243: Rocketbook Wave: Cloud-Ready Microwavable Notebook — August 8, 2016

243: Rocketbook Wave: Cloud-Ready Microwavable Notebook

When I first read the name of this notebook, the first question that popped up was, “Why on Earth would I need to microwave a notebook?”

Apparently to erase the text within it and reuse the notebook.

The idea is really cool especially if you’ve ever used products like the Samsung Galaxy Note and discovered it’s not quite like using pen and paper. So how it works is this;

-You write in this special notebook

-You take a picture using your phone

-It processes the image (as shown below) and uploads the pages onto the cloud

– You erase the notebook by putting it in the microwave

For some reason I imagined a crook writing something they didn’t want anybody to see and then discovers that the cops are closing in on him, so he throws the notebook into the microwave before running away…the evidence lost forever.

To read more about it go to; https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/rocketbook-wave-cloud-ready-microwavable-notebook#/

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#244:Flak Sack Theft-Resistant Drawstring Backpack — May 30, 2016

#244:Flak Sack Theft-Resistant Drawstring Backpack

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Flak sack might look like any tote bag, but it’s not. The bag is quite interesting because of the following features;

1) Secure Locking System
2) Extreme Cut & Slash Resistant
3) Industrial Strength and Incredibly Soft
4) RFID Blocking Technology
5) Water Resistant

Some of these terms made sense to me as soon as I read them, but others didn’t so I had to read more.

Extreme Cut & Slash Resistant

It means the bags are resistant to being cut by knife blades because they’re made of a double-layer of the most advanced cut resistant fabric in the world. According to their Indiegogo page, they’re “Woven from a proprietary blend of high molecular weight polyethylene (HMWPE) and other state-of-the-art fibers, the fabric was originally developed for use in high performance body armor and personal protection under-garments for law enforcement, corrections, and security workers.[The] bags are 5 times more cut resistant than Kevlar®, a material known for its use in bulletproof vests.”

RFID Blocking Technology

An internal pocket is made with RFID blocking material, saving the user from “electronic pick-pocketing” where a person can steal your identity and personal data from passports/credit cards/identity cards without any contact.

Of course with such features, the tote bag is also expensive (179 USD). Also, one common advice we’re told when we’re in impoverished countries where theft is popular is to have something to give a thief so they won’t harm you. In the case of this bag, deranged thieves might become so frustrated when they are unable to cut the bag they might try to hurt you instead, so maybe the bag should come with an undervest made from the same Cut and Slash Resistant material? Just an idea.

To contribute to their Indiegogo, follow their link;  https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/flak-sack-the-theft-resistant-drawstring-backpack#/

#245: Musana Carts — May 25, 2016

#245: Musana Carts

I frequently crawl the internet in search for interesting, creative ideas to write about on this blog. One such website is Indiegogo, which is a crowdfunding websites where entrepreneurs start campaigns for their ideas, and get funded by people like you and me. No more begging Venture Capitalists for money.

So this is a campaign that I find quite interesting; Musana Carts. If you come from an African country like myself then you’re familiar with vendor carts from which aunties and uncles sell their produce and cooked foods. Some of these vendor stalls are stationary, they’re basically a coal-powered stove next to a table where sellers have to endure the toxic fumes to cook food for customers. The mobile ones are carts on wheels and they don’t have the advantage of being connected to electricity, so people like Baba Katchri in Mombasa has to make the rounds before sunset, and God help him if he runs out of phone charge….

This is where Musana Carts comes in to change the scene of street vendor carts. It uses solar power to power fridges, sockets and cooking stoves. The design is quite simplistic and compact. You can read more about the project here and support it by donating to it; https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/musana-carts-the-solar-street-vending-revolution–2/x/6760702#/musana_infogra_why-01_mlskvf

 

#246: Shoes from Plastic Waste —

#246: Shoes from Plastic Waste

adidas-3d-printed-shoe

I recently read about the 3-d printed shoes that Adidas and Parley for the Oceans are making out of ocean plastic. Even though it’s just a prototype, the idea is so cool. It shows how companies don’t always need to be soul-less entities that destroy the environment. The shoe looks great too…for something that used to be trash. It’s particularly good news for sea turtles and other marine life that used to be poisoned and killed by plastic thrown into the oceans.

But I’m wondering if it’s going to be cheaper considering the source of the majority of the shoe. Also I wonder how consumers will react to this; will they want to run in shoes that used to be trash? What do you think?

Well, Adidas…Kudos to you!

Sources

http://www.businessinsider.com/adidas-makes-3d-printed-shoe-from-plastic-ocean-waste-2015-12

#247: Trojan Horse Nanoparticles — May 1, 2016

#247: Trojan Horse Nanoparticles

So it seems surgery is not always a foolproof way of removing all cancerous cells. Sometimes residual cancerous cells stay behind, and surgery needs to be followed up by radiation therapy or chemotherapy. But what if it doesn’t? What if oncologists can send in an army to infiltrate the cancerous cells and destroy them from the inside like in a Trojan Horse attack?

