Monday, August 31, 2009

New Wale Mixtape

Wale's new mixtape, Back to the Feature, dropped a couple days and I just finished listening to it. It's mostly produced by 9th Wonder (you might know him from 2004's Black is Back with Jay-Z) and almost every track is hot. Anyway as the title suggests, there are many, many features on this mixtape; too many to list them all. Some notables include Curren$y, Talib Kweli, Joe Budden, and Beanie Sigel.

is the download link.

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Be an obcessive conoisseur (Huge Douche) with Finger Food Plates!

Did you graduate from Holy Cross? Do you have an overstated sense of self-awesomeness? Do you smoke Djarum Black clove cigarettes? If your answer to any of these questions was "Yes," then I've found another item to add to your Christmas wish list. The Finger Food Party Plates are mini plates with rings (3 inches wide by 2.25 inches tall) that fit right around your finger. So, at your next modern art opening, while you're standing in the vernissage under a cloud of smug festering in your own superficial existence, you can eat a niguiri roll right off your forefinger!

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Saturday, August 29, 2009

GM Claims Chevy Volt Will Get 230 MPG--But How?

General Motors calls the Chevrolet Volt an extended-range electric vehicle. Essentially the only motive force comes from the electric motor; the gas engine only charges the batteries. In a press conference earlier today, GM's CEO Fritz Henderson said the Volt will have a city mileage figure of 230 miles per gallon--almost five times more efficient than a Prius. But considering the uniqueness of the Volt's engine, how did the EPA get that figure?

Popular Science calls it a "draft methodology." That's a quick way of saying the EPA is developing a few assumptions to populate a new "duty cycle" for the Volt. The duty cycle is the usage profile the agency uses when determining the city and highway mileage numbers to put on a new car's window sticker. The latest EPA cycle, set in 2006, accounts for actual driving conditions, such as high speed, aggressive driving, use of air conditioning, and cold temperature operation.

As John Voelcker from points out, GM says the Volt can travel for the first 40 miles on battery power alone. That means, if you never drive more than 40 miles a day, your mileage is technically "infinity." Of course, that isn't quite accurate over longer distances. So the EPA likely adopted a test cycle that involves driving the Volt until the battery is discharged, and then for a further distance using gasoline power.

Read more about it HERE

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Butter Prevents Suicides. Seriously.

According to THIS Metro article, giant bridges are being coated with butter so their bars and frames become too slippery for people to climb and then jump to their deaths. By extension, this prevents traffic jams caused by drivers who slow down or stop to witness a potential suicide. Here's an excerpt from the article:

"Government officials in Guangzhou in south east China ordered workers to smear butter on all of the climbable surfaces of the 1,000 foot long steel bridge.
Government spokesman Shiu Liang said: 'We tried employing guards at both ends but that didn't work - and we put up special fences and notices asking people not to commit suicide here. None of it worked - and so now we have put butter over the bridge and it has worked very well. Nobody can get up there and anybody who tries either falls'"

Simple, effective, yet very misguided. If someone wants to jump off a bridge, the last thing to stop them should be some Chinese engineers and their slick ledges- that's just delaying the inevitable. Plus, being denied access to the bridge will probably frustrate the person, thus exasperating his or her already extreme emotions. AND if they do kill themselves, it should be in a manly fashion. HERE are some ways to kill yourself like a man.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I've been Served. By the Man.

Sorry everyone, I can no longer post leaked music on my blog because apparently the man feels that I violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. This is an email I received this morning:

Blogger has been notified, according to the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), that certain content in your blog infringes upon the copyrights of others. The URL(s) of the allegedly infringing post(s) may be found at the end of this message.

The notice that we received from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) and the record companies it represents, with any personally identifying information removed, will be posted online by a service called Chilling Effects at We do this in accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Please note that it may take Chilling Effects up to several weeks to post the notice online at the link provided.

The IFPI is a trade association that represents over 1,400 major and independent record companies in the US and internationally who create, manufacture and distribute sound recordings (the "IFPI Represented Companies").

