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Archive for the ‘Cool n Fun’ Category

Hot Wheels nails big boy world record corkscrew jump

September 14th, 2012

Hot Wheels nails big boy world record corkscrew jump

If you’re anything like us (adult men with a love of cars, reasonable amounts of disposable income and way too much time on our hands during the day) you might have anywhere from five to 500 feet of orange Hot Wheels track in your basement. If you do, you’ve likely twisted, suspended, stapled and/or taped that track around your living quarters, trying to make tiny cars do amazingly sweet tricks.

What you haven’t done, nor we, is ramp up (heh) the whole business to life-size scale. That’s why the good folks at the Hot Wheels Test Facility have jobs we suppose – where else would we get videos like the one below?

A huge Hot Wheels track, a pretty wild-looking dune buggy and driver Brent Fletcher flying 92 feet in a corkscrewing fashion to claim a world record… it all sounds like a pretty great day job to our inner 10-year-old selves. We’ll shut up now and let you watch the video below the fold.

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German crosswalk lets opposing pedestrians play Pong

September 13th, 2012

German crosswalk lets opposing pedestrians play Pong

Students Sandro Engel and Holger Michel at HAWK University in Germany created a project bringing social media to the crosswalk. Instead of simply waiting among the zoned-out hordes for the light to change, two lucky walkers could compete against one another in a game of pong on the crosswalk controller.

The catch: it isn’t real. Using a small green screen on the yellow box, the entire interaction was created using visual effects. We still give them full marks for the idea, though. You can check it out in the video below.

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Drivable Lego go-kart is slow but awesome

September 12th, 2012

Drivable Lego go-kart is slow but awesome

Yeah, yeah, you liked to build with Lego bricks when you were a kid. But could you build a go-kart large enough and sturdy enough to carry your own weight? Don’t answer yet. Could you then make this monster kart actually move under its own power, albeit slowly, like the real thing? We thought not, hotshot.

Mind you, it seems as though the adult in this video – a Dutchman by the name of Eric Steenstra – is running the show, and likely the build. The go kart (dubbed “Le-GoKart” on Steenstra’s tumblr page) makes use of 48 Lego Mindstorms NXT motors and 16 NXT battery packs, has working headlights and taillights and can support the weight of a 222-pound adult man. It is constructed exclusively from Lego parts, too – no cheating.

Forget the fact that the kart is so slow with a child piloting it that an area rug substantially slows it down, and simply enjoy the videoed madness, below.

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Modder builds $150 open-source thermal imaging camera to help insulate his house

September 4th, 2012

Modder builds $150 open-source thermal imaging camera to help insulate his house

Modder Andy Rawson thinks he’s found the secret to turning smartphones into super-cheap thermal imaging hardware. Inspired by his quest to find leaks in his old home and the high cost of professional gear, he set about building his own. A 64-zone temperature sensor connects to his iPhone via the dock, overlaying the data onto his camera display. He’s planning to open-source the $150 hardware, and an Android variant of the hardware is currently in the works — although details for both are currently thin on the ground, you can see his announcement video after the break. Read more…

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seDUCATIve vs. MANigale – When guys are up for modelling Part 2

September 3rd, 2012

seDUCATIve vs. MANigale – When guys are up for modelling Part 2

Who here is a big fan of the “girl on a bike” trope that seems so ever-present in the motorcycle world? Yeah, if I regularly dedicated our post list to a few scantily clad women it would probably do wonders to our pageviews report, but oh well.

In case you didn’t know, if you really need some eye candy of the opposite sex, there are plenty of other websites on the internet that can suit your desires.

So, when we saw Portland-based Ducati dealer MotoCorsa do a photo shoot with a lovely lady named Kylie and a Ducati 1199 Panigale, we passed on running the photos. Then something interesting happened: MotoCorsa did a follow-up photo shoot, this time with men from around the shop, recreating the shots from the photo shoot with Kylie. Perhaps not the most flattering photos we’ve ever seen, it is however a delicious role-reversal, not to mention showing some good humor from the gentlemen involved.

