A 3-D holographic body scanner uses ultrahigh-frequency radiowaves to
illuminate non-metal weapons concealed beneath clothing.
By Michael MoyerPosted 03.27.2003 at 4:04 pm 0 Comments
A new security screening technology once criticized as working too well -- it exposed everything hidden beneath your clothes, weapons and otherwise -- has now cleaned up its act. Developed by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the three-dimensional full-body scanner uses harmless long-wave radio signals, about the same frequency as satellite television signals, to recognize concealed weapons. Unlike a metal detector, the so-called holographic scanner detects metallic and non-metallic objects, like carbon-fiber blades, liquids, ceramics and plastic explosives.
Carbon monoxide makes the world's smallest circuit.
By Katie GreenePosted 03.27.2003 at 3:55 pm 0 Comments
In the never-ending quest for smaller electronics, IBM has produced a computer circuit so small that 200 billion could fit comfortably on your thumbnail. The world's most petite molecular circuit touts digital-logic elements about 260,000 times tinier than those used in today's most advanced silicon circuitry -- and uses 100,000 times less energy. "This is a milestone in the quest for nanometer-scale computer circuitry," claims physicist Andreas Heinrich of IBM's Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California.
Running shoes are laced with confusing technology.
Here's how to score a perfect fit.
By Jenny EverettPosted 03.27.2003 at 2:24 pm 0 Comments
Running shoes used to be running shoes. Now, thanks to a Nike-inspired marketing war, you face hundreds of choices tagged with bewildering techno-jargon, and the penalties for picking the wrong kicks are painful -- from blisters to shin splints to stress fractures. This holds true whether you're pounding out 5- or 50-mile weeks. This spring's crop is as perplexing as ever, so we've translated the specs. Turns out, it's as easy as matching your foot profile (based on body weight, heel-to-toe motion and arch shape) with one of three sneaker categories: cushioning, motion control or stability.
At a secretive government facility, one inventor is given
By Trevor ThiemePosted 03.27.2003 at 12:53 pm 0 Comments
The Banshee is a 3-ounce rubberized acoustic grenade inspired by the notorious 1993 riots in Mogadishu. It disperses unruly crowds with an ear-piercing 130-decibel squeal, and is just one of countless ideas percolating inside the brain of Fariborz Bzorgi, a senior staff engineer at the
Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
The FDA sidesteps human safety trials to clear a risky anti-nerve-gas pill.
By Rebecca SklootPosted 03.26.2003 at 1:44 pm 0 Comments
Tens of thousands of American troops in the Persian Gulf may soon be popping tiny white pills called pyridostigmine bromide, or PB,
a controversial anti-nerve-gas drug that the FDA quietly approved for military use in February. During the 1991 Gulf War, PB was prescribed experimentally to more than 250,000 U.S. soldiers to guard against exposure to soman, a deadly nerve agent, which the Pentagon believes Iraq may use against U.S. forces. But since its use in the Gulf War, PB has been linked to a cluster of chronic health problems -- such as fatigue, memory loss and joint pain -- reported in
How designers created the 500-hp 4-wheel superbike
By Martha HarbisonPosted 03.25.2003 at 6:44 pm 3 Comments
It was all for power. The Tomahawk's designers were so bent on making a brutally powerful motorcycle that they were forced
to mutate most of the bike's components to accommodate the massive V10 Viper engine. Take the gas tank (1A): To shield it from the engine's heat, they had to relocate it to the front fender. Two standard tires couldn't
handle the power, so to keep the 4-wheeler feeling like a bike, designers devised a
unique independent suspension.
A computer will never replace a human investigator, but it can help focus the search. In the South Side Rapist case, Kim Rossmo's Rigel program analyzed crime scene locations. His work narrowed the suspect list, which ultimately led to an arrest. Here's how it works.
1) Mark the Crime Sites
Rigel plots the crime scene locations on a map.
Geographic profiling pioneer Kim Rossmo has been likened to Sherlock Holmes;
his Watson in the hunt for serial killers is a digital sidekick -- an algorithm he calls Rigel.
By Bruce GriersonPosted 03.21.2003 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
Until he was called in on the Beltway Sniper investigation, Detective Kim Rossmo's most confounding case was the South Side Rapist. For almost a decade, an unknown assailant,
his face bandit-wrapped in a scarf, had been stalking women in quiet Lafayette, Louisiana, and then assaulting them in their homes. He remained at large in 1998 when Rossmo, then
The Subject: 2004 Nissan Quest.
The Judge: Dave Marek, Chief Designer, Honda R&D Americas
By Sam GrobartPosted 03.20.2003 at 2:42 pm 0 Comments
The problem with minivans is that they tend to look a lot like minivans. That's why we were so excited when we saw Nissan's Quest concept at the 2002 Detroit show. For the first time, someone had something different -- daring, even. One year later, the production version has watered down the original striking shape. The concept's defiant beltline kick has now been softened to a limp upward swell, the narrow and aggressive headlamp treatment has gained a sad-dog look, and the still-pretty dash that had been a model of simplicity and elegance is now festooned with the usual panoply of buttons.