Friday, April 27, 2012

China's Space Program Is Becoming More Capable

Soldiers stand in front of the Long March II-F rocket loaded with China's unmanned space module Tiangong-1 before its planned launch from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, Gansu province September 29, 2011. REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic

China's Space Know-How Said Threat To U.S., Taiwan -- Reuters

China's growing capabilities in space could undercut any U.S. military response if Beijing resorted to force to bring self-ruled Taiwan into its fold, a study released Friday by a congressionally mandated U.S. commission said.

China's military is rapidly boosting its space programs to advance Communist Party interests "and defend against perceived challenges to sovereignty and territorial integrity," said the 84-page report by the Project 2049 Institute, a research group on Asia-Pacific security issues.

Read more ....

My Comment: On the same day that this report on China's growing space program was released, America's space program decline was there for all to see.

Women And Swimsuits

Why Do Women Cringe At The Thought Of Trying On Swimsuits? -- Red Orbit

Swimsuit season may not entirely be starting yet, but women all over the world are feeling the effects of it. It is intimidating for any girl to wear a bathing suit in public, but even more so in private dressing rooms. Dressing rooms can be cramped with bad lighting, making females unknowingly put more pressure on themselves through self-scrutiny. This idea of self-reflection through a variety of forms of clothing, from swimsuits to jeans and a sweater, was recently highlighted in an experiment by psychologists at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia.

The study, which will be published in the May issue of the journal Sex Roles, focuses on the idea of “self-objectification.”

Read more ....

My Comment: Yup .... there are some things that some of us guys can never out.

The U.S. Army Wants A Magic Bullet

Looking to the future: The U.S Army wants small businesses to develop a floating non-lethal bullet

U.S Army Floats The Idea Of A 'Magic Bullet' That Hangs Around In The Air Waiting To Strike -- Daily Mail

It sounds like something from a science fiction film, but soon, a ‘magic bullet’ that floats around in the air waiting for its target could become science fact.

This far-fetched sounding piece of ammunition isn’t designed to kill, though.

Called ‘Nonlethal Warhead for Miniature Organic Precision Munitions’, there isn’t even a prototype yet - but it’s on the U.S Army’s wish list.

Read more ....

More News On The U.S. Army's Search For A "Magic Bullet"

Army’s ‘Magic Bullet’ Will Hang Out in Midair, But Won’t Kill You -- Danger Room
The Army Is Pushing The Limit With This Insane 'Magic Bullet' -- Business Insider
Army Wants NonLethal 'Magic Bullet' Drone for Soldiers -- Live Science
Soon, ‘magic bullet’ that floats around in mid-air but won’t kill you -- Zee News

The Amazing U-2

High Spy: The Amazing U-2 -- Air & Space Smithsonian

Who would have thought that the Lockheed U-2, Kelly Johnson’s late, uninvited, and losing entry into a 1950s Air Force competition for a reconnaissance aircraft, would still be flying intelligence-gathering missions almost 60 years after its first flight? Challenged for its role as the sultan of surveillance by reconnaissance satellites, by Lockheed’s Mach 3 glamour puss, the SR-71 Blackbird (retired in 1999), and most recently, by the big Northrop Grumman surveillance UAV, Global Hawk, the U-2 flies on—above 70,000 feet, for as long as 12 hours at a time.

Read more

My Comment: A collection of fascinating stories on the U-2.

Can Fiction Survive The Ebook Age?

A little light reading? ... reading an ebook at the beach. Photograph: Alamy

Can Literary Fiction Survive The Ebook Age? -- The Guardian

Some claim that literary fiction has 'lost the next generation' of readers – but brilliant writing remains as important as ever

The death knell has been sounded for literary fiction often enough that it's great to see someone cheering it on. But when Francesca Main added the words "Go print" to a tweet celebrating the strong performance of literary paperbacks, it was enough to launch a fierce debate about what literary fiction is really for.

Read more ....

My Comment: If the content is there ... the readers will also follow.

An End To An Era For NASA

Space Shuttle Enterprise's Historic Flyover Wows New Yorkers --

NEW YORK — Hundreds of space shuttle fans braved the chilly temperatures and biting wind Friday morning (April 27) along the Hudson River here to catch a glimpse of NASA's prototype orbiter as it flew past the museum it will soon call home.

