Issue: 20091101

Sunday, November 1, 2009
NOVEMBER 2009
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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Articles
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POPULAR SCIENCE
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A Discovery Company
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A Discovery Company
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PopularScience_20091101_0275_005_0003.xml
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The Kahlua Cmnpïmy: KAHLUA
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The Kahlua Cmnpïmy
KAHLUA
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CONTENTS
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Ford
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Ford
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FOROM THE EDITOR
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From Here to There
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MARK JANNOT
WHEN THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION announced its vision for space exploration in January 2004, NASA's budget was clearly insufficient to the task. Yet NASA continued to pursue the hardware necessary for a base on the moon and a human voyage to Mars, even in the face of mounting evidence that (for instance) the International Space Station will pass its 2016 retire-by date before Ares I, NASA's ferry to the station, enters service.
PopularScience_20091101_0275_005_0008.xml
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Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
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Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
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PopularScience_20091101_0275_005_0009.xml
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A Discovery Company
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A Discovery Company
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THE INBOX
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LETTERS@POPSCI.COM
HACK ATTACKS
WAR ON WORDS
Corrections
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The technology, cost and standoff safety of unmanned warfare is seductive—but I worry that a clever software attack on our communications and positioning software could bring down our Air Force in one keystroke. Ronald A. Barker Mishawaka, Ind.
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samsung
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MEGAPIXELS
THE MUST-SEE PHOTOS OF
FOWL LINE
THE U.S.-MEXICO FENCE PROTECTS THE BORDER BUT COULD ENDANGER ANIMALS
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A trio of turkeys peacefully gobbles cornmeal on a cattle ranch in northern Mexico. But a fence may cut off the chuckwagon. Last February, Roy Toft, a fellow at the International League of Conservation Photographers, photographed these turkeys for an ILCP project documenting wildlife around the first few hundred miles of the 18-foot metal wall that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is building along the border.
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MEGAPIXELS
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THINKING CAP
TINY SURFACE ELECTRODES COULD HELP PARALYZED PEOPLE MOVE
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Bundles of microelectrode wires fan out over a small area of a human brain. These electrodes were placed by neurosurgeons at the University of Utah to see if they could detect precise brain activity associated with motor movements. To their surprise, the hair's-width microelectrodes, originally designed to study epilepsy, picked up the firings of small groups of neurons despite being merely set on the surface of the brain.
PopularScience_20091101_0275_005_0016.xml
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American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
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American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
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PopularScience_20091101_0275_005_0017.xml
review
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WHAT'S NEW
TECH THAT PUTS THE FUTURE IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND
SHOCK OF WINTER
AN AIR-SHOCK SNOWMOBILE LETS ADVENTURERS EXPLORE MORE TERRITORY
YAMAHA FX NYTRO MTX SE 162
yamaha-motor
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yamaha-motor
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$12,600
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The 2010 snowmobile season, which begins this month, will see daredevils in places they couldn't reach before: in deeper powder, on remote cliffs, squeezing between trees. That's because the first full air-suspension sled swaps the usual heavy steel coils for air-filled shock absorbers, creating a smoother, 20-pounds-lighter machine. Riders can easily steer the FX Nytro MTXSE 162 with their weight, glide it nearly drag-free through powder, and unstick it from drifts.
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WHAT'S NEW
12 MUST-HAVE PRODUCTS
THE GOODS
PLAY IT COOL
ALL IN YOUR HEAD
WEB VIDEO WONDER
SNAKE EYES
TRICK GRIP
ROLL WITH IT
CORN-FED CALLING
APPS GO WIDE
PERSONAL PAPARAZZO
FRAME SHIFT
MEASURE UP
LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT
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CORINNE IOZZIO
This desktop gaming PC shapeshifts to keep from overheating. Five vents on top of the Aurora ALX open when its internal fans speed up, helping air circulate to its core. Alienware Aurora ALX From $1,000; alienware.com Even when it's noisy, this Bluetooth headset will only pick up your voice.
