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Good Thinking

Can cigarette butt-bricks build a better environment?

Cigarette butts are a bigger environmental problem than you might realize, with some 6 trillion cigarettes produced every year, creating 1.2 million tonnes of garbage. And due to the chemicals and heavy metals in the filters, that garbage is technically toxic waste. So what if we could get rid of butt litter by using them to make bricks? A team at RMIT University in Australia tried the idea out and found that not only could it reduce toxic waste, but also makes for better bricks.Read More

Self-contained firefighting system uses fire itself as an energy source

Serial inventor and renaissance man Eddie Paul is back with another interesting idea. In between resurrecting historic automotive brands, building mechanical sharks and making stunt cars for dozens of movies you've probably seen (the names Grease or Fast and the Furious ring a bell?), he's now turning his hand to firefighting. The Sea-Can is a shipping container full of fire retardant foam, with a spray pump that's activated and powered by the heat of the fire itself. Great idea!Read More

Top exhibits from FuoriSalone: Milan 2016

The FuoriSalone program during this year's Milan Design Week saw hundreds of independent designers and architects inhabit local shops, buildings and public spaces in and around central Milan. Currently, the FuoriSalone is one of the most popular and sort after events during Milan Design Week and has expanded into diverse themes such as automotive, technology, architecture, art, fashion and food. Here's a look at some of the best designs and concepts from this year's event.Read More

Wheelchair controlled by facial expressions to hit the market within 2 years

Brazilian researchers have developed a wheelchair that can be controlled through small facial, head or iris movements. The team at Faculdade de Engenharia Elétrica e de Computação da Universidade Estadual de Campinas (FEEC/Unicamp) says the technology could help people with cerebral palsy, those who have suffered a stroke or live with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and other conditions that prevent precise hand movements.Read More

Clip-on attachment extends student workspace

There was a time not so long ago that attending a college lecture required nothing more than a notepad and a pen. The laptops, mobile devices and takeaway coffees that students take to class today, though, take up a little more space than lecture chair arms can typically accommodate. Desk Buddy provides a little more real estate to work on.Read More

Smartglasses help the visually-impaired to use smartphones

Smartphone users with limited vision will often utilize the phone's zoom feature, making one section of the phone's display larger and thus easier to see. The problem is, it can be difficult to keep track of which part of the overall display they're zoomed-in on. That's why researchers from Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Eye and Ear have developed a Google Glass-based alternative.Read More

Scott Sight mask gives firefighters hands-free thermal vision

A fire is no place to be blind, but firefighters face that prospect every time they enter a smoke-filled building. Thermal imagers can improve the odds, but they're too often handheld and bulky, so Scott Safety has come up with the Scott Sight, a lightweight imaging system integrated into a breathing mask to provide individual firefighters with real-time thermal images.Read More

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