inno1-291109True blue
For centuries, the colour blue has presented a unique set of problems for painters, cloth makers and scientists. Recreating the elusive hue, which even nature reluctantly presents, has always been difficult, achieved at great expense  by grinding up precious lapis lazuli or toying with noxious substances. Blues squeezed from plants are apt to fade. The search for a safe alternative has ended. While messing around with manganese oxide, scientists at Oregon State University accidentally produced a bright blue pigment when the powder was heated in a furnace. The work has been published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Charminginno2
While attending a school for hearing impaired children, ten year-old Hayleigh Scott noticed that many of her fellow learners tried to hide their hearing aids by covering them with their hair. Hayleigh had a different view: "I wanted to make my hearing aids shine and be fancy and proud of my hearing aids", she says on her website, hayleighscherishedcharms.com. So she began designing jewellery designed to embellish rather than hide the devices.

inno3-291109Talk to the tote
How is that it is so difficult to spot your bag on the carousel at the airport? Is it a kind of performance anxiety that overcomes one or is it simply that most luggage looks the same? Thingsyouneverknew.com specialises in gadgets that you never knew existed, including the Luggage Locator, a device which you attach to your bag. When you activate it with  aremote which you carry on your person, the Luggage Locator will respond by flashing six coloured LED lights and playing the unique message that you have prerecorded.  It will prattle on for 30 seconds or so, giving you ample time to locate the source ... and your bag.

Sole mateinno4-291109
It is a well-documented fact that few humans are perfectly symmetrical and when it comes to feet, this can be painfully evident in some of us. Unevenfeet.com aims to address the podiatric problems of the proportionately disinclined by hooking them up with a user who has the same problem but on the opposite side. Once users have united they can make joint purchases of footwear.