Dylan Thuras is a guest blogger on Boing Boing. Dylan is a travel blogger and the co-founder of the Atlas Obscura: A Compendium of the World's Wonders, Curiosities, and Esoterica, with Joshua Foer.
Riffing off of Xeni's excellent post about Omega Recoil I wanted to bring your attention to the Electrum, the world's largest Tesla Coil.
"Known as Electrum, the four-story (38-ft) Tesla coil was commissioned by a prominent New Zealand art patron Alan Gibbs, and set up on on his farm outside of Auckland, New Zealand in April 1998. Built by artist Eric Orr and high voltage engineer Greg Leyh, the enormous coil puts out over 3 million volts.
A particular delight of the Electrum Coil is the hollow spherical cage on top, where Greg Leyh would often sit during shows. While Leyh is safe within the Faraday cage created by the sphere, if he were to put his hand through the cage, he would be instantly electrocuted."
As interesting as the coil itself is Alan Gibbs, the art patron who commissioned it. Gibbs is one of New Zealand's wealthiest residents and is worth a third of a billion dollars. Called a "James Bond in Jandals" Gibbs has dabbled in everything from cars to telecoms, however the Bond reputation comes from Gibbs' recent project, the Aquada. The Aquada is an amphibious car that travels at over a 100km/h on land and smoothly transitions to 30km/h in water. Along with his other hobbies Gibbs owns what he calls "The Farm," an area rural in New Zealand where he collects and privately displays massive works of art such as the Electrum and Neil Dawson's "Horizons" pictured below.
There is more info on the Electrum on the Atlas, this is an interesting article about the Aquada, and a link to more pictures of the enormous art on found on Gibb's Farm.
Frog tongue mechanism has been well-documented, but only recently have scientists started looking at the remarkable combo of tongue softness and frog spit’s chemical makeup.
Elenco’s Night ‘n Day Mechanical Globe uses a system of translucent, exposed gears to rotate an internally illuminated globe that displays the seasonally adjusted, real-time night/day terminator as it spins.
KSU plant biochemical geneticist Raj Nagarajan describes the properties of Thaumatin, Monellin and Brazzein, all found in west African plants that are generally considered safe for consumption; each is a protein, and they are, respectively, 1,000x, 2000x, and 3000x sweeter than sugar.
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Although there will never be a consensus about the best way to make coffee, any coffee connoisseur will agree that controlling the grind of your beans and balancing water temperature are the keys to a tasty cup. Since your plastic coffee pot doesn’t really allow for that kind of customization, going back to the French […]