Technology That Redefines Our World

How Green are Your Cleaning Products?

Wow Total CleaningAs more and more people are becoming aware of how their lifestyle and purchasing decisions can have an impact on the environment, makes of so called “green” products have seen a considerable increase in sales. This is very true especially among cleaning products, as many are looking to avoid using the usually harsh chemicals that are often found in cleaning products like grout cleaner, disinfectants, and toilet bowl cleaners.

Unfortunately, not all “green cleaning products” are really as environmentally friendly as manufacturers might have you believe. In fact, this issue is commonplace enough that the FTC has released an updated version of its “Green Guidelines,” helping consumers distinguish between products that are actually environmentally friendly and those that just claim to be.

Among their recommendations, the FTC encourages people to look for specifics on product labeling. Simply saying that something is “eco-friendly” is nowhere near specific enough — it should say exactly what features the product has that make it green. Additionally, consumers should read into “recycled” claims, and see whether the recycled title refers to the product itself, the product’s packaging, or both.

How to Become Invisible

How to Become Invisible

Apr 1, 2013

Researchers at the University of Texas are currently in the process of developing a material similar to the invisibility cloaks of science-fiction and fantasy. In a recent experiment, a research team led by Andrea Alu and others was able to successfully camouflage a roughly 18” tube from detection by microwaves by cloaking it in the material they have developed. It does so by disrupting, rather than merely redirecting, the waves.

At present time, however, this technology is far from being the kind of invisibility device that would match the popular imagination’s conception. The cloak works by having a miniscule pattern on its outside, which neutralizes the electromagnetic waves which bounce off of it. However, the pattern must roughly match the wavelength in order to function correctly, and as a result, only the tiniest of objects, those which are already so small as to be invisible to the naked eye, could be rendered invisible through this technique.

Nevertheless, the steady advance on this front suggests to many scientists that this type of technology may eventually become viable for use in camouflaging, especially for military uses. Of course, it could also lead to a national epidemic of [theft and robbery], so maybe it’s for the best that the invisibility cloak remains, for now, largely a figment of the imagination.