Front-end loader pops a wheelie

From Modern Farmer's Jaw-Dropping Russian Tractor Videos collection, a front-end loader doing astounding, reverse-wheelies. Safety third!

Трактор акробат (via Kottke)

Portraits of Walmart's parking-lot nomads


Nolan Conway's photos of Walmart nomads document the lives of people who use Walmart's overnight-parking-friendly lots as places to camp on their way from A to B, or for the long haul. The communities that form there run the gamut from happy-go-lucky retirees to the slightly desperate and more than slightly desperate, and the portraits give a sense of camaraderie and community.

Meet the American Nomads of Walmart’s Plentiful Parking Lots [Jakob Schiller/Wired]

Smati Turtle: car made from scrap parts by Ghanian artisans and Dutch artists


The Smati Turtle 1 is an "African concept car" created by Dutch artist/researcher team Melle Smets and Joost van Onna, who worked with the artisinal car-makers of Suame Magazine, Ghana, to create a killer junker for the African market. Suame Magazine is a neighborhood full of people who take apart scrap cars and rebuild them for local markets, removing the difficult-to-maintain electronics, expanding the cargo areas. The Turtle 1 took three months to create, and had its test-drive inaugurated by the Ashanti king.

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Zippomobile!


This Zippomobile was created by Joe Griffin of Custom Upholstery in Memphis. He was commissioned by Zippo to reproduce the original 1947 Zippomobile, which toured all 48 states to promote the lighter in the post-war era. There were no plans from the original Zippomobile, built from a Chrysler New Yorkers Saratoga, so Griffin had to wing it, working with a second Saratoga and photos of the original.

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Scratch-built, thoroughly documented, working 1/4 scale V8 engine


An epic, two-year thread on the Home Model Engine Machinist boards documents Keith5700's astounding journey to scratch-build a working, 1/4 scale V8 engine. It's an insane read, as Mr 5700 discovers a lot of difficult things the hard way, while a community of teeny-thing machining enthusiasts cheer him on and offer advice, leading to triumph after triumph. The photos alone are worth clicking through all 35 screens (I've put some of the best after the jump).

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Lobstercycle made from discarded shells


Huang Mingbo, a Taiwanese food artist, made these lobstercycles out of discarded shells in 2011, for a cooking art show in Fuzhou, China.

Motorbike-shaped craftwork made of lobsters (3) (via Neatorama)

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Truckload of gas cylinders explodes 39 times

On a Russian highway, a truck filled with propane cylinders explodes 39 times, boom, boom, boom, each explosion more spectacular than the last.

Взрыв газели с балонами на МКАДе (via Kottke)

Engineered audio in cars


The sounds a modern car makes are deliberate, designed, and a deception: the clicking of the turn signal isn't a mechanical tick-tock; it's an MP3 of a mechanical tick-tock, played back through hidden speakers. The engine's rumble is tuned with active noise-cancelling that mutes the tones that jangle the ears.

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Colorado lawmakers' license plates exempt them from speed cams & parking tix

In an amazing coincidence, Colorado lawmakers ended up with license plates that didn't show up on speed cameras, meaning that they got to get away with thousands of dollars' worth of moving violations without ever paying fines. The DPW won't try to collect on the fines, because that would be hard.

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Whisper-thin gas-pump credit-card skimmers


A pair of crooks in Oklahoma made more than $400,000 with a whisper-thin gas-pump credit-card skimmer that they installed in Wal-Mart gas stations, using rental cars while they were doing the installation. Kevin Konstantinov and Elvin Alisuretove allegedly harvested their skimmers every two months or so, creating bogus credit cards with the data and then withdrawing cash at ATMs or sharing it with crooks in Russia and the former USSR. Brian Krebs details the technology, as well as a series of next-gen gas-pump skimmers that use tiny, unobtrusive Bluetooth bugs to harvest credit-card data.

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At VW's request, English court censors Usenix Security presentation on keyless entry systems for luxury cars


Flavio Garcia, a security researcher from the University of Birmingham has been ordered not to deliver an important paper at the Usenix Security conference by an English court. Garcia, along with colleagues from a Dutch university, had authored a paper showing the security failings of the keyless entry systems used by a variety of luxury cars. Volkswagon asked an English court for an injunction censoring his work -- which demonstrated their incompetence and the risk they'd exposed their customers to -- and Mr Justice Birss agreed.

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Beep Beep (his horn went beep beep beep)

Today's jam is "Beep Beep," by the Playmates, which charted in 1958 with the tragic tale of a Nash Rambler and a Cadillac locked in competition. I dare you to listen to this without bouncing in your seat -- and without humming it afterwards.

Beep Beep

Frankenstein rat-racer tee glows in the dark


Spotted at Comic-Con: Captainyolk's Big-Daddy-Roth-alike Frankstein-in-a-rat-racer tee. Glows in the dark! $25 on Etsy.

Frankenstein Hot Rod Glow in the Dark Tee Shirt

TSA orders airport valets to search parked cars

A woman who valet-parked her car at Rochester airport returned to find a notice informing her that the valet had searched her car, on orders from the TSA. The TSA does not search cars in the other garages, and they do not provide notice to valet parkers that their cars are subject to search. The TSA says it searches the parked cars because they are stored close enough to the terminal that a bomb could do serious damage.

John McCaffery, TSA, said, “No, those vehicles that are in the garage, short term long term parking, even if they carry pretty large amounts of explosives, they would not cause damage to the front of the airport. But for those who use the valet, the car could be there for a half hour or an hour so there is a vulnerability.”

News10NBC went to the valet parking and one of the attendants showed us the notice they put in the cars.

We asked, “You're required, they tell you, you have to search the car?” Valet Parking Attendant Frank Dettorre said, “I have to do it.”

My prediction: the TSA will erect a sign at the valet drop-off saying, "By valet parking, you agree that we can search your car." And that will be the end of it. Because in the 21st century, posting a notice of your unreasonable conduct is the same as getting consent for it.

TSA searches valet parked car [Berkeley Brean/WHEC.com]

Iron Orchid: tricked-out 1935 Ford coupe


Coop snapped this shot of the gorgeous "Iron Orchid," a masterfully decorated 1935 Ford 5 Window Coupe, built by Dave Shuten of Galpin Auto Sports. I don't give a darn about cars, but this one? Hubba hubba. (here's another view).

The Iron Orchid, built by Dave Shuten.