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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Hiroshima, 64 years ago - The Big Picture - Boston.com


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Hiroshima, 64 years ago - The Big Picture - Boston.com

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Web Of Seinfeld


With the announcement that the cast is reuniting for the upcoming season of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," we felt obliged to take a look back at the world of "Seinfeld" ... and what a hilarious world it was. The Soup Nazi. Izzy Mandelbaum. Peterman. Puddy. Newman. And in our humble opinion, when it comes to creating memorable supporting characters, it’s right up there with “The Simpsons”. The following map shows how the most notable bit characters were connected to the main cast (with the actors who portrayed them in parenthesis). One piece of data we found interesting? How many girlfriends Jerry had over the years. That guy didn't just slay with his jokes. The man was quite the lady killer. (Click to enlarge)

Dog gives birth to Britain's largest-ever litter of Rottweilers with 18 puppies

By Daily Mail Reporter

When four-year-old Rottweiler Terrie went into labour, her owner already knew it was going to be a long night.

But when the six-stone dog started to give birth she didn't stop until she had produced 18 mewling, squealing Rottweiler pups - the biggest ever litter in Britain.

The incredible feat smashed the previous record of 13 and doubled the traditional litter size of eight or nine dogs.

Sadly, one was stillborn and another died two days after the birth, but the remaining 16 have already doubled in size and now weigh between 1 and 1.5lb.

Proud mother Terrie rests after she gave birth to the UK's largest litter of rottweilers

Proud mother Terrie rests after she gave birth to the UK's largest litter of rottweilers

At nine days old, they have yet to open their eyes but each is already gulping down 1.5 ozs of puppy milk every four hours.

The 10 female and six male pups are now snuggled up with their exhausted mum in owner Nicolette Morris' lounge.

Livery yard manager Nicolette, 34, acted as an emergency midwife when Terrie went into labour at 12.50pm on Sunday July 26.

She realised six-stone Terrie was 'huge' but could not believe what was happening when Terrie gave birth to pup after pup.

One member of the record-breaking litter keeps his distance while the rest play rough-and-tumble with their new siblings

One member of the record-breaking litter keeps his distance while the rest play rough-and-tumble with their new siblings

Nicolette, of Luton, Beds., said: 'Terrie was absolutely huge before she gave birth but I never dreamt she would have so many.

'It was staggering. They just kept on coming. I began to wonder if she'd ever stop.

Nicolette Morris has been forced to help Terrie out with feeding duties

Nicolette Morris has been forced to help Terrie out with feeding duties

'No-one has heard to a Rottweiler having more pups. It's certainly a British record.

'Thankfully I've foaled horses before so when one got stuck I knew how to manoeuvre it to get it out.

'Now Terrie needs help with the feeding which is brilliant but completing exhausting.

'I know Rottweilers have got a bad name but I love the breed. They've got such fantastic temperaments, I'd recommend them to anyone.'

Nicolette, who lives with her nursery nurse partner Lisa Johnson, 27, is planning to sell the pedigree puppies for about £500 each.

A litter of 13 baby Rottweilers were born at the SSPCA centre in Cardonald, Glasgow, after their mother Tara rejected them in February this year.

The world's largest litter of puppies ever recorded is 24, born to a Neapolitan Mastiff in Manea, Cambs., in January 2005, according to Guiness World Records.

Surviving A Big Wave Wipe Out

Surfing huge waves can be deadly - and exhilarating. Same goes for the wipe outs. One of the sport's most extreme surfers talks James Williams through the experience.

Plague Vaccine for Prairie Dogs Could Save Endangered Ferret

prairie-dogs

Wild prairie dogs may soon get a dose of something extra in their daily diet: an oral vaccine against the plague.

The same “Black Death” that devastated Europe during the Middle Ages is still alive and well in wild rodents across the western United States. Although only a few Americans get plague each year, small outbreaks like the one reported Tuesday in Ziketan, China are not uncommon. The disease also regularly wipes out whole colonies of black-tailed prairie dogs and kills one of the most endangered mammals in North America, the black-footed ferret.

Now researchers have developed a vaccine cocktail that can be mixed with food and given to wild prairie dogs. In lab testing, the oral vaccine protected prairie dogs against plague better than a vaccine given by shot. And it was certainly a lot easier to administer.