The DMCA is a United States copyright law that provides guidelines for online service provider liability in case of copyright infringement. We are in the process of removing from our servers the links that allegedly infringe upon the copyrights of others. If we did not do so, we would be subject to a claim of copyright infringement, regardless of its merits. See for more information about the DMCA, and see for the process that Blogger requires in order to make a DMCA complaint.

Blogger can reinstate these posts upon receipt of a counter notification pursuant to sections 512(g)(2) and 3) of the DMCA. For more information about the requirements of a counter notification and a link to a sample counter notification, see

Please note that repeated violations to our Terms of Service may result in further remedial action taken against your Blogger account. If you have legal questions about this notification, you should retain your own legal counsel. If you have any other questions about this notification, please let us know.


The Blogger Team

Affected URLs:

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Man on the Moon: End of Day Trailer, Track List, & Album Artwork

Above is the trailer for KiD CuDi's upcoming album, Man on the Moon: End of Day. The track list was released to the web about a week ago:

1. In My Dreams (Cudder Anthem)
2. Soundtrack 2 My Life
3. Simple As…

4. Solo Dolo (nightmare)
5. Heart of A Lion (KiD CuDi Theme Music)
6. My World Feat. Billy Cravens

7. Day N Nite (nightmare)
8. Sky Might Fall
9. Enter Galactic (Love Connection Part 1)

10. Alive (nightmare) Feat. RATATAT
11. CuDi Zone
12. Make Her Say Feat. Kanye West & Common
13. Pursuit of Happiness (nightmare) Feat. MGMT & RATATAT

14. Hyyerr Feat. Chip Tha Rapper
15. Up Up & Away (The Wake & Bake Song)

And finally, here's the much anticipated, very cultivated album artwork. The artwork is actually the reason that the album's release date was bumped back to September 15th opposed to original August 25th drop.

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New KiD CuDi

Here's a freestyle by KiD CuDi performed on Tim Westwood's BBC Radio 1 show. The freestyle followed an interview promoting CuDi's upcoming debut album, Man on the Moon: The End of Day.

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Almost too Good (Or Horrible) to be True

Here's a ridiculous story straight off the AP wire:

OMAHA, Neb. - A Nebraska man who stole a painting of the Virgin Mary to finance an abortion for a teen he was accused of raping has been convicted of first-degree sexual assault and felony theft.

Aurelio Vallerillo-Sanchez, 39, of Omaha pleaded no contest to the charges Friday and faces up to 70 years in prison when sentenced in October, Douglas County prosecutor Brenda Beadle said Saturday.

A call to the county public defender representing Vallerillo-Sanchez wasn't answered Saturday. Beadle said Vallerillo-Sanchez fled to Mexico with the 300-year-old painting worth $100,000 and the pregnant teen in March 2007.

"The plan was that when they got to Mexico, she was to undergo an abortion," she said.

When an abortion wasn't possible, Vallerillo-Sanchez pushed to have the baby given up for adoption, Beadle said: "He wanted to do everything he could to get rid of this baby 'cause it was evidence against him."

The teen returned to Nebraska after giving birth, the prosecutor said.

Stealing the Virgin Mary to finance an operation that will abort the child of a teenage girl that you just raped? Almost as sacrilegious as it is ironic and sadistic. Almost.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Much Better Than Sausage: How a USB Stick Is Made

With the USB sticks pretty much anywhere and everywhere these days, it's easy to forget that there is an interesting (and automated) manufacturing process behind the device that allows companies to create tortured USB cows. It looks something like this.

The tour is of a Kingston manufacturing plant in Hsinchu (southern Taipei). Lots of robots, stickers and commentary from the folks at Netbooknews.

The whole production is much more visually appealing than the sausage process. Definitely. Plus, USB cows.

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Sunday, August 23, 2009


The website has weird and funny sandwiches prepared by the very master chefs that run the site. Above are my top three in no particular order. Ever want a break from the mundane experience of sandwich making? Fuck convention and make the rubics cubewich!

If you like this, become a follower- click the "follow" link on the right - - - - - - - ->

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Looking Back... Big L & The Big Picture

Nine years ago this month, slain Harlem rapper, Big L's first posthumous album was released titled, The Big Picture. Lamont "Big L" Coleman was equal parts freestyle king, storytelling genius and punch line specialist. And while he was the recipient of more press than Soundscan sales, his reputation far preceded any Billboard chart position.

