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Goodyear Reinvents the Wheel With a Spherical Concept Tire

The materials, uses, and technical aspects of the wheel have changed throughout history, but the basic shape has remained the same. Goodyear is hoping to change that. The company recently unveiled a conceptual design for a spherical tire with 360-degree treads for "autonomous-capable vehicles," according to Market Wired.

Called the Eagle-360, each of the concept tires is 3D-printed with tread patterns that mimic the folds of brain coral. This means that the grooves get harder when dry and more pliable when wet, providing for better performance and resistance from aquaplaning. Instead of being held by a rim, the Goodyear tires would be connected to the car by magnetic levitation. Sensors inside each tire would transmit information about road and weather conditions to the car's computer so that the self-driving system could make the necessary adjustments for a safer journey.

The new design could also help drivers who struggle with parking. Goodyear suggests that the spherical tires' increased mobility will make it easier to pull into parking spaces. It could even transform the parking lot industry. "This could significantly increase the capacity of public parking areas without increasing their size," according to the company.

Goodyear UK on YouTube

Goodyear hasn't established a timeline for when the Eagle-360 would hit the roads, but Jean-Claude Kihn, President of Goodyear EMEA, said in a press release that he hopes the concept "serves as inspiration for the automotive industry as we continue to find solutions for the future, together."

Watch the video above to see how the Eagle-360 tire is designed to operate in the real world.

[h/t Market Wired]

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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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