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Home / News / Oncle Sam makes popcorn slowly but awesomely

Oncle Sam makes popcorn slowly but awesomely

University students come up with a novel machine for making popcorn – one kernel at a time

You’ve probably never asked yourself what the process of making popcorn involves – unless a certain spoof mobile signal popcorn video caught your imagination – but that’s the idea behind a certain student project.

Art and Design students from Swiss university ECAL decided to showcase the whole process of grains growing up to become popcorn in painstaking detail with a contraption dubbed Oncle Sam. This ‘low-tech’ device uses a single tealight candle to heat one lonely piece of grain in oil while adding salt for flavouring. Once the grain has popped, you can wind a handle to deliver the popcorn to you.

Yes, using a microwave would save you days of painstaking effort just to make enough popcorn for one sizable bowl, but you’ve gotta admit old Oncle Sam sure makes that classic cinema snack in the most mesmerising fashion – it looks something Wallace and Gromit might cook up. And it’s just as practical.

[ECAL via DesignBoom]

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Profile image of Dan Grabham Dan Grabham Editor-in-Chief


Dan is Editor-in-chief of Stuff, working across the magazine and the Stuff.tv website.  Our Editor-in-Chief is a regular at tech shows such as CES in Las Vegas, IFA in Berlin and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as well as at other launches and events. He has been a CES Innovation Awards judge. Dan is completely platform agnostic and very at home using and writing about Windows, macOS, Android and iOS/iPadOS plus lots and lots of gadgets including audio and smart home gear, laptops and smartphones. He's also been interviewed and quoted in a wide variety of places including The Sun, BBC World Service, BBC News Online, BBC Radio 5Live, BBC Radio 4, Sky News Radio and BBC Local Radio.

Areas of expertise

Computing, mobile, audio, smart home

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