Like most tragic hip-hop cases, Big L was yet another in the long line of artists who abruptly passed away on the verge of success. A week before he was reported to sign to then-conglomerate Roc-A-Fella Records, he was brutally gunned down just blocks from his Harlem home. Considered by most to be the most underrated lyricist, Big L was an unheralded New York legend in a long list of Harlem rhyme slingers, and his impact continues to affect rap music today.

In my opinion, Big L is arguably the best freestyle rapper ever. Below are two singles off of The Big Picture, titled "'98 Freestyle" and "Ebonics." Up above is his infamous "7-minute freestyle" with Jay-Z that was released on Jay-Z's 10-disk anthology mixtape, Library of a Legend. Both freestyles are absolute fire- my favorite punchline is in the '98 freestyle:
Turn your tux red, Im far from broke, got enough bread
And mad hoes, ask beavis I get nuthin butt-head

Ebonics - Big L

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Best Science Visualization Video of 2009

Above is a video of a Type Ia supernova, which in theory is a exploding white dwarf star in a binary system. A white dwarf is the remnant of a star that has completed its normal life cycle and has ceased nuclear fusion.

Here's what you're seeing- this movie shows a simulation of Type Ia supernovae exploding from multiple ignition points. When the hot ash breaks through the surface of the star, it spreads rapidly across the stellar surface, converges at the opposite point and produces a jet-like flow that triggers a detonation.

As beautiful as they are complex, supernovas are very interesting. They're extremely luminous and they can radiate as much energy as the sun emits over its entire life span in just weeks or months. Think about that. The Sun was formed about 4.5 billion years ago and it releases enough sunlight (energy) to support all life on Earth via photosynthesis.

If you want to see more interesting science visualizations and read more about this type of supernova, check out this Wired Science article

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

New David Getta w/ KiD CuDi

Here's a new song by Kid CuDi and David Guetta off Guetta's new album, "One Love." One Love is slated for release throughout Europe on August 24th and August 25th in the U.S. Guetta stated on BBC Radio that the album will include features by Kelly Rowland, Ne-Yo, Akon, and Estelle.

If you want more new music, follow this blog by clicking the link on the right - - - - - >

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Interesting Gadgets

Croatian designer, Ivan Mavrovic, has combined Steampunk artistry with modern technology to produce some stunning results. Steampunk is a sub-genre of fantasy and speculative fiction that came into prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. The term denotes works set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century, and often Victorian era England—but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as the real technological developments seen above.

To read more and see more artwork, check out his blog

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Beer Keg + Arcade Game = The Arkeg Drink-n-Game

College students around the world know that mixing alcohol with video games makes for a better gaming experience. Mario Kart + beer? Voila- drunk driving. Accordingly, the geniuses over at Arkeg realized the market potential for drunken gamers and thus created the Arkeg Drink-n-Game. It's a 69 game arcade system with a 24 inch LCD screen, 2.1 HD Surround Audio, and, most importantly, a 5 gallon keg that is chilled with a near-silent Solid-state Thermoelectric Cooling System. It even has a chrome faucet on the side so you don't need to move to refill your cup.

So, if you're enough of a degenerate to shell out $4000 for this glorious machine, buy it HERE

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Goods: Live Hard, Sale Hard is a Pile of Shit

A 10-year-old boy trapped inside a 35-year-old man's body. A DJ by the name of DJ Request who doesn't play requests. An aging ladies' man who wants to make love to a stripper. All three are ideas that were pushed in The Goods that flopped because, well, they aren't funny. At all.

The underlying problem with The Goods is that it tried so hard to be raunchy and outrageous, by focusing too much on ensuring there's plenty of swearing, nudity, and crazy antics, instead of actually being funny, let alone developing characters that we care about. Jeremy Piven, the lead, does a decent job as Don Ready, but his team of sales mercenaries pretty much all fall flat. They sort of go through the motions through the three days of car sales, and I was bored at the end of the first day. There were a couple funny parts, but certainly not enough to call this a funny movie. To be fair, though, given the movie's all star cast- I had very high expectations. Ken Jeong, David Koechner, Ed Helms, Craig Robinson- all comedic geniuses from Step Brothers and Anchorman could not conglomerate to make even a mediocre film- it fucking sucked. Even the Will Ferrell cameo wasn't funny.

