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This article is a segment of 2023’s Best of What’s New list. For the complete tabulation of the year’s most transformative products and discoveries, head right this way.Boeing’s Starliner Space Suit
Finally, a comfy space suit. Boeing
Lightweight boots with sneaker-like soles (designed by Reebok) plus knitted nylon-mesh joints let astronauts in the Starliner easily maneuver and stretch to reach distant control switches. A soft hood and zippers that loosen the torso fabric when standing, or tuck it away when sitting, add comfort. And conductive leather on the gloves allows deep-space snapchats and touchscreen interaction.NOAA’S GOES-16
Faster forecaster. NOAA
Storms develop fast and every minute can matter, so the GOES-16 satellite scans high-risk areas every 30 seconds. Five times speedier than prior sats, it gathers lightning-flash data and other information that forecasters haven’t had before.Droooone swaaaarm!
UTAP-22 MAKO. Kratos
Like a militarized fleet of ducklings, Mako drones fall into formation behind their leader. These 20-foot-long combat craft track and mirror a manned fighter jet’s movements. In battle, the mini flyers are expendable companions (armed with bombs and missiles) and can release even smaller versions Russian-nesting-doll-style to overwhelm enemies’ targeting defense systems.Cirrus Aircraft’s Vision Jet
A flying luxury car. Cirrus Aircraft
A single, seamless carbon-fiber frame makes the $2 million Cirrus Vision Jet sturdy enough to sport a panoramic 180-degree windshield. From their spots behind the cockpit, up to five passengers can enjoy almost unimpeded views at 28,000 feet from their luxury-car-like seats. The 30.7-foot plane’s single top-mounted engine won’t bother them either; its placement away from the cabin in the middle of the V-shaped tail, separate from the spin-resistant wings, reduces internal noise. In case of emergency, a parachute stashed in the nose can float everyone down to safety. Yes, it has cup holders.DARPA’s Fast Lightweight Autonomy program
Autopilot for drones. DARPA
Drones don’t see objects; they see pixels. The Fast Lightweight Autonomy program teaches them to recognize doors as openings or trees as obstacles so they can navigate without humans or GPS. The system retrofits crafts with cameras and sensors, which guide them at up to 40 miles per hour through dense forests or warehouses. Without ground-to-drone contact, the bad guys will have trouble hijacking ’em.Over-the-pole plane tracker
Aireon’s Space-Based ADS-B. Aireon
As long as planes have existed, they’ve been virtually unaccounted for when they fly more than 200 miles offshore. Air-traffic controllers track planes via ground-based receivers, called ADS-Bs, that pick up signals from transponders inside aircraft. By launching those receivers skyward on 81 satellites, 40 of which went up this year, Aireon will deliver the first unimpeded view of crafts flying over seas and poles.A steerable balloon
World View’s Stratollite. World viewA gentle cargo landing
SNC’s Dream Chaser. SNCNASA’s OSIRIS-REx
Rock hopper. NASA
The few carbon-rich asteroids circling our sun might hold the precursors to life on Earth, little changed over the millenniums. That’s why the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft blasted toward them late last year. The 20-foot-long explorer has spent the intervening time positioning itself for a gravity-assisted slingshot around our pale blue dot. Next year, it will sidle up to the asteroid Bennu and extend its arm to collect samples.Grand Award Winner: SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy
Rocket to the Red Planet. SpaceX
With 28 engines firing together in a coordinated, cacophonous symphony of rocket fuel, the Falcon Heavy lifts off with 5 million pounds of force—more than any ship since the retired ’70s-era Saturn V—and twice the payload weight of any other modern spacecraft. Those thrusters equate to three space-cargo-hauling Falcon 9 rockets and will tote tens of thousands of pounds of satellites, a solar sailing spacecraft, and eventually two lunar tourists. The side boosters burn first and land back on Earth, while the center engine makes the final push out of the atmosphere. The more hardware SpaceX can recover, including that last stage, the cheaper (and cheaper) the flights become. Success in these early missions will prove that this is the ship with the horsepower, reliability, and price point to shuttle humans to Mars.
Best of What’s New was originally published in the November/December 2023 issue of Popular Science.
