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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 25537 times)
WingsofCrystal
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2160 on: Dec 10th, 2010, 07:33am »

Telegraph

74 year overdue library book returned.
A 95-year-old American woman has returned a library book 74 years after her husband borrowed it and faced a late return fine of $2,700 (£1,700).

5:53PM GMT 09 Dec 2010

Hazel Severson, 95, of Sacramento says a friend found a book that Mrs Severson's late husband had borrowed from an Amador County library in 1936 while sorting through things for a garage sale.

Mrs Severson told The Sacramento Bee newspaper that she and her husband Howard were newly-weds back when he checked out the hardback, Seaplane Solo, about Sir Francis Chichester's 1930 solo flight across the Tasman Sea.

Luckily for Mrs Severson, the library did not charge her the fee, though it did accept a small donation when she finally returned the book on Oct. 13.

Librarian Laura Einstadter says the library was just happy to get the book back.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/8192105/74-year-overdue-library-book-returned.html

Crystal
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« Reply #2161 on: Dec 10th, 2010, 07:36am »

Wired Danger Room

Military Bans Disks, Threatens Courts-Martial to Stop New Leaks

By Noah Shachtman
December 9, 2010 | 7:02 pm
Categories: Info War

It’s too late to stop WikiLeaks from publishing thousands more classified documents, nabbed from the Pentagon’s secret network. But the U.S. military is telling its troops to stop using CDs, DVDs, thumb drives and every other form of removable media — or risk a court martial.

Maj. Gen. Richard Webber, commander of Air Force Network Operations, issued the Dec. 3 “Cyber Control Order” — obtained by Danger Room — which directs airmen to “immediately cease use of removable media on all systems, servers, and stand alone machines residing on SIPRNET,” the Defense Department’s secret network. Similar directives have gone out to the military’s other branches.

“Unauthorized data transfers routinely occur on classified networks using removable media and are a method the insider threat uses to exploit classified information. To mitigate the activity, all Air Force organizations must immediately suspend all SIPRNET data transfer activities on removable media,” the order adds.

It’s one of a number of moves the Defense Department is making to prevent further disclosures of secret information in the wake of the WikiLeaks document dumps. Pfc. Bradley Manning says he downloaded hundreds of thousands of files from SIPRNET to a CD marked “Lady Gaga” before giving the files to WikiLeaks.

To stop that from happening again, an August internal review suggested that the Pentagon disable all classified computers’ ability to write to removable media. About 60 percent of military machines are now connected to a Host Based Security System, which looks for anomalous behavior. And now there’s this disk-banning order.

One military source who works on these networks says it will make the job harder; classified computers are often disconnected from the network, or are in low-bandwidth areas. A DVD or a thumb drive is often the easiest way to get information from one machine to the next. “They were asking us to build homes before,” the source says. “Now they’re taking away our hammers.”

The order acknowledges that the ban will make life trickier for some troops.

“Users will experience difficulty with transferring data for operational needs which could impede timeliness on mission execution,” the document admits. But “military personnel who do not comply … may be punished under Article 92 of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice.” Article 92 is the armed forces’ regulation covering failure to obey orders and dereliction of duty, and it stipulates that violators “shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.”

But to several Defense Department insiders, the steps taken so far to prevent another big secret data dump have been surprisingly small. “After all the churn…. The general perception is business as usual. I’m not kidding,” one of those insiders says. “We haven’t turned a brain cell on it.”

Tape and disk backups, as well as hard drive removals, will continue as normal in the military’s Secure Compartmented Information Facilities, where top-secret information is discussed and handled. And removable drives have been banned on SIPRNET before.

Two years ago, the Pentagon forbade the media’s use after the drives and disks helped spread a relatively unsophisticated worm onto hundreds of thousands of computers. The ban was lifted this February, after the worm cleanup effort, dubbed “Operational Buckshot Yankee,” was finally completed. Shortly thereafter, Manning says he started passing information to WikiLeaks.

