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Loz Blain

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

Buy your own Tron Lightcycle: US$35,000

The lightcycle scene was probably the most memorable part of an absolutely jaw-dropping movie when Tron was released back in 1982. One of the first films ever to use the kinds of computer-generated special effects that later become commonplace, it was a glimpse into a whole new world that left an indelible impression on most that saw it. Now, as Disney prepares to release Tron Legacy, a sequel some 28 years after the original, the lightcycles are back and looking meaner than ever. Built by the same guys that did the memorable Batpod replica, the new lightcycles feature massive dual hubless wheels, carbon fibre/fibreglass bodies and all the lashings of neon that you'd expect. And there's going to be five running models built - all of which are now up for sale on eBay. Check it out!  Read More

Fischer MRX: the quest to build the next great American sportsbike

Since the untimely demise of the much-loved Buell brand during the global financial crisis, there's been a gaping hole in the motorcycle market for an interesting, innovative, high-performance American sportsbike. And while the Fischer MRX might not tick all those boxes in its first incarnation, things are looking very positive for Dan Fischer and his new motorcycle company. The MRX650 takes the engine, forks, wheels and brakes from a Hyosung GT650 (itself a copy of the Suzuki SV650), and mates it to a 1990s GP-stype frame and swingarm by Gemini Technologies, with an improbable Ohlins shock on the back and a killer fairing design by Glynn Kerr. It's targeted to sell under US$8,000, and there's talk of a 1000cc variant once the Korean engine manufacturer starts making a litre-sized motor.  Read More

The Bentley Dynamo - not a chance in Hell

To look at today's Bentleys, you could be forgiven for thinking that the brand has always been one for the upper class, a car to be driven in rather than a driver's car - but the brand's early heritage focused squarely on racing, and Bentleys grabbed four consecutive wins in the 24 hours of Le Mans races in the late 1920s. So while today's Volkswagen-owned Bentley brand would never dream of building it, this fantastic concept model from Marc Senger shows how some of the new Bentley lines might fuse with the open-wheel racers of 90 years hence. It's a modern interpretation of the Blower Bentley, showcasing the signature protruding supercharger at the front - and we reckon it looks magnificent.  Read More

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