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Ben Coxworth

ION's Vertical Vinyl Wall Mountable Turntable lets users play their records vertically

If you’re over a certain age and still have a stack of vinyl LPs, you may have witnessed the fascination expressed by younger people when you play those records on your turntable – as far as they’re concerned, you might just as well be cranking up a Model T Ford. Well, if you really want to freak them out, you could always tell them that ION’s Vertical Vinyl Wall Mountable Turntable lets you play records vertically. How crazy is that?  Read More

Hammacher Schlemmer is now selling a 20 foot-long interactive animatronic Triceratops, for...

"You know what your living room needs? A giant animatronic Triceratops." Should an interior designer ever offer you this advice, well, now you know where to find such a beast. Fancy goods-seller Hammacher Schlemmer is now offering a 20 foot (6 meter)-long, 1,345-pound (610 kg) model of everyone's favorite three-horned dinosaur, that moves and growls when human gawkers trigger its motion sensors. Its price tag might scare more people than its fearsome countenance, although at US$350,000, it's probably still cheaper than cloning your own real Triceratops from amber-encased dinosaur-blood-filled mosquitoes.  Read More

Two of the different shapes in which graphene grains can form, using traditional productio...

Graphene, the "wonder material" composed of single-atom-thick carbon sheets, is currently finding its way into a variety of electronic devices including computer chips, capacitors, transistors and batteries, just to name a few. It is typically created using a chemical vapor deposition process, in which carbon-containing gases are made to decompose on a copper foil substrate. The performance of the material may be limited, however, due to the fact that the individual graphene grains in one sheet are not of a consistent size or shape, and usually are larger than a single crystal. That could be about to change, though, as a new production method that utilizes hydrogen gas is promising higher-performance graphene with uniform, single-crystal grains.  Read More

The Steampunk Plasma Speaker's resonance coil creates an electromagnetic field sufficient ...

So, you've downloaded some songs by Abney Park (one of the world's few steampunk bands) onto your Datamancer laptop or your Old Time Computers-accessorized PC ... do you just listen to them through the built-in speakers? Not if you're Polish tinkerer Conscious Flesh. He has created a speaker that not only looks delightfully mad-Victorian-scientist-esque, but it actually produces sound using plasma discharges. Nikola Tesla would definitely approve.  Read More

Spanish researchers have developed an 'electronic tongue' for analyzing the content of ant...

Not to be confused with the bizarre robotic tongue prototype, “electronic tongues” have been in use for the past several years, for assessing the content of various foods and beverages – and no, unfortunately they don’t look like actual tongues. While past examples have been used for purposes such as identifying the vintage and grape variety of wines, researchers from Spain’s Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) have recently developed one that analyzes the content of antioxidant powder, along with fruit and fruit products.  Read More

Scientists are working on biological fuel cells, that could be used to power medical impla...

While there’s no denying that implantable medical devices such as pacemakers save peoples’ lives, powering those implants is still a tricky business. The batteries in a standard pacemaker, for instance, are said to last for about eight years – after that, surgery is required to access the device. Implants such as heart pumps are often powered by batteries that can be recharged from outside the body, but these require a power cord that protrudes through the patient’s skin, and that keeps them from being able to swim or bathe. Now, however, scientists at Germany’s University of Freiburg are developing biological fuel cells, that could draw power for implants from the patient’s own blood sugar.  Read More

A recent study offers a suggestion as to the cause of our unease when seeing realistic, hu...

People seem to enjoy watching robots and cartoon characters move about, and usually don't mind seeing other humans going through their daily motions, but when it comes to artificial creations that are made to look very human ... they're not always so popular. Although we tend to like animated objects or images that look kind of like real people, once they reach a certain level of realism, they just become spooky. This threshold is known as the "uncanny valley," and an international team of researchers recently set out to determine just what it is about our brains that causes it to occur.  Read More

Fluorescent near-infrared waves pass readily through a mouse's tissues to reveal its brigh...

There are several techniques used by researchers and physicians to image the internal organs of people and animals, but each of these techniques have their shortcomings. X-rays and computed tomography (CT) scanning, for instance, involve exposing the subject to radiation. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is safer, although subjects must sometimes ingest a contrasting agent in order to obtain more distinct images. The use of injected colored fluorescent proteins is another approach, but has been limited by the fact that hemoglobin in the subject’s blood absorbs much of the wavelength of the light used for imaging. Now, however, scientists from New York’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have engineered a new fluorescent protein that sidesteps this limitation.  Read More

A proposed wave-power system could be installed on ships, which would regularly return to ...

Why don’t we have stationary commercial fishing platforms that are anchored offshore, where they sweep the waters with their nets, sending the captured fish back to shore through a pipeline? Well, because it’s simpler and more efficient to send fishing boats out to catch the fish and bring them in. Thinking along those same lines, the Fraunhofer Center for Manufacturing Innovation has proposed a ship-mounted renewable energy-harvesting system, that would be powered by the ocean’s waves.  Read More

Sony has unveiled its new W Series Walkman MP3 player, which is said to be one third the s...

You like listening to music while you work out, but you don't like snagging your personal music player's cord with your arms, nor do you like ruining your earphones by getting them all sweated up. Yep, we know how it is. One solution could be to use a pair of JF3 Freedom Bluetooth Buds, that wirelessly receive music from your mobile phone, and are moisture-resistant. You could also get yourself a similar device made by a little Japanese company called Sony, however, as of next month. That's when the latest version of the W Series Walkman MP3 player for sports enthusiasts will be hitting the stores, in a smaller, lighter format.  Read More

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