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Inventors and Remarkable People

Bletchley Park Mansion (source: BP)

At first glance, even second glance, Bletchley Park could easily be just another beautiful British building deserving of some loving care and attention. But for many years its walls guarded one of the best kept secrets of the 20th Century. During the Second World War it was the top secret home to the cryptanalysts, mathematicians and military personnel later credited with shortening the war by at least two years and saving millions of lives by breaking the secret ciphers used in Nazi communications. Seventy years after war was declared on Germany, Gizmag's Paul Ridden takes a closer look at what went on at HMS Pembroke V, the people who worked there and talks to some of the those now dedicated to ensuring that its legacy lives on.  Read More

Inventor Ruth Amos demonstrates StairSteady

We’ve seen some innovative free-standing personal mobility aids designed to tackle stairs in recent times, but this offering from a young UK inventor takes a fresh approach to a solution that's been around for years - the mechanical stair-lift. Conceived by Ruth Amos when she was just 16 years old, the StairSteady is a handrail with a unique steadying handle and locking device that supports the user whilst on the staircase while allowing them to remain active and independent.  Read More

The auction includes 758 examples of almost all forms of early technology including many f...

The freight train progress of technology during the last century has masked the true value of landmark specimens of mankind’s technological triumphs. First-of-a-kind devices were quickly superseded and hence soon regarded as useless in comparison to newer, better equipment. Accordingly, we believe an auction to be held in London this week represents some of the finest medium-term investments we have ever seen, with a likelihood of their value increasing dramatically once historical perspective is restored. The auction includes 758 examples of almost all forms of early technology including many firsts – and the largest privately held collection of early televisions in the world.  Read More

Les Paul Live @ Iridium Jazz Club / NYC (Photo: Thomas Faivre-Duboz, Creative Commons)

Genuis. Pioneer. Innovator. Words that don't even come close to describing the revolutionary thinking of one Lester William Polsfus. Better known as Les Paul, he had such a huge influence on the world of modern music that it's difficult to sum up his achievements in such a short piece. I use the past tense because sadly the Wizard of Waukesha died in a New York Hospital on August 13th.  Read More

Logbook from the famous 1872-1876 journey of HMS Challenger goes to auction

A logbook from the famous 1872-1876 journey of HMS Challenger, described at the time as "the greatest advance in the knowledge of our planet since the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries" will go under the hammer in a September auction of exploration, travel and topographical items. Conducted just 13 years after Darwin’s Origin of the Species, Challenger was tasked with constructing a fossil record that would test the new theory of evolution and became inextricably intertwined within the God vs. Science debate.  Read More

The Eyeborg Project: the prosthetic eye and camera

After years of wearing a patch to hide his disfigured right eye, damaged as a child in a shooting accident, Canadian filmmaker Rob Spence was forced eventually to replace the eye with a prosthetic one. The camera on Spence’s cell phone, though, gave him a rather novel idea. What if he could build a miniature, wireless video camera into his prosthetic eye? What followed has become the Eyeborg Project, the progress of which can be now followed online.  Read More

Anton Grimes' Link scooter system

With an ever increasing load on the public transport system we need to look for smarter and more environmentally friendly ways of getting from A to B in built up areas. The public bike systems that have been successful in several European cities (Paris, Barcelona, Stockholm and soon London) are one way of achieving this, but the Link scooter system, designed by Anton Grimes of University of New South Wales in Australia, may provide an alternative to bikes that is a little easier for the less energetic. The Link is basically a modular transport solution concept, which allows users to hire an electric lightweight scooter from a hub. When the user has reached their destination, they simply return the scooter to another hub for recharging.  Read More

Emily spent five months living in Namibia during her Gap Year
 Image: www.emilycummins.co....

Solar powered devices aren’t new, but English student Emily Cummins has developed a way of using the sun’s power to help impoverished communities in Africa. Her eco-friendly, sustainable fridge is based on a simple principle: it uses the sun’s rays to evaporate water, which in turn keeps the contents cool.  Read More

The Race For A New Game Machine

When Sony entered into a partnership with Toshiba and IBM to design the Cell processor for their PlayStation 3, they agreed that IBM would eventually sell the Cell to other companies. What they didn't know was that parts of the Cell would be sold to their major competitor Microsoft for use in the Xbox 360 processor - before the Cell was completed.  Read More

Robert Lang's Origami art

Robert Lang laughs in the face of your paper crane. This former NASA engineer and Ph.D in Physics has spent the last seven years as a professional Origami expert after using computer algorithms and ridiculous folding skills to come up with some of the most mind-bending paper art we've ever seen. One sheet of uncut paper in Lang's hands can become a beetle, a dinosaur, an elk or an organist sitting at a keyboard. Using his freeware computer software, he can show you how to make just about anything you like. And through his theories on the mathematics of folding, he has come to find himself consulting on a range of fascinating projects that extend the art into practical and industrial uses - his advanced techniques have been used to pack automobile airbags and even fold up the lens of a space telescope for transport and deployment. Amazing stuff.  Read More

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