How to ride a skateboard down a flight of stairs

See more design details here, and some headlines:

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4 stages of fear

OCTtK 450x606 4 stages of fear

Sadly, Rat Mountain would be forever closed upon the discovery that the rats were actually squirrels in costume. (img by Marcos267)

Your brain does screwy stuff when it’s under stress. As if you really needed to know you do strange and stupid things under pressure. What’s interesting is how. There are actually four stages of fear, all of them instinctual, evelutionary responses to threats and danger.

You probably know that the first thing that happens is a cortisol/adrenaline dump, which causes your heart, lungs, and muscles to ready themselves. When bad shit does happen, parts of your brain shut down while other, more basic parts, start to take over, which is why people sometimes don’t remember what, exactly, they went through; their hippocampus turned off, it wasn’t a priority.

FREEZE

The Mancos River rises in southwestern Colorado and flows through the Ute Mountains on its way to New Mexico, where it empties into the San Juan River three miles shy of the Four Corners intersection. Over millions of years, the river and its tributaries have carved a fanlike rill of dramatic canyons out of the ancient sediments of the Mesa Verde tablelands, a maze of vertiginous stone walls. The rugged, arid landscape of juniper forest proves a rich habitat for wildlife.

At 25, Sue Yellowtail was just a few years out of college, working for the Ute Indian tribe as a water quality specialist. Her job was to travel through remote areas of the Ute reservation, collecting samples from streams, creeks, and rivers. She spent her days crisscrossing remote backcountry, territory closed to visitors and rarely traveled even by locals. It’s the kind of place where, if you got in trouble, you were on your own.

On a clear, cold morning in late December, Yellowtail pulled her pickup over to the side of a little-used dirt double-track, a few yards from a simple truss bridge that spanned a creek. As she collected her gear, she heard a high-pitched scream. Probably a coyote killing a rabbit, she thought. She clambered down two steep embankments to the water’s edge. Wading to the far side of the creek, she stooped to stretch her tape measure the width of the flow. Just then she heard a rustling and looked up. At the top of the bank, not 30 feet away, stood a mountain lion. Tawny against the brown leaves of the riverbank brush, the animal was almost perfectly camouflaged. It stared down at her, motionless.

She stood stock-still.  (more…)

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How to open a beer can with a machete

Alternate title: How to turn Polish flags into faerie wings.

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How to open a padlock with a Coke can

If you’re like millions of Americans, you put a lot of trust in simple padlocks to secure your valuables. Today we’re going to continue to break down the veil of security by showing you how easy it is to shim open a padlock with a coke can.

Detailed instructions here, and some headlines:

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How to infiltrate a nuclear missile base

2081211115 4fb668cc0c 450x299 How to infiltrate a nuclear missile base

Dust masks, gloves, and a shitload of photo equipment. (img by Eric Jusino)

Urban exploration starts with an email to your friends:

subj: wanna infiltrate a missile silo?

http://www.uer.ca/locations/show.asp?locid=20107

It’s that easy. Well, not really. The first Titan silo my friends and I visited was impossible to get into. It took about a week, and we figured a way into an honest-to-god Titan I missile silo in eastern Colorado. We learned a few things along the way:

Do the research first
If it exists, there is an internet subculture for it. Most of the time, someone’s already done the thing you’re interested in doing. Sites like uer.ca can get you a huge start on things, but don’t stop there. We got most of our information from first-hand accounts on the Adventure Rider Motorcycle forum (those guys are less about secret urbexp posturing and more into “check out this cool thing I found”).

I also found schematics and models online, which would later prove invaluable:

titan schematic 450x538 How to infiltrate a nuclear missile base
(more…)

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Science Reveals How Not to Spill Your Coffee When Walking

coffee spill portrait hong yi 3 450x297 Science Reveals How Not to Spill Your Coffee When Walking

Coffee mugs call for intelligent design (img by Jay Chou)

@Live Science:

Ever wondered why it’s so hard to walk with a cup of coffee without spilling? It just so happens that the human stride has almost exactly the right frequency to drive the natural oscillations of coffee, when the fluid is in a typically sized coffee mug. New research shows that the properties of mugs, legs and liquid conspire to cause spills, most often at some point between your seventh and tenth step.

So says a pair of fluid physicists at the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB). They investigated the science of sloshing in a new study published in the journal Physical Review Letters E, and calculated the natural frequency at which coffee sloshes back and forth when held in mugs of a variety of sizes, from a dainty espresso cup to a cappuccino behemoth. They found that a normal human gait moves at nearly the same frequency, so each step amplifies the coffee’s heave-ho motion. Stumbling or changing pace — common occurrences when you’re low on caffeine — make matters worse by causing chaos in your cup, increasing the chance of a splash over the rim. (more…)

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