Jan 31, 2014

Can't Choose Between Biking or Roller Blading? Now You Don't Have To

The Segway opened the floodgates for countless personal mobility devices, with designs that range from conservative to downright crazy. And the Aeyo—a cross between a scooter, a bicycle, and a pair of inline skates—falls somewhere in the middle of that scale.

The Aeyo is ridden in a standing position like a scooter, but instead of kicking off the ground or pedaling for propulsion, your feet are strapped into a pair of what look like inline skates, which are attached to the rest of the contraption with a pair of articulated legs. So a simple skating motion gets the Aeyo rolling, while steering and braking come courtesy of its handlebars. More here.

The Perfect Way to Hold a Hamburger, Proven by Science

We've all been there: You're holding a big ol' hamburger with both hands, you bring it to your mouth to take a bite, and the whole burger falls out all over the place. But guess what, there's an "ideal" way to hold a burger. This is it.

A while back, Japanese television show Honma Dekka!? had three researchers—experts in fluid mechanics, engineering, and dentistry—try to figure out the best way to hold and eat a large hamburger. Apparently, they spent four months researching this. For science.
The researchers did a 3D scan of a hamburger, trying to figure out how the particles interacted while holding a large hamburger. Using the data, they showed that the typical way to hold a burger—thumbs on the bottom and fingers on top—results in pushing the contents of the burger out of the buns.
As you can see, the thumbs and the pinkies are on the bottom. The middle three fingers on each hand are on the top. As you can see the burger is divided visually into equal parts.

If the burger is held uniformly, then its contents shouldn't spill out of the burger's backside.

Note that it's important not to hold the burger too tight. Doing so could cause the buns to be crushed, and the contents to spill out. Also, the dental expert recommended warming up the muscles in your mouth before eating a big hamburger by opening and closing it a few times.

One drawback: If you use the "ideal" way to hold a burger, you probably should eat your fries before or after you finish it. Otherwise, it might be difficult to hold the burger like this and eat fries at the same time. More here.

Jan 29, 2014

Scientists Use Acid to Turn Blood Cells into Stem Cells in 30 Seconds

This is a game changer, folks. Whereas mining stem cells has been either an ethical quandary or a months-long affair, scientist can now turn any old blood cells into stem cells in just 30 seconds—by dipping them in acid.

That's right. Take blood cells, add acid, get stem cells. It's as simple as it sounds.

A team of Japanese scientists stumbled upon the method after observing a similar phenomenon in plants, where environmental stress can morph an ordinary cell into an immature one. New plants could then grow from the immature cell. This has also been known to happen in birds and reptiles, so the team from the Riken Center for Developmental Biology set out to see if something similar could happen with mammals.

They started with mice, of course. Sure enough, when they exposed blood cells from mice to acid, a transformation began. While some of the blood cells died, many became stem cells within a couple of days. "It looks a bit too good to be true, but the number of experts who have reviewed and checked this, I'm sure that it is," Chris Mason, professor of regenerative medicine at University College London, told the BBC. "If this works in people as well as it does in mice, it looks faster, cheaper and possibly safer than other cell reprogramming technologies—personalized reprogrammed cell therapies may now be viable." More here.

Jan 27, 2014

Cleaning a neglected shower is just about the worst household chore there is. But if you can spare an extra minute after your daily shower, you can eliminate soap scum before it becomes stuck to tiles like super glue by simply wiping down the walls with this handy squeegee, designed to hang on your curtain rod or shower head.
For just $10 you get your choice of a white, blue, or black hanger that's always in reach when you're done cleaning yourself so you can then clean your bathroom. And while it does rob you from an extra minute or two of sleep in the morning, in the long run you're gaining back a Saturday afternoon that would otherwise be sent scrubbing until your arms ached. More here.

Jan 25, 2014

Wikipedia's Adding Voice Recordings to Famous People's Biographies

Imagine being able to hear a great historical figure's voice. It would add such richness to the facts and dates about her or his life. Starting today, Wikipedia will make that possible with the Wikipedia Voice Intro Project, adding short voice recordings to the online encyclopedia. And that's truly awesome.

WikiVIP announced the program with a demo recording from British personality Stephen Fry. Apollo 16 astronaut Charlie Duke's page also boasts a voice recording. The project page says it was undertaken "so that we know what notable people sound like; and how they pronounce their own names." A simple, goal, but infinitely profound.

There's something intangibly powerful in the human voice. Curiosity leads us to wonder what great historical figures sounded like—and we get deeply offended if modern portrayals don't fit the sound we imagined. Just ask Daniel Day-Lewis.