PopularScience_20091101_0275_005_0019.xml
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WHAT'S NEW
AUTO
GM'A COMEBACK TRAIL SNEAK PEEK
WHAT A LEANER,GREENER GENERAL MOTORS WILL LOOK LIKE
FOUR MORE GM HOPEFULS
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FOUR MORE GM HOPEFULS
CADILLAC CTS COUPE ON SALE: SUMMER 2010
FOUR MORE GM HOPEFULS
CHEVROLET CRUZE ON SALE: SPRING 2010
FOUR MORE GM HOPEFULS
BUICK REGAL ON SALE: 2010
FOUR MORE GM HOPEFULS
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CHEVROLET ORLANDO ON SALE: 2011
FOUR MORE GM HOPEFULS
CHEVROLET SPARK ON SALE: LATE 2011
$12,000
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We the people already own 61 percent of General Motors. Now GM has to convince us to buy another stake in it: a new car. Fresh from bankruptcy, the company's survival hinges on cranking out appealing designs that Americans want today. That means fewer supersized pickups and SUVs and more efficient cars and crossovers—a fleet for an age of volatile gas prices and a federal requirement that cars get 35 miles per gallon by 2016.
PopularScience_20091101_0275_005_0020.xml
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WHAT'S NEW
COMPUTING
TECH TREND PCS GET HANDY
MICROSOFT’S NEW OS BRINGS iPHONE-LIKE MULTITOUCH TECH TO COMPUTERS
THE TREND
WHY NOW
HOW YOU’LL BENEFIT
THE LAPTOP
THE TABLET
THE DESKTOP
lenovo
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THE LAPTOP
$2,000
The T400s looks like an ordinary 14.1-inch laptop, but a touchscreen frees you from the tiny cursor. For instance, you can rearrange two photos at once by dragging them, or partygoers can point at a song they want to hear. Its capacitive screen senses the electrical conductivity of fingers and even recognizes up to four touches at a time. Lenovo T400S with Multitouch Option From $2,000; lenovo.com
lenovo
THE TABLET
$1,860
Lose the keyboard entirely with a laptop whose display spins and folds to hide the keys. You can use a stylus to write or draw precisely, since the 13.3-inch screen includes both a fleshsensing capacitive layer and the same electronic-pen-based layer used by graphic artists. Don't worry about penmanship: Windows 7 boasts better handwriting recognition. Fujitsu LifeBook T5010 with Multitouch Option From $1,860; fujitsu.com
lenovo
THE DESKTOP
$730
A 21.5-inch widescreen display makes it easy for even big fingers to hit their mark. Tap where you want to enter text, and up pops Windows 7's virtual keyboard, which you can enlarge to take advantage of the big screen. Poke at letters using either your fingers or the end of a pencil, since the camera-based optical touchscreen can detect when any opague object comes in contact. MSI Wind Top All-in-One PC From $730; us.msi.com
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Multitouch screens, which can register more than one finger-press at a time, will let computers trade keyboards and mice for simple strokes and pinches. The models shown here are just the start. Nearly every major PC maker will introduce touch-y designs of various shapes and sizes in the coming months.
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WHAT'S NEW
RECREATION
MY SPACE FULLY LOADED
THIS BACKYARD OBSERBATORY LETS YOU SEE MORE STARS THAN EBER BEFORE
TELESCOPE
MOUNT
CAMERA
EYEPIECE
SOFRWARE
handsonoptics
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handsonoptics
TELESCOPE
$800
The design first used by Galileo 400 years ago this year—which bends light with lenses, not simpler mirrors —still produces the sharpest images available to amateurs. This modern version uses a six-inch lens for wide views, but costs half as much as others, thanks to efficient glass manufacturing. AstroTeLescopes 152mm Giant Wide Field Refractor From $800; handsonoptics. com
handsonoptics
MOUNT
$1,300
Keep your scope steady anywhere. The MiniTower Pro, at five inches wide, is the most portable mount that can secure a 35-pound scope atop a tripod. The handheld controller lets you turn it precisely, or the motor, GPS and computer chip can direct the scope themselves. iOptron MiniTower Pro $1,300; ioptron.com
handsonoptics
CAMERA
$2,200
Track star movement or meteor flybys even when not at your scope. This weatherproof fish-eye camera sits outside to constantly save photos and video of the entire sky. The image sensor, tuned to the stars' dim glow, snaps sub-megapixel shots to store hundreds for timelapse photography. It beams pics to the Web over a Bluetooth or wired Link to a computer. SBIG Allsky-340C $2,200; sbig.com
handsonoptics
EYEPIECE
$500
Add this eyepiece to your scope to see an entire galaxy at once. Its steeply curved lenses offer a 100-degree apparent field of view, double the norm. It's also the first eyepiece that's waterproof and filled with nitrogen, so it won't fog up or develop mold inside. Explore Scientific 14mm 100° Eyepiece $500; explorescientific.com
handsonoptics
SOFRWARE
$19
This app turns your iPhone or iPod into a ceLestial tour guide. Browse through its database of 2.5 million stars, or let it identify constellations as you hold the latest iPhone up to the sky—it uses the 3GS's built-in GPS, accelerometer and compass to determine what it's pointing at. Starmap Pro $19; star-map.fr
ERIC ADAMS
What a heavenly year for stargazer. We ve had a spectacular solar eclipse in Asia, a clutch rescue of the Hubble Space Telescope, and the surprising Crash of a comet into Jupiter—discovered no less, by an amateur astronomer. Try the gear below to find the next marvel yourself.