Enterprise, the agency's original test shuttle, flew to New York today from Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C., atop a modified Boeing 747 jet. Before landing at New York's John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport, the piggybacking duo flew over the Statue of Liberty, then followed the Hudson River past the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, where it will soon be placed on public display.

Read more

My Comment: This is a sad day for America.

The Army's Future Truck?

Future Army Truck Inspired by the iPhone -- Danger Room

The Army’s next truck should be smart, flexible, user-friendly, partially autonomous and affordable. In other words, the automotive equivalent of a gadget from Apple. At a trade conference in Virginia on Tuesday, Brig. Gen. Stephen Farmen, the chief of U.S. Army transportation, held up an iPhone. “How do we put the kind of power and technology like this into a wheeled vehicle and hit the right price point?” Farmen asked, according to a report by National Defense.

Read more ....

My Comment:
Interesting .... but still far away from implementation.

For An Oil Spill, Send In The Navy Drones

Designing Sailbots to Mop Up Oil Spills -- Wired

It’s the second anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Of the many terrible lessons learned from the event, perhaps the most tragic is the shocking inadequacy of current cleanup technology. Given how often we spill oil this is an urgent problem.

Enter Protei: an open source, shapeshifting, oil-spill-cleaning sailboat drone. Developed by a globally connected network of designers, engineers, tinkerers, and makers who are hell-bent on finding a better way to clean up the ocean, Protei kicked off just after the Deepwater Horizon accident.

Read more ....

The Four Ages Of The Universe

The Four Ages of the Universe -- What's Next? -- Discovery News

The Greek poet Hesiod described the Five Ages of Man in mythology.

They progress from the Golden Age, when people lived among the gods, through the warlike Bronze Age and on to the Heroic Age. His narrative ends with the Iron Age, a period of toil and misery for mankind.

Science has now replaced these mythologies. We are at the point where we look at the entire universe as a grand series of game-changing leaps toward our emergence as an intelligent species. It is an epic story more compelling than anything from creation mythology.

Read more ....

Is This The Perfect Face?

Is This the Perfect Face? -- Discovery News

What would a scientifically perfect face look like?

England thinks it would mirror Florence Colgate's. The 18-year-old student recently won a competition to find Britain's most naturally beautiful face. Although the final test came down to an opinion poll, science backs up Colgate's perfection, according to the Daily Mail.

Read more

My Comment: What's my take .... beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

A Search For The Bones Of An Early American

The Young Man of Chan Hol II skeleton was laid to rest 10,000 years ago when sea levels were much lower (Image: Eugenio Acevez/Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia/REUTERS)

Bones Of Early American Disappear From Underwater Cave -- New Scientist

One of the first humans to inhabit the Americas has been stolen – and archaeologists want it back.

The skeleton, which is probably at least 10,000 years old, has disappeared from a cenote, or underground water reservoir, in Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula.

In response, the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) in Mexico City has placed "wanted" posters in supermarkets, bakeries and dive shops in and around the nearby town of Tulum. They are also considering legal action to recover the remains.

Read more ....

Is Global Warming Just Hot Air?

Global warming: A retreating glacier in Alaska USA. But despite alarmist theories, temperatures have barely risen in the past 20 years

Is Global Warming Just Hot Air? World Temperatures Have Risen By Just 0.29C In The Last Two Decades -- Daily Mail

'Green' policy burdens will cost families £267 a year extra by 2030

World temperatures have remained almost stagnant in the last two decades, new figures have revealed.

Temperatures across the globe rose by around a third of a degree last year from the average of 14 degrees Celsius recorded between 1961 and 1990.

In some years, temperatures rose by just 0.29 degrees C while in others they rose by .53 degrees.

Read more ....

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Invasion Of The Black Tiger Shrimp

This black tiger shrimp was caught in 210 feet of water off the coast of Louisiana.

Scientists: Giant Cannibal Shrimp Invasion Growing -- CNN

An invasion of giant cannibal shrimp into America's coastal waters appears to be getting worse.

Researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported Thursday that sightings of the massive Asian tiger shrimp, which can eat their smaller cousins, were 10 times higher in 2011 than in 2010.

“And they are probably even more prevalent than reports suggest, because the more fisherman and other locals become accustomed to seeing them, the less likely they are to report them,” said Pam Fuller, a USGS biologist.

Read more

My Comment: Talk about jumbo shrimp.

