Trip to Mars Doesn’t Have to Break the Bank
Just days after the launch of India’s Mangalyaan satellite, NASA sent off its own Mars mission, five years in the making, named Maven. Its cost: $671 million. The budget of India’s Mars mission, by contrast, was just three-quarters of the $100 million that Hollywood spent on last year’s space-based hit, “Gravity.”
“The mission is a triumph of low-cost Indian engineering,” said Roddam Narasimha, an aerospace scientist and a professor at Bangalore’s Jawaharlal Nehru Center for Advanced Scientific Research.
“By excelling in getting so much out of so little, we are establishing ourselves as the most cost-effective center globewide for a variety of advanced technologies,” said Mr. Narasimha.
posted by infini
on Feb 18, 2014 -
Rhinoceroses are purple, they have rounded faces like hippos, they have long, curved stinging tails like scorpions, and they have flashlights in their mouths. Oh, and when those lights are activated, they make pig noises. This is actually a great toy for a kid who’s afraid of the dark and also afraid of conventional, non-cute, non-noise-making flashlights. Or for someone who needs a primer in the genetic-engineering technology of 2075 and how it will be used to create monstrous hybrids to serve our every need, including our need for rhinoceroscorpion light sources.
It's time for the A.V. Club's annual Cheap Toy Roundup
posted by davidjmcgee
on Dec 22, 2012 -
For about three years, the A.V. Club ran Sawbuck Gamer
, a regular column reviewing the week's most notable free and cheap games across all platforms, from web games to handhelds to console downloadables. It's a treasure trove of content, especially since more literary sister site The Gameological Society took the helm
, and it's publicized great desktop projects like the luscious platformer Frogatto
), feature-rich Super Mario Bros. X
), the evocative faux-web Digital: A Love Story
), interactive fiction gem Rover's Day Off
, and the hyperkinetic RunMan: Race Around the World
). But if you're in the mood for something more immediate, why not start with a list of all the original column's free A-rated online titles? [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Oct 24, 2012 -
the £22 ($35) computer
was launched today and sold out immediately
. It is intended to encourage children to develop a better understanding of computers and get involved in programming. The design is based on a Broadcom BCM2835 SoC with no keyboard or other frills; it's meant to run Linux.
posted by Segundus
on Feb 29, 2012 -
A new brand of super shoppers
use coupons and other discounts to get products for absurdly low prices. The Web has turned this group from a series of independent operators into cohesive groups, frustrating retailers.
posted by reenum
on Dec 3, 2010 -
Want to get to that town in the next state on the cheap? Sure, there's Greyhound, but it's hardly a bargain at $32 for a journey from Seattle to Portland. When you really need to save the cash, use Epic Transit Journeys
wiki to plot your route entirely on local transit carriers, allowing you to get to Stumptown
for only $11.50 and a paltry five transfers. For a truly epic journey, cross international borders for the trip to Vancouver, BC
, which includes a lovely 2.9 mi stroll across the border. Oran Viriyincy's travelogue of this trip
includes lots of photos of buses and trains, and the border official's shocked reaction.
posted by grouse
on Nov 9, 2010 -
by Fascinating Aida
is a new song from a trio of satirical women who have been making people laugh for over a quarter of a century. As they say on their homepage
"It started by going fungal, then it went bacterial, and is in severe danger of going viral. Hurrah! We write a hit - it's only taken 27 years!". Other notable songs include their ode to viagra Getting it
, White's Blues
, and an old gem Time
, from 1987.
posted by handee
on Aug 26, 2010 -
Ten years ago
Valve released Half Life
, to the delight of gamers, modders
and people who hate cut scenes. Marc Laidlaw, writer for Valve, talks
about the genesis of scientist
turned crowbar wielding survivor, Gordon Freeman. Somehow avoided playing it in all these years? You can buy it
on Steam for less than a dollar until midnight November 21st.
posted by Artw
on Nov 20, 2008 -
Cope pipe without a jig.
Enter a few parameters and get a pdf that will give you a printable pattern that will allow you to notch tubing for welding or brazing to another pipe.
posted by Mitheral
on Mar 15, 2008 -
Attention Darren Sherman: When you go on a date with someone, and they offer to split the tab, once you've declined their offer it can be perceived as bad ettiquette to threaten to get a court summons for the money if they refuse a second date with you. Voicemails & emails of a JDate gone awry.
posted by jonson
on Jul 5, 2006 -
"If ever a company needed a marketing department, it's New Choice, whose Original Flavor Round Crackers take the cake for stating the obvious.
Points should be awarded for attempts to woo health-conscious consumers with facts about added DHA ("prevents heart attack, enhances eye sight"), but there's no two ways to look at Round Crackers: It's a badly executed Ritz rip-off." So sayeth the wits at the Onion A.V. Club
, who scour the nation's dollar stores for food products to evaluate in their sporadic feature "Dining for a Dollar
." Round crackers too boring? You might prefer Freakin' Nuts
(tagline: Is it a chip? Is it a nut? Yes!), Thick Mints
, or maybe just a handful of Balls
. Their annual Cheap Toy Roundup
is just as good; last year's
featured products such as Preeminent Car ($1), Stretchy Body Bits ($1.19), and a DVD titled Clothes That Went to a Party
($2). Perhaps the all-time best, though, is the Mini Wooden Furniture: Table
: a "plain, unadorned wooden table." ($1)
posted by anjamu
on Mar 4, 2006 -
consist of a central PC running Linux, serving a bunch of ultra-cheap, ultra-thin VNC-ish clients over 100Mbit Ethernet connections. The developers hope that mass production will soon make the clients cost as little as a typical video cable.
posted by flabdablet
on Jan 16, 2006 -
Upstart travel sites challenge the big three
Catering to skinflints who can't be bothered to check multiple sites for the best fares, travel aggregator sites like Mobissimo
, or Sidestep
allow you to search Expedia
, and Travelocity
with a single query, as well as bargain airlines like JetBlue
, which aren't covered by the big three. (note: Sidestep requires a download, and only works on Windows; the others are all just regular websites.) But maybe you'd be best off just heading straight to an obscure Belgian travel site
posted by yankeefog
on Dec 13, 2004 -
The Educator's Bed and Breakfast Network
Lodging for US $34 per couple per night, and breakfast too! Required - a house of your own (or maybe a large apartment, I suppose) to host fellow members. Membership costs $35 per year with a one-time $10 initial registration fee. "Educators" is a broad category which includes teachers of all sorts, writers, journalists, researchers, librarians, probably DJ's....many bloggers...
posted by troutfishing
on Jul 14, 2004 -
Dr Venter says he will be able to provide an individual's genome on a CD
in about a week for $712,000 (£400,000) from later this year with the ultimate goal to sequence someone's entire genome in 24 hours for $1,000 (£562).
posted by nasim
on Sep 23, 2002 -
Speed of light broken with basic lab kit.
Physicists at Middle Tennessee State University report that they've broken the speed of light using only $500 in off-the-shelf equipment that can be set up in less than an hour. Don't expect warp drives any time soon, but this does open up a cool area of science to the "two guys in a garage" arena. Is there a Jobs & Wozniak out there who will kick start a transportation revolution?
posted by mkultra
on Sep 17, 2002 -