Some upbeat reading for your coffee and donut time.
A couple of weeks ago, I read Blind Descent, a book about speleologists exploring the some of the deepest caves* on Earth. One of the things that struck me about the story was just how frequently potentially deadly accidents happened. Towards the end, it got to the point where somebody was cheating the Reaper every other page or so. But, really, that's kind of the whole deal with deep cave exploration—when the surface is a multi-day trek away, through constricting passages and up sheer cliffs, just about any injury can quickly become life-threatening.
In fact, author James Tabor was able to come up with a list of 52 different ways deep caving could kill you—and that's with lumping all "incapacitating injuries" into one entry.
*"Deep" in this case means depth from top to bottom of the cave, not depth below sea level. These were journeys into the Earth, but they tended to start up a mountain and end at the bottom of a river valley, rather than in the land of the mole-people. That distinction confused me through the first few chapters, and left me still wanting to know about caves that go deep below the surface of the Earth, as opposed to caves that are just deep.
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I’ve had quite a few fun afternoons playing with dry ice from making spooky fog in the kitchen to exploding plastic bottles in the yard. But I’ve never had the opportunity to pour hot lava over dry ice. In this video, the lava is 1400 °C and the dry ice is -78C°. So cool! And […]
A Boston University team have developed an acoustic, 3D-printed metamaterial whose topology is such that it reflects 94% of human-audible sound; the researchers' demonstration involves inserting a ring of this stuff in a PVC pipe and blasting a speaker down one end: light and air emerges from the other end, but sound does not.
Despite government legislation and improving caller ID technology, robocalls and scam artists are rampant on the phone lines – up to 35 billion a year in the US alone. They can be annoying at best and a financial threat at worst, but there’s a way to take security into your own hands. One good example […]
If you’re a Mac user, you thrive on simplicity. Everything in its place and a place for everything. Unsurprisingly, there’s a ton of great organizational apps out there for Mac, and now someone’s had the great idea to bundle them all together. Whether you’re running a demanding business or just getting through the day to […]
Seems like drones are doing a lot of jobs these days, from reconnaissance to delivery. Now, we can add “keeping the Death Star safe” to that list. Whether you’re a drone enthusiast or a Star Wars fan, these Star Wars Propel Drones are undeniably the coolest toy around. Yes, that’s a fully functional drone replica […]