Daily Archives: December 3, 2006

A Japanese Science Magazine with Hands-on Kits!

Now THIS is a science magazine. It’s called Otona No Kagaku, and the publisher, Gakken of Japan, calls it a Mook (Magazine+Book). Leave it to the Japanese to include actual kit parts and instructions so people can throw down some real hands-on experimental action. Maybe if we ramped up manufacturing in China and whipped off a few quick translations we could bring the issue/kit costs (typically around $45 ) down to the point where we could get subscriptions for a significant number of kids….Given MobiTV, I’m a little swamped at the moment. Anyone else wanna start a fun company?

The first one I stumbled across was the Sterling Engine issue that several people had managed to acquire, build, and document including a nice video on YouTube.

I’m particularly fond of the Sterling engine marketing photos on their US distributor’s web site (The Karakuri Corner) The Canine-driven engine is my favorite.

Low Temperature Differential Stirling Engine

There are a bunch of other great issues that include great projects such as an Edison-style phonograph and a Berliner style Gramophone that record and play audio on plastic cups and CDs.

And check out these other fantastic projects from previous issues:

Vol.9画像:150×200Vol.11画像:150×200
A mini planetarium and a replica of Newton’s scope.
Vol.4画像:150×200Vol.5画像:150×200
A crystal radio, and a Hooke’s Microscope replica.
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The working Gramaphone issue.

Needless to say, I’ve already subscribed and ordered several of the back issues. They also have a few other cool gadgets that are hard to pass up as holiday presents, including the Homestar planetarium.

Homestar Planetarium Star Projector Black

This nifty little gadget takes a 5cm diameter film image of the night sky and projects it on your cieling! Boy wouldn’t one of those be a great Christmas gift for an astronomically inclined nerd… (hint, hint…) There’s also an industrial version better suited for larger rooms called the MegaStar.

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Filed under Astronomy, Education, Science

Star Wars Origami

One of my favorite technical books from a couple of years ago was this textbook by Robert Lang on the mathematics and symmetry properties of paper and origami.

https://i1.wp.com/gallery.origami.free.fr/Auteurs/US-GB/lang/photos/Secret%20design/cover.jpg

But there was just that something that was missing. The models were so…, well…, so traditionally Asian that I had trouble connecting with them culturally. NOW, however, there is hope, for the Force is with us all. Phillip West has folded a set of Star Wars Origami models. Enjoy.

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Filed under Humor, Math