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There is nothing more exciting than a space rocket launch. Here we’ve pulled together a dozen of our favorites from famous missions to unusual angles. Our personal fave is perhaps the least dramatic but the most unusual, the view of a Shuttle launch from a commercial airliner.

12 Space Rocket Launch Videos

And you thought the matrix was fiction? Robots designed to access hostile areas such as radioactive areas are also used beneath the streets to clean or repair sewers or to lay cables. They were among the first things on the scene after 911 or Katrina and have a particular rugged beauty. Vote for your faves.

12 super sewer robots

Papercraft, knitting, gardening and weapons.

craftsy weapons

The design of ski jumps is interesting because it is the most extreme form of a playground slide. It has recently produced excellent pieces of modern architecture from Zaha Hadid and MR2 but equally impressive are the bizarre temporary ski jumps at baseball grounds and football stadia.

10 ski jumps

Until very recently, people still used the same principal that Newton had proposed, to derive latitude from the angle of the sun or stars at known times. The sextant (or originally octant) allowed people to do this relative to the horizon, rather than the instrument itself.Later versions of the sextant included a very simple version for emergency use, called the Bris sextant (not a great name for a device to be used on a rolling ship) and until the advent of GPS systems, bubble sextants were used on aircraft.

16 sextants

Giant centrifuges are used to test whether fighter pilots or astronauts can deal with extreme G forces, pilots having 3 chances to survive a 15 second 6G test to be able to qualify. Here are some videos of the results of the effects of these tests up to 10G and on a range of suspects from pilots to Iron Maiden’s lead singer.

12 centrifuge gforce test videos

I normally try and avoid military stuff unless there’s an ironic design twist, and there is here. Somehow, these crude, mechanical ‘remote control’ rifles, used for shooting over trenches manage to emasculate the phallic nature of guns and turn them into something worthy of Rube Goldberg himself. Nevertheless, they are for killing people sneakily, something to remember, while admiring their weirdness.

12 periscope rifles

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Why We Don’t Rate the Optimus Keyboard

February 25th, 2009 #link

The Optimus keyboard shares something in common with the Segway. It is an idea which requires an overly complicated design solution to a problem that may be marginal but requires sophisticated engineering to solve. The proper term for this is a gimmick and gadgets which are innovative gimmicks have a curious property, they generate lots of discussion on blogs etc. but few people actually buy them.

Despite the hype the Optimus keyboard looks like an expensive failure, and nothing quite shows it in the worst light than this tacky and predictable World of Warcraft theme.



3 Responses to “Why We Don’t Rate the Optimus Keyboard”

  1. JDoors Says:

    Ooo! I know! What if they treated all the displays as one? Like having kaleidoscopic images dancing across the keyboard? Totally useless, but people use screensavers for no other reason than, “It’s pretty.” A video showing this capability should be worth a few sales.

  2. maximilien Says:

    Not a bad mod, its a bit cute. But quite honestly if you really play the game and you play a warlock well you would know that this kb will just pointless. First of all the concept of pretty icons for keys are not very practical since if you are raiding you do not have time to look at the keyboard since you are focused on targets/dps meters/omen/health and mana bars in addition to any instructions provided by the raid leader. Also with all the game patches icons and spells are always being changed or removed and some are added as well. Finally you are always having to change tool bars depending on what you are doing and your play style which is not possible with this keyboard.

  3. Htos1 Says:

    I couldn’t use it either.The only “advanced” feature I ever want on a kb is the backlit keys,similar to the buttons on my Bang & Olusen BeoSound 2000.