The holiday season brings two questions: "Isn't it time to put up the Christmas lights?" and "When do we take down the Christmas lights?" Edward Nauman designed retractable icicle lights that go up or down with a flick of a switch. He used rotating lengths of metal conduit to wrap up lights and keep them out of sight behind a facia board. Ed's invention brought peace to his holiday season. The design involves a bracket, a motor, micro-switches, conduit and a few other odds and ends, plus some metalworking experience.
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.