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Pfizer Inc.: VIAGRA
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Pfizer Inc.
VIAGRA
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WHAT'S NEW
HOME TECH
WHAT'S NEXT DRY CLEANING
A WASHING MACHINE THAT SWAPS WATER FOR DIRT-BUSTING PLASTIC
HOW TO CLEAN YOUR CLOTHES WITH PLASTIC
IN RELATEDNEWS:APPLIANCES THAT KNOW WHEN TO RUN
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Clean your clothes without putting them—or your utility bills—through the wringer. Xeros's prototype washing machine uses 90 percent less water than ordinary models, which also eliminates energy-intensive spin cycles and dryer blasts.
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BOSE: SoundLink
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HEADLINES
MEDICINE
NUCLEAR DROUGHT
A DWINDLING SUPPLY OF MEDICAL ISOTOPES MEANS PATIENTS MIGHT NOT GET THE TESTS THEY NEED
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The Chalk River nuclear reactor in Ontario doesn’t sell a watt of electricity. Never has. But when it sprang a leak and shut down this spring, it threw a multibillion-dollar industry into crisis. Before it broke, the reactor produced nearly two thirds of the U.S. supply of molybdenum-99, or Mo-99, the isotope behind 16 million critical diagnostic medical tests each year.
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HEADLINES
DISASTER TECH
PARTING THE WAVES
BURIED RINGS PROTECT BUILDINGS FROM EARTHQUAKES
HOW TO HIDE A BUILDING FROM SEISMIC WAVES
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CARINA STORRS
The earliest known attempt at earthquake-proofing dates to the sixth century B.C., when builders in modern-day Iran inserted stone blocks between a structure and its foundation to reduce vibrations. Today's engineers buffer buildings with metal springs, ball bearings and rubber pads, all designed to sop up the energy from seismic waves.
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HEADLINES
THE CHECKLIST
FIXER UPPER
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Before scientists can put the Large Hadron Collider back to work this month solving the mysteries of particle physics, the LHC's engineers face critical repairs to the $5-billion device. First up: Fix the 53 superconducting magnets trashed in September 2008 when a power cable broke, causing the magnets to warm above their-458°Foperating temperature and lose conductivity, or “quench.
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HEADLINES
INVENTION OF THE MONTH
ICE BREAKER
A POWER LINE THAT SHEDS HEAVY ICE
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Tired of Jack Frost knocking out your power? Victor Petrenko, an engineering professor at Dartmouth College, has developed de-icing technology that could save power lines from ice storms. Until now, the only answer to frozen lines has been to hope that they don’t break or pull down poles under the weight of the ice.
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NOVA
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NOVA
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HEADLINES
INSPIRED BY NATURE
SAVING SKIN
A MATERIAL BASED ON SHARKSKIN STOPS BACTERIAL BREAKOUTS
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A whale’s skin is easily glommed up with barnacles, algae, bacteria and other sea creatures, but sharks stay squeakyclean. Although these parasites can pile onto a shark's rippled skin too, they can't take hold and thus simply wash away.