If you're the type of person who has a Wikipedia biography, go here to see how you can get your voice saved forever. Just don't sneeze or snort or anything weird—people will be listening to that recording eons from now.

Jan 23, 2014

Facebook Could Die Out Like an Infectious Disease By 2017

If you view Facebook as a plague on social dynamics, you might not be far wrong.Researchers from Princeton University claim that the social network's popularity has spread like an infectious disease—but, as we slowly become immune to its charms, it will die out.

By comparing the uptake of Facebook to growth curves of epidemics, the scientists claim that—just like the bubonic plague—Facebook will gradually begin to fade away. They go further than that, too, claiming that Facebook will lose 80 percent of its peak user base within the next three years. The researchers write in a paper currently published on the arXiv servers:
"Ideas, like diseases, have been shown to spread infectiously between people before eventually dying out, and have been successfully described with epidemiological models... Ideas are spread through communicative contact between different people who share ideas with each other. Idea manifesters ultimately lose interest with the idea and no longer manifest the idea, which can be thought of as the gain of 'immunity' to the idea."
John Cannarella and Joshua Spechler, both from Princeton, modelled social networks using equations commonly used to map the spread and recovery of epidemics. They then tested them on data gathered from MySpace to check they accurately modelled boom and crash, and then applied them to Facebook. In turn, they generated the prediction that the site's user count will drop by 80 percent before 2017.

Of course, it's not clear that equations used to model epidemics will accurately predict Facebook's decline—there are so many factors in the possible success or failure of the site that such equation are always bound to simplify the problem. But with Facebook's chief financial officer David Ebersman admitting recently that the site "did see a decrease in daily users, specifically among younger teens" in the last three months, you never know. More here.

These Blossoming Flowers Are the First Inflatable 3D-Printed Object

Most objects created by 3D printers are made from hard rigid plastics, but as the hardware is continually being improved, new materials are coming into play. Believe it or not, at Victoria University of Wellington's School of Design, Richard Clarkson has succeeded in 3D printing these flowers from a soft rubber-like material that can actually be inflated.

As air is pumped into inner chambers, these rubber flowers appear to blossom and open up, revealing a colorful inner core. And while this doesn't mean you'll be printing custom-shaped birthday party balloons anytime soon, it's another innovation that brings 3D printers closer and closer to the replicators that deep down we all actually want. More here.

Jan 21, 2014

Scientists Discover Water in Stardust and It Suggests We're Not Alone

Stardust sounds magical enough as it is, but now scientists have for the first time observed that it contains water—which, in turn, could suggest that life is universal.

The water forms within dust grains when they're bombarded with charged winds from the sun. The chemical reaction set up by the winds was hypothesized by scientists in the past, but this is the first time anyone's actually found H2O trapped inside real stardust.

The finding saw John Bradley, from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, take a very close look indeed at the outer layers of interplanetary dust particles that were found in the Earth's stratosphere. Incredibly high-resolution microscopy revealed tiny pockets of water in the already-tiny specks of dust—each of which themselves measured less than 25-micrometres, half the width of a human hair. New Scientist explains how the water forms:
The dust is mostly made of silicates, which contains oxygen. As it travels through space, it encounters the solar wind. This stream of charged particles including high-energy hydrogen ions is ejected from the sun's atmosphere. When the two collide, hydrogen and oxygen combine to make water.
Roll the new finding together with the fact that there are plenty of organic compounds in interplanetary dust, and the suggestion is, as New Scientist points out, that stardust contains all the basic ingredients needed for life like that on our planet. Because it's believed that similar stardust grains exists in solar systems throughout the universe, the finding bodes well for the existence of life elsewhere. In other words, we're almost certainly not alone. More here.

Jan 20, 2014

New Climate Study Warns of More Frequent El Ninos in the 21st Century

A study published today in the journal Nature Climate Change warns that climate change will cause a dramatic increase in El Nino weather events during the 21st century. Formerly happening once every 20 years or so, we can now expect an El Nino once every 10 years.

An El Nino occurs naturally when the temperature of the Pacific Ocean rises, altering rainfall patterns and causing everything from extreme floods to severe droughts around the world. AsThe Guardian points out, the last severe El Nino (1997-98) caused between $35-45 billion in damage and killed about 23,000 people.

The really scary part is that scientists used to believe that these naturally occurring El Nino events wouldn't be affected (which is to say, made more frequent or more severe) by climate change. This new study suggests that we may not be so lucky.

