Building The World’s Largest Rubik’s Cube

When I was a kid, people who could solve a Rubik’s Cube were a rare thing. Nowadays, there are entire leagues dedicated to solving them as quickly as possible, and even guys who can solve them while wakesurfing or juggling. All of those things would be much more difficult when played out on this giant-size Rubik’s Cube.

Woodworker Kyle Toth was recently commissioned to build what appears to be the world’s largest Rubik’s Cube for the Tanz Summer Festival in Cleveland, Ohio. The puzzle measures in a 7 feet-tall, and over 5 feet-wide, and was built from plywood with lazy susan style turntables to make it spin easily.

While each layer of the cube can spin horizontally like the real puzzle, it can’t rotate on the vertical axis. For that, you’ll have to try Tony Fisher’s cube, which is just a hair smaller, but is fully functional.

Building The World’s Largest Rubik’s Cube

When I was a kid, people who could solve a Rubik’s Cube were a rare thing. Nowadays, there are entire leagues dedicated to solving them as quickly as possible, and even guys who can solve them while wakesurfing or juggling. All of those things would be much more difficult when played out on this giant-size Rubik’s Cube.

Woodworker Kyle Toth was recently commissioned to build what appears to be the world’s largest Rubik’s Cube for the Tanz Summer Festival in Cleveland, Ohio. The puzzle measures in a 7 feet-tall, and over 5 feet-wide, and was built from plywood with lazy susan style turntables to make it spin easily.

While each layer of the cube can spin horizontally like the real puzzle, it can’t rotate on the vertical axis. For that, you’ll have to try Tony Fisher’s cube, which is just a hair smaller, but is fully functional.

Building The World’s Largest Rubik’s Cube

When I was a kid, people who could solve a Rubik’s Cube were a rare thing. Nowadays, there are entire leagues dedicated to solving them as quickly as possible, and even guys who can solve them while wakesurfing or juggling. All of those things would be much more difficult when played out on this giant-size Rubik’s Cube.

Woodworker Kyle Toth was recently commissioned to build what appears to be the world’s largest Rubik’s Cube for the Tanz Summer Festival in Cleveland, Ohio. The puzzle measures in a 7 feet-tall, and over 5 feet-wide, and was built from plywood with lazy susan style turntables to make it spin easily.

While each layer of the cube can spin horizontally like the real puzzle, it can’t rotate on the vertical axis. For that, you’ll have to try Tony Fisher’s cube, which is just a hair smaller, but is fully functional.

How Star Trails Look from the ISS

If you’re in a dark enough place, and are patient enough to shoot lots of long exposure photos, you can capture some impressive star trail photography right here on Earth. The result are images which basically show the movement of the Earth relative to the stars around us.

During expeditions 30 and 31 on the International Space Station a few years back, astronauts captured a bunch of long exposure images of the stars around them, which were later used to create some beautiful star trail imagery.

In the video below, you can see the star trails as they were captured from the viewpoint of the ISS. It appears that the video’s editor layered multiple long-exposure images into a sort of time-lapse to build up the trails step by step:

It’s a fascinating way to look at space, and the result is some stunning, gallery-worthy imagery. If you want to shoot your own star trails without being launched into orbit, there’s an easy to follow tutorial over on PetaPixel.

The Floppotron Plays “Eye of the Tiger”

Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger will always be associated with Rocky III. After all, it was the theme song for 1982 boxing flick, in which Sly throws down with Mr. T. Given its era, it only make sense that the track would sound pretty darned good played on old computer equipment.

Paweł Zadrożniak’s computerized band is known as The Floppotron, and it’s known for playing many hits, using its array of old floppy drives, hard drives, scanners, and other bits of vintage electronic gear. The scanners make for an especially effective lead vocal and guitar track, while the floppies provide harmonies, and the hard drives thrash around as the rhythm section. Check it out:

Be sure to check out Paweł’s YouTube channel for lots of other Floppotron covers. My personal favorites are Europe’s The Final Countdown and Gorillaz’ Feel Good, Inc.

How to Build a Working Microphone from Paper: Cardboard Cardioid

Want a neat, but functional item to add to your desk? Check out this cool design for an old school microphone that’s made from cardboard, but actually works.

YouTuber SKM builds lots of fun stuff from cardboard, and this is definitely one of his coolest designs. It looks just like one of those old microphones that a news broadcaster or radio personality might speak into. I really dig the way that he wrapped the cord in strips of cardboard too.

Once you watch the video, you’ll see that it’s not that complicated to build, but it will take a little time, patience, and the requisite hot glue strings burns on your fingertips to complete:

The working part of the microphone is just an off-the-shelf, modern lavalier mic, so it’s really just a cardboard microphone sculpture with a microphone inside. Still, it’s really neat, and I’d like a whole set of cardboard electronic gear in my office.

Was Beta Really Better than VHS?

Back in the ’80s, I was a huge proponent of BetaMax videotapes, though it was less about the image quality for me and more about the audio quality Beta Hi-Fi, which offered up far better sound quality than other video formats at the time. But for years, it’s been thought that Beta offered superior image quality, despite its ultimate loss in the home video format wars.

However, the reality is that most of us never saw a real comparison of the technologies, and just believed what we read in magazines (remember magazines?) To put to rest the great Beta vs VHS battle once and for all, the guys at Technology Connections decided to do a proper side-by-side faceoff between the two competing tape formats.

The video puts the two formats up against each other in a variety of split-screen showdowns, and if nothing else is a great way to see how far we’ve come in terms of image quality with today’s ubiquitous HD and 4K digital formats.

In the end, I found it really hard to tell the difference between most of the footage, and it seems as if it had more to do with which tape speed you recorded at (i.e. SP/LP/SLP, or Beta II/III), than the format of the recorder. Watch the video, and decide for yourself.

Apple demonstrates how the iPad Pro was made for iOS 11

Apple's iPad sales were surprisingly good last quarter, but a lot of critics (including us) thought there was still no way the iPad Pro could replace a proper PC. The release of iOS 11 next month will change some minds, however. A new series of Apple...

DIY Acoustic Levitator Lets You Float Objects in Mid-air

While most levitation is achieved with magnets, it’s also possible to suspend small objects in air using sound waves. Thanks to engineer Asier Marzo, you can even create your own acoustic levitator, which can float lightweight objects like water droplets, styrofoam beads, and even insects.

The system uses a 3D printed rig that holds two opposing grids filled with 36 tiny ultrasonic transducers each. An Arduino Nano, a power supply, and a motor drive board control the transducers, which basically push and pull on small objects you place in their path, holding them in mid-air. Levitation is achieved by pushing air out of both top and bottom transducers, which apply an equivalent amount of pressure from above and below the objects.

Asier describes the highlights of the build in the video below:

Neat, eh? Now if you’re ready to build your own acoustic levitator, check out the full build log over on Instructables. There’s a great article on the physics behind acoustic levitation over on How Stuff Works too.