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Thursday, December 8, 2016

New Atlas

Some people live truly extraordinary lives, and US Air Force pilot Brian Shul is certainly one of them. Shot down and burned half to death over Cambodia, he worked his way back to the top of the game, eventually flying the most extreme aircraft ever built.   Read more
As another year draws to a close, it's time to once again look back at some of the highlights of the past 12 months – in this case, as they pertain to the world of cycling gadgets!   Read more
If you look through our picks for the best smartphones of the year, you'll see familiar names like Apple, Samsung and Google. Unless you're a mobile junkie, though, you might not recognize the maker of the single best value of 2016: OnePlus.   Read more
2016 has been a big year for tiny houses, from small, affordable weekenders to larger, more expensive towable homes that offer nearly as much space as a small brick-and-mortar house. Read on for our pick of the most innovative, interesting, and attractive tiny houses we've seen this year​.   Read more
A group of software developers from Scandiweb has set a new Guinness World Record for the largest Rube Goldberg machine ever built. In front of a cheering crowd, the 412-step machine took nearly 15 minutes before the final step lit up the central Christmas tree in Riga, Lativa.   Read more
The Halley VI Research Station provides crucial scientific data from its base on the Brunt Ice Shelf in Antartica. However, a growing crack in the ice threatens to cut it off from the rest of the ice shelf, so it must now be moved to a new location.   Read more
Classic muscle cars weren't known for being easy vehicles to drive. It's a very different story in 2016, with the advent of traction control turning big, powerful muscle cars into pussycats. Now Dodge is making life easier again, adding all-wheel drive to the Challenger.   Read more
A little different from other self-parking research vehicles we've seen, Audi's Q2 deep learning concept is a 1:8-scale model that relies on machine learning to help it hunt down its mini parking space and maneuver itself inside.   Read more
Research from the University of Western Australia has shown that plants can learn by association, like Pavlov's dogs. The scientists conditioned seedlings to associate light with the wind from a fan, and found that the plants learned to use the fan to predict where light would next appear.   Read more
One of the rarest surviving Enigma cipher machines has sold at auction for a record price of US$463,500. The fully operational Enigma M4 was made to send secret messages to the German U-boat packs at the height of WWII.   Read more
It wasn't long after Amazon introduced Echo that it became clear the company was interested in more than just selling the device. Alexa has since found its way into other devices – now including a lamp.  Read more
With the Oasis concept, Rinspeed attempts to reestablish itself as the world's most out-there automotive visionary, throwing the kitchen sink in and reinventing the car as an all-in-one home and garden, detail-oriented personal assistant, amateur biographer, entrepreneur and mobile office.   Read more
Although we’ve been using concrete for hundreds of years, the recipe can always use some improvement. Researchers at Rice University have found a way to “program” cement particles into specific shapes in order to make concrete that’s stronger, less porous, and more environmentally friendly.   Read more
​The transition from autonomous driving to manual control requires some adjustment by the human involved, which could open a window to accidents. New research from Stanford University has measured how that transition takes place in varied conditions.  Read more
Permanent bag tags could soon reduce airport check-in times to nil and one company is hoping its permanent luggage tag will be the only one that travelers will ever need.​   Read more
Looking to rule out the possibility of blood samples spoiling when being transported by drone, scientists have loaded the aircraft up with blood bags and closely monitored their makeup before and after the journey, finding that the flight had no observable impact on the quality of the goods. ​   Read more
Doctors start administering antibiotics as soon as they suspect that harmful bacteria are in the bloodstream. Using these too often, however, can lead to antibiotic resistance. That's why scientists are developing a method of blood purification that involves drawing the bacteria out with magnets.​   Read more
Scientists have studied sediment taken from rooftop gutters across Europe and discovered cosmic dust hidden within, marking the first time these extraterrestrial sprinkles have turned up in urban environments.​   Read more
Toyota has unveiled new engines based on its Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), to be used in both standard gasoline and hybrid vehicles. The company says that the recently-developed, more efficient engines will begin rolling out in 2017.   Read more
A new robot built at UC Berkeley is out to prove that size doesn't matter when it comes to leaping into the air. The SALTO robot might be compact, but that hasn't stopped it from boasting what is described as the highest vertical jumping agility of any robot.  Read more
Car and aircraft engine makers are all chasing engine weight savings, but boat makers too are getting in on the act. Yamaha has unveiled a new F25 motor, which is just as powerful as the engine it replaces, but significantly lighter.   Read more
It's all too easy to forget to put an automatic transmission car in "park," but the consequences of a parked car rolling away can be very serious. Ford has developed "Return to Park" functionality, which detects when a driver is exiting a vehicle and automatically selects the P mode.   Read more
Sydney startup Inamo has developed the Curl, a wearable, waterproof device containing a prepaid NFC chip that can bring tap-and-go payments to any regular watch, fitness tracker or piece of jewelry.   Read more
​SpaceX has set back the date for its next Falcon 9 launch until sometime in January. The company says the much anticipated return after a Falcon 9's launchpad explosion on September 1 was delayed to make time to ensure the safety of the flight.   Read more
A solar-powered plane that is to be ​flown to the edge of space has been officially unveiled today. The SolarStratos plane is powered by 22 sq m (237 sq ft) of solar panels and will be flown to an altitude of 25,000 m to demonstrate and explore the potential of the technology.   Read more
Just not that into hot coffee? Dripo is the slow drip cold brew coffee machine of your dreams. This handy 2-in-1 device is a great addition to your kitchen, but is also super portable to give you the perfect cuppa on the go. It's easy: Add coffee grounds and filter to the coffee section, add cold water to the top section, assemble, and you've got fresh cold brew just 2 hours later.   Read more