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The full-service pump at your local petrol station is always a tempting option, particularly on cold mornings. But what if every pump was automatic? Husky and a company called Fuelmatics are developing robotic gas pumps that automatically fill your vehicle when you pull up. What a wonderful world.
Like when trying to choose a ripe melon at the supermarket, there are countless questionable ways to determine how much propane is left in your barbecue’s tank. But if you don’t want to drag a bathroom scale out to your deck, try Truma’s LevelChecker which uses an ultrasonic signal to determine how full or empty your tank is.
If you were a coal miner in the early 1800s, the light you used was an openflame oil lamp — even though mines were sometimes filled with “fire-damp”, a volatile mixiture of air and methane gas. Explosions were inevitable and threw bodies from mine shafts like grapeshot from a cannon. Humphry Davy became a national hero when he found a remedy in 1815: surround the lamp flame with mosquito screen.
A subway-borne chemical attack is one of those theoreticals that require the willful ignorance of regular passengers — for most of us, it’s just better not to think about it. Not so for the NYPD, which yesterday announced a plan to test how a chemical or radiological attack would spread through the city’s 320km of subway by pumping an invisible gas through the system this year.