Category Archives: Machine

Automobile, motorbike, plane, industrial and amazing machines, the tools of modern man.

Planetary Resources. The First Space Based Mining Company…

Mining is a very necessary but destructive industry, the lifestyle that we have all become so accustomed to has been built on the back of an enormous mining industry which has taken the economics of scale to its limit.

This week the company Planetary Resources – PR – was formed to explore the concept of space based mining. Backed by Google co-founder Larry Page, Google chairman Eric Schmidt, Google board member K.Ram Shriram, filmmaker and adventurer James Cameron, former Microsofter Charles Simonyi and Ross Perot, Jr. PR together they are attempting to kick start one of the industries of the future, space based mining.

The newly formed company’s website claims “Harnessing valuable minerals from a practically infinite source will provide stability on Earth, increase humanity’s prosperity, and help establish and maintain human presence in space.”

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The A-10 Thunderbolt, Warthog To His Friends…

The Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt, a single-seat, twin-engine, straight-wing air-craft designed for the United States Air Force to provide close air support (CAS) to ground forces. Specialising in attacking tanks, armored vehicles, and other ground targets with a limited air interdiction capability. The A-10 is the first U.S. Air Force aircraft designed solely for close air support. Singular of purpose, a rarity amongst modern fighter aircraft.

A-10 Warthog, it’s not just its unusual features that earned it the name Warthog, the scream of its rotary machine gun sounds akin to a wild bore growling. A truly unnatural sounding and looking aircraft. It is also the most majestic and beautiful aircraft to take service in the American Air Force, slow flying and highly maneuverable  the A-10 harks back to an older era of aircraft.

Included for your viewing pleasure are 3 videos, the first two being two of the best examples the the Warthog screaming available on the internet. Listen to the roar of the rotary canon, look at the faces of the soldiers it supports, they know the sound of the A-10 screaming at their foes.

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The Death Star Construction Calculation, It’s The Bill That Will Kill You…

Here at Highpants we love creative accountancy as much as the next Darth Vader, but the kids with calculators at centives.net are setting a whole new standard. Calculating the cost to construct a Death Star those creative Centivites have given hope to every evil overlord around world.

While we may each someday wish to push around whole planets with our own personal Death Star the Centivites calculation is just for the basic raw material, steel. The cost to fit out the Death Star with your own personal spa or walk in everything will be extra on top.

If we have learned anything from the past when designing your Death Star, don’t leave open exhaust vents to the core. Especially don’t let the rebel forces get hold of the designs to exploit the one weakness your budget just couldn’t cover.

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Nissan’s Wonder Twins, The Nissan Juke-R and GT-R 2012. Jukezilla and Godzilla Take on the World.

Nissan has always produced highly modifiable cars, intentional or not their cars have been hugely popular with drifters and street races, once duly modified. Now Nissan has beaten everyone to the punch and produced what they describe as the world’s fastest cross-over, the Juke-R is actually the world’s most extreme hot hatch.

The Juke was released in 2010, with its unusual looks and very useable interior it won a lot of friends. Being a cross-over it combines the qualities of an sports off-roader with the size and shape of a hatchback. While the plain vanilla Juke may be an interesting curio Nissan has constructed something very special with its Juke-R. Wanting to prove the point Nissan has even released a video of the Juke-R racing three other super-cars. – see below -.

Dressed in black carbon fibre the Juke-R is the standard Jukes evil twin. A smoking hot hatch in the greatest tradition of mental cars. This is no ordinary hot hatchback mind you, with a Nissan GT-R’s engine, transmission and four wheel drive somehow shoe horned into the Jukes body. Part Juke part Godzilla, this is the Jukezilla.

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Curvaceous Super Spies in the Sky…

Northrop Grumman has this week unveiled the latest generation spy plane into our crowded skies, the Firebird.

This is the the curvy super model of surveillance aircraft. Most unusual for an unmanned aircraft is the inclusion of a cockpit option allowing this bad boy to do double duty as either an automated drone or as a more traditional piloted surveillance aircraft. Flexibility is the theme of the day for the Firebird and it takes it to the extreme. This may well be the Swiss army knife of the slow moving surveillance aircraft. With the ability to juggle high def video, ultra hi-res pictures, infra red, ultra violet, radar and communications simultaneously this is a multitasking master.

Firebird has been designed as a medium altitude long-range surveillance aircraft that is capable of switching roles quickly and easily as well as providing multiple types of surveillance to be carried out simultaneously. For an aircraft of this size – 10.3meters long and a wingspan of 19.8meters – the payload bay is generous in size and capacity – over 500kg payload – and is the key to this flexibility.

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Satin Black Celebration, the Corvette Z06 Centennial Edition…

Chevy 2012 Corvette Centennial package

Chevrolet the old girl of American Auto is 100 years old this very year. To celebrate and bring back that youthful feeling – late midlife crisis ? – Chevy is releasing the Centennial Edition Z06. The Centennial Package itself can be applied to all of the current Z06 models, all the way up to the King of the Hill ZR1.

No price has been released for the upgrade as of yet. To keep the party spirit going Chevy auctioned a Silk Black Centennial Corvette through Barrett-Jackson Auctions, who auctioned it off for charity, it sold for $175,000 USD

The Centennial Package brings together parts from previous option packs and some special parts from the next vette the Z07. It’s sort of like a best of compilation to celebrate. Carbon is used extensively, rockers covers, front splitter, roof and raised hood. Performance upgrades include Brembo ceramic brakes, Magnetic Ride Control. Tech include Heads up Display, Bluetooth hands free and Bose stereo. Lots of leather over heated seats finishes it off.

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Silicon Fish and Plastic Chips…

The science of making electronics out of plastic has recently taken a huge leap forward with the creation of the first working computer CPU chip – processor – made entirely from plastic. While it may sound like an un-natural combination electricity and plastic can work and the scientific types at the IMEC nanotechnology centre in Leuven, Belgium have produced a simple demonstration circuit. Plastics offer the interesting ability to be printed directly onto a glad wrap like plastic, allowing for cheap computing devices – in the cent per chip or less – that may one day appear in places where the cost and lack of flexibility has always stopped traditional computer chips.

Researchers used 4,000 plastic transistors to build the plastic processor. The device measures roughly two centimeters square and is built on top of flexible plastic foil. “Compared to using silicon, this has the advantage of lower price and that it can be flexible,” says Jan Genoe, lead designer.

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