Years ago, engineers figured out how to make a parachute that could support a whole small plane. It's a tough problem, because even a small plane is quite heavy, and thus you need a large, bulky chute that is hard to deploy in time — so they use a solid-fuel rocket to pull the thing out.
I had heard of this before, but hadn't quite appreciated what it would mean in practice, until I saw the calmest plane crash video of all time. Watch this small plane drift gently to the ground instead of ramming into it at a hundred miles an hour. It makes small planes look a lot less risky. --Ryan Cooper
Marion "Suge" Knight's lawyer filed a motion Friday to throw out the former rap music mogul's charges for murder, attempted murder, and hit-and-run, the Associated Press reports.
Knight, 50, allegedly ran over two men, killing one, outside a Compton, California, burger stand in January. Defense attorney Matt Fletcher argued the case should be thrown out because the injured man's testimony does not specifically name Marion Knight.
"There is nowhere in the entire transcript that Mr. Sloan even identifies Marion Knight as a driver of the red truck in question; the red truck that hit the victims," Fletcher wrote in the motion.
The prosecutor's response contended her client, Cle "Bone" Sloan, has clearly identified the driver as "Suge," AP reports.
Knight is also due in court for a separate robbery case but told deputies he was too sick to come in. The judge has said he would forcibly bring Knight to court Friday if necessary. Knight's murder trial is scheduled for July 7. Julie Kliegman
What ever happened to Sal, anyway?
Apparently, even Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner wanted to revisit that plot point. But just like new year's resolutions and that ten dollars you borrowed from your friend three months ago, some things are bound to be left on the backburner.
During a Writer's Guild Foundation panel with Mad Men's writers, Entertainment Weekly writer Anthony Breznican supposedly got his hands on Weiner's plot-point wish list, which is aptly titled "WISH LIST: Things We Want to Deal With Before the Series Ends." Behold:
— Anthony Breznican (@Breznican) May 29, 2015
While we can't verify the list's authenticity, Breznican is a pretty trustworthy source, and the list matches the style of many of Weiner's notes about the show, which are currently being displayed at the Museum of the Moving Image.
If real, the list is an interesting look into what could have been. Maybe, in some alternate universe, Don did the right thing and ended up with Dr. Faye Miller. Samantha Rollins
According to the New York Times, Europe is taking a rather unorthodox approach to the problem of long-term unemployment: networks of fake businesses. While engaged in no actual economic activity, the routines provide unemployed Europeans with the chance to keep up habits, skill sets, social connections, and a sense of purpose. Their incomes come from Europe's social safety net programs, in particular jobless benefits -- though these often replace only a fraction of a previous salary.
The idea for the fake businesses got its start in Europe after World War II, when many people needed to learn new skills. Now there are 5,000 of them across the Continent, pretending to be engaged in everything from selling pets to providing office furniture.
Years after the 2008 collapse, large swaths of Europe remains mired in economic sclerosis. In 2014, just over half of the Continent's unemployed had been without work for a year or more, and many had been without work for two years. Jeff Spross
The Duggar family is known for its ever-expanding brood, and one more progeny might be on the way: a spinoff to its hit series, 19 Kids and Counting. Deadline reports that as advertisers pull their sponsorships from 19 Kids and Counting after Josh Duggar's child molestation revelation, TLC, which airs the show, is considering a new offshoot that focuses on newlyweds Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard.
Duggar and Dillard's wedding episode raked in an average of 4.4 million people when it aired last October, a record for the series, so it's no surprise TLC is considering hanging its wholesome-family hat on the popular young couple. Granted, rumors about a potential spinoff for Duggar and Dillard have surfaced before — but with more and more details emerging about Josh Duggar's conduct, it's not unlikely the network is brainstorming backup plans. TLC declined to comment to Deadline about the rumors. Kimberly Alters
What's Full House without Danny Tanner as Bob Saget? Diehard fans looking forward to the spin-off won't have to find out. John Stamos tweeted Thursday that his TV brother-in-law has signed on for Fuller House, the coming spin-off starring Candace Cameron Bure as widowed D.J. Tanner-Fuller.
— John Stamos (@JohnStamos) May 29, 2015
Of course Saget still calls his co-star "Jesse."
How did you get this information? Kidding! Love you Jesse! https://t.co/dj5VKlCRqR
— bob saget (@bobsaget) May 29, 2015
In case long lines, crying kids, and exorbitantly priced sodas weren't enough to make you think twice about a vacation to one of Walt Disney's Parks and Resorts, the company may be considering surge-pricing, as well.
The Los Angeles Times reports that annual park pass holders received an online survey, in which they were asked for their opinion on a new, three-tiered pricing system. Daily tickets would be separated into Gold, Silver, and Bronze levels: Bronze passes would cost $99 but could only be used on off-peak, weekend days; Silver passes would cost $105 and would be 'good' for all days excepting designated peak days and holidays; Gold passes would cost $115 and could be used 365 days a year, regardless of summer or spring breaks, or Christmas holidays.
Currently, California's Disneyland charges a fixed $99 daily ticket for parkgoers ages 10 and up, while Florida's Disney World offers a fixed daily ticket price of $105. The company told the Times that it regularly polls its visitors about various park enhancements, but still: Best be safe and get to Splash Mountain while it still only costs the low price of $99. Sarah Eberspacher
Red wine is good for your heart. Coffee will make you live longer. And chocolate will make you lose weight. Maybe. Or maybe not.
Headlines touting the next great health benefit of our most beloved foods are a familiar (and welcome) part of the internet news cycle. But too often, the actual science behind these studies leaves much to be desired. At least that's what John Bohannon tried to show when he released a study late this spring claiming that chocolate can help you lose weight. While he did actually perform the study, he himself knew it was bunk science, as he wrote recently in io9.
The study was purposely poorly designed and was published in a 'pay-for-play' publication that doesn't peer review. While thorough reporting would have uncovered these errors, what followed instead was universally positive, gushing coverage of his 'findings,' proving Bohannon's actual thesis: that reporting on nutrition science can slip by with little verification when journalists are too willing to believe the sensationalist claims in newly published studies or press releases (an issue The Week’s Ryan Cooper covered with in regards to the much-maligned Chipotle burrito).
As needed as that lesson may be, it can't help but break the hearts of those of us who were ready to reap the waist-whittling benefits of a Hershey's bar. Marshall Bright