Issue: 20100101

Friday, January 1, 2010
JANUARY 2010
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Thursday, December 18, 2014

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POPULAR SCIENCE
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ACURA
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ACURA
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PopularScience_20100101_0276_001_0002.xml
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BERNZOMATIC: QUICK FIRE
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BERNZOMATIC
QUICK FIRE
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tableOfContents
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CONTENTS
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Advertisement
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PopularScience_20100101_0276_001_0005.xml
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BOSE
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BOSE
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FROM THE EDITOR
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From Lunacy to Launchpad
PRIVATE COMPANIES HAVE 40 ORBITAL FLIGHTS SLATED BETWEEN NOW AND 2014.
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MARK JANNOT
NEARLY SIX YEARS AGO, we published a two-part report by Bruce Grierson on the entrepreneurs, advocates, engineers and dreamers who were building the foundations of a space-tourism industry that would get civilians off-planet without relying on (or waiting for) NASA.
PopularScience_20100101_0276_001_0007.xml
masthead
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POPULAR SCIENCE®
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PopularScience_20100101_0276_001_0008.xml
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R.J. REYNOLDS TOBACCO CO.
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R.J. REYNOLDS TOBACCO CO.
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THE INBOX
LETTER SPOPSCI.COM
In the November 2009 issue,
we revealed how everyday chemicals may be poisoning us, looked Inside the training that may one day send NASA's newest class of astronauts to Mars, and presented 10 of the most brilliant young minds In science.
CHEMICAL CAUTIONS
CAPSULE DÉJÀ VU
ROCKETS AWAY
HEAD OF THE CLASS
Correction
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Arianne Cohen's article on man-made chemicals ["Personal Chemistry”] does a fantastic job of describing some of the biggest sources of exposure, but it misses one key point: We are not exposed to these chemicals just through direct contact.
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Advertisement: POPULAR SCIENCE
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POPULAR SCIENCE
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Rosetta Stone
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Rosetta Stone
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MEGAPIXELS
THE MUST-SEE PHOTOS OF THE MONTH
LARGER THAN LIFE
OVERSIZE SCULPTURES OFFER A CLOSER LOOK AT BACTERIA AND VIRUSES
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AMINA ELAHI
This 41-inch-long sculpture of the Escherichia coli bacterium is part of British artist Luke Jerram's "Glass Microbiology" series of portraits. Other organisms he has vitrified include HIV, SARS and swine flu. To create each one, Jerram used images from an electron microscope and had guidance from virologist Andrew Davidson of the University of Bristol in England.
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MEGAPIXELS
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MIND THE GAP
SCIENTISTS FIND A RATCHET-LIKE MECHANISM THAT PULLS WOUNDS SHUT
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SANDEEP RAVINDRAN
One of the steps in fruit-fly development is similar to the healing of wounds. Until recently, scientists believed that when fruit-fly bodies take form during a process called dorsal closure, long strings of the protein actin behaved like the drawstring of a purse, pulling together the epithelial cells that eventually form the fly's skin.
PopularScience_20100101_0276_001_0014.xml
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Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
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Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
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PopularScience_20100101_0276_001_0015.xml
review
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WHAT'S NEW
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PHONES TO WATCH
TALKING TIMEPIECES TAKE CENTER STAGE
LG
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LG
GD910
$700
CORINNE IOzzIO
Dick Tracy, this is your year. Gadget makers have tried to re-create the 2-Way Wrist Radio before, but now they've finally managed to pack cellphones into watches so sleek and functional that you'd actually wear them. LG's GD910, which went on sale in Europe last year, kicked off the trend.
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WHAT’S NEW
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GOODS
A DOZEN GREAT IDEAS IN GEAR
PRIVATE EYE
FILM NOIR
PEDAL POWER
POCKET TUNER
PLAY ALL DAY
LIGHT FOOT
AIR FORCE
LENDING LIBRARY
A DIVING DRIVE
LASER GUIDED
TOUCH TYPING 2.0
WATER SLIDE
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CORINNE IOZZIO
Think of Archerfish's wireless camera as a security guard that can hide in corners. Like its predecessor, its software searches in real time for intruders and sends you instant e-mail alerts, but the new version swaps easy-to-spot wires for Wi-Fi.