"This is a highly unexpected consequence of global warming," Professor Mat Collins of the University of Exeter said in a statement. "Previously we had thought that El Nino would be unaffected by climate change. Tropical rainfall conditions such as those experienced in extreme El Ninos have a dramatic influence on the world […] the impact therefore on mankind is substantial."

Climate experts say that more research is needed on the subject, but that things don't look good. You rarely want to hear the word "irreversible" bandied about when you're talking about the future of our planet.

"This is essentially an 'irreversible' climate change phenomenon, and it would take a dramatic reduction in greenhouse emissions over a number of generations to reduce the impact," Collins said in a statement. "It is even more evidence that cutting emissions would be a good idea." More here.

Christophe Claret's Latest Watch Lets You Kill Time By Playing Poker

Christophe Claret's first foray into the seedy world of wristworn gambling was the Blackjack 21 that let deep-pocketed watch aficionados pretend to squander away even more of their fortunes. That was followed by a Baccarat model, and now the company is introducing an even more complicated model that lets up to three players enjoy a quick game of Texas Hold'em Poker.

Christophe Claret actually intended to release this particular model first back in 2011, but the mechanisms required to orchestrate the 52 cards needed for a legit game of Poker required an additional two years of development and refinement. So in addition to cramming an actual working watch inside this piece's 45-millimeter wide case, there's a mechanical card dealer in there too with various components ensuring the results are always random.

To ensure that the three players huddled around the tiny watch can't see each other's cards, Christophe Claret has employed a series of strategically angled shutters keeping other hands out of view. The game plays out through a series of button pushes, and is accented with a series of gongs that are triggered during specific parts of a round. And with an impressive 72 hours of power reserve, you can keep gambling for days without having to worry about giving the Poker a wind.

Only 80 pieces will be produced, 20 in each of four different finishes and colors, and you can probably safely expect it to come with a price tag similar to its predecessor—somewhere in the $200,000 neighborhood. Imagine the weekend you'd have in Vegas for that much money. More here.

Jan 18, 2014

You Can Now Buy a Life-Size, 3D-Printed Replica of Your Unborn Fetus

"Imagine holding your baby before he or she is born." It might sound like a morbid thought (if not a shitty horror flick catchphrase), but the idea behind the line is actually pretty sentimental. Of course, that's assuming you'd call 3D printing a life-size replica of your unborn fetus sentimental.

For $600, though, you can hold a keepsake from that very special time in baby's life in your very own hands. Thanks to 4-D ultrasound technology, a company called 3D Babies is offering to turn those flat photos into a custom, three-dimensional, life-size plastic replica of soon-to-be-born fetus

The company originally started as an Indigogo campaign, but they've raised the money for their Stratasys U-Print SE Plus and are ready to pop out fetusdolls as fast as you can make their human counterparts. But even if you're not quite ready for a fetus of your very own, you can always borrow a fetus from someone else. More specifically, you can borrow a fetus from Kimye. Yes, their entire collection of 3D-printed celebrity babies starts and ends at Baby North West. More here.

Jan 15, 2014

New Olympic Zipper Technology Makes Seams Nearly Invisible

You won't find it in stores just yet, but if you look closely at the jackets and other gear worn by US, Canadian, and Russian athletes at the upcoming 2014 Olympics, you might catch a glimpse of Columbia Sportswear's new waterproof zipper technology. Or you might not, since it's been engineered to be almost invisible when zipped shut.

Columbia was contracted to design and produce the outfits for those three nations, and according to the folks at GearJunkie, the company took the opportunity to introduce its new waterproof LightRail Zipper technology which it's been developing and perfecting for the past few years. The new zippers are lighter, slimmer, more flexible, and easier to zip than traditional waterproof zippers. And when sealed shut the seams almost completely disappear into garment.

The Lightrail Zippers are bonded to jackets and other garments using laser-cut fabric that works in a similar fashion to adhesive seam tape. But even without the bulk of stitches, there's no chance the seams will ever come undone. Even the zipper itself has been improved, with the addition of a subtle dock that completes the water and windproof seal.

There's no word on when the new zipper tech will be introduced on consumer-ready Columbia jackets and garments, but assuming the uniforms perform admirably at the Olympics, it's safe to assume that we'll probably see it officially rolled out closer to the end of the year. More here.

