The Cue Ball's Secret Magnet

One thing that's come up on this site frequently: I love magnets. So imagine my delight upon finding that my favorite physical force (way better than gravity, I mean come on) is responsible for helping the cue ball come back out of pay-per-play pool tables while the other balls are swallowed until the next game. Check out the animation on Sploid: a magnet in the table pulls the iron layer only present in the cue ball, yanking the ball onto the "exit" track instead of the "stick around for a while" track. I'd always assumed it was a subtle size difference or something - but this is much better!

Bottle Cutter: Answer in search of questions?

The Plastic Bottle Cutter sure seems like a simple device: insert a used plastic bottle, spin, and you have some tough, possibly-colorful, possibly-soda-scented plastic ribbon. Neat! But now what to do with it? Use it as weatherproof twine? Weave some rope? Arts and crafts? It's an answer in search of questions - but I'm pretty sure there are plenty of good questions out there. It's refreshing to take this approach every once in a while instead of the other way around.
[via Core77]

Third Brake Light, Tested & Confirmed

Jalopnik recently wrote about the surprisingly structured, rational addition of the third brake light that's been mandatory since 1986. Psychologist John Voevodsky came up with the idea for a third light that's only on when braking, as opposed to tail lights which are always on at night and just brighten when braking. From there it was a well-controlled scientific experiment, randomly applying the feature to taxis and comparing accident rates. The results: "The light prevented 5.4 collisions, 1.02 cab driver injuries, and $643 of taxicab damage per million miles." Now that's good design!
[via Jalopnik]

Watch out for that kerning...

Apple was an early advocate of beautiful typography in computing, including kerning, the aesthetic spacing between characters. This evidently continues to today, to the point that the word "click" in the above splash page for OS X is spaced differently than the rest of the sentence. Why that particular word benefits from extra spacing is funny, crass, and an exercise left to the reader. (Or you can just read what Dan Leech Tweeted about it upon discovering the tweak.)
[via Gizmodo]