This is not a metaphor. It is, in fact, rather difficult to fight invisible fires—as demonstrated by this clip from the 1981 Indianapolis 500, where fuel accidentally sprayed on a hot engine ignited an invisible, smoke-less fire on the car ... and on the racer and his crew. Everybody in this video survived, but it made me curious about what fuel they were using. Also: Why, if it's this difficult to put out invisible flames, would you use a fuel that produced invisible flames to begin with?
You might expect this was just the result of a bad decision. You'd be wrong. From 1965 until 2006, Indy cars ran on methanol, a fuel that's still used in a lot of other car racing categories, as well as in Monster Trucks. (And by the Chinese, who make it from coal.) Mostly made from the methane in natural gas, methanol was actually chosen as a racing fuel because it was safer than gasoline.
OK, it’s not quite Dr. Crusher’s dermal regenerator (seen above), but Arizona State University researchers have demonstrated a laser system for sealing wounds. The system involves a sealing paste — made from silk protein mixed with gold nanorods — that bonds with skin when heated with a laser. From IEEE Spectrum: To use a laser […]
There’s scientific truth to the saying that you never forget how to ride a bike. Even if you can’t remember phone numbers, birthdays, or where the hell you parked your car, it’s likely that even if you haven’t been on a bicycle in decades, you can climb on and ride away just fine. Why? Neuropsychologist […]
At some point, it happens to everyone: Your car breaks down. Your electricity fails at home. And if it happens at night, the first tool you need is your vision. There’s a more reliable way to get it back than that nearly-dead penlight at the back of your junk drawer or glove compartment: The UltraBright […]
The key to learning any new language is feedback. When you’re immersed in conversation, it’s easy to pick up key phrases and pronunciation, but not all of us have the means to jet off to Spain, France or wherever we can learn to speak like a local. The next best thing: The Mondly app. Mondly […]
Got a gadget-minded geek on your holiday list this year? Don’t wait for Black Friday. The prices are already dropping on some quality tech toys, and we’ve got a roundup of some of our favorites. Force Flyers DIY Building Block Drone MSRP: $49.99 | Normally: $42.99 | Price Drop: $39.99 (20% Off) Compatible with everybody’s […]