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The Dream of Invisibility

Tue, 24 Oct 2006 19:00:00 -0700

(image) Invisibility Cloak read more »

The fantasy of becoming invisible has long occupied storytellers. Capes, shields, potions, rings, and hats have made characters from Bilbo Baggins to the Greek god Perseus disappear from sight to pursue their daring agendas uninhibited. Invisibility ranks with time travel and x-ray vision in our psyche; it's something we dream about, but catalog as science fiction. But is it? This week, a team of researchers working jointly at Duke University and Imperial College London announced they successfully tested the first invisibility cloak. Click here to see the official announcement on Duke's web site.



The 10 Absolute Best Gadget Gift Ideas

Fri, 17 Nov 2006 05:35:17 -0800

(image) My sister just called to ask me what I want for Christmas. I protested that it’s not even Thanksgiving, but she’s out shopping already and my guess is that a whole host of other folks are also working down their holiday gift lists. So, it’s with festive cheer I’ve compiled a list of hot gadgets that are sure to put a smile on the faces of your loved ones.



Ever Want to Smell What's on TV?

Mon, 16 Oct 2006 19:00:45 -0700

(image) Experimental Setup for Odor RecorderHave you ever gotten hungry just watching the cooking channel on cable? What if you could smell it too?

Our guest blogger, Emily Swan, graduated with highest honors from Butler University in Indianapolis. After school, she worked in public relations for Borders Group Inc, the book, music, and movie retailer. She's since jumped the PR fence and now works as a freelance writer. An avid science junkie, we hope you'll enjoy her quirky (and sometimes philosophical) takes on modern gadgets. Emily gives us a glimpse of what our future can be like while we're watching TV at home.

Here's Emily's article for AmericanInventorSpot.com:

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At the beginning of the twentieth century, French writer, Marcel Proust, explored a theory that human senses are intricately entwined with memory.
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Top Five Science Stories This Week

Sun, 20 May 2007 06:18:04 -0700

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It was a lively week for science news. From exploring dark matter to curing baldness, science continues to amaze. Below are the top five science stories that most captivated my attention this week. read more »




Better Than Coffee?

Fri, 13 Apr 2007 05:01:09 -0700

Remember Wake-Up Juice from Back to the Future III? (View a clip on YouTube here .) It was a concoction of flaming sauces that jolted Professor Brown’s body to immediate alertness after a night of whiskey sloshing. Today, dozens of energy drinks and pills flood the market claiming to keep your body jazzed up with hours of unlimited energy, but most of them have annoying side effects (rapid heartbeat, shakes), or lead to addiction (hello, coffee!). But what if there was something that kept you awake without the consequences of traditional stimulants?

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Research Council to Fund Most Innovative Studies

Sun, 04 Mar 2007 16:40:44 -0800

(image) The world’s most daring scientists and researchers will be chomping at the bit to obtain grants from the newly-formed European Research Council (ERC). The ERC was established to encourage exploration beyond the current boundaries of knowledge, and is part of the European Union’s Seventh Research Framework Program (FP7). FP7’s goal is to help Europe become the “most dynamic competitive knowledge-based economy in the world.” And they’re putting their money where their mouth is. read more »



Playing God: Scientists Plan to Re-Create the Universe

Mon, 12 Feb 2007 16:48:31 -0800

(image) While humans may not actually reconstruct the universe as it is, earlier this week the New York Times and International Herald Tribune announced the intentions of a global group of physicists to re-create the environment of the early universe so they can better understand the Big Bang. After a hundred years of theory, discussion, and lab tests, the time has come to test results at a higher level. The machine the physicists plan to build is a super-sized linear collider that is ten times the size of the largest one that currently exists. So, where will it be built, and what do we hope this new $6.7 billion machine will tell us? read more »



Joost How You Like It

Wed, 24 Jan 2007 06:42:36 -0800

(image) Joost (pronounced “juiced”) is breaking the rules – it’s pushing the boundaries of how we watch TV, so we’ll get outside our dens and bedrooms and into the wider world. How so? According to Joost’s founders they’ve created the next big thing in home entertainment: Internet TV. Since these same men also created Kazaa, one of the pioneering popular music sharing web sites, and the free Internet telephone system, Skype, people are taking this latest announcement seriously. read more »



