monster machines

Monster Machines: Robotic Submarine Finds Antarctic Ice Is Thicker Than We Thought

The size and thickness of the Antarctic ice sheet acts as a barometer for global health but figuring out exactly how much frozen water is sitting atop the southern pole is difficult. Satellite results are often obscured by layers of snow and ice core boring requires people to brave the extreme cold to collect them. But with this self-guided sonar sub, researchers can collect accurate ice information without ever getting off the boat.


A California Power Plant Is Getting The World's Biggest Lithium Battery

The power shortages, brown-outs, and rolling blackouts that have long plagued Los Angeles county during times of peak energy usage may soon be a thing of the past now that the region’s energy utility has signed on with battery-maker AES Southland to install a massive, 400MW auxiliary power solution.


Monster Machines: Houseboat? Try A Seafaring Luxury Apartment

Houseboats are inarguably the awesomest kind of house. But whereas most conventional houseboats are little more than bungalows mounted atop barges, the new Flash Cat 67SC offers a posh alternative.


Monster Machines: This Is The Biggest Cargo Ship On Earth

In order to keep up with the frenetic growth of global shipping traffic — which has quadrupled over the past two decades alone — commercial cargo ships keep getting bigger. And the newest king of the containerships isn’t one of Maersk’s EEE titans, it’s the CSCL Globe.


Monster Machines: This Plane That Carries Planes Costs A Quarter Of A Billion Dollars

With a front end like Megamind’s noggin, this massive airliner may not be the prettiest of aeroplanes but her whopping 43-tonne cargo capacity more than makes up for her homeliness. Popularly known as the “Beluga”, this super-capacity transport helps keep the European aviation industry in the air. It’s a whale of a plane.


Monster Machines: The World's Fastest Train Is Ready To Ride

The world’s fastest maglev train, the 500km/h Series Lo prototype from JR Tokai, made its first public run on Saturday. One hundred lucky passengers took part in a 44km trip between Uenohara and Fuefuki… which took just five minutes to complete once the train got up to speed.


Monster Machines: This 'Flying Banana' Keeps Britain's Trains From Running Off The Rails

The UK rail system includes more than 16,000km of track, which, until relatively recently, had to be inspected at a walking pace. This laser-blasting, track-inspecting locomotive, however, does so faster than a speeding bullet (train).


Monster Machines: Why The LGM-135A Midgetman Was America's Shortest-Lived Mobile Nuke

The plan was simple: mount a nuclear ICBM atop a truck, then spread a bunch of them (and hundreds of decoys) out along Nevada and Utah to create a fully-mobile counterpoint to any Soviet first strike. So why did America’s Midgetman program never get off the ground?


Monster Machines: Australian Electric Fence Could Safely Segregate Swimmers And Sharks

Shark netting strung up in coastal waters to protect swimmers from the ocean’s apex predators has not worked nearly as well as we had hoped. But where these knotted nylon lines have failed, one Australian company hopes an electric field will succeed.


Monster Machines: America's First Flying Aircraft Carriers Just Couldn't Stay In The Sky

Flying aircraft carriers are a great idea on paper — especially when they’re commanded by the likes of Nick Fury — but in reality they’re more death trap than sky island. Or, at least, the short-lived USS Akron was. When it crashed off the New Jersey coast in 1933, it took nearly everybody on board with it.


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