Specialists at the National Security Agency are looking for additional technical ways to limit, disable or audit military users’ actions. Darpa, the Pentagon’s leading-edge research arm, has launched an effort to “greatly increase the accuracy, rate and speed with which insider threats are detected … within government and military interest networks.”

But, like all Darpa projects, this one won’t be ready to deploy for years — if ever. For now, the Pentagon is stuck with more conventional methods to WikiLeak-proof its networks.

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/12/military-bans-disks-threatens-courts-martials-to-stop-new-leaks/

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« Reply #2162 on: Dec 10th, 2010, 07:43am »

Wired

Vaporware 2010: A Call for Submissions
By Michael Calore, Webmonkey
December 9, 2010 | 3:22 pm
Categories: Miscellaneous


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It’s time again to inhale the fail.

Voting is now open for Wired’s 13th annual Vaporware Awards, our yearly showcase of the tech products pitched, promised and hyped, but never delivered.

Just like in years past, we’re relying on you to nominate your picks for the most notorious no-shows in the worlds of software, hardware, games and gadgets.

Our perennial chart-topper, Duke Nukem Forever — two-time winner of our lifetime achievement award and Vaporware’s official mascot — is actually ineligible this year for legit reasons. After Duke developer 3DRealms collapsed into a financial black hole in 2009, the project was handed over to Gearbox Software. Now, after 12 long years, Gearbox has tagged DNF with a 2011 release date. Seriously, it’s almost done. Thousands of PAX 2010 attendees got to play a working version. For real. Don’t worry though, we’re saving a slot for Sir Duke on next year’s list just in case.

The tech world is still filled with plenty of vape fodder, though. Chrome OS laptops. The mythical white iPhone 4. We snuffed wisps of stale vapor from all the major categories in 2010: iPad apps, set-top boxes, console games, web apps, mobile phones, planes, trains, and EVs.

Got a primo candidate you want to nominate for Vaporware 2010?

The Rules:

•It must have been promised to ship during 2010.
•No rumors. That means no Facebook phones, solar-powered bathyspheres or Radio Raheem iPod boomboxes. It has to have been announced with a 2010 release date attached.
•If you can buy it, play it, download it or open it in your browser, it doesn’t count. If it shipped — even if it sucked — it’s not vaporware.
•Software stuck in a never-ending, pre-release, beta-testing stage can be considered vaporware.
•Likewise hardware prototypes. It may exist in some company’s lab and trotted out at developer events or trade shows. But it’s vaporware until it hits store shelves where consumers can purchase it.
To submit a nomination, do one of the following:

•Add it to the widget below. We’ll leave the submission widget open for a week.
•E-mail it to us. Send your nomination to wiredvaporware@gmail.com. To make it easier on us, please put the name of the company and product in the subject line.
•Leave a comment on this blog post.
In all cases, don’t forget to include a couple of acerbic comments we can quote. Links are a big help, too.

After submitting, go ahead and vote up your favorites that have already been added to the list below. And no, the widget doesn’t turn your submission into vaporware — we’re monitoring the tool, so we’re killing dupes, spam and dehumanizing comments.

We’ll round up the submissions and announce the 2010 Vaporware award winners around the dawn of the new year.

Upvote up your favorite Vaporware nominees or submit your own

Voting and submission box after the jump
http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/12/vaporware-2010-a-call-for-submissions/

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« Reply #2163 on: Dec 10th, 2010, 11:28am »

This is a parody website.

Not The White House


THE 2010 HAWAII VACATION

President Obama, born (yes, BORN!) and raised in Hawaii, looks forward to returning to his former home state for his traditional Hawaii Christmas vacation there with his family and close friends.

Given the current economic crisis, President Obama understands that a Hawaii vacation is out of reach for many Americans. Which is why in a spirit of openness and transparency, President Obama is sharing his Hawaii vacation with the American People.

Be sure to check back here for daily updates throughout the Presidential Hawaii Vacation.


Vacation Planning

With the 2010 Christmas and New Year's holiday falling on a Saturday this year, the President is planning to leave D.C. on Saturday December 18th and return on Sunday January 2nd. President Obama has chosen the Paradise Point Plantation Estate in lovely Kailua as his "Winter White House".


