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Best of 2011: Our Top Stories

The Most Popular, Interesting, Weird, or Just Plain Cool eGFI Blog Posts of 2011

2011 was another busy year for engineers all over the world. From inventing a device that turns air into water to exploring the oceans in a tiny submarine, scientists and engineers are exploring uncharted territory.

Like last year, we at eGFI have chronicled the most awe-inspiring innovations and stories, so in case you missed one, we present:

The Most Popular, Interesting, Weird, or Just Plain Cool eGFI Blog Posts of 2011

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Vertical Forest Coming Soon to Milan

This is no pie-in-the-sky urban farm design. Italian architect Stefano Boeri’s Bosco Verticale, or Vertical Forest, is actually being built, and will soon add a splash of green to the Milan skyline.

The design features two residential towers with staggered balconies that allow an array of trees and shrubbery to grow outside each abode. Advantages of such a setup, beyond adding verdant beauty to a city, include shading inhabitants in the summer while permitting more sunlight in the winter, protection from noise pollution, and air purification.

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A Personal Submarine

Drivers often encounter wildlife along the road. But what if instead of the usual birds, deer, and squirrels,  you could cruise alongside fish?

That vision is now a reality with the electric submarine EGO, which literally puts you face-to-face with underwater wildlife.

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BendDesk Brings Multi-Touch to the Office

Think having a desk job would be boring? Think again.

A group of students and researchers at The Media Computing Group at RWTH Aachen University in Germany have designed a sleek desk/computer hybrid that could make your work days anything but dull.

The BendDesk, as it’s called, has a curved, ergonomic multi-touch interface that allows users to move and manipulate images and documents with ease, as well as play some pretty fun games.

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Neptune: A New Prosthetic Fin

Fit and athletic amputees – like sprinter/long-jumper Aimee Mullins – have proved over and over that the loss of a limb is no reason to give up sports. Earlier this year, Colombian Nelson Cardona became the first amputee to climb Mt. Everest, Earth’s highest peak.

But prostheses for swimmers have remained clunky, at best.

That’s why Richard Stark, an industrial design student at Sweden’s Umea Institute of Design, was inspired to create Neptune, a specially-designed prosthesis that helps amputees swim.

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