Is it Cool? Or Is It “Star Trek” Cool?

This week’s Off the Beaten Path includes new technology that falls under the idea of “weird science.” It’s very exciting to see technology advancements, but totally “Star Trek”-like to see something really new or different.

Frozen Smoke?
From the “is this for real?” category comes Airloy. It’s a material called an aerogel, which is a “low-density solid.” From the creative minds of NASA, comes Airloy.

Sweat Power
Your local gym could be powering your phone. Really. At least that’s the idea behind using sweat to generate power. Maybe not the freshest smell for producing energy, but probably still better than fossil fuels.

Medical Phone Apps
Science fiction fans are familiar with all the great ideas the writers had for our future. Things like the “Star Trek” sick bay bed to the “tricoder.” Even “Space 1999” had their funky stick-like “cellphones” for calling up to Moon Base Alpha (fellow nerds will know these references). But when today’s technology can be refined to help people, it’s always worth noting. Here is an iPhone application for helping to recognize autism (and currently free) developed by Duke University.

Top 10 Innovations for 2015
Now that we’re in to 2016, let’s look back at the top 10 innovations of 2015. As I looked at these, I wondered why some didn’t get a lot of press. Some exciting technology and innovations coming our way!

Shack Alternative
Like many people probably over 30 years old, I grew up with a local electronics store (yes, ‘The Shack’) where I could get electronic parts, project kits, and all sorts of stuff that a kid loved to experiment with. In addition to the Shack, there was Heath Kit, and even Knight Kits before that (you might know of others). Though I usually don’t put links to businesses here (figuring they’re making money and can afford advertising somewhere), I really like this place that I stumbled upon. They deal with bulk parts and some really cool/unusual/fun electronic stuff (including kits). This is the Electronic Goldmine.

And finally ...
Here’s a link to a bunch of interesting do-it-yourself tips from waterproofing boots to cooking tips. It’s just a neat collection of things.

If you stumble across a good or unusual web site that might be of interest, please don’t hesitate to send me the link and any info you might have about it. My email address is


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