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Australia

Drone Racing Poised To Go Mainstream 98

New submitter Strepto writes: Using video cameras and special goggles or screens, First Person View has been a thing in the RC world for a while. In the last couple of years though, mini quadcopters have taken things to a whole new level, and the inevitable racing has begun to happen with these incredibly quick and agile little machines.

A recent event in Melbourne, Australia, was covered by various media including the ABC, Gizmag and Mashable. Our little media race (first and last place videos here) went down well, but there are still a number of regulatory barriers to jump in Australia and overseas. It's hard to judge public perception though. I was just wondering what the Slashdot crew thinks about this; does it look dangerous, irresponsible or just plain cool? What do you think the future holds?
News

American Pharoah Overcomes Biology To Win Triple Crown 212

HughPickens.com writes: There are good reasons it's been 37 years since the last triple-crown winner. As Lexi Pandell writes, post-race recovery is no joke for a thousand-pound animal that can run more than 40 miles per hour. There are two weeks between the Derby and the Preakness, and three weeks between the Preakness and the Belmont. That tight schedule—and the super-specific needs of racehorses—means horses competing in the grueling back-to-back-to-back Triple Crown races have a big disadvantage against fresh horses. First, as a horse races, its muscles produce lactic acid. In humans, glycogen recoup takes about 24 hours. But horses take several days to process lactic acid and restore glycogen reserves. Trainers make sure their charges drink plenty of water and sometimes even use intravenous fluids to aid that repair process. Secondly, in addition to being the last race of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes is also the longest. When a horse runs a tough race (or has a new workout at a longer distance), its muscles break down. Then, during rest, they reknit and adapt. A horse that has skipped the Preakness, however, has the luxury of time. Mubtaahij, who some picked to win the Belmont, had plenty of rest so he could be pushed for hard workouts two weeks prior to the Belmont.

Finally, at different points in its stride, a galloping horse puts all its weight on a single leg. That limb bears three times more weight than usual when galloping on a straightaway and, thanks to centrifugal force, a load five to 10 times greater on turns. This translates to skeletal microdamage. Race a horse during that critical period and you increase the risk of serious injuries mid-race. Two weeks ago, vets were forced to euthanize the promising gray thoroughbred filly, Eight Belles, when she collapsed on the track after completing the race at Churchill Downs, suffering from two shattered ankles in her front legs. A fresh horse won't face any of those problems. Even a horse that ran in the Derby but skipped the Preakness will have five weeks to rest, and plenty of time for normal skeletal damage to repair, before the Belmont. "So, American Pharoah, it'd be awesome if you win the Triple Crown, but you probably won't," concluded Pandell. "It's not your fault. It's science and those pesky fresh horses." Science was wrong.
Image

CmdrTaco Watches Atlantis Liftoff Screenshot-sm 130

When someone offers you the once in a lifetime chance to see something as historic as the final Space Shuttle Flight: You go. As a child I assembled a puzzle of the Challenger illuminated by those bright xenon lights, and dreamt of space flight. And last week I went to see the last launch the world will ever see of a Space Shuttle. Atlantis. STS-135. What follows is the story of my brief stay at the Kennedy Space Center.

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