PopularScience_20100101_0276_001_0017.xml
review
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WHAT'S NEW
AUTOMOTIVE
WHAT'S NEXT AUDI'S ELECTRIC SUPERCAR
AN ELECTRIC-CAR HOLDOUT DECIDES TO DAZZLE THE ZERO-EMISSONS SCENE
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In September, Audi of America president Johan de Nysschen called the Chevy Volt a "car for idiots” and said that electric vehicles were "for the intellectual elite who want to show what enlightened souls they are.” Audi must have felt the need to atone for the harsh words, because the following month the German carmaker announced that it would build the baddest electric car yet: the E-tron, an all-electric supercar that could go on sale in the U.S. in two to three years.
PopularScience_20100101_0276_001_0018.xml
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Pfizer inc.: VIAGRA
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Pfizer inc.
VIAGRA
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PopularScience_20100101_0276_001_0019.xml
review
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WHAT’S NEW
GADGETS
ITS ABOUT TIME ELECTRICITY WITHOUT WIRES
COMPUTERS AND POWER TOOLS THAT CHARGE AS SOON AS YOU SET THEM DOWN
TESTED -AMP;LT;prism:object-AMP;GT;THE POWERMAT WIRELESS CHARGING SYSTEM-AMP;LT;/prism:object-AMP;GT;
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DeLL Latitude Z
$1,800
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Bosch WireLess Charg ing Power TooL
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MARK BYRNE
A table that automatically charges any laptop, gadget or even jigsaw that you place on it—that's the promise of wireless power, and it just got one step closer. Magnetic induction systems, which transmit electricity without jacks and ports, have finally gone beyond the electric toothbrush into big, high-wattage gear.
PopularScience_20100101_0276_001_0020.xml
review
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WHAT’S NEW
RECREATION
TECH REBORN A BLACK BOX FOR HOTDOGGERS
MOTION SENSORS GET A NEW CALLING: CAPTURING ATHLETES’ EVERY TWIST
SURF-INSPIRED
SNOW-INSPIRED
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SURF-INSPIRED
$500
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SNOW-INSPIRED
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BRETT ZARDA
An airplane’s flight data recorder, or black box, saves stats from many different sensors so that pilots can reconstruct and analyze a trip after the fact, whether to find problems or certify that they completed a recordsetting route. Now extreme-sports athletes can quantify a wicked ride the same way.
PopularScience_20100101_0276_001_0021.xml
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Polaris Industries Inc.: VICTORY
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Polaris Industries Inc.
VICTORY
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WHAT’S NEW
GREEN TECH
TECH TREND KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
TRACK HOUSEHOLD ELECTRICITY USE WITH WEB-CONNECTED MONITORS
► TRACK
Y CONTROL
► PLAY
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TED 5000
$200
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EnergyHub
$300
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Shaspa Smart Home
$130—$500
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THE TREND: Internet-connected energy monitors. They grab details on electric use from your wiring and send them to a Web site where you can analyze the data—and figure out how to save both watts and cash. WHY NOW: Utilities keep promising "smart" electric meters that automatically provide real-time, online info, but most Americans still don't have them.
PopularScience_20100101_0276_001_0023.xml
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1&1 Internet, Inc.
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1&1 Internet, Inc.
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PopularScience_20100101_0276_001_0024.xml
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Zeo Inc.
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Zeo Inc.
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HEADLINES
EDUCATION
GAME THEORY
DISCOVERIES, ADVANCES AND DEBATES IN SCIENCE
A SCHOOL USES VIDEOGAME-BASED LESSONS TO TEACH A NEW GENERATION OF KIDS
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SUBANNAH F
An 11-year-old boy taps furiously on a laptop, blasting enemies as he weaves through a maze. They wipe him out before he can reach the end-game over. Frustrated, he opens the game's programming window, adjusts the gravity setting, and this time bounds over the baddies.