Lastly, in today's era of R-rated comedies, where The Hangover and Superbad set the gold standard, The Goods is totally bush league.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Deep Space

Over a period of four months in late 2003, the Hubble telescope assembled an image that represents the deepest look into space every composed. The Ultra Deep Field image captures an estimated 10,000 galaxies, some as old as 13 billion years (just a few hundred million years after the Big Bang, going by most estimates), all squeezed into a sliver of sky no bigger than what you'd see behind a 1-millimeter square postage stamp held one meter away.

Here's what it looks like in 3D.

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Collector

Above is the red band (R-rated) trailer for The Collector, which is the latest movie from the twisted minds of Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton (Saw IV, V, and the upcoming VI). Since I'm a fan of gratuitous violence and gore, I think this movie looks sweet- almost as sweet as the Collector's tagline: He always takes one. Here's the plot as shown on IMDB:

The Handyman and ex-con Arkin aims to repay a debt to his ex-wife by robbing his new employer's country home. Unfortunately for Arkin, a far worse enemy has already laid claim to the property - and the family. As the seconds tick down to midnight, Arkin becomes a reluctant hero trapped by a masked "Collector" in a maze of lethal invention - the Spanish Inquisition as imagined by Rube Goldberg - while trying to rescue the very family he came to rob.

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LED Handrails

Designed by Zoran Sunjic, from Croatia, this creative LED staircase rail system guides people through dark spaces both physically and visually. In addition to looking cool, LED handrails could also eliminate the need for bright lights in places that are not used as frequently.

Despite what the aesthetics might suggest, something like this could be invaluable for commuters and especially people with poor eyesight. It's a good idea, but since these rails are lighted, all of the germs and filth from people's hands would probably be amplified by the bright diodes beneath the glass. For better or for worse, people would actually see how disgusting subways are. Other than that, though, it's a cool concept with a practical use. The only bonus would be to set the lighting to strobe- epileptics would love it!

Read more about it HERE

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Friday, August 14, 2009

America > Everything Else

Above is a video of a U.S. helicopter attack team killing a group of insurgents setting up an IED. IED, or Improvised Explosive Devise, is a superfluous, CNN news word that really just means roadside bomb. Anyway, the U.S. military is awesome and this video is a clear indication as to why. In a muzzle flash of that helicopter's 30 mm machine gun, those insurgents went from healthy/intact to charbroiled/maimed. They probably didn't even hear the helicopter!

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Curren$y & Wiz Khalifa drop a joint mixtape

Curren$y the Hot Spitta, of Fly Society, and Wiz Khalifa just collaborated on a new mixtape title, "How Fly." Khalifa is still probably best known for his 2008 hit, "Say Yeah," but he has since started a grassroots campaign on the internet and increased his popularity organically, which I respect highly. Since then, he has released "Flight School," which is Wiz's first mixtape to garner nationwide attention. Curren$y, currently signed to Amalgam Digital, has previously worked under Weezy's "Young Money" label and Master P's "No Limit." Since dropping Young Money, he released his debut, solo album titled, "This Ain't No Mixtape."

Here is the LINK to download "Flight School"

Here is the LINK to download "How Fly"

Here is the LINK to download "This Ain't No Mixtape"

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Mindblowing Data Visualization

Here is a population graph of Manhattan's population by day vs. its population by night. You almost get a feeling of vertigo, until you hear the subway statistics:

From 8:00AM to 8:59 AM on an average Fall day in 2007 the NYC Subway carried 388,802 passengers into the CBD [city business district] on 370 trains over 22 tracks. In other words, a train carrying 1,050 people crossed into the CBD every 6 seconds.

That is CRAZY. Such a busy city.

Article compliments of GIZMODO

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Fact or Fiction? Sugar as Addictive as Cocaine, Heroin

New York Daily News December 12, 2008

The Studies

“Evidence for Sugar Addiction: Behavioral and Neurochemical Effects of Intermittent, Excessive Sugar Intake,” Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 2008

The Hype

This story introduces Princeton University psychology professor Bart Hoebel’s tests on rats by stating in the first paragraph that “sugar—as anyone who mainlines sweets can attest—can be just as habit-forming as cocaine.”

