Friday, June 24, 2005

How to escape from a towering inferno

This is a silly story from the Paris Air Show. It describes a Russian-designed system for jumping safely out of tall buildings and although it is a really neat idea, one would be forgiven for thinking that it will probably never see the light of day. Still, never wanting to stifle invention, we did think our readers would be interested to hear more.

Burning ambitions, Jun 23rd 2005 | PARIS

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Destination Moon and other stories

A busy month, with a trip to the remarkable Paris Airshow. Throw together tens of thousands of people on a sprawling site with bad maps and you have a recipe for chaos and confusion. It's still fun.
Most of the business gets done in what are known as "chalets". These are actually nothing like chalets but are a highly evolved form of portakabin with shiny plate glass doors and highly designed interiors and exteriors, patios, garden furniture, personal chefs. They all have receptions equipped with pretty ladies with shiny hair. One even had its own waterfall.
It is as if there is some kind of one-upmanship going on at the airshow. I can almost imagine the executives enviously eyeing the waterfall and making a note that they should get a bigger one next year.

Articles from the Paris arishow are forthcoming. Recent offerings in The Economist include...

Genes improve a woman's sex life
Top tip for a better sex life: better genes
Jun 9th 2005

NASA's lunar vision
Why is America returning to the moon, and what does the new “vision” for NASA mean for science?
May 26th 2005

Designs for a moonship (subscription required)
NASA's plans for lunar travel are already being pieced together
May 26th 2005