An Apollo astronaut explains how he nearly killed himself ‘horsing around’ on the moon in 1972

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charles charlie duke apollo 16 astronaut moon lunar surface spacesuit crater edge nasa as16 114 18423_orig

  • Apollo astronauts are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 and the first moon landing.
  • Charlie Duke, an astronaut who flew on NASA’s Apollo 16 mission, said the scariest moment of his life occurred while "horsing around" on the moon in April 1972.
  • Lunar gravity is about one-sixth as strong as Earth’s, so Duke tried to set a jumping record in honor of the 1972 Olympics.
  • But Duke fell backward upon landing. If he’d broken his life-support backpack, the mishap might have killed him, he said.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

July 20 marks the 50th anniversary of the first crewed moon landing. As the big moment approaches, Apollo astronauts are touring planet Earth to discuss and celebrate NASA’s historic achievement.

At a recent event with some of these astronauts at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in New York, Charlie Duke, who piloted the lunar-landing module during Apollo 16, told Business Insider about what he considers the scariest moment of his life.

"It was 1972, and there was going to be the Olympics in Munich that year, so we were going to do the ‘Moon Olympics,’" said Duke, who at 36 was the youngest person to walk on the moon.

But Duke hadn’t practiced a key move in his unwieldy spacesuit. This led to a clumsy fall that he said could have split open the only barrier between himself and the vacuum of space — which would have killed him.

Duke’s near-deadly high jump

charlie duke apollo 16 astronaut moon lunar spacesuit cradle aviation museum dave mosher business insider IMG_20190606_133412 EDIT

At the Cradle of Aviation Museum — where one of three remaining lunar landers bound for the moon is on display — we interviewed a handful of astronauts.

We asked them what they thought of President Donald Trump’s plan to land humans back on the moon in 2024, and what Earth’s next big "Apollo moment" might be.

We also asked each astronaut for a relatively little-known story from their missions. One of Duke’s anecdotes, which is also detailed in his 1990 book, "Moonwalker," stood out.

Duke said that he and his commander, John Young, decided to use the final minutes of a spacewalk on the moon to beat several Earth-based feats of human athleticism. This is possible, of course, because lunar gravity is just one-sixth as strong as Earth’s.

"We just started out doing the high jump," Duke said.

They were just "horsing around," Duke said, but he was able to leap 4 feet in the air — an impressive height for anyone, especially a person wearing a bulky spacesuit. However, he straightened his body mid-jump, and that turned out to be a huge mistake, he said.

Read more: Here’s every spacesuit NASA astronauts have worn since the 1960s — and new models that may soon arrive

The lunar-surface spacesuits Apollo astronauts wore weighed more than 300 pounds each on Earth. This wasn’t as much of an issue on the moon because of its weaker surface gravity; there, the suits weighed about 50 pounds. Still, the Apollo spacesuit’s backpack made up more than half of the mass, creating balance issues (especially for leaping humans).

"The backpack weighed as much as I did. So I went over backwards," Duke said. "It’s a fiberglass shell, and it contained all your life-support systems. If it broke, I was dead."

Duke said he rolled right to break his fall but still bounced onto his backpack, also called a portable life-support system, or PLSS.

If he’d cracked his PLSS or ripped open his suit, it would have caused a "hiss-out," or loss of breathable air. This would have knocked Duke unconscious and likely killed him before Young could drag him back to the lunar module, close the air lock, and pressurize the spacecraft.

"My heart was pounding. John Young, my commander, came over and looked down and says, ‘That wasn’t very smart, Charlie.’ And I said, ‘Help me up, John,’ and I got real quiet," he said.

Duke said that once he got up, he listened to the sounds of the PLSS to determine whether anything had broken.

"You could hear the pumps running. And I said, ‘Well, I think I’m OK,’" he said, adding: "I learned a lesson: Never do anything in space that you haven’t practiced. And we had not practiced the high jump."

