Project HARP (High Altitude Research Project) was a joint initiative between the United States and Canada to research the use of ballistics to deliver objects into the upper atmosphere and beyond.
In lay terms, the project was established to create a cartoonishly large gun to shoot things into space. The sole fruit of this partnership, a massive toppled gun barrel, still remains on the Barbados test site.
Designed by mad ballistic engineer Gerald Bull, the gun itself was originally built from a 50 caliber naval cannon, like what might be seen on a battleship, and was later doubled to 100 caliber, making the gun too big for effective military application, but seemingly perfect for satellite delivery. Not-designed for delivering human subjects, the cannon fired smaller projectiles in a sabot that would protect the payload during the firing and would fall away as the satellite rose. At its apex, the gun was able to fire an object a staggering 112 miles into the sky, setting the 1963 world record for gun-launched altitude at 93 KM.
As the project continued, installing similar guns in further locations, the Barbados gun was abandoned in the late 1960s and left to rust on its original launch site. Looking more like a painted sewer pipe than a Godzilla-size gun barrel, the original Project HARP space gun can still be reached along the Barbados coast.
1. You do this for fun. When it stops being fun, find out what changed and go back to it.
2. Be gracious. Everything you say and do is being watched… And a lot of times, emulated.
3. You cannot control who takes pictures of you, but if you make friends with photographers,…
View From the Top of the Washington Monument
If you’re scared of heights this video isn’t for you. On May 13, workers wore helmet cams as they repaired the last of the scaffolding around the 555-foot-tall monument. The next step is to wrap fabric around the monument and attach lights. The damage caused by the August 2011 earthquake should be completed in 2014.
Ed note: How engineers investigated the Washington Monument from hundreds of feet above the ground.
Blink and you’ve missed it. Researchers in the US have captured the world’s first X-ray images of lightning, by creating a special camera that can capture radiation at 10 million frames per second. They presented their new findings at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting in San Francisco and they say that this new view of lightning could help to solve some of the mysteries of this spectacular natural phenomenon.
The research was carried out at the International Center for Lightning Research and Testing, located in Florida. It is one of the few sites in world where lightning is initiated and studied under controlled conditions. By firing rockets with trailing wires into thunder clouds, scientists are able to generate electric fields that are large enough to trigger bolts of lightning, which then propagate back down towards the rocket launch tower.
Joseph Dwyer and colleagues at the Florida Institute of Technology became interested in the fact that lightning emits X-rays as it propagates through the air, a phenomenon that was only noted in the past decade. But given that X-ray sources in lightning travel through the Earth’s atmosphere at velocities approaching the speed of light, it is difficult to catch them on camera before they disappear. In addition, they cannot be imaged with standard mirrors and lenses because huge amounts of material are required to prevent X-rays and gamma rays from entering through the sides of a camera.
Dwyer’s team has created a customized camera that has 30 detectors made from a combination of sodium iodide and photomultiplier tubes, each measuring 3 × 3 inch. The device, which is approximately the size of a standard refrigerator, is also equipped with a 3 inch pinhole aperture, and can record X-rays at 10 million frames per second. “This is actually a very old technique for making images, like that seen in a camera obscura,” Dwyer says.
During July and August this year, Dwyer’s team studied four rocket-triggered lightning flashes at the Florida test site. Each flash lasted for approximately two seconds and the resulting sequences of images revealed that X-rays emerged primarily from the vicinity of the lightning tip as it propagated towards the Earth. As the lightning crashed into the control tower it also triggered large bursts of gamma radiation, which were also captured by the camera.
“For the first time we’re catching a glimpse of lightning in the X-ray emission,” says Dwyer. “We’re seeing lightning as Superman would see it with his X-ray vision”.
Credit: James Dacey/physicsworld.com
I have seen Yeah Yeah Yeahs live and now can end my decade-long quest of being in the same place as Karen O.
Lindsey Stirling, Solange, Passion Pit, and Phoenix were also pretty damn good too. But after 10 hours of music and eating, I’m possibly a little sunburned and definitely very tired.
Laser-Cut Wooden Records Give New Meaning to ‘Tree Rings’ or ‘Organic’. “Amanda Ghassaei, creator of the 3-D printed record, is at it again, this time with lasers. Diverting from additive manufacturing to subtractive, Ghassaei etched tracks on another medium — wood — using a 120-watt Epilog Legend EXT laser cutter. The strains of Radiohead’s “Idioteque” and The Velvet Underground’s “Sunday Morning” are easily recognizable, but infused with an almost electric whine, a strange sound to hear emanating from a piece of wood. Ghassaei is a software engineer at Instructables, so she naturally published a how-to on the DIY site.”
If grandmothers around the world had a rallying cry, it would probably sound something like “You need to eat!”
Photographer Gabriele Galimberti’s grandmother said something similar to him before one of his many globetrotting work trips. To ensure he had at least one good meal, she prepared for him a dish of ravioli before he departed on one of his adventures.
“In that occasion I said to my grandma ‘You know, Grandma, there are many other grandmas around the world and most of them are really good cooks,” Galimberti wrote via email. “I’m going to meet them and ask them to cook for me so I can show you that you don’t have to be worried for me and the food that I will eat!’ This is the way my project was born!”
The project, “Delicatessen With Love”, took Galimberti to 58 countries where he photographed grandmothers with both the ingredients and finished signature dishes.
He acted as photographer and stylist during each shoot with the grandmothers, taking a portrait of both the women and the food they made for him.
From top to bottom:
Inara Runtule, 68, Kekava, Latvia. Silke (herring with potatoes and cottage cheese).
Grace Estibero, 82, Mumbai, India. Chicken vindaloo.
Susann Soresen, 81, Homer, Alaska. Moose steak.
Serette Charles, 63, Saint-Jean du Sud, Haiti. Lambi in creole sauce.
The photographer’s grandmother Marisa Batini, 80, Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy. Swiss chard and ricotta Ravioli with meat sauce.
Normita Sambu Arap, 65, Oltepessi (Masaai Mara), Kenya. Mboga and orgali (white corn polenta with vegetables and goat).
Julia Enaigua, 71, La Paz, Bolivia. Queso Humacha (vegetables and fresh cheese soup).
Fifi Makhmer, 62, Cairo, Egypt. Kuoshry (pasta, rice and legumes pie).
Isolina Perez De Vargas, 83, Mendoza, Argentina. Asado criollo (mixed meats barbecue).
Bisrat Melake, 60, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Enjera with curry and vegetables.
This is awesome and I like looking at the plates as well as the food.
In the age-old battle between book and bath, man has tried many things: the reading tray, the conveniently placed towel, the waterproof page. An eight-year-old has gone one better.
The next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates? — tanya b.