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ROBOTICS
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FLIGHT OF THE ROBOBEE
ROBOTIC INSECTS COULD POLLINATE FLOWERS AND FIND DISASTER VICTIMS
HOW ROBOBEES POLLINATE AN ORCHARD
STEP 1: ESTABLISH HOME BASE
STEP 2: SURVEY THE LANDSCAPE
STEP 3: MAKE A MAP
STEP 4: GET POLLINATING
ANATOMY OF A ROBOBEE
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COREY BINNS
Teamwork among honeybees keeps a hive running smoothly. Worker bees collect pollen, nurse bees care for larvae, and male drones spread the colony's genes. Each insect's efforts ensure the colony's success. That strategy led Gu-Yeon Wei to suggest that Rob Wood morph an almond-size robotic fly he had developed into a fleet of autonomous bees, each capable of carrying out specialized tasks.
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HEADLINES
30-SECOND SCIENCE
PLANTS TO THE RESCUE
ORGANIC OPTIONS FOR FUEL, FERTILIZER AND RUBBER
FRUIT FUEL
DANDELIN KING
THE GIVING TREE
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KATHARINE GAMMON
About 20 percent of watermelons are left to rot in the field because they're too blemished to sell in stores. Scientists from the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service found that the unused fruit left on a harvested acre could produce about 24 gallons of bioethanol—fuel that could be poured back into farm equipment or sold on the open market, all without competing for land with food crops.
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MEDICINE
ROCK ON
TROOPS STRIKE UP A TUNE TO REPAIR INJURED BRAINS
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ANDREW RDSENBLUM
The opening riff of Takin Care of Business” thumps rhythmically from an iPod as a room full of middle-aged military veterans tap in time on drums. This is the sound of brain rehab. Studies show that music can promote new neural connections, which Colorado State University neuroscientist Michael Thaut theorized could help overcome common symptoms of traumatic brain injury (TBI), such as short-term memory loss and impaired decisionmaking skills.
PopularScience_20100101_0276_001_0029.xml
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Samsung Electronics America Inc.
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Samsung Electronics America Inc.
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HEADLINES
SHRINKAGE
SMALL SOUND
A POCKET-SIZED SCANNER SPOTS HEALTH TROUBLES
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Three minutes. That's how long it will take your doctor to use the world's smallest ultrasound device to find out if your chest pain is caused by fluid buildup around your heart—an early sign of congestive heart failure—or if it's just last night's chicken vindaloo.
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DISASTER TECH
FINDING LEVIATHAN
A COMPUTER ANALYSIS PREDICTS ROGUE WAVES
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For centuries, sailors recounted tales of giant waves that arose from otherwise calm seas and washed ships away. In 1995, scientists confirmed the legend when an 84-foot-tall wall of water slammed an oil rig in the North Sea. Now, with much of the world economy tied up in offshore oil rigs and cargo shipping (and, in the future, offshore wind farms), scientists have developed a new theoretical model that could predict freak-wave danger zones.
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AWESOME! NOW WHAT?
EVERY BREATH YOU ATE
INHALABLE CHOCOLATE PAVES THE WAY FOR A SAFER TB VACCINE
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JENNY EVERETT
In 2007, David Edwards, a biomedical engineer at Harvard University, gave his students a project: Develop a way to inhale food, rather than chewing and swallowing it. "They took a whiff of everything from pepper to carrots and coughed a lot," Edwards says.
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Advertisements
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Samsung Electronics America, Inc.
HT-BD3252T
Samsung Electronics America, Inc.
HTBDl250T
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FEATURES
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SPACE, INC.
GO TO THE MOON. GO TO MARS. Land an astronaut on an asteroid. With ambitions like these, does NASA really have time to play bus driver to the International Space Station? The thrifty innovators behind the bustling private-space industry say they can do the grunt work better and cheaper, and this year NASA may take them up on the offer
BY LEAVING TASKS SHORT OF THE MOON TO PRIVATE ENTERPRISE, “NASA CAN ACTUALLY FOCUS ON DOING THE COOL STUFF.”
