Many of you readers might not have been around to remember the original Woodstock festival, and those who were there might not remember it all that well, either. But if there's one vehicle that helped represent the times as a whole, it's the psychedelic VW Type 2 that the band Light brought to the festival. And now, on the eve of Woodstock's 50-year anniversary, it's back from the dead.Volkswagen announced this week that Dr. Bob Hieronimus, the man who painted the original Light Bus, will unveil the revived version at this weekend's Orange County Transporter Organization Winter Meet in California. After the meet, this hand-painted revival will travel the country to celebrate Woodstock's anniversary.This van is the result of three years of hard work. Hieronimus and John Wesley Chisholm, a Canadian documentarian, first set out to find the original bus, but the two were unable to find it after six months of searching. The pair eventually decided to build a spot-on recreation with the help … [Read more...] about The trippy VW Type 2 ‘Light Bus’ gets revived for Woodstock’s anniversary
New video of giant pangolins shows these bizarre scaly creatures in their natural (nocturnal) habitat. In the videos, the blunt-nosed creatures — which are the only mammals with scales — are seen meandering about the undergrowth, sniffing for food and danger. In one clip, a baby pangolin rides on its mother's back. In another, a pangolin shimmies partway up a tree trunk. Another pangolin gets (rather adorably) tangled in a stick and marches off with the vegetation wrapped around its torso. [Pangolin Photos: Scaly Mammals Threatened with Extinction] The videos were collected by researchers from Chester Zoo in the United Kingdom, alongside Rhino Fund Uganda (RFU). Though, as the name implies, that organization works to protect rhinoceroses in Uganda, rangers working for RFU kept running across giant pangolins while on patrol. When the Chester Zoo approached the organization about studying the creatures, the RFU staff jumped at the opportunity, according to a statement. … [Read more...] about Rarely Glimpsed Scaly Pangolins Caught Hugging Trees in the Dark
The ability to do a lot of pushups may be a sign not only of strength, but also of good heart health, a new study suggests. The study tested the stamina of middle-aged male firefighters. It found that those who could do more than 40 pushups in a row had a 96 percent lower risk of being diagnosed with heart disease or experiencing other heart problems over a 10-year period, as compared with those men who could do fewer than 10 push ups. However, because the study looked at only male firefighters, who have very active jobs, it's unclear if the findings apply to average Joes. [9 New Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy] But the findings suggest that "pushup capacity could be an easy, no-cost method to help assess cardiovascular disease risk," study lead author Justin Yang, an occupational medicine resident at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, said in a statement. The study was published Feb. 15 in the journal JAMA Network Open. A simple test Physicians know that … [Read more...] about Why Men Who Can Do 40 Pushups May Have Better Heart Health
When it comes to safety, we hold machines and humans to very different standards. In 2016, there were 34,439 fatal road crashes in the US, but we regard driving alongside other humans as ‘safe enough’. Accidents are tragic, but they happen.However, if roads were fully automated and there were 30,000 fatal accidents, would we be so understanding? Would we still call them ‘safe enough’ – and what does that mean?To get a better understanding, we spoke to Chris Bessette, program manager for autonomous driving at Draper, and one of the world’s foremost experts on autonomy and LIDAR.Chris BessetteProgram manager for autonomous driving at Draper. Image credit: DraperDraper is an engineering research laboratory that was originally part of MIT, but span off in the 1970s. It’s best known for its work in aerospace and undersea vehicles, but in the last few years it’s also begun working on safety for self-driving cars.Autonomous cars might seem like … [Read more...] about When will self-driving cars earn our trust?
The long and Martian road: In August 2010, the Opportunity rover looked back and took a photo of its tracks in the Red Planet’s sand. This image features the lovely ripples of small dunes created by the wind, similar to the ones we have here on Earth. Opportunity took many epic shots like this as it cruised around Mars for 15 years. Now it’s lost to us. Behold more dunes: These crescent-shaped sand formations are called barchan dunes. From this photo, captured by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s HiRISE camera, scientists can tell the prevailing winds are blowing east to west. The wind pushes fine grains of sand up slopes, creating ripples and rendering these mesmerizing shapes. Opportunity is lost, but we’re not done with Mars yet. Earlier this month, the InSight lander successfully placed a thermal wind and heat shield atop its seismometer. NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter was flying overhead and not only spotted the dark-colored solar panels of … [Read more...] about The Trail of Opportunity and More Eye Candy From Space