Google Executive Alan Eustace Sets New World Record With 26-Mile Parachute Jump

Earlier today in Roswell, New Mexico, Google Senior Vice President Alan Eustace performed a successful parachute jump from an altitude of nearly 26 miles, which eclipses the previous record of 24 miles set by Felix Baumgartner in 2012. To accomplish the project — dubbed Stratospheric Explorer or StratEx — Eustace enlisted the technical help of Paragon Space Development Corporation. Eustace wore a custom space suit for the jump and used a 35,000-cubic-foot helium balloon to ascend to the upper reaches of the stratosphere. After a two-hour ascent, Eustace cut his tether and plummeted to earth for 15 minutes, breaking the sound barrier before deploying his parachute for a safe landing.

Alan Eustace Sets New World Record With 26-Mile Parachute Jump
photo by J. Martin Harris Photography/PSDC

Alan Eustace Sets New World Record With 26-Mile Parachute Jump
photo by Volker D. Kern/PSDC

The World Championship Outhouse Races, An Annual Race of Outdoor Plumbing in Virginia City, Nevada

The World Championship Outhouse Races in Virginia City
photo via Reno Tahoe USA

For the past 25 years, Virginia City, Nevada has been home to the World Championship Outhouse Races, a competition that pits costumed teams of outhouse racers against one another. The event traces back to 1990, when a county proposal to ban outdoor toilets inspired locals to bring their outhouses to city hall in protest. The 25th annual event took place at the beginning of October (dates for the 2015 event have not yet been announced). Terry Turnbeaugh has posted some photos of the 2009 race.

The World Championship Outhouse Races in Virginia City
photo by Wheeler Cowperthwaite

The World Championship Outhouse Races in Virginia City
photo by Terry Turnbeaugh

The World Championship Outhouse Races in Virginia City
photo by Terry Turnbeaugh

The World Championship Outhouse Races in Virginia City
photo via Virginia City Tourism Commission

via When on Earth, The Presurfer

Ocean Explorer Fabien Cousteau Talks About Living Underwater for 31 Days in a Fascinating TED Talk

Ocean explorer Fabien Cousteau recounts his recent 31-day adventure aboard an underwater laboratory in a fascinating TED talk from TED Global. Cousteau’s underwater sojourn took place during Mission 31, an ocean exploration project undertaken last summer off the coast of Florida. The project was both a scientific study and a commemoration of Conshelf Two, a 30-day underwater habitat mission undertaken by Jacques Cousteau in 1963 (Fabien is the famed ocean explorer’s grandson). We previously posted about Mission 31 back in June.

Dangerous Popsicles, Frozen Treats Shaped Like Cacti and Deadly Pathogens

Dangerous Popsicles is a collection of fearsome popsicles shaped like cacti and deadly pathogens. Designer Wei Li created the treats, first 3D printing the forms, and then making silicon popsicle molds. The popsicles are presented as an experiment in “user-unfriendliness.” Li has posted instructions on how to make your own Dangerous Popsicles on Instructables.

Dangerous Popsicles create a unique sensory experience. Before tasting with your tongue, you first taste with your eyes and mind. The popsicles are nothing but water and sugar, but ideas of deadly viruses and the spikiness of cacti are enough to stimulate your senses, even before your first taste.

Dangerous Popsicles

Dangerous Popsicles

Dangerous Popsicles10

photos via Wei Li

via The Fox Is Black

‘Playa Dust: Collected Stories From Burning Man’, A New Book of Essays on the Burning Man Festival

Playa Dust by Samantha Krukowski

Playa Dust: Collected Stories from Burning Man is a compilation of essays on the Burning Man festival by a broad cross-section of artists, writers, sociologists, and others who take part in the festival or document and study it. The book is edited by artist, author, and educator Samantha Krukowski. It is available for purchase online.

Burning Man’s in-your-face, counterculture vibe has meant that the festival has always been something of a media darling. But when the event sold out for the first time in 2011, there was a marked increase in the commentary about its history, current status and future. When, in 2012, a new random lottery system for tickets left so many long-time attendees ticketless, that commentary deepened. Questions about the evolution, meaning and value of Burning Man as an experiment in community, self-sufficiency and anti-capitalism are being raised, and Playa Dust seeks to answer them.

images via Samantha Krukowski

submitted via Laughing Squid Tips