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Inventors & Remarkable People

Fascinating Milhous Collection to go under the hammer

An entire thesis could be constructed on what turns an otherwise normal person into a collector. Whether it be fine art or beer cans, passion for collecting things knows no bounds. Take Bob and Paul Milhous for example. They started out working in the printing industry, and along the way Paul discovered an interest in musical instruments after buying a piano, while Bob kicked off his fascination with desirable motorcars with a 1934 Packard. Eventually a decision to combine the two individual, and very eclectic, collections into one saw four changes of location before finally settling in at a huge, purpose-built private complex in Florida. Now this fascinating array of historical objects is up for auction.Read More

Ferrari 250 GTO sells for more than US$30 million

Resale value is one of the many factors to consider when buying a car. But for some serious return on automotive investment it's hard to beat the Ferrari 250 GTO. In what is believed to be the largest single car transaction in the U.K., one of these rare beauties has sold for over GBP20 million (approx. US$31.7 million).Read More

Aircraft

U.S. Marine Corps takes delivery of latest V-22 Osprey

The tilt-rotor Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey program received a boost last week when the U.S. Marine Corps took delivery of the latest variant. The Osprey, which began development some 30 years ago, combines the helicopter's ability to take off and land vertically, with the speed of a regular aircraft. The recently delivered Block C variant includes an improved weather radar system, an upgraded crew and passenger aircon system, improvements to the cockpit Electronic Flight Instrument displays and upgrades to the Electronic Warfare Systems.Read More

Good Thinking

OdMEx concept: the billboard house that generates an income

Last year we looked at Adzookie (now Brainiacs From Mars), which will turn a house into a (house-shaped) billboard and pay the mortgage for a three-month period. As part of the "House Prototype" Design Competition for Baanlaesaun Fair 2011, Bangkok, Thailand-based design firm Apostrophy S (or 'S) has come up with a similar - yet different - advertising-centered housing option. Instead of turning a house into a billboard, this proposal turns a billboard into a house.Read More

Architecture

Innovative "lucky coin" building under way in China

By this time next year, a walk along the Pearl River in Guangzhou, China, will come with an unusual bonus: a view of the completed Guangdong Plastics Exchange research center/warehouse. Far from being just another boxy building, this unique, 1 billion yuan (US$159 million) edifice is patterned after objects the Cantonese traditionally associate with luck and good fortune. One thing's for certain - at 138 meters (453 feet) in height, with a 47 meter (154 foot) diameter hole in the center, this is one landmark that will be difficult to miss.Read More

Electronics

Structural batteries to lighten load for frontline soldiers

Battery life is a crucial issue on any portable device drawing power - from cell phones to something as big as a car. Of course, the larger the battery, the more it weighs. Structural batteries which store power in the parts that make up the device are seen as a solution to this issue and BAE systems is working on such systems with the aim of lightening the load for frontline soldiers. Read More

Health & Wellbeing

MinION - $900 usb-powered DNA sequencer on sale this year

At the Advances in Genome Biology and Technology 2012 conference (AGBT), Oxford Nanopore Technologies Ltd. announced it is entering the gene-sequencing battle with a disposable DNA sequencer that will sell for under $900 in the second half of 2012. The USB-size sequencer is called the MinION (min-ion), and has already demonstrated the potential to bring genome sequencing and personalized medicine out of the lab and into physicians’ offices.Read More

Around The Home

Alarm clock makes you get up and enter a code on a wall keypad to turn it off

While there are still some who, at the mention of the alarm clock, might think of a small, spring-driven, mechanical device topped by a couple of bells with a hammer between them, my generation would probably envision a digital clock radio. Recently, designers have come up with more and more ingenious (read evil) ways to get us out of bed - such as a clock with wheels that runs away at the appointed hour with buzzer sounding, or a 113dB sonic boom skull that also shakes the bed until you switch it off. The Ramos Alarm Clock from Paul Sammut is another design aimed at the dedicated snoozer who can usually find a way to prolong the warmth and comfort under the covers. The clock is wirelessly linked to a separate Defuse Panel located in another room, such as the bathroom, and a code will need to be correctly entered to silence the buzzer.Read More

Sports

Signal Snowboards creates a hybrid surf-snowboard

California-based Signal Snowboards recently fulfilled the dreams of board sports enthusiasts everywhere in its "Every Third Thursday" Web series by building a hybrid board capable of surfing both waves and powder stashes. If you think that the board can't possibly shred on both water and snow proficiently, Signal took it to the beach and mountains to prove it. Read More

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