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Aside from their spectacular size, what makes floating cranes unusual and interesting objects is that they are essentially boats. As such, they dont exactly conjure up the idea of stability, which is the primary requirement for lifting things. They also look weird since boats usually consist of large hulls with smaller superstructure, here the arrangement is reversed making them seem very ungainly.Some of these cranes can lift tens of thousands of tons, at sea, and are engineering wonders.

10 enormous floating cranes

There are some design classics here, from the John Russell Barlow, French Opinel and Laguiole, Japanese Higo no Kami and of course the Swiss Army knife, where we show the original 19th C version and the one actually issued to Swiss soldiers today. We have included a couple of multi-tool curiosities such as a surgeons knife with gruesome implements such as an abscess lance and a Veterinary blood letting pocket knife which we found in our attic. To demonstrate the history of pocket knives which go back to 500BC we have selected a modern looking Viking pocket knife and an amazing Roman Soldiers multi-tool which predates the Swiss Army by nearly 2000 years.

12 classic pocket knives

When Craig Breedlove built the first of the modern jet-propelled record breaking cars in his garage, he named it the Spirit of America, this could have just as well pertained to the place of creation as the object itself. The garage is a symbol of creative entrepreneurialism, people making anything from cars to music to robots and, of course, the Apple computer.

things made in suburban garages

Ted Stevens was right, the Victorian Internet consisted, quite literally, of a ‘Network of Tubes’. Paris, London, Prague and Vienna had extensive networks of pneumatic tubes which delivered messages in capsules. In New York 5 million mail messages passed every day through an underground pneumatic system, and a network in Berlin delivered hot meals directly to people’s homes suggesting that kitchens would no longer be needed in the future. Today these systems can still be purchased where they are used in places like hospitals where samples are passed between departments.

15 pneumatic message networks

I deliberately picked spiral ramps as opposed to spiral staircases, since they include buildings whose entire form is determined by the ramp rather than being merely a feature. Examples include everything from the Guggenheim to the Reichstag, the Tatlin Tower, Lingotto Factory or Lubetkin’s brilliant Penguin Pool at London Zoo. My personal favorite is the spiral ramp at Convair Aeronautics, by Pereira and Luckman, the people that designed the now defunct control tower at LAX. The insane but amazing proposal for a half mile high drive up skyscraper for the 1937 Paris exhibition is one example of a spiral ramp car park, and I’ve thrown a few examples of anonymous car park ramps into the mix to show how beautifu these often overlooked pieces of background architecture are.

18 Spiral Ramps

Halloweenerdy is a term often used to refer to costumes favored by geeks. These costumes appear at events such as Sci-Fi conventions, Burning man and, of course, Halloween. Halloween is like Burning Man but without the corrosive dust, a perfect excuse to spend three and a half thousand hours building a hollywood quality prop and to gawk at co-workers in marketing, wearing bondage gear.Here are our all time favorite costumes. Vote for yours.

17 best halloweenerd costumes

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Wtf is that? #20

May 28th, 2010 #link

wtf

A boat that goes in two directions. What could be the purpose of this crazy looking ship? The answer is suitably topical.



5 Responses to “Wtf is that? #20”

  1. Gaijiniji Says:

    Im guessing its for skimming oil from the surface of the sea?

  2. gaijiniji Says:

    Is it for skimming oil from the water surface?

  3. admin Says:

    Yes, that’s exactly what it is.

    What I don’t understand is how is propels itself forward without getting torn apart. I guess it doesn’t have a problem with fuel!

  4. Gaijiniji Says:

    Again this is only a guess but I would say that the mechanism for skimming and sucking in the surface water / oil would relieve a lot of the pressure (IE sucking it in and spewing out the excess water through some kind of vent)? I couldnt imagine it would be particularly fast in any case though! Getting it on location could be two seperate ships bolted together or assembled on site? Im not an engineer so no clue!

    Sorry for the double post!

  5. Jens W Says:

    the ship can be set to a closed position, where the two halfs touch each other. The propel mechanism is in the middle of both halfs.

  6. DanRR Says:

    This is an oil recovery vessel, it sweeps oil from the water surface.
    See this link for a similar ship:
    http://www.havariekommando.de/en/cis/inventory/Spill_response_vessel/Bottsand/index.html