The US Department of Homeland Security has funded the creation of a non-lethal weapon called the Dazzler that's basically a flashlight that causes disorientation, nausea, and vomiting. Now you can make one too! Hardware hackers from Adafruit explain it all.
John Gordon used a hobby kit to design a computer-controlled camera, then stuck it in a protective box and launched it into space (from Vulcan, Alberta) with a weather balloon. The pictures shot by his DiY satellite are breathtaking.