Have you ever needed to cut some metal, but all your hacksaw blades are dull, your Sawzall battery is charging, and Home Depot is closed? If you’re TWI Ltd., you just adapt a 5kW automated laser so it can be hand carried! OK, maybe they did it for decommissioning of nuclear facilities, and it’s not exactly “portable”. Still, it’s damn cool. If you don’t believe me, hit the jump and watch the video.
Continue reading Frickin’ Lasers!
It seems to be Truck Tuesday here on the Toasters, so I’m sharing with you one of the coolest truck-based pieces of awesome I’ve seen all week. This last weekend in Prescott, AZ was the annual Overland Expo. Overland enthusiasts from around the world gather to gaze upon the latest and greatest in [...]
I love coffee. I can’t function until that first cup of brew is in my hands. I don’t even have to drink it. Just knowing I have caffeinated wonderfulness awaiting me is enough to let my brain start to work. I love the taste. I love the warmth…even in summer. I love everything about it. I’ll drink coffee from anywhere — Starbucks, Biggby, Second Cup, Timmy Ho’s, Double D’s. I have a Cuisinart Grind N’ Brew at home. Best kitchen invention ever. It’s a pain to keep clean, though. And an old timey coffee mill or even a newfangled electric one takes up too much space in my small kitchen. Plus, there are times where electricity isn’t available. Like when I’m camping or running from zombies. Or the man.
Continue reading Damn The Machines!
Wouldn’t you want it, based on that beautiful photo?
Every so often, I do enjoy taking a handful of coins and heading out to explore the weekend garage sales. Or, more accurately, “garbage sales”. It’s a hell of a lot of fun to see what people have stashed in their garage, and to [...]
I recently spent a week using an ultra-cheap Chinese mobile phone I bought off eBay. I have an iPhone 4 that I normally use, and it’s truly a marvel of functionality and interface design. But unfortunately, my longtime cellular service provider is Verizon, whose phones utilize only CDMA network access. That’s a bit of meaningless technobabble if you’re in the US, but the CDMA protocol is nonexistent in Europe, which uses GSM mobile networks exclusively. So if you go overseas, a Verizon (or Sprint or Alltel) phone becomes a very handy paperweight. I spent last week in England. My options for mobile telephony on my trip were to rent a “tourist phone” for a week in the UK, rent a world phone from Verizon prior to my departure, or buy the cheapest unlocked GSM phone I could find. I went with that last option.
My iPhone supposedly cost me $149, but that was subsidized by a lucrative 2-year contract that absorbed much of the phone’s cost. The outright purchase of an unlocked 32GB iPhone 4 will land on the north side of $600. Just to calibrate, I bought the Rovan Q2 for one-twentieth of that cost. I wondered, would it have 1/20th the functionality? Would it drop calls, freeze up, or simply be DOA? It turns out I was pleasantly surprised how much I got for my money. Continue reading The $30 Cell Phone: Impressively Modest
Were you ever the kid that stuck the Tinkertoy sticks into the bottom of your Lego blocks, and made tiny hammers to bang around the house with? Looking back, if only there had been some way to channel that energy creatively, to build astounding creations out of all of the building systems you owned, why then you could have been an astronaut been an engineer gotten a job and moved out of the basement. Well, have no fear for your children and the future they face in the harsh cold reality of the world! Some fine freedom loving folks over at F.A.T. Lab and Sy-Lab have combined their forces for the good of mankind, and come up with the Free Universal Construction Kit--”a matrix of nearly 80 adapter bricks that enable complete interoperability between popular children’s construction toys”.
Continue reading One Piece at a Time
Russian aviation has created some of the more unusual aircraft on the planet but this might just win the ugly award.
Continue reading Yakkity Yak don’t fly back
A jet turbine is a carefully engineered piece of rotating machinery, with close tolerances being essential to safe and efficient operation. Many military and civilian applications of turbine engines, however, require operations in sub-optimal conditions. Sand, dust, and even salt water can impinge on the rapidily rotating blades inside the engine and quickly cause severe erosion.
The solution to this problem may surprise you with its simplicity, and yet is a quite effective means of cleaning intake air. Continue reading Like the Sands of Time Through an Hourglass
Not pictured is the Space Family Robinson waiting to board
That is not a movie prop it’s a real thing. The Jeep of tomorrow was to look very different then the Jeep of the second World War.
Continue reading Funny that doesn’t look like swamp gas
I failed gloriously in my efforts to stump the Atomic Toasters Brain Trust and Drinking Team with my LCD-in-Tubes clock, so I’m going to try again. Lower tech this time, hopefully more mysterious. You may have seen one of these at a garage sale or flea market somewhere, and possibly not even the [...]