Great science projects for your family…

September 12, 2011

Blog Guy, my daughter, Julie, has to do a school project involving transportation. We were thinking about making a little cardboard sled.

A cardboard sled? Are you a chump? Don’t you care about getting little Julie into a decent college?

But she’s only six.

Six? It may already be too late! Look at what other families are doing in the homemade transportation department.

These folks above, in China, are finishing up a miniature submarine which will be able to dive to 65 feet and spend 10 hours under water.

That’s impressive, but surely it’s one of a kind.

You think? See the dude on the right? He’s in the same city, working on a flying device powered by eight motorcycle engines.

But this sort of local innovation just happens in China, right?

Not really. The guy on the bottom right is in Bolivia. He’s fine-tuning the one-person helicopter his family is making from recycled metal.

He must be a professional helicopter designer.

Nope, he makes bumpers and roof racks for a living. Helicopters are just a hobby.

Oh no! This is hopeless! Little Julie may as well plan on a career as a haberdasher! Can you please help us out?

Look, I’ll zoom over to your place and see what I can do, as soon as my toddler nephew finishes making my solar-powered vacuum cleaner personal rocket pack…

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Top: Zhang Wuyi (R), a local farmer who is interested in scientific inventions, watches workers polishing the surface of an unfinished miniature submarine at his workshop on the outskirts of Wuhan, capital of central China’s Hubei province August 29, 2011. REUTERS/Jason Lee

Right: People help local farmer Shu Mansheng (in red) move his flying device before the first test flight in front of his house in Dashu village on the outskirts of Wuhan, August 30, 2011. REUTERS/Jason Lee

Bottom right: Native Bolivian Hugo Cancari works on the cockpit of a one-person helicopter that he and his family are manufacturing from recycled metal at the workshop where they normally make bumpers and roof racks for vehicles in El Alto, on the outskirts of La Paz, August 31, 2011. REUTERS/David Mercado

Left: A worker is seen in the unfinished miniature submarine. REUTERS/Jason Lee

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The ACME Submarine Science Kit: $59.99
The Williams Sonoma Life Jacket/Raft Combo: $599.99
Don’t leave home without it. Mbeep, mbeep!

Posted by Onedoor | Report as abusive

Come on now – if you’re going to make your own submarine, it should at least be yellow.

Posted by Nosmo_King | Report as abusive

Oh, i love that song, Nosmo..
I finally have a song I can bug my co-workers with…
If I dont reply back tomorrow, know that I have lost it…
Time for me meddies, methinks..

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive


On another note, my phrenologist’s lapidary is betting me that a homemade submarine would weigh the same as a dozen doughnuts. Can you help settle this bet?

Posted by Dave_not_dave | Report as abusive

I have cracked the code! If you want to have a good transportation project, make something that flies or goes in the water.

In other words, that ATV you were making out of old take-out food containers and old car engines from the scrap lot is passe and won’t get you into college.

Posted by 69Spinster | Report as abusive

Looking at the welds on that sub, I bet that it will spend a lot more than 10 hours underwater, at depths equal to whatever the water depth is where they launch it.

Posted by AllThatJazz | Report as abusive

Underwater or
by air, all want to get to
the OE blog now.

Posted by FriscoJohn | Report as abusive

We must remember these great inventions. If we don’t,
I must mention that if it is one’s convention to have condescension to those who have little retention of the science inventions, abstention from condescension would ease much tension.

Posted by 69Spinster | Report as abusive

Spin, the mere mention of your invention moves me to haiku:

Words ending in -tion
Concatenations abound
Brilliant fixation

Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead with the OE Blog Network!

Posted by jclimacus081 | Report as abusive

Are these the transportation and infrastructure projects with which the U.S. is supposed to compete per President Obama’s speeches?

Posted by 69Spinster | Report as abusive

@AllThatJazz, welds? Nah that looks like the same brand of gum used by BasAir to bind the wings to the fuselage of the BT-69. It’s just painted grey for effect. You can even see on the front where they stuck a few extra pieces for on-the-spot repairs.

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

Duh..what do they think they’d get out of these useless inventions? Remember what IBM said about Personal Computers…

Posted by fwd079 | Report as abusive

Wow…and I couldn’t even fix my remote control helicopter at age 26… Can anyone recommend me a good Chinese college? 😉

Posted by Malteser | Report as abusive

[…] Guy, recently you wrote about a bunch of ambitious homemade inventions around the world. A submarine, a helicopter, stuff like that. Do those things actually […]

Posted by Our ten-second in-flight movie will be… | Oddly Enough Blog | Report as abusive

never knock those with imagination and the courage to follow it. After all the Harrier STOVL jet started life as a flying bedstead!

Posted by igorgriffiths | Report as abusive

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Posted by Man Creats Hoover machine – UNEASYsilence | Report as abusive

[…] 1. Great science projects for your family […]

Posted by Try to remember the best of September | Oddly Enough Blog | Report as abusive