2018-06-04 3 min read


Planning & Strategy.

  • An off-hand comment about Cuisinart at lunch this week got me interested in the history of the food processor company. This dated NYT article from 1990 does a pretty good job summing up the early inventor story. Notable: The Chicago National Housewares Show that Charles Sontheimer debuted his food processor at in 1973 is still a thing. You can check out their list of 2018 attendees here. Of all the exhibitors I skimmed through, I found Sprouts.io the most likely to be the next Cuisinart, in terms of high-end adoption sparking a consumer craze. The weirdest was definitely this $1,500 device called the Thermomix. I'd love to see the design specs for it.
  • Car designers wax poetic for Ars Technica about how the move to EV will allow them to change up how they think about car design. I had the chance to take a ride in one of Tesla's new Model 3's a few weeks back and I was struck at how incredibly different the interior felt from other cars. That being said, it may not be so easy to completely revamp an existing car brand, quote: 'The I-Pace won't have a conventional water cooling system for an engine, but Jaguar wanted it to retain a grille—"that feature has come to be part of our signature graphic requirement for our brand," Burgess admits'.

Making & Manufacturing.

  • This GIF of a radial engine is really spellbinding. I didn't know what a radial engine was useful for so I looked them up. Historically they were used for aircraft engines, until the turbine beat them out on weight and power. Read more.
  • A self-eating rocket? That's weird.
  • Great article on how climbing shoes are made: The videos are A+.
  • Jaguar's looking to make 25 more of its 1950's model D-Type. They'll be 'hand-built', which makes sense given that there's only 25 of them. Still sounds rather tedious, to be honest.

Maintenance, Repair & Operations.

  • This Canadian YouTuber has a pretty colorful set of phrases, but I loved watching him repair a Cuisinart hand mixer. I found his short explanation of how chrome-plating plastic and continual exclamations around the cheapness of parts pretty fun.
  • Researchers have made some solid progress toward nuclear batteries, with a new prototype. The results were originally published in the Diamond and other materials magazine, if you want a hint to what they're using as diodes.
  • This story of fixing a home ice maker with 3D printing is honestly pretty pedestrian these days, but it led me to learning more about Ultrasonic welding.

Inspection, Testing & Analysis.

  • This Cubitt device for getting spacial measurements into digital form looks pretty cool. Disclaimer, I found it while sorting through the list of attendees at the 2018 Housewares show, mentioned above.
  • On the science of sticky rubber and rock climbing. In particular, this quote about affordability: "The Vibram guys laugh about a compound they made recently—“best in the world,” says Favreau—that would have more than doubled the price of their customer’s product. That one didn’t make it out of the lab" really makes me wonder what kind of wonder products would exist if price were not an object.
  • As a follow up, you can order the latest edition of the Vanderbilt Rubber Handbook, mentioned in the previous article, here.


A how-to for making your own sous vide machine

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