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Ben Coxworth

Good Thinking

Boomerope loops ropes over high objects

If you’ve ever tried to loop a rope over a high branch, girder, pole or whatnot without using a ladder, then you’ll know that it can be pretty frustrating. As with most frustrating tasks, however, someone has invented a gizmo to make it easier. That gizmo is the Boomerope. Read More

Science

Silicon nanoparticles used to create a super-performing battery

In some peoples’ opinion, electric cars won’t become truly viable until their batteries offer a lot more driving range, and can be recharged much more quickly than is currently possible. Well, those people may soon be getting their wish. Scientists at the University of Southern California have developed a new type of lithium-ion battery, that they claim holds three times as much energy as a conventional li-ion, and can be recharged in just ten minutes.Read More

Environment

Carbon-capture material releases trapped CO2 when exposed to sunlight

Amidst concerns over the accumulation of atmospheric greenhouse gases, many research institutes have been looking into methods of carbon sequestration – the capture, storage and even possible reuse of carbon dioxide emissions. Unfortunately, some of the approaches require a considerable input of power, in order to release the captured CO2. A new material developed at Australia’s Monash University, however, requires nothing but sunlight. Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Brain cells created from human skin cells offer potential MS treatment

Myelin is a fatty tissue that covers the fibers between nerve cells – it’s not unlike the insulation on electrical wiring. When that tissue is compromised, the cells have difficulty communicating, and neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis can be the result. If the myelin of MS sufferers could be regrown, then it’s possible that the disease could be cured. Recently, a team of scientists successfully regenerated myelin in mice, using human skin cells that were reprogrammed into brain cells. Read More

PowerUp 3.0 lets you control a paper airplane with your smartphone

About a year and a half ago, we took a look at something called the PowerUp. It’s a capacitor joined to a propeller by a carbon fiber shaft, that can be used to power a user-supplied paper airplane. At the time, we suggested that it would be good if the user could actually steer the PowerUp-powered plane by remote control. With the soon-to-be-released PowerUp 3.0, it turns out, that’s just what they’ll be able to do.Read More

Science

New system gives in-city GPS navigation a big boost

Many of us use our vehicle navigation systems on a daily basis, and as self-driving cars come into common use – assuming they do – such systems will become even more important. Unfortunately, however, the GPS technology that’s integral to vehicle navigation can be thwarted by obstacles such as tall buildings. A team of researchers at Spain’s Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) are attempting to address that problem, with a system that is said to drastically boost GPS accuracy in city driving. Read More

Digital Cameras

VuPackPole gives actioncam-users new perspectives

Although it may seem like it was just yesterday that actioncams came into common use, already people are getting frustrated with the limitations of the “here’s what I was looking at” viewpoint. Thanks to innovations such as the 3rd Person View, BoomPro and GO360, however, adventurous videographers can now include themselves in their self-shot videos. One of the latest such camera-on-a-stick gadgets is the backpack-mounted VuPackPole. Read More

Good Thinking

PureMadi filters clean water and create jobs in the third world

Silver is known for its antibacterial qualities, and has thus found its way into water filters created at institutions such as Stanford and McGill universities. Given that these filters are often used in developing nations, however, it would be nice if they could also contribute to the local economy – instead of being just one more thing that’s brought in from outside. Well, that’s just the idea behind the University of Virginia’s PureMadi filters and MadiDrops.Read More

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