Friday, December 10, 2010

Living in Certain Neighborhoods Increases the Chances Older Men and Women Will Develop Cancer, Study Finds

ScienceDaily (Dec. 9, 2010) — Older people who live in racially segregated neighborhoods with high crime rates have a much higher chance of developing cancer than do older people with similar health histories and income levels who live in safer, less segregated neighborhoods.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Bus Law Meant to Protect Kids Has Major Loophole

State code can sometimes be written in such a convoluted manner, it's hard to know what exactly a law means.

But one thing is for sure about Virginia's 40-year-old bus safety statute that makes it illegal to pass a school bus while it's picking up or dropping off children: it's missing a word. 

A very costly word.

A man in Northern Virginia was recently acquitted of a reckless driving charge because his attorney argued there's no evidence the man "failed to stop any school bus."

The wording in the Virginia state law should read, "a person is guilty of reckless driving who fails to stop....AT any school bus which is stopped on any highway, private road or school driveway."

But the state law omits the word "at," making it illegal to 'fail to stop a school bus."

State Delegate Joe Morrissey, D-74th, reviewed the Virginia code and sided with the judge for finding the man 'not guilty' of reckless driving.

"Quite frankly, the legislature in 1970 screwed up," said Morrissey. "They should have caught it, and my feeling is that people, citizens should be the beneficiaries if we screw up in a particular word."

Morrissey said another version of the law has already been drafted, and the corrected bill will gain passage in the 2011 General Assembly session in a couple of months.

The former prosecutor said it's hard to cast blame in a situation like this, which involves a complicated political process.

"Everybody's at fault," said Morrissey, "everybody voted on it, and it's not unusual when we're voting on a bill."

He added that the legislation goes through many different changes/evolutions between committees and both chambers, and sometimes typing mistakes just slip through the cracks.

Richmond parents concerned about the safety of their children did not agree with the judge's decision in this case, nor did they find the shrewd lawyer's discovery of the missing "at" very amusing.

"No, no," said Diana Nebille, shaking her head. "A simple typo. When you're talking the safety of our children, no. That's the wrong decision."

Another mom, Rebecca Wolf, worried about what the verdict would mean for future drivers who break the law.

"[The judge] should have been a little less shallow and realized what he was really doing by letting this person go," said Wolf. "It's setting a precedent for anyone else to get off that way too."


Super Interesting site on drinking Ages

$200B Lost To Counterfeiting? Back It Up

Posted by kdawson on Monday August 02, @09:35PM
from the pulled-from-some-orifice dept.
An anonymous reader writes"Over the weekend, the NY Times ran a story about how the recession has impacted product counterfeiters. In it, the reporter regurgitates the oft-repeated claim that counterfeiting 'costs American businesses an estimated $200 billion a year.' Techdirt's Mike Masnick asks the Times reporter to back up that assertion, noting two recent reports (by the GAO and the OECD) that suggest the actual number is much lower, and quoting two reporters who have actually looked at the numbers and found (a) the real number is probably less than $5 billion, and (b) the $200 billion number can be traced back to a totally unsourced (read: made-up) magazine claim from two decades ago."

Pets sing Deck the Halls

Tentacle-Like Prosthetic Arm Will Haunt Your Dreams

  • 7:13 am  |  

  • Categories: R&D and Inventions

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    Kaylene Kau’s prosthetic arm is either a sweet modern update of the old-fashioned pirate’s hook, or a terrifying device that will turn its wearer into a Cthuloid-human mongrel. I favor the former, if only because I want to sleep at night.
    The prosthesis is designed not to be a prehensile limb, but instead as an assistive appendage for the good arm. A simple motor drives two cables inside the tentacle, and the wearer controls it via a pair of switches on the upper section. Just put the “arm” in place, hit the switch and it curls around whatever you might want to carry. The other switch unfurls the arm.
    It’s not Dean Kamen’s astonishing robot arm, but then it would also be a lot cheaper, and therefore available to many more people. And if a pirate were to swap this in for his current, eye-gouging hook setup, he’d certainly be keeping to an oceanic theme.