The Flight to Hawaii

The President's Hawaii vacation officially begins the moment he steps onboard Air Force One. He immediately heads back to his personal office, sheds his "President's clothes" and gets into the aloha spirit.

On his last flight to Hawaii, he enjoyed several old episodes of Hawaii 5-O while sipping a mai tai and munching on a spam musubi.


Settling in

Upon arrival in Hawaii, the President revs up The Beast and makes the short journey over the Ko'olau Mountains to the Windward side of the island of Oahu. There he finds the Winter White House already decorated with Christmas lights and a Christmas tree and stocked with his favorite island snacks.

To ensure Presidential privacy, the Secret Service thoughtfully has a duplicate section of the White House fence flown in ahead of time and installed along the beach.


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Presidential Hawaii Vacation Activities

During past Hawaii trips, President Obama:

•Played golf at Olomana Golf Links, Luana Hills Country Club, Kaneohe Klipper, and Mid-Pacific Country Club
•Visited the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park
•Visited Aloha Tropical Farms - macadamia nut farm outlet store
•Had a picnic at Magic Island - Ala Moana Beach Park
•Visited Punchbowl Cemetery
•Enjoyed the view at the Pali Lookout
•Toured the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor
•Went snorkeling at Hanauma Bay
•Body-surfed at Sandy Beach
•Watched a dolphin show at Sea Life Park
•Visited the Honolulu Zoo
•Worked out at the Semper Fit Center at Marine Corps Base Hawaii
•Went swimming at Pyramid Rock Beach
•Played tennis at Kailua Racquet Club
•Played some basketball at Punahou and at the Semper Fit Center
•Had a barbeque on the North Shore with old friends
•Enjoyed the local dining - spam musubi, shave ice


In 2010, President Obama would like to try his hand at poi pounding, fire eating, tiki carving, and hula. However, the most important activity on his 2010 Christmas trip to Hawaii will be relaxing with family and friends. Aloha and Mele Kalikimaka.


The President's Personal Photo Album from August 2008:
after the jump

http://whitehouse.gov1.info/blog/blog_post/agenda-hawaii.html

Crystal

edit for spacing
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2164 on: Dec 10th, 2010, 1:31pm »

on Dec 10th, 2010, 07:33am, WingsofCrystal wrote:
Telegraph

74 year overdue library book returned.
A 95-year-old American woman has returned a library book 74 years after her husband borrowed it and faced a late return fine of $2,700 (£1,700).

5:53PM GMT 09 Dec 2010

Hazel Severson, 95, of Sacramento says a friend found a book that Mrs Severson's late husband had borrowed from an Amador County library in 1936 while sorting through things for a garage sale.

Mrs Severson told The Sacramento Bee newspaper that she and her husband Howard were newly-weds back when he checked out the hardback, Seaplane Solo, about Sir Francis Chichester's 1930 solo flight across the Tasman Sea.

Luckily for Mrs Severson, the library did not charge her the fee, though it did accept a small donation when she finally returned the book on Oct. 13.

Librarian Laura Einstadter says the library was just happy to get the book back.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/8192105/74-year-overdue-library-book-returned.html

Crystal

Glad that she hadn't had to pay the fee.

Sometimes there are moments where you get aware again of how awesome nature is. Guess not only hyundi will like that:

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2165 on: Dec 10th, 2010, 1:38pm »

on Dec 10th, 2010, 11:28am, WingsofCrystal wrote:
The Flight to Hawaii

The President's Hawaii vacation officially begins the moment he steps onboard Air Force One. He immediately heads back to his personal office, sheds his "President's clothes" and gets into the aloha spirit.

On his last flight to Hawaii, he enjoyed several old episodes of Hawaii 5-O while sipping a mai tai and munching on a spam musubi.


...

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LoL! grin
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« Reply #2166 on: Dec 10th, 2010, 2:04pm »

Hey Phil!

"An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought."

Simon Cameron (1799 - 1889)

grin

Just having some fun at the expense of the Prez.