A TV camera recorded Duke’s terrifying moment, though equipment blocks a view of Duke’s fall.

Falling on the moon

This wasn’t Duke’s only fall on the moon: He also fell face-first while trying to poke an instrument called a penetrometer into the lunar surface, and he tumbled over after hopping down to pick up a pair of tongs (which he’d retrieved to pick up a hammer that he’d dropped moments before).

Other astronauts also floundered on the moon — humans had never before worked in lunar gravity, which made objects and bodies behave abnormally.

Plus, despite months of intense training, the Apollo astronauts often struggled in their heavy, stiff, unwieldy spacesuits. In many ways, wearing such a suit is akin to working in an overinflated, rigid balloon. Stooping to pick up an object with the gloves was practically impossible, so astronauts had to rely on other tools. They also needed to hop in order to crouch down, using the landing from the hop to compress their inflated and springy suits, which fought against normal movement.

The video below, which shows the hop-and-crouch trick, is an entertaining — and at times frightening — supercut of astronauts falling all over the moon.

For future missions to the moon and Mars, NASA and aerospace companies are designing new spacesuits that are lighter, better balanced, and more flexible to accommodate typical motions.

With any luck, engineers will ensure that silly (and potentially life-threatening) stumbles outside any future NASA moon base or SpaceX city on Mars are a rarity.

SEE ALSO: 3 Apollo astronauts say they support Trump’s plan to land people on the moon — but NASA would need to make two big changes

DON’T MISS: NASA built 5 Apollo lunar landers that never launched into space. Here’s what happened to the historic moon ships.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Elon Musk’s multibillion-dollar Starship rocket could one day take people to the moon and Mars

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A founder of Juniper Networks and a co-creator of Apple’s Mac operating system used this hand-written pitch deck to raise $200 million from SoftBank for their new data center startup

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Pradeep Sindhu

  • On Thursday Fungible, a data center infrastructure startup, announced $200 million in Series C funding led by SoftBank Vision Fund.
  • The round also included participation from Norwest Venture Partners, Battery Ventures, Mayfield, Redline Capital, and Walden Riverwood Ventures. 
  • The company has raised $300 million since it was founded in 2015 by two Silicon Valley veterans: Juniper Networks founder and former CEO Pradeep Sindhu and former Apple engineering executive Bertrand Serlet.
  • Sindhu told Business Insider that he disliked the constraints of a traditional pitch deck, and chose to hand-write his presentation on a tablet. 

Pradeep Sindhu wasn’t trying to stand out when he started pitching his new data center infrastructure startup Fungible in 2015, but his slide deck quickly caught the eyes of some of Silicon Valley’s biggest investors.

Instead of putting together polished slides in PowerPoint or Keynote, Sindhu opted instead to draw them out on a tablet before presenting to potential investors. 

"The fact that my slides are hand drawn became a theme," Sindhu told Business Insider. "It’s not that I wanted to stand out, but it’s just how I like to work. I don’t like PowerPoint because it constraints you. Being able to draw by hand allows me to be much more expressive."

Sindhu’s strategy seems to have paid off. 

On Thursday, Fungible announced $200 million in Series C funding led by SoftBank Vision Fund. Since 2015, Sindhu and his cofounder Bertrand Serlet have raised a total of $300 million from Norwest Venture Partners, Battery Ventures, Mayfield, Redline Capital, and Walden Riverwood Ventures. 

Read More: Here’s how this founder convinced Silicon Valley heavyweights Paul Graham and Peter Thiel to invest $5.8 million in his startup — without using a pitch deck

"When you had 50 plus meetings with investors they tend to get blurred in your mind," Sindhu said. "One of the striking things I remember is hearing ‘Oh boy, you’re trying to do something big’."

Sindhu also founded Juniper Networks and together with Serlet, a former engineering executive at Apple responsible for helping create the Mac operating system, came to the conclusion that existing processors could be used to make data centers more efficient as more applications rely on increasingly complex math.

