Friday, August 22, 2008

Continued Breakup Of Two Of Greenland's Largest Glaciers Shown In Satellite Images

ScienceDaily (Aug. 22, 2008) — Researchers monitoring daily satellite images of Greenland’s glaciers have discovered break-ups at two of the largest glaciers in the last month.

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Radioactive Waste Recycling No Longer A Pain In The Ash

ScienceDaily (Aug. 22, 2008) — A new recycling plant will soon recover uranium from the ashes of radioactive garbage to be recycled back into nuclear fuel using an efficient, environmentally friendly technology inspired by decaffeinated coffee. The technique’s future may even hold the key to recycling the most dangerous forms of radioactive waste.

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Killer Carbs: Scientist Finds Key To Overeating As We Age

ScienceDaily (Aug. 22, 2008) — A Monash University scientist has discovered key appetite control cells in the human brain degenerate over time, causing increased hunger and potentially weight-gain as we grow older. The research by Dr Zane Andrews, a neuroendocrinologist with Monash University's Department of Physiology, has been published in Nature.

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2008 Is the Coldest Year of The 21st Century

Posted by timothy on Thursday August 21, @08:20PM
from the problem-with-complexity-is-all-the-complexity dept.
dtjohnson writes "Data from the United Kingdom Metereological Office suggests that 2008 will be an unusually cold year due to the La Nina effect in the western Pacific ocean. Not to worry, though, as the La Nina effect has faded recently so its effect on next years temperatures will be reduced. However, another natural cycle, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, is predicted to hold global temperatures steady for the next decade before global warming takes our planet into new warmth. If these predictions are correct, there must be a lot of planetary heat being stored away somewhere ... unless the heat output from the sun is decreasing rather than increasing or the heat being absorbed by the earth is decreasing due to changes in the earth's albedo."

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Microsoft enlists Seinfeld, Gates to battle "Get a Mac" ads

Those Apple "Get a Mac" ads have long been an annoyance to Microsoft and to Bill Gates in particular. No surprise as an emboldened Apple with rising market share has continued to ratchet up the venom with quips like, "fear of switching is the foundation of customer loyalty for PCs," found in its latest TV ad. Now Microsoft is fighting back.

Microsoft's new $300 million campaign (one of Redmond's largest ever) is set to launch with a $10 million assist from "key celebrity pitchman" Jerry Seinfeld. Yes, Bill Gates will appear as well -- the once maligned, rich corporate nerd turned adorable, rich humanitarian nerd. The campaign is said to be based on the idea of "Windows, Not Walls," stressing the need to "break down barriers that prevent people and ideas from connecting." Something we think open-sourcers might have a laugh at. Anywho, the immediate goal of the campaign is to reverse the negative public perception of Vista and thus incorporates elements of the Mojave Experiment. While we have doubts about the latter, the combination of Seinfeld's pithy observations with a bit of that Bill Gates, self deprecating humor seen in "Bill's Last Day" could be a winning combination. Whether that turns the slow moving boat of public opinion remains to be seen.

Switching It Up: How Memory Deals With A Change In Plans

ScienceDaily (Aug. 20, 2008) — You're about to leave work at the end of the day when your cell phone rings: it's your spouse, asking that you pick up a gallon of milk on the way home. Before you head out the door, though, your spouse calls again and asks you to stop by the hardware store too. Based on your knowledge of the area and rush-hour traffic, you decide to get the milk first and the toilet plunger second. But whoops! The phone rings again. This time, it's your boss, asking you to work late. That means another change of plans.

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Kids SOL scores

Michael pass all of his SOLs as everyone already knows and passed with advanced proficiency in history.

Emmaline, the brain child, passed with advanced proficiency in all her SOLs with the exception of writing which she passed. That is 4 out of 5 SOLs that she got the highest grade on!

We are so happy they did so well last year and hope they keep it up!

Acid rain molecule tells all

Acid rain has plagued this Earth for a few generations now, and scientists for just as long have been battling to fight the environmental nightmare. Yet, to truly conquer a foe, you must first understand it. Recently, scientists at Purdue University have brought us one step closer by discovering exactly how acid rain works to react with nitric acid to form ozone.

