Cape Cod Canal Centennial!

The Cape Cod Canal first opened to limited traffic 100 years ago on July 29, 1914.  Located at the base of Cape Cod where it joins the Massachusetts mainland, the canal runs 17.5 miles from Cape Cod Bay to Buzzards Bay and enables nautical traffic to cut at least 65 miles off the trip around the hazardous outer shore of the Cape.

Find more photos and records on the Cape Cod Canal

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"Atlantropa, also referred to as Panropa,[1] was a gigantic engineering and colonization project devised by the German architect Herman Sörgel in the 1920s and promulgated by him until his death in 1952. Its central feature was a hydroelectric dam to be built across the Strait of Gibraltar, which would have provided enormous amounts of hydroelectricity[2] and would have led to the lowering of the surface of the Mediterranean Sea by up to 200 metres (660 ft), opening up large new lands for settlement, for example in a now almost totally drained Adriatic Sea."


Phil Weicker and Duncan Forster, Los Angeles-based friends and fellow car enthusiasts, spent nearly six years converting a classic 1969 Cadillac Coupe de Ville into an awesome mobile hot tub, the Carpool DeVille. Both former engineering students, the pair devised a watertight steering system and a way to use the car’s original V8 engine to maintain the hot tub’s ideal water temperature of 102F. The Carpool DeVille holds about 5000 lbs of water and has been fitted with a marine throttle to keep the engine running. What was the trunk now holds a pool filtering system.

Weicker and Forster recently used a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds needed to get themselves and the Carpool DeVille to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah this August in hopes of setting the Land Speed Record for the “World’s Fastest Hot Tub.”

"Nobody’s ever gone a hundred miles an hour in an open-air self-propelled hot tub while sitting neck-deep in soothing warm water. We aim to correct that mistake of history this August."

Head over to the Daily Mail for additional images as well as video footage of the Carpool DeVille in action.

[via the Daily Mail and Telegraph.co.uk]

The first computer mouse

Each time you click your mouse, you’re paying homage to a UC Berkeley engineering alum Douglas Engelbart.  Originally patented as the “X-Y Position Indicator for a Display System,” Engelbart invented and developed the first computer mouse. (It got its nickname “mouse” due to the cord attached to the rear of the device that looked like a tail.)

Engelbart is known for giving “The Mother of All Demos" in 1968 — a live demonstration that featured almost all of the fundamental elements of modern computing: windows, hypertext, graphics, efficient navigation, command input, video conferencing and a collaborative real-time editor.

Watch “The Mother of All Demos”


The 5 Massive New Telescopes That Will Change Astronomy Forever

The biggest building boom in the history of astronomy is upon us. In Chile and Hawaii and in space, astronomers are getting powerful telescopes that dwarf the current state-of-the-art instruments. When the mountain blasting and the mirror polishing are all done, we will have the clearest and most detailed views of outer space ever.

This boom has long been in the works for years, as billion-dollar telescopes don’t just fund and plan themselves.Now, these telescopes are starting to break ground. “If it all plays out as expected and budgeted,” writes Dennis Overbye in the New York Times, “astronomers of the 2020s will be swimming in petabytes of data streaming from space and the ground.” Let’s take a closer took at what these billion-dollar telescopes can do for astronomy in the decades to come.

Read all about these 5 amazing telescopes at Gizmodo