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The original British Secret Service headquarters was just that, secret. But the increase in importance of electronics meant that it was more important for a building to be invisible to electronic eavesdropping. as such the current M16 HQ in London is about as obvious a giant sign saying ‘secret building here’, yet it is enclosed in a giant Faraday cage to protect its communications.Not all Intelligence agencies have had a discrete architectural past, Franco’s House of Screams, or the Soviet Lubyanka are demonstrably terrifying. Mossad’s HQ, until the 60s or the current Australian Secret Intelligence Service look quite modest compared to the hardly known Ministry of National Security of Azerbaijan, which houses its intelligence service, in a large and monolithic building of dramatic proportions.

15 images of not so secret secret service buildings

This is a bit of an obscure list, we admit, however there is something very impressive about the sheer size of ships which can only be appreciated when they are out of water. The ships themselves are often in unusual objects which are equally impressive, such as dry docks or floating docks or ship carriers.

ships out of water

All around America people are preparing propane gas tanks, vats of boiling oil and elaborate hoisting mechanisms to cook turkeys in a way that poses both short and long term health risks. The great tradition of the Pilgrim Fathers puritanical feast has been replaced by an industrial accident involving a dangerous gadget. But its worth it, because it tastes absolutely delicious.We’ve collected videos of this ritual, from California to the Midwest to Texas and to Florida and each is a distinctive cultural snippet. Vote for America’s most quintessential Turkey Fryers.

16 thanksgiving turkey fryer videos

The most claustrophobic places in the world. Imagine sleeping in a space smaller that a jail cell, deep under water, with a very large live bomb. This is what the business ends of submarines look like. Brass or steel hatches, like the eyes of a metal insect, peer out on a tiny Jules Verne-like space covered in buttons, gauges and levers, which often contains bunks right next to the torpedos themselves. Torpedo rooms are one of the strangest man made spaces on earth, or rather below it.

12 claustrophobic torpedo rooms

While we trawl though the web, we invariably find extremely interesting things that don’t fit into any particular list we are working on. Every so often we’ll release a list of out favorites, starting from today. Vote for your favorite for this month.

miscellany october 08

This is the real business end of $100 oil. An object that allowed Howard Hughes to become the richest man in the world by inheriting the patent. They are the world’s most highly engineered pieces of metal. Steel, tungsten carbide or increasingly Polycrystalline Diamond Compact (PDC) toothed drill bits that, in their tri-cone, rotating head form, look like the monster spice eating Sandworms from Dune. Vote for your faves.

13 ferocious oil drill bits

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WTF is That? No. 2

March 30th, 2009 #link

wtfisthat

The man in the picture is not being hurt. In fact people are trying to help him. What in the world is the name of this device and what does it do? Answers in the comments.



8 Responses to “WTF is That? No. 2”

  1. JJoe Says:

    Does he work for Microsoft?

  2. Andy Simons Says:

    Its a pair of electric boxing gloves?

  3. Flixter Says:

    Its an early electric chair.

  4. admin Says:

    Nope, nobody gets hurt.

  5. Indiefab Says:

    Haha. Great pic. That’s one of the first electrocardiograms. His hands are in jars of salt water with electrodes attached. And yes, I cheated. I’m a doctor. Heeheee.

  6. admin Says:

    @Indiefab. Congrats – spot on, its an Einthoven cardiograph.

    More details here: http://chem.ch.huji.ac.il/history/einthoven.html

  7. Yosemite Sam Says:

    It’s the Electrostash Generator 3000. You can see how plump his mustache is just after 5 minutes of treatment. Yes you too can have a luxurious mustache of your very own in just minutes! No more hassle and headaches attempting to look like a real man…just plug in and grow!

    With the ES 3000, you can even use the innovative ‘Select-O-Stash’ dial to choose the perfect mustache for any occasion. A Cary Grant mustache for a professional look, a Salvador Dali for those spunky days, or a Tom Selleck for when you want to impress the ladies.

    Act now, supplies are limited!

  8. admin Says:

    @Yosemite. Oh how we wish it was the Electrostash Generator 3000.