The Subtler Truth

Hoebel’s study shows that rats fed a high-sugar diet go through neurochemical and behavioral changes, and even withdrawal symptoms, similar to those associated with nicotine and cocaine. But this newspaper article jumps the gun, suggesting that sugar addiction has been proven in humans and going so far as to have a doctor specializing in weight control give advice on how to kick the sugar habit (protein and veggies in the morning). Hoebel hasn’t proven this addiction in humans, however, and he is quick to point out that his work is more relevant to understanding eating disorders like bulimia than to curing a Dr. Pepper obsession.

The Bottom Line

Stay skeptical about sugar stories. Is there such a thing as sugar dependence? Possibly. Can we say “Sugar on Par with Smack, Crack”? That headline needs more research.

This article compliments of Popular Science

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Sunday, August 9, 2009


A really funny website that I have stumbled upon recently is Bros.Like.This.Site. It's a blog, started up in April, that is all about things that "bros" like including making girls cry, wearing fraternity letters, being better than poor people, etc. The best part is the narration, which is so over the top. Below is post #15, which explains why bros love Ultimate Fighting. Priceless:

"I don't care who you are, bro, bro-hater, or bra, it’s a pretty good chance you have seen at least a part of a Mixed Martial Arts fight in your life. It’s on Spike TV pretty much non-stop with Joe Rogan of NewsRadio fame doing the color commentary. It’s also emerging as a pay per view favorite among bros.

MMA has become the bro’s triathalon. It used to be a point of pride for bros to say they were getting all jacked up andin shape to run the Ironman, but these days its much sweeter to say you are training to be a cage fighter. I’m pretty lucky that I got a scar above my eye from a drunken fall in college, because now whenever girls ask about it I can tell them it’s from my ultimate fighting training. I always throw in that I would go pro, but I made a promise to my mother I wouldn’t. That shit always works. Sluts.

No matter what style of mixed martial arts training you specialize in, bros can all agree on one thing: They claim to have known Kimbo Slice was a phony. Yeah we all worshipped his Youtube videos where you see him knock the shit out of that dude in the backyard, and sure we had Kimbo Sice posters hanging in our room, but when he failed, bros made sure to tell everyone and their mother that, “I knew from the day he set foot in the Octagon that he didn’t have the skills to compete.” It’s also important to include the fact that he was a stand up fighter and couldn’t fight on the mat, because this makes it seem like you actually know the technique of mixed-martial arts. Also, anyone that thinks Kimbo Slice is still a solid fighter is a bro-hater."

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Saturday, August 8, 2009

The 40 Year Anniversary of the Manson "Family"

This month marks the 4o year anniversary of the Manson family rampage, which introduced the world to a kind of evil so palpable that even now, 40 years later, we are still shocked. Manson, now 74, is rotting away in Corcoran State Prison, but he is immortalized in the bizarre videos of his interviews outside of court and in prison. Above and below are some of the memorable ones. Let's not forget his most quote, though:

“Believe me, if I started murdering people… there'd be none of you left!”

Oh, and please ignore the douche bag who decided to include the word "epic" in both of his Charles Manson videos.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Great State of Texas

Texas is a crazy state. While every state is slowly, but surely, outlawing capital punishment, Texas is basically creating an express line. Along with this, their judicial system apparently is not very sympathetic to the mentally impaired.

18-year old Aaron Hart, a severely mentally challenged man from Paris, Texas, man was sentenced in February to 100 years in prison for a single act of what might amount to the childhood sex game of "doctor" with a 6-year-old neighbor. The man has an IQ of 47, and no coercion or violence was involved, but the jury was not given the option to send the man to a care facility in lieu of prison. In fact, his original lawyer failed even to argue his client's incompetency as a defense because, he said, he thought the man obviously would get probation. In a final touch, Lamar County judge Eric Clifford, able to punish the man on just one count with four other counts running concurrently, instead chose to stack the five counts to total 100 years, and in April, after listening to a parade of witnesses beg him to reconsider the sentence, he refused.