“An oral vaccine will allow us to deliver it much more efficiently to larger number of animals,” said wildlife biologist Tonie Rocke of the US Geological Survey, who will present the work Wednesday at the Wildlife Disease Association Annual Conference. “We couldn’t capture enough prairie dogs to vaccinate them individually, but because we are putting it in bait, we can broadcast it widely from vehicles or perhaps even planes.”

black-footed_ferret_in_wind_cave_national_park_low_resScientists want to vaccinate prairie dogs not just to protect the cute, furry rodents, but also to save their endangered predator, the black-footed ferret. Once abundant across the western United States, wild ferrets were thought to be extinct until 1981, when a small population was discovered in Wyoming. A captive breeding program rescued the ferret from the verge of extinction, but scientists estimate only about 1,000 black-footed ferrets are now living in the wild. The animals are highly susceptible to plague and depend on prairie dog colonies for food and shelter: When plague destroys prairie dogs, it also kills endangered ferrets.

Last year, an outbreak of plague decimated more than 9,000 acres of prairie dog habitat in southwestern South Dakota, which was also home to around 300 black-footed ferrets. Researchers tried to protect the ferrets by capturing them and giving them a shot of plague vaccine, but Rocke says individual vaccination isn’t a good long-term strategy.

“Black-footed ferrets only eat prairie dogs,” she said. “So if the prairie dogs die from plague, even if the ferrets are vaccinated, they are left without their food supply.”

Wildlife biologists hope mass immunization of prairie dogs with an oral vaccine will be more effective than trying to capture and give each ferret a shot. Field trials are still needed to test the oral vaccine in large populations of prairie dogs, but lab experiments showed promising results: After getting the oral vaccine, 95 percent of prairie dogs survived infection with Yersinia pestis, the bacteria that causes plague. That’s an impressive success, given that the disease usually has a greater than 90 percent mortality rate.

For the lab experiment, the researchers mixed the vaccine with mashed sweet potato, and the prairie dogs gobbled it up. “But that’s not the kind of bait that we’ll use in the field,” Rocke said. “In the field we’ll need a bait that’s not like Jell-O, that’s a little more resistant to the elements. That’s what we’re working on right now.”

The researchers are also testing the vaccine in other wild animals, including pregnant ones, to make sure that the vaccine won’t have any harmful effects if accidentally ingested by a hungry passer-by.

Although the main goal is to protect ferrets, the plague vaccine might have side benefits for people, Rocke said. Humans usually catch plague from fleas living on infected wild animals, so if fewer animals get the plague, Rocke said, fewer people will be exposed to it. Mass vaccination may also cut down on pesticide use on public lands, because park rangers won’t have to dust prairie dog colonies with flea killer.

Only about a dozen people catch plague in the United States each year, mostly because we have minimal contact with rodents and their fleas. But worldwide, several thousand people contract the disease every year.

“There are parts of the world where it causes disease,” Rocke said. “The plague is still out there.”

CORRECTION: The original article incorrectly stated that the black-footed ferret was once the most abundant mammal in North America. In fact, the black-tailed prairie dog was once the most abundant mammal, but has now declined to 2 percent of its former population.

Radiohead Releases New Song: “Harry Patch (In Memory Of)” (Stream)

The last living British World War I veteran, Harry Patch, died on July 25, 2009, at the ripe old age of 111. An unlikely tribute has been paid to Patch by Radiohead, who are offering a download of their song, “Harry Patch (In Memory Of),” for a small fee in their official online store.

Thom Yorke was inspired to write the song after hearing an interview with Patch on the radio four years ago, and it was recorded during sessions for a new Radiohead album with regular producer Nigel Godrich. A brief 30-second clip of the string-laden track is available here. All proceeds from the song go to the British Legion.

Audio on YouTube:

The lyrics for “Harry Patch (In Memory Of)” are available at Dead Air Space, and Yorke has issued the following statement about the song:

Recently the last remaining UK veteran of the 1st world war Harry Patch died at the age of 111. I had heard a very emotional interview with him a few years ago on the Today program on Radio4. The way he talked about war had a profound effect on me. It became the inspiration for a song that we happened to record a few weeks before his death. It was done live in an abbey. The strings were arranged by Jonny. I very much hope the song does justice to his memory as the last survivor.

It would be very easy for our generation to forget the true horror of war, without the likes of Harry to remind us.

I hope we do not forget.

As Harry himself said

"Irrespective of the uniforms we wore, we were all victims".

Posted in: RADIOHEAD

First Live Specimen of Fish With Transparent Head Discovered and Filmed!



