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science the greatest video

The mighty engines of the SR-71

There are few airplanes as interesting as the SR-71. For those who don’t know (hopefully not many), it’s the fastest manned air breathing aircraft. That’s a mouthful isn’t it? Basically, like everything humans do, instead of simple “fastest aircraft ever”, we had to come up with a bunch of other criteria to subclass everything.

Anyway, the power of the SR-71 comes from it’s engines. Watching the video above to learn about all the crazy engineering that went into place to get the world’s fastest plane built. The video reminds me of those cutaway books you’d read as a kid. Except now it’s animated and narrated..

{reddit}

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U-2 Carrier Landing

The U-2 is a unique plane, it’s 100 foot wingspan and bicycle landing gear make it tough to land on ground. But I just found out that it is capable of carrier landing and take-offs. That is simply crazy!

{reddit}

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Goldeneye The way it was meant to be seen

For anyone who grew up with a Nintendo 64, GoldenEye 007 was the game to have.  The story behind it is pretty crazy, but I won’t get into copying it’s Wikipedia entry.  The below video takes some of the famous scenes from the video game which also happened in the movie (for a movie adaption, it was pretty good).  However, all the sound effects and music come from the video game version.  That’s right, the ridiculous slaps, gun noises, cries, everything.  It’s all from the video game.  It’s quite hilarious to be honest.

This time of year, you have to remember the good old days, before there were achievements, when you and your siblings were just trying to see how many Russians you could kill with the rocket launcher and infinite ammo before you got bored of the level.  When you turned on DK mode (easily the best hidden cheat since the Konami code) and pile up the hats of the dead Russians as you killed them.  Ah, what times…

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It’s All I Play

Sadly I haven’t had a chance to play this as often or as much as I once used to.  But this song is apt and describes some of the most fun times I’ve had in my young adult life.  I probably spent a few years of my life playing games of Halo with people young and old, men and women (though, really mostly men), and near and far.  It’s hard to describe how big of an influence Halo was on the world of gaming, it’s sort of like Super Mario Bros.  Halo 3 was my favorite of the series and easily the one I spent the most time in.  To this day I still play around in it, but I’m rusty, very rusty, and more easily frustrated and prone to controller throwing.  Anyway, Halo 3 came out 12 years ago today, fire up a game and enjoy.

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Happy Birthday Grand Canyon

Today the Grand Canyon turns 100 years old.  Well, it’s actually several million years old, but the protections put in place by the great President Teddy Roosevelt are celebrated.

I’ve been to the Grand Canyon 3 different times in my life.  Nothing quite prepares you for a helicopter ride over and below the rim though.  Seriously, do it.

Rim View
The edge of the canyon approaches. It’s really something that you will never forget.

 

Let’s celebrate the nation’s 2nd most popular national park with a toast to another 100 years of service.

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awesome DIY video

Deter Package Theives

I like Mark Rober, some of his videos are cool, some are awkward, most are enjoyable.  This one is really interesting he goes into how he stalked his package thieves, then how he enlisted the help of his friend to design and build a glitter+fart bombing dummy package.

I don’t want to spoil anything, but the best part is the ending.  You can trust me and him when he says that it’s over-engineered and just get to the goods.

He clearly built a few of these, if he were smart next year he will start offering them for sale for people.  Though I do wonder how cost-effective it actually is given the 4 phones he might have lost forever and the LTE data plans he paid for them.  Granted, I’m sure they were burners, but still.

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Velcro?

As public service announcements go, this one is pretty damn good.  We all fall for it, we call things by the brand names that made them famous, were the firsts, or had the best marketing strategy.  However it’s wrong, and if you go somewhere else, people might not know what you’re talking about.  Like seriously, I had no idea Rollerblades were a brand, I just thought that’s what they were.  Who Knew?  Apparently those lawyers.  The other’s in that video I knew.

{reddit}

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Cast Iron Fish

Cast Iron Fish Tank

Did you know that in the Victorian era, elaborate cast iron fish tanks were all the rage among the nobility?  I didn’t.  I assumed fish tanks, because of the glass, plastic, electricity, and silicone necessary were a relatively recent commodity.  I would be wrong.  Tropical Fish Magazine has a detailed write up on what went into designing and making these fascinating works of art.  The most ornate and sought after were those made by J.W. Fiske, an Ironworks company out of New York. Now a days, ornate fish tanks can fetch upwards of $15,000.  Which if, you ask me, is far, far too much to spend on a simple (freshwater only) fist tank.  Do you realize the amount of pond I could build with $15,000?  It would be insane.  You’d never get to look at it at eye level like this.  But if I could spend $15,000 on a pond, I would make sure to have some sort of underwater viewing.  Maybe a tunnel, or window underground.  Yea, that’s right.  A window to the sky underground…

{reddit}

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Deadly Computer the greatest

Alternate History Thursday:- Falling Skies

Please don’t watch that terrible TNT show.  Instead, read the rest of this story and be amazed at the actual history that you missed out by being born in this reality, and not the alternate one that I’m about to describe.

