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January 21, 2023

Most extreme rogue wave on record

From Kottke:

This video is a simulation of a rogue wave 58 feet tall recorded by a buoy off the coast of Vancouver Island in 2020.

For centuries, rogue waves were considered nothing but nautical folklore. It wasn't until 1995 that myth became fact.

On the first day of the new year, a nearly 26-meter-high wave (85 feet) suddenly struck an oil-drilling platform roughly 160 kilometers (100 miles) off the coast of Norway.

At the time, the so-called Draupner wave defied all previous models scientists had put together.

Since then, dozens more rogue waves have been recorded (some even in lakes), and while the one that surfaced near Ucluelet, Vancouver Island was not the tallest, its relative size compared to the waves around it was unprecedented.

Scientists define a rogue wave as any wave more than twice the height of the waves surrounding it.

The Draupner wave, for instance, was 25.6 meters tall, while its neighbors were only 12 meters tall.

In comparison, the Ucluelet wave was nearly three times the size of its peers.

Watching the video is surprising... the wave you think is the tall one isn’t and when it comes, you're like, ok, WOW.

[via damn interesting]

January 21, 2023 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Augmented Reality at Home: You Can Too!

Embedded in an excellent Wall Street Journal article about NASA's Mars helicopter Ingenuity and its astounding feats on and above the surface of Mars — and what this portends for future robotic missions to other planets and moons in our solar system — is a feature that lets you view NASA's upcoming Dragonfly Explorer helicopter, slated for a 2027 launch to Saturn's moon Titan, in augmented reality on your iOS device (iPhone or iPad) as it would appear wherever in the world you happen to be.

I was at home (doh!) — where you'll find me for all but 4-5 hours/MONTH — with Vanta around sunset yesterday when we powered up (top).


Who needs AR/VR/MR Apple glasses that cost upwards of $3,000 and may or may not be released real soon now?

My YouTube description of our mission:

From the Wall Street Journal:

Dragonfly is a nuclear-powered helicopter in development at Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Lab (APL) in Laurel, Maryland.

In 2027, NASA plans to launch Dragonfly toward Titan, where the atmosphere is four times denser and the gravity seven times weaker than Earth's.

Under those conditions, a modest nudge from Dragonfly's eight rotors should be enough to send the half-ton science lab soaring through the sky.

"Titan's just calling out to be flown on," says APL's Elizabeth "Zibi" Turtle, a planetary scientist at APL and the principal investigator for the Dragonfly mission.

Plans call for Dragonfly to take to the air once a month for nearly three years, logging up to 10 miles per flight, to explore a landscape dotted with liquid methane lakes, ice boulders, and dunes made of grains of tar.

Each time it touches down in a new spot, the octocopter will use its suite of instruments to assess the local environment, seeking out carbon compounds of the sort that scientists believe might be precursors of life.

If a location seems particularly interesting, Dragonfly will collect surface samples using a pair of drills.

"We want to understand the chemical steps occurring on Titan, ones that may be like the early chemical steps that occurred here on Earth" before the first living things appeared, Dr. Turtle said.

January 21, 2023 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Provoke First Responder Knife

From Core77:

Farming Knife Redesigned for EMTs Working in Close Quarters

Knife designer Joe Caswell's Provoke First Responder 

A farming implement has been redesigned to assist EMTs working in close quarters.


A karambit is a traditional curved knife from Southeast Asia, originally developed for farming and planting tasks. It is held in the manner of a hammer, but with the blade curving forwards from the bottom, like an elephant's tusk. A finger ring up top keeps the knife securely in hand.


In recent years EMTs and other first responders have taken to carrying folding karambits. When working in close quarters — imagine trying to extract a person from the collapsed interior of a crushed car — the configuration of the short, curved blade provides leverage from a cramped position. The knife makes it easier, in these tight situations, to saw through a seatbelt or cut clothing away to reveal a wound.

But in speaking to first responders, veteran knife designer Joe Caswell learned about the pain points of the karambit. Users had two issues: One was that deploying the blade in close quarters was often difficult. Two was that putting the blade away was also difficult, even unsafe; one's fingers are directly in the way of the blade's edge.

Caswell incorporated this feedback to design his Provoke First Responder knife for manufacturer CRKT.


The deployment mechanism is clever, space-saving and elegant. "The blade is designed to be deployed from a clenched fist," Caswell explains. Additionally, "Your fingers are never exposed to the rotational path of the blade."

The butt end of the knife also features a glassbreaker.


Not including the fasteners, the knife is made of five parts. Caswell has trademarked the knife's action as Kinematic™. 


January 21, 2023 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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