APRIL 2011 RSA: R29,95
Other countries: R26,27 excl VAT


Up close and personal with America’s ICBMs


● Water-cooled














tactile pleasure ● Classic with a twist ● Money no object? [ OUTSIDE ] 68 One-wheeled wonders Mountain unicyclists do it in the dirt [ TECH ] Digital clinic Make room for Kinect [ MONTHLY ] 4 6 8 10 18 104 Contact us Editor’s notes Letters Time machine Great stuff Do it your way DIY Tech Start a Web business Workshop PC We build a super-cooled monster computer WIN 4 TW Steel timepieces worth R30 900 (See page 40) 38 WIN 5 Casio Protrek Triple Sensors worth R32 495 (See page 86) 82 54 WorldMags POPULARMECHANICS. Are those fears exaggerated? (iStockphoto/Mads Abildgaard). 9 [ SCIENCE ] 12 Tech watch ● Stunt [ WHEELS ] 38 New on the block ● Renault master ● Secrets of a dry dog ● Airbus engine explosion (Cover story) looks ahead with attitude ● Lambo’s F1-inspired suspension ● Scooters 72 88 Detroit vs the world Has Motown got its groove back? 28 Are genomes for sharing? Going public could backfire Saturday mechanic Brush-in loadbed liner [ FEATURES ] 44 54 Blue sky power Wind turbines take to the air [ HOME ] 80 82 87 Homeowner’s clinic Grout cleanout Down in the hole Missile monitors await Armageddon Cutting class Building a log cabin PM Saturday Instant workbench [ IN FOCUS ] 24 Must-have watches ● Ergonomically WorldMags 52 62 64 Cover: Thousands of people have been able to unlock the secrets of their own genetic code. This page: Wind power is already a proven source of renewable energy. NO. giving rise to fears about the loss of genetic privacy. Illustration by Michael Tschernjajew.ZA OAPRIL 2011 3 . Now.18 APRIL 2011 VOLUME 9. a new frontier is opening up: flying. megawatt-producing wind turbines.CO.

e-mail address: popularmechanics@ramsaymedia. For return. Office Tower. 2199. E-mail: subs@ramsaymedia.popularmechanics. Peter Venn ADDRESSES: HOW TO SUBSCRIBE OR CONTACT US: Call: 0860 100 205. Gordon Utian. AS A SERVICE TO READERS. New Anthony Doman (Editor). techniques and scientific and technological developments. POPULAR MECHANICS cannot assume responsibility for proper application of techniques or proper and safe functioning of manufactured products or reader-built projects resulting from information published in this magazine. Company registration number: 1934/005460/07. Sandton. Kate Downs (Manager) PUBLISHED BY: RamsayMedia (Pty) Ltd Chairman: Alan T Ramsay Managing Director: Stuart Lowe Directors: Jacqueline Lahoud. Western Cape. 7405.CO.BE THE FIRST TO KNOW EDITOR & PUBLISHER: Alan Duggan DEPUTY EDITOR: Anthony Doman ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Sean Woods ART DIRECTOR: Thea Woodman DESIGNER: Sharon Gunst EDITORIAL ASSISTANT: Kate Downs NATIONAL SALES MANAGER: Lea van Coller ADVERTISING SALES. POPULAR MECHANICS publishes newsworthy products. Sandton City. ISSN number: 1682-5136 WorldMags 4 James Eedes. Agnes Naidoo (DBN) PROMOTIONS MANAGER: Nomfundo Calana SUBSCRIPTIONS MANAGER: Catriona Bennie SUBSCRIPTIONS ADMINISTRATION: Lynn Heiberg SUBSCRIPTIONS MARKETING MANAGER: Sandy Immelman SUBSCRIPTIONS MARKETING CO-ORDINATOR: Pia King CONTACT CENTRE: Sedick Masoet PR/COMMUNICATIONS: Shelly van Zyl CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER: Werner Schmidt HR EXECUTIVE: Amanda Kirk ICT EXECUTIVE: Thomas Turck Web site: www. Fax: 011 783-0451. New York. Tel: 021 530-3100. Simon Turck. Fax: 0866 704 101 or 021 .co. 17th Floor. 3 Howard Drive. SEE PAGE 86 WorldMags Total monthly sales: 41 967 (October to December 2010) Published and distributed by RamsayMedia (Pty) Ltd by permission of Hearst Communications Inc. United States of We cannot be responsible for loss of unsolicited queries. Nicky Lloyd Victoria Sanga (assistant) Tel: (011) 783-7030 Cape Town: Christian von Dürckheim Tel: (021) 530-3271 PRODUCTION MANAGER: Judy Romon CIRCULATION MANAGER: Ian Dinan NEWSSTAND MARKETING MANAGER: Hannelie van As NEWSSTAND REPRESENTATIVES: Mariet Kruger (JHB).co. Due to possible variance in the quality and condition of materials and workmanship. Sandton. Terry Moolman. Tim or www. Howard Place. P O Box 180. Online: www.ZA • APRIL 2011 . Gauteng. FOR OUR CURRENT SUBSCRIPTION RATES. Fax: 021 531-9495. Gauteng: Patrick Kennedy. manuscripts or photos.530 3143. Tel: 011 783-7030. Brian Pinelands. they must be accompanied by adequate postage. P O Box 78132.

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know yourself. just the way some of us did blood typing experiments back in the mid-20th century. which arose among early Homo sapiens sapiens colonisers of Europe about 40 000 years ago.ZA • APRIL 2011 WorldMags 6 Chepko Danil/iStockphoto . ourselves: let's get naked.popularmechanics.. and his likely reaction to certain pharmaceuticals. The theory seems solid. If yours is judged one of the top two tips in the first month of the competition. How cool is that? Know your COMPETITION WINNERS. But that’s the gee-whiz stuff. Interestingly. As he describes it. Witness the Millenary from 136year watchmakers Audemars Piguet. you’ll win a Bosch XEO Lithium Ion Cutter worth R579. the winning DIY tip will be published in POPULAR MECHANICS. Page 24 Send us your DIY hints – and win! Visit www. but they have no illusions about the work that lies ahead. The overall winner will receive a combo set of power tools worth R3 499. Moving along. some of the most respected (and expensive) brands have yielded to market pressure and are now producing designs that actually border on the sexy. could it comprise your career? Might such genetic evidence be cited in a divorce hearing? If your insurance company discovered you were predisposed to Alzheimer’s. send it off. Bailey’s mitochondrial DNA reveals that his maternal line descends from Haplogroup U5.[ EDITOR’S NOTES ] Our genes. his paternal line hails from Ireland. and they’ll do it without parental consent. we introduce “Blue sky power”. workshop or general DIY hints (click on the “Competition” link beneath PM’s profile picture on the left of our Fan page). Writer Ronald Bailey is happy to share the results of his genetic test with the world. As Bailey says. As early adopters. it’s probably our duty. but they are the beginning of a process through which consumers. but would we do the same? If your employer knew you carried markers associated with alcoholism or schizophrenia. For example.CO. but some people are concerned about privacy to send us your best home. And now for something completely different – our annual feature on the most desirable (and in some cases. garage. Is all the effort – not to mention the massive investment – worth it? Experts Ken Caldeira and Cristina Archer think so. The really interesting information lies in the data revealing his predisposition to various medical conditions. aland@ramsaymedia. the process is disarmingly simple: “You spit into a test tube. why we react so badly to rat poison (warfarin) and why we prefer fighting to fleeing.. could it cancel your policy or load the premiums? Bailey himself appears unfazed. the tests are not perfect. kids are going to be running gene scans and maybe even whole genome sequencing experiments in their ninth-grade biology classes. According to his Y chromosome. but we rather enjoy the idea that spitting into a test tube can teach us so much about our genetic make-up. downright loony) timepieces from Baselworld. a thoughtprovoking story about big-bucks investors (including Google) who are gambling many millions of dollars on an energy source that’s just this side of science fiction – airborne wind turbines. doctors and other health purveyors will learn how to better interpret and use genetic information over time. why we enjoy that extra glass of wine. and a few weeks later you get a readout of up to 1 million single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from your genome. having calculated that airborne turbines could potentially produce 18 terawatts of electricity – “more than enough to power modern civilisation without adverse affects on climate”. courtesy of Skil POPULARMECHANICS. recounts the experience of writer Ronald Bailey after he sends off a saliva sample for genetic Winners of the top two tips in the second month of the competition will each receive a Bosch PSB 500 RE 500W Impact Drill worth R499. Then they are going to share that information with their friends on Facebook and Twitter. making the point that we live in a society characterised by increasingly radical self-disclosure and transparency.” We probably won’t go that far. T WorldMags his month’s cover story. All of which leads to a slightly thorny issue – our privacy. “The naked gene”. which features a striking mechanism and tiny gongs. Bailey was happy to post the results of his test online for all the world to see. the results are readily understood by anyone – and they make fascinating reading. the planet’s premier watch Plus. Details online at www.” Whereas the terminology may be daunting.popularmechanics. He predicts that genetic information will not be immune to this trend: “Some time before the end of this decade.

the new Kombi & Caravelle open up a world of possibilities. and with the introduction of innovative technology such as ESP. A range of new common rail TDI engines mean reduced fuel consumption and WorldMags Get more out of life with the new Volkswagen Kombi and Caravelle. no other vehicle is better equipped to help you expand your horizons. On the outside.vw. bold new Volkswagen design is strongly reflected by the front-end integration of grille and With class-leading space and safety credentials. DSG® and 4Motion®. On the inside. WorldMags .www. new driver assist systems mean the vehicles drive like sedans.

Regrettably. Had it not been for William. share and seek out the WorldMags facts – something that made him appreciate your magazine immensely. and win some I first heard about the recent POPULAR MECHANICS Inventors Conference just a few days before the event was to take Those moments were just too Please keep it short and to the point. think. With a little help from PM. You get the EasyShare C142 digital camera. Having to spend his first week away from home. In January this year. FLICKR or Kodak Gallery sites. Pierre le Roux. Facebook. the reason is that I come from a technical POPULARMECHANICS. he started buying it.CO. and the conversation flowed..kodak. Howard Place 7450 or e-mail popularmechanics@ramsaymedia. and soon afterwards took out a subscription. The next evening. He is fondly remembered for this by the hundreds of scholars and students who passed through his classrooms and lecture halls over the years. an 8 GB SD memory card and a Venture bag. I couldn’t bring myself to tell him to stop passing on his own copy. as I am hopeless at do-it-yourself things. For more information. William’s was spent saying goodbye to his much-loved Oupa. CHRISTIAAN LE ROUX VIA E-MAIL Write to And so an Oupa reaches out from the hereafter to help his grandson settle into this new chapter of his life. My father had written to PM before he was admitted to hospital without any of us knowing. plus the cool and uncomplicated Pulse digital photo frame (no time-consuming software setups or complicated technology). physics and chemistry teacher and lecturer his entire life. For one thing. he was treated to a magazine of his choice by his mother. a rocket and a helicopter – the stuff of boyhood dreams. learn. with its innovative one-button upload to YouTube. You win some. with whom he shared a very special bond – not really the type of story that helps you connect with your new fellow boarders. William – eldest of my father’s seven grandchildren – went to boarding school for the first time at St Andrew’s School in Bloemfontein. As soon as the latest edition arrived. I have been a keen reader of PM for a long time now but have never seen myself as one of the typical PM crowd. My father passed away on 15 December 2010 at the age of 72. I remember plans for building your own go-kart. a pedal-powered boat. As well as by his own children. my sister’s eldest son. and by then the magazines were at least 20 years old – taken from the collection he had built up as a child. he opened his PM and on page 8 – the Letters page – he saw his Oupa’s name. engage us in debate. my father loyally booked it out at the library – frugal as ever. bringing science into the realm of everyday life and breaking down the perceived barriers that often make science so inaccessible to the average Send your letter to: Popular Mechanics. Eventually. and you stand to win a distinctly appealing Kodak photo hamper worth R3 326. I have very little interest in mechanical things and no interest at all in cars or motorbikes other than the minimum I need to know in order to drive one. PM made manifest everything he so passionately stood for.[ LETTERS ] G NIN R N I W TTE LE A TRIBUTE TO PIERRE LE ROUX My brother and I were introduced to POPULAR MECHANICS by my father when we were no more than six or seven years old.. prizes can be awarded only to South African residents. PO Box 180. So why should I be interested in some geeky conference of people who actually understand and even build geeky things? Well. he would pass on the previous month’s issue to me. Having been a maths. call 011-202 8300 or visit www. He chose PM – the January 2011 edition. Amazement was shared and friends were made. none of us would have seen it. Showing the letter about the Chrysler Airflow/De Soto to his fellow boarders soon broke the ice. I also never read the “do-it-yourself” section of the magazine. When the South African edition first appeared. It was the American edition. as he went to bed. His entire life was devoted to inspiring those around him to obtain knowledge. This would be accompanied by long conversations and discussions on the content – so much so that when I subscribed myself. The first evening spent at boarding school came with the expected awkwardness and strained conversations about how and where you spent your December holidays. I read PM mainly for its scientific section (astrophysics articles in particular) and its gadgets section.ZA • APRIL 2011 WorldMags 8 .

I challenge them to lie on their stomachs with their hands working controls and their heads tilted upwards for more than a couple of minutes. During the past 10 months I have attended about 12 international conferences. What an eye-opener it was. Audiences seem increasingly picky about paying extra for 3D movies. let alone fly a plane. among other things. each garage will have one! Finally. 43% No. DR AMOS BARKAI Did I wake up on a different planet OLRAC yesterday? Editor’s note: Our next PM Inventors GIL SULLIVAN Conference is scheduled for August (in VIA E-MAIL PM Gauteng).CO. When I saw the ad in PM for the conference. and some of my own experiences with the for this reason. that what I was doing was not really relevant to a conference of people who build funny little machines in their free time. then wait for clearance and all that goes with aviation regulations. interesting but not really for me. But the PM conference cost less than a taxi ride from Heathrow to London. I paid a crazy amount of money just to attend. wires. TV last night about the history of guns  Next year (I assume and hope there and bullets. Are filmmakers wasting their time and money making stereoscopic epics? Yes. causes deformity in newborn babies. 9 WorldMags POPULARMECHANICS. In the meantime. millions of others are doing the same. If this is true. Okay. 57% Conducted online at www. or failing that. or other cars. I co-own a company that offers IT and analytical solutions to the marine environment. at least.M O N T H LY P O L L Tron: Legacy combines and refines almost every cutting-edge technique in cinema today. 3D tech is an evolutionary step in moviemaking. So how do they think “aircars” can even become a feasible option? Just how do they imagine it working? Get up in the morning. man In addition to revelling in my Popular Mechanics over Christmas. By the way. all of which will take another hour – because don’t forget. as I did. so you drive to an airstrip – most are on the outskirts of cities. their children keep me company. the electricity it consumes is proportional to the temperature difference x area of freezer x heat transfer coefficient of the insulation. “Driving on air” (February issue). workshops and technical exhibitions. Well. my wife came along to when you kill someone. will be a similar event next year) I would The US military have realised that lead like to share.popular mechanics. Well done! future manufacture of bullets. The body is not designed for that. they are planning to use crowd. and I was ready to move to the next page when I noticed the location – only a few minutes’ drive from my home. This way. Then there’s that cockeyed Puffin design where you lie down while flying. chaos will reign and cars will be falling out of the sky all day long. you probably passed the office on the way to the pole. where you cannot take off because you’ll hit a tree. I went anyway – and how wrong I was. Aside from some pretty obvious advice such as “turn off your oven”. Was it all a joke. then they’re completely clueless or been breathing in too much rocket fuel.ZA • APRIL 2011 . My wife thought. rather than keeping it fully stocked. drive your car out of the garage and on to the street. the number of vehicles on the roads and private aircraft in the air is out of control and well beyond most countries’ ability to control. too. Globally. The bigger the load in your fridge and freezer. The same applies to the return trip. But until then. Driving on air – for airheads? I could not fathom the article. and was by far the most inOf death and ethics teresting and relevant event I have attendI was watching a science programme on ed in – visit PM’s Web site to vote in our current poll. This is going to take an hour. We’ll keep you posted. Next. you take off… where to? Work? Hey. we’ll see them portrayed on your “Time Machine” page in 40 years’ time with all the other airhead ideas that have failed. For some. DON BELL PORT ELIZABETH 57 % 43 % Be cool. or are the designers of these cross-pollinated cars and aircraft really serious? The very first paragraph states that Nasa and the Pentagon are trying to put an aircraft in every garage. I thought to myself. not to mention flights and accommodation costs. the more electricity it consumes…” Really? I had always thought that when cooled down. it says: “Start using up the meat and other perishables in your fridge and freezer.                                         won’t be born deformed. The designer has obviously not tried to lie down on his stomach and play with his kid. and she loved it. More and more cinema operators are buying into the technology. Talk about ignoring the basic laws of ergonomics! My conclusion is that it’s all a joke. I don’t remember having to multiply this by the number of frozen lamb chops inside – or am I missing something? GRAHAM SPRIGGS FLORIDA GLEN WorldMags background (marine biologist in my formal training) and because. if I am allowed to do so. If other cities are as bad as South African cities. log your flight plan. I read CAR magazine (our sister title in the RamsayMedia stable – Editor). they’ll find themselves on a physiotherapist’s bench with chronic muscle and/or tendon strains. many thanks to an alternative – probably nylon – in the PM and all the speakers. where I came across an advertisement from Eskom offering tips on saving electricity while you’re away on holiday.

it could fit in a shoebox and required DIY skills that were commonplace back then: handwinding of coils.ZA • APRIL 2011 . A tandem on the cheap seemed to be the perfect way to use those children’s bikes gathering dust in the garage. and a team of self-appointed expert assistants will generate more heat than the coals. like the venerable 200-litre drum converted into a braai. And they call it progress. we proposed. woodwork and metalwork. using such advanced techniques as “mallet blows”. today’s braaimaster probably dresses a little differently. PM WorldMags 10 POPULARMECHANICS.[ TIME MACHINE ] 1970 WorldMags APRIL 1963 APRIL Bored with humdrum tasks such as replacing tap washers and hanging pictures? Flex your DIY muscles with a selection of pre-fab holiday home plans. At a guess. The modern equivalent would probably fit in an eggcup and need little more than rudimentary soldering – while costing more than an off-theshelf product. One example could be owner-built in 6 to 8 weekends. Using a single valve and powered by three torch batteries. soldering. Some DIY projects have stood the test of time. “depending on your carpentry skills”. those skills would be considerable. However. Mom and Dad could go pedalling together at a tenth of the cost of a ready-made machine by joining the front half from a boy’s bike to the back half of a girl’s bike. 1938 1955 >> APRIL APRIL Long-time POPULAR MECHANICS fans will fondly remember the likes of our budget SW receiver. the non-braaing hand is likely to be clutching a frosty beverage.CO. we said.

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WorldMags 12 POPULARMECHANICS. SpaceX’s capsule. used in uniforms imbued with antidotes to chemical weapons or as gauze infused with tissue-regenerating salves to heal burn victims. any of which can fail without compromising the rest of the tyre. nanoscale forms that contain the medicine. which uses tiny needles to inject substances into hollow fibres. These would replace the current system. explosive yield and sensors to attack ground targets. caused in part by climatic changes after multiple volcanoes erupted 250 million years ago. WorldMags MANUFACTURING MIRACLE FABRIC ї Researchers see great promise in cloth that releases medicine exactly when needed.ZA • APRIL 2011 Illustrations by Mercé Iglesias . airless tyres generate interest from fire departments. The company will use electrical fields to shape polymeric droplets into nanotubes or mesh. Goodyear hopes the tough. none of which travelled more than 35 kilometres. Nasa and Goodyear Tyre recently teamed up to develop a tyre made of 800 independent springs. Flight demonstrations are planned for 2014. Only one of every 10 species on the planet survived that event. • REACHING ORBIT EUGNATHID FISH / / Private space breakthrough ї Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) last December became the first private firm to recover a spacecraft from Earth’s orbit. Engineers tested the design on Nasa’s Lunar Electric Rover over rocky terrain at Johnson Space Centre in Houston. THREE JOBS ї DARPA has tapped Raytheon and Boeing (for R150 million each) to create the Triple Target Terminator. but these were enough to restart fully functional ecosystems that had diverse kinds of large predators. airplanes or cruise missiles. however. Manufacturing the hollow. Dragon. circled the Earth and landed in the Pacific Ocean 800 km west of to read more about Nasa and Goodyear's energy-efficient airless tyre.CO. is problematic. inter- • VEHICLE DESIGN New wheels for off-planet rides Future robotic missions to the Moon could require heavy vehicles that can range over thousands of kilometres of extraterrestrial landscapes – demands that would overwhelm the wire-mesh wheels used on Apollo-era buggies. a missile that can adjust its speed. Texas.[ TECHWATCH ] N E W S + T R E N D S + B R E A K T H R O U G H S + S P A C E + E N E R G Y • EXTINCTION ARCHAEOLOGY New ecosystem? It’ll take 10 million The launch is part of a Nasa programme looking at the private sector to resupply the International Space Station once the space shuttle retires this year. ONE MISSILE. mine owners and other operators of indispensable wheeled vehicles. The US National Institute of Standards and Technology is funding Arsenal Medical’s research into a new way to make these fabrics at an industrial scale. ➜ An international team of palaeontologists in China uncovered a trove of 20 000 aquatic fossils that detail how life rebounded after a mass extinction.popularmechanics. – ALEX HUTCHINSON ON THE WEB > Visit www. • QUICK HITS twining the medicine inside the fibres.

the US Air Force’s X-37B unmanned spacecraft (see “Return of the space plane.” Needham says. “Had it gone straight. Needham had to leap from a rolling pickup travelling at 90 km/h.” GATOR (1976) Doubling for Burt The X-37B had just completed its inaugural. Needham used hand signals to help the pilot get into position.ZA • APRIL 2011 13 . “There’s no such thing as a great stunt if there’s no danger involved. safely tackling the rider. it would have landed on me. A second mission is planned for spring 2011. but satellite watchers and defense wonks say its shifting orbits indicate the vehicle was being tested as a reconnaissance platform that could launch quickly and move around in space to monitor multiple targets at unpredictable times. Stuntman! My car-crashing.popularmechanics. LITTLE BIG MAN (1970) In this film sequence.” the 80-year-old legend says. Needham saw the pickup was coming down even with his body. VIDEO > Watch the launch of the US Air Force's X-37B space plane back in April 2010 on www. – BEN STEWART HAL NEEDHAM'S MOST EPIC STUNTS Hal Needham WorldMags YOU ASKED FOR IT (1950–1959) This TV stunt called for Needham to jump off a flying plane and tackle a man riding a horse. As he sailed through the air. “As the horse pushed off his back legs. death-defying Hollywood life. 220-plus-day mission in orbit. Needham walks POPULAR MECHANICS through his favourite stunts. bonebreaking. then did a series of 4-metre standing broad jumps from the bare backs of one stagecoach horse to the next. 5 metres above the ground – kept the plane from stalling by pointing the nose upward. plane-jumping. Picture by Everett Collection (Hal Needham).” he says. on shelves in February. doubling for icons including Kirk Douglas and Charles Bronson. The truck turned over sideways and crashed down next to Needham – missing him by half a metre. The pilot – flying at 90 km/h.• E N T E R TA I N I N G D A N G E R Stunt master Decades before directors relied on CGI to create action sequences. Needham leapt from galloping horses on to a stagecoach. In honour of his memoir. who appeared in thousands of TV episodes and WorldMags POPULARMECHANICS. Illustrations by Vic Kulihin • P M U P D AT E Secret space plane lands In an early-morning touchdown in December. And none were quite as brave as Hal Needham.CO. you jumped. “We used the momentum of the horses to propel us. The Air Force is not saying what experiments the X-37B conducted. exceptionally brave stuntmen and -women performed every extreme act themselves. then let go and sailed 6 metres through the air.” June 2010) fired its manoeuvring engine to put itself into position for an autonomous landing at California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The Phantom Ray travelled from St Louis in Missouri to California.[ TECHWATCH ] • U AV D E V E L O P M E N T Hitching a ride out West It doesn’t really count as a first flight. an unmanned stealth aircraft. who sat down with Air Force techs in the Intelligence. participated in physical training. SEA Expeditionary warfare depends on supporting ground troops from areas away from combat. Surveillance and Reconnaissance Division to research her role. so his crew contacted Lieutenant-Colonel Jason Johnston. which includes everything from providing reference recordings for video games to scheduling a production’s use of assets such as helicopters. but alien scout craft doing reconnaissance for a future invasion? That’s the premise of Battle: Los Angeles. real-life Marine squads launch hand-held UAVs to see surrounding terrain. Boeing is developing the Phantom Ray with its own funds to keep pace with Northrop Grumman’s Navy-funded UAV programme.” Director Jonathan Liebesman wanted his actors to bring realism to their portrayal of Marines. for example.CO. advised the prop and costume departments and subjected the actors to a threeweek boot camp: like real Marines. so I have to say. Johnston and his crew looked over the script. let it go. asks if radiofrequency transmissions could take out electronics. but late last year. where staff at Dryden Flight Research Centre will conduct test flights. Marines use large surface ships. but that’s not right – electromagnetic pulses (EMPs) are what do that!” Rodriguez says.ZA • APRIL 2011 Illustrations by Mercé Iglesias .” The aliens rely on large unmanned attack aircraft to soften human resistance. the alien equivalents emerge from underwater – and underground. the US Marines’ first urban fight occurred in Tripoli in 1805. AIR WorldMags An officer and an alien W WorldMags 14 hat if all the UFO sightings over the years weren’t weather balloons or secret military planes. got a lift on the back of a 747 airliner that Nasa had converted to carry the space shuttle. Boeing’s Phantom Ray. says some of the technical information her character imparts was simplified for the benefit of the audience.” says star Michelle Rodriguez (Avatar). “Producers think that people don’t get it. – ERIN MCCARTHY POPULARMECHANICS. learned tactics and hit the gun range. One character. “It’s like District 9 meets Black Hawk down meets Modern warfare. not everything in Battle: Los Angeles hits that same standard of accuracy. “That’s the best way to explain it. artilleryman turned director of the Marine Corps Entertainment Office in Los Angeles. but kids who play video games know what EMPs are. because I was supposed to. the cast slept outside. But I’m aware that it’s a film. an onthe-ground view of a worldwide invasion from the perspective of one squad of US Marines. But whereas the actors’ Marine guise was nearly perfect. Michelle. Rodriguez. • A TECH CULTURE MARINES VS ALIENS і Michelle Rodriguez as Air Force tech sergeant Santos in Battle: Los Angeles. LAND Alien footsoldiers face an experienced foe in the streets of LA. The office handles requests from productions that want the support of the Corps. “I said yeah.