HOUSTON, WE HAVE A SOLUTION
SPACEX COULD DO ISS TRIPS FOR $20 MILLION PER SEAT. “NO LATER THAN THREE YEARS FROM TOMORROW” MUSK PROMISES.
WHO’S ON TOP?
Sizing up the private race to space
OUT OF THE BLUE
“IF ALL WE DO IN LIFE IS SOLVE ANOTHER BLOODY PROBLEM, THAT’S DEPRESSING. YOU NEED THINGS THAT INSPIRE PEOPLE."
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SAM HOWE VERHOVEK
Mojave is a boneyard, a place where commercial airliners go to die. Yet on the day I visited last October, there was life in the wide blue sky overhead, and it was more striking than the sight of even the most modern airliner. I saw a kind of flying catamaran streaking from west to east.
PopularScience_20100101_0276_001_0035.xml
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THE GREEN DREAM
STAGE #5:
THE VERTICAL GARDEN
ONE MAN'S MISSION TO BUILD AN ECO-FRIENDLY, AFFORDABLE HOME
ROOFTOP GREENERY GUARDS AGAINST WATER DAMAGE AND BLAND MEALS
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JOHN B. CARNETT
WHAT'S A GREEN home without actual greenery? I wanted my eco-friendly house to feel more connected to nature, so I turned the flat stretches of roof into gardens. Rooftop flora is not only scenic, but it can also protect a home against temperature extremes, absorb carbon dioxide, and triple the life span of a roof.
PopularScience_20100101_0276_001_0036.xml
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Four Ways to Green Up Your Greenery
WHAT’S INSIDE
A Green Roof
ALREADY HAVE A HOME?
E-YARD GEAR
ECD-INSECTICIDE
A REEL MOWER
SMART WATERING
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Nearly 17 million gallons of gas are spilled annually refilling yard equipment. Ryobi's new batterypowered chainsaw, string trimmer, leaf blower and hedge trimmer recharge in an hour, without a wasted drop of fuel. Plus, there's no worrying about changing spark plugs.
PopularScience_20100101_0276_001_0037.xml
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YOUR GUIDE TO THE YEAR IN SCIENCE 2010
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BIG PHARMA TEETERS ON THE EDGE OF THE PATENT CLIFF
The end of patents on some of the biggest drugs means cheaper generics now but may mean fewer new drugs later
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COREY BINNS
So long, Lipitor. See you later, Advair. This year marks the beginning of the socalled patent cliff, when pharmaceutical companies lose exclusive patent rights to many of their top-selling brand-name drugs. Companies could cede $140 billion in sales by 2016 as cheap generic versions move onto the market.
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POPSCI PREDICTS SCIENCE OF 2010
MEDICINE
A 21ST-CENTURY MEDICINE CHEST
FOUR DRUGS SET TO HIT PHARMACY SHELVES THIS YEAR
ALL-IN-ONE HEART PILL
SAFER BLOOD THINNER
FASTER WEIGHT LOSS
MORE DIABETES RELIEF
FESSING UP TO GREENHOUSE-GAS SOURCES
2010 TIMELINE
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Ferrer Laboratories brings out a pill that includes three drugs to protect against heart attacks and costs less to buy than the individual pills. Combining aspirin and drugs to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, the pill could make patients more likely to take their medicine.
PopularScience_20100101_0276_001_0039.xml
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POPSCI PREDICTS SCIENCE OF 2010
SPACE AND AVIATION
LIFTOFF!
WHO AND WHAT ARE HEADED TO SPACE
NEW FREIGHTER TAKES FLIGHT
Last call for Airbus's new military cargo plane
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Three cameras onboard this minibus-size observatory will monitor solar activity to help scientists understand the mechanisms that underlie the sun's behavior and the solar cycle. MISSION: PRISMA WHO: Sweden LAUNCH: February The two Prisma craft, Mango and Tango, will dance together in orbit, testing technology that could lead to autonomous spaceflight using a combination of GPS, satellite-tracking cameras and radio signals.
