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Questions tagged [engineering]

Engineering is the discipline, skill, and profession of acquiring and applying scientific, economic, social, and practical knowledge, in order to design and build structures, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes.

128
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4answers
42k views

Was Opportunity's last message to Earth “My battery is low and it's getting dark”?

On February 13 2019, NASA announced that Opportunity - a Mars rover launched in 2003 with an intended longevity of three months - was likely to be dead. In the wake of this event, and the outpouring ...
35
votes
1answer
4k views

Were Roman engineers required to stand beneath their bridges as they were tested?

"When Roman engineers built a bridge, they had to stand under it while the first legion marched across. If programmers today worked under similar ground rules, they might well find themselves getting ...
30
votes
2answers
2k views

Was NASA’s Mars Climate Orbiter lost because engineering teams used different measuring units?

I read in a book that NASA's Mars Climate Orbiter was lost on September 23, 1999, at a cost of $125 million, because one engineering team used metric units, while another one used inches for a key ...
26
votes
1answer
4k views

Does this video of collapsing warehouse shelves show a real incident?

This video seems to show a minor bump by a fork lift causing multiple rows of shelving to collapse, burying the fork lift and operator. Is this a real incident, or a faked video? The video has been ...
22
votes
1answer
2k views

Does talking to a rubber duck improve programmer performance when debugging?

In software engineering (especially XP) there is a commonly held belief that talking to a rubber duck will improve performance when debugging problematic code. This technique is referenced in ...
22
votes
2answers
6k views

Do Möbius strip conveyor belts last longer?

According to Wikipedia: Giant Möbius strips have been used as conveyor belts that last longer because the entire surface area of the belt gets the same amount of wear... (No citations given.) In ...
21
votes
5answers
160k views

Is this tealight-flowerpot heater more efficient than just tealights?

This article at the Daily Mail describes a small heater based on tealights and flowerpots. It claims that [the system] "make[s] the heating more efficient" (I assume in comparison to just tealights) ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

Can you harvest energy from radio transmissions?

This video gives instructions on building a circuit to harvest energy from radio waves in the air using some pretty straightforward circuitry. The creator has another video showing such a circuit ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Could One Man Have Built The Coral Castle?

Supposedly, just one man built the Coral castle. Jilted by the woman who would be his wife, and miraculously recovering from a terminal case of tuberculosis, Edward Leedskanlin built the structure in ...
14
votes
3answers
4k views

Can you improve a car's engine by driving the car fast?

Many car enthusiasts claim the following: take 2 identical cars (equal horse power, torque etc). give one car to an old person who only drives it slowly give the other car to the car enthusiast ...
14
votes
0answers
650 views

Instant, painless amputation via high-pressure steam

Several years ago, a friend of mine who had a long career as a commercial/industrial plumber related an anecdote about a colleague who was working at a power plant. He was in the vicinity of a high-...
13
votes
1answer
827 views

Did big projects used to get finished on time and on budget?

Big projects (software, engineering, architecture etc.) are plagued by cost and time overruns, or so it is widely thought. Nicholas Taleb argues in Antifragile that this is a modern phenomenon: ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

Are engineers more religious than average faculty?

Recent Slashdot article: In a forthcoming book, Engineers of Jihad, published by Princeton University Press, Diego Gambetta and Steffen Hertog provide a new theory explaining why engineers seem ...
12
votes
1answer
10k views

Does wearing a helmet cause/aggravate hair loss?

A person I know (and his colleagues) does not wear his civil engineers helmet because they believe that it causes or contributes to hair loss. An ehow post also makes the same claim regarding ...
11
votes
1answer
973 views

Is a proposal to build an artificial mountain being seriously considered?

Thijs Zonneveld, a former cyclist, made a joke that a 2,000m high artificial mountain should be created in the Netherlands. Now, the mass media are reporting that it is being seriously considered: ...
8
votes
3answers
40k views

Does a turbo-charged engine require a “cooling down” period?

Some people are saying that after having driven a car with a turbo-charged engine, you need to let the engine run for several seconds (or even minutes) before switching off the engine. But nobody is ...
7
votes
1answer
333 views

Will the Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah be the 'longest bridge' in the world?

In any metric, this doesn't seem to qualify as the longest bridge in the world. I could be miscalculating, but a number of articles are using the title 'longest'. The articles below are highlights ...
7
votes
2answers
6k views

Do you need to break in new engine on a car/bike for first 1,000 km by driving slowly and otherwise following manual's advice?

Normally car manuals say to let the car break in gently, not accelerating or breaking fast for first 1,000 km or driving below 80km/h. Is that really necessary in today's world? Is there any proof ...
7
votes
0answers
256 views

Have refrigerators become less reliable over time?

An often recited quip, both in my home and in popular culture, is "They don't make them like they used to." Most recently, the quote was brought up when our refrigerator stopped dispensing filtered ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there anything inexplicable about how the WTC Twin Towers collapsed? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: On 9/11, was Building 7 destroyed in a controlled explosion? Having just watched the movie Zeitgeist, I'm a bit unsettled because I don't know how to refute the idea that the ...
4
votes
1answer
695 views

Do electric cars emit half the CO2 as diesel from a life-cycle perspective?

From The Guardian: "On average, electric vehicles will emit half the CO2 emissions of a diesel car by 2030, including the manufacturing emissions,” said Yoann Le Petit, a spokesman for the T&E ...
4
votes
0answers
314 views

Can the Hyperloop infrastructure implode due to a single crack? [closed]

In the article Hyperloop: the doubts persist, it is claimed that the hyperloop could implode due to a crack in the tunnel wall. The argument is supported by the claim that air would rush in at the ...
4
votes
0answers
840 views

Does “liquid-injection damp-proofing” work to water-proof walls?

There are technologies for sale, especially in Germany, to drill holes in the walls of a cellar, and inject into the concrete or masonry a liquid, such as Sodium Silicate The manufacturers promise ...
2
votes
0answers
280 views

Can Magic Leap deliver its claims about their future augmented reality product?

Magic Leap has been very outward with their public face regarding their upcoming augmented reality product. They've been promising a great deal, and the media has hyped up their image as a result, ...
0
votes
2answers
487 views

Would it have been possible for the ancients to have built a Tower of Babel? [closed]

As recorded in Genesis 11:1-9, the ancients allegedly built a tower to the skies in a valley in Babylon (near present-day Baghdad), and God scattered them across the Earth as a punishment. As ...