I’m Just a Sucker for Believe It or Not!

I have been a hopeless Believe It or Not! addict since the age of 10. I’m so glad to see they’re keeping up with the times. I couldn’t find a static version of this e-mail pitch, so thought I’d share. pg
Technomazing! Unbelievable technology tales are featured in the new book from Ripley’s Believe It or Not! called Enter If You Dare! The book is an annual collection of unusual, unbelievable and amazing stories from around the world.

Enter If You DareSome of the book’s incredible tales of science and technology:

  • Eye Tech – pg. 222: Filmmaker Rob Spence from Toronto, Canada, has developed a camera to replace the eye that he lost as a child. Rob began working with engineer Kostos Grammatis to create the “Eyeborg,” and is now the proud owner of a wireless bionic eye made with one of the smallest digital cameras in the world, which is capable of recording and transmitting video directly from his eye socket.

Onion Power – pg. 223: To save electricity, some people have started powering up their MP3 players with onions. How? Soak it in an energy drink and then stick a USB cable into it – and by doing that they can charge their iPod for an hour.

  • Eye TechLiquid Vision – pg. 223: Professor Josh Silver of England’s Oxford University has invented inexpensive, fluid-filled eyeglasses that can be adjusted to anyone’s vision needs. The lenses contain circular sacs filled with fluid that are connected to a small syringe to increase or reduce the amount of fluid, thus altering the power of the lens.
  • Mechanical Insect – pg. 223: Scientists at Japan’s Tokyo University are creating a range of insect-machine hybrids by rebuilding their brains and programming them to carry out specific tasks. Already they have rewritten the brain circuit of a male Silkmoth to react to light instead of odor.
  • Steel Velcro – pg. 225: German scientists have developed a steel version of Velcro that is strong enough to support buildings. Using the same hook-and-loop fastening system as Velcro, Metaklett can bear loads of around 3.6 tons per sq ft (35 tonnes per sq m) at temperatures as high as 1,472°F (800°C).
  • Spy Tooth – pg. 226: The U.K.’s James Auger has devised a new concept in secret communication- an audio tooth implant. A surgeon implants a device into your tooth, the data is retrieved from a cell phone, radio or computer and the vibration resonates through your jawbone to you inner earbone, meaning that only you can hear the information.
  • Bionic Fingers – pg. 226: A company from Scotland has invented bionic fingers, which enable people with missing digits to pick up a glass, hold cutlery and even write. The $75,000-fingers are directly controlled by the brain and can write and grip, thanks to a special sensor that allows them to detect when they have closed around an object.
  • Warning Suit – pg. 229: To make people aware of the threat of skin cancer, a Canadian company has designed a two-piece bathing suit that changes color to warn women when the sun’s rays are too strong. The bikini is held together with pale decorative beads that turn dark purple if the UV rays reach dangerous levels.
  • Fatal Sting – pg. 228: Microscopic nanobees, made from perfluorocarbon – a material made from artificial blood – have been used by scientists at a university in St. Louis, Missouri, to kill cancer tumors by stinging them.

  • Emotional Robot – pg. 223: Scientists at Waseda University in Japan have developed a robot that can express seven different human emotions. The Emotional Humanoid Robot, named Kobian, uses motors to move its lips, eyelids and eyebrows into various positions and can also strike a range of poses to back up its expressions.

  • Robot Teacher – pg. 223: Children at a school in Tokyo, Japan, had a new teacher in 2009 – a robot called Saya. Beneath a humanlike face, Saya has a system of 18 motors that work like muscles to give her face expressions including surprise, fear, anger, happiness and sadness. She has a vocabulary of 700 words, has the ability to speak in any language and is programmed to respond to words and questions.

  • Illuminated Dress – pg. 222: British fashion student George Davis has designed a dress that lights up when the wearer’s cell phone rings. The right shoulder of the dress, which is connected to the phone by wireless technology, has translucent white scales that move and light up.

Please let me know if you would like to pursue any stories in the book or a story on the book itself.  Images are available, as well as interviews with people from Ripley’s or people featured in the book.

The book cover, as well as several pages and individual images, can be downloaded at http://www.ripleybooks.com/newsroom.

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