double-sided usb

This design is pretty good, though it would probably break prematurely. Stuff that needs to be plugged in and out repeatedly maybe should not have moving parts. More to the point, why was USB specified to be one-sided in the first place? There are no two rows of pins like in some connectors, so there is really no problem with a receptacle having contacts on two sides.


How do escalators work? I’ve wondered for years how escalators recycled their step blocks internally. At one point I thought they slid past each other on all four faces to save on turning radius (because I thought the blocks locked along grooves). Today I see an escalator under repair. Now the answer is clear. It’s much simpler than that: the blocks just turn along a track in the most obvious way imaginable.

(Read the article)

reed pipe harmonics

It seems that putting the reed against the upper lip gives a different tone.
Putting teeth on the reed also gives extremely high harmonics — understandable, as the reed is being high-pass filtered at that point.

shucking bivalves for food

Scallops, clams, oysters … all pretty much the same. What bothers me to no end though, is at what point in this process does the darn thing die?

I’ve seen opened clams that are still alive, but this one doesn’t appear to be here: