Popular Mechanics South Africa1 min gelesenEarth Sciences
Ptolemy’s Geographia
The Greeks were the first known culture to apply a scientific approach to measuring and mapping the world. The philosopher Pythagoras theorised as early as the 6th century BCE that the Earth was round. And by 200 BCE, the scholar Eratosthenes compare
Popular Mechanics South Africa4 min gelesenAutomotive
THE FUTURE OF Off-road Is Electric
ELECTRIC SUPREMACY IS indisputable: More power, immediate torque, superior ground clearance, and in-hub motors commanding each wheel make electric vehicles (EVs) ideal for a demanding go-anywhere adventure compared with dieselor petrol-engine vehicle
Popular Mechanics South Africa4 min gelesenPsychology
Facebook Neural Nets Solve Differential Equations
IF UNIVERSITY students could obtain a copy of Facebook’s latest neural network – a series of algorithms that resemble the human brain – they could cheat all the way through Calculus 300. At the least, they could solve the following differential equat
Popular Mechanics South Africa1 min gelesen
Da Vinci’s Tools Of War
Leonardo designed an early diving suit, which he hoped the Romans could use to disable enemy ships. The inventor drafted designs for an early parachute made of wood and linen. Skydiver Adrian Nicholas put the chute to the test in 2000. A far cry from
Popular Mechanics South Africa1 min gelesenEarth Sciences
Catalan Atlas
Ancient sailors navigated the seas by keeping in sight of land and observing the sun and stars. If clouds rolled in, they pulled in their sails and waited for better visibility. The discovery of the compass – a magnetised needle on wood, floating in
Popular Mechanics South Africa1 min gelesen
Popular Mechanics South Africa
Editor Mark Samuel Chief Copy Editor Roshaan Bouwer Deputy Chief Copy Editor Nicole van der Scholtz Senior Copy Editor Shaneen Noble Creative: Art Director Tauriq Loofer Junior Designer Tyrone Michaels RSA Contributors Tiana Cline, Tobias Lochner Dig
Popular Mechanics South Africa1 min gelesen
Babylonian Map Of The World
The oldest surviving world map depicts the world view of Babylonians circa 600 BCE. The five-inch stone tablet is centred around Babylon, the wide rectangle, which straddles the Euphrates River, depicted by the crooked lines running from top to botto
Popular Mechanics South Africa5 min gelesenCooking, Food & Wine
Exploring The Milkless Way
WHETHER IT’S because of a lactose intolerance, a mild allergy, or you’re motivated by environmental reasons (yes, eating dairy products has serious negative knockon effects for the natural world), more and more people are adopting a dairy-free diet.
Popular Mechanics South Africa3 min gelesenAutomotive
Riding With Thecurrent
A TOP SPEED limited to 240 km/h. Zero to 100 km/h in 2.6 seconds. 215 Nm of torque, all of it available instantaneously, from the moment you twist the throttle. No emissions, no clutch, no shifting of gears, extended riding range… I know – this all r
Popular Mechanics South Africa1 min gelesen
Aerial Map Of Manhattan
The first photograph taken from the air was shot from a 80 metre-high hot-air balloon in 1858. It was an inauspicious start – and that photo of a small French village was lost – but aviation would revolutionise map-making. From above, a photograph co
Popular Mechanics South Africa1 min gelesenTechnology & Engineering
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Popular Mechanics South Africa2 min gelesen
Keeping Track
WE ARE all born trackers – tracking our families, the weather, our physical condition, our emotions, the stock market, or a subtle new behaviour trait of a friend or colleague, says Alex van den Heever in his book, Changing a Leopard’s Spots, written
Popular Mechanics South Africa1 min gelesenComputers
3d-printed Products That Make You Healthier, Safer, And Smile Better
Last season, at least one member of every NFL team played in this prototype helmet from Riddell, which uses custom-fitted, 3D-printed liners to better absorb blows. The precisely mapped sections have 140 000 individual struts arranged in a lattice de
Popular Mechanics South Africa1 min gelesen
Clever Tips And Lifehacks
I devised a simple solution for a serious problem: the ingestion of plastic bags by certain animals that results in their death by starvation, in spite of them still having access to an abundance of food. Antelope such as kudu have no natural way to
Popular Mechanics South Africa3 min gelesen
Dream Big
WRITE TO US popularmechanics@ramsaymedia.co.za Moving in next door to Dave and Erica some years ago really challenged me. We watched the two of them building a yacht right there in their front yard. And that was not their first one! It made me realis
Popular Mechanics South Africa6 min gelesen
Give Your Car A New Lease On Life
IT TOOK ME a long time to decide on the car I wanted to buy. Finances dictated that I shop in the second-hand market, and after in-depth research, visiting several dealers and contacting many sellers, I settled on a five-yearold turbodiesel Nissan X-
