Mars Rover Spots Metallic ‘Arm’ Sticking Out Of A Rock

tl;dr we welcome our Martian overlords

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That thing I was telling you about, it’s in the teddy suit.


You may remember the $2.5 billion Curiosity rover currently drilling rocks on the Red Planet already found strange shiny things and what was labelled a ‘Martian Flower’.

But if anything, this is even weirder.

An image posted by Nasa on 30 January and taken with the right Mastcam on Curiosity shows what appears to be a 0.5cm metal spoke protruding out of a rock.

The strange sight – which looks a bit like a robotic arm – was noticed by imaging editor Elisabetta Bonora from Italy.

Whatever it is looks shiny, casts a shadow on the rock below and looks different to the rock it emerges from.

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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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Luxury underwater hotel for supervillains, horrors from the deep

1 450x397 Luxury underwater hotel for supervillains, horrors from the deep

“Miss Anders… I didn’t recognize you with your clothes on.” (img by Water Discus)

Finally, a hotel where you can luxuriate with all the oceanic class of a modern Titanic with the location of an underwater drilling rig set in the cool waters of the Persian Gulf.

To be fair, it actually sounds pretty cool. Not only does a stay at a Water Discus Underwater Hotel include 360-degree views above and below water (down to about 11 yards) transportation is provided by both helicopter and personal submersibles.

Deep Ocean Technology is particularly dedicated to developing autonomous unmanned submersibles. Currently, they are intended mainly for guests staying at Water Discus Hotels. In the future, however, they will become very useful also for research, underwater archeology and mining industry.

So on the one hand, we have a grand retreat the likes of which is best accessible via some of the most exotic forms of transportation mankind has ever known, and on the other we have the premise for some of the worst science-fiction calamities ever imagined. (more…)

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Chinese activist who fled house arrest lands in US

Chen Guangcheng 450x293 Chinese activist who fled house arrest lands in US

He is actually made of bees. (img by Human Rights Now)


A blind Chinese legal activist who was suddenly allowed to leave the country arrived in the United States on Saturday, ending a nearly monthlong diplomatic tussle that had tested U.S.-China relations.

Chen Guangcheng had been hurriedly taken from a hospital hours earlier and put on a plane for the U.S. after Chinese authorities suddenly told him to pack and prepare to leave. He arrived Saturday evening at Newark Liberty International Airport and was whisked to New York City, where he will be staying.

Dressed in a white shirt and khaki pants and using crutches, his right leg in a cast, Chen was greeted with cheers when he arrived at the apartment in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village where he will live with his family. The complex houses faculty and graduate students of New York University, where Chen is expected to attend law school.

“For the past seven years, I have never had a day’s rest,” he said through a translator, “so I have come here for a bit of recuperation for body and in spirit.” (more…)

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Intermission: Chalk Warfare

(Jesus placement FTW.)

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Insider perspective: Life as a TSA screener

3184530981 56e12c45d4 450x288 Insider perspective: Life as a TSA screener

She's the one on the left. (img by Bill Alldredge)

Last month, I gave you a few basic rules for dealing with airport security, one of which was “Be human,” with its corollary “treat screeners as humans:”

Organizations like the TSA, no matter how evil we think them, are made up of humans. Most people who work for TSA are not sociopaths or power-hungry fucks looking for cheap kicks touching your junk.

In case you doubted me, I’ve got a little documentary evidence about TSA screeners’ human side. And no, I’m not talking about the TSA drug-smuggling thing.

Here’s a long article by a Condé Nast Traveler writer on her (brief) experience as a TSA screener, from the interview process to life on the job to the day she quit. I think it’s the best thing out there humanizing the TSA. Remember: there are better ways to protest misguided security than being angry at the guy or girl touching your junk with blue-gloved hands.

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