Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Steampunk DJ equipment

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

Gaumont dual gramaphone

No, not really a set of turntables for Edwardian DJs but in fact the Chronophone – an early sytem for synchronising sound and film, invented by Leon Gaumont and demonstrated in his Gaumont Palace theatre in 1910. Since gramaphone records only played long enough to accompany 200 feet of film, the dual-platter system allows records to be swapped to give a more-or-less continuous soundtrack.

Interestingly, the system used a compressed-air amplifier (sufficient to deliver sound to an audience of 4000), which is how I stumbled upon it. I’ve been looking into purely fluidic sound systems and will hopefully be posting (more…)

We’ll always have PARIS

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Just a quick post to mention the successful launch of a paper glider into space by a British amaeuter team. (more…)

Perfecting the parapluie

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Silhouette of couple picnicking under umbrella in the rainWhy have there been virtually no serious developments in umbrella design since Totes Inc. brought out their folding model in 1970?

This isn’t going to be one of those blog entries that claim a fabulous new idea in the field of non-wearable rain protection. The fact is, there’s no shortage of ideas. There are thousands of patents on umbrella-related inventions but practically none have ever made it to the high street.

This wouldn’t be so odd if the standard umbrella was an elegant and simple design that worked perfectly. But despite the obvious drawbacks of the standard brolly – drawbacks that become apparrent once rain is combined with all but the lightest of winds, not to mention durability, portability or ease of deployment – the field seems stubbornly resistant to innovation. (more…)