Engineering History

Links & Thoughts

  • What’s in Woodson’s Tech Thursday segment shows off a Mercury Arc Reactor Tube, including a nice .gif clip of the mercury pooling as the tube turns on its side! They’re working through a collection of old equipment from Rice’s EE department, and so far they’ve shown off some interesting stuff!
  • Daniel Mannion 3D-prints off a nice, rubbery insole prototype out of NinjaFlex filament. I hadn’t heard of this NinjaFlex filament before, but the stuff looks pretty handy! For my semi-flexible builds, Oogoo (DIY Sugru from silicone + cornstarch) has been my fall-back material, but it’s got a few issues in durability, and it would be nice to print off a shape, rather than carve into a rough blocky material.
  • A few days ago, RadioShack filed for bankruptcy, and has said that they will be closing ~1700 stores (a map of them is viewable at that link). It’s a little disheartening, but I am surprised that they’ve stuck around for this long. They were finally getting back into the hobby arena, but it was too little, too late. I love the possibility of grabbing a common IC or an Arduino shield…but to complete the majority of projects, you usually have to order something online, and at that point, who needs a brick-and-mortar?
  • That said, I will absolutely be overspending at the Shack’s liquidation sales in the next month-or-so. We’ve already had a clearance-oriented store in Tulsa for some time, and I already have several shields, components, and kits laying around, waiting to be built.