Computational creativity and the future of AI

Good Thinking

The Cirin rubber band racer (Photo: Max Greenberg)

When you were a kid, did you ever have one of those toy race cars that was powered by a wound-up rubber band? If you did, chances are it wasn't quite as striking as Cirin. Modeled after mid-1950s Formula 1 cars, the one-off mini racer features state-of-the-art construction, and 16 ft (5 m) of looped elastic that allows it to travel 500 ft (152 m) at speeds of up to 30 mph (48 km/h).  Read More

Researchers have identified factors that can help make or break a science crowdfunding eff...

How do you boost the chances of crowdfunding success for science projects? As it turns out success may not be down solely to the vagaries of its viral nature or the "sexiness" of the project. According to researchers at the University of Santa Barbara, who studied crowdfunding of science projects, more workaday things like consistent communication and simple enthusiasm are more important factors.  Read More

The paths of some of the satellites identified in the study

According to a scientist from the University of Leicester in the UK, the search for missing ships and sea-crossing aircraft – such as Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 – would be much easier if existing satellites were simply used differently. Dr. Nigel Bannister is developing a system in which spacecraft that already keep an eye on the land could also turn their attention to the sea.  Read More

Coolbox is a toolbox which comes with a host of fixtures, fittings, and features

A toolbox isn't something you'd ever think of as being "cool." After all, it's designed to be a simple repository for your tools, nothing more, nothing less. Unless, that is, we're talking about Coolbox, a toolbox with more than a few tricks up its sleeve.  Read More

The UPC/Eolgreen streetlights incorporate both solar panels and a wind turbine (Photo: Eol...

If you're trying to save power, you generally don't leave your lights on all night. With a few exceptions, however, that's what cities do with their streetlights. That's why some groups have developed streetlights with built-in solar panels. A Spanish team is now taking things a step farther, with a stand-alone streetlight that runs off of both solar and wind power.  Read More

Patrick Priebe's take on Homer Simpson's electric hammer

Fans of The Simpsons may recall an episode in which Homer, inspired by his hero Thomas Edison, decides to become an inventor himself. Among his questionable creations is an electric hammer. Well, German DIY-guy Patrick Priebe recently took a break from building laser weapons, to make a real-life version of that hammer which actually works ... sort of.  Read More

Can't see the faces in this photo? Check out the shape of the black background where it me...

If you're a fan mind-bending illusions, then chances are you're familiar with Rubin's vase. It incorporates the facial profiles of two people, which can be seen in the negative space along either of its sides. Should you like the idea of owning such a vase, but that features the profiles of you and people you know – well, that would be the fahz.  Read More

A 3D printed prosthesis has improved the wellbeing of a three-legged turtle (Photo: Britta...

Stumpy the box turtle had been short of a limb since the amputation of her injured front leg. But a group of fifth graders have put its school's 3D printer to use and produced a custom-made prosthetic inspired by a classroom chair, saving Stumpy from life with a lopsided hobble.  Read More

The BulletSafe Bulletproof Hat offers frontal protection in a low-key design

For law enforcement, or any job in which there's a real possibility of being shot at, bulletproof gear is incredibly important. A new product called the BulletSafe Bulletproof Hat aims to bring that sort of protection to the head, in a subtle fashion.  Read More

The top 10 things you DON'T NEED for Christmas 2014

Some ideas break new ground, others are just destined to break. Creative minds can't always be saving the world, and what a boring place that world would be without all the bewilderment and fun that off-the-wall inventiveness brings. So in a nod to quirkiness and the spirit of human invention in its purest, unhinged form, here's our list of the top 10 things you don't need for Christmas this year (even if you do want them).  Read More

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