Without getting too scientific on you, let's just say that this research was not an easy project. The key to everything lied in uncovering a temporary intermediate molecule, created in the short-lived process of acid rain's transformation from normal water molecules. This bond between the intermediate molecule and the hydrogen in water are actually stronger than you would expect between water to water. This new understanding of acid rain on a molecular level may be the first step in its eventual elimination.
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Magpies Are Self-Aware

Posted by kdawson on Wednesday August 20, @06:08AM
from the who-you-callin'-birdbrain dept.
FireStormZ writes "Magpies can recognize themselves in a mirror, confounding the notion that self-awareness is the exclusive preserve of humans and a few higher mammals. It had been thought only four species of apes, bottlenose dolphins, and Asian elephants shared the human ability to recognize their own bodies in a mirror. But German scientists reported on Tuesday that magpies, a species with a brain structure very different from mammals, could also identify themselves. It had been thought that the neocortex brain area found in mammals was crucial to self-recognition. Yet birds, which last shared a common ancestor with mammals 300 million years ago, don't have a neocortex, suggesting that higher cognitive skills can develop in other ways."

Can Biofuels Be Sustainable?

ScienceDaily (Aug. 20, 2008) — With oil prices skyrocketing, the search is on for efficient and sustainable biofuels. Research published this month in Agronomy Journal examines one biofuel crop contender: corn stover.

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Calculators Okay In Math Class, If Students Know The Facts First, Study Finds

ScienceDaily (Aug. 20, 2008) — Calculators are useful tools in elementary mathematics classes, if students already have some basic skills, new research has found. The findings shed light on the debate about whether and when calculators should be used in the classroom.

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Silver Is Key To Reducing Pneumonia Associated With Breathing Tubes

ScienceDaily (Aug. 20, 2008) — People have long prized silver as a precious metal. Now, silver-coated endotracheal tubes are giving critically ill patients another reason to value the lustrous metal. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the NASCENT Investigation Group, report that the silver-coated tubes led to a 36 percent reduction of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP).

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

If it takes 1000 Microsoft engineers to code Windows 7, how many are required to change a lightbulb?

˙pɹɐpuɐʇs ʎɹʇsnpuı uɐ sɐ ssǝuʞɹɐp ǝuıɟǝp ʇsnɾ ʎǝɥʇ ˙ǝuou

All smartass-ery aside, we're pleased to see Microsoft's attempt to more fully engage the development community as it marches towards a 2010 release of Windows 7. The 1,000-strong engineering team is comprised of 25 different feature teams each made up of about 40 persons on average. The whole dry but peculiarly intriguing setup is fully detailed on Microsoft's new E7, corporate transparency blog sitting just beyond the read link.

By the way, how many Apple employees does it take to change a lightbulb? 13, 1 to do the screwing and a dozen lawyer-types to prepare for the recall.

[Via Pocket-lint]

iPosture annoys you when you slouch, does so because it loves you

Mama always said you'd regret slouching one day, and while you've still got a few decades left before ultimately determining whether the sage-like advice was right or wrong, why take chances? The iPosture does the same thing as wearable posture reminders that we've seen in the past, but this one does so in a much more discrete fashion. The diminutive nano-sensor detects when your angle deviates just three degrees from the optimal position for greater than a minute, after which it emits a warning to straighten you out. Users insistent on keeping it crooked can turn the device off by powering it down, removing it or flinging it furiously into a wall. Life's next big nuisance will be shipping soon for $99.95.

[Thanks, Eric]

The Duke Is Finally Back, For Real

Journal written by Hurricane78 (562437) and posted by kdawson on Tuesday August 19, @05:20AM
from the better-be-good dept.
After the first announcement on 1997-04-27 and over eleven years of fresh start after fresh start, Duke Nukem Forever finally comes to your system. At least if your system is an Xbox 360. Jon Siegler, the webmaster of 3D Realms, confirms this on their site: "As has been reported around the net today, we can confirm that the game has indeed passed final certification with Microsoft on Friday the 15th of August (on our first try, no less). That means the game is done — it is now in the hands of Microsoft." Update: 08/19 10:47 GMT by T : Several readers have written with a correction: this announcement is actually about Duke Nukem 3D, rather than Duke Nukem Forever.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Fun game

This is kind of a fun game that is sort of a ball in cup game for the computer.

Penguin made Norwegian knight

King penguins are the second largest species of penguin, second in size only to the Emperor Penguin. King penguins were the stars in Happy Feet ,and in case you are wondering, as far as conservation status, they are in the "Least Concern" category. And one of them became a Norwegian knight last week, at the Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland.

That's right, king penguin Nils Olav was made a knight of the Norwegian King's Guard.

But don't confuse him with the first Nils Olav. Nils Olav is actually the third Nils Olav, who received the name and rank of the second Nils Olav the penguin, who received the title and rank from the original Nils Olav. Confused? Me too. But the video below seems to make this all seem quite normal.

Extinction Most Likely For Rare Trees In Amazon Rainforest

ScienceDaily (Aug. 18, 2008) — Common tree species in the Amazon will survive even grim scenarios of deforestation and road-building, but rare trees could suffer extinction rates of up to 50 percent, predict Smithsonian scientists and colleagues.

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