Wear the web
A QR code is a two-dimensional barcode. QR stands for Quick Response. P8tch (p8t.ch) creates velcro-backed patches printed with QR codes, designed to stick  to anything – your backpack, your butt – to raise interest in whatever it is you do, or just in you, über-nerd that you are. The code on the patch translates to a url when scanned by a reader – an application which can be installed on smart phones – which will whisk you off to the website it points to. P8tch suggests that an exchange might happen something like this:
THEM: Excuse me! Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.
YOU: Wonderful! Simply scan the p8tch on my shoulder.
THEM: [scans the p8tch] Thank you, I have just subscribed to your RSS feed in Google Reader.

Blooming marvellousinno2-280210
This week, K.R. Sridhar, founder of Bloom Energy, made an appearance on US TV show 60 Minutes, clutching two small blocks which he claims are the answer to the world's energy problems. Sridhar developed the Bloom Box, basically a stack of ceramic discs painted with a secret green "ink" on one side and a black "ink" on the other and separated by a cheap metal alloy, when NASA needed an oxygen generator for their now defunct Mars programme. After the programme was scrapped, Sridar transformed it into a fuel cell with the help of an estimated $400 million in private funding. The design feeds oxygen into one side of the cell while fuel is supplied to the other side to provide the chemical reaction required to generate power. According to Sridar, two of his Bloom boxes have the capacity to power the average high-consumption American home. The average European home will need only one. Twenty big American corporates, including FedEx, Wal-mart and Google  are already using supersized versions of the Bloom Box. Ebay has installed its boxes on the front lawn of its San Jose premises  and estimates that it gets almost 15% of its energy needs from Bloom, saving about $100,000 since it installed the five boxes 9 months ago. Bloom believes that within 5 to 10 years it can drive down the cost to about $3,000 to make it suitable for home use.

Your brain on music
Music therapy has long been used to help patients recovering from stroke and other brain injuries. Singing has proven particularly effective in rehabilitation. A new study, in which therapy was observed using brain imaging, has shed light on what effect music has on the brain.
The study showed that singing engages not only the speech centre, an area of the brain often damaged during a stroke, but many other parts of the brain, including cognitive, emotional, and physical functions and abilities. As the patients added words to their melodies, the speech centre in the right brain began to develop more connections.  If patients tapped out the rhythm of each syllable, it made their results even more effective. According to Dr Aniruddh Patel from the Neurosciences Institute in San Diego: "People sometimes ask where in the brain music is processed and the answer is everywhere above the neck ... Music engages huge swathes of the brain – it's not just lighting up a spot in the auditory cortex."