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POPSCI PREDICTS SCIENCE OF 2010
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ON THIN ICE
CRYOSAT-2 FINALLY DELIVERS THE DEEPEST LOOK YET AT POLAR ICE
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c.s.
In late February, the European Space Agency will get a second chance to launch a satellite designed to take the most sensitive measurements yet of sea ice and glaciers. In 2005, the launch rocket failed to separate and brought the original CryoSat satellite crashing into the Arctic Ocean.
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POPSCI PREDICTS SCIENCE OF 2010
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LIFE AFTER DEATH?
Say goodbye to a number of space projects—for now
CASSINI SPACECRAFT: 1997-2010
LUNAR RECONNAISSANCE ORBITER: 2009-2010
ODYSSEY ORBITER: 2001-2010
DEEP IMPACT/EPOXI: 2005-2010
FINALLY, A CAMERAPHONE THAT DOESN'T SUCK
AUTONOMOUS ROVER PLUMBS THE DEPTHS
UNMANNED MILITARY SPACE EXPLORATION
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SANDEEP RAVINDRAN
FINAL ACT: Cassini finished its original mission of exploring Saturn and its moons in 2008. Its new Equinox mission to observe seasonal changes on Saturn extended its life to this year. SECOND LIFE? Likely to be extended again, Cassini will continue to send information and images until at least 2017.
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POPSCI PREDICTS SCIENCE OF 2010
ENVIRONMENT
FIRST-EVER CENSUS OF MARINE LIFE
Comprehensive data will aid in ocean conservation
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B.B.
Scientists have identified nearly a quarter of a million marine species to date, and 1,400 more are discovered every year. A decade ago, the world's leading ichthyologists, funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, embarked on a seemingly impossible task: to create a list of all known ocean species, showing where they live and how many of them exist.
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POPSCI PREDICTS SCIENCE OF 2010
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JOHNNYLAW GOES GREEN
NEW LAWS THAT WILL CHANGE OUR ECO-HABITS
COSTLY E-WASTE CLEANUP
BIODIESEL GETS OFFICIAL
CAP AND TRADE, FINALLY! (MAYBE)
PUBLIC JETPACK TEST FLIGHTS IN NEW ZEALAND
EASY COMMUTING
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Indiana joins 18 other states that have approved e-waste laws putting the bill for the recycling of sometimes-toxic electronics on device manufacturers. Seven of the states start collection this year. Manufacturers will be required to cover the cost of recycling electronics, including TVs and almost anything with a screen that measures at least four inches diagonally.
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POPSCI PREDICTS SCIENCE OF 2010
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CLEANING UP CHINA
HARMLESS HYDROPOWER
GREEN BUILDING
SUSTAINABLE WOOD
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HAZARD: Twelve new hydroelectric dams on the Yangtze River will disrupt the habitats of 188 fish species. CLEANUP COMMITTEE: The Nature Conservancy and Three Gorges Project Group Corporation will develop a restoration plan for affected wetlands and floodplains to maintain fish habitats.
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POPSCI PREDICTS SCIENCE OF 2010
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THREE BIG GREEN GAMBLES
CATCHING SOLAR RAYS
TRAPPING EXHAUST HEAT
HARVESTING ALGAE WITH FISH
3-D TV COMES HOME
TRAINING CELLS TO RECOGNIZE CANCER
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Sixty SunCatcher concentrated solar dishes— the most efficient in the world at converting solar energy—will be installed in Arizona early this month, powering 202 homes annually. Larger facilities are scheduled to break ground in California and Texas later in the year.
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POPSCI PREDICTS SCIENCE OF 2010
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GOING FOR GREEN
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MARY M. WOODSEN
THE PROGRESSIVE Automotive X Prize promises $10 million in prizes to the first cars that can maintain 100 mpg in a series of road races. Who will win? We've handicapped the field. MAINSTREAM-CLASS: Must have at least four wheels and seat four adults Delta Motorsport Britain: The all-electric E-4 coupe mounts an electric motor for each wheel on the chassis, netting it up to 95 percent drivetrain efficiency 3.5 times that of the standard car.
