The company's credo is a George Bernard Shaw quote: "All great truths begin as blasphemies." But I'm sure Shaw would also agree that the overwhelming majority of blasphemies that go against bedrock principles of science are utter bullshit.
Reader comment: Scott says:
When I was a teen, I thought I had come up with a perpetual motion machine which relied on magnetic fields like this one does. The ring that moves around is a magnet on a wheel with the outside all of one polarity. It is attracted to one pole of a horseshoe magnet, as magnets of opposite polarity are, then repelled by the other pole as it moves past. The idea is that the attraction and repulsion of the magnets allow it to spin forever, and could allow a little energy to be drawn off to use for something else. The problem is the magnet on the wheel will instead come to rest caught between magnetic fields. It doesn't work unless the horseshoe magnets are electric so they can be turned on and off, and that takes more energy than can be extracted. My Dad, a physicist, let me build my machine and see the problem for myself. Nice to see I wasn't the only one fooled by the idea.
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His new book is Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects