Popular Mechanics South Africa September - October 2021

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
12 Issues

in this issue

2 min
creative outlets

SETTLING INTO the rhythm of lockdown life during the third COVID wave has brought on a mixed bag of emotions and thoughts. Hopefully, by the time you read this, we’re out the other side, and a state of normalcy is returning to South Africa. (If I never have to hear the term ‘new normal’ again, it’ll be too soon.) I’ve felt frustration (probably the dominant emotion), sadness, anger and concern (about certain events that unfolded in parts of South Africa recently), and then also varying degrees of contentment, upbeat, fortunate, challenged, and inspired. Through incremental gains I’ve learnt to embrace small positives and triumphs, in a world that’s felt mostly dominated by dissonance. One of those small victories recently was teaching myself how to solve a Rubik’s cube. Except for a few…

2 min
toy story

The restrictions and knock-on effects of the pandemic lockdown have filtered into the woodwork hobbyist’s world in a number of ways. Exotic wood species have become scarce and more expensive due to import difficulties, so my supply of interesting offcuts has also shrunk. As a family, we’ve adopted a somewhat hermit lifestyle – we don’t visit friends or attend club meetings, and we do most of our shopping online and have it delivered. The positive spin-off is that I’ve had more free time to do woodwork, but because of my resource shortages, I’ve had to adapt what I make. The pile of scrap MDF and melamine offcuts that I previously wouldn’t have touched has become very useful and versatile over the past few months. I’ve made numerous simple toys for our kids…

1 min
crack the code

I took a slightly different approach to solving the locker prank riddle published on page 18 in the May/June issue earlier this year. I regard myself as sometimes being intellectually lazy. I really wanted to solve it but didn’t want to do all the thinking. I also needed some coding practise, so I wrote a little JavaScript… When I got it working as expected for the first two students, I ran it for all, and, ta-da! Riddle solved. Happiness on all accounts. ABIGAIL BALL I think you’re less intellectually lazy than you might think, Abigail. You came up with a fresh way to solve the riddle, which in itself is pretty smart. Next time, include your code, so we can share it with the other readers.…

3 min
on the hunt

I’ve been an avid reader of PM over the years and always find it very interesting to read about new tech and inventions. Referring to page 61 in the May/June issue, which highlighted various handheld GPS devices, other readers who are hunters might like to know that they can scratch the eTrex device off the list. There is an app available that can do that on a phone for a fraction of the cost. It’s called Buckshot (search your app store for Buckshot hunting or pro, or visit buckshot.co.za). It’s a compass combined with a GPS – once you’ve taken a successful shot, you point your device in the direction of your shot and ‘place your Shot-Line’. It helps you to never lose fallen game, by plotting points at a distance…

1 min
experience gaming innovation beyond boundaries with lg

2021 has been the year of the gamer. With the launch of the highly anticipated NVIDIA GeForce 30 series last year, gamers are slowly but surely getting their hands on the coveted graphics card, which has been out of reach since its launch. But without a monitor to support these performance improvements, there's not much point in owning the latest GPU on the market. This is where the latest additions to the LG UltraGear monitor range come in. Built for gamers, the two brand-new monitors deliver cutting-edge hardware and powerful specs, and are ergonomically designed to help you game what you want for as long as you want. 24GN600-B First up is the 23.8-inch display with an ultra-fast 144Hz refresh rate and realistic HDR10 True Colours. The technology behind this monitor is especially…

2 min
time machine

1 SEPTEMBER 1951 ▸ Radio Pilots Self-Inflating Rescue Boat The illustration on the cover of this issue, 70 years ago, depicted downed aviators waiting for their radio-controlled inflatable life raft to arrive. The accompanying article described how the boat, deployed in the form of a cylindrical metal torpedo, could be despatched from a submarine, ship or aircraft, and how after two minutes would abruptly transform into a deluxe lifeboat equipped with food, a distillation kit, flares, a canopy, and ‘enough fuel to travel 300 miles’. 2 OCTOBER 1957 ▸ The House That Stores The Sun Along with detailed diagrams, illustrations and photos, this four-page feature described how a home in the northeast United States was built to harness the power of the Sun, collecting the solar energy via a double-paned collector on the roof and…