Top 100: The most desirable cars of all time

Fire

A single tab of Fire Dragon burns for about eight minutes

Even if you've never been in a situation rougher and more life-threatening than a KOA campground, there's something comforting about knowing that you're prepared to start a fire in the wettest, nastiest conditions that Earth can hurl at you. Perhaps that's why we're always fascinated with versatile, new fire-starting materials, especially when they have awesome names. Fire Dragon from BCB International is a new, ultra-versatile, purportedly eco-friendly way of getting a roaring blaze sparked or meal cooked.  Read More

SAFFiR in a rain suit putting out a shipboard fire (Photo: US Navy)

If there's one job that a person would probably prefer to lose to a robot, it would be fighting fires aboard ships. To help make such a vision a reality, the US Navy and the Office of Naval Research (ONR) released details of demonstration exercises conducted by their Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot (SAFFiR) aboard the fire training ship USS Shadwell last November.  Read More

A sheet of the Kevlar nanofiber membrane (Photo: Joseph Xu, Michigan Engineering, Communic...

While lithium-ion batteries may outperform their older, lower-tech counterparts, they do have one drawback – occasionally, they catch fire. This can happen when fern-like metal structures known as dendrites form between the battery's two electrodes, causing a short circuit. Now, however, researchers at the University of Michigan have used Kevlar nanofibers to create a barrier between the electrodes, which is impervious to those nasty dendrites.  Read More

The Pyro Fireshooter is a wearable device that shoots fireballs from the user's wrist

If you've already written your Christmas list for Santa, you may want to redraft it. That's because there's a new device available that lets you shoot balls of fire from your hands. Yes, like a superhero.  Read More

A conventional fire shelter after exposure to the heat of a forest fire (left) as compared...

Last June, a wildfire near Yarnell, Arizona overtook and killed 19 firefighters – even though they had set up fireproof shelters. This inspired Phoenix-based SunSeeker Enterprises to develop a shelter that's better able to withstand the high heat of forest fires. Utilizing a material licensed from NASA to protect the Space Shuttle on re-entry, the Fire Blanket is the result.  Read More

The 'smart' lithium-ion battery developed at Stanford features an ultrathin copper sensor ...

There have been numerous cases of lithium-ion batteries catching fire in everything from mobile phones and laptops to cars and airplanes. While the odds of this occurring are low, the fact that hundreds of millions of lithium-ion batteries are produced and sold every year means the risk is still very real. Researchers at Stanford University have now developed a "smart" lithium-ion battery that would provide users with a warning if it is overheating and likely to burst into flames.  Read More

Pelty is a candle-powered wireless Bluetooth speaker

Chatting happily over a sumptuous dinner on the balcony, you bask in the warm summer breeze that blows gently past, sipping your wine and enjoying the company of a few special friends. The day is nearing dusk, so you reach over to light a candle and, as you do, soft music magically wafts from the candle holder, adding to the elegant mood. Your friends are impressed, and the evening is a hit. But where did that music come from? It came from Pelty, a Bluetooth-enabled, candle-powered speaker with an inbuilt thermoelectric converter that lets you play music streamed from your phone without the need for batteries or cables.  Read More

To address the material weakness of traditional hydrants, Sigelakis chose to go with a sta...

The traditional fire hydrant, that innocuous little cast metal tube with a hat, is one of those everyday objects that is so commonplace most people tend to overlook them. For over 100 years this life saving device has changed little in terms of design or functionality, but now an ex-fire fighter hopes to change all that with his next generation Spartan fire hydrant.  Read More

A flame is blown off its fuel source with a blast of air from explosives

Building on a technique commonly used to extinguish oil well fires, Dr Graham Doig from the University of New South Wales' School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering is examining whether explosives could be used to fight out-of-control forest and bushfires by blasting the flames out of treetops, slowing the fire and making it easier to fight on the ground.  Read More

The metal coil lighter provides enough heat to light a candle, paper or cigarette without ...

The latest iPhone multi-tool case to find its way to the world of crowd funding, the Hangout Case, offers three pocket-essential functions: protecting your iPhone, popping a bottle, and lighting a cigarette or fire. It also has a tripod screw mount.  Read More

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