Robots And Other Tech To Evacuate Wounded Soldiers (Maybe)


Wanted: Robots To Evacuate Wounded Soldiers -- Popular Mechanics

A Pentagon study looks at the future technology for evacuating wounded soldiers, including UAV rescuers, human hibernation, and more.

On the battlefield of the future, a wounded soldier could be scooped up by a robot, placed in a specially equipped drone, and then flown to the closest manned-medical center, where he or she is diagnosed with automated equipment that can deliver treatment without human intervention. Of course, that brings up the question: If robots can do all that, will there be human soldiers on the battlefield?

Read more ....

My Comment: A summary of what is in the works.

Who Is Flying Drones (And Where) In The U.S.

More Drones are Coming to U.S. Airspace U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Who Is Flying Drones In The U.S. And Where Are They Flying? -- Popular Science

FAA releases a list of authorized domestic UAVs.

A list of current entities permitted by the Federal Aviation Administration to fly unmanned aerial vehicles in U.S. airspace says one thing very clearly: if you fear the drones, stay the hell out of Texas. The Washington D.C. area as well, for that matter. The list of Certificates of Authorization, obtained by civil liberties group Electronic Frontier Foundation, shows that even as the FAA scrambles to open up the U.S. airspace to commercial drones over the next three years, there are already quite a few of them in the sky.

Read more

My Comment: I expect this list of authorized domestic UAVs to increase substantially in the next few years.

Anti-Piracy Curtain

Video: 'Anti-Piracy Curtain' Makes Boarding Ships a Wet, Dangerous Mess for Pirates -- Popular Science

It’s perfectly understandable why commercial shipping vessels are prohibited from carrying arms in international waters. But when it comes to dealing with the threat of piracy, battles that pit water hoses against small arms and RPGs are decidedly one sided. So Japanese companies MTI and Yokoi have teamed to create what they call the “Anti-Piracy Curtain,” a system that makes it difficult--and quite intimidating--for anyone to board a ship without the consent of a crew.

Read more ....

My Comment:

Getting Ready For The True 4G Revolution

UN Clears The Way For Faster Mobile Devices -- US News and World Report

Faster networks could be up to 500 times faster than 3G smartphones.

GENEVA (AP) — A United Nations telecom meeting has approved the next generation of mobile technology, which experts say will make devices 500 times faster than 3G smartphones and eliminate the wait time between the tap of a finger and the appearance of a Web page.

The technology will be used immediately for planning changes to equipment but it could take two years to show up on consumers smartphone, tablets and other devices because of the time it takes to get to production, International Telecommunication Union spokesman Sanjay Acharya said Thursday.

Read more ....

My Comment: 500 times faster than 3G smartphones .... now we are talking.

US Navy Is Developing 'Intelligent' Uniforms

One of the U.S. military's many attempts to design a uniform of the future. Photo: RDECOM

New Navy Uniform Could Monitor Sailors’ Pee for Signs of Nuclear Attack -- The Danger Room

The military’s uniforms will probably never be runway ready. But in the future, a soldier’s threads might very well be quite a bit sharper.

As in, more intelligent. At least if the Office of Naval Research gets its way. On ONR’s latest call for research proposals, the organization is asking for uniforms to be capable of measuring soldiers’ vital signs, detecting the location and severity of their bullet wounds and even transmitting their location to medical personnel via GPS sensors implanted into clothing fabric.

Read more ....

My Comment: I expect the fruits of this research to one day also show up in regular clothing.

Earth's Glaciers Are 'Out Of Wack'

The retreat of McCall Glacier in North Alaska. The left panel is 1958; the right panel is 2003

World's Glaciers 'Out Of Balance' -- BBC

Earth's glaciers are seriously out of balance with the global climate and are already on their way to losing almost 40% of their volume.

That is the assessment of scientists after studying a representative group of 144 small and large glaciers around the world.

Their figure assumes no further warming of the climate.

However, if temperatures continue to rise as models predict, the wastage will be even higher, the team says.

Read more

Your Next Password Could Be Your Brain

Forget fingerprints and eye scans, your next password could be your brain (Source: Petrovich9/iStockphoto)

Your Brain Could Become Your Password -- ABC Science

When it comes to high-tech passwords, there are fingerprint scanners for computers and facial recognition programs for closed-circuit cameras, and retinal scans are a mainstay of the movies.

Now researchers are looking beyond those technologies to using brain scans and heartbeats to identify people in ways that can't be faked.

