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Lunacy? A moon base built with a 3D printer!

  • This week's 5 most fantastic innovations and ideas!
  • 3D-printed moon base would be made from lunar materials
  • Smell like a museum. Or your favorite park: Designer invents technique to bottle the scents of landmarks.
Lunacy? A moon base built with a 3D printer!

Editor's Note: Karyn Lu is Turner Broadcasting's manager of New Media Insights & Inspiration. Each week, she scouts out amazing innovations, cutting-edge technology and, well, just really awesome stuff and shares them right here. Before it goes mainstream, it's going to be one of her favorite 5 Things From the Future!

1. A better way to build a lunar base

This is too cool: 3D printing is now officially and literally out of this world! While it sounds like science fiction, setting up a lunar base using a 3D printer may not actually be too far off. We’ve already seen how 3D printers can print everything from houses to food to vaccines, so really, why not a lunar base?

The idea is that setting up a base on the moon would be a much easier task if we can build it from local materials such as lunar soil, instead of hauling everything from Earth. With new stories like this nearly every week, no wonder 3D printing is one of the biggest trends of the year to keep your eyes on.

2. Shop for the right size, even online

If you've ever bought clothing online, chances are, you've returned some of them because they were the wrong size. In fact, nearly 40% of all clothes purchased online are returned. Now, here’s an incredibly smart and simple hyper-personalization application that will help make your online shopping experience a whole lot more productive.

Two students from the Miami Ad School have come up with a simple bookmarklet called “SizeYou.” Once you enter your measurements on their site and install the application, any time you’re shopping online, simply hit the “SizeYou” button and it will match that item’s measurements against yours. It doesn’t matter if you’re a small in one brand, a medium in another, and an 8 in yet another –- the app makes sure you pick the right size to buy, every time. That’s a win for everyone involved.

3. Bottle-up the smell of your favorite landmark

What does your favorite restaurant smell like? Or museum? Or even train station? We all know that a particular scent can whisk you right back in time and place. In the name of evoking -– and capturing -- that very nostalgia we carry for physical places, a UK designer named Olivia Clemence is working to bottle scents of famous UK landmarks.

For example, the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham smells like a combination of subway, sweat and other scents (doesn’t sound too far-fetched).  Apparently, Ms. Clemence is so adept at whipping up smells that as “a regular feature at public events and expositions, she will often whip out her distilling kit and form a smell requested by her audience on the spot.” What do you think? Is there a market for capturing the scents of our favorite real-life spots?

4. Binging on television

As soon as I heard the term “binge-viewing,” I knew immediately what was meant by it. That’s pretty much how I caught up on shows like AMC’s “The Walking Dead” or British export “Misfits”. I came upon them later on, then watched entire seasons back-to-back until I was completely hooked and salivating for the next season. Apparently I am very much not alone in spending entire days or even weekends this way.

The New York Times is reporting that, powered by DVD box sets and Netflix subscriptions, binge-viewing has become “such a popular way for Americans to watch TV that it is beginning to influence the ways the stories are told – particularly one-hour dramas – and how they are distributed.” Case in point: Netflix has released 13 episodes of its newest drama, “House of Cards,” all at once, with the express goal to “shut down a portion of America for a whole day.” Smart move, really. While I believe that appointment viewing still has a place, particularly for live events, I'm pleased that the industry is willing to adapt to the ways I actually want to watch TV.

5. Facebook finds a home for your old clothes

Fashion: one day it’s hot, and one day it’s not. But it’s still in your closet… and on Facebook. So how can we transform those former fashion faux pas languishing in our closets into an act of goodwill? The Stockholm City Mission has come up with a fun Facebook campaign to find photos of clothes you’ll never wear again, called (appropriately) “You’ll Never Wear That Again.” Using their Facebook app, you can identify the clothing items that will never see the light of day again. Then the app tells you where you can donate these items, because “what was once fashion for you can be worth something somewhere else.”

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