The Daily Flash -Eco, Space, Tech (5/06)

 

Thumb160x_electionimage240 British Election Results Projected On Big Ben Today

Today, Brits will vote on a new prime minister, with the results being projected on the landmark tower known as Big Ben, in real time. It’s not the first time projections have been beamed, but it’ll be interactive at least. It’s the first time the election results will be beamed on St Stephen’s Tower (to give it its full name, as Big Ben is actually the bell inside the tower), with the picture included here a mock-up of what the last general election’s results would’ve looked like splashed on the front of the building. The BBC is behind the scheme, but before you ask—I doubt there’ll be daleks patrolling the base. [BBC via O’Reilly Radar via Boing Boing]

Iron Man 2 Review

Rhodey, get down!” And with those words, a one-second effect, a secret Iron Man weapon that was so stunning and so unexpected and so well rendered, forced the audience to make a noise I’d never heard a group make before: A cross between a gasp for air and a Scooby Doo “gewuhhhh???”. For a moment, the Chicago reviewers sitting shoulder to shoulder with laymen Q101 contest winners—they (we) were all children again. That moment was enough to make up for the Iron Man bathroom humor scene that—and I’m not making this up—serves as a primary conflict to drive the movie’s plot forward. Still, it’s basically impossible not to enjoy the film. Mickey Rourke, Sam Rockwell, Garry Shandling—these are what Iron Man 2 considers bad guys—a group of actors who are so entertaining unto their own right, it takes their unquenchable thirst for the blood of Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson to balance any semblance of screen karma.

The European Suborbital Shuttle

Following the trail of SpaceShipTwo, Dassault has been working on a new suborbital civilian spacecraft. Not to be confused with the Future High-Altitude High-Speed Transport 20XX, the new aircraft could be a 11-ton vehicle derived from their VEHRA satellite launcher. VEHRA and VSH—the name of the new civilian vehicle—are both air launched, and “based on the X-38 experimental lifting body from NASA, for which Dassault Aviation had defined the shape.” While VEHRA will have heavy versions capable of putting a 7-ton payload in low orbit, VSH is only designed to bring tourists into the edge of space, flying at Mach 3.5. If you don’t have the money for this kind of trip, don’t worry. It looks like you have plenty of time to save those purple rupees, as the aircraft is still in the first stages of development. [Dassault via Flight Global]

 

The Time Square Bomb Was a Crappy Rube Goldberg Machine

Firecrackers, cardboard boxes, and clocks are among the items remaining after a bomb failed to explode in New York Times Square. The device was a dangerous Rube Goldberg contraption and for once such a setup wasn’t cartoonish or amusing. This time instead of giggling and staring, we’re left in terrified awe of the parts this car bomb was built from. Instead of catching a mouse, accompanying a song, or amusing children, this particular Rube Goldberg contraption could’ve taken lives. It’s just another chilling reminder of how the things which amuse us in simple, innocent ways could could be the stuff of nightmares. [NY Times]

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