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DARPA is funding the research of miniature cameras and microphones that could be mounted like backpacks on beetles-turned-spies. That's not even the best part — the sensors will be powered by an insect's own wing movements, meaning fully independent insects able to explore the world's most dangerous places.
 
While Santa heads back to the North Pole after the holidays, the world's holiday lights head to processing centers in a recycling zone in Shijiao, China. And it's not just a few strands; the region handles roughly 20 million pounds of discarded lights annually in a recycling process that readies the raw materials to be reborn into as many new products as possible.
 
Paris has one more must-see art exhibit with the unveiling of the Renault Twingo "Cabinet of Curiosities" along the Champs-Elysées. The exhibit takes the tiny cars — just able to fit down Europe's tight alleys or impossible parking spots — and gives them some big makeovers courtesy of celebrity designers.
 
Kinect is expected to branch out into small business and banking in 2012. Now the gaming system's sensors could be adapted as a next generation weight measurement system onboard the International Space Station. It would relay data via 3D modeling, and require less space than the current equipment.
 
It may surprise you to learn pigeons can count much less understand abstract rules about numbers, but in fact, researchers have proved just that. This skill is something previously only showed in rhesus monkey testing from the 1990's. Pigeons, super smart? Apparently.
 
It's common to see houses with solar panels on the roof harvesting energy to power household electricity, and if lucky the electrical grid. Now, a team from the University of Notre Dame is swinging back around on the idea of solar paint, and using semi-conducting particles to produce energy. This paint would be cheap enough to cover your entire house and turn it into a massive solar powered generator.

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