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Tag Archives: cool

LEGO Machine Folds Paper Planes and Launches Them

It takes a certain degree of skill and a whole lot of dedication to build what Mindstorms user hknssn13 built: a machine made entirely from LEGO that folds paper into airplanes and then launches them! Granted, it’s a relatively simple thing to do–if you’re doing it with your hands. It’s a completely different story when you’re trying to automate the process with nothing but a LEGO machine.

About 6,000 to 7,000 LEGO bricks were used to build the paper airplane folder and launcher. The moving parts at the bottom required two NXT Intelligent Bricks, five NXT servomotors, four NXT color sensors, and a Touch Sensor Multiplexer.

VIA [ Cnet ]

X-Ray Spray: Makes Envelopes See-Through For 30 Seconds

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Snooping on your neighbour’s mail has never been so easy. Just spray some of this “X-Ray Spray” on the side of a sealed envelope and watch in amazement as the paper becomes semi-transparent. It’s completely temporary, as the product will evaporate after about 30 seconds, leaving the piece of mail looking completely un-tampered with.

We can’t think of any situations where the use of this product wouldn’t be either illegal, or at the very least morally reprehensible. But, hey, we don’t judge. We just think it’s pretty cool something like this even exists. It’s $15.

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[ Product Page ] VIA [ TheAwesomer ]

Puck-Sized Device Charges Your Phone With The Heat In Your Coffee

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A Stirling Engine is one of the world’s oldest, having been conceived in 1816 as a rival to the steam engine. It uses differences in temperature to drive a piston back and forth, turning a flywheel in the process. It’s this engine, albeit a tiny one, that sits inside the onE Puck you see above, and which allows you to charge your USB-connected device using nothing but the heat of your coffee cup. Or the cold of your iced tea. Just place any sufficiently cold or hot object on top of the onE Puck, and the Stirling engine will kick to life, driving a tiny generator. Obviously the hotter (or colder) the object, the more efficient the onE Puck becomes, but it’s designed to generate 5W of power at a combination of 1,000mA and 5Vdc. That’s standard for a phone charger, but these are clearly ideal conditions. It might generate this much at peak performance, when you’ve placed a piping hot drink, and then slowly lose its charging power. There’s an internal battery which accumulates charge, and delivers it in batches to your connected device, so it may appear as though it’s not charging at times, but it’ll kick in eventually.

It’s slow and steady, rather than fast and efficient, and is more of a novelty than anything else. But as a Kickstarter project, it’s been successful enough to raise $125,000 with 23 days to spare. If you want yours, you’ll have to pledge $115 and expect delivery in one year.

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[ Project Page ] VIA [ BoingBoing ]

Lasso Slippers Pack Flat, Assemble In Seconds

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A little bit of ingenuity goes a long way to making us want to part from our money. In this case we have the above slippers, called Lasso, which are made from one piece of wool felt with a leather sole and can be packed completely flat. But run the laces through the holes and as you do so, the slippers take shape. It’s fun, quirky, and if we ever wore slippers around the office, we’d be all over these. But no, it’s barefoot at the OhGizmo! headquarters.

A £27 (about $40) pre-order on the fully funded Kickstarter campaign will buy you a pair, and yes that’s a lot for slippers, but at least you get to pick the color of your laces. Also, cool slippers, bro.

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[ Product Page ] VIA [ LikeCool ]

Attaching A Scooter To A Carry-On Bag? If That’s Not Genius, What Is?

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It’s been out for a bit, so bear with us. But having seen the Micro Luggage Scootcase for the first time only recently, we were duly impressed and decided to write about it anyway. It’s a hard-shell, cabin-sized luggage with a built-in kickboard scooter! Running late to catch your next flight? Deploy the scooter, roll past everyone and arrive at your gate on time without even breaking a sweat. It’s genius.

It was developed by Micro, a Dutch scooter company, in conjunction with Samsonite over a period of 3 years (no word on why it would take 3 years to develop something like this), so you know you’re not getting some cheap piece of garbage. The scooter is non-detachable so if some overzealous TSA agent takes a power-trippy objection to it, you may have some problem. But we don’t think there’s any regulation against scooters in airports, is there? Better be sure, because as cool as this is, it’s not cheap: €299, or about $390.

[ Product Page ]

Beautiful Glitzy Sculptures Made By Moth-like Insects

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French artist Hubert Duprat is an exploitative type. Fortunately, he likes to exploit insects, and even more fortunately, he’s not really exploiting them at all. What he is doing however, is conning the Caddisfly to make some sculptures for him. This moth-like insect creates a protective silk case for its pupation state, from which it emerges with wings, like a butterfly. But it likes to decorate this case with things it finds in its environment. These are usually small rocks, sand, pieces of twigs, etc. Hubert used this behaviour and placed Caddisfly larvae in tanks that contained nothing but jewels: gold flakes, pearls, and precious stones. So obviously, the little Caddisfly had no choice but to do its thing with the materials at hand, and built Mr. Duprat some art, which he then displayed, presumably for profit.

There’s a bunch of talk about the artistry behind the work, and probably the meaning of it all. But we’re not going to lie, we don’t really care, we just saw this and thought: neat! So there you have it.

Hit the jump for links and a video of Hubert talking about this, and some insects working hard.

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This Retired LEGO Mold Made 120,000,000 Bricks

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There’s really not much more information on this aside from what’s in the headline. And is there really any need for more?

So let’s sample some of the top comments on the Imgur page on which it was found.

    “Now, he’s living in Boca Raton, got a nice condo, does some volunteer work and he goes Marlin fishing once a month.”
    “It shits bricks.”
    “After years of service finally it just Lego”
    “Pain factory!”

VIA [ Nerd Approved ]

Watch What Happens When You Forget The Hose Out In The Cold

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Spoiler: you get a lot of cylindrical ice.

You should still watch the video even though you know the plot twist, because it’s like those videos showing a bunch of clowns coming out of a Beetle; it’s just never ending.

And it’s being passed around online so we think it’s worth a quick look.

VIA [ Plenty of websites ]

Lifehack: Turn Your Hoodie Into A Popcorn Holder

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Wear your hoodie front-side-back and use the hood to hold popcorn right in front of your pie hole. You can also hold other things in there, like chips, or even burritos. Or pie. But we still think you should stick to popcorn, if only because it’s less likely to make a mess.

This is the kind of genius thing we wish we’d thought of ages ago, and which makes you wonder about just how many more such simple life tricks are around.

VIA [ LikeCool ]