Build your own low-tech turntable

DIY turntable

Total cost can be as low as 50 dollars. Instructions here. Via Retro Thing.

High speed trains

“We would be so much better off simply fixing up and reactivating the normal-speed track system that is sitting out there rusting in the rain — and save our more grandiose visions for a later time”. Read.

Previously: How eco-friendly is a high speed train? / The age of speed / Only idiots travel by train.

Reserve base / Annual global consumption

How many years left

How many years left if the world consumes at today’s rate? Via Reddit.

See also: Materials = Energy / Historical statistics for mineral and material commodities.

Speculative biology

Welcome to the beautiful nonexistent world of Snaiad.

Via Metafilter & Tetrapodzoology.

The immutable verities of grand physical laws

Galvanometer

“The design and manufacture of scientific instruments has undergone a radical transformation in the last 30 years, achieving what might be described as the democratization of accuracy. Levers, pinions, wheels, and linkages have given way to microprocessors that read data at exquisite levels of sensitivity and reveal it instantly on digital displays. This transformation has affected our lives far beyond the laboratory, but to my eye the gains have been accompanied by losses.”

Read: The engineer’s art, why a contemporary-art expert also collects old machines.
Picture: Einthoven’s string galvanometer.

Four wheels good, two legs bad

“Eurotunnel doesn’t take foot passengers, which is fair enough given you stay in the car on the journey. But if we hop up the road to the Eurostar passenger service from Ashford to Calais, the four of us will have to fork out at least £220. Different service, I know. But same tunnel. And more than three times as much. For not taking a car”. Fred Pearce again, on ferry and train fares. Previously: Only idiots travel by train / Life without airplanes.

Kiteboating

Kiteboating

Following kitesurfing, kite buggying, kite landboarding and snowkiting (no slope required); kiteboating:

Airplay Kitesailing, Kite For Sail, KiteCat, the pioneers.

Previously: kitesurfing for cargo vessels. Related: sailing at the touch of a button / Sailing Rockets.

Too many babies?

“It’s overconsumption, not population growth, that is the fundamental problem: By almost any measure, a small portion of the world’s people – those in the affluent, developed world – use up most of the Earth’s resources and produce most of its greenhouse gas emissions”. Read.

Bolides d’autrefois: vintage paper art

Paper art oldtimer

26 vintage cars, high resolution. Previously: download, print, fold, paste. Related: can cars.

Steampunk Magazine #5

Steampunk magazine

“Warning: The following procedure involves extremely hot fires, potentially dangerous fumes, and molten pools of liquid ranging up to 2,000 degrees F and beyond. You will burn at a much, much lower temperature than that, and your lungs are fragile things”. The fifth issue of Steampunk Magazine online.