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The World’s First ‘Flying Car’ Goes Up For Sale on eBay

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David Hancock/Stringer/Getty Images

Aircraft collectors now have the chance to bid on a futuristic piece of history. As designboom reports, the Moller M400 Skycar, allegedly the first-ever vertical-take-off-and-landing vehicle (VTOL), is being auctioned off on eBay.

For decades, Moller International has striven to build flying cars that they dub "as safe, efficient, affordable, and easy-to-use as automobiles." The company reached a milestone in 2001 when their Skycar first achieved lift-off. More than 15 years later, the invention hasn’t quite taken off like they’d hoped it would: The VTOL never received FAA approval or made it past the prototype stage.

Because the Skycar isn’t legal to fly, Moller is marketing it as more of a museum piece than an aircraft for weekend joyrides. But the listing does state that the company is willing to support any efforts from the buyer to make it "the world’s first FAA approved VTOL capable flying car."

The original M400 Skycar from 2001 is currently going for a starting bid of $1 million and a "buy it now price" of $5 million. Even though owners can't fly it themselves, Moller claims the vehicle is in the same state it was tested in in the early 2000s. You can see what Skycar looks like in action below.

[h/t designboom]

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Space
Google Street View Now Lets You Explore the International Space Station

Google Street View covers some amazing locations (Antarctica, the Grand Canyon, and Stonehenge, to name a few), but it’s taken until now for the tool to venture into the final frontier. As TechCrunch reports, you can now use Street View to explore the inside of the International Space Station.

The scenes, photographed by astronauts living on the ISS, include all 15 modules of the massive satellite. Viewers will be treated to true 360-degree views of the rooms and equipment onboard. Through the windows, you can see Earth from an astronaut's perspective and a SpaceX Dragon craft delivering supplies to the crew.

Because the imagery was captured in zero gravity, it’s easy to lose sense of your bearings. Get a taste of what ISS residents experience on a daily basis here.

[h/t TechCrunch]

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Bite Helper
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technology
New Gadget Claims to De-Itch Your Mosquito Bites
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Bite Helper

Summer can be an itchy time for anyone who wants to enjoy the outdoors. Mosquitos are everywhere, and some people are particularly susceptible to their bites and the itching that comes with them. A new product aims to stop the suffering. Bite Helper, reviewed by Mashable, is designed to stop your bites from itching.

Place the pen-like device over your swollen bite and it will begin to emit heat and vibrations designed to quell the itch. It’s meant to increase blood flow around the area to alleviate your pain, heating your skin up to 120°F for up to 45 seconds. It’s the size of a thin tube of sunscreen and is battery powered.

Most dermatologists advise applying cold to alleviate itching from insect bites, so the question is: Will heating up your skin really work? Bite Helper hasn’t been clinically tested, so it’s hard to say for certain how effective it would be. There has been some research to suggest that heat can help increase blood flow in general, but decrease histamine-induced blood flow in the skin (part of the body’s normal response to allergens) and reduce itching overall. In a German study of wasp, mosquito, and bee stings, concentrated heat led to a significant improvement in symptoms, though the researchers focused mostly on pain reduction rather than itching.

Bite Helper’s technique "seems like a legitimate claim" when it comes to localized itching, Tasuku Akiyama, who studies the mechanisms of itching at the University of Miami, tells Mental Floss. "The increase in the blood flow may increase the rate of elimination of itch mediator from the area." However, before that happens, the heat might also make the itch a little worse in the short-term, he cautions. This seems to be borne out by user experience: While Mashable's reviewer found that using the device didn’t hurt at all, his daughter found it too hot to bear for more than a few seconds.

If the device does in fact relieve itching, though, a few seconds of pain may be worth it.

Bite Helper is $25 on Amazon.

[h/t Mashable]

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