You're reading The Year’s 10 Most Incredible Aerospace Inventions
In space, no one can hear a probe smash into an asteroid—but that’s just what happened in September, when NASA’s successful DART experiment proved that it’s possible to reroute a space rock by crashing into it on purpose. And that wasn’t even the most important event to materialize in space this year—more on the James Webb Space Telescope in a moment. Back on Earth, innovation also reached new heights in the aviation industry, as a unique electric airplane took off, as did a Black Hawk helicopter that can fly itself.
Looking for the complete list of 100 winners? Check it out here.Innovation of the Year The James Webb Space Telescope by NASA: A game-changing new instrument to see the cosmos
Once a generation, an astronomical tool arrives that surpasses everything that came before it. NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is just such a creation. After more than two decades and $9.7 billion in the making, JWST launched on December 25, 2023. Since February of this year, when it first started imaging—employing a mirror and aperture nearly three times larger in radius than its predecessor, the Hubble Space Telescope—JWST’s vibrant images have captured the attention of the world.
The JWST can see deep into fields of forming stars. It can peer 13 billion years back in time at ancient galaxies, still in their nursery. It can peek at exoplanets, seeing them directly where astronomers would have once had to reconstruct meager traces of their existence. It can teach us about how those stars and galaxies came together from primordial matter, something Hubble could only glimpse.
While Hubble circles in low Earth orbit, JWST instead sits hundreds of thousands of miles farther away, in Earth’s shadow. It will never see sunlight. There, protected even further by a multi-layer sunshield thinner than a human fingernail, the telescope chills at -370 degrees F, where JWST’s infrared sight works best. Its home is a fascinating location called L2, one of several points where the sun and Earth’s gravities balance each other out.
All this might just be JWST’s prologue. Since the telescope used less fuel than initially anticipated when reaching its perch, the instrument might have enough to last well past its anticipated 10-year-long window. We can’t wait to see what else it dazzles us with.Parallel Reality by Delta: A screen customized for you
You’ve probably found yourself running through an airport at some point, squinting up at a screen filled with rows of flight information. A futuristic new offering from Delta and a startup called Misapplied Sciences aims to change that. At Detroit Metro Airport, an installation can show travelers customized information for their flight. A scan of your boarding pass in McNamara Terminal is one way to tell the system who you are. Then, when you look at the overhead screen, you see that it displays only personalized data about your journey, like which gate you need to find. The tech behind the system works because the pixels in the display itself can shine in one of 18,000 directions, meaning many different people can see distinct information while looking at the same screen at the same time.Electronic bag tags by Alaska Airlines: The last tag you’ll need (for one airline)
Believe it or not, some travelers do still check bags, and a new offering from this Seattle-based airline aims to make that process easier. Flyers who can get an electronic bag tag from Alaska Airlines (at first, 2,500 members of their frequent flier plan will get them, and in 2023 they’ll be available to buy) can use their mobile phone to create the appropriate luggage tag on this device’s e-ink display while at home, up to 24 hours before a flight. The 5-inch-long tag itself gets the power it needs to generate the information on the screen from your phone, thanks to an NFC connection. After the traveler has done this step at home, they just need to drop the tagged bag off in the right place at the airport, avoiding the line to get a tag.Alice by Eviation: A totally electric commuter airplane
The aviation industry is a major producer of carbon emissions. One way to try to solve that problem is to run aircraft on electric power, utilizing them just for short hops. That’s what Eviation aims to do with a plane called Alice: 8,000 pounds of batteries in the belly of this commuter aircraft give its two motors the power it needs to fly. In fact, it made its first flight in September, a scant but successful eight minutes in the air. Someday, as battery tech improves, the company hopes that it can carry nine passengers for distances of 200 miles or so.OPV Black Hawk by Sikorsky: A military helicopter that flies itself
