An Orange County Sheriffs Office helicopter circled an area near my house tonight for quite a while with the search light fixated on something or someone. And, of course, I grabbed my camera. Despite it being quite dark out, I managed to snag some pretty decent shots of the pursuit in action before the helicopter sped away. This particular aircraft was N407KB, according to the giant letters and numbers written on the side. I hope they caught whoever they were searching for… and no, it wasn’t me.Tweet
Adding to a long line of uniquely fun experiences, today I flew in a helicopter over the LEGOLAND Florida construction site. It was a media tour to show the progress as they move from the basic infrastructure phase to the above-ground construction. While there wasn’t much to see beyond mounds of dirt, a few leftover coasters from Cypress Gardens, and several masses of metal and concrete that will one day become buildings, it was great to see the beginnings of what will be a fun park when it opens in October 2011.
Seated next to me is photographer Katherine McElroy. (You can see her high-in-the-sky photos and my video here.)Tweet
I’ve been a huge fan of Inspector Gadget since I watched the cartoon back in the ’80s. It was the ultimate geek cartoon (before I knew what a geek was), combining fun characters with technology. So today I found myself wondering if I could find any of…
Inspector Gadget’s Gadgets in Real Life
The list of Inspector Gadget’s gadgets is very long, but only a few were used in nearly every episode of the show. So I wondered how many of these common gadgets have since been replicated (or close to) in real life. Here’s what I found:
Go Go Gadget Copter
The Gadget Copter is likely Inspector Gadget’s most well-known and popular gadget. Upon activation, a 3-blade helicopter emerges from Inspector Gadget’s hat along with two handles for guidance:
While I couldn’t find a working Gadget Copter in real life, I did find this similar personal helicopter that ran at least once (albeit very dangerously):
I think I’ll pass on taking a ride on that contraption.
Go Go Gadget Coat
Whenever Inspector Gadget found himself falling from somewhere very high up (which was often), he either activated his Gadget Copter or his Gadget Coat.
The Gadget Coat was inflated to several times its regular size by the simple pull of a coat button. In real life, something very similar has been invented to save lives, much in the same way that Gadget’s coat saved his many times. The real version is designed for the safety of motorcycle riders:
It doesn’t inflate to nearly as big of a size as Inspector Gadget’s coat, but the principle is the same, all the way down to the pull of a string to inflate it.
Go Go Gadget Phone
The Gadget Phone was needed for Inspector Gadget to communicate with Chief Quimby about his assignments.
It was built in to Inspector Gadget’s hand, with an antenna able to be pulled out of his thumb (where the receiver was) and the microphone embedded into his pinky finger. In reality, this could definitely be built into a glove, as shown by this do-it-yourself video:
Go Go Gadget Skates
To get around quickly on the ground, Inspector Gadget regularly called upon his Gadget Skates.
(I couldn’t find a screenshot of them in action in the original cartoon, so this image will have to do)
The rocket skates inevitably launched Gadget into an uncontrollable ride, usually ending by crashing into something or someone. Many have tried to build their own real life versions, with none of the results quite as spectacular as Gadget’s version:
[Click here for the YouTube video - The owner of the video has disabled embedding for some reason.]
Do you have a favorite of Inspector Gadget’s many gadgets? Does it have a real life counterpart? Comment!Tweet