Special Shoes for Landmines

Some scientists have invented a robotic shoe that has six legs. Anyone wearing the shoes can walk safely through a minefield. The shoe is designed to help works in humanitarian missions – particularly land-mine clearers.

“The six-legged shoes protect the wearer by lifting up a leg if it is over a mine so that the device is not triggered. The other five legs continue to support the wearer’s weight.”

Economist 2006 Report on e-readiness

The Economist Intelligence Unit has relased their 2006 e-readiness rankings and e-things are looking up according to the EIU!

“With over 1bn Internet users and 2bn mobile-phone users worldwide, and continual progress in most qualitative indicators of technology-related development, the world in early 2006 may be proclaimed ever more “e-ready”. This year’s e-readiness rankings reflect such progress, as all but two countries have improved their scores from the previous year. Most of the rankings’ top players have moved upwards in lock step, and there has been little real movement in the broader ranks from 2005 to 2006 (although the addition of three new countries this year has pushed some down the list).”

Electric Skin and Transforming Tires for Cars

A really neat technology has been demonstrated in a creative way in the struggle to use gas more efficiently in cars. The Mazda RX-9 is the most futuristic car I’ve seen in awhile. Specialized, “slick skin,” plastic body panels get an electric charge as air rushes by it, which in turn provides power to the electric motor.

The same car with slick skin also has slick wheels. The tires” feature Electroactive Polymers (E.A.P.) that with varying levels of voltage from the vehicle’s electrical system can actually change the shape and depth of their tread pattern. The rubber donuts can go from flat and smooth to knobby and grippy, or even ride high on their centers for ultra-low rolling resistance. “

‘Bloodless’ Surgery becoming more popular

Surgical techniques that do not require blood transfusions are becoming more and more popular, according to an article on MSNBC. Surgeons use a variety of techniques and technologies to minimize or remove the need for costly blood transfusions during surgery.

These bloodless operations were once only available to Jehova’s Witnesses, who’s religion prohibits blood transfusions, but are now being offered tothe general public at many hospitals.

Transfusions are very costly, and also carry a risk of rejection by the patient. Many people opt to have transfusions of their own blood, drawn in advance, before a surgery. Bloodless surgery techniques save money and are better for the patient.


Looks like a stalwart for backwards economic policy has decided to give in to some demands for democracy. The IMF is going to let almost-rich countries speak.

“The IMF has announced that it plans to boost the voting shares of big, rapidly growing developing countries, particularly China. And the IMF will organize multilateral consultations with top officials from large countries about how their economic policies affect each other and the world–going beyond traditional single-country consultations. The moves would boost the IMF’s legitimacy and relevance.”

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