With a head like a fighter-plane cockpit, a Pacific barreleye fish shows off its highly sensitive, barrel-like eyes--topped by green, orblike lenses. The fish, discovered alive in the deep water o...
With a head like a fighter-plane cockpit, a Pacific barreleye fish shows off its highly sensitive, barrel-like eyes--topped by green, orblike lenses.

The fish, discovered alive in the deep water off California's central coast by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), is the first specimen of its kind to be found with its soft transparent dome intact.

The 6-inch (15-centimeter) barreleye (Macropinna microstoma) had been known since 1939--but only from mangled specimens dragged to the surface by nets.

(Quoted from National Geographic)

Further Reading:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/ne...

Heath Ledger-Directed Video Released by Modest Mouse

Ledger's conception marks the release of the band's new EP.
Modest Mouse
Modest Mouse

Modest Mouse have premiered the Heath Ledger-directed video for their track "King Rat" to coincide with today's release of the band's new EP, No One's First, and You're Next. Watch below.

The animated video was conceptualized and directed by Ledger, but was left unfinished when the Academy Award-winning actor died of an accidental overdose in January 2008. The Masses -- a film and music company that Ledger was a partner in -- completed the video in his honor.

As we previously reported, Ledger approached frontman Isaac Brock about wanting to direct a music video for the band while they were on a boat trip with a mutual friend in Ledger's native Australia.

"Heath's vision, brave and unapologetic in its nature, would marry his love of bold and original music with his impassioned stance against the illegal commercial whale hunts taking place off the coast of Australia each year," the band wrote in a post on their MySpace blog. "Always one to operate from his heart and take a stand for what he cared deeply about, Heath's intention was to raise awareness on modern whaling practices through a potent visual piece without having to say a word. It was his way to let the story, in its candid reversal, speak for itself."

According to the post, proceeds from iTunes downloads of the video will benefit the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, an international nonprofit marine wildlife conservation organization.

WATCH: Modest Mouse, "King Rat"
King Rat

Molecular trap makes fresher beer

Beer pouring (AP)
The process can be applied to beer, milk and other beverages

A material that could lead to beer with significantly longer shelf life has been designed by researchers.

The approach works by removing riboflavin, or vitamin B2, which causes changes to beer's flavour when exposed to light passing through the bottle.

Scientists at the Technical University of Dortmund designed a polymer "trap" with tiny crevices that capture the riboflavin molecules.

The technique could be applied to other beverages such as milk, they said.

Because such riboflavin-containing beverages tend to be stored in translucent containers, they are more prone to the effects of light on their long-term storage.

In a process called photo-oxidation, ultraviolet light can strip off charged atoms that can go on to degrade other chemicals or proteins in the drink, ultimately affecting its flavour and shortening its shelf life.

Lock and key

Borje Sellergren of the Technical University of Dortmund made use of a technique called molecular imprinting to design a solution to the riboflavin problem.

The process involves chemically designing a riboflavin-shaped cavity into a polymer by moulding it around riboflavin molecules and then removing them.

These polymer cavities are then made in high quantities, selectively trapping riboflavin when dunked into a vat of beer or milk.

The idea mimics biological systems such as antibodies which are targeted in a similar "lock-and-key" way for mopping up bacteria or viruses.

The work was commissioned by Dutch brewery Heineken, but the concept is not just limited to those drinks, Dr Sellergren told BBC News.

"The technology itself is more generic than we've shown here," he said.

"There are a number of examples where this kind of absorbance can be used for the removal of specific unwanted compounds in food - flavours, impurities, pesticides, and spoilage agents as we've shown here."

"The next step is to demonstrate for the brewery industry and food industry that we have this capability now."

Germany surrenders in war of the beer drinkers?

Aug 4th 2009
By Michael Rundle

The rivalry between the UK and Germany is long, complex, and (at this point) probably about football as much as the war. Whatever the reason for its existence, however, we are duty bound to bring it up whenever we can.

That's why we're celebrating the news today that sales of German beer are at their lowest since records began 18 years ago -- that's right chaps, the Germans have given up the fight to drink the most beer in the world!

Apparently sales of the cause and solution to life's problems are down 4.5 percent year on year over there, meaning the Germans are now at unprecendented levels of soberness.

True, the Germans are still getting through around a billion litres of beer per month, which by our rough estimation is around twice as much as us and a very hardy 38 pint per month for each legal-age man... But the trend is going our way!

