Ever heard of a ‘memristor’?

Even if you haven’t, you may soon be using one. Scientists at Hewlett-Packard have just built the first one – and it looks very interesting. According to a news report: Basic electronics theory teaches that there are three fundamental elements of a passive circuit – resistors, capacitors and inductors. But in the 1970s, Leon Chua of the University of California at Berkeley, theorised there should be a fourth called a memory resistor, or memristor, for short, and he worked out the mathematical equations to prove it. Now, a team at Hewlett-Packard led by Stanley Williams has proven that ‘memristance’ exists.

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Let your fingers do the . . . vomiting???

A news report warns that your computer keyboard may be five times dirtier and less hygienic than the average toilet seat. Many users are at risk of becoming ill with stomach bugs, according to the consumer group Which? It warned that ‘qwerty tummy’, named after the first six letters on a keyboard, could sweep through workplaces after tests on equipment in its own London offices showed alarming results. One keyboard was so dirty that a microbiologist ordered it to be removed, quarantined and cleaned. It had 150 times the acceptable limit for bacteria and was five times as filthy as

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Now here’s an offer you can’t refuse!

Sometimes I find a Web page that makes me laugh out loud. This is one. From their advertising blurb: Now you can own one of the actual bullets fired at Hillary Clinton by Bosnian Snipers in 1996. From the harrowing tale of bravery lived by First Lady Hillary and daughter Chelsea, comes a rare historical artifact, an actual Bosnian Sniper’s bullet, that very well could have changed the course of history forever. The world witnessed it. History recorded it. Hillary told it! After thousands of painstaking hours of investigation, exploration and tense negotiations with nefarious clandestine snipers and secret contacts

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The motorized unicycle Segway clone???

I don’t think I want one of these for Christmas, thank you. According to the Daily Mail: A young inventor has created a motorbike with a twist – it uses two wheels but they are positioned right next to each other, giving it the illusion of being a powered unicycle. And even better, it might help save the planet. Ben Gulak has spent several years building the electric Uno that uses gyroscopic technology – like the infamous Segway commuter device – to stay upright. The bizarre-looking contraption has only one switch – on or off – and is controlled entirely

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How many people drink the bathwater?

Fancy a frothy beauty treatment? The Chodovar Family Brewery in the Czech Republic has come up with just the thing. According to a review in the Sydney Morning Herald, Australia: Klara is a balneologist, a master and commander of the bath. She tells us that while a regular tap pipes in locally sourced Il-Sano mineral water, our tubs will also contain 8-10 litres of unpasteurised Chodovar 10, a dark brew that is pouring rapidly from a brass beer font fixed to the foot of each bath. Add some crushed herbs and dried yeast, mix it all together and you have

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The wisdom of the unsage

Via e-mail from Fred (thanks, buddy!) I received these side-splitters. 1. Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak. 2. A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well. 3. He, who laughs last, thinks slowest. 4. A day without sunshine is like, well, night. 5. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine. 6. Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don’t. 7. Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool. 8. The 50-50-90 rule: Anytime you have a

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Ouch!

If any of you are racing fans (of the automotive variety), you may have been watching the second round of the Le Mans series over the weekend. If so, you would have seen Stéphane Ortelli total his Courage-Oreca LMP1 in rather spectacular fashion. In case you missed it . . . here it is. Would you believe he walked away from that with only an ankle injury? Peter

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Five centuries later, it works!

More than half a millennium ago (523 years, to be exact), Leonardo da Vinci designed a parachute. His design languished unused and largely forgotten (probably because human flight was a few centuries ahead, and no-one thought of jumping out of windows with such things). Since parachutes became more widespread, there’s been interest in finding out whether Leonardo’s design would work. There was one problem, however. He used a wooden frame to hold his parachute open. Such things don’t fit very well through small aircraft doors – or into parachute packs, for that matter. In 2000 Adrian Nicholas tried to use

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Weekend Wings #16: First Across The Atlantic

For over half a century, aviation has been taken for granted by the public. From the end of World War II, civil aviation has offered fast, convenient service to almost anywhere on Earth (or, at least, near enough to make it easy to get the rest of the way by alternative means of transport). Accidents, while tragic and often spectacular, are relatively rare. Flying is (statistically speaking) the safest means of mass transport out there. It wasn’t always that way. We tend to forget that one of the primary attributes of those who paved the way for future fliers wasn’t

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I’ve been tagged

Don has tagged me for the latest blog fad meme. OK. Here goes. The rules are: 1. Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more. No cheating!2. Find page 123.3. Find the first five sentences.4. Post the next three sentences.5. Tag five people. My three sentences: True, German propaganda had built them up as a force to be dreaded, and their tough reputation alone worked wonders – many an enemy unit threw in the towel just knowing they were coming, whether they parachuted behind enemy lines or not. On the other hand, thought Linton more practically, the boots

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