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Lester Haines

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PANIC OVER DROOPING house prices hits MEMBER-shaped estate

Residents of an estate in Wirral fear house prices might be seriously affected by the revelation that their sleepy corner of Merseyside resembles a giant gentleman's undercarriage when viewed from aloft. The penis-shaped configuration of houses in Wirral The ensemble of Edward Road, George Road and Yeoman Cottages do indeed …
Lester Haines, 22 Nov 2013

Qatar whips covers off giant footballing vagina

Qatar has unexpectedly delighted international pundits by unveiling the design for its 2022 World Cup Al Wakrah stadium, whose roof is designed to represent "the sails of the Arabian pearl fishing boat the Dhow", but actually bearing more than a passing resemblance to a woman's nether regions. Artist's impression of the Al …
Lester Haines, 21 Nov 2013

3D printing: 'Third industrial revolution' or a load of old cobblers?

Readers of The Register with their fingers on the throbbing technopulse of innovation will have noticed that - if the hype is anything to go by - 3D printing is about to redefine paradigms, rewrite/defenestrate/burn textbooks and give the unwashed masses the power to print iPhone covers at will, thereby shaking the whole notion …
Lester Haines, 20 Nov 2013

From the Dept of You are Old: 'Selfie' officially 'Word of the Year'

It's official: "Selfie" is Oxford Dictionaries' Word of the Year 2013, proving the "runaway winner" of the crown following its elevation back in August to Oxford Dictionaries Online. Defined as "a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website", …
Lester Haines, 19 Nov 2013
The APM mounted in the Vulture 2

Autopilot guides Texan plane home from a dizzying 30,000m

In some highly encouraging news for The Reg's Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team, a Texan high-flyer recently used the ArduPilot Mega (APM) 2.6 to guide a glider back to base from a heady 30,780m (101,000ft). A still from the onboard camera during the flight of NTNS 4 Larry Grater's North Texas Near Space 4 ( …
Lester Haines, 19 Nov 2013
A group shot of the tasting team

The ULTIMATE cuppa showdown: And the winner is...

Cue the traditional fanfare of trumpets and thunderous drumroll as we reveal today the winner of our ultimate cuppa showdown. Mug with our Vulture logo This cha-tastic adventure – the aim of which was "not to examine the hundreds of possible tea type/brewing permutations, but rather establish a set of basic rules which can …
Lester Haines, 18 Nov 2013
The Panono team snapped from an airborne Panono

Flying 360° panoramic camera poised for lift-off

Three Berlin-based inventors are rattling the tin to raise funds for their Panono camera – a throwable photoglobe delivering "incredible full-spherical images". The Panono The 300g Panono packs 36 cameras, capable of delivering a 360°x360° 72 megapixel panorama. When launched heavenwards, an onboard accelerometer detects …
Lester Haines, 15 Nov 2013

Vladimir PUTIN officially HARDER than CHUCK NORRIS

Russian prez Vladimir Putin has been awarded a taekwondo ninth-degree black belt, which means he's now officially toppled Chuck Norris from his muscle-bound position as the hardest man on the planet. The ninth-degree belt is as high as you can go in taekwondo. Norris is apparently an eighth-degree killing machine, but he's no …
Lester Haines, 15 Nov 2013

Goodbye cruel world: Robot 'commits suicide' in KITCHEN FIREBALL

A robotic cleaner delivered a damning indictment of life in Hinterstoder, Austria, on Saturday, by trundling onto a kitchen stove where it ended its days as a pile of ashes. The local fire brigade reports it was alerted to a house fire at around 1.30pm, and having entered the premises wearing breathing equipment, found the …
Lester Haines, 15 Nov 2013
The painted nose of the Vulture 2, with its yellow upper and led underside

El avión Buitre 2 rinde homenaje a nuestros amigos españoles

Hoy queremos rendir homenaje a los miembros españoles del equipo de la misión Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) - un avión de alta tecnología que pretendemos lanzar a la estratosfera con un motor de cohete. Sumario grafico de la mision LOHAN Hace tres años, con el apoyo de estas personas desinteresadas, lanzamos el …
Lester Haines, 14 Nov 2013

