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A rockin’ good milkshake, a telescope that wants to be the next Taj Mahal

The Rock-Music Milk Shake Mixer uses sounds waves to create a milkshake, which is to be launched at the 2018 Big Bang Fair in Birmingham, UK

Sounds tasty: the Rock Music Milkshake Mixer uses sound waves to create a milkshake.

By Matin Durrani and Hamish Johnston

Film fans will well remember the opening scene from Back to the Future, in which Marty McFly (played by Michael J Fox) is thrown across a room by a massive sound wave from an enormous guitar amp. It’s more science fiction than science fact, but to illustrate the impact that sound can have on everyday life, staff at EngineeringUK have come up with something really rather clever. To drum up interest in next year’s science-careers show The Big Bang Fair, which is to be held in March in Birmingham, UK, they’ve built what they dub a “Rock Music Milkshake Mixer”.

The Rock Music Milk Shake Mixer in action

Yummy scrummy: a milk shake being whipped up.

The device uses sound waves from an electric guitar to vibrate a milkshake and “whip it into a delicious drink”. All you have to do is put milkshake powder and milk into the device, screw the lid on, and then whack out a few riffs from the guitar. The RM3, as it’s known for short, will be on display for guests to try out at next year’s event. “It’s sure to be another popular interactive exhibit at the show,” says Beth Elgood, EngineeringUK’s communications boss. Year 7 students at Westminster Academy in London were the first to try the revolutionary new prototype earlier this week, where it was officially launched by The Blowfish (aka Tom Hird), who claims to be the world’s only heavy metal marine biologist. You can watch a video here.

World class: the Lovell Telescope (Courtesy: Jodrell Bank Observatory)

World class vision: the Lovell Telescope. (Courtesy: Jodrell Bank Observatory)

No-one would argue that Stonehenge and the Taj Mahal deserve to be UNESCO World Heritage Sites, but what about a radio telescope deep in the verdant countryside south of Manchester? Folks at the Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire seem to think so and they have put forth the observatory with its spectacular Lovell Telescope as the UK’s latest candidate to join the exclusive list of sites.

Built in 1957, the telescope is younger than most sites on the list. It was there in 1967 that Jocelyn Bell Burnell observed the first ever pulsar. Anyone who has travelled past Jodrell Bank on the train will be familiar with its iconic appearance, so maybe it’s in with a chance.

The telescope is already a cultural star, which you can read about in “Illuminating a radio icon“.

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