6 Real Inventions That Would Seem Over The Top In A Movie
Scientists are constantly inventing new medications, refining existing technologies, and furthering the way we understand the world. But has Science ever bothered to address what we, as a species, really need: awesome-looking superpowers? Actually, yes. Yes, it has. You owe Science an apology.
There Are Functional Mech Suits Today, And Yes, They're Going To Fight
As countless anime have shown us, there's no problem that a giant battlemech cannot solve (with the help of a screamy tween pilot, that is). Finally, reality catches up to anime -- and not just in the field of upskirt technology: Meet the Kuratas, a real-life Japanese mech-suit.
The four-and-a-half ton, 13-foot Kuratas runs on gasoline, and is controlled through a combination of high-tech touchscreens and a delightfully retro joystick. No matter how cool it looks, or how effective the system might be, you know you would've been disappointed if it didn't have a joystick. For those of you with no soul, however, it can also be controlled remotely via a cellphone attachment. Oh, and it does come equipped with weapons like rocket launchers and mini-guns.
With fake ammo, obviously.
The Kuratas also comes with the most ominous feature ever: the Smile Trigger, which is exactly what it sounds like -- when the pilot grins, the mecha unleashes 6000 rounds per minute of bullet-shaped retribution. Tell us that's not designed specifically to court supervillains.
Or Omni Consumer Products.
Because humongous functional mecha are expensive as shit, they've built precisely one so far (and put it on sale at Amazon Japan, so hopefully it at least qualifies for free shipping). But eventually, there might be more -- and they might have competition. America has also noticed that life isn't nearly as awesome as it could be, so a U.S.-based giant robot company named MegaBots, and the company responsible for Kuratas, have both agreed to fight with their mechs, Gundam style. Here's what the good old U.S. of A. is bringing to the fray:
Alien Queen sold separately.
God, it's just perfect: Low tech, U.S.A. brute force iron versus sleek Japanese plastic in a fight to the finish. If you need us, we'll be in our bunk.
Somebody Invented Eye Drops That Give You Night Vision
When a bunch of "citizen-scientists" declare they want to perform human experiments for the betterment of humankind, most people's human centipede radars go off. However, just like comic books have taught us, sometimes terrifying experiments by mad scientists lead to awesome superpowers. For instance: They can totally give you night vision.
Yes, in reality.
A group of bio-hackers in California accomplished this feat using eyedrops of Chlorin e6, which is extracted from aquatic creatures, a la BioShock. Biochemistry researcher and "principle testing consultant," Gabriel Licina, who clearly hasn't watched enough horror movies, volunteered to test the experimental liquids with his own goddamn eyeballs.
"I've got my workman's comp stuff all in order, right?"
Instead of turning into a giant floating eye and somehow devouring his fellow science renegades, Licina not only survived, but actually acquired a significant improvement in his night vision. He was able to identify objects in the dark from over 160 feet away and had a 100 percent accuracy rate, as opposed to the 33 percent rate of the non-plasmid control group.
Sadly, there is some small print: You might have to wear black contact lenses or goggles to protect your now light-sensitive eyeballs. Like Licina does.
Wait, like Riddick?
That's not a downside, guys.
There Are Several Real-Life Hoverboards -- Not The Ripoff Wheeled Ones, Either
Hey, remember the Green Goblin's little air-glider thing? Sure, he was evil and crazy and all sorts of Willem Dafoe, but he had fine taste in technology. Too bad it was fictional. Was.
It has power.
That's Catalin Alexandre Duru, a Canadian inventor who, uh ... well, he just strapped a bunch of drones to his feet. Wait, really? That worked? That sounds like Superman-ing off your roof with a sheet tied around your neck. But okay, we'll roll with it:
At what point does this go from being a hoverboard to a straight-up helicopter?
Especially since it worked really well: In 2015, Duru actually beat the deliciously specific Guinness World Record for "Farthest Flight By Hoverboard" (yeah, this thing also qualifies as a hoverboard). To beat the previous record, he needed to travel 164 feet. He traveled over 900. He probably only stopped to bang physics' girlfriend.
And that's not even cutting edge tech anymore! Duru's record has since been obliterated by one Franky Zapata, whose hoverboard glider can cover over 7,000 feet.
Who only stopped to bang your mom.
Side note: You're not fooling anybody with that alias, Frank Zappa. Our fan fiction always knew this was why you faked your death.
Related: Skateboards Are So 2002
Telepathically Controlled Drones Are A Reality
Marvel tried to make Falcon cool in Captain America: Civil War by giving him his own mind-controlled drone that could fire rockets and such. It didn't work for him ... but it could work for you!
In 2013, a team of researchers at the University Of Minnesota created a system that can control a drone via mind signals. Five people were used as test subjects, and they were all able to operate a tiny robot with nothing but a non-invasive skull cap and the power of their thoughts. It wasn't crude motions, either: It could move in any direction, and they even managed to fly it through a series of balloon rings in a makeshift obstacle course.
The only drawback is that you have to wear an extremely stupid hat.
To steer the drone, you just need to imagine yourself using the hand on the same side as the drone's rotor you want to manipulate. Use left hand; use left rotor. Imagining you're using both hands controls the verticality, and all of this is relayed via plain old wi-fi. So the good news is that you can have a telepathic pet drone of your own, but the bad news is that somebody is probably already hacking it right now.
Related: Drones Aren't Weird Anymore!
We Now Have A Fleet Of Jetmen
Years ago, we told you about Yves "The Jetman" Rossy, a delightful maniac with a penchant for strapping rockets to his ass and blasting around the skies. Here's the craziest news you'll hear all day: He has not exploded.
The second craziest news: Jetman's got a posse.
Also known as a "squadron."
Yes, there are now three Jetmen. Rossy has partnered with notorious skydivers Vincent Reffet and Fred Fugen, who all now boast Rossy's signature carbon-fiber-and-kevlar wing system. Their suits are now flexible enough that they can pull all sorts of impressive acrobatics, like flying in formation with the French air patrol ...
"I have you now."
... or just dicking around with a with a massive Airbus A380 jumbo jet at 4,000 feet.
"Yeah, that's pretty cool, Jetman.
I'm just gonna run to the bathroom real quick and grab a cup of coffee, be right back."
Hey, did we mention that Yves Rossy is now 57 years old? That's not exactly decrepit, but frankly, we're amazed a guy who'd willingly don an experimental jetsuit of his own design managed to crack 40.
Related: We Now Have Comrade Britney
You Could Buy Fireball-Shooting Gauntlets And Electricity Guns
For the kingly sum of $149, you can finally rain hellfire on your enemies, or just the guy at the grocery store who gives you judgey eyes when you buy bulk hemorrhoid cream. The Pyro Fire shooter's actual destructive power is modest -- it's basically just a magic trick that works by throwing special flash paper, which catches fire in contact with oxygen. But the "burst fire" mode fires two blasts at once, and a remote mode allows you to operate the thing from up to 30 feet away -- so we're sure you can find a way to fuck Assistant Manager Gary's day, one way or another.
Or an innocent water bottle's day.
If you want something slightly more ... electrifying, crazy amateur science once again has your back. Even if it really, really should know better by now. Yes, somebody finally put a portable Tesla coil into a gun:
And pee into everyone else's underpants.
Developed by the good people at Tesla Universe, it boasts 6-foot spark lengths, and various power levels that range from "not painful" to "oh god, so painful." Sure, it might all be in good sport, but it's worth remembering that Tesla also famously tinkered with a death ray. We're not necessarily saying that this is the first step toward making that death ray a reality ... we're just tactfully insinuating it.
It's Spring Break! You know what that means: hot coeds getting loose on the beaches of Cancun and becoming imperiled in all classic beach slasher ways: man-eating shark, school of piranhas, James Franco with dreadlocks. There are so many films about vacations gone wrong, it's a chore to wonder if there's even such a thing as a movie vacation gone right. Amity Island and Camp Crystal Lake are out. So what does that leave? The ship from Wall-E? Hawaii with the Brady Bunch? A road trip with famous curmudgeon Chevy Chase? On this month's live podcast Jack O'Brien and the Cracked staff are joined by some special guest comedians to figure out what would be the best vacation to take in a fictional universe. Tickets are $7 and can be purchased here!
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