World’s first commercial spaceport is 90% complete. First sub-orbital flight by 2013.

Virgin Galactic, Virgin’s commercial space flight branch, just recently announced that the first phase in the construction of the world’s first spaceport available to civilian consumers has been completed, making the ambitious project 90% complete. ‘Spaceport America’, as it’s been dubbed, is being built on an 18,000 acre site in the desolate sand plains of New Mexico, 45 miles of

The fish with the transparent head

Just a short, offbeat fact, to remind us of the mind blowing mysteries which dwell hundreds or thousands of meters beneath the ocean waves: Macropinna microstoma, the only species of the genus Macropinna lives at about 600-800 meters below sea level. It has a small mouth, is covered almost entirely with scales, and it has a fluid filled transparet head,

Crime and Punishment Through the Ages

There has always been a lot of controversy over which punishments are appropriate for different crimes. But, after taking a look at this infographic, I think we can all agree that the most modern penal systems have come a long way from the torture that was common in the past. Still, even today there are some unbelievably harsh punishments under

Launch code for US nuclear arsenal was all zeroes until 1977

When you think about security password, most likely complicated lengthy combinations come to mind; especially when we’re talking about something that can kill 100 million people in a blast and start a world wide nuclear holocaust. But, as always, America is full or surprises. Imagine if you were to set up this password, what would it be? For me it

Missing link finally found! Beer’s missing link that is

For men everywhere beer lovers everywhere, yeast is probably the best microorganism there is, because it is used in one of the most popular drinks: beer. But its identity has puzzled researchers for decades now, as they were unable to pinpoint its exact origins. However, they now believed they have solved this puzzle and traced the yeast back to Patagonia,

5.9 earthquake hits the US East Coast

A small, yet frightening earthquake, registered at 5.9 magnitude, sent shivers down people’s spines all the way from Ottawa, Canada to North Carolina as it hit the North American east coast. The earthquake first caused ground shacking at 1:51 p.m. ET, when it measured 5.9 in magnitude and lasted only 45 seconds, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Now, although

Swedish explorers stumble across the Millennium Falcon beneath the sea?

Well, I guess Han Solo should be more careful where he parks his spaceship from now, since Swedish treasure hunters just recently found an unidentified object beneath the Baltic seas which portrays an uncanny resemblance to Star Wars’ most iconic of spaceships. The whole find occured while the Ocean Explorer team, led by researcher Peter Lindberg, were looking for cases

Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Tower: the world’s soon to be tallest building [amazing photos]

UAE might harbor in its Dubai oasis the world’s current tallest building, its Burj tower, but neighboring Saudi Arabia isn’t keen on showing that it has a smaller ego and is planning on building the world’s tallest building in the world – the Kingdom Tower. They don’t intend on adding a few more feet to the top either – the

SpaceX founder wants man to become a multi-planetary species

More than just a SciFi dream, Paypal founder and billionaire Elon Musk wants to make “man on Mars” a reality. Speaking at a recent spaceflight propulsion conference held by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics on Tuesday, Musk unveiled during his keynote how his company, SpaceX, plans on sending humanity to Mars in coming decades. “Ultimately, the thing that is

Arthur Ganson’s moving sculptures

Arthur Ganson is a mechanical engineer by trade and a kinetic sculptor at heart. His mechanized devices spur up spirit from cogs and wires, as his sculptures move with subtlety and grace, often in a chain reaction of energy à la Rube Goldberg. His creations are rooted inside deep philosophical concepts, but at the same time shine with an unparalleled

Humanity at its finest: Japan elderly offer to clean up nuclear waste

Yasuteru Yamada is a man just like any other, except he isn’t just like any other. “Let the young rebuild Japan, and let old clean up the most difficult mess”, he says. Argueing that the elders have a smaller chance of developing cancer in their lifetime, the 72-year-old former engineer is recruiting other retirees to replace the younger workers who

Shorties: US is the only developed nation to drink milk from cows given artificial hormones

As an European, it often seems to me like the US is a land of striking contrasts – it is in fact the land of opportunities. Matter of fact, I was absolutely shocked to find out that the US is still allowing milk from cows which were given artificial growth hormone, especially since this hormone was banned in Canada, Australia,

Creative idea: how to fight AIDS with Coca-Cola

We’ve been writing more and more about the developments achieved in the fight against AIDS, but this is by far one of the most interesting, simple and creative ideas I’ve seen so far. Via

Short fact: the first man to pee on the moon, Buzz Aldrin

There were a lot of firsts during the initial lunar landings, especially during the very first Apollo 11 mission. There was, of course, the obvious first famous moon walk by Neil Armstrong, the first country to land on the moon, the first word spoken from the moon, and so on. A new genesis of gestures and representations of life in

32 inches of snow in the driest place on Earth

A bit late on reporting this, but I’m still struck with amazement by this extremely peculiar case of precipitations. Last week a cold wave hit Chile and surroundings, including the Atacama desert, known to be the driest place on Earth, covering it in snow. In this area less than 50mm of rain on average is reported each year, and in

On the eve of the shuttle’s “Final Countdown”

Space shuttle Atlantis will embark this Friday on its final journey, symbolizing the end of NASA’s illustrious space shuttle program. Yesterday, the last crew of the orbiter Atlantis arrived at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, where the launch will take place. Commander Chris Ferguson said: “I think I speak for the whole crew in that we are delighted to be here

Final ever shuttle mission scheduled for July 8

NASA just confirmed the shuttle’s last-ever mission will launch on July 8th. The space shuttle Atlantis will blast off headed for the International Space Station this Friday for a very important mission, in which it will deliver the Raffaello multipurpose logistics module to the orbiting outpost, bearing supplies, food for a whole year and spares. The 12-day STS-135 mission will be launched from NASA’s

Defy nuclear war with the doomsday survival suit [photos]

For the 2012 panicked or just the doomsday memorabilia  collectors, Kacey Wong‘s doomsday survival suit will definitely spark interest. The Hong Kong artist has designed the robot-shaped suit inspiring herself after the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster, with the idea of protecting people from radiation leaking from nuclear power stations. Mobile and equipped with glowing red alarm lights for eyes,

Ingenious flat earth theory revealed

It was 1893 when Orlando Ferguson, a real estate developer based in South Dakota combined religious beliefs with some scientific theories and a big chunk of creativity to create this square map of the stationary earth. The map was accompanied by a 92 page lecture delivered by Ferguson, who referred to himself as a professor, and was delivered town after

The complete Akkadian dictionary

Akkadian, or Assyro-Babylonian, is the oldest attested written language – the code for the cuneiform writing system. Texts written in Akkadian date back as early as 2800 BC, and although it hasn’t been spoken for well over two thousand years, the language can be considered invaluable to the unraveling of the first human civilizations from Mesopotamia. A hundred years in