There's a Surprising Amount Of Power Inside This Super-Thin Battery

Last year Vorson managed to squeeze a 2,500 mAh battery into its Bookmark power packthat measured in at just 4.7 millimeters at its thinnest point. Impressive! But it's a wimp next to EnerPlex's new Jumpr Slate, which packs a heft new 10,000 mAh battery into a binder-friendly, blade-thin package.

At 6.7 millimeters the Jumpr Slate is technically a little thicker than the Bookmark, but that's across the Slate's entire surface. The Bookmark actually gets pretty thick on one edge near its USB ports. And the Slate's battery capacity is massive in comparison.

Of course you can't magically squeeze a 10,000 mAh battery into a smaller package, but by spreading it out into a large, thin enclosure, EnerPlex has created a backup that's easy to slip into a documents pocket in your bag. So as far as form factor goes, this is a nice alternative to a massive brick.

It's also nice that EnerPlex has included two regular sized USB ports in addition to a microUSB port for charging smaller electronics. And the price isn't bad either. The 10,000 mAh version is just $100, while a smaller 5,500 mAh version is even cheaper at $60—but do yourself a version and spring for the heftier model. More here.

Jan 13, 2014

Blasting the Brain with Ultrasound Enhances Sensory Abilities

In an experiment straight out of a comic book, Virginia Tech scientists have found a way to improve sensory abilities. All it takes is a detailed map of the brain, an ultrasound gun, and a willing patient. What could go wrong?

The experiment was simple enough. The Virginia Tech team directed ultrasound waves at a particular part of the cerebral cortex and then tested subjects' sensory abilities with two tests: one that asked them to distinguish between two different pin pricks and another to determine the difference between puffs of air. Much to their surprise, the ultrasound improved the subjects' performance at both tests. When the ultrasound waves targeted the brain at a slightly different location, the improvement disappeared.

Professor William "Jamie" Tyler, who led the study, explains:
It seems paradoxical, but we suspect that the particular ultrasound waveform we used in the study alters the balance of synaptic inhibition and excitation between neighboring neurons within the cerebral cortex. We believe focused ultrasound changed the balance of ongoing excitation and inhibition processing sensory stimuli in the brain region targeted and that this shift prevented the spatial spread of excitation in response to stimuli resulting in a functional improvement in perception.
The only other studies that have produced similar results required the use of electric shocks administered directly toward the brain, which is less than ideal. That makes ultrasound wave treatment seem like a day at the spa—which is not a bad idea come to think of it. Now we just need to perfect ultrasound-based telepathy and we'll really be on the way to being superheroes. More here.

Jan 12, 2014

These Easy-To-Install Treads Turn Any Car Into a Tank

If you're an off-roading enthusiast you've probably already seen those kits that let you replace your truck's wheels with a set of four tank treads for tackling any terrain. The Track N Go is the same idea, except that you don't need a garage, a lift, or any kind of mechanical know-how to install them. You just drive your vehicle onto the treads, lock them in place, and away you go.

Using a treadmill-like approach, the Track N Go treads are even powered by your vehicle's tires, so you don't need to make any Frankensteinish modifications to your ride to use them. Once you drive up onto them and remove the loading ramps, you can point your vehicle in whatever direction you want to go, and drive.

Together, the four treads have a much larger footprint than your vehicle's tires, which means you're less likely to sink in mud and snow—and it's impossible to get a flat tire when rolling on tank treads. The Track N Go's $25,000 price tag is a bit of an issue if you're only planning to use them on the occasional weekend adventure. But, when you realize you're no longer reliant on congested traffic-filled roads, how could you not justify a set? More here.

Jan 11, 2014

This Super-Tiny Windmill Could Someday Charge Your Phone

Researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington have come up with a way to build a nickel alloy windmill so small, 10 of them could be mounted on a grain of rice. And if all goes as planned, hundreds of the little things could end up in a case that charges up your smartphone.

UT Arlington's Smitha Rao and J.-C. Chiao designed the windmill, which at its broadest is just 1.8mm wide. Built from nickel alloy for rigidity, the little fan is self-assembled using wafer-scale semiconductor electroplating principles and a technique the team likens to origami. Rao and Chiao have partnered with WinMEMS Technologies Co., a Taiwanese company researching ways to build micro electro-mechanical systems, to bring the baby windmill to reality. More here.

Jan 10, 2014

The Sun Is Your Zippo With This Solar-Powered Lighter

Perfect for smokers who live in windy cities, this compact parabolic reflector lets you harness the sun as your own personal lighter—one that's immune to even the strongest winds.

