Saturday, March 24, 2007

Step 1. Build unworkable device
Step 2. ???
Step 3. Profit!

The Museum of Unworkable Devices is a large collection of galleries of perpetual motion devices representing innumerable wasted careers, money-grubbing hucksters and shattered dreams. The only thing perpetual is the notion that there really is such a thing as a free lunch, or at the very least free appetizers.

One of the classic methods tried again and again by mechanical inventors in their search for free energy is what's called an Overbalanced Wheel. In this first illustration, the weights on the right side of the wheel are farther out from the center, creating greater torque, which, the theory goes, makes the right side of the wheel heavier than the left and thus keeping it spinning forever.

I like this second one even more, though, because of its ingenius simplicity. Obviously, since 9 is greater than 6, the side with the 9s is heavier, causing it to forever spin clockwise!

Both of these devices work equally well in producing free energy.

Aha! Inventors, look no further! The secret of perpetual motion has at long last been solved! All that's left to decide is... Welch's or Smuckers?

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