tech e blog

Russian Screw-Propelled Vehicle

The ZIL-2906 was basically designed to recover re-entered space capsules from the Soyuz mission, from difficult terrain. It was carried on the back of a ZIL-4906, which had a top speed of 80 kilometres per hour (50 mph), until it reached terrain impassable for the 4906. At this point it would be unloaded and resume the search. Powered by two 77-horsepower VAZ engines, each driving one of the screws, the direction of rotation was controlled with two levers on the left / right sides of the central driver's seat - steering was done by pressing one of the two foot brakes. Continue reading for another video and more pictures.

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Real Time Traveler Photo

Not just any time traveler, this one has been dubbed the "Time Traveling Hipster" by internet users. The image in question shows a mysterious man photographed in 1940 wearing what seems to be modern-day clothing and carrying a camera. While the identities of photographer and subjects depicted in the image are unknown, the location and year was noted on the back of the photograph: "Reopening of the South Fork Bridge after flood in Nov. 1940. 1941 (?)". The image belongs to the virtual collection of the Bralorne Pioneer Museum in British Columbia, Canada. Continue reading for more fascinating historical photographs.

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First Version Everyday Things

Steven Sasson as an engineer at Eastman Kodak invented and built the first electronic camera using a charge-coupled device image sensor in 1975. Earlier ones used a camera tube; later ones digitized the signal. Early uses were mainly military and scientific; followed by medical and news applications. However, the history of the digital camera dates back to 1961 with Eugene F. Lally of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who when he wasn't coming up with ways to create artificial gravity was thinking about how to use a mosaic photosensor to capture digital images. His idea was to take pictures of the planets and stars while travelling through space to give information about the astronauts' position. Unfortunately, as with Texas Instrument employee Willis Adcock's filmless camera (US patent 4,057,830) in 1972, the technology had yet to catch up with the concept. Click here to view the first image in this week's WINS gallery. Continue reading for a viral video of a working V6 engine made entirely from paper.

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Russian Submarine

Photo credit: English Russia

Believe it or not, this is what submarines used to look like, and while not pretty, they served their purpose well. This particular specimen was used during 1721 in Russia, the time of Peter the Great. Called "a hidden vessel," the submarine was tested near St. Petersburg in the presence of the emperor himself. Today, Sestroretsk is now a big resort. Click here to view the first image in this week's funny work pictures gallery. Continue reading for a viral video of a tiny Taekwondo msater breaking a board.

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Lost Egyptian City of Thonis-Heracleion

Heracleion, also known as Thonis, was basically an ancient Egyptian city near Alexandria whose ruins are located in Abu Qir Bay, currently 2.5 km off the coast, under 10 m (30 ft) of water. Its legendary beginnings go back to as early as the 12th century BC, and it is mentioned by ancient Greek historians. During the waning days of the Pharaohs - the late period, it was Egypt's main port for international trade and collection of taxes. Continue reading for more cool photos.

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Erkanoplan Russian Ship-Tank-Plane

Here's a rare look at the Lun-class ekranoplan, which is a ground effect vehicle (GEV) designed by Rostislav Evgenievich Alexeyev and used by the Soviet and Russian navies from 1987 until sometime in the late 1990s. It flew using the lift generated by the ground effect of its large wings when they were close to the surface of the water - about 4-meters to be exact. While they might look similar and have related technical characteristics, ekranoplans, such as the Lun, are not aircraft, seaplanes, hovercraft, or hydrofoils - ground effect is a separate technology altogether. Continue reading for a longer video of this craft in-action and more information.

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Old Hard Drive 1950s IBM

Hard drives with massive storage capacities are getting smaller, but back in 1956, it was an entirely different story. Introduced by IBM in 1956, HDDs became the dominant secondary storage device for general-purpose computers by the early 1960s. Assembled with covers, the 350 was 60 inches long, 68 inches high and 29 inches deep. It was configured with 50 magnetic disks containing 50,000 sectors, each of which held 100 alphanumeric characters, for a capacity of 5 million characters. Disks rotated at 1,200 rpm, tracks (20 to the inch) were recorded at up to 100 bits per inch, and typical head-to-disk spacing was 800 micro-inches. Continue reading for more interesting photos.

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Lamborghini Marzal

If DeLorean and Lamborghini made a car, it would probably be the Marzal, which made its official debut at the 1967 Geneva Motor Show. Designed by Marcello Gandini of Bertone, it was created to supply Ferruccio Lamborghini with a true four-seater car for his lineup which already included the 400GT 2+2 and the Miura. Continue reading for five cool and unusual things you may not have known about this stylish supercar.

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Ford GT90

You've probably heard of the Ford GT / GT 40, now here's a rare look at the GT90. It was first unveiled in January 1995 at the Detroit Auto Show as "the world's mightiest supercar". It's powered by a quad-turbocharged 720hp V12 engine, mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox, enabling it to hit a top speed of 235mph. The exhaust, which was claimed to be hot enough to damage the body panels, required ceramic tiles similar to those on the Space Shuttle to keep the car from melting. Continue reading for two videos, including a Top Gear test by Jeremy Clarkson, and more information.

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Swiss Watch Chinese Tomb 400-Year-Old Time Travel

Archaeologists were perplexed after finding a 100-year-old Swiss watch in an ancient Ming dynasty tomb that was sealed more than 400 years in Shangsi, southern China, since its occupant's funeral. That's right, they uncovered a miniature watch in the shape of a ring marked 'Swiss' that is thought to be just a century old. It was encrusted in mud and rock and had stopped at 10:06 am. Watches were not around at the time of the Ming Dynasty and Switzerland was not even a country, an expert pointed out. Continue reading for more interesting historical artifacts.

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