09/23/2017 (Sat) 16:00:45
>>18368. Deliverance From Above
Since the Sept. 11 attacks, many cubicle dwellers have been haunted by fears of being stuck in a skyscraper when disaster strikes. In fact, tragic images from the World Trade Center inspired a micro-industry of high-rise-escape options. There are now escape chutes (basically, giant collapsible fabric tubes for shinnying down) and small parachutes.
The SOS Parachute (about $2,400) is compact enough to store in a cubicle, opens in about two seconds and is designed to work for the 11th floor and higher. Granted, the parachute is exactly not 82nd Airborne-grade, and a 200-pound man might find the landing a little rough. “You may twist an ankle,” said Nicolas Havett, a company executive. But in a situation serious enough to warrant a parachute, that’s a deal that many would take.9. Who Are You Calling “Rocket Man”?
They were a science-fiction fantasy in the Bond movie “Thunderball,” a space-age gag in “Gilligan’s Island.” But a half-century later, jet packs actually exist. A California company called JetPack Aviation unveiled a functioning turbojet version two years ago, capable of staying aloft for 10 minutes, traveling at speeds up to 100 miles per hour. Current models are available only to the military, but David Mayman, the company’s founder, said he plans to introduce a commercial version within 18 months.
Hard-core doomers need not drain their airplane-liquor-bottle stash to envision the potential: Imagine New York after, say, an electromagnetic pulse attack that wipes out the power grid (like the kind North Korea recently threatened). The bridges and streets resemble a scene from the old John Carpenter movie “Escape From New York,” but the privileged few can soar across the Hudson to safety (or at least New Jersey). “From the time you push the button, you could be in the air in less than 30 seconds,” Mr. Mayman said.
Sure, there is the cost — about $250,000, which the company is hoping to bring down “to the price of a luxury car.” For now, just think of it as the survivalists’ Maybach.10. No Place Like Dome
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