    Proverbial Wallets make your metaphysical money a little more tangible

    By Tim Stevens  posted Dec 9th 2010 8:59AM

    Counting dollars and cents on the checkout counter really makes you feel the weight of every expenditure. Swiping a credit card or waving an NFC device over a sensor? Not so much. Enter the Proverbial Wallets from the Information Ecology group at the MIT Media Lab, three separate devices that use three haptic techniques to curtail your spending. First is the Bumblebee, which buzzes and vibrates whenever money comes into or goes out from your account. Next is Mother Bear, which becomes harder to open as you get closer to your spending goal. Finally is Peacock, which swells proudly as your bank balance does the same. Sadly none of these are actually available yet, but we have a feeling if they were they might put a bit of a hurting on our very real and very strict budgets.

    Goodbye, VGA

    Posted by CmdrTaco on Thursday December 09, @08:42AM
    from the we-definitely-knew-thee dept.
    jones_supa writes"Leading PC companies have expressed their will to finally start kicking out legacy display interfaces. Intel plans to end support of LVDS in 2013 and VGA in 2015 in its PC client processors and chipsets. While the large installed base of existing VGA monitors and projectors will likely keep VGA on PC back panels beyond 2015, PC and display panel makers are in strong support of this transition. The DisplayPort connector interface provides backwards and forwards compatibility by supporting VGA and DVI output via certified adapters, while also providing new capabilities such as single connector multi-monitor support."

    Kinect finally fulfills its Minority Report destiny (video)

    By Vlad Savov  posted Dec 9th 2010 8:35AM

    Not to denigrate the numerous fine hacks that Kinect's undergone since its launch, but it's always nice to see the professionals come in and shake things up a little. A crew from MIT's brain labs has put together a hand detection system on Microsoft's ultra-versatile cam, which is sophisticated enough to recognize the position of both your palms and fingers. Just as a demonstration, they've tied that good stuff up to a little picture-scrolling UI, and you won't be surprised to hear that it's the closest thing toMinority Report's interactive gesture-based interface that we've seen yet. And it's all achieved with a freaking console peripheral. Video after the break.

    Influenza Virus Strains Show Increasing Drug Resistance and Ability to Spread

    ScienceDaily (Dec. 7, 2010) — Two new studies raise public health concerns about increasing antiviral resistance among certain influenza viruses, their ability to spread, and a lack of alternative antiviral treatment options. The findings are published in the January 1 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases.

    'Secret Ingredient' in Religion Makes People Happier

    ScienceDaily (Dec. 7, 2010) — While the positive correlation between religiosity and life satisfaction has long been known, a new study in the December issue of the American Sociological Review reveals religion's "secret ingredient" that makes people happier.

    Scientists Create Mice From 2 Fathers

    Posted by samzenpus on Thursday December 09, @04:33AM
    from the heather-has-two-mommies dept.
    An anonymous reader writes"Using stem cell technology, reproductive scientists in Texas, led by Dr. Richard R. Berhringer at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, have produced male and female mice from two fathers. The study was posted today (Wednesday, December 8) at the online site of the journal Biology of Reproduction. The achievement of two-father offspring in a species of mammal could be a step toward preserving endangered species, improving livestock breeds, and advancing human assisted reproductive technology (ART). It also opens the provocative possibility of same-sex couples having their own genetic children, the researchers note."

    Doubling of CO2 Not So Tragic After All?

    Posted by samzenpus on Thursday December 09, @12:03AM
    from the let-the-flame-war-begin dept.
    carvalhao writes"The Register reports on a study from NASA and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that claims that new climate models that account for the effects of increased CO2 levels on plant growth result on a 1,64 C increase for a doubling of CO2 concentrations, a far less gloomy scenario than previously considered."

    Scientists Discover Solar Powered Hornets

    Posted by samzenpus on Wednesday December 08, @08:03PM
    from the beware-of-the-electric-bees dept.
    adeelarshad82 writes"The oriental hornet is more active during the day, and tends to become even more active as the temperature rises. And now scientists have discovered the reason: the hornets are solar powered. It turns out that the distinctive yellow stripe on the hornet's abdomen is actually full of tiny protrusions that gather sunlight and harness it for energy. The insect also features a special pigment, called xanthopterin, that helps with the process."

