Advanced Automation has been edging into our working lives for decades. While most of the inroads made by automation have been in manufacturing, these technologies are being increasingly applied in entertainment. Jon Sorkin has created a gadget that plays programmed songs with a harmonica. The device, known as the E-Sharp, uses two standard "C" harmonicas and plays them with compressed air. The E-Sharp can play a number of simple tunes. When the device is on, an LCD displays the name of the project and the developer's name, followed by a prompt to select a song.
A spacecraft on its way to Mars is carrying core structures made with carbon-fiber composites. Launched November 18, NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft is the first designed for exploring and understanding the red planet's upper atmosphere.