Many mountain bikers swear by the pedalling efficiency of so-called clipless pedals, in which a steel cleat on the bottom of each shoe engages a spring-loaded mechanism in the pedal. Some other riders, however, just don't like the idea of being "snapped in" like that. It was with this in mind that cyclist Dave Williams created MagLOCK pedals. They're non-threatening platform pedals, that keep the user's feet in place using magnets instead of mechanisms. We recently had a chance to try them out, and generally liked what they had to offer.
We've already seen magnets and clips used in products that allow cyclists to do away with their frame-mounted water bottle cage. The problem with both systems is that they require users to stick with a brand-specific bottle. With Torq Athletic Gear's new SnapFlask, however, riders can use any bottle they want.
Using a type of magnetic insulator material that normally doesn’t conduct
electricity, scientists working at Stanford University and the Department of
Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have shown that electric currents
can still be made to flow along the borders of the grains within the material. This latest research
not only validates a long-held belief that magnetic insulators could be used to
conduct electricity, but offers a more tantalizing possibility of creating
highly-efficient magnetic memory devices.
Fusion power can seem a bit like the last bus at night; it's always coming, but never arrives. MIT is working to change that with a new compact tokamak fusion reactor design based on the latest magnetic superconductor technology. The ARC (affordable, robust, compact) reactor design promises smaller, cheaper reactors that could make fusion power practical within 10 years.
Occasionally an invention comes along that promises to change mankind fundamentally, enable us to grow as a species, and expand our capabilities beyond what was previously thought possible. MagKey isn't one of those kinds of inventions at all. It simply uses magnets to stop keys from jangling, but we're still impressed.
Drilling multiple holes to hang cabinets, shelves, and the like can be a real hassle – doubly so if you decide the mirror looks better on the other wall after all. Italy's Ronda Design has developed a range of magnetic interior design accessories that can be moved around as you wish, by simply snapping them into place.