Attempt to crush book with hydraulic press goes awry

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An operator of a powerful hydraulic press has achieved some fame of late crushing various mundane objects (such as Barbie), but the press almost met its match in the form of an English-Finnish dictionary: "Book exploded very well." Read the rest

Mirrored headboard becomes 'big magnifying glass' and burns down home carport

A mirrored headboard started a carport fire in Fresno, fire officials said. (Fresno FD)

In what the Los Angeles Times reports was a 'freak event' at a Fresno home last Sunday, sunlight bouncing off of a mirrored headboard discarded in the back of a home magnified the sun's rays and started a fire that burned down the family carport.

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Crane collapse kills one in New York City

A huge crane toppled in New York City this morning, killing someone in a parked car and injuring several others. CBS reports that high winds were blamed for the collapse. Read the rest

Here's what it's like to drive off a cliff

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Here's a fellow who lost control while driving too fast on the Angeles Crest Highway in Southern California, and drove off a cliff.

He survived. His dashcam recorded the entire experience. Read the rest

Cable caught in street sweeper causes bizarre car accident

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In China, a cable got snarled in the rotating broom of a street sweeper. A reddit user who understands Mandarin explained what happened in more detail:

A telephone pole was being installed. There was a steel cable that was coiled on the road that (they believed) should have been no problem for cars going over it. The street sweeper truck on the right went over it and wound up the cable in the rotating cleaner. The other end of the cable was attached to the pole on the left of the video. The cable was brought taut and caused all that damage to the trucks and car.

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Backpacker with GoPro falls off suspension bridge

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This is a scary video. It's a first-person video of a French guy hiking with other backpackers in New Zealand. When they go across a suspension bridge a cable snaps, and one or more of hikers fall off. Fortunately, there's water 25 feet below and there were no serious injuries. [via] Read the rest

Man dies after being run over by WWII tank on Jelly Belly chairman's property

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The LA Times reports that on Saturday "the husband of Jelly Belly’s chief executive accidentally crushed a man to death with a World War II-era tank during a reunion on the family’s property in Fairfield, Calif." Read the rest

Watch this dump truck, with its dump bed raised, smash through highway signs

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This occurred yesterday in Saudi Arabia, according to YouTube poster Mohamed Quetteineh. Read the rest

Robot kills worker at Volkswagen factory in Germany

Robots work on vehicles on the production line during assembly at Volkswagen AG's Seat automobile plant in Martorell, Spain. [Reuters]
A technician was killed by a robot at a Volkswagen plant near Kassel, Germany.

Driver runs into motorcyclist who scolded him about using phone

In March, motorcyclist Samuel Ayres stopped at a red light and noticed a driver using a phone. He told the driver, "Put down your fucking phone. You're in your car." The driver apparently did not appreciate the advice so he followed Ayres, sideswiped him and knocked him off his motorcycle, and drove away. Ayers is soliciting donations to pay for the resulting bills. Read the rest

Will in-car HUDs make the roads hell?

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Dashboard-mounted cameras provide a world of youtube schadenfreude—bad drivers and insurance fraudsters getting their public comeuppance—but also come wedded to the promise of safety and security from those things. But what about the guy constantly fiddling with it?

And dashcams are just the beginning of the technological feast glowing away at driver's eye level: GPS navigation systems, entertainment consoles, and now elaborate heads-up displays threaten to keep our eyes on high-tech gadgets rather than the highway.

At The New York Times, Matt Richtel looks at the most impressive HUD yet, from Navady, as well as what's cooking from usual suspects such as Google.

This technology is in its infancy. Navdy’s device isn’t shipping until later this year, and it’s not clear if it will work as seamlessly as presented in the video when used in less perfect real-life conditions. But, broadly speaking, the Navdy device falls into a booming category of in-car gadgetry that might be fairly categorized as “you can have your cake and eat it too.” Drive, get texts, talk on the phone, even interact on social media, and do it all without compromising safety, according to various makers of the so-called head-up displays, repeating a position taken by a growing number of automakers who sell monitors set into the dashboard or mounted on it. Some carmakers also display basic driving information, like speed and turn-by-turn directions, within a specialized windshield so a driver can remain looking ahead and not down at the instrument panel.

Psychologists hate this. Read the rest

Spinning Russian spaceship ditches in Pacific

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Alarming footage from Russia's Progress 59 showed it spinning out of control in orbit, but the vessel fell into the sea far from human habitation.

The Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) reports the Progress 59 cargo craft reentered the Earth’s atmosphere at 10:04 p.m. EDT over the central Pacific Ocean.

The spacecraft was not carrying any supplies critical for the United States Operating Segment (USOS) of the station, and the break up and reenty of the Progress posed no threat to the ISS crew. Both the Russian and USOS segments of the station continue to operate normally and are adequately supplied well beyond the next planned resupply flight.

Roscosmos statement: http://www.federalspace.ru/21474/

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Video: very close calls

A whew-inducing collection of close calls captured on dash and helmet cams. Read the rest

Man survives chainsaw in the neck (X-ray!)

This X-ray shows the chainsaw that was embedded in the neck of James Valentine, 21, of Gibsonia, Pennsylvania, when he arrived at the hospital on Monday. After delicate surgery and just thirty stitches, he's now walking around and talking. Valentine said he was at work cutting trees when the chainsaw "kicked back" into his neck. The chainsaw stopped about 1/4 of an inch from the carotid artery that brings oxygenated blood to the head. His coworkers held the blade in place until medics took over. (CNN) Read the rest

True tales of a laboratory safety officer

Science journalist John Rennie is an amazing story teller. In this recording from Story Collider, he explains how he became the lab safety officer in his post-undergrad biology laboratory in the early 1980s (it involves being the only person who was concerned when other people started scooping up mercury with their bare hands). The peak of his experience: The day he stuck his arm, up past the elbow, into a barrel of liquid nitrogen. Good times.

Audio link Read the rest

How do you get a water leak in a spacesuit helmet?

Astronaut Luca Parmitano had to cut short his spacewalk yesterday, after his helmet flooded with more than a liter of water. How's that happen? Initially, Parmitano suspected a leak in his 32 oz. drink bag, which is fitted into the front of the suit and connects to the helmet via a tube and built-in drinking valve, writes Thomas Jones at Popular Mechanics. But the actual culprit is likely to be the suit's cooling system — a series of water-filled tubes that run all around the astronaut's body. Read the rest

Great moments in pedantry: Canada puts the wrong maple leaf on its $20 bill

Hey, that's not a Canadian sugar maple leaf! That is very clearly the leaf of the invasive Norway maple. Read the rest

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