MIT Woodie Flowers thinks the best use of a robot is to get teens excited about engineering.ZA • APRIL 2011 15 . The larger the radius. Right now. The average radius of a Labrador retriever’s abdomen is about 23 cm.5 Hz – to get dry. a team of engineers at the Georgia Institute of Technology. A washing machine’s spin cycle takes about 10 minutes of constant spinning to remove approximately the same percentage of moisture. television on the whole represents many things that I don’t respect. Canines instinctively shake at a high enough frequency to enable centripetal force to overcome the surface tension keeping water droplets on their fur. wet dogs can remove about half the water from their fur. iStockphoto/Louis Hiemstra VIDEO > Visit www.• E V E R Y D AY P H Y S I C S Secrets of a dry dog With a few brisk shakes. The robots are a wonderful and demanding project that makes all of that happen. allowing for a total oscillation of about 100 degrees in each direction. providing extra force to eject water droplets from it was paper clips and rubber bands. the lower the frequency at which the pooch has to shake.CO. If our goal is for more people to know about FIRST and be positive about it. gang members who became students because of FIRST. however. PM: How have robots changed the lives of participants? WF: The really interesting stories have to do with the people: the kids from New York City who built their robot out of plywood and qualified for the nationals. – KATHRYN KENNEDY WOOF Illustrations by Mercé Iglesias • IN THEIR OWN WORDS Woodie Flowers Professor emeritus. WorldMags Dogs rotate their spines about 30 degrees with each twist. is studying the drying behaviour of canines and other mammals in order to mimic their to watch an interesting video analysis of a wet dog shake. Now it’s super-powerful processors and rapid prototyping. – ERIK SOFGE PM: How do FIRST robots today compare with those in the early competitions? WF: When I started. Their loose skin continues to move. WF: If our goal is to get on television. I’m out. How fast a dog must shake to become dry depends on the radius of its cylindrical abdomen. Labrador retrievers shake at their optimal frequency – 4. Inspired by this behaviour. he has advised inventor Dean Kamen’s FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition.popularmechanics. WorldMags POPULARMECHANICS. Hu and his team are working with washing-machine manufacturers such as Whirlpool to instill dog-like snapping motions into everyday appliances. led by assistant professor David Hu. I’m in. PM: Kamen has always said that FIRST events should be televised. Since its inception in 1992. a league for students who design robots that race through obstacle courses.

RESEARCHERS AT DANA-FARBER CANCER INSTITUTE HAVE REVERSED PHYSICAL AND MENTAL SIGNS OF AGE IN MICE BY SWITCHING ON A GENE. leaking oil. Shards of metal burst out of the massive cowling. one of the hottest parts of the engine. The pipe in the Airbus’s engine was poorly made. averting what could have been the third-deadliest aviation accident in history. The IP disc is designed to handle extreme temperatures. severing wires and shredding fuel and hydraulic lines. two additional A380 pilots happened to be on board. ї bearing and the turbine discs. INTERMEDIATEPRESSURE (IP) TURBINE DISC • The power to turn the compressor blades comes from this spinning disc. one of its walls was too thin. the symptoms of ageing reversed. punching holes in the wing and fuselage. European regulators required other airlines to High-pressure check their Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines for the same problem. The team managed to get the airliner and its 469 passengers and crew safely back on the ground. the blades’ tips moved as fast as bullets. the cells stop dividing – which researchers have found to be a key cause of ageing. and (HP) compressor the company says its engineers have devised a fix. The scientists genetically engineered mice to keep the telomerase dormant. since too much telomerase may trigger cancer cell growth. TURBINE BLADES • Long. But when researchers exposed these mice to a drug that activated the telomerase. The best bet for longevity is exercise: University of Colorado at Boulder researchers reported last year that the telomeres in runners past their 50s were as long as those found in people in their 20s. Subjected to engine vibration.ZA • APRIL 2011 . its metal heated past the failure point. Most aviation experts expect no similar failures. nearly destroying the airliner. The flammable oil sprayed between the HP turbine LP turbine Low-pressure compressor (fan) IP compressor Conclusion: • Modern turbofan engines operate so close to the limits of material science that a single small flaw – in this case. dump fuel into the airstream and ignite the mixture to produce thrust. When they are too short. STUB PIPE Airliner engines concentrate inrushing air with spinning compressors. the blades flew apart in a spray of shrapnel.[ TECHWATCH ] • W H AT W E N T W R O N G Airbus engine explosion Last November. Illustrations by David Santana/Picture by ATSB WorldMags BEARINGSTRUCTURE BUFFER SPACE • The gap between rotating discs and the assembly supporting them. Spinning at several thousand revolutions per minute. in an oil pipe – can lead to catastrophic failure. – JEFF WISE • MODERN MEDICINE Cure for ageing? Every time an organism’s cells divide and replicate. thin edges that rotate in the stream of hot gases exiting the engine. – AH How does it work? What was the experiment? Will it work for people? WorldMags 16 POPULARMECHANICS. By a stroke of luck. and they helped the captain and his two officers struggle for an hour and a half to cope with the aftermath of the uncontained engine failure. essentially causing them to age faster. When the IP disc failed. Point of failure: Intermediate-pressure (IP) turbine • A tube that carries oil to lubricate bearings. but when the leaking oil caught fire within the buffer space. protective caps on the tips of the DNA strands called telomeres get shorter. it eventually cracked. an engine on a Qantas A380 taking off from Singapore exploded.CO. An enzyme called telomerase helps elongate the telomeres. Applying results to humans will be a challenge.

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wheels to yet powerful LED Lenser P5R. the 3DS includes a Circle Pad to facilitate 360-degree manipulation. DARKNESS BEGONE one pointing at the user. it can project a beam of 210 lumens as far as 175 metres on its maximum However. Other features include built-in motion and gyro sensors. you can just charge it by means of your computer’s USB port. Ion Audio’s Discover DJ system harnesses the power of your Mac or while the top screen displays riveting 3D visuals – without the need for special glasses. COMPILED BY SEAN WOODS seanw@ramsaymedia. You’ll find three cameras. IN 3D If you enjoy gaming on the go. The rechargeable lithium-ion battery has a burn life of about seven hours. here’s the newest gear you’ll want to own. an SD memory card slot (a 2 GB card is supplied) and Wi-Fi connectivity. Visit www. and the other two pointing outwards. and can be recharged up to 1 000 times via its magnetic wallmounted 220V charger. Contact The Gadget Shop on 012-346 2726 or visit The latest compact-but-blinding solution to this age-old problem is the diminutive.awesometools. events and even clubs using the music that’s already stored on your computer. With a layout that recreates the twodecks-and-a-mixer setup preferred by ¬ the pros. Price: about R1 550.5 mm long and weighing a mere 80 g. it allows you to mix and scratch your music. An automatic beat-matching feature takes the guesswork out of this tricky piece of DJing. allowing you to take 3D photos or utilise the six augmented reality cards that come with the ¬ WorldMags 18 Get the party started Your DJ fantasy is about to become reality. Alternately. Just Nocturnal activities can be a lot of fun. giving it the freedom and precision required to play games in 3D virtual worlds. A 3D depth slider allows you to increase or scale back the 3D effect and set it at the level you enjoy the most.thegadget shop. allowing you to DJ parties. Comprising a DJ control surface with a standard USB connection and powerful MixVibes Cross LE performance software. There are two large performance platters and a central mixer section with a crossfader. The bottom touchscreen allows you to manage your game via the supplied telescopic stylus. the 3DS. In addition to the familiar +Control Pad and button controls.[ GREAT STUFF ] From home improvement to WorldMags ¬ PLAY THE GAME. Price: about R830. Contact distributors Awesome Tools on 021-975 2700 or visit www. buttons and knobs including bass and treble controls. you can pitch the music up and down to perfectly match the tempo or beats per minute between tracks and create seamless mixes. that doesn’t mean stumbling around in pitch darkness for its own sake has any merit. is sure to blow your hair back. Price: about R2 800.ZA • APRIL 2011 .nintendo. then Nintendo’s latest mini marvel.

capable of charging up to four devices simultaneously. When you’re ready for that long haul down long airport corridors. 1 TB hard drive. eliminates just that.ELIMINATE ¬ CABLE CLUTTER Unless you’re from the “clutter is cool” school of interior decorating.5 cm and featuring a glass disc with four connectors and a black circular base.packardbell.micro. with a click. There are six easily swappable adaptors (Nokia. Sony Ericsson K750 and PSP. with buttons on the bezel to control volume. you’re not alone: the Micro Luggage is a scootcase that you can ride. Contact Micro on 076 373 4796 or visit www. a 5-in-1 card reader and an integrated Webcam. its glossy black curves incorporate stereo speakers. often accompanied by PA system warnings that you’re about to be offloaded. Price: about R600 (excluding delivery) WorldMags Airport travellers are JUST SCOOTING ALONG familiar with that tense. but it can do the job. transforming your case into a functional scooter. pop out the third wheel. a spaghetti junction of unsightly wires in your lounge is a no-no. Features include a full HD 58 cm touchscreen.1 channel surround sound. You’ll cause a sensation. the back wheel has a brake to prevent you from crashing into bemused onlookers.2 GHz i3 processor. The sturdy Samsonite case has a 26-litre capacity and two modular compartments with a separate laptop sleeve. a Blackberry adaptor is sold separately). you simply pull out the T-bar handle WorldMags POPULARMECHANICS. Measuring 20 x 20 x 6. it won’t look out of place in even the most stylish of homes. Price: about R10 000. up to six USB ports. For starters. 5. mini USB. Visit www.CO. Contact Mantality on 0861 626 825 or visit www. If you’ve ever thought there has to be a better way. it fits in the overhead locker. rather than having to drag behind you.ZA • APRIL 2011 ¬ 19 ¬ . Fortunately. brightness and keyboard lighting. iPod. harried footslog along the interminable corridor between security gate and aircraft. a 3. It can handle weights up to 100 kg. Sized to comply with cabin baggage regulations. co. the Messless Gadget Charging HOME IS WHERE YOUR PC’S AT Packard Bell’s oneTwo i9350 touchscreen Desktop may be a looker.mantality. but to avoid causing a scene. Price: about R3 000. Nokia Mini.

expandable storage. front.8 cm high x 1 cm deep. tablets that are just too big. Contact Dell on 0860 102 575 or visit www. Price: about R7 000.CO.7 cm WVGA touchscreen (using scratchresistant Corning Gorilla Glass) is large enough to present Web pages in their natural • APRIL 2011 . it boasts smart European design and commuter technology 20 combined with urban American style. You get double-sided printing speeds of 15 ppm in black and 7 ppm for colour. Smack in the middle. Contact Puma SA on 021-551 0832 or visit www. built-in GPS. Available from Mustek at 011-237 1000. fax and scan double-sided documents). and you can fax.[ GREAT STUFF ] ¬ THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE Small business owners looking for a good mix of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth EDR 2. visit www. speed and reliability in their office appliances should consider Epson’s new Stylus Office BX625FWD InkJet all-in-one printer. So instead. an automatic document feeder (making it easy to copy. its 12. 5-megapixel WorldMags RIDE IN STYLE Taking your car out of the garage to travel just a few clicks down the road makes no financial or green sense at all. Expect to pay about R9 000 for the standard version and R9 500 for the folding equivalent. all the features you’d expect to find in a more expensive device.and rearfacing camcorder. However. print and scan over Wi-Fi or Ethernet – basically. scanner. Other features include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 1 GHz processor. disc brakes and an oversized front carrier. why not hop on one of Puma’s trendy Pico unisex urban bikes (there’s a standard and a folding version) and hit the streets in style? Designed in collaboration with Biomega.puma. Shimano Acera 8-speed gear set. you’ve got Smartphones with screens that are too small. This Android-based mini-tablet measures a compact 15 cm wide x Intelligent facial proximity and ambient light sensors automatically adjust screen brightness to help optimise battery life. Price: about R2 100. the Dell WorldMags POPULARMECHANICS. Other features include a lightweight aluminium frame. copier and Hitting the sweet spot At one extreme. and connectivity options that include 3G. at the other.

CO.X MARKS THE SPOT WorldMags Professionals or serious outdoor enthusiasts struggling to collate accurate georeferenced data will appreciate Delorme’s Earthmate PN-60 handheld GPS-GIS (Geographic Information System) device. dual-core processor.7league. you should give the 7Leagueboot running blades a try. electronic compass and 3. they’re said to be five times more effective than jogging – even your abs get toned automatically. world base map. Price: about R2 000 (children’s version) and R3 000 (adult version).co. But if you would like to get into shape. cadastral information. are itching to find out about that endorphin rush thing that fanatical sporting folk rave FUN BODY TONER Keeping your body in shape using conventional methods can take more effort and commitment than most mere mortals are prepared to consider. birders could collect data on birds spotted. you need to create and upload a base map on to the unit – this can include high-resolution aerial photos. you’ll be ready to leap 3 metres in height and 5 metres in Contact 7Leagueboots SA on 082 828 7421 or visit www. and would still like to have some serious fun while you’re at it. elevation profile cutaway views. including information such as species. Features include a 32-channel GPS chipset. almanac information. For example. gender. conservation data layers or simply a detailed 1:50 000 topographical map. And. Rural town planners and estate agents can see when they are crossing property boundaries. With a few minutes’ worth of acclimatising. they minimise harmful impacts on the 21 ¬ WorldMags POPULARMECHANICS. Price: about R4 400. First. habitat. if creating a base map sounds like a pain. a sensitive barometric altimeter. And unlike jogging. even when there’s no fence.ZA • APRIL 2011 . Engineers could collate information on the status of water pipelines. You then create and upload a questionnaire form for data collection in the field. In terms of activating muscles.5 GB of onboard memory expandable up to 32 GB. description.delorme. the experts at Geostratics will do it for you. Contact Geostratics on 012-851 0078 or visit www. lifecycle and more.

For more leisurely ground sheet and rain catcher.firstascent. 30 and 60 seconds. it can be mounted on any surfboard in seconds. and folds up into a compact package. weight becomes an issue. Capable of recording professional quality 1080p/960p and 720p HD resolutions at 30 and 60 frames per second. Contact First Ascent on 021-787 9380 or visit www. Although made from a tough. Price: about R600. three quick-dial buttons. as well PM WorldMags 22 POPULARMECHANICS. it passes vibrations to the inner ear.[ GREAT STUFF ] ROUGH IT IN COMFORT When you’re hitting a remote trail with your backpack crammed full of food. highly durable woven fabric and coated with heavy-duty polyurethane waterproofing. fast. As a poncho. Price: about R1 300. Contact Action Cameras on 082 559 7786 or visit www. so you can document your entire session with a single push of the button on the paddle out. Then.ZA • APRIL 2011 . SAY WHAT? Although Bellen’s A100 cellphone is designed primarily for people with dodgy WorldMags CATCH THE WAVE Gung-ho surfers looking to showcase their radical waveriding – or to analyse their wipeouts – should really consider GoPro’s HD Surf HERO. The batteries last for more than 2. Apart from being incredibly small (it measures 42 mm high x 60 mm wide x 30 mm deep) and lightweight (167 g for the ¬ as single shot.actioncameras. Other photo modes include time lapse of 5. it makes clear communication possible for those working in noisy environments. transmitting the sound directly from the phone to the hearing aid. It uses bone conductor technology: when placed on facial bones close to the ear. It also – shazam! – transmogrifies into a hammock. it’s big enough to keep both you and your backpack dry. To make a shelter. clothing and other necessities. or visit hours of HD video or automatic stills on a 32 GB SD card (not included).co. you prop up one side with a trekking pole or stick (the poncho comes with two guy ropes). adjust the press stud and Velcro closures to create an effective one-man shelter. You get a colour LCD display. It’s the world’s only 1080p HD onboard video and still photo surfing camera. vodacom. FM radio. 10. desktop charger and a Li-Ion rechargeable battery that’s good for 240 hours on standby and five hours of talk time. Fortunately.CO. First Ascent’s 5-in-1 poncho goes a long way to lighten your load. torch and a large keypad. Other features include an SOS emergency button. triple shot and self-timer camera and waterproof housing). slip two cords through the poncho’s double-stitched ends and you’ve got a hammock that can handle up to 100 kg. The device integrates with hearing aids that support telecoil functionality. it can also shoot 5 MP photos automatically every 2 seconds while you surf. the 5-in-1 poncho weighs just 308 grams. Price: about R3 300. Contact Vodacom’s Specific Needs contact centre on 082 12580.

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Cool factor: *** њ WorldMags 24 њ REBELLION T-1000 Ergonomically tactile pleasure? With a power reserve of more than 1 000 hours – that’s more than 40 days – the T-1000 is not a demanding timepiece.CO.” Cool factor: ** POPULARMECHANICS. this year’s offerings are marginally more subdued. We share some of the best and most outrageous designs from the annual Baselworld show in Switzerland. why not do the same with a watch?” Er… Make a statement. yet reassuringly elegant. Horological Machine No 4 Thunderbolt has a hand for the hours. The Rebellion team’s thinking went as follows: “If we can transform these fine-tuned racing thoroughbreds into 24-hour long distance endurance racers. Industrial chic meets subtle sensuality. The oversized winding lever endows the T-1000 with a strong and virile identity as well as an ergonomically tactile pleasure while ‘filling the tank’. in an atmosphere redolent with the smell of motor oil and hot engines. who reveal the following: “There is a sensation of flying as the viewer gazes down through the massive opening to the vertical roller-borne time indications below. popularmechanics@ramsaymedia.ZA • APRIL 2011 .[ IN FOCUS ] COMPILED BY THE EDITORS. WorldMags MB&F HOROLOGICAL MACHINE NO 4 THUNDERBOLT Yes. All you need is a hand for the hours. another for the minutes. If last year’s watches leaned towards retro extravagance. but is it art? A traditional wristwatch has a relatively straightforward role: to tell the time. Watches Meet 2011’s most stylish and advanced timepieces. At this point we turn to the impassioned prose of the brand’s marketing team. lightweight materials (titanium and ceramic) and stratospheric price tags. Horizontally configured dual mainspring barrels drive two vertical gear trains. Attention then plunges towards 6 o’clock. and invite you to where the inclined double balance releases the immense power at a precisely controlled rate. In other words. The concept was born in 2008 after the famous Le Mans 24-hour race. it tells the time. transferring 72 hours’ worth of energy to the twin pods indicating hours/minutes and power reserve. Oil-pressure gauge? Don’t be silly. The Thunderbolt’s “engine” is the culmination of three years of development. another for the minutes and a power reserve indicator. and perhaps a power reserve indicator to keep track of running time. Steampunk versus classic elegance. each of its 300-plus components – including the regulator and even the screws – being designed specifically for this watch. Tell the time.

BREITLING CHRONOMAT њ How much? If you have to ask…
Breitling’s flagship Chronomat 01 model is a limited series – just 2 000 in steel and 200 in rose gold – endowed with a transparent sapphire crystal case back that provides a view of the chronograph movement – and here we are talking seriously elegant innards. First introduced in 2009, this iconic model bears an individual number engraved at 9 o’clock. Not that anyone would ask. Cool factor: *****




We’re told that one of designer Maximilian Büsser’s main goals in creating MB&F was to bring a child’s sense of awe and sense of playfulness into high-end watchmaking. This goes a long way towards explaining the existence of the unusual Frog, with its twin bulbous domes, which enable one to tell the time from many angles without having to turn the wrist – a physical challenge beyond most of us. Rotating domes of this size and shape posed a number of technical challenges. For starters, even the slightest imperfection in the sapphire might introduce a disconcerting magnification effect. They are milled from the outside and then the inside to arrive at a paper-thin wall thickness of just 0,28 mm, which reduces their energy requirements to an absolute minimum. The Frog is available in titanium with blue rotor or a limited edition of 12 featuring black-coated titanium and a green rotor. Cool factor: ***

Classic with a twist
Its full name is Omega Skeleton Central Tourbillon Co-Axial Platinum Limited Edition, and we rather like it. How can we be sure this watch won’t be seen on the wrist of every Tom, Dick and Harry? Because Omega are making only 18 of them. Your money buys a classic Tourbillon movement in which all of the main components responsible for the timepiece’s precision are assembled in a cage that rotates once every 60 seconds, offsetting the effect of gravity on the watch’s performance (hey, they said it). Interestingly, the central Tourbillon’s hands cannot be mounted on a central shaft in the conventional way. Instead, they are attached to sapphire crystal discs and propelled by gearing at their peripheries of the discs, with the result that they appear to float freely above the movement. Cool factor: ****





Go on, express yourself
Daniel Strom’s Agonium collection, including this unusual model targeted at Amazonian headhunters, was apparently created with an idea of “life finitude”, which would seem to fit the skull theme rather well. They’ve named it Memento Mori, Carpe Diem (“remember your mortality”, “seize the day”), and it’s intended to make purchasers appreciate every moment of life. The water-resistant watch case is crafted from silver, gold, palladium or platinum and comes with a double-curved sapphire crystal. The time is displayed in black or bone-white (sic), and the watch comes with an alligator-skin strap. Cool factor: *


ROMAIN JEROME STEAMPUNK Who needs a dial, anyway?
Galvanised by the Titanic DNA shockwave, Romain Jerome has launched a timekeeping statement expressed through polished steel claws, pistons, Roman numerals and a bezel in oxidised steel. (Damn! And we thought it was rust.) Just so you know, its origins lie in an extraordinary fusion of “authentic” steel from the wrecked ocean liner and that supplied by the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast, where the Titanic was built almost a century ago. A notarised certificate authenticates the origin of the materials. Please note that the watch doesn’t actually produce steam. Cool factor: ****


Hamilton took inspiration for their Time Player from a design the company originally created for a clock in the Stanley Kubrick movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and brought it back to Earth. Our ancestors believed the planet’s surface was flat, and Hamilton playfully revisits this idea with a design that is resolutely contemporary and inspired by a society constantly on the move. The flat titanium case is split into nine squares, eight filled with movable counters and one left empty, much like a sliding puzzle. The counters, separated by lines symbolising latitude and longitude, enable the wearer to set and measure time in the current location, plus three others. Cool factor: ***



AUDEMARS PIGUET MILLENARY So money is no object, then?