Crystal

That eagle owl is amazing! Thank you for that video.
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« Reply #2167 on: Dec 10th, 2010, 2:17pm »





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« Reply #2168 on: Dec 10th, 2010, 2:19pm »



description:
This object was sighted near the International Airport in Mexico City in October 2010

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« Reply #2169 on: Dec 10th, 2010, 3:37pm »

Navy Times

Navy: Dahlgren Railgun test is successful

The Associated Press
Posted : Friday Dec 10, 2010 15:44:23 EST

DAHLGREN, Va. — A futuristic Navy weapon has achieved a testing milestone during a demonstration at the Naval Surface Warfare Center.

Friday’s demonstration involved an experimental surface ship weapon called an electromagnetic railgun.

The Office of Naval Research said the weapon achieved a world-record 33-megajoule shot. That energy measurement means the Navy could fire projectiles at least 110 miles.

The railgun uses kinetic energy to fire a projectile. The new munition would eliminate the need for a high-energy explosive, and put sailors farther away from harm’s way.

The railgun is being developed for use on a wide range of ships.

http://www.navytimes.com/news/2010/12/ap-navy-dahlgren-railgun-test-121010/

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« Reply #2170 on: Dec 11th, 2010, 08:17am »

LA Times

La Familia cartel leader believed killed in Michoacan violence
Mexican authorities believe Nazario Moreno Gonzalez, a.k.a. 'El Mas Loco,' died in the fighting that raged between drug traffickers and federal troops this week.


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Federal police stand guard in Apatzingan, in Mexico's Michoacan state. At least 11 people were confirmed killed in
battles that began Wednesday, including five federal police officers and an 8-month-old.
(Reuters / December 10, 2010)



By Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times
December 11, 2010

Reporting from Mexico City — Mexican authorities said Friday that they believe a top leader of the violent La Familia cartel was killed during two days of pitched fighting in the home state of President Felipe Calderon.

In violence that erupted Wednesday afternoon and raged until early Friday, federal forces deployed in the western state of Michoacan battled scores of gunmen from La Familia who torched vehicles and barricaded roads in a dozen cities. At least 11 people were confirmed killed, including five federal police officers and an 8-month-old.

Government security spokesman Alejandro Poire said officials had received information that La Familia founder Nazario Moreno Gonzalez — a.k.a. "El Mas Loco" (the craziest) — was killed in the shooting.

He acknowledged, however, that La Familia gunmen carried away their dead and injured as they retreated, making an exact accounting of who and how many died impossible.

Still, Poire said the group had been "significantly weakened."

"This is the moment to intensify pressure on this organization in order to diminish criminal activity in the region efficiently and permanently," he said.

Moreno's death would be a significant blow to the cartel, which is among the newest in Mexico and one of the most brutal.

La Familia first gained national attention by tossing five severed heads onto the floor of a dance hall in September 2006. Two months later, Calderon sent troops into Michoacan for the first time to take on traffickers. Nevertheless, La Familia swiftly rose to a spot on the short list of dangerous cartels, dominating the methamphetamine trade and steadily diversifying into counterfeiting, extortion and kidnapping.

Based in Michoacan, where it has infiltrated police ranks and city halls, the group has spread into neighboring Guerrero and Mexico states, as well as at least 30 U.S. towns and cities, including the Los Angeles area.

Moreno gave La Familia a patina of pseudo-religious, cultlike mystique. He carried a self-published "bible," recruited members at drug rehab centers and insisted that the group's traffickers and hit men lead lives free of drug or alcohol consumption. He cast himself and the cartel as protectors of Michoacan.

Moreno also had a bounty on his head of about $2 million, placed by the Mexican government. The charges listed on his wanted poster include drug trafficking in Mexico and the U.S., kidnapping and homicide. He was considered one of the two top leaders of La Familia.

The heaviest fighting this week in Michoacan took place around the town of Apatzingan, a La Familia stronghold, where Mexican marines and army troops backed by helicopters fanned out across the countryside, according to witnesses, and were pushing the offensive as late as Friday afternoon. If Moreno was indeed killed, La Familia could retaliate, a prospect that has set residents on edge.

