Making a screw flush with the surface is like creating invisibility

When a screw sticks out on metal or isn't perfectly flush with the surface, an angel in heaven loses an eyeball. Or something like that. But fret not eyeballs of angels in heaven, people of Earth can make a screw completely flush. It's a lot of filing and sanding and hammering but eventually the screw disappears. » 12/16/14 9:11pm 12/16/14 9:11pm

How Scotch Tape Was Invented

Despite the name, Scotch tape wasn't invented by the Scottish. It was invented by a college dropout named Richard Drew from Minnesota who worked for a small sandpaper company founded in 1902 called Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing, later known as 3M. The name "Scotch" itself has an origin story almost as interesting… » 12/03/14 5:30am 12/03/14 5:30am

Making metal framed eyeglasses looks like a fun lab experiment

I'm pretty sure the only time I prefer the look and feel of plastic over metal is with the frames of glasses. I just like acetate frames more. But! The process of making metal frames, like these pair of metal MYKITA glasses, is so interesting that I may need to get a pair. It's like watching scientists in a lab… » 11/24/14 9:37pm 11/24/14 9:37pm

The process of turning raw cow hide into leather is really gross


Leather is beautiful and luxurious and natural and one of the great materials of the world. However, it's absolutely gross to make. Here's the process of tanning raw hide into high quality leather. You'll see gray goops, a lot of residue, dumps of bizarre liquids and more. Worth it? I guess. » 11/20/14 9:29pm 11/20/14 9:29pm

How the addictive magic material known as bubble wrap is made

You can have your graphene or your insane non-flammable fabric or some NASA space material, magic material to me will always be bubble wrap. It's catnip for humans with souls and the process to make it is pretty fascinating. It starts with resin that is vacuumed out and heated to create a film and used to trap air. » 10/07/14 1:23am 10/07/14 1:23am

Why Beer Isn't Sold in Plastic Bottles

Plastic as a material has pretty much changed the way we live our lives- it's cheap, can be moulded into practically any shape and is, for the most the part, easily recyclable (when people bother to). So why is it that we still use glass bottles and cans to store our beer in? Is it to do with aesthetics? Taste? Or is… » 9/01/14 10:00am 9/01/14 10:00am

7 New Materials That Could Change How Our Buildings Act

The gap between material science and actual construction is very far and very wide. It can take decades to move a breakthrough in engineering from a lab to a building site. But as architects and engineers face bigger challenges—from earthquakes to dwindling resources to sheer cost—a new generation of smart materials… » 8/25/14 9:00am 8/25/14 9:00am

Why Fire Hydrants Don’t Freeze and Burst During Winter

The fire hydrant that we know today traces its origins back to fire plugs. Water mains that transported fresh water in a city or town used to be made of hollowed out logs buried beneath the streets. Whenever there was a fire and firefighters needed water, they dug up the cobblestone street and drilled a hole into the… » 8/12/14 5:40am 8/12/14 5:40am

Old Cigarette Butts Could Be Used To Make Supercapacitors

The world has too many nasty old cigarette butts. On the other hand, the world could use some supercapacitors, the high-tech replacements for batteries that could potentially charge in seconds. Scientists in South Korea have found a simple process to turn used cigarette filters into high-performing material that works… » 8/05/14 3:18pm 8/05/14 3:18pm