The audible indication of the time, initially created to “tell” the time in the dark in an age when electricity had not yet been invented, is the oldest of all horological complications. Audemars Piguet’s new Millenary Minute Repeater model is in line with this tradition, featuring a striking mechanism and mini-gongs. A class act by any measure. Cool factor: *****




Look closely, now
Want to know what inspired this watch? It was the cultural and societal transformation of Western civilisation during the 50-year period from 1880 to 1930. (We know this because the people at Jean Dunand told us.) More specifically, it was London’s celebrated Crystal Palace, built for the Great Exhibition of 1851, with a little aesthetic input from the architectural pinnacle of the era – the Eiffel Tower. At the heart of the manually wound Palace beats a one-minute flying tourbillon. Above it are skeletal hour and minute hands, and a sapphire crystal 60-minute counter for the chronograph. On either side of the flying tourbillon are two vertical tracks, the one in the right-hand corner charting its 72-hour power reserve, the other a linear GMT indicator. Instead of a rotary dial, the Palace shows its second time zone through 12-hour indications on either side of the ovalshaped trace. Get this: so detail-rich is the design that each watch is supplied with a magnifying glass to enable the owner to study it! Cool factor: ****




the cheapest. Fears about the loss of genetic privacy are greatly exaggerated. as screening costs plummet and our knowledge about genetics expands.” he says.CO. has helped thousands of people unlock the secrets of their own genetic code. change the way we consume medicine and plan for the future.ZA • APRIL 2011 iStockphot/Serdar Duran . as the philosopher Wittgenstein said.[ SCIENCE ] If I show you MY GENOME. SNPs are variations in an individual’s genetic code that are useful in understanding differences among people and for identifying some disease risks. HOW WOULD YOU FEEL ABOUT SHARING THE RESULTS OF YOUR GENE SCREENING WITH THE WORLD? CAN YOU BE SURE IT WON’T BACKFIRE ON YOU? RONALD BAILEY WorldMagsSUBMITS HIS SALIVA AND REVEALS ALL.) But he’s wrong. deCODEme. Knowing and sharing that information will enhance. and influence how we relate to each other. scary or inconvenient. here are my answers to the most common questions about and objections to genetic testing. (With regard to his genitalia.. Unlike colonoscopies or even ordinary blood tests.. developer of the human genetics wiki SNPedia and the online gene analysis tool Promethease. virtually everyone will soon be able to have their genotypes at their fingertips. “Someone later might discover. You can read all about me at snpedia. not jeopardise. a gene screen isn’t gross.” Cariaso is certainly a smart guy. and a few weeks later you get a readout of up to 1 million single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from your genome. But when it comes to making his own gene screening tests publicly available for all the world to see. As a service to future consumers and as a guide to the world we will all soon be living in. Unfortunately. one company. Navigenics. Cariaso prefers to hold the key close to his chest. Simply spit into a test tube. a hyper-cautious Food and Drug WorldMags 28 POPULARMECHANICS. even arranged to offer its screening test over the counter at Walgreens stores in the US. and he is hardly alone in his general concerns. That’s why I’ve decided to post my genotype screening information online.php/User:Ronald_Bailey. thereof one must be silent”. “Whereof one cannot speak. our sense of ourselves. send it off. Pathway Genomics. will you show me yours? ichael Cariaso. “that I have genes for a short penis and low intelligence. simplest way for a consumer to get some preliminary insight into his or her genetic make-up is to pay a few hundred bucks for the services of a gene screening company such as 23andMe. com/index. or Pathway Genomics. Instead. We are fast approaching an era in which genetic information is no longer exclusive or medicalised. In May last year. worrying that such transparency might lead to personal embarrassment or discrimination by insurance companies or future employers. M How does genetic screening work? Right now.

CO.WorldMags iStockphoto/Mads Abildgaard WorldMags POPULARMECHANICS.ZA • APRIL 2011 29 .

to test-chip maker Illumina.IF I SHOW YOU MY GENOME . People are already making those same decisions. It also agrees with 23andMe that I have some alleles indicating a low probability ‘The good news: I have low odds of suffering from male pattern baldness. The first complete human genome was sequenced back in 2000. you can run the raw data through Promethease. however.CO. and my chance of getting rheumatoid arthritis is less than 1 in 100. SNPedia is comprehensive but messy. According to my mitochondrial DNA. In November 2009. there are at least nine companies in the US that will go beyond checking for gene variants and will soon offer to decode all 3 billion DNA base-pairs in a person’s whole genome. the privately held Complete Genomics sequenced a whole human genome for just R12 000. a US Government project that cost almost R22 billion. I received an 30 The “spit kit” from 23andme. Vague stories about Aunt Sally’s breast cancer prompt a mammogram. Pacific Biosciences. All you need do is spit into the tube and send it off to their lab. In his letter. Very reassuring.5 out 100.. This is astonishingly rapid progress from very expensive pure science to relatively cheap commercialisation.ZA • APRIL 2011 WorldMags . I signed up for an early 23andMe test at R7 300 and a later Pathway Genomics test for R2 900. Promethease tells me I have the complement of alleles strongly suggesting that I am male. In the course of making information understandable to users. Sadly. The tests revealed there’s no truth to the family legend that we’re related to a Cherokee princess. I also have gene variants suggesting that being breastfed would probably have raised my IQ by six or seven points. my maternal line descends from Haplogroup U5. a trait analysis tool that links test results to research reports compiled at the wiki-style SNPedia.’ POPULARMECHANICS. all three pretty much agree. I doubled up on genetic testing. since I do not have the gene variants for fast-twitch muscles often found in world-class sprinters. The results from Pathway Genomics later confirmed this genealogy. my paternal line appears to hail from Ireland.. an uncle’s heart attack leads to some halfhearted jogging. In both cases. Unfortunately. I got 23andMe’s results first. and I logged on to its Web site with the kind of happy anticipation one feels opening birthday presents. e-mail message telling me my test results were available. both 23andMe and Pathway Genomics generally cite research that has been strongly confirmed by the peer-reviewed literature. Well. The FDA’s aggressive regulation of direct-to-consumer gene testing does little more than keep information away from decision makers. the FDA sent a letter to other gene screening companies. I carry two gene variants that increase my risk of age-related macular degeneration and one variant that reduces the risk. and to the whole-genome sequencing company Knome. funded by the Canadian geologist and diamond mine entrepreneur Stewart Blusson and his wife. which analyses your DNA in 6-8 weeks. the service is not available to South Africans. One company. But if you’re hankering for more detailed and speculative insights into your genetic information. claims that by 2013 it will be able to map a consumer’s genome in 15 minutes for less than R8 000. which arose among early Homo sapiens sapiens colonisers of Europe around 40 000 years ago. Many of these companies are competing for the $10 million (about R73 million) Archon Genomics X Prize. People make health decisions all the time. but with much less information. the FDA’s Alberto Gutierrez expressed worry that “consumers may make medical decisions in reliance on this information”. As is often the case with crowdsourced information. It is just as well that I have no plans to become a competitive short-distance runner. WILL YOU SHOW ME YOURS? WorldMags Administration (FDA) sent a letter to Pathway Genomics asserting that the test was a regulated medical device. that’s the whole point. 23andMe and Pathway Genomics. Despite these regulatory travails. What do results look like? The good news: I have low odds of suffering from male pattern baldness. about six weeks after I sent off my spit. which will be awarded to the first group to build a device that accurately sequences 100 human genomes in 10 days for less than $10 000 (R73 000) per genome. yes. receiving reports from two different companies. According to my Y chromosome. 23andMe’s ancestor screening tests suggest that it would be hard for someone to be more genetically European than I am. which means that combined my risk of going blind is 9. Marilyn Blusson. When I compare the reports from 23andMe and Pathway Genomics with the results I got at Promethease. In June. ordering them all to show why their tests should be exempt from the agency’s pre-market clearance regime for regulated medical devices.4 per 100 people. compared with the average risk of 2. prompting Walgreens to postpone selling the service for now. compared with the typical risk of 7 out of 100.

died of a stroke at the same age. They offer supplementary. but genetic testing is supposed to offer access to the unseen future. and congestive obstructive pulmonary disease. Pathway Genomics measures 12 different markers for coronary artery Be still. which indicates that my risk of heart attack is slightly below average. 23andMe tests for only one variant. The only real response to many disease risks right now remains that hoary but correct advice to eat your vegetables. I also find I have gene variants that raise my IQ by seven points. indicating that I don’t have diabetes. doctors and purveyors will learn how to better interpret and use genetic information over time. For example. Check. accelerated lung decline. irregular rhythm. A set of alleles showing I can digest milk as an adult. That sounds bad. The right way to think about the current direct-to-consumer genotype screening tests is that they are a preliminary technology. since 30 per cent of people have the variant that confers four extra IQ points and 47 per cent share the variant that adds three. I was also happy to learn that my risk of ovarian cancer is probably onethird lower than average. 23andMe. all three sources report that I should respond typically to the blood-thinning drug Plavix. 830 000 Americans died of cardiovascular disease in 2006. who suffered several heart ailments. the results of current tests are probabilistic calculations based on a selection of low-risk susceptibility alleles.2 out 100. Cardiovascular disease risk is particularly interesting to me since my father died of a heart attack at age 70 and my mother.’ gene for such common ailments as heart disease. Pathway Genomics and Promethease all suggest that I would respond strongly to the blood thinner warfarin. should I ever need it. but recent tests show that my blood glucose levels are well within the normal range. In any case. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States: according to the American Heart Association. The differences in reported results between the companies arise not from inaccuracies but from their selection of studies to include in their analyses and their interpretation of the research. As the saying goes. What other genetic flaws did Promethease suggest? I have one copy of a gene variant that increases my relative risk of type 2 diabetes by 10 per cent. my heart. In March last year. In my case. Pathway Genomics reports the good news that people with my “genetic markers receive significantly greater benefit from intensive statin therapy (such as Lipitor) than people who do not have these markers”. Skimming through Promethease. Also. my total cholesterol level is 167 milligrams per decilitre. I have several gene variants that significantly boost my chances of lung cancer. at 20. WorldMags disease and 11 gene variants associated with the risk of heart attack. well below the 200 milligrams per decilitre threshold that increases heart disease risk. a heartbeat characterised by a fast. lose weight. The tests are not perfect. But in general. and not smoke. hundreds of genes combine with influences from the environment to either increase or reduce risks. not dispositive. information about various health risks.” noted US National Institute of Health Director Francis Collins in the April 2010 issue of Nature.9 out of 100 Caucasian males. the gene testing companies and Promethease produced a lot of information about how my genes might contribute to illness. Check. some 425 000 of them from coronary artery disease. which makes me wonder about a possible willpower gene hiding somewhere. The results suggest I am somewhat more susceptible than average to both. An allele for light skin colour. my physician should probably aim to stabilise me at a lower dose than average. diabetes or cancer. Confirming the obvious is gratifying. “Drug response can be predicted accurately for more than a dozen drugs. People who don’t have these specific variants may well have versions of genes that boost their IQs in other ways. By contrast. Since gene hunters generally try to figure out how heredity correlates with disease. Given my genetic risks for heart disease. it looks like it was a good idea to quit my three-pack-a-day cigarette habit 23 years ago. My diabetes results illustrate an important concept: there is no single WorldMags POPULARMECHANICS. whereas the average is 21. So it’s not surprising that I.iStockphoto/Don Bayley of being bald.” The more useful information that gene scanning can provide today is how we are likely to react to various pharmaceuticals. noting that “your genetic profile suggests that you may be vulnerable to lung cancer”. like many people. have genes conferring some risk of heart disease. but they are the beginning of the process through which consumers. In this regard I am not particularly special. “Genes load the gun. All three platforms find that I am at greater risk than average for experiencing atrial fibrillation. According to Promethease. diabetes or cancer. The writer’s test revealed that he has a higher-thanaverage risk of atrial fibrillation. which would mean that. a 64-slice CT heart scan a few years ago showed that I had no sign of significant coronary blockages. Check again. 31 Is the information useful? Most people don’t need genetic testing to find out whether they are wellthatched white males who can digest milk. I also have a variant that correlates with staying addicted if one becomes a smoker. I also have two copies of an allele that increases my chances of type 1 diabetes to 20 times the average. ‘There is no single gene for such common ailments as heart disease. the environment pulls the trigger. Pathway Genomics confirms this result. the FDA updated Plavix’s label to inform doctors that there is now a genetic test to determine how patients will respond to it. Promethease finds that I have an SNP that increases my chances of coronary artery disease by 50 per cent above average. exercise more.CO. Instead.ZA • APRIL 2011 .

I do want to know. worse. which suggests that my lifetime risk of Alzheimer’s disease is average. and Steven Pinker. The good news is that my failing memory is not due to APOE4. But those who tested positive experienced only transient distress. which reveals the subject’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s during his lifetime. Might an employer decide. We’ll leave my street drug history back in my 20s. and that dining out with me usually involves sharing more than one bottle of wine. I don’t have a gene variant associated with strong alcohol cravings in some drinkers. usually more than one) from time to time. a cognitive psychologist at Harvard – declined to learn what their gene tests have to say about their risk of it. they didn’t want to know if they carry copies of the APOE4 allele. Right: iStockphoto/ Christian Martínez Kempin .IF I SHOW YOU MY GENOME .) Unlike Watson and Pinker. which boosts the odds that a person will eventually get Alzheimer’s to as much as 20 times the average. Not surprisingly. that he doesn’t want to hire a possible drunk? For now.CO. (More happily. Another study reported that participants who learned that they carried the APOE4 allele were more likely to buy long-term care insurance. recent research suggests that people carrying APOE4 alleles have better memories in their youth than those who carry the APOE3 variant. To make matters WorldMags Left: iStockphoto/Christine Glade. The researchers monitored the participants for symptoms of anxiety and depression over the course of a year. Specifically. “The disclosure of APOE genotyping results to adult children of patients with Alzheimer’s disease did not result in significant short-term psychological risks. there are other gene combinations that can increase or decrease my risk. It could also show up a gene variant associated with alcohol abuse (right). WorldMags assigned the participants to either a group that was told their results or another that was not. Not all gene screening companies include APOE4 testing. In particular. The bioethicists were concerned about the “impact of knowing one’s own genetic susceptibility to an incurable disease”. prohibits employers from asking job applicants for genetic information or using it in making employment decisions. as APOE testing was becoming more widely available. Then again. when it occurred. Of course. WILL YOU SHOW ME YOURS? What about Alzheimer’s? Alzheimer’s disease envelops us in a fog of forgetting. but Pathway Genomics does.’ I confess that I enjoy a shot of single malt (okay. co-discoverer of DNA’s structure. The researchers gave APOE tests to 162 asymptomatic adult volunteers who each had a parent with Alzheimer’s disease. The federal government’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has ruled that POPULARMECHANICS.” the study concluded. The results are reassuring: people can handle the truth. they were afraid that consumers would “make significant life decisions based on a misunderstanding of risk estimates”. leaving us a helpless burden on our families. one of the gene variants that increases my risk of lung cancer is also associated with a higher risk of alcoholism. They randomly 32 Above left: Genetic testing will detect the presence of the telltale APOE4 allele. they would find that I have a gene variant that some studies suggest can increase my risk of substance abuse (of both alcohol and “street” drugs) fourfold. It robs us of our dignity. Ten years later. The prospect of Alzheimer’s disease is so frightening that two prominent researchers who have had their genomes scanned – James Watson. America’s Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA). They also feared that insurance companies might use such test results to discriminate against people in issuing and setting rates for health and life coverage. a panel of bioethicists convened at Stanford University concluded that Alzheimer’s testing was inappropriate for most individuals. ‘The chief reason that most people worry about genetic privacy is potential discrimination by insurers and employers. I have inherited two copies of the more common APOE3 variant. looking at my profile. minds and identities.ZA • APRIL 2011 What if other people find out my genetic secrets? The chief reason that most people worry about genetic privacy is potential discrimination by insurers and employers. Back in 1999. So what happens if someone receives my resumé and decides to pop over to Promethease to take a look at my gene scan information? Among other things. passed in 2008. gradually stealing our memories. undergoing no more anxiety or depression than people in the non-disclosure group. researchers led by the Boston University physician Robert Green reported the results of a study designed to find out how people actually would react to test results suggesting their risk of Alzheimer’s disease was considerably higher than average. people who were told they tested negative for APOE4 felt relief.

and one third said that they had no interest in it. The biggest concern may be not the genetic analysis available now. I asked Harvey Fineberg. some studies associate it with POPULARMECHANICS. if there were any good reasons not to reveal your genetic information to the public. when they get bad news. The National Society of Genetic Counsellors cautiously advises parents to include their children in decisions to test for adult-onset diseases and to think seriously about whether the decision to test should be reserved for the child to make upon reaching adulthood. the director of the Institute of Medicine. genes are not destiny. Some time before the end of this decade. Even while having my share of hangovers. practically any disease you can imagine has multiple online sites where patients and caregivers can commiserate. if your genes hint at. The 23andMe customer Web site hosts numerous groups of customers organised around shared ancestry or disease concerns. who can submit samples from children younger than 18. And lateonset schizophrenia is quite rare. the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences. or turning away physicist Richard Feynman because he had an SNP combination suggesting a tendency toward aggression. Nerdy high school sweethearts might swop DNA profiles and run them through computer programs designed to predict what their potential children might look like. Then again. but individuals carrying it may crack under pressure. or for which there are no treatments? A 2009 survey in the journal Pediatrics found that “one third of parents are interested in predictive genetic testing for their children. as long as the employer is not searching those sources with the intent of finding genetic information”. So reading this article is okay. exchange 33 WorldMags iStockphoto/Günay Mutlu . genetic tests to make hiring and firing decisions is likely to be misled by the very preliminary information that gene screening currently makes available. and genetic information will not be immune to this trend. I have managed to support myself and more or less satisfy my employers since the age of 18. an employer naively using the results of my. Many genetic testing customers are already sharing information among themselves. checking your kid for deleterious genetic conditions that might be ameliorated by current treatments is the only responsible thing to do. say. But right now. After all. possibly because it confers some protection against anxiety and pain susceptibility. One third were unsure. of course. easy genetic testing.ZA • APRIL 2011 higher levels of aggression and greater risk of schizophrenia. We live in a society of increasingly radical self-disclosure and transparency. not less. I haven’t been in a physical fight since the eighth grade and have not been arrested so far. But what about genetic testing for conditions that manifest only in adulthood. and it will turn out to be largely superfluous once most people realise that genetic information is not somehow special. research published in the April 2010 issue of Neurology suggests that the warrior gene helps prevent cognitive decline as people age. Today. but seeking out data on Promethease is evidently prohibited. In the age of cheap. But I think they’re all worried about the wrong thing. In the process. The law is policy overkill. Pathway Genomics currently will not test people who are under 18. especially genes for relatively common complex traits and diseases. Then they are going to share that information with their friends on Facebook and Twitter. and they’ll do it without parental consent. or anyone else’s. I would have no concerns about disclosing my genetic information even without GINA in the picture.Would you have your kids tested for genetic conditions that might manifest themselves only in adulthood? Would such a test violate a child’s rights? WorldMags the “acquisition (of genetic information) through commercially and publicly available documents such as newspapers is permitted. a heightened risk of substance abuse or some medical debility. What if future research turns up genes associated with criminal behaviour. which correlates with higher functioning in a crisis. kids are going to be running gene scans and maybe even whole genome sequencing experiments in their ninth-grade biology classes. Fineberg replied that doing so might worry your children or embarrass them in front of their peers. For the record. but what we figure out later.CO. for instance? I have two copies of the “warrior” version of the catechol-O-methyltransferase gene. The alternate “worrier” version of the same gene is associated with better memory and more focused attention. 23andMe leaves the decision to parents. just the way some of us did blood typing experiments back in the mid-20th century. In addition. At any rate. toxic or occult. It would be like deciding to pass over baseball star Albert Pujols if his gene scan indicated that he might have a slightly higher risk of alcoholism. they will also be sharing information about their parents’ genes. Many people have the impulse to share more. The Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act does not ban parents from having their children’s DNA tested. What about kids? In 2009. even for disorders with no treatment”.

WorldMags WorldMags .

He adds: “The truth is that most insurers are not that sophisticated about using genetic information. “insurers were not asking anyone to take genetic tests”. “Take bipolar disorder. “He prescribed an injectable anti-clotting medication instead of the standard post-operative What if the government uses my genes against me? This is the most worrying aspect of our genomic future. But as predictive genetic information is incorporated into the new US national health care files.” she wrote. One 23andMe customer said she had offered to pay for tests for her siblings.” says Thomas Wildsmith. a Yale law student. a director at the American Academy of Actuaries.’ care. or – more likely. some of them of convicted criminals and others of people who have merely been arrested. government agencies probably will succumb to the temptation to use it when making decisions about how to allocate medical and educational resources.5 million genetic profiles. Either we will pass strong legislation preventing the government from getting access to this information. both criminal and civil. the tendency for insurance to be purchased chiefly by those who are most likely to need it. producing an insurance death spiral of ever-higher premiums and ever-fewer buyers.. the price goes up and the healthier flee.” Genetic information is not all that relevant in the current health insurance market. would you go ahead with it? Could insurers demand such tests in the future? WorldMags information and advocate research. she gave her doctor her 23andMe results regarding likely response to anti-cholesterol statin drugs. But individual discretionary disclosure isn’t central to this debate. along with my blood work. “There’s no way to tell if that actually affected the outcome. Now people blog about their bipolar disorder. If your genetic test revealed a predisposition for caffeine – and we know that too much of it is bad news – would you give it up? WorldMags POPULARMECHANICS. The data can be used only to identify criminal suspects. but it is hard to see how this view can prevail. But several people mentioned what they considered to be positive experiences. since the FBI already maintains a database containing more than 250 million sets of fingerprint records. One 23andMe customer said she told her knee surgeon she had a fourfold higher risk of blood clotting in her legs. “I was on the tipping point for using statins. only those expecting to be sick will buy insurance. As government DNA databases grow. most people get their insurance through group plans offered by their employers. Interestingly. concerns about state abuse of genetic information deserve serious consideration and debate. “My 23andme results. who declined because of privacy concerns. helped my doctor and me to decide to start an anti-cholesterol drug. Right now. In another worrying development.” she wrote. alas – the authorities will be able to build their database anyway. People used to hide it away – it was a real embarrassment. As sicker people pile into an insurance pool. regardless of whether or not we choose to disclose any genetic information voluntarily. Michael Seringhaus. the privacy protections of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act specifically forbid law enforcement agencies from obtaining genetic information from patient records held by hospitals and physicians without a court order. Who needs a national ID card if every cop has a fast DNA reader and wireless electronic link to the comprehensive national DNA database? We are likely to hear more such proposals. argued on fairness grounds for establishing a national DNA database containing the genetic profiles of every US resident. thus raising its cost and reducing its benefits.ZA • APRIL 2011 . People want to share genetic information.” Another customer said that when she had her annual physical. the US National DNA Index System. under the law. run by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.” iStockphoto/Kirby Hamilton If you thought genetic testing might result in increased insurance premiums.CO. That’s the same thing we see with genetic data. And what 35 iStockphoto/Tyler Stalman Caffeine addiction is both common and socially acceptable. In a March New York Times op-ed piece. “There’s been a complete change. The American Civil Liberties Union opposes collecting genetic information from anyone who has not been convicted. This is an example of what insurers call adverse selection. But how are insurers using genetic information so far? Wildsmith notes that even before the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act. WILL YOU SHOW ME YOURS? ‘Law enforcement officials or others could salt a crime scene with fake DNA. on the grounds that. These profiles are genetic “fingerprints” consisting of 13 specific segments of DNA that contain no genes.IF I SHOW YOU MY GENOME .. at least in America. Israeli researchers last year reported that they were able to manufacture fake DNA samples using government data. offering no information about a person’s medical conditions. people are regarded as innocent until proven guilty. Will people with risky genes be able to get insurance? Recall one of the results from the Alzheimer’s study: many carriers of the deleterious APOE4 allele decided to buy long-term care insurance. so the average risk of the groups is what matters. but I’d classify my doctor’s response as very receptive. It’s a valid objection.” I posted a general question at the 23andMe community forum about whether anyone had had any negative or positive experiences as a result of revealing their genetic information to someone.” says 23andMe co-founder Linda Avey. First. Law enforcement officials or others could salt a crime scene with fake DNA as a way to frame an innocent person. It’s fine to be open about it. contains nearly 8. “If everybody knows if they are going to be sick or healthy.

