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Noel McKeegan

Faber-Castell 250th Anniversary Limited Edition Wood Case set

Fast cars, shiny shoes, monster flat screen TVs ... all these things play a role as status symbols in our adult lives, but cast yourself back to your early school days when nothing said cool as much as a crackingly good pencil case. What I would have given to have one of these beauties in tow instead of my brothers' graffiti-ridden hand-me-down! Faber-Castell is the world’s oldest and largest manufacturer of wood-cased pencils and the company is marking its 250th Anniversary with this Limited Edition Wood Case set.  Read More

Porsche plug-in-hybrid 918 Spyder to go into production in 2013

First shown as a concept at the Geneva Motor Show 2010, Porsche's highly innovative and deliciously proportioned Hybrid 918 Spyder is now available for order. Powered by a 500 hp V8 assisted by two electric motors, no more than 918 units of the new two-seater supercar will be made with production slated to begin in September 2013. The asking price: US$845,000.  Read More

Mercury in color, seen by MESSENGER in 2008 (Image: NASA)

NASA has reported that its MESSENGER spacecraft is now in orbit around the planet Mercury – the first ever mission to achieve this feat. More than 40 years on from the first moon landing in the age of the Mars rovers and space tourism, it's easy to overlook just what a remarkable a feat this is. These amazing facts might just jolt our sense of wonder – before reaching orbit on Thursday at approximately 9 pm EDT, MESSENGER traveled for six and a half years and covered 4.9-billion-miles in which it went through three flybys of Mercury, one of Earth and two of Venus. After firing its main thruster for 15 minutes the spacecraft slowed by 1,929 mph (leaving around 10 percent of fuel in the tank for orbit correction maneuvers) and it is now in a 12 hour elliptical orbit around the innermost planet some 96.35 million miles from Earth.  Read More

Aikiuo interactive bowl for dogs

Long before before the days of canned food and canine coffee, dogs had to work for their supper. Stimulating these natural hunting and foraging instincts is an important part of keeping your pet healthy and happy – as well as preventing your Chesterfield lounge from being torn to shreds – and this "interactive dog food dish" is designed to do just that. The paw-shaped Aikiou (pronounced "IQ") bowl is made up of a series of compartments with sliding covers where food can be concealed, turning mealtime from a slobbering free-for-all into an entertaining and challenging exercise that will help keep Fido's mind and body fit.  Read More

K-MAX unmanned helicopter sets payload record (Photo: Lockheed Martin)

The Unmanned K-MAX helicopter being developed by Kaman Corporation and Lockheed Martin has further demonstrated the potential of this type of aircraft in the field by completing a list of airdrop firsts. The milestones in payload weight and altitude were reached during a recent series of tests at the Army's Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona where the KMAX (UAS) made guided airdrops via sling load at an altitude of 10,000 ft above sea level including a payload of 4,400 lbs.  Read More

'Born Electric' BMW launched its new BMWi sub-brand in Munich on Monday

In a move designed to highlight the company's commitment to "sustainable mobility solutions," BMW has launched a new sub-brand – BMW i. Two models based on existing concept studies will start the ball rolling under the new label from 2013. The BMW i3 will be based on the all-electric Megacity urban vehicle concept, while the BMW i8 is the planned production version of the plug-in hybrid BMW Vision EfficientDynamics sportscar shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show back in 2009.  Read More

Dainese is bringing its D-Air wearable airbag technology to Alpine slopes

Dainese has signed a memorandum of understanding with the International Ski Federation (FIS) to bring its D-Air wearable airbag technology to Alpine slopes. The project is currently in early stages of testing where the dynamics of ski racing are being investigated in order to tailor the existing motorcycle-specific technology to the needs of ski racers.  Read More

Volvo will unveil the V60 plug-in hybrid diesel at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show

Volvo will introduce a "virtually production-ready" plug-in hybrid version of it's V60 sports wagon at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show. Expected to hit showroom floors in 2012, the hybrid V60 splices together a 2.4-liter D5 turbodiesel driving the front wheels with a 70 horsepower electric motor at the rear axle. According to Volvo this configuration delivers incredibly miserly fuel consumption of 124 mpg (1.9 l/100 km) along with the ability to cover 31 miles (50 km) using only the electric drive.  Read More

An artist's concept of a solar sail in Earth orbit (Image: NASA)

What looked like a failed mission has turned into an unexpected win for NASA with the successful deployment of the first-ever solar sail in low-Earth orbit. More than a month after the NanoSail-D nanosatellite failed to eject from its parent satellite, engineers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center were pleasantly surprised when the 3.9 x 3.9 x 14.9-inch unit spontaneously separated from the Fast Affordable Scientific and Technology Satellite (FASTSAT) last week. On January 20, after a timed three-day countdown, the ultra-thin, 100-square-foot polymer sail carried by the nanosatellite was unfurled 650 km above Earth where it will remain in orbit for up to 120 days.  Read More

TASER Wildlife Electronic Control Device (ECD)

We've seen TASER electroshock weapons designed for law enforcement, personal protection and even riot control, but in all of the above cases, it's a human on the receiving end. Now the company has a different target in sight for its "less lethal" technology ... and it's one that could create as much controversy as its predecessors – the TASER Wildlife Electronic Control Device.  Read More

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