Good Thinking

28 km bridge to link Africa and Middle East

May 1, 2008 A 28 kilometer-long bridge is being planned to link the Middle East and Africa. The US$20 billion bridge will become the longest suspension bridge in the world and tower some 400 meters above the water, with at least three spans of around 2700m each. Undoubtedly set to become one of the wonders of the modern world, the project includes plans to build entire cities at each end, linked by a six-lane motorway and a four-track railway. Adding complexity to the enormous task, which is expected to take some 12 years to complete, the bridge it is to be built in an area of intense seismic activity. Read More

The new and improved postcard advertising medium

April 16, 2008 Free postcard advertising has many strengths, most notably great cost-efficiency and excellent targeting, so we were very interested recently when we spied a new and vastly improved variation on the theme. Unlike the traditional postcard size which has no logical destination (and hey, get real, how many people post adverts to their friends), the Minicard is the size of a business card, meaning there’s a place for it in a purse or wallet. Equally as importantly, the smaller size makes for a more orderly and space efficient visual display unit and the standardised layout ensures the cards are informational and useful to the audience they reach.Read More

The walk-in coffee machine

The coffee bean is not only the world’s most valuable crop, it is the world’s second largest traded commodity, behind only oil. When the working day starts, most of us turn to coffee when concentration and mental performance is required – fuel for the think tank. More than 1.5 billion cups of coffee are consumed every day. The Javabot is the coffee machine of the 21st century. We have written about every major coffee innovation of recent times and apart from the portable $30 Aeropress, which delivers replicable quality in 30 seconds, the Javabot blows them all away. It delivers a coffee with your favorite blend of seven beans, plus how they are roasted, ground and the temperature at which the coffee is brewed, all inside 30 seconds. It’s the only walk-in coffee machine in the world right now, but we suspect the number will grow rapidly once people understand what it delivers. Read More

Smart suits keeps chopper crews warm in freezing water, cool in hot working conditions

April 11, 2008 Safety clothing might be imperative for some jobs, but when it becomes a hindrance and makes work uncomfortable and annoying, it needs to be reassessed. Take the orange safety suits worn by helicopter crews working on oil platforms off the coast of Norway - they're designed to stop the wearer from drowning or freezing to death if their choppers crash-land into the freezing ocean - but the properties that make them effective insulators also make them incredibly hot and sweaty to work in. Enter Helly Hansen's smart suit, impregnated with micro-particles of paraffin wax. The wax slowly melts as body temperatures increase, gradually sucking heat away from the body to cool the wearer through the day, making it much more comfortable. And if the wearer is plunged into icy water, the wax releases stored heat as it solidifies, allowing the suit to be even more effective at the safety component of its job.Read More

Pedal power delivers clean water to the developing world

April 9, 2008 A staggering 1.1 billion people worldwide lack access to clean drinking water, with an estimated 5,000 children per day dying from water-related diseases. In response to this global crisis, a group of inventors from the US developed the innovative and highly commendable Aquaduct Mobile Filtration Vehicle - a tricycle which uses pedal power to both transport and filter clean drinking water.Read More

The DIY haircut made simple: Remington's ShortCut Clipper

April 9, 2008 What could be simpler than a buzz cut - it's low maintenance, low-cost and you even save on shampoo. But as anyone who has ever attempted to clip their own hair can attest, doing the job yourself ain't as simple as it looks, with elusive strands of longer hair almost always escaping the blades and leaving you with that less than attractive "not quite finished" look. Remington's solution is the ShortCut Clipper, a product billed as the first-ever clipper system designed to allow men to cut their own hair which uses a curved cutting system and unique brush shape to deliver fast, error-free DIY results.Read More

Unconventional approach produces ultra-pure water

April 2, 2008 Traditional water-purification techniques such as filtration or distillation attempt to remove the contaminants from water by fluid flow. Reversing this thinking, a new Scandinavian spin-off company is researching a new method of purification that takes the clean water molecules out of the contaminated matter using carbon dioxide gas. Read More

Intelligent brake system could reduce rear-end collisions

March 28, 2007 Brake lights on automobiles are limited in the information they can convey - you're either stopping or you're not. Having some indication of just how hard the driver in front is pressing the pedal would undoubtedly add to road safety, and that's the thinking behind this intelligent brake light system developed by researchers at Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering.Read More

CIRT provides more punch for urban search and rescue

Designed for urban search and rescue operations, Raytheon's Controlled Impact Rescue Tool (CIRT) uses concentrated shockwaves to penetrate concrete and rubble far more quickly than drilling, sawing or chipping. In a recent demonstration it penetrated a concrete barrier in 13 minutes, while competing methods achieved a similar result only after 29 minutes. Read More

Adhesive Gift Wrap for a busy lifestyle

March 24, 2008 Self-adhesive Gift Wrap was announced today by Hallmark , a first-of-its-kind product coated on one side with a low-tack adhesive formulated by Hallmark, which sticks firmly to packages, creating a beautifully-wrapped gift with a cleaner presentation, and apparently, a lot less fuss. Essentially, if you can operate a sticky note, you can wrap like a pro with Adhesive Gift Wrap. Apart from the saving of time, we’re told that ribbons aren’t required. We know it all sounds a bit devoid of the joy-of-giving ethos, so scoff if you must, but the exclusive Hallmark Adhesive Gift Wrap is the result of requests from consumers who want the act of gift wrapping to be more convenient for their busy lifestyles. Read More


    See the stories that matter in your inbox every morning