An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.
If you've ever used tick medicine on your dog, then you're probably
aware of how toxic the stuff is. Well, it's used on cows too, and it can
end up in their meat, milk, or the surrounding environment.
Fortunately, however, scientists at the National University of Mexico
have developed a new type of tick treatment for cattle that is
reportedly much less toxic than what's currently used.
There's a trick campers use, where they shine a flashlight down into a
water bottle to create a lantern. Well, Italian cycling goods
manufacturer Elite uses that same principle in its new Candea bottle –
LEDs in the bottom illuminate the bottle above,
making night-time cyclists a bit more visible.
With the exceptions of wood and bamboo, bicycle frames usually aren't made from sustainable resources. And although some programs
do exist, we generally don't think of old bike frames getting recycled.
Italian design studio Eurocompositi is setting out to change that,
however, with its 3D-printed Bhulk mountain bike frame.
When most of us think of a cycling multi-tool, we picture something that
goes in a jersey pocket or saddle pack. Seoul-based company Leeman,
however, is looking at things a little differently. Its Kickstand Pump
mounts on the bike, and serves not only as a kickstand and pump, but
also a tire lever and tail light.
We've seen a number of technologies that speak on behalf of paralyzed
people who are unable to do so. While some of these utilize cues as
subtle as eye movements,
the fact is that many severely paralyzed patients are unable to manage
even those. That's why researchers at Britain's Loughborough University
have created a system that speaks words based on the user's breathing.
Ever wonder why you don't see things like recumbents in the Tour de
France? Well, it's because of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI),
which is the world governing body for bicycle racing. Among other
things, the UCI places unwavering restrictions on the design of racing
bikes. While this is intended to keep some racers from having an unfair
advantage, many people feel that it also holds back the evolution of
bikes designed for non-racers. That's why Specialized’s Creative
Director, Robert Egger, created the fUCI concept bike. It's a speed bike
designed without UCI restrictions in mind ... and we'll let you figure out what the F in its name stands for.
We've already seen a few bicycles – such as the Varibike and Raxibo Hand-Tret-Velo – that are intended to provide riders with more exercise and more power output by having them pedal with their legs and arms. Germany's Ruder-Rad, however, believes that a two-wheeler is too unstable a platform for that kind of four-limbed locomotion. That's why it's introducing the recumbent Ruder Trike.
Lighter fluid may be useful for getting barbecue briquettes or campfires
lit, but it's not the most eco-friendly stuff in the world. It's often
made from crude oil, and gives off toxic fumes when it burns. A team of
scientists from Hong Kong and Hungary are developing what could be a
greener solution, however – cleaner-burning lighter fluid derived from
In 2013, Estonian designer Indrek Narusk introduced the Viks,
a limited-edition stainless steel fixed-gear commuter bike. As he told
us at the time, its striking design was inspired partly by cafe
racer-style motorcycles. Now, to celebrate the line's second
anniversary, he's rolled out a carbon fiber version.
As the movies have shown us, space travel is an intimidating prospect, what with the possibilities of running out of air, the rocket engines conking out, or the shipboard computer deciding to bump off the crew. Another danger is fast-flying orbital debris piercing the hull. Scientists may be on their way to a solution to that one, however, in the form of a new self-healing material.