A while ago, the Air Force announced it was interested in developing a "Spider-Man cannon" to trap would-be assailants coming down on parachutes or hand gliders (because it finally realized something needs to be done about all those hand-gliding terrorists). Actually, that sort of gadget already exists: Police officers in China have been using compact web-shooters to catch subjects up to 49 feet away as part of what is obviously an organized global effort for law-enforcing agencies to "be more like Spider-Man."
A goal we can get behind 100 percent.
But why should such awesome, cartoonish tools remain in the hands of trained professionals? This tutorial gives simple instructions on how to make one out of some PVC pipes and $75 worth of materials.
According to the creator, it can fire a 90-foot net 15 to 20 feet away using about 100 PSI of compressed air -- perfect for capturing Penelope Pitstop and dragging her to the nearest set of train tracks. Here's a demonstration of the homemade net launcher in action (from the point of view of the victim):
Notice how time slows down as the net approaches you? Yeah, that's not the video, that's your brain telling you you're about to be captured and probably molested.
Remember the scene in The Matrix where they use an EMP (electro-magnetic pulse) to instantly disable those machines attacking the ship? Pretty awesome, right? But what if anyone could do that? What if that was your robot squid they shot down, causing you to be late for work? This scenario is closer to reality than you might think.
Fun fact: EMPs aren't all big bombs that send out pulses in every direction, like you see in the movies. Apparently, anyone who knows a little about electronics can make his own EMP gun and fire cone-based waves of data-killing energy with frightening precision. Technically, when it's a weapon, it's called a HERF gun, or high-energy radio frequency gun, also known as a microwave gun.
Better than our microwave gun concept that fired convenience store burritos.
This website offers instructions on how to build a microwave gun out of an actual microwave oven. Basically, all you need to do is carefully take it apart and put it back together in the shape of a pistol. It works just like a regular EMP, only on a smaller scale. The writer says you can use it to "kill cockroaches and computers," which should come in pretty handy when you're in bed and can't be arsed to get up and turn off the PC. It's not portable, though ... unless you can find a power source capable of generating 1 kilowatt of electricity.
"GREAT SCOTT! That's -- actually, that's pretty doable."
So could someone, in theory, build a microwave gun big enough to, say, stop a car dead in its tracks? Yes, and they already have: These guys built one capable of shutting down the electrical system of a car from 600 feet. away. That's right: Within a few seconds, this thing can disable any type of vehicle that relies on electricity -- that is, anything made within the last 35 or so years.
You know, it might be time to get the old Pontiac out of the garage.
You can tell why Christian Ristow, a former Hollywood animatronics expert, won Popular Mechanics' 2009 "Backyard Geniuses" contest for DiY projects just by taking a quick look at his picture:
It's because of his rugged good looks.
Ristow, who used to build puppets for Jim Henson's company, moved on to bigger and better things, by which we mean sitting in his yard building a giant robot called "Hand of Man." It's a 20-foot-tall gasoline-powered mechanical hand made primarily of steel girders and pneumatics. It's even controlled by a glove that mimics your real hand movements, like what kids in the 90s thought the Power Glove would do.
It can also crush your entire family in one movement!
Seriously, watch this video, where the Hand of Man crushes a barrel, followed by Ristow explaining that he also uses it to crush cars. When you've got an enormous remote-controlled hand, there's really nothing else to do with it besides create mayhem and destruction. This thing doesn't fuck around.
You can also use it to flip a 20-foot bird.
By the way, see that kid operating the hand in the video? Yeah, that's not Ristow's son or something like that: That's a random kid from the audience. Ristow intentionally made it easy to use so that anyone could operate it during demonstrations. Also, the Hand of Man is entirely mechanical, meaning it doesn't depend on electricity or computers. In other words, if it ever goes rogue, there's no way to turn it off.
In the meantime, Ristow will probably be working on the rest of the body, afterward proceeding to disguise it as a large Austrian bodybuilder.To read more of Ashe's work, check out weirdshitblog.com
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For more real-world supervillainy, check out 5 Real World Criminals Who Were Certified Supervillains and 6 Web How-To's That Are Apparently For Supervillains.
And stop by Linkstorm to read our Magneto/Lex Luthor fanfic love story.
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