Two pilots sit up front at the controls of the Army’s Black Hawk helicopters, but what if that number could be zero for missions that are especially hazardous? That’s exactly what a modified UH-60 helicopter can do, a product of a DARPA program called ALIAS, which stands for Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System. The self-flying whirlybird made its first flights with zero occupants on board in February, and in October, it took flight again, even carrying a 2,600-pound load beneath it. The technology comes from helicopter-maker Sikorsky, and allows the modified UH-60 to be flown by two pilots, one pilot, or zero. The idea is that this type of autonomy can help in several ways: to assist the one or two humans at the controls, or as a way for an uninhabited helicopter to execute tasks like flying somewhere dangerous to deliver supplies without putting any people on board at risk.Detect and Avoid by Zipline: Drones that can listen for in-flight obstacles
As drones and other small aircraft continue to fill the skies, all parties involved have an interest in avoiding collisions. But figuring out the best way for a drone to detect potential obstacles isn’t an easy problem to solve, especially since there are no pilots on board to keep their eyes out and weight is at a premium. Drone delivery company Zipline has turned to using sound, not sight, to solve this conundrum. Eight microphones on the drone’s wing listen for traffic like an approaching small plane, and can preemptively change the UAV’s route to get out of the way before it arrives. An onboard GPU and AI help with the task, too. While the company is still waiting for regulatory approval to totally switch the system on, the technique represents a solid approach to an important issue.DART by NASA and Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory: Smashing into an asteroid, for good
Earthlings who look at the sky in fear that a space rock might tumble down and devastate our world can now breathe a sigh of relief. On September 26, a 1,100-pound spacecraft streaked into a roughly 525-foot-diameter asteroid, Dimorphos, intentionally crashing into it at over 14,000 mph. NASA confirmed on October 11 that the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART)’s impact altered Dimorphos’s orbit around its companion asteroid, Didymos, even more than anticipated. Thanks to DART, humans have redirected an asteroid for the first time. The dramatic experiment gives astronomers hope that perhaps we could do it again to avert an apocalypse.CAPSTONE by Advanced Space: A small vessel on a big journey
Some lunar craft fill up whole rooms. On the other hand, there’s CAPSTONE, a satellite that can fit on a desk. Despite control issues, CAPSTONE—which launched on June 28—triumphantly entered lunar orbit on November 13. This small traveler is a CubeSat, an affordable design of mini-satellite that’s helped make space accessible to universities, small companies, and countries without major space programs. Hundreds of CubeSats now populate the Earth’s orbit, and although some have hitched rides to Mars, none have made the trip to the moon under their own power—until CAPSTONE. More low-cost lunar flights, its creators hope, may follow.The LSST Camera by SLAC/Vera C. Rubin Observatory: A 3,200-megapixel camera
Very soon, the Vera C. Rubin Observatory in the high desert of Northern Chile will provide astronomers with what will be nearly a live-feed view of the southern hemisphere’s sky. To do that, it will rely on the world’s largest camera—with a lens 5 feet across and matching shutters, it will be capable of taking images that are an astounding 3,200 megapixels. The camera’s crafters are currently placing the finishing touches on it, but their impressive engineering feats aren’t done yet: In May 2023, the camera will fly down to Chile in a Boeing 747, before traveling by truck to its final destination.The Event Horizon Telescope by the EHT Collaboration: Seeing the black hole in the Milky Way’s center
Just a few decades ago, Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at our galaxy’s heart, was a hazy concept. Now, thanks to the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), we have a blurry image of it—or, since a black hole doesn’t let out light, of its surrounding accretion disc. The EHT is actually a global network of radio telescopes stretching from Germany to Hawaii, and from Chile to the South Pole. EHT released the image in May, following years of painstaking reconstruction by over 300 scientists, who learned much about the black hole’s inner workings in the process. This is EHT’s second black hole image, following its 2023 portrait of a behemoth in the galaxy M87.Starliner by Boeing: A new way of getting to the ISS
After years of budget issues, technical delays, and testing failures, Boeing’s much-awaited Starliner crew capsule finally took to the skies and made it to its destination. An uncrewed test launch in May successfully departed Florida, docked at the International Space Station (ISS), and landed back on Earth. Now, Boeing and NASA are preparing for Starliner’s first crewed test, set to launch sometime in 2023. When that happens, Starliner will take its place alongside SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, and NASA will have more than one option to get astronauts into orbit. There are a few differences between the two: Where Crew Dragon splashes down in the sea, Starliner touches down on land, making it easier to recover. And, where Crew Dragon was designed to launch on SpaceX’s own Falcon 9 rockets, Starliner is more flexible.