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Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
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HEADLINES
EXPERIMENTS
LIFE IN A BOX
EARTHLY ORGANISMS UNDERGO TESTS IN MARS-LIKE CONDITIONS
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In a Berlin basement sits a small torture chamber. The air inside the hermetically sealed steel chest consists of a choking 95 percent carbon dioxide, some nitrogen, and traces of oxygen and argon. The pressure within is 1/170 that on Earth, and the thermostat is set to -50°F—in other words, a nice afternoon on Mars.
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HEADLINES
SPACETECH
FAST LANE TO MARS
A NEW ION ENGINE COULD SLICE THE TIME IT TAKES TO GET TO THE RED PLANET
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Six Europeans recently wrapped up 105 days in an isolation chamber with no TV, no showers, and lots of precooked food, to test the stresses of a journey to Mars. Real Marstronauts might not have to suffer through all that. A new ion engine, which shoots charged particles to create thrust, could get them to the Red Planet in just 39 days.
PopularScience_20091101_0275_005_0039.xml
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APC
Surge Protection
APC
Battery Back-UPS
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THE FUTURE OF SPACE
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DEEPSPACE BOOT CAMP
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO PREP HUMANS FOR A TRIP TO AN ASTEROID OR A MARTIAN MOON? STARVATION? ISOLATION? RECYCLING FECES FOR FOOD? NASA’S NEWEST ASTRONAUTS BEGIN A GRUELING TRAINING REGIMEN THIS FALL TO FIND OUT
TOUGH AND CHEERFUL
NEW SCHOOL
MIND THE GAP
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DAWN STOVER
THREE TEST PILOTS. Two flight surgeons. One molecular biologist. A flight controller, a Pentagon staffer and a CIA intelligence officer. These are the nine people chosen by NASA to be America’s next astronauts. Late this summer they reported to Houston along with two Japanese pilots, a Japanese doctor, a Canadian pilot and a Canadian physicist who will train alongside NASA's class of 2009. Call them the lucky 14.
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THE FUTURE OF SPACE
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WHAT DO YOU WEAR IN DEEP SPACE?
Think of the new astronaut suit as a wearable spaceship, complete with a toilet
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With its sights set on deep space, NASA has tasked Oceaneering International to develop the first new space suit since the shuttle "jet pack" of the 1980s. For lunar missions, the Constellation Space Suit System, or CSSS, will come in two configurations: one that the astronauts will wear aboard the spaceship during launch, landing and spacewalks; and a second configuration designed to be worn on the moon's surface.
PopularScience_20091101_0275_005_0042.xml
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Zeo Inc.
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Zeo Inc.
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POPSCI'S 8TH ANNUAL
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BRILLIANT
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WE HAVE A CREDO AROUND HERE:The future will be better. It may sound optimistic in light of our wheezing environment and limping economy, but then you haven’t met the Brilliant 10, POPSCI’S annual selection of the nation’s most promising young researchers.
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BRILLIANT 10
ASTRONOMY
THE STAR CHASER
Brilliant because: She's discovering nearly invisible galaxies circling our own, and the mysterious dark matter that dominates them
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Marla Geha has different job titles depending on who’s asking. "If I’m on a plane, I tend to be a physicist,” she says. “Then nobody wants to talk to me." When she feels the need to impress someone, she’s an astrophysicist. And when she doesn’t mind a two-hour conversation, she tells them she’s an astronomer.
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BRILLIANT 10
BIDMATERIALSl
THE ENERGIZER
Brilliant because: She transforms molecules into mini hard drives with massive storage capacity
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Last fall, Ting Xu, a professor of materials science at the University of California at Berkeley, was suffering from headaches so severe that doctors worried she might have a brain tumor. But one neurologist suggested a simpler cause. How about cutting back on the 16-hour days in the lab, sleeping, and maybe even eating at normal times?
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BRILLIANT 10
ROBOTICS
THE ROBOT MAKER
Brilliant because: He builds sophisticated robots that don't just copy biology—they improve on its most elegant and efficient principles
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In 1977, a six-year-old boy visiting Los Angeles from South Korea saw Star Wars for the first time. He gaped at the curious locomotion of R2-D2 and the human-robot interactions of C-3PO, and as he flew back home, Dennis Hong remembers, “I knew I was going to build robots for the rest of my life.