It may be that only half of our genes are druggable. it could even save lives.” So profound that Pollitz thinks it could ultimately make the insurance industry obsolete. Hank Greely. By contrast. target only 500 or so of our genes. it is. they will be at a disadvantage in setting appropriate rates. In 2006. Karen Pollitz. But what about the effects of truly predictive genetic testing on markets for long-term care.” Some states have allowed insurers to take a person’s body mass index. ‘The field of genetic testing has already attracted some charlatans. many customers are likely to misunderstand some of it. The GAO declared that the results of genetic screening tests were “misleading and of little or no practical use”. In other words. and the result would be higher risk premiums for their policies. “the results from all the tests GAO purchased mislead consumers by making predictions that are medically unproven and so ambiguous that they do not provide meaningful information to consumers”. But all this is now largely moot. “There were about 300 000 data points that overlapped between the two tests. the result would be higher premiums. As would-be policyholders obtain more information about their genetic risks. blood pressure and other factors into account when underwriting individual health insurance policies. including over-thecounter. if tests suggested that a buyer has relatively high disease or mortality risks. that will be a profound change. including 23andMe and Pathway Genomics. Fei Yu. the solution is to keep consumers ignorant by banning or at least strictly regulating access to genetic tests. Of course.” says the Princeton biologist Lee Silver. such as improved diet and regular exercise. the Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigated the claims being made by a number of “nutrigenetic testing” companies that promised to give customers dietary advice tailored to their genetic proclivities and sell them “personalised” supplements. According to the GAO report. That’s why 23andMe and Pathway Genomics disagreed about my risk for heart attack. cholesterol levels. which would allow them to charge an actuarially fair premium. But the US Government’s criticism extends beyond such chicanery. If insurers are kept in the dark about risks that their customers know. our genes will exercise less and less power over our health destinies as our medical knowledge and technologies are perfected. Who cares? It’s not important because he’ll drop the policy by age 50. the result would be higher risk premiums. In some cases. disability and life insurance? People tend to buy and keep such policies for decades. WorldMags about the market for individual health insurance policies? “Take the case of a 25-year-old seeking health insurance. director of Stanford’s Centre for Law and the Biosciences. the GAO reported on another sting of genetic testing companies. There was not a single data point (among 300 000) that was scored positive in one test and negative in the other. Buyers could take the tests but refuse to disclose the information to insurers.’ People and companies peddling fraudulent information of any sort should be prosecuted. “His dad had a coronary at age 50. many will probably seek to purchase such policies.ZA • APRIL 2011 Can people be trusted with their own genetic information? The field of genetic testing has already attracted some charlatans. largely because each of the screening companies selects the markers it considers most relevant and the studies it deems most illuminating. The results differed. genetic information is complicated. former acting director of the National Human Genome Research Institute. The scope of genome-informed medicine is vast. for WorldMags 36 iStockphoto/Pejo29 .5 per cent of the entire human genome.” suggests Wildsmith. prescription and street drugs. The chief basis for this conclusion was that the GAO’s investigators sent the same genetic samples from five people to all four screening companies and were surprised that the results were not identical. told POPULARMECHANICS. noted at a 2009 Institute of Medicine meeting that all current drugs. But is the information offered by the main genotype screening companies accurate and valid? Yes. too”. however. In 2008. Or buyers could disclose their test results to insurers.” Nevertheless. wrote in the journal Managed Care: “Much of life’s uncertainty about health will become much more known to us. Wildsmith suggests that the only sure way to avoid an adverse selection spiral now is to “make the healthy people buy insurance. since the health care legislation passed last year by the US Congress explicitly forbids insurers from taking into account preexisting conditions – including the results of genetic testing – when setting rates. “I ran an analysis on personal genome results obtained from 23andMe and DeCODE for me. argues that advances in health care and the general trend toward mortality improvement will overwhelm genetic risks. In July.CO. Alan Guttmacher. A 1999 article in the North American Actuarial Journal outlined the three choices facing insurers and customers: buyers could choose not to take genetic tests. That’s maybe 2. example. Which is exactly what Congress did when it mandated that every American must buy health insurance.IF I SHOW YOU MY GENOME . WILL YOU SHOW ME YOURS? A tiny saliva sample can reveal all sorts of interesting information about our genetic make-up and could prompt useful lifestyle changes. an actuarial researcher at Heriot-Watt University in Scotland. For some bioethicists. and since insurance is all about protecting people from the unknown. director of Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute. Again. but that leaves huge scope for new disease treatments targeted at specific genes.

They know it’s the cable you can rely on.ZA • APRIL 2011 www. Standardisation of test results will come as information accumulates about the interaction between genetic variants and environmental influences. As one of those early adopters. Researchers are working on wide-spectrum tests that could identify the genetic signatures of diseases in patients before they are manifest. he said. they will tell their friends and neighbours. The ongoing exponential growth in our genetic knowledge may even uncover ways to retard the ageing process. Ask your contractor to specify Aberdare Cables. but my genes aren’t one of them. advances in personal genomics will bring enormous health benefits to the public. and Walgreens will find some new vitamin mixture or cosmetic to take up that shelf space. Other tests will warn prospective parents of possible deleterious gene combinations in their future progeny. People in the know. CABLE YOU CAN TRUST 181A Barbara Road. The results were reassuring: “We found no evidence that those who considered or sought testing were inclined to overestimate the contributions of genetics to common health conditions or to underestimate behavioural risk factors. But how big is that risk? A 2009 study led by Colleen McBride of the National Human Genome Research Institute evaluated the responses of patients who accepted an offer for genetic susceptibility testing for eight different conditions. renovations. is saying a lot. security and infrastructure. such as losing weight and exercising more. Before the end of this decade. Edenvale 1610 Tel: +27 (0)11 396 8000 Fax: +27 (0)11 396 8010 POPULARMECHANICS.aberdare. Which is why we let Aberdare Cables speak for itself. There are things I want to keep private. we should let companies and consumers interact so they both can learn how better to explain and understand the information such testing provides. While information was powerful. Elandsfontein A1210/15459/3041 PO Box 1679. We are in the Apple II era of genetic testing. and with its no matter what they may reveal about my intelligence PM and genitals. patients who score low on the Oncotype DX genetic test for breast cancer recurrence can avoid the physically brutal consequences of traditional post-surgical First published in Reason. It would have been silly to ban the Apple II just because it was not as easy to use or immediately comprehensible as the MacBook Air. Aberdare Cables gives you a lifetime of assurances. chemotherapy.CO. For example.” There was a bonus: many people whose tests suggested they were at higher risk for some diseases were motivated to engage in healthier activities. More medications will be targeted to the specific genetic make-up of individual patients.WorldMags The Washington Post in May that offering Pathway Genomics tests on drugstore shelves is “reckless”. know Talking about cable is not easy. but I am confident most people will find it useful and even entertaining sooner rather than later. What’s next? Gene screening may not be for everybody right now. Instead of trying to slow down social learning about WorldMags XX . and that. It’s the cable most recommended by contractors for a variety of applications from home appliances. The current tests function as practice runs for curious consumers. “misunderstood information can be powerfully bad”. If the first purchasers of the new Pathway Genomics tests find them confusing or not very useful. improving the chances of a cure while minimising debilitating side effects. reliability and durability. to new buildings. Cancer treatments are already being honed using genetic tests of individual patients’ tumours. But the way that consumers learn how to use any new product is by trying it out. I don’t want or need federal regulators to protect me from my own test results. People can misunderstand new information. if federal regulators stay out of the way.

this is the principle of augmented reality. How it works: forward vision. improves traction at low speeds by sensing loss of traction at one wheel and transferring torque to the wheel with more grip – even off-road. the Energy dCi 160 twin-turbo engine produces 118 kW from a capacity of 1. And finally. urban to an off-road. The removable hard top and carbon fibre framework allow the Captur to adopt a variety of personas from coupé to a convertible. For instance RX2.CO. paired with a dual clutch EDC RENAULT CAPTUR The new Renault identity launched with last year’s DeZir concept is developed in the Captur. a new mechanical selflocking differential.6 litres and. The Visio system uses a forward-facing camera mounted at the top of the windscreen to provide driver-assistance functions. and the multipurpose rear deck uses this rope motif to create reconfigurable storage and hammock-style accommodation. aiming to enhance the driver’s perception of the external world by superimposing purpose-designed This new technology is able to embed synthesised images into real-time images of the road ahead displayed on a central screen. However. Renault says its muscular-looking sport crossover takes cues from equipment such as helmets. The interior is designed around a network of stretched elastic ropes that evoke sailing or climbing. Visio (see below) uses visuals to augment the driver’s normal view.[ NEW LOOKING AHEAD ON THE Headlines from around the automotive world > > > BLOCK ] COMPILED BY ANTHONY DOMAN anthony@ramsaymedia. is said to combine sporty performance with CO2 emissions of 99 g/km. WorldMags WorldMags 38 POPULARMECHANICS. there’s a hightech side to this flight of fantasy.ZA • APRIL 2011 . gloves and other protective gear used in radical sport.

including pedestrian detection with full automatic braking. run a 5-cylinder: it’s an uprated version of the four-cylinder 2-litre that produces 177 kW and 320 N. In some countries. the newly introduced Gilera range will wipe the patronising smirk right off the faces of the Supermotard brigade. with outputs of 30 kW and 42 N. but the majority are hardly likely to set the heart racing. the company already offers mobile device software that controls the car’s heater for customers who subscribe to the Volvo On Call system.popularmechanics. easy to ride and even stylish. A Gilera version of the Piaggio MP3. Its 90° 839 cm3 V-twin is matched with a CVT and propels the GP 800 to a very unscooterlike top speed of 187 km/h. using damping and suspension subframes biased towards performance and less towards comfort. and a configurator allows the user to build his or her own S60.ZA • APRIL 2011 39 . Want a traditional big-box estate car? Go and look at our XC range of SUVs. That said. Gilera’s most powerful machine ever. the image viewed moves too. the V60 has a distinctly sportier. the R-design version comes with a sport chassis as standard. Price: R94 950. Apps for Volvo’s S60 and S80L allow prospective buyers to style their cars on their mobile devices. Fuoco 50. Like the S60. courtesy of its radical parallelogram front suspension and three-disc brakes. Among the functions is a search tool that uses the mobile phone’s built-in GPS function to locate and specify the route to the nearest Volvo dealer. Powered by a 30 kW/43 N. as you might think. the 55 kW GP 800 features a double cradle steel tubular frame. either: top speed is 161 km/h.ON THE WEB > Download wallpaper images of selected cars at www. Look. Two 5-cylinder turbodiesels are available.m. this three-wheeler (it’s type approved as a two-wheeler for licensing purposes) combines stability and comfort with nippy handling. Prices range from R317 700 to R474 700 (excluding the R-Design). harder edge dynamically. the V60 is fitted with Advanced Stability and allwheel-drive is also available. FUOCO 50 BLOW YOUR HAIR BACK 2011 GILERAS Scooters may be practical. All variants except the R-Design can be specified with the optional FOUR-C (Continuously Controlled Chassis Concept) active chassis. Engines range from a 110 kW four to the turbocharged 224 kW T6 with its 3-litre Six. the Nexus exhibits plenty of midrange punch. Nexus 500. Gilera. Like its S60 sedan sibling. and traction control that uses torque vectoring in corners – braking the inner wheel. Unique features include using the mobile phone’s built-in gyro to look around inside the car. has a racing pedigree: the company dominated GP racing after World War 2. Three models are on offer: GP 800. owned since the late 1960s by Vespa producers Piaggio. Volvo stylin’ – on your iPad or iPhone. says Volvo. The engine options introduced on the V60 have been extended to the S60. creating the impression that you’re actually sitting inside the car. according to Volvo.CO. It comes with the same imposing suite of safety aids as the S60.m 460 cm3 single. It is also possible to book a test drive. The new T5 version doesn’t. which incorporates a roll angle sensor able to identify incipient skids early and precisely. Price: R109 950. resulting in more power being channelled to the outer wheel to tighten the cornering line and reduce understeer. but you definitely won’t be shy of a kilowatt or two with the three-model line-up that’s now officially available through Vespa. Price: R129 950. but doesn’t run out of puff at the top end. WorldMags NEXUS 500 GP 800 WorldMags POPULARMECHANICS. For those who want something even more hardcore. Engine is a 492 cm3 single. nobody’s promising superbike performance. These new functions are linked to the local market site and offer access to the latest news from Volvo [ WHEELS ] CURVY CANYON-CARVER VOLVO V60 The swoopy coupé-like lines of the new S60 have been translated into the estate-car genre with some success in the latest-generation V60. If you turn the phone.m.

For stockist and other information. 6. only South African residents are eligible for prizes. 8. followed by the answer. The prize is not redeemable for cash. your name and e-mail address to 34419 (R2 per SMS) or visit our Web site at www. the four-model CEO Tech collection blends luxury with high-end technology in a striking. it’s available in traditional stainless steel at R7 500 or in AA-grade black PVD plating with gold accents at R7 950. bold and resolutely high-tech. TW681 Rules: 1. Only one online entry per person. superior finish. Competition runs until 30 April 2011. answer this question: What is the name TW Steel derived from? SMS: TWS. Regrettably. The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Prizes not claimed within 3 months will be forfeited.twsteel. TW Steel timepieces – the name is derived from “the watch in steel” – integrate rugged good looks. You may enter via SMS as many times as you like (SMS charged at R2). 7. One of six distinctive TW Steel options for the modern man or woman. TW683 To enter. We will draw the winner(s) on 09 May 2011. 4. TW Steel and associated agencies.popular mechanics. contact Luxco Importers on (011) 448 2210 or visit www. 2. 5. Waterproof to 10 atmospheres. Competition closes 30 April 2011. R E A D E R C O M P E T I T I O N O R E A D E R C O M P E T I T I O N O   R E A D E R C O M P E T I T I O N O   R E A D E R C O M P E T I T I O N O  TECH MEETS SIZE WIN WorldMags One of four TW Steel watches Unashamedly big. and advanced chronograph technology. almost industrial oversized BE THE FIRST TO KNOW WorldMags . Entry is open to anyone except employees (and their immediate families) of RamsayMedia.

In 2012. Apart from an interior makeover that’s said to be more in tune with Euro sensibilities.2-litre direct injection petrol turbo will be added to the range. The Esflow is not a retreaded internal combustion car: it’s been designed from the get-go as an electric car. with quoted performance that includes 0 to 100 km/h in under 5 seconds and 240 km on a charge. Although as a result the seats don’t move. a high-performance 1.6-litre V6. and a range of new fuelefficient engines improves its competitiveness. The six new power-plants range from a 52 kW 1.1-litre diesel to a 1. WorldMags BEST OF BOTH WORLDS FIAT FREEMONT The first Fiat-badged fruits of the collaboration with Chrysler are starting to emerge. the Freemont will acquire in due course an automatic shift. the 7-seat Fiat Freemont brings some family-sized US sensibilities to a marque that based much of its success on the “small is beautiful” philosophy. the Italians say coyly that “dynamic performance (has) been improved with the aid of Fiat engineering. HI-VOLT SPORTSTER NISSAN ESFLOW Using technology pioneered in the award-winning LEAF. Initially available only in front-wheel drive with Fiat turbodiesel engines and a manual transmission. The new car is significantly bigger than the one it replaces. They’ve also made improvements to passenger compartment soundproofing. Built on the base of the Dodge Journey. a more powerful Multijet Four and a Chryslersourced 3. Each of this two-seater’s rear wheels has an electric motor.ZA • APRIL 2011 41 . Nissan’s Esflow concept applies EV thinking to a sports car.CO.[ WHEELS ] FRESH-FACED FAVOURITE 2011 KIA RIO Official photos of the new Kia Rio ahead of the car’s Geneva Show launch suggest that this comprehensive reworking looks likely to continue the Korean compact car’s big-volume success. saving weight because no metal internal frame is needed. The car’s rear bulkhead provides a frame for the sculpted seats. Other notable tech includes rear-view cameras instead of mirrors. a 4x4 option.6-litre direct injection petrol engine developing 104 kW. WorldMags POPULARMECHANICS. which has developed and introduced a special suspension and steering configuration for greater accuracy and directness”. Its composite body is mounted on an aluminium chassis with integral rollcage. the flyby-wire steering and pedals power into the desired position.

It can travel up to 2 km in full electric mode at a speed of up to 85 km/h. In addition to that.1 litres/100 km and 167 g/km of CO2. In standard trim. and the pushrod method separates wheel control and damping.8 litres/100 km and 159 g/km when the optional Michelin low rolling resistance all-season tyres developed specially for the Panamera. This ultimate eco-limo sprints from a standstill to 100 km/h in 6 seconds and maxes out at 270 km/h. integrates with aluminium double wishbone suspension and a carbon ceramic brake system. the 279 kW Panamera S Hybrid clocks 7. Porsche says its hybrid drive is the only one that boosts economy by implementing “sailing” up to165 km/h: it switches off the combustion engine when it’s not needed. unlike regular spring/damper set-ups. The new 512 kW V12 super sports car’s sophisticated spring-and-damper running gear. lighter Panamera has created what is described as the most economical Porsche of all time. But those figures drop to 6.ZA • APRIL 2011 . Wheel forces are transmitted to the spring/damper by pushrods and relay levers and rockers. inspired by F1 and adapted for road use. The ultra-light suspension system. improving comfort without compromising on precision.CO. wheel mounts and relay levers. the spring and damper elements are connected inboard to the bodyshell. When the Panamera S Hybrid goes on sale in June 2011 it will cost the equivalent of a little over R1 million on its home market. lower.[ WHEELS ] HOW LOW CAN THEY GO? PORSCHE PANAMERA S HYBRID Slotting the hybrid powertrain from the Cayenne S into the sleeker. in a transverse position. is made from forged aluminium alloy. The expensive-to-implement double WorldMags wishbone set-up provides consistent suspension geometry. the pushrod arrangement allows spring stiffness to be reduced. TECH INSIDE LAMBORGHINI PUSHROD SUSPENSION For its successor to the flagship Murciélago. responsive handling. Result: more precise. Lamborghini looked to Formula 1 for a tech edge: pushrod suspension. Instead of being located on the wheel mounts. The 34 kW electric motor that supplements the 245 kW blown V6 acts as both generator and starter. PORSCHE PANAMERA S WorldMags 42 POPULARMECHANICS. Being rigidly connected to the chassis. including upper and lower control arms. It’s said to be the first time such a layout has been used in series production. with carbon ceramic PM composite brake discs.

WorldMags WorldMags .

ZA • APRIL 2011 . hover like helicopters and swoop like kites to generate electricity cleanly and efficiently. WorldMags 44 POPULARMECHANICS. engineers Allen Ibara (left) and Alex Wickersham help launch the Nymph prototype for Joby’s aviation division.WorldMags At its California headquarters.CO. Joby Energy experiments with radical craft that fly like planes. Here.

ZA • APRIL 2011 45 . the pilot puts his controller down and software takes over. But there are no chips or sweets inside.CO. THE TECHNOLOGY IS REVOLUTIONARY. A voice from snack-truck mission control crackles over his radio – “launch when ready” – and he heaves the plane into the sky. It’s nearly as large as he is. until one of them jumps out the back and grabs what looks like a large model aircraft. He walks downwind. but it’s obvious this is no hobby flight. and buffets a panel van parked at the end of a dirt road. Atop a seaside bluff. . four young men sit elbow to elbow. the prairie version of ocean waves. The plane is flying itself. staring at computer screens filled with code. testing a potent new method WorldMags POPULARMECHANICS. scooping up kiteboarders and flinging them into the sky. carrying the plane. Rather than cruising aimlessly. FOR EVERY TASTE. BUT CAN IT REALLY TURN A STEADY BREEZE INTO A PAYING PROPOSITION? GUSTS OF 45 KM/H SWEEP ACROSS THE PACIFIC. Instead. The logo in peeling paint on the side reads TOM’S QUALITY SNACKS . Of all the things you might guess are taking place. A tether connects it to the ground – and after a few minutes. The propeller hums. .[ FEATURE ] > BY JAMES VLAHOS > P I C T U R E S B Y J U S T I N FA N T L WorldMags BLUE SKY POWER ● BIG-BUCKS INVESTORS (INCLUDING GOOGLE) ARE GAMBLING TENS OF MILLIONS ON A POTENTIALLY GAMECHANGING NEW ENERGY SOURCE – AIRBORNE WIND TURBINES. the plane carves identical circles. A pilot standing nearby manoeuvres the craft with a remote control. the wind races through the grass in long lines. They act like an FBI surveillance team awaiting the big sting.

Ken Caldeira. Clean. the founder of Joby Energy. “The plan for the day is to do some endurance testing and autonomous flight.CO.” says JoeBen Bevirt. High-yield. But the similarity ends there. If all goes well. and they are backed by Silicon Valley venture capitalists in search of the next big thing. the USA’s Department of Energy agency that funds cutting-edge research. until its tether was taut. the electricity generated would be routed down the tether and into the grid. fly for hours or days and land without a human pilot – critical abilities that are unproven and years away from commercialisation.” says Fort Felker. freeing the propeller to function as the rotor of a wind generator. “Airborne wind is one of the few potential sources that can supply power on the scale that civilisation needs. The companies have poured an estimated R400 million into R&D. “Think of an airborne turbine as just a turbine on a really tall tower – without needing to pay for the tower. The airborne wind industry is a gnat next to B-52s like hydropower and coal. Makani Power. power generation would no longer be limited to the world’s gustiest places. In a fully deployed system.ZA • APRIL 2011 WorldMags . provides sufficient lift. engineer Henry Hallam tells me. driven by its propeller. but for these promises to 46 WorldMags pan out. as well as by ARPA-E. But here on the coast. the turbines must ultimately be able to take off safely. Like traditional wind power. that’s exactly what is happening. it employs spinning rotors to generate electricity. as today’s terrestrial ones. Because the wind is stronger and more consistent there. with Joby and its closest rival. a senior climate scientist for the Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford University. It all sounds great. Joby is building models 10 times the size of this research prototype.” he says. some with up to 12 rotors. it will be really boring. But they would fly on tethers 300 metres or higher in the sky. The promise of airborne wind has even wowed Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.BLUE SKY POWER for generating clean power would probably rank near the bottom of the list. the wind alone. studied airborne wind relative to other energy options and came away impressed. racing over the wings. who plunked R160 million into Makani. “The people doing airborne wind are visionaries. The plane climbed. But the sector is booming. the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s leading expert on wind power.” Inside the snack truck. leading a race among more than a dozen start-ups. Low-cost. the same distance apart. Airborne wind farms might have the same number of turbines. These engineers from Joby Energy are developing a technology known as airborne wind. But now. They want to teach windmills to fly. making the technology widely deployable. just north of Santa Cruz in California. Joby’s engineers want to ditch the bulky support towers of wind farms. “But none of them has brought a product to market that has the safety and reliability requirements of flight vehicles.” But the wind is too spirited POPULARMECHANICS.

then use the rotors as turbines in looping. The plane. and it doesn’t take long to figure out what happened. but the wind was so strong that the motor controller couldn’t brake the propeller sufficiently. On the fourth test. engineer Greg Horn follows with a fire extinguisher.ZA • APRIL 2011 . creating a vibe that’s less corporate headquarters and more high-end yoga retreat. The lodge-like main building is encased by tall windows and trussed with dark wooden beams. zigzags and lands hard.” Horn says. Prototypes dangling from the ceiling at Joby’s California offices showcase technological evolution through six iterations. Each generator could incorporate up to 12 rotors. is fine. a shady lawn and a large organic garden. He jogs downhill to the 47 WorldMags POPULARMECHANICS. Bevirt is pinballing around the grounds when I arrive. “We generated so much power that we melted our wires. not far from the test site. outside. huh?” Joby engineers develop kite-like generators that ascend on powered rotors. The model is a testbed for studying flight control systems. the plane is rocked by a pop. Joby aims to market a 1-megawatt airborne turbine by 2013. it belches a ball of fire. tethered flight. JOBY’S HEADQUARTERS ARE TUCKED into the redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains.WorldMags From tripods to turbines: company founder JoeBen Bevirt helped seed Joby Energy with profits from his GorillaPod line of camera gear. not energy production. Bevirt vaults from the truck.CO. for boring. The place is patrolled by friendly dogs and catered by gourmet chefs. there’s a deck with barbecue areas and umbrella-topped tables. Bevirt turns to me with a smile. “It gives you a sense of how much energy is up there. fortunately.

