Category Archives: technology

Package thief owned by tech geek

UPDATE (2019): Reader Bryan writes me that at least 2 of the 5 packages may not represent real thefts, but favors done by friends of the people who left the packages on their porch. This tweet tells the tale: I posted this as a comment response to my recent viral tweet/video but I’m posting it […]

Henry Studley’s beautiful tool chest

Look at this beautiful tool chest! It was designed and created by Henry O. Studley (1838-1925), a carpenter and an organ- and piano-maker.  This is a work of art in itself. According to Wikipedia, there are 220 tools in here, though Twisted Sifter says 300. I’ll let you count them and tell me who’s right. […]

The downfall of Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes

Many of you will know about the downfall of Theranos, the Silicon Valley company started by Elizabeth Holmes, who claimed to have devised a machine that could do multiple physiological tests on just a single drop of blood. It never really worked, even though investors (including Rupert Murdoch) pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into […]

A Rube Goldberg machine

From Matthew, who says, “It’s not a really an RG machine but it is smart and has >1 m views in a week…”  This is a really cool contraption, and uses just ordinary household stuff, along with springs and magnets. I can only imagine the work it took to make this! And the video’s notes: […]

How an IMAX projector works

I’m worn out by the Charlottesville business, and depressed that some readers are calling for speech bans. We won’t discuss that in this thread (there are other posts where you can do that). Instead, let’s learn how an IMAX projector works. I’ve been to a few IMAX movies, the first being “Flying” or “Flight” (can’t […]

The dumbest inventions of our time: pizza accoutrements

From First We Feast, we have one of the dumbest inventions of our time: a portable pizza pouch for those who want to buy two slices but want to eat one on the go while keeping the other on hand. I can think of a gazillion reasons why this is dumb, including the fact that […]

Siri, Alexa, and other bots tested for feminist purity, fail miserably

There’s a famous story about Samuel Johnson and his dictionary that is appropriate to begin this piece. The story is this: Mrs. Digby told me that when she lived in London with her sister, Mrs. Brooke, they were every now and then honoured by the visits of Dr. Johnson. He called on them one day […]

An amazing robot

Meet “Handle”, the kind of robot we only dreamed about as kids (well, if you’re as old as I). It’s just now been introduced to the world by Boston Dynamics, and the YouTube notes say this: Handle is a research robot that combines the efficiency of wheels with the versatility of legs. It stands 6.5 […]

Cartoons and cars

There are a few miscellaneous items that I didn’t know where to put.  First, readers George, jsp, and many others (first one below) sent cartoons: Non Sequitur by Wiley Miller: From Facebook (I’m wondering whether this will satisfy Diana MacPherson, or whether she’d go into the bathroom on the right and reverse the toilet roll): […]

Magnets, marbles, and ball bearings: a fantastic device

It took some hard-working person hours to make this, and make it work. But in the end, it’s mesmerizing. It doesn’t accomplish anything, but does demonstrate both human ingenuity and the laws of physics. And it’s almost art.