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BRILLIANT 10
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THE MENTAL MESSENGER
Brilliant because: His engineering achievements will let people with disabilities control machines
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MELINDA WENNER
Last April, Adam Wilson became the first person to send a telepathic message—on the social-networking site Twitter, “USING EEG TO SEND TWEET," he wrote, referring to the electroencephalograph he used to record electrical signals in his brain.
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BRILLIANT 10
GENETICS
THE RULE SHREDDER
Brilliant because: A dropout skate rat turned ace biologist, he's proving that "junk" RNA is a potential linchpin of human health
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John Rinn has a long history of bucking convention. Growing up, skateboarding and snowboarding took precedence over school— he attended four high schools in four years, only graduating because his mother promised him a car. He went to college at the University of Minnesota because it seemed like an excuse to party and hit the slopes.
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BRILLIANT 10
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CRASH TEST ANTI-DUMMY
Brilliant because: His software makes travel on planes, trains and automobiles safer
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Every now and then, an innovation so vital comes along that it's hard to imagine how we got along without it. Think seatbelts, antibiotics, fire hoses. Now add André Platzer's KeYmaera, software that helps computer-controlled safety systems avoid catastrophic errors.
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BRILLIANT 10
VIROLOGY
THE FLYING VIRUS HUNTER
Brilliant because: She uncovers the genetic secrets of deadly viruses, and now she's taking her science smarts to space as an astronaut
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NICOLE DYER
As a kid, Kate Rubins dreamed of being an astronaut and figured flying fighter jets would be the best way to get to NASA. She even went to space camp at age 12 to get a head start on her training. Then she learned the disappointing news that, at the time, the pilot job was off-limits to women.
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BRILLIANT 10
ANTHROPOLOGY
THE TOOTH SLEUTH
Brilliant because: His exploration of ancient eating habits is helping to crack the mystery of human evolution
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M.W.
Nate Dominy found his calling on a college research trip to Costa Rica with his anatomy professors. A football player for Johns Hopkins University, Dominy was assigned the physically demanding task of catching small, drugged monkeys as they fell out of trees.
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BRILLIANT 10
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING
MASTER OF THE SMALL
Brilliant because: He’s tapping the strange powers of nanotechnology to detect cancer
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SETH FLETCHER
When Michael Strano was a postdoctoral fellow at Rice University, his mentor gave him some simple advice. “He told me, 'Look at areas where disciplines intersect,' "Strano says. Eight years later, he is a tenured professor at MIT and one of the world's leading researchers of quantum-confined materials, a field of nanotechnology that has the potential to transform cancer medicine, solar power, electronics and more.
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BRILLIANT 10
ENGINEERING
THE BRIDGE WHISPERER
Brilliant because: His bridge sensors can catch structural flaws invisible to human eyes
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Jerry Lynch is proud of his profession. He likes to point out, for instance, that the U.S. has more than 600,000 bridges, and that failures are extremely rare. "We have a very, very good track record," he says. "We're a diligent bunch, civil engineers.
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BOSE
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BOSE
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POPSCI LAB RAT
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PERSONAL CHEMISTRY
Every-day we re exposed to thousands of man-mad chemicals, some of which seep into our bodies and remain there for decades. What that means for our health, we don't fully understand—but our writer subjected herself to a Dattery of new tests in search of answers
WHERE TOXINS COME FROM
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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ARIANNE COHEN
LET’S START WITH THE BAD NEWS: You are saturated with man-made chemicals, some of them toxic. Today's exposure began when compounds in your shampoo and shaving cream seeped into your skin cells, and during your morning coffee, when you drank chemicals that were released into your brew as hot water ran against the plastic walls of your coffeemaker.
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THE GREEN DREAM
ONE MAN’S MISSION TO BUILD AN ECO-FRIENDLY, AFFORDABLE HOME
CLEARLY EFFICIENT
CUSTOM-MADE ALUMINUM WINDOWS SAVE MONEY AND ENERGY
WHAT’S INSIDE?