The end goal, Sindhu explained, is to increase the efficiency of edge servers – that is, the servers that are physically closest to where the user is actually running their applications — which are increasingly called on to handle complex artificial intelligence and machine learning tasks. 

Here’s the hand-written deck that landed these Silicon Valley veterans $300 million in funding from some of the biggest enterprise investors.

SEE ALSO: Manufacturing startup Carbon raises $260 million to bring 3D printing to everything from running shoes to autonomous car sensors

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Icelanders: we’ve had enough of Instagrammers destroying our nature

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Icelanders: we’ve had enough of Instagrammers destroying our nature

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Due to its otherworldly beauty, Iceland is becoming increasingly popular among tourists. Sadly, more tourists mean more Instagram addicts who’d do anything for a “perfect” photo. Iceland is having more and more problems with inconsiderate visitors, and the locals have had enough of irresponsible influencers destroying the country’s beautiful nature.

Earlier this month, we’ve seen an Instagram star who bragged about driving offroad in a protected geothermal area. The police towed his car and slapped him a fine, but he apparently saw all that as an adventure. Then there was a 77-year-old woman who sat on an “ice throne” and floated away. The Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon was even closed for tourists who rushed to visit it after seeing Justin Bieber’s video which was filmed there. And these are only individual cases.

Apparently, there are many more cases like those I mentioned above. It has gone so far that Iceland’s tourist board has tried to promote responsible behavior on its website and in videos. It warns visitors about the importance of Icelandic moss, which dies when it’s trampled on. It also tries to educate visitors to stay on the main roads and tracks when driving. There has also been a pledge for tourists to sign at the airport where they promise to leave places as they found them. And what I find most shocking is that the tourists are warned to “stop urinating in the countryside,” as BBC reports. I mean, really? All this should be common sense, but it seems that common sense is not so common nowadays.

According to the BBC, even the locals have their attempts to stop the visitors from destroying their country. The Icelanders are making Facebook and Instagram pages showing bad behavior by Instagrammers. These accounts show “influencers drinking and driving, sitting on glaciers, walking on moss, crossing tourist perimeters at popular sites and flying drones over horses,” the BBC writes. “I have a feeling now everything is about Instagram and the perfect Instagram shot,” Michalina Okreglicka told the BBC. “I have never seen so much stupid and irresponsible [behavior] in different countries compared to Iceland.”

Photographer Pall Jokull Petursson believes there are good and bad Instagrammers, and I tend to agree. The good ones act respectfully and show you the ways to enjoy nature responsibly. But on the other hand, there are those who will disrespect anything just to take a photo. “I have seen all kinds of [behavior] that [are] both dangerous and disrespectful – like climbing over fences to stand on the edge of a cliff just for the Instagram selfie,” Petursson tells the BBC. People like this may have an Instagram influence, but it’s a bad influence.

Honestly, I’ve always found these “bad Instagrammers” repulsive. Just because you want to take a “perfect photo” doesn’t mean you’re entitled to do anything you want. And it’s not only you who will destroy nature but hundreds of other people who saw it from you.

[via BBC]

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What to Do About Your Incredibly Boring Job

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Human ResourceAdvice for navigating the modern workplace. Send your career-related questions to humanresource@lifehacker.com.  

You’re wasting half your work day goofing off because there just isn’t enough to do— and it’s driving you crazy. Here’s how to make a change so you’re not just killing time on Facebook waiting for the clock to strike five.

Dear Human Resource,

Here’s a question, one that has bugged me throughout my professional life. How can I keep myself from going crazy, knowing I am basically pissing my life away twiddling my thumbs? I’ve heard that the average desk worker—which I am—spends about 45% of their workday doing actual work. The rest of the time is spent doing other things, like browsing the internet, texting, just generally goofing off.

