A new online CD-swapping service supports musicians and offers bargain music buys
By Joe BrownPosted 03.29.2006 at 2:00 am 1 Comment
Remember the used-record store? The racks were made of dirty white particleboard, the signs were handwritten in red permanent marker, and the bald guy with the lip piercing behind the counter played in your cousin´s band. You could find almost anything there, usually for around $6. Music megastores and Web sites put these places out of business, and even if you can get just as good a deal buying a CD off eBay, you don´t get the music community that came part and parcel with your local punk-rocker-run music shop. And obscure titles are getting harder and harder to find in CD form.
Built to deliver and support Navy SEAL operations, this high-tech carbon-fiber craft is both beautiful and deadly smart. Get a closer look at the military's floating feat of engineering with this exclusive image gallery.
Apparently, this is oxymoron day. Healthy bacon. Silent snowmobiles... What's next—eco-friendly bombs? Well, sort of: Scientists have developed a novel substance that will blow things up without scattering the surrounding terrain with poisonous lead. Called nitrotetrazole, the chemical is good for use as a primary explosive—the highly sensitive, low-power compounds that set off ultra-powerful high explosives. Even better, the compound is inert when wet but recovers all its explosive punch once it dries out again. —Martha Harbison
These films arent quite silent, but theyre about as close as you can get for videos of snowmobiles. They star the competitors from the 2006 Clean Snowmobile Challenge, sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers in the snowy plains of Michigan. Teams from 15 colleges tricked out stock snowmobiles to cut back on noise and emissions. The resulting sleds got the green light from the National Science Foundation, which will drive the winner on a research trip to the sensitive ecosystem of Greenlands polar ice cap. But speaking as someone who recently got snowed in at the Detroit airport, Id rather keep one of these on hand in Michigan. —Lauren Aaronson
Its possible to stumble upon NASAs Web site via a random link only to emerge two hours later with a new ultra-high-resolution satellite image of Mt. Vesuvius for your computers desktop and a close familiarity with the inner workings of the Orion Nebula.
Proving that the stream of free space-related goodies is seemingly without end, NASA has made available a Mars Sunclock, a tool that tracks the current time of day on different parts of the red planet. Mars days (called "sols") are only 39 minutes and 35 seconds longer than Earth days, and the planets 25-degree tilt on its axis results in an Earth-like progression of the seasons. With the Sunclock, you can plot the location of the ailing Spirit and the still-functioningOpportunity rovers, as well as several other Martian landmarks, in relation to the time of sol on Mars.
Its true, you dont need the giant Vesuvius image, and you certainly dont need to know whether it is day or night in the Valles Marineris on Mars (its the middle of the night, as of this posting). But as is the common rationale to all of the cool freebies NASA has to give: Why not? —John Mahoney
Link (also, check out a similar Sunclock application for Saturns moon Titan here).
I never thought Id live to see the day: heart-friendly bacon. (Did the world just implode?) Scientists have created transgenic pigs that express omega-3 fatty acids—compounds that help reduce heart disease—in their bodies. I think this calls for a second breakfast. —Martha Harbison
Electroplating makes bumpers shiny and rustproof. It also makes these beautiful bits of industrial waste
By Theodore GrayPosted 03.28.2006 at 2:00 am 1 Comment
Plating at Home Cost: $30 Easy | | | | | Hard
You may not want to rechrome a '57 Chevy, but you can coat small objects using kits designed for plating jewelry. This $30 plating pen (pmcsupply.com) uses electricity the same as the bumper factory does, just with a couple AA batteries instead of a car-size transformer.
Museums arent just for ancient artifacts—theyre also for blogs, wikis and podcasts. The Dana Centre at Londons Science Museum electrifies itself this week with a festival of do-it-yourself media. Researchers and artists will lead workshops (BYO laptop) showing novices how to mix their own digital music or use open-source publishing tools. Attendees will learn more about their newfound power at evening lectures on copyright protection, online communities and the like. Please, someone buy a ticket to London so that you can report back on what Robotic Feral Public Authoring is. —Lauren Aaronson
Missile-jamming lasers and â€œrefuse to crashâ€ software are ready to fly on civilian aircraft
By Tom LeComptePosted 03.27.2006 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
Nearly five years after September 11, the airline industry is finally adopting new in-flight technologies to keep planes safe from terrorists. With $110 million in grant money from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Aviation Administration is currently in the process of certifying two antimissile systems designed for commercial airliners. The technology uses infrared sensors to detect and track incoming missiles, then fires a laser beam to jam a heat-seeking missile´s infrared guidance system.
Dot-com thrillionaire Elon Musk and his company SpaceX of California suffered a painful setback today when their low-cost rocket Falcon I was lost somewhere over the Pacific Ocean just seconds after its maiden launch from Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. Musk, the founder and former owner of PayPal, aspires to build a new generation of affordable transportation to space. "We want to be the Southwest Airlines of space launches," he told PopSci in 2004.
The $6.7 million launch vehicle, which was carrying a U.S. Air Force FalconSat-2 satellite, cost roughly two-thirds less than satellite-launching rockets made by big-name competitors like Boeing and Lockheed Martin.
SpaceX has not yet reported the cause of the failure; check out their website for the latest updates. —Nicole Dyer