Idiot Thief Exploded Himself by Peeing on a Power Transformer [Bad Ideas] | Gizmodo.com

By Kyle Wagner

Michael Harper is an idiot. The 36-year-old Englishman was in the middle of robbing a power sub-station when he decided, hey, why not urinate on the power transformer. The transformer exploded, Harper caught on fire, and 2,000 people lost power. Dunce.

Harper and an accomplice were stealing copper wire (naturally) from the station. To get at the wires, they had drained the insulating oil from around the fixtures. Oil, of course, catches on fire when a moron pees on a transformer and sends sparks flying around.

Harper was “permanently disfigured” by the explosion and sentenced to a year in jail, where, with any luck, he’ll pee on the electrified fence in the yard. [Gizmodo via Leicester Mercury via News.com.au via Fark]

Producer Makes Insane Real-Time Beats With New iMaschine App

By Mario Aguilar

Jamie Lidell is a seriously talented and internationally known musician and producer, but the music he’s able to make using only this iPhone app is crazy. This cannot possibly be real. The subway just got way more fun.

The new iMaschine app for iPhone and iPod Touch just dropped in the app store, and if this newly-released promo video is any indication it’s one of the most functional production apps out there. The app is actually based on the Maschine sequencer hardware/software combination by Native Instruments. That might explain why Jamie Lidell looks like he’s actually pounding away at the pads on a sequencer instead of playing with an app.

The iMaschine app is actually a combination sampler, sequencer, and audio processor. It carries all of the tools you need to improvise and record a bumping beat. Choose from the included package of drum kits, synths, bass, and other sounds, and then lay down a track on the pads. As Lidell shows off, the iPhone microphone can be used to grab samples or to record in real-time. Then you can use the built-in tools to edit the track and tweak the sound.

The music in the video is all recorded in real-time. Lidell makes the sampling, playing, recording, editing workflow look seamless and intuitive. Native Instruments didn’t exactly hire an amateur to show off its app, and Lidell definitely had plenty of hands-on time before he shot the video. But at least we know what’s possible. With a little creativity and practice—that could be you too. iMaschine costs $4.99 and is available now in the app store. [via Gizmodo.com and Native Instruments and Warp Records]

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The Slingshot Madman Makes Death Portable

The Slingshot Madman Makes Death Portable.
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Our appreciation for bald, vaguely Eastern European, totally insane slingshot purveyor Joerg Sprave is long-established and unbounded. And he apparently loves his fans right back, if this extremely dangerous, reasonably-sized death-by-wood-and-rubber contraption is any indication.

The only problem with previous Joerg creations (read: machete crossbow) is that they were a bit unwieldy, hard to carry down the street or to a family reunion without garnering a lot of awkward stares. Not so the ultra compact Bullpup Slingshot Crossbow, a condensed version of Joerg’s apocalyptic vision. Full instructions on how to build your own are coming soon, but for now, enjoy the retro-mayhem.

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The Chemical That Makes Food Fresh For Forever

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Discovered by accident, the naturally-occurring bisin preservative could be injected into our foodstuffs as soon as it gets the thumb’s up from regulators. And then, there’d be no need to throw food out, as shelf-life is prolonged by years.

It sounds like scary stuff—and the exact opposite of the organic revolution that’s swept through supermarkets and grocery stores. Now patented, Bisin was discovered by microbiologists at the University of Minnesota, and is apparently safe to consume. Unlike that week-old pot of yoghurt that’s been going blue in the corner of your fridge. But if bisin really does have a place in our future—in our stomachs!—then there’s no fear of eating food which has expired its shelf life, as it reportedly kills bacteria and prevents E.coli, salmonella and listeria from growing.

This could be good news for pregnant women and newborns, as listeria, while rare, is particularly deadly with around 500 people dying each year in the US alone. Found in dairy and meat products, it’s also one of the reasons pregnant women are told to avoid eating soft cheese.

There are obvious reasons why this preservative sounds so attractive. We’d have to buy less food, thus saving money, and the risk of contracting illnesses would be lessened. But why does it leave me feeling so cold? Nothing beats fresh food, and I doubt anyone would be able to get over the mental block of drinking milk that’s been in the fridge for three months. But as it’s expected to be used commercially by food makers within the next three years, we’ve got plenty of time to work up a taste for synthetic food, I suppose.

via The Chemical That Makes Food Fresh For Forever. via The Telegraph

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Operation Shady Rat Is The Largest Cyber Attack Ever Uncovered | Gizmodo.com

By Kelly Hodgkins

If it wasn’t true before, it’s definitely true now. Hacking isn’t just for giggles, it’s a major threat to international security.

