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Silvia Pikal

300 Mouse Traps + 600 Ping Pong Balls = Nuclear Chain Reaction

nuclear-fission-uranium-235

A group of chemistry students at Horizon Science Academy in Cleveland were given an assignment to show how fission of Uranium-235 causes a chain reaction. It’s pretty easy to illustrate the nuclear chain reaction with a drawing. But that’s too boring.

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Google Tests World’s First Wireless Recharger For EVs

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Plugless Power by Evatran claims to be the world’s first wireless EV charging system. A wireless charging station was installed at the Google headquarters in Mountain View, California.

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Cellphones Could Be Banned at 2012 Olympic Games

olympicsphoneban

As the host of the Olympic Summer Games in 2012, London has been busy preparing security strategies for the games. For people who want to buy tickets, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) has prepared a list of banned items for buyers.

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‘World’s First’ Permanent Anti-fog Coating Developed

antifog-lens

Foggy lenses cramp the style of skiiers, snowboarders, divers and the average eyeglass-wearer who steps inside a building on a chilly day only to find themselves momentarily blinded.

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Researchers Find New Composite Material for Storing Hydrogen

This schematic shows high-capacity magnesium nanocrystals encapsulated in a gas-barrier polymer matrix to create a new and revolutionary hydrogen storage composite material. Credit: Image from Jeff Urban

Compared to gasoline, hydrogen is lightweight, has a higher energy density and has a variety of potential sources, like biomass. It sounds great, but there are a few drawbacks. Hydrogen-air mixtures can ignite with very low energy input. If air and hydrogen were to mix in an enclosed space, like a parking lot, a hydrogen leak could easily lead to an explosion if a flame was sparked. Due to hydrogen’s low energy ignition, hydrogen must be safely and densely stored.

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Free App Finds EV Charging Stations For Users

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PlugShare is an app that lets electric vehicle users find potential fill-up spots. The app gives the addresses of not only public charging stations but also the private garages of other users. PlugShare was released by Xatori, a company that creates software for electric vehicles.

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CO2 Scrubbing Fake Trees Might Roll In To Boston

treepod

The treepods will work by utilizing an eco-friendly, alkaline resin which reacts with the air around it and strips the air of carbon dioxide. The clean air will float away happily. The treepods will be made entirely of recycled plastic from drink bottles.

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Glasses-Free 3D Fake

fake-3d-glasses-free

While we suspected the video of French director François Vogel having eyelid spasms while testing out a glasses-free 3D technology was a hoax, I asked an optometrist to tell me how much legitimacy the video had and here is what Jean-Marie Hanssens, who uses 3D to test binocular vision, had to say; “Blinking as fast as in the web video can generate various eye problems such as dry eye, corneal and lid irritations, lid spasms.”

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Fetus-Like Mobile Phone Is Creepy As Hell

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A professor at Osaka University came up with a creepy human-shaped phone that tickles you when it rings. The phone looks like a cross between Casper the friendly ghost and the freaky mutant things in Silent Hill. You talk into the phone’s stomach and it speaks back to you, playing the voice of the person on the other line through its face.

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Nanotechnology In Food Could Be Bad For Your Health

Drzal peers through a model of a carbon molecule. Photo by G.L. Kohuth.

In October 2010 the National Organic Standards Board recommended that engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) be banned from food that carries the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Organic label. Health concerns raised by researchers, environmental agencies and regular citizens prompted the recommendation.

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Wind Turbines – Bad For Your Health?

WOLFE ISLAND, Ont. (12/11/2010) - Eleven of Wolfe Island's 86 windmills loom behind Keith Walton, who takes a break from plowing his field in the early evening hours of Friday, Nov. 12, 2010. Walton supports the local wind farms, the second largest turbine project in Canada. Although the wind farms have been controversial, the TransAlta project has brought a sizable amount of money to the community and has been embraced by most Wolfe Islanders. Photo by Galit Rodan.

A group of Ontario residents who live near wind turbines claim the turbines have caused health problems. The group spoke up against the Ontario government’s decision to give energy giant Suncor a licence to build an eight-turbine wind power project in the city of Chatham-Kent, Ontario. The group of Chatham-Kent citizens filed an appeal to Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal. This marks Canada’s first hearings examining the health effects of wind turbines.

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Bike Purifies Water While You Pedal

cycloclean-water-purifying-bike

Japanese company Nippon Basic has developed a bicycle that allows you to purify drinking water by pedaling. The bike has a kinetic water purification unit attached to the rear seat. With four different filters on board - one to pre-treat the water, and another three to purify it, you can be drinking 6 liters of purified drinking water in about a minute; three times the amount of daily drinking water for a single person.

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Jeopardy Champion Watson Could Have A Career In Medicine

IBM's Watson Computing System

So what’s next for Watson? Does the computer’s alleged superiority over human intelligence mean we should bow down and welcome our new computer overlord? Anyone who fears that Watson is dead set on world domination can relax. Watson wants to help us, not destroy us.

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German Researchers Use Mind Control To Drive Car

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AutoNOMOS Labs in Germany have developed a system that allows someone to drive a car using their mind. The system uses censors to measure the brain’s electromagnetic signals. The measurements are interpreted as patterns by a computer. The driver puts on a sensor cap and trains the computer to recognize their brain patterns.

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Crossing Australia Using Wind Powered Car – Only 10 Euros

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The world’s first self-sufficient wind-powered vehicle crossed Australia in 18 days. Wind Explorer was driven by two German extreme sport enthusiasts - Dirk Gion, a television host, and Stefan Simmerer, an engineer.

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