It probably wouldn't seem so funny if a mountain's worth of snow were tumbling down the slope after you, but on its own, the Life Bag looks like a lock for ridiculous product of the year. In an avalanche situation, though, you pull a handle to inflate the bags, which keep you on your back, with your head up and out of the snow.
If you're buried, Snowpulse, the company that designed them, says the bags deflate and create a cavity around you, providing some breathing room. OK, so maybe they're not so funny after all.—Gregory Mone
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.