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POPSCI PREDICTS SCIENCE OF 2010
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ELECTRIC-CAR RESURRECTION
Carmakers Launch their battery-powered rides
MICROSOFT OFFICE INTRODUCES WEB APPS
SPACE SHUTTLE RETIRES?
WEARABLE EXOSKELETON ARRIVES
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SETH FLETCHER
Nearly three years after General Motors announced a concept car called the Chevrolet Volt, setting off an avalanche of hype, skepticism and imitation from other automakers, the electric-car renaissance is here-almost. This is the year major automakers have said they would give us the electric cars we were promised.
PopularScience_20100101_0276_001_0048.xml
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POPSCI PREDICTS SCIENCE OF 2010
TECHNOLOGY
THE FACES OF 2010
THREE PEOPLE WHO COULD WIN OR LOSE IT ALL IN THE NEW YEAR
CRAIG VENTER, BIOLOGIST
LORI GARVER, NASA DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR
RANDALL L. STEPHENSON, AT&T CHAIRMAN AND CEO
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c.B.
JOB: BUILD ARTIFICIAL LIFE On the agenda: Venter says he's in the final stage of creating the first synthetic biological organisms. Man-made organisms could churn out pharmaceuticals and carbon-neutral fuels. ExxonMobil is working with Venter's company, Synthetic Genomics, and, if all goes well, will invest up to $600 million in his synthetic-algae-based biofuels.
PopularScience_20100101_0276_001_0049.xml
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POPSCI PREDICTS SCIENCE OF 2010
TECHNOLOGY
BIRTHS & DEATHS
What's starting up or shutting down in the world of physics
DEATH: TEVATRON AT FERMI NATIONAL ACCELERATOR LABORATORY
BIRTH: NATIONAL IGNITION FACILITY
DEATH: PLANCK ORBITER
BIRTH: ATACAMA LARGE MILLIMETER/ SUBMILLIMETER ARRAY
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S.R.
The Tevatron is the most powerful proton accelerator in operation. It was due to shut down a year after the start of the higherenergy Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, the European center for particle physics near Geneva, Switzerland.
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POPSCI PREDICTS SCIENCE OF 2010
ENTERTAINMENT
POPCORN FODDER
2010’S SCI-FI BLOCKBUSTERS
IRON MAN 2
TRON LEGACY
GAMING IN 2010
TWO ANTICIPATED TIME SINKS THAT WILL DESTROY DUR SOCIAL LIVES
STARCRAFT II: WINGS OF LIBERTY
BRINK
COPS GET SUPER-'BOT
SUBORBITAL TEST FLIGHT
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A.E.
May 7 Robert Downey, Jr., returns to his double role as industrialist Tony Stark and crime fighter Iron Man. This time, he takes on Russian villain Whiplash and faces the Black Widow, along with industry rival Justin Hammer. It's Iron Man, so you know what to expect: lots of tech, big explosions and droll commentary.
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POPSCI PREDICTS SCIENCE OF 2010
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TV ON THE GO
Watch live TV on any screen, anywhere
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c.B.
This year, you won't need a living room to have a Super Bowl party. You won't even need a TV. For the first time, broadcasters in select cities will send the game live not just to big-screen TVs but also to cellphones, netbooks and other mobile devices.
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THE FUTURISTS
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Greetings from FUTURE CAMP
According to Ray Kurzweil, the Singularity is a point at which man will become one with machine and then live eternally—which makes Singularity University, a nine-week academic retreat named for the concept, sound a little cultish. Our writer traveled west to investigate and found 40 stunningly sane brainiacs out to change the world
“WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR FINGER?”
WHEN I ARRIVED ON CAMPUS, I EXPECTED TO ENCOUNTER A BUNCH OF SCI-FI NERDS WHO COULDN’T WAIT TO PLUG INTO THE MATRIX.