A spring mounted holder ensures your cigarette is always at the focal point of the sun's reflected rays, and the $8 mirror is made of plastic so it won't immediately shatter if dropped. It's also the perfect camping accessory if you've never had much luck rubbing two sticks together to start a fire. More here.

Jan 9, 2014

France Will Pay You $5 Million to Invent an Oil-Drilling Drone

France's equivalent of DARPA has a lofty task for you. The National Research Agency is challenging engineers to design and build an autonomous oil-drilling robot that can operate continuously for six weeks at a time. And they're willing to pay you handsomely.

Well, to be exact, the French oil company Total is offering a €3.5 million (nearly $5 million) budget and a €500,000 (about $680,000) prize for the winning team. The National Research Agency's website describes the so-called ARGOS challenge:
The goal of the ARGOS Challenge is to foster the development of advanced robotic capabilities in oil & gas environments. The programme is based on robot systems which can safely operate in complete or supervised autonomy over the entire onshore or offshore production site, potentially in hazardous explosive atmospheres. The overall objective is to enhance the safety of operators in isolated production sites.
It's actually a pretty brilliant idea. As we've seen time and time again, drilling for oil is a dangerous job—however necessary for keeping our gas guzzling machines running. But just as unmanned aerial vehicles make a fighter pilot's job safer—and just as autonomous trucks are already operating at some mines—these drilling drones will inevitably save some lives. Until they develop minds of their own and turn this beautiful planet into Swiss cheese, that is. More here.

Jan 8, 2014

This Is the World's Fastest Memory Card

Behold, the world's fastest memory card. Lexar's 3333x CFast 2.0 ratchets up the read speed of Compact Flash cards to a dizzying 500MB/s—and that is very, very fast.

Of course, you probably won't be able to take advantage of all that speed just yet, unless you have some insane pro-level kit, but that might change as the next wave of high-spec DSLRs dribble out into the market. When they do, these little guys should be able to cope with whatever ludicrous capture rates you can thrown at them.

When they go on sale, they'll be available in in 32GB, 64GB, 128GB and 256GB sizes. It's worth noting that you could theoretically fill up the smallest one in around a minute if you were so inclined. A minute.

You can probably expect an ever faster card to come along soon—these records don't stand for long—but until then, you'll have to save up for the Lexar. More here.

Jan 7, 2014

Science Makes a Circuit So Thin, It Can Sit On a Contact Lens

Flexible, stretchable, bendable circuits will make futuristic wearable devices and implantable medical sensors possible. Today, a Swiss research team revealed a big new step in that field: a super-thin circuit that can function while wrapped around a human hair or laid on a contact lens.

The team, led by Giovanni Salvatore at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, created a circuit on a parylene film just a single micrometer thick. That's about one sixtieth the thickness of a human hair. The scientists achieved this by building the circuit on a vinyl polymer base that's then dissolved away, leaving the ultra-thin, ultra-flexible circuit intact.

The resulting circuit can be draped over human hair, plastered on human skin, or pasted on a plant leaf, without cracking or losing conductivity, as show in these images from theresearch paper published in Nature Communications:

Applications for such technology sound positively sci-fi: the Swiss research team envisions a transparent circuit on a contact lens to sense the increased pressure in the eye that causes glaucoma. Other applications could include implanted sensors that continually monitor blood pressure in heart patients.

The limiting factor right now: everything you'd want to plug in to that circuit. Batteries, for example. Still, the idea of a circuit you wear on your eyeball makes Google Glass seem positively quaint. More here.

Jan 6, 2014

Wireless Internet Is Coming To Your Next Car

GM is calling it OnStar 4G LTE. What does this mean for drivers or passengers? It means their next Corvette, Impala or Silverado will have a wireless hot spot for their smartphone, tablet, laptop, or Apple Newton. GM says this technology will be on nearly every Chevrolet car, and each vehicle can connect multiple devices.

Yes, plenty of car companies have been doing this a while, particularly on higher end models. But GM says Chevrolet will have the broadest implementation of 4G wireless of any car brand, and it will be across multiple price levels.

The Internet connection will allow for more than just fast Jalopnik browsing on the go. GM says the built-in 4G LTE connection will allow them to update their vehicles with the latest software and apps remotely, so they can continually tweak and improve their infotainment systems. The new technology coincides with the 10th generation of OnStar, which was first released in 1996.

Pricing hasn't been announced, but GM says if you're a current AT&T customer you can add this to your existing data plan.

What else is coming to your next car? Apps! Apps, of course. Apps like The Weather Channel, NPR, Cityseeker and various radio streaming programs. For better or worse, the car is becoming more and more like your smartphone every year.