Inc. But land-based turbines can operate roughly 98. Flying at those altitudes would make aviation authority approval even tougher. the laboratory-equipment manufacturer Velocity11. There are biplanes. because life-endangering crashes could scuttle the industry.6metre biplane with no fuselage or tail. he cashed out a R4 million portfolio and seeded his first business. (For this reason. a dozen flying contraptions dangle from the ceiling. admiring the collection.’ tion for the same finite resource. flying game piece from Trivial Pursuit. “There’s no example in the history of the 1 WorldMags universe of a flight vehicle being available 98.BLUE SKY POWER warehouse.) The public will need to become comfortable with the idea of turbines filling the sky. They must be autonomous. Engineer Jeff Gibboney describes a recent Joby design – an 11. he designed and built several bikes.CO. Furthermore.” Ground-based wind turbines don’t spin at full speed every minute of every day. Many experts.” I say.” he says. which makes the GorillaPod line of flexible tripods. “Only weirder. Sometimes the wind blows weakly. engineers are trying to create flying machines such as the world has never seen – part helicopter. By the end of the 1990s. buildings and aircraft. just as it did a century ago with planes. might one day operate at 10 000 metres to tap the powerful jet stream. Bevirt recommends that early sites be established in uninhabited areas or offshore. typically blows more consistently and one and a half to three times faster than at the Earth’s surface. “Yeah. ‘WITHOUT NEEDING TO PAY FOR THE TOWER. Inside Joby headquarters. yet investors are wary of the unproven. Airborne turbines. They must be reliable. the industry’s path to regulatory approval might be tortuous. and then Joby.” Gibboney replies. at university he worked as an engineer and saved the equivalent of R400 000.” Ray said – meaning airspace. after earning a master’s degree in mechanical engineering at Stanford University. a visual timeline of corporate evolution.5 per cent of the time. are not yet convinced.) Everyone agrees that airborne wind needs more R&D. The 37-year-old has been on the go from an early age: as a high school cycling fanatic. but it’s also a business. mills and other shop tools. Joby Energy is a project of environmental passion. plane and robot. Elizabeth Ray.ZA • APRIL 2011 . as well as an aviation company. Meanwhile. That’s why conventional windmills generate only up to about onethird of their theoretical full power. told a recent airborne wind energy conference that flying turbines would have to elbow their way into a sky already crowded with cellphone towers. at an altitude of about 400 metres. “Energy is just a commodity – one electron is no better than another. reliability that flying turbines could not match. triplanes and what looks like a giant. (Bevirt says that Joby’s projections assume airborne turbines will be grounded 5 to 20 per cent of the time. sometimes not at all. which he invested in the stock market. That means airborne wind could run at a projected capacity factor of 70 per cent. kite.” WorldMags 48 POPULARMECHANICS. “It’s like the National Air and Space Museum in here. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Felker says the airborne wind industry probably does have an advantage in capacity factor when its machines are in the air. in a perfect world. however. a spokesman for the US Federal Aviation Administration. “What matters is the cost.’ ONE PROPONENT SAYS.” Felker says. calling out questions to colleagues and striding between lathes. Bevirt says – twice the efficiency of terrestrial wind. These successes gave him the capital to launch Joby Energy. because labour costs for ground-based pilots would wipe out the technology’s economic advantages. which are now essentially ignored. The catch-22: proving new technologies takes money.5 per cent of the time. “It’s all competi- ● ‘THINK OF AN AIRBORNE TURBINE AS JUST A REGULAR TURBINE ON A REALLY TALL TOWER. But the wind where many airborne companies want to fly.

the company plans to develop a 1 MW tester by 2013. Wingspan: 5. a 100 kW version could be on sale by the end of this year.2 4 3 WorldMags WATTS IN THE WIND Small energy companies are designing flying turbines to harness wind power at low altitudes. then generating it from the wind once aloft. the plane dives toward the ground. The system flies in large circles perpendicular to the wind direction and covers eight times the swept area of a similarly sized ground turbine. Magenn demonstrated a 10 kW prototype in 2008. Joby is currently testing 20 kW prototypes and hopes to create a 1-megawatt model by the end of 2013. Ampyx hopes a 1 MW model will be airborne by 2013. The unwinding spins a drum at the station. allowing the cable to be reeled in and the process to be repeated. Length: 17. which could be taken to market two years later. A 10-kW prototype was flown in 2010. sending electricity to the grid through its tether. the blades then provide enough lift to keep the system hovering. 1 5 Magenn The helium-filled Magenn Air Rotor System rotates around a horizontal axis when buffeted by the wind. creating electricity. The company flew a 6-kW prototype in 2007 and plans a 1 MW version by 2014. unreeling a tether at its ground station.5 metres 4 Sky WindPower Sky WindPower’s flying generator relies on four spinning rotors to produce energy. Power drawn from the ground station helps the craft reach its altitude. like a waterwheel on high. Here are five leading start-ups. Electricity is sent down its tether to the ground. where it can be used immediately. Makani has completed a 10 kW prototype.CO. stored in a battery or sent to the power grid.4 metres 2 Joby The 12 turbines on Joby’s airborne system have dual functions: providing power for take-off. Six small rotors at the centre of the aircraft generate electricity that is sent through the anchoring tether and into the power grid. 5 Makani An onboard computer steers Makani’s M1 in large circles that cut across the wind. Wingspan: 61 metres 3 Ampyx Ampyx’s PowerPlane is designed to fly figureeight patterns. When the cable is fully extended. Rotors: 10.7 metres Wingspan: 35 metres Boeing 737 Wingspan: 34 metres Illustrations by Datatickler Scale WorldMags POPULARMECHANICS.ZA • APRIL 2011 49 .

where preflight tests are underway. a former professional windsurfer and kiteboarder. Once a week Hardham spends rush hour this way because it’s greener than driving. the true magic of airborne turbines is that they move. the now-renowned inventor and PM adviser Saul Griffith. known as crosswind flight. Corwin Hardham paddles his surfboard toward golden clouds. Like a stunt kite on a beach. “The challenge is making a wing that does both.” Altitude aside. 50 A time-lapse capture of Makani’s airborne turbine shows the crosswind circles it will fly. After graduate school.ZA • APRIL 2011 . In his late teens Hardham considered becoming a professional windsurfer. who has moved on to other endeavours – has set up shop in the air traffic control building of a decommissioned naval base. Hardham parks by a fire tender that will serve as the anchor for a tether extending 300 metres feet to Makani’s prototype. A recent Makani prototype.BLUE SKY POWER WorldMags DAWN BREAKS over the San Francisco Bay. Hardham is the co-founder of Makani Power. they zip around in relation to both the ground and the wind direction. and Hardham drives us onto the cracked tar of the runway. The ramifications for the fight against climate change could be huge. sending power through a tether to its ground station and then into the grid. The tail stabiliser is aligned vertically for the hovering take-off. they launched Makani Power with a third friend. Wing 6 has a 9-metre airfoil and a three-pronged body. precariously balanced on a borrowed board. As an undergrad at MIT.” Hardham says. Mainly he just loves being out on the water. instead of red taillights. WorldMags POPULARMECHANICS.CO. We swap wetsuits for work clothes. but will switch to horizontal for flight. “Either mode is relatively straightforward. he befriended another technically minded windsurfer. where Makani – minus Griffith. Makani Power co-founder Corwin Hardham cleans a lathe at his test facility. An hour later. “Wind sports give you a visceral sense of how powerful the wind is. he spots a seal poking its head above the swells. and this is his Friday-morning commute. a pursuit that influenced his career in ways no one could have predicted. he hears lapping waves. the 3 m-wide Wing 6. Instead of horns. As the soaring bridges fill up with cars.” Hardham says. can autonomously hover like a helicopter and fly like a plane in a prescribed pattern. This technique. we reach the island of Alameda. Don Montague. I paddle behind him. makes it possible to capitalise on net wind speeds that are much higher than the ambient speed alone.

CO. “That’s more or less saying we need to build another energy system as big as the entire current one. though both Joby and Makani have prototypes that need pilots only for take-offs and landings. calculated that airborne wind could be far more efficient. “That’s an important milestone. Wing 6 transitioned from a hovering phase to its flight phase and back to hovering. No company has completed a fully autonomous flight yet. WorldMags POPULARMECHANICS. but Caldeira says his point is not that such a goal is realistic. says the Carnegie Institution’s Caldeira. and the city of San Francisco twinkling in the background.” The controllers work through their checklist. Direction good. On the runway in Alameda. rather. Wing 6 takes to PM the sky.ZA • APRIL 2011 51 .” Hardham says. “Airborne wind could potentially produce 18 terawatts of electricity. WorldMags To cap the level of atmospheric CO2 at roughly double what it was before the Industrial Revolution – a common target used by climate scientists – “you’d need something like 15 terawatts of primary power from carbon-neutral sources”. A wind farm with 800 airborne 1-megawatt turbines.” Generating massive amounts of power from traditional solar and wind would require a massive amount of space. “You can see one craft doing all the necessary flight modes. which is more than enough to power modern civilisation without adverse effects on climate. it’s that large-scale airborne wind production is feasible.popularmechanics. making it a major contributor to the overall energy mix. “We have 2. “you would have to cover the state of Kansas with 1. Makani is working on the transitions between flight modes.” Hardham to see Makani Power’s Wing 6 platform being tested. In the fall of 2010. “To supply even 20 per cent of the electricity in the US from terrestrial wind. Chico. “Final wind check.5-megawatt turbines spaced as closely as you could.VIDEO > Visit www. he says. could power 250 000 homes.” With a whine like angry mosquitoes.4 metres per second. Supplying 18 terawatts would require millions of airborne turbines. an airborne wind expert at California State University.” Caldeira” comes a voice over the radio. He thinks the industry could generate 10 per cent of the planet’s power.” Caldeira and Cristina Archer.

the higher you’ll need to place the sensor bar. Next. the vast majority of the system’s games don’t require much physical exertion beyond a few well-timed flicks of the wrist. “Height gives the camera a better view of your body when you’re standing closer to the camera.ZA • APRIL 2011 WorldMags Illustration by dogo . If you’re blessed with a large. If I buy one. For most people. it could be a potential deal breaker. So perhaps the greatest innovation of the Microsoft Kinect – the new Xbox 360 peripheral that uses depth-perceiving cameras to scan your entire body for controllerfree. coffee tables. what exactly will I need to do to make sure it works well in my space? sweat. try to position the bar somewhere between eye level and 2 metres in the air. Greco-Roman sculptures – they can all block the Kinect’s view of your room and might even cause injury if you happen to bump into them while in the throes of a Kinect Adventures tournament (YouTube is full of hilarious examples of such mishaps). at least with certain games. So before you invest in a Kinect and a bunch of games. First rule: the smaller the room. Microsoft’s director of marketing for Xbox 360. Couches. without much regard for anything else. you really can break a 52 cramped confines.” says Josh Hutto. you can probably get away with placing the sensor on your TV stand below the set. Several thirdparty accessory-makers now make wall mounts. arm-flailing gaming – is that.) But while button-mashing games can be played in pretty much any room. making the most of your Kinect can take some prep.[ DIY TECH ] DIGITAL CLINIC > BY SETH PORGES Q+A FOR BEST RESULTS IN SMALL ROOMS. this game of musical chairs (or. you’ll want to clear out as much furniture as you can. ottomans. make sure you are willing and able to make space for it POPULARMECHANICS. TV clamps and freestanding floor stands to help keep the sensor afloat. (Seriously. try playing Dance Central for more than a few minutes.CO. PLACE KINECT SENSOR ABOVE THE TV STANDING SWEET SPOT: BETWEEN 2 AND 2. For others. rather. musical furniture) should be no problem.5 METRES FROM THE TV KINECT MAY NOT WORK WELL FOR KIDS UNDER A METRE TALL MOVE FURNITURE OUT OF THE WAY WorldMags A RUG CAN HELP WITH SLIPPERY FLOORS Making room for Kinect Q A I heard the new Microsoft Kinect may require users to rearrange their living rooms. but if you’re playing in For all the hubbub about Nintendo’s motion-sensing Wii (remember the Wii?) getting gamers off their couches. open playing space.

to 2. tech tip Accidentally deleted a Gmail contact? The Web-based e-mail service now lets you restore your address book. for example. which reclaims the physical switch for its original purpose. seems to have caught many users off-guard. Would the travel-friendly Kindle be able to make Skype calls? Feature voice-controlled page turns? Allow users to make audio notes on books as they read them? As of press time. This will bring up a bar loaded with commonly used system controls. as well as valueadded accessories.5. 4. Enter button. your name and e-mail address to 34419 (R2 per SMS) or visit our Web site at www. where users can access and close any programs that may be running in the background. built-in Auto-Tune!) Q A SEND TOO SOON Ever since I upgraded to the new Facebook Messages service. my messages are sent just by clicking the Q PM O R E A D E R C O M P E T I T I O N O R E A D E R C O M P E T I T I O N O   R E A D E R C O M P E T I T I O N O   R E A D E R C O M P E T I T I O N O  WIN one of 5 Skil combo sets valued at R3 499 each To enter. And although a quick call to Amazon confirmed that. (Come on. On the left side of this bar is your new orientation-lock button. The gist of it: the switch on the side of the iPad that used to lock the tablet’s orientation in place (preventing its accelerometer from flipping Q A between portrait and landscape modes when you’re. If two people are playing at once. give that bar a good swipe to the right. New from Skil Masters – a combo set of power tools that’s ideal for the contractor. You may enter via SMS as many times as you like (SMS charged at R2). A BE LIKE MIC I read that my new Kindle has a microphone built into it. next to a little bent-arrow icon (which you may recognise from the Enter key on some keyboards). If this seems too complicated. From there. If you’ve got the new Messages feature – which Facebook has slowly been rolling out to users over the past few months – the box where you type your messages will have a tiny check box below it. When you’re actually using the Kinect. which causes the Enter button to double as a send shortcut. BE THE FIRST TO KNOW .metre range. the sweet spot lies in the 2. answer the following question: How many of Skil’s 18V Li-ion cordless power tools are included in the combo set? SMS: Skil. 6. in the future. the Kinect does a fairly good job of figuring out whom it should focus on. What is it used for? When the new. followed by the answer. and. One. the combo set 0030MA includes a versatile two-gear drill driver. make sure there’s enough room for both players to flail their limbs without slapping or kicking each other. Uncheck it and the Enter button will go back to its old habit of merely adding a line break in your messages – and not get you into trouble. the orientation-lock switch on the side of the tablet hasn’t worked. Featuring four of Skil’s best 18V Li-ionpowered cordless power tools. Skil and associated agencies. The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. This box activates Quick Reply Mode. Now. in particular. We will draw the winner(s) on 09 May 2011. That doesn’t mean they can’t play – the sensor just may not work as well as you’d want it to. we’re still waiting – and speculating. With the Skil combo pack. Regrettably. as long as your friends are standing a couple of metres behind you. Only one online entry per person. Prizes not claimed within 3 months will be forfeited. you can restore your contacts to what they were anytime in the previous 30 days. Go to Gmail’s Contacts tab. there’s one more option: owners of jailbroken iPads can download an app called NoMute. First.2 firmware. it does exactly none of these things. as of now. such as screen brightness. unfortunately. it now takes a few more steps. practically every application and material is covered – professionally. This will bring up the Multitasking Bar. 2.2 firmware update is a big one. a powerful circular saw with a cutting depth of 41 mm at 90º and a reciprocating saw with quick blade change and pendulum hub settings. TABLET SCREEN ORIENTATION WorldMags Ever since I updated my iPad to the new iOS 4. volume and music-playing dials. it is checked. competition closes 30 April 2011. Entry is open to anyone except employees (and their immediate families) of RamsayMedia. Tap it to switch screen flips on and off. the company wants to enable third-party developers to tap into the mic.every time you want to play. 3. you’ll want to stand at least 2 metres from the TV. This has caused me to accidentally send several incomplete (and sometimes embarrassing) messages. But along with all the major upgrades (finally. For more information contact: (011) 651 9858 or visit www. All of this is packaged in a sturdy carry bag. there are a few lesser-known tweaks. only South African residents are eligible for prizes. Competition runs until 30 April 2011. WorldMags Rules: 1. By default. And watch out for slippery floors – playing on a rug or yoga mat can keep you from face-planting. According to Microsoft. double-tap the Home button on the bottom of the iPad. along with two 18V Li-ion batteries and a one-hour One last bit of advice: If you’ve got kids under a metre tall. the Kinect may have issues mapping their body movements. 8. the tablet has some semblance of multitasking). The prize is not redeemable for cash.popularmechanics. reading in bed) now mutes the device’s audio. Can I turn this off? Yep. What gives? The iPad’s new 4. third-generation Kindle first shipped in late 2010. You can still lock an iPad’s orientation – the method has just changed a bit. click More Actions and then Restore a handy flashlight. And although some players I’ve spoken to assume they need to shuffle any non-playing spectators out of the camera’s field of vision. the tech community was taken aback by Amazon’s decision to include a microphone and immediately began speculating as to its function.

ZA • APRIL 2011 .CO.[ FEATURE ] WorldMags WorldMags 54 POPULARMECHANICS.

ZA • APRIL 2011 55 WorldMags . BY JOE PAPPALARDO THE RANCH HOUSE sitting 30 metres off a two-lane. a helicopter landing pad in the front yard and a conical ultrahigh-frequency antenna growing from the lawn like a white mushroom. BUT AMERICA’S INTERCONTINENTAL BALLISTIC MISSILES (ICBMs) REMAIN THE CORNERSTONE OF WESTERN NUCLEAR DETERRENCE. pothole-riddled road southeast of Great Falls. If called on. It’s a simple onestorey structure. AND EVERY DAY. these 20-something Air Force officers will fire their doomsday weapons. is not much to look at. POPULARMECHANICS. AND THE NEW START TREATY CUTS THEIR NUMBERS. But a closer examination reveals curious details: a red-and-white microwave tower looming over the buildings. with a detached garage and a basketball hoop in the driveway. Montana. surrounded by a chain-link fence. AIRMEN DESCEND INTO HARDENED BUNKERS TO AWAIT THE UNTHINKABLE. This place could be a university agricultural research outpost or a state weather station – except for the red sign on the PICTURES BY JONATHAN TORGOVNIK Just another workday: Nuclear missile launch teams tether cases containing classified documents to their bodies before heading off to their 24-hour-alert shift in a Montana missile field.CO.WorldMags DOWN IN THE HOLE THEIR LAUNCH INFRASTRUCTURE IS AGEING.

sofas. echo outside the capsule. the house becomes a military barracks. subterranean presence makes this banal Montana ranch house one of the most strategically important locations Montana on the planet. exchanging codes required to make the elevator appear. it remains the focus of intense debate in Washington. built here at Malmstrom Air Force Base when the airman’s parents were Decommissioned teens. Dieterle and his deputy can deliver these weapons anywhere on the globe. It takes less than a minute to make the 20-metre descent. A hallway branches into rooms with bunk beds. Their quiet. The elevator opens to the smooth curve of a black.CO. DC.ZA • APRIL 2011 Picture by Getty Images (satellite map). the White House proposed to increase nuclear weapon modernisation spending by R600 billion over the next 10 years. A central room is shared living space – television. a non-commissioned officer responsible for safeguarding this facility. Each silo houses an 18-metre Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM). in 2008 LCC India is hard-wired to 50 surrounding silos. reminiscent of the sound of a castle’s portcullis rising. Any deviation from what is expected – even a misspelled name or a missing middle initial – can bring guards with M4 rifles and handcuffs. A series of clangs. (Future US governments will have to sign off on those funds. secure and effective nuclear forces”. America’s 450 deployed ICBMs would shrink by 30. Government posters on the walls warn of loose lips and lurking spies.[ FEATURE ] WorldMags fence warning that anyone trying to sneak on to the property could be met with lethal force. Inside. every warhead can immolate 170 square kilometres within minutes of detonation. Iran and North Korea. sceptical senators. interrupted by the thick stubs of pneumatic shock absorbers that can protect occupants from shock waves caused by the nearby blast of a nuclear warhead. 26-year-old Air Force Captain Chad Dieterle clinging to its metal handle. The thick front gate opens vertically to avoid being blocked by snow in winter. the US will maintain safe. his administration’s Nuclear Posture Review states that “as long as nuclear weapons exist. There. The word INDIA is stencilled on the blast door’s 1. but more nations.) A • Launch facilities Silos Malmstrom missile field Malmstrom AFB WorldMags 56 POPULARMECHANICS. submarines and missiles that deliver them – will remain on alert despite any good intentions or lofty rhetoric. Since the end of the Cold War. The FSC speaks softly on the phone. and Moscow. To win support from hawkish. each about 11 kilometres away. Dieterle is halfway through his 24-hour shift as commander of Launch Control Centre India. six storeys below ground. It won’t come up until riders clear and close the security-room door. merica’s nuclear arsenal – about 2 200 strategic warheads carried by 94 bombers.4 metre-thick inner edge. but it’s a different world down in the hole. Half an hour after receiving the order. So America’s nuclear stockpile – and the aircraft. Although the ICBM leg of the US nuclear triad is 50 years old. It leads to an elevator that has one stop. love seat and a handful of long tables for group meals. but each can hold a maximum of three. pillshaped capsule. sits next to a 3 metre-tall locker housing the M4s and M9 handguns. 14 submarines and 450 ICBMs – remains a cornerstone of the country’s national security. Despite President Barack Obama’s oft-repeated desire to work toward a world without nuclear weapons. the flight security controller (FSC). unrolling like a storefront security shutter to reveal a small box with metal walls. The elevator’s steel door is hand-operated. which would reduce the two countries’ nuclear arsenals to fewer than 1 550 strategic warheads within seven years. There’s yet another door in this security room. A bulletproof door in the living area leads to a small side room. Diagrams by DOGO . the number of nukes worldwide has plummeted. have nuclear weapons programmes and field long-distance missiles. and moments later a massive hatch slowly swings open. one that the FSC and guards never enter except in the case of an extreme emergency. The US Air Force won’t confirm the number of warheads in the missiles. Last year the Obama administration signed the New START treaty with Russia. including potential foes such as China. A security officer inside the house vets everyone who enters.

are engineering triumphs. but only intercontinental missiles are always ready to deliver a nuke. the silos and launch facilities at Malmstrom will have been buried for 70 years. When the Minuteman III retires. and they have stayed at readiness levels exceeding 99 per cent ever since. Submarines are virtually undetectable and nuclear bombers can strike with precision. submarines and missiles). “As airmen. The Air Force monitors the world’s most powerful weapons with equipment made during the Space Age.Self-described “missile monkeys” WorldMags train in a mocked-up Minuteman III silo. rewiring the missile’s rounded gyroscope and boxy radiation-shielded computers. The proof is their age – the Air Force installed these launch systems in the early 1960s. the Pentagon built the ICBM fields to last only a few decades. The equipment steers the upper stage before it releases the warheads. (Submarines have long-range ballistic missiles.ZA • APRIL 2011 57 . because the president has committed (to) a plan to make sure that those weapons work. “I will vote to ratify New START . ICBMs promise the fastest response to nuclear attack – or can launch quickly enough to prevent one. Even more astounding. regardless of how deeply buried it may be. . not the Information Age. regardless of where it is. lowering the number of nukes worldwide by taking the burden of deterrence from allied governments. politics and diplomacy? Of the three kinds of delivery systems (aircraft. undeterred. we strongly believe that it is important for the United States to be able to hold at risk any adversary’s target. ICBM fields.General Frank Klotz. anywhere in the world within minutes. .” Republican Senator Lamar Alexander said. but land-based communication is more reliable. unnerving though their purpose may be. hy are ICBMs. The US Air Force buried the launch control rooms to thwart a Soviet nuclear onslaught and distributed underground silos so inbound warheads would have to hit each site directly. But these old launch systems are holding up better than most people think. W Malmstrom Air Force Base is responsible for 15 nuclear launch facilities and 150 silos spread over 37 000 square kilometres. to prevent US retaliation.CO. regardless of how heavily defended it is.) The American ICBM umbrella spans the globe. icons of the Cold War.” says Lieutenant. regardless of how widely dispersed it may be. which has stewardship over the USA’s nuclear bombers and missiles. “To build something that has WorldMags POPULARMECHANICS. who stepped down in January as the head of Global Strike Command. at ground level. still a centrepiece of 21st-century defence.

