Sunday, October 27, 2013

Watching pitch drop

For the past few days I have been participating in the world's longest running laboratory experiment. Started in 1927, the Pitch Drop experiment observes the properties of pitch, a derivative of tar, that appears solid at room temperature but is actually a fluid. After heating the pitch, Professor Parnell and the University of Queensland left the pitch to settle in glass funnel with a sealed stem and then in 1930, cut the sealed stem.

Since then the pitch has very slowly formed drops and these have fallen approximately every decade, however no one has actually observed any of the previous eight drops falling. In 1988 the 7th drop fell while the custodian was having a five minute break. In November, 2000, a webcam malfunctioned and missed capturing the 8th drop falling.

As shown in this time lapse video of the last 18 months, the drop changes very slowly.

My own observations, measuring the size of the drop with a screen ruler over the last few days show that it has grown less than a pixel in diameter.

Watch the pitch live below, or join the experiment at

Friday, October 18, 2013

Amazing expanding table

One of the MuzGadget sisters is impressed with this unique Fletcher Capstan Table renowned British luxury furniture makers Fletcher Burwell-Taylor Ltd.

The Fletcher Capstan Table from Morph Studio on Vimeo.

The table remains truly circular as it transforms to double the seating with either a manual or electronic rotation. Based on a 19th century design by Robert Jupe, the current improved design has been worked on by designer David Fletcher since 1997 and has a smooth mechanism and hides the expansion leaves inside the table.

Priced comparable to a luxury sports car, the table is custom made for each customer (often superyacht owners), and is crafted from thousands of parts. David usually personally installs each table.

He describes the process that goes into The Making of The Fletcher Capstan Table. More information at Fletcher Tables.

Monday, October 7, 2013

The ProTravel Carry-on bag to beat travel drag

My family traveled to Paris in July with just carry on. Our apartment in Paris was up a narrow spiral staircase and lugging the bags up and down would have been easier if they were backpacks. That is why this Kickstarter project to launch the ProTravel Carry-on Bag from Minaar is so interesting. Designed by Kiwi travel junkies, Doug and Jimmy, the bag is packed with features for reducing travel drag.

Check out more about the bag you don't need to check-in on Kickstarter and