Read more ....

Ecstacy May "Reset" The Body Clock

The research is the first to look at the impact of a single low dose of the drug (Source: iStockphoto)

One Hit Of Ecstasy 'Resets Body Clock' -- ABC News (Australia)

Just one or two pills of ecstasy can reset your body clock and have lasting effects on your ability to sleep peacefully, new research suggest.

Rowan Ogeil, of Monash University, and colleagues, report their findings in a recent issue of Psychopharmacology.

"Of course ecstasy affects your sleep because it's a stimulant," says Ogeil, who did the research as part of a recently completed PhD, under the supervision of Dr Jillian Broadbear. "But we've shown is it has lasting effects and that the body clock is involved."

Read more ....

My Comment: One more reason to stay away from drugs.

The History Of The Zipper Revealed

Google Honors Gideon Sundback: Father Of The Zipper -- Christian Science Monitor

Gideon Sundback is certainly the inventor of the modern 'zipper.' Except Sundback didn't invent the name.

Except, Sundback didn't invent the zipper. He invented the "Hookless No. 1" in 1914.

And as radically brilliant and enduring as his design may be, it wasn't until the 1920s, when B.F. Goodrich Company of Akron, Ohio bought a bunch of "Hookless No. 2s" did the "zipper" make it's debut.

Read more ....

My Comment: The zipper has gone a long way since it's invention in 1914.

Can Organic Food Feed The World?

Organic market in Vienna. (Credit: © Tupungato / Fotolia)

Can Organic Food Feed the World? New Study Sheds Light On Debate Over Organic Vs. Conventional Agriculture -- Science Daily

ScienceDaily (Apr. 25, 2012) — Can organic agriculture feed the world? Although organic techniques may not be able to do the job alone, they do have an important role to play in feeding a growing global population while minimizing environmental damage, according to researchers at McGill University and the University of Minnesota.

A new study published in Nature concludes that crop yields from organic farming are generally lower than from conventional agriculture. That is particularly true for cereals, which are staples of the human diet -- yet the yield gap is much less significant for certain crops, and under certain growing conditions, according to the researchers.

Read more

Female Space Explorers (Infographic)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

17 Equations That Changed the World

How 17 Equations Changed The World -- Brain Pickings

What Descartes has to do with C. P. Snow and the second law of thermodynamics.

When legendary theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking was setting out to release A Brief History of Time, one of the most influential science books in modern history, his publishers admonished him that every equation included would halve the book’s sales. Undeterred, he dared include E = mc², even though cutting it out would have allegedly sold another 10 million copies. The anecdote captures the extent of our culture’s distaste for, if not fear of, equations. And yet, argues mathematician Ian Stewart in In Pursuit of the Unknown: 17 Equations That Changed the World, equations have held remarkable power in facilitating humanity’s progress and, as such, call for rudimentary understanding as a form of our most basic literacy.

Read more ....

Last Fragments From 'Magical' Egyptian 'Book Of The Dead' From 1420 BC Found

Fragments of the missing parts of the manuscript have been discovered by renowned Egyptologist Dr John Taylor - potentially ending a search that has lasted a century

Last Fragments From 'Magical' Egyptian 'Book Of The Dead' From 1420 BC Found - After Century-Long Search By Archaeologists -- Daily Mail

* 'Last' pages of manuscript found after century-long hunt
* Egyptologist says he is 'floored' by discovery
* Papyrus book of spells supposed to guide spirits to land of dead

The last missing pages from a supposedly 'magical' Book of the Dead from an Egyptian priest, Amenhotep, have been found after a century-long search - in a museum in Queensland.

British Museum Egyptologist Dr John Taylor said he was 'floored' by the discovery of the 100 fragments.

It's the end of a worldwide search by archaeologists for the papyrus scroll - which supposedly contains spells to guide spirits into the afterlife.

Read more

My Comment: One has to give credit to these academics. Even with the Egyptian revolution and political unrest continuing .... they are still doing their work.

The Ultimate Luxury Car

Secure: There is also the option of armour-plating for those high profile oligarchs or even politicians around the world who believe they need security

How's That For A Way To Travel: Luxury Limousine Comes Fitted Out With Drinks Cabinet, Computer System And Even An Exercise Bike -- Daily Mail

For most of us, taking a trip in the car means missing out on certain luxuries which we enjoy at home.