• 1 4. Elevator shaft: Only missileers – and their meals. the underground silos and LCCs are hard to upgrade and impossible to replace. But the LCC’s oversized electronics. The MAF is staffed 24 hours. look like something from the set of the original Star Trek TV show. every day.[ FEATURE ] Missile alert facility A missile alert facility houses the guards who protect the nearby silos and the Launch Control Centre 20 metres below ground.” Klotz says. ICBMs promise Armageddon on a budget. Compared with subs. It’s hand-operated.” The base is responsible for 150 nuclear ICBMs scattered across a staggering 37 000 square kilometres of Montana plains. None of the money went to launch facilities. FE Warren in Wyoming and Minot in North Dakota – to keep the ICBM silos operational.CO. DC. 2. It’s hard to put aside the feeling of being entombed when the reedy sound of air seeping from the edge of the blast door stops. In response. “The cost of upgrading a distributed ICBM field is fairly minor. but last year the Obama administration extended their service lives by another decade. Blast door: This 1. updated missile guidance systems and replaced rocket fuel. part of the antiquated but functional Strategic Automated Command and Control System. an analyst with the Centre for Strategic and International Studies. Within LCC India. “Take a 40-year-old home. think tank. mounted on wide metal racks and studded with raised lights and illuminated buttons. deployed in 1979. waiting for the Emergency Action Message that would start an ICBM launch. and servers in the ranch house above provide the capsule crews Internet access as well as Direct TV for slow shifts.” says Colonel Jeff Frankhouser. to be produced in 2021. Launch Control Centre India is one of 15 LCCs controlled by the missileers of Malmstrom Air Force Base. We’ll have those. Since 2000. Some equipment is painfully old: Dieterle grins sheepishly as he pulls a 23-cm floppy disc from a console. the sub replacement programme alone will run to R700 billion. 2 3 4 WorldMags withstood the test of time and continues to be a marvellous engineering system is just nothing short of genius. Escape tunnel: If the elevator is destroyed in a nuclear exchange. a Washington. and soil shifts can break subterranean communication lines. improved command and control cryptography.ZA • APRIL 2011 WorldMags 58 . but this February the National Nuclear Security Administration began studying a replacement.” He compares the cost of the Minuteman IIIs with the price of building and maintaining new Ohio-class submarines. Unlike missiles and surface-level facilities. This work was intended to keep the Minuteman IIIs functional until a scheduled retirement in 2020.) Klotz says the Air Force has upgraded “every inch” of the Minuteman III missile since replacing its predecessors in the 1970s. beneath the ranch house. And they take a beating. Very little has changed inside the LCC since the Kennedy administration: digital screens have replaced paper teletype machines. “The 1960s designers really did think this through very carefully and designed in a lot of redundancy. 3. (The same warheads.4-metre-thick door can withstand a nearby nuclear blast. the Air Force instead amped up base security. the missileers can dig out via this sand-filled tube. you are building an insurance policy for something where failure is unimaginable. with another R100 billion in research and development. Corrosion and rust are insidious foes. 1. Launch control centre: Two airmen pull 24-hour shifts here. prepared above – take the trip down. sit in the ICBMs’ noses.” It takes thousands of dedicated airmen at three Air Force bases – Malmstrom. hills POPULARMECHANICS. Dieterle is working a hand pump that seals the capsule. the Air Force is crafting a schedule for improving the missile fields. According to the Congressional Budget Office. the Pentagon has spent more than R50 billion on ICBM renovations. “As expensive as this sounds. Malmstrom’s maintenance group commander. using some of the billions recently promised by the White House. Then figure out what your challenges are. The US Navy intends to buy 12 new nuclear-armed submarines in 2019. “Now bury it in the ground.” says Anthony Cordesman.

CO. sits beside the forward shroud of a Minuteman III. Once in space.ZA • APRIL 2011 59 .WorldMags Senior airman Cory Carlson. a rocket in the cone jettisons the shroud away from the emerging nuclear warhead. WorldMags POPULARMECHANICS. a missile maintenance technician.

the launch and base crews can detect any break or tampering by a drop in pressure. At 1:40 am on 23 October 2010. The wide distribution made it impossible for the Soviet Union to knock out every silo and LCC with a massive nuclear barrage. SUVs. are a 3-hour drive from the base.’ says Colonel Mohammed Khan. 5 4. “But hey. For example. ultrahigh-frequency antenna can receive a launch order from an aircraft in case the LCC is destroyed or otherwise unable to communicate via landline.’ ICBM missile silos hide their lethality in plain sight – a truck driver could pass one just off the interstate highway and not look twice. which guaranteed that the US could retaliate. Hatch and ladder: Air Force personnel access the silo through this highly secured door and a telescoping ladder. who served as the 341st Missile Wing’s operations commander at Malmstrom until late 2010. WorldMags 60 POPULARMECHANICS. Missile suspension: The ICBM is held aloft to protect it from the shock waves of enemy nukes and the exhaust of its four rocket engines. But the 27metre-deep silos house nuclear weapons that must be kept at a constant state of readiness. or Launch Facility Down. staffed by a proudly suffering squadron called the Farsiders. Being careful to the point of paranoia is a baseline philosophy at Malmstrom.” says Colonel Mohammed Khan. Each fist-thick cable contains hundreds of insulated copper lines surrounded by a pressurised sheath. big rigs and massive missile erectors daily travel more than 40 000 kilometres of roads.[ FEATURE ] WorldMags and mountains. Personnel at Malmstrom struggle constantly against this dispersed layout. more than 6 000 kilometres of which are gravel. these are nukes. Any mistakes can lead to an immediate removal from duty until the training staff retests the violator. ICBM silo • 2. The extra force ensures wreckage cannot stop the silo from opening.ZA • APRIL 2011 . Some LCCs. appearing on the screens Being careful to the point of paranoia is a baseline philosophy at Malmstrom. UHF radio receiver: This blast-hardened. The elegant doctrine of deterrence bred some necessarily unwieldy infrastructure. Silo cap: A massive piston can fling the 4 110-ton lid across metal tracks and through the fence. 5. and an army of evaluators hold personnel to this inflexible creed.” Any problem at the silos is a national security event. Food poisoning can shut down a missile alert facility as neatly as a Russian Spetsnaz special ops team. hundreds of thousands of kilometres of subterranean communication lines connect LCCs and silos. ‘But hey. ‘It might seem like overkill. Intrusion detection pole: Doppler radar at the tip bathes the area.CO. 135 maintenance workers and 206 security team members – deploy to tend the missile field. “It might seem like overkill. Every day. 2 3 1 1. The motto here is “perfection is the standard”. the 341st Missile Wing’s former operations commander. 3. the two-man crew of an LCC at FE Warren Air Force Base was shocked to see the abbreviation LFDN. these are nukes. hundreds of people – 30 launch control teams. This level of scrutiny extends to the entire base – officers reprimand cooks for keeping salad dressing beyond its expiry date or failing to clean the hoods over the stoves. intruders captured in the return signal bring armed guards.

The launch centre was calling the silos. since the work of one LCC is easily taken up by others at the base. That conclusion ignores the fact that the loss of communications was caused by an upgrade – base maintainers had replaced the data card the day before. clearing up the communications interference and enabling the rest of the squadron to stay operational. but they did not properly seat it. “But maintaining an ageing system. Captain Ted Givler. will match the codes from the White House that enable the silos to fire with ones kept in the LCC’s metal safes.” Dieterle says. communications wiring. the missile would reach space in minutes. and Global Strike Command is struggling with a personnel shortage. When a communications problem at an ICBM base is serious. Upgrades require invasive procedures at the carefully kept facilities. Nebraska. The incident at Warren proves this beyond a doubt. Each ICBM tube is good for only one shot – the electronics. the outage became a rallying cry in the US Congress to revitalise Minuteman III facilities. “I think we absolutely have to do modernisation. or someone like him. mixing new and old technology can lead to unforeseen problems. “This is never a good place to wake up.” says Klotz. “Systems that are older tend to be more robust and less vulnerable. but it couldn’t hear the replies. Warren’s airmen and technicians took the afflicted LCC offline.” Klotz says. they’d turn the triangle from SET to LAUNCH.The Air Force built silos (above) on small plots purchased from landowners – a visitor can linger outside the fence and be guilty only of trespassing on private property. WorldMags that show each silo’s status – they had lost contact with the 10 ICBMs under their direct control. Dieterle and his deputy commander. Dieterle tugs the handle of the black blast door until the thick slab starts to turn. Dieterle. Right: A missileer activates a launch at a high-fidelity training simulator. “There is a certain ruggedness in the design that we might not have if it were relying upon the most up-to-date technology. Modernisation has downsides. Billowing exhaust. A second pair of airmen in another LCC would simultaneously turn their switches. He offers one last. With a slow pull. coupled with the efforts to modernise it. A simple mattress ringed by a blackout curtain is mounted at the far end of the capsule. waiting. security sensors and sump pump would burn or melt. to serve as an airborne launch control center. who is retiring in March. At the predetermined time. ladders. an E-6B aircraft takes off from Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha. WorldMags POPULARMECHANICS. places a pretty high workload on all of our bases. The incident never hampered the country’s overall readiness. It took days to find the cause: a loose computer data card in the LCC’s weapons system processor. slight smile and the door shuts with a PM thud. But cross the fence and security teams can shoot to kill. Sporadic communication problems also spread to the squadron’s four other LCCs. “Modernisation of our nuclear force is a necessity. That didn’t happen on 23 October. If the call comes to India’s LCC. is down there now. and the ICBMs would be free. Nevertheless. The Minuteman III would push an obscenely perfect smoke ring shaped like the silo’s entrance over the Montana landscape. sometimes the old systems are just built tougher.” Besides. eyes fixed to a red digital clock ticking away between the consoles.CO. The power of the weapons under the missileers’ command and the pressure to be perfect are magnified by the LCC’s intense. It’s time to go up the elevator. according to Air Force officials. back to what the missileers call the real world.ZA • APRIL 2011 61 .” Senator John Barrasso wrote in an op-ed piece. The pair of missileers would each grip two triangular switches. isolated surroundings. and equipment vibrations shook the card loose. in a half an hour the warheads would be falling on their targets.” N uclear missile launches are not activated by the turn of a key.

starting a business was a complex. because they need special tanks and special food. selling jellyfish tanks through JellyfishArt. expensive and risky affair.ZA • APRIL 2011 Illustration by Headcase Design Alex Andon wasn’t thrilled to lose his biotech job in May 2008. Here’s how to get is Andon’s full-time job. I knew there was a market there. We’ve gathered wisdom from ordinary joes who made good by using the Internet to sell their wares. but there was no way for someone to keep their own jellyfish.” Nearly two years later. but online tools have smoothed out many of the logistical bumps in the process. “People were mesmerised. he knew exactly what to do next. . If I could build one and supply the food. But unlike most of the millions of others laid off that year.[ DIY TECH ] Start a Web business The job market is tougher than ever.CO. “I was a marine biology major in university.” he recalls. and I had some pretty cool fish tanks. Here’s how to get a good idea off the ground > BY JOHN HERRMAN WorldMags WorldMags 62 POPULARMECHANICS. In years past. I had noticed that jellyfish exhibits had become popular at aquariums. but starting your own business online has never been easier.

Unless a domain is already taken. to gauge interest. “That’s how I started out. photography. which specialises in do-it-yourself electronics building kits. Among the most popular is Etsy. a new seller can easily get lost in the overwhelming noise of an auction site. then you have to start building infrastructure and logistics.9 per cent of each sale plus the equivalent of about R2 per transaction. With your new site. Which strategy you pick depends on how easy you want the process to be versus how much independence you’re looking for. it gets unwieldy. With reputable companies such as Internet Solutions. figuring out taxes and dealing with customers can eclipse your core duties. And once you’re shopping for warehouse space. “As far as the biggest shock in running Adafruit goes. then you get successful. too. Adjusting to growth Every small-business owner plans to grow. Major Web hosts sell cheap packages designed specifically for small-business owners.” he says. it shouldn’t cost more than R150 a year. videos or software.” For a truly custom Web site design. Pulley’s flat monthly fees start at R50. The more you ship. a password and some personal info. And the Internet has taken the pain out of accepting credit-card payments. expert help is a must. “Beyond 30 or so orders. up to a point.CO. the rest of the business suffers. These sites will also sell you a domain name – a dot-com address of your very own. Amazon rents space in its massive shipping centre and will handle small businesses’ packaging and shipping duties as well. If it comes time to hire temporary help for shipping or menial tasks. Find relevant communities and message boards online. they’re best viewed as a way to share your work with the world and. a new breed of Web sites for selling homebuilt products has stormed the scene. or at least hopes to. the less you pay. If you don’t have help. Whether you craft wood or machine metal or knit kitten scarves. The buyer-and-seller culture on sites such as eBay is old and established. com’s thousands of listed projects are also an invaluable resource for understanding how much Web design actually costs. When the logistical demands start to become overwhelming or inventory begins to take up too much physical space. at 2.) In recent years. A site called Big Cartel does Etsy one better with a service called Pulley. Stores such as this are easy to set up and pretty much take care of themselves. Amazon will let you sell under its banner. it was demand. Zach Smith came to a similar realisation in MakerBot’s early days: “One of the pitfalls is that you start doing something. Some companies specialise in prefab hosting and Web site packages for small businesses. because it requires almost zero effort to find out if anybody is interested. which caters to the DIY set. with no minimum revenue requirements and no need for a credit check. The raw materials that go into a Web site are cheap to acquire. “The best way to get started is to put up a simple Web site and see how it goes. maybe it’s also time to move out of the garage. Commissions and fees can choke profits. “Adding PayPal buttons for payment is very easy. Etsy handles the entire transaction process. Selling through Amazon or Etsy can feel more like renting a table at a flea market than running your own business. But at the beginning it’s great. See if anyone else is selling similar products. Freelancer. providing a free online storefront and order processing. Amazon’s commission can run as high as 15 per cent. a bidding market for freelance development work. is a good place to start. Personal blogs require no financial outlay.” Fried says. Setting up an Etsy. “At the beginning. shopping-cart software and options for customising layouts without the need for HTML expertise.” The pressures of properly incorporating a business. you’re guaranteed to find like-minded people online.Testing the waters Start small. Signing up for a personal-blog website on WordPress or Blogger is a simple first step: just pick a site name. Now comes the hard part: building a site. a couple of hundred rand a month will get you enough space and bandwidth to get started. “I have no knowledge of programming or coding. who founded Adafruit Industries. “yet I was able to build my site on my own.” he says. even for brand-new businesses. or striking out on your own. which keeps track of payments and automates the complicated paperwork generated by the freelance hiring process for around R300 a month. more specifically. you’ll need to find a host for your site.” WorldMags Setting up shop If you sense demand.5 per cent transaction fee on anything sold). (Fair warning: It can cost upwards of R10 000. are easy to update with photos and descriptions of your work and can even net a few informal sales through PayPal. it was very much a ‘Send me 10 bucks over PayPal.” Fried recalls. and you’ve got an easily updatable presence on the Internet. The alternative? Running a Web site of your own. you’ll have something to show them. (For the privilege. This was fine. Freelancer. a New York City company that sells kits to build low-cost rapid-prototyping machines – also known as 3D printers – got his start the same way. Since these blogs aren’t designed for sales. which include pre-designed site templates. Smith recommends Intuit’s online payroll service. though its fees are lower (listings cost 20 cents (US) per item. there are two options for turning a marketable hobby into a real online business: shacking up with an established site.) Of course. which gets you 25 product listings. plus a 3. Like Amazon. Few know what to do when it actually happens. Andon sells his jellyfish tanks using one such all of your work will be for naught if you can’t get paid for it. but can be intimidating.” Zach Smith’s MakerBot Industries. plus simple tools for linking it to common e-commerce storefront is free and takes just minutes. from credit-card processing to shipping calculations. PM 63 WorldMags POPULARMECHANICS. Volusion. PayPal offers a free basic merchant account. but they aren’t for everyone. PayPal’s commission is reasonable.ZA • APRIL 2011 .” says Limor Fried. for selling downloadable goods such music. and to whom. First. and I’ll mail you this thing’ type of arrangement. with a special focus on crafts and art. it’s time to outsource. and being part of a larger site hinders growth as an independent brand.

however. Occasionally. and his grinding. the compact garage of PM’s senior automotive editor (US edition) has high shelves stacked with meticulously organised. say. This is not so great for the lungs. rebuilding the dry clutch from a Ducati Monster. the air in the shop is toxic. Mike is a mechanic and metalworker.[ TECH ] MIKE ALLEN’S WORKSHOP is an orderly. Located a few kilometres from the New Jersey shoreline. But Mike was tired of his laptops burning out every few months. That’s a problem.ZA • APRIL 2011 . Mike routinely uses a laptop to run OBD-II diagnostics.CO. plainly labelled plastic bins of tools and welding equipment. search online repair manuals or just blast MP3s of George Thorogood while. He was looking for a solution that would bring serious computing WorldMags 64 POPULARMECHANICS. WE BUILD A WORKSHOP PC We turned a Craftsman tool chest into a super-cooled computer. but positively deadly for electronic equipment. WorldMags well-maintained place. routing and drilling sends plumes of metal particulate into the air. because a workshop these days needs to be computerised.

ZA • APRIL 2011 65 .CO.Palmer Performance Engineering ScanXL USB OBD-II scan tool Wacom Bamboo pen and touchpad Keyboard and mouse drawer Borescope Peripherals drawer Scan tool Printer drawer THREE PM EDITORS BUILT A GARAGEFRIENDLY COMPUTER – IN THE BOTTOM DRAWER OF A ROLLING TOOL CART BY GLENN DERENE PICTURES BY NATHAN PERKEL WorldMags Canon Pixma iP100 printer Computer drawer 3 x 2 GB of Kingston watercooled RAM Samsung 470 Series 256 GB solid-state drive USB borescope ATI Radeon HD 5870 graphics card with Koolance water block Asus Crosshair IV Formula motherboard ($210) and AMD Phenom II X6 1100T processor WorldMags POPULARMECHANICS.

and a ventilated compartment for airflow to the radiator and fans. build up Normally. • Step 2: Bend some metal Our segmented design called for a sealed compartment to protect electronic components from metal dust. So we mounted our GPU to a customfabricated platform. • Step 3: Arrange.ZA • APRIL 2011 Diagrams by DOGO . WorldMags 66 POPULARMECHANICS. Finally. our drawer had no set way to arrange and mount components. so we broke out a hole saw. We needed a few holes for our radiator to make our unique liquid-cooling system work. power supply and motherboard to find the most efficient flow for coolant.CO. then rearrange Unlike a normal PC case. opposite). • Step 4: When you hit a wall. This required a steel bulkhead. We testfitted our pump. then hooked the card to the mobo using a flexible PCI-E cable. but our drawer was too shallow. Mike and his sheet-metal brake obliged. then used Rivnuts to create mounting points.[ TECH ] 1 2 3 4 WorldMags SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED Step 1: Cut to fit We took the bottom drawer of a Craftsman tool cart and modified it for PC duty. graphics cards get mounted directly to a PC motherboard. we rigged up our cooling system (see “Keeping It Cool”.

Mike and I sat down with PM’s master computer builder.ZA • APRIL 2011 67 . SATA. then drilled 10 holes in the bottom of the other third to allow for airflow. After three days of building. then routing them through the case.CO. After all. and a dualreservoir Koolance 1 000-watt power supply – the only one of its kind. WorldMags Bulkhead Radiator Top view: liquid cooling Graphics card Power supply Glycol liquid coolant transfers heat from components in the sealed section of the case to the open section. this pricey part (R3 500 in the US) has two sealed reservoirs. memory. Two-fan radiator: The radiator and fans actively cool the liquid glycol. TNK-400 This reservoir and pump combo saves serious space. an ATI Radeon HD 5870 graphics card. so I proposed that we build the machine into a Craftsman rolling tool cart. We knew that a standard. and exhaust through the radiator. power into his workshop full-time – without exposing delicate PC innards to harsh substances. HDMI and power cables exiting our drawer. All parts and fittings were sourced from Koolance. The workshop PC was a difficult beast to build. which dissipate the heat. the PC is now a universal tool. but we think the concept has legs. 6 GB of high-speed Kingston RAM. we love a challenge. PM WorldMags POPULARMECHANICS. to design and construct a machine that could stand up to this unforgiving environment. Liquid-cooled power supply: The only one of its kind. Mike is fastidious about wiring. In our set-up. we mounted the radiator and fans to blow the PC’s heat to the outside world. Then we plumbed up a liquid-cooling system for all of our critical components: a crushingly powerful six-core. It turned out to be an interesting exercise in thermal management. graphics card and power supply) from overheating inside an airtight case. air-cooled rig with filters on its fans could block some of the particulate. Mike shaped up a sheet-steel bulkhead that partitioned two-thirds of the bottom drawer into a sealed compartment. but the only way to truly protect the computer’s interior bits would be to seal it off completely from the outside world. cool air is drawn through vents. so he spent a couple of late nights at the garage harnessing and gasketising all of the USB. 3. signalling that our work was done. the glycol coolant transfers the heat from the components in the sealed section of the case to a radiator and fans in the open section. Anthony Verducci. Reservoir/pump CPU Memory Sealed Side view: airflow Open In the open compartment. In the open airflow compartment. At PM. It’s one challenge to keep the computer cool – it’s quite another to make it look cool.3-GHz AMD Phenom II X6 1100T processor. Anthony flipped the switch and our rig booted up. and Mike’s shop isn’t the only place where the air gets unfriendly.KEEPING IT COOL We designed a liquid-cooling system to prevent components (central processor.

shows oswell Brent B one. 14-year-old Jonathan Benjamin demonstrates the importance of wearing wrist guards.CO. -inc 20-inch. his only injury was a badly grazed elbow. 26 h and 24-inc h wheels.ZA • APRIL 2011 .[ OUTSIDE ] WorldMags Main image: Moments before ploughing face-first into the ground. d how it’s the you ngsters OddWheel Unicycle’s Alan Read. Although he hit the dirt hard after coming off on a steep incline. WorldMags 68 POPULARMECHANICS. Roshan Combrinck balances on the edge of a large boulder.

“Wrist guards are the most important safety item. it’s almost as big a thrill watching as it is actually riding.” Ranked a close second in desirability are shin guards. For one thing. Mountain unicycling – mUni to its small but fanatical band of followers – is as far beyond the cycling mainstream as it gets. but WorldMags In the world of extreme sport. Getting up to speed Two things determine a unicycle’s speed: wheel diameter and crank length. with a unicycle’s fixed drivetrain. But. So. but you seldom really hurt yourself. Until they realise that it’s not as easy as we make it seem. shoe-gripping serrated edges during an unplanned dismount. to play it safe.ZA • APRIL 2011 Dio5050/iStockphoto ONE-wheeled . “This sport turns heads all the time. “If you get tossed forward. exposed roots and fallen tree trunks. to the delight of a predominantly underage crowd. The wrist guards have splints inside to prevent your wrists from snapping on impact. The larger the wheel. “Curious onlookers stop us wanting to give it a try. Mention the word unicycle. and the first image that pops into most people’s minds is a gaudily dressed circus clown juggling brightly coloured objects while pedalling around like mad on one wheel. Unlike a regular bike. speeds are lower. It’s wild. “You rarely actually fall. Elbow and knee pads come highly recommended. Fearlessly traversing narrow mountain footpaths at full tilt. sans brakes or gears. experienced riders wear plenty of protective gear: helmets and wrist and shin guards represent the bare minimum. And it’s fast gaining ground worldwide. and it’s decidedly dangerous. There’s also no cumbersome bike frame and. it’s a legitimate sport with many positive attributes. We’re talking 10 to 12 km/h. you don’t get much more ‘out there’ than taking to the hills – on one wheel.CO.. almost end up stepping off and landing on your feet as the wheel slips from underneath you.” But.” explains Read. as you’re not clipped into the pedals.” But accidents do happen. We can’t ride anywhere unnoticed. “Plus. Frankly. mUni followers say.wonders > STORY AND PICTURES BY SEAN WOODS I N T R E P I D M O U N TA I N U N I C Y C L I S T S D O I T I N T H E D I RT “You can fall hard. OddWheel Unicycles’ Alan Read has dedicated himself to establishing off-road unicycling in South Africa. it’s tough. nothing to tangle you up when hitting the dirt. Read is adamant that off-road unicycling is a lot safer than riding a mountain bike. you travel only as fast as you can pedal. as insanely dangerous as it appears to be. You’ll realise why after just one vicious whack from the metal pedals’ sharp. your instinctive response is to throw your hands up to cushion your fall.. there’s no freewheel. the bigger the distance 69 WorldMags POPULARMECHANICS. you know exactly when you’re about to lose your balance and the time to step off has arrived.” says Read.” he insists.” says Read. that’s nothing compared with the heart-stopping sight of a MUni rider hitting the trail at speed. somehow managing to negotiate large boulders.