"The situation is very critical," Apatzingan Mayor Genaro Guizar said by telephone. "There is hardly anyone on the streets, and traffic has stopped."

He sent city hall employees home early and told them to stay inside.

In the state capital, Morelia, businesses were shuttered Friday and parents kept their children home from school. On Thursday, gunmen forced motorists from their vehicles and set cars, trucks and buses on fire to block all roads leading into the capital. Parts of Morelia, a picturesque, colonial-era city once popular with tourists, were ringed with black smoke.

La Familia recently used banners and fliers to offer a truce and say it was ready to disband. The government ignored the offer, saying it showed the group was battered and in decline. But others in Michoacan viewed the offer as a ploy that foreshadowed a new offensive by the cartel.

"What we have witnessed in the last few days is the demonstration of a criminal organization repudiated by the public and that has found itself significantly weakened," Poire said. "That has been proved by its false calls for a truce."

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-mexico-drug-lord-20101211,0,3271149.story

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« Reply #2171 on: Dec 11th, 2010, 08:22am »

Telegraph

Anarchist groups threaten to target Royal Wedding.

Protest groups yesterday threatened to target the Royal Family and promised the riots that turned parts of central London into a battleground on Thursday were “just the beginning”.

By Andy Bloxham and Martin Evans
8:30AM GMT 11 Dec 2010

Groups of rioters said the worst was yet to come and warned of “many more assaults on royals [sic]”.

The organised groups are likely to be joined by the loose gangs of masked teenagers who were responsible for much of the violence and vandalism in Parliament Square.

The threats raise the spectre of a vicious circle of increasingly hardened rioters forcing the police into tougher action, which is used as a pretext for further violence.

According to the Daily Express, an internet campaign is already building to stage a major demonstration on Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding day. Websites linked to a range of groups have posted obscene messages about the couple while trying to combine a demo against the Royals with a May Day protest against big business.

One website says: “Royal Wedding marks the beginning of the end of capitalism.”

It says: “The weekend of the 29th April 2011 is the date that will mark the raising of consciousness of mainstream society and their subsequent thinking and debating a money-less world.”

Yesterday, a “vigil against police brutality” took place outside Charing Cross Hospital in support of Alfie Meadows, 20-year-old a philosophy student at Middlesex University,

Next Tuesday’s vote on tuition fees in the House of Lords is likely to become another focus of the protesters’ anger.

A wide range of organisations have mobilised their supporters into action in recent months and scores of splinter groups with varying political agendas were in evidence at the tuition fee protests on Thursday.

Among the more peaceful groups were Coalition of Resistance, which was launched by Tony Benn in August, which campaigns against the economic cuts in general; and Stop Fees and Cuts, which has similar aims.

However, others were more inclined to violence.

One was UK Uncut, a group campaigning against businesses accused of avoiding British tax.

Members of the organisation – which supports direct action – were successful in forcing Sir Philip Green’s flagship Topshop store to close last week.

Protestors claim the cuts being forced on the public sector would not need to be so harsh if large firms paid their full tax burden.

It is thought some of the demonstrators responsible for the attack on the car containing the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall were on their way towards the Oxford Street branch of Topshop when the incident occurred.

The Whitechapel Anarchist Group, which admitted being involved in trouble at the first demonstration at Millbank in November, promised the riots were “only the beginning”.

It threatened: “In order to win we need more violence on the streets. More smashed windows, more hospitalised coppers and many more assaults on royals.”

The praised every person who “landed a blow to a copper, a brick through a window or a dent in the car of the parasitic royals” as a “working class hero”.

The Socialist youth movement Revolution - some of whom stormed Millbank Tower - also urged its followers to take part.

Ahead of the demonstration, the group used its website to call for people to “shut down institutions, blockade and picket schools, colleges and universities”.

But among the anti-capitalist groups, the far left political organisations and anarchists was a large number of perhaps the most sinister individuals intent on hijacking the day and causing as much trouble as possible.

Gangs of teenage boys, most wearing balaclavas or scarves across their face, hid themselves among the students before forming groups of 20 or 30 once the police had sealed the area.

