Let there be (neon) light

This is fascinating. I’ve always kind of wondered how neon lights were made, but never really investigated.

A guy who bottles ships talks about ship bottling…

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I’ve always wondered how these work. Not just how they get them into a bottle. But some of the other really microscopic engineering…

How a can of coke is made…

Here’s the chain of events that leads up to the “cshhht” sound you can of Coke makes when you open it. It’s complicated. And sort of beautiful.

coke cans

And it all starts in the bauxite mines of Western Australia

The number of individuals who know how to make a can of Coke is zero. The number of individual nations that could produce a can of Coke is zero. This famously American product is not American at all. Invention and creation is something we are all in together. Modern tool chains are so long and complex that they bind us into one people and one planet. They are not only chains of tools, they are also chains of minds: local and foreign, ancient and modern, living and dead — the result of disparate invention and intelligence distributed over time and space. Coca-Cola did not teach the world to sing, no matter what its commercials suggest, yet every can of Coke contains humanity’s choir.

The humble pencil has a similar story, which is why sharpening them is an art.

How bike wheels are made

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I love this sort of thing.

Building a wheel from Scott Meleskie on Vimeo.

Made By Hand: Another cool video series on craftsmanship

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I love this sort of thing… bit of a language warning. But here are the first two videos in a series.

How World Cup balls are made

I can’t get enough of those “how stuff get made” videos. The World Cup is this year. Here’s how they make the balls.