Across the globe, it seems a cold front has a lot of us in its grips and cooped up indoors. No longer are we riding bikes in the sun or enjoying the outdoors, instead, we’re suffering through the double whammy of a cold winter and this endless quarantine. But for some of us, the frozen lake left in the wake of a winter storm’s rage only coaxes us from hibernation, offering more territory for us to play. For The Q, a video-content creation channel known for its quirky science videos that solve engineering problems, a frozen lake provided the ideal conditions to test out their latest project, Icyclycle – a road bike whose tires were replaced with giant, circular saw blades.
In order to get their bike, a Corso Number One Spirit, primed for the ice, The Q entirely disassembled the bike’s 26-inch wheel systems. The tires were deflated, the spokes were removed, and the cog was soldered. The road bike’s rear cassette was first broken down into its individual components in order to then be welded and fitted for the incoming circular saw blades. Placing the round saw blades between the bike’s rear chainstays, the bike’s original chains accommodated the new saw-tires with help from a welded disc wheel. As shown in the video, once the new circular saw blades were put in place and ready to hit the ice, The Q’s initial test run didn’t go as planned.
The bike moved too deep along the y-axis, digging deeper into the ice instead of moving forward. Noticing this mechanical issue, The Q returned to the metal shop for some acute fixes that required welding small horizontal metal fixtures to the ends of each tooth around the circular saw-blade-tires. The smart fix eventually led to the success of Icyclycle since it allowed the saw-blade to simultaneously pick up and collect the ice it moved on, allowing for less force to be applied to the ground as the bike moved forward.
Quarantine is turning a lot of us into self-proclaimed DIY-buffs and this winter isn’t helping, but The Q is in a league of its own. I’d go so far as to say that when it comes to surviving this winter, The Q came, saw, and conquered.
Designer: The Q
Replacing the road bike’s tires with circular saw blades, The Q set out to create a hybrid bike that runs on ice.
Deconstructing the road bike’s original wheel system meant completely disassembling the rear wheel cassette.
The spokes were removed from both of the wheel’s hubs so that they could be adjusted to accommodate the bike’s new ice-wheels.
The disc wheel worked to help fasten and protect the steel saw blades while also providing positive friction for the bike wheels to properly rotate.
Once the road bike’s hubs were fit for the saw-blades, the new ice-wheels were easily inserted between the bike’s chainstays.
Without any means to move past the ice, the circular saw-blades’ teeth only dug further into the ice as the bike’s wheels rotated.
The design behind this wheel turns it into a type of track wheel that is commonly seen on construction sites or during the early morning hours following a bad snowstorm, as track wheels make it harder for vehicles to sink into the ground.
Xiaomi was smart to center its smartphone innovation around the camera. Sure, the Mi 11 is the first phone to come with a Snapdragon 888 SoC, but the chipset isn’t as important as what it actually powers… an Android phone designed to be a cinematic behemoth that takes on the iPhone 12 Pro.
For long, the biggest comparison between Android and iOS devices has been the camera… specifically the still camera. Video has hands-down been Apple’s secret sauce all along, but the Mi 11 brings the fight to Apple with its 108MP Wide-Angle camera with optical image stabilization, a 13MP ultra-wide camera, 5MP ‘telemacro’ camera, and an incredible AI that works behind the scenes to make the Mi 11’s videos, as Xiaomi likes to say, ‘cinematic’. The AI powers the Mi 11’s low-light mode which can take underexposed videos and enhance them in realtime with a RAW-level AI. The AI even brings features like Magic Zoom (or the iconic Dolly Zoom effect seen in Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo), along with Time Freeze and Freeze-Frame Videos, Time Lapse, along with a variety of cinematic filters that make your videos mimic the effect of being recorded using a professional setup, and an AI Erase 2.0 feature that lets you remove unwanted objects from your video.
As remarkable as Xiaomi touts its camera setup to be, it’s the screen that reinforces this. The Mi 11’s WQHD+ set 13 new records and received an A+ rating from DisplayMate. HDR10+ video recording and 10-bit color representation make everything you shoot look much more vivid, and color-accurate. With Super Resolution Technology, Xiaomi claims it can upscale older videos too, doubling their resolution to make pixelated videos clearer than before. The cherry on the cake is the speaker on the flagship smartphone, which comes powered by Harman Kardon, a partnership that helps enhance the acoustics of the dual speakers, providing exquisite and crisp high-end sound quality. This makes everything from video recording to video playback an experience that’s quite literally a class apart.
The flagship phone also comes with a flagship-worthy design. The Quad-curved display on the front allows the bezels to fade away into the background, creating an immersive experience that’s reinforced by Corning’s Gorilla® Glass Victus. The back features 3D glass too, and is available in 3 standard colors, as well as a Xiaomi Signature rippled glass edition that explores light, shadow, and pearlescent reflections in an absolutely new way. The phone comes with WiFi 6 and support for 5G. It even packs 55W wired turbo-charging, 50W wireless turbo-charging, and 10W reverse wireless charging on the back, and an in-screen fingerprint sensor on the front that even functions as a heart-rate monitor… a first of its kind!
What really stands out is how the Mi 11 embodies everything that an iPhone-rivalling Android phone should be. It has a laser-like focus on on championing video with hardware as well as a powerful AI, but also nails other aspects with that gorgeous quad-curved WQHD+ screen, the Snapdragon 888 SoC, a rich speaker courtesy Harman Kardon, powerful wired AND wireless charging, support for 5G, and a heart-rate monitor integrated right into the smartphone… all wrapped in a sleek, curved, drop-dead gorgeous design that’s drop-resistant too, thanks to the Gorilla Glass Victus. Pre-orders for the Mi 11 begin on February 26 (followed by full-scale availability in March) with a base price of €749 ($903).
Think a billion is a big number? Well by most comparisons it certainly is, but a googol (10¹⁰⁰) is so astronomically large that it contains 10⁹¹ number of billions. But did its ridiculously large size stop YouTuber Look Mum No Computer (aka Sam Battle) from building an electronic counter to try to count to it? It did not. Honestly, I can’t even wrap my head around the size of a number that large. Although to be fair my head isn’t very pliable, and my wife often argues it’s hard.
Sam tried to build the counter with “as much redundancy, durability, repairability, and upgradability as possible,” with the intention of keeping it running his entire life. Which, provided he lives a long healthy one, he estimates will end around when the 14th numeral from the bottom right has changed. For reference, the total number of grains of sand on earth is around the 22nd numeral, and Carl Sagan’s estimate for the total number of elementary particles in the universe is around the 80th. Oh cool, my brain just exploded.
The farthest left digit on the third row from the bottom will tick over once every 100-million years or so, and Sam admits that by the time the counter would ever reach a googol our sun will have long exhausted its supply of energy, his machine forgotten. Eventually, it will be discovered by Jawas, who will salvage the machine for parts to repair stolen droids or sell at their next swamp meet. And that, at least for me, is a very comforting feeling.