That definitely describes my work day. If it were up to me, I would do my work, and be in and out of the office in just a few hours. But because I’m bound by rather nebulously defined “office hours,” I’m stuck here from morning to evening. So I spread work out, and fiddle away the hours in between, painfully aware I could be doing other, more enjoyable, productive and interesting things elsewhere. What can be done?!

I’m not sure about that statistic, but the general point is probably true: A lot of us fritter away a lot of the “work” day. I suppose one solution would be a shorter workweek, an idea that has merit, but also requires a society-wide reconfiguration of labor norms. You might not want to wait on that.

And for what it’s worth, time-fritterers even include people—like me—who are self-employed and work at home. I don’t have to “look busy” for anybody, and yet it took me 15 minutes to write this paragraph because I stopped in the middle to Google some supposedly relevant fact and somehow ended up watching a Taylor Swift video.

So the key question to ask yourself is what you’d rather be doing with your goof-off minutes and hours. And the most important bit of that advice is ask yourself. That’s because nobody else is ever going to materialize into your work life and say: “Please tell me what would make your days truly fulfilling, and I will arrange a fresh set of responsibilities and opportunities and a schedule that makes it all possible!” So here are some possibilities.

Get ambitious 

Let’s say your answer is that all you really want is more stimulation during your work day. There’s a decent chance you can make that happen. Consider what existing projects or initiatives at your company that you can get involved in. Consider what projects or initiatives you can start.

Talk to your manager about areas where help is needed and your skills could be useful. Think about skills you’d like to acquire and what you could do to put you on that path. Maybe this involves working toward a professional goal, or maybe it’s about the acquisition of skill for its own sake.

Help out your peers. Take on new responsibility. If what will satisfy you is a more challenging work day, challenge yourself.

Change your situation

But let’s say all of that sounds horrible to you, because you don’t really like or care about your company or the work you’re paid to do. Fair enough! Consider finding a work situation that’s actually engaging.

In addition to just, you know, seeking a better job, which by itself can be a productive project, consider working for yourself. Maybe you can figure out a way to consult, or work on contracts that give you more control over your schedule. (To have more free time might entail making less money, but perhaps that will suit you just fine?) Or start something new that tracks closer to your real interests. (You may end up working longer hours, but perhaps you’ll enjoy it?)

You may well, like me, still end up wasting chunks of the work day. But at least you won’t be doing it to in acquiescence to someone else’s demands.

Just declare victory 

Finally, consider the possibility that your boring, unchallenging, time-wasting job could be an opportunity. Recognizing this might require a bit of a mental reset, and for that I consulted my friend (and frequent collaborator) Joshua Glenn, who among other things is the author of The Idler’s Glossary, an excellent book about not working that I suggest you surreptitiously read while on the clock.

“I’ve been in that situation,” Josh said when I described your plight, working for a big company that “didn’t have enough for me to do every day. Or maybe I was just way more efficient at doing my job than they’d expected?” For a while, he killed time shopping on eBay or playing games.

“But then I came to think of my employer as a Medici-like patron of the arts: a source of air conditioning, office supplies, Internet access, and—over the course of each day—several hours of free time,” he said. He plotted his first books and networked with people whose work he admired. And, he adds: “I regularly walked around the whole building, poking my nose into places I didn’t belong and asking everyone about their own work.”

Eventually he quit, co-founding business and producing a series of entertaining side projects. But the point isn’t that you need to become an entrepreneur or write books, per se. It’s that you should think about your free time as a gift of sorts, one that you can exploit.

“I didn’t have a particular plan or end goal in mind,” Josh concluded. “But it was important to me to use that time creatively—which is not the same thing as productively.”

That last point is important. It may take some thought and experimentation. But if you want to make the most of your free time, it’s worth putting in a little extra work—for a change. 


Send your work-world questions to humanresource@lifehacker.com. Questions may be edited for length and clarity.

 

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Eating Junk Food Isn’t Just Making You Heavy – It Could Be Screwing With Your Ability To Procreate

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binge eating junk food

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In our younger years, we never once stop to consider how we might be damaging our bodies with the foods that we eat.

