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Money is like quantum physics, the more you think about it the weirder it becomes, from the completely abstract versions of credit to 4 ton limestone Yap island coins. Money is most often based on trust, the illusion that a promise has tangible value. Here are some of the most interesting examples of money we could find, the earliest coins, credit cards and bank notes and the largest coins and checks.

12 examples of money

The hovercraft will be 50 years old next year. Like supersonic, interplanetary and deep sea travel, the demise of the world’s largest hovercraft the SR-N4, joined Concorde, the Saturn V and the Trieste as examples of technological retreat.The SR-N4, which was operated by two companies, for many years, to transport people across the English Channel, could carry over 30 vehicles and 250 people. What made these hovercraft particularly unusual is that they represented an example of a design where the civilian versions were more extraordinary than those used by the military, which are still smaller, even today.

18 hovercraft designs

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

The distinction between early anatomy lecture theaters which dissected the dead and later operating theaters, which attempted to cure the living, is blurred. Both were used for teaching, in broad daylight where lecturers clothes became stiff with blood and the air thick with germs.With highly unusual steep raked galleries these were literally theaters, and the name has stuck. The earliest rooms were often heavily decorated such as the beautifully restored 16th Century wood paneled anatomy theater at the University of Bologna to the crudely utilitarian 19th century dedicated operating theater at St. Thomas’, London.

10 unoperational operating theaters

There is a strange beauty to slow motion videos of car crash test dummies and airbag deployment, but these don’t compare to the similar, but far more extreme safety measure of a fighter jet ejection. Here are videos of various aspects of their deployment testing and training. Some of these are absolutely mesmerizing.

10 videos of ejection seat tests

Considering what guns are actually designed to do, its pretty amazing how many other products and gadgets are designed to look like them. Here are a few of our faves. Vote for yours.

13 gun shaped non guns

Want to see some more impressive glass stairs than those at the Apple Stores? Despite the fact that Apple actually has a patent on the glass stairs at some of its stores, their glass staircases are actually not all that innovative. The glass stair at the Carre D art in Nimes is more adventurous and was designed 20 years ago, and Ove Arup have engineered a purely glass stair with no steel fixings.

Transparent Glass Stairs

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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.