Mad Labber Scientist Tinkers With Time: Almost Scientific in Wired!

Wow. I just got back from Maker Faire and had a fantastic time. So many cool projects and brilliant people walking around. A glorious geek fest!

Check out the write up of Almost Scientific and the Dihemispheric Chronaether Agitator in Wired:

Mad Labber Scientist Tinkers With Time



Stanford grad student Alan Rorie shows off his hand-built, steam-powered time machine.

SAN MATEO, California — In-between conducting lab experiments as a Ph.D candidate for a degree in neurobiology at Stanford, Alan Rorie builds time machines.

Of course, Rorie’s machines don’t actually bend the laws of physics, but he credits his creations with helping to pass the time and “keeping [him] sane.” His steampunky time machine, or “dihemispheric chronaether agitator,” as he calls it, was handcrafted over the last few months, in his down time between research.

Rorie, who studies neuroeconomics (or the mechanics of how we make decisions) at Stanford, builds all of his own scientific apparatus to run experimental trials — everything from sensor-equipped headsets to eye-movement tracking devices.

“In my lab, we have our own custom machine shop,” said Rorie. “So I play around and build art in my spare time.”

Created out of copper, sheets of steel and nitric-acid etched brass plates, the sculpture is hooked to a steam engine with a steam boiler to power its movement.


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