From pensive black-and-white shots to detailed up-close portraits, the Veolia Environment Wildlife Photographer Of The Year Competition showcases some of the best animal photos we’ll see in 2012. The winners have been chosen, and these are our favorites from the bunch. Enjoy!
Natural History Museum
Winner in “Behaviour: Mammals” Category There’s a reason the cheetahs in this photo look like they’re observing more than hunting. What French photographer GrÃ(C)goire Bouguereau caught in this photo is a mother giving her cubs some hunting “practice” by trapping a gazelle, then letting it loose. Grégoire Bouguereau/Natural History Museum
Commended Photo In “Behaviour: Birds” Category At the end of May, geese head to Wrangel Island in Russia. And the foxes come, too, hoping to snatch some eggs or young geese. Here’s a great confrontation against a snowy backdrop.
Runner-Up In “Urban Wildlife” Category Wildlife can pop up in unexpected places. Case in point: this great photo from Pål Hermansen was taken at an abandoned scrapyard in southern Sweden.
Father’s Little Mouthful
Commended Photo In “Behaviour: Cold-Blooded Animals” Category This is a male dusky jawfish. Those things in his mouth? Eggs. He’s aerating them, like a good father does.
Warning Night Light
Winner In “Animal Portraits” Category Larry Lynch spotted this menacing-looking gator in (where else?) a Florida state park. The gator had just chowed down on a fish buffet, so it was willing to sit still long enough for Lynch to set up his tripod and snap a portrait. Commended Photo In “Animal Portraits” Category These Sulawesi black-crested macaques were in the middle of a game that had turned heated when they huddled long enough for Jami Tarris to take this photo. Jami Tarris/Natural History Museum
Lookout For Lions
Specially Commended Photo In “Nature In Black & White” Category Charlie Hamilton James was looking to film lions when he came across these cheetahs, who were looking out for lions, too.
Commended Photo In “Cold-Blooded Animals” Category Klas Tamm caught male neriid long-legged flies in a combat dance on the veranda of his holiday apartment.
Winner In 15-17 Year-Old Young Photographer Awards At the Canary Wharf in London, Eve Tucker caught this photo of a (common) gull on a (very strange) surface of water.
A Swirl Of Flamingos
Winner In “Creative Visions” Category Did you now there are five different types of flamingo? These, Caribbean flamingos, are the largest and pinkest–which may have helped Klaus Nigge grab this photo while flying above Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula.
Runner-up In “Underwater Worlds” Category Paul Nicklen won the entire competition with his other photo of penguins, but this one seems just as amazing. Here, an emperor shoots toward the surface to avoid leopard seals.
It hasn’t been an easy year by any stretch, but many of us have found solace in creature comforts. Right on cue, companies have been eager to sate our warm-and-fuzzy cravings with offers of softer clothes, deeper sleep, and products designed to create a cozier home. But the marketing around such spaces—cosmetics, skin- and haircare, fitness, and mental health, to name a few—has long been a minefield of meaningless buzzwords and pseudoscientific solutions. Our Personal Care winners represent some of the best exceptions to that woeful rule: These products use genuine innovations in everything from chemistry to 3D imaging to improve daily life, even when we’re stuck inside.
The climate-conscious company produces one-off custom jeans using only a smartphone scan of your body. unspunGrand Award Winner: Custom Jeans by unspun
Tailored denim, sans tailor
The developed world makes too many clothes. The industry may account for up to 10 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to data from the United Nations—many synthetic materials are made of fossil fuels, natural garments expend energy in the harvesting and processing of fabric, and all of it requires the packaging and shipping of finished goods. But the problem isn’t just that consumers flit through fast fashion from chains like H&M and Uniqlo: Manufacturers overproduce items from the get-go, which creates plenty of textile waste. Unspun launched in June of this year to patch that leaky pipeline; the company uses 3D scanning tech adapted from the creation of video game avatars to produce tailor-fit jeans with nothing but a quick smartphone scan. Customers select their wash, cut, and rise before entering an app from partner in3d to create their bespoke mannequin; the software analyzes the light that bounces off your body as you turn slowly in a circle a few feet away from the phone. The digital pants the app generates then translate into a custom pattern for your real-world denim. Making clothes to order reduces waste, allows for endlessly inclusive sizing options, and (mercifully) cuts down on trips to the mall.