It doesn’t even cross our mind that our lustful affair with the fast food nation and all of the processed, sugary cuisine that it comes with will eventually rise up and bite us in the ass in the form of a savage heart attack or stroke.

Maybe as we get a little bit of life experience under our belts – the one we have been forced to cut additional holes in to make fit around our rapidly expanding gut — we start to realize that our piss-poor diets might come back to haunt us.

But we come to grips with how we might end up with diabetes and an amputated foot because we just can’t seem to shake that vicious Skittles habit.

Our hope is that maybe, just maybe, if we’re lucky enough, our gluttonous ways will only lead to sudden death during an episode of Seinfeld or something and we will not have to be seen in public with only one good hoof.

However, never in three lifetimes would we find ourselves concerned, not even for a second, that our fat-ass encounters with all of the nutritional atrocities that the world has to offer could render us incapable of humping a bun in the oven when the time comes to start a family.

But this is precisely what can happen to us, a new study finds, if we continue polluting our balls with junk food.

Researchers at Harvard University have concluded that maintaining a shit diet – one of those consisting of pepperoni pizza with a Mountain Dew chaser – can lead to lower sperm production.

The study, which was just presented in front of a bunch of depressed motherfuckers at the annual European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology meeting, finds that the decline in men’s sperm count over the past few decades is mostly to blame on our insistence on filling our bodies with trash.

Researchers describe it as a “western” diet, something that they have defined as the consumption of foods such as “pizza, chips, processed and red meats, snacks, refined grains, high-energy drinks, and sweets.”

These foods, or so it seems, are snuffing out our baby making abilities.

On the flip side, men who maintained a healthy diet – those who consumed mostly “fish, chicken, vegetables, fruit, and water” – had a higher sperm count.

So, while it might be a lot of fun to just keep humping away at the old baby bucket time and time again without getting something to grow, the real potent peters are the ones that don’t produce jizz that smells like a Papa Johns.

This means if the old lady has been on you lately about getting her pregnant, it might be time to trade in the grease and high calories on a diet that is more conducive to producing athletic swimmers.

Because those bogged down by the sludge of pseudo-sustenance might have trouble going the distance.

So, yes, it would seem that eating like a teenager that has been left alone for the weekend can have an effect on sperm production.

But contrary to what the study says about the situation being irreversible, some experts say this may not be true.

The implication in the study is that this western diet has the power to kill Sertoli cells (they help to keep sperm happy, healthy and horny), but without them, or so it is suggested, men simply cannot get their spunk back to optimal levels.

But this is probably complete and utter bullshit, some urologists assert.

“That’s something that you can’t tell unless you’re looking at testicular tissue from a testicular biopsy,” Dr. Bobby Najari told Men’s Health. “Concern about the health of Sertoli cells is taking this data a step too far.”

It is important to understand that just because your diet sucks a big one doesn’t mean you’re going to have trouble getting a girl pregnant.

Just take a look around out there at all of the fat slobs with kids, and it is readily apparent that junk food has not hindered the populating of the Earth.

So, be advised, don’t go using your affinity for cheeseburgers and mounds of fries as an alternative to birth control.

This meatheaded notion will only ensure that you end up on a steady diet of ramen noodles once your entire month’s wages start going to pay child support.

But for those men having some difficulty cracking a few eggs, so to speak, medical experts say one of the first things to change is your diet.

Now, it could take some time before you’re shooting uterus crushers – after all, Rome wasn’t built in a day – but your balls should eventually recover from their dietary dump and they will learn to swim again.

[via Men’s Health]

***

Mike Adams is a freelance writer for High Times, Cannabis Now, and Forbes. You can follow him on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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HAPPY 626 day – Propellerhead ReBirth TR-626 Mod

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Published on Jun 26, 2019 Retro Synth Ads / Mini Music Labs

“Something a little different for 6/26 day. I took my love of the Roland TR-626 drum machine and my recent infatuation with Propellerhead ReBirth and learned how to create a ReBirth Mod. In this case replacing the TR-808 and TR-909 drum machines with the sounds and graphics of a TR-626.

