World’s Strangest

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The Drinking Bird, a Scientific Toy for the Ages

I enjoyed watching the drinking bird at my grandma’s house, but could never have one of my own because I keep cats. The bird never stops, and since there’s no such thing as a perpetual motion machine, there must be some reasonable explanation for the bird’s persistence. One can only wonder if the inventor of the [...]

Working Model of M.C. Escher’s "Waterfall"

(Video Link) M.C. Escher’s Waterfall appears to show a stream of water fed by itself — something of a perpetual motion machine. This clever video of mysterious origin creates the illusion of a functional model of that image. via GearFuse

The Battery That’s Been Operating Continuously for the Past 60 Years

It keeps going…and going…and going. Karpen’s Pile, a battery built in Romania, has been providing power since the 1950s: The prototype has been assembled in 1950 and consists of two series-connected electric piles moving a small galvanometric motor. The motor moves a blade that is connected to a switch. With every half rotation, the blade opens [...]

The Origins of 6 Casino Favorites

Planning a trip to Vegas in the near future? Never forget that in the long run, the house always wins. But knowing the history of some of your favorite casino games may help soften the blow the next time you’re losing your shirt. If you’re going to be forking over your money to a casino, [...]