On Wednesday, McAfee released a 14-page report that details the largest coordinated cyber attack recorded to date. This particular attack, possibly orchestrated by China, broke into 72 organizations over the course of five years.

The targets include the US, Canada, Taiwan, India, South Korea, and Vietnam. The attack also hit the UN, the International Olympic Committee, the World Anti-doping agency, defense contractors, tech companies and more. Most attacks lasted less than a month, but some, like that on the UN Secretariat, lasted for almost two years.

We may have wanted to stick our fingers in our ears and pretend a cyber attack like this wasn’t happening, but after this report, even my grandmother will know what this “cyber thingamabobber” is [Reuters; Shutterstock/Alexander Lukin]

via Operation Shady Rat Is The Largest Cyber Attack Ever Uncovered.

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Telephone Pole Jesus Died For Your Landline Abandoning Sins

By Seth Abramovitch
Jul 28, 2011 5:40 AM

 

 

Colorado native Don Taylor, who describes himself as “a nonreligious individual,” was stopped dead in his tracks when he stumbled upon this divine apparition on his daily routine. Yes, a creeping vine on a telephone pole had taken on the unmistakable form of a crucified Jesus Christ. Local authorities warn potential pilgrimage-makers not to climb the pole to kiss or embrace Telephone Pole Jesus, however, lest they want to receive a 765,000-volt message of peace and love from their Leafy Savior. [7News, photo via Don Taylor’s Facebook]

via Telephone Pole Jesus Died For Your Landline Abandoning Sins.

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A Five Minute Explanation of How the Earth’s Beautiful Northern Lights Arrive

The Aurora Borealis from Per Byhring on Vimeo.

Sam Biddle Aurora borealis isn’t just very fun to say aloud—it’s absolutely beautiful to watch. But where does it come from? The whim of the gods? No, silly Ancient Roman—the sun’s plasma discharges are responsible. This video breaks it down.

The sun is a giant crock pot of magnetic fields and incredible heat. The two collude and send giant belches of plasma shooting outward toward our little rock. When the magnetically charged package hits our planet’s atmosphere, the plasma is siphoned downward to our skies, where we see pretty swirling lights, and not a violent cosmic grappling match.

via A Five Minute Explanation of How the Earth’s Beautiful Northern Lights Arrive. via BuzzFeed

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Everything You Need To Know About Coffee in Less Than Five Minutes

By Kelly Hodgkins — We already know what happens to your brain when you drink coffee.

Now, a short and sweet video from C.G.P. Grey fills in the gaps with bunch of trivia and anecdotal stories about our favourite beverage, coffee. It’s pure awesome.

via Everything You Need To Know About Coffee in Less Than Five Minutes. via Grey’s Blog via LikeCool

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Yes, a Cat-Food Brand Really Has Created Three iPad Games For Cats – Gizmodo

Yes, a Cat-Food Brand Really Has Created Three iPad Games For Cats

Kat Hannaford — All I will say about this is that if you consider lending your iPad to your feline for some browser-based cat-game fun, please oh please wear a screen protector. Won’t someone think of the chiiiiildren! [Games For Cats]

via Yes, a Cat-Food Brand Really Has Created Three iPad Games For Cats – Gizmodo.

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This Electric Superbike Packs Enough Juice for 185 Miles of Cruising

 

This Electric Superbike Packs Enough Juice for 185 Miles of Cruising

Sam Biddle — When you think electric vehicle, you might think of some piddling, golf cart-like geezer, humming its way along gently. Not a futuristic, 125 mph super-cycle. The Lito Sora motorcycle hardly looks like what it is—100% electric and fierce.

The Canadian-made Sora not only looks like it drove out of Blade Runner, but has some real world specs to lust after: 12 kilowatt-hours of lithium polymer battery life, a touch dashboard with GPS, and a 185 mile range off one charge. And that GPS? It’ll adjust power consumption on the fly, depending on how distant your destination is.

That one charge, however, will take some time—eight hours to juice ‘er up again. The Sora also only exists at the prototype right now, and you can bet on Tesla’s sizzling grave that the thing will probably cost extravagantly more than anything you’ll ever dream of affording. But you can drool! That’s always free. [Lito via GizMag]

via This Electric Superbike Packs Enough Juice for 185 Miles of Cruising.

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