science
We Talked to the Graduate Student Who Made Bricks From Human Wee

Wee contains some pretty amazing stuff. Scientists have known for nearly a decade that it’s possible to produce bricks from bacteria, sand, and urea—a chemical found in urine. Researchers have gone ahead and produced those bricks, now for the first time with human wee. Read More >>

science
Here’s How Engineers Dream of Stopping Tsunamis

The tsunami that struck Indonesia’s Sulawesi island and killed at least 1,400 people sadly won’t be the last. Human populations will continue to live along coastlines in tectonically active parts of the world, tsunamis will continue to occur, and people will continue to die. Read More >>

robots
Freaky Robotic Skin Brings Inanimate Objects to Life

Typically, robots are built to perform a single task. To make them more adaptable, researchers from Yale University have developed a kind of “robotic skin” that transforms ordinary objects into multifunctional robots. Read More >>

lego
With Some Clever Engineering, This Guy Made a Supersized Lego Helicopter Actually Fly

Instead of relying on just his imagination to make Lego toys fly, Adam Woodworth supersizes his favourite sets and upgrades them with motors and electronics so they can take to the skies all by themselves. But with a blocky rotor that’s clearly not designed for flight, can you figure out how this Lego helicopter manages to get off the ground? Read More >>

lego
Lego Puts Money into Pretending Lego is Proper Engineering

Lego has joined in with government initiative the Year of Engineering to promote Lego to kids -- like they need any more encouragement -- with the dangled carrot of a glamorous future career in engineering if your child actually understands how the electronics behind the educational sets work. Read More >>

science
Watch Tiny Crab Spiders Take Flight With 10-Foot Silk Parachutes

If you’re arachnophobic, I hate to tell you this, but spiders can fly. Read More >>

science
Scientists Didn’t Invent a Star Trek ‘Cloaking Device,’ But What They Did is Still Neat

Several news outlets have claimed that scientists have created a “cloaking device” like those seen on Star Trek, but that’s not quite what happened. The cloaking devices on Star Trek bend light to render an object invisible, and the new device merely deflects sound. The technology also isn’t so new, as others are working on devices like these. It’s still cool, though. Read More >>

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 >>