Ever found yourself in an office, several floors up looking out of the window, a large window that in fact stretches from the floor to the ceiling? I have, quite a few times actually (not that its anything special). On a few occasions I have leaned against the glass trusting that it would be secure, and the evidence of this being written of course tells that it was. On a few other occasions I have pondered the idea of testing the glass with something more substantial than a simple lean. Its a very easy idea to walk away from. I am never going to run at the glass to test that it is strong enough to prevent me falling to my death. If only Garry Hoy felt the same way he wouldn’t be dead. Running at the glass was Garry’s party trick until one day the whole pane popped out of its frame and that was the end of him.
Then there is Sir Adrian Paul Ghislain Carton de Wiart and officer in the British army. He was possibly the hardest man who ever lived. From his Wikipedia listing.
He served in the Boer War, First World War, and Second World War; was shot in the face, head, stomach, ankle, leg, hip, and ear; survived two plane crashes; tunnelled out of a POW camp; and bit off his own fingers when a doctor refused to amputate them. Describing his experiences in World War I, he wrote, “Frankly I had enjoyed the war.”
Meet J002e3f an object found to be orbiting earth in 2002. This was a mystery as it had long been the accepted wisdom that the moon was the only substantial body in orbit in our skies. Originally it was assumed to be an asteroid but eventual analysis showed that the electromagnetic spectrum of the object was consistent with the paint used by NASA for the Saturn V rockets. Its no longer flying around us as the moon helped to slingshot it out of our orbit, although it is expected to return some time in the 2040’s. The first link shows its orbital path as it flirted with hitting us.
I have recently found a number of Wikipedia entries that just purport to function as simple nodes for crowd sourced lists. A nice dynamic resource. Here are 3 of them. Objects in the solar system by size, science in 2013 by month and emerging technologies by sector.