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Steam-Powered Car Breaks Century-Old Speed Record 187

mcgrew writes "New Scientist reports that a steam-powered car has broken the 1906 record of 204 km/hr (127 mph) for the fastest steam-powered automobile, the Stanley Steamer. The Inspiration made a top speed of 225 kilometres per hour (140 miles per hour) on August 26. 'The car's engine burns liquid petroleum gas to heat water in 12 suitcase-sized boilers, creating steam heated to 400C. The steam then drives a two-stage turbine that spins at 13,000 revolutions per minute to power its wheels.The FIA requires two 1.6-km-long runs to be performed in opposite directions — to cancel out any effect from wind — within 60 minutes.'"

Farmer Builds Robot Army Screenshot-sm 106

46-year-old Wu Yulu has only a basic school education but has managed to build himself 26 robots from scrap materials over the past 30 years. At first his creations were simple and could barely shuffle along by themselves. The robots got more complex as time passed, and eventually he built ones capable of climbing walls, serving water, lighting cigarettes, playing musical instruments and writing calligraphy. "When I was 11, one day I was sitting on the doorstep, and while watching villagers passing by I suddenly came up with the idea of building a machine that walks like a man," he told the Beijing Times.

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