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Rube Goldberg vs Isaac Newton

Here’s an interesting take on the Rube Goldberg Machine, which seems to take physics and flip it on its head:

Can you figure out the trick?

…Flour is flammable?

Don’t try this at home:

(That always makes you want to try it at home, right?)

[Via: Boing Boing]

…Steve Vigneau likes toothpaste?

Toothpaste

Steve Vigneau had a lot of toothpaste, so he decided to find out what would happen if he mixed them all together into one minty concoction.

Apparently, “this multi-sample toothpaste concoction didn’t taste bad, but was overwhelmingly mint backed by a few other unidentifiable herbs. Even after rinsing my mouth a number of times the taste still lingers, but this matches my experience (and complaint) with all of the Colgate, Crest, etc toothpastes I’ve tried in the past.”

It’s amazing what some people will do in the name of science!

[Nuxx.net - 23 Tubes, 1 Bowl]

[Via: Zoomdoggle]

…The Italian Job’s cliffhanger has been solved?

The Italian Job Cliffhanger

At the end of the original version of The Italian Job (yes, this will contain a spoiler so don’t read on if you haven’t seen it) the gang is left perched atop a cliff in their bus, with them at one end and their gold at the other. (Literally, a cliffhanger.) Knowing that it would be impossible for them to get to the gold without tipping the bus off the cliff, they make the wise decision and abandon hopes of endless riches.

However, the Royal Society of Chemists wasn’t convinced that the gang needed to leave without the best of both worlds, and created a competition to see who could come up with the best solution.

In the end, John Godwin came up with an idea that’s as genius as it is plausible, and won himself a trip to Turin with the following solution:

Break the windows at the back to reduce weight; break the windows at the front inwards to save weight; hold one gang member upside-down out of the window to deflate the front tires and stabilize the vehicle; drain the rear fuel tank through an access panel at the bottom of the bus; gang members leave one by one from the front, collecting stones to replace their weight; keep adding stones until someone can safely go to the rear to retrieve the gold.

Easy, right?

In addition to John’s entry, more than 2,000 people submitted their own ideas, so be sure to visit the RSC website for more, or download Godwin’s PDF if you’d like to see all the science behind his daring gold rescue.

[RSC - Italian Job Competition]

[Via: Autoblog]

…Stars take a lot of power to produce?

Man-Made Star

What does it take to create a tiny, man-made star that will trigger a thermonuclear reaction inside of a laboratory?

How about a laser that concentrates 1,000 times the electric generating power of the entire United States into one-billionth of a second.

Not impressive enough for you?

Then how about this: The resulting explosion should produce 10 times the amount of energy used to create it, or more than 10,000 times the electric generating power of the United States!

The structure that will house this experiment, which is located in the National Ignition Facility in Livermore, California, covers an area roughly the size of three football fields, and the infrared laser that will cause the explosion will travel through almost a mile of lenses, mirrors and amplifiers in order to create a beam that will be 10 billion (yes, with a b) times more powerful than a standard household light bulb.

Let’s just hope they’ve got some bright minds working on this project, because otherwise we could bite off more than we can chew with our own man-made star.

[National Ignition Facility]

[Via: Neatorama]