As The Detroit News notes, in-car wireless Internet is one of the next really big automotive technologies. Both BMW and Audi have announced 4G for their cars. Besides the convenience of a mobile hot spot, it's expected to be a moneymaker for these companies:
Analysts say GM could see a revenue boost from the new 4G Wi-Fi service. IHS Automotive last year estimated 4G LTE could add $400 million in gross profit by mid-decade; it was cited in a Citi Research investment note.
While purists may scoff at the idea of in-car Internet for devices, you have to know that mainstream drivers not only want this, but are fully planning to make use of it. It's probably just a matter of time before this becomes de rigueur on all new cars. More here.

Jan 5, 2014

You'll Happily Swap Your Old Bulbs For This Interactive Party Ball

If you're outraged that the government would dare tell you what kind of lightbulbs you should be able to buy, ION Audio's new Party Ball should help quell your rage. It's designed to screw into a standard ceiling mounted light socket, but instead of just providing a warm glow to illuminate a room, it puts on a dazzling colored light show.

Who could possibly need incandescent bulbs anymore when this thing promises to turn every room in your home into a personal night club? The Party Ball's colored LEDs shine in a 360 degree arc so every corner of a room gets bathed in tinted light. And it's got a built-in microphone so the flashing and pulsing lights react and sync up to whatever music you happen to be playing. Pricing hasn't been announced just yet, but you can rest assure it won't include a cover or a two-drink minimum. More here.

This Connected Bluetooth Toothbrush Will Nag You More Than a Dentist

We all know we should be brushing more diligently several times a day, but without our dentists regularly shaming us into better oral hygiene, that rarely happens. So a Paris-based company called Kolibree has created what it claims to be the world's first app-connected toothbrush that will encourage better brushing habits between dentist visits.

The toothbrush may look like your run-of-the-mill electric model, but it's been enhanced with a wireless Bluetooth connection that lets it report your brushing times and habits to an accompanying app. Not only does this give a user insight into how long they actually brush versus how long they should be brushing, it also allows oral hygiene to be turned into a game to encourage kids to stay on top of tending to their teeth. And the company intends to make the collected data available through an API letting other developers create brushing-based games and other applications.

Depending on the model, Kolibree's connected toothbrush will sell for between $99 and $200 when it becomes available for pre-order this summer. But the accompanying app will be free, and the cavity-free dentist visits that follow (hopefully) will be painless. More here.

Jan 3, 2014

Light Up Spurs For Cowpokes Who Ride Bikes, Not Horses

If you have to ride your bike at night, there's no such thing as wearing too much reflective material—after all, you want to make yourself as visible as possible to those with whom you share the road. But a flashing light can ensure a driver spots you well before the headlights of their car do, and with a pair of these glowing LightSpurs clamped to the back of your shoes, you'll stand out like a sore—but safe—thumb.

Powered by a small CR2032 watch battery, the waterproof LightSpurs will run for about 100 hours in flashing mode before you need to swap in a new one. They can also be set to steadily glow, though that will reduce your battery life. They sell for about $20 each, but in theory, you only need to wear one on the side of your bike that's most visible to traffic. Unless you're going for the whole wild west effect—in that case, a pair of spurs is definitely the way to go. More here.

Jan 1, 2014

This Pickup Truck is Made of ice and you can Actually Drive it

Behold the first self-propelled ice sculpture ever—a truck made of ice that actually works! It's a real truck, using 11,000 pounds of ice over a regular truck chassis complete with engine and electrical system. Check out the videos to see how they built it—and how it melted.

The truck ran for 1.6 kilometers at about 20 km/h on December 12, 2013.

A Fold-Flat Watering Can Designed For Your Cramped Balcony Garden

If you live in an apartment or condo in a big city, and have managed to find a little room on your tiny balcony for a modest garden, you probably don't have much space left for the tools needed to toil over your cramped crops. So inventor Marc R. came up with this rather cleversoft-sided watering can called the Squish that's thin and easy to store when it's empty.
Marc is working with Quirky to make the Squish a reality, but in the meantime we can marvel at its design. Featuring a canvas bladder like ones many canteens are made from, the Squish expands from just one-inch thick when empty and stored to eight-inches across when full of water. It can hold up to a full gallon of water, and features a folding spout that helps minimize the Squish's footprint even further. And now that the design is nearly finalized, hopefully Quirky will get this into production and in stores in time for your Spring planting. More here.