Drone fans rejoice! Plague Fort, also known as Fort Alexander, is a naval fortress on an artificial island in the Gulf of Finland near St. Petersburg and Kronstadt. Between 1899-1917, it housed a research laboratory on plague and other bacterial diseases. By the end of the 19th century, the fort was primarily used for ammunition storage, as the development of rifled artillery rendered the fort facilities ineffective for defensive purposes. During the 1890s, in wake of the discovery of the plague pathogen by Alexandre Yersin, the Russian government formed a special Commission on the Prevention of Plague Disease to facilitate research in this specific area of bacteriology. In August 1899, research work took off at Plague Fort, mainly focused on the study of plague disease and preparation of plague serum and vaccine from the immunized horses. Read more for another aerial drone video and additional information.
There’s no better way to learn about volcanoes than by creating real lava. That’s exactly what scientists at the University of Buffalo did. By cooking up 10-gallon batches of molten rock and injecting them with water, they are shedding light on the basic physics of lava-water interactions, which are quite common in nature, but poorly understood. What did they discover? Lava-water encounters can sometimes generate spontaneous explosions when there is at least about a foot of molten rock above the mixing point. Read more for another video and additional information.
Let’s face it, steel workers probably have one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, and the ladders or lifts found at constructions sites are often safety hazards. Introducing Column Climber. This shoe attachment basically turns a steel column into a ladder, or in other words, it securely grips the flanges of the column, thanks to its high strength 514 steel construction. They’re so strong, that they can hold up to 700 pounds per foot. Unfortunately, they won’t be turning anyone into Spider-Man anytime soon. Read more for another video, additional pictures and information.
Sony’s PlayStation Classic was heavily criticized for using the European versions of the 20 included games, mainly because they’re slower due to the PAL television standard, which has a refresh rate of 50 Hz. Now, the miniature console has been hacked to run the games that should have came loaded with it. Since the device is basically an ARM-powered mini PC running an open-source emulator, BleemSync (or gpghax) lets you run any PS1 game you want off a USB drive. This software modifies the PlayStation Classic’s game database to enable one to swap out games with new ones. Simply put, the steps involve modifying the console’s database file to add your desired game(s), load that on a pen drive and then copy your desired game(s) onto it. Read more for another video tutorial and additional information.
Created by industrial designer Dahye Jeong from South Korea, the bespoke Maybach Opera is an autonomous electric hypercar without any doors, as the entire glass roof canopy simply lifts off the bodywork. Passengers enter and exit through an opening at the roof, like you would a luxury boat, complete with taillight streaks similar to those that act as headlights. Other design features include an elongated hood with six individual streaks of light on each side that stretch over the hood and front wheel arches, replacing the traditional headlights. Read more for additional pictures and information.
The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller includes motion controls, HD rumble, built-in Amiibo functionality, and more, all for $55.54 shipped, today only, originally $69.99. The Pro Controller can be used when the Nintendo Switch is either docked or undocked. A setting can be turned on to use the controller in wired USB mode; however, this will disable the NFC reader on the controller. Standalone Docks are available, which include a power adapter and HDMI cable. Product page. Read more to see the hidden message in every Switch Pro Controller.
Photo credit: Tokka via Bored Panda
K·B Toys, also known as Kay Bee Toys, is a now closed American chain of mall-based retail toy stores, originally founded in 1922 as Kaufman Brothers, a wholesale candy store. By 1999, the company operated 1,324 stores across the United States, and was the second-largest toy retailer in the U.S. They officially went out of business on February 9, 2009 after filing for bankruptcy, with just 461 stores in operation at the time of its closure. Strategic Marks, a company that buys and revives defunct brands, purchased the brand in 2016, and in March 2018 announced plans to open new stores under the name this holiday season. Read more for additional pictures and information.
A human-made object has reached the space between the stars for the second time only in history. NASA’s Voyager 2 has exited the heliosphere – the protective bubble of particles and magnetic fields created by the Sun. Its twin, Voyager 1, crossed this boundary in 2012, but Voyager 2 has a working instrument that will provide first-of-its-kind observations of the nature of this gateway into interstellar space, which means its slightly more than 11 billion miles from Earth. Mission operators still can communicate with Voyager 2 as it enters this new phase of its journey, but the information it transmits – moving at the speed of light – takes about 16.5 hours to travel back to Earth – light traveling from the Sun takes eight minutes to reach our planet. Read more for another video and additional information.
Built by Washington-based SpeedFactory Racing, this highly tuned Honda Civic boasts a 2.0-L inline 4-cylinder fitted with an enormous 86mm Precision Turbo turbocharger, a custom body kit, gutted interior with a roll cage, big drag radials up front, and of course a parachute just in case things get a bit too crazy. This 2,000 hp racing Civic managed to complete the quarter-mile in 7.47 seconds at 215.48 mph, which is currently the world’s fastest for a front-wheel drive car. Read more for the video and additional information.
Photo credit: Tech Configurations
We know that Samsung is releasing their own folding smartphone next year, but one that you probably won’t see is the Sony Xperia Note Flex, and that’s because it comes from the mind of Tech Configurations. Featuring a 5.7″ QHD OLED display with an 18:9 aspect ratio that unfolds to a tablet-sized 8″ 4K OLED display, 2″ displays on the sides of the device, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8150 processor, 8GB of RAM, up to 512GB of internal memory, a 40+22+12MP triple rear camera module, and a 13MP pop-up front-facing camera. Read more for a video and additional information.