Sit down, if you can, and read this study about what it takes to get a folding plastic chair to the point where you can sit in it: “A study of design demand of applying quality function deployment in plastic folding chairs,” Chun Tung Chen, Applied Mechanics and Materials, vol. 284, pp. 3632-3636. The author, […]
The theme of the 2021 Ig Nobel Prize ceremony, evinced in the opera and other bits, is ENGINEERING. The ceremony will include the premiere of a new mini-opera called “A Bridge Between People”. The crude drawing you see here summarizes the opera’s plot.
“Protecting Large Hollow Chocolate Bunnies” is a featured article in the special Chocolate issue (volume 27, number 1) of the Annals of Improbable Research. This article is free to download: The article begins: “There are few peer-reviewed papers on the subject of designing and testing an improved packaging for large hollow chocolate bunnies. Of these, […]
Are you bothered by ambient creep? If so, you are not alone. Here’s one of many research studies on the topic: “The effect of anodic polarization on the ambient creep of brass,” B.GuW.-Y.ChuW.ChuL.-J.QiaoC.-M.Hsiao, Corrosion Science, vol. 36, no. 8, August 1994, pp. 1437-1445. The authors are at the University of Science and Technology, Beijing, China.
This month’s Engineering Challenge competition: Design a bicycle for a flea. Please send your completed design, with test results (include a clear, undoctored video please) to: Improbable Engineering Challenge: Flea Cycle ℅ Annals of Improbable Research
Different engineers have different ways of having fun. This is one way: The design engineer, Julijonas Urbonas, gives it a simple description: “Euthanasia Coaster is a hypothetic death machine in the form of a roller coaster, engineered to humanely – with elegance and euphoria – take the life of a human being.”
“Fat Relocation Research—Re-engineering with natural materials” is one of the articles in the special Disgusting Research issue (volume 25, number 4) of the Annals of Improbable Research. Subscribe, if you dare, to the magazine!
The Today I Found Out blog has a nice appreciation of two—really three—people who shared an Ig Nobel Prize for (probably) giving Murphy’s Law it’s name. The appreciation is called “WHO WAS ‘MURPHY’ IN ‘MURPHY’S LAW’ AND THE AMAZING DR. JOHN PAUL STAPP WHO GAVE US THE EXPRESSION.” The 2003 Ig Nobel Prize for engineering […]
Mark Rober engineered a device to surprise people who steal packages from his front porch. His video explaining the device, and showing what happened, is satisfying to watch: UPDATE (December 20, 2018): Not all was as it seemed. Some of the robbers were not genuine robbers, says Rober. BONUS: The special Miscreant Trapping issue of […]
Today’s engineering exercise: reverse engineer the machine shown in this video: