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All lights reserved. 2407 is Timberloch Pl. < z LJ -c >co W :. Salem. they wtll not be returned unless accompanied by return postage.Editorial Dept. Photocopy Pennission: Pennission is granted by POPULAR SCIENCE'"' libraries and others registered with the Copyright Clearance Center (Ccq to photocopy articles in this issue for the flat fee of$1 per copy of each article or any part for of an article. and more Stronger. Microfilm editions are available from Xerox University Microfilms Serial Bid Coordinator. t-..2 Features 34 Did Global Warming Destroy My Hometown? Last May. Subscriptions processed electronically. is published monthly by Bonnier Corp. 300 N. No. New York. safety and the laws of physics were no object.Editorial Offices:Address contributions to POPULAR SC[ENCE.Periodicals postage paid at New York NY. or a warning of things to come? By Seth Fletcher EARPHONES The "Listening Forest" at Imagination Playground in New York City THE FUTURE OF FUN 42 Gravity Has Always Been a Major Part of My Life An oral history of extreme sports.O. Ann Arbor. for eight long seconds. Vol. FL32142-0235. MI 48106. New York. please 'write to POPULAR SCIENCE. Departments 04 06 08 70 84 II 12 14 17 HEADLINES A Word from the Editor Peer Review Megapixels FYI POPSCI old-In F WHAT'S NEW 23 The cheap.. Canada Post Publications agreement #40612608. By Matthew Shaer 60 Engineering the Ultimate Toy What six inventors would build-if money. 280.and additional matltnq offices.POSTMASTER Send address changes to POPULAR SCIENCE. Box 25542.The Woodlands. Address requests for permission on bulk orders to POPULAR SCIENCE. Missouri. Subscribers: If the post office alerts us that your magazine is undeliverable. GST#R-122988066.2 Park Ave. write or call Wright's Reprints. Send correspondence and payment to CCC(21Congress St. Was it chance. Palm Coast. ON N6C 6B2. By Paul Kvinta S2 Zero-Gravity Roller Coaster A SSO-million plan to make riders weightless. P. NY 10016 for foreign requests.P. specify CCCcode 0161-7370/85/$1. 2 Park Ave.FEBRUARY VOLUME 280 2012 NO. Subscription Rates: $19. quieter outdoor tools Porsche reinvents the 911 20 Multi-room home audio 21 Voice-controlled everything 62 64 66 68 69 Future of Play edition A drivable arcade cabinet Retro videogames on mobile devices Gray Matter: The dangers of tin soldiers Sledding without climbing hills Build a giant Operation game o t-. Box 420235. Canada Return Mail: Pitney Bowes.95 for I year.. For domestic requests (article reprints only). Printed tn the USA.. MA 01970). Copyright ©20l2 by Bonnier Corp. <Y :::J o POPULAR SCIENCE magazine..O. If you would prefer that we not include your name.. a massive tornado leveled Joplin. Mailing Lists: We make a portion of OUT mailing list available to reputable firms. Suite B.O.0 State of PLay A Gallery of Fun Spaces By Geoff Manaugh 4 o Z :::J o <Y LJ >--" CL Z -a: Blocks to build your own robot The Goods: The top toy 'copter. Box 420235. Please add $10 per year for Canadian addresses and $30 per year for all other international addresses. small satellite revolution 26 Big dam demolition 28 Predicting avalanches 29 Making the blackest material ever 30 A whole new kind of flying machine 32 Scientists on trial HOW 2.We are not responsible for loss of unsolicited materials. Zeeb Rd. Copying done for other than personal or reference use without the written permtsston of POPULAR SCIENCE® prohibited. USPS 577-250).00. FL32142-0235. TX m80: 877-652-5295..00-0.. 2 Park Ave. By Ben Austen S4 Game of Life Will keeping score of absolutely everything make you a better person? An experiment in self-improvement. we have no further obligation unless we receive a corrected address within two years. New York NY 10016. NY 10016.2 (ISSN 161-7370..P. Palm Coast.London. FEBRUARY 2Dl2 • POPULAR SCIENCE 03 . Reprinting in whole or pan is forbidden except by permtssron of Bonnier Corp.

com Human Resources Manager Kim Putman Production Associate Erika Hernandez Group Production Director Laurel Kurnides Operations Director Mimi RosenfeLd MARKJANNOT mark. Preston Lerner.jannot@bonniercorp. David Ginsberg. P:D. Corporate SaLes 5. Eric Adams. please use our website: wwwpopsci.COM Digital Content Director John Mahoney Associate Web Editor Paul Adams Assistant Web Editor Dan Nosowitz Web Intern Sean Kane BONNIER'S TECHNOLOGY GROUP Senior VP. And as we live through an unprecedentedly weird period of relentless. Elona Zejnati Retention Manager Hong Truong Fulfillment Manager Hernarie Vazquez Single-Copy Sales Director Vicki Weston Publicity Manager Hallie Kapner Ilalliekapner@gmail. Mike Spinelli. But a lack of scientific certainty should never be allowed to undercut our ability (and responsibility) to act on imperfect information. injured 1. FEBRUARY 2012 FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE ANO SUBSCRIPTION QUESTIONS. strictly speaking. Missouri. Seth Fletcher.SCIENCE. Newtonian science is not perfect. a huge.150people. it's tempting to take undue comfort in that truism. for which the data record is surprisingly sketchy and short-term. Gregory Mone. Marketing Mike Gallic Flnanclal Director Tara Bisciello Northeast Advertising Office Amanda Alirno. Rena Marie Pacella. DigitaL Bruno Sousa Senior Vice President.com Chairman Jonas Bonnier Chief Executive Officer Terry Snow Chief Financial Officer Randall Koubek Senior vtce President. as if the limits of scientific specificity and certainty should confer blanket deniability over the notion that a warming atmosphere will lead to tumultuous and catastrophic outcomes. flew home to see the damage for himself and to probe a question that we've been conditioned not to even entertain under such circumstances: Could this have been the work of global warming? The mantra has been drummed into our heads in the aftermath of each of the hundred-year storms we've recently witnessed: No single extreme weather event can be proven to have been caused or amplified by climate change. Speed Weed Contributing Troubadour Jonathan rouuon Editorial Interns kaulln Miller. Kalee Thompson. Phillip Torrone. in-laws s and childhood friends still live there. FL 32142-0235. and especially so when dealing with weather phenomena.) We only ever have contingent knowledge-the most robust scientific thinking at a given moment-and this thinking is always subject to change. but it's enough to get us to the moon and back. Consumer Marketing Bruce Miller Vice President. hurricanes and tornadoes. Catherine Price. Dave Prochnow. Or you (an write to Popular Science. Eric Hagerman. Grune Associate Publisher Anthony Ruotolo Executive Assistant Christopher Graves Associate Publisher. Corporate Communications Dean Turcol Brand Director John Miller Publishing Consultant Martin S. And climate science has a long way to go.TechnoLogy Gregg R. People who think science is certain don't understand science.LASTMAY22ND.mm Classified Advertising Sales Patrick Notaro 212-779-5555. Ashley Smestad Designer.com/cs. That's what makes it scientific. Box 420235. Locke Assistant to the Editor-in-Chief Naomi Major Proofreader Chris Simpson West Coast Bureau Chief Jacob Ward Contributing Innovation Editor Mike Haney Contributing Technology Editor Steve Morgenstern Contributing Editors Lauren Aaronson. Amber Williams ART AND PHOTOGRAPHY Art Director Todd Detwiler Photo Editor Thomas Payne Junior Designers Michael Moreno. Chip Parham 212-779-5492 Classified Assistant CoLleen Nicosia Direct Response Sales Alycia Isabelle 860-542-5180 DigitaL Advertising Director Matthew Bondu GeneraL Manager. Creative Services/Events Mike tacanza Director of Events MichelLe Cast Special Events Manager Erica Johnson Marketing Art Directors Undsa~ Krist. Creative Director Sam S~ed POPULAR Editor-in-Chief Mark Jannot Deputy Editor Luke Mitchell Executive Editor Cliff Ransom Managing Editor Jill (_ Shomer Imperfectly Clear AT5:41P. Marla Ursa Integrated Sales Development Project Manager Kat Collins Group Director. Palm Coast. Theodore Gray.Marketing John Haskin Vice President. Walker General Counsel Jeremy Thompson BONNIER w LJ LJ co :J 04 POPULAR SCIENCE. And as Seth discovered in Joplin [page 34]. Corporate Sales & Technology Gregg R. superlative and oddly situated droughts. Bob Meth 310-227-8963 Ad Assistant Kate Gregory Detroit: Manager Edward A.M. This is true. Andrew Schulman Senior Planning Manager Raymond Ward New-Business Managers Jeff Shafer. james Vlahos. and would ultimately be responsible for 161deaths-the most devastating single tornado on record. it had leveled 20 percent of Joplin.that warning is a dire one. Information Graphics Katie Peek Digital Producer Griffin Plonchak Digital Art Director David Quaranta Digital Imaging Hirnki Tada Interns Jackie Mermea.jessica Snyder Sachs. Brooke Borel. Caitlun Welch Photo Manager Sara Schiano Ad Assistant Andrea Licata Northwest Manager Jay Monaghan 415-777-4417 Midwest: Manager john Marquardt 312-252-2838 Ad Assistant Lori Altieri West Coast Account Managers Robert Hoeck. Information Technology Shawn Larson Vice President. Production Lisa Earlqwine Vice President. POPSCI enior editor Seth Fletcher. Rebecca Skloot.Joseph Hooper. Hano Group Publisher Steven B. But we do know enough to start taking its warning about global warming very seriously. Elizabeth Svoboda. and began relentlessly plowing through the city. Dawn Stover. Bartley 248-502-2172 Ad Assistant Diane Pahl Southern Manager Jason A. But just because a thing is imperfect does not mean it is not actionable. DigitaL Sales 5. Albaum jason@afatLanta. Martha Harbison Senior Associate Editors R~an Bradley. A few days later. Tiffanie Morales POPSCI. Digital Operations Alexis Costa Digital Project Manager Rochelle Rodriguez Senior Digital Project Coordinator Elizabeth Besada Integrated Sales DeveLopment Director Mike Kell~ Integrated SaLes Development Managers Lauren Brewer. Shawn Arthur Keeler Woznicki Promotions Manager Eshnntla Carawa~ Consumer Marketing Director Bob Inhn Associate Directors Lauren Rosenblatt. (An ongoing criminal trial of Italian seismologists [page 32] provides a good lesson in our inability to grapple with scientific uncertainty. Hano Vice President. like tornadoes. a Joplin native whose parents. You may also (all 386-597-4279. EOITORIAL Editorial Production Manager Felicia Pardo Copy and Research Director Rina Bander Senior Editors Doug Cantor. By the time it dissipated at the eastern edge of town 32 minutes later. Corinne lozzio Associate Editor Susannah F. slow-moving tornado touched down just west of Joplin. .

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Chandler.4 miles long. longer-lasting cave paint. no one protects it in more places than Norton. the bladder will rise to the top. The only problem is that nowhere in the article did it say how long the tunnel is.Hit List TOP-SECRET TUNNEL? I read with interest the story "Longest Train Tunnel" [Best of What's New. Jim Stack Lakewood. and renewable energy F It's more than just data. It's your Stuff and whether it lives on your smartphone. I run my home and car.' Best of What's New]. pictures. Ariz.com SECURITY I BACKUP I MOBILE I LIVE HELP . The editors reply: Sorry about that. computer or tablet. and if he is CAVE CARS I was disappointed to see that Best of What's New recognized so many engines and vehicles that still burn gasoline and diesel fuel. and get netmetering credits each month. An electric car like my Nissan Leaf is more than 90 percent efficient and can run on solar power from my home GRID Tied system. passwords and private info. It's your life. still help the local utility. The problem with [placing the air bladder on the back of the suit] is that when the wearer reaches the surface. Fossil fuels are dirty and inefficient. He will have to fight to get every breath of air. Learn how at ProtectYourStuff. Calif. Military secret? Or is it just "really long"? Tom Wright sources can replace them. December 2011]. That's like giving an award to a new. leaving the wearer's body facing downward into the water. Your videos. The tunnel is 35. FACE DOWN There appears to be a terrible design flaw in the Billabong VI wetsuit ["Keeping Heads Above Water.

such as a portner spotting from aJet Ski.Engineering Most-viewed Best of What's New category on popsci. Protecting the Stuff that matters:" .com This product is from sustainably managed forests and controlled sources.com 1 Wysips seethrough solar panels popsti. Stellar'S facility has the capocity to make that amount of the protein a year.com Ranking Most-popular products from the 2011 Best of What's New issue." In fact. 9th Floor New York. no one should ever use the suit without experienced support.com/subscribe SUBSCRIPTION INQUIRIES Fullerton. contact Wright's Reprints 877-652-5295 «- pooscicom/cs INTERNATIONAL EDITIONS Inquiries regarding internationaillcensing or syndication syndicotion@popscLcom LETTERS To the editor ietters@popsci. Placing the bladder on the bock of the suit eliminates bulk around the shoulders.com in a weakened physical state he may not be able to lift his head to breathe. NY 10016 Ask a Geek: h20@popscLcom Story queries queries@popsci. NEW SUBSCRIPTIONS popsti. We regret that we cannot answer unpublished letters. San FrancLscoOakland Bay Bridge 5 WorxJawSaw chain saw 6 Katal snowboard landing pad 7 VersabarVBIOOOO oil-rig remover 8 Avita ReCe11 spray-on skin 9 Zenith Towers. Calif Billabong product designer Hub Hubbard replies: The VI is designed speciflcol/y for big-wove surflng.JIJ" MAIN OFFICE 2 Park Ave.. Change of address or subscription problems: Popular Science P. 2011] stated that "Stellar currently makes between one and two kilograms of KLH a year. South Korea 10 DeWalt IS-ounce MIG Weld framing hammer Comments may be edited for length and clarity. Roger Toy CORRECTION "The Incredible Mr. Dec. Finally. Box 420235 Palm Coast. which are meant to keep the user afloat until help arrives. FL 32142 386-597-4279 WRIGHT'S MEDIA For licensing and reprints of POPULAR SCIENCE content.O. and drown. More information is posted at billebonq. so it is ditterem from most personal flotation devices. The VI wearer expects to paddle his way out of danger even after inflating the bladder. Limpet" [Headlines. so the surfer con paddle into the wove to begin with. 2 Ecomotors OPOC engine 3 Lytro Ught -Field camera 4 East span.com Science questions: jyi@popsci.corn/vlwetsuit/. by views on popscLcom POPULAR SCIENCE.

Multicopters are more stable and easier to control than helicopters. Senkel. near Karlsruhe. Thomas Senkel completed the first manned flight of an electric multicopter.MEGAPIXELS First Flight Last October. have failed. They're also potentially safer: The craft can land even after four of its 16 rotors. each of which has its own battery-powered motor. a physicist and paraglider pilot who helped found the company E-volo to build the craft. STORY BY PHOTOGRAPH Amber Williams BY Beate Kern . Germany. flying it 10 feet off the ground for 90 seconds. E-volo says it will build a two-seat multicopter by the spring and begin selling the craft for recreational purposes next year. invented it after seeing a YouTube video of a German hobbyist's remotecontrolled hexacopter in action. Multicopters could also be fitted with a parachute (which would be caught in the overhead rotor on a helicopter).

/ _ C~~ ~ Karlsruhe. Germany . ff.~ .~--.

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as well as cubes that roll on rubber wheels. spin. mands." for FEBRUARY 2012 • POPULAR SCIENCE 11 . Cubelets Bryan Gardiner PHOTOGRAPH Claire Benoist and more.6-inch cube contains an eight-megahertz processor preprogrammed battery to execute one function.) The robots. produces Cubelets a robot that walks when the lights turn on.5 volts PROCESSOR SPEED 8 megahertz per block BATTERY LIFE 2-6 hours PRICE $150 per set of 6. The six-block starter kit includes a rechargeable brick. chirp. claps-can robots is no ties. for example. display an LED at varying intensi- blocks together. Later this year. such as cues to "go" or "beep. BY small feat. let containing kit can make about 30 different light-sensitive computer or smartphone attaching the battery block to wheeled and blocks. Users configure the blocks however they choose. Just to get a robot to perform a turning when someone require hours of coding. Users can also buy individual will be able to reprogram the blocks by accessing their code and replacing an instant behavioral adjustment. and the arrangement determines how the finished robot acts.• • • Modular Robotics Cubelets KT06Kit VOLTAGE 3. Each 1. Through a browser. plus $25 (est. the manufacturer plans to release a Cubea Bluetooth chip. allowing copper connecdata between cubes. (Magnets tors to transmit hold the STORY BY Robo Blocks that react to changes in temperature.) for each additional cube INSIDE A cordless chainsaw with real power The Porsche 911reborn Voice control for everything Create robots from square puzzle pieces Building and programming simple action-say. and detect changes in lighting. tinkerers com- make robot creation as simple as stacking blocks.

the Sensor Gloves are universal. COURTESY BLUE MICROPHONES. COURTESY TIMEX. 5amsung InTouch $200 Droid Dock Typical speaker docks recharge only iPhones or iPods. LTD. so zooming during takes is smooth. FEBRUARY 2012 THIS AND FACING PAGE. The plate snaps into any existing three-prong outlet.. COURTESY SWIVL. The camera's 17 glass lens elements maintain color. Fujifilm X-51 $800 Adapt-a-Plug The RCA USB Wall Plate turns any standard outlet into a USB charging station.Warmer Texter Unlike other touchscreen gloves that limit sensitivity to well-placed dots on the flngertips. The O-ring at the nape of its 26x lens is greased similarly to those in professional camcorders. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP RIGHT: COURTESY OUT~OOR RESEARCH. CLAIRE RCA. Outdoor Resealth sensor (iloves From $6S A Dozen Great Ideas in Gear Tele-Phone Samsung's candy-bar-size camera upgrades any HDTV into a Web-connected videophone. such as keyboard clicks and fans. iHome's iCI6 is the first dock that uses a USB port to link with and charge Android handsets as well. surf YouTube. CLAIRE BENOIST. sharpness and contrast even when zooming is maxed. Every part of the leather that lines the flngers and palms is treated with nanoparticles that interact with capacitive screens the same way skin does. RCA USB Wall Plate $20 12 POPULAR SCIENCE. Listeners can also sync the speaker with an app that they can use to program music to play at set times. The three-inch mic's signal processor amplifies vocals and filters out ambient noise. users can also browse the Web. COURTESY BENOIST. COURTESY BOOSTER COURTESY SAMSUNG . so there's no electrical wiring required. A one-gigahertz processor provides enough power to stream 720p video calls through Skype accounts over Wi-Fi. and check Google News. allowing users to juice smartphones and tablets without an AlC adapter. COURTESY IHOME. COURTESY FUJIFILM. And because the device runs on Android software and has a full Qwerty remote. Blue Microphones Tiki $59 • Slick Lens Fujifilm's x-Sl is a consumer-grade camera with a pro-quality zoom. such as before bed or as an alarm in the morning. COURTESY LG. iHome iCI6 $50 II MiniMic Blue's USB VolP microphone has twin mics-one facing forward and one back-so it will home in on a caller's voice no matter which side of a computer he plugs the device into.

while its ultrasonic sensor locates obstacles with reflected sound. As the vac rolls. Swivl by Satarii $159 ® CtiN flHS UTORS Corinne Iozzto. which fits any phone or diqicarn less than II millimeters thick. enabling an artist's lines to vary in thickness. Radiator BOOster $40 Under Pressure The 5. Kaitlin Miller FEBRUARY 2012 • POPULAR SCIENCE 13 .3-inch screen on the Galaxy Note phone can serve as a sketchpad to save notes and doodles. When an onboard thermometer senses that the radiator is hotter than 86"F. The FlyBack Chronograph has a microprocessor that tracks how long the second hand has stopped during resetting and moves it to the proper position once the owner has snapped the pin back in place. Timex SL Series Fly-Back Chronograph $210 Personal Cameraman The Swivl motorized camera stand. saving video shoots or FaceTime chats from awkward pans and crops. Susannah F. Samsung Galaxy Note Price not set • Control with your iPhone Every time you reset your watch.Smarter Vac The LG Hom-Bot autonomous vacuum maps ceiling edges with an upward-facing camera to determine a room's shape. LG Hom-Bot Robot Vacuum Cleaner $800 A Blast of Heat Perched on top of a radiator. it activates a pressure-sensitive layer. follows a user's movements. a second camera underneath scans for dirt 2. you lose several seconds of time in the process. it activates a two-inch fan that sucks up heat between the radiator and the wall and pushes it into the room. Guided by an infrared marker on a wearable Bluetooth mit (included). the BOOster helps to heat a room more effectively than with a radiator alone. the stand can spin a full 360 degrees and tilt 30 degrees up or down. suction turns on only where there's a mess to clean.000 times a second. When users touch the OLEO screen with the included stylus. Locke.

Users can run it with Lesspower for touch-Ups or more for overgrown weeds and can cut a miLeof Lawnedges on a singLe charge. LEAF BLOWER Most bLowers draw air through vents in their sides and force it to turn 90 degrees before bLowing it out. or bLowing piles of wet Leaves. Because they don't idLe.saving energy. comparabLe to gas-powered bLowers. They'll also never fuss with ripcords and finicky engines. It can cut a three-inch-diameter branch into 250 sLiceson one charge. it shuts itself off. often as weLL gas-powered ones can. Instead. Battery-powered tools are much quieter. which can make for happier neighbors. since electric tools turn on instantly. Stihl BGA 85 $500 CHAIN SAW Even months after charging. an inefficient route that wastes power. trimming dense grass. Oregon's Lithiumion-powered chain saw wiLL start instantLy.Manufacturers are now introducing 36-voLt Lithium-ion-powered tools that can handLe those more-demanding tasks. as STORY BY Max Fischer BY Claire Benoist PHOTOGRAPH THE BENEFIT Without a combustion engine to deaL with. Oregon PowerNow CS250E $500 LAWN TRIMMER Black & Decker'S Latest edger is 28 percent Lighterthan a gas model. Black Er Decker CordlessString Trimmer/Edger LST136 $170 14 POPULAR SCIENCE. users wiLL never have to clean up gasoLine spills or winterize the fueLsystem. users get 385 cubic feet of air per minute. On its highest speed. too.they make noise onLywhen in use. preventing wear on the motor.Hurricane force The wind speed of an average handheld leaf blower TECH TREND Li-ion Landscaping 36-volt batteries give electric yard tools the power to compete with gas-guzzlers THE TREND Battery-powered backyard tools have typicaLLy topped out at 18 voLts-pLenty for Light work but not nearLy enough for cutting fat branches. And if it senses too much stress. the StihLbLower pulls air from a rear vent and channels it straight out ofthe nozzLe. FEBRUARY 2012 .

9 seconds.8-liter flat-six in 911S) TOP SPEED 178 mph (187 mph for 911S) PRICE From $83. 3.11 percent DREAM MACHINE Of 20l0-model cars sold in the US. ranging from convertibles to racing editions to subtly tweaked versions distinguishable only to board members of the Porsche Club of America. The pricier 9115 comes with a 400-horsepower. applying as much as 200 pounds of downforce to the rear wheels and increasing stability.B-liter fiat-six and runs from 0 to 60 in as little as 3. 350-horsepower fiatsix boxer engine is 16 percent more efficient than the outgoing engine yet more powerful by five horsepower. e Computer assistance A torque-vectoring system slows down the inside rear wheel to pivot the 911 more quickly around corners.4-liter. When coasting. The result is a car that corners more evenly and consumes less gas. '" ~ 0 u Lighter body Designers cut 100 pounds by using a higher proportion of lightweight aluminumsteel composite in the body. When the seventh Porsche 911arrives this month. A shift lock prevents drivers from selecting the highway-speed overdrive gear prematurely. e e Fuel-saving tricks Both new 911s come with a stop-start system that powers down the engine at stoplights and fires it back up once the driver touches the accelerator. As the car travels faster. r co ui t-. 0 I Seven-speed stick After years of pushing "automated manual" transmissions. Full-blown generational revamps have been rarer. Porsche does stick-shift fans a favor by offering the new 911with the first seven-speed manual transmission.4-liter flat-six (3. an adaptive rear spoiler shifts position. Porsche has built many dozens of variations.050 Lawrence Ulrich • w I u :. yet is substantially quicker than its predecessors. FEBRUARY 2012 • POPULAR SCIENCE 17 . More-efficient engine The standard 3.: 0 c. the car's "sailing" mode automatically idles the engine for further fuel savings. 90 percent of the vehicle's components will be new or redesigned. faster and more efficient Since unveiling the 911in 1963. Anti-roll assist (Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control) senses cornering forces and adjusts the suspension to keep the body flat through turns. number with manual transmissions The reinvented Porsche 911is lighter. S TOR Y BY Seventh Eleven 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera ENGINE 3.

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photo upload. With a phone app. choose the rooms in which music will play (the MNSOOO syncs with other Altec gear). and a one-gigabyte gine-ideal for rendering graphics enhigh-def games audio ~ ':'_' o z w CD w cc -c -" u c. With an MP3-loaded hard drive plugged into the router's USB. equivalent to about 48 terabytes of data Wi-Fidelity Everything necessary to get a multi-room wireless stereo system running STORY BY Speaker The 100-watt multi-room MNSOOO serves as both the amplifier and central speaker in a sound system. Over Wi-Fi.3-inch with headphones pre-tuned two-year when navigating app or reading liner screen. is running at the same time. Number of records in the largest-known private vinyl collection.150 5 u for the deep bass of most pop (with contract) to Altec's speaker. the Amplifi provides remote access to music. even if a bandwidth-heavy Smartphone The HTC Rezound comes with the sharpest screen of any phone (342 pixels per inch. listeners can browse the catalog. like a play without ing. HP Pavilion o u " -" 20 POPULAR SCIENCE.3 million liiiiiiiiJ. and adjust volume. listeners can play songs through a cloudbased smartphone Media Router 3000 app. When used is Computer HP's Phoenix has enough storage (160 gigabytes to start) to hold an entire music library. the Android handset's audio equalization and hip-hop. enough power for users to mix and edit their own original songs. HTC Rezound $300 Verizon Wireless and video. to be exact)-handy Altec's remote-control notes on the 4. it combines songs on a user's hard drive with music from Pandora and other services into one mega-library. Altec Lansing MN5000 $500 Tim Gideon w 5 > -c ~ >w >::J '" o u u I >- ~ >w >o u '" ::J "- ~ >w I >- '" OJ o Wireless router O-Link's Amplifi prioritizes streams so they'll music and video sputtertask. Outside the house. All the while. D-Link Amplifi (DIR-857) $170 HD o s- as a media player. the liquid-cooled tower can easily handle continuous streaming HPE Phoenix $1. FEBRUARY 2Dl2 .

the lights would be on. Jobs hinted that the forthcoming Apple TV (rumored to be in development for release late this year) would be controlled by speech. manufacturers have released a wave of Wi-Fi-connected horne gadgets that can be controlled remotely with smartphone apps. a user could pop open the app and say "Siri. The next task will be to program Siri to control many devices at once. intelligent enough to cater to a homeowner's needs and schedule. Initially he could change only his home's default temperature or check the current one. The late Apple CEOSteve Jobs was a proponent of extending voice control beyond smartphones.. Siri could easily become a control portal for all those devices. Over the past couple of years. it will need to recognize and execute commands for different devices in the wireless home network. Instead of choosing which iPhone app to consult for information. Now he's working to hone the program so that it could reset the temperature to his preferred comfort level simply by saying. and the stereo playing dinner music. Once that happens. Siri has changed how iPhone 4S users (for now the only ones with the app) interact with apps-finding the nearest pizza joint or booking a calendar appointment is as simple as speaking. What Apple calls its "personal assistant" requires no programming and continually improves with use. though. and Nest's thermostat is adjustable from anywhere." When he arrived. But Siri is more than just a speech-control app. electronics manufacturers have started trotting out smartphone apps that replace remotes for TVsand stereos. Siri will be the world's first completely intuitive universal remote... the thermostat at a comfortable 72 degrees.1987 The year Apple debuted its voice-controlled virtuel-asslstant concept ("Knowledge Navigator") in a video depicting the future: 2011.. Sornfy smart window coverings allow users to raise and lower blinds. I'm on my way home. it became the most intuitive voicerecognition software available.. Louis. a computer programmer in St. When leaving work. 1 The Power of Speech SLrLis not just a VOLce. He'd still have to fetch his own slippers." Other hackers have programmed Siri to remotely start an Acura and cue up episodes of Seinfeld on a media-center PC. Next Siri may change how people interact with their homes. it is a complete. hackers are already finding handy uses for the app. I'm cold. . Meanwhile. a Craftsman garage-door opener can be controlled from afar. ts a i braLn-and it's capable of controlling more than a phone WHEN SIRI DEBUTED last October.. FEBRUARY 2012 • POPULAR SCIENCE 21 . "Siri. In a recent biography of him by Walter Isaacson. STOR Y B Y Corinne Iozzio ILLUSTRATION BY AlisonSeiffer Although Apple hasn't committed to integrating Siri with other devices. I'll be there around 8. re-coded Siri with the keywords necessary to control his WiFi thermostat. Peter Lamonica. artificially intelligent user interface. '0. as remote servers back up its ever-expanding vocabulary and understanding of natural conversation.

MakeTheConnection. he found the support he needed to overcome He made the connection.2001-2005 Reagan served his country in Iraqand wants other Veterans to hear his story.. Department Reagan USMC 1994-1998. trouble managing his temper to having friends attempt to take their own lives.net . too. At VA. You can. He earned two purple hearts and has been through a lot-from these challenges. MAKE THE COt~t EeTION www.Q _ of Veterans Affairs u.s.

basing their design on a plastic display box for Beanie Babies. PROFESSORS space Squidbot Scientists at Harvard University designed a soft robot that moves by pumping air through its pliable plastic limbs. Their "CubeSat" STORY BY had enough room for Jacob Ward IN 1999. propelling it forward like a squid.Takedown! The best way to unbuild a dam (with very large. a computer motherboard and a few other parts necessaTYto do limited experirnents in space. more expensive missions. very slow-moving machines) page 26 HEADLINES EDITED BY Ryan Bradley • HEADLINES@POPSCI. FEBRUARY 2012 • POPULAR SCIENCE 23 . They designed a small orbital unit-a four-inch cube with little metal feet-that was wide enough for solar cells. networked satellites will democratize Robert Twiggs of Stanford University and JOTdiPuiq-Suari of California Polytechnic State University began to standardize the satellite business. The design would significantly lower the cost for students to conduct experiments in space. mitigating the expense of getting PHOTOGRAPH BY Satoshi satellites into orbit. such as monitoring weather or photographing Earth. CubeSats could be launched at the same time and piggyback on larger.COM A New Standard How disposable.

"If we launch a group of satellites built out of Android phones.J 0: u :0 U." says Coelho.J >- o Q_ z cc o . The Air Force plans to use two networked CubeSats Camera Communications panel Solar cell Battery How to ready a CubeSat for space The pre-launch guidelines for CubeSats stipulate that the object must be 10 by 10 by 11centimeters (the extra centimeter is for the little metal feet) and no heavier than 1. or risk having their satellite killed before it ever takes off. which produces CubeSats on a contract basis for private clients and the U. led by Stanford engineering professor Andrew Kalman's Pumpkin. The low cost also makes losing a CubeSat tolerable. Puig-Suari began to work with the three u.s. And teams must submit a detailed plan for de-orbiting-tipping the satellite such that it disintegrates in the atmosphere-within five years of leaving Earth. Kalman says that once people begin to think of CubeSats as disposable. building them out of off-the-shelf components and sending them up 100 at a time. its twin made it into space. a CalPoly graduate student. A marketplace of standardized components has also emerged. FEBRUARY 2012 . called Tyvak. Inc. a rocket carryinq NASA'sGlory satellite and three CubeSats crashed into the ocean. have now spun off their own company. Last March. the range safety officer at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California approached him in confusion. "It asks whether you'll need a military convoy to escort you. agencies that regularly launch satellites-the National Reconnaissance Office.." One of the lost CubeSats was. six CubeSats were aboard..S. This year at least three rockets will launch with room for CubeSats." the officer said.000 to build. and buying a berth on something like a Falcon 9 runs around $250.3 kilograms. "But the NASAguys had lost a $400million satellite. Puig-Suari and Charles Scott MacGillivray. But projects are becoming more ambitious. The pair sent up their first in 2003. who ran a small team of satellite developers at Boeing until last year. "It fits in the trunk of my car. With so many scheduled launches. z s0: ~ OJ 0>- ~ W >cc u o OJ 24 POPULAR SCIENCE." Many academic CubeSats currently in orbit report their position. the Department of Defense's Space Test Program and NASA-to convince them to build CubeSat-ready berths into as many launches as possible. When the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched in December 2009.. Twiggs and Puig-Suari's efforts are paying off. of a person on Earth being struck by falling space debris Antenna With the design complete. the devices will truly have come of age.. battery life and findings to ham-radio operators on Earth. After the payload deployed. an undergraduate engineering student at one of the nearly 100 schools making CubeSats can design one during her freshman year and see it reach space before graduation. spending $100. was filling out a preflight survey for his CubeSat last year. Carl Brandon of Vermont Technical College is developing an iondrive CubeSat system that he says will be able to propel itself to the moon. governments and nonprofit organizations. A satellite must remain fully deactivated-no power of any kind-until it exits its spring-loaded launch container.which can fit 11. Meanwhile. Since 20m. the door of the P-POD popped open and the spring pushed all three satellites into orbit. about 50 CubeSats have entered space. where they unfurled solar panels and began transmitting information to their creators below. that's right. "You don't?" "Oh.000 in grant money to stow it on a Russian Dnepr launch.1 in 100 billion Odds. A CubeSat today can cost as little as $100. who forward the information to the originating school.org. a duplicate." he says. CalPoly and Stanford maintain a forum and post all standards on CubeSar.testing each academic satellite to make sure the box won't shake itself apart and cast shrapnel through the rocket during launch. 0>- >- ~ cc to monitor the Earth's atmosphere and provide the world's first real-time look at space weather. that was developed at CalPoly. w > z OJ u Z I u w 0>. which has sold CubeSat kits to more than 100 universities.. errant signals could scramble the electronics of the primary payload or the rocket's guidance system. In the aerospace industry." Coelho replied. packed three units at a time inside a spring-loaded jack-in-the-box container called a PolyPicosatellite Orbital Deployer (P-POD).000. government. including the NROL-36. in a year. In October. the aerospace engineering department at CalPoly has become a sort of standards clearinghouse for NASA. that's spare change. in fact. you'll have app developers able to dream up what to put in space. When Roland Coelho. who watched the failed launch. "We were bummed.

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THE

BIG

FIX

Freeing the Fish
What it takes to mend a dammed-up ecosystem
STORY BY

Tim Newcomb

I

ILLUSTRATIONS

BY

Kevin Hand

Remove Glines Canyon Dam
Crews begin dismantling the 210-foot-tall concrete-and-reinforced-steel dam using a hydraulic-hammer-equipped excavator floating on a barge. They chip away, making a pattern of notches so that the dam is never entirely breached, decreasing the reservoir's depth by just 1.5 feet a day.

In 2010, engineers in the U.S. dismantled 60 dams, helping to reclaim

rivers for wildlife. Most of these dams were small, though; removing large ones poses a much bigger challenge. In September, the National Park Service started the largest-ever dam-removal project in the U.S., on the 210-foot (the tallest ever removed) and lOB-foot dams on the Elwha River in Olympic National Park in Washington State. For nearly a century, the dams have prevented salmon from swimming upstream to spawn. Blasting them with dynamite would do the job Quickly, but it would also send 7B million cubic yards of water downstream at once, causing floods and damaging the ecosystem. Instead, crews will break down the structures over three years, releasing the water in the reservoirs at a rate that's more manageable for the animals and the people who live in the area. The U.s. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Army Corps of Engineers and the EPA are all watching closely.

Plant Trees
Removing the dams will expose 800 acres of previously flooded land. The National Park Service has built a new Olympic National Park greenhouse and this fall will start replanting the new banks with about 300,000 plants and another 5,000 pounds of seed.

Keeping Conunerce Flowing
Tearing down dams may help fish move more freely, but construction can slow down the barges and boats that carry nearly 80 percent of the freight in the u.s. When it came time to replace the 1920s-era Olmsted Locks and Dam on the Ohio River, the country's busiest inland passage, the Army Corps of Engineers got creative. Rather than draining the waterway to build on the riverbed, as usual, engineers are constructing the new dam's 36 sections on land and then moving them into place. The Corps built the largest super gantry crane in the world (140 feet high and 160 feet wide) to lift the dam sections (some up to 3,700 tons) onto a barge and is piecing them together in the water. Transporting each section takes about three weeks. At that pace, the dam could be complete by 2016.-JUSTIN McLACHLAN

Remove Elwha Dam
Crews build an earthen barrier that shifts the river's flow away from one of the dam's two spillways so that they can dismantle it dry. They then remove the dirt barrier and form a new one to keep the other spillway dryas they break it down.

Release Sediment
Twenty-four million cubic yards of sediment have built up behind the dams. If released too quickly, it could overwhelm water-treatment plants and collect in lumps on the riverbed. Because the demolition is slow, the silt will instead travel downstream, rebuilding spawning grounds and beaches and reaching the ocean in about four years.

Restore Fish
The Elwha River supports about 3,000 fish with the dams but should be able to sustain 400,000. To help reach that number, the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe has already built a new fish hatchery near the mouth of the river.

COLD CASE Little is known about the inner workings of avalanches. By force-testing custom snow in labs, scientists are learning how snow instability works.

WORK

SPACE

Inside the Landslide
Growing snow to help predict avalanches
STORY BY

Joshua Saul and into a eat's cradle of strings, where the vapor crystallizes. When he plucks the strings, snowflakes fall. Adams collects his snow in a box and carries it into a different room, one with a refrigerated ceiling, simulating what snow experiences outdoors under a cold winter sky. He is interested in radiation recrystallization, a phenomenon that occurs as snow deeper in the pack becomes warmer than that at the top. Once he has warmed the snow with lamps, he adds more, cuts the frosty layers in half, paints spots onto the side of the snow, and sets up a camera. A computer program records the movement of the paint specks while Adams top-loads and stress-tests the snowpack. "We track the deformation of the snow until failure;' he says, and he works with forecasters to help find the same kind of unstable spots on mountains.

Ed Adams, an engineering professor at
Montana State University, used to study avalanches from inside a fortified shack. He would attach his shack to a boulder on a mountain, set small explosives in the snowpack, and trigger an avalanche, surrounding the shack. "Once snow gets on the ground, it's in an ongoing state of change;' Adams says. That changeability makes the snowpack dangerously unpredictable. Scientists such as Adams know a lot about avalanches in general but very little about their inner workings. Adams has since moved from his shack into the Subzero Research Facility at Montana State, where he now studies snow by growing it in "cold rooms" (about _5°F). In the room, he blows air over a small water reservoir that he keeps at 65°. He then channels water vapor up a chimney

MEASURING STABILITY
Arthur Tyndall, an engineer in New Zealand, designed a snow probe that reveals unstable layers of snow. The probe is a small vane mounted in a long steel rod. Users spin the vane and drill the rod into the snowpack. As the device rotates, it measures resistance based on how freely the vane spins. Chris Borstad, a physicist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, designed a handheld blade with force sensors that measure the resistance the blade encounters when it is driven into the snow. With that measurement, scientists can better understand the stability of the snowpack.

N

28

POPULAR SCIENCE.

FEBRUARY 2012

ROUGH SKETCH -.-John Hagopian. a lot like if you boiled water and leaned over the pot with your glasses on. Join Caravan. NASA Goddard / / Costa Rica 10 Davs $1095 _ + tax. One thing that's kind of amazing is that the nanotubes. It's at least 10 times as good at capturing light as black paint. and the carbon molecules dissociate and form a tubular hexagonal lattice-a nanotube-on the surface of the iron. with Caravan. measure the amount of light that bounces off the material. Little Light Traps "We made carbon nanotubes that are blacker than anything else" OUR MATERIALabsorbs more than 99 percent of visible and ultraviolet light and 98 percent of infrared light. optical physicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center TO GROWcarbon nanotubes. Rainforests.. like sunlight through trees in a forest. """. Ramforests.The solar mass (equivalent to our sun) of a newly discovered black hole. can absorb infrared rays. We shine light at the sample and. using a detector. which have wavelengths the same size as the nanotubes. We put a shader near the detector to make sure it's not getting direct radiation and skewing the results.382°F. technologist. The catalyst condenses on the substrate.com.::5 Panama Canal. we use a substrate.Volcanoes lees toucan AS TO LOT 0 Flora Lichtman CaraVan Caravan. an adhesion layer and a catalyst: iron. engineer. which start to move. the largest ever PANAMA 8 DAYS $1095+. The catalyst reacts with the gas. ~ lll4lr JNfl2A~ Panama golden frogs bring good luck. -Stephanie Getty.>-~G:"~ ~A V1SI6LE 't. and Panama City. The nanotubes can grow in less than a minute. The nanotubes are sparse enough that light passes between them.-Manuel Quijada. they transfer their energy to the carbon's electrons. Beaches. See them in Panama. NASA Goddard WE PUT the nanotubes in an integrating sphere-a globe with a highly reflective coating inside.We introduce ethylene gas. so we can use it in telescopes. The light is converted to motion-heatwhich dissipates in the tube. Beaches. Then we put the whole thing in a quartz tube furnace at 1. where stray light can contaminate measurements. When photons hit the sides of the carbon tubes. which are just 100 microns tall. which is where the carbon comes from.com.com I-800-CARAVAN FEBRUARY 2012 • POPULAR SCIENCE 29 -com .

was as quiet as a hot-air balloon. or refuel another O-Oalus in flight.000 Gs of force between the carbonfiber disks and their blades and still deliver some degree of maneuverability. that hold up to the force better than spheres (think: arches) but can still roll enough for the blades to move. rotor or jet propulsion can travel where most cannot: in very tight spaces and through terrible weather. shaped like metal barrels. 30 POPULAR SCIENCE. called O-Oalus. The company's working prototype. Visual information is fed into the craft's collision-avoi dance algorithm. Kaitlin Miller ILLUSTRATION BY Graham Murdoch Last year. • ADVANCED NAVIGATION Radar. and was simple enough that a car mechanic could repair it. For vertical lift. I- FRICTIONLESS BEARINGS Existing bearings I- AUTOMATIC STABILIZATION Servomotors communicate with the rotor assemblies to automatically correct the craft's speed. the Austrian engineering that floated like a hummingbird. position and balance by adjusting the blades' angle. hover above moving platforms (a ship's deck in rough seas. GPS and three multispectral cameras (visible. below] THE ANNOTATED MACHINE How D-Dalus takes flight STORY Hover Craft BY ROTOR ASSEMBLIES The craft's four rotors spin at 2. the craft will keep itself from pitching or yawing by increasing opposing thrust. FEBRUARY 2012 Additional reporting by Nicholas Stott . their angle of attack constantly firm shifting in relation to rotation. creating a pressure differential.2011 Flrst motorlzed alrplane fllght First vertical-lift hellcopter fllght Flrst flxed-wlng vertlcal-llft fllght [D-Dalus. EHF-extremely high frequencyand infrared) act were unable to withstand 1. The system is so sensitive that O-Oalus can fly within inches of power lines. too. If the pilot jerks the radio controls too hard in one direction. The system can adjust for turbulence and heavy winds. and six disks blades attached to carbon-fiber create directional thrust. IAT21 set out to construct a flying machine traveled as fast as a jet. The blades act as mini airfoils. But the size and roughly five feet by three feet square and can lift about lao lift are not what's most impressive.200 rpm. for example). a blade's leading edge rises away from the center of the disk at the top of its rotation and toward the center of the disk at the bottom [pictured]. A flying machine with no airfoil. Engineers at IAT21 developed their own bearings. as the O-Oalus's eyes. is pounds.

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If months from now. told reporters that citizens should not worry. The L'Aquila judge who determined that the case could go to court said the defendants provided "imprecise. released in 2000. Bernardo De Bernardinis. citizens requested an investigation into the panelists' findings. the organization that put together the panel. killing more than 300 people. Nor is it unprecedented." Many seismologists say that criminalizing the Italian panel's assessments will have a chilling effect on science. Jasanoff said the trial in L'Aquila called to mind the fallout caused by research about bovine spongiform encephalopathy. in the U'K. 32 POPULAR SCIENCE. it is the decision to placate the public by tempering scientific findings with (in hindstqht. BSE was transmissible to humans. Italian-style. De Bernardinis and the panelists were charged with manslaughter and now face up to 15years in prison. a major earthquake struck L'Aquila. bad or otherwise. The ongoing trial should draw researchers' attention to the benefits of declaiming their own uncertainty. a court finds the scientists guilty. Just as scientists in Britain did not yet know whether BSE would jump to humans. or mad cow disease. who might feel reluctant to offer any opinion at all. incomplete and contradictory information" and effectively "thwarted the activities designed to protect the public. that would be unfair for them and set a dangerous precedent for panelists on future advisory committees. misplaced) reassurances. the vice-director of Italy's Department of Civil Protection. criticized scientists and civil servants alike for not adequately communicating that what's unlikely is not impossible-for failing to admit openly that they could not rule out the risk of transmission. They concluded that a major seismic event was unlikely. The inquiry's report. and the public prosecutor obliged. govern- STORY BY Juliet Lapidos ILLUSTRATION BY Jonathan Carlson ment ministries reassured the public that it was safe to eat homegrown beef. public scrutiny of how scientists convey low-probability. highdanger situations is not in itself unreasonable. seismologists in Italy could not predict whether a major earthquake would occur. though the Italian trial is an extreme example. the British government launched an inquiry. a panel of scientists and civil servants met to assess the risk presented by a recent series of tremors in the Abruzzo region of Italy. FEBRUARY 2012 . a city in Abruzzo. a professor at Harvard University's John F.THE PUBLIC SPHERE Uncertainty Principles Should scientists go to jail over their results? ON MARCH31. The through-line from mad cow to the Italian earthquake is not sciencegood. rather than prosecute. Sheila Jasanoff. and even agreed with a journalist who suggested that people relax with a glass of wine. told me that. As it happened. Soon thereafter. Kennedy School of Government who studies the role of science and expertise in politics and the law. In 1989 a scientific advisory group reported that it was unlikely that BSE could be transmitted to humans. Six days later. After dozens died from BSE. Through the early 1990s. 2009. and it should remind the rest of us of the chasm between factual evidence and practical advice. Soon after.

.

FEBRUARY 2012 .Global Warming Destroy My Hometown? Did by SETH FLETCHER w -" LJ o o LJ o N g w -" LJ o o LJ 34 POPULAR SCIENCE.

Same goes for my wife. the most destructive type of tornado on the Enhanced Fujita scale. In 45 seconds. EF-5-worthy damage in the office park that surrounded St.300 miles overhead recorded a large collection of cloud lines drifting over southeastern Kansas.. One continuous stream of demolition connected them all. one of the network's on-camera meteorologists. The tornado produced a good deal of incredible. the Joplin tornado is the deadliest single tornado on record. and broke into tears. the tornado was three quarters of a mile wide. The hospital is in the middle of town. chairs and papers swarmed as the walls began to collapse. one of the cloud lines exploded. After gnawing through half a dozen intervening residential blocks. When the storm hit Joplin. YWIFEANDI were eating dinner at home in Brooklyn when we heard the news. like a cartographicscale dry-ice bomb. That's when we freaked out." EF-5s produce "incredible" damage. And then things took a tum. Still. But because the Tri-State tornado (and the other five storms responsible for more deaths than the Joplin tornado) happened before the invention of modern weather-monitoring instruments. A dark blob half a mile wide congealed and dropped from the clouds. like a jar of fireflies. we moved to the couch and turned on the Weather Channel. An EF-4 is powerful enough to scrape civilization off the planet in a matter of minutes. the tornado hit Joplin High School. turned his head. On camera.. rubber piercing wood. Unlike EF-4s. By the time it reached the city limits. another Joplin native. It shaved away the neighborhood just east of the high school.1925. but my parents.150 more. Missouri. A couple of houses down? Not so bad for late May in southwest Missouri. Throughout the evening it became obvious that the storm was extraordinarily severe. it looked like the backdrop from a high-budget zombie movie. The tornado destroyed 20 percent of the property in Joplin. Growing up in Joplin means growing up with tornado warnings. M he tornado that destroyed my hometown was born in an otherwise unremarkable atmospheric collision over the American Central Plains. Illinois and Indiana. At around 2 p. giving it time to wood-chip everything beneath it. one of the region's major medical centers. a Wal-Mart and a Pizza Hut. talking to dazed Joplinites whose homes had just been leveled. We started calling. Then the camera turned and landed on St. the winds inside the funnel were spinning faster than 200 mph-yet the whole column was crawling forward at less than 10 mph. posting urgent Facebook messages asking family and friends for information. it had evolved into an EF-5. Range Line Road.000 residents. John's Hospital. and it sounded bad. Nonetheless. I haven't lived in Joplin since I left for college. As it touched the ground. it wasn't until the morning that we realized that the damage reports that had been streaming in over Facebook weren't isolated. the tornadoas if it had been fueled by manmade structures and was now depleted-delivered a few dying spasms and vanished. two storm chasers driving toward the western edge of Joplin. Bettes choked up. An EF-5is more powerful still. Her sister called: There had been a tornado. hich in three w and a half hours killed 695 people in Missouri. issued this alert: NUMEROUS REPORTS OF TORNADO ON THE GROUND WEST OF JOPLIN AND POWER FLASHES. But when it reached the open pasture at Joplin's eastern edge. No phone calls were getting through. By then. As it tacked slightly to the north.m. and so were their homes. all in a town with just 49. The worst was the Tri-State tornado of March 18. every surrounding structure demolished. The tornado churned on to the east. texting. which are merely "devastating. grandparents. Mike Bettes. where 49. and plenty of aunts. an Academy Sports & Outdoors. and injured 1. the tendrils disappeared. Missouri. killed 161people.2011. but our parents texted back quickly: They were fine. uncles.m. On May 22. a geostationary satellite 22. Security cameras intended to monitor lunch-hour skippers now recorded surges of water that rendered the parking lot indistinguishable from a harbor in a hurricane." Just after 5 p. and over the next five hours the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration monitored the growing supercell thunderstorm as it drifted toward a three-letter abbreviation on the map: "JLN. tagging its path with bizarre Signatures-wood piercing asphalt. cousins and old friends still live in the area.the National Weather Service officein Springfield. Windows blasted out.000 people lived. was standing in a field of debris. it filled with sparks from ruptured power lines. As a result. Almost as quickly as they formed. and destroyed a Home Depot. John's Hospital. spotted a translucent set of tendrils reaching down from the storm's low black thunderhead. It continued toward the main thoroughfare. so I was certain this was yet another false alarm. it's unclear whether they involved single funnel clouds or entire swarms. At first we thought the crew was filming outside of town. At 5:41. Inside. It's also about half a mile from my dad's house.old Main Street. in the country. and needling others with blades of grass. including the little white one-story house where I spent my teenage years. Meteorologists watching radar screens at a safe remove now saw a white-pink blob representing the tornado's swirl of debris swing through the rest of the city like a wrecking ball. The tornado intensified as it strafed the roofs and treetops of Joplin's western suburbs. a recently refurbished brick complex at the town's middle-class core. shotgunning shoppers with glass and metal and wood. burying some beneath cinder blocks. it shifted the nine-story structure four inches off its foundation. Dense white vapors poured from nothing. it flattened a downtrodden swath of FEBRUARY 2012 • POPULAR SCIENCE 35 . That doesn't quite make it the deadliest tornado in history.

Now it occupies 35 square miles. including big-box retail stores. neighborhood where the author grew up [page 34] was unrecognizable even to lifelong residents. 2011 The day after the deadliest single tornado in history. aren't written with storms even remotely as strong as the May 22 tornado in mind. Houses are frequently built on slab foundations. Building codes. subdivisions sprawling into soybean fields.5square miles. Home Depot said that its Joplin store. A larger-than-average percentage of the deaths caused by the Joplin tornado happened in commercial The tornado.DID GLOBAL WARMING DESTROY MY HOMETOWN? MAY 23. vanished. A century ago. As towns like Joplin have grown. FEBRUARY 2012 . Joplin covered 12. meanwhile. and instructing children in siren interpretation and shelter taking from the earliest days of elementary school. building shelters. Many businesses are no better. Missouri. >>w LJ >- 36 POPULAR SCIENCE. they have become larger targets. the Joplin. Plenty of homes and businesses get built that would have a hard time withstanding the atmospheric strains of a terrarium. which was demolished in the storm. But adaptation and instruction can only do so much. as if it had been fueled by manmade structures and was now depleted. with no basement in which to ride out a tornado. buildinqs. was built properly and that no building could have survived the tomadobut it also said the company will be adding an underground storm shelter to its new store. The citizens of Tornado Alley towns like Joplin long ago adapted to the region's abusive weather by assembling warning systems.

His sarcasm seemed to come from a place of exasperation that I happen to share-a frustration with the odd American reluctance to consider the possibility that climate change is not only real. but already contributing to disasters like the one in Joplin. reporters and government officials scrutinized the warning system and promised to find out what went wrong. expressed that week in a Washington Post op-ed. that it's probably impossible to draw a causal link between any single weather event and climate change. Did forecasters give people enough notice? Did the satellite and radar systems work as designed? Did anyone pay attention? I was more interested in the cause of the storm itself. FEBRUARY 2012 • POPULAR SCIENCE 37 . citizens. he argued. For years I had been hearing unnerving weather reports from back home: news of 70-degree days in January. "It's far smarter to repeat to yourself the comforting mantra that no single weather event can ever be directly tied to climate change. of ice storms causing power outages not seen in the area since the advent of electricity. by far the most devastating natural disaster the area had ever experienced. part of a pattern? Was climate change causing this insane weather? I realized." When I read McKibben's column. The headline: "ALink between Climate Change and Joplin Tornadoes? Never!"Rather than making connections between the destruction in Joplin and the floods and fires and droughts happening around the world. Was this tornado. of droughts followed by floods followed by droughts. a writer who has long argued that global warming is the single most important problem facing humanity.In the aftermath of the tornado. But I couldn't help but sympathize with the sentiment that Bill McKibben. I was in the middle of clearing my schedule and booking a trip back home. as scientists dutifully reminded the press in the days after the storm.

stood at the threshold of a vanished home. We got back in the truck and continued east. a warning was scrawled in silver spray paint: "Looters will be shot!" The destruction came into cinematic view as we crested a hill on West 26th Street. We started on the road west of town where storm chasers filmed those first portentous clouds. passing through neighborhoods that contained childhood homes. which was loaded with projectiles-nails. We inspected a heap of rubble on the edge of the high school's practice soccer fields.-. hunks of lumber and a manhole cover that I imagined flying around in the tornado like some Frisbee of Death. even if it weren't. ETEOROLOGISTS NCETHOUGHT O that it was impossible to predict a tornado and. issued the first tornado forecast. tree limbs down. old lots into larger plots that could hold the McMansions 21st-century Missourians have come to love and expect. the city would begin bulldozing the structures that were beyond repair. longer. "there's going to be a strip of open pasture running through the middle of town. a real-estate agent. In a newish subdivision we saw the first real structural damage. others. was painting street names onto the pavement at every intersection. Debarked trees.: LJ Z M u :f. Many were marked with a final message: "OK to Doze.5million cubic yards of rubble. Elderly couples who hadn't moved in 50 years were buying new homes sight unseen. meteorologists at the Tinker Air Force Base in central Oklahoma. I had braced myself for this part. and even lifetime residents were finding it difficult to naviqate. one blue. plenty of former Joplinites would surely have relocated for good. my dad and I talked about how the tornado would reshape Joplin. shaving away the houses and trees that had previously defined the skyline. predicting more than three seemed shorter w LJ . Fawbush and Robert C. FEBRUARY 2012 . bricks. But I was acutely aware that compared with the people fishing family photos from the rubble. Yet by the time those homes were built. Above the garage door. landowners would combine small. The major streets were clogged with emergency workers. It also turned out that the terrain was too disfigured to trigger many memories. Then on March 25. two flowercovered crosses. We drove through the damage for another four miles or so.954homes and caused at least $3 billion in damage. In the following weeks." he said. Dump trucks would cart away some 1. depositing most of it in a landfill near the abandoned lead and zinc mines west of town. We stopped to make sense of the view. 1948. after clearing the streets of rubble. To our right. On the flight home. Some blocks seemed shorter than they had before. elementary and middle and high schools. The signs were gone. I could not complain. we encountered the first signs of damagepower lines askew." And then what? My stepmother. Ernest J. this one overlooking the high school. Miller. The storm had established new vistas. some blocks than they had before. splintered the horizon. until the trail of debris ended as abruptly as it had begun. The town was so unrecognizable that one of the first tasks workers undertook. I set out with my dad in his pickup truck to retrace the storm's path. from where we could see the mile and a half to Range Line Road. The wounds soon became more traumatic. that warning the public could cause mass panic and do more harm than the weather itself. a new sight from this part of town. I had expected to look on the ruined landscape of my youth with sadness and nostalgia. o z >w f- -c -c ~ '" ::J o u 38 POPULAR SCIENCE. one pink. but now there weren't enough to go around. bolts. the tornado destroyed 6. We stopped to walk around in the now empty neighborhood near the school.WEEKAFTERthe tornado. a ranch-style home with a semi-collapsed garage." We soon arrived at another hill. police officers and other rubberneckers like me. As we drove east. Altogether A With every landmark destroyed. which overlooked St. predicted that in the process of rebuilding. longer. "When you come back a year from now. as were the landmarks. Search-and-rescue crews had spray-painted the sides of damaged houses with tic-rae-toelooking code that indicated that a house had been checked for bodies. The sight of still-standing trees on the east end of town was a relief. Later that night. blond like treated lumber. friends' childhood homes. Houses in Joplin are generally cheap and abundant. All week she had been selling houses to dislocated residents who were desperate to find a place to live. John's. others.

Still. Now it is about 2:1. If forecasters detect it. no matter how far in advance forecasters see tornado-ripe conditions forming. individual tornadoes are still too small to see in current climate models." Using two geosynchronous satellites and a nationwide network of approximately 120Doppler radar stations.000 10. but faster computers and better models are beginning to point to a connection-a task that's easier with temperature extremes than it is with tornadoes. More recently. Number of 50. The system gave the people of Joplin 24 minutes of warning-enough notice to qualify the Joplin storm as well warned.m. which means that understanding how climate change influences their frequency and severity will remain an inexact science. which issues watches for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes nationwide. in June. forecasters were saying that severe hail was the likeliest threat from the thunderstorm brewing over the Central Plains. Carbin says that several days before the other great tornado disaster of 2011-the epic three-day outbreak that began on April 25. but the tornado data is far messier. we really don't have a season. with Carbin's team in Norman. making Fawbush and Miller look like geniuses. "We are to tornadoes as the National Hurricane Center is to hurricanes.. in which at least 178 individual twisters swarmed the American Southeast. cold air from the west with warm." Carbin says. Three years after that. Number of U.the Fawbush-Miller system meant that "the Oklahoma farmer who said he always depended upon flying cornstalks and bed quilts to warn him of an approaching twister will now have ample time to walk-not run-to his 'scarehole. But the biggest concern was what the investigators called siren fatigue. The post-1970 explosion of EF-O and EF-l storms. "Joplin was a typical May severe-weather day on the Southern Plains.and the climate models that reproduce this trend project that by 2050 it will be 20:1. forecasters watch for the conditions that spawn severe thunderstorms and tornadoes-typically a mixture of dry. gave little warning. unlike the April outbreak. the ratio of extremes has shifted toward highs. To some extent. The system usually works pretty well. local warning agencies and the NWS crossed signals.200 1. Tornadoes 1. saw about the same number of record highs as it did record lows. Temperature Records High Low hours in advance that a squall line headed for the base was likely to produce a twister. the atmosphere would be primed for a massive tornado outbreak. the agency hands responsibility over to local Weather Forecast Offices. they found problems. Still. moist air from the south. a tornado ripped through the base three hours later.s. the Storm Prediction Center in Springfield issued the tornado warning that TVand radio stations in Joplin broadcast to their viewers and listeners. though.000 40. As the Saturday Evening Post put it in 1951.WARMING TRENDS Climate scientists are increasingly able to draw lines that suggest a correlation between climate change and extreme weather events. "We knew this was a bad deal. Oklahoma. the U. "Why that particular storm formed in southeast Kansas and why it evolved the way it did-it's not something you'd be able to pick out and say: This is the storm of the day. Causation is more complex. Joplin's policy is to sound a three- FEBRUARY 2012 • POPULAR SCIENCE 39 . "We're the national center of expertise related to severe-storm forecasting across the continental United States." Until late in the afternoon on May 22. Carbin and his colleagues can often tell days in advance when weather conditions will be right for tornado formation. which may have caused confusion among the public. they upgrade the tornado watch to a tornado warning. But even with perfect reporting. killing 321 people-forecasters could see that in a few days.S. a warning-coordination meteorologist at the spc. when a team of National Weather Service meteorologists traveled to Joplin to interview survivors and extract lessons from the chaos.000 30. But unlike the Hurricane Center.000 In the mid-20th century. predicting the time and place an individual funnel cloud will form is profoundly more difficult." says Greg Carbin.' " Fawbush and Miller's bureau has since grown into the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center (SPC). after coordinating 20. Like many other towns. the two founded the Severe Storms Forecast Center at Tinker.000 u. When a tornado seems likely. for instance. Then at 5:17 p. where their continued success in predicting storms made them moderately famous. most likely means only that more people are in the path of the tornadoes to record them. which use radar to look for the telltale "hook echo" emitted by radio waves bouncing off a tornado's cyclonic winds." Carbin says. Sure enough.000 The tornado trend appears to be even more dramatic.s. The Joplin tornado.

ridiculed." Twenty-seven minutes later. head of the NWS forecast office in Springfield. And tornadoes are poorly understood to begin with. and then vindicated. The NWS study describes one man's confused. regardless of whether an NWS agency has issued a watch or warning. "Awarning is a warning. the city sounded a siren. it's easy to see T 40 POPULAR SCIENCE. even scientists who believe that climate change is likely to lead to more events like the Joplin tornado hesitate to draw conclusions about what is going on with the weather right now. Climate scientists have become the abortion doctors of the scientific establishment: maligned. He explained to me that climate change is not directly causing events such as the Joplin tornado. But I almost certainly would have walked outside and looked at the sky. Recall that the university where Andrew Watson works was implicated. has explained that none of this should have surprised the NOAAresearchers. welldocumented phenomena such as temperature changes and rainfall patterns for more than a decade. which had been debating a tax on carbon emissions. Mileti. "Most people rarely.m. particularly in a siren-jaded area. Then his wife yelled "Basement!" The report concludes this summary of events thusly: "Tornado hit as they reached the top of the basement stairs." If I had been living in Joplin that day. received so many death threats that their universities moved their offices to "secure facilities. responded. I probably wouldn't have thought to go to the porch and smoke a cigar. where meteorologists were still warning that the threat was north of town. if ever. It is. Scientists call the process of spotting climate variability and attempting to isolate the contribution of man-made climate change "detection and attribution. Only when the horizon turned green and the dogs began howling would I have hurried to the basement. making events that causation. he "thought something wasn't right." Kevin Trenberth." he vented to the Joplin Globe. and even physically threatened." This type of reticence surely comes in part from healthy scientific skepticism-the hesitancy to overinterpret data and the impulse to accumulate decades' worth of statistics before drawing conclusions. In the days after the storm. if you were to ask instead whether I expect that human-caused climate change will lead to more extreme weather events. National Center for Atmospheric Research. So at 5:11 on May 22.S. "My answer to this question as posed is no. lackadaisical response: "(I) Heard first sirens at 5:11 p. a senior scientist at the Climate Analysis Section of the U. (2) Went to the TV and heard NWS warning from TV override that indicated tornado near airport drive seven miles north (polygon #30) of his location. destroying their home. experts to answer the question: Is extreme weather linked to global warming? Andrew Watson. experience nature's extremes in the form of natural and other disaster types." Mileti has written. the editors at the environmental website Yale Environment 360 asked several climate If it's impossible to prove a disturbing correlation. FEBRUARY 2012 . "How many adjectives and adverbs do we have to use to make the point that there's a possibility you could die?" Dennis S. But the lack of reliable historical tornado data makes this kind of study challenging at best. Several climate scientists in Australia. in which skeptics used out-of-context bits from stolen e-mails to make it sound as if researchers were engaged in some great conspiracy. (3) Went on porch with family and had a Cigar. "loading the dice" by increasing the amount of energy in the atmosphere. But warning too early can be dangerous. a professor of environmental sciences at the University of East Anglia in England. The idea that such an adjustment might be necessary seemed to annoy Bill Davis." so he went back inside and turned on the TV. a University of Colorado sociologist who has studied public warnings. Scientists still aren't entirely sure why one particular rotating thunderstorm transforms into a funnel cloud while another one doesn't. the answer would be yes. Nonetheless. One way to fight warning fatigue could be using sirens with different pitches or rhythms to warn of different events. after local emergency managers were informed that a funnel cloud had been sighted over southeast Kansas. But it also seems likely that climate scientists are triply cautious with their public statements because of the way they've been dragged into the culture wars. At this point." HE MOST NATURAL WAY to determine whether global warming is altering tornado patterns is to look for changes in tornado statistics and then see whether climate models can explain those changes. however. in the phony scandal called Climategate. However. harassed. is more willing than most climate scientists to link current extreme weather with climate change. the man heard another set of sirens. CDT(estimated 30-35 minutes before tornado hit). "The result is that most people do not perceive risk." Researchers have been doing detection-and-attribution studies on well-understood. Instead. most think they are safe from nature and other violent forces.DID GLOBAL WARMING DESTROY MY HOMETOWN? minute siren when a storm with winds stronger than 75 mph is approaching town.

Still-living victims who emergency workers decided to black-tag. "That's often enough to make this thunderstorm into a supercell storm. It was an open call to a local bar for Saturday night. "Youwill need five. and although scientists increasingly accept his argument. Now and then. Within each of these horror stories was a reassuring fact: As soon as the storm hit. But if it's impossible to prove causation. leaving them to their death so they could devote their limited time and resources to helping people who had a chance of surviving. By the day of the gathering. the effect of the increased water-vapor concentration is modest. an individual tornado seems to be beyond the epistemological limits of science. Trenberth has been working on this thesis since the late 1990s. She had been in the AT&T store on Range Line when the tornado hit. The argument is based on simple thermodynamics: As the atmosphere warms. Another night. among them my oldest and greatest friends. sawdust sprayed from fresh-cut tree limbs freshened the breeze. Spirits were surprisingly high. whose scalp was peeled back. a friend sent a Facebook invitation to the newly created "Joplin Expatriates" group. after dinner. fiberglass insulation. Scientists have long known that disasters have the unexpected effect of producinq what sociologist Charles Fritz characterized in his 1961 study "Disasters and Mental Health: Therapeutic Principles Drawn from Disaster Studies" as "mentally healthy conditions. climate change should make many types of extreme weather more in tense. or even worsened. Strangers brought her to the hospital. fully conscious. she was separated from her family. or to create new records. atmospheric water-vapor concentrations have increased by 4 percent. That additional moisture is fuel for storms. The air carried the smell of rotting meat. many are still hesitant to go as far as he does." he says. the fate of the girl's family was still a mystery. sneak out to meet friends in the still-unregulated cigarette smoke of Joplin dive bars. a neighbor who had spent the evening of the tornado volunteering in an emergency room described an array of horrors: an elderly woman. the disaster zone was festering. not really"-conversation turned to reunionstyle catching up. my mother'S boyfriend told the story of the 12-year-old girl he met at the hospital where he was helping out. At the end of his volunteer shift. with a note that said I expected to need a drink after seeing the destruction. Since 1970. back in town for Christmas. Another victim whose jaw had been torn halfway off." someone posted in reply. One night at my dad's. As he told the climate writer Joseph Romm in 2010. soon after so-called thousand-year floods soaked Tennessee." Perhaps because disasters force the people living through them to focus 011 the present and forget their anxieties about the past and future. My mother'S boyfriend stayed with her through the evening and tried to help her find her family. extreme-weather events are already becoming more common. when native sons and daughters. Trenberth says. III I would occur naturally all the more powerful and violent. After a cursory discussion of our impressions of the damage-"Can you believe this?" "No. Climate change is happening. chainsaw exhaust. Cleanup-crew volunteers had spent the week helping people search their destroyed homes for heirlooms before the rubble was bulldozed into a heap. "The warning signs are there.~ I I I II •I I. exposing her skull. w HILE I WAS ON my way back to Missouri. burning plastic and the kind of mold that requires you to tear all the drywall out of your house. people scrambled to help other people. that week local kitchens and dining rooms had a way of turning into impromptu PTSD support groups. No one had any idea where they were. but over time the accumulated changes result in a "magnifying effect" of 5 to 10 percent. Even so. it felt like December 23. it's easy to see a disturbing correlation. Many of those volunteers. Day to day. continued on page 7'. it holds more moisture." Trenberth says. six days after the storm: "A Date for Destruction: Let's Get Drunk!" I RSVP'd yes. were at the bar. During the storm. the link between present-day extreme weather and well-established climatic trends "often gets underplayed by my fellow scientists." Determining whether climate change caused. In a way. FEBRUARY 2012 • POPULAR SCIENCE 41 .

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It had an elbow nozzle just beyond the intake. if you wanted to do something. I started going faster. efficient people. MATT BECKETT (manager. tried to get as close as I could to the rocks. FEBRUARY 2012 • POPULAR SCIENCE 43 . But a couple THIS PAGE. "thrill"jet boating): Has anyone told you about the number-eight-wire mentality? HENRYVANASCH (CO-inventor. you had to do it yourself. which require huge state-supported programs and have specific goals. ANDREW AKERS (inventor.-I"nH ~) J I e~~!:~~~~~~v~ ~~l~~~~ ~ s a hiqh-speed revolution. Today. he fiddled with machines and boats. I had never for driven a boat of any kind in my life. We're closer to the outdoors here. COURTESY IMAGES SHOTOVER JET. At the other end is the solitary inventor. FACING GEORGE DAVISON/HAMILTON PAGE RANDY LINCKS/GETTY JET. you've got the rugged landscape here-lots of mountains and rivers. It's a simple principle: Velocity plus weight equals thrust. It was the duct tape of the olden days. . and fixed themselves to large kites to achieve great speed. the speed doubled! And now there was nothing sticking out the bottom. men from New Zealand began inventing new ways to injure themselves. GAMBLE: We've got a bunch of braided rivers that you can't get up with a regular boat. This was 1970. DAVISON: He was trying to figure out a way to get upriver to go fishing. Soon enough. bits and pieces around the farm. so now it sucked up water through the intake and shot it out through the air. After so many trips. GAMBLE: Really. DAVISON: By 1960. Blokart): It's the number-eight-wire mentality. down mountains and up rivers and live to brag about it. LYNN: Innovation minors lifestyle. STEVE WEIDMANN (inventor. I ran the river the way it had always been run. People used them for climbing through shallow rapids. Hamilton Jet): We're way at the end of the bloody world. GAMBLE:There was this business giving sightseeing tours on the Shotover River. a sheep farmer down south. NEW ZEALAND. In the waning decades of the 20th century. Theyjumped from bridges with elastic bands attached to their ankles. all he did was create a water pump. You can't have anything sticking beneath the water.Bill built a copy. TONY KEAN (author.That first year. Someone showed him a photo of the Hanley hydrojet. and where it might go next. The Ballad of Bill Hamilton): Lo and behold.ORAL HISTORY OF EXTRE M E SPORTS BY PAUL KVINTA ORIGINS A I I l) c: /. They stuck the nozzle straight out the back. GEORGE DAVISON (engineer.S. Back then. TREVOR GAMBLE (creator. It sucked the water up through the boat and shot it out through the transom at the back end. When he was young. a centrifugal pump they used on a few fireboats in the U. In their own words. I paid $11. Zorbinq): The sheep farmers always had numbereight fencing wire lying around.bungee): The Europeans who came here 200 years ago were hearty. Mind you. DAVISON: ill was like me. a country boy B off the farm. PETER LYNN (inventor. It didn't go well. brave souls the world over may hurtle through the air. ran class-5 rapids without boats. SkyJump): Also. TheQet boaqreally took off from there.like a propeller. At one end are developments like the Manhattan Project. You could fix anything with that. thanks to these pioneers. PAUL BECKETT (inventor. the inventors explain how extreme sport on this island nation came to be. So they changed it. a culture had emerged-one that paired backyard engineering with the pursuit of adrenaline. there were a lot of jet boats around here. kite buggy): There are two ends to the innovation spectrum. This was 1954. They did an expedition up the Colorado through the Grand Canyon. It spoiled the thrust and had a hell of a lot of drag. Blokart): The guy who created the jet boat was Bill Hamilton. LEFT TO RIGHT COURTESY QUEENSTOWN. New Zealand may well have punched above its weight in this category.110 it. They figured out how to live off the land.

I can tell you that. IMHOOF: I came to Queenstown on a snowboarding trip." IMHOOF: The rafting guides suggested the Kawarau River. FEBRUARY 2012 . if they could ride those down a river.74-said in the middle of the trip. riverboarding scares people the most. VAN ASCH: The original idea for bungee came from a Vanuatu ritual celebrating fertility and the yam harvest-people jumped off platforms with jungle vines tied to their legs. whoever he was. I credit that woman with completely turning us around." We said. The next week I did my own jump off another bridge. I just started driving straight at the rocks.EXTREME SPORTS of people complained. HAY: It's called riverboarding. a 360. Some of our activities weren't. I mean. AKERS: It's because of the ACC. I'd been living in Hawaii. their heart rate goes way up. The third year. and it was much more thrilling. HAY: This guy from Hawaii came by and started chatting with us. they're not efficient at kicking. you throw a teaspoon of water down their throat.on my day off-just jumped in with a guide jacket and a body board. There was no phone. He said. "Wow. GED HAY (inventor. bungee. Fly by Wire) When you visit New Zealand. so I dialed it back. HAY: I've been involved with rafting. We'd also seen what the Dangerous Sports Club at Oxford Universityhad done with jumps from the Golden Gate Bridge. It was just this great idea I had: Get in there and get a wave. VAN ASCH: We started jumping all over.000 years ago was probably struggling for his life in a flood and he grabbed a tree branch. Gravity has always been a major part of my life.the Accident Compensation Commission. when adventure tourism was in its infancy. "We do that all the time. Jet Ski. met this beautiful French model and wanted to impress her. PART II FALL DOWN THE AGE OF INNOVATION [ 1980-1993 NEW WAYS TO I FLY BY WIRE Inventors harness wind and water and realize they can get away with almost anything: it's nearly impossible to sue. That was a fairly new thing. riverboard1llii): I came to Queenstown in the early '80s." So. It made an impression. $60" spray-painted on the side of a trailer.000 years ago. and in 1986 he jumped from the Greenhithe Bridge in Auckland. At the end of the day. I got into whitewater rafting. It gets rid of a lot of lawyers. legal. and maybe he thought. NEIL HARRAP (inventor. I did a 180. JON IMHOOF (inventor. and he floated down the river and he survived.J. river surfing): In 1988 I went to the bungee-jumping bridge and saw "Bungee Jumping. they'd just divide up all the money. strictly speaking.J. HAY: I had no idea what the French were doing. A woman was Sitting at a card table with a big pile of money on it. this older woman-she had to have been 73. If you're injured at work or even while playing. Hackett ski racing. I grew up on a farm and was always riding bikes downhill. That's why he did the Eiffel Tower jump. you lose the right to sue. I called it river surfing. I found that body boards work well. you ~ >w f- oe :::0 o u 44 POPULAR SCIENCE. IMHOOF: The French had invented what they called "hydro-speed. since we could surf waves. I did it well before he did." The thing they used looked like the nose of a kayak cut off. I went down in 1985. you name it. 100. They took cash only. that was fun. I could do it with a board. "This is so disappointing! I went down last year. and without a doubt. You throw them in a river. I met [bungee co-creator] A. IMHOOF: The whole "who was first" argument? Some guy in Africa 100." After that. They didn't take bookings. I thought. A. and they think they're going to die. surfing. "I'd like to go down the river on my body board. who was first? You had that guy in Africa.

: w w don't have to pay anything for treatment. but if he's negligent. One was walking on water. flying kites? There was a time I trashed were on a narrow beach with a strip of restaurants. They'd buy us beers. WEIDMANN:We offer the experience of standing on a building in the middle of a city and jumping off. Then the concrete fell and destroyed the entire roof. People are absolutely terrified. Youjump. and the tail of the kite lifted a giant umbrella from in front of the restaurant. You'd start getting blown out to sea and there was nothing you could do. I just yahooed all the way down. it's like a big sail with a person in it. right. It took three or four months to develop. We wanted to keep it secret. he will be prosecuted. You would think that would be a pretty safe activity. The physical and emotional sequence is different.I have tried it. This umbrella was weighted with a huge chunk of concrete and the thing was dangling above the restaurant. An operator can do anything he likes. I mean. and in one swoop it removed all the neon signs and satellite dishes from the roof. They were trying to get everyone out and people were still trying to finish their wine. LYNN: Since 1987. and your speed decreases. We took it to the beach to see what we could do with it. So we began to think about how we could FEBRUARY 2012 • POPULAR SCIENCE 45 . VAN ASCH: You don't have the acceleration and subsequent bounce. Just when you think you're going to die.>LJ >- t-. But once the wind picks up. The kite was hovering over this one restaurant. like this Sword of Damocles. Having said that. We thought about inflatable shoes. apartments and condominiums. reach a speed of 50 mph-it's a 630-foot jump-and fall fast all the way until you've gone 560 feet. then we thought about a big plastic ball with a single skin. then friends of friends. The fan slows down the unspooling rope. My wife says I have persistence beyond reason. WEIDMANN: Who made the first jump from the tower? You're talking to him. It was not a nice nightdrizzly. w . Most of them have been failures. The stepoff is similar to bungee.I've built something like 200 different kite-powered thingsmainly boats but also kite buggies.m. With the clouds. Then we wondered if a double skin wouldn't be better. and there were clouds pouring into the jump zone. I was told that I needed to be quiet because there are all these accommodation buildings nearby. VAN ASCH: Yes. So it's more conducive to trying risky things. I couldn't see the ground. But people noticed. IMHOOF: These things were initiated by people who probably would have done it regardless of making money. The world's six largest kites have been designed in my shop. LYNN: I design very large kites.:. But they got everyone. For me on the river. so we did the jump at 2 a. I took a leap. We'd take out friends. On the Sky~ a fan is tied to a shaft that's wrapped with wire rope. WEIDMANN: Bungeejumping wasn't happening in cities-building owners are reluctant to allow it. the wire shifts to a shaft that turns the fan faster. It's clear and plastic and beautiful. people have done some really crazy and dangerous stuff. tears and everything. AKERS: We were throwing around ideas of crazy things to try. I was just having fun.

Then I hung ropes from trees. and then you tie a matchstick to the thread. That's it. safety people. The top of the arc is 300 feet off the ground. the only thing they're interested in doing is going fast. It's like going down a huge waterslide. with a tail and a propeller. didn't it? Paul Kvinta last wrotefor POPULAR SCIENCE about a geography class tracking bin Laden. "Don't put the propeller in the front. We also put water inside it.J OJ 46 POPULAR SCIENCE. we encourage that. if something goes wrong. put it in the back! If the prop blows up. you could move in a figure-8 pattern. you release the plane. it wouldn't be good.EXTREME SPORTS make money off it. < a: u o >o :r: a. HARRAP: Korea. IMHOOF: A lot of time the law is an ass. but you've had instances where ankle harnesses didn't work on a bungee jump. A "powered steerable swinging device. But the matchstick has a motor on it. LYNN: I've broken many bones. these are the places that really want Fly by Wire now. HARRAP: I wasn't able to defend myself against the charges. it's the operators. We winch them back." that's the patent name. HAY: You could put people in a Zorb and throw them in a river.. I've done it with friends. That's how it goes. Birds are terrified of the thing. wondering what would happen. maybe. If a person flies it just once. The water acts as a lubricant-it keeps you on the bottom the whole time. Bungee cords fail. What did we need helmets for? The odds of a bird strike are zero. I brought in an aeronautical engineer. My parents had a farm. AKERS: I'm not sure if it's even operating anymore. That's how the planet evolved. He said. That's the key. AKERS: What's next? A few people have mentioned the idea of a commercial catapult operation where people are flung across an area into a giant net.. I've also toyed with the idea of dropping people in the middle of nowhere and letting them find their way out. we thought about rolling it down a hill. basically. it goes really wrong. And not only are you falling. I have an excess of determination and an insufficiency of skill. I say go for it. HARRAP: Rolling down a hill inside a padded ball? I've always wondered why rotates only once every 33 feet. but instead of just going backwards and forwards. Then the gear gets better because of it. The people in Korea want to take it clear across Asia. HARRAP: I experimented in my garage. Of course. and the ball moves around you. so we took it there. I broke my nose twice in one day. HAY: Are there some activities that are too risky? No. you're completely pinned in. Carabiners fail. HARRAP: They tried to push helmets on me-inspectors.J a: w m -c :r: z :r: a. It was scary. you're being driven down by the engine. when you really think you might hit it-that's a real rush. People would do it. and then you're falling. Imagine if you had a swing.. WEIDMANN: She nearly lost her arm.. With that. Think of it as a thread that you simply thumbtack to the ceiling.. AKERS: A woman got injured in a crash. We started developing a harness system. HUMAN CATAPULT WEIDMANN: It's not the concepts that are dangerous. when you get really close to the ground. I tried to figure out the basic physics of it: I needed a plane thing." When you're traveling 60 mph. Turkey. That would be pretty cool. >s- ~ w u a: w u a: w m o a: '" . As a total fluke. It sounds fantastic. WEIDMANN: There was also a thing called Fly by Wire and an incident where some gear went wrong. I won't name names. or water. standing on top of that hill.J . but it's the kind of idea where. HAY: The focus on safety today is stifling. hanging things from the ceiling.. The thread hangs straight down. there's no problem at all. FEBRUARY 2012 . so there's not a problem with throwinq up. HARRAP: I thought. z o >vo z :r: o a: o > w a: >z >-c a: o >vo .

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NearLy 25 percent of chiLdren ages 9 through 13 have no free time for physicaL activity. forms a challenging landscape to explore. •• •• MOBIUS CLIMBERS Landscape Structures Delano. FEBRUARY . To create an undulating climbing space that meanders through the trees. Therapists use the climbers to help children overcome sensoryprocessing disorders. In some sections. Architects and design firms are remaking the pLayground by taking virtuaLization head on. designers erected two green steel pipes with a net strung between. studded with polyester resin (fake rock) handholds. 2012 • • • • • • • 48 POPULAR SCIENCE. and a chiLdis six times as LikeLy pLaya videogame as to to ride a bike.Annabau Wiesbaden. and some even have buttons to push. Germany Stor~ b~ Geoff Manaugh Playgrounds are competing for kids' time and Losing. The pLaygrounds of tomorrow must offer something that even the most enticing virtual offerings cannot: reaL spaces that Look at Least as amazing as anything virtual. Minnesota • • A Mobius strip-like climbing wall made of a textured anodized aluminum sheet. traversing the structure can involve swinging from ropes with rotating plates. These spaces are compLex. engaging.

children roam through walls of torqued cubes. FEBRUARY 2012 • POPULAR SCIENCE 49 . a fortress.F. They might even learn some math as they do. In this traveling geometry exhibit and playspace. AMSTERDAM (2): COURTESY LANDSCAPE STRUCTURES INC.GEOMETRY PLAYGROUND The Exploratorium San Francisco WAll-HOllA Carve Amsterdam What happens to a jungle gym when it's compressed? It turns into a maze. and climb gyro ids and a stellated rhombic dodecahedron [top].O. a structure 16 feet tall and 52 feet long. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT COURTESY ANNABAU: AMY SNYDER/CO EXPLORATORIUM (2): CO CARVE V. play with stacked forms and glowing building blocks. parabolic curves and wavy mirrors. FACING PAGE AND THIS PAGE. a rock-climbing wall or a soccer goaL Sixty children can comfortably fit in and on Wall-halla.

a flre engine. three tram cars and a 25-foot-tall cupola in this adjunct to the st. beepers and timers-into outdoor playgrounds. Louis City Museum. buttons. st. jump. 50 POPULAR SCIENCE. and work together to chase down light as it bounces from panel to panel throughout the rubberized metal structure. Iron "slinkies" narrow and spill out onto a three-story sllde.MONSTROCITY Climbable tubes made of wrought-lron nettlng wrap around two aircraft fuselages. Pennsylvania NEOS introduces videogame elementsblinking llghts. a castle turret. Bob Cassilly Missouri NEOS Playworld Systems Lewisburg. FEBRUARY 2012 . The llghttag games are aerobically intense and last just a minute at most. Louis. Players run.

Geoff Monough is an architecture critic and the author of BLOGBLOG. FEBRUARY 2012 • POPULAR SCIENCE 51 . waves. flipped. and trying not to fall into the sea (or sandbox). BLUE WHALE. Children can spin the bumps. In these wood and metal spaces. and use the walls (which are semicircular) to build tunnels or. fit the waves together to form a slide. BRUMLEBY Monstrum Hvidovre. walls. bumps. Denmark A crashed plane. noodles-form a playg round -in -a -box. the belly of a whale and topsy-turvy houses conjure entire worlds. BERMUDA TRIANGLE. playing becomes a form of storytelling: mounting rescue missions.SNUG KIT Snug & Outdoor London Nine objects-mounds. as seesaws. balancing on wings.

BRCdrew its concept from the "Vomit Comet. (The ride's calculations would correspond to the unique heft of any particular group. it would suddenly and ever so slightly decelerate-just enough to throw the passengers up from their seats. To create that illusion. a Southern California design firm. the fastest. drops its passengers a life-flashing 418 feet. literally takes riders' breath away at speeds of up to 150mph. Though thrilling. a linear induction motor system would speed coasters up the track with unprecedented precision. The KC-135A aircraft flies a looping parabolic path. not kind. riders would enjoy the illusion of floating within a stable chamber. BRCImagination Arts. like stones from a catapult-and then quickly adjust its speed to fly in formation with and around the passengers. for eight long seconds KINGDA KA. similar to the existing "Superman: Escape from Krypton" coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain in California. Ferrari World's Formula Rossa.) As the coaster reached the top of the track and began to drop back down." the plane NASAuses to train astronauts. creating about 25 seconds of microgravi ty each time it zips up and over the parabola's camelback hump. As the coaster approached a top speed of more than 100 mph. these are phenomena of degree.Zero-Gravity Roller Coaster A SSG-million plan to make riders weightless. • I •• . the vomit-comet ride would be fully enclosed. BRC'sproposed theme-park ride would travel a somewhat simpler trajectory-up and then back down a soaring steel edifice. extending the sensation of weightlessness for several additional seconds. the tallest roller coaster on CONCEPTS & PROTOTYPES Earth. Rather than the thrill of hurtling forward to one's perceived doom. has proposed something entirely new: a ride that creates the sensation of zero gravity for up to eight seconds at a time. But unlike Superman and other open-car coasters. and finally rapidly decelerate to a stop back at the base station. the computer system would continue to match its speed to that of the falling passengers.

"will feel like forever. but Bob Rogers. face forward. his company could be sending riders on weightless journeys by the end of 20B-and the new owners could make money on the side by renting the coaster after hours to scientists who wanted to perform the tests they now run using NASA'soriginal Vomit Comet. In addition to experiencing weightlessness. attendants at the unloading stations would be ready with hoses. a ball. Simply by heading over to the amusement park. BRC's founder and chief creative officer. but the belts would be kept slightly slack so they would have room to rise out of their seats.INSIDE THE RIDE Passengers would enter the coaster through gull-wing Roller coasters typically cost no more than $30 million. Should the ride live up to its nauseous namesake. six to 16 to a car. The cars would also be outfitted with drains. they too will be able to experience the equivalent of eight seconds in outer space-which. and sit upright. they could remove from a small stand in front of their seats one of several tethered "scientific packages" -a cup filled with water. Rogers says. But if someone were to write a check today." doors. a gyroscope. says the zero-gravity ride would cost $50 million or more. ILLUSTRATION BY Greg Maxson . in large part because the precision-response propulsion system is so complex. Once aboard. they would be able to observe how the selected object changed properties in zero gravity. Rogers says. They would buckle into simple two-point restraints.

"I foresee games that tackle global-scale problems like climate change and poverty. I chose a cadaverous warrior named Calcium Facebone.N-Wi · The experiment began at 11a. "Add new task. missions and level-ending "boss" battles-into real-life situations. "I foresee games that augment our most es- sential human capabilities-to be happy. Miles traveled: O." game developer Jane McGonigal writes in her book Reality Is Broken." the screen read. estimates that the gamification market in 2011was worth about $100 million. I bought an app from the iTunes store called EpicWin. I typed in "Start article. EpicWin was my first chance to score 54 POPULAR SCIENCE.'. lets consumers unlock achievement awards for plowing through a certain number of pages. Gamification has become increasingly popular as oUTuse of smartphones and our collective desire to remain connected at every moment have grown. I would score and tally different aspects of my life. everything in life could be a game. a New York game-development firm." To gamify something is to integrate videogame mechanics-such as scoring. the co-founders of Playmatics. He held a blunt mallet in one hand. I would sign up for every mobile or Web-based gamification app that I could find. resilient.THE FUTURE OF FUN PHOTO-ILLUSTRATIONS . California. We resolved to examine the results at the end of the week. I had to pick and customize an avatar that would represent me in the digital landscape of EpicWin. gamification is beginning to expand beyond commercial applications. in my bedroom in Brooklyn. By 2016. visiting my fiancee. Together we created a plan for the week. M2 Research. Kobo." If. and Calcium Facebone appeared on a rumpled map on the screen. it is primarily a marketing tool used by businesses to shape consumer behavior.it could reach as high as $2. Over the course of seven days." A surge of ominous music rattled from the iPhone speakers. Since I was planning to write a story about my experience. Google awards badges to regular users of Google News.8 billion. And I would discover if the points I earned correlated to an actual improvement in my well-being. For now. So I decided to construct an experiment. online marketplaces such as Gilt Groupe and Zappos dish out perks to their frequent customers. Before startinq the game. Where there were no apps. as the theory holds. North Carolina. a company that produces e-readers and e-books. a fantasy-themed game designed to improve users' lives by motivating them to accomplish real-world goals with virtual-world rewards. pan of which I would be spending in Durham. Fueled by such growth.m. BY ilovedust l _-- STO R Y BY Matthew Shaer • WILL KEEPING SCORE OF ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING MAKE YOU A BETTER PERSON? AN EXPERIMENT IN ?ELF_IMPROVEMENT I. Katie. FEBRUARY 2012 . creative-and empower us to change the world in meaningful ways. I enlisted Nick Fortuqno and Margaret Wallace. when I became interested in a trend called "gamification. I wondered what would happen if it really were. To help design my gamified life. I had gotten the idea for the experiment a few months ago. an analytics firm in Encinitas. I would create my own games.

FEBRUARY 2012 • POPULAR SCIENCE 55 .

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for instance. a good gamification app should keep you centered in the real world while subtly applying various game mechanics. But. I had designed the game with no minuses. In the name of consistency. such feedback was very limited. "A car designer would want the dials to be something you only partly think about. We stopped by Target to pick up a few things. "Luckily. you're trying to make it invisible. I would gamify myself into a stronger and more intimate relationship. "That number is providing feedback. I began to imagine the world as a digitized qutlt of interconnected landmarks. certainly. interacting with her family and friends. "That number is not just a number. I tabulated my scores from EpicWin and the gamification site Chore Wars. users need only press a button. co-author of the book Game-Based Marketing. in the future. cocktail napkin on my knee. better suited to my relationship status." . Foursquare had challenged me to collect 50 points in a week. I gave Katie the index card. and I checked in there too. Katie said. Slavin suggested as a rough analog the air-conditioning controls on a modern car. I wasn't sure what the exchange rate with my gold coins from EpicWin was. down to the gate number. you'll stop thinking about driving. where I had created a profile the evening before. we get it in everything we do-friends on Facebook "like" our posts. but what I really wanted to do was sit in bed and watch Netflix. public displays of affection. the best gamification apps will probably be the most unobtrusive. Perched in the third row. But since I'm engaged. That night. and I received some gold points and a level up. I took a look at the index card and realized that I was still three points short of my goal. pooch in tow. the Playmatics team helped me design a game . To play. Foursquare updates itself with location data. picking up no gold coins along the way. I beat that before the end of the day. "Minus one point!" she said. We drove to Katie's house. I checked in at the restaurant. detailed updates. "Five points!" I said. or levels." she said. 40 and no. The app was remarkably easy. you want to do it again and again and again. earning me another point. and then a few more. because if it's difficult. I wrote a few words. I could earn points for logging achievements in five categories. takes its design cues from the world of role-playing games-the player chooses an avatar and. the most organically integrated into our physical lives. gamers "check Iwould discover if the points Iearned in the games correlated to an actual improvement in my well-being. As Kevin Slavin. I reasoned. and rewards you with more potential matches as you answer more questions about yourself. Whereas conventional videogames immerse you in a manufactured experience. We drove to get a sandwich. and I would have to start the level over. But I couldn't help but wonder what they meant outside of the game. During my visit to Playmatics. keeps a tally of how many people view your profile." Katie said." I leaned across the table and kissed her cheek. both of which require lengthy. obtains points. The next phase of the experiment was to determine if gamification could improve FEBRUARY 2012 • POPULAR SCIENCE 57 . Solid numbers.Game of Life some points. "Fine. "Build a Better Fiance" would take place over two days. I turned on my iPhone and opened another app that I had downloaded the previous night. Chore Wars. I chose a vampire avatar. I took a shower and left the floor littered with shampoo and body-wash bottles (it looked. Level One went poorly. Everywhere I went. a game designer and consultant. Together the chores were worth 70 experience points and 19pieces of gold." Katie said after she had tallied my score for herself. like EpicWin." he said.. completing my first quest.. On the long taxi to the gate. you have more lives. I began compiling the early results. The interface was an index card. I was planning on surprising her by volunteering to walk the dog. Plenty of dating sites use gamification elements-OkCupid. "as if you were having a yard sale in there"). "One point. Foursquare had determined my location in disturbing detail. I met Katie downstairs. racked up a string of points as well as a Newbie badge. where I immediately checked in at the airport coffee shop. I would "win" by racking up 10 points on the first day and 15 on the second. Before leaving for the airport that morning. Feedback is what's intoxicating. but the feedback felt good." Ten years ago. updating my ChoreWars progress when she headed out the door. those dishes should also count toward my goal in the Better Fiance game. we went out to dinner. Points were all around. and anticipating what she would want before she wanted it. But when we returned home. by completing certain errands in the real world. Foursquare." After getting off the plane." I stared down at Calcium Facebone. in" at restaurants. I sat down at my computer and opened a Word document. I scrubbed a plate from the night before and hauled a trash bag to the curb. whose pale skin reminded me of Calcium Facebone. "Fail. "That cycle of challenge and achievement causes the brain to secrete dopamine and other chemicals and creates a positive reinforcement loop. Twitter users re-tweet our tweets. Using the free app. and I felt a small but undeniable sense of accomplishment looking at them on the screen. At the restaurant I checked in using Foursquare and then clicked over to my mobile browser to play Chore Wars. In a way. For the purpose of recording my score. stores and public spaces to earn points and badges. but I was still busy • On the flight to Durham the next morning. I clicked through the check-in screen and. After 20 minutes. "How thrilling. I thought about pulling out a last-minute romantic gesture. with a few finger taps. Unlike Chore Wars or EpicWin. It felt good. I returned to the app and confirmed that I had started my article. These days. and paying my bills. taking out the recycling. fail to reach the goal. Calcium Facebone tottered 40 miles forward across the map. explained to me. There was no doubt that I felt compelled to log another task. I held my smartphone in front of me like a brightly glowing compass. I again checked in. which she was to carry everywhere she went. I had decided to use Chore Wars to gamify three household tasks: washing the dishes. so I called Gabe Zichermann. "Which is to say. I had cleaned the dishes that day. The screen was very white. cleaning up." Zichermann added. and before walking through the sliding doors. all of them devised by Katie: compliments. Fortugno and Wallace had suggested that even my love life could be subject to gamification. Fortunately. other users rank the relevance of our Yelp reviews.

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real rewards. which sit in shadows and air vents and. and I wanted to break nine-minute miles-and created my avatar. all before Katie had said a word. The more active I stayed in the game. a fitness-tracking system in which runners monitor and gamify their daily workouts. the first thing I did was buy a new videogame. to 100 requires completing several sidequests. I ran out the front door and through the gates at the foot of the trail (five points on Foursquare. The run itself was full of the usual pangs of self-pity and breathlessness." I said. I opted for a pair of Air Max shoes ($90) and the bracelet. when I brought up the data on my laptop. "Two points." the type who pursues every hidden treasure or trophy. better-adjusted person. I showered. set a couple of initial goals-I wanted to run 15 miles in the next three days. Back at home. Getting the gauge Ispent almost as much time entering my scores as Ihad doing the tasks the applications purported to track. That night. including the hunt for hundreds of Riddler trophies. which awarded me with a level up. conversely. and put a very small SportBand on his wrist. careful to place all the shampoo bottles back in the caddy. transmits speed and distance data to an iPod. The Nike. I had beaten the level. that charts the percentage of the world that a player uncovers. was a simple promise: With a little time. I had spoken with Brian Wong. Fortugno and Wallace had suggested that improving my sleeping habits. and chose a few "power-ups" (hot tea." Wong said. I gave her a hug. so I had to pay for the popcorn out of pocket. But playing as a collector was pretty unfulfilling. But if they're aiming for real things. too. I could snap the USB drive off the SportBand and upload the data from my run to my laptop. it was as though I had beaten the boss and was now watching the credits cascade across the screen. did some continued on page 76 FEBRUARY 2012 • POPULAR SCIENCE 59 . If I managed to sleep enough. That evening. I had not been sleeping particularly well. That data." she said. so the next morning Katie and I went to a sporting-goods store in Durham to buy equipment for Nike-. in one case. It seemed to last for days. and switched seats with Katie when she had trouble seeing the screen. Batman: Arkham City.users. "If they're just aiming for a bunch of points. I spend more than an hour a day on average playing actual videogames. was to increase my "personal resilience. I was then given a series of "missions." the first of which involved sleeping a full seven hours. slotted in the sole of a Nike shoe. in turn. The premise of SuperBetter. videogames and bourbon). held open the doors. I decided to try SuperBetter. the more my resilience score would go up. a Nike watch or a rubber bracelet containing a USB drive. in the soft rubber of the SportBand. incorporating my extant scores into the larger experiment. "Four points. When I got home. But later. In the meantime. and usually in a great deal of pain. It included a gauge. Meanwhile. At 2:30 in the morning I turned off the Xbox. But how to gamify an activity that is already a game? Rather than doing the sensible thing and excluding videogames or. wired. I made the (ultimately unfortunate) decision to go meta. As we got ready for bed-I logged my hot tea and bourbon power-ups on SuperBetter-I told Katie that she looked espe- Game of Life cially lovely tonight. and the next morning. however. to its website. I felt as if I had completed a particularly tricky sequence in a videogame. A small accelerometer. hundreds of feet above the choppy waters of Arkham Bay. On my way home from the airport in New York. that can be customized to help users accomplish their individual goals. "People are naturally goal-driven. called the SportBand ($59). in those red sweatpants. I run badly. I was surprised to find that I had somehow managed to run one of the five miles in six minutes and 49 seconds (it was downhill). • A setback. on top of a chimney. Once my run was finished. And yet here." she said. the sales clerk explained.apparatus is simple. that's something different altogether. "You look beautiful. I also bought the drinks and candy. That way I'd not only increase my score dramatically but also become a better gamer-and therefore a happier. I took another jog. I calibrated my stride. the Building a Better Fiance index card read 20 points. and I'd forgotten to call Katie. I would log the number of hours I slept. a young entrepreneur in California who helps corporations use their products as rewards in game apps. I would record the number of power-ups I was using. I played for six hours straight. I would earn additional points." she smiled. named my "bad guys" (such as work and stress). "Now I feel like you're just doing it for the points. about these kinds of promotions. could be a part of the experiment. besting the times I'd set the day before." in this case by clearly delineating my objective and outlining an incentive-laden path to hours of blissful sleep. running from 0 to 100. and dashed upstairs to take out the recycling and let the dog out the backdoor. I did the dishes. and level-up to the next mission: to sleep some more. I uncovered a small bag of trophies and managed to beat the bosses at the end of a couple of levels.• my health. and it didn't seem to make me a better player." I had no shortage of those. Earlier in the day. according · I woke up at 9:30 and logged my six hours of sleep on SuperBetter. I set a reasonable-sounding goal of six hours a night. my regular death marches might become something I would actually enjoy. frustrated and red-eyed. and isolate my "problem areas. The gauge was only up to 3 percent. I had checked into this particular theater only once. an adventure-themed game created by Jane McGonigal. Since no custom-built sleep gamification apps existed. the dishes were still dirty. it might not matter much." Alas. dressed him in a white sweatshirt. plus a bonus for my first trail visit). compete against millions of other Nike. I·'·\jwn That whole week. my story was coming along sluggishly. By the time the movie was over. we checked in at a movie theater that was running a special incentive program for Foursquare users-those who had checked in at the theater three separate times earned a free bag of popcorn. Fortugno had an approach: Since I'm the type of gamer who plays from start to finish as quickly as possible. I gave him blond hair. unlock achievement badges. which this time I designed to look like myself. he suggested that I instead become a "collector. Even though it was only my first run. swooping across the shadowed city at a lunatic pace. would help me set weekly and monthly goals.

and out would pop a three-dimensional toy version of the depicted object. like a bicycle. If the original has working parts. Say 'spaceship: and the very walls of your room become the walls of your vessel. your bed the captain's chair. You would choose a robotic platform from a menu and then start adding features: How many legs? Is it aquatic? Amphibious? Avian? What length of fur or color of scales? You could also choose from a library of existing or mythical creatures. image and smell projection. and you pass through the airlock and enter a Jovian landscape. Will you fight them with your finger-laser or try to communicate? The real world becomes your magical adventure." MICHAEL ARATEN CEO of K'nex 60 POPULAR SCIENCE. etcetera. FEBRUARY 2012 . Monopoly LIVE and Sing-a-ma-jigs 2-D to 3-D "I would love to have a transformation machine. And of course you could scale the toy version to any size you wanted-tiny." CALEB CHUNG Inventor of Pleo and co-inventor of Furby "Imagine a toy that takes augmented reality to a new level.What six inventors would build-if money. You could take a snapshot of anything or even draw it. safety and the very laws of physics were no object ILLUSTRATIONS BY Ollie Bland \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ l Projecting Fantasy Print-a-Pet "The personal pet creator would be the size of a mini-fridge and have a touchscreen interface. the 3-D toy would have the same working parts. Next. gigantic and anything in between. Then you press the big 'make' button and watch through the window as your personal pet is created. It combines voice recognition and location awareness with sound. bringing a child's imagination into the physical world. put the picture into the machine. Say 'I've got a bad feeling about this: and sure enough. stinky little green men come streaming out of the closet. Walk down the hall to your sister's room. the personality: language." JOSHUA GARRETT Contributor to Battleship LIVE. likes and dislikes.

It would be powered by a turbine automatic stabilization. You could light show of glowing particles pop them only with a special magic wand that makes them burst into a sparkling fireworks-like whose embers slowly fade away. Control would rely on the balance and reflexes of the pilot rather than RON DUBREN Co-inventor of Tickle Me Elmo ROBERT VICTOR Contributor to the Nerf Vortex FEBRUARY 2012 • POPULAR SCIENCE 61 ." engine driving high-speed hydraulics. The machine would be able to run and jump." in. and the proportions of the skull appear just about perfect for a reclined seat. I've spent hours studying Tyrannosaurus rex robot that a person can the I rex skeleton at the Museum ride of Natural History in New York. not just shuffle like current robots.Drivable Dinosaur "I'd build a full-size Liquid Fireworks "I want a bubble solution that blows light-up brilliant colors and stay floating bubbles that flash at eye level for hours.

He also bought an old golf cart on Craigslist. Hertz. grabbed the rubber-covered wheel of the imitation Ferrari Testarossa. designer and artist.COM Building a Drivable Game OutRun YOU BUILT WHAT?! OUT OF THE Mobile STORY BY Gaming CregoryMone BY Jeff Newton An engineer puts an arcade cabinet on wheels PHOTOGRAPHS millions of arcadeaddicted kids sat in the faux racing seats of Sega's OutRun videogame. an engineer. has realized that fantasy. came up with the idea when he spotted an OutRun cabinet at an arcade in 2008.Tips. GARAGE 62 POPULAR SCIENCE. Garnet Hertz. pressed down on the pedals. The team stripped the 1959 Turf Rider cart down to its drivetrain and mounted the cabinet on top. Hertz was teaching videogame development at the University of California at Irvine. Hacks and Do-It-Yourself Projects EDITED BY Doug Cantor. grew up flxlng cars. and imagined they were roaring down the street. one of those kids. The builder of the vehicle. Tricks. which had a wheelbase that matched the footprint of the game cabinet. he found one for sale IN THE LATE 19805. modding an I.lOO-pound arcade machine to ride on pavement. Garnet Hertz. FEBRUARY 2012 . and a few of his students offered to help with his project. At the time. But the weight was too much for the cart's three-wheeled chassis. A few months later. online and bought it. H20@PDPSCI. Twenty-five years later.

HOW IT WORKS DESIGN In the golf cart. Anythlng else In front of the cameras appears onscreen as well. Once Hertz started showing off the car at art shows and other gatherings." The first version of the software detected only roads. but just in case it ever rolls. SAFETY causing the vehicle to tip easily on turns. FEBRUARY 2012 • POPULAR SCIENCE 63 . "You're trusting your fate to a piece of software. CONTROLS DRIVE TIME Sensors detect when the vehlcle ls acceleratlng or braklng and alert the software. The golf cart's steering column was on the left side of the drivetrain. a game-research initiative at Irvine. The group then spent the summer of 2010 cutting. Hertz built a custom steering shaft and mount to shift the steering column to the center and inverted several of the components connecting the steering box with the front wheels. but operating it is hardly a mellow experience. The video appears on a fiat-screen monitor in front of the driver. At that point. The game's brake and gas pedal were simpler to mate with the cart's system. which bought him a 2007 four-wheeled golf cart to replace the Turf Rider. and wrote software that converts the camera's view of sidewalks and roads into a video of an 8-bit OutRun-style freeway. Yet all that work was simple compared with what carne next. He also wired the game's original speaker system to the laptop inside the cabinet. wired them to a laptop inside the car. Hertz has tested the car on walkways and quiet roads. Instead of swapping the game's screen for a windshield. he bought a new set of wheels. welding. the project got sponsored by the Center for Computer Garnes and Virtual Worlds. and he decided not to mess with the speed controller-13 mph was plenty fast. he altered the software to superimpose the arcade-style video over a live feed of the realworld view. The game car handles well and turns safely." he says. and wiring to combine the cabinet with the cart. despite the 13mph top speed. as it was in the original arcade game. not people.H2. the crew mounted two webcarns on the cabinet. Finally. all six batteries sat below the driver. Recently. to keep the cart rolling smoothly. UNDER THE HOOD STREET VIEW Custom software renders the road ahead In 8-blt augmented-reallty qraphtcs. he started worrying about colliding with bystanders. "The thing is terrifying to drive. he built custom mounts for each of the batteries to secure them to the frame. To fit everything together at the proper angles and prevent the steering system from jamming. Repladng the onqlnal cathode-ray tube with a flat-screen monltor provided extra room for batteries and a laptop. Hertz moved three of them to the back and the other three up front so he could keep the racing seat low to the ground. Hertz had to build a custom steering column to link the game's wheel with the cart's steering system. but the arcade game's steering wheel was in the center of the console. which makes the onscreen car follow suit.

connect An application such as to /ijehocker. com. Start by checking emuporodise. If these sites don't have what you're looking for.. The free app tells Android that the is an input device and helps set up the buttons. gameboy4iphone iMasterGear n64iphone psx4iphone tendo Wii Remote or a controller for mobile gaming such as the attachable iControlPad ($63. For others.me and coo/rom. THE BEST RETRO Original System Atari 2600 NES SNES Sega Genesis GAME EMULATORS Android* Ataroid Nesoid SNesoid Gensoid GBCoid Gearoid N640id FPse for iDS let users pair (via Bluetooth) iOS** 2600. Search The next step is to find game files.emu NES Snes9x/snes4iphone Genesis A. Sega Genesis and other consoles-as well as dozens of vintage arcade titles that can't be found as standalone will be available anywhere. On Android. Simply turn on Wii Remote support in the emulator and follow the onscreen prompts to pair the controller. ROMs. found but some of the best ones exist in a sepaat s/ideme._ ). gamers can download Bluez IME to pair controllers controller to a phone. called SlideME. With the right emulator and game sions of the Nintendo for "yongzh" (the name of a software doesn't developer) on the site or app to get the emulator files. the emulator and start playing. Note that some emulators have confusing names [see sidebar below]. tem. FEBRUARY 2012 . ROMs can be stored on an SO card or internal storage.D. smartphones files (downloaded and tablets can also run separately). many emulators have an integrated Web browser for downloading them manually.0 I" . found in Android Market **all available from Cydia app store 64 POPULAR SCIENCE. ADD A CONTROLLER It's generally easier to play with an external Emulators a Nindesigned controller than a touchscreen. Now. open them in 3. the icon for a new app store called Cydia will appear on its home screen.' . I ". Go for instructions.. REPURPOSED TECH How to get yesterday's games on today's mobile devices Fans of classic videogames have long been able to mimic old game systems on their computers using apps called emulators. except FPse. so consult its Help files.org or as a mobile app. so you'll your phone or tablet. On iDS. downloads- 2.. and transfer them to the phone or tablet. virtual verEntertainment Systhem. Once the games have been transferred. Game Boy and Game Boy Color Sega Game Gear/Master Nintendo 64 Sony PlayStation System 'all available from SlideME. called ROMs. mocroplont. Apple generally allow emulators need to jailbreak in the App Store.com).. GET ROMS I.H2. Pocket Arcade STORY ILLUSTRATION BY BY Adam Dachis QuickHoney title of the game and the word "ROM. The location on the to place ROMs varies depending Once the device is ready. WARNING Downloading videogame regulations.com) will let you access your device's file system and copy ROMs via drag-and-drop. FIND EMULATORS The Android Market rate app marketplace has several emulators. icontro/pod." On Android.com/S77/943 the iDS device to a computer and transfer iExplorer (free. Google the emulator. certain ROM files may violate copyright ..

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there is no limit below which lead is known to be harmless. most of which were lead-based. Always use proper safety equipment. Although such safety requirements have no doubt helped reduce the number of lead- poisoning cases. tin soldiers sound pretty benign. a lot of the most popular playthings were made from solid lead. After casting. Yet a few decades ago. Children didn't just play with these little chunks of neurotoxin. including tin soldiers. These soldiers were made from lead-free plumbing solder. ing lead dust all around). though. you'll have to find some vintage silicone rubber molds and cast them from lead-free plumbing solder. just one of those old soldiers contains enough lead to render several million toys unfit for sale in the U.0 BAD CASTING Making tin soldiers from molten lead alloy was a popular activity for children as recently as the 19605. If you really want to play with tin soldiers safely. Then they decorated their armies with a variety of paints. a ladle. have progressed significantly since then.H2. STORY BY PHOTOGRAPHS Theodore Gray BY Mike Walker ~". Considering all the lead toys produced in those days. some sticks of lead alloy and a selection of soldier molds. thankfully. "Tin" is a something of a misnomer. with the rest being mostly tin and antimony. molten metal can burn and spatter out of molds unexpectedly. but just how bad still isn't known. they may not be stringent enough. Lead is an insidious poison: It's slow-acting and results not in immediately noticeable effects like rashes but in behavioral problems and a slightly lowered IQ. As more evidence of lead's deleterious effects on the brain accumulates. Even a very small amount of it is harmful. 100 parts per million or less. kids filed them smooth (spread- TEMPERATURE Lead has been known to have harmful effects since Roman times. At today's standard. it would not be surprising to see the loo-ppm standard lowered further. GRAY MATTER Getting the Lead Out Seemingly harmless children's toys have long been made from highly hazardous materials Among the most strictly enforced con- sumer-protection laws are those banning lead in toys. which contain nearly 95 percent lead with just a bit of antimony for hardness. using kits that came with a melting pot. Unlike with most toxic substances. they often cast them in their own kitchens. FEBRUARY 2012 . Safety standards. The soldiers were not made primarily of tin but of a lead-tin alloy containing 60 to 75 percent lead. as I did." a group of alloys typically found in bullets. WARNING Whether it contains lead or not. Sometimes they were cast from "hard lead.S. 66 POPULAR SCIENCE.

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This year.H2. pulling sledders 1. The sleds are tethered to a rope that Make Your Own Fun BY moves in a continuous loop over pulleys at both ends of the hill. the duo modified the winch so they can use it in the water during the summer for "winch boarding. Riders can now make it to the summit in just three minutes. Built from a go-kart motor.050 feet up. By the next winter. Do-it-yourself projects that deliver endless hours of play STORY Amber Williams BY ILLUSTRATION Tim Eggert (J •COni .0 TECH SUPPORT . Web developer Josh Smith and telecom engineer Brian Freed took their families sledding at an old ski resort in Pennsylvania but found that the 45-minute 1. or two adults with two children. Sledding winch Two years ago.200-foot walk to the top of the hill limited their runs. they had a Cost $IAOO Time l month solution to the problem: a homemade sledding lift.' a sport in which a surfer is towed speedily across the surface by the device. the winch can pull three adults.

Video game robot Cost $120 Time 50 hours Joshua Zimmerman built a giant version of the classic game using parts he had around his house.4564 MADEiN'USA . he sends commands from a laptop keyboard to three stepper motors via an Arduino-based controller. Huggins says. and holes for the "organs. search for "Giant Operation Game" on instructobles." Cut out the holes. he will make the design open-source and create software that controls the robot's movements so it can play on its own. but when he realized he could make it click controls on a touchscreen.888~43. D Paint a wide. Tape the electronics and trays in place. he decided to use it to operate a smartphone. Next. Those green pigs have a new mortal enemy: an Angry Birdsplaying robot. To play the game. and a tin oven tray for each hole to a pack of three AA batteries. originally built a motorized finger for another project. 1:1 Attach a wire from a pair of IIWire a buzzer. flat box white. ~p1g • Visit epiloglaser.com. and test that they set off the buzzer when they contact the trays..Oversized Operation Cost $10 Time 3hours . contact with the material causes a change in current that the phone's touchscreen can sense. a software developer at Chicago's Sauce Labs. m For details. Huggins laser-cut the grid beams for the frame from basswood and covered the tip of the aluminum finger with conductive foam that he found in computer-chip packaging. I!J Cut an opening into the box's back. Paint the body.com 1. five red LEOs for the nose.coml popsci for more information and to receive your brochure kit with engraved and cut samples! aaIM@epiioglaser. metal tongs to the circuit. B Draw the outline of a body. Jason Huggins.

A chemical found in chocolate that increases blood flow to the brain EDITED BY Ryan Bradley Questions? FYI@POPSCI." Schellenberg says.com Available at: CVS/pharmacy" 'lIIES[ ST!THIEIITS IW'E IIIITII!III E'lJIUlId8I BYTHEFOODIlNDDRIIGIIJI~IIISTl!AnoN. The Mozart Effect.T-Aid® Today! • Increases Free Testosterone" • Boosts Libido & Performance' • Clinically Te ted. Any number of experiences besides listening to music might improve cognition. A YES. Most people find the music of Mozart pleasant to listen to. it might have been better to play them some of his hits. ff- . BUT NO MORE than listening to Justin Bieber." Which isn't to say that listening to music can't give the brain a boost. Ll z >ff- w Ll f0' o Ll -c o " . CURE OR PREV10NTllY II!SEASf. Drug-Free' www. The misconception that there's something unique about Mozart's ability to increase brainpower began in 1993. THIS 9ROOOCTIS NOTIIITEIIOED10 IAAGIIDSl !ilEAl. Scientists then compared the results against a control group that had not heard music.boostyourt. But "eating chocolate might have the same effect.r o 70 POPULAR SCIENCE. as measured by an IQ test. and it might increase dopamine levels in the brain. Ll < u. which is generally thought to improve cognition. Neurobiologists Gordon Shaw. says that there is no Mozart effect. with a paper in Nature. capitalized on the notion with an international bestseller.. Bernstein With just two capsules a day. But Glenn Schellenberg. The researchers' findings were neatly summed up in their paper's title: "Mozart Effect Schmozart Effect. Frances Rauscher and Katherine Ky of the University of California at Irvine found that students who listened to 10 minutes of a Mozart sonata demonstrated a temporary increase in spatial-temporal reasoning. FEBRUARY 2012 .: w w -c a. a group of subjects listened to a Mozart sonata before testing their spatial intelligence. Classical music probably made the doctors feel good. In most.T_Aid™ actually helps to substantially increase the body's free testosterone levels. .. The public seized on the romantic idea that listening to Mozart would make them smarter. In 2010. Ll 0' fZ w >- -c Ll u -" o w . a teacher and music educator from Texas. the compound in Vitali. boosting it by a statistically significant amount when compared to just using a placebo. Catherine Noelle O'Shea and David Wolf of the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston recently found that doctors who listened to Mozart before screening patients for colon polyps found more polyps than those who didn't.J -« I u ::. a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. a team of Austrian researchers analyzed the results from 39 attempts to replicate the Mozart effect. thereby improving cognition. If the doctors had been Bieber fans.COM / / @POPSCIFYIGUY Q really make me smarter? Will listening to Mozart Start having fun all over again! AN 5 W E R BY Joseph A. and Don Campbell.. Try Vitali..

and lab rats retrace the mazes they have run.. SATISFACTION GUARANTEED To assure a proper fit.. Insects and fish don't experience REM sleep. because helps form new P. Box 806. as if dreaming of bones to bury or mice of British to chase. and some scientists that our mammalian dreaming a holdover from our reptilian argue might be brains. 'Plus $9. Reptiles might also experience REM.. Many pet owners have seen their sleeping dog or cat twitch or paw the air. a psychology professor at the University Intelligence go through Columbia and author of the book The of Dogs..O.. doesn't know why. and neither does anyone else.. Sales subject to product availability and order acceptance. Morton Grove. only faster.98 shipping and service.c__ FEBRUARY 2012 • POPULAR SCIENCE 71 . Please allow 4-6 weeks after initial payment for shipment of your jewelry. IL 60053-0806 YES. first-served basis. Stanley Coren. fugnature Please reserve the "I Love You" Diamond Slacking Rings for me as described in this announcement In adults. Mrs.. Coren says. Name (Please Print Clearly) Address ~C~it~y ~S~t~a~te~ ~ZiR~ __ E-Mail (QRtionall-) ----------~Oiiiii~. After about 20 minutes. Ms. a dog enters REM sleep. says that canines the same sleep stages as we do.=::::::::. The purpose of dreaming remains a mystery. a ring sizer will be sent to you after your reservation has been accepted. and little dogs dream quickly and frequently..::. Big dogs dream longer. Mr. the best working theory is that dreams stimulate the regions of the brain associated with memory. Finches replay the melody of their birdsong in their dreams. This is probably the sensory stimulation neural connections. So please respond as soon as possible to reserve your ring.. but some birds and all mammals do. He LIMITED TIME OFFER Reservations wi/! be accepted on a first-come.Q ANSWER BY DO ANIMALS DREAM? Kaitlin Miller Yes. but infants (of all species) dream more often.::::::::=..::.=:::::.. the stage in which most vivid dreams occur.

Mainstone persuaded the department to take the bell jar out for the world to see. BLeiberg says that archaeoLogists have found many wooden dolls in Egyptian tombs that date back just as far. 72 POPULAR SCIENCE.000-year-oLd stone doLLhead in the ruins of a village on the ItaLian isLand of PanteLLeria. Finally. senet. Mainstone says it's impossible to predict when future drops will occur. says that Neolithic balls made from mud are probably out there. but in any case it would be difficult to determine if they were playthings. and probabLy weren't for pLay.That the head wasn't found in a ceremoniaL ground made it different than most ancient human figures and suggests that it was probabLy a toy. Games might be older than doLLs. appears in waLLdrawings from around 26B6 B. no one has actually witnessed the moment a drop of pitch has detached and fallen. the eighth. "It has at least 100 years left if someone doesn't throw it out.fyi Q ANSWER The fluidity of pitch. is in fact a highly viscous fluid. In 2004. The pitch-drop experiment-really more of a demonstration-began in 1927when Thomas Parnell. set out to show his students that tar pitch. all housed under a bell jar.One day a colleague said. albeit extremely slowly. Despite their efforts. a curator of Egyptian art at the Brooklyn Museum. Z -c o Q_ I o t-. that the ninth drop won't break off before 2013.. a physics professor at the University of Queensland in Australia. He expects. Parnell melted the pitch. on November 28. Eight years later.. It flows at room temperature. To this day. and most recent.By then. in 1954." >s-. Nine years after that. let it cool (for three years). Some of its fans send Mainstone e-mails within minutes if the screen goes black. a derivative of coal so brittle that it can be smashed to pieces with a hammer. OLD CAULK Pitch has been used as a boat sealant for millennia. his experiment had been squirreled away in a dusty corner of the physics department. HOWLONGIS THE LONGESTRUNNING LAB EXPERIMENT? Amber Williams BY EIGHTY-FIVE YEARSso far. a board game that Looks Like backgammon. Today the experiment is broadcast on a live web cam.C. in Pascal seconds (flow-resistance units). beaker and pitch. around 1975. however. n anI cient Egypt. w w :J D u. The National Toy Hall of Fame awarded "oldest toy" to the stick.001. hung the funnel over a beaker. but he was told that nobody wanted to see it. but most of those figures were found engraved with reproductive symbols. archaeoLogists dug up a 4. fW LJ Z ~ o w Q ANSWER BY '" o What is the oldest toy in the world? Amber Williams z -c '" w f- ru Q_ o z < . Water measures 0. a dollop of the pitch fell from the funnel's stem. The experiment is far from complete. FEBRUARY 2012 . The demonstration of its fluidity [right] has been running for more than eight decades. but they did pLay something Likejacks around the same timethrowing rocks in the air and picking up pieces of clay before they feLLback to earth. 2000. It had curLy hair o >f- ~ cc w Z > :J tu o fZ z ~ :. and waited. "I've got something weird in this cupboard here" and presented Mainstone with the funnel. especially because the lapses between will grow longer as gases in the pitch escape and the weight of the pitch in the funnel decreases. drop of pitch fell during a camera malfunction. another long black glob broke into the beaker. Edward Bleiberg. Egyptian kids might not have pLayed senet.. . The pitch-drop experiment might have fallen into obscurity (or a wastebasket) had it not been for John Mainstone. Mainstone asked the department head to display it for the school's science and engineering students. Says Mainstone. who joined the physics department at Queensland in 1961.J Z ~ and was buried with miniature kitchenware. poured it into a glass funnel. Parnell recorded the second drop but did not live to see the third.

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Keeps Lines Sharp: Game of Life continued from page 59 • FrogTape® is the only painter's tape treated with PaintBlock® Technology. a trace of the games that had dominated my life for the previous week. I compiled my scores from the various gamification platforms. Last. Keeps Lines Sharp: ©ShurTech Brands. and entered my information on Chore Wars and EpicWin. Visit FrogTape. But I POPULAR SCIENCE PHOTO HUNT® HD FEATURES HUNDREDS OF MAGAZINE COVERS AND SPECTACULAR PHOTOS SPANNING OVER 100 YEARS OF POPULARSCIENCE HISTORY. and on my iPod Touch I booted up EpicWin. preventing paint bleed. experience points. On my iPhone. but I still had no idea what all the points added up to. 76 POPULAR SCIENCE . badges and trophies. of a unified database. I washed the dishes and took out the recycling. It occurred to me then that I had spent almost as much time entering my various scores as I had doing the tasks the applications purported to track. figures. Lines of information rolled across the screens-numbers. folding my towel and keeping the bathroom clean. gauges and power-ups-none of them a perfect match with the other. I plugged my Nike+ USB drive into the computer and opened two more tabs for SuperBetter and Chore Wars. and so on. get painting tips and more! FrogTape. I dug up the points from the Build a Better Fiance game.Keeps Paint Out. could still sense. In the afternoon. gold coins. I thought back to what critics of the trend such as game designer Ian Bogost had told me. where all the scores from all the gamification applications would be collected and rolled into one big number that would represent the grand total of our achievements in business. I remembered that Wong had predicted the creation. all of them purporting to quantify some part of my gamified existence. I left Foursquare on my phone-I had grown fond of it-and when I ran that afternoon. under the familiar rhythms of my daily routine. PaintBlock forms a micro-barrier that seals the edges of the tape. I went for a quick run and then showered. At around 3. I wondered whether gamification would really go that far.com 877-FROGTAPE (376-4827) Keeps Paint Out. • With the experiment over. that it is little more than a crass point-based marketing ploy. LLC 2011/47898 writing. I opened up Foursquare. After a week. which I had entered a day earlier into a Word document. I was wearing my SportBand.com to see PaintBlock in action. love. I knew what my score was. in the notso-distant future. fitness.

com ~"/ . despite the howling protestations of Calcium Facebone. Even though I was. or a new fitness gadget.A. That afternoon. Our social networks.(om o Valenlhle One Radar Locator willi user DeteclioD . Radar behind www. -S29 0 COlICealed Display .$399 o Carrying c. this feature is the difference between life and death. badges and.comIPS ext. I did faintly miss. I sat at my desk. "The idea that gamification requires certification programs and specialists and O'Reilly booksthat is going to fade away.S. And I did not open EpicWin.ThelronShop. I rang up Fortugno to report on my progress. In the coming years. e-commerce sites will probably continue to incorporate various aspects of gamification. and I remembered that I also enjoyed writing. after all. Elegant. "Still. valuable things" we could take from gamification and incorporate into the design of. and I explained that it had been a matter of simple math. of our peers. He predicted that gamification as a buzzword would eventually lose its luster. from VIP points to tangible prizes. I called Slavin and asked him to imagine how gamification might evolve over next few years. crushing the bosses with well-placed punches and leaving the byzantine side-quests alone. New! ARCHITECTURAL -~- --<r~!~~ from $495 from $3550 from $4500 For FREE catalog.tus Shapping ( 01110resk1ents add sates tax :!D-Day Money-Back GllaraRlee POPULAR SCIENCE 77 Iill&11lt'I801l&f8a reglWtretttrademltfk {II 'ialelllWl RHurcll. Affordable. caI/1-800-S23-7427 Or visit www.also playedArkham City the way Ireally wanted to.qizmooo." Matthew Shaer is the author of the book Among Righteous Men. ." he said.$39 CaU toll-free 1-800-331-3030 P. "fn fighter combat. the approval. he said. _-! K The Radar Locator I I _-. I told him my total score-3. there are real things." =us. in the form of a small upheld thumb. "it's a big number.s. "Hey. with users competing for rewards. Chore Wars or SuperBetter. along with my Arkham Asylum percentage. real evidence of my newfound diligence. points to each. I enjoyed doing things because they needed doing. '. It was just a crude amalgam of various scores racked up on the various applications. He asked me how I had gotten it. But I also enjoyed being able to talk to my fiancee without worrying about my score.valentine 1. as Gabe Zichermann had predicted._." he said. are likely to become even more gamified. He laughed. too. Facebook. and not because I needed to level-up.anow5. the experience points and gold earned on Chore Wars and EpicWin. say. those numbers were.494which I had compiled a few hours before. You should be proud. Efficient. PS !tIoLoodngMa"""tooftlf'Orora:Mml Proudly made ~tolrlats" in the U. Put a spin on your space. going to be late with this article. lite. Tracks one or more radars at the same time. of course.

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the exercise the ROM gives. chiropractors.EXERCISE IN ONLY 4 MINUTES PER DAY The ROM is very expensive but at the same time it is the cheapest exercise a person can do. Conclusion: it gives the same or better cardiovascular benefit as does 20 to 45 minutes aerobic exercise. Being highly impressed by the health results and purchasing the ROM. plus • 15 to 20 minutes stretching exercises. medical doctors. [!] ~ Factory showroom 8137 Lankershim Blvd. 10. People The ROMhas been tested for over 8 weeks at USC'sDepartment of Exercise Sciences.the machine still sounds just too good to be true. After a year of using the ROMyour friends admiring your good shape. 6. You will also learn why the ROM. Taking a leap of faith and renting a ROMfor a 30 day trial test in the home. 8. Although the ROM won the Popular Science Magazine's Prize for "The Best of What's New" in 1991. And 90% of our machines go to private homes (including 320 homes of MDs).com or call 818-787-6460 We have been manufacturing our You'll learn why 92% of people who own exercise equipment do not use it. and 7% to businesses for employee wei Iness. The ROMproves itself. After watching our video. 4. CA 91605 . Total disbelief that the ROMcan do all this in only 4 minutes a day. GIVE IT A REAL WORKOUT Then the above cycle repeats from point 5 on down. 5. many people order a 30 day no obligation trial rental and 97% of them buy the ROM (stands for range of motion) machine at the end of the 30 day trial period. running) plus • 45 minutes weight training.. The incomparable ROMis for those who first ridicule this fantastic machine and later love and praise it. The rental deposit applies to the purchase price. 2. Those friends reluctantly renting the ROMfor a 30 day test trial in their home. Reading the ROM literature and reluctantly understanding it. Another 8 week test was published in the Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine. UNIVERSITY TESTED People cannot believe that our 4 minute cardio exercise is possible. Short duration interval training. How can that be? More on that later.RestartFitness. A local delivery company will install the machine in the location of your choice. SHIPPING AND INSTALLATION The ROM is used by young and old (oldest owner is 99 vrs). Becoming a ROMenthusiast and trying to persuade friends to buy one. Based on the improvement experienced during those 30 days.615price.THEN UNDERSTANDING :=. by Special Forces (military).. The "experts" have that same (wrong) opinion. WHAT'S DIFFERENT ABOUT THE ROM Order free DVD from: www. trained athletes.~ ROM exercise than from 60 minutes walking on a treadmill. has been discovered to be the most effective for burning fat. That has been the main marketing problem. The machine is manufactured in Southern California with great attention to detail and quality. by physical therapists. ADAPTS TO USER'S PHYSICAL ABILITY ORDER FREE DVD ONLINE OR CALL 818-787-6460 ROM machine since 1990. Rent it for 30 days to experience the results in your own home or office. People with high cholesterol and people with diabetes use the ROMto get into perfect cholesterol ranges and diabetes control. The purchase of a ROM machine goes through several stages: 1. 7. Whenthey leave it is immediately ready for use. It sells itself. The results speak for themselves. North Hollywood. IN BUSINESS FOR OVER 20 YEARS just cannot believe it. strong. You telling them (again) that you only exercise those 4 minutes per day. is the least expensive method to do exercise and why you burn more calories as a result of the 4 minute ¥~g ~~. FIRST DISBELIEF. 9. The machine is shipped in a custom wooden crate and comes fully assembled. 97% of the rented machines are purchased at the end of the 30 day no obligation trial period. Being ignored and ridiculed by the friends who think you have lost your mind. Rhetorical (and sometimes hostile) questioning and ridicule. despite its very high $14. 3. by weak and This is what you will accomplish with the ROM in exactly 4 minutes per day: You will get the combined results that you get from all three of the following exercises: • 20 to 45 minutes of aerobic exercise (jogging.

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