Tactical boomerangs!

Tactical Boomerang 450x325 Tactical boomerangs!

"I'm just here for the gasoline."

Anyone who shoots a bow, throws a spear, swings a bat, stick, sword, golf club, racquet or throws any kind or size of ball will benefit from learning how to throw and practice regularly with a boomerang. Since we are in the business of making things to throw, it was only natural for us to try and improve on the boomerang by making our own, non-returning version. Injected molded from high impact Polypropylene, with a wood grain surface texture, and sporting the most aerodynamic length, shape and cross section we could devise, our boomerang fills the bill. You can use it for hunting, target throwing, and distance throwing and, in a pinch, it will also serve admirably as a highly effective self-defense tool as well.

Not quite the same as the bladed steel boomerang variant from The Road Warrior (Blu-ray) (instant), you still won’t find many volunteers to go stand in front of this Cold Steel tactical boomerang. And it will let you practice with something a little less finger-chop-offy than this:

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SpaceX program finally launches James Doohan’s–Scotty’s–ashes into orbit

James Scotty Doohan 450x560 SpaceX program finally launches James Doohans–Scottys–ashes into orbit

"All right, you lovelies. Hold together." (img by sandrino)

The SpaceX program has demonstrated the abilities of the private sector, combined with some eccentric wealth, can succeed at literally the highest plane of exploration and scientific achievement since the dawn of man. Its Dragon spacecraft has gone into orbit where it will continue to test its maneuvering thrusters until it meets and berths with the International Space Station.

Just under 10 minutes after launch SpaceX announced Dragon successfully reached orbit. A few minutes later, loud cheers washed over SpaceX’s factory floor as Dragon successfully deployed its solar panels.

The Dragon receives power from batteries and the pair of solar arrays. The next big event will be the opening of the Guidance, Navigation and Control Bay door in two hours and 27 minutes after launch. When the door opens, it is the first step toward the rendezvous with the ISS, according to SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell.

“This is a key new feature for this mission, which basically exposes the Proximity Operations Sensors to space so we can see the ISS as we are approaching and allow us to get close enough to berth,” Shotwell explained in a press conference on May 19. “Our star trackers also get a view of space at this time, so this is a very critical operation”

While modern and impressive as this is, the whole ordeal is overshadowed by the completion of James Doohan’s final will and testament, which read that his ashes were to be launched into space. This SpaceX launch will be the third and finally successful attempt at sending Scotty’s remains into orbit. (more…)

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Drunk with power

RENO unlimited mustang SF6T4812 Drunk with power

img by Gerhard Schmid of www.airvenutre.de

This report will not be your usual Reno air race report, instead it will concentrate on the unique go-fast features and state of the art engineering that makes Unlimited class air racing the world’s fastest motor sport.

Unlimited racers compete around an 8.2688 mile course marked off with pylons. The pylons are 55 gallon oil drums placed high up on a pole. Although no restrictions exist for the type of aircraft flown, the vast majority of racers are ex-World War II fighters. This is simply because these aircraft represented the fastest piston-driven aircraft ever manufactured. Of course, the top racers are highly modified–as we shall see.

Have you ever wondered what happens when you combine a bunch of horsepower-crazed loonies with a bottomless pit of cash? 500 miles per hour, 50 feet off the ground Unlimited Air Racing is what happens. This article goes into painstaking detail explaining just what is necessary to pump a Rolls Royce Merlin V-12 up from a paltry 1450 horsepower to a bowel loosening 3500.

To give that number some perspective, the Merlin 1650 displaces 1650 cubic inches, and in race configuration makes 3600 horsepower. The biggest of the big V8s the 1970s muslce cars were just north of 450 cubic inches and made somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 HP off the show room floor. Crazy, hide the women and children, numbers from those same engines would be in the neighborhood of 750 HP, give or take a hundred. In other words, not even in the same league.

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How To Survive A Robot Uprising

And some headlines:

And the book in question:

Robopocalypse (Kindle) by Daniel H. Wilson (more…)

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The end of fish, in one chart

WWF Overfishing Chart 450x410 The end of fish, in one chart

To measure how intensively these areas are fished, Swartz et al., (2010) used the fish landed in each country to calculate the primary production rate (PPR) of each region of the ocean. PPR is a value that describes the total amount of food a fish needs to grow within a certain region. (WWF) (img by Swartz et al.)

Want to see how severely we humans are scouring the oceans for fish? Check out this striking map from the World Wildlife Fund’s 2012 “Living Planet Report.” The red areas are the most intensively fished (and, in many cases, overfished) parts of the ocean—and they’ve expanded dramatically since 1950, @WaPo:

Between 1950 and 2006, the WWF report notes, the world’s annual fishing haul more than quadrupled, from 19 million tons to 87 million tons. New technology — from deep-sea trawling to long-lining — has helped the fishing industry harvest areas that were once inaccessible. But the growth of intensive fishing also means that larger and larger swaths of the ocean are in danger of being depleted.

Daniel Pauly, a professor of fisheries at the University of British Columbia, has dubbed this situation “The End of Fish.” He points out that in the past 50 years, the populations of many large commercial fish such as bluefin tuna and cod have utterly collapsed, in some cases shrinking more than 90 percent (see the chart to the right). (more…)

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Dueling with wax bullets to die less

Duelling With Wax Bullets 911 6 450x319 Dueling with wax bullets to die less

Seven, eight, nine... (img by Retronaut)

Back before paintball and airsoft and Simunition, when people (men) still fought, or longed to fight duels to uphold their honor (have fun shooting friends) there was a small window during the American Edwardian era where it was possible to challenge someone to a bloodless duel.

These dueling .44 caliber pistols used wax bullets that were propelled by what appear to be .22 Short rimfire cartridges without projectiles or powder; just the primer. (.22 Short dates back to 1857; makes sense.)

Pistols With Wax Bullets 911 14 450x320 Dueling with wax bullets to die less

Big-bore balls of wax (img by Retronaut)

And in an era when standard safety gear was boiled leather helmets and dapper-looking scarves, these guys are armored to a fault; even the guns have shields to protect your hands from incoming wax. That’s gotta mean it hurt.

Check out the original glowing writup of these novel French pistols from the New York Times. (more…)

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