December 29, 2014: a windy day during the Australian summer. On a small country road in central Victoria, the storm batters trees looming over the passing vehicles, until the inevitable happens: "This is a great educational video showing the dangers of traveling in the bush during periods of high wind." Read the rest
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today said it is opening a preliminary investigation into 25,000 Tesla Model S cars, following the death of a driver who was killed using the vehicle's Autopilot mode.
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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
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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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 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
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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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.
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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
This occurred yesterday in Saudi Arabia, according to YouTube poster Mohamed Quetteineh. Read the rest
A technician was killed by a robot at a Volkswagen plant near Kassel, Germany.
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
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
from Russia's Progress 59 showed it spinning out of control in orbit, but the vessel fell into the sea far from human habitation
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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/
A whew-inducing collection of close calls captured on dash and helmet cams.
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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
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.
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