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NASA Tests Flying Airbag 118

coondoggie writes "NASA is looking to reduce the deadly impact of helicopter crashes on their pilots and passengers with what the agency calls a high-tech honeycomb airbag known as a deployable energy absorber. So in order to test out its technology NASA dropped a small helicopter from a height of 35 feet to see whether its deployable energy absorber, made up of an expandable honeycomb cushion, could handle the stress. The test crash hit the ground at about 54MPH at a 33 degree angle, what NASA called a relatively severe helicopter crash."

Comment Actually, I agree with Phil Jones. (Score 2, Informative) 1011

The facts do speak for themselves.

From the "HARRY_READ_ME.txt" file of the CRU emails, in the words of the CRU's own programmer, with page numbers annotated:

- "But what are all those monthly files? DON'T KNOW, UNDOCUMENTED. Wherever I look, there are data files, no info about what they are other than their names. And that's useless ..." (Page 17)

- "It's botch after botch after botch." (18)

- "The biggest immediate problem was the loss of an hour's edits to the program, when the network died ... no explanation from anyone, I hope it's not a return to last year's troubles ... This surely is the worst project I've ever attempted. Eeeek." (31)

- "Oh, GOD, if I could start this project again and actually argue the case for junking the inherited program suite." (37)

- "... this should all have been rewritten from scratch a year ago!" (45)

- "Am I the first person to attempt to get the CRU databases in working order?!!" (47)

- "As far as I can see, this renders the (weather) station counts totally meaningless." (57)

- "COBAR AIRPORT AWS (data from an Australian weather station) cannot start in 1962, it didn't open until 1993!" (71)

- "What the hell is supposed to happen here? Oh yeah -- there is no 'supposed,' I can make it up. So I have : - )" (98)

- "You can't imagine what this has cost me -- to actually allow the operator to assign false WMO (World Meteorological Organization) codes!! But what else is there in such situations? Especially when dealing with a 'Master' database of dubious provenance ..." (98)

- "So with a somewhat cynical shrug, I added the nuclear option -- to match every WMO possible, and turn the rest into new stations ... In other words what CRU usually do. It will allow bad databases to pass unnoticed, and good databases to become bad ..." (98-9)

- "OH F--- THIS. It's Sunday evening, I've worked all weekend, and just when I thought it was done, I'm hitting yet another problem that's based on the hopeless state of our databases." (241).

- "This whole project is SUCH A MESS ..." (266)

Comment I like the idea of citizens fighting crime... (Score 1) 419

...but spying on each other isn't the way to do it. If only there were an effective, compact, portable, widespread and personal means of deterring violent crime that could replace the oppressive omnipresence of the current CCTV-based system. It'd have to be small, light and easy-to-use, and also be easily concealable so the bad guys wouldn't know who's carrying the deterrence and who isn't.

Something like this might work. Too bad they're illegal in the country formerly known as Great Britain.

Comment Re:Well, to be fair, (Score 1) 746

I clicked off NPR and haven't turned it on since when I heard their "ace" war reporter describe a UH-60 Blackhawk as an "attack chopper", which is roughly equivalent to calling a Chevy Suburban a pickup truck. (A UH-60 is an assault helicopter designed to carry troops, an AH-64 Apache would be one example of an attack helicopter.)

All I ask from reporters is they show the same depth of knowledge about the stories they cover that sports reporters have of baseball. Understand the fundamentals, get the details right, and then I'll trust your reporting, otherwise, it seems like you're just making Q#$! up.

Which you are.

Comment Re:Some people fear guns like they fear bugs (Score 1, Interesting) 746

Whatever you think about gun control, you surely don't think they aren't dangerous.

Actually, I know for a proven, unmistakable fact that guns by and of themselves are not dangerous. I have two loaded handguns in my house right now, and two small children as well. The guns are safely locked away and my kids know about the Three Rules.

A gun is fundamentally an inanimate object and has no will and purpose of it's own. Guns by and of themselves are not dangerous: Guns in the hands of people who use them carelessly or for illegal uses are dangerous. It always amazes me that people who would recoil in horror at the thought of judging a person by their colour or appearance have no problem judging the intent of an inanimate object by it's colour and appearance.

Comment Well, to be fair, (Score 5, Informative) 746 doesn't look like an AK-47, but that's become the generic term for "semi-automatic rifle with detachable magazine", thanks in part to lazy reporters who don't know the 1st thing about firearms.

However, it does look like a whole lot like a Barrett .50 sniper rifle, so even I'd wonder if it was the real deal or not.

Comment Yep (Score 1) 148

Burn thru all their initial funding with little or nothing to show for it, then roll out something that's big on dreams and weak on funding, and then blame all your problems on your potential customers and not your busines plan.

Yep, sounds like a startup to me. Well, all except for step four, quietly fold up show and go away. That hasn't happened yet.


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