Friday, February 24, 2006

Science: Time Out of Mind

This is pretty cool indeed.

We can't touch time, or smell it. Yet it is utterly inescapable. But, research shows, time is - at least partly - something we control in our heads."

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Thursday, February 23, 2006

A "Jurassic beaver" unearthed in China

Ok, I pretty much just posted this because the headline sounded funny. We're all a bit immature at times I suppose.

WASHINGTON - For years, the mammals living in the era of dinosaurs have been thought of as tiny shrewlike creatures scurrying through the underbrush. Now the discovery of a furry aquatic creature with seallike teeth and a flat tail like a beaver has demolished that image."

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Trailer: A Scanner Darkly

I don't normally blog the release of movie trailers (maybe I should?), but this one has been popping up on all the various sites to which I am betrothed. I first saw it written about over at Paul's one digital life, but, unfortunately, it had a rather large picture of Keanu -- an actor whom I could certainly do without -- and I opted not to pursue any further course of action. It then, however, popped up in A Directory of Wonderful Things with a different picture, and I figured I should check it out. Paul was right, the picture sure can make a big difference. As it were, I have chosen to go with Robert Downey Jr. because he doesn't offend any one of my particular, auspicious sensibilities.

I'm sorry Keanu, I still prefer you to Nick Cage -- even if he does name his children after cool superheroes -- if that is any consolation.

At any rate, I have a vague recollection of having heard something to the effect that Warner Bros. was making a live action movie that used some pretty advanced techniques to make it look like a living graphic novel. It was a passing moment, and I compartmentalized this information into the dark and hidden recesses of my memory that I'm sure Lindsay could tell you about (after all her studying), but of which I am completely and destitutely devoid in knowledge.

So, this new movie, A Scanner Darkly, produced by Warner Independent Pictures and due out this summer, really looks to be a visual gem. The story is based on the scifi novel by Philip K. Dick and looks to be engaging also. Check out the trailer and let me know what you think.

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Apple Sells 1,000,000,000th Song

Damn. That's certainly a profusion of Zeroes. Call me crazy, but it would seem that this is may in fact be a harbinger of some sort of digital media distribution onslaught. I suppose that at one billion some sort of measure of success can be claimed.

At approximately 12:37 PM Eastern on February 23rd, 2006, Apple sold its one billionth song on iTunes, marking the end of their Billion Song Giveaway campaign."

Maybe we aren't all stealing music after all?

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

CNN: Carbon monoxide may mask bad meat, critics say

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Shoppers who judge the freshness of meat by its color may be deceived by a relatively new industry practice of treating meat with carbon monoxide, critics say.

The meat industry defends the use of carbon monoxide to help meat retain its pink hue, saying large sums of money are wasted when sellers throw away meat that is still safe to eat but is not as attractive because it is slightly brown."

Since 2002, the FDA has allowed three meat producing or packaging firms to use carbon monoxide under a process known as "generally recognized as safe," or GRAS.

Under GRAS notifications, the FDA conducts no research on its own, instead relying on the notifier's documents confirming the safety of the product."

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Monday, February 20, 2006

Sleep May Become A Thing Of The Past

New drugs which will allow people to survive on only two hours sleep a day are being developed, scientists have said.

The drugs will allow people to cope with the pressures of 24-hour society."

Does this sound a little scary to anyone else? Granted, it would certainly make scheduling a little easier.

In 10 to 20 years we'll be able to pharmacologically turn sleep off. Mimicking sleep will take longer, but I can see it happening."

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Automated Parallel Parking

Check out this sweet video of a BMW parking itself. Apparently Japanese Priuses have been using similar technlogoy since 2003, and starting in 2006 it will be available in other countries. I'm thinking upgrade :)

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Sunday, February 19, 2006

Top Ten Reasons that Geeks Make Good Fathers

So, it appears that this nice lady has seen the light and explained exactly why I can't wait to be a father.

Here are the first 5. Find the rest after the jump.

1. LEGOS. The Geek is really more of a Man-Child than an adult. In their minds, they are still 10. They freakin' still love to play with their legos, and have never grown up. I have one friend, WHO WILL REMAIN NAMELESS, that still has legos in his room. He doesn't have kids. Just legos. Of course, my children love legos and Steve will lovingly spend hours playing legos with them.

2. VIDEO GAMES. Due to the whole Man-Child thing as stated in #1, the Geek loves video games. And he's good at them too. My husband is the hit of all the kids' friends because not only can he talk video games, he plays them too. If my children get "stuck" while playing their Gameboys and bring it to me for assistance, all I can do is feebly hold it and say " Mommy doesn't know how to play this." Daddy, however, can beat the game.

3. MATH. A huge plus here. No matter how old they get, Steve can still help with the math homework. My ability to be of assistance is going to last another few years before *I* end up throwing the math homework across the room in disgust.

4. SMART KIDS. Smart Geeks make smart children. Although for the most part, it's great to have really intelligent children, when your just turned two year old is using the word PREPOSTEROUS correctly, it makes for some difficult times as they get older. I literally spend a large part of my time scheming to stay one step ahead of my oldest child.

5. UP ON TECHNOLOGY. The beautiful thing about having a Geek for a parent is that you aren't wondering what your children are doing online. You *KNOW* what they are doing online and you can limit it if necessary.
It's fabulous peace of mind.

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Friday, February 17, 2006

Death by Work

Can your job kill you?

Deadlines, obnoxious co-workers, evil bosses. These are all challenges that many people have to face everyday at work.

OK, these factors can be downright annoying and unpleasant, but can they really be harmful to you?"

It would seem so... Here are the 5 biggest causes of stress according to CNN:

1. Job security: This is the No. 1 cause of stress among the patients Menard sees.

"People are fearful of losing their jobs, so they work more and then get stressed and burn themselves out," she said.

Also, many bosses may be working employees harder to meet demands for higher cost efficiency and productivity.

2. Poor diet: Caffeine and nicotine often are used to get people through stressful situations.

"Indulging in these or other substances, such as drugs and alcohol, only intensifies the stress cycle," Menard warned. "The more caffeine you drink, the less you sleep. The less you sleep, the more tired and tense you feel." And so on...

3. Lack of sleep: This in and of itself can be a stressor. Usually the more tired you are, the less patience you have, and you are more apt to fly off the handle. So it's important to get enough sleep and burn off those excess stress hormones with some exercise or meditation.

4. Success: Sometimes being successful actually can lead to anxiety. Dr. Menard notes that people in high-pay, high-stress professions, such as financial traders, feel extreme pressures to make money for their companies and their clients. They know if they don't bring in the money, they will lose their accounts and perhaps their jobs.

However, even if they are successful, dealing with great amounts of money and just the art of the deal can become addictive, keeping them in a perpetual state of tension.

5. Feeling no control: Many of Dr. Menard's patients report feeling they have no power over their job responsibilities and that someone else is always pulling the strings. This can be a great source of worry, especially if they have a never-ending workload to complete.

So I suffer from, probably, three of these; perhaps even four. And I'm fairly new to this daily intravenous stress drip.

Anyone else dying at work?

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Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Teenager "Dog Whistle"

Those rowdy kids getting out of hand? Blow a whistle.

Called the Mosquito by its manufactures, the device sends out an 80-decibel frequency tone that can only be heard by young adults, mostly in their late teens and early 20s."


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Man in Vietnam hasn't slept in 33 years

64-year old Thai Ngoc had a fever in 1973, and after that he never went to sleep again, not even for a quick nap. He even had a medical examination, but doctors gave him a clean bill of health."

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

RIAA Says Ripping CDs to Your iPod is NOT Fair Use

The RIAA argues in a DMCA rule-making filing that copying for personal use (to an iPod) is not fair-use.

Read this. Be angry.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Top Ten List of Programming Advice to NOT Follow

Addresses some of the most common things people are being told about programming with which the author disagrees."

With what do you agree? I agree with much of it - but I've only got a year of professional experience under my belt.

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Monday, February 13, 2006

Procrastination: Ten Things To Know

There are many ways to avoid success in life, but the most sure-fire just might be procrastination. Procrastinators sabotage themselves. They put obstacles in their own path. They actually choose paths that hurt their performance."

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Firefly Documentary Coming Soon

The documentary is hosted by Adam Baldwin (Jayne), and featured interviews with many of the most important figures from the Firefly world, including creator Joss Whedon, several of the actors, and even some of the browncoat fans. The DVD will include more special features than the Firefly and Serenity DVDs combined."

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Study: 50% Chance You'll Misunderstand a Text-Based Internet Message

Study shows that even though the sender will expect you to understand their tone and meaning 80% of the time, you'll really only understand them about 50% of the time. This is because "people aren't that good at imagining how a message might be understood from another person's perspective."