The device looks like a tiny inkjet printer, but churns out powdered pigments in custom shades. MinkThe Mink Printer by Mink
Custom makeup in 15 seconds
There’s a certain giddiness that comes from sampling makeup hues in the store, but publicly shared palettes became a lot less appealing this year. Among its many uses, Mink, the world’s first 3D makeup printer, will let retailers hygienically offer customized eyeshadows and other powdered products. Using the same basic tech that powers an inkjet, the 2.2-pound device combines FDA-approved pigments to tint makeup sheets and match user-selected photos in just 15 seconds. With 16.7 million possible shades, the gizmo can print any palette you can find online, or draw inspiration from any Instagram photo.
The tiny orb is designed to coach your breathing with biofeedback vibrations. CoreCore Meditation Trainer by Core
A handheld relaxation coach
Research ties meditation practices to everything from lowered anxiety levels to better blood pressure and relief from gastrointestinal distress, but self-doubt can cripple attempts at finding zen. The handheld Core orb uses biofeedback and haptic guidance to steer you toward focus and calm. As you hold the softball-size device, ECG sensors monitor both pulse and heart rate variability—the beat-to-beat changes in your ticker’s rhythm—to track your relaxation. Guided programs in Core’s app help you learn which meditation methods work best for you. If your chill vibes start to slip away, gentle vibrations will remind you to stay on task.
Learn how to lift without leaving home. TempoThe Tempo Studio by Tempo
An AI strength trainer to level-up at-home workouts
In a year where more people are working out at home, maintaining proper and safe form can be tricky. The Tempo system combines a set of adjustable dumbbells, a barbell, and a screen to teach novices proper methods and correct errors. The full-length screen pairs with a wrist monitor to keep tabs on your heart rate, while sensors track the movement of your body and weights through space. All this helps the setup’s onboard AI determine when you’re ready for a heavier load—or when you need to make some tweaks in order to avoid injury. It’s unlikely to tempt veteran powerlifters—tracking works best with Tempo’s included plates, which currently max out at 100 pounds on the barbell—but the system gives newbies guidance to train smartly and safely. The company now also has heavier plates available for purchase, increasing the potential load to 300 pounds.
The never-miss-a-tooth brush
In a category packed with toothbrushes that use integrated apps as finicky gimmicks, the iO Series 9 stands out with 3D tracking that maps your mouth as you work. In addition to revealing which pearly whites you’re habitually missing, the device senses how much pressure you’re applying; LEDs on the handle indicate if you’re pressing too hard, which can put your enamel and gums at risk of damage, or too lightly to get a deep clean. The system also divides your chompers into 16 sections, and uses vibrations to signal when it’s time to move on to a new group, so you can get minty fresh without pulling out your phone.
The newest addition to your arsenal of everyday PPE. Stoggles Inc.Stoggles by Stoggles
Protect your eyes, protect your health
To avoid diseases spread through respiratory droplets like COVID-19, it’s important to avoid touching mucus membranes—your eyes, nose, and mouth—when you’re out and about. Protective masks that keep lips and nostrils on lock are now de rigueur among members of polite society. But what about your peepers? Stoggles add protective side shielding to an otherwise stylish pair of shades. The glasses, which have the American National Standards Institute stamp of approval as certified safety goggles, also feature blue-light filtering to minimize screen-related sleep disruptions, UV reactivity to provide tinted sun protection, and an excellent anti-fog coating to make them fully compatible with your face mask of choice.
Making make-up more accessible for all. Guide BeautyGuide Wand by Guide Beauty
The easiest liner applicator, for anyone
When makeup artist Terri Bryant developed Parkinson’s Disease, gestures that had long been second-nature to her—like swiping on flawless swooshes of eyeliner—became a struggle. So she sought to make applying makeup easier and more accessible for all. The Guide Wand, an eyeliner application tool, is a particularly stunning proof-of-concept. While standard liners take their gripping cues from writing or painting implements, the tapered handle and rounded grip on Bryant’s wand mean it can be grasped upright in a fist. That makes it easier for weak or shaking fingers to hold, and means a user can lean the wand against their cheek for support as they swipe hues across their eyelids.