Huge Antarctic iceberg: 1 Singapore? 8 Manhattans? This is CHAOS

The Register's standards soviet is today calling for an international symposium of iceberg experts and builders with really, really long tape measures to settle once and for all just how to quantify titanic Titanic-busting ice mountains. In a report this week on a massive lump which has detached itself from Antarctica's Pine …
Lester Haines, 14 Nov 2013
The painted nose of the Vulture 2, with its yellow upper and led underside

LOHAN sees bright red over Vulture 2 paintjob

It's been a week of tin-rattling and seeing red here at the Special Project Bureau's mountaintop headquarters as we finally knuckled down to slapping some paint on our Vulture 2. We threw the matter of our magnificant spaceplane's livery over to you, our beloved Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) fans, and you responded …
Lester Haines, 13 Nov 2013

Norks EXECUTE 80 for watching DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES

North Korea has allegedly executed 80 people for watching banned South Korean soap operas, the South China Morning Post reports. The executions were allegedly carried out on 3 November in seven cities, with a sports stadium in Wonsan hosting a crowd of 10,000 as a firing squad dispatched eight of the victims, according to South …
Lester Haines, 13 Nov 2013

Mixed bag of motors lifts India's budget Mars shot

India's budget* Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) last week thundered heavenwards from Sriharikota spaceport atop a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), en route to a rendezvous with the Red Planet in September 2014. PSLV-C25 blasts off. Pic: ISRO PSLV-C25 blasts off. Pic: ISRO Weighing in at 500kg, plus 850kg of fuel, the MOM …
Lester Haines, 12 Nov 2013
The RoboRoach with its backpack. Pic: Backyard Brains

Right royal rumpus over remote-control 'RoboRoach'

The makers of a cockroach electronic "backpack" which allows humans to control the movements of the insect via a mobile phone have unsurprisingly come under fire for what some see as a pseudoscientific way to mistreat animals. Backyard Brains' "RoboRoach" is a $99.99 Kickstarter-funded project, described as "an innovative …
Lester Haines, 11 Nov 2013

Bloke named 'human' demands 'COPSLIE' licence plate

A man named "human" rolled up at New Hampshire Supreme Court last week to argue his right to sport the vanity licence plate "COPSLIE". The unemployed accountant - formerly known as David Montenegro - applied to the New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for the provocative plate back in 2010, Reuters reports. Instead, he …
Lester Haines, 11 Nov 2013
Carrie Fisher in Return of the Jedi

Star Wars VII set for Xmas release. Ho, ho, ho... not THIS Christmas

Disney has given Star Wars fans plenty of time to work themselves up into a right state of excitement by announcing that the next movie in the space saga will hit cinemas on 18 December... 2015. According to Reuters, Disney chief exec Bob Iger said: "This, obviously, is one of the most important movies we have in the next few …
Lester Haines, 08 Nov 2013

Boffins build R2-WEE-2: The urine-powered robot with a human-like heart

Scientists have taken one step closer to creating a truly autonomous waste-driven robot by building an artificial heart capable of pumping urine into the machine's bacterially-driven "engine room". The "EcoBot" is powered by "electricity-generating microbial fuel cells that employ live microorganisms to digest waste organic …
Lester Haines, 08 Nov 2013

Alleged Peeping Tom claims First Amendment right to upskirt

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is mulling just whether an alleged upskirter's right to snap women's nether regions is defended by the US constitution, and indeed whether women who unwittingly expose themselves in public have any right to privacy. Michael Robertson, 31, was cuffed back in 2010 for allegedly attempting …
Lester Haines, 08 Nov 2013

Cops: Bloke makes bet with wife. Wife loses - so hubby TASERS her

A Chicago Bears fan was cuffed on Monday night after allegedly giving his missus a right royal tasering - purportedly the result of a bet that the Illinois team would prevail over the Green Bay Packers. According to the police report, 42-year-old John Grant and his wife Nicole - a Packers fan - were watching the two teams clash …
Lester Haines, 07 Nov 2013
A detail of the Vulture 2's nose structure