Only in Texas

Read more about it HERE

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

New Strain of AIDS found

As if AIDS hasn't ravaged Africa enough, a new strain of the virus that causes AIDS has been discovered in a woman from the African nation of Cameroon. Africa already accounts for 70% of the world's total AIDS victims. The new strain differs from the three known strains of human immunodeficiency virus and appears to be closely related to a form of simian virus recently discovered in wild gorillas, researchers report in Monday's edition of the journal Nature Medicine.

The finding "highlights the continuing need to watch closely for the emergence for new HIV variants, particularly in western central Africa," said the researchers, led by Jean-Christophe Plantier of the University of Rouen, France. The three previously known HIV strains are related to the simian virus that occurs in chimpanzees.

The most likely explanation for the new find is gorilla-to-human transmission, Plantier's team said. But they added they cannot rule out the possibility that the new strain started in chimpanzees and moved into gorillas and then humans, or moved directly from chimpanzees to both gorillas and humans.

Read more about it HERE

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Monday, August 3, 2009

Tanning: As deadly as Arsenic and Mustard Gas

Along with the undesirability of looking like some alien out of Men in Black, "bronzing" at a tanning booth is also deadly. In my opinion, anyone with even a shred of brain matter knows tanning yourself 4 shades darker in under ten minutes is probably not good for you, but this new statement from the World Health Organization is pretty shocking.
International experts have moved tanning beds and ultraviolet radiation into the top cancer-risk category, calling them as deadly as arsenic and mustard gas. Arsenic is a poisonous metalloid that can cause total organ failure and severe hemorrhaging. But mustard gas?! Mustard gas was the experimental chemical weapon used in WWI that caused unspeakable horrors. If you are really interested, here are some pictures and accounts of mustard gas poisoning. As a fair warning, they're pretty disgusting.

For years, scientists deemed both "probable carcinogens." But a new analysis by World Health Organization cancer experts of about 20 studies concludes the risk of skin cancer jumps by 75 percent when people start using tanning beds before age 30. The experts also found that all types of ultraviolet radiation caused worrying mutations in mice, proof the radiation is carcinogenic. The new classification means tanning beds and ultraviolet radiation are definite causes of cancer, alongside tobacco, the hepatitis B virus and chimney sweeping, among others.

"We hope the prevailing culture will change so teens don't think they need to use sunbeds to get a tan," said researcher Vincent Cogliano who contributed to the study, published this week online in the medical journal Lancet Oncology.

Read more about it HERE

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Sunday, August 2, 2009

American Heros-- Larry Walters

This morning, I was making a scene in my kitchen, in front of my family, about the sheer impossibility of flying Mach 2 without a canopy. A scene to which my dad responded, "Oh yeah, I'll tell you about something crazier that's before your time." He told me about a man who tied about 50 weather balloons to his lawn chair and accidentally ascended a couple miles in the air with beer and a pellet gun to satisfy his impulsive desire to fly. I was skeptical until my brief research lead me to this story