We still don’t know where the millions of people who inhabited NYC daily went.  I mean, the ones from Brooklyn, Queens, and The Bronx probably meshed into the rest of the country with little oversight or fuss.  Staten Island and Manhattan on the other hand, those people were locked out, but all of a sudden, there were a few thousand left.  Just how empty the islands were remained a mystery until October 13th, no it wasn’t a Friday.

A pair of USAF F-15E Strike Eagles were making their bi-daily pass over mid-down Manhattan when out of nowhere a SAM was coming at them.  This was odd because of 2 reasons.  Firstly, all previous attacks came from lower Manhattan, and Harlem – close to the borders of the Island.  And secondly, the last attack was over 6 weeks ago.  Conventional wisdom was that the RNYers were out of rockets, and with the entire island embargoed, they had no way to replenish themselves.

One pilot managed to avoid the missile, but the other was hit dead on.  He successfully ejected, but due to the low altitude passes they were doing above city, the plane and the other missile went directly into multiple buildings in midtown.  I know what you might be thinking, destruction on a 9/11 scale.  Well, you’re partially correct.  The buildings, nondescript office/residential towers were utterly destroyed.  The military, the media, and the world assumed that hundreds, perhaps thousands of people were dead or dying as the buildings burned and crumbled.  What’s more, days went by before the fires were fully put out.  From the outside, it seemed like no effort at all was made to save anybody.  Any planes that flew by low were shot at (no more were shot down), the only information came from high flying U-2s.  They showed damage, but also an empty city.

There was no evidence of people in the city at all.  The buildings showed little to no heat signatures, the streets were bare and unmoving, nothing was happening, and no one could figure out where everybody went.

The pervailing theory was the subway system.  People were holed out in the subways, and that old, forgotten tunnels were how the RNYers were getting their supplies.  There was no easy way to prove this.  The President ordered certain key buildings be destroyed, and elite teams of Navy SEALs were sent to infiltrate the subway system.  The buildings were all knocked out via Ship to Surface missiles launched from the harbor.  They stood no chance.  Their destruction was captured on video and broadcast around the world.  The United States was not to be messed with.

The SEALs entered the subways, and found them empty.  They couldn’t do a proper mapping of the thousands of miles of subway tunnels, but they could, to the best of their knowledge, say that the city was empty.  The President ordered the subways to be flooded.  It was a radical idea, and no one was quite sure what would happen, but it was a quiet way to show the RNYers that the game is over, they lost.

Well, it turns out that 100 years of digging and tunneling beneath a city does some damage to the bedrock.  The ground lost alot of weight, and instead of being spread out, it was distributed on points.  Once the water was there those points spread everything out.  Foundations cracked, and buildings lost their footings.

The Mighty Skyline was Falling.

As usual, jump the gun for the video and enjoy your downloaded memory:

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So Many Faucets

Seriously, who knew that the lonely faucet had so many new ways to operate?  If you don’t believe me, search for “faucet” on Yanko Design, (or just click that link).  At the time of this writing, there’s 13 pages worth.  Sure, some of them are stupid crazy things, but some are actually pretty neat.

This swirling pattern faucet is what first sparked my interest.

swirling faucet

It is neat, and it probably is less harsh on your hands, but I don’t know 2 things.  1 – how much water it will actually save.  There’s the paradox of you’re using less of something, but that something is so cheap now that you’ll end up using more of it anyway.  In this case, the price of the water hasn’t changed, but the delivery method is so neat that people will watch it more then usual.  And secondly, as someone on imgur pointed out, calcium deposits.

Next on the list is this strange one that directs a waterfall upwards.

water-up

How it’s expected to get this perfect curve I’ll never understand.  Anyone who’s played with a hose will know that that stream will work for about 2 seconds, then fall apart and mess everything up.  The creators think the water fountain like design will make it easier to brush your teeth, I think that’s quite an edge case.  But hey, it’s a free concept!

The Ring Faucet though is my favorite:

ring faucet

I could conceive of this faucet in a bathroom at my house.  Provided I had a wife that would allow it, or a workshop where I could tinker with things that is.  While I don’t share all of the sentimental things that the designer does, I do think that the ring of water falling down is quite cool.  Like most humans, I could watch moving water for hours on end, so I think this might end up needing to go into the guest bathroom where I won’t see it often enough to waste the water.

I totally could put this on the wall and get looks from people though.  What are you supposed to put in that hole?

ring-wall

{imgur}