let this be a lesson to you all

Homemade pressure chamber blows two men to bits:

A retired surgeon and his brother died in a freak accident when a homemade oxygen chamber exploded in the backyard of a Polokwane house - blasting the remains of one of them more than 10m away. The blast ripped open the steel wall of the cylinder, which was between 10cm and 15cm thick, and shattered neighbours' windows.

Dr Paul Eloff, 76, was undergoing treatment for poor blood circulation inside the pressurised chamber when it exploded on Friday afternoon. Dr Eloff's remains were found about 10m away from the cylinder. Its hatch lay about 15m away.

"The remains were taken away in plastic bags. It was horrific. It was like scraping leaves together in your garden and putting them in plastic bags."

Otto said family members told police the hyperbaric chamber had been with them "for years and that they regularly used it for treatments".

Hyperbaric treatment, once used primarily to relieve divers of a dangerous condition called decompression sickness or "the bends", is now used to treat a range of ailments. These include carbon monoxide poisoning, gas gangrene, problem wounds, anaemia, soft tissue infections and bone infections. Hyperbaric therapy is also sometimes used to treat burns.

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cool MAME cabinet conversion

MAME'd Millipede: This guy converted a Millipede cabinet to a MAME computer, but the neat thing about it is that he did it without altering the original cabinet: he just built a new control panel that clips on the front, and hooked a PC up to the existing monitor. This is a very cool approach, since it has always seemed pretty blasphemous to me to cannibalize an existing cabinet...

He's in the process of doing a similar conversion to a Marble Madness cabinet (which has a horizontal monitor instead of vertical.)

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I, for one, welcome our new zero-gravity jet-powered robot overlords

A Jet-Powered PDA for Astronauts
"Clearly the concept of something that is part webcam, part PDA, part intercom and part lightsaber practice droid has many applications in an environment where so many things are going on simultaneously."

More at NASA.

Personal Satellite Assistant
"Bit" from TRON
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Current Music: Vast -- Turquoise ♬

I, for one, welcome our new vertically-scampering robot overlords

Robotic rock-climber takes its first steps:

"The spider-like robot, called Lemur, was developed by engineers at Stanford University and JPL as a prototype for a fully autonomous rock climber. It can already follow a human climber up an irregular surface without any guidance from a controller. And it has a spookily human gait.

While other climbing robots are designed to scale the sides of flat structures using suction cups or magnets for grip, tackling uneven geological surfaces is a far more difficult task. With a central body and four triple-jointed limbs, Lemur's gait resembles that of a human rock climber as it manoeuvres up an indoor climbing wall at Stanford."

(Amazing MPEG videos here.)

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