That this news comes on the same week as the Great British Beer Festival in London simply makes it all the more sweet... Come on lads -- if we try really hard we can take back the title! Just 998 million litres to go!

Fat bus driver fights with child


Caught on camera: this lardy bus driver argues with a group of young people. He finally flips and takes his frustrations out on a 10-year-old.

Russian Subs Patrolling Off East Coast of U.S.

Published: August 4, 2009

WASHINGTON — A pair of nuclear-powered Russian attack submarines has been patrolling off the eastern seaboard of the United States in recent days, a rare mission that has raised concerns inside the Pentagon and intelligence agencies about a more assertive stance by the Russian military.

The episode has echoes of the cold war era, when the United States and the Soviet Union regularly parked submarines off each other’s coasts to steal military secrets, track the movements of their underwater fleets — and be poised for war.

But the collapse of the Soviet Union all but eliminated the ability of the Russian Navy to operate far from home ports, making the current submarine patrols thousands of miles from Russia more surprising for military officials and defense policy experts.

“I don’t think they’ve put two first-line nuclear subs off the U.S. coast in about 15 years,” said Norman Polmar, a naval historian and submarine warfare expert.

The submarines are of the Akula class, a counterpart to the Los Angeles class attack subs of the United States Navy, and not one of the larger submarines that can launch intercontinental nuclear missiles.

According to Defense Department officials, one of the Russian submarines remained in international waters on Tuesday about 200 miles off the coast of the United States. The location of the second remained unclear. One senior official said the second submarine traveled south in recent days toward Cuba, while another senior official with access to reports on the surveillance mission said it had sailed away in a northerly direction.

The Pentagon and intelligence officials spoke anonymously to describe the effort to track the Russian submarines, which has not been publicly announced.

President Obama spoke by telephone with President Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia on Tuesday, but it was not clear whether the subject of the submarines came up, although another source of friction between the two countries did. Mr. Medvedev called Mr. Obama to wish him a happy birthday and the White House said the president used the opportunity to urge Russia to work through diplomatic channels to resolve rising tensions with Georgia.

The submarine patrols come as Moscow tries to shake off the embarrassment of the latest failed test of the Bulava missile, a long-range weapon that was test fired from a submarine in the Arctic on July 15. The failed missile test was the sixth since 2005, and some experts see Russia’s assertiveness elsewhere as a gambit by the military to prove its continued relevance.

“It’s the military trying to demonstrate that they are still a player in Russian political and economic matters,” Mr. Polmar said.

One of the submarines is the newer Akula II, officials said, which is quieter than the older variant and the most advanced in the Russian fleet. The Akula is capable of carrying torpedoes for attacking other submarines and surface vessels as well as missiles for striking targets on land and at sea.

Defense Department officials declined to speculate on which weapons might be aboard the two submarines.

While the submarines have not taken any provocative action beyond their presence outside territorial waters of the United States, officials expressed wariness over the Kremlin’s motivation for ordering such an unusual mission.

“Anytime the Russian Navy does something so out of the ordinary it is cause for worry,” said a senior Defense Department official who has been monitoring reports on the submarines’ activities.

The official said the Navy was able to track the submarines as they made their way through international waters off the American coastline. This can be done from aircraft, ships, underwater sensors or other submarines.

“We’ve known where they were, and we’re not concerned about our ability to track the subs,” the official added. “We’re concerned just because they are there.”

Once among the world’s most powerful forces, the Russian Navy now has very few ships regularly deployed on the open seas. Moscow has contributed warships to the international armada searching for Somali pirates. In addition, a flotilla of Russian warships participated in exercises with Venezuela last year.

The Top 19 Hottest Newscasters in America


As media professionals, we understand how tough it can be to be, even though on our best days we're merely lobbing spit balls. So we have some sympathy for the lady journalists of the world who have to do everything we do plus look hot doing it. Not that that'll stop us from lobbing gobs at them as well.

Delve with us, if you will, into the world of hot journalists. The roundup includes everything from short skirts on pogo sticks and wet T-shirt contests to creepy, titillating YouTube compilations of crossing and uncrossing legs. It's Asylum's countdown of the 19 hottest female newscasters in America.


The Top 19 Hottest Newscasters in America

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Solar Forest Keeps Cars Cool And Juiced

by Jerry James Stone, San Francisco, CA

Solar Forest for Electric Cars
Photo by Burb.tv

Designer Neville Mars has designed a charging station that keeps your car both cool and charged.

