Daily Blog 03/24/2013

  • Though the Subaru WRX STi Pastrana competed with at the X Games is heavily modified, don’t assume you need a specially customized vehicle to achieve liftoff. Pastrana insists that any four-wheeler can fly, adding “We’ve pretty much jumped everything from Shifter Karts to buses.”

    tags: stunt

  • Most people take it for granted that we have yet to make contact with an extraterrestrial civilization. Trouble is, the numbers don’t add up. Our Galaxy is so old that every corner of it should have been visited many, many times over by now. No theory to date has satisfactorily explained away this Great Silence, so it’s time to think outside the box. Here are eleven of the weirdest solutions to the Fermi Paradox.

    tags: space aliens

  • Within your lifetime, we could have a permanent Mars colony, says Eric C. Anderson, chairman and co-founder of Space Adventures in a new interview with The Atlantic. But that’s not all — Anderson also believes we’ll have tons of relatively cheap-to-produce robots mining asteroids, sooner than you probably expect.

    tags: robots space

  • Amazon is now allowing publishers to add “Send to Kindle” buttons to their websites and WordPress blogs, the company announced on the Kindle blog Tuesday. It can be integrated into WordPress blogs as well. The Washington Post, Time magazine and the blog Boing Boing are already using the button.

    Amazon presents “Send to Kindle” as an alternative to read-it-later services like Pocket and Instapaper:

    tags: amazon kindle

  • The Williams X-Jet, created by Williams International, was a small, light-weight Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) system powered by a modified Williams WR-19-A7D turbofan aircraft engine designated WR-19-7 after minor modifications. This vehicle was nicknamed “The Flying Pulpit”. It was designed to be operated by and carry one person and controlled by leaning in the direction of desired travel and adjusting the power. It could move in any direction, accelerate rapidly, hover, and rotate on its axis, staying aloft for up to 45 minutes and traveling at speeds up to 60 miles per hour (100 km/h). It was evaluated by the U.S. Army in the 1980s, and was deemed inferior to the capabilities of helicopters and small unmanned aircraft.

    tags: plane

  • Peter Scott, who has died aged 82, was a highly accomplished cat burglar, and as Britain’s most prolific plunderer of the great and good took particular pains to select his victims from the ranks of aristocrats, film stars and even royalty.

    tags: crime

  • Ninjutsu, the art of the ninja, is an ancient, closely guarded tradition of stealth, martial arts and assassination that is only taught to the most skilled of Japanese warriors… and pretty much any white dude who happens to be in the neighborhood. Seriously, it’s like ninjas have their own version of Affirmative Action just for white guys, and thus several Euro-Americans have managed to snag honorary ninja degrees when they had no business doing so. Here are 10 of ‘em.

    tags: ninja

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