Now, this is a diaper genie
Do babies need smart diapers? No. But new parents may well find Pampers’ foray into the connected-cradle space invaluable. A tiny velcro sensor attaches to the front of a diaper to track moisture levels and movement, which feeds data to an app that analyzes feeding, hydration, sleep training—all while releasing less energy in a year of continuous use than a one-minute cell phone call. Of course, it also simply informs them when it’s time to change the diaper. The clip will run for three months on its integrated battery and pairs with a best-in-class high-def baby monitor.
Because curls come in all shapes and sizes. ProseCustom Curl Cream by Prose
An end to one-size-fits-none curl care
Mainstream beauty companies have long ignored curly and kinky hair, offering just one or two products ostensibly designed to suit the entire spectrum of curls—from soft waves to uber-tight coils. Prose’s algorithm can match a user’s unique hair to one of more than 14,000 formulations of customized curl styling cream. An online quiz figures in 85 factors including characteristics like scalp sensitivity, hair length, and texture; local inputs like UV index, humidity, pollution levels, and water hardness; and lifestyle differences like diet and exercise. Shoppers can also opt for vegan, gluten-free, silicone-free, and fragrance-free formulas.
This high-tech wand delivers serum perfectly tinted to cover your blemishes. OPTEOPTE Precision Skincare by Procter & Gamble
Concealer only where you need it
Why cover your face in foundation when you could take a more targeted approach? The OPTE wand digitally scans your skin, analyzes your complexion, and camouflages age spots, sunspots, acne scars, and hyperpigmentation with a custom-tinted and hydrating serum. OPTE starts by shining a blue LED to maximize the contrast in skin melanin, allowing its camera—which captures 200 images per second—to spot differences in pigmentation. The wand then uses onboard smarts to determine the size, shape, and intensity of each spot in comparison to its surroundings. Finally, 120 thermal inkjet nozzles deposit a perfect blend of shaded serum only where it’s needed, resulting in an airbrush-esque complexion in just a few minutes—with far less product clogging up your pores.
That moment — when you step out of a centuries old vault whose digital numeric ‘101’ alludes to the binary insularity of your life thus far — parallels one in developer Bethesda‘s last game, Oblivion, the part early going where you emerge from the Imperial City’s sewer canals into a sprawling world and the seatbelt suddenly snaps off. It’s a birth metaphor, of course, only instead of birch trees and witch grass and glinting ivory colonnades, you’re thrust into a wind tossed lunar-scape littered with carbonized stumps and wobbling highway stanchions, the rust-mottled lattices of once-buildings bracketed by piles of rock that bulge like geological tumors. There’s something indescribably beautiful about all that. Catch the sun flaring as it sets against some junk town with walls and walkways quilted together from sheets of rusting metal and it’s hard not to view it somewhat romantically. This really isn’t how the end of the world would look (it’d almost certainly be blander and uglier), which turns out to be almost a blessing from a game that might otherwise encourage hardcore Prozac-popping just to muscle through its swathes of grunge-gray and bleached-brown.
Guns Without Oblivion
On the other hand, the game’s edgy, menacing soundtrack might a well be antipodal to Oblivion’s stately marches and airy leitmotifs. Gone are Oblivion’s cascading libraries of wordy books, replaced by scores of scorched and completely illegible tomes, which if you think about it, almost counts as a joke. Your arm-strapped inventory management tool (aka “Pip-Boy 3000”) manages to squeeze all your stats and carry metrics into its stylishly monochrome VAX-style screen without sacrificing ease of access or clarity. Oblivion’s use-it-or-lose-it stats are history, too, replaced by Fallout’s classic skills and perks (minus the cons) distributed manually as you accrete experience points instead of based on the number of times you pull the trigger on a laser rifle or plasma gun. And the game world is finally staffed with static creatures — no more spawn zones that level up with you and tag along wherever you go like mobs of murderous groupies.
By contrast, Fallout 3’s “capital wasteland” which extends around the remains of cherished structures like the Washington Monument and Arlington Library and Jefferson Memorial hits much closer to home. The D.C. metro rider who thought Bethesda’s marketing poster of the Washington Monument in tatters surrounded by “ravaged” American flags was in poor taste may have been overreacting, but the reaction encapsulates precisely what makes Fallout 3 unique: Where Oblivion whisked you off to another world, Fallout 3 brings its not-so-other world home to you.