Apparently a successful ad campaign in the motorcycle industry doesn’t have to be all Miracle Bras and ass cheeks…well, at least not in the traditional sense. Who knew? Read more…

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Mind The Skid Marks: Toto toilet company unveils poo-powered motorcycle

August 29th, 2012

Mind The Skid Marks: Toto toilet company unveils poo-powered motorcycle

Yes, this sounds like something straight out of the The Onion, but it appears to be the real deal. Toto Ltd., a Japanese toilet company, has apparently constructed a highly efficient motorcycle that runs on, well, excrement. The project, which has been ongoing since 2009 called “Toilet Bike Neo,” made its debut on Thursday in a Fujisawa showroom.

The basis is a three-wheeled, 250cc trike, with a specially built toilet as the seat. It’s important to note that the contraption does not run on the rider’s (*ahem*) leavings. Rather, the vehicle runs on livestock waste, or waste water. The toilet-derived seat is just a rather blatant advertising device.

According to a Metro UK report, the bike “runs on biogas fuel (fertilized, purified and compressed livestock waste and household waste water) provided by the Shika-oi Town in Hokkaido and Kobe city.”

This puts Toto at the front of the clean vehicle initiative in the Japanese market. The report says this vehicle could very well spawn a production model (we’re guessing it wouldn’t include the toilet seating), but there’s no word yet on production timing or price for the poo-burning hog.

SOURCE via Metro UK

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Did a California company just perfect hover bike technology?

August 23rd, 2012

Did a California company just perfect hover bike technology?

Will we soon be commuting on real-life hovercraft soon? It depends on what you mean by “soon,” “commuting” and “real-life.”

Aerofex has released video showing its two-rotor, one-manned vehicle lifting off the ground, negotiating turns and landing.

But Gizmag says the most amazing claim from Aerofex concerns the tandem duct vehicle’s guidance system. The company says its prototype uses no flight software or electronics of any kind to give the “pilot” complete control over pitch, roll and yaw. The gadget site, though, isn’t totally convinced, stating the videos “appear to show successful test flights.” The italics are Gizmag’s.

Watching the video, it’s hard not to be impressed by how well the prototype seems to work. It’s also not hard to notice the complete lack of sound, leading us to believe the hover bike is a long way from cruising down Main Street. Watch the silent test flight video below.

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Amateur archaeologist finds possible pyramids using Google Earth

August 15th, 2012

Amateur archaeologist finds possible pyramids using Google Earth

While most Google Earth hobbyists are satisfied with a bit of snapping and geotagging, some have far loftier ambitions. Satellite archaeologist Angela Micol thinks she’s discovered the locations of some of Egypt’s lost pyramids, buried for centuries under the earth, including a three-in-a-line arrangement similar to those on the Giza Plateau. Egyptologists have already confirmed that the secret locations are undiscovered, so now it’s down to scientists in the field to determine if it’s worth calling the diggers in.

SOURCE via Google Earth

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Here’s Mini’s R/C Cooper in action at the Olympics

August 8th, 2012

Here's Mini's R/C Cooper in action at the Olympics

There were requests from all around to see video of the electric “Mini MINI” radio-controlled cars that are being used to retrieve javelins, hammers, shots and discus’ (disci?) at the London Olympics, and here it is.

The Olympic-liveried electric Cooper hatchbacks in roughly 1/4-scale ply the infield grass. The couriers are loaded up by judges in the field, who slot the particular sporting implements into holders built into the roofs, then the cars are driven back to the judges near the throwing area for retrieval.

Based on how many comments on the Mini R/C cars we’ve seen that are some variation of “Do want,” we wouldn’t be surprised to see these again somewhere else. You can watch them work in the videos below.

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WiFi-Extending Robot is built like a tank!

August 7th, 2012

Need for Speed Hot Pursuit

It’s a fairly menacing sight, an aluminum robot sporting big tank treads — that is, until you watch one of its creators do a handstand on top of the thing in a pair of cargo shorts. And really, while the ‘bot wouldn’t look too out of place with a small machine gun strapped to its front, its intentions are peaceful, seeking to extend the WiFi connections to hazardous places lacking in network infrastructure. The project was known only last week, when the team of computer and electrical engineers at Northeastern University that created it first revealed their work to the media.

After the limited machining resources at Northeastern failed to meet their needs, the students found a home at Artisan’s Asylum, where they learned the skills necessary to put together this ambitious project, utilizing classes and the metal shop provided by the space. The result is an impressive sight, a robot capable of climbing stairs and supporting the weight of two adult humans — the latter of which they happily demonstrated for us in a yet-to-be-occupied new wing at Artisan’s.

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