This Terrifying Life-Size Mousetrap Can Smash Almost Anything
There's a scene in the 1980s fantasy film The Princess Bride where the heroes encounter the dreaded ROUS -- Rodents of Unusual Size. These giant rats snarl and bite, threatening the protagonists. However, the problem could've been solved if Wesley and Buttercup had this giant mousetrap at their disposal. YouTube's The Backyard Scientist made the trap with a giant smashing arm. The arm whips down at an impressive 42 mph (68 kph).
The mousetrap took him over three weeks to build. The base is old plywood and the coils are from an old car's suspension system. The biggest expenses came from the winch and several pipe fittings to get the bar just right. He noted that every time he wound up the trap, however, something broke.
"First it was the bar, which bent, and needed corner enforcement's welded on," he noted. "Then the 'axel' running down the center of the springs bent, so I needed to add hardware to counteract the winch pulling on it. Next, the springs themselves broke. I learned something about trying to weld tempered steel. It just creates stresses and the weld was much more brittle (harder) than the spring steel. I had to re-weld it and heat up the spring up to about 3 inches from the weld, this created a more gradual slope of hardness, so the spring bent where I welded instead of snapping."
Ultimately, he perfected the springs and the arms on the bar.
Apparently, the Backyard Scientist had some raccoons traipsing around his property. No raccoons were harmed in the making of this video, but coconuts definitely were.
Akhlesh Lakhtakia, Evan Pugh University Professor, has received a $300,000 grant from the Criminal Investigations and Network Analysis Center to explore a technique for creating 3D holograms of fingerprints.