The youths, carrying weapons including hammers, attempted to lure other protesters into fights, systematically smashed windows of any building close by and burned anything flammable. Many students complained that they had been mugged or had their pockets picked.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: “Whenever a demonstration is planned, an appropriate policing plan will be put into action.”

A spokeswoman for the Royal family declined to comment.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/theroyalfamily/8194766/Anarchist-groups-threaten-to-target-Royal-Wedding.html

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« Reply #2172 on: Dec 11th, 2010, 08:27am »

Wired Danger Room

Video: Navy’s Mach 8 Railgun Obliterates Record
By Spencer Ackerman
December 10, 2010 | 6:45 pm
Categories: Navy




DAHLGREN, Virginia — There wasn’t much left of the 23-pound bullet, just a scalded piece of squat metal. That’s what happens when an enormous electromagnetic gun sends its ammo rocketing 5,500 feet in a single second.

The gun that fired the bullet is the Navy’s experimental railgun. The gun has no moving parts or propellants — just a king-sized burst of energy that sends a projectile flying. And today its parents at the Office of Naval Research sent 33 megajoules through it, setting a new world record and making it the most powerful railgun ever developed.

Reporters were invited to watch the test at the Dalghren Naval Surface Warfare Center. A tangle of two-inch thick coaxial cables hooked up to stacks of refrigerator-sized capacitors took five minutes to power juice into a gun the size of a schoolbus built in a warehouse. With a 1.5-million-ampere spark of light and a boom audible in a room 50 feet away, the bullet left the gun at a speed of Mach 8.

All that energy was “dump[ed] in 10 milliseconds,” says Charles Garrett, project manager at Dahlgren for the railgun.

But since there no explosion powering the projectile, why should the railgun have made any noise at all? Answer: the bullet went so fast it released a sonic boom.

Since 2005, the Navy has spent $211 million testing whether it can harness electromagnetic energy into a gun. The ultimate goal is to fire the gun at 64 megajoules, making it capable of sending a bullet 200 miles in six minutes. That’s 10 times farther than the Navy’s already-powerful guns can fire, keeping its ships far out of range of enemy anti-ship systems.

The Navy wants to put the railgun on a ship and power it through the ship’s batteries, something that’ll take years to develop. And since the gun’s power can be adjusted — it depends only on the batteries and the capacitors on board a ship, railgun scientists explained — it could theoretically be used to stop cruise missiles or even ballistic missiles.

That’s still a long way off. The Office of Science and Technology will keep running tests until 2017, largely for “thermal management,” says program manager Roger Ellis, basically to ensure that the materials used for the gun don’t get as fried as the bullet under the intense power generated. The Navy guesstimates that it’ll be ready for shipboard defense between 2020 and 2025.

Oh, and the last record holder for most powerful railgun? The same gun when it fired off a shot using 10.64 megajoules two years ago.

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/12/video-navys-mach-8-railgun-obliterates-record/

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« Reply #2173 on: Dec 11th, 2010, 08:34am »

Wired

Can you survive a jump from a building?
By Rhett Allain December 10, 2010 | 4:08 pm
Categories: Dot Physics, Science Blogs





Which one of these guys was the first to come up with this crazy idea. “I will give you 10 rubles if you jump off the building into the snow.” Really though, this seems so crazy – is it even real? First assumption is that it is indeed real. However, I can do a simple video analysis just to check. (of course using the best free video analysis tool – Tracker Video)


Nice try Russian video person. You tried to make it difficult to analyze this video, and I salute your efforts. The camera really moves around quite a bit. However, I am a master of Tracker Video. Here is a plot of the vertical motion of the first jumper. This is in distance units of 1 story.


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Is it real? Well, it looks like a constant acceleration of -4.86 stories/s2. If I assume this event takes place on Earth with a free-fall acceleration of -9.8 m/s2, I can determine the height of one story.


(my eyes are starting to water so the rest is after the jump)
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/12/can-you-survive-a-jump-from-a-building/

Crystal
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WingsofCrystal
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2174 on: Dec 11th, 2010, 08:36am »

Ugh! Math!
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
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