Late last night, deep in a Wikipedia hole that started with Transport in Réunion, I wound up in a side tunnel consisting of the world’s highest bridges. If you haven’t been keeping up, civil engineering’s bridge game circa 2015 is completely fucking nuts, and the pinnacle of it is China’s Sidu River Bridge.
Image: Road and Bridge Southern China Engineering Co
First of all, at 1,600 feet above the canyon floor below, the almost mile-long bridge looks like it might as well be connecting the peaks of two towering clouds, though in reality it’s really just the peaks of two mountains. It’s a rather classically designed suspension bridge, calling to mind a sinewy version of the Golden Gate. But it’s less the bridge’s design that makes it incredible than how it was actually constructed: The first pieces of its suspension cabling, known as pilot cables, were delivered across the chasm of the Sidu River valley attached to a pair of rockets.
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is to introduce a proposal that aims to make geofencing of drones mandatory soon, following a number of reports of close shaves between the unmanned aircraft and regular planes.
The geofencing of drones would use GPS and other technology to impose geographical limits on their movement.
Schumer said Wednesday he would propose an amendment as part of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Bill that must move through Congress this fall, to require manufacturers to have in place geofencing technology “or other similar solutions” on all drones so as to prevent them from flying in prohibited zones like airports.
The amendment has become necessary as current reports suggest that the current policy of the Federal Aviation Administration will be extended through at least 2016, without a provision for geofencing, Schumer said.
The technology already exists for preventing drones from flying into unauthorized areas. DJI, the manufacturer of the drone that crashed on the lawn of the White House in January, announced soon after that it would release firmware that would add a no-fly zone around much of Washington, D.C.
Using and understanding the intricacies of sarcasm is a fine art; one does not simply “become” sarcastic – you must dive into it, let it embrace you. You must become sarcasm. But jokes aside, sarcasm is a strange thing – we don’t know exactly how it appeared and why. The best theory seems to be that it developed as a cognitive and emotional tool that adolescents use in order to test the borders of politeness and truth in conversation, but that’s not really a satisfying explanation. Sarcasm can be understood as a sign of intelligence, or a sign of rudeness. It can be used to make fun of somebody, or to signal a contrary opinion in a different way. But perhaps most importantly, as scientists have recently found – sarcasm is good for you.
Many practitioners will agree that sarcasm often feels like mental gymnastics. Not everyone can do it, and even understanding it often requires a thorough understanding capacity and ability to think in a non-intuitive way. But until now, the science to back that up lacked. Now, new research by Francesca Gino of Harvard Business School, Adam Galinsky, the Vikram S. Pandit Professor of Business at Columbia Business School, and Li Huang of INSEAD, the European business school, found that sarcasm is a process that activates and is facilitated by abstraction, which in turn promotes creative thinking. In other words, yes, sarcasm is like mental gymnastics.
A member of the Ku Klux Klan who planned to use a death ray against President Obama has been convicted in federal court.
Glendon Scott Crawford, 51, of Galway, New York was convicted by a jury in Albany of charges of attempting to secure a weapon of mass destruction.
The specific charges were attempting to acquire and use a radiological dispersal device, conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction, and distributing information relating to weapons of mass destruction.
Crawford planned to use an x-ray based device in attacks on Muslim mosques and the White House.
He is the first person to be found guilty of attempting to acquire a radiological dispersal device, based on a law Congress passed in 2004.
“Glendon Scott Crawford is a terrorist who would have used a weapon of mass destruction to kill innocent members of our Muslim community were it not for the good judgment of citizens who quickly alerted law enforcement to his diabolical plan and the outstanding work of the Albany FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force,” said United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian.