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ISSUE

TEST ED

PICKUP TRUCKS*:.W RAM, CH.<Y,


FORD &I24.  PORTABL.^.:.4J324A 

OCTOBER
2013

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BLACK

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KEY CAMERA SPECS


1080p60 / 960p100 / 720p120 fps
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POPULARMECHANICS.COM / OCTOBER 2013

05

Diving o the coast of Cat Island in the central Bahamas, Andy Casagrande
captures footage of oceanic whitetip sharks with his Red Epic camera.

IGNITION

P H O T O G R A P H S B Y N AT H A N I E L W E L C H ( D I V E R ) , W I L L I A M B R I N S O N ( D O G )

10.13

How Not to Die

When Can I Let Go of the Wheel?

Accidents happenespecially to men below the age of 50,


for whom they are the leading cause of death. Here are 20
familiar, seemingly controlled scenarios where danger stalks.
Plus, the steps you need to take to come back safe, from the
backcountry or the backyard. BY JEFF WISE ................................ 64

Few things say The futures here! better than the self-driving
car. But we have some questions. Namely, just how safe are
robotic drivers? And what do we do with our hands?
BY ANDREW DEL-COLLE ........................................................................

74

Shark Shooter
Photographer Andy Casagrande combines inventive camera
rigs and uninching nerves to capture unique footage of the
oceans largest predators. BY BILL MORRIS ................................. 80

ON THE COVER

Photographer
Bartholomew Cooke
shot a timeless icon of
survival preparedness
for this months cover,
as well as the pictures
accompanying our
cover story, beginning
on page 64.

IGNITION

UPGRADE

CO LU M N S

T E C H WAT C H

AU TO I N T E L

salesmen, Jays father was one


tough customer. .......................... 54

Letters, Complaints,
Events 06
News, Trends,
Breakthroughs

15

Gear, Tools,
Gadgets 25

Test Drives, Top Tech,


Hot Rides 41
Woof!

25

WorldMags.net

Jay Lenos Garage For car

NSA Data Mining: How


It Works What the National
Security Agency really does with
your data. BY JOE PAPPALARDO .... 59

06

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OCTOBER 2013 / POPULARMECHANICS.COM

What You Said

( A B O U T O U R J U LY/A U G U S T I S S U E A N D M O R E )

weekend

We read all of your comments, tweets, and letters.


And weve read a few smoke signals too.

22 Pages of DIY

Curated by Steve Rousseau

88 Home
Cut and split all that rewood
for the fall? Great job. Now
heres how to stack it like a
true woodsman.

Tool Test

Members of Girls Get ITa Hillsboro, Ore., high school program that encourages
girls to get involved in techscan the June issue for project ideas.

Our July/August feature The Case for Alien


Life, details why current research suggests
that life probably exists beyond Earth
somewhere. Anyone who believes Earth
is unique or important enough to have the
only life in the universe has to be arrogant
or delusional, comments Rich Glover via
Facebook. Elliot Ofsowitz of Sarasota, Fla.,
agrees that extraterrestrial life is out there
but takes issue with the practical side of things,
such as rst contact. Looking for aliens can
be fun and exciting, but most people fail to take
into account the enormity of space and the
endlessness of time, he writes. The existence
of other civilizations may be predicted, but if
they are over 100 light-years away how would
we contact them? Thats a good question,
Elliot, but perhaps its for the best: There may
be ageless, cataclysmically hostile life out there

Simple to set up and


d operate,
these ve portable generators
can keep your home necessities
running when disaster strikes.
Halloween Special Build your
own lawn zombie, conjure
phantasmal holograms, spin
monstrous spider webs, and more.
Home Clinic Refurbishing worn,
hand-me-down steel tools.

100 Tech
How to take advantage of
cloud-based Web servicessuch
as document and photo sharing
to collaborate over the Internet.
Digital Clinic Co-opt any ordinary
speaker to amplify the nastiest
guitar licks.

For old paint and rust that resists


detergents and elbow grease,
theres media blasting.
Car Clinic Debunking platinumspark-plug myths.

124 A Brief History of

the . . . Airship.

IGNI TION

112 Auto

TA L K T O U S

Email
popularmechanics@hearst.com
Snail mail
300 West 57th St., New York, NY 10019
Subscribe
subscribe.popularmechanics.com

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OCTOBER 2013 / POPULARMECHANICS.COM

thats best left undisturbed. Rick Lowe of Leesburg, Va.,


thoroughly enjoyed our recent look into the revamp of
Marine Corps tactics (The Range Is Hot, July/August)
but thinks history might be repeating itself. The future as
revealed resembles the past except with new technologies,
he writes. Todays technology oers far better real-time
intel, weapon delivery systems, and precise munitions,
but the tactics described as the next generation are those
used during the Vietnam War, tried and true. July/
Augusts Car Clinic item on automotive kill switches
(Kill Your Car) brought back some memories for Stuart
Pardee of Gardnerville, Nev. In the mid-1970s I owned a
1959 Jaguar XK-150 (which I sold in 1983 and have kicked
myself in the butt every day since), and installed a toggle
switch to thwart thieves. It worked perfectly, he writes.
Then, one spring, I brought the car out and could not
for the life of me get it started. After 2 hours, Stuart
suddenly remembered the toggle switch, ipped it, and
the Jag started right up. Kate Sullivan of Philadelphia
objected to the imagery in our June Fatherhood Issue. Im
a Popular Mechanics subscriber. Im also a woman and a
former automotive journalist, she writes. The text itself
was unobjectionableyour writers and editors made a
valiant eort to be inclusive, but the visuals were notable
for what they didnt showgirls. In particular, she points

?#@*&%!

IGNITION

C O M P L A I N T S D E PA RT M E N T

to the photos in the Weekend section. Girls have to ght


to get into the garage, to get our hands dirty; whereas boys
are invited to join in as a matter of course. By not showing
girls, youre perpetuating the stereotype that girls arent
gearheads. Sebastian Frias points out a potential aw
in our online analysis of Pacic Rim, How the Pentagon
Could Destroy All Monsters. After killing the Kaiju with
conventional weapons, youve splattered the city with
highly toxic Kaiju blood, leaving the city uninhabitable.
Congratulations! he writes. Lord Byng of Vancouver,
British Columbia, complains that the ght is rigged. The
worst part of ghting a ctional monster is that the writer
can counter anything in the name of the plot, he writes.
No wonder the Pentagon is helpless.

The stu about the military does not belong. I am


not planning to invade a country anytime soon.
NICK ERSKINE-SHAW, VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA

What
Were
Up To
(POPMECH
NEWS & EVENTS
& STAFFERS ON
THE SCENE)

Senior news editor


Joe Pappalardo
discusses his July/
August cover story,
The Range Is Hot,
on the future of
Marine Corps
tactics, and fields
a bevy of defenserelated questions
from callers, such
as the increasing
use of drones, the
emergence of
cyber warfare, and
the evolving nature
of war, on C-Spans
Washington Journal.

WERE REALLY BUSY IN OCTOBER

 Orlando Mini Maker Faire


Penumbral Lunar Eclipse
 Bay Area Science Festival

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OCTOBER 2013 / POPULARMECHANICS.COM

J AM E S B. M EI G S

MICHAEL KUN TZ

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF; EDITORIAL DIRECTOR,


MENS ENTHUSIAST GROUP

PUBLISHER

NATIONAL DIRECTOR, INTEGRATED SALES Estee Cross


EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, GROUP MARKETING Lisa Boyars
FINANCE DIRECTOR Don Perri

S I N C E 1902

EXECUTIVE EDITOR David Dunbar


DESIGN DIRECTOR Michael Lawton
DEPUTY EDITOR Jerr y Beilinson
MANAGING EDITOR Michael S. Cain

Integrated Marketing
SENIOR MARKETING DIRECTOR Barbara Serino
CREATIVE DIRECTOR Glen Fuenmayor
ASSOCIATE MARKETING DIRECTOR Bonnie Harris
SENIOR MARKETING MANAGER Amanda Luginbill
ASSOCIATE MARKETING MANAGER Kirsten Kubiak
MARKETING COORDINATOR Anna Chelak

Editorial
SENIOR EDITOR, AUTOMOTIVE Michael Austin
SENIOR EDITOR, HOME Roy Berendsohn
SENIOR EDITOR, TECHNOLOGY Glenn Derene
SENIOR EDITOR, NEWS Joe Pappalardo
ASSOCIATE EDITORS Jennings Brown,
Andrew Del-Colle
ASSOCIATE EDITOR, HOME David Agrell
ASSISTANT EDITOR, TECHNOLOGY Rachel Z. Arndt
COPY CHIEF Robin Tribble
RESEARCH DIRECTOR David Cohen
ASSISTANT TO THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Theresa Breen
WEST COAST EDITOR Ben Stewart
SPECIAL PROJECTS EDITOR Joe Bargmann
EDITORIAL INTERNS
Will Dietrich-Egensteiner, Darren Orf

Administration
ADVERTISING SERVICES DIRECTOR Regina Wall
ADVERTISING SERVICES COORDINATOR Aiden Lee
Digital
NATIONAL DIGITAL ACCOUNT MANAGER Cameron Albergo
MANAGER Amanda Marandola
Production
GROUP PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Karen Otto
GROUP PRODUCTION MANAGER Lynn Onoyeyan Scaglione
ASSOCIATE PRODUCTION MANAGER Karen Nazario

Art
SENIOR ART DIRECTOR Peter Herbert
ASSOCIATE ART DIRECTORS
Kristie Bailey, R. Scott Wells
INTERACTIVE DESIGNER/ILLUSTRATOR
Anthony Verducci

Circulation
CONSUMER MARKETING DIRECTOR William Carter
Advertising Sales Oces
NEW YORK
EAST COAST SALES MANAGER Ray Rienecker 212/649-2876
ACCOUNT MANAGER Stephen Acunto, Jr. 212/649-2902
ASSISTANT Jennifer Zuckerman 212/649-2875

Photography
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY Allyson Torrisi
ASSOCIATE PHOTO EDITOR Devon Baverman
PHOTO INTERNS Anna Buller, Barrie Tovar

LOS ANGELES
CALIFORNIA SALES MANAGER Anne Rethmeyer 310/664-2921
ACCOUNT MANAGER Amy Suprenant 949/610-0458
INTEGRATION ASSOCIATE Michelle Nelson 310/664-2922

Editorial Board of Advisers


Buzz Aldrin (APOLLO 11 ASTRONAUT)
Shawn Carlson (SOCIETY FOR AMATEUR SCIENTISTS)
David E. Cole (CENTER FOR AUTOMOTIVE RESEARCH)
Saul Griffith (OTHERLAB)
Thomas D. Jones (NASA ASTRONAUT)
Dr. Ken Kamler (MICROSURGEON)
Gavin A. Schmidt (NASA GODDARD INSTITUTE
FOR SPACE STUDIES)
Amy B. Smith (MIT)
Daniel H. Wilson (ROBOTICIST)
Wm. A. Wulf (NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING)

CHICAGO
MIDWEST DIRECTOR Spencer J. Huffman 312/984-5191
ACCOUNT MANAGER Rikka Runyon 312/251-5355
ASSISTANT Yvonne Villareal 312/984-5196
DETROIT
REGIONAL DIRECTOR John Ir vine 248/614-6120
ASSISTANT Toni Starrs 248/614-6011
HEARST MAGAZINES SALES, LLC

Senior Correspondents
Davin Coburn, Alex Hutchinson, Erik Sofge,
Logan Ward, Jeff Wise
PYROTECHNICS & BALLISTICS EDITOR
William Gurstelle
MYTHBUSTING EDITORS
Jamie Hyneman, Adam Savage
GARAGE PROPRIETOR Jay Leno
RESIDENT CONTRARIAN Glenn Harlan Reynolds

DALLAS
Patty Rudolph 972/533-8665 PR 4.0 MEDIA
DIRECT RESPONSE ADVERTISING
SALES MANAGER Brad Gettelfinger 212/649-4204
ACCOUNT MANAGER John Stankewitz 212/649-4201
CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVE
Kathleen Gleason 888/473-0788; FAX: 708/352-4094 KLASSMARK

Imaging
DIGITAL IMAGING SPECIALIST Ken Pecca
PopularMechanics.com
ONLINE DIRECTOR Angela Diegel
ONLINE EDITOR Andrew Moseman
ONLINE PRODUCER Carl Davis
Popular Mechanics Interactive
PRODUCERS Spencer Lloyd, Jeff Zinn
Contributing Editors
Andrew English, John Galvin, Jim Gorman,
Chris Grundy, Carl Hoffman, John Pearley Huffman,
Dan Koeppel, Fred Mackerodt, Joe Oldham,
Barbara S. Peterson, Elizabeth Svoboda,
Kalee Thompson, Joseph Truini, James Vlahos,
Basem Wasef, Kevin A. Wilson, Barry Winfield
Contributing Photographers & Illustrators
Chris Buck, Jamie Chung, Philip Friedman,
Christopher Griffith, Dennis Kleiman, Martin
Laksman, Mark Mahaney, Axel de Roy, Dan Saelinger,
Sarah Shatz, Vladimir Shelest, Josh Simpson,
Art Streiber, Dan Winters, Reed Young
Special Projects Team
Brian Carroll, Annette Deinzer,
Paula Rackow, Steve Rousseau,
Alyson Sheppard, Janet Stafford,
David Tang, Katrina Zook

SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT & PUBLISHING DIRECTOR, MENS GROUP Jack Essig
GROUP MARKETING DIRECTOR, MENS GROUP Jill Meenaghan

IGNITION
PUBLISHED BY

HEARST COMMUNICATIONS, INC.


Steven R. Swartz
PRESIDENT &
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
H E A R S T

William R. Hearst III


CHAIRMAN

M AG A Z I N E S

David Carey
PRESIDENT
Gilbert C. Maurer
PUBLISHING
CONSULTANT

Frank A. Bennack, Jr.


EXECUTIVE VICE CHAIRMAN

D I V I S I O N

Michael Clinton
PRESIDENT, MARKETING
& PUBLISHING
DIRECTOR

John P. Loughlin
EXECUTIVE VICE
PRESIDENT & GENERAL
MANAGER

Ellen Levine
EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

Mark F. Miller
PUBLISHING
CONSULTANT

T H E K I D WA N T S T O K N O W
Are you a kid with a question? Ask Steve!
Email popularmechanics@hearst.com.

Employee of the Month

After mapping out the Milky Way


galaxy (The Case for Alien Life,
July/August), Kristie Bailey published
a paper on the design process she
used. Check it out in Parsons
Journal for Information Mapping.

Are mechs
effective, or
even plausible,
in a military
setting?
Mac W., 14,
Port Orchard, Wash.

After watching Pacic Rim, we too pondered whether


giant robots would ever grace our cities with wanton
destruction. A few hobbyists are trying to make this a
reality; but DARPAthe only government agency that
might develop Jaeger-like titanssees walking mechs
as bots of burden. This year the U.S. Marine Corps will
test the Legged Squad Support System, a robotic mule
capable of lugging 400 pounds of gear through rugged
terrain. S T E V E R O U S S E A U

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I L L U S T R AT I O N B Y A N D R E W P A R R I S H ( E M P L 0 Y E E O F T H E M O N T H )

Production
ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR Natalie Neusch

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LEARN MORE. SCAN HERE.

Plug it in your car, and see if your good driving could


help you save big with Progressive. Well even let
you try Snapshot before you switch to us, so youve
got nothing to lose. Rewarding good drivers. Now
thats Progressive.

2013 Progressive Casualty Ins. Co. & afliates. Snapshot

not available in all states or situations. 12D00444.S (07/13)


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ON SHELL FUEL
WITH A 5 QT OIL CHANGE OR RETAIL PURCHASE OF 5 QTS OF PENNZOIL
ULTRA OR PENNZOIL PLATINUM FULL SYNTHETIC MOTOR OIL.

Visit fuelrewards.com/pennzoil for details.

O N TH E WEB
On popmech.com, see the best and
worst woodies, nd out how DARPA
is pushing the boundaries of brainconnected bionic arms, and more:
SCI-FI PREDICTIONS
Earbuds, Google Glass, and the Apple iPad: These
devices and many more were predicted by prescient
authors such as Ray Bradbury, William Gibson, and
Arthur C. Clarke. popularmechanics.com/7predictions

PRO CLEANING TIPS


No one likes to clean. But armed with the right
tools and using proven techniques from the pros,
you can keep your home sparkling in half the time.
popularmechanics.com/cleaningtips

HUMAN-POWERED FLIGHT
Meet the team that built a human-powered helicopter
and won the $250,000 Sikorsky Prize.
popularmechanics.com/sikorsky

FOL L OW
P OPM E C H

For plenty more from our editors, follow Popular Mechanics on:
Twitter @PopMech
Facebook facebook.com/popularmechanics
Tumblr popmech.tumblr.com

Get $10 on iTunes


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Offer ends 10/31/13. Restrictions apply. See


fuelrewards.com for complete Fuel Rewards
Network program details and Terms and
Conditions.
2013 SOPUS Products. All Rights Reserved.

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P H O T O G R A P H B Y R E E D YO U N G

MAKE IT A PENNZOIL CHANGE.

The editors of Popular


Mechanics create a special
tablet version of the magazine each month, featuring
all of our print content, plus
extra photos, video clips,
and classic stories from our
archives. And we are running
a sweet little promotion right
now just for iPad users.
Z Subscribe here:
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*Based on Sequence VG Sludge Test using SAE 5W-30. Viper comes factory lled with Pennzoil Ultra 0W-40. 2013 SOPUS Products. All Rights Reserved. SRT and Viper are registered trademarks of Chrysler Group LLC.

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INTRODUCING

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POPULARMECHANICS.COM / OCTOBER 2013

NEWS
TRENDS
BREAKTHROUGHS

Tech

W AT C H

15

Edited by
RACHEL Z. ARNDT

If astronomers succeed in imaging the monster black hole at the center


of the Milky Way, its gravitational vortex may look something like this.

I L L U S T R AT I O N S B Y J A S O N D E X T E R / T H E A S T R O P H Y S I C A L J O U R N A L , M A R T I N L A K S M A N ( D O E L E M A N )

By capturing
the light in telescopes scattered
all around the
world, freezing
it electronically,
and bringing it
together in a
supercomputer,
we can mathematically create
a virtual mirror
as big across as
the Earth.
SHEP DOELEMAN
MIT principal
research scientist,
assistant
director at
Haystack
Observatory

ASTRONOMY

The Galactic Core Is


About to Explode
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE BLACK HOLE
AT THE CENTER OF OUR GALAXY ACTS UP.
BY JEFF WISE

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OCTOBER 2013 / POPULARMECHANICS.COM

HOW TO SEE THE


CENTER OF THE GALAXY
Huge as it is, the central black hole is still a
thousand times too small to be seen with the
Hubble Space Telescope. Plus, its obscured by
interstellar dust that blocks all visible light. But
radio waves of about 1 millimeter wavelength
can get through. Doeleman is organizing the
Event Horizon Telescope, a project to create an
international network of radio dishes that together
will constitute a system with an eective diameter
as large as Earths.
1
The radio dishes work like TV receivers: They gather
the incoming microwave radiation, which is exactly
like light but at a longer wavelength. Its a one-way
process: That is, the dishes passively receive the
radio signals that are emitted by sources in the
center of the galaxy.
2
Theres no physical connection among the dishes:
Data are recorded simultaneously by dishes around
the world.
3
A supercomputer at MIT aggregates the data, storing them on huge hard drives and processing them
to create, eventuallyDoeleman says by 2015an
image of the shadow of the black hole itself.

Telescopes in Arizona,
Chile, and Hawaii
(above, respectively,
and below in Arizona),
collect data for the
Event Horizon Telescope
project.

WorldMags.net

News
Brief
A Fossil
Rewrites
Evolution
After 10 years studying
tiny bones unearthed by a
farmer in China, an international team of scientists
announced this summer
that the fossil is the oldest known primate skeleton
yet discovered. The earliest human ancestors lived
about 55 million years ago,
new research suggests.
That changes scientists
view of primate lineage,
shifting the origins to Asia,
not Africa. The ancient
fossils, 7 million years
older than any other primate
bones yet found, belong
to the tarsier group of primates. Because a split in
primate lineage gave rise to
tarsiers and anthropoids
the group that includes
humansthe existence of a
tarsier 55 million years ago
means anthropoids existed
then too. The animal,
Archicebus achilles, has
the small eyes, long slender
limbs, and even longer tail
of a tarsier, but its foot and
heel bones are more akin to
the anthropoids. Living in a
tropical environment, it was
active during the day, leaping from tree to tree and
munching on insects.
MA RY B E TH G R I G G S

P H O T O G R A P H S B Y ( F R O M T O P ) D AV E H A R V E Y / A R I Z O N A R A D I O O B S E R VAT O R Y , M . D U M K E / E S O / A P E X , C A LT E C H S U B M I L L I M E T E R O B S E R VAT O R Y , R . H I L L S / A L M A / E S O / N A O J / N R A O

othing is as tranquil as the expanse of the Milky Way oating


in the summer night skyor so youd think. In reality, the
center of our galaxy is a chaos of fast-whirling stars, supernovae debris, and intensely magnetic neutron stars, all orbiting
around a monster black hole 4 million times the mass of the sun.
And things are going to get even more violent. Astronomers have
detected a blob of gas, called G2, thats being ripped apart as it
plunges toward the black hole. Later this year the hole will start to
consume that cloud of gas. As the gas accelerates to terric speeds,
it collides with other incoming matter, heats up, and radiates energy
at a ferocious rate. A similar are-up 100 years ago created a burst
of light as bright as a million suns; we know because the light
echoes are still bouncing around the center of the galaxy.
According to radio astronomer Shep Doeleman, the upcoming
annihilation event could last for a year or more and rank as a
once-in-a-lifetime event.

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Payroll doesnt have to be so frustrating.


Unless you like the extra ber in your diet.

Payroll stressing you out? Start using Intuit Payroll and make it easy
on yourself. With a few clicks you can pay employees and file tax
forms. Just enter employee hours and Intuit Payroll automatically
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P M U P D AT E

Worlds Fastest Helicopter


Flying over the south of France in June, Eurocopters X3 helicopter (Tech Watch, January 2011)
hit 293 mph, breaking the level-ight speed record, set in 2010, by 6 mph. The X3 has the
speed of a turboprop aircraft with a helicopters vertical takeo and landing ability. Two oversize Rolls-Royce Turbomeca RTM322 turboshaft engines each produce 2270 shaft horsepower,
while two short-span xed wings and propellers supplement the ve-blade main rotor up top.
Eurocopter plans to use the X3s technology in helicopters designed for search-and-rescue, military troop transport, and possibly even intercity shuttle service. W I L L D I E T R I C H - E G E N S T E I N E R

P AT E N T E D H I S T O R Y

Photocopying
Turns 75
to become electrically
conductive when hit by
light. To make a copy,
Carlson laid an image,
held by a glass slide, on
top of a photoconductive surface and then
illuminated it. Where
hit by light, the surface
became conductive,
draining its charge
to the plate below;
where the image
blocked light, the surface stayed charged.
After removing the

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R A C H E L Z . A R N DT

D I A G R A M B Y X E R O X C O R P O R AT I O N

Above a bar in Queens,


N.Y., 75 years ago,
Chester Carlson created the rst-ever xerographic images. Carlson
worked as a patent
attorney and was frustrated that the only
way to copy documents
was to retype or rewrite
them. He came up with
a process, free of liquid
chemicals, that takes
advantage of photoconductivity, the tendency
of certain materials

plate, Carlson sprinkled


on a negatively charged
powder, which adhered
to the areas of positive charge, thereby
re-creating the image. It
was not until 1949 that
the Haloid Company
(later Xerox) released
the rst commercial
machine. Now that
photocopying is digital,
Xerox has added technology that enables
law enforcement to
track down counterfeiters. Serial numbers
and other data can be
encoded in nearly
invisible yellow dots
on copies.

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T H E M A G A Z I N E S Y O U LO V E .
I N O N E A P P.
F R E E F O R 3 0 D AY S .

SIGN UP FOR A FREE TRIAL AT NEXTISSUE.COM

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OCTOBER 2013 / POPULARMECHANICS.COM

S H E LT E R S C I E N C E

The Search for the


House of the Future

Every two years since 2002 college students show o the solarpowered homes theyve created for the Solar Decathlon. The competition, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and set this
year in Irvine, Calif., pits college teams against one another to design
and build the most eicient and eco-friendly houses. In 2013, homes
that respond automatically to inputs, such as weather data, are all
the rage, as are shape-shifting structures. In most cases they look,
function, and cost more like aordable homes than oversize science
projects. Here are a few bright ideas from the 2013 Solar Decathlon.
But credit to where credits due: These innovations have roots in past
competitions. B Y D A V I D A G R E L L

Team
Kentuckianas
Phoenix House
is entirely selfsuicient, providing power,
food, and
water to its
inhabitants.

Then Maryland poured a concrete oor in 2002, but it wasnt until 2011 that
New Jersey became the rst team to use concrete for its walls.
Now North Carolinas 2013 entry, UrbanEden, has precast walls made of
geopolymer concrete to create a tightly sealed envelope with a high thermal
mass. The school says its material produces up to 90 percent less carbon pollution than portland cement.

Disaster
Response

Then Illinois in 2011 built Re_home, a rapidly deployable one-family emergency


structure, in response to recent devastating tornadoes. Other houses that year
had shades and privacy screens that turned into shutters during hurricanes.
Now Team Kentuckiana continues the trend in 2013 with a home that can be
assembled in a week and whose bricked-in bathroom doubles as a safe house.

The
Bottom
Line

Then Germanys 2009 winner contained 290 PV panels and generated twice
as much energy as it needed, but it reportedly cost close to $1 million to
build. Since then teams have been dinged points for overspending. One way to
reduce costs is to prefabricate partsor even entire homes.
Now Norwichs 2013 structure is sold commercially through Vermont manufacturer Huntington Homes, with prices starting at $150,000. We aimed to
design and build something that a household earning 30 percent less than the
Vermont median income could aord, says assistant professor Matthew Lutz.

Smart
HVAC

Then Two Maryland computer engineering students kicked o the homeautomation trend in the 2007 decathlon with their LEAFHouse, which allowed
homeowners to track and control conditions from the Web.
Now Missouri S&Ts Chameleon House gathers current weather data from onsite monitors and the Web to gure out the most eicient way to condition the
space, whether thats opening windows, closing shades, activating radiant heat
or a/c, or using forced air.

Smaller
Is Bigger

Then Madrids 2005 entry, the Magic Box, featured a set of movable walls
that could divide the house into three or ve spaces or leave it totally open.
Now All of this years entries have some kind of ex-space concept. SCI-Arc/
Caltechs house, DALE, is the most extreme, with interior rooms that change
size at the touch of a button. Sliding rail-mounted modules turn exterior
spaces into interior spaces, and vice versa.

WorldMags.net

I L L U S T R AT I O N S B Y A N T H O N Y D I M I T R E

C
Concrete
t
Ideas

WorldMags.net

NELSON KONG, 33

PARTNER, NELSON KONG LAW


MARRIED, WITH INFANT SON

3-YEAR PLAN: BUY A HOUSE,


HAVE ANOTHER CHILD, EXPAND
HIS BUSINESS AND INVEST IN A
NEW BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY

GO-GETTERS WHO INVEST EVERY DAY WITH


PASSION. And know savvy strategies can help
them invest todayand retire tomorrowwith
condence. Theyre THE INVESTIGETTERS
like real estate lawyer NELSON KONG.
Born to Korean immigrants in Buenos Aires,
Nelson speaks three languages. But the
language of investing is not among them.
With a 5-week-old son and a jam-packed
3-year plan, hes turned to TD Ameritrade
to get started on a path to retirement.

Im always thinking

about investing in new


offices or businesses.
Its time to invest in
retirement, too.

Nelson

the
INVESTIGETTERS
GO-GETTERS WHO GET THE
MOST OUT OF LIFE & INVESTING.

WorldMags.net

WorldMags.net
the

TD Ameritrade
Investment Consultants offer
50 percent relationship/
50 percent guidance
making investing a lot
more pleasurable.

INVESTIGETTERS

TD Ameritrade
Investment Consultant

WHATS YOUR 3-YEAR PLAN?


Visit www.investigetters.com for more life
strategiesand find the one that works for you.

All investments involve risk, and successful results are not guaranteed. TD Ameritrade, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC/NFA. TD Ameritrade is a trademark jointly owned by
WorldMags.net
TD Ameritrade IP Company, Inc. and The Toronto-Dominion Bank. 2013
TD Ameritrade IP Company, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

WorldMags.net
Visitors Guide to

Antarctica

No one lives in Antarctica full-time. It has just two seasons: summer and winter.
Only the worlds most dedicated researchers attempt to outlast the winters six
months of darkness and temperatures that fall as low as minus 129 F. Still, thousands of tourists ock to Antarctica every year to catch glimpses of its beautiful frozen landscapes. Its a fascinating area because its so remote, says Peter
Fretwell, a geographer with the British Antarctic Survey. Its probably one of the
least explored areas in the world. B Y S A R A H F E C H T

a shallow body of water


buried under a halfmile of ice. In perpetual
darkness and cold, the
bacterial ecosystem
likely has been isolated
from the surface for
thousands of years.
[4]

Lab on Ice

Glacier is 1300 feet


deeper than anyone had
thoughtat 1.8 miles
deep, its the lowest
point on any continent.

SOUTH POLE
6

[2]

Meteorite Mecca

2
3
1

[1]

P H O T O G R A P H B Y G E T T Y I M A G E S ; I L L U S T R AT I O N B Y V I C K U L I H I N

Antarctica Exposed
Last spring the British
Antarctic Survey put
together the most
detailed map of what
Antarctica looks like
beneath all its ice and
snow. The map, which
comes from seismic,
bathymetric, and satellite data, reveals that
a trough beneath Byrd

Meteorites suer less


damage when they
impact snow and are
easier to nd against
the white backdrop,
making the continent
the top spot for spacerock hunters. Scientists are studying the
50,000 extraterrestrial
rocks collected from
the Transantarctic
Mountains to learn
about the materials
that make up asteroids
and planets, as well as
what conditions were
like in our solar systems early days.
[3]

Extreme Life-Forms
In January scientists
discovered microbes
living in Lake Whillans,

WorldMags.net

As the Brunt Ice Shelf


slowly migrates toward
the sea, it has left the
Halley V Research Station in danger of oating away on an iceberg.
The new Halley VI station (Tech Watch, May
2013) is tted onto skis
so it can periodically be
towed inland to safety.
[5]

Cool Running
Every year people from
all over the world don
snowsuits to run the
Antarctic Ice Marathon.
[6]

Meltdown
With warm ocean
currents streaming
beneath it, and warm
air above, Pine Island
is sliding into the sea
at 2.5 miles per year,
making it Antarcticas
fastest melting glacier.
[7]

Snowy Hotspot
The South Shetland
Islands house research
stations from a dozen
countries. About
50,000 tourists
also visit the islands
annually to explore
magnicent desolation.

22

WorldMags.net

OCTOBER 2013 / POPULARMECHANICS.COM

Though it seems a miracle that all but three of 307 people


aboard Asiana Flight 214 survived a July crash landing in
San Francisco, the low number of deaths is the result of
design improvements mandated by the FAA over the past
30 years. Those safety enhancements stemmed from
hard lessons learned from earlier crashes. B Y B E N I A N N O T TA

AV I AT I O N S A F E T Y

How
Airplanes
Save Lives

mined that some


victims of the Air
Canada Flight 797 re
at Greater Cincinnati
International Airport
failed to nd the exits
because of smoke,
and mandated that
emergency lighting be
installed to guide passengers to the way out.

3.

Fire Prevention

Despite the fast-moving re inside Asiana Flight 214, hundreds escaped the crash.

1.

Stay-Put Seats
Asiana Flight 214 went
from ying at more
than 100 knots to a
dead stop in seconds,
and yet photos show
that its seats stayed in
place. If the seats had
come loose, the passengers in them could
have been killed, and
those who survived the
impact might have been

able to withstand the


force of 16 gs.

2.

Floor Lighting
If the haze and dust in
the Asiana cabin had
been thick enough to
obscure vision, passengers could still have
found their way to the
exits.
June 2, 1983:
Investigators deter-

Creating a plasma thats 10 times hotter than the suns corenecessary if we are to
realize the dream of fusion powerrequires a serious containment system. Otherwise,
dangerous levels of heat and radiation can escape from the reactors core. To prevent
that, scientists at ITER, the international nuclear power project, designed a protective
barrier. The shield will line the inside of a reactor to hold in heat, radiation, and electromagnetic forces. That requires a specialized alloy, actively cooled by water pipes and
protected by 440 4-ton modules with inner walls of radiation-resistant beryllium. Fabrication begins at the end of 2013 and should be completed by 2021. A L E X H U T C H I N S O N

WorldMags.net

PHOTOGRAPH BY AP PHOTO

Fusion
Blanket

too injured to escape


the ames.
August 2, 1985:
In a crash at Dallas/
Fort Worth International Airport, some of
those who died were
ejected from the plane
and struck the ground
still strapped into their
seats, according to the
National Transportation Safety Board. Three
years later, the FAA
required seats to be

It took about 90 seconds for ight attendants to spot ames


outside the Boeing 777
and decide to evacuate
it. Passengers made
up for lost time and
got out before the re
engulfed much of the
plane, whose parts are
less ammable than in
earlier models.
June 2, 1983:
After the crew of Air
Canada Flight 797
reported smoke in
the DC-9s aft lavatory, pilots made an
emergency landing
at Greater Cincinnati
International Airport.
Moments after the crew
opened the planes
doors, a ash re raced
through the interior of
the craft, killing the 23
passengers who were
still onboard. To delay
the onset of ash res,
the FAA introduced new
ammability standards
for seat cushions and
baggage compartments.

WorldMags.net

DOMAINS
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web address that perfectly ts your business or brand, such as your-name.blog,
auto.shop or events.nyc. You can also make your website easier to nd by
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Program and pricing specications and availability are subject to change without notice. 1&1 and the 1&1 logo are trademarks of 1&1 Internet, all other trademarks are the property of their
respective owners. 2013 1&1 Internet. All rights reserved.

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Au tom o ti v e A c c e s s o ri e s
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FloorLiner

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2013 by MacNeil IP LLC

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European Customers
WeatherTechEurope.com

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PHOTOGRAPH BY W IL L I A M BRINSON

POPULARMECHANICS.COM / OCTOBER 2013

25

Upgrade
GEAR
TOOLS
GADGETS
Edited by
Edi
JENNINGS
JEN
BROWN
BR

Dog-Tag Tech

STYLING BY SUSAN BRINSON; MODEL: NERO BRINSON

Your dog keeps


watch over you constantly; the Whistle
monitor ($100) lets
you return the favor.
The waterproof
device records data
such as time spent
walking, playing, and
resting, and even
whos with the pet at
a given moment. The
data is accessible via
iPhone, allowing you
to track trends, set
goals, share information with your vet,
and check in on your
best friend no matter
where you are.
JAIME NETZER

WorldMags.net

26

WorldMags.net

OCTOBER 2013 / POPULARMECHANICS.COM

hunters specialties i-kam xtreme


($110)
No need to wait for Google Glass. Whether
youre skiing an epic slope or reeling in a lunker
bass, document the adventure just as you see
it with i-Kam Xtreme video sunglasses. The
frame incorporates a mobile video recorder
into a pair of lightweight glasses and oers
4 GB of built-in memory. J . N .

APP AID

Friday Night

beercloud app (free)

breathometer ($50)

pizza compass app ($1)

Were big fans of craft brewing. But it seems every bar has
turned into a brewpub overnightstocking shelves with
trails of artisanal ales that can be
diicult to navigate. The free app
BeerCloud provides a directory of
nearby breweries and retailers,
arms users with tasting descriptions and brand history, and
even suggests food pairings. Its
never been easier to become a
can-noisseur. J E N N I N G S B R O W N

Had a few craft beers? Reach


for the Breathometer, the rst
smartphone-enabled gadget that
tests your blood alcohol level
using only your phone and the
portable device. Plug the box into
your headphone jack, exhale into
the vents on the gadget, then
make smart decisions based on
the data. The app interface is
simple enough that even someone with a righteous buzz can
gure it out. J . N .

Boy, are we glad you decided to


take a cab, ride with a designated
driver, or walk. Now you need
carbs. Designer Dan Blackman
was inspired to create the Pizza
Compass (surprise) after a night
of drinkingand the inability to
nd an open joint with a simple
Web search. The app guides you
to the nearest pie palace via a
spinning slice (and slice-covered
map) that points toward cheesy
satisfaction. R A C H E L Z . A R N DT

PHOTOGRAPH BY JEFFREY WESTBROOK (GLASSES)

WorldMags.net

WorldMags.net

HUSQVARNA DAYS ARE HERE!


October 1-31, 2013

DfYdUfYZcfZU``W`YUbidk]h\h\Y<igejUfbU())FUbW\Yf5ihcHibY.
Cif X][]hU``m hibYX WUfVifYhcf k]h\ 5ihcHibY WcadYbgUhYg Zcf
X]ZZYfYbhZiY`g U`h]hiXY \ia]X]hm hYadYfUhifYUbXYjYbUW`c[[YXU]f

`hYf"L!Hcfe Yb[]bYhYW\bc`c[mdfcj]XYgacfYdckYf idhc&$`Ygg


ZiY`Wcbgiadh]cbUbX+)`YggYl\UighYa]gg]cbg"
HcbXcihacfYUVcihcifW\U]bgUkg cfbXUXYU`YfbYUfmci
visit husqvarna.com
 9lW`ig]cbgUbX`]a]hUh]cbgUdd`m"GYYmcif<igejUfbU8YU`YfZcfXYhU]`g"
<igejUfbUdfciX`mVi]`XgaUbmcZ]hgdfcXiWhg]b5aYf]WUZfcaXcaYgh]WUbXZcfY][bdUfhgUbXWcadcbYbhg"
7cdmf][\h&$%'<igejUfbU56diV`"5``f][\hgfYgYfjYX"

EXTEND YOUR WARRANTY


UP TO A TOTAL OF 4 YEARS
Purchase at least 3 bottles of 32oz Husqvarna
brand pre-mix fuel or 6 bottles of Husqvarna
brand 2-stroke oil, regardless of size and/or
type, at the same time as the product to qualify.
Both purchases must be on the same product
invoice/receipt to qualify.
:cfWcad`YhYdfc[fUaXYhU]`gj]g]h.
kkk"\igejUfbU"Wca#ig#giddcfh#YlhYbXYX!kUffUbhm!dfc[fUa

WorldMags.net

28

WorldMags.net

OCTOBER 2013 / POPULARMECHANICS.COM

Seven Boots
That Every
Man Should
Own

rainy day // l.l.bean


bean boot ($89)

tough love, but they look better with


each additional scu.

The Bean has been the quintessential rain boot for more than a
century, remaining largely unchanged
except for the Gore-Tex membrane
and Thinsulate inner lining.

work // thorogood 6-inch


steel toe wedge sole
work boot ($145)

The PopMech man


should be prepared for
anythingbe it a long
winter, a friend in need,
or the end of days. We
understand if you make
a quick detour to pick
up the right tools or
supplies, but you wont
always have time to nd
the perfect boot and
break it in before a big
project. We talked to
experts, including woodsmen, soldiers, searchand-rescue workers,
and cobblers, to put the
nger on the right boots
for every situation.
J.B.

PHOTOGRAPH BY W IL L I A M BRINSON

office // danner jack


hummus 7-inch casual
boots ($230)
Just because you want a
handsome boot for work doesnt
mean you shouldnt be ready for
action. You never know when youll
need to respond to a disaster, and
loafers wont cut it to escape from
Kaiju monsters. Danners start out
sti as concrete but ease into soft,
supple perfection.
2

weekend // timberland
earthkeepers original
leather 6-inch boot ($180)
On the weekend you need a boot
to wear around the house or
while running errands. Youll have to
resole these after a few years of
3

PopMech home editor Roy


Berendsohn says American-made
Thorogoods stomp out competitors.
Its not easy to nd craftsmanship
like thisespecially at this price.
4

adventure // asolo
tps 520 gv ($250)
These sturdy behemoths of
Gore-Tex and leather are the gold
standard for backpacking. Weighing
in at 3 pounds 10 ounces, and about
as comfortable as well-worn tennis
shoes, the little tanks get you
through any journey, no matter what
the terrain or cargo.
5

woods // chippewa 8-inch


redwood logger ($175)
Logger boots are not purposelessly amboyant. The high heel
helps prevent slipping when walking
down a hill or over logs, and the
replaceable kiltie prevents dirty, wet
laces from cutting into the shoe.
6

armageddon // 5.11 recon


urban boots ($150)
A favorite of soldiers and
search-and-rescue experts,
5.11 boots are light and require no
break-in period. Which means theyll
be good to go come judgment day.
7

6
4

WorldMags.net

STYLING BY SUSAN BRINSON

Saddle soap is an underappreciated weapon that should be in every mans shoe-care arsenal. Grime and dirt can
break down leather, but the lanolin or glycerin in saddle soap keeps it softer, more exible, and as good as new.
HENRY LINDER, 93-year-old cobbler and owner of Linder Shoe Service in Landrum, S.C.

WorldMags.net

COOL WAVE DEODORANT

DONT MASK ODOR. ELIMINATE IT.

WorldMags.net

30

WorldMags.net

OCTOBER 2013 / POPULARMECHANICS.COM

EDITOR TESTED
makita x2 lxt lithium-ion cord
cordless
rd
dle
l ss
chain saw ($360 for saw only)
Gas-powered chain saws are the right tool for big jobs, such
as felling trees or carving up logs larger than 8 inches in
diameter. But a cordless electric model is the way to go for
brushing and slashing. Recently, with piles of debris in my
yard that could use this treatment, I got down to business
with the cordless Makita. While gas-powered saws can
scream louder than 110 decibels, the Makita generates just
89 but still produces the cutting power of 1650 feet per
minute. Thats much less than many gas-powered saws butt
was suicient for my job. With both batteries fully charged,,
I worked steadily for 90 minutes, reducing the de
debris piles
orr
to small stacks of logs and branches
nches ready to be b
bundled o
burned. J O E B A R G M A N N , S P E C I A L P R O J E C T S E D I T O R

olympus tough tg-2 ihs ($380)


Its handsome, sure, but it also performs. The TG-2 is
the only rugged camera on the market to include an
ultrabright, high-speed f2.0 lens, strengthening the
cameras shooting capabilities, and it takes great photos
anywhere, including underwater at depths of up to 50 feet.
We were also impressed with the 3-inch, high-resolution
OLED display, which was legible even in direct sunlight. The
c
camera also lives up to its name: Drop it from 7 feet, crush
it beneath 220 pounds, or leave it out in 14 F temps, and,
st
still, the camera keeps on clicking. J . N .
1

dci bbq branding iron ($17)


dc
Ever wish you could customize your cuts? The BBQ
Branding Iron allows you to stamp your grilled chops
B
and s
steaks with a searing seal of approval. The iron
comes equipped with the entire alphabet, plus extra
letters and spacers, so you can really get creative with
the ABCs
AB of BBQ. J . N .
2

WorldMags.net

P H O T O G R A P H S B Y B E N G O L D S T E I N ( C H A I N S AW ) , B R I A N F I N K E ( S T E A K , B R A N D I N G I R O N )

WorldMags.net

WorldMags.net

WorldMags.net

I WAS THERE.
Now Im a member of the
World Trade Center Health Program .

Were you there? Providers in the New York City area, and across the country,
monitor and treat conditions related to the September 11th terrorist attacks like
asthma, heartburn, certain cancers, depression, and PTSD. These providers treat
responders and volunteers who participated in rescue, recovery, or clean-up on or
after 9/11, as well as those in the WTC dust cloud or who lived, worked, or went to
school or daycare in lower Manhattan south of Houston or into parts of Brooklyn.

Learn More.

WTC Health Program

Call 1-888-982-4748 or visit www.cdc.gov/wtc

World Trade Center | Pentagon | Shanksville, PA

WorldMags.net

Image is a model portraying an


actual member of the World Trade
Center Health Program.

WorldMags.net

POPULARMECHANICS.COM / OCTOBER 2013

PHOTOGRAPH BY MON T E ISOM

35

mtm special ops silver warrior watch ($600)


m
H
Here
at PopMech we enjoy a challenge. So when MTM told us to try
by whatever means necessaryto destroy their Special Ops Warb
rrior, we happily obliged and put it through three tests that no man or
machine should ever have to endure. J . B .
m

ABUSIVE LAB TEST

DROP

THR ASH

SMACK

We hurled the watch onto pavement 75 feet below: The minute


hand was slightly bent but completely repairable. The rest of the
watch was still in great shape.

After running it over


with a lawnmower
(uh-huh), it was still
going strong. No signicant blemishes.

Executive editor David Dunbar and his son Oliver used


the survivor as a puck. It made it through dozens of wrist
shots, but the links started popping o on the seventh
slap shot. Once our players began ring the Warrior at the
boards and plexiglass, the watch exploded into 18 pieces.

BOT TOM LINE If youre willing to lay down six Benjamins for a watch that will outlast you, this stainless-steel timepiece, which
is also visible at night and water-resistant up to 660 feet, is built so tough you can treat it like you hate it.

vapur eclipse anti-bottle ($12)


Less wasteful than disposable plastic and more convenient
than its hard-bodied cousins, the Vapur Eclipse Anti-Bottle can
be rolled, attened, or folded when empty. Its freezable and
made of three layers of durable, BPA-free plastic, so its perfect
for picnics, outdoor sports, and concerts. And an attached carabiner makes it easy to clip the bottle to your belt loop, purse, or
pack, so youve got no excuse not to stay hydrated. J . N .

WorldMags.net

WorldMags.net

PHOTOGRAPHS BY DE VON JA RV IS

Celebrity Headphones
C
Ever since Dr. Dre released his Beats headphones in 2008,
its been the fashion for celebrities of all sorts to slap their
names on headphones. But putting aside self-promotion, are
they any good? We tested nine pairs, listening to everything
from Bach to Britney Spears. R . Z . A .
COMFORT

LOOK

BEST FOR

Good t, but
you have to
remove the
cord at the
ear cup to
turn them o.

Less about
conspicuous
consumption than
the rst-gen
Beats.

Lady Gaga,
minimalist
Kanye West,
the hum of
active noise
cancellation.

beats
s
by dre
re
($300)
0)

The quality is pretty great


over
ov
overall, with strong bass,
bu
ut when there are more
but
tha
an a few instruments
than
play
playing simultaneously, the
sou
sounds smudge together.

tim mcgraw
ar
on-ear
headdnes
phones
($80))

The sound is decent


gen
generally, with nothing
spe
special at either end of
the range, and a tendency
tow
toward muled vocals.

Very comfortable; the ear


cups bring to
mind plush
bath towels.

Kind of
cheesy, with
McGraws
name just
slapped on
willy-nilly.

Music whose
lyrics you
dont want
to pay
attention to.

skullcandy
roc nation
ator
aviator
z]
[jay-z]
($150)
0)

Youre far from the music,


as if
i youre listening to it
a ro
room away but getting
the best of the rap vocals,
som
some of the bass, and
non
none of the treble.

Triangular ear
cups t nontriangular ears
surprisingly
well.

Straightforward and
bold.

Jay-Z and,
maybe,
Kanye West.

B-

sony x
n
[simon
ll]
cowell]
($300))

Oppressive bass drowns


out everything and makes
eve
even the twinkliest folk
mu
music sound as if its
com
coming from speakers in
ac
cavernous arena.

Like having half a


cantaloupe
attached to
each side of
your head.

Massive,
like Simon
Cowells
ego.

American
Idol
auditions.

sol republic
mau5
deadmau5
heades
phones
($150)

Making no particular frequen


quency stand out makes
all m
music sound mediocre,
and anything acoustic
seem as if its coming from
dink
dinky computer speakers.

Rigid and
sharp.

Extremely
minimalist,
but with a
nice splash
of color.

Computer
alert sounds.

house of
y
marley
liberate
te
n
[rohan
y]
marley]
($100)

The warm sound is more


akin to
t an AM radio emulators tthan to an AM radios.
Still, the Liberate does
prod
produce a pleasing midra
range, if not much else.

Ear cups jut


out; headband
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Like a Phish
fans idea
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style.

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C-

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PHOTOGRAPHS BY GETTY IMAGES (CELEBRITIES)

SOUND

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POPULARMECHANICS.COM / OCTOBER 2013

I L L U S T R AT I O N B Y S I N E L A B

Auto

        
     


     

INTEL

41




O C TO B E R
DOWN THE ROAD

Chevrolet
Corvette Stingray

AUTO TECH

A Vending
Machine for Cars
THE FUTURE OF PARKING IS
AUTOMATED.
BY BRETT BERK

When you pull into one of the 12


brightly lit underground entry-andexit rooms in the 697-car parking
garage just beginning construction beneath Brooklyns forthcoming Willoughby Square, you
will not be greeted by a valet harboring Mario Andretti fantasies.

WorldMags.net

Acura MDX

Chevrolet Cruze
Diesel
Nissan Versa
Note
Fiat 500L

42

WorldMags.net

OCTOBER 2013 / POPULARMECHANICS.COM

vation and construction. In a city


like New York, where space means
serious money, the ability to
AUTOMOTION ESTIMATES
park 700 cars in an area ordinarTHAT ITS FUTURE
AUTOMATED GARAGE IN
ily occupied by 350 is a boon for
BROOKLYN WILL RESULT
developers.
IN BIG SAVINGS.
The benefits of automated
garages are not reserved just for
big cities, either. Robotic lots are
also starting to find support on
suburban planning boards, where
theyre seen as a means of fostering Main Street retail density and
combating the draining sprawl of
big-box stores.
Projected number of cars
In addition to space and
in and out each year
materials savings, there are
other advantages to automated
garages. Removing the driving
from parking yields environmental
benets through the elimination
of engine idling and emissions.
Automated garages also eliminate
Miles of driving
the need for ventilation systems,
eliminated annually
a fact thats particularly salient
in the Brooklyn project. In a regular garage, with cars driving
underground, you have to create
O
O
huge systems of mechanical ventilation to suck up the pollution
and blow it somewhere else.
C
Milstein says. The somewhere
else in this case would have been
a park with kids in it.
By eliminating the possibilMetric tons of CO2
ity of human error from the sysemissions saved annually
tem, theres also a reduction in
collateral damage. The garage
industry averages about one
insurable incident for every hundred cars. Yet in parking more
than 300,000 cars since 2007,
AutoMotion maintains that its had
zero claims. Milstein adds that
every car in his underground lots
remained undamaged in the highwater inundation of Hurricane
Gallons of fuel saved
Sandy, though after the citys
annually
power failure, the vehicles were
immobilized below street level.
Notwithstanding concerns
about your car getting stuck
underground, the automated garage is likely to become more common for
its sheer sensibleness and eco-friendliness. As for those drivers who might
worry about nding themselves being shuled about in the mechanical
belly of a robot garage, Milstein insists that AutoMotions record is unimpeachable. No one has gotten swallowed yet, he says.
A GREENER GARAGE

250,000

250000

152

17,000

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I L L U S T R AT I O N S B Y K R I S T I E B A I L E Y

And you wont have to navigate


a labyrinthian maze of concrete.
Instead, youll confront nothing
but a bumper-level sh-eye mirror
and a large at-screen TV.
Connected to a quartet of
laser guidance sensors, the monitor will help you position your
vehicle on a pallet in the floor
with tire-width ruts: MOVE TO THE
LEFT, INCH FORWARD. (The mirror provides a visual assist.) After you
set the parking brake and turn o
and exit the vehicle, the screen
will then walk you through a
series of safety questions to
ensure that youve closed your
doors, removed your valuables,
and verified the departure of all
occupants (motion detectors
conrm this last bit). As you exit
the room to collect your retrieval
receipt, a metal gate will roll down
behind you, and your vehicle
will, without a solitary human
interaction, vanish into subterranean mystery.
Conventional parking garages
are inefficient. They require
ramps, driving lanes, room for
doors to open and close, and significant chunks of concrete and
metal between each level. AutoMotion Parking Systems, a builder
of automated garages and the
company behind the Brooklyn
project, will do away with all of
this, replacing those bulky and
disorienting double helices with
a half-dozen 200-foot-long bays,
each lined on both sides with carsize cubbies stacked three to ve
high. Via five automated hoists,
vehicles will be whisked on metal
pallets from the entry rooms to
their temporary homes and back
again. Its like a vending machine
for cars, Ari Milstein, executive
director of AutoMotion, says.
Upon completion in 2016, this
vehicular Funyuns dispenser will
be the biggest automated garage
in the country. And by condensing
the space required for parking
cars by half, the Willoughby
garage will yield major savings in
the materials and costs of exca-

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TEST DRIVES

PHOTOGRAPH BY BREN T HUMPHRE YS

PRICE: $51,995
AVA I L A B L E : N O W
M P G ( C I T Y / H W Y ) : 1 7/ 2 9

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray


Rolling through the streets of Detroit, the new Corvette
Stingray gets the kind of attention usually reserved for
minor celebrities. At every red light pedestrians squeeze
o smartphone photographs, while drivers in neighboring
cars unleash a urry of questions. But nobody asks what
kind of car were driving. Its clear that, despite entirely
new bodywork, it is unmistakably a Corvette.
And yet the differences inside and out between the
2014 model and the old sixth-generation car are so stark
that its hard to believe both versions rolled o the same
assembly line only months apart.
As impressive as the Corvette looks, the way it uses
technology to improve performance is downright stunning.
Consider the electronic limited-slip dierential that comes
as part of the $2800 Z51 handling package. By constantly
varying the amount of lockup every fraction of a second,
the e-di gives the Stingray the quick reexes of an open
dierential with the surefootedness of a limited-slip rear.
Driving the road-course track at GMs Proving Grounds in

Milford, Mich., we found the new


Corvette handles as if a hundred
pounds had been removed from
the front end; in reality, the car
is about 100 pounds heavier. Old
Corvettes gave the driver the feeling that a leery slide or spin could
come at any moment as the car
approached its limits. The Stingray, by contrast, is more responsive at low speeds and more
predictable on the edge.
Under the hood, the venerable
6.2-liter pushrod V-8 now has
455 hp (or 460 hp with an optional
exhaust) and adds direct injection, variable valve timing, and
cylinder deactivation as fuelsaving technologies. And in what
Chevrolet claims is an industry
rst, the new Stingray monitors
the temperature of the tires and
adjusts the stability and traction
control systems to take advantage of warm rubbers extra
grip. The new Corvette boasts
performance figures that are
unheard of for cars that cost
less than $60,000: 0 to 60 mph
in 3.9 seconds, the quarter-mile
in 12.2 seconds at 117 mph, 1.08
gs of lateral grip, and 70-to0-mph braking in 146 feet. It
also over-delivers for the price
range in its high-quality interior.
Soft-touch trim surrounds the
cabin, the seats are now sturdy
and supportive, and the digital
instrument cluster is as crisp as
an Apple Retina display. Oh, and
did we mention you can hit 30
mpg in real-world highway driving? The shortcomings of the old
car have all been xed. Whereas
the old Corvette oset its limitations with performance and an
attractive price, the new Stingray
requires no such compensations.
If theres anything missing in this
car, its the feeling of compromise.
MICHAEL AUSTIN

AUTO INTEL

Engine
Knock

A metallic or pinging noise that occurs when the airfuel mixture


in a gasoline engine self-ignites before the spark plugs re. Especially prone to happen in high-compression engines when using
low-octane gas. Occurs less frequently in direct-injection engines,
where the fuel spray helps cool the airfuel mixture.

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Independent studies showed that the Sleep Number
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and wake feeling more rested and rejuvenated. Its the
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WHEELHOUSEWorldMags.net
46
OCTOBER 2013 / POPULARMECHANICS.COM

AUTO ODDS &


ENDS

2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel

25 K

23 K

21 K
PER
HOUSEHOLD

MILES DRIVEN PER YEAR

2004

Whats dierent: At a glance, its hard to


tell the new diesel Cruze from a gas-burning
Cruze, but a tiny 2.0 TD badge on the
trunklid gives away the 151-hp, 264 lb-ft
compression-ignition engine under the hood.
Whats nice: Chevy engineers used extra
sound insulation from the Buick Verano to
make this the quietest Cruze in the lineup.
Whats excellent: The torque, of course. And
lots of it. All around, the Cruze rides like a
more expensive car, and compared with other
m
Cruzes, it is$2390 more than an equivalent
C
gas model. But the diesel pays back with
g
eight more highway mpg than the Cruze Eco.
e
Whats convenient: Diesel exhaust uid llW
u
ups,
oil changes, and tire rotations are free
for
fo the rst two years or 24,000 miles. With
o without incentives, though, the Cruze is
or
good
g
enough to convert buyers to the diesel
side.
s
M.A.

19 K

PER
LICENSED
DRIVER

13
3K

11
1K

9K

PER
REGISTERED
VEHICLE
PER
PERSON

85

95
90

P R I C E : $ 2 5 , 6 9 5 AVA I L A B L E : N O W
M P G ( C I T Y / H W Y ) : 2 7/ 4 6

7K

05
00

5K

2014 Nissan Versa Note

10

YEAR

2004: THE YEAR


DRIVING PEAKED?

Yet another study


points to the declining
driving habits of the
American public. This
one, from Michael Sivak
at the University of
Michigan, found that
driving in four key
categories peaked way
back in 2004 and has
been falling since.

TEST DRIVES

Percentage drop-o in
registered convertibles
since 2006. Suspected
reasons: recession,
dwindling consumer
options, more cars with
large panoramic
roofs, and an increase
in eagle attacks.

A note on the Note: The second generation of Nissans Versa hatchback is now
dierentiated by its surname. In this iteration, fuel eiciency takes top priority,
with new aerodynamic styling giving the
Note a gutsier guise than its predecessor. In addition, the optional CVT ($1250)
comes with active shutters in the grille.
Under the Notes hood, a more eicient
109-hp 1.6-litershared with the Versa
sedanreplaces the old 122-hp 1.8-liter.
The Note is also about 300 pounds
lighter than the old hatchback, which
further aids mpg and softens the blow of
that lost horsepower. But whats most
impressive about the Note is how well
the whole package comes together. This
hatchba rises above econobox status
hatchback
goo steering and quick throttle
with good
respons and despite the modest power,
response,
doesn feel slow. Our biggest qualm is
it doesnt
with the CVT, which dampens the expew
rience with
inconsistent responses to
the gas pedal. Still, if youre looking for
t new Versa Note is that and a
a deal, the
ext
little extra.
J A M E S TAT E
P R I C E : $ 1 4 , 7 8 0 AVA I L A B L E : N O W
MPG (CITY/HWY): 2731/3640

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PM FLEET
TEST DRIVES

CARS WE LIVE WITH

INTRODUCTIONS

2014 Acura MDX




 
 










. B E N S T E WA R T

2 0 1 3 H Y U N DA I
ELANTRA GT

THE LOWDOWN

With a six-speed

manual transmission
and plenty of space
inside the ve-door
hatchback cabin, the
Elantra GT reminds us
that fun-to-drive, fuel
eiciency, and
versatility can all be
found in one car at an
aordable price.
SPECS

       
  
 
  
      
    
     

BASE PRICE/AS TESTED


$19,170/$22,015
POWERTRAIN 1.8-liter
I-4, 148 hp, 131 lb-ft;
six-speed manual
transmission; FWD
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
(CITY/HW Y) 26/37
2013 RAM 1500
S LT C R E W C A B

2014 Fiat 500L


What is that? Its Fiats all-new Urban Utility
Vehiclea ve-door hatchback to compete
with the Mini Countryman.
The good points? The cabins panorama
of glass makes it airy and provides great
rearview sightlines. This is also the rst Fiat

to get Chryslers Uconnect


infotainment system.
How does it drive? The turbocharged I-4 makes the L
quite a bit peppier than the
Countryman, but anemic electric
steering and a lackluster interior
make it feel cheaper. Which it
isby $3000.
Who wins? The Mini by an
English bulldogs nose. But if your
wallets hurting, youll still be
happy with the 500L. J .T.
                
  
       

WorldMags.net

Sporting a host of
engineering upgrades
(including an air spring
suspension) and
fresh sheet metal, the
new-and-improved
Ram will live in Detroit,
where we plan to give
it plenty of work.
SPECS

BASE PRICE/AS TESTED


$35,175/$44,125
POWERTRAIN
5.7-liter V-8, 395 hp,
407 lb-ft; eight-speed
automatic transmission;
RWD
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
(CITY/HW Y) 15/22

P H O T O G R A P H S B Y S A R A H S H AT Z ( E L A N T R A ) , A A R O N W O J A C K ( R A M )

THE LOWDOWN

WorldMags.net

GET UP TO

By mail with the purchase of


4 Falken Tires September 1st
to October 31st, 2013.

100

*On 4 QUALIFYING FALKEN TIRES.


WILDPEAK H/T ($100 Rebate)
AZENIS FK453 ($80 Rebate)
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For additional information, please visit the following link:

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50

WorldMags.net

OCTOBER 2013 / POPULARMECHANICS.COM

PHOTOGRAPHS BY PE T ER BA K ER

popmech tested

2014
CHEVROLET
SILVERADO
1500

2013 NISSAN
TITAN PRO-4X

2013 TOYOTA
TUNDRA SR5

2013 RAM 1500


SLT

2013 FORD
F-150 XLT

2014 GMC
SIERRA 1500

Half-Ton Trucks
BRAND-NEW PICKUPS FROM
CHEVROLET, GMC, AND
RAM FACE OFF AGAINST
FORD, NISSAN, AND TOYOTA.
BY MIKE AUSTIN

ickups just refuse to fade away. While electric


vehicles and fuel-eicient compacts get plenty
of attention in the news, half-ton trucks quietly
remain the biggest sales category in the U.S.
automotive market. The popularity of trucks is bolstered
by the fact that horsepower, hauling capacity, and creature comforts increase year after year. Modern half-tons
not only do things that used to take a heavy-duty pickup,

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Save money

& do it yourself.
ROLLBACK

1627

Die
sel

each,

Was 17.27

ROLLBACK

22

47
each, Was 24.97

Valvoline
Synthetic Motor Oil
r RUT

Valvoline High Mi

rRUT

1194

leage Motor Oil

Bosch
Distance Plus
Oil Filter

1597
each

Valvoline
Conventional Motor Oil
r RUT

1297

each

Rotella
Triple Protection
HD Motor Oil
r RUT

starting at

594

327

Fram
Tough Guard
Oil Filter

Purolator
Classic
Oil Filter

7 92
15-Quart Oil Drain Pan
r $MPTFEUPQEFTJHO
r &BTZUSBOTQPS UIBOEMF
r )PMETVQUP
2 oil changes

es
itiv
d
d
A

422
our
il to sk.
o
d
e
e
r us er D
you re Cent
g
n
i
a
Br to C
Au

Oil-Dri
Premium
Absorbent
r MC

nts
era
g
i
r
Ref

897
Lucas Oil
Deep Clean Fuel
System Cleaner
r )FMQTEFFQDMFBO
entire fuel system
r 6TFFWFS Z 
miles
r GMP[

997
Speed
Steed 134a
Refrigerant
r P[

494
Gumout
2X Regane
Fuel System
Cleaner
r GMP[

2597
EZ Chill
R-134a
Refrigerant
Plus Oil
r P[

297
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Concentrated
Fuel Injector
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r 4BGFGPSBMM
gasoline engines
r GMP[

ROLLBACK

3594

each, Was 39.94

A/C Pro Refrigerant


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protect AC system
r *ODMVEFTSFVTFBCMF
extra-long
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Oil & battery recycling not available in all stores.


Visit Walmart.comSM to find your nearest Walmart Auto Care Center.

WALMARTS ADVERTISED MERCHANDISE POLICY We intend to have every advertised item in stock. However, we may not offer some items in all locations, and quantity or availability may vary due to
unexpected demand or other circumstances beyond our control. Prices offered on Walmart.comSM may vary from prices offered in our stores. If an advertised item is out of stock at your Walmart store,
upon your request, we will issue you a Rain Check so that you can purchase the item at the advertised price when it becomes available. In addition, we may offer to sell you a similar item at the advertised
price or a comparable price reduction. One-Time Offer items, Bonus items, items identified as being available in limited quantities, and items that are not carried at your Walmart do not qualify for
Rain Checks or offers of substitute items. ONE-TIME OFFER items are items that we carry at a special price for a limited time only. BONUS items are items that include a bonus amount of the same item
or an additional bonus item at no extra cost. ROLLBACK means that the advertised price is even lower than the previously offered Every Day Low Price. In all cases, we reserve the right to limit quantities
to normal retail purchases or one per customer or household, and to exclude dealers. Our advertising circular may vary by geographic region, and any particular regional circular will apply only to stores
in that region. Offers and limitations void where prohibited by law. We apologize for, but will not be bound by, any errors in our advertisements. This advertised
merchandise policy does not apply to
SM
our Prescription Program. Prices and/or items available only in the USA (may vary in Alaska, Hawaii, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico, or online at Walmart.com ). For the store location nearest you, please
call 1-800-881-9180 or check online at Walmart.comSM. The spark design , Walmart, and Save money. Live better. are marks and/or registered marks of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. 2013 Wal-Mart Stores,
Inc., Bentonville, AR. Printed in the USA. Event Dates: Monday, August 26 Sunday, September 29.

WorldMags.net

52

WorldMags.net

OCTOBER 2013 / POPULARMECHANICS.COM

like towing more than 10,000 pounds, but they


do so while giving back better fuel economy
than ever before.
Since we last reviewed the category four
years ago (January 2009), half of the truck
models have been redesigned. The newest are
the GM twins from Chevrolet and GMC, nearly
identical except for the front-end styling. Close
behind is the Ram 1500, which launched last
year. Joining the Silverado, Sierra, and Ram
are the Ford F-150, Nissan Titan, and Toyota
Tundra. The Ford was the freshest truck in
our previous test and took home top honors.
Nissan rst oered the Titan back in 2004 and
has made few changes since; a new model is
expected by 2015. Toyota, meanwhile, barely
missed getting the new Tundra into our test
well be driving the 2014 model shortly after
press time. The 2013 Tundra we tested traces
its roots back to 2007.
This time around we teamed up with
PickupTrucks.com, the truck-obsessed arm
of online shopping portal Cars.com, to help
manage the massive task of testing all six
half-tons currently on the market. From our
base of operations in Ann Arbor, Mich., we
spent four days and hundreds of miles driving
both unladen and hauling trailers loaded with
8500 pounds of lead and steel. We recorded
straight-line performance, peeked into every
nook and cranny of the interiors, and even
drove each truck through an autocross course.
The results of the companion piece on the
PickupTrucks website include test data too
expansive to list here, so our star ratings are
based on the subjective portion of the test.
In order to get similar equipment levels
and mechanical trim, our test required a fourdoor crew-cab body style with four-wheel drive
and a maximum price of $45,000. Five of the
trucks came stued with V-8s under the hood.
The outlier was the Ford F-150, equipped with
a twin-turbo V-6 packing enough power and
torque to make us forget about the missing
two cylinders. In a similar bucking of conventional truck wisdom, the Ram sits on an optional adjustable air suspension at all four corners
instead of the traditional front-coil, rear-leafspring setup found on the rest of the eld.
Looking at the group from oldest to youngest, its clear that trucks are getting faster,
more comfortable, and more efficient, but,
interestingly, not lighter (at least not yet).
And while these trucks might be cushy on the
inside, they can still get the job done. Read on
to see which one handled the workload best.

2014 CHEVROLET
S I LV E R A D O
1500 Z71 LT Crew Cab

2013 FORD F-150


XLT SuperCrew

Base price/as tested:


$40,525/$44,715

Base price/as tested:


$39,325/$44,7805

Powertrain: 5.3-liter
V-8, 355 hp, 383 lb-ft;
six-speed auto

Powertrain: twin-turbo
3.5-liter V-6, 365 hp,
420 lb-ft; six-speed auto

L x W x H: 230.0 x
80.0 x 74.0 inches

L x W x H: 231.9 x 79.2
x 76.7 inches

Wheelbase: 143.5
inches

Wheelbase: 144.5
inches

Curb weight: 5480


pounds

Curb weight: 5820


pounds

Max. payload (as


tested): 1720 pounds

Max. payload (as


tested): 1830 pounds

Max. towing (as


tested): 9320 pounds

Max. towing (as


tested): 11,080 pounds

Likes: The dashboard


layout, with easy-toreach buttons for all the
major controls and
plenty of storage. The
Chevy and the GMC set
the standard for a quiet
interior, especially on the
highway, where wind
noise is greatly reduced.
It rides nice too.

Likes: The turbo V-6


impressed us with its
power and achieved
the second-best fuel
economy without a
trailer. As equipped, the
Ford oers the most
towing and payload.
We also liked the big
towing mirrors.

Dislikes: The seats lack


lateral support. Also, the
steering wheel is
slightly o-center to the
drivers torso, a weird
ergonomic aw. Fuel
economy without a
trailer was worse than
the Sierras.

Dislikes: Fuel economy


in the F-150 suered
when the trailer was
attached. And we
derived little pleasure
from the cheap plastics
in the interior compared
with the more luxe Ram
and GM trucks. A high
dashboard gives the
driver a tanklike driving
sensation.

BRAKING 600
MPH

FEET

0 6 0 M P H A C C E L E R AT I O N

SECONDS

NO TRAILER

TRAILER (8500 POUNDS)

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2014 GMC SIERRA
1500 SLE Z71
Crew Cab

2013 NISSAN
T I TA N
Pro-4X Crew Cab

2013 RAM 1500


S LT
Big Horn Crew Cab

2 0 1 3 T OYO TA
TUNDRA
SR5 CrewMax

Base price/as tested:


$40,650/$43,720

Base price/as tested:


$40,235/$44,515

Base price/as tested:


$38,295/$44,730

Base price/as tested:


$35,825/$41,199

Powertrain: 5.3-liter
V-8, 355 hp, 383 lb-ft;
six-speed auto

Powertrain: 5.6-liter
V-8, 317 hp, 385 lb-ft;
ve-speed auto

Powertrain: 5.7-liter V-8,


395 hp, 407 lb-ft;
eight-speed auto

Powertrain: 5.7-liter V-8,


381 hp, 401 lb-ft;
six-speed auto

L x W x H: 230.0 x
80.0 x 74.0 inches

L x W x H: 224.6 x 79.5
x 76.9 inches

L x W x H: 229.0 x 79.4
x 77.9 inches

L x W x H: 228.7 x 79.9
x 76.0 inches

Wheelbase: 143.5
inches

Wheelbase: 139.8
inches

Wheelbase: 140.5
inches

Wheelbase: 145.7
inches

Curb weight: 5420


pounds

Curb weight: 5520


pounds

Curb weight: 5600


pounds

Curb weight: 5800


pounds

Max. payload (as


tested): 1780 pounds

Max. payload (as


tested): 1680 pounds

Max. payload (as


tested): 1200 pounds

Max. payload (as


tested): 1400 pounds

Max. towing (as


tested): 9380 pounds

Max. towing (as


tested): 9379 pounds

Max. towing (as


tested): 8350 pounds

Max. towing (as


tested): 10,000 pounds

Likes: Our favorite


exterior styling and
nicer interior plastics
elevated our opinion of
the cabin above the
Chevys. Drives with the
same quiet, solid feel
as its twin. A cutout in
the back bumper helps
for stepping up into
the cargo bed.

Likes: Despite its aged


design the Titan is still
sporty, with good
brakes and a natural
feel to the steering.
Like the F-150, the Titan
has big mirrors that
include a convex view.
A 400-watt AC power
port in the cabin is
a nice touch.

Likes: Second place in


towing capacity, due in
part to an optional max
4.30:1 axle ratio for
zippy acceleration and
passing maneuvers.
Low price in anticipation
of the model redesign.

Dislikes: Small side


mirrors make it hard to
see the trailer and
surrounding traic
at the same time.
One dierence from
the Silverado was
the Sierras uncomfortably hard headrests.
Second-slowest 060
mph without a trailer.

Dislikes: When towing a


trailer, the back end
sags and the ride gets
choppy under the heavy
load. The interior looks
dated, with too much
hard plastic trim.
Lowest horsepower
in the test, and the
worst fuel economy
without a trailer.

Likes: Boasts the best


060 time without a
trailer. The way the
engine and transmission
combination work in
perfect coordination. It
narrowly beats the GM
trucks in ride comfort.
This was our favorite
interior in the test
group, especially the
customizable digital
instrument cluster.
Dislikes: With a loaded
trailer the Ram returned
the worst fuel
economy. That cushy
air-suspension ride
comes at the cost of
the lowest cargo and
towing capacities by a
considerable margin.

FUEL
ECONOMY
UNLADEN
23

22

21

20

19

18

17

16

Dislikes: Theres
nothing in the way of
thoughtful convenience
like the GMs bed step.
And the interior doesnt
work very well: Manning
the radio and HVAC
requires you to stretch
across the dashboard,
and most of the
storage bins in the
center console are too
small or odd-shaped
to be useful.

15

14

13

12

11

10
MPG
WITH TRAILER

130

7.0

135

140

8.0

145

17.0

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150

18.0

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J AY L E N O S G A R A G E

B Y J AY L E N O

As I got a little older, I saw


how my dad would mess with
the salesmen in the dealership.
I remember in 1964 we went to
buy a four-door Ford Galaxie
500XL from Shawsheen Motors
in Andover, Mass. I still remember the salesman. His name was
Tom Lawrence. We went into the
showroom, and, unfortunately
for my dad but fortunately for
me, a budding car enthusiast,
this model had bucket seats,
a 390 V-8, and the three-speed
C6 Cruise-O-Matic transmission with the shifter on
the console.
My dad started right in: Bucket seats! What the hell
do we need bucket seats for? He was trying to negotiate to get the bucket seats out of the car. Of course, you
couldnt just take the bucket seats out of the car, but
my dad didnt want to order a new car. So he tried to
get a better deal by insisting he didnt want the seats.
Although I dont remember the nal details, whatever he
said must have worked, because we drove o in that car.
By 1966 my dad was making good money as an
insurance salesman for Prudential and felt he needed
a Cadillac. So we went down to Wentworth Motors
in Andover, where the price of the Caddy was $4850.
Of course, my dad started arguing with the salesman.
My dad said, Ill give you $4700. When the salesman
wouldnt budge, my dad oered $4800. But the guy
wouldnt come down that $50! So Dad stormed out of
the showroom and we didnt
get the Cadillac.
Back in those days, salesmen
used all sorts of old-school techniques. One was the good guy/
bad guy routine, like I wanna
give you a good deal, Mr. Leno,
but my managers a tough guy.
Another was the hidden
microphone. The scenario would
usually start with a salesman
inviting us into an oce and
then leaving so that we were
alone for a few minutes. Hed be
in another room, listening to us
talking, trying to gure out what
we thought about the car.
I remember one time when
the two of us were in a dealership oce, my dad put his nger
to his lips and whispered, Shhh.
Theyre listening in the other
room. Tell me you hate the car.
So I said loudly, I dont like
the car, Pop.

Driving a
Hard Bargain

JAYS FATHER WAS A


CAR SALESMANS
WORST NIGHTMARE.

Some of my fondest memories are of buying


cars with my father. My dad was the kind of
guy who would buy whatever was on
the showroom oor, and he didnt care
about options. He did no research of any
kind, and once hed decided he wanted a
new car, he didnt like to wait. My dad was
not a great one for endless haggling, though
he always started out by acting like it was
his favorite pastime.
How much is the car? hed ask, getting
right to the point. When he heard the price,
hed counter, Okay, Ill give you this. Then,
when the salesman replied with his number,
Dad would say, All right, Ill give you this.
He always had to have the best possible
deal. Eventually he and the salesman would
get to a number they both could live with.

I L L U S T R AT I O N S B Y V I C K U L I H I N

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POPULARMECHANICS.COM / OCTOBER 2013

55

You dont? Well, were not


lac with the regular interior, but
buyin it if you dont like it.
this car comes with the interior
The salesman hurried back
delegaaaance. So, of course,
to the oce and started hagbeing Italian, my dad had to
gling with my dad. He said,
have the extravagant interior
Look, Mr. Leno, I know your
delegaaaance. My dad was a selfboy doesnt like this car, but its
made man. He used to call the
a terric automobile . . .
Cadillac the Rolls-Royce of autoMy dad cut him o. How do
mobiles. He didnt quite get the
you know my boy doesnt like
irony of that statement.
this car?
I dont like to bargain. So I
And you could just see the
said to my father, Youre not payguy start to choke because my
ing for this. Im paying for this. I
1966 Cadillac Calais four-door sedan
dad knew hed been listening
told the salesman I wanted every
in on us.
option. Of course, my dad was
Then Dad said, Im gonna go
thrilled. But my mother could not
nd a car my son likes, cause if
have been more embarrassed.
he doesnt like it, Im not gonna
She was from Scotland, and she
pay all this. The guy, seeing a
believed anything that smacked
sale slip away, eventually lowof showing o or wealth or sucered his price. My dad always
cess was terrible. So she was
thought that was hilarious. He
always mortied to drive around
was sure the hidden microin this Cadillac. When my par1986 Cadillac Fleetwood
phone was a trick that all the
ents would pull up to a light, if
Jays father refused to buy a 1966
salesmen used.
people alongside looked over at
Cadillac after a $50 disagreement with
One time, when I was a kid
the car, my mother would motion
the salesman. Twenty years later Jay
and worked at a Ford dealerto them to put their window
bought his father the bottom Caddy.
ship, a guy drove in with a
down and say: Were not really
Chevy Impala that had 98,000
Cadillac people. My son got us
miles on it. He was buying a
this car.
new Ford. They took his Impala
And then my father would
out back to the service department. During the negoshout: What the hell dya mean, were not
tiations, something happened, and the guy demanded
Cadillac people? Were drivin a damn Cadilhis car back. He got into his Impala and drove away.
lac. Of course were Cadillac people. The
But the used-car department thought the Impala was
people in the car next to us would get so
theirs, and theyd already turned the odometer back to
frightened, theyd take o. Then my mother
15,500 miles for better resale value. Then the guy came
and father would start arguing.
back and said, Im ready to make that deal now. Look
My mother was so embarrassed to ride
at the odometer. Of course, now they had to make him
around in a luxury automobile, shed sit low
a better deal because theyd been caught. We used to
in the seat, below the dashboard, so nobody
call that trick odometer recalibration.
would see her. Occasionally I would hear
I always promised my dad that when I made it big,
from peopleremember, this is before cellId buy him a Cadillac. Hed say, Yeah, yeah. He never
phones in carsand theyd say, I saw your
believed me. So when I started to make some money, I
dad driving down the street, and it looked
took my dad back down to Wentworth Motors to buy a
like he was waving and yelling at nobody.
brand-new 1986 Cadillac. And would you believe, the
And Id have to say, No, no, my mom was
same salesman was there.
in the car.
Oh, he says, Mr. $50 is back. My dad starts lookWhen it was time to trade in the Cadillac,
ing at the car, and the salesman takes out an aerosol
I bought my dad an 88 Lincoln. By that time
can labeled bulls**t spray and starts spraying it over
he was starting to slip a little bit. Hed insist
my fathers headreal old-time salesman stu. Then he
that they moved the damn post at the supersays, Yknow what Ive got here? Its b.s. spray. I have
market because hed always dent the car
to spray it every time someone like you comes in.
when he backed up. Id say, Pop, they didnt
My dad didnt have a very good poker face. You
move the post. But hed swear that they
could tell when he wanted a car. This Cadillac was
didthe usual old-guy stu.
white with a garish red tufted interior. The salesman
Thats when I knew it was time for him
said to my father, Well, Mr. Leno, you can get a Cadilto hang up the car keys. PopMech

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Milwaukee Makerspace
Morgifying Marble
Manipulator (aka: M6)
Milwaukee Makerspace | Milwaukee, Wisconsin
These brainiacs from Brew Town made a simple marble roller
coaster into something more by incorporating RadioShacks
classic Armatron toy from the 80s. The joystick-controlled
robotic arm helps move a ball along a contraption full of
twists and turns. The structure was built using everything
IURPVFUDSPHWDOWRPDJQHWVWRDSDSHUFXS6SHFLF
materials were fabricated with a laser cutter and 3D printer.
Controlling everything is a programmable Arduino board,
which monitors the balls position with sensors and switches
built into the track.

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They could win $1000.


And so could you.
Its time to revealand vote onthe projects in this years challenge.
The theme: From something old, make something new.
Two teams are vying for bragging rights and $1000 in prize money.
And it all comes down to this: their ideas, and your appreciation for them.

Lets Play

Vote at popmechnow.com/radioshack
and you could win a $1000 RadioShack gift card.*

Police Call Box Lander


(A Biofeedback-Controlled Game)
Inspiration Labs | Tampa, Florida
The Tampa teams project puts a fun spin on a classic arcade
game that allows a gamer to control a small spacecraft and
DWWHPSWDOXQDUODQGLQJ,QVSLUHGE\DVSRSXODU%ULWLVKVFL
show, the team built a life-sized replica of a police call box and
installed an open-source clone of the game and all its controls
inside. Whats unique is that they also used EEG sensors (think
biofeedback machine), so the game essentially monitors your
meditative state, which controls the spacecrafts thrust. The
challenge is trying to keep your cool as the noise, music and
UXPEOLQJRRUEXLOGXSWRDIHYHUSLWFK

*No purchase necessary to enter or win. RadioShack Hackerspace Challenge Sweepstakes. Sponsored by Hearst Communications, Inc. Beginning
September 1, 2013 at 12:01 AM (ET) through September 30, 2013 at 11:59 PM (ET). Open to residents of the U.S. and Canada who have reached the age
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of majority. Void in Puerto Rico, Province of Quebec and where
prohibited by law. See complete rules at www.popmechnow.com/radioshack.

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WANTS
YOU!
Give Us a Piece of Your Mind and Enter to

WIN $5000
The editors of Popular Mechanics would love to hear your
opinion of the issue youre reading right now. Your responses
positive, negative, lukewarmwill help us shape future issues
of the magazine. Take a quick survey and youll be eligible
to win $5000.

Visit octsurvey.popularmechanics.com
to get started.

No purchase necessary to enter or win. Reader Feedback Sweepstakes. Sponsored by Hearst Communications, Inc. Beginning January 1, 2013 at 12:01 AM (ET) through December
31, 2013 at 11:59 PM (ET) go to octsurvey.popularmechanics.com and complete and submit the entry form pursuant to the on-screen instructions. One (1) Grand Prize winner will
receive $5,000, one (1) Second Place winner will receive a $500 American Express gift card, and ten (10) runner-up winners will receive a $100 American Express gift card. Odds of
winning depend on the total number of eligible entries received. Must be a legal resident of the 50 United States and D.C., Puerto Rico, or Canada who has reached the age of majority in his or her state, territory, or province of residence at time of entry. Void in the Province of Quebec and where prohibited by law. Sweepstakes subject to complete oicial rules
available at octsurvey.popularmechanics.com.

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POPULARMECHANICS.COM / OCTOBER 2013

I L L U S T R AT I O N S B Y K E L L I A N D E R S O N

N AT I O N A L S E C U R I T Y

59

BY J O E PA P PA L A R D O

NSA Data
Mining:
How It Works

Most people were introduced to the arcane world of data mining


when National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden
allegedly leaked classied documents that detail how the U.S.
government uses the technique to track terrorists. The security
breach revealed that the government gathers billions of pieces of
dataphone calls, emails, photos, and videosfrom Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and other communications giants, then combs
through the information for leads on national security threats. The
disclosure caused a global uproar over the sanctity of privacy, the
need for security, and the perils of government secrecy. People rightfully have been concerned about where the government gets the
datafrom all of usbut equal attention has not been paid to what it
actually does with it. Heres a guide to big-data mining, NSA-style.

The Information Landscape


Just how much data do we produce? A recent study by IBM estimates
that humanity creates 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. (If
these data bytes were pennies laid out at, they would blanket the
earth ve times.) That total includes stored informationphotos,
videos, social-media posts, word-processing les, phone-call records,
nancial records, and results from science experimentsand data

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N AT I O N A L S E C U R I T Y

that normally exists for mere


moments, such as phone-call
content and Skype chats.

Veins of Useful Information


The concept behind the NSAs
data-mining operation is
that this digital information
can be analyzed to establish
connections between people,
and these links can generate
investigative leads. But in order
to examine data, it has to be
collectedfrom everyone. As
the data-mining saying goes: To
nd a needle in a haystack, you
rst need to build a haystack.

CONNECTING THE DOTS:


PHONE-METADATA
TRACKING

The NSA collects metadata from phone


records, enabling it to identify terrorists
without examining the calls contents. Amid
millions of calls, patterns can emerge, as our
hypothetical scenario below demonstrates.

Call from
Terror
Supporter
Person of
Interest

Call to
Terror
Supporter

Data Has to Be Tagged


Before Its Bagged

California
Cluster

Data mining relies on metadata


tags that enable algorithms to
identify connections. Metadata
is data about datafor example,
the names and sizes of les on
your computer. In the digital
world, the label placed on data
is called a tag. Tagging data is a
necessary rst step to data mining because it enables analysts
(or the software they use) to
classify and organize the information so it can be searched and
processed. Tagging also enables
analysts to parse the information without examining the
contents. This is an important
legal point in NSA data mining
because the communications of
U.S. citizens and lawful permanent resident aliens cannot be
examined without a warrant.
Metadata on a tag has no such
protection, so analysts can use
it to identify suspicious behavior
without fear of breaking the law.

any system that makes links among dierent kinds of datasuch


as video, documents, and phone records. For example, data mining
could call attention to a suspect on a watch list who downloads terrorist propaganda, visits bomb-making websites, and buys a pressure cooker. (This pattern matches the behavior of the Tsarnaev
brothers, who are accused of planting bombs at the Boston Marathon.) This tactic assumes terrorists have well-dened data prolessomething many security experts doubt.

Finding Patterns in the Noise

Open Source and Top Secret

The data-analysis rm IDC


estimates that only 3 percent
of the information in the digital
universe is tagged when its
created, so the NSA has a
sophisticated software program
that puts billions of metadata
markers on the info it collects.
These tags are the backbone of

The NSA has been a big promoter of software that can manage vast
databases. One of these programs is called Accumulo, and while
there is no direct evidence that it is being used in the eort to
monitor global communications, it was designed precisely for tagging billions of pieces of unorganized, disparate data. The secretive
agencys custom tool, which is based on Google programming, is
actually open-source. This year a company called Sqrrl commercialized it and hopes the healthcare and nance industries will use it
to manage their own big-data sets.

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Saudi
Arabia
Cluster

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POPULARMECHANICS.COM / OCTOBER 2013

1
The phone records of
a known terrorist supporter in Saudi Arabia
form a cluster of possible accomplices.
2
A call from the known
terrorist supporter is
made to a person of
interest in the United
States, a U.S. citizen.

61

from a government agency to authorize a search of data collected


by the NSA. Once authorizedand most applications aredatamining requests rst go to the FBIs Electronic Communications
Surveillance Unit (ECSU), according to PowerPoint slides taken by
Snowden. This is a legal safeguardFBI agents review the request
to ensure no U.S. citizens are targets. The ECSU passes appropriate
requests to the FBI Data Intercept Technology Unit, which obtains
the information from Internet company servers and then passes it
to the NSA to be examined with data-mining programs. (Many communications companies have denied they open their servers to the
NSA; federal ocials claim they cooperate. As of press time, its not
clear who is correct.) The NSA then passes relevant information to
the government agency that requested it.

3
The phone metadata
from the person of
interest in the United
States forms a cluster of associates in
California.
4
Phone records show
one of the associates
in the California cluster called someone in
the Saudi Arabia cluster. The NSA alerts the
FBI to the connection,
enabling the agency
to obtain a wiretap.

The Miners: Who Does What


The NSA, home to the federal
governments codemakers and
code-breakers, is authorized to
snoop on foreign communications. The agency also collects
a vast amount of datatrillions of pieces of communication generated by people across
the globe. The NSA does not
chase the crooks, terrorists,
and spies it identies; it sifts
information on behalf of other
government players such as the
Pentagon, CIA, and FBI. Here
are the basic steps: To start, one
of 11 judges on a secret Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance (FISA)
Court accepts an application

What the NSA Is Up To


Phone-Metadata Mining Dragged Into the Light
The NSA controversy began when Snowden revealed that the U.S.
government was collecting the phone-metadata records of every
Verizon customerincluding millions of Americans. At the request
of the FBI, FISA Court judge Roger Vinson issued an order
compelling the company to hand over its phone records. The content of the calls was not collected, but national security ocials
call it an early warning system for detecting terror plots (see
Connecting the Dots: Phone-Metadata Tracking).

PRISM Goes Public


On the heels of the metadata-mining leak, Snowden exposed
another NSA surveillance eort, called US-984XN. Every collection platform or source of raw intelligence is given a name, called
a Signals Intelligence Activity Designator (SIGAD), and a code
name. SIGAD US-984XN is better known by its code name: PRISM.
PRISM involves the collection of digital photos, stored data, le
transfers, emails, chats, videos, and video conferencing from
nine Internet companies. U.S. ocials say this tactic helped snare
Khalid Ouazzani, a naturalized U.S. citizen who the FBI claimed
was plotting to blow up the New York Stock Exchange. Ouazzani
was in contact with a known extremist in Yemen, which brought
him to the attention of the NSA. It identied Ouazzani as a possible
conspirator and gave the information to the FBI, which went up
on the electronic surveillance and identied his coconspirators,
according to congressional testimony by FBI deputy director Sean
Joyce. (Details of how the agency identied the others has not been
disclosed.) The NYSE plot zzled long before the FBI intervened,
but Ouazzani and two others pleaded guilty of laundering money to
support al-Qaida. They were never charged with anything related
to the bomb plot.

Mining Data as Its Created


The slides disclosed by Snowden indicate the NSA also operates
real-time surveillance tools. NSA analysts can receive real-time
notication of an email event such as a login or sent message and
real-time notication of a chat login, the slides say. Thats pretty
straightforward use, but whether real-time information can stop
unprecedented attacks is subject to debate. Alerting a credit-card
holder of sketchy purchases in real time is easy; building a reliable
model of an impending attack in real time is innitely harder.

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OCTOBER 2013 / POPULARMECHANICS.COM

N AT I O N A L S E C U R I T Y

What is XKeyscore?
In late July Snowden released a 32-page,
top-secret PowerPoint presentation that
describes software that can search hundreds of databases for leads. Snowden
claims this program enables low-level analysts to access communications without
oversight, circumventing the checks and
balances of the FISA court. The NSA and
White House vehemently deny this, and
the documents dont indicate any misuse.
The slides do describe a powerful tool that
NSA analysts can use to nd hidden links
inside troves of information. My target
speaks German but is in Pakistanhow can
I nd him? one slide reads. Another asks:
My target uses Google Maps to scope target locationscan I use this information to
determine his email address? This program enables analysts to submit one query
to search 700 servers around the world at
once, combing disparate sources to nd the
answers to these questions.

How Far Can the Data Stretch?


OopsFalse Positives
Bomb-sning dogs sometimes bark at
explosives that are not there. This kind of
mistake is called a false positive. In data
mining, the equivalent is a computer program sning around a data set and coming
up with the wrong conclusion. This is when

having a massive data set may be a liability. When a


program examines trillions of connections between
potential targets, even a very small false-positive rate
equals tens of thousands of dead-end leads that agents
must chase downnot to mention the unneeded incursions into innocent peoples lives.

Analytics to See the Future


Ever wonder where those Netix recommendations in
your email inbox or suggested reading lists on Amazon
come from? Your previous interests directed an algorithm to pitch those products to you. Big companies
believe more of this kind of targeted marketing will
boost sales and reduce costs. For example, this year
Walmart bought a predictive analytics startup called
Inkiru. The company makes software that crunches
data to help retailers develop marketing campaigns
that target shoppers when they are most likely to buy
certain products.

Pattern Recognition or Prophecy?


In 2011 British researchers created a game that simulated a van-bomb plot, and 60 percent of the terrorist players were spotted by a program called DScent,
based on their purchases and visits to the target
site. The ability of a computer to automatically match
security-camera footage with records of purchases may
seem like a dream to law-enforcement agents trying to
save lives, but its the kind of ubiquitous tracking that
alarms civil libertarians. Although neither the NSA nor
any other agency has been accused of misusing the data
it collects, the publics fear over its collection remains.
The question becomes, how much do you trust the
people sitting at the keyboards to use this information
responsibly? Your answer largely determines how you
feel about NSA data mining. PopMech
2020 The amount of data will be 50
times greater in 2020 than in 2010.

2019 Emerging markets


predicted to account for
62% of the worlds data.

2012 Emerging markets


(Brazil, China, India) produce 32% of global data.

2009 Global data output begins


to double every two years.

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Pepper spray designed to stop a charging bear can save you, but for
Petes sake, dont wait until the animal is inches from your hand.

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POPULARMECHANICS.COM / OCTOBER 2013

Accidents are the leading cause of death among U.S. men


18 to 50 years old, accounting for 37,000 of the roughly
148,000 annual fatalities. Some instances of unintentional
death, to use the official term, are unavoidablewrong
place, wrong timebut most arent. Staying alive requires
recognizing danger, feeling fear, and reacting. We interpret external cues through our subconscious fear centers
very quickly, says Harvard Universitys David Ropeik, author
of How Risky Is It, Really? Trouble is, even smart, sober,
experienced men can fail to register signals of an imminent
threat. Here we present 20 easy-to-miss risks, and how to
avoid or survive them.

AT T
S
E
L A N0T
AY
T0D

1.
OUTSMART WILDLIFE.
If you come face-to-face with a wild animal,
the natural response is to bolt, but that can
trigger the animals predatory instinct. On
July 6, 2011, Brian Matayoshi, 57, and his
wife, Marylyn, 58, were hiking in Yellowstone
National Park when they came upon a grizzly
bear and ed, screaming. Brian was bitten and
clawed to death; Marylyn, who had stopped
and crouched behind a tree, was approached
by the bear but left unharmed.

S TAT: Each year three to ve people are


killed in North America in wild animal attacks,
primarily by sharks and bears. D O : Avoid
shark-infested waters, unless you are Andy
Casagrande (page 80). As for bears, always
carry repellent pepper spray when hiking; it
can stop a charging bear from as much as 30
feet away. To reduce the risk of an attack,
give bears a chance to get out of your way.
Try to stay in the open, says Larry Aumiller,
manager of Alaskas McNeil River State Game

BY JEFF WISE
PHOTOGRAPHS BY BARTHOLOMEW COOKE

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65

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OCTOBER 2013 / POPULARMECHANICS.COM

Sanctuary. If you have to move through thick


brush, make noise by clapping and shouting.

2.
DONT MESS WITH
VENDING MACHINES.
You skipped lunch. You need a snack. You
insert money into a vending machine, press
the buttons, and nothing comes out. You get
mad. S TAT: Vending machines caused 37

deaths between 1978 and 1995, crushing customers who rocked and toppled the dispensers. No recent stats exist, but the machines
are still a danger. D O N T: Skip lunch.

3.
STAY ON THE DOCK.

66

On May 20, 2013, Kyle McGonigle was on a


dock on Kentuckys Rough River Lake. A dog
swimming nearby yelped, and McGonigle, 36,
saw that it was struggling to stay above water.
He dove in to save the dog, but both he and
the animal drowned, victims of electric-shock
drowning (ESD). Cords plugged into an outlet
on the dock had slipped into the water and
electried it. S TAT: The number of annual

deaths from ESD in the U.S. are unknown,


since they are counted among all drown-

I L L U S T R AT I O N S B Y M E R C I G L E S I A S M A J

ings. But anecdotal evidence shows that ESD


is widespread. ESD prevention groups have
successfully urged some states to enact
safety standards, including the installation
of ground-fault circuit interrupters and a
central shuto for a docks electrical system.
D O N T: Swim within 100 yards of any wired
dock. But do check whether docks follow
safety standards.

4.
KEEP IT ON THE DIRT.
On the morning of July 14, 2013, Taylor Fails,
20, turned left in his 2004 Yamaha Rhino ATV
at a paved intersection near his Las Vegas
area home. The high-traction tire treads
gripped the road and the vehicle ipped,
ejecting Fails and a 22-year-old passenger.
Fails died at the scene; the passenger sustained minor injuries. S TAT: One-third of

fatal ATV accidents take place on paved


roads; more than 300 people died in
on-road ATV wrecks in 2011. D O : Ride
only o-road. Paul Vitrano, executive vice
president of the ATV Safety Institute, says,
Soft, knobby tires are designed for traction
on uneven ground and will behave unpredictably on pavement. In some cases, tires will
grip enough to cause an ATV to ip, as in
the recent Nevada incident. If you must
cross a paved road to continue
on an approved trail, go straight
across in rst gear.

Dockside water
can become electried by a short
in an onboard
appliance, a faulty
wire connecting a
boat to the docks
power outlet, or
exposed wiring
in the docks
power source.
The current
courses through
a swimmers body
and can lead to
electric-shock
drowning.

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5.
MOW ON THE
LEVEL.
Whirring blades are the obvious
hazard. But most lawnmowerrelated deaths result from riding
mowers ipping over on a slope
and crushing the drivers.

S TAT: About 95 Americans are


killed by riding mowers each year.
D O : Mow up and down a slope,
not sideways along it. How steep
is too steep? If you cant back
up a slope, do not mow on it,
Carl Purvis of the U.S. Consumer
Product Safety Commission
advises.

WorldMags.net
Escaping the hydraulic requires
swimming to the bottom and
resurfacing beyond the boil point,
just downstream from the vortex.

BOIL
POINT

6.

BEWARE LOW-HEAD DAMS.


Found on small or moderate-size streams and rivers, low-head dams are used to regulate water
ow or prevent invasive species from swimming upstream. But watch out. Theyre called drowning
machines because they could not be designed better to drown people, says Kevin Colburn of American Whitewater, a nonprot whitewater preservation group. To a boater heading downstream, the
dams look like a single line of at reective water. But water rushing over the dam creates a spinning cylinder of water that can trap a capsized boater. S TAT: Eight to 12 people a year die in lowhead and other dam-related whitewater accidents. D O : Curl up, drop to the bottom, and move
downstream if caught in a hydraulic. Its a counterintuitive thing to do, but the only outow is at
the bottom, Colburn says. Surface only after youve cleared the vortex near the dam.

7.

8.

DONT HOLD YOUR


BREATH.

KEEP YOUR FOOTING.

If you want to take a long swim underwater,


the trick is to breathe in and out a few times
and take a big gulp of air before you submerge.
Right? Dead wrong. Hyperventilating not only
doesnt increase the oxygen in your blood, it
also decreases the amount of CO2, the compound that informs the brain of the need to
breathe. Without that natural signal, you may
hold your breath until you pass out and drown.
This is known as shallow-water blackout.

S TAT: Drowning is the fth largest cause of


accidental death in the U.S., claiming about 10
lives a day. No one knows how many of these
are due to shallow-water blackout, but its
prevalence has led to the formation of advocacy groups, such as Shallow Water Blackout
Prevention. D O N T: Hyperventilate before
swimming underwater, and dont push yourself to stay submerged as long as possible.

One mistake is responsible for about half of


all ladder accidents: carrying something while
climbing. S TAT: More than 700 people die

annually in falls from ladders and scaolding.


D O : Keep three points of contact while
climbing; use work-belt hooks, a rope and
pulley, or other means to get items aloft.

9.
FORD CAREFULLY.
A shallow stream can pack a surprising
amount of force, making fording extremely
dangerous. Once youve been knocked o your
feet, you can get dragged down by the weight
of your gear, strike rocks in the water, or succumb to hypothermia. S TAT: Water-related

deaths outnumber all other fatalities in U.S.


national parks; no specic statistics are

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1.

available for accidents while fording streams.


D O : Cross at a straight, wide section of
water. Toss a stick into the current; if it
moves faster than a walking pace, dont cross.
Unhitch waist and sternum fasteners before
crossing; a wet pack can pull you under.

2.

10.

3.

You have successfully negotiated free fall,


deployed your canopy, and are about to
touch down. Safe? Nope. Inexperienced solo
jumpers trying to avoid an obstacle at the last
minute, or experienced skydivers looking for
a thrill, might sometimes pull a toggle and
enter a low-hook turn. If you make that turn
too low, your parachute doesnt have time to
level out, says Nancy Koreen of the United
States Parachute Association. Instead, with
your weight far out from the canopy, youll
swing down like a wrecking ball. S TAT: Last

LAND STRAIGHT.

year in the U.S., low-hook turns caused ve


of the 19 skydiving fatalities. D O : Scope out
your landing spot well in advance (from 100 to
1000 feet up, depending on your skill) so you
have room to land without needing to swerve.

68

11.
STAY WARM AND DRY.
Cold is a deceptive menacemost fatal hypothermia cases occur when it isnt excessively
cold, from 30 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Wet
clothes compound the eect of the temperature. S TAT: Hypothermia kills almost 1000

4.

people a year in the U.S. D O : Wear synthetic


or wool clothing, not moisture-trapping cotton.
If stranded, conserve heat by stuing your
clothes or shelter with dry leaves.

12.
LET LEANING TREES
STAND.

Descending on a straight path (1) becomes perilous when a parachutist


attempts a turn too close to the ground (2). In midturn both the canopy
and jumper are spiraling down rapidly (3). Without enough time and
elevation to complete the turn and level out, the jumper hits the ground
at a dramatically elevated speed (4).

The motorized blade isnt always the most


dangerous thing about using a chain saw.
Trees contain enormous amounts of energy
that can release in ways both surprising and
lethal. If a tree stands at an angle, it becomes

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Increased
awareness of
commotio
cordisa blow
to the chest
that causes
ventrical brillationhas
led municipalities and sports
leagues to
require debrillators at events
including baseball, ice hockey,
and lacrosse
games.

13 .

DODGE LINE DRIVES.


Americas national pastime may seem a gentle pursuit, but it is not
without its fatal hazards. The 2008 book Death at the Ballpark: A
Comprehensive Study of Game-Related Fatalities, 18622007 catalogs deaths that have occurred while people were playing, watching,
or oiciating at baseball games. Among the causes is commotio cordis,
a concussion of the heart that leads to ventrical brillation when the
chest is struck during a critical 10- to 30-millisecond moment between
heartbeats. About 50 percent of all victims are athletes (and the vast
majority of these are male) engaging in sports that also include ice hockey and lacrosse, the U.S. National Commotio Cordis Registry reports.

S TAT: The registry recorded 224 fatal cases


from 1996 to 2010. Commotio cordis is the
No. 1 killer in U.S. youth baseball, causing two
to three deaths a year. D O N T: Take a shot to
the chest. Even evasive action and protective
gear are not signicant deterrents. Of note:
Survival rates rose to 35 percent between
2000 and 2010, up from 15 percent in the
previous decade, due mainly to the increased
presence of debrillators at sporting events.

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HOW
IT ENDS.
One-quarter of all fatalities among U.S. men ages 18 to 50 result
from unintentional injury. Here, we break out the specic types of
fatal accidents and show how they compare with all causes of death.
D ATA V I SU AL I ZAT ION BY O N F O R M AT I V E

REPORTING BY DARREN ORF

S
FALL

irs
Sta er
dd
La

Ac

OT

ACCIDENTAL
DEATHS

HE

ts
o
Pe f Na Fir
de tu e
re
s
Fir trian
ea
rm

DROW

r
Ca
er
g
en ck
ss
Pa t Tru
h
le
Lig orcyc
t
Mo e Truck
Larg

4%
10%

NING

38%

4%

SUFFOCATION

O
T
U

2%
42%

Other

PO

Inuenza
Hepatitis
Anemia

25%
1%

12%

Suicide

Diabetes

2%
3%

Liver
Disease

Respiratory Disease

7%

13%

15%
2%

Heart
Disease

Cerebrovascular
Disease

2%

Homicide

s
ug
Dr
n
tio
ip
s
cr
es tic
ide
Pr rco l
ox
Na oho Mon
Alc rbon
Ca

18%

ISO

HIV

CANCER

ALL DEATHS
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POPULARMECHANICS.COM / OCTOBER 2013

OTHER

Eighty-two percent of the


238 people killed by lightning strikes from 2006
to 2012 were male. Fishing, camping, and boating, in that order, are the
top three activities on
the lightning-death list.

1.

2.

FALLS
Men are more than 11
times more likely than
women to die on the
job, because men tend
to have more dangerous
occupations. Consider:
In 2011 falls accounted
for 541 working deaths,
and most of those
occurred in construction,
a predominantly male
industry.

DUI
More than 25 percent of
all male drivers involved
in fatal car accidents
have a blood-alcohol
content over the legal
limit of 0.08 percent,
compared with 13.7 percent of women drivers.

ROADKILL
Deer-related auto accidents take 150 to 200
lives annually in the U.S.,
which makes the lovable
animal also the nations
most dangerous.

POISON

I C O N S B Y S P E N C E R L L OY D

Accidental overdose
of prescription drugs
including synthetic
opioids, such as
oxycodonekill more
than 2000 more men
than women every year.

top-heavy and transfers energy lower in the


trunk. When sawed, it can shatter midcut and
create a so-called barber chair. The bers split
vertically, and the rearward half pivots backward. Its very violent and its very quick,
says Mark Chisholm, chief executive of New
Jersey Arborists. S TAT: In 2012, 32 people

died felling trees. D O N T: Saw into any tree


or limb thats under tension.

14.
CLIMB WITH CARE.
Accidental shootings are an obvious hazard of
hunting, but guess whats just as bad: trees.
A tree stand hung 20 feet in the air should be
treated like a loaded gun, because it is every
bit as dangerous, says Marilyn Bentz, executive director of the National Bowhunter Educational Foundation. Most tree-stand accidents
occur while a hunter is climbing, she says.

S TAT: About 100 hunters a year die falling


from trees in the U.S. and Canada, a number
equal to or exceeding rearm-related hunting deaths, Bentz says. D O : Use a safety
harness tethered to the tree when climbing,
instead of relying on wooden boards nailed to
the tree, which can give way suddenly.

CANCER

15.

Cancer kills more men


than women (301,037
and 273,706, respectively, in 2010), largely
because men are more
prone to malignancies
of the lungs, esophagus,
and liver.

Hikers out for a scramble may end up on an


uncomfortably steep patch and, nding it
easier to climb up than down, keep ascending until they cli out, unable to go either
forward or back. Spending a night freezing on
a rock face waiting to be rescued is no fun, but

AVOID CLIFFING OUT.

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71

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16.

DONT DRINK TOO MUCH.


We all know that dehydration can be dangerous, leading to dizziness,
seizures, and death, but drinking too much water can be just as bad. In
2002, 28-year-old runner Cynthia Lucero collapsed midway through the
Boston Marathon. Rushed to a hospital, she fell into a coma and died.
In the aftermath it emerged that she had drunk large amounts along
the run. The excess liquid in her system induced a syndrome called
exercise-associated hyponatremia (EAH), in which an imbalance in the
bodys sodium levels creates a dangerous swelling of the brain.

S TAT: Up to one-third of endurance athletes


who collapse during events suer from EAH.
Between 1989 and 1996, when the U.S. Army
mandated heavy uid intake during exercise in
high heat, EAH caused at least six deaths.
D O N T: Drink more than 1.5 quarts per hour
during sustained, intense exercise. But do
consume plenty of salt along with your uids.

Caused by excessive uid intake, hyponatremia can make


the brain swell like a dehydrated sponge soaked in water.

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the alternative is worse.

S TAT: Falls are one of the top


three causes of death in the wilderness, along with cardiac arrest
and drowning. Clied-out hikers
account for 11 percent of all
search-and-rescue calls in Yosemite National Park. D O N T: Take a
shortcut you cant see the length
of. If you realize youve lost your
way, either backtrack or call for
help. Gadgets such as DeLormes
inReach SE provide satellite communication to send a distress call
from anywhere on the planet.

17.
USE GENERATORS
SAFELY.

SUBMERGED
SAND BAR

19.
GO WITH THE FLOW.

After Hurricane Sandy, many


homeowners used portable genThe tourist season got o to a grisly start this year in Gulf Shores, Ala. During a
erators to replace lost power,
two-day period in early June, four men drowned after being caught in rip currents.
leaving the machines running
The unusually strong currents were invisible, not even roiling the surface. Rip curovernight and allowing odorless
rents occur when water rushing back from the shoreline is channeled through a
carbon monoxide to waft inside.
narrow gap between two sand bars, accelerating the outward ow. S TAT: More
The gas induces dizziness, headthan 100 Americans drown in rip currents each year. D O : Allow the current to
aches, and nausea in people who
carry you out beyond the riptides ow, then swim laterally until you reach a
are awake, but when people go
position where you can turn and stroke safely to shore.
to sleep with a generator running,
theres no chance for them to
realize that somethings wrong,
says Brett Brenner, president of the Electrical
while glissading. D O N T: Glissade, period.
Safety Foundation International. S TAT:
But if you ever do it, you should be an expert

Carbon monoxide from consumer products,


including portable generators, kills nearly 200
a year. Of the Sandy-related deaths, 12 were
due to carbon monoxide poisoning. D O : Keep
generators more than 20 feet from a house.

18 .

20.
BEAT THE HEAT.

DONT SLIPSLIDE
AWAY.
Hikers on a glacier or in areas where patches
of snow remain above the tree line may be
tempted to speed downhill by sliding, or glissading. Bad idea: A gentle glide can easily lead
to an unstoppable plummet. In 2005 climber
Patrick Wang, 27, died on Californias Mount
Whitney while glissading o the summit; he
slid 300 feet before falling o a 1000-foot cli.

S TAT: One or two people die each year

mountaineer with well-practiced self-arrest


techniques. Glissaders should always remove
their crampons and know their line of descent.

A rock formation in Utah called The Wave is


remote and beautiful, but also arid and sweltering. This past July a couple hiking the area
were found dead after the afternoon heat overwhelmed them. Scarcely three weeks later, a
27-year-old woman collapsed while hiking The
Wave with her husband and died before he
could get help. S TAT: An average of 675 peo-

ple die each year in the U.S. from heat-related


complications. D O : Carry lots of uids, hike in
the morning, and let people know where youre
going when trekking in the desert. PopMech

WorldMags.net

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THE SELF-DRIVING
CAR IS COMING.

PHOTOGRAPH

BY

JAMES

WORRELL

ILLUSTRATIONS BY VIGILISM

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HERE

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ARE

12

QUESTIONS

T H AT

NEED

ANSWERING

LET

GO OF THE
WHEEL?
As soon as I hit the small black lane-centering
button, I can feel the wheel stiffen in my
hands. Suddenly the light bar atop it begins glowing a
soft green, signaling that the car has taken over the
task of steering. I had already surrendered control of
the acceleration and braking to the vehicles adaptive
cruise control, and now with my feet at on the oor,

BY

ANDREW

D E L- C O L L E

WorldMags.net

NOW.

I slowly unwrap my
fingers and release
the wheel. Sitting in
the passenger seat is
Jeremy Salinger, who
works on General
Motors semiautonomous car program.
Hes seen the car do
this dozens, possibly
hundreds, of times,
but, if only to reassure me, he states the
obvious: The car is
in control now.
My remaining
sense of caution
keeps my hands nervously hovering
above the wheel for
a few seconds as our
2012 Cadillac SRX
test vehicle hurtles
forward at 60 mph,
effortlessly bending into one of the
sweeping turns of
the oval track at
GMs Milford Proving Grounds in Michigan. In the rear of
the heavily modied SUV, an onboard
computer collects
data from an array of
cameras and sensors
to electronically read
the road and determine the vehicles position. Using
this information, the car controls
the electrically assisted steering
to keep the car perfectly centered
in the lane.
Lets do something, like a
lane change, Salinger says. The
light bar switches from green to
blue as I grab hold of the wheel
and signal right, indicating that
Im overriding the system. Once
we are settled into the new lane,
the light bar changes back to
green and I let go of the wheel.
We repeat the exercise, returning
to the center lane of the ve-lane
track, and then my hands drop
down to rest on my legs. Now

WHEN CAN
I

RIGHT

WorldMags.net
fully at ease, I watch the wheel
periodically turn and straighten
as we speed around the track.
The sight is both mesmerizing
and unsettlingas if a ghost were
driving. But this is no spooky
apparition, this is GMs Super
Cruise technology, and it could be
available in a production vehicle
within ve years.

lutionary. By fully taking over the task of


highway driving, Super
Cruise might represent
the most important
shift in the drivercar
relationship in automotive history.

So, my next car


will drive itself?
Wait, how soon is this
happening?
Very soon. Although GM
hasnt confirmed a hard
date for deployment of the system, it hopes to have Super Cruise
as an option by the end of the
decade, possibly as soon as the
2017 or 2018 model year. Super
Cruise is part of a trend that has
sneaked up on the car-buying
public. The active safety systems
in many modern production cars
forward-collision warning, park
assist, adaptive cruise control,
blind-spot monitoring, and
othersare inching the vehicles
we buy toward autonomy. By
using a combination of sensors,
radar, GPS, and cameras, these
systems enable a car to interpret
its surroundings and issue warnings or even brake the car if
a collision with another vehicle or
a pedestrian is imminent. As
these systems become connected,
our cars become smarter.
Technologically, GMs Super
Cruise is similar to driverassistance systems provided by
Mercedes-Benz and other carmakers. But these other systems
also require that the driver periodically touch the wheel to ensure
he or she remains engaged in the
driving experience. Where Super
Cruise diers is that for the rst
time GM aims to allow the driver
to completely let go of the wheel
for extended periods of time.
Functionally, this change is revo-

Not so fast.
First off, lets
get some semantics
out of the way. The
Super Cruiseequipped
SRX I rode in is a
self-driving car, but it
cant do everything on
its own. Super Cruise will only be
available under select highway
conditions and will have speed
and turning limitations, so think
of it more like autopilot for your
car. By definition, this makes it
semiautonomous (though much
more capable, Googles selfdriving cars are also semiautonomous). A fully autonomous production carwhere you plug your
destination into the GPS and settle in for a 2-hour movieis still a
long way o, but the technology is
advancing fast. Recently Audi and
Volvo demonstrated vehicles that
can park themselves; Volvo says
this feature could be available as
early as 2014.
Still, systems such as Super
Cruise challenge conventional
notions of who or what is doing
the driving, and this makes carmakers and regulators nervous. I
think the one thing we will always
want to maintain, and the manufacturers will likely tell you the
same thing, is that the drivers
still responsible for the driving
task, David Strickland, administrator of the National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration,
says. That will never change.

Q
HOW DOES THE CAR
SEE THE ROAD?
Super Cruise and other similar
systems do more than just see
the road. Using an array of sensors,
lasers, radar, cameras, and GPS
technology, they can actually analyze
a cars surroundings.
A

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Super Cruise is a combination of


two technologies. The rst is the
increasingly common adaptive
cruise control, which uses a
long-range radar (more than 100
meters) in the grille to keep the
car a uniform distance behind
another vehicle while maintaining
a set speed 1 . The second, lanecentering, uses multiple cameras
with machine-vision software
to read road lines and detect
objects 2 . This information is sent
to a computer that processes the
data and adjusts the electrically
assisted steering to keep the vehicle centered in the lane. Because
Super Cruise is intended only for
highways, GM will use the vehicles GPS to determine its location
before allowing the driver to engage
the feature 3 . In addition, GM is
also considering using short-range
radars (30 to 50 meters) 4 and
extra ultrasonic sensors (3 meters)
5 to enhance the vehicles overall
awareness. Cars with park-assist
systems already have four similar
sensors in the front and in the
rear of the car. GM is also experi-

WorldMags.net

POPULARMECHANICS.COM / OCTOBER 2013

Are these autonomous


sorry, semiautonomous
cars decent drivers?
Sure are. According to
Nady Boules, a director
within GMs R&D, semiautonomous cars perform better than
human drivers in many respects.
Unlike people, they can continuously monitor all sides of the
vehicle, can react almost instantaneously, and are impervious to
distraction. Theyre also more
ecient drivers. One recent paper
presented at an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
conference estimated that a eet
of cars with sensors could
increase highway capacity by 43
percent. If the cars could also
communicate with one another,
that number jumps to an incredible 273 percent.
The NHTSA and several carmakers are already testing vehicles that can talk to each other. I
got a chance to stop by GMs technical center in Warren, Mich., for
a demonstration of this vehicleto-vehicle (V2V) communication.
In a large parking lot GM engineers had me run through a series
of exercises with two cars, each
equipped with GPS and a small
Wi-Fi transponder. Using the GPS
to determine its location and the
transponder to talk with the other
vehicle, my car warned me when
the other vehicle braked hard in
front of me, was in my blind spot,
or was approaching from around
a corner that had an obstructed
view. Unlike with radar and cameras, line of sight isnt required
for V2V communication, and the
transponders are relatively inexpensive compared with the hardware required for most active
safety systems. On its own, V2V
technology is compelling, but
once it is connected to the other
active safety systems in a vehicle,
it has powerful potential.

1
2

3
5

menting with cost-eective LIDAR


units, which use lasers instead of
sound and are more powerful and
accurate than ultrasonic sensors.
Its unclear whether LIDAR will
make it into the same vehicle as
Super Cruise.

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77

Is any of this even legal?


It is, but thats mostly
because laws regulating
self-driving cars didnt exist until
recently. Currently legislation is
being considered on a state-bystate basis, with Nevada, California, and Florida having passed
laws for the testing of self-driving
cars on public roads; Michigan is
expected to follow. Generally
these laws simply stipulate that
someone must be in the car and
be able to take control of the
car in case of an emergency. In
May the NHTSA released a set of
suggested guidelines for the
development of semiautonomous
vehicles, but there are still no ocial federal regulations.
Bryant Walker Smith is a fellow at the Center for Internet and
Society at Stanford Law School
and the Center for Automotive
Research. He points out that
along with creating new laws,
we will also need to review our
existing laws as semiautonomous
systems proliferate. New York
state, for example, requires drivers to keep one hand on the wheel
at all times, Smith says. Figure
how that reconciles with Super
Cruise. He goes on: Regardless
of what the traffic codes, what
the vehicle codes specically say,
when a crash happens, how will
judges and juries decide what
behavior was negligent? So even
if youre in a state that doesnt
expressly say you have to have
your hands on the wheel, will not
having your hands on the wheel,
will not paying attention, be considered negligent?
This is a big issue and one
that the NHTSA and carmakers
are tiptoeing around by insisting
that the driver will be responsible
at all times. Nevertheless, semiautonomous technologies have
huge implications for insurance
agencies. Loretta L. Worters is the

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vice president of communications
for the Insurance Information
Institute. According to her, systems that improve safety are welcomed by the insurance industry,
but as our cars turn into semiautonomous vehicles, we are entering new territory. For example,
it would also likely increase the
potential liability of the manufacturer and maintenance/repair
business if an accident could be
traced to a design or maintenance
failure, Worters says.

How safe is all this?


Considering that semiautonomous cars rely on a
network of active safety systems
to work, theyre pretty safe. The
Insurance Institute for Highway
Safety has found that we are
already seeing the benets of systems such as forward-collision
warning in the reduction of accidents. That said, theyre not 100
percent fail-proof. Chris Urmson
leads Googles self-driving car
program and is an adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon University,
where he also worked on DARPAs
autonomous car challenges.
Although Googles test fleet has
logged more than 500,000 miles
without a major mishap, Urmson
admits that the technology will
never be awless. I think we can
make vehicles that are better
than human-driven vehicles, but
something that wont fail is just
an impossibility, he says.
Aside from the possibility of
a system failure, semiautonomous technologies also have general limitations. My Super Cruise
experience was actually my second attempt at seeing the system
in action. On my first trip to the
proving grounds, a snowstorm
thwarted my mission. The SRXs
cameras were unable to read the
lines on the snow-covered track,

leaving Super Cruise


ineffective. Thats no
small hindrance.

No napping behind
the wheel, then?
Nope. No matter how capable
the vehicle might be,
a semiautonomous car
cannot be left unattended. And the
chance of someone
falling asleep is a serious concern for carmakers. Eric Raphael
also works on Super
Cruise and gave me a
technical walk-around
of the modified SRX on my visit.
We cant let someone crawl in the
back seat and take a nap, but we
know they might try that,
Raphael says. To prevent a driver
from spacing out or worse, GM
has developed a monitoring system that will use audial, visual,
and possibly haptic feedback to
prompt the driver to take over if it
detects an emergency or that the
driver is too distracted. For example, the light bar at the top of the
steering wheel turns bright red
when the driver needs to take
control of the car.
Of course, at 60 mph and in the
middle of heavy trac, the system
cant physically force the driver to
reengageand thats more than
a little worrisome. Bryan Reimer
is a research scientist at MITs
AgeLab and the associate director of the New England University
Transportation Center. Man,
whos saying youre going to be
awake when you actually need to
put your hands back on there?
Reimer says. All the literature
in psychology tells us that we are
terrible overseers of highly autonomous systems. We fall asleep.
We get bored. Were inattentive.

Q
WHAT W
WILL DRIVING
BE LIKE IN THE FUTURE?

Semiautonomous cars and


vehicle-to-vehicle communication
could profoundly change how traic
ows and even highway design. Here
are three likely scenarios.
A

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NEAR-TERM
Once enough cars on the road are
able to drive themselves, the rst
major change we will probably see
is an HOV-style self-driving lane on
highways. Just enter the lane, set
your vehicle to the recommended
speed, then leave your monotonous
3-hour haul to the car.
MIDTERM
As semiautonomous vehicles
advance, expect them to start communicating with one another and
eventually even with infrastructure.
At intersections, smart stoplights
could automatically turn to green if
no other cars were approaching
which would smooth out traic ow,
reduce idling, and decrease accidents.

LONG-TERM
When the majority of the vehicles
on the road are semiautonomous
and also able to talk with one
another, high-speed motoring (were
talking triple digits here), formation driving, and seamless merging
could be possible.

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POPULARMECHANICS.COM / OCTOBER 2013

79

NEAR-TERM
Dedicated
lanes

Will people become


worse drivers? Is that
even possible?
Generally speaking, the
more we use autonomous
systems, the more we come to
rely on them. So it stands
to reason that the less we drive,
the rustier well get at it. Citing
examples such as the pilot error
responsible for the crash of
Air France 447, MITs Reimer
stresses the need for caution
as we integrate these technologies into our cars: If we look at
other domains, and I think the
aviation world is a great example
of this, it is now a well-accepted
fact that autopilot is decreasing
pilot skill.

MIDTERM
Smart
stoplights

LONG-TERM
Formation
driving

What if I want to drive?


The most important question of all. As long as there
is a traditional steering wheel in
your car, youll be able to drive.
Now, things will get interesting if
these semiautonomous systems
become so safe and reliable that a
human driving is actually viewed
as irresponsible by insurers. That
wont happen any time soon, but
eventually it could.
In one exercise during my
Super Cruise demonstration, a
Chevy Volt darted in front of our
SRX as the car was driving itself.
Still traveling at 60 mph, the SRX
immediately braked, adjusted
its speed to maintain a safe distance behind the Volt, and slightly
shifted the wheel to stay centered
in the lane. In a situation where
a person might overreact and
jerk the wheel, causing the car
to careen into another vehicle or
o the road, I didnt do a thing. I
just sat there. I dont think I even
flinched. I love driving, but who
wouldnt want that as an option in
their next car? PopMech

Can the car avoid something


in the road?
Most forward-collision
warning systems today
can identify another car, a
pedestrian, an animal, or a bike,
and some can even activate
the brakes in low-speed to
midspeed situations. But as for
avoiding an obstacle, no system
out there does that yet. Salinger
says cars in the future could have
this ability, though its not

something GM is currently developing. Even the possibility raises


an important issue: If a splitsecond steering decision needs to
be made, would you want to leave
this up to your car? Say the
decision comes down to hitting
a child in the road or swerving
and potentially hitting a telephone pole. Would the car put
passengers in danger in order to
avoid hitting the kid? A technological issue swiftly becomes a
moral one.

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My parents told me
not to believe everything I saw on TV, so I
thought the shark was
fake! But I soon realized the sharks were
real. From that point,
sharks became my
lifes passion.

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SHARK
SH00TER
CAMERAMAN ANDY BRANDY CASAGRANDE
BUILDS HIS OWN RIGS AND FILMS
F E A R L E S S LY T O C A P T U R E S H O T S
LIKE NO ONE ELSE.

By Bill Morris
Photographs by Nathaniel Welch

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ANDY CASAGRANDE HAD DREAMED of swimming with sharks ever since he was a kid
growing up in a small town near Pittsburgh.
He nally got his chance in 2005. Armed with
nothing but a Sony Handycam in a DIY waterproof case and his own nerve, Casagrande
slipped over the side of a boat and into the
waters known as Shark Alley, off South
Africas Western Cape province.
Within seconds Casagandes dream was
coming all too true: A great white shark came
gliding toward him. The sleek, 4000-pound
beast slid past, close enough to touch.
Casagrande calls the moment surreal, but it
was more than that. The biggest struggle is
the mental battle, he says. Youre looking at
a prehistoric predator, and everything in your
body tells you to ee. But you just need to Zen
out, slow down your breathing. Never swim
away: If you act like prey theyll treat you like
preychase you, catch you, and eat you.
The shark turned and made another pass.
Then another. Casagrande was winning the
mental battle. His breathing remained slow
and regular. He began to relax. When the
shark made the third close pass and didnt eat
me, I gured we were cool.
HIS FULL AND PROPER NAME IS Andy Brandy
Casagrande IV, an unusual moniker that bets
an unusually talented person. His camera

work for the National Geographic series Great


Migrations won him the 2011 Emmy Award
for Outstanding CinematographyNature.
But his dening work is his innovativeand,
frankly, harrowingfilming for Shark Week,
the Discovery Channels annual programming
extravaganza featuring shows such as Into the
Shark Bite and Impossible Shot.
Casagrande has become a sort of poster boy
for Shark Week. What sets him apart is his
hacker ethos and methodology, which he has
been honing since the day, more than a decade
ago, that he made a waterproof housing for
a video camera, attached it to a telescoping
mop handle, and dangled it over the side of a
boat to get eye-level footage of great whites.
Among the dozens of other rigs hes invented
and handcrafted since then is the bite cam,
which snapped the now iconic closeup of a
sharks gaping, razor-toothed jaws.
His tinkering continues to evolve and
has gone high-tech. For a 2012 episode of
Impossible Shot, for instance, Casagrande
captured the rst-ever seagulls perspective
(his words) of a breach by a great white,
using a rig with a 3000-frame-per-second
camera carried aloft by a massive helium balloon tethered
to the photographers boat; the shark attacks a sealshaped decoy positioned below the camera and thrusts
skyward, 12-plus feet
of sh getting airborne.
For Shark Week this
year he created a fin
camessentially a
ANDYS
INVENTIONS
GoPro camera attached
to a pair of barbecue
Casagrande builds
tongsto record the
many of his rigs using
common items. (Camsharks point of view.
era costs not includAll of this work (in
ed in prices here.)
addition to other wildlife footage hes taken
with homemade rigs)
places Casagrande at
R OV E R C A M
a
Built on the chassis
the forefront of the DIY
of a Traxxas 4x4 (about
adventure video genre.
$400), this rig uses its
Its the stu of millions
fat, nobby tires to crawl
of YouTube clips and
over rough terrain to
get closeups of lions,
has become a mainstay
hyenas, and other predaof extreme-sports TV.
tors feasting on a kill.
Hes known as the
One of three cameras
shark guy, but his work
sits in a takeout sushi
is much more diverse
box covered in camo
duct tape and reinforced
than that, Travis Pynn,
with bungee cords. Its
a GoPro engineer, says.
not really much of an
Hes incredibly inveninvention, if you ask me,
tive and resourceful. He
Casagrande says. But it
gets the job done!
has unique vision.

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CASAGRANDE, 35, DESIGNS AND BUILDS his rigs in the


garage of his rambling two-story home on a quiet street
in Naples, Fla., where he lives with his Swedish-born wife,
Emma Walfridsson, 30. When I visit there earlier this year,
the famous cameraman pops out of the front door and
bellows, Dude!
Welcome to Andy Casagrandes world.
Eager to demonstrate how he makes a bite cam, he
suggests a trip to the local Ace hardware for parts. (I
assume hell drivesurely an accomplished, high-energy
guy like Casagrande would have a killer ridebut we
end up in my Chrysler 300 rental. He doesnt own a car,
getting around instead on an Electra Townie bicycle with
balloon tires.) Basically, he says, I go to the plumbing
department, or I go to a sporting goods store or Walmart,
and I gather materials.
Today hes acquiring some plastic nuts and a length
of rubber fuel line, both of which are pliable enough to
prevent a shark from harming its mouth and teeth when
biting the camera housing. I like to protect the animals
that give me my livelihood, Casagrande says.
His shopping list is short but our time at Ace grows long.
Casagrande bounces around the store on fast-forward,
picking up and inspecting a vast array of items, and
providing a running narrative of what exotic contraptions
he might build with them.
At the checkout, clerk Sandra Rainey lights up when
she learns that Casagrande is a Shark Week cameraman.
eraman.
I love it because it shows sharks for what they are, she

IN CAM
FCasagrande
had his

aha moment for the n


cam when he picked up
a pair of barbecue tongs.
The $11 item is the backbone for what eventually
became a very high-tech
piece of handiwork. It
includes a $1500 satellite
tag, a $250 VHF pinger,
and buoyant foam for
retrieval. For Shark Week
this year Casagrande
slipped the assembly
over a tiger sharks dorsal
n, camera facing forward, to get the ultimate
hunting POV footage, he
says. Fasteners dissolve
in salt water to release
the n cam, which oats
to the surface. Kinda
expensive, since you
might [expletive deleted]
lose it! he adds.
c

says. Dont mess with them; youre in their


element. Then, with a wry smile and a nod
toward Casagrande, she adds, I think hes
crazy, but somebodys got to do it. The bill for
the nuts and the hose comes to $11.77.
Back at the house we enter his shop, which
is like the laboratory of a mad wizard. There
are cameras mounted on remote-control cars
using such MacGyver-esque materials as takeout sushi boxes and camouflage duct tape
which Casagrande deploys to get intimate
shots of lions gorging on prey. There are tiny
helicopters and wing cams for aerial shots. On
one shelf sits the n cam, which he designed
to slip over a sharks dorsal fin. It has a
otation device and is secured via a dissolving
fastener that releases the apparatus after
about 24 hours. A VHF-tracking pinger locates
the camera after it oats to the surfaceand
Casagrande collects it and the unprecedented
footage it contains.
Its time to build the bite cam. Using a Stihl
drill press, Casagrande bores a large hole in
a pair of Styrofoam swim boards ($19.99 each
at the Sports Authority), then four smaller
holes for the plastic bolts that hold the boards
together. Into the larger hole he inserts a
foot-long length of 4-inch-diameter PVC pipe.
Into each end of the pipe he places a GoPro
Int

and bottom of a waterproof housing made of


PVC pipe and plexiglass to
get shots just inches from
a sharks gaping jaws.

$111
c

$1766
b

a
$404

ITE CAM
BProtected
by a high-

density foam body, cameras shoot out of the top

83

POPULARMECHANICS.COM / OCTOBER 2013

PHOTOGRAPHS BY N AT H A N I E L W E L C H

WorldMags.net

84

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OCTOBER 2013 / POPULARMECHANICS.COM

Hero3 Black Edition camera ($400 apiece);


the cameras are held in place by a length of
Styrofoam tubing. Plexiglass discs glued to
O-rings seal each end of the pipe. A protective
rubber sleeve covers the tube. Stainless-steel
cable is fed into the rubber fuel line, then
wrapped around the PVC pipe, forming a loop
for tethering to the boat. Voil! A masterpiece
of low-budget DIY engineering is born.
MEANWHILE, UPSTAIRS, EMMA GAZES into a
computer screen, editing footage of one of her
husbands shark dives. The couple met while
he was lming lions in Tanzanias Serengeti
National Park in 2007. A hairstylist visiting
from Sweden with girlfriends, Emma arrived
unannounced at Casagrandes campsite. They
hit it o and, after an international courtship,
wed in 2010. In addition to editing, Emma
works as her husbands still photographer and
safety diver. But thats on hold for nowshes
pregnant and expecting their rst child.
Emma makes her way downstairs and
takes a seat with us in the Ikea-outtted living room. On the wall is a photo of the couple
in a passionate lip-lock in front of a sandstone
arch in Utahs Arches National Park. I used to
have pictures of Swedish supermodels on my
wall, Casagrande says. Then I married one.
She giggles and smiles, flattered but
maybe a little embarrassed by her husbands
praise. Hes fun and wild, but hes also
very grounded, Emma says. Hes open to
everything in life. With him, its always work
and its always vacation.
The conversation takes on an earnest tone,
and I realize that the couple shares not just
a home, but also a mission. The point of our
work is to teach people more about sharks
and other animals, so theyll care more about
themand the planet, Emma says.
I have two motives while filming wildlife, Casagrande chimes in. One is to film
it while its still here. Two is to show people
that its mind-blowingly beautiful. I do this for
the millions of people who will never go to the
Serengeti or the Arctic.
AS A BOY, CASAGRANDE obsessed about sharks,
rode horses and mountain bikes, played guitar, tinkered with engines, and competed on
his high school wrestling team. Hes still very
fitripped, in fact175 pounds packed onto
a 5-foot-7-inch frame. He was always very
competitive, very focused, his father Dan
Casagrande says. You have to have balls to
wrestleits just you and your opponent.

The kid with the shark xation


Clockwise from near right:
Casagrandes wife Emma
decided at an early age that he
is also his safety diver and
wanted to become a marine biolvideo editor; Casagrande
kicks back while lming a
ogist. After briey attending the
kill in Tanzania; with the
Florida Institute of Technology in
bite cam in his Naples,
1996, he transferred to the UniFla., shop.
versity of Pittsburgh and entered
the Semester at Sea program,
where he circumnavigated the
globe and photographed wildlife
nonstop. It was a formative experience, a hint of things to come.
In 2000 the itinerant student
graduated from California State
University, Long Beach, with
straight As and a degree in abnormal psychology. Casagrande then
worked as a tech-support engineer at a data-mining company in Silicon Valley, and in his
spare time he created a website with the photos and videos
hed shot during his semester at sea. He started researching great white sharks, learning as much as he could, feeding his boyhood passion. He even composed The Great
White Shark Song and shot a video of it; the clip shows
Casagrande singing underwater in a wetsuit, twanging a
guitar: If I was a great white, I wouldnt bite you/But Id
swim right next to you/And ask you, How do you do?
That lighthearted ditty helped change Casagrandes
life. In 2002, after two frustrating years behind a desk,
he sent an MP3 le of the song, along with a job application, to the White Shark Trust, a research and conservation group in South Africa. After hearing the song, Michael
Scholl, who was then head of the trust, oered Casagrande
a position without even looking at his application. Scholl
says Casagrandes passion for sharks, clearly shown in the
song, mattered more than anything he could put on paper.
At the trust Casagrande studied great whites and lmed
their behavior, merging his twin passions for photography
and sharks. Andy showed an ability to adapt quickly to
dierent situations, Scholl says. He was always trying
new rigs, new camera angles, new attachments.
AND, OF COURSE, HE SWAM WITH the sharks. In fact, he was
the rst person in the program ever to do so, in 2005. That
same year a crew from the National Geographic Society
arrived in Cape Town, South Africa, to lm a documentary
on great white shark research, including that of the White
Shark Trust. When the head cameraman, Andy Mitchell,
learned that Casagrande had swum outside the protective confines of a shark cage, Mitchell hired him as an
assistant. On their second shoot together they were both
swimming with the sharks. Mitchell admits that he was
scared to death.
Now a freelance cameraman and producer based in
Vermont, Mitchell recalls being impressed by Casagrandes
inventiveness. He probably has the steepest learning curve
of anyone Ive worked with, Mitchell says. He has pushed

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P H O T O G R A P H S B Y N AT H A N I E L W E L C H ( C A S A G R A N D E P O R T R A I T ) , C O U R T E S Y O F A N D Y C A S A G R A N D E ( E M M A C A S A G R A N D E , W I L D L I F E )

WorldMags.net

the boundaries of the gear and


what it can dobuilding stu, creating things, always tweaking. He
became an A-list cameraman in a
third of the time it usually takes.
Casagrande accomplished this
feat, in part, by applying the GoPro
DIY style and tech to wildlife photography. He may not have been
the first person to do so, but he
was early to the game and, arguably, has been the most successful.
Casagrandes collaboration
with Mitchell led National
Geographic to oer him a sta job
in Washington, D.C., as a eld producer and cameraman. He quickly
became known as the gadget guy:
National Geographic wanted unorthodox ways to capture
wildlife killing, mating, and migrating. So I made rigs that
could get motion-controlled time-lapse footage, shots at
night via infrared camerasI made all sorts of stu.
After seeing one of Casagrandes National Geographic
documentaries in 2008, GoPro came calling and has been
providing him with cameras ever since. Andys a GoPro
fanatic because our cameras are tools that enable him to
get shots he could never get before, Travis Pynn says.
Our cameras are small enough and cheap enough to
put in a spot you wouldnt be able to justify with a more
expensive camera.
This proved to be true in the Bahamas, where
Casagrandes Shark Week shoot in March 2013 was a
success: He managed to attach the fin cam to a tiger
sharks dorsal n, capturing hypnotic sequences.
BACK IN NAPLES WITH EMMA, THE COUPLE has no time to
rest. In the Casagrande home on a Sunday afternoon the
clothes washer is churning, the dryer tumbling. While
Emma is upstairs packing for a trip to Sweden to see her

family, Casagrande is in his shop, organizing


gear for a shoot in the South Pacic. The couple are leaving tomorrow on their trips.
Casagrande chatters away as he darts
around the shop, selecting and packing equipmentand then unpacking and repacking it,
again and again. My kit has to be dialed in,
he says. My gear is my lifeline. It not only
keeps me making a living, it literally keeps me
alive, whether its my underwater rebreather
or my Red Epic camera housing. That can be
handy for warding o a not-so-happy shark.
As he fusses with his stuff, Casagrande
muses on how he went from being a little boy
watching sharks on TV to an award-winning
cameraman. I dreamed of swimming with
sharks, he says, and now, I think, maybe I can
inspire people to live the lives they dream.
If he falls short of his goal, well, hell
have to settle for being the gutsiest shark
photographer ever. PopMech

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I just put up

new walls
W I T H O UT T E A R I N G T H E
O L D O N E S D OW N .
Some of the ugliest walls imaginable can be given a new lease on life
with a little prep and a fresh coat of KILZ primer. By blocking stains and
unwanted colors, KILZ primer lays the foundation for a successful room
transformation. Its like a fresh start for your walls.

Find your priming solution at solutions.kilz.com or scan here


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www.kilz.com

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PHOTOGRAPH BY S T EP HEN L E W IS

POPULARMECHANICS.COM / OCTOBER 2013

87

W
WEEKEND

we ekend

Schlepping rewood
can be tedious. Get a
canvas log sling and
ease at least one of
lifes petty burdens.

DIY HOME

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Youve felled trees and split logs; now


its time to turn that lumber pile into
a sturdy stack of rewood. p. 88

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diy

Home
TOOL
R E PA I R
H A L L OW E E N
PROPS
P O R TA B L E
G E N E R AT O R S

BRING
THE HEAT
PROPE RLY STAC K ED
WOOD L O O K S G O O D
A N D B UR NS WELL.
BY R OY B ER EN D S O H N
P H OTO G R A P H S BY STEP H EN LE W I S

When it comes to preparing rewood, stacking may be the most


pleasant part of the job. The hard
and sometimes dangerous work of
disassembling a tree with a chain
saw is done. The tedious splitting is over. Now comes the time
to convert a loose, messy pile
of wood into an orderly stack
a satisfying transformation that
appeals to the builder in me.
But, unlike real construction,

END-PILLAR
The key to making
this classic stack is to
save the most uniform
pieces for the pillars
and to t them tightly.
This increases the pillars weight and helps
to reduce their ten-

dency to topple over


as wood is stacked
between them. Its
also important to
plumb each pillar like
a post. That further
increases its stability
and strength.

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POPULARMECHANICS.COM / OCTOBER 2013

89

theres no noise or heavy lifting.


You dont need tools. You just take
each stick and t it with another
while enjoying the woods pungent, earthy smell and the way its
freshly split surface reects light.
Give me a quiet afternoon and
a pile of wood to stack and Im a
happy man.

WEEKEND

Dry Is Good
Well-stacked wood is attractive,
but its real virtue is that it will
be dry by the time you need it.
Seasoned wood burns eiciently,
doesnt require constant attention to stay lit, and creates less
pollution in the form of smoke
(unburned wood vapor).
There are a number of stacking strategies that put the combustion odds in your favor. If you
have trees on your property that
are about 13 to 16 feet apart, you
can use them as end posts and
stack split wood between them
in whats called a hammock span.
This can work just ne for a few
seasons, but in the long term it
can damage the trees bark.
Another approach is to build
a wood rack, which is fast, easy,
and inexpensive (see The Stock
Solution, June 2008; How to
Build a Cheap, Good-Looking Firewood Rack: 2-by-Guy at popular
mechanics.com/firewoodrack
plans). On the other hand, split
wood itself can be used as a
building material. My two favorite
stacks are the utilitarian end-pillar
and a decorative German type
known as a holzhaus, or wood

I L L U S T R AT I O N S B Y G E O R G E R E T S E C K

HOLZHAUS
This stack is counterintuitive in that
the wood inside the
house is not exposed
to drying sun or wind.
It is, however, exposed
to interior air movement. Its crucial to

build the holzhaus in


a sunny location so
that when its baked
by summer heat, a
convection current
of warm air moves
through the base and
out the top.

The stack is made


in three stages. First,
build a ring of split
pieces, bark side facing out, split surface
facing in. Next, stack
wood on the ring with
each piece sloping

WorldMags.net

downward. Inside
the ring, stack wood
on end to produce
a cone-shaped pile.
Rain that gets inside
rapidly drains down.
Last comes the tightly
arranged conical roof.

90

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OCTOBER 2013 / POPULARMECHANICS.COM

PHOTOGRAPHS BY V IC TOR P R A DO

D I Y H O M E / S TA C K I N G F I R E W O O D

INDOOR
STORAGE

Victor Log Holder


This racks designers
chose forged steel. Good
decision. Its built to
resist heat, impact, and
abrasion.
(potterybarn.com,
$60$100)
2

Log Cabin
If I were to build a steel
rack, it would look like
this: rust-resistant
zinc nish, band-iron
supports, bolts, and
square nuts.
(cb2.com, $80)
3
1

Paxton Copper
Bucket
It looks distressed, but
on closer inspection
youll nd sheet steel
and a verdigris nish.
With a 26-inch diameter,
it takes wood standing
up or lying down.
(potterybarn.com, $200)

This engineered lumber


bench and rack melds
modern design with good
old steel reinforcement.
(crateandbarrel.com,
$200$250)

house, which makes a smaller


footprint than the end-pillar stack
with the same volume of material.
Theyre both reliable ways to
dry wood to about 20 percent
moisture content by weight.
Scientic research has found that
you dont need to get wood much
drier than that. Wood releases
most of its moisture through
its end grain, and both types
of stacks expose the wood to
capitalize on the heat of the sun
and desiccating breezes.

After six to eight months in the


stack, your wood is ready to be
moved inside. If your stove or replace is small, you can lug a few
sticks at a time in a simple canvas
tote like the Custom LeatherCraft
C390, shown on page 87. Its ruggedly built, with three rivets holding each leather handle to the canvas body. If you need to transport
an armful or more, consider an
eicient two-wheel caddie; Brookstone and Landmann both make
sturdy models. But garden carts,

dollies, or a well-built childrens


wagon can serve just as well.
As for the indoor stack, sure,
you could toss the kindling in a
5-gallon bucket and dump the
firewood in a corner, but if you
want to extend the order and aesthetics of the exterior stack into
your living room or den, there are
plenty of attractive wood-storage
systems available from suppliers
such as Pottery Barn. Or, peruse
their oerings for inspiration and
then build your own.

WorldMags.net

WEEKEND

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WorldMags.net

94

WorldMags.net

OCTOBER 2013 / POPULARMECHANICS.COM

PHOTOGRAPHS BY GREGG DEL M A N

DIY HOME

Tool Test

PORTABLE
GENERATORS

Lift a garage door in the suburbs and youll likely nd a portable


generator next to the lawnmower. It seems that fewer people these
days are willing to put up with power outages. We tested ve recent
models that can handle 5500-watt loads or more, analyzing them
for ease of use, electrical output, and noise. All the generators in our
test were simple to set up and operate, and they delivered adequate
power. The output from some models was consistent enough for
sensitive electronics. The best also oered convenient refueling, oil
checks, and oil changes. Lubrication is critical in any machine that
runs for days at a time. B Y R O Y B E R E N D S O H N

BEST
OVERALL

RD905712

Price: $700
Fuel/weight: 6 gal/190 lb

Power
Quality

Its important to understand how a generator and its load interact with each
other. The generator sends electricity to the load, and the load distorts the
electrical energy sent to it, reecting back energy waves called harmonics.
A measurement of this electrical interaction is known as total harmonic distortion (THD); the lower the THD, the more consistent the power. To measure
it, we used each generator to power a laptop computer and a table saw as it
cut oriented strand board. Then we measured voltage THD using a Fluke 345,
a handheld oscilloscope and power-quality meter. All the generators proved to
be electrically competent, but the Ridgid had the lowest THD.

COMPUTER TEST
Briggs & Stratton
Champion
Generac
Ridgid
Troy-Bilt

3.8%
6.4%
5.1%
1.8%
3.8%

TABLE-SAW TEST
14.2%
17.1%
14.6%
5.4%
16.7%

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Starting/running watts:
7125/5700
Decibels (A scale): 87, at idle
Likes: Ridgid chose highquality silicon steel for the
alternator laminations, and a
36-slot stator versus the
usual 24-slot type. The result:
stable power (see Power
Quality). Portability also
helped nail the top spot. The
foldup handle is outstanding,
PM contributing editor and
tester Joseph Truini says.
You can move the generator
like a hand truck.
Dislikes: Needs a gas gauge.

WEEKEND

RIDGID

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POPULARMECHANICS.COM / OCTOBER 2013

BRIGGS & STRATTON

CHAMPION

GENERAC

TROY-BILT

030468

41135

GP5500

030431

95

Price: $763

Price: $700

Price: $690

Price: $700

Fuel/weight: 5 gal/185 lb

Fuel/weight: 6 gal/185 lb

Fuel/weight: 7.2 gal/170 lb

Fuel/weight: 5 gal/150 lb

Starting/running watts:
6875/5500

Starting/running watts:
6800/5500

Starting/running watts:
6875/5500

Starting/running watts:
8250/5500

Decibels (A scale): 85.4,


at idle

Decibels (A scale): 87, at idle

Decibels (A scale): 85, at idle

Decibels (A scale): 85, at idle

Likes: It may be a no-frills


machine, but the Champion
gets the job done. It is
equipped with a handy volt
meter on its side, a
well-positioned gas gauge on
its top, and a low-oil shuto
switch. It also has a large
oil-ll cap and port.

Likes: Look! A dipstick and


a large oil-ll opening, Truini
says, noting the models
ease of service. Every
generator should have
them. Hes right. Lack of
lube can lead to failure, as
many homeowners learned
the hard way after Hurricane
Sandy. The Generac also has
thick vibration dampeners, a
heavy frame, and a
comfortable foldup handle.

Likes: It doesnt cost a


fortuneits just a basic
generator. What more can
you ask for? We liked the
gas gauge built into the gas
cap. And its controls (on/o
switch, choke, fuel valve) are
located on the end, so
starting is quick and easy,
as with lawnmowers.

Likes: A top-mounted gas


gauge and a large gas cap
make the Briggs a snap
to fuel. We also liked its
comfortable fold-down handle
and the layout of its control
panel, complete with a timer
that helps you track hours of
operation so you can change
the oil and perform service
at proper intervals.
Dislikes: Needs a dipstick
and a larger oil-ll port.

Dislikes: These are small


gripes, but it needs covers
for the outlet receptacles,
and a more comfortable
folding handle.

Dislikes: None.

WorldMags.net

Dislikes: Could use outlet


covers and better oil-ll
access. Otherwise, theres
not a lot to complain about.

96

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OCTOBER 2013 / POPULARMECHANICS.COM

DIY HOME / HALLOWEEN

Window

The Creepiest
House on the Block
Halloween is the one night of the year when
frightening children is not only tolerated, but
encouraged. Yet building Halloween props can
be a chilling experienceespecially if they
end up looking crappy, not creepy. PM teamed
up with instructables.com, where DIYers
share ideas, to unearth some hair-raising
ghoultide projects. After all, if trick-or-treaters
are going to hit you up for free candy,
you may as well make them work for it.

Old
Computer
Monitor

Glass or
Acrylic
Sheet

BY DAVI D AG R ELL

COOL HOLOGRAM ILLUSION

Spook the neighborhood


kids before they even
reach your property with a
Halloween Cemetery
Fence from Instructables
user Spiderclimber. Cut
-inch PVC pipe to various
lengths for the pickets,
and cap them with plastic
nials. Drill holes in 2 x 2
furring stock for the rails,
assemble the pieces, and
spray with at black paint.

Decorate with cobwebs


and novelty skulls for
extra-nightmarish eect.
Who doesnt love Yard
Zombies? Lots of people,
which is why life-size
cutouts of the undead
make excellent Halloween
props. Use a jigsaw to
fashion them from -inch
plywood or oriented
strand board. Or, better
yet, do what Lime3D did:
Take a VCarve digital
vector le of your design
to a local TechShop,
where a ShopBot can
fabricate zombies for you.
Glue lengths of -inch
PVC pipe to the monsters legs, and slip them

WorldMags.net

over 3-foot-long pieces of


rebar pounded 12 inches
into the ground.
Cute can often be
unsettling. To make Electric_piano_5ks delightfully
deranged Floating Glowing
Ghosts, attach batterypowered LED lightsthe
puck-shaped kind used for
under-cabinet lightingto
both sides of the lid to a
large jar. Draw a face on
the jar with a black marker,
screw on the lid, and throw
a white sheet over the
assembly. Make a few

WorldMags.net
Squirrel
Jar

Pumpkin

Peanut
Butter
LED Light
Lid
LED Light

I L L U S T R AT I O N S B Y V I C K U L I H I N ( T O P ) , A N T H O N Y D I M I T R E ( B O T T O M )

WEEKEND

F L O AT I N G G L O W I N G G H O S T

more is betterand hang


them from trees in swarms.
Turn your well-kept
home into an eerie wreck
with professional-looking
sets. Briansierra built his
Halloween Mausoleum
from rigid foam insulation
boards, which are lightweight, easy to shape, and
available in large sheets up
to 3 inches thick. Carve
the pieces with a Dremel
rotary tool, and glue them
together with foam adhesive. For a creepy Gothic
look, add decorative moldings and coat everything in
latex paint.
Dont be scared o by
the freakish number of
knots in Nolte919s 20 x
12foot Gigantic Halloween
Spider Web. If youre game,
youll need more than 500
feet of braided clothesline rope. Anchor the
outer frame to the ground
with truckers hitches
wrapped around bent rebar.
Complete the web with
a combination of bowline

SELF-CARVING PUMPKIN

knots, overhand knots,


taut-line hitches, doublesheet bends, and literally
hundreds of clove hitches.
Rotting corpses emerging from the ground will
bring life to any Homemade
Halloween scene. To build
anatomically correct skeletons, Garnoft suggests
wiring together -inch and
-inch PVC pipe. Create
putrid-looking esh by covering the bones in papiermch. Use o-the-shelf
Halloween skulls as heads.
Create a classic
graveyard eect with
low-hanging fog. But to get
the fog creeping slowly
across the lawn, you need
to chill it rst. Why? Warm
air rises, leaving the cooler
stu hugging the ground.
Achieve this with Admanrockss Super Cheap and
Easy Fog Chiller. Start with
a 3-foot length of 4-inch
dryer vent. Grab a Styrofoam cooler and cut 4-inch

holes near the bottom of


each end. Pass the vent
through the cooler, and
cover it with ice. Attach
your fog machine to one
end of the vent.
If the local kids make it
to your front door, youve
got to step up your game.
A oating apparition should
do the trick. NK5s Cool
Hologram Illusion reects
phantasmal images seen
through a large window.
Youll need an old computer
monitorthe older the better; in fact, a CRT monitor
works best. Lay it on its
back in front of a window,
and position a sheet of
glass or clear acrylic at an
angle above it so the monitors reection can be seen
from outside the window.
Finally, play back a spooky
CGI moviea oating skull
is idealand dim the lights.
If all this sounds like
work, why not have the
beasts of the night do it
for you? And by beasts

WorldMags.net

we mean squirrels. Though


Igough calls his project a
Self-Carving Pumpkin, its
actually your local rodents
that do the carving. Start
by drilling -inch holes
into a pumpkin around the
areas where you want
your jack-o-lanterns eyes,
nose, and mouth to be. Drill
right through the skin and
the esh, but dont bother
opening up the pumpkin
to scoop out the guts.
The squirrels do that for
you, Igough explains. Next,
spackle peanut butter into
the holes, and leave the
gourd outside for a few
days for the squirrels to
gnaw away at its face. Yes,
its as horric as it sounds.
For detailed plans and
photos of each project,
head to instructables.com
and search for the projects
highlighted in bold type.

98

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OCTOBER 2013 / POPULARMECHANICS.COM

Home Clinic

B Y R O Y B E R E N D S O H N A N D D AV I D A G R E L L

Grinding
Hardened Steel
My dad gave me a big box of cold chisels,
punches, and other stuff. Most of the tools are
in pretty rough condition, with a mushroomed
face on one end and a chipped edge on the
other. Can I grind these tools back into shape?

With the right equipment, you


should be able to refurbish these
tools because theyre likely made
of metal thats soft enough to
grind. According to the Rockwell
scalea rating system that
classies the hardness of metals

SCOTT MACKENZIE, metallurgist and heat-treating technical service manager for Houghton International

WorldMags.net

PHOTOGRAPH BY GETTY IMAGES

EXPERT

Sharpening chisels and other metal tools heats the cutting edge. Dont quench it in cold water, as this
can create microscopic cracks and stresses in the metal. Instead, use a fast-quench oil available from
industrial supply houses. If thats not available, use canola, vegetable, or peanut oil. Heat it to 212 degrees
Fahrenheit to remove moisture, and then allow it to cool to about 140 F. After quenching a hot tool, wipe it
dry before you continue grinding.

WEEKEND

A bench
grinder is all
you need to
turn rusty
old hardenedsteel tools
into usable
workhorses.
Just take
your time,
and dont
overheat the
metal.

and hard plasticscold chisels


and punches are usually in the
range of Rockwell C5759. That
degree of hardness allows the
tools to cut and strike metal, yet
their edges are soft enough to be
refreshed with a grinding wheel,
file, or sharpening stone. For a
point of reference, the steel of
an ordinary woodworking chisel
is rated around Rockwell C62,
which means its harder than anything in the box. Given that grinding a woodworking chisel is pretty
straightforward, whipping any of
your dads old tools into shape
shouldnt be a problem.
For the ones that seem lightly
damaged, first try reconditioning their cutting edges with a
mill file and sharpening stones.
If the damage is too extensive,
use a bench grinder with a 6-inch
or 8-inch wheel. Its important to
get a grinding wheel that easily
removes the chipped metal but
will not overheat the tool and ruin
its hardness. Try a 60-grit aluminum oxide wheel with a medium
hardness rating.
Before you start, soak the
tools in an oven. This gradual
heating will help prevent the
metal from cracking under stress
when you grind them, according
to Scott Mackenzie, a metallurgist and heat- treating technical
service manager for Houghton
International, a Pennsylvaniabased manufacturer of quench
oils and lubricants. Heat your
oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit,
and then place the tools inside
for 2 hours. Once they cool to
room temperature, carefully start

WorldMags.net

POPULARMECHANICS.COM / OCTOBER 2013

the repair work.


To get a feel for grinding,
first work on the mushroomed
ends, and be sure to wear safety
glasses and a face shield. Touch
the mushroomed surface against
the edge of the grinding wheel
(never grind on the face of the
wheel), and slowly turn the tool
against the direction in which the
wheel is spinning. As you grind
away the mushroomed surface
and work around the bar, youre
liable to produce large, loose chips
of red-hot metal, so pay close
attention and take your time.
Dont try to remove everything in
one pass. Once the metal is o,
grind a small bevel around the
butt end of the tool.
Got the hang of it? Good.
Now try repairing the chipped or
blunted surfaces on the business
end of the tool.
Dont overheat the tool
grind a little at a time, and either
let the metal cool on its own
or quench it in oil (see Expert
Tip) before returning its edge
to the wheel. When youre done,
use a wire brush to remove any
rust, shoot some spray lubricant
over the refurbished tools, and
give them a place of honor in
your tool kit.

ber and igniting. Unfortunately,


the filter screen that protects
the flame arrestor can get
clogged with dust, lint, and oil,
restricting airflow to the combustion chamber, says Kenny

99

Hart, a master plumber, HVAC


expert, and founder of the website theplumbingandhvacguy
.com. When this happens, heat
builds up in the combustion chamber, which causes the heater to

TOOLS & TECH


RUST-OLEUM NEVERWET WATER REPELLENT
($20 FOR 18-OUNCE KIT)
Any surface treated with NeverWet repels water completely. The two-part coating employs nanotechnology
that makes it super-hydrophobic, meaning it sheds water
molecules at a contact angle of 165 degreesmore than
three times that of an untreated surface. This wide angle
keeps droplets in complete spheres that glide o the
surface. Conversely, a nonhydrophobic coating causes
droplets to atten and ultimately saturate the surface.

WHY
WE LIKE
IT

In the past weve only seen this technology used for industrial
purposes. Its not a permanent nish, but its eective. Spray
it on work boots to prevent mud and ice from sticking, or coat
your 4x4s wheel arches and hubcaps to keep them clean.

Cold Shower
I have a 50-gallon gas water
heater thats only four years old.
Lately, though, the water runs
cold before the end of the rst
shower. It used to last for two or
three showers. What changed?
Your heater probably has a
Flammable Vapor Ignition Resistant (often referred to as FVIR)
safety feature, which became
standard in gas-fired residential
water heaters in 2003. This prevents ammable vapors, such as
those from a nearby container
of paint thinner or gasoline, from
entering the combustion cham-

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If you choose to heat with wood, you know the value of having a
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how much money you can save by heating with wood. Heating an
entire home, shop and more with an E-Classic outdoor wood furnace
makes good sense to a lot of people who choose to live in a rural
settings. An E-Classic improves your familys living environment by
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Visit CentralBoiler.com or call (800) 248-4681 for the dealer nearest you.

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All E-Classic outdoor wood furnaces adapt easily to new or existing


heating systems. Its important that your outdoor furnace and
system be properly sized and installed. See your local dealer for more
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WorldMags.net

100

WorldMags.net

OCTOBER 2013 / POPULARMECHANICS.COM

shut down, Hart explains. Some


units automatically relight once
the temperature cools, but if this
is happening, the output of the
heater will obviously be diminished. To x it, rst turn o the
appliance and allow it to cool for
15 minutes. Remove the screen
(check your heaters service manual for instructions), and then
clean it with a vacuum cleaner
and, if needed, warm, soapy
water. Replace the screen and
reignite the pilot light.
If the problem persists, the
thermostatic gas control, the tempering valve, or the recirculating
system may be malfunctioning.
Or, worse still, your homes plumbing is leaking hot water, which is
then being replaced in the tank by
cold water. If thats the case, its
time to call a plumber.

d iy

I L L U S T R AT I O N S B Y K E V I N D A V I S

Tech
G U I TA R-A M P
SPEAKERS
M Y S T E RY
GOPRO FILES

Coating Concrete

GOT A HOMEMAINTENANCE
OR REPAIR PROBLEM?
ASK THE EDITORS.
Send your questions to
pmhomeclinic@hearst.com or to
Home Clinic, Popular Mechanics,
300 W. 57th St., New York, NY
10019-5899. While we cannot
answer questions individually,
problems of general interest will
be discussed in the column.

WEEKEND

Is there a clear coating for


garage oors? I want to seal
my oor against dirt, but I
dont want to paint it.
Use an acrylic sealer, which will
resist the strongly alkaline chemistry of concrete. A good t would
be H&C Concrete Sealer Wet
Look. It appears to be milky when
applied but dries clear.
Before applying the sealant,
scrub the oor with a heavy-duty
degreasing detergent. After rinsing, dry the oor by using a fan
to blow air from the back of the
garage to the front. PopMech

CREATING IN THE CLOUD


O NLI N E C O L L A B O RATI V E TO O L S M A K E
WO R KI N G W I TH O TH E RS OV E R TH E
I NT ERN E T E AS Y, E F F I C I E N T, A N D
SU R P RI S I N G LY F U N. B Y M E L A N I E P I N O L A
Lennon and McCartneys songs, Pound and Eliots poems, Hanna and
Barberas cartoonsmany of the worlds greatest works of art are
the result of collaborations. But if the collaborators arent in the same
room, working together on a project can be a hassle. If youre sending material back and forth through the mail or email you can end up
with multiple versions of the same le, and plenty of confusion about
who is doing what. Recently, though, theres been an explosion of
new cloud-based services that let you do everything from basic document sharing to elaborate group music creation. Whether you use a

WorldMags.net

!
T
WorldMags.net
S
A
P
E
H
T

F
O
S
E
Y
E
E
TH
H
G
U
O
R
H
T
E
R
U
T
U
F
E
H
SEE T

or more than a century, scientic and


military experts have imagined a world
of weaponry that included death rays,
robot spies in outer space, and dirigible
mother ships holding dozens of planes.
Some predictions were shockingly prescient; others hilariously wrongand
youll nd them all in this new book alongside the stunning original color art.

Edited by Nebula-award winning author


Gregory Benford.

ALSO

978-1-58816-862-7

AVAILABLE
ALL THESE FANTASTICALLY FABULOUS FUTURES,
AND I GET TO LIVE IN NONE OF THEMAND NO,
HAVING AN iPOD TOUCH DOES NOT MAKE UP FOR
ITBUT AT LEAST I HAVE THIS BOOK, WHICH
ALMOST DOES.
JOHN SCALZI, BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF
OLD MANS WAR
Available in hardcover or as an ebook wherever books are sold.

WorldMags.net

WorldMags.net
TOUGH

Clear, Serious
Strength

EPOXY

DIY TECH / CLOUD PROJECTS

specially designed website or app,


or just a le-sharing site such as
Dropbox, these tools all provide
convenient access to project les
or assets in one location, nearinstant updates and notications
of changes, and control over who
can contribute to or edit the les.
And online communities allow
you to tap into the expertise of
people you may have never met.
The tools are so abundant that the
biggest challenge is selecting the
ones that make the most sense
for the project.
Because almost all online collaboration requires storing files
in the cloud, the first thing you
should do is grab as much free
cloud storage as possible. Most
services, including Dropbox,
Box, SkyDrive, and Google Drive,
give a few free gigabytesand
sometimes as much as 50just
for signing up. See How to Get
a Ton of Storage for strategies
that will help you rack up the
most gigabytes.

Gorilla Epoxy
combines superior
strength, speed and
clarity to deliver the
highest performance
bond, whatever the
application. Its
serious strength
when you need it.

For the Toughest Jobs


on Planet Earth

Perhaps the most straightforward


way to turn multiple peoples
ideas into one cohesive whole is a
group blog or website. Many years
ago, a few of my friends and I
used an easy tool to create a
website for an independent movie
we had collaborated on. Called
Mambo, the now-defunct contentmanagement system basically
let us all be webmasters through
a very simple interface. Our process worked like this: At the start
we decided what we wanted the
site to do (showcase the movie
and oer clips and a discussion
area) and the kinds of pages it
would have. After I created the
templates for the main page and
other sections, the other users
could upload assets such as video
clips and music les to the systems shared storage space. We
could all create or edit pages, but,

www.gorillatough.com
2013 The Gorilla Glue Company

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WEEKEND

Set Up a Group Website

as a fail-safe, there were only two


administrator accounts.
Today we would likely use
a free, template-driven service,
such as Moonfruit and Weebly.
Because of the template styles
they oer, these website-creation
tools are best used when building
an entire site, such as one for a
movie or business, rather than a
more blog-like page. The two services support multiuser accounts,
and they also both operate
under the freemium model, oering bonus features, such as site
search and larger le uploads, for
a fee. But the free versions have
plenty of customizable templates.
Weeblys interface is a bit cleaner
and easier to use, and Moonfruit
oers slightly more control over
page layout, but, overall, youll get
essentially the same level of netuning with either.
For a place to post straightforward photos, videos, and text
entries, youll be better served
by a blogging service, such as
WordPress, Google Blogger, or
Tumblr. These sites all have
multiauthor capabilities and
administrator hierarchies, though
the paid version of WordPress
(found at wordpress.org) offers
more control than the others. If
you have a self-hosted WordPress
blog, youll need to use a multiuser
plug-in, such as Co-Authors Plus
or Advanced Access Manager.
One of the benets of using plugins like these is you get more control over user rights and can set
up editorial calendars, group commenting systems, and more.
The most collaborative platform of all is the wiki. With their
almost innitely malleable design,
wikis are sites that let multiple
people add, edit, or delete sections
from a simple browser-based text
editor. Theyre useful for creating a
knowledge-based, community website or an internal, private site
anything for which the entire

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world, if you wish) editing ability for your wiki. With so many
cooks in the kitchen, so to speak,
you can make sure your wiki
stays organized and relevant by
regularly discussing the wiki and
its content with your team and by
making sure someone is in charge
of reviewing the wikimaintaining style consistency and deleting
out-of-date information.


Being a webmaster may not be
your thingmaybe photography
is your passion. We all have photos to share with friends, family,
and colleagues. With the tremendous number of photo-sharing
sites on the Web (Flickr, Picasa/
Google+, Shutterfly, Snapfish,
Instagram, and Facebook, to name
a few), the problem isnt finding a place to share your photos
onlineits consolidating everyones photos and turning them
into meaningful stories.
Avital Fryman, a multimedia
specialist at a medical supplies
company, works as part of a

HOW TO . . .
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WEEKEND

STOP
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organizational structure of all the


information on the site might have
to change often. So, while a blog
displays a chronological account
of everyones contributions about
a topic, a wikis treatment of a
topic reects the thinking of whoever last modified the text. The
most famous wiki of all, Wikipedia,
is a crowdsourced encyclopedia,
but there are wikis dedicated to
travel (Wikitravel), medical reference (Ganfyd), and even network
names (Naming Schemes).
To start your own wiki, you
could use a wiki hosting service
(aka a wiki farm), such as MyWikis,
which oers free, personal hosting using MediaWiki, the software behind Wikipedia. The DIY
approach is to install your desired
wiki engine, such as Media Wiki
or the compact TiddlyWiki, on
your own server or computer.
Also, many Web hosting services
come with a control panel where
you can easily install programs
on your site, including wiki software. Once installed, all you have
to do is grant people (or the whole

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Theres nothing like recording in


the studio with others, but you
can still get great results over
the Web (or even in the mail, as
the aptly named band the Postal

Service did in 2001, sending CD-Rs


between L.A. and Seattle to complete an album bit by bit).
With specially designed musicsharing sites you can avoid resorting to the USPS. Some sites serve
as central locations onto which
you can upload projects, leaving
them for collaborators to work on,
and other sites offer live online
recording sessionsno need
to rent a studio, clear out your
garage, or even ever meet fellow
band members.
To tap into the energy and
expertise of musicians online, join
a service thats specically musicfocused, such as Kompoz, Indaba
Music, Scratch Audio, or SoundCloud; upload a recording; and
invite sidemen to contribute to
it. Alternatively, you can browse
open projects and submit your
own tracks for possible inclusion.
If you already have a collaborator in mind, the simplest way
to work together may be to use
an online storage service such
as Dropbox. Ben Fowler, a producer, composer, and musician,
describes the process like this:
Save an early draft of a track to a
shared Dropbox folder, then your
collaborator can record dierent
tracks over it and save each separate stem (a grouping of specic
musical elements, such as percussion or background vocals). You
might edit or record new tracks
based on what you hear, adding
an instrument, for instance, or
modifying whats already there.
Finally, piece the best of these
snippets together into its full version. All the while, participating
musicians can bounce ideas off
each other through instant messaging or set up synced listening
sessions via Skype. You can also
upload versions to SoundCloud,
where listeners can tag specic
parts of songs with comments.
To collaborate with people
you dont know, try kompoz.com.

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WEEKEND

EASY-TO-INSTALL

creative team that collaborates


on photo presentations for clients. Both Fryman and his clients
use a variety of consumer services, including SmugMug, Snapsh, Shuttery, and Flickr for their
professional presentations. The
same tools and methods Fryman
uses can help with personal projects. For example, he uses the
starring systemswhich allow
users to easily mark the photos
they likeon sites such as SmugMug, Snapfish, Shutterfly, and
Flickr to let clients and other team
members submit their choices for
which photos to use for a project. Those stars crowdsource
and simplify the task of selecting
everyones favorite photos.
If everyone in your circle operates within Apples walled garden
of devices and software, they can
create a shared Photo Stream,
which syncs photos through iCloud
to iPhoto accounts and multiple
iOS devices. With Photo Stream
various people can upload, and
comment on, photos in the same
stream. In general, I favor Flickr,
which makes it easy to invite
members to a group so they can
upload their own photos directly
to the site or via Apples iPhoto on
Macs or Microsofts Photo Gallery
on PCs.
After choosing the best photos, any of the collaborators can
download the selected photos and
turn them into a slide show with
desktop software such as iPhoto
or Photo Gallery. These programs
let you add transitions, choose
themes, and put the whole thing
to music. For those who prefer to
stay in the cloud, Googles Picasa
can do all this too.

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108

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OCTOBER 2013 / POPULARMECHANICS.COM

D I Y T E C H / D I G I TA L C L I N I C

Digital Clinic

BY RACHEL Z. ARNDT

PHOTOGRAPH BY WILLIAM BRINSON

Shredding Through
Speakers
I just got a new electric guitar, but I dont
have a guitar amp, so I tried plugging it into
some computer speakers. I could barely
hear it. Am I doing something wrong?

WEEKEND
Electric guitars work because of electromagnetism: The pickups on a
guitar, which are transducers, receive the mechanical vibrations of the
strings and turn them into an electric current. Dynamic microphones work
in much the same way, picking up the vibrations of sound waves and
converting them into electric signals. These signals are weak, so they
have to be highly amplied to be heard. Guitar amps do this; computer
speakers do not. You can hear the guitar faintly through powered
computer speakers because, though they dont boost the signal enough,
they do still receive it. But theyre designed to play audio coming from
a powered line-level source, such as an MP3 player or a computer, not

WorldMags.net

STYLING BY SUSAN BRINSON

Singer and guitarist Steve


Bird, who goes by the alias
chilledStrings on the site, has
collaborated on 33 songs since
joining last May. Based in Melbourne, Australia, Bird has contributed tracks or started projects
with members in Alaska, Idaho ,
the Netherlands, and beyond,
playing guitar, singing, and mixing. He says the biggest attractions of sites such as these are
the supportive communities and
other members pure desire to
just make music together, without pushing any commercial interests. Like other online music collaboration sites, such as Scratch
Audio and Hyped Sound, kompoz
.com is both a social tool and an
online work space for musicians.
Members upload or download song
tracks under Creative Commons
licensing (so anyone can use and
expand on the tracks) and comment on songs in progress.
If music is more than just
a hobby for you, though, some
sites can also help build a career
through networking and more
exposure. On Indaba Music, for
example, artists upload their music
for fellow musicians and record
labels to notice. Winners of Indaba
contests have recorded with Yo-Yo
Ma, created a remix for Linkin Park,
and, in Fowlers case, worked with
Grammy Awardwinning producer
Rob Fusari (the guy behind Lady
Gaga and other stars).
As with website building and
photo sharing, the main limitation in cloud music collaboration
is analog: how dispersed team
members communicate about
the shared project. Fowler recommends that when seeking new
collaborators on the Web, try to
nd like-minded people with similar creative styles, at least at
rst. As in the real world, one person will probably take the lead to
get the project movingand as in
the real world, thats just ne.

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an instrument pickup, which has a


very weak signal.
So for real oomph, youll need
a real guitar amplifier. The tiny
Pignose Legendary 7-100 costs
$80 and provides a satisfyingly
dirty classic rock sound. And for
under $200, you can nd a small
amp, such as a 15-watt Marshall,
that includes digital modeling to
replicate various amp characteristics and eects.
But if you already have decent
speakers, you should give them a
shot. To get sound from your guitar
(or microphone) to come out of computer speakers at the same relative volume as a regular input, you
need a preampsomething that
brings the signal up to line level
before sending it on its way. The
best way to set this up is to use an
audio interface designed for the job,
such as the Korg Pandora Personal
Multi-Eects Processor ($230) or
the Korg Pandora Mini ($100). A
preamp is a more expensive solution than a cheap guitar amp, but
combined with good speakers, itll
give you much better sound. And
it can come in handy for more than
just shredding through computer
speakers; both Korg models come
with distortion styles, such as
those created by eects pedals,
and drum loops.
Connect your guitar to the
interface with a regular -inch
guitar cord (or your microphone
with an XLR-to--inch adapter),

and plug either a guitar cord with


-inch adapters on the ends or a
-inch male-to-male headphones
cord into the headphone line out
(not the regular line out). Plug the
other end into the line in of your
speakers. Turn the audio interface
on and your speakers should be
transformed into an amp. Its worth
trying more than one set of speakers, if you can; when I plugged my
Telecaster in, some, such as the
Libratone Zipp ($400) and the
Audioengine 5+ ($400), sounded
better than others.

Automation in Word
Im constantly writing letters in
Microsoft Word in which I have to
italicize, indent, and adjust the
font size of certain parts of the
text. Can I apply a style to cut
down on the number of steps?
You need to create a macro, short
for macroinstruction, which is a
scripted sequence of commands
that can make tedious computing
tasks a bit less wearying. Macros
can automate nearly any process
in Microsoft Word, from something
as simple as typing the word
Hello at the beginning of every
document (for which a macro
would arguably take longer than
the old-fashioned typing-it-out
way) to more complicated tasks,
such as completing multiple ndand-replace searches and creating
specically formatted tables.

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POPULARMECHANICS.COM / OCTOBER 2013

You can nd the Record New


Macro option in the Tools menu.
Give the macro a name with no
spaces (Microsoft says this is what
you must do; oddly, it still allows
spaces in the name field), and
dene whether it will be accessed
by clicking a button in a toolbar
or with a keyboard command.
Youll also be prompted to choose
where the macro is available: in all
documents or just the one youre
working in. Presumably, if youre
going to the trouble of creating a
macro, youll want to use it in more
than one document. When youre
ready to start recording your every move in Word, highlight the
text you want it to aect, hit OK,
and, in your case, begin formatting.
When youre done, head back to
the Tools menu to stop recording.
Now whenever you want to automatically format text in the same
way, highlight, press the macro
button or keyboard shortcut, and
the program will do the dirty work.

les is a matter of keeping the card


clutter-free, by all means, get rid of
them. But if youre just concerned
about these les taking up precious memory-card space, dont
waste your timetheyre tiny and,
in some cases, useful. For instance,
GoPro mobile apps use them for
previews when beaming over
Wi-Fi. Also, because the les are
low-resolutionthe thumbnails

are 160 x 120 pixels, and the LRV


movies are 432 x 240theyre
easy to use on sluggish computers.
Before you work with them, though,
youll need to trick your computer
into recognizing them. Change the
.thm extension to .jpg and open
the photo as you would any other;
change the .lrv extension to .mp4
and youll be able to watch and edit
the miniature videos. PopMech

Mystery GoPro Files


Along with the movie les on the
SD card from my GoPro camera,
Ive also noticed les that end
in .thm and .lrv. What are these
les? Can I delete them?
Yes, though you may not want to.
The .thm les are photo thumbnails, used for displaying miniature
versions on the optional GoPro
LCD-screen attachment. The .lrv
les are low-resolution versions
of videos, similarly used for the
on-camera screen. If deleting these

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GOT A TECHNOLOGY
PROBLEM?
ASK RACHEL ABOUT IT.

Send your questions to


pmdigitalclinic@hearst.com.
While we cant answer
questions individually, problems
of general interest will be
discussed in the column.

32%R[*UDQHURV5G
&RORUDGR&LW\&2
ZZZSODVPDFDPFRP
 ID[  

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111

112

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OCTOBER 2013 / POPULARMECHANICS.COM

PHOTOGRAPHS BY BREN T HUMPHRE YS

Saturday Mechanic:

diy

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MED I A B LAS TI N G I S A
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O R O LD PAI N T I N N O TI M E
AT ALL. B Y B E N W O J D Y L A
There are some cleaning and restoration jobs around the garage
that are too tough for detergents and elbow grease. A rusty
leaf spring on a vintage vehicle,
a wheel ravaged by road salt and

brake dust, a dingy accessory on


an otherwise sparkling engine
when it comes to this kind of hardcore work, savvy DIYers bring in
the heavy artillery of media blasting. (Its also called sandblasting,
but sand is no longer used due to
the health risks of inhaling silica
particles.) Media blasting can strip
paint without damaging the base
material, even if its plastic and
wood, and smooth out pitting on
the hardest of metals. The tech-

WEEKEND

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plastic makes
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SPECIAL ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE

2013

WorldMags.net

UNITED
STATES
DISTRIBUTION NOTICE:
SSB1910

RESIDENTS CASH IN: Pictured above are the Overstuffed Money Bags containing 10 individual Vault Bags full of money
that everyone is trying to get. Thats because each Vault Bag is known to contain over 100 U.S. Govt issued coins some dating back to the early 1900s.

State zip codes determine who gets free Silver coins


Vault bags loaded with U.S. Govt issued coins are up for grabs as thousands of U.S. residents stand to miss the deadline
to claim the money; now any U.S. resident who finds their zip code listed below gets to claim the bags of money
for themselves and keep any valuable coins found inside by covering the Vault Bag fee within the next 7 days
The phone lines are ringing off the
FREE: RED BOOK COLLECTOR
How to claim the bags of U.S. Govt issued coins: Read the important
hook.
Thats because for the next 7 days Vault
Bags containing valuable U.S. Govt issued
coins are actually being handed over to U.S.
residents who find their zip code listed in
todays publication.
Now that the bags of money are up for
grabs U.S. residents are claiming as many
as they can get before theyre all gone. Thats
because after the Vault Bags were loaded
with over 100 U.S. Govt issued coins the
bags were sealed for good. But we do know
that some of the coins date clear back to the
early 1900s, including: a 90% pure Silver
Walking Liberty Half Dollar, an Eisenhower Dollar, some of the last ever minted U.S.
Dollars, Kennedy Half Dollars, Silver Mercury Dimes, rarely seen Liberty V Nickels,
nearly 100 year old Buffalo Nickels and unsearched currently circulating U.S. Govt
issued nickels, dimes and quarter dollars,
but theres no telling what youll find until
you sort through all the coins. said Timothy J. Shissler, Chief Numismatist for the
private World Reserve.
The only thing residents need to do is
call the National Claim Hotline before the
7-day order deadline ends.
Everyone who does is being given the
90% pure Silver Walking Liberty coin for
free just by covering the fee for each Vault
Bag loaded with over 100 U.S. Govt issued
coins for only $99 as long as they call before
the deadline ends.
So, if lines are busy keep trying, all calls
will be answered. N

information below. Then call the National Claim Hotline at: 1-866-646-2717
I keep calling and cant get through: This announcement is being so widely advertised because each Vault Bag is guaranteed to contain a free Silver Walking Liberty coin
and just that one coin alone could be worth $15 to $325 in collector value. So thousands
of residents are calling to claim as many Vault Bags as they can get before theyre all gone.
In fact, since the Vault Bag fee is just $ 99 everyone is claiming as many bags as they can
before the deadline ends. So if lines are busy keep trying, all calls will be answered.
How much are the Vault Bags worth: Coin values always fluctuate and there are never
any guarantees, but heres why U.S. residents are claiming as many Vault Bags as they
can get before theyre all gone. After the Vault bags were loaded with over 100 U.S. Govt
issued coins including: Silver, scarce, highly collectible, and a big scoop of unsearched
currently circulating U.S. Govt issued coins the bags were sealed for good. But we do
know that some of the coins date back to the 1900s. That means theres no telling what
youll find until you sort through all the coins. So you better believe at just $99 the Vault
Bag fee is a real steal since the free Silver Walking Liberty coin alone could be worth from
$15 to $325 in collector value.
Are the Silver Walking Liberty coins really Free: Yes. U.S. residents who beat the
7-day deadline are getting a Silver Walking Liberty coin minted between 1916-1947 free
with each Vault Bag they claim.
Why is the Vault Bag fee so low: Because thousands of U.S. residents have missed
the deadline to claim the money the World Reserve has re-allocated Vault Bags that will be
scheduled to be sent out in the next 7 days. That means the money is up for grabs and now
any resident who finds the first two digits of their zip code on the Distribution List below
gets to claim the bags of money for themselves and keep all the U.S. Govt issued coins
found inside. Each Vault Bag fee is set at $149 for residents who miss the 7-day deadline,
but for those who beat the 7-day deadline the Vault Bag fee is just $ 99 for as long as they
call the National Claim Hotline before the deadline ends at: 1-866-646-2717.

VALUE $15 to $325

VALUABLE:
90% PURE SILVER

ENLARGED TO
SHOW DETAIL. YEAR
VARIES 1916-1947

STATE ZIP CODE DISTRIBUTION LIST


Alabama
35, 36

Delaware
19

Alaska
99
Arizona
85, 86

Florida*
32, 33, 34
Georgia
30, 31, 39

Arkansas
71, 72

Hawaii
96

California
N/A
Colorado
80, 81

Idaho
83
Illinois
60, 61, 62

Connecticut
06

Indiana
46, 47

Iowa
50, 51, 52
Kansas
66, 67
Kentucky
40, 41, 42
Louisiana
70, 71
Maine
03, 04
Maryland
20, 21

Massachusetts
01, 02, 05

Nevada
88, 89

North Dakota
58

Michigan
48, 49

New Hampshire
03

Ohio*
41, 43,
44, 45

Minnesota
55, 56
Mississippi
38, 39
Missouri
63, 64, 65

New Jersey
07, 08
New Mexico
87, 88

Oklahoma
73, 74

Virginia
South Carolina
29
20, 22, 23, 24
South Dakota
57

Washington
98, 99

Tennessee
37, 38

West Virginia
24, 25, 26

Oregon
97

Texas
75, 76, 77
78, 79, 88

Montana
59

New York
00, 10, 11, 12
13, 14

Pennsylvania
15, 16, 17, 18, 19

Utah
84

Nebraska
68, 69

North Carolina
27, 28

Rhode Island
02

Vermont
05

Wisconsin
53, 54
Wyoming
82, 83
Washington DC
20
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114

WorldMags.net

OCTOBER 2013 / POPULARMECHANICS.COM

DIY AUTO / MEDIA BLASTING

niques utility extends to other


home projects, including stripping
old bike frames and metal lawn
furniture, and even removing calcium deposits from tiles.
The operation uses pressurized
air to shoot tiny pieces of material (media) out of a nozzle to strip
o the surface of a target. Its like

Untreated

pressure washing, only at lower


pressures and with projectiles
that are a lot more abrasive than
droplets of water. The most commonly used media include plastic
beads, ground-up walnut shells,
glass beads, and aluminum oxide.
To media-blast at home, buy
a blasting cabinet to contain the

Plastic Beads/Walnut Shells

Glass Beads

1
2
3

Aluminum Oxide

results. Walnut shells


are dirt cheap and
eco-friendly (perfect if youre doing
work outdoors) but
only last for one use.
Plastic beads can be
used multiple times.
Both are gentle
enough to strip paint
and remove minor

SAFETY FIRST! Microscopic dust that results from


blasting is bad for your health, so when working on
large projects, be sure to cover up. We recommend: a
face shield and/or safety glasses (1) , ear protection (2) ,
and a breathing mask (3) . A handheld blasting gun (4)
requires gloves (5) , and an apron (6) is a good idea.
The blasting cabinet (7) is downright tidy in comparison,
but it limits your work space.

WorldMags.net

blemishes on metal,
although they arent
abrasive enough to
remove all the rust
shown here. To do
that you need to
use glass beads,
which stripped away
enough of the metal
on our bar to make it
look fresh again. The
last section shows
why aluminum oxide
is the 800-pound
gorilla of blasting
media. If you want
something clean, itll
be clean right now,
and aluminum oxide
can even smooth
out scratches and
gouges. The extreme
hardness of aluminum oxide means
that its eects last
a long time, and
its generally pretty
inexpensive. It also
leaves a coarse nish, as shown by the
dullness on the right
end of the steel bar,
compared with the
middle section.

WEEKEND

This rusty piece of


steel from a truck
leaf spring shows
exactly how a few
dierent types of
common blasting
media produce very
dierent results.
Plastic beads and
walnut shells yield
almost identical

THE
NITTYGRITTY

mess and to avoid covering your


entire garage with a ne dusting
of walnut shells. The cabinet usually consists of a closed box with
a blasting gun and a pair of heavyduty gloves built into the structure. For less than $200 you can
get a bench-top unit with a working area of about 22 x 18 x 12

WorldMags.net

POPULARMECHANICS.COM / OCTOBER 2013

inches. Larger self-standing cabinets with about 6 cubic feet of


covered space are more expensiveas much as $1500 and
higher. The media generally cost
less than $50 for a 5- gallon
bucket, and most media can be
reused repeatedly. The other
requirement is an air compressor that can handle a minimum of
80 psi at 5 cubic feet per minute
(at least $200 if you dont already
have one). For larger objects, such
as wheels or body panels, you
can build a simple enclosure with
2 x 4s and plastic sheeting,
although that also requires a
handheld gun and personal protective equipment (see page 114).
For bigger projects, such as a car
frame, its best to hand the job o
to a professional shop.
Even though media blasting
can strip the chrome o a bumper, its not very good at removing grease. Before you blast, make
sure anything sticky or oily has
been cleaned; otherwise, youll
end up immediately fouling the
media you just bought. The rule of
thumb for media blasting is to use
the lightest abrasive and lowest
pressure necessary to get the job
done. Dont forget that the softer
the target material, the gentler
you need to be. Always test your
material and pressure setting rst
on a section of the part that isnt
seen. Heavy media often leave a
rough nish, so keep in mind that
further polishing steps after blasting may be required.
You also need to watch out for
ash corrosion, which can occur
when moisture in the air rapidly
oxidizes a newly exposed piece
of metal. If this is a risk (dont
do anything when the humidity
is above 75 percent), be ready
to treat raw metal with primer
paint or another protectant as
soon as possible. You dont want
your shiny new surface to vanish
under a fresh coat of corrosion.

115

Car Clinic

B Y B E N W O J DY L A

PHOTOGRAPH BY JEFFREY WESTBROOK

Plugged Up
p
Ive heard platinum
spark plugs can get
stuck in engines. Is
this true? If so, is it
possible to prevent?

When you buy


a platinum
spark plug,
it is the core
that is made
from precious
metal, not
the entire
plug.

There has been a long-standing


rumor, longer than the promised
100,000-mile lifetime of platinum
spark plugs, that these plugs tend
to get stuck in place. The concept
behind the rumor is that because
the plug is made of platinum, contact with the steel or aluminum of
the engines head results in galvanic corrosionsurface degradation that happens when dissimilar
metals are in contact with each
other in an electrolyte, in this
case, water. The theory is that
this process fouls the threads of
the plug and fuses it in place.
The problem with this logic
is that the threaded end of the
plug that contacts the engines
head isnt made of platinum, its
made of plated steel just like
any other plug (and that plating
should resist galvanic corrosion

WorldMags.net

with an aluminum head). The


platinum component is the center electrode nestled at the core
of the ceramic insulator. It never
comes into contact with the rest
of the engine. That being said,
spark plugs of all types can be
tough to remove after a few years
in place. Whenever checking or
replacing a plug, we like to dab a
bit of antiseize on the threads, to
aid later removal, before putting it
in the plug hole. As always, never
crank a plug tight with a socket
wrench. Plugs on most cars and
trucks should be torqued to about
20 foot-pounds.

Concrete Topcoat
Apparently I drove my 2005
Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab pickup through some wet concrete,

WorldMags.net

Im not
a lost
cause.
Im just
a kid.

@V\[O=PSSHNLZILSPL]LZ[OH[
UVJOPSKPZHSVZ[JH\ZL5V[H
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JOPSKZ\JJLLK(UK^LOH]L
HU Z\JJLZZYH[L[OH[
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DIY AUTO / CAR CLINIC

POPULAR MECHANICS (ISSN 0032-4558) is


published monthly except for combined July/
August and December/January, 10 times a year,
by Hearst Communications, Inc., 300 West 57th
Street, New York, NY 10019 U.S.A. Steven R.
Swartz, President & Chief Executive Oicer;
William R. Hearst III, Chairman; Frank A. Bennack,
Jr., Executive Vice Chairman; Catherine A.
Bostron, Secretary; Ronald J. Doerer, Senior
Vice President, Finance and Administration.
Hearst Magazines Division: David Carey,
President; John P. Loughlin, Executive Vice
President and General Manager; John A. Rohan,
Jr., Senior Vice President, Finance. 2013 by
Hearst Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.
Popular Mechanics is a registered trademark of
Hearst Communications, Inc. Periodicals postage
paid at N.Y., N.Y., and additional entry post oices.
Canada Post International Publications mail
product (Canadian distribution) sales agreement
no. 40012499. CANADA BN NBR 10231 0943 RT.
POSTMASTER: Send all UAA to CFS. (See DMM
707.4.12.5); NON-POSTAL AND MILITARY
FACILITIES: send address corrections to Popular
Mechanics, P.O. Box 6000, Harlan, IA 51593.
Printed in U.S.A.

Wobbly Whoa
I have a 2009 Lexus ES 350 with
55,000 miles on it. Lately when
I hit the brakes, the car trembles. I looked at the front brake
pads and theyre still good. What
could be the cause and how
should I x the problem?
It sounds like you have a classic
case of warped rotors. Braking
removes material not just from
the pads, but from the discs as
well. As rotors get thinner, they
are more susceptible to warping
because of the heat generated
during braking. Although sometimes you cant see any irregularity, thats what is causing shudder
when a caliper clamps down. You
can solve the problem in one or
two ways. Remove the brake
rotors and have them turned at
a brake shop. This is a machining
process where the surfaces are
smoothed using a special lathe.
First, though, the shop will measure the thickness of the rotor.
If its too thin, legally they arent
allowed to turn the rotors.
The other (and probably more
time-effective) option is to buy
new rotors and replace your old
ones. Its a good idea to swap
out the pads at the same time.
At 55,000 miles, if you havent
done a front brake job on your car,
youre not far o from having to
do one anyway.

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ADVERTISING OFFICES:
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New York, NY 10019-3797.
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SERVICES: Popular
Mechanics will, upon
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.com or write to Customer


Service Department,
Popular Mechanics, P.O.
Box 6000, Harlan, IA
51593. Please enclose
your mailing label when
writing to us or renewing
your subscription.
>>> Popular Mechanics is
not responsible for
unsolicited manuscripts or
art. None will be returned
unless accompanied by a
self-addressed stamped
envelope.
MAILING LISTS:
From time to time we
make our subscriber list
available to companies
who sell goods and
services by mail that we
believe would interest our
readers. If you would
rather not receive such
mailings, please send your

current mailing label or


exact copy to Popular
Mechanics, Mail
Preference Service, P.O.
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51593.
AS A SERVICE
TO READERS,
Popular Mechanics
publishes newsworthy
products, techniques, and
scientic and technological
developments. Because of
possible variance in the
quality and condition of
materials and workmanship,
Popular Mechanics cannot
assume responsibility for
proper application of
techniques or proper and
safe functioning of
manufactured products or
reader-built projects
resulting from information
published in this magazine.

WEEKEND

which left a thin coat of dried


concrete on the fenders behind
the passenger-side front and rear
wheels. Is there a way to remove
it without damaging the paint?
You could just leave it on for that
contractors truck look, but
there are several ways to address
removal. If any of the concrete is
thick, its best to start by gently
tapping the surface with a rubber mallet. This will mechanically
break up the concrete and it will
fall o. You may leave a few nicks
in the clear coat, but those can
be polished away. If its a thin
layer that wont break o, youll
need to use weak acids to work
on the chemistry of the concrete. Begin with regular white
vinegar and brush it on, letting it
sit for a few minutes, then rinse
away the slurry that comes up.
Repeat as necessary. If you need
to scrub any of the concrete, do
so gently to make sure you dont
scratch the paint. If that doesnt
work, try using a concrete and
mortar dissolver. Its more expensive, but it also chemically breaks
down concrete and does not contain a harsh acid that will create
collateral damage. Once all the
concrete is removed, youll probably need to restore the surface
with a light polishing compound
followed by a good waxing. Dont
worry, itll look like new.

WorldMags.net
Grinding Teeth
I drive a 2004 Ford Taurus and
every once in a while turning the
key to start the car results in
a very loud and sharp grinding
noise. Whenever this happens
I take the keys out, put them
back in and try to turn it over
again. Sometimes it will happen a second time, and other
times the ignition turns over like
normal and the car starts. This
seems bad; what could it be?
Your problem could be that the
solenoid on the starter is giving
out. To crank the engine, a small
gear on the starter turns the large
ring gear attached to the engines
flywheel. To avoid spinning the
starter when the engine is running,
the starter gear by default doesnt
engage the electric motorthe
solenoid makes that happen when
you turn the ignition. Or maybe
one of the gears associated with
the starting process has worn
down. The starter gear is usually
made of softer metal than the ring
gear and wears down rst, so its
unlikely anything is wrong with
the ywheel. In either case, a new
starter is in your future, and its
better to do the job now before
you get stranded. If you have the
time and the starter is easy to get
to, its a straightforward job. You
just unhook the car battery, disconnect the wires leading to the
starter, remove the bolts that hold
it in place, and replace it. Or take
it to a shopyou should be in and
out in a couple of hours. PopMech

GOT A CAR PROBLEM?


ASK BEN ABOUT IT.
Send your questions to
pmautoclinic@hearst.com or
over Twitter at @PopMechAuto or
to Car Clinic, Popular Mechanics,
300 W. 57th St., New York,
NY 10019-5899. While we cant
answer questions individually,
problems of general interest will
be discussed in the column.

WANTED
INVENTORS
We are gathering the nest minds in invention to solve some of the biggest problems in the
world water purication / desalination, efcient power / energy generation & distributed
power, biofuels and any invention which helps the poor of the world.
We have the infrastructure (25 acres with 10 buildings), equipment
and capital. The group will be comprised of several teams working
independently and together (no politics). Currently, we have working
prototypes in several areas. Limitations: work will only be done in
areas which have signicant effect on the worlds poor. There will be
no long term research. Preferably using current technology to make
new invention.

Manoj Bhargava
Founder and CEO of
5-hour ENERGY

If you enjoy work, this is a great place. Decent compensation with


interesting bonuses. Degree not required. Tell us what you have actually
done (invented). The Board is comprised of Manoj Bhargava, Founder
and CEO of 5-hour ENERGY and Tom LaSorda, former CEO of Chrysler.

visit: www.hansinvention.com
WorldMags.net
Located in Farmington Hills, Michigan

Tom LaSorda
Former CEO of
Chrysler

HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS LIFETIME WARRANTY


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6999

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WEIGHS 74 LBS.

LOT NO.
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18

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36 LED SOLAR
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99
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LOT NO.
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59%

$ 29

REG. PRICE $12.99

LOT NO. 95588/


69462/60561

"Impressed with the Quality


Construction and Ease of Use"
Hot Bike Magazine

SAVE
66% SAVE $
$ 99 $135

Includes three
AA NiCd
rechargeable
batteries.

Item
95588
shown

700 LB.
CAPACITY

Item
95272
shown

FIVE DRAWER
TOOL CART

16499

REG. PRICE $299.99

REG. PRICE $29.99

LOT NO. 95272/69397/61427

LIMIT 9 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or
coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last.
Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 1/14/14. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

LIMIT 7 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or
coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last.
Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 1/14/14. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

LIMIT 5 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or
coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last.
Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 1/14/14. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

R !
PE ON
SU UP
CO

R !
PE ON
SU UP
CO

R !
PE ON
SU UP
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TRIPLE BALL
TRAILER HITCH

AUTOMATIC
BATTERY FLOAT
CHARGER

LOT NO. 94141/


69874/61320

SAVE $
99
63% REG. PRICE $54.99

19

LOT NO. 42292/


69594/69955

SAVE
66% $ 99

Item
42292
shown

Item 94141
shown

1500 PSI
PRESSURE WASHER

SAVE
$50

LOT NO.
68333/69488

Item
68333
shown

7999

REG.
PRICE
$129.99

REG. PRICE $14.99

LIMIT 5 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or
coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last.
Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 1/14/14. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

LIMIT 6 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or
coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last.
Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 1/14/14. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

LIMIT 4 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or
coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last.
Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 1/14/14. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

R !
PE ON
SU UP
CO

R !
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SU UP
CO

R !
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SU UP
CO

3 PIECE TITANIUM
NITRIDE COATED
HIGH SPEED STEEL
STEP DRILLS

SAVE
60%

Item
91616
shown

4" x 36" BELT/


6" DISC SANDER

SAVE
$45

LOT NO. 91616/


69087/60379

$ 99

Item 97181
shown

LOT NO.
97181/93981

REG.
PRICE
$19.99

54

99

REG.
PRICE
$99.99

6" DIGITAL CALIPER


Item
47257
shown

SAVE
66%

LOT NO.
47257/61585

$ 99
REG. PRICE
$29.99

Includes two 1.5V SR44


button cell batteries.

LIMIT 8 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or
coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last.
Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 1/14/14. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

LIMIT 3 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or
coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last.
Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 1/14/14. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

LIMIT 8 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or
coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last.
Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 1/14/14. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

R !
PE ON
U
P
S U
CO

R !
PE ON
U
P
S U
CO

R !
PE ON
U
P
S U
CO

12,000 LB. ELECTRIC WINCH


WITH REMOTE CONTROL AND
AUTOMATIC BRAKE
Item 68142
shown

LOT NO. 68142/60813/61256

SAVE
$200

12 VOLT MAGNETIC
TOWING LIGHT KIT

SAVE
66%

SAVE
$120
$
99

LOT NO.
68751/90599

LOT NO.
96933/67455/
69626/69925

"Voted the Best Deal


in Winching"
Off-Road Magazine

29999

45 WATT SOLAR PANEL KIT


Item 68751
shown

Item
96933
shown

REG.
PRICE
$499.99

139

$ 99

REG.
PRICE
$259.99

REG. PRICE $29.99

LIMIT 5 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or
coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last.
Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 1/14/14. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

LIMIT 8 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or
coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last.
Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 1/14/14. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

LIMIT 4 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or
coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last.
Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 1/14/14. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

R !
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SU UP
CO

R !
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SU UP
CO

R !
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CAN AND OBD II


PROFESSIONAL
SCAN TOOL

SAVE
$65 $

LOT NO. 60694/98614

8499

REG.
PRICE
$149.99

Item 69039 shown

PORTABLE GARAGE
LOT NO. 69039/
60727/68217

SAVE
$125

Item
60694
shown

40 PIECE
1/4" AND 3/8" DRIVE
SOCKET SET
LOT NO.
47902/61328

SAVE
62%
$ 99

Item
47902
shown

17499

REG. PRICE $299.99

REG.
PRICE
$7.99

LIMIT 3 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or
coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last.
Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 1/14/14. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

LIMIT 4 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or
coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last.
Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 1/14/14. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

LIMIT 6 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or
coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last.
Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 1/14/14. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

R !
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SU UP
CO

R !
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SU UP
CO

R !
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SU UP
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SAVE
33%

18 PIECE T-HANDLE
BALL POINT AND
HEX KEY
WRENCH SET
LOT NO.
96645

11

99

REG.
PRICE
$17.99

LIMIT 5 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or
coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last.
Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 1/14/14. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

Not available in
Florida, Nevada
or North
Carolina.

AUTOMATIC
WRIST BLOOD
PRESSURE
MONITOR

SAVE
60%
$

LOT NO.
93897/69265

SAVE
$70
$
99

LOT NO. 67212

1399

Item
93897
shown

REG.
PRICE
$34.99

LIMIT 7 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or
coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last.
Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 1/14/14. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

RETRACTABLE AIR/WATER
HOSE REEL WITH
3/8" x 50 FT. HOSE

59

REG.
PRICE
$129.99

LIMIT 5 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or
coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last.
Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 1/14/14. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

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A B R I E F H I STO RY O F T H E . . .
VON
V
ZEP
ZEPPELIN,
AWAY!
A

Airship
From gloried balloons to high-tech military vehicles, we
look up the ighty past of dirigibles. BY A M A N DA G R E E N

1852: Henri Giard ies full steam ahead17 miles at


6 mphin the rst steam-powered, steerable airship.

1895: Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin patents a rigid airship


that combines balloon gas cells with a structural framework.

1925: After years of providing rubber envelopes for other


airships, Goodyear launches the Pilgrim, the rst in a eet of
iconic helium-lled blimps. The company soon goes on
dirigible duty for the U.S. government.

1937: The Hindenburg, the worlds largest passenger


enger
g
zeppelin, bursts into ames while landing in New
ew JJersey
y
after a trans-Atlantic ight. The disaster kills 36
6 people as
well as the luxury-airship travel industry.
1960: Televised sports gets a blimps-eye view when the
Goodyear blimp lms its rst game at Miamis Orange Bowl.
WHO NEEDS
EEDS
A STAIRWAY?
W
WAY?
IVE GOT
OT AN
AIRSHIP!
HIP!

NO
TICKET.

1968: Keith Moon, drummer of The Who, predicts that


guitarist Jimmy Pages new band will go over like a lead
balloon. Inspired, Page calls the group Led Zeppelin.

P H O T O G R A P H S B Y G E T T Y I M A G E S ( V O N Z E P P E L I N , G I F FA R D , H I N D E N B U R G , PA G E ) , U N I V E R S I T Y O F A K R O N

1785: Inventors
ors Jean-Pierre
JeanBlanchard and John Jeries are
the rst to cross the English Channel in a hydrogen balloon.
After nearly crashing, they lighten the load by bidding adieu
to supplies, decorative oars, and even their pants.

1989: In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Indiana and his father ee Germany on a commercial
zeppelin. A Nazi tries to stop them, but his plans are deated when Indy throws him out the window.

widower ties thousands of balloons to his home and takes


ight. Three years later, cluster-balloonist Jonathan Trappe
tries the stunt himself and soars 20,000 feet in the air.

2012: Big Blimp is watching you. The U.S. Army launches


a hybrid airship that can provide surveillance of an area for
21 days nonstop. The program is killed within six months.

2013: More than 75 years after ending their partnership


during World War II, ZLT Zeppelin Luftschitechnik and
Goodyear reteam to replace Goodyears blimps with a eet of
quieter, faster zeppelins that are still called Goodyear blimps.

AND BEYOND: Igor Pasternak, president and CEO of


Worldwide Aeros, plans on building a 500-foot-long airship
that can carry 66 tons of cargo.

WorldMags.net

(GOODYEAR), EVERETT COLLECTION (JONES)

2009: In the DisneyPixar animated lm Up, a cranky

WorldMags.net
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WorldMags.net

WorldMags.net

GUYS DONT WEAR JEANS TO GET


NOTICED (THATS JUST A BONUS)

2013 VF Jeanswear Inc.

NEW LEE MODERN SERIES

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@leejeans

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SOFTER STRONGER PRICED RIGHT

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