tech e blog

Aerial Refueling F-22

While the F-22 Raptor capable of carrying its air-to-air and air-to-ground weaponry in its internal weapons bays, the aircraft relies on regular fuel tanks for increasing range. These are normally carried during peacetime operations, but in major conflict zones, like Syria, where stealth-tactics are a must, the F-22 flies with no external loads. This is why they are required to be refueled mid-air by tankers several times to be able to fly for 6-7 hours continuously after dropping ordnance. Continue reading for more cool facts about air-to-air refueling.

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Light Pillar

A light pillar may look other worldly or a digital enhancement, but it's a natural atmospheric optical phenomenon in the form of a vertical column of light which appears to extend above and/or below a light source. The effect, sometimes also called the crystal beam phenomenon, is created by the reflection of light from numerous tiny ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere or clouds. Continue reading for some cool facts. Click here for more pictures of light pillars.

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Rubik's Cube Solving Robot

Rubik's Cube-solving robots are nothing new, but friends Jay Flatland and Paul Rose managed to build one you won't believe is real. Though the setup may look complex, it's only comprised of several webcams, 3D-printed frames and Arduino stepper motors. The custom software takes the image input from the cameras and converts it into a 'unrolled' that the solver can comprehend. After a few blazing runs, they managed to get the times down to 1.047s and an unreal 1.019s. Continue reading for more.

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Toilet Bowl Light

Bowl Brite is essentially an energy efficient toilet bowl night light, complete with a motion detection system that illuminates when you enter the bathroom and shuts off automatically. " Best of all, it lets you know if the toilet seat is down with a green light or up with a red light. This gadget is smart and attaches instantly without tools," said the manufacturer. Get one here now. Continue reading to see more strange "As Seen on TV" gadgets that actually exist.

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Jacob's Well

Jacob's Well is a perennial karstic spring cavern in the Texas Hill Country flowing from the bed of Cypress Creek, located northwest of Wimberley, Texas. From the opening in the creek bed, it descends vertically for about 30-feet, then continues downward at an angle through a series of silted chambers separated by narrow restrictions, finally reaching an average depth of 120-feet. Until the modern era, the Trinity Aquifer-fed natural artesian spring gushed water from the mouth of the cave, with a measured flow in 1924 of 170 US gallons per second, discharging 6-feet into the air. The spring is the greatest source of water recharging the Edwards Aquifer. Continue reading for more.

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Macintosh TV

Released in 1993 at the retail price of $2,907 ($3,444 today), the Macintosh TV was Apple Computer's first attempt at computer-television integration. It shared the external appearance of the Macintosh LC 500 series, but in black. The Macintosh TV was essentially a Performa 520 that could switch its built-in 14" Sony Trinitron CRT from being a computer display to a cable-ready television. It was incapable of showing television in a desktop window, although it could capture still frames to PICT files. It came with a small credit card-sized remote control that was also compatible with Sony televisions. It was the first Macintosh to be made in black and came with a custom black keyboard and mouse. Only 10,000 were made in the model's short time on the market. Continue reading for more.

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Sony PSX

Sony's PSX is essentially a digital video recorder with a fully integrated PlayStation 2 video game console, first released in Japan on December 13, 2003. Since the device was designed to be a general-purpose consumer video device, it was marketed by the main Sony Corporation instead of Sony Computer Entertainment and does not carry the usual PlayStation branding. Unfortunately, its high cost resulted in poor sales, and ultimately, its demise. The PSX fully supports both PlayStation and PlayStation 2 software by its slot-loading DVD drive, as the onboard EE+GS chip is a unification of the PS2's Emotion Engine and Graphics Synthesizer chips. Online game compatibility is available using the broadband connection; Games that use the PS2 HDD (such as Final Fantasy XI) are supported as well. Continue reading for more.

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Glowworm Caves

The Waitomo Glowworm Caves may look like a dream, but it's a real cave at Waitomo on the North Island of New Zealand, known for its population of glowworms, Arachnocampa luminosa. This species is found exclusively in New Zealand, and can grow up to the size of an average mosquito. The glowworms of the Waitomo Glowworm Caves are closely guarded by a Scientific Advisory Group. This group has automated equipment that continually monitors the air quality especially the carbon dioxide levels, rock and air temperature, and humidity. Data from this equipment is carefully analyzed by specialist staff. The advisory group uses the information to establish how the cave should be managed. They determine if and when air flow patterns should be changed and how many people are allowed to visit the caves each day. Continue reading for more.

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Rockwell XFV-12

The Rockwell XFV-12 was basically a prototype supersonic United States Navy fighter which was built in 1977. It attempted to combine the Mach 2 speed and AIM-7 Sparrow armament of the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II in a VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) fighter for the small Sea Control Ship which was under study at the time. Continue reading for more cool facts.

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Ceres Bright Spot

Several bright spots were discovered on the dwarf planet Ceres by the Dawn spacecraft in 2015. The brightest cluster of spots ("Spot 5") is located in an 80-kilometer (50 mi) crater called Occator. The largest and brightest component of the cluster is in the center of the crater, with dimmer spots located towards this crater's eastern rim. To this day, scientists still have not yet figured out what exactly is in these crater. Continue reading for more interesting Ceres facts.

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