Monthly Archives: June 2007

A Great Spinning Optical Illusion

If you look at the spinning girl’s silhouette below, you will think it is spinning clockwise, probably. When you check her shadow below, momentarily the spinning direction changes in your mind, and now the girl is spinning counter-clockwise. It can be quite hard at the beginning to notice switch of the spinning direction, but eventually you’ll manage.


Leave a comment

Filed under Optics

More Rooms With a View on the Space Station

From APOD,

See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download  the highest resolution version available.

The International Space Station Expands Again
Credit: STS-117 Shuttle Crew, NASA

Explanation: The developing International Space Station (ISS) has changed its appearance again. During the past week, the Space Shuttle Atlantis visited the ISS and added pieces of the Integrated Truss Structure that mirrored those added in September 2006, including a second impressively long array of solar panels. The entire array of expansive solar panels are visible at the edges of the above image taken by the Shuttle Atlantis Crew after leaving the ISS to return to Earth. The world’s foremost space outpost can be seen developing over the past several years by comparing the above image to past images. Also visible above are many different types of modules, a robotic arm, another impressive set of solar panels, and a supply ship. Construction began on the ISS in 1998.

Leave a comment

Filed under Astronomy, Technology

Only in Japan: Bubble Wrap Toy

via Gizmodo


“…the pocket device simulates the feel of popping bubble wrap while using a tiny speaker to make that ever so satisfying popping noise. What bubble wrap aficionados will find disturbing, however, is that every 100 pops bestows the user with a fart, barking dog, door chime or sexy voice.”

Get it here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Twilight Turtle: a Planetarium Night Light

Too cute for words. Start conditioning those young scientists early!

1 Comment

Filed under Astronomy, Toys

An Aurora from Outer Space

1 Comment

Filed under Astronomy

A Mechanical Marble Computer

Matthias Wandel has developed a fantastic mechanical binary adding machine using a simple series of cascaded chutes to store numbers and perform carries through mechanical toggles. Don’t miss the video embedded below to see it in operations.

Marble Adder


More details can be found on his web site: along with all manner of interesting contraptions.

1 Comment

Filed under Computer Science, Technology, Toys

A Catapult Watch: For the Geek that has Everything

Do you have friends who still play Dungeons & Dragons? Well, then this is the perfect gift for them. The Catapult watch. Co-workers will never again sleep within range.

Leave a comment

Filed under Humor