tech e blog

Nara Dreamland

Nara Dreamland, inspired by Disneyland in California, was a popular theme park near Nara, Japan, when it first opened in 1961. Unfortunately, on August 29, 2006, the theme park closed permanently because of low visitor numbers, possibly due to the popularity of Universal Studios Japan, which opened in nearby Osaka, and it's been abandoned ever since. Continue reading for five cool facts you probably didn't know about Nara Dreamland. Click here for a few more bonus images of the abandoned theme park.

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Butterfly Forest

Hundreds of millions of Monarch Butterflies from Canada and the United States make a 2,500-mile journey to "Butterfly Forest", or to be more specific, the forests of Michoacan, Mexico, each year. The butterflies start arriving in late October to make their winter home in the trees high up in the mountains of the natural reserve, where they will spend the next 5-months clustered together. The Michoacan Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary is most beautiful during the months of February and March, right before the winged insects begin their long journey home. Continue reading for three more strange places from around the world that actually exist.

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NASA Super Guppy

The The Aero Spacelines Super Guppy, operated by NASA, is a large, wide-bodied cargo aircraft that is used for hauling oversized cargo components. It was the successor to the Pregnant Guppy, the first of the Guppy aircraft produced by Aero Spacelines, which in turn was named for its resemblance to a pregnant guppy. A total of five examples were built in two variants, both of which were colloquially referred to as the "Super Guppy". Continue reading for five more cool facts you may not have known about this aircraft. Click here for a few bonus images of the Super Guppy.

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18-Year Dig Hole

Santiago Sanchez, a 69-year-old man from western El Salvador, has been digging a massive hole / tunnel ever since allegedly receiving a vision from God about 18 years ago. Each day, at around 3am, he climbs down and starts carving away at the rough surface, and when the day is done, 90-pounds of rock and debris needs to be transported away. "What I am doing is a spiritual revelation from God. Nobody knows what God is going to demand from you. Only I am allowed to go to the end, because I am God's tunnel digger. Nobody else is allowed to go there," said Sanchez to a local TV station. Continue reading for three more bizarre, yet true, stories you've probably never heard about.

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NASA Ferrofluid

Invented in 1963 by NASA's Steve Papell as a liquid rocket fuel that could be drawn toward a pump inlet in a weightless environment by applying a magnetic field, a ferrofluid is basically a liquid that becomes strongly magnetized in the presence of a magnetic field. They are colloidal liquids made of nanoscale ferromagnetic, or ferrimagnetic, particles suspended in a carrier fluid (usually an organic solvent or water). Each tiny particle is thoroughly coated with a surfactant to inhibit clumping. Continue reading for five more interesting things you may not have known about ferrofluids.

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R2-D2 Coffee Press

French presses are nothing new, but this is the first modeled after R2-D2. Featuring a BPA-free plastic housing, glass body, and food-grade stainless steel plunger / filter assembly, it can serve up 32-ounces of piping hot coffee in just minutes. Cleaning up is just as easy, since the removable glass carafe is dishwasher safe. This geeky gadget hits stores next month, priced at $39.99. Continue reading for more Star Wars gadgets you probably never knew about.

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MyProAction Vending Machine

A group of high school students from Italy have taken plastic recycling to the next level with MyProAction, a vending machine that grinds used plastic bottles into pellets, which are then used to create smartphone via a built-in 3D printer. This invention came about when students Marco Tomasello, Daniele Caputo, Vincenzo Virruso, Vittorio Maggiore, Toni Taormina, and their teacher, Daniela Russo sought a more efficient way of getting youth involved in environmental conservation. Currently, they've built four prototypes and have taken home an AXA Italia Social Impact Award in a national contest along the way. Continue reading for more cool inventions that you may not have known about.

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ProDrone

The ProDrone PD6B-AW-ARM is unlike other drones, as it can fly at altitudes up to 5,000-feet, while cruising at 37mph in 22mph winds. That's not all, it sports dual five-axis robotic arms that can life and move objects up to 22-pounds, cut wires or just flip switches at altitudes. It's literally capable of operating in any weather. Continue reading for three more cool drones that exist now.

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M3 Amphibious Rig

The M3 Amphibious Rig is basically a self-propelled amphibious bridging vehicle that is used for the projection of tanks and other vehicles across water obstacles. It's self-deployable by road, operating as a 4x4 wheeled vehicle with a maximum road speed of 80 km/h. When driven into the water for amphibious operation, it deploys two large aluminum pontoons, and is propelled and steered by 2 fully traversable pump jets at speeds of up to 14 km/h. Multiple rigs may be joined by long connectors called "ramps", 4 of which are carried on each vehicle, to form a bridge across a water obstacle. 8 M3 Rigs will bridge a 100m water gap this way, and can be traversed by vehicles up to and including the heaviest 60+ ton main battle tank like the Leopard 2A6 and Challenger 2. Continue reading for three more weird vehicles that actually exist.

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Grain Silo Home

This cylindrical structure doesn't look like anything at first glance, but it used to be an old grain silo from the 1950s, which has now been transformed into a modern home by architect Christoph Kaiser. Measuring in at just 340-square-foot, it features custom-made doors, windows, and 10-inches of spray foam insulation inserted between the silo walls and house interior to keep things warm during the winter. Inside, there's a loft sleeping area, full kitchenette, a spiral staircase, and bathroom with shower. Continue reading for three more unusual living spaces you probably never knew about.

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