Biker Records Thieves On Helmet Camera

Biker Captures Thieves On Helmet Camera

The lesson from this viral video is if you’re going to be a criminal, make sure you steal the video evidence as well. South African Lucky Jakkals was bicycling through Somerset West, South Africa when he was accosted by three men. The leader armed with a weapon demanded his bike and valuables. Ironically, the criminals didn’t take his helmet which had a recording GoPro camera on top. Thankfully, the police were able to arrest these foolish criminals with the video


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A Space Rock The Size Of A House Whizzed Past Earth Today – And We Only Discovered It Last Week

A house-sized asteroid flew past our planet today at about 58 percent the distance between the Earth and the Moon. The object, known as 2017 YZ4, is estimated to be between 7 and 15 meters (23 and 49 feet) – slightly smaller than the Chelyabinsk meteor that exploded over Russia in 2013.

2017 YZ4 was only discovered on Christmas Day by the Mount Lemmon Survey, which is one of the most successful detectors of near-Earth objects (NEOs) in the world. 2017 YZ4 is an asteroid in the Apollo family, a group characterized by orbits that are wider than Earth’s but fly closer to the Sun than our own planet.

The asteroid’s closest approach happened around 10:56 Eastern Time at 224,396 kilometers (139 433 miles) from the surface of our planet. This is a safe distance, not that we could do much about it since it was only discovered a few days ago. It has a speed of 9.5 kilometers (5.9 miles) per second relative to our planet, so you wouldn’t want to be on its path.

This is 2017 YZ4 orbit around the Sun. NASA

According to NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies, this was the closest asteroid since 2017 WA14 approached Earth on November 21. In 2017, there have been another 51 objects that ended up flying within one lunar distance. All but one, 2012 TC4, were discovered this year as they were approaching our planet.

NASA and other space agencies used 2012 TC4 to study the asteroid in detail. They even ran tests to better understand our asteroid warning systems and to determine how capable we would be at fighting off these objects.

While 2017 YZ4 might not pose an extinction-level threat to our planet, we need to remain vigilant as these objects can create widespread damage, like the above-mentioned Chelyabinsk meteor whose shock wave broke windows and injured thousands. For this reason, NASA and the European Space Agency have projects monitoring NEOs.

So far, we have discovered just a small percentage of the estimated 1 million hazardous asteroids larger than 30 meters (100 feet) that populate the space around Earth. Only about one in four asteroids larger than 100 meters (328 feet) have been discovered.

Teams are trying their best to come up with the right tools to protect us against this unlikely but serious threat; however, we currently remain woefully unprepared.

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What Is This Weird “Snail Trail” Found On Pluto?

NASAs New Horizons spacecraft has beamed down an image appearing to show a snail trail across Plutos icy wilderness.

The image from New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) was taken on July 14,2015, however the data only reached Earth on Christmas Eve 2015. The image shows Sputnik Planum, the 20-kilometer-wide (12-mile-wide)icy plain of Pluto.

Unfortunately, NASA doesn’t think the blob is actually a snail. They say the black cosmic-gastropod is actually a dirty block of water ice being pulled through denser solid nitrogen by currents caused by density differences.The X junction is most likely to be ridged margins,according to NASA, which are raised by about 100 meters (328 feet).

This part of Pluto is acting like a lava lamp,if you can imagine a lava lamp as wide as, and even deeper than, Hudson Bay, William McKinnon, deputy lead of the New Horizons Geology, Geophysics and Imaging team, said on the NASA website.

You can check out the full-sized mosaic of Plutos icy plain imageshere.

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New Weather Forecast Model Can Pinpoint Severe Storms Up to 15 Hours in Advance


Image: Mashable composite. NASA

Meteorologists at the National Weather Service (NWS) gained a new, sharper weapon in their arsenal of computer models on Tuesday, which could result in better weather forecasts. The agency put its newly updated High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR, which is pronounced like the word “her,” except with many more Rs), into operational use after several years of experimental simulations.

The model will help meteorologists pinpoint the development of damaging weather conditions that are too small-scale and short-term to be detected by other models, such as derecho events like the one that shut off the lights to hundreds of thousands of people from Ohio to Virginia on June 29, 2012.

