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Popular Mechanics South AfricaPopular Mechanics South Africa

Popular Mechanics South Africa

November 2019

The South African edition of Popular Mechanics was launched in 2002 and has fast become the acknowledged voice of science and technology in South Africa. Underpinning its rich sci-tech content is an ever-changing mix of articles covering everything from automotive news and outdoor adventures to DIY projects. In essence, it explains how our world works

South Africa
RamsayMedia (PTY) Ltd
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$2.29(Incl. tax)
$19.26(Incl. tax)
12 Issues


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meat of the matter

I’M NO BIG meat eater, but I definitely enjoy a juicy burger or steak every now and again, and biltong is my go-to snack when I’m out hiking or rock climbing. But the fact that the rearing of cattle (yes, the source of most of our meat) is one of the most harmful industries when it comes to the issues of environmental degradation and global warming is something that plays heavy on my mind. According to findings from a study by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the total anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions (in other words, those created by human activities) from livestock now account for about 14.5 per cent of the total figure. In simple terms, it has an immense impact. Incredibly, 17.7 kg of CO2…

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popular mechanics south africa

Editor Mark Samuel • Chief Copy Editor Rhynhardt Krynauw • Senior Copy Editor Roshaan Patel • Copy Editors Geraldine Amoko, Lauren Endrody, Shaneen Noble, Chenai Nyakunengwa, Nicole van der Scholtz Editorial Intern Sam Spiller • Art Director Tauriq Loofer • Designer Sherizaan Bassier • Junior Designers Aslam Ebrahim, Mhlanguli Gcobo • RSA Contributors Tiana Cline, Ray Leathern, Amy Lehner, Tobias Lochner, Evan Samuel, Grant Spolander • DIGITAL: Digital Group Web Developer Cicero Joseph Webmaster Lizelle Leonard • SALES: Sales Director Ryan Nicolle (ryan@ramsaymedia.co.za) Account Manager Mark Geyer • Advertising Sales Jean De Ridder • Buyers’ Guide Joanne Thompson, Patrick Kennedy, Lindi van den Heever Debtors Manager Sharon Maneveld MARKETING, EVENTS & CIRCULATION: Commercial Director for Shows and Events Stephan Herman • Group Events Nasreen Abrahams • Circulations & Subscriptions Manager…

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winning letter

Lofty project WRITE TO US popularmechanics@ramsaymedia.co.za At the impressionable age of 10, my super-handy dad roped my two brothers (12 and 14 at the time) and me in to build the wooden floor and staircase in a double-volume area of our house. The new upstairs rooms were to be our study and my eldest brother’s bedroom. As young boys, we were fortunate to know that we’d built those rooms, which left us with the conviction that, if we could do this as kids, we could surely do almost anything. And so, when my two boys (aged six and eight) needed more space in their room, I jumped at the opportunity to impress upon them and my daughter (aged 10) the same sense of achievement and accomplishment. After getting some sound advice from a…

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what’s on your mind?

FUNDAMENTAL FORMULA I read with interest the article in the August issue entitled ‘The importance of being square’. I love using precision tools when I have access to them, but most of those mentioned in the article are out of reach for us old pensioners. This is where the ‘Pythagoras 3:4:5 triangle’ comes in – 3 × 3 = 9 : 4 × 4 = 16 : 5 × 5 = 25 … 9 + 16 = 25. (Editor’s note: A Pythagorean triple consists of three positive integers a, b, and c, such that a2 + b2 = c2.) The beauty of this principle is that its application requires only the simplest of equipment – a good-quality steel tape measure. If you make your marks carefully, you can construct very accurate 90°…

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time machine

1 NOVEMBER 1967 ‘Tiger Sharks’ Strike In the Vietnam Swamps Late 1967 saw us take a closer look at a series of Air Cushion Vehicles (ACV) deployed by the United States Navy in Vietnam. Pilots described how these military hovercraft, equipped with armour plating and machinegun turrets, could reach speeds of up to 110_km/h as they travelled across flooded wetlands. 2 NOVEMBER 1940 Seaplaning – Three Sports In One Thanks to a growing number of landing facilities, more and more people were turning to seaplanes for recreation (as it essentially combined the three sports of flying, powerboating and sailing all into one), and a starting point for learning how to fly. We talked about the aircraft, and the enthusiasts flying them. 3 NOVEMBER 1950 Give Santa a Hand With the festive season just around the corner, what better…

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the bigger picture

AS HURRICANE DORIAN approached the Florida coastline in early September – and with it the threat of serious infrastructure damage – NASA’s 115-metre-tall mobile launcher (ML) was moved indoors, into the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at the Kennedy Space Center. ML is rated to withstand winds of up to 180 km/h, but wind-speed predictions for the hurricane far exceeded that threshold. After spending a week and a half indoors, ML was moved back to Launch Pad 39B (with the storm having passed 110 kilometres to the east), mounted atop Crawler-transporter 2. Crawler-transporter 2 (CT-2) is a colossal vehicle, and weighs north of 2.7 million kilograms – equivalent to approximately 13 Statues of Liberty, or 2_000 double-cab Hiluxes. It’s able to transport a payload of nearly 8.2 million kilograms (the weight of…