I don’t know where to start. I have just seen the most amazing bunch of videos...
First of all check out this amazing piece about “Air Swimmers” (Click Here to see this item). The video shows a radio-controlled shark and a radio-controlled Clown Fish flying through the air.
These look GREAT. They are about 57-inches long and 36-inches tall and I so want one!!! Unfortunately, funds are a bit short at the moment … still (I tell myself) it doesn’t hurt to find out how much they cost. I just went to the www.airswimmers.com website, but it says the store is currently down due to overwhelming interest (I wish I had that problem). But I will be checking back in the future…
Speaking of which, did you ever see the video of the amazing flying jellyfish robot? What? You haven’t seen it? Well you are in for a real treat (Click Here to see this video). I don’t know what it is about this “creature” – all I can say is that it’s strangely surreal and watching it move is curiously relaxing.
Of course we can’t have a conversation about strange and unusual artificial creatures without mentioning the amazing creations by Theo Jansen. Watching the more complex wind-powered beasts walking into the wind is a sight not to be forgotten. I would love to see these “in the flesh” as it were (Click Here to see this video).
Moving on… on the one hand you have to be careful about Internet-based rumors, so when I recently received an email warning that plastic hotel room keys were coded with one’s credit card number I took that with a grain of salt. On the other hand, when you see a video showing how the safe in your hotel room may have a default code of all zeros … well, it makes me want to visit a hotel to try it out for myself (Click Here to see this video).
“And now for something completely different,” as they used to say on Monty Python. Actually I find this a bit scary. I can’t remember exactly what it was that I was looking for, but it certainly wasn’t this website showing the most bizarre tattoos and piercings I’ve ever seen (Click Here … but only if you are (a) brave and (b) not currently in the middle of a nice meal).
I’m sorry, that really wasn’t very nice of me. Let me make it up to you with the following two videos, which really are rather awe-inspiring. The first is from the guys and gals at Para Hawk USA (www.parahawkusa.com), whose video shows the training of a female Harris’ Hawk called Shanti Maria to fly alongside a paraglider.
The second video is from 2006, in which we see Swiss pilot Yves "Jetman" Rossy became the first man in history to fly like a bird, albeit with fiberglass and carbon fiber wings powered by kerosene-fueled engines (the music is rather inspiring).
Apparently Rossy, who has since flown across the English Channel, can fly at speeds of up to 190 miles per hour and to a height of 3,000 meters (9,842 feet).
Of course you know what this makes me think of … YES! The ultra-modern jetpack from the Martin Aircraft Company (check out my blog I want my own Jet Pack!). Even today, when I’m driving back and forth to work and I see things like water towers or large trees I think to myself “I wonder what those would look like if I were flying around them with my Jet Pack?” Similarly, when I see overhead cables I think “I would have to be careful to avoid those if I were using my Jet Pack” (I know it’s silly, but if I ever win the lottery then one of these little beauties will be mine :-)
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David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.