Archive for the ‘Awesome’ Category

Seven Awesome Facts Learned in the Planetary Resources Press Conference

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012
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One average asteroid, half the size of the conference room they made their announcement in, can contain enough resources to power every space flight in the history of the NASA space program

When asked during Q and A how many resources can be mined out of one astroid, that was the response from Peter Diamandis. They key is identifying the right ones and developing the right kind of tech to mine them.

Private industry can iterate faster and take bigger risks that are inappropriate for government

One investor made the point that if his neighbor was mortgaging his house to invest in Planetary Resources, it would be inappropriate. Which is why a private company and not a government underwater in trillions of dollars in debt is the right agent to make this kind of progress.

Much was said about the assembly line mentality, where no model or build of a Planetary Resources spacecraft will be revered beyond a necessary step to the right solution, better than the last but inferior to the next.

As we saw with the nostalgia and reverence we have for our public spaceflight tech, that is very rarely the case with NASA projects.

Finding resources like water are key to life support in space and refueling for longer journeys

Water is a tremendously expensive resources to get into space. But if one were to find the elements to create it amongst the stars and create it in orbit, it fundamentally changes the game.

The cost and complication of life support and long distance travel is changed forever, the closer this comes to reality.

The immediate future is identifying asteroids with prospecting spacecraft

The first Arkyd 100 spacecraft should launch sometime within 12 to 24 months. The goal will be to provide intelligent data on Earth bound asteroids and what they might contain.

Mining spacecraft is a priority in the next 10 years

Arkyd 200 and 300 units will focus on making contact with and the mining of the asteroids. Although the panel was loathe to give hard timetables, 10 years was mentioned as point by which they hope to mine and return resources.

Their team will be kept very small and move very fast

One of the few reasons Planetary Resources went public today was because they are currently trying to add engineering talent to their small Bellevue, WA based staff but couldn’t hope to do it quietly. They are very conscious of staff bloat.

Robots, not humans, are the future of asteroid mining for now

Humans are too expensive and not particularly necessary for the kind of prospecting they are looking to do. So any fear that we are getting into an Outland situation can be put on ice for a decade or so.

BONUS: Bad Astronomer Phil Plait spoke with Chief Engineer Chris Lewicki and has a great breakdown of the technical deets.

Also, just because this is the most excited anyone has been about prospecting since the gold rush, here is Will Ferrell’s legendary unaired Gus Chiggins sketch.

Silicon Valley Billionaire Starts Fund for Development of 6 Insane Projects

Friday, April 20th, 2012
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Peter Thiel has long been a heavy hitter in Silicon Valley. He was a co-founder and CEO of PayPal and made an early stage development in Facebook, even earning himself the “honor” of being portrayed in The Social Network film about the site’s founding.

But Thiel has bigger fish to fry. Fish like the creation of antimatter-based fuel. Or minting of artificial protein therapeutics. Of even the advancement of human cell reengineering.

All projects that are far too radical (as in improbable) to garner much money for serious research. Except for Thiel, who finds them much too radical (as in awesome) to not toss cash at.

His fund will be called Breakout Labs and it awarded six grants of $350,000 to the following companies.

3Scan: development of 3-D digital reconstruction of brain issue.
Arigos Biomedical: advanced organ cooling for long term storage
Immusoft: re-programming of immune cells
Inspirotec: identification and collection of any airborne toxin
Longevity Biotec: creation of therapeutic artificial protein technology
Positron Dynamics: production and collection of positron, could be used as fuel for space travel

The best part, the application process is open at Breakout. They will continue to award good money to insane causes until the future gets here.

[Kurzweil AI]

[Video] Jaw Dropping, Real Life Hover Bike

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012
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There are just some videos that you watch and realize, the future is not coming, it’s here. This is was one of those videos to me. Please, take a look at the Hover Bike. The full model an provide life of up to 10,000 feet.

A prototype will cost you just over $82,000 US dollars.

The video below features an RC Scale Model. It’s absolutely insane.

The best part of the website is that on the right sidebar it lists “applications” for the Hover Bike. They include Aerial Cattle mustering, Search and Rescue, Aerial Survey, Wildlife and Parks and other mundane tasks. As if you need a reason to have a Hover Bike. IT’S A FLIPPIN’ HOVER BIKE! The only applications they should list are: Being Awesome and Amazing Entrance To Random First Dates, Family Reunions & Proms.

[Hover Bike]

Well Perserved Wooly Mammoth Found, Can We Clone Him?

