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     Volume 5 Issue 111 | September 8, 2006 |

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Technology for Nature Lovers
The Kestrel 4000 is a mini weather monitor that can measure every major environmental condition, including Barometric Pressure, Altitude, Density Altitude, Temperature, Humidity, Wind Speed, Wind Chill, Dew Point, Wet Bulb, and Heat Index. It can recall and graph up to 2,000 measurements. Best of all, it fits in your pocket. This is surely a gizmo every outdoors person would love.

Science Projects That's Sure to Scare Us

ITER Tokamak Fusion Reactor

This doughnut-shaped magnetic reactor will ignite a "burning plasma" by 2015. Sounds cool, but to paraphrase one Nobel physicist: The problem with trying to bottle the sun is that we don't know how to make the bottle.


Pain Gun

Scientists with the US military are working on an electromagnetic pulse weapon that induces the sensation of pain from a distance. Ultimately, they hope to fine-tune the pulses to control muscles as well. Fantastic: a gun that turns people into puppets writhing in a theatre of misery.

Ionosphere Heater

Here's an idea: Build an array of 180 antennas in Alaska to beam radio waves at the ionosphere the upper layer of Earth's atmosphere creating an electric field that interacts with charged particles. Operated by the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Programme, this disruption can raise the temperature of the ionosphere by as much as 30 percent over a 9- to 40-kilometre radius. It's targeted global warming.


Radioactive Scorpion Venom

Synthesise the venom of the deadly yellow Israeli scorpion, attach a radioactive substance called iodine-131 and inject it into patients with inoperable brain cancer. The venom is supposed to deliver the radiation only to tumour cells. Miracle cure or great origin story for a Marvel villain?

A Timepiece for Travellers
If you're a business traveller who seems to wake up in a different city every week, you probably need something like the Nixon Connect Watch to help you keep your bearings. It can display the time for 37 cities and allows you to set five favourites for quick access. You can also set "home" and "away" alarms for any time zone. Plus, we like its retro-futuristic style. This watch is now available for USD 170.

Revolutionary Microscope
Florida State University scientists say they have developed a new light microscope capable of looking at proteins on the molecular level. Researchers said the microscope -- created with the help of FSU's National High Magnetic Field Laboratory -- is so powerful it allows scientists to peer deep inside cells to see the fundamental organisation of the key structures within. As the technology advances, it may prove to be a key factor in unlocking the molecular-level secrets of intracellular dynamics, said Davidson, who directs the magnet lab's Optical Microscopy Group.

Child-Proof Shifting Required
More than a decade ago auto manufacturers added "brake-shift interlock systems" that require pressing on the brake when shifting gears. But each year there are tales of children injured or killed by runaway vehicles that are put into gear by kids, so the feature will soon become standard. While 90 percent or more of vehicles today include that feature, the remaining holdouts will add the technology by 2010. The estimated cost is just $5 per vehicle, so preventing needless deaths is obviously worth the price. It will be interesting to see which vehicles don't have the interlock when companies come clean.



Compiled by IMRAN H. KHAN

Source: Wired and Webindia123


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