Vulture 2 spaceplane STRIPPED to the bone

The Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team is preparing the Vulture 2 aircraft for its eye-catching paintjob, and while we rattle tins of primer and fiddle with wet-and-dry, we thought you might enjoy some intimate bare-bones views of our magnificent spaceplane. Here's the beast in its naked form (more photos here …
Lester Haines, 06 Nov 2013
Clint O'Connor's pinhole camera. Pic: Clint O'Connor

Inventor whips lenscap off 3D-printed pinhole camera

The photography aficionados among you who still recall with teary-eyed nostalgia the days before digital domination might appreciate an agreeable return to the old school, albeit with a hi-tech twist: a 3D-printed pinhole camera... Clint O'Connor's pinhole camera. Pic: Clint O'Connor Inventor Clint O'Connor promises "magical …
Lester Haines, 05 Nov 2013

LOHAN's mighty thruster poised for hot coupling

As the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team preps our Vulture 2 spaceplane for a quick paintjob, we're still mulling just how best to connect the aircraft's rocket motor heater to its external battery supply. To rewind for those of you who may have inexplicably missed the LOHAN hot coupling excitement, we've got a …
Lester Haines, 04 Nov 2013

Funds flung at 9-inch fan-built Raspberry Pi monitor

It's hats off today to Alex Eames of RasPi.TV and Dave Mellor from Cyntech, who've Kickstarted their way in spectacular style to an "affordable 9-inch high-def screen for the Raspberry Pi". Responding to popular demand, the enterprising duo set out to build a "small and portable" screen to take advantage of the fruity …
Lester Haines, 04 Nov 2013
Two Amanita caesaria

Need an internet antidote? Try magic mushrooms

Autumn has wrapped its frosty claws around the Special Project Bureau's Spanish mountaintop headquarters, and as we prepare to hunker down for the winter, there's a final opportunity to spend some quality time away from the internet, and stock the larder with nature's bounteous harvest. This year's cornucopia verily runneth over …
Lester Haines, 01 Nov 2013
The shattered screen of the smartphone. Pic: Winter Garden police

HTC phone STOPS BULLET, saves Florida gas station clerk's life

A Florida gas station clerk escaped serious injury during an attempted robbery when his HTC smartphone took a bullet from a fleeing perp's pistol. The unnamed worker, at a Hess station in Winter Garden, west of Orlando, found himself on the wrong end of a round early on Monday morning, local news outfit WESH-TV reports. …
Lester Haines, 30 Oct 2013

Vulture 2 paintjob: Four-year-old nipper triumphs

It has been emotional, but we reckon we've finally got a Vulture 2 livery which satisfies all the requirements for a spaceplane paintjob. For those of you who've inexplicably missed all the excitement, we recently invited readers to suggest liveries for our beautiful vehicle, seen here in its raw state with Low Orbit Helium …
Lester Haines, 25 Oct 2013
A Plainfin Midshipman

SEX CRAZED FISH keeping hapless Southamptonites awake

Experts have suggested that a night-time humming keeping residents along Hampshire's Southampton Water from their kip may be the result of randy fish. Bleary-eyed people living close to the estuary have complained of hours of persistent throbbing, kicking off at 10pm, the Telegraph reports. Linda Zammit of Woolston said: "I …
Lester Haines, 25 Oct 2013

Oz racehorse shod with 3D-printed titanium hoofwear

Oz boffins have used 3D printing to produce a custom-made set of titanium shoes for a Melbourne racehorse - an example of the "endless possibilities" of the technology. A team from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) used a handheld scanner to image the horse's hooves, ran the result through …
Lester Haines, 24 Oct 2013

Vulture 2 paintjob: Kim Jong-un battles flag-waving Brits

It's hats off to all those Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) fans who took time to present proposed liveries for our Vulture 2 spaceplane. Following a first round of submissions, we asked stragglers to get their act together, and behold they did verily deploy the crayons. Here are the last suggestions, and for your …
Lester Haines, 24 Oct 2013
Pamela Anderson with 'breast' and 'shoulder' meat cut dotted lines