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JOHN B. CARNETT
WITH THE EFFICIENT prefab panels that make up the walls of my home, it’s vital that I don't let all the heat—and my budget—escape out my 47 windows. So the fact that I had my heart set on sleek aluminum frames instead of wood or vinyl posed some challenges.
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THE GREEN DREAM
ALREADY HAVE A HOME?
Four More Green Windows and Doors
CLEAN CAULK
ECD-DOOR
UV-FREE WINDOW
GREENEST GLASS
gardner-gibson
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gardner-gibson
CLEAN CAULK
$2.39
Sealing air leaks with caulk is the easiest way to reduce energy costs—up to 20 percent on heating and cooling bills. And now you can do it without trapping noxious volatile organic compounds (VOCs), with Smart zero VOC rubberized caulk, the first made without headacheinducing chemicals. $2.39; gardner-gibson.com
gardner-gibson
ECD-DOOR
$1,500
Champion's steel-andfiberglass doors are the first to earn Green Seal certification, which evaluates a product's manufacturing and life cycle. The company ensures that its materials have no lead or mercury, coats the door with lowVOC paint, and recycles its own scrap metal and water during production. From $1,500; championwindow.com
gardner-gibson
UV-FREE WINDOW
$7
Huper Optik's Ceramic 30 window film deflects up to 70 percent of the sun's heat, helping to cool the home while blocking nearly all ultraviolet rays, which can fade furniture. The film is embedded with NASA-developed titanium nitride beads that block UV and infrared light, but let visible light through. From $7 per square foot; huperoptikusa.com
gardner-gibson
GREENEST GLASS
Soon your windows could double as solar panels. RSi's 60-percent-transparent photovoltaic-embedded glass can produce about 36 watts from a typical threeby-four-foot window in direct sunlight and can be electronically frosted. It's being tested on commercial buildings in California and could trickle down to homes as early as 2011. solar.tm
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tryhdvision.com/SCI
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tryhdvision.com/SCI
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HOW 2.0
TIPS, TRICKS, HACKS AND DO-IT-YOURSELF PROJECTS
YOU BUILT WHAT?! OVER THE MOON
THE CLASSIC VIDEOGAME LUNAR LANDER IS TRANSFORMED INTO THREE DIMENSIONS
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After hearing about preparations for the 40th anniversary of the moon landing at Kennedy Space Center last year, British engineer Iain Sharp decided to develop a tribute of his own. His offering, a remake of the 1979 Atari game Lunar Lander, in which players try to settle a module onto the moon's surface, is a complex mix of scrapped PCs, fishing line, inkjet printer motors and miniature space vehicles.
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YOU BUILT WHAT?!
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HOW IT WORKS
MISSION CONTROL
• BRAINS
• GAMEPLAY
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A science-fiction-sounding mission operator delivers flight directives, such as "Land more slowly!" Sharp provided the narration at first but then recruited British radio personality Emma Freud to do it instead. In exchange, Sharp promised to build her a version of his first "real" arcade game—a mash-up of the classic game Pong and exercise bikes, called CycLepong.
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HOW 2.0
5 THINGS
YOU CAN CONTROL WITH YOUR IPHONE
1 YOUR COMPUTER
2 YOUR HOME
3 YOUR CAMERA
4 YOUR CAR
5 YOUR MOOD
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Access your desktop from wherever you take your iPhone, with Jaadu ($25; jaadu vnc.com). Or control your computer from across the room with Mobile Air Mouse Pro ($6; mobileairmouse.com), which uses the accelerometer in the iPhone to turn it into a mouse you wave in the air like a wand.
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Davis
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Davis
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Valentine Research, Inc.: Valentine One
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Valentine Research, Inc.
Valentine One
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HOW 2.0
REPURPOSED TECH
A DIY KINDLE
TURN A SECONDHAND TABLET PC INTO A FULLY FUNCTIONAL E-BOOK READER
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I tried to love Amazon’s amazing e-ink electronic book reader, the Kindle, I really did. But I wanted a device that had full color and a higher-resolution display and that didn’t limit the content you can view on it. So instead of shelling out $300, I decided to make my own version using a tablet PC —basically a computer with a stowable keyboard (or no keyboard at all) that you mainly control with a stylus and touchscreen.
