Topic: Europe

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The Writer, automata by Pierre Jaquet-Droz

Cambridge’s Professor Simon Schaffer presents The Writer, a 240-year-old, 6000 piece machine that was created by Swiss-born watchmaker Pierre Jaquet-Droz, his son Henri-Louis, and Jean-Frédéric Leschot around 1770-177...

Phone Booth Aquariums (Evasion Urbaine)

Now that mobile phones are so central to our daily lives, how can the phone booth, an increasingly obsolete and disappearing public object, serve a new, more playful function? Here’s one idea: Phone Booth Aquar...

Mysteries of vernacular: Robot

Where did the word robot come from? Let’s travel back to 1920, when Czech writer Karel Čapek wrote a sci-fi play about hard-working, human-like machines. Wait, first let’s go back farther: more than 1000 y...

The Face From Space: WISH, an 11 acre portrait of a girl

Made by Cuban-American artist Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada for the Ulster Bank Belfast International Festival in Belfast, Ireland, this is WISH, an 11 acre portrait of a girl. It’s been nick...

Traditional Swedish Woodworking (1923)

Traditional Swedish Woodworking: This black and white footage from 1923 may have no sound, but the kids were still riveted as we watched these fellas use their hand operated tools to make cl...

How do you turn rubbish into energy?

BBC News: How do you turn rubbish into energy? Find out how the largest energy recovery facility in Oslo, Norway processes waste and converts it into approximately half of the city’s energy. The integrated waste...

Wheeko: A snake robot that could explore Mars

Something every Mars Rover might need in the future: Snake robots that wiggle and roll to propel themselves around on passive wheels, gathering visual information with a camera along the way. This snake-bot is called ...

Tomás Saraceno’s Solar Bell: A paper-thin, kite-like wind sculpture

Solar Bell, a kite-like wind sculpture made of lighter-than-air materials — carbon fiber tubing and paper-thin solar panels — by Argentinian artist Tomàs Saraceno, in association with the Aerospace Enginee...

World record for the largest domino toppled in a chain

In August, 2009, Stefan Schöppers and his team succeeded in breaking the world record for the largest domino toppled in a chain that begins with a “regular”-size domino. Their largest domino, shown in the ...

How pizza is made

Flour, water, salt, oil and yeast + lots of dough tossing practice, some sauce, toppings, a wood burning oven… Did we mention the dough tossing practice?  Related viewing: tossing pizza dough instructions:

The cheetah-cub robot

Small, light, and quick, the cheetah-cub robot is a robust little experiment in robotics and biomechanics from EPFL, the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, one of two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology. Fr...

Amsterdam’s Tulip Museum: An Animated History of the Tulip

Originally cultivated in the Ottoman Empire (present-day Turkey), tulips were imported into Holland in the sixteenth century. When Carolus Clusius wrote the first major book on tulips in 1592, they became so popular t...

Mechanical singing bird box automata of the 1700s

While googling about mechanical inventions like Mark Galt’s walking mechanical humans, I happened upon this lovely 1890 piece of restored gears and springs, with the original bellows: a singing bird mechanism. F...

Megateam Revolution kite-flying

This video of kite-flying Megateam Revolution was filmed by Gaétan in Berck-sur-Mer, France at the 27th Rencontres Internationales de Cerfs-Volants à Berck, one of the larger kite festivals in the world. Watch how th...

Festo: A Dragonfly-inspired BionicOpter

Watch Festo HQ team's new dragonfly-inspired BionicOpter:  With the BionicOpter, Festo has technically mastered the highly complex flight characteristics of the dragonfly. Just like its m...

Human tower-building competition: 2012 Concurs de Castells

From the 2012 Concurs de Castells, a human tower-building competition in Tarragona, Spain, watch this video by photographer David Oliete. David also took photos. A long tradition in the ...

Shaggy Lawn Mowers – Paris’ Eco-Friendly Park Lawn Maintenance

Shaggy Lawn Mowers - Paris Tries an Eco-Friendly Way of Maintaining Park Lawns… the New York Times reports on a sustainable idea: Mayor Bertrand Delanoë has made the environment a priority since his election ...

Extravagant furniture with secret panels, doors, and drawers

If you’ve ever wanted a cabinet with secret compartments — and we’re talking about a lot of secret compartments here — then you’re going to like videos from the Extravagant Inventi...