It’s a Hard Knock Life
Just scraping by can feel like rolling boulders up mountains, which is where Bethesda’s intuitive understanding of how players weigh options and test hypotheticals or scrabble for their limits pays dividends. It’s also Bethesda’s way of sneaking in the pros-and-cons it chose to drop from character perks. Food and water which heal you while slowly irradiating your body are surprisingly available but offer different ratios of helpful to harmful. Toilets are terrible, rivers are better, and sinks are best. Pop a pill and you can reduce your radiation. Or pay a doctor to. Or avoid combat (more of an option later in the game when you have companions who’ll step up while you stand back). Or use lots and lots of stimpacks. Or wear different types of clothes and armor which shield you from different sorts of negatives. Or just run away and get to a bed to sleep that flesh wound or crippled limb off.
Pass the Guns, Hold the Butter
If you do choose to fight, and most people probably will, you’re going to need guns and lots and lots of bullets, which are almost a secondary currency unto themselves. Whatever your preference — small, large, or energy-based weapons — it often takes a dozen hits to put an enemy down. By the time my pick of the game’s four endings faded to credits with half the total possible quests completed and 42 hours on the clock, I’d killed some 300 people and creatures. Some in less mundane ways than others, but even the least interesting and rudimentary seeming ammo can be precious when you’re three levels underground and cornered, turning up in bundles of a dozen or less if it turns up at all. This is where competence hacking computers to open safes or wiggling bobby pins around in keyholes to spring locks on ammo boxes becomes essential, even entertaining.
Think of the scene in the movie Pulp Fiction after someone gets shot in the back seat of the car, then imagine the conversation between Vincent and Jules dead sober, without lines like “Everytime my fingers touch brain I’m Superfly TNT, I’m the Guns of the Navarone…in fact, what the f*** am I doing in the back? You’re the motherf***** who should be on brain detail!” It probably wouldn’t work. It might even seem morbid or voyeuristic (and for the wrong reasons). The original Fallout games were hardly Tarantino films, but they got the blood-to-comedy ratio right. In Fallout 3, the ballistic splatter on the one hand evokes a kind laugh-and-cringe reaction, while at the same time making you wonder why you’re laughing at all.
The Bad Ending
You’ve also possibly heard that the main story’s ending is awful, and to be perfectly honest, yeah, it’s a problem — not even a choice so much as a gun to your head and an irrelevant cutscene that pays shallow homage to the hell you’ve scrabbled through. And when it ends, it really ends. No continues or tying up unfinished business or pushing through to the game’s level 20 cap.
Bongo, Bongo, Bongo
But now I’m dithering, because in the end, Fallout 3 is really more about moments spent hunkered under paint-blistered girders propping up a Red Rocket gas station next to a sputtering Nuka-Cola vending machine taking shots at snarling mutants while The Andrew Sisters and Danny Kaye croon “Bongo, bongo, bongo, I don’t wanna leave the Congo” over your Pip Boy. It’s spying birds circling like vultures over cities and wondering whether they’re ciphers for something else, something hidden. It’s standing in the gloomy miasma of Megaton’s dual spotlights at twilight, or following Lucky Harith’s pack brahmin around the capital wasteland, getting into trouble and sometimes not getting back out again.
Did I mention the kid in the cave who wants boxes of Sugar Bombs? The guy who wants me to detonate a nuke? Someone’s telling me to check the Potomac, that there’s a scribe paying dearly for vintage books. And last I heard, there’s a society of ghouls living out there, somewhere, in the hills and cities.
