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New Sock Technology Uses Urine to Generate Electricity

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The average person urinates about seven times a day and a healthy adult bladder holds about 16 ounces, which means that every day you could be wasting 112 ounces of a viable energy source. Scientists have been exploring the power of pee for years, and now researchers from the University of the West of England have ventured into the realm of urine wearables, developing sock technology that uses pee to generate electricity. 

The "self-sufficient" system uses a network of tiny tubes inspired by the cardiovascular system of fish, with the wearer's footsteps acting as the pump to get the pee flowing. The pee then moves through 24 microbial fuel cells (MFCs) where bacteria create electricity from the nutrients, which is then stored in two supercapacitors. 

In an article recently published in the journal , the researchers share their findings and possible uses for the wearable technology. "Having already powered a mobile phone with MFCs using urine as fuel, we wanted to see if we could replicate this success in wearable technology," Ioannis Ieropoulos of UWE Bristol said.

I A Ieropoulos et al. // © 2015 IOP Publishing Ltd

The team was able to use the socks to power a wireless transmitter, and they are confident that the technology is a promising option for the future, writing that it "opens a new avenue for research in the utilization of waste products for powering portable as well as wearable electronics."

You might be wondering where the urine comes from or assumed that it originates from the wearer of the sock tubes. But you'd be wrong. Ieropoulos tells New Scientist that the vision is for clothing that "already has or could have excretion incorporated, without people having to worry about collecting or handling their urine." In other words, the socks would come with someone else's pee. 

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These Super Realistic Ski Masks Let Your Inner Animal Come Out
Beardo
Beardo

No matter how serious you are about your skiing performance, it doesn't hurt to have a sense of humor on the slopes. These convincing animal masks spotted by My Modern Met make it easy to have fun while tearing up the trails.

Each animal mask from the Canadian apparel company Beardo is printed with a photorealistic design of a different animal's face. Skiers can disguise themselves as a bear, dog, fox, orangutan, or even a grumpy-ish cat while keeping their skin warm. The only part of the face that stays exposed is around the eyes, but a pair of ski goggles allows wearers to disappear completely into their beastly persona.

The playful gear is practical as well. The stretchy polyester material is built to shield skin from wind and UV rays, while the soft fleece lining keeps faces feeling toasty.

Beardo's animal ski masks are available through their online store for $35. If you like to stay cozy in style, here are more products to keep you warm this winter.

Animal ski mask.
Beardo

Animal ski mask.
Beardo

Animal ski mask.

Animal ski mask.
Beardo

Animal ski mask.
Beardo

Animal ski mask.
Beardo

Animal ski mask.
Beardo

[h/t My Modern Met]

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Learn to Tie a Tie in Less Than 2 Minutes
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For most men—and Avril Lavigne-imitators—learning to tie a tie is an essential sartorial skill. Digg spotted this video showing how you can tie one the simple way, with a tabletop method that works just as well if you’re going to wear the tie yourself or if you're tying it together for someone else who doesn't share your skills.

The whole technique is definitely easier to master while watching the video below, but here's a short rundown: As laid out by the lifehack YouTube channel DaveHax, the method requires you to lay the tie out on a table, folded in half as if you're about to loop it around your neck.

With the back of the tie facing up, you loop over each end, then twist the thinner of the two loops around itself so it ends up looking like a mini-tie knot itself. You'll end up nestling the two loops together and snaking the thin tail of the tie through the whole thing. Then, essentially all you have to do is pull, and you can adjust the tie as you otherwise would to put it over your head.

Unfortunately, this won't teach you how to master the art of more complicated neckwear styles like the fancier Balthus knot or even a bow tie, but it's a pretty good start for those who have yet to figure out even the simplest tie fashions.

[h/t Digg]

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