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Zurich Students Create a Wheelchair That Can Climb Stairs

If you or someone you know operates a wheelchair, you might understand just how difficult it is to find wheelchair-accessible areas. But thanks to Scalevo, an invention by a group of students at Switzerland's ETH Zurich, those problems may become a thing of the past. Boasting a hydraulic mechanism and treads, this wheelchair prototype makes even stair-climbing possible.

Their wheelchair is not yet available to the public, but the team, comprised of eight engineering students and two designers, plans on launching a Kickstarter campaign in order to improve their creation and make it available to everyone. Currently, the 223-pound and 65 cm-wide wheelchair can only accommodate stairs with a slope from 17 to 34 degrees. But since the design is still in its developmental stage, the team hopes to further increase its efficiency, mobility, and ease of use.

[h/t: The Awesomer]

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26 Facts About LEGO Bricks

Since it first added plastic, interlocking bricks to its lineup, the Danish toy company LEGO (from the words Leg Godt for “play well”) has inspired builders of all ages to bring their most imaginative designs to life. Sets have ranged in size from scenes that can be assembled in a few minutes to 5000-piece behemoths depicting famous landmarks. And tinkerers aren’t limited to the sets they find in stores. One of the largest LEGO creations was a life-sized home in the UK that required 3.2 million tiny bricks to construct.

In this episode of the List Show, John Green lays out 26 playful facts about one of the world’s most beloved toy brands. To hear about the LEGO black market, the vault containing every LEGO set ever released, and more, check out the video above then subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up-to-date with the latest flossy content.

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Of Buckeyes and Butternuts: 29 States With Weird Nicknames for Their Residents
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Tracing a word’s origin and evolution can yield fascinating historical insights—and the weird nicknames used in some states to describe their residents are no exception. In the Mental Floss video above, host John Green explains the probable etymologies of 29 monikers that describe inhabitants of certain states across the country.

Some of these nicknames, like “Hoosiers” and “Arkies” (which denote residents of Indiana and Arkansas, respectively) may have slightly offensive connotations, while others—including "Buckeyes," "Jayhawks," "Butternuts," and "Tar Heels"—evoke the military histories of Ohio, Kansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina. And a few, like “Muskrats” and “Sourdoughs,” are even inspired by early foods eaten in Delaware and Alaska. ("Goober-grabber" sounds goofier, but it at least refers to peanuts, which are a common crop in Georgia, as well as North Carolina and Arkansas.)

Learn more fascinating facts about states' nicknames for their residents by watching the video above.

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