You can

learn more about it on my blog

.”

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A tiny phone-mounted kit that lets you test your eye-power from your home

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As a glasses-wearer myself, I admit I don’t visit the optometrist as much as I visit the dentist… and I hardly ever visit the dentist. Eyes are by far the one sense we rely on the most, and with the amount of stress we put them through all day, especially with the screens we surround ourselves with, it’s no wonder more and more people find themselves needing prescription eyewear.

Depending on your proximity to screens, medical conditions, or even genetic history, your vision could fluctuate to the degree that you’d need to get eye tests done every few months. The process for getting your eye-power checked, however, hasn’t seen much development in the past decade or more. You still need to book an appointment with the optician or optometrist, get your eyes checked, order a new pair of glasses, and wait a week for them to deliver. Not only is this process painstakingly long, it also requires a lot of effort that a majority of people aren’t willing to take. That’s where EyeQue’s Personal Vision Tracker comes in.

Designed to be an incredibly small device that straps to your phone, the EyeQue Personal Vision Tracker is a mini-scope that works with EyeQue’s app and patented technology to let you accurately calculate your eye-power from the comfort of your home. The mini-scope puts your eye at a fixed distance away from your phone’s screen, while the EyeQue app runs multiple tests to capture each meridian of your eye. The app’s two-button control system allows you to move red and green lines closer to each other till your eye sees them as a single yellow line. Perform a series of tests for each eye, and the app’s advanced technology can exactly chart your eye’s power, keeping a historical record of your eye-power prescriptions on your phone for you to consult. The EyeQue’s readings can be directly used to order new pairs of spectacles or contact lenses online, cutting the entire aforementioned process from weeks to just 2-3 days… while saving you an arduous trip to the eye-doctor!

Designer: EyeQue Corporation

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Harvard’s RoboBee X-Wing can fly under its own power

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RoboBee X-Wing, the latest version of Harvard’s robotic bee, has four wings instead of two — more importantly, it can fly on its own without the need for a power tether. Researchers from Harvard’s Microrobotics Laboratory have been working on the RoboBee for a while now. They’ve made it smaller and lighter, and they’ve given it more and more features such as the ability to fly in and out of water over the years.

This version is only one-quarter the weight of a paper clip, but it still needs the extra lift provided by its two extra wings to carry its on-board electronics and six tiny solar cells. Since the robot is untethered unlike other similar robotic insects, it gets its power from the sun — or from powerful lamps, which the researchers used during their tests.

The solar cells generate 5 volts of electricity, and a small onboard transformer turns it into the 200 volts of electricity the RoboBee needs to lift off. That voltage causes the bee’s piezoelectric actuators to bend and contract like the real insect’s muscles would, leading to the flapping motion of the robot’s wings.

Even though the X-Wing doesn’t need a tether, it still can’t be deployed in real missions. For one, it requires light three times the intensity of our sun to be able to generate the power it needs. In addition, it doesn’t work when it’s not directly under the light and could only fly for a second or two during testing until it veers out of view. The researchers need to equip it with a power storage solution so it can fly in the dark. Problem is, that would make it heavier.

According to IEEE Spectrum, the team is now working on a version that’s 25 percent larger and can harness power from a light source that’s "only" 1.5 more intense than our sun. Hopefully, they can figure out how to give RoboBee the capability to harness power from our sun as it is and to store energy for later use.

Winged robots are more agile and maneuverable than those that use propellers. They’re also quieter and won’t injure or damage the people and objects they come in contact with. If the Harvard researchers can find a way to make RoboBee work on our planet and in the dark, it could be the perfect robot for search and rescue operations and environmental exploration.

Source: The New York Times, Nature

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