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Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Mathematics of Nature: Phi

Most people are probably not aware of this amazing mathematical phenomenon. I'm not sure if this is more of a proof for or against the existence of an intelligent designer. It also played a small part in Dan Brown's The DaVinci Code, but you probably knew that since nearly everyone on the planet has read that.

When one looks into the absolutely vast amount of information that has been collected on the extensive number of forms in which Nature employs the proportion of Phi, it is obvious that there is no other specific number that recurs throughout life on Earth with such regularity."

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Friday, February 10, 2006

Stupid: Man Burglarizes Homes, Checks Email

Lori Menzel of the town of Kewaskum said the burglar left his Yahoo account open after checking his personal e-mail on the computer at her home.

I check my mail everywhere too.....?

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Thursday, February 09, 2006

R.I.P. Rabbit-Ears: President Bush Signs Bill into Law, Analog TV to turn off on February 17th, 2009

With today's action, President Bush has set a hard finish line for the nation's transition to DTV (Digital Television). CEA has long supported a hard cut-off date for analog broadcasts. This deadline will provide certainty to manufacturers, retailers, consumers and all others with a stake in the transition."

Looks like you've got 3 more years with your precious rabbit ears, then the government will force you to upgrade. Seriously though, this is probably a good thing that we should have done a while ago.

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True video iPod to sport 3.5-inch display, touch-screen click wheel

Think Secret can confirm recent rumblings that Apple is nearing completion of a completely revamped video iPod that will shed the ubiquitous mechanical click wheel for a touch screen and will sport a 3.5-inch diagonal display."

No surprise here....move along.

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Play Original Lemmings Online

Everyone must have played this classic strategy game years ago.
Well it can now be played online for free!

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

So, if this happened here, Baltimore County would think it was the Apocalypse

Apparently, it is really, really cold in Switzerland. Check out all of the pics.

[Via Dvorak Uncensored] ... where do they find this stuff?

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Top 30 mistakes made by new Mac users

This is a probably a good reference for my future. Since I will own a Mac.

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Bill Nye, the Married Guy

Bill Nye is no longer the Single Guy.

Nye, who hosted the educational PBS series "Bill Nye, the Science Guy" during its nine-year run, married his fiancee, Blair Tindall, on Friday, it was announced Tuesday.

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Oldest Ancestor of Tyrannosaur found

Weird doesn't even begin to describe....

NEW YORK - Scientists say they’ve found the earliest known tyrannosaur, shedding light on the lineage that produced the fearsome Tyrannosaurus rex. The discovery comes with a puzzle: Why did this beast have a strange crest on its head?"

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Bad Astronomy Update: Appointee is as dumb as suspected

So, here's a quick update on this. It seems that I was not the only one who pondered possible reasons for this person's stupidity as several people have revelled in some investigative journalism. Their discoveries were not so surprising, and this kid has resigned from office.

George C. Deutsch, the young presidential appointee at NASA who told public affairs workers to limit reporters’ access to a top climate scientist and told a Web designer to add the word “theory” at every mention of the Big Bang, resigned yesterday, agency officials said.

Mr. Deutsch’s resignation came on the same day that officials at Texas A&M University confirmed that he did not graduate from there, as his résumé on file at the agency asserted."

[Via Dvorak Uncensored]

Photos of China

Forget everything you think you know about China and take a couple minutes to ponder these images. Few people in the Western world know about the hidden beauty of China. These are some truly inspiring photos."

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Full Body Sleeping Bag

A great new sleeping bag designed so you never have to get out of beg again."

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Vertical Mouse 2

Slide show of a vertical mouse. I think I may try to get one to help my CT issues. Here is a review.

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Monday, February 06, 2006

Google and Flickr integration with Gtalkr

Website Gtalkr is a Flash-based web app designed to bring your Google apps (Gmail and Google Talk) together with Flickr, YouTube, and newsfeeds for an all-in-one media and communications mega-package."

If you use GTalk, Flickr or YouTube, check this out. If you don't, well, you should start using them.

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Bad Astronomy: Bush Appointee Attacks NASA Scientists

I am 22 and I can't imagine being in this type of position, and also saying something this stupid on such an international stage.

George Deutsch, 24-year-old journalism major turned NASA public affairs officer (who also happens to be a Bush appointee), says that the Big Bang is "not proven fact; it is opinion ... It is not NASA's place [to] make a declaration such as this about the existence of the universe that discounts intelligent design by a creator."

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Deviantart: Reverse Engineering the N64 Controller

I'd hang this picture on my wall. Framed.

