NASA Crashes Helicopter to Study Safety

NASA researchers will drop a 45-foot-long helicopter fuselage from a height of about 30 feet to test improved seat belts and seats and advance experimental techniques and crashworthiness data.

via NASA Breaking News


IFTTT’s Twitter Triggers Are Back for Twitter-Based Automation

IFTTT's Twitter Triggers Are Back for Twitter-Based Automation

IFTTT, the awesome webapp automation service we love so much, just brought back it’s formerly-discontinued Twitter triggers. Now you can use Twitter to automate all your favorite web services. Check out IFTTT’s blog post for more info.

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via Lifehacker

To Stay in Space, You Gotta Go Fast

Great article from “What If?” explaining why the International Space Station travels so fast. It’s not really to go high, it’s to keep from falling back to Earth. You can really get a good sense of how fast it moves by watching it fly over your house at night. This NASA website will help you determine when it will be visible over your town. At first you’ll think it is one of the stars and wonder if you can tell it apart from all of the other lights in the sky. When you see it you’ll know. It’s the smoking fast star streaking across the sky.

A New Take on the Old Washboard

Ever wanted to wash clothes on the road, or in the woods, and found yourself fumbling around in a dirty sink or left with a so-so clean shirt? The Scrubba wash bag is a new way to wash a couple of t-shirts or similar apparel in just a few minutes. Drop your items into the bag, add a little water and detergent, and scrub away. Two or three minutes should be plenty of time to get a t-shirt clean enough to wear again. This sounds like a great traveling companion for those days when you want to travel light but maintain the ability to do a little cleaning at camp or int he hotel room.

Polished Concrete Fire Pit Table

This is a very cool idea for a concrete table with a fire pit embedded in the middle. Imagine a small pinon wood fire to keep off the mosquitoes or roasting a few marshmallows at the table. Very hippy.

A Bit Different

A polished concrete fire pit table made with Oak, sea shells, marbles, crushed glass, crushed slate, a white cement and aggregate mix with glass fibre strands and Nylon mesh for strength and phenolic insulation to make it more lightweight

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The littlest parks could make the biggest civic changes

Maybe it’s time for the parklet to take root in Houston, and help cool off the heat island effect.


Eight years after the first “parklet” occupied a parking space in San Francisco as an act of protest, these mini-parks have become a favorite “placemaking” tool of urbanists across the country. A little wood platform, some sod, tables and chairs, and boom, you’ve got a new urban park — so long as you keep feeding the meter.

In San Francisco, parklets have graduated from do-it-yourself novelties to government-sanctioned parts and parcels of the urban landscape, with a little influence from New York City plazas and European open-streets movements. “We took this Park(ing) Day model, which is really an act of civil disobedience, and we sort of codified it, institutionalized it, and made it like a legal thing to do,” says Paul Chasan, the parklet program manager in the San Francisco Planning Department.

Yes, San Francisco has a parklet program. It’s called “Pavement to Parks.” And with 40 parklets on…

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Looking at Invisible Things Differently

A former boss once talked to me about “scotomas”. He described them as things you see everyday, but don’t notice or just look past them. They are mental blind spots. I love it when someone takes one of those scotomas and holds it up for investigation and improvement. Parking lots are a great example of something we use everyday, but rarely think about their design or utility. Here’s a great article from “The Dirt” which was mentioned this morning on It’s an awesome look at what parking lots could be, and a study of how they came to be what they are.