KURZWEIL SEEMS TO THINK WE CAN SINGULARIZE OUR WAY OUT OF ANYTHING.
IN THE END, S.U.’S ASSOCIATION WITH KURZWEIL SEEMED TO BE PRIMARILY A MARKETING TOOL TO ATTRACT ATTENTION AND TOP FACULTY
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JOSH DEAN
Bruce Klein asked after noticing my bandaged digit. Cooking injury, I told him. "Maybe we can sprinkle some nanobots in there and fix it up," Klein replied, and chuckled, though he was only sort of kidding. Prior to hanging his hat here in the administration office of Singularity University (S.U.), Klein produced the film Exploring Life Extension and coedited the book Scientific Conquest of Death, both of which are pretty selfexplanatory.
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HOW IT WORKS
3-D MOVIES
THE 3-D REVOLUTION
INSIDE THE SCENE-STEALING TECHNOLOGY USED TO MAKE JAMES CAMERON'S AVATAR
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James Cameron is stubborn. He decided nearly a decade ago to film his humansversus-aliens sci-fi adventure Avatar in 3-D, but he refused to start production until technology could convince the viewer that he or she could step through the screen and pick up a bow alongside the Navi, the film's 10-foot-tall, blue, catfaced alien protagonists.
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HOW IT WORKS
3-D MOVIES
HOW JAMES CAMERON MADE A TRULY LIFELIKE 3-D MOVIE
1. BUILD THE STAGE
2. CAPTURE MOTION
3. SHOOT IN 3-D
4. CLIMB INTO THE MOVIE
5. WATCH IT
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An array of 72 to 96 cameras, depending on the size of the set, hang around the perimeter of a sound stage and are configured in a grid. Later, a computer replaces the studio walls, floor and ceiling with digitally rendered three-dimensional environments and structures.
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HOW IT WORKS
POPSCI INTERVIEW
JAMES CAMERON
BEHIND THE 3-D MAGIC IS A DIRECTOR WHO WON'T LET EVEN THE LAWS OF PHYSICS GET IN THE WAY OF AN EPIC STORY
SCIENCE ADVISERS ARE ANNOYING:
BUT SOMETIMES SCIENTISTS ARE USEFUL:
AUDIENCES WILL LIKE IT ANYWAY:
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I have just enough of a science background to get me in trouble. When I'm writing, I'm thinking: What can cause a mountain to float? Well, if it was made out of an almost-pure room-temperature superconductor material, and it was in a powerful magnetic field, it would self-levitate.
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THE TEACHING COMPANY
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THE TEACHING COMPANY
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HOW 2.0
YOU BUILT WHAT?!
ROBO-LANCE
A BICYCLE BUILT FOR TWO: ONE RIDER AND ONE ROBOT TO DO ALL THE WORK
HOW IT WORKS
• POWERED-DOWN
• STABLE AND SAFE
• CURB APPEAL
• PEDAL-FREE
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The project began as a challenge. Carl Morgan's son Justin, recalling how he used to have to crank up a nasty hill outside their Bainbridge Island, Washington, home every day, asked his dad, a retired electrical engineer, if he could build something that would take care of the pedaling for a lazy biker.
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HOW 2.0
THINGS YOU CAN WATCH . . .
TO GET YOUR SCIENCE FIX
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Observe the world’s largest elephants— as well as lions, giraffes and other wildlife in South Africa’s Tembe Elephant Park—on a live webcam at africa-webcams.com. No beasts in sight? Try the Smithsonian National Zoo’s webcam page (nationalzoo.si.edu) to spy more than 20 kinds of critters in captivity.
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Select Comfort
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Select Comfort
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HOW 2.0
GRAY MATTER
HOLD YOUR FIRE
A WIRE SCREEN IS ALL IT TAKES TO PREVENT DANGEROUS GASES FROM EXPLODING
RE-CREATING A DAVY LAMP
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If you were a coal miner in the early 1800s, the light you used was an open-flame oil lamp—even though mines were sometimes filled with "fire-damp," a volatile mixture of air and methane gas. Explosions were inevitable, and at times threw bodies from mine shafts like grapeshot from a cannon.
