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Loz Blain

Built by Dave Welch at Chopper City USA, owned by Pankaj Shah, it's a street-legal BatPod....

The average custom chopper is something most motorcyclists find puzzling – they're heavy and cumbersome, with terrible handling and mediocre performance, they're hard to ride and they cost unbelievable amounts of money. This fully custom 850cc Batpod replica takes all those traits to the max – it looks downright scary to ride, there's almost no way to turn a corner with any sort of dignity, and may God help you if you want to pull a U-Turn. But for owner Pankaj Shah it's a tribute to his love of the Dark Knight movie where the BatPod first appeared – and beyond the neck-snapping appearance of the thing, it's also quite an amazing bit of rolling metalwork. Click through for several videos and photos of the PS-Pod under construction.  Read More

Dazer Laser at the Emmys... Because nothing says 'we're serious about non-lethal police we...

Criminals across America could be just about to see the light… the Dazer Laser, a non-lethal weapon that shines disorienting, nauseating bursts of intense green laser light into a target's eyes, has gone into police trials across the Northern states. It's been shown to have no lasting effects (unlike previous infra-red versions that could cause permanent blindness), it's as easy to use as shining a flashlight in somebody's eyes, and it offers police the ability to temporarily blind a threat as they move to subdue it. At the very least, if the Dazer Laser joins the Taser in operation, it'll make the average cop's equipment list sound a bit more like a Dr. Seuss poem.  Read More

A female mosquito feeding on a human arm: could this pest's days be numbered?

To most Gizmag readers, mosquitoes are at most a pesky nuisance - for others of course, particularly in more tropical areas, they're a genuine killer, spreading all sorts of diseases as they feed on the blood of their victims. Either way, the mosquito female's habit of biting humans puts mozzies high on the list of most hated insects - so many will appreciate this study from Kansas State University, in which researchers have successfully used nanoparticles impregnated with gene-silencing dsRNA to specifically target particular genes in mosquito larvae. A small supply of these nanoparticles, added to a still water breeding ground, can kill mozzie larvae as they grow, or at the least, render them much more susceptible to insecticides… And the process is fascinating.  Read More

Quik-Drive Auto-Feed screwdriver: how could I ever get angry with you?

My name is Loz, and I have a problem with tool lust. I find it very difficult to leave a hardware or auto shop without a heat gun, or a ratcheting spanner set, or some new air tool on top of the three bolts I went in there for. And while I've never had to screw a wall together or install a deck - and I have no plans to start in the immediate future - I'd still find it incredibly hard to resist one of these things if I ever saw it in person. It's a belt-feed screwdriver. A freakin' belt-feed screwdriver. Load it up with a strip of screws, and you're ready to screw more things in quicker succession than you'd ever have dreamed possible. Just watching the Quik Drive promo video after the jump sent me into a shuddering toolgasm.  Read More

Dissolving microneedle vaccines: cheaper, less painful, less dangerous and more effective ...

Doctors have been using hypodermic needles for more than 150 years – but syringe vaccinations could be just about to be replaced by a simple patch you can stick on your arm with no medical supervision. The microneedle patches have an array of microscopic needles on them that penetrate the skin just deep enough to dissolve and deliver a vaccine without causing any pain. There's no sharp hazardous waste left over, they're no more expensive than a syringe, and most importantly, tests on mice are showing that microneedle vaccinations are significantly longer-lasting than deeper injections delivered by syringe.  Read More

The Brammo Empulse - powerful, practical, fully electric and plain HOT!

Three years ago, Brammo made headlines with one of the first consumer electric motorcycles to hit the U.S. market – the US$12,000 Enertia. Capable of 60 mph and a range of around 40 miles, the Enertia was a lightweight and fun commuter … but what a difference three years can make! Meet the Enertia's big brother, the Empulse 10.0 – a slick-looking, hard-hitting fully electric streetfighter with a sustainable top speed over 100mph and a range in excess of 100 miles on a single 2-hour charge. Available to order now, the Empulse more than doubles the Enertia's practicality, while adding a huge whack of fun to the equation. Pricing is a pleasant surprise – the top-spec model will go for US$13,995, but the final cost may be as little as US$7,000 in certain states once federal and state incentives are taken into account. We spoke to Craig Bramscher, Brammo's founder and CEO, about the Empulse, the dawn of electric motorcycle racing and the very exciting future of electric motorsport.  Read More

Butt Bra: booty-boosting bodywear by Bubbles

The venerable Wonderbra has done much to enhance the pleasing lumpiness of women who aren't naturally gifted in the chest department. But bounteous boobs are only one side of the story – big, curvy bums are in, and if you don't want to go the padding option to get the J.Lo rear aspect you're looking for, Bubbles Bodywear has come up with a range of buttock-boosting bum bras that take what your momma gave you and squeeze it into shape. They'd be a pretty scary sight at the business end of a first date, though!  Read More

Teaser photos and video: the 2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R

Here it is – the new ZX-10R. The bike that lured MotoGP race-winner Chris Vermeulen into the worst team in the WSBK paddock; the bike that both Vermeulen and Kawasaki believe will put Kawasaki back at the front of the Superbike grid. All we have at this stage is a few photos of the race Superbike version and a teaser video, but expectation has been building that the new Ninja could be the first Japanese bike to take it to the amazing new BMW S1000RR. Numbers like 200 brake horsepower and a wet weight under 200kg have been floating around for the streetbike version. We know that there's going to be some form of traction control, which puts the Kwaka into a small but growing class of sports machines, and most interestingly, patents have been spotted that indicate that Kawasaki is thinking about running a proper long-bang style engine configuration, complete with an additional electric motor to keep the crank spinning in between pulses at lower speeds. Certainly, upon its release this will be Kawasaki's most significant motorcycle in many years.  Read More

Finally: motorcycle headlights that look around the corners

You can't accuse BMW motorcycles of lacking gadgets - with the latest and greatest Beemers packing quickshifters, traction control, integrated ABS and all sorts of other goodies, they're right at the pointy end of the pack. But as great as those features are, this one's so forehead-slappingly obvious and excellent that frankly it's a disgrace that nobody else has beaten the Bavarians to it. The Adaptive Headlight technology on the upcoming K1600GT finally solves one of the most annoying problems on pretty much every motorcycle - by tilting the headlight according to your lean angle, to light your way around a corner as you turn it, instead of having to ride into blackness. Bravo!  Read More

Flying car roundup: the good, the bad, the ugly

Flying cars are back in the news this week with the Terrafugia Transition gaining FAA certification as a road-registerable aircraft. Exciting stuff, but the Transition doesn't quite satisfy our fantasies of being able to just press a button and lift off out of traffic, landing on the roof of our city office building to make that 9am meeting; it's basically a light plane with retractable wings that you can drive on the road – you're still stuck taking off and landing at airstrips. So here's a quick look over what else is out there and in development in the world of flying cars and motorcycles … with a bonus look at some personal flying saucers, a flying boat and a few concepts that will never get off the ground.  Read More

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