According to the NWS, the newly supercharged HRRR model, which had been in use before Tuesday but at a far coarser resolution, will allow forecasters to make better warnings of flash flooding, heavy snowfall, and the likelihood of severe thunderstorms. It could also make aviation forecasts more reliable, helping pilots steer clear of turbulence.

HRRR Radar

The key to the HRRR’s upgrade is a major narrowing of its spatial resolution, which is akin from going from taking a wide shot photograph to using a zoom lens. The spatial resolution of the improved model is four times finer than what was used before, allowing it to capture smaller-scale details, such as individual thunderstorms, that it might otherwise have missed. According to a press release, the improvements made each pixel in the model go from the size of an entire city, at eight miles wide, to the size of a neighborhood within that city, at two miles wide.

The new HRRR model was five years in the making from a team at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado. The model is now run on supercomputers in Virginia and Florida on an hourly basis, and it takes advantage of real-time radar data to produce more accurate projections of how weather systems will move and develop. Its forecasts extend out to 15 hours in advance, compared to other weather models that project up to 10 to 14 days.

“This is the first in a new generation of weather prediction models designed to better represent the atmosphere and mechanics that drive high-impact weather events,” said William Lapenta, Ph.D., director of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction, part of the National Weather Service, in a press release. “The HRRR is a tool delivering forecasters a more accurate depiction of hazardous weather to help improve our public warnings and save lives.”

How the model works

The new model takes about 1,200 computer cores to run, and keeps them busy for each hour, NOAA research meteorologist Stan Benjamin told Mashable. He said the new model takes up about 12 to 15% of the operational computing capacity that NOAA has at the environmental prediction center, which is located in College Park, Maryland.

According to NOAA, the computer model starts out with a three-dimensional picture of the atmosphere one hour before the forecast, and ingests observations from a variety of sources, from weather stations on the ground to data from commercial aircraft flying in the skies above. It brings in radar imagery every 15 minutes to help the model understand where precipitation is moving and how it’s developing. The model’s hourly output provides 15-minute snapshots of weather conditions, which could help the NWS in its goal to transition from warning of a storm’s formation to issuing warnings based on storm forecasts.

“It actually knows about current radar reflective information,” said Benjamin, who led the research team that developed the model, “and it’s able to represent that and update it every hour.”

The HRRR update comes at the same time that the NWS is boosting its computing power for its other weather models, which in recent years have fallen behind Europe and Japan in their computing power and accuracy.

“Implementation of the HRRR is just one of many model improvements made possible with NOAA’s boost in its supercomputing power for weather prediction,” said Louis Uccellini, NWS director, in a press release.

The NWS has been beset by a series of technical glitches in the past several months, with critical portions of its website and warning dissemination system going down for hours at a time.

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Find Out Which Reporter Walks the Walk at CES 2014


What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, unless you’re wearing a device that tracks your every step.

As the major players in the tech industry debuted new products at CES 2014 in Las Vegas this week, the Mashable team was there on the ground to bring you a firsthand look at the gadgets and speakers that generated buzz.

The jam-packed event tested our reporters mentally, and the spread-out venue tested their fitness levels as they briskly walked to and from the wealth of events. With so much to see and write about, they needed to cover ground faster than winter storm Hercules.

That’s why, for the second year in a row, we presented the Mashable staff with a challenge: Who could log the most activity at CES?

To most accurately measure our reporters’ speed and stamina, we provided them each with a Nike+ FuelBand SE. The activity-logging wristband tracked our reporters’ steps taken and measured their daily activity in “fuel points.”

Last year, Evan Engel finished in first place. This year, however, it was Nina Frazier-Hansen who finished with both the most steps taken (48,344) and fuelpoints (17,423), making her our clear winner of CES 2014. Congratulations, Nina!

Editor’s Note: Evan Engel was not able to log data on Sunday due to travel complications, and Samantha Murphy lost some data on Monday due to technical difficulties.

Who’s going to win the Nike+ Fuelband CES Challenge?

Image: Mashable, Jeff Petriello

31 Hilarious Photos of Cats Going Outside For The First Time That We Saw in 2017

Some oldies, some newbees, and some we just can’t stop laughing at. These are the absolute best photos of cats going out to explore the world for the first time.