MachinePix Weekly #54

This week's most popular post was an extremely suggestive lamp 💡🌚 Next week's interview: Brian Potter, author of Construction Physics

Next week I’ll be interviewing structural engineer Brian Potter, the author of the excellent Construction Physics—one of the newsletters I regularly read. Brian has thoughtful answers to a range of questions, from tactical ones like why lumber has gotten so expensive to broad history of technology questions like why did agriculture mechanize but not construction? Given that @machinepix features so much construction equipment, I’m excited to go down the rabbit hole with Brian.

The most popular post this week was a very suggestive lamp by British artist Monsby. Believe it or not, it’s more subtle than it could have been: working names included phallamp and lampenis.

I’m always looking for interesting people to interview, have anyone in mind?


The Week in Review

A nifty design decision here: rather than engineering the speed and/or precision required to sort every sausage on the line as it passes ($$$$), the line continuously loops unsorted sausages for the delta robots.

Very cool use of cheap parts for the public good. The Litterbuggie website and Instagram have contact info if you’d like to get involved.

I’m not a hat guy, but in general I really like seeing people take crafts and disciplines to extremes. Lock & Co. Hatters hits that dopamine button for me. Some others off the top of my head are kanna woodworking and the CNC sculptures of Chris Bathgate.


There’s a genre of zoology reporting I really enjoy which is roughly “this behavior we observed and developed a sophisticated hypothesis for is actually much dumber.”

This week, I got a laugh out of Goose flying upside down is simply showing off, say experts (also known as whiffling, for you bird enthusiasts)—which reminded me of Bats Crash Into Each Other All the Time, High-Speed Cameras Reveal. Growing up I remember learning that bats had advanced sonar-based sense-and-avoid capabilities for flying in the dark; it turns out they don’t, and it’s easier to evolve impact-resistance than sense-and-avoid capabilities 🤷🏻‍♂️

If you enjoyed this newsletter, forward it to friends (and interesting enemies). I am always looking to connect with interesting people and learn about interesting machines—reach out.