Jet off on holiday in a plane powered by seaweed: it might sound like a scene from SpongeBob SquarePants, but it’s now technically possible. Algae kerosene, extracted from the oil of marine plants, is considered the fuel of the future.
Tattoos could soon be as valuable as fingerprints for the FBI. That’s because the symbols inked onto people’s skin often reveal membership of a criminal gang or group. These tattoos are on prominent parts of the body so members can easily tell friend from foe.
The numbers on every runway in the world are based on a magnetic compass bearing. The figures indicate the direction of approach in relation to the magnetic pole. If a runway has a magnetic orientation of 183 degrees, for example, it will be marked with the number 18.
The US Army is increasingly using unmanned vehicles such as the TALON robot to disarm bombs. There are more than 3,000 of these vehicles in Iraq and Afghanistan. Between them, they have already neutralised around 10,000 improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
The phrase “take it easy” doesn’t apply to a test plane: for example, the new Airbus A350 must prove in the US Air Force’s McKinley Climatic Laboratory that its engines can run smoothly at -40°C and that it can therefore take off in Siberia without a problem.
Do you have a wardrobe bursting at the seams with old or unworn clothes? Academics at Birmingham City University have developed a way of allowing unwanted garments to tell you when to wear or get rid of them.
You only really need three things to build a treehouse – regardless of whether it’s a small hut in the garden or a lofty hotel in the forest. 1) A stable tree with a trunk at least 20 centimetres thick. 2) Robust materials (larch or oak are ideal) and good tools.