Dmitri Lapotko and colleagues conducted interesting experiments on mice that had been implanted with human squamous cell carcinoma…here are the details;

One physiological aspect of solid cancer tumors is how their blood vessels tend to be leaky. This could be exploited so that an injection of gold nanoparticles into the bloodstream end up with those particles seeping out and gathering around the tumor, only to be engulfed by the actual cells in an attempt to clean up their surroundings. With the nanoparticles inside, life is all dandy for the cancerous tumor until…

An ultrashort infrared pulse is fired.

This IR pulse caused temperatures to rise where the gold nanoparticles clustered, vaporizing adjacent water molecules, creating tiny bubbles that quickly expand and burst, blowing up the cancer cell from within.

*Evil laugh*

The key according to Lapotko, is that “nanoparticle clusters produce nanobubbles in cancer cells and not normal tissue.”

It would be interesting to see where this research goes in the future.

News source; http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/02/exploding-nanobubbles-can-kill-cancer-cells

Image via; http://www.businesskorea.co.kr/english/news/sciencetech/5392-advances-cancer-treatment-korean-research-team-develops-new-nanomaterial

#248: 3D Print a Kidney, anyone? — February 19, 2016

#248: 3D Print a Kidney, anyone?

Switch off CNN, BBC and all the negative news segments they carry…Instead, survey another less-discussed part of the world; the world of scientific discoveries. People are already 3D printing miniature sized kidneys! How fascinating is that? Soon we’ll be moving away from a world where an algorithm determines where a donor kidney goes, because if a patient needs a kidney, all he’ll have to do is click Print. Of course it’s not that simple, but think of the possibilities in a world where kidneys and other organs could be 3D printed.

People won’t have to wait for bad news to hit another family to receive their organs.

People crippled by dialysis bills would just need to pay one bill –for a new kidney.

People won’t need to request family members or friends to donate a kidney, and feel the sense of rejection if they can but won’t do it.

Videos to watch on this:

https://www.ted.com/talks/anthony_atala_printing_a_human_kidney?language=en

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tpy9NShieZg

What are your thoughts on this?

#249: Are We Ready For MicroFish Invading our Bodies? — February 5, 2016

#249: Are We Ready For MicroFish Invading our Bodies?

3D‐Printed Artificial Microfish
According to Jacobs School of Engineering website, nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego 3D printed multipurpose fish-shaped microrobots — called microfish. They were made to swim around efficiently in liquids, are chemically powered by hydrogen peroxide and can be controlled magnetically. These synthetic microfish could allow for detoxification and drug delivery inside the body.

So imagine a group of your own 3D printed superheroes being inserted into your body to feed on toxins and deliver drugs to specific sites. How cool would that be? I’m imagining science-fiction-like scenes where these mcirofish decide to go rogue and start feeding on healthy human organ cells. Would a SWAT team of microfish be sent in to fetch them, or would surgery be done to get them out by force. Coming to think about it? What are the dangers of having such foreign objects roaming around in the human body? But then again, if patients are willing to put radioactive tracers in their bodies for diagnosing internal bleeding or problems with the thyroid gland, then a school of fish feeding on toxins might not be that bad.

I can’t wait to see the future application of this research.

Source: http://jacobsschool.ucsd.edu/news/news_releases/release.sfe?id=1797

 

#250 Smartphone case with a hand-crank — January 22, 2016

#250 Smartphone case with a hand-crank

You’re in the middle of the desert and your phone is out of charge. Your power pack is out of charge and there’s no electrical source to charge your phone (or power pack). What do you do? Thankfully, somebody invented a smartphone case with a hand-crank[1]. Even though the concept of a hand crank is a bit old-school, this is a really cool idea, and it’s practical because according to AMPWare developers, 5 minutes of crank time might give you upto an hour of smartphone usage and twenty minutes of talk time. That’s enough time to call for help if someone is in trouble. Unless they’re off the network as well as off the electrical grid. Then that’s another story.

Another way you can use this is, let’s say you have hyperactive kids who always play on your smartphone and finish the charger. Hide the electrical charger and make a rule and tell them they can only use it if they hand-crank the power. Because they’ll be physically working for the phone, they might get bored and lose interest sooner than usual. Or not.

There’s a heartfelt story behind this invention. The main villain; Hurricane Katrina. According to the website, the company owners were directly effected by the hurricane. They got separated from their loved ones and they relied on their cell phones to keep in touch with family and friends. Mark had a crank-powered radio with him, but since the radio wasn’t really helpful, he wished for a crank-powered phone instead.

Check out the website! http://getampware.com/

 

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[1]http://www.cultofmac.com/407725/hand-cranked-iphone-battery-case-puts-you-in-charge/