However, for anyone wealthy enough to own this luxury limousine, that needs not be the case.

The opulent vehicle comes fitted out with a number of incredible features, including a built-in exercise bike which can be used whilst sitting back in one of the leather seats.

Read more ....

My Comment: If I was to have someone chauffeur me around .... especially for trips of one hour or more .... this vehicle would be perfect.

Unique And Rare Diamond Up For Sale

Rare Royal Diamond Up For Sale -- The Telegraph

An extremely rare, aristocratic Beau Sancy diamond, which has passed through the royal families of France, England, Prussia and the Netherlands' House of Orange, is to go up for auction at Sotheby's.

The stone, a 35-carat modified 'pear double rose cut' diamond belonging to Georg Friedrich, Prince of Prussia and head of the former ruling dynasty of the German empire, is expected to fetch betweem $2m (£1.24m) and $4m (£2.47m).

Chairman of Sotheby's jewellery in Europe and the Middle East, David Bennett, who sold a pink diamond for $46.2m (£28.5m) in 2010 which was a record for any jewel at auction, said estimating the value of a stone like the Beau Sancy was difficult given its rarity.

Read more

My Comment: The history of diamond goes back 500 years .... the stories that it can tell.

The Power And Reach Of Apple

Steve Jobs

Latest Record Results Show Apple a Bigger Global Power Than Most Nations -- Daily Beast

The tech behemoth is not just a cool computer/phone/tablet company, but a multibillion-dollar ecosystem and society with more influence and clout than most countries.

Yet again, Apple announced record sales and earnings. Yet again, its “Jobs report” stood in stark contrast to the monthly official jobs report. For the past four years, as the U.S. economy has stumbled, Apple has soared. As millions have lost jobs or stayed underemployed, Apple has sold more phones, iPads, and computers than most thought possible. While its success certainly has come at the expense of competitors such as Research in Motion (maker of the BlackBerry) and Nokia, it has generated tens of billions in revenue and sold tens of millions of devices by reaching new customers and not simply taking market share. And it has seen its most dramatic success during one of the worst economic slumps in the developed world.

Read more

My Comment: Steve Jobs would have been proud.

How To Get Free Wi-Fi Almost Anywhere

How To Get Free Wi-Fi Almost Anywhere -- Upgrade Your Life

You work in your car; you practically live in it. And when you need to maximize the mobile office otherwise known as the front seat, sometimes you need to access Wi-Fi without schlepping all your papers and gear into a cafe. But how can you tap into the best signal from the parking lot? Plenty of tools can help with this road warrior's dilemma, including the big issue — finding Wi-Fi.

Read more ....

My Comment: Great video at the link. Watch it.

An Incredible Video On How Humans Have Transformed Earth

How Humans Have Transformed Earth: Incredible Video Illuminates Every Road, Shipping Route And Flight Path -- Daily Mail

* Three per cent of the planet's land surface is under tarmac - an area the size of India
From space Earth looks completely untouched.

However, it's deceptive, as a new video shows in mesmerising fashion.

'Anthropocene' demonstrates just how much the planet has been transformed by humans by illuminating every road, shipping route and flight path.

Read more ....

My Comment: And we are still transforming it.

The 2012 Beijing Auto Show Is A Hit

Photo: Lamborghini

It’s China In Charge At The Beijing Auto Show -- Autopia

As China's automotive market continues to expand, carmakers the world over are hoping to cash in. Nowhere is that more apparent than at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show, which features everything from first cars for urban dwellers to ostentatious rides for the showiest tycoons – plus a smattering of hybrids and EVs.

Read more ....

My Comment:
China is the next 'Big' market. This car show is juts showing it's growing clout.

What Causes 'Brain Freeze'

Cause Of Brain Freeze Revealed -- Live Science

Most people have likely experienced brain freeze — the debilitating, instantaneous pain in the temples after eating something frozen — but researchers didn't really understand what causes it, until now.

Previous studies have found that migraine sufferers are actually more likely to get brain freeze than people who don't get migraines. Because of this, the researchers thought the two might share some kind of common mechanism or cause, so they decided to use brain freeze to study migraines.

Read more ....