Beer for the Discerning Dog

Fri, 26 Jan 2007 07:12:02 -0800

(image) Last year, a Napa Valley woman created beer for dogs from malted barley, water, and “beef flavor.” It’s called Happy Tail Ale and a six-pack retails for $8.99 at stores across the country. However, the Happy Tail Ale now has an import rival for the dog with a discerning palate. To find out how to treat your pet to a special indulgence, read on. read more »



Contraceptive Pill for Men: This Sperm-tastic Invention is Coming Soon

Thu, 07 Dec 2006 00:00:00 -0800

(image) Scientists at King’s College London recently announced work on a new contraceptive pill for men. A male form of the birth control pill isn’t a new idea, but researches have yet to find a concoction that is safe and reliable on a long-term basis. However, by taking a different approach, King’s College thinks it’s on to something.
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Are Pogo Sticks the New SkateBoard?

Sun, 22 Oct 2006 01:05:35 -0700

(image) FlybarWhen you think of pogo sticks, do you think of them as latest rage in extreme sports?

Our guest blogger, Emily Swan, graduated with highest honors from Butler University in Indianapolis. After school, she worked in public relations for Borders Group Inc, the book, music, and movie retailer. She's since jumped the PR fence and now works as a freelance writer. An avid science junkie, we hope you'll enjoy her quirky (and sometimes philosophical) takes on modern gadgets. Emily introduces us to the next generation of pogo sticks.

Here's Emily's article for AmericanInventorSpot.com:

************************* read more »

What happens when you cross an eight time World Cup skateboard champion with an inventor who has a degree in physics from MIT? Just ask Andy MacDonald, a.k.a. Andy Mac, and Bruce Middleton. For the past few years, the two unlikely cohorts collaborated on the most extreme pogo stick ever invented.



New Anti-Flu Paint Whips the Bug

Fri, 01 Dec 2006 21:55:05 -0800

(image) Yesterday, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) scientists announced their creation of antimicrobial paint that kills the influenza virus and other harmful microbes like E. coli. Worldwide, influenza affects three to five million people and kills nearly a half a million annually, including 36,000 Americans. The groundbreaking paint’s compound mixture is thorny, stabbing holes in the membranes of the viruses and killing them. So, who’s funding the research? How will it be used? How effective is it? read more »



What Would Santa Want to Drive?

Wed, 29 Nov 2006 04:56:08 -0800

Everyone knows Santa drives a sleigh. And, while I’m sure it’s a very nice sleigh, if he and the missus are on holiday in Monaco, Miami, or Melbourne they’re going to need something a little more practical. A little elf told me Santa’s got his eye on the Los Angeles Auto Show’s Design Challenge for a lean, green, urban machine. Santa’s naturally concerned about the environment (global warming’s not so good for the poles), and the sleigh’s speed and agility have raised the bar for how he expects an automobile to perform. Nine innovative auto company's design teams won’t disappoint the big guy. From companies known for their environmental edginess to the makers of gas-guzzling monstrosities, L.A. will provide the backdrop for them to unveil their greenest conceptions on November 30. For a sneak preview, read on. (Gloria Campos wrote about two of the nine in her article, “Lean, Green, Driving Machines”. To read that article, click here .)
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Batteries Can Now Be Powered by Water

Thu, 09 Nov 2006 11:32:02 -0800

(image) A brief item crossed news wires Tuesday announcing a Japanese company’s invention of water-powered batteries. The company, Total System Conductors (TSC), says the batteries are as powerful as everyday batteries currently in use and will offer a cheaper alternative to what’s on the market. Plus, they have an unlimited shelf life, unlike common batteries which lose up to 25 percent of their charge per year when stored unused. You could stow a battery in an emergency kit today and use it 50 years from now without consequence.

But are water-powered batteries really new? read more »




Is a Free Energy Source on the Horizon?

Sun, 05 Nov 2006 23:00:00 -0800

(image) Steorn's marketing campaignFrance is known for its artists, Germany for its conductors, Italy for its opera singers, England for its thespians, and Ireland for its literary giants. Names like James Joyce, Seamus Heaney, Maeve Binchy, and William Butler Yeats roll off the tongue when we discuss that brilliantly contemplative, Guinness-drenched country.

However, Ireland may soon take its place on the world stage as the next scientific wonderland. In the 1990s, it made a name for itself as the technology capital of Western Europe; and now, budding from kernels planted in the era of the Celtic Tiger, is a new discovery that could potentially overhaul everything we think we know about science. Free energy: free energy that breaks the first law of thermodynamics and will turn the world on its head if the rumors are true. read more »