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Ben Coxworth

Ben Coxworth
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.
Go into any bicycle store, and pretty much all of the bikes in there will have frames made from metal tubes or carbon fiber. A few manufacturers have gotten a bit more adventurous, offering frames made of bamboo or wood, while some have even experimented with things like aramid panels and nylon. A trio of San Francisco-based entrepreneurs, however, have created a prototype bicycle using yet another frame material – hand-folded sheet metal. They claim that their product is lighter, stronger and cheaper to produce than an aluminum-tube frame, and they’re hoping to be able to sell you one. Read More

Lenovo’s IdeaPad is an interesting little device – it functions as a Windows laptop computer, but its screen detaches to operate as a stand-alone tablet. While Apple has no equivalent system of its own, a few companies have come out with products that come close. One of the latest is the Notebook Case for iPad, which consists of a keyboard-equipped hinged shell, that accepts an iPad 2 as its screen. Read More

When a person injures the region of their spine immediately below their skull, emergency medical technicians apply what is known as a cervical collar. The devices first saw use in the Vietnam War, where medics needed a quick and simple system that could be used to immobilize the heads and necks of injured soldiers. In the years since, however, some studies have suggested that by pushing the head up and away from the body, the collars may cause the vertebrae to separate – actually making some spinal injuries worse. Fortunately, a team of six undergraduate engineering students from Houston’s Rice University are now developing a new type of cervical collar, that keeps the head still in a safer fashion. Read More
In what is being touted as “the world's largest dream experiment,” a psychologist from Britain’s University of Hertfordshire is inviting volunteers to try using an iPhone app to control their dreams. Prof. Richard Wiseman teamed up with the developers at software company YUZA to create Dream:ON, an app that plays soundscapes while its user sleeps, intended to shape what sort of dreams they have. The project comes in response to a UK survey conducted by Wiseman, in which 15% of respondents claimed that they frequently suffered from unpleasant dreams. Read More
Anyone who regularly uses a computer for long periods of time can likely attest to the importance of proper computer-use posture. Sitting in the wrong position, or having your keyboard or screen improperly located, can result in strain to the eyes, hands, wrists, neck or back. While we may try to establish a good pose when first sitting down at our machine, it’s all too easy to get wrapped up in what we’re doing, and gradually slip into our old ergonomically-unfriendly hunches or slouches. That’s where Philips’ new ErgoSensor display steps in – it actually monitors the user, and lets them know when they need to correct their posture. Read More
X-ray computed tomography – or CT – scanners are designed with people of an average build in mind. When obese patients require a CT scan, the additional layers of body fat will produce blurry images if the scanner’s regular settings are used. Clinicians typically address this problem by turning up the power of the scanner. Unfortunately, doing so results in overweight patients receiving higher-than-normal doses of radiation. A new computer modeling system developed at New York’s Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, however, could help bring those levels down. Read More

Big- and medium-budget film-makers looking for smooth tracking shots will soon have another alternative to laying down tracks for hand-pushed camera dollies. T3 Motion, the maker of the T3 electric standup vehicle, is launching a new version of its EV, designed specifically for use by cinematographers. Read More

While electric cars are often touted as being less mechanically complex than their internal combustion-engined counterparts, there is at least one way in which they’re considerably more “involved” – their radios. Because electrical signals emitted by the car can potentially interfere with incoming radio signals, manufacturers must do things such as insulating the motor and shielding the cables. This adds time and material expenses to the production process. Now, however, researchers from Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration have developed technology to help minimize the problem. Read More
Thermoelectric materials are able to generate an electrical current, via a temperature gradient within themselves. If thermoelectric fabric were used to make a jacket, for instance, the temperature difference between that garment’s cool exterior and warm interior might be enough to charge devices carried in its pockets. A current could also be generated by a vehicle’s thermoelectric exhaust pipe, due to its hot interior and the cool air surrounding it. Now, entrepreneurs David Toledo and Paul Slusser have developed a line of thermoelectric cooking pots, that use the heat of a fire to generate electricity when camping. Read More

... or more accurately, the company will allow you to put a 3D-printed model of your head on one. All you have to do is send in some snapshots. Read More

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