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Aerogel You Can Use

Is there an end to the wonderful things aerogel can do? "Frozen smoke" is the lightest solid ever, strong, semi-t200_aerogel.jpgransparent, a great insulator, and is finding all kinds of practical applications. NASA used aerogel in the Stardust mission to capture space dust. It's use in capacitors and ultracapacitors should lead to better electrical transfer and storage. It's been used for years for factories, pipelines, oil refineries, and military applications. Now there are more and more ways you can use aerogel.

Cabot produces windows, ceilings, and skyights using an aerogel product they call Nanogel sandwiched between glass. The result is diffused natural light with much greater insulation and energy savings.

The Laken ISO 70 Aerogel-Insulated Water Bottle keeps your water cold and adds much less weight to your backpack.

Aspencoat.jpgAspen Aerogels uses aerogel for many industrial uses, but also developed flexible aerogel fabric to insulate clothing. It's used to make coats, boots, and sleeping bags that keep you warm with much less weight and thickness of conventional materials.

You can try out aerogel's insulating properties without spending a lot of money by trying out some shoe insoles from PolarWrap.

United Nuclear sells aerogel in granular form and solid blocks for those who want to experiment (meaning: play) with it.

And if you just like the way it looks, you can get aerogel jewelry from AeroGem.

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How to Remove Dents From Your Car Without Doing Further Damage
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Car dents aren't pretty, and DIY methods for getting rid of them can leave entirely new eyesores in their place. In The Know Innovation has spotted a tool that erases unsightly dents without damaging your vehicle's paint job—no trip to the auto body shop required.

The Sealey RE101 Air Suction Dent Puller is a tool that attaches to your vehicle. To use it, stick the suction cup over the dented area and and open the air valve on the handle to seal it tight. A few pumps of the slide hammer are enough to restore your car to its original, dent-free glory.

There are plenty of at-home remedies out there for minor car dents, some of which involve boiling water, hair dryers, and dry ice. While it's always best to get your car looked at by a professional after any type of accident, especially if the damage is covered by your insurance, a dent puller at least won't do any additional harm to your vehicle (or your hands).

You can order a Sealey Dent Puller of your own online for $166.

[h/t In The Know Innovation]

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Afternoon Map
The Most Popular Infomercial Product in Each State

You don't have to pay $19.95 plus shipping and handling to discover the most popular infomercial product in each state: AT&T retailer All Home Connections is giving that information away for free via a handy map.

The map was compiled by cross-referencing the top-grossing infomercial products of all time with Google Trends search interest from the past calendar year. So, which crazy products do people order most from their TVs?

Folks in Arizona know that it's too hot there to wear layers; that's why they invest in the Cami Secret—a clip-on, mock top that gives them the look of a camisole without all the added fabric. No-nonsense New Yorkers are protecting themselves from identity theft with the RFID-blocking Aluma wallet. Delaware's priorities are all sorted out, because tons of its residents are still riding the Snuggie wave. Meanwhile, Vermont has figured out that Pajama Jeans are the way to go—because who needs real pants?

Unsurprisingly, the most popular product in many states has to do with fitness and weight loss, because when you're watching TV late enough to start seeing infomercials, you're probably also thinking to yourself: "I need to get my life together. I should get in shape." Seven states—Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, Utah, and Wisconsin—have invested in the P90X home fitness system, while West Virginia and Arkansas prefer the gentler workout provided by the Shake Weight. The ThighMaster is still a thing in Illinois and Washington, while Total Gym and Bowflex were favored by South Dakota and Wyoming, respectively. 

Kitchen items are clearly another category ripe for impulse-buying: Alabama and North Dakota are all over the George Forman Grill; Alaska and Rhode Island are mixing things up with the Magic Bullet; and Floridians must be using their Slice-o-matics to chop up limes for their poolside margaritas.

Cleaning products like OxiClean (D.C. and Hawaii), Sani Sticks (North Carolina), and the infamous ShamWow (which claims the loyalty of Mainers) are also popular, but it's Proactiv that turned out to be the big winner. The beloved skin care system claimed the top spot in eight states—California, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas—making it the most popular item on the map.

Peep the full map above, or check out the full study from All Home Connections here.

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