Called the Solar Forest, the panels actually follow the sun throughout the day for maximum efficiency. And that canopy provides some much needed shade for the cars below, hopefully while keeping the overlap to a minimum.

The tree trunks are like a giant power strips for electric vehicles. Cars can just plug in and cool off.

Solar Forest for Electric Cars
Photo by Burb.tv

Solar Forest for Electric Cars
Photo by Burb.tv

Solar Forest for Electric Cars
Photo by Burb.tv

Source: Inhabitat

Walt Disney: A Rare Look at the Man and His World



life.com This amazing photo essay shows the story the life story of Walt Elias Disney: A man born in Chicago in 1901 who would go on to redefine the entertainment industry of the 20th Century in every medium from film to amusement parks. This behind-the-scenes tour even includes images of Walt hard at work with his team on his upcoming film "Pinocchio".

Michael Pritchard's water filter turns filthy water drinkable



About this talk



Too much of the world lacks access to clean drinking water. Engineer Michael Pritchard did something about it -- inventing the portable Lifesaver filter, which can make the most revolting water drinkable in seconds. An amazing demo from TEDGlobal 2009.

About Michael Pritchard

With cutting-edge nanotech, Michael Pritchard's Lifesaver water-purification bottle could revolutionize water-delivery systems in disaster-stricken areas around the globe.
Full bio and more links

10 Movie Drunks We Want to Share a Pint With

We wouldn’t mind doing a few keg stands with these movie lushes.

Billy Bob Thornton (Willie) -- Bad Santa

Can you really blame a guy who plays Santa for hitting the bottle before heading into work? He deals with hundreds of whining, smelly kids every day and his sidekick is an evil elf who [SPOILER ALERT] ends up trying to kill him. That’s worth at least one hard egg nog at 9AM.

Will Ferrell (Frank the Tank) -- Old School

Frank is like your favorite uncle. He'll buy you liquor, funnel a few beers at your party and cap off the night with some streaking and a trip to the local KFC.

Kevin Heffernan (Farva) -- Super Troopers

The best part about drinking with a cop is it greatly reduces your chances of spending the night in the slammer. But with Farva, there’s always a chance you’ll get to watch him beat up a bartender who refuses to provide a liter of Jager.

Adam Sandler (Billy) -- Billy Madison

A huge mansion, every toy you can imagine and more booze money than you could ever spend make Billy one of the best drinking buddies you could ask for. Plus, you’ll have a great story about the time you got smashed with a grade schooler.

Daniel Day-Lewis (Daniel Plainview) -- There Will Be Blood

Daniel is definitely the kind of guy you want on your side in a bar fight, but we suggest you do your drinking somewhere other than the bar down at the bowling alley.

Jay Chandrasekhar (Barry) -- Beer Fest

After a night out with Barry, there’s a good chance you’ll wake up naked in the woods, next to a deer you killed with your bare hands…and teeth.

Martha MacIsaac (Becca) -- Super Bad

Get lit with the only lady on our list of lushes and she might end up giving you “The best blow-jay ever …. With her mouth.”

Johnny Depp (Jack Sparrow) -- Pirates of the Caribbean

A pirate’s best friend is rum and a drunk’s best friend is a hilarious monkey. Jack seems to have easy access to both.

Will Smith (Hancock) -- Hancock

A drunken super hero is every frat boy’s fantasy. He can play beer pong, pound some shots and still have enough left in the tank to save the day from whoever the villain was in Hancock. We sort of lost interest half-way through that movie.

Joaquin Phoenix (Johnny Cash) -- Walk the Line

We’re really just looking for an excuse to have a few cocktails with the recently insane, Joaquin. The night will either end up with an impromptu hipster rap concert or a rousing version of “Ring of Fire.” We would be hoping for the latter.

Psycho Donuts - we should all be so crazy?

By GEOFF WILLIAMS, AOL SMALL BUSINESS

Psycho Donuts
www.psycho-donuts.com


Every small business owner hopes to have a product that their customers are crazy for. They don't all want to drive them crazy.

But Psycho Donuts apparently is happy with both.

In the little town of Campbell, California, near San Jose, ever since Psycho Donuts opened up several months ago, they've been the target of ire from local mental health organizations. As the Psycho Donuts web site says, they've "taken the neighborhood donut and put it on medication, and given it a shock treatment."

