Saturday, September 8, 2012

Link roundup

1. From a speech by Warren Ellis about how the present is very cool:

The Olympus Mons mountain on Mars is so tall and yet so gently sloped that, were you suited and supplied correctly, ascending it would allow you to walk most of the way to space. Mars has a big, puffy atmosphere, taller than ours, but there’s barely anything to it at that level. 30 Pascals of pressure, which is what we get in an industrial vacuum furnace here on Earth. You may as well be in space. Imagine that. Imagine a world where you could quite literally walk to space.
2. Better than any promotional alternate reality game, how a group of running enthusiasts exposed a devious cheater by studying race results and in-race photos.

3. Wired looks at all the design work that goes into Nerf guns (and veers too far into advertorial):
It may seem silly to take this stuff seriously as feats of engineering, but in their own way, these toys are as well designed as a Dyson vacuum. When you pick up a blaster, when you feel the heft, when you put the stock to your shoulder and wrap your fingers around the handle, when you chamber a dart and pull the trigger and the dart comes flying out with that immensely satisfying thunk, it doesn’t feel like what you’re holding is just some cheap hunk of plastic. And every detail of that experience has been meticulously designed, engineered, and tested.