The tiny worlds of "micro-mechanician" Bill Robertson

As a miniature modeler and painter, I am obsessed with any type of tiny world-building: model train boards, dioramas, dollhouses, and the like. So, naturally, I adore the work of "micro-mechanician" Bill Robertson.

You can learn more about Bill and his amazing work in this piece on the TED Ideas blog and in his TED talk.

When you look at a miniature, you can see so much more,” he says. “You can see the whole thing with one eye. When you look at a little desk in your hand, it’s all right there in front of your eyes. There’s a fascination with seeing it all at once.

To give you a sense of the extremes to which Robertson goes, consider his reproduction of a microscope that had been made for King Louis XV. Robertson’s version consists of 125 infinitesimally small parts of metal, wood and glass. To match the microscope’s bronze shade, he melted Canadian gold coins and applied the metal to the frame. The original’s barrel was wrapped in shagreen, or sharkskin, and Robertson knew that he needed baby-shark skin for it to be more to scale, so the nodules and grain would be the correct size. He found the sharkskin at a shop outside Paris that had been serving cabinet makers for five generations. In the original text about the microscope, the builder said to polish the metal with the tooth of a wolf; Robertson got creative and used a puppy tooth instead.

Oh, and this microscope is fully functional, something that is very important to Robertson.

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Tiny Paper Shopping Bags, Nested Adorably

Oh yes. Read the rest

Tiny picnic tables for feeding squirrels in style

Boredom sparked creativity for Florida-based Tech Strategist and new mom Lucy Smalls. While at home sheltered in place, inspiration struck and now she is feeding squirrels from little hanging picnic tables she built. She's not selling the tiny tables, or patterns to make your own, but has pointed the internet to Squirrelly Treasure Co. on Etsy which is selling both ($25 for a finished table).


screengrab via Lucy Smalls, photo by Squirrelly Treasure Co. Read the rest

Kitchen doubles as parking garage for Smart car

With Hurricane Dorian threatening a Florida man's property in Jacksonville, he didn't want to take any chances with his Smart car. Although he had a garage with space for one car, his wife, Jessica Eldridge, already had her car parked in that spot. Worried that his tiny vehicle would blow away — and up for a challenge — he made a cozy spot for it in the kitchen.

According to AP:

“I said there was no way he could. He said he could,” Jessica said. “So he opened the double doors and had it in. I was amazed that it could fit. He had it in with no problems.”

Images by Jessica Edridge

Via YouTube: Read the rest

Bread faces

Carbo pareidolia. Read the rest

Firing a 2 Inch Gun in Slow Motion

It's so tiny and deadly! Read the rest

Remarkably detailed tiny sculptures on the tips of pencils

Artist Salavat Fidai creates all sorts of cool art, but his work sculpting the tips of pencils really stands out as an impressive achievement. Read the rest

Tiny crack in steel seen through an electron microscope

Canyon or crack? Crack, obviously, since it's right there in the headline, but isn't it amazing? Especially with clouds photoshopped in to improve its virality coefficient.

There's probably one of these on the plane you just boarded, lurking somewhere the hard-pressed engineers and inspectors might have missed. They have even less time than you do! Metaphorically speaking, of course. Go on, just look out the window, at the wing. Bit of rust around those bolts, eh? Well, they do say that an old, well-maintained plane is safer than a new, badly-maintained one.

If the worst happens, though, and you find yourself plunging into the void of death from 30,000 feet, you can muse over a final flicker of wonderment: maybe in the next life I'll wake up in a tiny canyon.

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World's smallest comedy album

Jason Klamm from the Comedy on Vinyl podcast (previously) writes, "My comedy duo just set a world record with the world's smallest playable comedy album. People in A Position to Know made a custom turntable and plinth and we got it down to 1.5". It's a really dumb joke (set up on side A, punchline side B), but that was sort of the joy of having to put it together. Since Guinness doesn't want to accept a new world record by genre, they didn't include it, but there are no other contenders that any of us have been able to find." Read the rest

Working, thumbnail-sized papercraft single-stroke engine

Aliaksei Zholner's Youtube account features various small, clever papercraft engines that he's made over the years, but the latest one, measuring a mere 18 x 13 x 22 mm, is the daintiest, most lovely one yet, and well worth the long hiatus since Zholner's previous outing. Read the rest