MachinePix Weekly #58

The most popular post this week was a flying boat, not to be confused with a floatplane ✈️🌊

Newsletter and interviews delayed a week because my laptop with transcripts was liberated from my parked vehicle 🥲

This did give me an excuse to explore the history of automotive safety glass. Two facts that surprised me: laminated glass was used as early as 1919 (I always assumed lamination happened post-plastic era, but early safety glass was laminated with gelatin); and the modern polyvinyl butyral (PVB) lamination layer is actually between two glass layers, rather than outside the glass.

All that said, thank god for Backblaze—not a paid placement, it’s literally the best remote backup service I’ve used and it’s saving a lot of marginal headache for me right now.

The most popular post this week was a flying boat. Flying boats are not the same as floatplanes (although both are seaplanes): flying boats have a fuselage that also functions as a positively buoyant hull, allowing them to be much larger than float planes and much more useful as firefighting aircraft.

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


The Week in Review

Culver Props’ Instagram page has a lot of great videos on propeller fabrication. What’s amazing to me here is that wood remains one of the best materials to make these high speed structures with (Brian Potter talks about the advantages of mass timber for construction in Machinepix Weekly #55).

More companies should produce behind-the-scenes videos.

OVO Tech seems to be in competition with SANOVO for industrial egg dominance, but OVO Tech has a much better URL ( That said, I personally think SANOVO makes the most fascinating machine: the LONG EGG 6-32.


Shang Chi was an amazing movie and you should go watch it—but I was disappointed by how the localization dumbed down some otherwise great Chinese metaphors. I’m sure the job of effectively localizing for your audience is non-trivial and there was an intentional decision here, but I’m definitely going to write some fan subs once the movie is available on streaming. Recently, Netflix’s Evangelion was accused of straightwashing its translation, but the “correct” translation is hotly debated based on nuances of grammar and culture.

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.