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And Now: The Hamster-Powered Strandbeest

A new spin on Theo Jansen’s Strandbeesten should leave even the artist himself smiling. Starting with a make-your-own-Strandbeest kit from Gakken (an educational toy company), I-Wei Huang, an animator and steampunk hobbyist, put his own unique and furry twist on the design.

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And Now: AutoFrost Puts the Icing on the Cake

How’s this for a sweet new invention: five students from Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering have built a cake-decorating robot for a class project.

Called AutoFrost, the machine combines electronic sensors, computer programming, and precise mechanics with delicious gooey confections. Just doodle your design on a basic Microsoft Paint-like program, hit the button that says, “I’m ready to design an amazing cake,” and watch the frosting begin.

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And Now: The Size and Scale of the Universe

Ever wondered just how large a galaxy is or how minuscule an atom might be?

Now you can get a better idea of how the size of our earth measures up to, say, a strand of DNA or the Cat’s Eye Nebula. Just check out this awesome visualization tool, created by Cary and Michael Huang (click image to see).

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And Now: How to Melt a Rock Using Sunlight

Don’t try this at home, kids.

In this amazing clip, Jem Stansfield, the host of BBC’s Bang Goes the Theory (sort of a UK version of Mythbusters), visits the Solar Furnace Research Facility in Southern France. There a researcher demonstrates the power of intensely concentrated sunlight, using a special furnace that can reach temperatures of 3,500 degrees C (that’s about 6,332° F), and even melt solid rock!

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And Now: Super Mario Turns 25!

Today, everyone’s favorite plumber celebrates his 25th anniversary. To commemorate a quarter century of Super Mario Bros, the folks at Nintendo have put together this nifty retrospective video – watch how the game has changed (and stayed the same) over the years:

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