12.16.14: The Best Of What's New & Hollywood's Pretty Little Secret

Dec 16, 2014

Gorilla brand clear repair tape.
Credit Via Popular Science / bestofwhatsnew.popsci.com

For the past 27 years the editors of Popular Science have identified products and technologies designed to change our world. On today’s show we’ll review some of 2014’s groundbreaking technology.

Then, we’ve come to accept retouched images on magazine covers and billboard ads, but now the practice has moved to movies and television. We’ll take a look at the latest advancement in digital-alteration: frame-by-frame beauty work.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Popular Science: Best of What's New

  • Jennifer Bogo, executive editor of Popular Science, tells us about just a few of the 100 items from the “Best of What’s New” issue.

How Space Invaders Spurned Innovation

  • When it comes to rapid innovation, sometimes all it takes is a single event to spark it. For video arcades in the late 70s, that event was the release of Space Invaders. Andrew Bales investigates.
  • You can listen to this segment again at PRX.org.

The Future of Brain Stimulation

  • If wristwatches that answer phone calls aren’t forward thinking enough for you, consider the next wave in wearable technology: battery-powered headbands that improve your brain. So-called ‘neuromodulation devices’ rely on a small current of electricity to tweak a user’s cognition and mood. WHYY’s Todd Bookman reports on an industry poised to jolt into the mainstream.

Hollywood's Beauty Secret

  • Josh Dickey is entertainment editor at Mashable. He found a couple of people who specialize in video retouching who were willing to talk. He wrote about so-called “beauty work” in his article “Everyone Is Altered.”

How Instant Replay Was Invented In 1963

  • This is the story of how a young and rash CBS producer named Tony Verna invented instant replay in 1963 against tough odds, and revolutionized how we watch sports forever.  It’s told by freelance writer Anna Clark, who wrote about Tony Verna for Pacific Standard: "The Human Element."

Competitive Coffee Slinging

  • Just about anything can be turned into a competition…take competitive coffee making.  In 2013, producer Alex Lewis followed a man who set his hopes on becoming the best barista in the country.
  • You can listen to this segment again at PRX.org.
  • The US Coffee Championship 2015 is February 19th-22nd in Long Beach, CA and you can find out more at this link.