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Sarah Miller's Posts

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A robot that throws cinderblocks means that humans will no longer be employed to throw cinderblocks

bigdog_cinderblock

Starship Troopers is one of my favorite films, so I just couldn't help but warm to this sort of rough-trade, clacking, kind of crude robot who is the total doppelgänger of the film's "bad guys." This robot, nicknamed BigDog, could already run four miles per hour and carry over 300 pounds, but its creators at Boston Dynamics (some dudes from MIT) apparently decided it was time for it to learn a useful trade. And that trade is throwing cinderblocks. Watch it do so below.

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Brazil’s Carnival now runs on pee

let's be sexy for a while and then pee in the turbine-equipped urinal
Jacopo Werther
Let's be sexy for awhile and then go pee.

Last month was Carnival time in Rio. Which means lots of partying and lots of sexy women wearing very little and also lots of drinking and peeing. Is the pee thing a buzzkill? Well sorry. You can't just make people stop peeing. Especially drunk people. Luckily there is a samba-lution to all of this: portable toilets that can actually use pee to power sound systems used for the event.

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Soon they’ll be able to 3D-print you a hybrid car

It's just like my Yaris only maybe even cheaper.
It's just like my Yaris only maybe even cheaper.

Cars suck: They use a lot of gas, and they need to be built in factories out of metal. So 20th century. The Urbee (cute name, right?) could change all that: It's a hybrid car that can go up to 110 miles an hour and carry over 1,200 pounds, and it's made using a 3D printer.

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Super-convincing fake egg is made entirely from plants

OK, it doesn't look like this. But it TASTES like this.
OK, it doesn't look like this. But it TASTES like this.

It's not easy to make a real egg. First of all, you have to get a real chicken. Then you have to find a real place to put it, then you have to find real food to feed it so it stays alive. It's quite a production, and sometimes the chicken doesn't enjoy itself so much, seeing as a couple hundred generations ago chickens were just running around willy-nilly and now, generally, their lives suck.

So, to the rescue -- what else -- Californians! A San Francisco company called Hampton Creek Foods (is there a Hampton Creek in San Francisco? I think there is NOT) has created an egg substitute. It is called Beyond Eggs. It supposedly tastes just like real eggs. It is cheaper than real eggs. It does not require that a pesky chicken to exist for it to be eaten.

Read more: Food

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Affectless hipster invents, what else, an Oreo separating machine

And then the oreo is chopped in half and it rules
The Oreo is chopped in half with a hatchet and it rules.

Portland resident David Neevel's self-description as a "physicist and copywriter" leads one to suspect he has talents in neither field. But one thing is beyond a doubt: The man is capable of building an effective, if perhaps not elegant, Oreo-separating machine to satisfy his passionate "dislike for cream" and "preference for cookies."

The other thing that's beyond doubt is that he has a real scene-stealer of  mustache. I asked my friend Heather, "What do you call that kind of mustache?" and she said, "A health hazard."

Read more: Food

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Watch a helicopter rescue a deer stranded on ice by blowing it to shore

thanks mr. helicopter
Thanks Mr. Helicopter.

When a deer is stuck on a frozen lake, would you think to call a helicopter? I wouldn't, but luckily the Nova Scotian authorities who recently used the blast off of a low-flying helicopter to push a stranded deer to safety are more creative than I am.

Watch nature and technology dance their beautiful dance:

Read more: Living

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Former Trader Joe’s CEO: Let them eat cake — as long as it’s cake we weren’t going to eat ourselves

expiry_egg
Mark Turnauckas

Doug Rauch, the former CEO of Trader Joe’s (not to be confused with Carlos Santana's bassist of the same name), has a really good idea for the expired or nearly expired food supermarkets throw out every single day. He wants to open a supermarket in a poor neighborhood and sell the expired food there. He’d theoretically like to open several such outfits, but at present, his plans involve a 10,000-square-foot store in Boston’s lower-income Dorchester neighborhood.

What a mensch.

After all, if this food is perfectly good -- not so good that people who can afford better will eat it, but still entirely edible -- it might as well find a home. And that home might as well be in a poor neighborhood, which may have historically had trouble attracting a conventional supermarket. But this supermarket has a business model that might actually work, because it's a business model where you sell stuff no one else wants anyway!

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Mexico City has an awesome masked defender of pedestrians, and we’re jealous

Stop in the name of Peatónito!
Peatónito
Stop in the name of Peatónito!

Mexico City is super awesome. It's kind of like L.A. with all the cool people and none of the annoying ones, and yeah, no beach, but whatevs. The existence of Peatónito makes it even better. Peatónito is the alter ego of one Jorge Cáñez, a 26-year-old political scientist by day who, at the blink of an eye, transforms into a traffic-stopping superhero.

Planning on barreling through an intersection without even pinche looking? Well you are going to meet the wrath of Peatónito, who will jump out and stop you in your tracks. You will be surprised. You will feel dumb. You will perhaps begin to drive in a way that acknowledges the existence of other people.

Read more: Cities, Living

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For just $65 and the cost of a trip to Japan, you can have a gummi bear that looks just like you

This looks just like me except it is red and see through and still in possession of the 6,000 yen i spent buying it.
FabCafe
This looks just like me except it is red and see-through and costs 6,000 yen.

So the last time I made fun of Japan, I was sharply taken to task by some guy who said I didn't get Japan, and boy was he right. And I'm afraid I am going to just give him another opportunity, what with this gummi bear portrait that's just been rolled out by a Tokyo bistro called FabCafe. For only 6,000 yen, or roughly $65, it will take a 3D scan of your body, which is used to create a mold for the gummi stuff. I'm sorry, this product is weird.

Read more: Food

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Wasted? Eat this burger the size of an IKEA lamp

Now if I can just get my jaw unhinged
Now if I can just get my jaw unhinged.

Late-night menus are basically for one kind of person, and where I come from (Massachusetts), we call that kind of person "wicked fucken hammahd." When you are wicked fucken hammahd, you want to stuff your face with things, things like this seven-patty burger that Steak 'n Shake has just begun selling as part of its "late night" (i.e., for wicked fucken hammahd people) menu.

Read more: Food