The doughnuts, indeed, look like someone deranged may have designed them. The doughnut with the name "psycho" is slathered in not just vanilla and chocolate icing, but pretzels. Their "bipolar" doughnut is half smothered in nuts and half with coconut. And if you miss the theme, well, it's hard to, with the bakery's padded cell shrine and the walls decorated with paintings of silly and goofy faces as well as a neon sign reading, "Bates Motel." And the staff wears lab coats and nurse outfits.

Harmless or not, every local mental health group in the area seems to be challenging Psycho Donuts' right to exist. About a week ago, Kipp Berdiansky, the owner of Psycho Donuts, appeared on a local TV station with Oscar Wright, CEO of United Advocates for Children and Families for a televised debate about the bakery. And now a San Francisco chapter of the National Alliance for Mental Illness is planning a Sunday morning march at the corner streets of the store this Sunday at 11 a.m., PST. Mental health critics claim that bakeries like Psycho Donuts are hurting people who are mentally ill and feel burdened by the stigma that goes along with it.

Of course, by decrying what Psycho Donuts are doing, organizations like the National Alliance for Mental Illness have brought massive local and national publicity to the bakery as well as attention to themselves. As the saying goes, maybe they're all crazy -- as a fox.

Subway Sandwich Shop Doubles as Strip ClubBy BRUCE GOLDING and LIZ SADLER

By BRUCE GOLDING and LIZ SADLER

A notorious sleaze merchant could be on the hook for nearly $100,000 after opening an unauthorized Subway sandwich shop that doubled as an after-dark strip club.

A federal magistrate has recommended slamming Anthony "Cousin Vinny" Agnello with triple damages for serving up deli delights by day and nudes at night, according to a report filed Tuesday.

Magistrate Frank Maas said Agnello -- who gained infamy after supplying the stripper for a wild high-school party in 2001 -- should pay the fast-food giant's corporate parent $90,000, plus another $7,900 for its legal fees.

Doctor's Associates Inc., which operates Subway, estimated Agnello took in about $23,000 in profits from the eatery last year.

Agnello -- who last year told The Post he started slinging sandwiches because "the money in stripping isn't as profitable as it used to be" -- did not return calls.

Star Wars Weekends Disney - Dance Off

2008 Thriller....



Dance Off with the Star Wars Stars 2009 (Part 1)



Dance Off with the Star Wars Stars 2009 (Part 2)



click here for more vids by MookieMovies: http://www.youtube.com/user/MookieMovies

Strap-on mini helicopters the latest way to travel



FORGET bungy jumping and black river rafting: New Zealand's tourists will soon be able to whiz around in a strap-on mini helicopter to get their thrills.

A Kiwi inventor will launch public flights in the latest jetpack flying technology early next year, with plans to expand to Australia soon after.

The Martin Jetpack – literally a personal strap-on aircraft – is a two-litre jet-powered engine designed to soar across the skies at 100km/h at heights of up to 50 metres.

Inventor Glenn Martin dreams of the day commuters will hop into the contraption to fly to work, missing rush hour traffic.

But for now, the first public flight program will be limited to low and slow flying in a controlled area while the Christchurch-based company road tests the safety and limits of the engine.

Jetpack

Set to thrill ... the Martin Jetpack is a personal strap-on flying engine.

"Just because we have to stay under 10 metres high and under 10km/h doesn't mean it won't be an incredibly exciting experience," Martin Aircraft Company chief executive Richard Lauder said.

"It will still be flying as it's never been done before, just in the confines of a rugby field-type space."

Exhibit A

The flights are expected to cost about the same as a bungy jump or a tandem skydive, and will require just a few minutes training before a person can strap in and take a solo flight.

"It makes sense to start this up at our Christchurch base but ultimately we want to take to Australia, the US and the rest of the globe too," Lauder said.

The public flights have been decades in the making for Martin who first developed the jetpack design in 1981. The invention didn't grab world headlines until a streamlined version was launched at the United States annual show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin a year ago.

Since then, orders have been rolling in for the first $US100,000 ($158,503) packs, with at least two wealthy Australian businessmen among those most keen to own one.

But Lauder says the company has had to halt personal orders until a big commercial operation like a military agency, border control or rescue organisation has trialled the packs.

"We had to rethink our plan to release it to make it very safe," he said.

"As much as we wanted to sell to very keen Australians, we need to see it used successfully by a corporation with strict protocols and structures in place before we just start giving them out for members of the public to fly around in."

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