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

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A shockingly well preserved Wooly Mammoth has been found in the far flung regions of Siberia and it could lead to the future resurrection of the species. The six-month old animal died over 10,000 years ago. It’s eyes and trunk are were found preserved in the permafrost.

But back to the main question, how does this lead to us bringing back the fuzzy beasts of yore?

Some scientists hold out hope that well preserved sperm or other cells containing viable DNA could be used to resurrect the mammoth lineage.

Despite the inherent difficulties, Dr Agenbroad remains optimistic about the potential for cloning.

“When we got the Jarkov mammoth [found frozen in Taimyr, Siberia, in 1997], the geneticists told me: ‘if you can get us good DNA, we’ll have a baby mammoth for you in 22 months’,” he told BBC News.

The beast did not initially yield a sufficient DNA sample but is being sent to Japan for further study. Meanwhile, scientists fret that further finds could be tainted by a burgeoning new black market trade. Siberian scavengers, who used to simply sell the recovered from the ice have since begun selling mammoth parts found in the permafrost online. For example, mammoth hair sells for $50 an inch.

In other news, does anyone have $50.


By the Time You Read This, James Cameron Could Be at the Bottom of the Ocean

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

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It’s go time.

The man who directed the most successful film in movie history twice is about to embark on his greatest adventure yet. James Cameron will begin his descent into the Pacific Ocean, weather permitting, sometime this weekend.

His mission is to make it to the bottom of Challenger Deep, the lowest known point in the ocean. His submarine, a revolutionary vertical design, will attempt to sink to the bottom as fast as possible so he can spend six hours investigating. He will be the first ever human to see the depths with his own eyes, the only previous crew (aboard the Trieste in 1960) to make it that deep hit the bottom to hard and caused a silt storm bringing visibility down to zero.

Cameron will also bring along 3D cameras to make a documentary of his voyage.

Godspeed James.

[Nat Geo]

Paper Balloon Accident -> Fireworks Explosion -> Wild Applause in a 1:30 Video

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012
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What an awesome video of grand spectacle and awesomeness. A massive paper balloon launching goes awry which sets up hilarious consequences. Due to the crowd reaction, we are assuming no one was hurt. Enjoy.


Epic Violin Tribute to Legend of Zelda that Will Steal One of Your Heart Pieces

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

We really can’t say enough about this violin tribute to the many themes of Legend of Zelda as performed by the undulating Lindsey Stirling. Soaring vistas, sweeping renditions of nostalgia tugged melodies that would melt the heart of Ganondorf himself.

Also, we credit the whip smart number one YouTube comment to this post for the headline.

South Korean Soldiers Go Bug Nuts Insane for K-Pop Girl Band

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012
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South Korean military men find themselves all in a lather when female pop stars Girl’s Generation surprise them for an impromptu concert. We don’t have any information on where this took place, but you can’t deny that’s a toe tapper of a song choice.

Also, how many girls are in this group? 15? I think there are some that haven’t met each other yet.

[Washington Post]

The Future of Wheelchairs? Awesome Exoskeletons

Friday, January 6th, 2012

The future is now. Amazing exoskeletons will be sold to consumers with spinal cord injuries for training, under doctor supervision for now, how to walk upright with the help of the device.

Your job is to balance your upper body, shifting your weight as you plant a walking stick on the right; your physical therapist will then use a remote control to signal the left leg to step forward. In a later model, the walking sticks will have motion sensors that communicate with the legs, allowing the user to take complete control.

Take a look at this bad boy in motion below.

[Kurzweil AI]

Perry Bible Fellowship Creator Stars as Villainous Sheriff in Awesome Western Webseries

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Stargazin’: Trails Of Tarnation – Chapter 4 from New Picture Agencies on Vimeo.

Trails of Tarnation is a western serial shot on 16mm film in Upstate New York and using awesome model sets and green screen to tell an equal parts hilarious/effective frontier adventure story. In the newest installment, “Stargazin'”, they are joined by Perry Bible Fellowship mastermind Nicholas Gurewitch as a menacing sharp shooter with a high warbling voice and a very particular way of honoring his enemies.

Well worth your time.

[Trails of Tarnation]

They Live Needs To Be Remade Every Major Recession [Opinion]

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

John Carpenter’s 1988 SciFi action masterpiece They Live needs to be remade every recession. It’s not a request, it’s a demand. And I have a proposal on when exactly to do it.

