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Texas Petawatt Laser project director Dr.Todd Ditmire

A team of researchers from the University of Texas at Austin has demonstrated the highest powered laser in the world. With greater than one quadrillion watts of laser power, the level of output achieved on March 31 by the Texas Petawatt laser is equivalent to more than 2,000 times the output of all power plants in the United States and brighter than the Sun's surface, according team leader and physicist at The University of Texas at Austin, Dr.Todd Ditmire.  Read More

From legendary F1 rides to iconic Bond cars

The wheels are in motion for this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed which will be held between 11-13 July under the theme ‘Hawthorn to Hamilton – Britain’s Love Affair with World Motor Sport’.  Read More

Hurphy Durphy Seat Belt Buckle Guard

The Hurphy Durphy Seat Belt Buckle Guard is a simple safety device that helps to keep capsules or infant seats anchored securely in the car by preventing accidental release of a seat belt.  Read More

Sunny Day solar powered electric bicycle

Featuring an adjustable streamlined solar panel on the front stem, the Sunny Day compact solar electric bicycle design by Larry Chen recently took out the Grand Prize in the 12th annual International Bicycle Design Competition.  Read More

The new and improved postcard advertising medium

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

Tina Moore and Julie Vuolo with George

The University of Hertfordshire in the UK is striving to improve patient care and reduce hospital infections through use of a life-sized wound model dubbed “George”. The model was designed to assist learning about patients with chronic who represent around 200,000 individuals in the UK at any one time, according to the Tissue Viability Team in the University’s School of Nursing and Midwifery.  Read More

Embraer Phenom 300

Brazilian Aircraft manufacturer Embraer has finished assembling its first Phenom 300 light-jet. The US$6.65 million plane expected to enter service in the second half of 2009 following a planned series of tests before its first flight.  Read More

Electronic ‘digiflag’ displays to enhance F1 night-time safety

Every cloud has a silver lining – sometimes it’s just hard to see. One of the potential disadvantages of holding a Grand Prix at night is driver awareness – being able to see the things that count. Turning a negative into a positive, the first-ever night race in F1, the Formula 1 Singtel Singapore Grand Prix to be held on September 28, will also mark the introduction of electronic flag displays as well as the colored flags traditionally waved by race officials to communicate with drivers. Already it promises a safer environment  Read More

BMW shows new 1000 supersport BMW S1000RR

BMW has applied a lot of resources to its F1 effort in the last two years and is reaping the improved brand values of the success of the BMW Sauber F1 team, which has closed the gap to Ferrari and McLaren at the pinnacle of motorsport. BMW Motorrad (motorcycles) is already in the middle of a broad-based model initiative, and it declared its hand last night in the toughest category of all – superbike territory. The company’s first entry into the area will be the S1000RR, a 1000cc four cylinder that looks a treat, at least based on the racing prototype shown overnight in Munich.  Read More

Electric solar sail moves closer to reality
 Photo: Antonin Halas

It's a striking image made popular in sci-fi classics like the recent Star Wars films - a spacecraft hurtles through the galaxy propelled by gigantic reflective sails that use of solar radiation in place of on-board fuel . Space organizations around the world including NASA are pursuing this technology, but a rapidly evolving project from the Finnish Meteorological Institute has taken a radically different approach by using long metallic tethers and a solar-powered electron gun to create an "electric sail" that looks very different from the depictions of pressure sails with which we have become familiar.  Read More

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