Mixing science and religion can be problematic, but not for robotics and mechanical engineering students at the Technion
, Israel's technical university in Haifa. Though the original Hanukkah story involves Greeks, not geeks
, the Technion technologists devised a high-tech method of carrying out the holiday's central ritual, lighting the eight candles on the menorah. Taking its inspiration from a noted 20th century Jewish technological innovator, Reuben Lucius Goldberg
, their method uses a robot assisted by helium balloons, Lego blocks, nitroglycerin and assorted other materials. You can see a demonstration, complete with musical accompaniment, here
, or get details of the design here
. The 8-day holiday, by the way, starts Saturday evening, 8 December.
A hat tip to my friend, science journalist Joel Shurkin, for alerting Science
Careers to this breaking story.