We can tie the productions to unemployment numbers. Once they hit a certain point, let’s say 7%, the rights skitched-20111207-210138.jpgholders commission a draft. The original film was released in November of ’88 (5.4%) but the nation had just come out of a crippling recession which topped out at 10.4% in 1982. We were as high as 7% in July of 1986.

In the film, our homeless hero played by “Rowdy” Roddy Piper makes friends with Keith David while taking a day labor gig at a construction site. It’s through this relationship and the introduction of a friendly vagrant commune that the bedrock of the socioeconomic underpinnings of the story are forged.

Put simply: There is no work. Life sucks. Take what you can get and shut up about it.

In today’s era of 8.6% unemployment. It’s a relatable narrative. A Google Image search for “They Live reveals inspired illustrations of both recession presidents. And unlike most stories that attempt to gain sympathy based on the economic plight of the underclass, They Live has a very simple solution everyone can get behind.


Aliens are controlling the planet using subliminal mind control. They use this to hide in plain sight. The rich are getting richer because they are in league with the aliens. We need to break their mind control hold on the proletariat so we can ultimately rise up and kill the aliens.


Class warfare as a justification for violence crass, easy and polarizing to say the least. Human survival as a reason for lethal action is primal, awesome and unifying. Throw in some brilliant creature design and no one can feel bad about Hot Rod murdering random strangers at the drop of a hat. Perfect action premise.

Thankfully, there has been talk of a remake. Unfortunately, it’s rumored to be based specifically of the source material for Ray Neely’s short story 8 O’Clock In The Morning. This has caused quite a stir since producer Eric Newman, who remade Carpenter’s The Thing earlier this year, insinuated that it would not include the iconic glasses which allows our hero to see behind the mind control curtain. More troubling for me, the story also lacks the economic subplot that makes They Live so instantly lovable for a theater full of people that know multiple unemployed people or are themselves without a steady paycheck. It’s also not particularly good.

It would be missing the point. Like remaking The Thing and removing the “the alien could be any one of us” device by constantly separating the alien from our survivors. Oh wait.

According to my proposal, we should have been hiring writers in December of 2008 when the unemployment rate hit 7.3%. Let’s not continue to make this mistake.

They Live is currently available on Netflix Instant. Watch it.

Cartwheels! Shakespeare! Moonwalking! Example Show Is Netflix’s Original Original Content

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011


Netflix has made waves with their original programming pickups like House of Cards and Arrested Development, but either will have the honor of being the first original Netflix programming. Example Show is an avant guard tour de force featuring an unnamed protagonist doing gymnastics, running a model train and most notably giving a violent reading of a monologue from William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.

Just search for “Example Show” in Netflix.

Example Show actually a in-house production done by Netflix staff (presumably shot on campus) to test screen resolutions and streaming capabilities for various levels of audio and video fidelity. It’s also awesome.

We recommend everyone add it to their queue and demand a season two.


We’ve posted a poorly screen capped version of Julius Ceasar monologue (capped off by some awesome mouth pops) for those without Netflix. Thanks to Colleen Kelly for tipping us off to this.

Click AFTER THE JUMP to see a massive picture of this dude doing a cartwheel.


Jet Man Flying with Jets

Monday, November 28th, 2011

Our favorite crazy Swiss aeronaut, Yves Rossy, was at it again. This time flying in formation with two jets. How much more bad ass does it get?

Sources tell us that shortly after he landed, Nick Fury arrived on the scene to recruit him for some special initiative.

Fraking Toasters: Mitchell & Webb’s Hilarious Battlestar Galactica Parody

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

The crew of a human vessel under attack by robots that take human form deal with the stress. Specifically Colin.

Performed by the hilarious Mitchell and Webb.

And Now… A Rhino Suspended Upside Down From A Helicopter

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

Houdini was a hack.

The following photo comes from a new campaign by the World Wildlife Fund. In an effort to save endangered black rhinos from rampant poaching, the WWF is trying to expand their range. The problem? Getting the big lugs from one place to another.

Thankfully for fans of awesome things, the safest way is also the most hilarious. Workers sedate the beasts and hook their legs up to a waiting helicopter. They then transport them in a 10-minute flight before depositing the gigantic creatures in their new homes.

[Live Science]

Lego Man Washes Ashore

Friday, October 28th, 2011

A gigantic lego man has washed ashore in Siesta Key, Florida. Acording to Boing Boing, the 8-foot tall Lego traveller has previously washed ashore in Holland and England.

Welcome to America!

[Boing Boing]