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010

    Commercial's for the Dad's

    1,2 and 4 are funny.  I don't know who thought 3 was but it is not funny.

    Dr. Who's Sonic Screwdriver Exists

    Posted by CmdrTaco on Wednesday December 08, @12:14PM
    from the master-still-not-real-tho dept.
    Phoghat writes"Television's favourite Time Lord could not exist without his trusty sonic screwdriver, as it's proved priceless in defeating Daleks and keeping the Tardis in check. Now Doctor Who's famous cure-all gadget could become a reality for DIY-ers across the world, say engineers. Ultrasonic engineers at Bristol University and The Big Bang: UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair are uncovering how a real life version of the fictional screwdriver — which uses sonic technology to open locks and undo screws — could be created."

    NASA's 'Arsenic Microbe' Science Under Fire

    Posted by CmdrTaco on Wednesday December 08, @08:48AM
    from the arsenic-is-yummy dept.
    radioweather writes"The cryptic press release NASA made last week that set the blogosphere afire with conjecture, which announced: 'NASA will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. EST on Thursday, Dec. 2, to discuss an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life.' may be a case of 'go fever' science pushed too quickly by press release. A scathing article in lists some very prominent microbiologists who say the NASA-backed study is seriously flawed and that the finding may be based on something as simple as poor sample washing to remove phosphate contamination. One of the scientists, Shelley Copley of the University of Colorado said 'This paper should not have been published,' while another, John Roth of UC-Davis says: 'I suspect that NASA may be so desperate for a positive story that they didn't look for any serious advice from DNA or even microbiology people,' The experience reminded some of another press conference NASA held in 1996. Scientists unveiled a meteorite from Mars in which they said there were microscopic fossils. A number of critics condemned the report (also published in Science) for making claims it couldn't back up."

    New Blood Test Could Detect Heart Disease in People With No Symptoms

    ScienceDaily (Dec. 7, 2010) — A more sensitive version of a blood test typically used to confirm that someone is having a heart attack could indicate whether a seemingly healthy, middle-aged person has unrecognized heart disease and an increased risk of dying, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have found.

    Feeling Chills in Response to Music

    ScienceDaily (Dec. 7, 2010) — Most people feel chills and shivers in response to music that thrills them, but some people feel these chills often and others feel them hardly at all. People who are particularly open to new experiences are most likely to have chills in response to music, according to a study in the current Social Psychological and Personality Science.

    Road Test: Seeing Green in New Way With Nissan Leaf

    The Nissan Leaf is not just an excellent all electric car. It's a flat-out excellent car that happens to be electric.
    Read More

    Why Married Men Tend to Behave Better

    ScienceDaily (Dec. 7, 2010) — Researchers have long argued that marriage generally reduces illegal and aggressive behaviors in men. It remained unclear, however, if that association was a function of matrimony itself or whether less "antisocial" men were simply more likely to get married.

    Incredible Data center

    It has a glass walkway!  Where is James Bond when you need him:)

    Monday, December 6, 2010

    Electronic neural bridge helps paralyzed mice walk again, human application might prove tricky

    By Vlad Savov  posted Dec 6th 2010 7:46AM

    It's only been a week since we heard about age reversal in mice, yet already we've got another big advancement in rodent medical care: a solution for ameliorating the devastating effects of spinal cord injuries. A UCLA research team has shown off a new system that can restore walking motion to a mouse's hind legs, but not only that, it also grants control to the little fella by responding to its front legs' actions. Electromyography sensors detect when a mouse starts to walk up front, triggering electronic signals to be sent to the functional lower portion of its spine, which in turn starts up the rear muscles for a steady walking gait. It's only been tested on a treadmill so far, but the result seems to be a seamless restoration of walking capacity in rodents that doesn't require any outside assistance. The same will be pretty hard to replicate in humans, bipeds that they are, but that's why it's called research and not reobvious.