Popular Mechanics South Africa1 min gelesenNature
Alternatives To Milk
ALMOND MILK is made from ground almonds and filtered water, but may also contain thickeners and emulsifiers to help improve consistency. Unsweetened, it’s particularly low in calories and is free from saturated fat. Though almonds are high in protein
Popular Mechanics South Africa2 min gelesenTechnology & Engineering
Google Earth, Maps, And Street View
The Cold War drove the next leaps in mapping technology. The launch of Sputnik sparked the development of GPS when MIT scientists realised they could track the Soviet satellite from the ground by observing how its radio signal changed as it moved, an
Popular Mechanics South Africa3 min gelesen
The B-52 Is America’s Longestserving Plane – And The Most Badass
LIKE MANY OF AMERICA’S legendary aircraft, the B-52 was built to offset the Soviet threat that characterised the Cold War. The US needed a bomber to reach far-flung Soviet targets, defeat their air defences, and carry a massive atomic payload. Boeing
Popular Mechanics South Africa5 min gelesenIntelligence (AI) & Semantics
Making Music With Machines
There’s more to blockchain than cryptocurrency. Being able to store and manage data in a secure way is something that could revolutionise the music industry. A blockchain database, or distributed ledger, is hard to tamper with – it stores digital inf
Popular Mechanics South Africa3 min gelesenEconomics
Building Da Vinci’s Forgottten Bridge
WHEN SULTAN Bayezid II of the Ottoman Empire requested proposals for a bridge connecting capital city Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey) with the neighbouring city, Galata (Karaköy, Turkey) at the turn of the 16th century, famed inventor Leonardo
Popular Mechanics South Africa6 min gelesenChemistry
Use A File To Make A Handcrafted Knife
Knife making can be complex, but it doesn’t have to be. You can create some incredible pieces using things you either already have lying around or that are cheaply available at your local hardware store. While there are lots of companies out there th
Popular Mechanics South Africa10 min gelesenTechnology & Engineering
ANOTHER YEAR, another new Galaxy smartphone from Samsung? Well yes, and no. Yes, because it’s been a year since Samsung launched the five-camera Galaxy S20 series, and no because this is so much more than another phone. While there are three very nic
Popular Mechanics South Africa2 min gelesen
Sky’s The Limit
HAVE YOU EVER wondered what it feels like to be a pilot? To take to the skies and soar above places you’ve never visited before? There’s nothing quite like Microsoft Flight Simulator, a technical masterpiece that has been around for nearly 40 years,
Popular Mechanics South Africa2 min gelesenTechnology & Engineering
Should Your Car Have Solar Panels?
YOU CAN GET THEM on the new Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited (only available in the US, for $35 300), which I tested for a week, under existentially strange but mechanically ideal conditions. Except for a 16 km drive to the grocery store and back, the c
Popular Mechanics South Africa1 min gelesenAviation & Aeronautics
The Bigger Picture
THIS IMAGE WAS CAPTURED early in December last year, at the SpaceX hangar at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The upgraded version of the Cargo Dragon spacecraft can be seen front and centre, mounted on the colossal SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, jus
Popular Mechanics South Africa3 min gelesenComputers
This MakerBot Made 3D Printing Hot
RELEASED IN 2012, THE MakerBot Replicator sold for $1749 (or about R15 200 at the exchange rate back then). For that price, you could own the first mass-market, consumer-grade 3D printer. It’s the equivalent of the first Homebrew desktop computer, or
Popular Mechanics South Africa1 min gelesen
How To Make Crystal-clear Ice
It’s a big ol’ myth that trapped gases and impurities from cloudy ice negatively impact a drink’s flavour. (Unless that ice is from a deep freezer that hasn’t been cleaned in ages, of course.) But to wow a crowd, there’s nothing like serving a Negron
Popular Mechanics South Africa1 min gelesen
Where Be Dragons?
The famous warning ‘Here be dragons’ is a map myth: It was never actually written on old maps, though a Latin version appears on one 16th-century globe. Instead, the phrase represents the illustrations of monstrous sea serpents, toothy beasts, and st
Popular Mechanics South Africa1 min gelesen
A Brief History Of Bridge Construction
The Greek historian Herodotus details the construction of Xerxes’ pontoon bridges, rope-tied floating barges strung together during the Greek and Persian War. The Romans finish construction on the Pont du Gard bridge in France. The solid, triple-deck
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