Baywatch babe Pamela Anderson battles bullfighting

Former Baywatch thesp Pamela Anderson has written to the Spanish Senate asking it to reject a bill which would declare bullfighting part of the nation's "Cultural Heritage". The talented entertainer - who last month enjoyed a trip to Spain - has joined growing opposition to the move, which would see the "cruel pastime" protected …
Lester Haines, 23 Oct 2013
Picture by Afonso Lima

LOHAN's vital statistics splashed across fruity display

Our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mission has just been served an extra slice of Raspberry Pi in the form of an all-singing, all-dancing balloon chase system. Hydrogen helium head honcho and electronics wrangler Dave Akerman decided haring around the countryside in pursuit of mighty orbs would be a whole lot easier …
Lester Haines, 22 Oct 2013

Japanese pussies slurp 'meow meow' sex wine

Those cat-lovers among you who fear your beloved feline might feel left out at birthday and Xmas celebrations are directed to this tempting tipple - a brew of Cabernet grape juice, catnip and vitamin C dubbed "Nyan Nyan Nouveau". A bottle of Nyan Nyan Nouveau For a modest ¥399 ($4, £2.50) a bottle, cats can join the festivities …
Lester Haines, 18 Oct 2013
Gordan Ugarkovic's view of Saturn

Amateur image-wrangler reveals stitched snap of Saturn's splendour

An amateur image processor has stitched together raw images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft to produce a stunning image of Saturn, seen from above on 10 October. Gordan Ugarkovic's view of Saturn Gordan Ugarkovic constructed the view from "12 image footprints with red, blue and green filters from Cassini's imaging science …
Lester Haines, 18 Oct 2013

Reg reader's nipper takes felt pens to Vulture 2

We're progressing nicely towards selecting a lively livery for our Vulture 2 spaceplane, although following publication earlier this week of the first batch of reader suggestions, Stelios Zacharias got in touch to insist "my four-year-old can design better than that". The Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) fan wrote: …
Lester Haines, 17 Oct 2013

US parents proclaim 811 'Messiahs'

A US psychologist has warned of the dire consequences of a "stunning rise" in "vanity" names for kids, revealing that no less than 811 "Messiahs" were proclaimed during 2012, joining 243 Princesses, 588 Princes and a whopping 1,423 Kings on the list of newborns. Jean Twenge used Social Security data to identify a growing trend …
Lester Haines, 16 Oct 2013

Reg readers rise to Vulture 2 paintjob challenge

Fans of our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mission have outdone themselves in offering suggestions as to just how we should paint our magnificent Vulture 2 spaceplane. Given that the world's first 3D-printed, rocket-powered vehicle is currently a bit lacking in the visibility department, as you can see from this …
Lester Haines, 14 Oct 2013

Raspberry Picam magic: More snaps from LOHAN's fruity eye in the sky

A Sony factory in South Wales churned out its millionth Raspberry Pi this week, so we thought it would be a good moment to bring readers more from our "Pi In The Sky" camera rig, which has performed to spectacular effect during test flights for our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mission. Click here for a bigger …
Lester Haines, 11 Oct 2013

Turkish TV presenter canned for flashing too much cleavage

Turkey has taken a great step forward towards not joining the European Union after government intervention saw an asset-rich female TV presenter sacked for baring too much of her decolletage. Gözde Kansu apparently copped a verbal shoeing from a ruling Justice and Development (AKP) party spokesman after baring her cleavage – but …
Lester Haines, 11 Oct 2013

The Vulture 2: What paintjob should we put on our soaraway spaceplane?