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HOW 2.0
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BUILD AN E-READER
1. BUY
2. FORMAT
3. LOAD
4. READ
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Hit eBay to find cheap tablet PCs. Look for older models like the Motion M1400 or Fujitsu Stylistic. Expect to pay around $200 for a fully functional one, or a little less if you’re willing to fix it or get missing parts elsewhere. Strip down Windows XP by removing programs you don’t need (check out extremetech.com or lifehacker.com for help).
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BioTech Research: EdenPURE
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BioTech Research
EdenPURE
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HOW 2.0
GRSY MATTER
SPARK FUN
AN ELEMENTAL RECIPE FOR CREATING GREAT SHOWERS OF SPARKS
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THEODORE GRAY
Metals can be classified by hardness, malleability and conductivity. One quality you won’t find listed in the reference books is sparkiness. A delicate balance between flammability and hardness determines which metals spark. For example, magnesium is a famously flammable metal, but grinding it produces no sparks because the energy needed to cut chips from the soft metal is not enough to heat them to their ignition point.
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1&1 Internet, Inc.
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1&1 Internet, Inc.
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HOW 2.0
ASK A GEEK
HOW DO I PICK A COMPANY TO HOST MY WEB SITE?
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Three words: Reliability, flexibility, simplicity. No matter what, you want a Web host that never goes offline, so make sure it guarantees uninterrupted uptime. Beyond that, you’ll first need to identify the features you want your site to have.
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EPILOG: The New Zing 24 Laser
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EPILOG
The New Zing 24 Laser
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HOW 2.0
POPSCI 5 MINUTE PROJECT
A MINI TOOTHBRUSH ROBOT
ALL THE FUN OF A HYPERACTIVE PET, WITHOUT THE SHEDDING
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1.Cut off the head of a toothbrush with angled bristles, and apply foam tape to the back. 2. Get a pager motor (try goldmine-elec.com), solder two wires to it, and connect a coin battery. 3. Stick the motor and battery to the tape, and watch the robot merrily frolic about.
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HOW 2.0
PROJECT OF THE MONTH
THE WEBCYCLE
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Be the fittest Internet addict at your next meeting. British audio engineer Matt Gray and video programmer Tom Scott hooked up a laptop to an exercise bike. As you pedal more quickly, the software increases your bandwidth, letting you surf faster—if you can use a mouse and keyboard while biking, anyway.
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CITRIX
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CITRIX
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FYI
SOMETIMES YOU JUST NEED TO KNOW
Tyrannosaurus rex had puny arms. Could a human beat one in an arm-wrestling match?
What would happen if I ate a teaspoonful of white dwarf star?
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A First, were assuming that the T. rex won't just eat the person, right?" asks Jack Conrad, a vertebrate paleontologist at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Right. This is a sanctioned match, and killing your opponent is strictly against the rules.
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Advertisement: Norton
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Norton
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Symantec Corporation: Norton
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Symantec Corporation
Norton
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MacNeil Automotive Products Limited: WeatherTech
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MacNeil Automotive Products Limited
WeatherTech
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rabbit
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Smile Train
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Smile Train
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PSWEB CONNECTION
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GIFT GUIDE
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SCIENCE ILLUSTRATED
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SCIENCE ILLUSTRATED
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Hydro-Sil
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EdgeCraft Corporation
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EdgeCraft Corporation
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The Alpha Publishing House
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The Alpha Publishing House
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PopularScience_20091101_0275_005_0090.xml
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Sinclair Institute: Better Sex7
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Sinclair Institute
Better Sex7
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PDPULAR SCIENCE DIRECT
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THE FUTURE THEN
FROM THE POPULAR SCIENCE ARCHIVES
Space Specialists
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Beginning in 1978, NASA started choosing astronauts based on Earth-bound skills, such as engineering and medicine, that qualified them to perform experiments and to work outside the shuttle. Many of the students were strictly mission specialists, with duties that included overseeing the emergency medical supplies or operating a robotic arm that moved satellites in orbit.
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CRAFTSMRN
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CRAFTSMRN
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