figure out how it works. Don’t be ashamed if you never successfully unravelled the science, though; as engineer Bill Hammack explains, even Einstein apparently couldn’t crack it. Read More >>

science
Brilliant Staircase Design Stores Extra Energy to Make It Easier to Climb Later

Do you deliberately avoid visiting friends who live in multi-story buildings without a lift? No one would fault you—having to climb even just a single flight of stairs is like being forced to workout against your will. But thanks to engineers at Georgia Tech and Emory University, stairs might one day do all the hard work for you. Read More >>

watch this
Lifts of the Future Will Move Sideways Without a Single Cable

One of the biggest engineering challenges of building a towering skyscraper isn’t keeping the structure from falling over, it’s moving all the people around inside of it. To improve efficiency, and facilitate the construction of even taller buildings, Germany’s ThyssenKrupp has completely redesigned lifts so that they can move sideways now, too. Read More >>

watch this
Guy Builds a Self-Powered Driving Potato That Turns Out to Be a Better Pet Than a Cat

We’ve all seen the grade school science experiment where sticking a couple of electrodes into a potato produces enough current to power a small light bulb. But engineer Marek Baczynski took that experiment several steps further, building what could be the world’s first autonomous potato—and the ultimate housepet. Read More >>

robots
Rock-Balancing Robots Could Build Our Future Habitats On Mars

Like maintaining a zen garden, or pruning a bonsai tree, some people stack and balance rocks as a way to relax. But robots don’t really experience emotional stress, so why bother teaching a bot to balance rocks? One day, this robot’s skills could prove invaluable when it comes to building structures on distant worlds we’re trying to colonise. Read More >>

science
Lunar Colonists May Make Bricks From Moon Dust and Sunlight

Scientists with the European Space Agency have shown that it’s possible to make durable bricks using simulated Moon dust and concentrated sunlight. A similar approach may eventually allow lunar colonists to 3D-print their own habitats and structures using materials found on the Moon. Read More >>

3d printing
3D-Printing Tools from Martian Dust Will One Day Help Us Colonise Mars

One of the many challenges of colonising Mars is that the planet is lacking many of the natural resources we rely on here on Earth. We’ll need to bring as much of what we need to survive as possible, but you can only pack so much into a spaceship. So scientists are developing ways to utilise at least one of the red planet’s most abundant resources: dust. Read More >>