Fun And Frivolity: Awesome Tech, Then And Now

This is some pretty sweet stuff…I always enjoy discovering sci-fi weapons that actually exist. Here are my favorites:

Behold the Laser Avenger, a cannon that could be used to take down incoming aircraft. Boeing was able to shoot a drone out of the sky with the hummer-mounted laser.


Even the angriest mobs would probably think twice about trying to pass a Taser Shockwave barrier. It is the less-lethal equivalent of a claymore mine. Push the big red button, and it will fire 24 electrified probes at the same time in a single direction.

The Maars system (above) can be equipped with four grenade launchers and a machine gun that packs 400 rounds of 7.62 caliber ammunition.

But its manufacturers like to point out its less-lethal capabilities. Instead of mowing people down, it can stick to the fine print of the first law of robotics and fire tear gas canisters, smoke grenades, smoke bombs and perhaps even Taser’s upcoming 40mm people-zapper projectile. Three were deployed to Iraq last year.

Finally, here is an absolute mind-boggler…a 1,500-year old computer:

X-rays and advanced photography have uncovered the true complexity of the mysterious Antikythera mechanism, a device so astonishing that its discovery is like finding a functional Buick in medieval Europe.

In 1900, some divers found the wreck of a Roman vessel off the Greek island of Antikythera. Among the other treasures remanded to the Greek government was an unassuming corroded lump. Some time later, the lump fell apart, revealing a damaged machine of unknown purpose, with some large gears and many smaller cogs, plus a few engraved words in Greek. Early studies suggested it was some type of astronomical time-keeping device – researcher Derek J. de Solla Price laid the groundwork by establishing initial tooth counts and suggesting that the device followed the Metonic cycle, a 235-month pattern commonly used to predict eclipses in the ancient world.

The full function and beauty of the Antikythera device remained hidden until recent studies subjected it to more advanced imaging techniques. …

The findings, published in Nature, are probably best described as “mind blowing.” Devices with this level of complexity were not seen again for almost 1,500 years, and the Antikythera mechanism’s compactness actually bests the later designs. Probably built around 150 B.C., the Antikythera mechanism can perform a number of functions just by turning a crank on the side.

Using nothing but an ingenious system of gears, the mechanism could be used to predict the month, day and hour of an eclipse, and even accounted for leap years. It could also predict the positions of the sun and moon against the zodiac, and has a gear train that turns a black and white stone to show the moon’s phase on a given date. It is possible that it could also show the astronomical positions of the planets known to the ancients: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.

Sweet! Have a great weekend.

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About

I'm a gun-owning, Bible-thumping, bitter clinger conservative in the heartland. You can disagree with me if you want (you do, after all, have a right to be wrong)...just don't be rude or stupid and we'll get along just fine! :)

Posted in Fun and Frivolity

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