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Newsmax
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Newsmax
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HOW 2.0
BUILD IT
THE PIZZA CAM
ASSEMBLE A SYSTEM THAT NOTIFIES YOU WHEN SOMEONE’S AT YOUR DOOR
MAKE A PIZZA CAM
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THERE'S NOTHING BETTER than Guys' Night, an evening of gaming or movies in my basement media room. The only trouble is when we (invariably) order pizza, because I can't hear the doorbell from there. The solution: an inexpensive DIy digital surveillance system tied to Twitter.
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Advertisement: Science Illustrated
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Science Illustrated
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HOW 2.0
CHEAP TRICKS
IN WITH THE OLD
SAVE MONEY—WHILE STILL TAKING GREAT PICTURES— BY USING A VINTAGE LENS WITH YOUR DIGITAL CAMERA
ADAPT A MANUAL LENS TO YOUR DSLR
EASY 10000 HARD
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One of the key features of digital SLR cameras is the ability to change lenses to get a wide range of shots, from ultra-zooms to super-close-ups. And now DSLR owners no longer need to spend a bundle on high-end lenses to take advantage of their camera's functionality—there's a way to use older, far less expensive manual-focus lenses instead.
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HOW 2.0
WINTER PROJECT OF THE MONTH
THE SNOW CLOCK
WINTER PROJECT OF THE MONTH
WEB SITE OF THE MONTH
WHERESMYCELLPHONE.COM
FLOPPY-DISK PASSWORD HIDER*
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Tired of hearing his alarm clock buzzing on school snow days in New York's Hudson River Valley, middle-school student Patrick Insinger hacked it with an Arduino micro controller and a relay circuit controlled by software he modified. The program is set up to check a local Web site that reports school closings.
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HOW 2.0
ASK A GEEK
HOW CAN STREAM MUSIC AROUND MY HOUSE?
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Feel chained to your tunes? There are a number of ways to get your home music library from your computer to other rooms. You could go the DIY route and set up another computer on your wireless network to share songs. But for a simpler setup, go with a dedicated media-streaming device.
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gravity defyer
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gravity defyer
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Tempur-Pedic Management, Inc.
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Tempur-Pedic Management, Inc.
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FYI
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Q Can microwave technology be used to make food cold?
Just how old is dirt?
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A Microwaves can transform a frozen pizza into hot, melted goodness in four minutes flat, but they can't rescue your melted ice-cream sundae. To cook food, a microwave oven converts voltage into high-frequency electromagnetic microwaves.
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Tempur-Pedic Management, Inc.
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Tempur-Pedic Management, Inc.
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Valentine Research, Inc.
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Valentine Research, Inc.
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Hydro-Sil
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CERTIFIED COMPANY
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CERTIFIED COMPANY
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plasma CAM inc.
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plasma CAM inc.
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EPILOG LASER: Zing 24 Laser
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EPILOG LASER
Zing 24 Laser
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MacNeil Automotive Products Limited
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MacNeil Automotive Products Limited
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HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS
3000 LB. CAPACITY LIGHTWEIGHT ALUMINUM RACING JACK
HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS
MULTIFUNCTION POWER TOOL
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Smile Train
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Smile Train
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POPULAR SCIENCE DIRECT
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THE FUTURE THEN
FROM THE POPULAR SCIENCE ARCHIVES
MAY 1949 Step by Step
ROCKET MAN
APRIL 1920
FUEL FOR THOUGHT
OCTOBER 1929
WINGED WONDERS
MAY 1989
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AMY GEPPERT
Just 12 years before the first manned space flight, American scientists were still grappling with how to break away from the Earth's gravitational pull. To do so, a craft needs to travel at more than 25,000 mph. And although the U.S. Army's record-setting 5,000mph rocket was impressive at the time, scientists realized that much more research was necessary.
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Google, Inc.
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Google, Inc.
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