Larry Walters is an American legend. Here's the story of Larry, a 33 year old Vietnam veteran and North Hollywood truck driver with absolutely to balloon or pilot training, as it took place on July 2nd, 1982.
He went to the local Army-Navy surplus store and purchased 45 weather balloons and several tanks of helium. The weather balloons, when fully inflated, would measure more than four feet across. Back home, Larry securely strapped the balloons to his sturdy lawn chair. He anchored the chair to the bumper of his jeep and inflated the balloons with the helium. He climbed on for a test while it was still only a few feet above the ground. Satisfied it would work, Larry packed several sandwiches and a six-pack of Miller Lite, loaded his pellet gun-figuring he could pop a few balloons when it was time to descend-and went back to the floating lawn chair. He tied himself in along with his pellet gun and provisions. Larry's plan was to lazily float up to a height of about 30 feet above his back yard after severing the anchor and in a few hours come back down.
Things didn't quite work out that way.
When he cut the cord anchoring the lawn chair to his jeep, he didn't float lazily up to 30 or so feet. Instead he streaked into the LA sky as if shot from a cannon. He didn't level of at 30 feet, nor did he level off at 100 feet. After climbing and climbing, he leveled off at 11,000 feet. At that height he couldn't risk shooting any of the balloons, lest he unbalance the load and really find himself in trouble. So he stayed there, drifting, cold and frightened, for more than 14 hours.
Then he really got in trouble.
He found himself drifting into the primary approach corridor of Los Angeles International Airport. A United pilot first spotted Larry. He radioed the tower and described passing a guy in a lawn chair with a gun. Radar confirmed the existence of an object floating 11,000 feet above the airport. LAX emergency procedures swung into full alert and a helicopter was dispatched to investigate. LAX is right on the ocean. Night was falling and the offshore breeze began to flow. It carried Larry out to sea with the helicopter in hot pursuit.Several miles out, the helicopter caught up with Larry. Once the crew determined that Larry was not dangerous, they attempted to close in for a rescue but the draft from the blades would push Larry away whenever they neared. Finally, the helicopter ascended to a position several hundred feet above Larry and lowered a rescue line. Larry snagged the line and was hauled back to shore. The difficult maneuver was flawlessly executed by the helicopter crew. As soon as Larry was hauled to earth, he was arrested by waiting members of the LAPD for violating LAX airspace.
As he was led away in handcuffs, a reporter dispatched to cover the daring rescue asked why he had done it. Larry stopped, turned and replied nonchalantly, "A man can't just sit around."

Larry Walters- a true hero of the common man

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Flying Faster Than Mach 2... in an open cockpit (True Story)

The spectacular picture above was (reportedly) shot high above the set of a movie. Producers for an unknown movie paid a couple of Russian pilots to fly their SU-35UB jet at speeds past Mach 2.0... without a canopy! After the flight, the pilot said, "While on this speed I even managed to pull out my fingers in glove for an inch or two outside - it became heated very fast because of immense friction force plane undergoes with the air." (Notice the broken English- straight outta Russia).

The script also required one of the pilots to eject from the cockpit, as seen above. Whatever movie this ends up being part of, I’d buy my ticket now if I could. I hope it’s in 3-D.

Read more about it HERE

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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Summer School Lesson 1: Movie Physics

Before you try stunt-jumping your car over the nearest chasm, read up on the physics of why you're doomed to fail. This video puts some perspective on the action-movie high-speed car chase jump phenomenon. Notice how close this car comes to wrecking when launched off of a little two-foot-high ramp and moving at a relatively slow velocity.

Furthermore, the guys at popular science have done a rough estimate of the takeoff velocity. They approximate that the car lands about 10 meters from its takeoff point and is in the air for close to one second. Applying this information they can do a simple calculation to determine its horizontal component of velocity on takeoff:

vx = Δx/ t = 10 m/1s = 10 m/s

Using a little vector addition they can also determine the net velocity off the ramp based on the ramp angle. They'll leave this as an exercise for anyone so inclined (no pun intended), but because the take off angle is pretty small (we estimated 17 degrees) the net velocity is still only approximately 10.5 m/s or 23 mi/hr -- not really a high-speed stunt.

Fun, games and calculations aside, one of many problems any "would-be" stunt car driver is going to face on attempting a jump, is that the car is generally going to follow the standard parabolic trajectory of a projectile. Let's assume for the moment that the car has its center of mass relatively near its geometric center. In that case the upward angle of the car at any given height on its ascent should be the same as the downward angle at the same height during the descent. If, as is more likely, the car has its center of mass located towards the front half of the car, it will cause it to nose down even more steeply. In fact, in the video you can see the car landing at an alarmingly steep angle. They were lucky to pull that one out.

If you've ever seen an actual stunt jump then you know that they put ramps at both ends of the jump. That's for good reason. (They also have specially designed suspension systems.) Try sticking the landing when your car impacts the ground at an angle of 25 degrees below horizontal, at a speed of say 80 miles per hour. The hood is going to crumple and you're going to need rehab before the tires ever make contact. Seriously, don't try this at home!

So next time you're watching Gone in Sixty Seconds, Speed, The Fast and the Furious or any movie with some spectacular cinematic leaps, recall this little video and contemplate just how far the fantasy of the action film is divorced from any semblance of reality. (I'm not suggesting that you don't already know that, but this gives a pretty vivid demonstration of what kind of limitations we might be dealing with.)

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