A reverse-engineered N64 controller turned into a surprisingly artistic sculpture.

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Man-made blood won't carry bacteria, viruses

Clinical tests on humanoids are set to start this time next year and alleviate the worldwide blood shortage."

Hmm .....

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Bottled Water - the $100 Billion Fraud Industry

Consumers spend a collective $100 billion every year on bottled water in the belief--often mistaken, as it happens--that this is better for us than what flows from our taps. At up to $2.50 per liter ($10 per gallon), bottled water costs more than gasoline in the United States.

I've also heard that it is worse for you than tap water in many cases because germs from your mouth can grow into nasties inside the bottle very quickly. I always thought it tasted funny anyway.

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Saturday, February 04, 2006

Nostalgia: Super Mario Bros. Synthisizer

Create your own SMB mix of songs and sounds.

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Friday, February 03, 2006

Review: Submersed Shines In Due Time

If you have long since feared the death of music at the hands of MTV, Britney Spears and the so-called "mash-up," it may now be safe to say that the outlook of musical longevity is looking good.

Very good.

At least if the future of music lies in the hands, the voice, and the wake of a young band from Stephenville, Texas, who aptly call themselves Submersed. This five-man barrage is not afraid to "dive below" the shallow surface of most modern music, ask the "big questions" and blow apart rock, nay music in general, right at its roots. Front man Donald Carpenter draws you in with his mature, emotional lyrics, while his vocal prowess that flawlessly combines melodic overtones with the quintessential rock growl will leave you floored. This, combined with a deluge of musical talent, from engaging guitar riffs that would make Iommi and Hetfield proud, to intelligent bass lines and complimentary, meticulously crafted drum tracks, allows Submersed to channel the rock gods that came before them while still achieving their own sound and identity.

Produced by Mark Tremonti (of Creed and Alter Bridge), Submersed's freshman outing for Wind-Up Records, In Due Time (2004) may have arrived just in time to initiate a rock renaissance.

The rest of this article appears on Newsvine

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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Scratch Your Brain to Unstick Annoying Songs

"Cognitive itches" cause annoying but catchy songs to stick in our minds. Here's a cure: scratch it.

I really need to learn all the words to Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

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Pandora 2.1: New Features!

Many of you already know how I feel about Pandora. Truly amazing. Version 2.1 was released last night to an unbeknownst public. Here are some of its features:

New Favorites and Sharing Features
Pandora RSS Feeds (Beta)
Fit, Finish and Polish
Keyboard Control
Pandora for Your Site

Creating your own station is really this easy:

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Google: Party Over?

After missing earning expectations the honeymoon for Google's stock appears to be over.

Some analysts have added that Google will soon face more significant competitive pressure from Yahoo! as well as Microsoft. Microsoft's MSN Internet unit is set to launch a new online search tool for advertisers soon called adCenter this year.

I doubt it. I think CNN Money just wants to write about Google because it'll get readers.

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Tons of old Nintendo TV advertisements

Check out these cool old Nintendo TV advertisements. Super Mario, Smash Bros., Mario Kart etc.

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TV to End as We Know It

It seems that I have been dubbed a Gadgetier.

Television is dead, long live television. A new study from IBM Corp. confirms many fears that today's television industry is being killed by technology, but it also outlines many ways those same developments are creating new opportunities for creativity and revenue."

Personally, I'm all about being able to watch (or listen to) what I want -- when I want it -- and how I want it.

It's good to seem that someone is noticing this trend. Now if we could just get rid of commercials.

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Six more weeks of winter

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, but it was hard to find a complainer in the crowd at Gobbler's Knob, where the morning temperature was well above freezing and the Groundhog Day high was expected to hit 48 degrees.

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Study Confirms '10th Planet' Indeed Larger than Pluto

I was just talking to my friend Candi about this. Pretty interesting if you ask me.

An object discovered earlier this year and considered by some to be our solar system's 10th planet is indeed larger than Pluto, a new study confirms."

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

In Case You Were Wondering...

For those of you who make fun of my car behind my back,

TOP TEN HYBRID MYTHS: With more of the gas-electric cars on the road, it's time to dispel some of the misinformation surrounding these alternative vehicles."

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Bouncy: So an elephant walks into a gym...

So, like, honestly, who hasn't had this dream?

[Via ODL ... again. Thanks Paul]

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Hack your (my) Toyota Prius

With a little do-it-yourself, you can unlock a whole new set of latent magic powers that Toyota never wanted you to know about.

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