Thursday, May 27, 2010

Cha Sa-soon, SKorean Woman, Passes Driver's Exam On 950th Try

November 6, 2009 22:48:50
Cha Sasoon


SEOUL, South Korea — A woman in South Korea who tried to pass the written exam for a driver's license with near-daily attempts since April 2005 has finally succeeded on her 950th time. The aspiring driver spent more than 5 million won ($4,200) in application fees, but until now had failed to score the minimum 60 out of a possible 100 points needed to get behind the wheel for a driving test.

Cha Sa-soon, 68, finally passed the written exam with a score of 60 on Wednesday, said Choi Young-chul, a police official at the drivers' license agency in Jeonju, 130 miles (210 kilometers) south of Seoul.

Read the whole story: AP

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

USAF Scramjet Hits Mach 6, Sets Record

Posted by CmdrTaco on Thursday May 27, @10:59AM
from the get-where-yer-going dept.
s122604 writes"The [X-51A Waverider]'s scramjet engine accelerated the vehicle to Mach 6, and it flew autonomously for 200 seconds before losing acceleration. At that point the test was terminated. The Air Force said the previous record for a hypersonic scramjet burn was 12 seconds. Joe Vogel, Boeing's director of hypersonics, said, 'This is a new world record and sets the foundation for several hypersonic applications, including access to space, reconnaissance, strike, global reach and commercial transportation.' "

Ribbon at Edge of Our Solar System: Will the Sun Enter a Million-Degree Cloud of Interstellar Gas?

ScienceDaily (May 24, 2010) — Is the Sun going to enter a million-degree galactic cloud of interstellar gas soon?

Mutant Gum Disease Bacteria Provide Clue to Treatment for Alzheimer's

ScienceDaily (May 25, 2010) — A defective, mutant strain of the bacterium that causes gum disease could provide a clue to potential treatments for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and a number of other diseases. Researchers from the University of Florida College of Dentistry report their findings May 25 at the 110th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in San Diego.

“Artificial life” created in lab

Written by Will on May 23rd, 2010

We knew the time was coming. The first “artificial” life has been created in a lab. The positive potential to society will be astounding as this technology progresses (as will the potential negatives).

Scientists in the US have succeeded in developing the first living cell to be controlled entirely by synthetic DNA.

The researchers constructed a bacterium's “genetic software” and transplanted it into a host cell.

The resulting microbe then looked and behaved like the species “dictated” by the synthetic DNA.

via BBC News – ‘Artificial life’ breakthrough announced by scientists.

Below is a video interview with Dr. Venter:

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Can Bacteria Make You Smarter?

ScienceDaily (May 24, 2010) — Exposure to specific bacteria in the environment, already believed to have antidepressant qualities, could increase learning behavior, according to research presented at the 110th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in San Diego.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mark Twain To Reveal All After 100 Year Wait

Posted by CmdrTaco on Monday May 24, @11:50AM
from the bruce-willis-is-dead dept.
Hugh Pickens writes"The Independent reports that one of Mark Twain's dying wishes is at last coming true: an extensive, outspoken and revelatory autobiography which he devoted the last decade of his life to writing is finally going to be published one hundred years after his death. Twain, the pen name of Samuel Clemens, left behind 5,000 unedited pages of memoirs when he died in 1910, together with handwritten notes saying that he did not want them to hit bookshops for at least a century, but in November, the University of California, Berkeley, where the manuscript is in a vault, will release the first volume of Mark Twain's three-volume autobiography. Scholars are divided as to why Twain wanted his autobiography kept under wraps for so long, with some believing it was because he wanted to talk freely about issues such as religion and politics. Michael Shelden, who this year published Man in White, an account of Twain's final years, says that some of his privately held views could have hurt his public image. 'He had doubts about God, and in the autobiography, he questions the imperial mission of the US in Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines,' says Shelden. 'He's also critical of [Theodore] Roosevelt, and takes the view that patriotism was the last refuge of the scoundrel. Twain also disliked sending Christian missionaries to Africa. He said they had enough business to be getting on with at home: with lynching going on in the South, he thought they should try to convert the heathens down there.' Interestingly enough, Twain had a cunning plan to beat the early 20th century copyright law with its short copyright terms. Twain planned to republish every one of his works the moment it went out of copyright with one-third more content, hoping that availability of such 'premium' version will make prints based on the out-of-copyright version less desirable on the market."