Our Vulture 2 spaceplane has risen majestically from the powdered nylon, but there's one matter yet to be resolved before we get it in the air: what colour scheme best suits this magnificent aircraft? Here's our vehicle fully assembled, with Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator team members (from L-R) Dave Akerman, Rob Eastwood, …
Lester Haines, 04 Oct 2013

Sun-seeking Cambridge boffins chase Solar Challenge car crown

Next Sunday sees the starter's flag fall on the 2013 World Solar Challenge, and on the grid in Darwin will be Cambridge University Eco Racing's Resolution - a sleek carbon-fibre monocoque chassis solar-powered vehicle, featuring a "game-changing" solar tracking system. Artist's rendering of Resolution in the Outback. Pic: …
Lester Haines, 04 Oct 2013
The Kinder Surprise experiment pods in their lifting tray. Pic: SEA

Missing Brit SPACE HEDGEHOG RISES from the GRAVE

The Brit space hedgehog which went missing back in March during a high-altitude ballooning mission has miraculously been recovered, battered and bruised but otherwise intact. CASSiE (Cosmic Ambassador for Space Science and Engineering) took off from Frome in Somerset as part of the MARSBalloon project to send student experiment …
Lester Haines, 01 Oct 2013
The inside structure of the rear fuselage

Our magnificent Vulture 2 spaceplane: Intimate snaps

The Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team is gearing up to get our magnificent Vulture 2 spaceplane airborne, and while we fiddle with servos and autopilots, we thought you might enjoy a few intimate snaps of the world's first 3D-printed, rocket-powered aircraft. Before we get down to to it, it's hats off once again …
Lester Haines, 30 Sep 2013
Top and bottom views of the RockBLOCK

LAST CHANCE to get yer cut-price Iridium satellite comms unit

Before heading off to the pub for a well-deserved pint this fine Friday, we'd like to remind readers that you only have a few days left to get 10 per cent off a Rock Seven RockBLOCK Iridium satellite comms unit, as used by our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team, as part of its emergency abort system. Top and …
Lester Haines, 27 Sep 2013
Blofeld's white cat

LOHAN twangs BRASTRAP to unfetter mighty orbs

Capping a hectic month for the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team - in which we revealed the magnificent Vulture 2 spaceplane, rescued our heroic playmonaut from the side of a Spanish mountain and finally got a rocket motor igniter to go bang at 20,000m - we're delighted to report that the Big Red Abort Switch To …
Lester Haines, 27 Sep 2013

LOHAN rocket motor igniter goes pop at 20,000m

Fans of our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mission will know that the issue of getting a rocket motor to fire at altitude has given our Vulture 2 spaceplane team plenty of sleepless nights. Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphic Last year, we constructed the Rocketry Experimental High Altitude …
Lester Haines, 26 Sep 2013
Dave Akerman's emergency cut-down box

Our LOHAN rocket ship team exits Spain with a bang

It's been a hell of a couple of weeks at the Special Project Bureau's mountaintop headquarters, as we took delivery of our Vulture 2 spaceplane, welcomed the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team to sunny Spain and then spent a frantic 10 days putting things together, blowing stuff up and rescuing lost playmonauts …
Lester Haines, 23 Sep 2013
The components of our Vulture 2 laid out before assembly

Our sensational rocket ship Vulture 2 REVEALED: LIVE at 3pm

Cue the traditional fanfare of trumpets, because this afternoon at 3pm UK time, we'll be whipping the covers off our sensational Vulture 2 craft for the first time: so you can get an idea of just what the world's first 3D-printed, rocket-powered spaceplane looks like. Here's the beast in component form last week, straight out of …
Lester Haines, 20 Sep 2013

Live now: LOHAN igniter test flight

The Register's mighty Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team is, as you read this, in the field preparing a second test flight of our Vulture 2 spaceplane's rocket motor igniter assembly, following Monday's dramatic first attempt which ended on a Spanish mountainside following premature balloon burst. Click here for a …
Lester Haines, 19 Sep 2013
The bare SPEARS PCB

Our second attempt to give LOHAN a good banging: Live tomorrow

The Register's mighty Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team is gearing up for a second test flight of our Vulture 2 spaceplane's vital rocket motor igniter assembly, following Monday's dramatic first attempt which unfortunately ended on a Spanish mountainside without the essential test firing carried out. Click here …
Lester Haines, 18 Sep 2013