Fifty Years of Kicks - Motorcycle Documentary (full-length)

Study: $16B - Estimated Costs of “Dirty Bomb” Attack In LA

Downtown Los Angeles from the sky. A recent study out of USC has found that if a "dirty bomb" was dropped on downtown the economical damage of long-term psychological effects would exceed the cost of short-term clean-up by $15 billion. feculent_figure/Flickr

Costs of 'Dirty Bomb' Attack In Los Angeles -- Science Daily

ScienceDaily (Apr. 23, 2012) — A dirty bomb attack centered on downtown Los Angeles' financial district could severely impact the region's economy to the tune of nearly $16 billion, fueled primarily by psychological effects that could persist for a decade.

The study, published by a team of internationally recognized economists and decision scientists in the current issue of Risk Analysis, monetized the effects of fear and risk perception and incorporated them into a state-of-the-art macroeconomic model.

Read more ....

My Comment: My gut tells me that the costs will be greater than $16 billion.

Should Facebook And Twitter Be Monitored For Terrorists?

Monitoring Twitter And Facebook Could Foil Terrorists -- The Telegraph

The security services need to make greater use of social media such as Facebook and Twitter to track criminals and terrorists, the former head of GCHQ has said.

Sir David Omand said there was increasing use of social media to communicate and that the police and MI5 need to make use of the technology to keep suspects under surveillance.

If they failed to do so, there was a danger that such websites could become a “secret space” where criminals, paedophiles and terrorists could communicate unhindered, he said.

However, Sir David said the Government had to make it clear in what circumstances they would hack into an individual’s account.

Read more

More News On The Former Head Of GCHQ Calling For Monitoring Facebook And Twitter

'We must be allowed to spy on Facebook and Twitter', says former Whitehall intelligence chief -- Daily Mail
Former spy chief calls for laws on online snooping -- The Guardian
Former GCHQ head calls for greater surveillance of Facebook and Twitter -- The Independent

My Comment: On the day that the former head of Britain's GCHQ calls for monitoring of social media sites, reports are leaked out that Al Qaeda is seeking cyber-attack skills. Is this a coincidence .... who knows.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mind-Controlled Robot Unveiled

The robot that can be controlled by the brainwaves of a paraplegic person wearing an electrode-fitted cap Photo: Alain Herzog / EPFL

Mind-Controlled Robot For Paraplegics Unveiled -- The Telegraph

A robot that can be controlled by the brainwaves of a paraplegic person wearing an electrode-fitted cap has been unveiled.

A paralysed man at a hospital in the Swiss town of Sion demonstrated the device, sending a mental command to a computer in his room, which transmitted it to another computer that moved a small robot 37 miles away in Lausanne.

The system was developed by Jose Millan, a professor at the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne who specialises in non-invasive interfaces between machines and the brain.

Read more ....

Finding A 'Sugar-Daddy': A New High-Tech Social Trend In Paying ONe's University Fees? has seen a major influx of students joining - and even offers such new members special benefits

Students Join Controversial Sugar Daddy Dating Site In Their Droves - As Founder Says Soaring British University Fees Are To Blame -- Daily Mail

Female students are flocking to 'sugar daddy' dating sites to meet rich older boyfriends as they struggle with debts which will average £53,000 for those starting degrees this year.

Faced with £9,000 annual tuition fees, increasing numbers of girls are using the sites to form relationships with rich older men who they hope will fund their studies.

Dating site has released figures showing the 20 British universities with the highest number of students joining the controversial site - and the numbers of girls who have signed up in the last year.

Read more ....

My Comment: Older men and younger women being together is nothing new .... it's just that it has now gone high-tech.

A User's Guide For The Brain

The Brain: A User's Guide -- The Telegraph

How can a blind climber ‘see’? Will a machine ever outsmart the human mind? Is the internet making us more intelligent, or more stupid? David Eagleman, ‘rock star’ of neuroscience, has dedicated his life to finding the answers

It ought to be quite intimidating, talking to David Eagleman. He is one of the world’s leading neuroscientists, after all, known for his work on time perception, synaesthesia and the use of neurology in criminal justice. But as anyone who has read his best-selling books or listened to his TED talks online will know, he has a gift for communicating complicated ideas in an accessible and friendly way — Brian Cox with an American accent.

Read more ....

How Bee Navigation May Assist Transportation And Travel

When landing, bees adjust their flight speed and altitude by measuring the optic flow generated by the ground. Credit: Xia Di

Bee Navigation Aids Robot Aircraft -- Cosmos

A scientist’s passion for bees and their remarkable flying skills is opening up undreamed-of possibilities in human transportation and travel.