“Instead.ZA • APRIL 2011 . wide high-volume knobbly tyres with rigid side walls are used. making them an ideal choice for road races or freestyle tricks. beginners should pick wheel size according to their height.5).” Read says. but provide much more control and torque. wearing an action cam strapped to her helmet. ‘Curious onlookers stop us wanting to give it a try. the bigger wheel also allows you to roll over obstacles more easily. it does have one major benefit – it makes you develop incredible core body strength!” As far as Read is concerned. Riders are able to power up really steep inclines as well as to control a descent when negotiating scary downhills. are also available for more experienced riders. Happily. we both used geared hubs on our 29-inch wheels – effectively turning them into 44-inch. Their width provides stability when riding over loose rocks. although a rarity.” explains Read. riders sacrifice control and torque. Medium-sized wheels allow good speed on dirt tracks. and their high volume helps smooth out bumps along the way. a teenager would use a 24-inch wheel and a 10-yearold would be most comfortable on a 20-inch. allowing you to negotiate thin.” Choosing the right wheel size is a highly individualistic affair.CO. “Generally. “We also use dual cranks with two sets of holes for the pedals which shift the pedal position to create a longer or shorter crank on the fly. When riding cross-country we would opt for the shorter option. WorldMags 70 POPULARMECHANICS. An average-sized adult would find a 26-inch diameter wheel suitable. “When Johnny Cronje and I rode from Durban to Cape Town late last year in support of the Bobs for Good Foundation.” Read elaborates. though.[ OUTSIDE ] per pedal stroke and the higher the potential top speed. Until they realise that it’s not as easy as we make it seem. Handmade in Switzerland. we use 36-inch wheels exclusively. making them particularly suited to mountain unicycling. Although this means you have much less control. we change the crank length to suit the terrain we’re riding in. However. records her ride as she pedals at full tilt along a narrow trail in Tokai forest. Short cranks let you pedal faster and thus pick up more speed. For that. technical downhill single-track riding is the most fun and satisfying Main image: Donna Kisogloo.’ WorldMags Hitting the trail On off-road trails. you almost stand to put all your weight on your legs so they can act as shock absorbers. The smaller ones allow better control. there is a range of different wheel sizes available to suit specific applications. The rider changes between the two on the fly by pressing a protruding button with his heel. Cape Peninsula. “A 29-inch enables you to ride pretty fast and still have a reasonable amount of technical control. rocky single tracks and steep downhills. they provide two ratios: low (1:1) and high (1:1. As a rule. but on encountering obstacles we’d change to the longer crank position. “When negotiating obstacles you never sit in the seat.” says Read. Longer cranks deliver less speed. and a large wheel is what you’d need for long. fast rides on tar or dirt roads. “When riding long road races such as the Argus Cycle Tour.” Geared hubs. once you’ve picked up some experience.

When Alan Read and his unicycling buddy Johnny Cronje heard about the Bobs for Good Foundation – a non-profit organisation started by ex-rugby Springbok captain Bob Skinstad to put shoes on underprivileged kids’ feet – they knew they’d found the perfect excuse to undertake an epic 2 470 km one-wheeled ride from Durban to Cape Town. and then being persistent enough to try again and again until you get it right. Before heading off late last year. PM e So day in th A soggy berg. And.” In fact. he maintains. “It forces you to keep focused on one track. it’s ideal for any sport requiring bucketloads of co-ordination.ZA • APRIL 2011 71 . contact Alan Read at OddWheel Unicycles on 082 341 2639. Crossing a river in Baviaanskloof. Our focus is to have fun and encourage each other to push the limits. is particularly suited to promoting good causes. and just two weeks later the “shunicycle” was ready to hit the road. so when we go on social rides we always set the pace by the least experienced rider.” recalls Read. “We organise gatherings all over the Cape Town metropole. but that doesn’t mean he shuns urban environments. That’s great for cross-training. core body strength. “It’s fantastic at helping to develop your focus and concentration skills. Taking the road less travelled Mountain unicycling.unicycle. or visit www. but completely functional. being the radical head-turner that it is.” Read says. “Riding an off-road unicycle is all about knowing something is Drakens uthern WorldMags POPULARMECHANICS. Tokai forest on the Cape Peninsula’s mountain chain is Read’s favourite riding location. using mainly dirt roads and narrow footpaths. in rural KwaZulu- Alan Read with his “Shunicycl e”. Crossing a stream Natal. Read asked his Johannesburg-based engineering buddy (and keen unicyclist) Julian Wills if he could make a unicycle out of shoes to promote their WorldMags Herding shee p in the Karo o. It was a no-brainer. as obstacles come up you constantly have to prepare yourself mentally for getting over them. and whatever your skill level you’re welcome to join in.form of unicycling. extremely hardcore mountain bike race). completing their eventful journey in an impressive 44 days.” For more information. they crossed vast tracts of rural land. concentration and fine muscle control. no freewheeling – your concentration has to be there all the time.” The mental aspect of mountain unicycling cannot be understated. There’s no ‘autopilot’. “We kept it in the support vehicle and pulled it out whenever we came across a village or group of people after our day’s ride – it was a huge hit.” Following the same route as the Freedom Challenge (an annual. “It was a bit bumpy to ride.

ZA • APRIL 2011 .popularmechanics.[ WHEELS ] WorldMags 2011 BMW M3 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 ON THE WEB > Visit to see PM's picks for the top 10 cars at the Detroit Auto Show 2011. WorldMags 72 POPULARMECHANICS.

brake testing and lane-change manoeuvring composed the baseline test. the 5-kilometre road course near Bakersfield. GM. we wanted to know: Could US cars conquer their foreign rivals in real-world performance tests? To find out.CO. the Honda Jazz. Still. Lo and behold. Even after the controversial mega-billion-rand bailout and massive restructuring. Buick’s spirited Regal CXL Turbo against the Infiniti G25. For the Jazz and Fiesta. there was no guarantee buyers would choose their cars again. Here’s how this global showdown shook out.ZA • APRIL 2011 73 . Full-throttle dragstrip runs. BUT IS THAT ENOUGH TO TAKE ON THE WORLD’S BEST CARS? PM INVESTIGATES. It seems that a concerted productimprovement effort by Detroit’s Big Three has finally borne fruit. But each pair of cars also ran routes designed to reveal strengths and weaknesses particular to the class of vehicle. Since then. as higher J D Power quality rankings show. B Y B E N S T E W A R T + P I C T U R E S B Y C H R I S T O P H E R W R A Y. and the 351-kW Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 against the powerful but lithe BMW M3. Chrysler and GM – once stalwart engines of American manufacturing – were sputtering. we pitted the feisty new Ford Fiesta against our favourite compact. P M T E S T. The M3 and 392 underwent arduous lap sessions at Buttonwillow Raceway Park. Ford and Chrysler have enjoyed double-digit-percentage sales growth over the past year. California. We hammered the sport sedans on the scenic (and sometimes dangerously curvy) canyon roads.Detroit vs the world WorldMags MOTOWN IS GETTING ITS GROOVE BACK.M C C A N N WorldMags POPULARMECHANICS. we mapped out an exhaustive 500-kilometre trek – through urban traffic snarls and along demanding highways – to measure the compacts’ fuel economy and pep. a significant and perhaps nostalgic truth has emerged: Americans still want to own American products. high above the surf. a benchmark sedan.D R I V E N Just two short years ago.

pausing a beat or two between shifts. hip styling and fun-loving personality give it a clear advantage over the Jazz. the original hot hatchback. Considered together. The Honda fares better in traffic. 6M/A 2 490 4 066 1 189 10. 5A Wheelbase (mm) Length (mm) Kerb weight (kg) Acceleration (0–96* km/h) Acceleration (¼ mile) Braking (96–0 km/h) Slalom (km/h) Lane change (km/h) Skidpad (g’s) Fuel economy (ℓ/100 km) PM fuel economy (ℓ/100 km) *60 miles per hour.m 1. fits more gear.4 city/38 hwy 6. WorldMags SPORT SEDAN PERFORMANCE 74 TALE OF THE TAPE 2011 HONDA Jazz Powertrain 87 kW/144 N. uninterrupted view.3 86. The Jazz returned 6. with its high roof and flat-folding seats. more elegantly. with a Learjet’s worth of buttons crammed into the tiny dash space. pocket-sized cars needn’t be dull. the voice-activated Sync system.83 8.m 1. its boxy design may be one reason it lagged behind the Ford in our fuel-economy test.5 POPULARMECHANICS.5 m 63. Though the Jazz nosed ahead of the Fiesta in our handling tests. compared with the Fiesta’s 6. the Fiesta’s chassis feels buttoned-down and offers less body roll than the Honda. which you do. although the Jazz.5-litre inline 4.CO. 2011 FORD Fiesta 90 kW/152 N. well. The Ford’s road feel is direct.3 0.11 sec 18. using less fuel. saves the driver from irritation. where its automatic transmission is so docile and obedient.6 km/h 37.8 city/7. on back roads the Ford actually feels more nimble and better suited to hard driving. both cars were specified with US-friendly automated gearboxes. just because it’s fun.2 0. you barely notice the shifting. For the record. In fact.9 km/h 36.11 m 65. neither too hard nor too soft. The Fiesta invites you to drive aggressively. and the steering wheel itself is fat and purposeful – like one you’d find in a sporty (and much more expensive) coupé. Only Ford’s techno trump card.6-litre inline 4. dual-clutch PowerShift transmission chooses just the right gear for each corner. whereas the Jazz’s traditional five-speed automatic is less active and less finely attuned to the task.81 8. In similar conditions. Its 90 kW fourcylinder engine seems comfortable near the redline. When zipping through a turn.01 sec at 122. while the similarly priced Fiesta seems almost designed to confuse. Another advantage on the commute for Honda: the Jazz’s tall roof and giant windscreen create a vast. The as-tested Jazz includes a navigation system that operates so intuitively your dear Aunt Edna would be an expert in seconds.86 sec 17. the Fiesta’s hybrid-like efficiency.14 hwy 6. the sleeker Fiesta looks like it would slice through the air with less effort. Given the test location. How does the Ford Fiesta measure up? C O M PA C T F WorldMags lick either one of these spunky hatchbacks into a series of hard corners and they both channel the fun-loving spirit of an early-’80s VW GTI.1 SCORECARD HONDA FORD Powertrain Handling Practicality Kerb appeal Fuel economy Final tally 1 W W W 4 W W 2 499 4 105 1 189 11. The Jazz is more workmanlike and aloof.97 sec at 126. It’s clearly the workhorse of this duo. the Ford’s gearbox proves slightly sluggish. the Ford’s electronically controlled. Both of the hatchbacks can handle more stuff than their silhouettes suggest.7 87.DETROIT vs THE WORLD MIGHTY MITES The Honda Jazz proved that practical.1. with less fluid feedback from the tar.5 litres/100 km overall. singing a pretty tune when running wide open.ZA • APRIL 2011 .

ZA • APRIL 2011 75 .Ford’s Fiesta has a computercontrolled dualclutch gearbox. just like the exotic Bugatti Veyron.CO. WorldMags a rd F ie s t 2011 Fo vs z nda Jaz 2011 Ho The Jazz carves out a surprisingly roomy interior from its small exterior. WorldMags POPULARMECHANICS.

2 0 1 1 In f in it i G 2 5 vs 2011 Bu ic k R e g al CXL T urbo WorldMags 76 XX POPULARMECHANICS.ZA • AUGUST APRIL 2011 2007 .CO.The new Regal CXL Turbo brings back entertainment to the marque WorldMags No straights… no problem! The Infiniti G25 lacks torque. loves curves.

the American stallion should have the edge from stoplight to stoplight. and the torque reserve allows you to merely toe the throttle to set up for the next turn. the Infiniti’s 162-kW 2. old-fashioned fun when we tried to wind it up. but in the sport-sedan world the G25 refuses to surrender to the Regal. but ultimately less substantial-feeling than the Infiniti. as if every gear. it’s as if the Buick’s fasteners could have used an extra quarter turn of the spanner on the assembly line. On paper. On a more important note. The Buick’s engine is the rebellious punk of this pair.0-litre turbo inline 4. Meanwhile. Sure.94 90. but it left us wanting for torque and good. The Buick creaks and groans over rough pavement. a radical that also returns an excellent 8.82 13.1 hwy 9.44 sec 16. It’s a thrilling ride.21 seconds from 0 to 96 km/h. But the Infiniti simply handles better.m of torque – 97 N. which has more significant bearing and pays better attention to detail.7 TALE OF THE TAPE 162 kW/253 N. Inside. which the Infiniti does effortlessly.ZA • APRIL 2011 77 .9 city/8.22 0.1 km/h 35. the Infiniti is sharp and well-crafted.CO. is more polished and feels more expensive despite costing slightly less as tested.DETROIT vs THE WORLD CANYON CARVERS More sports car than cruise ship. the 164-kW Buick feels quicker. The chassis is fluid and balanced. does it hustle. The G25 uses the same basic chassis as the Nissan 370Z sports car – no wonder it moves so well.1 city/8.m 2. SPORT SEDAN PERFORMANCE 2011 INFINITI G25 Powertrain Wheelbase (mm) Length (mm) Kerb weight (kg) Acceleration (0–96* km/h) Acceleration (¼ mile) Braking (96–0 km/h) Slalom (km/h) Lane change (km/h) Skidpad (g’s) Fuel economy (ℓ/100 km) PM fuel economy (ℓ/100 km) *60 miles per hour.14 sec at 140. sporty Buicks have been rare. Out in the canyons.84 11. It feels solid.22 0. Ultimately.m more than the G25 – it beats the Infiniti by a mere 0. the Regal’s infotainment system is so incredibly frustrating to use that we defaulted to iPhone navigation to get home one night. but. for instance. anyone?). Also. The Buick requires more work to drive fast. it’s as if the manufacturer had used a thinner grade of steel in its chassis.1 hwy 8. But you’ve got to keep that little V6 above 4 500 r/min – and make sure the transmission is in the manual mode – or else the whole powertrain feels lethargic. This was a heated contest. the Regal has a higher fun factor.23 sec 15.2 SCORECARD INFINITI BUICK Powertrain Handling Interior Kerb appeal Value Final tally W 3 2 W W W W WorldMags POPULARMECHANICS. There’s a lot of grip and razor-sharp turn-in from the 19-inch tyres. the chassis athletic. rod and piston is coated not with some magical lubricant but with wood glue.5 m 64.84 sec at 146. it’s velvety smooth and quiet (study hall. can the Regal take on one of Japan’s finest? C O M PA C T S WorldMags ince the 1960s. The drivetrain was frisky and entertaining. In this battle the Buick fought gamely. the Regal’s crisply tailored design makes it the best-looking domestic sedan on the market.m 2.5-litre V6. But even though the Regal packs 350 N. and we dig listening to the snorty turbo as it whistles and pops. The Regal’s steering and braking require little effort and are thus difficult to operate precisely. the G25 shines. 2011 BUICK Regal CXL Turbo 164 kW/350 N.3 m 64.28 90. The Buick also seems to work hard to maintain its running speed.7 litres/100 km.6 km/h 35. but some of the trim feels less securely affixed than in the Infiniti. 7A 2 850 4 750 1 653 8. but the Infiniti. 6A 2 738 4 831 1 716 8.5-litre V6 is as exciting as a university professor’s cardigan. is more rewarding. The Buick wears an attractive gauge cluster and splashes of tasteful chrome. Still. like it could take the corner-carving punishment all day. man.

In the engine room.DETROIT vs THE WORLD HORSEPOWER heavyweights C O M PA C T Dodge’s reincarnated and reinvigorated Challenger SRT8 392 faces off against a muscle car from a very different milieu. And so the M3’s body differs minimally from its 3 Series brethren: the fenders flare just enough to accommodate the larger wheels and sport suspension. The question is. the Dodge edged out the BMW: 0 to 96 km/h in 4. however. many drivers remove the badges from their cars to avoid being perceived as bragging about.93 17.74 sec 34. On the M3’s German home market. the margin is slight between the multi-talented but discreet M3 and the charismatic. But. and a quarter-mile in 12.8 hwy 11. the V12 under the Mercedes S600 bonnet. This might have been 1970 all over again. Like the Challenger.68 km/h WorldMags 78 POPULARMECHANICS. comparing the BMW M3 with the Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 seems a bit like debating who’s the better rugby player. although one reflective of its Teutonic heritage. surprise – the Challenger’s a pro at the stoplight drag dance. displacing just 4.0 litres. t first blush. Victor Matfield or Dan Carter – a lively pub discussion but ultimately pointless.9 98. but it’s a peashooter by US standards.03 sec at 176.ZA • APRIL 2011 . a vintage touch. two seconds quicker than the Dodge. 13.6 0.87 sec 34. it’s Detroit by a nose. The Challenger is improved for sure and still fun. but the M3 is like a freshly sharpened Wüsthof carving knife to the Dodge’s dull meat cleaver. The big V8’s responsiveness and chest-thumping roar never fail to elevate the heart rate. on closer inspection.1 m 68. thanks to its high revs. The clutch engages gradually.74 seconds versus 4. the M3 is basically a muscle car. if not for the 392’s commanding suspension and massive disc brakes.6 m 66.8 93. All told. So.23 SCORECARD BMW DODGE Powertrain Handling Interior Kerb appeal Value Final tally 1 tie W tie tie W W 2 tie Wheelbase (mm) Length (mm) Kerb weight (kg) Acceleration (0–96* km/h) Acceleration (¼ mile) Braking (96–0 km/h) Slalom (km/h) Lane change (km/h) Skidpad (g’s) Fuel economy (ℓ/100 km) PM fuel economy (ℓ/100 km) *60 miles per hour. yes. the BMW sizzled the 5-kilometre Buttonwillow road course in 2:13. PM A WorldMags SPORT SEDAN PERFORMANCE TALE OF THE TAPE Powertrain 2011 BMW M3 309 kW/400 N. The pistol-grip shifter. It still delivers 309 kW.4-litre V8. bulging flanks and bold stripes herald what lies beneath: a 6. is a fitting detail for this fourwheel magnum. More tellingly. 6M 2 761 4 618 1 616 4.0-litre V8. the battleship Challenger (it’s 40 centimetres and clearly wider than the M3) flaunts its firepower. there’s a V8. where the typical V8 starts puffing. The recessed grille.86 16.m 6.87.8 city/11.98 sec at 177.9 city/10. outshining the 392 in every handling test. At 6 000 r/min.4-litre Hemi V8 that bangs out 351 kW. how much more? The Challenger’s hefty 1 952 kilograms – 336 more than the BMW – hamper its overall achievement. the M3’s mill hums. Meanwhile.1. the BMW M3.03. In this match-up. which overworked the tyres as it bounded around the track. building to a glorious 8 300-r/min climax. so the hulk launches from a standstill without roasting the Goodyears. Surprise. and in every acceleration contest.3 hwy 11. in the curves the M3 took charge. the two have more in common than simply playing on the same field. which make it more than a straight-line special. booming 392.98 seconds versus 13.9 km/h 12. But Dodge’s engineers didn’t simply reissue a classic.CO.6 0.36 2011 DODGE Challenger SRT8 392 351 kW/637 N.m 4. They polished the brawn just enough – for a substantial price saving over the M3. 6M 2 946 5 022 1 952 4. which predates the BMW by 16 years. say. and the one high-tech exterior detail – a carbonfibre roof – is noticeable only upon close inspection.

CO.ZA • AUGUST POPULARMECHANICS.Before battling the Challenger. you’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? WorldMags dge C 2011 Do 392 r S RT 8 h a ll e n g e vs W M3 2011 BM Cleverly disguised as a street coupé.ZA • APRIL 20112007 XX 79 .CO. 8 300-r/min V8 WorldMags POPULARMECHANICS. the M3 packs a killer 309-kW.

the measurement is made of the glass itself. though. mortars and related materials. it’s mechanically unsound and will only continue to crumble unless it’s removed and replaced. And although it’s tempting to use an inexpensive. I’ve already had to touch it up in several places. and what can I do to ensure the new grout lasts as long as possible? of plastic taped in place and draped over the wall holds in the moisture during the curing process. Thoroughly remove any mildew and soap scum before cutting grout out of the joints. Remove. commodity grout when a heavy-duty version is called for. I haven’t had any luck finding replacement glass for it. Measure their length and width from the outside corners (not the inside). “the longer the grout will last and the less maintenance it will require during its lifetime. Also keep in mind that some grouts need to be moist-cured.[ HOME ] DIY HOME > BY ROY BERENDSOHN Q+A WorldMags Pictures by Philip Friedman/STUDIO D Replacement grout should be creamy – thick enough to stick to the wall. or window and door dealers. senior technical representative at Laticrete International. remove the caps over the rim screws on the inside of the door and unscrew them. since the rim and the glass are sold as one assembly. In those cases. it’s false economy. Q A Grout cleanout Q A Our bathroom is in pretty good shape because we re-did it several years ago.” according to Patrick Allen. 3. Now have someone hold the new glass and rim from the outside while you fasten the new inner rim by driving the screws that came with it. Grout that’s crumbling and mildew-stained is more than unattractive. STEEL DOOR REPAIR The outer glass pane on my steel entry door is broken. yet thin enough to spread easily and flow between tiles. complete with antifungus additive. Always double-check with the glass supplier. I want to regrout because the bathroom sees a lot of use and I don’t want tiles falling down. Use any one of the several grout calculators or charts online to estimate how much grout you need. “The most important thing is to properly measure for the replacement. Once you have the glass. I’d visit or call old-fashioned full-service timberyards. 6. There are rims on both sides of the door. If you haven’t already. O See opposite page. Finally. The polymer improves the grout’s water resistance and makes it more flexible so the grout can withstand temperature fluctuations and wall movement. This is different from the procedure that you use for measuring the glass for some windows and wood doors. A 10 kg bag of cement-based grout might cost only half the price of a polymer-modified version of the same product. installing it is usually a 15-minute job.ZA • APRIL 2011 . 2. Smart move to regrout before larger damage is done. Other grouts need to be coated with a sealer recommended by the grout manufacturer.” Follow these steps to ensure a longlasting and good-looking grout job. Don’t get caught short. Apply the replacement grout at a 45-degree angle to the tile. 1. In most cases. a sales representative for a glass retailer. Please help. Next. A common cause of grout failure is that the installer used too much water in mixing a cement-based material. Clean.CO. Angle. Remove the outside rim and the glass. Even if I could figure out how to get the glass out of the door. 4. A sheet WorldMags 80 POPULARMECHANICS. Buy enough. thoroughness counts. you measure the rim that holds the glass. The grout will look better and last longer. 5. but I’m not happy with the way the grout on the bathtub walls is holding up. What’s the best grout to use. Work it thoroughly into the spaces between tiles so there are no air bubbles or gaps.” Allen says. Apply a high-quality bathroom sealant where the wall meets the bathtub and in vertical corners where one wall meets another. Better to have a little too much than not enough. which are usually held together with sealant. which makes grouts. Wipe. Remove as much excess grout as possible while it’s wet. though. Cut out grout to at least half the depth of the tile. It’s not difficult – all you have to do is mist the tile and grout with water from a spray bottle. and both should have the same dimensions. “The more careful you are with each step in the replacement process. “That will create a weak and powdery grout joint.” according to Lisa Devin. Caulk.

but not this one corner. Crawlspaces are obviously dark places. not the dishwashing variety. Here’s a sampling. Grumbling doesn’t help matters. The effect is more pronounced when a textured ceiling traps dust. I Grout saw: Cuts failed grout out of joints. use soft sponge rubber (F) for standard grout. A corner formed by exterior walls can be particularly vulnerable to condensation and dust collection because it’s a cool spot. I own a house with a creepy crawlspace as well. First. Today. if you haven’t already covered the crawlspace floor and part or all of the foundation walls with a vapour barrier. soft cotton rags. J Tile sponge: Wipes off excess grout. SHOPPING LIST DON’T FORGET THE OTHER STUFF ї You need lots of tools and materials to produce a strong and long-lasting grout joint. If the crawlspace is really disgusting. That way I don’t start work and find I’m missing an important tool. That dead airspace is why you should never locate a smoke detector near the corner of a wall or ceiling. and it just makes the space feel less creepy. and I’m planning to get in there Q J E I H G F WorldMags POPULARMECHANICS. Q A and seal a damaged vent and support some pipes. kneepads and safety glasses. so I know what you mean. WorldMags A B C D IT’S CREEPY AND IT’S SPOOKY What do you do to work in a crawlspace? I hate working down there and want some tips to make it easier. If you want to replace warped or cracked rims on clear glass. There are several things I do to make working down there a little easier.CO. The wall framing at the corner is nearly solid timber. There isn’t much you can do about this phenomenon. making condensation on the opposite wall more likely. There’s no smoke there during a fire. The standard for vapour barriers in the past was a sheet of 6-mil plastic with its seams overlapped and taped. Dust and webs form rather than being flushed off the surface. thicker and less permeable sheets are used. D Cleaning supplies: Cleaner and sponge for removing soap scum. G Rubber gloves: Spend a little more for heavyduty tile work gloves. WEB MASTER We have a cathedral ceiling in our living room. B Grout enhancer: Instead of water. I wear a dust mask. Cutting away the sealant so that you can remove the outside rim from the decorative light can be tough. 20 or 25 mm thick. a disposable onepiece hood that you can wear when you’re spraying paint or insulation. My house is built above an earth-floor crawlspace. which will be 12. it’s easier to just replace the glass and rim at the same time. Next. A Silicone tub-and-tile sealant: Apply at wall corners or where the wall meets the bathtub. Operating ceiling fans might help to break up pockets of stale air. it has virtually no insulation. then my hunch is that it’s just dead airspace. I dress appropriately for the environment. I carefully inventory all the tools I’ll need and stage the tools at the entrance.and 20-mil vapour barrier coverings. You’ll find that you’re more productive working in a welllit area. C Grout: Use sanded for wide joints (2 mm to 4 mm). and this creates a growing medium for mould. I even put on a spray sock. bypassing the corner. If I’m doing something dusty. I turn right around and drag in the tools behind me. hard-water deposits and mildew. it’s not unusual to see 12. The rest of the ceiling is fine. you remove the inner rim and squeeze a tape measure between the door and the glass. Among the stuff that I bring in with me is a wide plank to lie on while I’m working and a rolled-up towel on which to rest my head. These are sold at builder’s supply houses PM and some timberyards. F Floats: Use hard rubber (E) for applying epoxy grouts. Get up on a ladder every so often and wipe the wall and ceiling surfaces with a cleaner rated as a fungicide/mildewcide. unsanded for narrower joints. Air currents move over the ceiling and then curve down along the wall. I don’t skimp on bringing worklights and torches down with me.ZA • APRIL 2011 81 . I wear coveralls.The job is slightly more complicated for readers who want to replace broken or warped rims over decorative glass. Finally. It gets worse if an air-conditioning vent shoots cold air into the space. When I crawl through the entrance. It requires some patient scraping and prying to free the rim from the glass. H Scrub brush: Removes grout dust after joints have been cut out. kneepads for regrouting floors. E. but your best bet is probably to keep an eye on the area and clean it regularly with a dust mop on the end of an extension pole. Order the replacement based on the rim size and the thickness of the glass. What causes this. A with lots of dangling spider webs. and what can we do to prevent it? Assuming that there isn’t discoloration in the corner that indicates a roof or wall leak. Not shown: Buckets. then you need to do so. In that case. and there’s a corner of the ceiling where mildew forms and cobwebs gather. mix this with grout to improve its durability and stain resistance.

of which Sokol was a member. Like nearly 60 years’ worth of students before him. angling his canoe away from the mouth of Mink Brook and into a tiny cove along Gilman Island’s steep northeast shore. and the current was running fast. Sokol knew Titcomb well. then blazed out of control. Recent rain had swollen the river. Sokol led. Dartmouth College junior Greg Sokol and a few friends got up before classes and paddled canoes down the Connecticut River in New Hampshire to check on a log cabin not far from campus. Sokol scrambled to the top.CO.[ HOME ] CUTTING CLASS A UNIVERSITY CANOE CLUB’S CABIN BURNED TO THE GROUND. Police would later determine that a fire the night before had probably been set by high school partyers. At Dartmouth. In front of him lay the charred remains of Titcomb Cabin. He picked his way up the bank and glimpsed the cabin’s chimney – too much chimney. BUT STUDENTS RESURRECTED THE LOG CLASSIC USING TRADITIONAL METHODS – WITH A FEW MODERN TWISTS WorldMags O n a foggy spring morning in 2009. an outdoor spirit is practically BY JIM COLLINS PICTURES BY BOBBY FISHER WorldMags 82 POPULARMECHANICS. actually.ZA • APRIL 2011 . It was owned by the school’s Ledyard Canoe Club.

WorldMags POPULARMECHANICS.ZA • APRIL 2011 83 .WorldMags Engineering student Greg Sokol spent his summer building a cabin. Lesson No 1: Become an artist with a chainsaw.CO.

WorldMags LOG FUME Greg Sokol guides a log up a 12-metre trough at the island’s bank. it was time to move them downstream – somehow.” Four of the students were engineering majors and one was doublemajoring in physics and Asian and Middle Eastern studies. but he knew his way around a CAD program. It hadn’t been difficult to gather volunteers. Sokol was an engineering student.CO. but later drives hauled 12 and 16 logs per trip. was Sokol’s outdoor base camp. Sokol and a small team of fellow students assembled in a field 5 kilometres upriver from the building site. they fired up their chainsaws. The solution: a chainsaw-powered Lewis Winch that zipped logs up the slide in seconds. They maintain cabins and trails throughout the southern White Mountains. notching and fitting logs. POPULARMECHANICS. The debut eight-log run broke apart. Oh. named for Jack Titcomb. Some 97 redpine and spruce logs (which had been selected and felled at a Dartmouth plantation) had already been delivered and lay baking under the midsummer sun. projected linear board dimensions of timber and cubic metres of concrete and pored over a dog-eared copy of the Log Construction Manual by Robert Wood Chambers. “What I wanted were people who were invested in the idea of building something beautiful and long-lasting. a campus-wide e-mail titled Build a cabin this summer had pulled in more than 100 responses. The crew peeled the bark from 97 trees.[ HOME ] grafted on to students’ DNA. The rig was dubbed the Death Slide after one log snapped the axle of a hand-cranked winch.” he says. he’d made up his mind: the cabin would be rebuilt. By the time Sokol had paddled back to campus. a paddling. grouped the logs by size. Now it was gone. climbing and backcountry ski guide for Dartmouth’s Outing Club. Once the crew peeled the bark off the logs. rolled them to the river. Among the students was Kate Bowman. He had forged friendships around its fireplace. Kate Bowman pried away its chimney. They ran snowload and stress-load calculations.ZA • APRIL 2011 WorldMags 84 Lucas Schulz Max Friedman Lucas Schulz . The crew also brought in a mixer and a generator – by canoe – and carried 52 32-kg bags of concrete from the shore. “When we couldn’t figure out the CHIMNEY SWEEP After fire destroyed the 57-year-old Titcomb Cabin. and then used eyebolts and carabiners to clip them to a frame made of 50 x 100 mm beams. He’d never really constructed anything. And he had a bunch of smart friends. slept on its porch and swum in its shadow beneath the Moon. DELIVERED BY RIVER Dartmouth students studied archival photos of New England log drives to learn how to transport spruce and pine trunks to the site of burned-down Titcomb Cabin on an island in the Connecticut River. “We were all going to be learning how to build a cabin as we went along. and Sokol had chosen five canoe-club diehards for the privilege of doing hard labour. preparing to rebuild. But first they needed to brush up their skills in using a crucial tool: one by one. A few months earlier. The crew planned to spend several days practising the ancient art of scribing. This cabin. a Dartmouth alumnus who had died fighting in World War II. Just over a year later. and he would spearhead the effort. well.

Kodiak Burke. the winch could zip a log up the slide in 30 seconds.” he said. CHAINSAW SUMMER Lucas Schulz lops off a log butt with a Husqvarna 359 to watch a time-lapse video of the crew rebuilding the log cabin. construction Parker Reed. two logs floated free of their bonds.popularmechanics.” The crew studied old photographs to resurrect the classic New England river drive. Finally. and the logs glided down the river toward Gilman Island. in a 12-metrelong wooden trough they called the Death Slide. On the island. they settled on a chainsaw-powered winch they’d seen in the forestry-supply catalogue that served as reading material in the privy. “our instinct was to go to the Internet. which had gone out of style with the advent of the car. “We surprised ourselves.” Bowman says. It took 20 laborious minutes per log. They ran foam strips between each course of logs to keep out draughts. The final product ended up measuring perfectly level at every corner. On the first attempt. Next.4 x 3 metre test structure before moving on to the main 4. Greg Sokol and Kate Bowman. The crew practiced joinery on a 2.VIDEO > Visit www. But so much of what we needed wasn’t there. “It was a decibellious day.0 already looked like a cabin.ZA • APRIL 2011 . Over the steamy New Hampshire summer. be a bonfire. One day. The reason for the surprise: they were just 3 mm out on the diagonal. All workers took chainsaw certification classes. There would not. CABIN CRAFT From left. the windows and a wood stove – but Titcomb 2. But a quick repair held. Then.” Jordan Nesmith blogged. PM 85 WorldMags WorldMags POPULARMECHANICS. Anchored to a tree. Sokol took a break from trimming the roof to reflect. They fashioned hardwood handles and 30-kilogram log butts into mallets that could nudge the heavy logs the final couple of centimetres into position. They fired up a generator and used halogen lights to work after dark as they raced to get the metal roof in place. the students used a borrowed mechanical-advantage Grip-hoist to haul the logs up the steep bank to the site.CO. revived by daily swims in the river and immersed in the tangy scent of pine and the whine of two-stroke chainsaw engines. They used chisels and drawknives hand-forged by a blacksmith in Idaho and sharpened their tools with a barber’s honing stone found on eBay. would be present. “It was within reason. Peter. The crew would leave some work for 2011 – installing the door. the students attacked the project with a mix of old and new technology. He hoped Jack Titcomb’s son. as the foliage peaked. answer to a problem.3 x 7 metre Titcomb Cabin.” He had already begun planning a spring dedication event. Sokol emphasised. they tried a long-handled come-along and snapped an axle. classes resumed and the river turned cold. powered by a Husqvarna chainsaw.

m a g sa su b s @ ra m s a ‘P OP’ to 344 1 0 8 60 -1 0 8 66 -7 Bo x 59 6. and temperature sensors. altitude/barometric pressure. and the digital display shows data as values – thus providing the best of both formats. PLUS you’ll be entered into our Casio competition to WIN one of five Protrek Triple Senor timepieces. E-mail addresses received in this competition will be added to the mailing list for The Cutting Edge – a FREE Popular Mechanics Ho wa ym 9. By subscribing you agree to receive future correspondence from RamsayMedia. or barometric pressure tendency in easy-toread analogue th rd om R2 -1 0 1 -2 0 5 e dia. plus be entered into the Casio competition – simply contact us with this code: 11/04/SP/PM ww To subscribe for only R270 for 12 issues. 04 00 This offer is valid until 30 April 2011 and for South African subscribers only. 7 4 5 per S M altitude differential. or extend your annual subscription for just R234. The ideal adventuring tool. You may opt out at any stage by phoning (021) 530 3228 or sending an e-mail containing the relevant details with the subject line “opt out” to popularmechanics@ramsaymedia. the new Triple Sensor analogue-digital timepiece from Casio’s Protrek range comes with the second hand indicates S 0 WorldMags . The Triple Sensor represents the ultimate in SAVE 25% www.50 per month (including VAT and postage) instead of the R29.95 store price. Depending on the sensor mode you enter. WorldMags 5-second intervals for the first three minutes. thereafter sophisticated function and ease of operation.z a P l a c e.Time to subscribe and WIN Subscribe at a 25% saving and WIN a Protrek Triple Sensor watch valued at R6 499! Subscribe to Popular Mechanics for just R22. The Altitude Mode performs continuous measurements at for every five seconds for one hour or every two minutes for 10 hours.

wire strippers. Add feet to the outer faces of E and C. a soldering iron. callipers and scissors. typically happen in locations without a workshop. When working on a tabletop. I often do electronics work. 2 ➜ BUILD THE BOX Drill mortises and mount the cup-hinge hardware to attach the main work surface (C) to the base of the unit (E). Rout a recessed grip into the outer face of C. respectively) to both sides of C using screws and 25 mm hinges. which I use to grip small parts. Drive 25 mm screws through the back (G) to secure the sides. a 3 mm combination drill bit and countersink. the vice’s attachment clamp can stabilise the bench itself.[ HOME ] Instant workbench PM Saturday 1 ➜ GATHER PARTS I designed a mobile bench because the projects I build on my webcast. B and C when the box is closed. Mount the left and right flaps (A and B. eight rubber feet and magnetic cabinet latches. Mount the handle. PM WorldMags G F D D A E C Key A B C D E F G Size (inches) 178 x 394 280 x 394 483 x 419 432 x 178 483 x 165 483 x 178 508 x 432 B Illustration by Vic Kulihin WorldMags POPULARMECHANICS. Plan the larger flap (B) to open on the side of your dominant hand. Fasten the magnet latches’ mates to the faces of A and B. Next. To build it. a box of 25 mm No 6 wood screws. The Ben Heck Show. 3 ➜ STOW TOOLS Add Velcro strips to store tools along the back panel. so I carry a small multimeter. Obtain two cabinetmaker’s cup hinges. Any kit should have a hobbyist’s vice. Make sure A and B fold flat atop C. BY BEN HECK into the base and top (F).ZA • APRIL 2011 87 . Check to make sure the hinge knuckles at each edge of C clear the sides and that the latch acts as a stop for A. Mount magnetic latches under the top. four 25 x 25 mm leaf hinges. a 150 mm metal handle. a flashlight.CO. first use a table saw to cut a sheet of 12 mm plywood into panels at the dimensions shown. drive 25 mm wood screws through the sides (D) н ONE-DAY PROJECT This suitcase-sized box unfolds into a work surface and about 100 cm2 of hardware storage. Build it and take your tools on tour. pliers and tweezers. My hot-glue gun sees a lot of action – bring an extension cord and a power strip if you’ll need electricity on the go. wood glue. Other good all-purpose items include screwdrivers.

Start at the front of the bed and work to the back to keep clear of the wet area. N.[ WHEELS ] DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY /// EASY BRUSH-IN LOADBED LINER Freshen up the inside of your pickup and preserve the metal by rolling on a rubberised liner > BY MIKE ALLEN I’ve always wondered why pickups have painted loadbeds. It’s slippery as heck when wet. Budd Lake.J.CO. WorldMags 88 POPULARMECHANICS. Of course. there are WorldMags Vintage engines and vehicles courtesy of Blue Sky Auto. Hauling anything immediately scratches a brand-new pickup bed.ZA • APRIL 2011 .

touchpaint any inside corners where the roller won’t fit. Wipe in only one direction. Again. from the front of the bed to the back. because the bed-liner material needs bare. If there’s any loose. IT’S ALL IN THE PREP Start by washing the vehicle. No problem – just roller over it and catch the drips. 2 Scuff the entire interior of the bed with either ScotchBrite pad or some 150-grit sandpaper. Starting at the front of the bed. 6 The second coat will show a uniformly rough hightraction surface left behind by the roller. Prime the bare spots with a zinc-based primer. you’ll need to wire-brush. drips or sags. peeling paint or rust on the sheet metal. Here’s how. And old shoes. But then. outdoor place. Let the bed dry for about 24 hours. Find a shady. clean paint to stick. It’s vitally important to get every centimetre. (Don’t ask. so will the expensive spray-in liner. which leads to rust. as the liner material can sag several minutes later. In the industry. Wait too long and the second coat may not bond properly.) Use a leaf blower or a workshop vacuum cleaner to clean the inside of the bed of any dust. like an epoxy concrete-floor coating.S A T U R D A Y M E C H A N I C alternatives: old pickups used to use wood. Don’t leave any loose rust around. longer if the weather is cool. 5 Using a disposable brush. Remove the masking tape within 4 hours or so. You can buy a drop-in plastic liner that covers the entire loadbox. don’t forget to degrease the surface before recoating. 1 Once the bed is clean and dry and any bare steel is primered. PM THE NITTY-GRITTY BRUSH ON. these liners are thicker and tougher than the driveway-applied roll-in liners – they’re also considerably more expensive. There will still be some shine. paying special attention to getting the bed squeaky clean. Then blow out or vacuum the debris again. roller on the liner material. seams or fittings.CO. the tailgate. This is a perfect DIY project: in only 4 hours. Be aware that the intense flat-black colour of your liner will fade within a few months to charcoal gray. MORE HELPFUL HINTS You’ll need to apply two coats. sandpaper or sandblast down to clean metal. Using catalysedurethane-based polymers at 50 to 150 bar. Watch any inner corners. rolling out what’s there and backtracking to catch drips. and several companies will do the job for you. you won’t see the final texture. I’m starting to think the best solution is an applied surface that’s tougher than paint. Do both on the same day. work out of doors for this step. Skip the wax setting at the car wash. If so. Texture areas you can’t roller by dabbing with the end of the slightly wetted brush. but wait long enough – an hour or two – to allow the first coat to set up. For the first coat. which you can spray from an aerosol can or even brush on. ever. If you’ve spilled any oil. Careful masking will considerably improve the aesthetics of the job. Change the towelling when it looks dirty. Use mineral spirits or lacquer thinner to clean up any spills. 3 Here’s an example of paint that’s been scuffed properly. to keep any greasy spots from migrating to the back. we did the job ourselves for a few hundred rand. it’ll need to be cleaned with mineral spirits. so simply concentrate on getting an even coat without any missed spots. 4 Use solvent and fresh paper towels to degrease the bed. these coatings are called spray-in liners. Rubber gloves are a very good idea because it takes days to come out of your fingerprints. mask off the bed tops. you won’t want to work indoors – this stuff stinks like dead dinosaurs when it’s drying. Trust me. Bonus: you can use leftover coating to touch up scratches periodically. patience is the watchword. the hinges and the latch pins.ZA • APRIL 2011 89 . but it might rub off paint and trap moisture underneath. Give the box a full day to dry completely. It’s a constant juggling act between having enough and too much material on the roller. Achieving a consistent texture isn’t trivial. which rotted in a few years. but you definitely need to leave a patina of scratches behind. ROLLER ON The real secret to doing a proper bed-lining job is patience. I recommend a dualaction or orbital sander for most of the job and saving the Scotch-Brite for the inside corners. leaves or water. 1 2 3 4 5 6 WorldMags POPULARMECHANICS. Be thorough or the new liner will peel off in sheets later. Wear old clothes. Don’t rush initial clean-up WorldMags or proper scuff-sanding. Needless to say.

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BUYER'SGUIDE CFP TECHNOLOGIES Electric motors & Drives Variable Speed Drives .00 All prices exclude Email: cjvdb@mweb.5 Kw R1299.00 VSD Remote Control Box For Buyer’s Guide advertising rates call Patrick Kennedy at (011) 301-4465.2 Kw Tel: 082 8570324 AGENTS REQUIRED COUNTRYWIDE WorldMags 94 POPULARMECHANICS. 3 phase output) Website: www.2 Kw R1596. Fax: (011) 783-0451.00 Three Phase Motors (4 Pole) .75 Kw R1014.cfptech.1 Kw R1157. R520.00 1.00 Kw R2154.ZA OAPRIL 2011 WorldMags Vehicle monitoring systems .75 Kw R1393. (Single phase 220V input.00 2. Prices subject to change without notice Accident cameras Speed Control for your Machinery Run your three phase equipment from single phase with speed control by using a Variable Speed Drive (VSD) with a three phase motor.CO.00 2.

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shop fittings.ZA OAPRIL 2011 WorldMags .co. garden & indoor décor… BEND TO 38 x 2 mm e kl TUBE Wrin free! GET YOUR INFORMATION PACK NOW! SMS “PM” and your name and e-mail address to: 083 609 7726 or e-mail “PM” to: Or call Deon on 083 327 9988 Starter kit only R1 359 ex VAT Finance Available ALSO BEND ALU. PRESS & SHEAR Make chairs. agricultural SCROLL. – video clips and projects WorldMags 100 POPULARMECHANICS. fences. tables. jungle gyms. candelabra. balustrades. beds. doors.BUYER'SGUIDE For Buyer’s Guide advertising rates call Patrick Kennedy at (011) 301-4465. ROLL. gates. Fax: (011) 783-0451. TWIST. SS & HYDRAULIC PIPE www. Metal Working Tools! Turn Metal Into Money – Supplement your income or start a full-time business! QUALITY MACHINES THAT BEND. security products.


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which will damage the leather) and put them on immediately. Prizes not claimed within 60 days will be forfeited. workshop and general DIY hints – and win! This month’s prize is a professional-quality Skil Masters belt sander valued at R1 849. 1978. this sander comes with an adjustable speed wheel. then blow-dry with a hairdryer. garage. workshop and garden that will save you time and money. 12 Nobel St. They act as a filter and help keep the soil in the container. My solution was to fit an 8-division muffin tin with paper liners and pour a small quantity of paint into each cavity – and voila! TA O’NEIL PINETOWN PM Self-contained When you plant seedlings in small containers and don’t have any small stones handy to put in the bottom for drainage. Regrettably. it expands and stretches the shoes. For more information on Skil products. Industria West. Pinelands. who is way more artistic than I am. then place the shoes in the freezer. which would have necessitated covering the floor with a whole bunch of small paint address and contact number. dust suction adapter and  dustbag. only South African residents are eligible for the prize. you’ll always know where it is. To fix it. using duct tape. decided one day to stencil the bathroom and kitchen walls in a variety of colours and patterns. and the air won’t turn blue! DAVID COOPER KIMBERLEY Lars Christensen/iStockphoto Defying little fingers I recently needed to child-proof our home in the expectation of our grandchildren’s Please include your name. Alternatively. Rather than fit ugly rubber loops to door handles or damage our cupboards with ugly latches. contact Juergen Lauer on 011-651 9858.ZA • APRIL 2011 . Send your tips to: PM Do It Your Way. soak the plug in malt vinegar (I used a small plastic bag) for a few minutes. Published by RamsayMedia Pty Ltd for the Proprietors. Distributed by RNA. try used teabags. and is designed for easy handling. you will have assembled many items of flat-pack furniture over the years – and can’t find the accompanying Allen key when you need good hardware stores. Howard Drive. Johannesburg. Western Cape. TOBIE ZIETSMAN BLOEMFONTEIN to tighten a joint or make adjustments. Uitvlugt. I opted for industrialstrength Velcro pads – available from If the key fits… If you are anything like me. blow me down If you haven’t used your caravan or trailer for a long time – in my case. The alcohol dries quickly and the shoes stretch to fit your foot. TONY KINNEAR ILLOVO No creative mayhem My wife. or e-mail popularmechanics@ramsaymedia. Box 180. Such reproduction or broadcasting may be authorised only by the publishers of POPULAR MECHANICS. Parow. Apple Mac support: Project 3 tel 021 674-5000. WorldMags 104 POPULARMECHANICS. First up is the freezer method: you pour water into large plastic food bags until they fill the entire shoe cavity. and generally make life a little easier SEND US YOUR HINT – AND WIN Send us your best home. clever and downright diabolical tips for your home. DANIE TALJAARD DURBANVILLE WorldMags Well. POPULAR MECHANICS (SA) Pty Ltd.CO. Powered by a robust 1 200 watt motor. Our cupboards now defy little fingers but can be opened by an adult’s firm pull. MATTHYS DU TOIT SIR LOWRY’S PASS RESERVATION OF COPYRIGHT The publishers of POPULAR MECHANICS reserve all rights of reproduction or broadcasting of feature articles and factual data appearing in this journal under Section 12 (7) of the Copyright Act. and printed Web offset litho by CTP Printers. That way.[ DO IT YOUR WAY ] WINNING TIP Useful. As the water freezes. The solution is simple: once you’ve assembled the item. it was two years – you may find that the plug has corroded to the point where it no longer works. Howard Place 7450. Western Cape. wet the shoes with ordinary rubbing alcohol (not water. A stretch of imagination Are your new shoes too small? Don’t panic – my two tips will stretch them enough to make them wearable. attach the Allen key to the back or underside.

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