PCW Score: 90%
What would it take for a new token to be the next Dogecoin or Shiba Inu? Here’s a quick checklist:
New token would need a small market cap to start with
New token would need a community orientation
New token would need to be wildly lucrative for early investors
New token would need celebrity or influencer involvement
Both Dogecoin and Shiba Inu had a market cap in the tens of millions before breaking out into fame and fortune. The legendary Shiba Inu wallet worth $5.7 billion at the all-time high made its sole $8,000 investment into SHIB back in August 2023, when the market cap was under $200,000. Dogecoin and Shiba Inu interest was also fuelled by the involvement of Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin in SHIB’s case, and billionaire Elon Musk in Dogecoin’s case. If you want to diversify your crypto portfolio with promising small-cap cryptocurrencies, don’t sleep on EverGrow. The new BNB Chain token checks all the above boxes – and more. Let’s take a closer look.Small market cap? – Check
The EverGrow market cap in September of 2023 is $80 million. The project is still yet to reach its first birthday, but is primed for a breakout that could well see EverGrow sail into the crypto top 50 before the year is out. This would require EverGrow to hit a market cap over $1 billion – which would mean a 1,150% price increase. How likely is it that an investment today in Shiba Inu or Dogecoin could give such a return on investment? The Shiba Inu market cap would swell to $74 billion, and the Dogecoin market cap to $97 billion. This would put SHIB and DOGE above Tether, USD Coin, BNB, XRP, BUSD, Cardano and Solana. During the current bear market, such a market cap increase is unlikely.Community orientation? – Check
Yes, Shiba Inu and Dogecoin built their success upon a love for dogs. But the rise of SHIB and DOGE was more down to their ability to make investors money – a lot of money. In this sense, EverGrow has automated much of what made Shiba Inu successful. The first Shiba Inu all-time high came after Vitalik Buterin burned 41.02% of the SHIB supply in May last year – EverGrow has automated a burn tax of 2% on every transaction, which has burned through 53% of initial supply in three months. Meanwhile, the Shiba Inu burn wallet has only grown to 41.04% of initial supply despite 18 months of SHIB burning. Shiba Inu has also attempted to open up staking pools, passive income generators, NFTs and play-to-earn games in order to make investors more money. EverGrow again has this built-in to its architecture. The total EverGrow transaction tax is at 14%.
8% for BUSD rewards ($38 million paid to investors in 12 months)
2% for liquidity
2% for development
2% for buyback and burn
When the drops of three key applications are completed before the end of 2023, the BUSD rewards and coin burning are about to get wild.Potential to be wildly lucrative? – Check Here’s what’s in store for the EverGrow ecosystem:
LunaSky NFT – on September 25th, EverGrow will drop its flagship NFT marketplace. All profits from LunaSky will be put back into buying up EverGrow and burning it from supply (buyback and burn will pay the transaction tax, and mean automatic rewards for investors).
Crator – in Q4 of 2023, EverGrow will drop a content subscription app. All profits again will go into EverGrow buyback and burn, and the platform will allow content creators to set tiered subscriptions in return to content and livestreams.
The Abstract – beta phase for the world’s first cloud-streamed VR gaming arcade is live in September in Ohio, in the US. EverGrow will integrate a virtual crypto exchange, an NFT gallery and have its ecosystem token be a play-to-earn reward
These launches follow after a historic launch of the Lucro token in September. Lucro is intended as a high-volume ecosystem token for the above applications, and has just a 1% tax with 0.8% destined for EverGrow buyback and burn. A fair launch for Lucro sold out within 60 seconds following $1.5 million investment. A second fair launch sold out within 60 seconds following $750k investment. If Lucro trading stays at the current volume, it will burn through 1.8% of the initial EverGrow supply every year at the very least. This also contributes to automated rewards for EverGrow investors. The application drops will not only bring in thousands of newcomers to the EverGrow ecosystem, but have the potential to make it wildly lucrative for early investors.Influencer involvement? – Check
EverGrow might not win the backing of Elon Musk – but does it need to? Just a few key influencers using Crator for their online content, or minting their NFT collections on LunaSky has the potential to bring in thousands of new users to the EverGrow ecosystem. This could create a positive feedback loop, with more creators in the EverGrow ecosystem generating more rewards for EverGrow and more new investors driving up the price. While one or two key names sparked huge investment in Dogecoin and Shiba Inu, it’s telling where lead developers are now taking the two meme coins. The launch of a blockchain ecosystem, play-to-earn games and metaverse projects show how DOGE and SHIB are desperate to build a community which doesn’t rely on just one billionaire Tweeting about the project – as a case in point, Dogecoin is currently down 75% since Elon Musk’s SNL appearance that took DOGE to an all-time high in May last year. Anyone diversifying their portfolio with an EverGrow investment could well generate a passive income stream in BUSD, alongside sizeable ROI from price increases in EverGrow and Lucro plus access to an ecosystem before it goes to the moon.FIND OUT MORE
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