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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

More scientific enquiry

This is more like it! Via Tim Worstall, may I direct the natural philosophers among you to study some exciting new research from xkcd, wisest of the sages of the internet:

“Is it possible to build a jetpack using downward firing machine guns?”

17 comments to More scientific enquiry

  • Les

    Take this to its logic conclusion and you come up with one of these:


  • Mac McCubbin

    Finally! Something I can apply in daily life!

  • Laird

    Russell Munroe is truly awesome!

  • Simon Jester


    [Snark]Randall Monroe is pretty cool too.[/Snark]

  • Jaded Voluntaryist

    I’d really like an AK47…..

    I like to watch shooting channels on youtube and see what I’m missing out on. Sometimes though it all gets a bit much for me.

    Being reminded of the very long list of things I’m not allowed makes me feel so claustrophobic I can hardly breathe at times……

  • The Pedant-General

    [Super pendantic Snark]Munroe[/super pendantic snark]

    (with apologies to the Pendant himself, given that he is referenced at the top)

  • bgates

    Funny, just today Glenn Reynolds just linked to some words the Great Man wrote in 2008:

    Please support Barack Obama.
    I want, for once, someone I can vote for not because I dislike the other candidate, but because I’m proud of mine. Obama is the real thing.
    Obama has shown a real commitment to open government…
    Obama stands against bad governing not only in his support of specific practices like open data standards and basic network neutrality, but in his work against corruption from day one. He’s sponsored legislation to restrict gifts to Congress by industry representatives (which also carried a whole slew of anti-corruption measures that were a breath of fresh air). He’s fought against vote fraud. He’s been pushing for election and lobbying reform from the start, and in his campaign he’s refused to take lobbyist money.
    …It’s vital that we start the work of picking up the messes left by the irresponsible governance of the current administration, and, as they say, you don’t get out of a mess with the same kind of thinking that got you in. Obama is the guy to to get us out.

    I want someone who can lead the country. When people grow cynical and detached from government, or blinded by partisanship, evil runs amok. Obama represents an honest shot at making our government something we can be proud of. I’m tired of throwing things at CNN. I’m tired of feeling depressed when I read speeches by the founding fathers. I want Jon Stewart to smile again. For a brief moment, next Tuesday, we’ll have a shot at finally getting things right. Please help.

    Randall Munroe, Internet Wise Man.

  • I think this XKCD comic is more appropriate for Samizdata. 🙂

  • Laird

    bgates, he wrote that in 2008. A lot of people were snookered by Obama then. I’m not aware that he wrote anything similar in 2012. But even if he had, it doesn’t take away from his great cartoons. I can separate the man’s canon (snicker) from his politics. Heck, I like Streisand’s singing, too.

  • bgates

    Laird, he wrote it in January 2008, and that’s why he hasn’t written anything similar this year: He thought the Democratic primary was the only time his readers might disagree, because he thinks his fans are smart, and he assumes smart people are Democrats.

  • 'Nuke' Gray

    BUT if we use machineguns as jetpacks, what will we use real jetpacks for?

  • Nuke Gray,

    Good grief man, have you never heard of the “Kzinti lesson”?

    TV Tropes: Weaponized Exhaust

    Looking at the second cartoon within the jetpack article, my son’s comment was, “That’s one brave traffic cop”.

  • J.M. Heinrichs

    If he was really serious, he would have carried on to the 84mm CarlG.


  • Simon Jester


    Of course, it’s an internet convention that any post correcting someone else’s spelling must itself have a spelling mistake.

  • Surellin

    Curse you, Les, for mentioning Project Orion before I did! But well played. And, just btw, looking at the nom de cool of the author of this article, I wonder whether there are applications for railguns for personal transportation!

  • Surellin

    Pardon, last comment referred to “Simon Jester”, the previous commenter. I’ll just crawl back under my rock in mortification. ‘Bye now.

  • Mose Jefferson

    Finally, a method of rocket-jumping which won’t melt my shoes.