3D-printed jet engine unveiled by Australian researchers


Australian researchers have unveiled the world’s first 3D-printed jet engine, a manufacturing breakthrough that could lead to cheaper, lighter and more fuel-efficient jets.

Engineers at Monash University and its commercial arm Amaero Engineering are making top-secret prototypes for Boeing Co, Airbus Group NV, Raytheon Co and Safran SA in a development that could be the saviour of Australia’s struggling manufacturing sector.

Two Australian Friends Turn Their Van into Free Laundry Service for the Homeless

Very thoughtful and compassionate.

Fresh, clean laundry is one of the most comforting things in life, but unfortunately not everyone has access to it. A couple of engineering students from Brisbane are trying to change that. They’ve started Orange Sky Laundry – Australia’s first mobile laundry service for the homeless.

20-year-old Lucas Patchett and his friend Nicholas Marchesi were inspired to start the service during an overseas trip. When they got back in July, they decided to stop talking about it and just do it. So they got an old van fitted out with two donated industrial washing machines and two dryers, which can wash and dry 20 kilograms of laundry in an hour.

Getting the machines to fit in the van wasn’t the easiest thing in the world, but they managed it pretty well. “The architect who helped us said: ‘they’ll probably fit’, but we found we needed to build a platform above the wheel arches – it wasn’t very scientific but we ended up banging the wheel arches out a bit and taking some panels off. We squeezed them in,” said Lucas.

“We’re trying to link in with some of the morning BBQs and food vans offered by different groups around the city each day,” said Lucas. He admitted that it has been kind of difficult to set up a schedule with the homeless, because most of them are kind of hesitant at first. But once they warm up to the guys, they seem to appreciate the service quite a bit. Lucas said that he enjoys being able to sit and chat with interesting people as their clothes are being washed. “I was chatting with a guy the other day who used to be a chemical engineer. It’s just a very grounding experience to see how quickly things can go wrong for people.”

Beer and ice cream, together again!

Will S.' Random Weirdness Blog

Wait; what?

Beer ice cream. Yes, you read that correctly. Artisanal Canberra ice-cream maestros Frugii were serving a range of beery ice creams, including lager sorbetto and Bridge Road Chestnut Pilsner gelato. I chose the one made with 2 Brothers Voodoo Baltic Porter, and my goodness but it was a revelation. The richness and chocolaty tones of the porter translated so perfectly into the ice cream medium. There was a little fillip of hoppy sourness that peeked through and even a suggestion of carbonation, although that may have been my mind at work. It isn’t often that I’m truly thrilled and surprised at a food product anymore, but this won me over from the first taste. Well done Frugii.


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Beer Day Out

EP visits an Aussie international beer festival, rates various brews. Despite various disappointments, sounds like overall an enjoyable experience; I’d certainly have enjoyed it, from the sounds of things.

I wish I could try more Aussie craft beers; not many are available here; Cooper’s Sparkling Ale, occasionally, is about it, AFAIK.

The only decent African beer I’ve ever had is S.A.’s Castle Lager; I too am not a fan of Tusker, nor was I knocked out by Namibia’s Windhoek lager.

Uncouth Reflections

Eddie Pensier writes:


If you were imagining an ideal way to spend a warm spring Saturday, it might involve dozens of beers and tasty ethnic nibbles. Such was the case at Beer Day Out, a festival of craft beers sponsored by topnotch local booze merchant Plonk, from whence a high proportion of Pensier family beverages are purchased.

The venue was the Former Transport Depot, the location of Canberra’s beloved Old Bus Depot Markets. About forty different breweries and ten food merchants were represented, and when we arrived shortly after the noon opening time the depot was already nicely populated with beer fans, some of them involved in a cutthroat game of competitive Jenga. Here were some of the highlights.

Cavalier Beer Imperial Stout: A hoppy stout with a super-pleasing aroma of ground coffee. It was rich without being heavy, and lingered lusciously on the palate long after swallowing.

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Australian Cafe Charges Different Prices for Coffee Depending on How Nice You Ask for It

Hey, why not? 🙂

The Seven Mile Beach Kiosk Café in Gerroa, New South Wales, doesn’t just serve its customers good coffee, but also a lesson in politeness. In order to reinforce the importance of being nice, the café’s owners are actually charging people different rates for coffee, depending on how they ask for it.

Just so this doesn’t confuse their customers, they’ve put up a sign outside the café explaining their innovative pricing policy.



“Common courtesy is less common, and we’re trying to bring it back,” Chilver said. “We are in the service industry but we deserve as much respect as anyone else. Please and thank you go a long way.”

Indeed, they do!

Good for them! I hope this idea catches on. 🙂


I’m sort of mixed in my feelings about this kind of thing.
On the one hand, I don’t think it’s particularly artistic or creative – maybe I’m just a philistine; oh well!
But on the other hand, I do enjoy the mixture of colours and interesting textures, and think such wall hangings can function well as décor for an office space, despite what I said re: creativity and artistry.
At any rate, I am glad you shared them with us, EP, thanks!

Uncouth Reflections

EddiePensier writes:

Jozef Stanislaus Ostoja-Kotkowski, Kronos 2 (1979), photographed without flash

The same artwork, photographed with flash.

From COLOUR MUSIC, an exhibit I attended today at the ANU’s Drill Hall Gallery, which “brings together the work of visual artists who speculate on connections between pictorial form and pitch, harmony, movement and musical notation.” I only glancingly noticed any such connection, and I normally avoid contemporary art like dental surgery, but I found this exhibit surprisingly pleasing for the most part. It wasn’t intellectual, or moving, or technically superior, but my inner five-year-old who giggles at bright colors got a big kick  out of it.

More COLOUR MUSIC pictures after the break.

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