Air travel is likely to become a great deal safer, more precise and efficient in future - thanks to the humble honeybee. From take-off to landing, both piloted and pilotless aircraft as well as ground vehicles are now starting to employ the vision and navigation strategies of these remarkable flying insects.

A wide range of aerial tasks that are repetitive or dangerous for humans, such as checking reservoirs, inspecting power transmission lines, bushfire and weather monitoring, mapping and exploring, and crop dusting as well as defence roles may soon be carried out based on what we have learned from bees. One day their abilities may even help us to explore Mars.

Read more ....

My Comment: A detailed look on how they fly.

Six Traits Of Human Behavior

Human Nature: Six Things We All Do -- New Scientist

WHAT sort of creature is the human? The obvious answer is a smart, talkative, upright ape with a penchant for material possessions.

But what about the more subtle concept of human nature? That is more controversial. Some deny it exists, preferring to believe that we can be anything we want to be. They cannot be right.

Although we exhibit lots of individual and cultural variations, humans are animals, and like all animals we have idiosyncrasies, quirks and characteristics that distinguish us as a species. An invading alien would have no trouble categorising us but, being so close to our subject matter, we struggle to pin down the essence of humanness.

Read more ....

My Comment: I am guilty of doing all six traits.

Where Is The Dark Matter?

An illustration of the Milky Way shows the expected distribution of dark matter as a blue halo. Illustration courtesy L. Calçada, ESO

Dark Matter Is Missing In Sun's Neighborhood? -- National Geographic

Substance isn't "where we needed it" to match theories, researcher says.

Dark matter is mysteriously missing from the sun's neighborhood, according to a new study that could provide ammunition for skeptics who argue that the invisible substance is just an illusion.

"There will be people claiming dark matter doesn't exist because of this result," predicted study leader Christian Moni-Bidin, an astronomer at Chile's University of Concepción.

"These observations alone do not prove that dark matter does not exist. Still, it is not where we expected it and where we needed it."

Read more

Robots That Can Be Blown Up But Keep On Working

Bombs Away Click here to get a bigger view of this amazing image. Reuters/Saad Shalash

The Robots That Can Be Blown Up and Keep On Detecting IEDs -- Popular Science

The homemade bombs known as IEDs accounted for 60 percent of all U.S. military injuries in Iraq and have killed more than 21,000 Iraqi civilians. Last November, a month before the last U.S. troops departed, Iraq’s federal bomb squad paraded with bomb-disposal robots in Baghdad. QinetiQ North America has sold 16 of the $100,000 remote-controlled Talons to the Iraqi police.

Read more ....

My Comment: Better robots than our dedicated soldiers.

is There A Drone Site In Your Neighborhood?

Exposed: Location of sites where licences have been granted for the use of drones within the U.S. There are 63 active sites based in 20 states. Red flags show active sites and blue show those locations where licences have expired since 2006

Is There A Drone In Your Neighbourhood? Rise Of Spy Planes Exposed After FAA Is Forced To Reveal 63 Launch Sites Across U.S. -- Daily Mail

* Unmanned spy planes are being launched from locations in 20 states and owners include the military and universities

There are at least 63 active drone sites around the U.S, federal authorities have been forced to reveal following a landmark Freedom of Information lawsuit.

The unmanned planes – some of which may have been designed to kill terror suspects – are being launched from locations in 20 states.

Most of the active drones are deployed from military installations, enforcement agencies and border patrol teams, according to the Federal Aviation Authority.

Read more

More News On Drone Sites In The U.S.

FAA Reveals 63 Drone Launch Sites On US Territory -- Business Insider
Drones for “urban warfare” -- Salon
Report: 63 Active Drone Sites in the U.S. -- Newsroom America
Here Are the 61 Organizations With Permission To Fly Drones -- Gizmodo

Earth Night Seen From Space: Big Vid

Should We Blame Robots For Mistakes On The Battlefield?

Credit: Human Interaction with Nature and Technological Systems Lab / University of Washington

Should Robots Be Blamed For Battlefield Mistakes? -- Discovery News

If a robot in combat accidentally kills a civilian, who is to blame?

This isn't as straightforward of a question as it sounds. A team of scientists presented a study at the International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction and found that although robots don't have free will, people sometimes treat them as if they do.

The researchers had 40 undergraduate students play a scavenger hunt game with a human-like robot named Robovie. The robot was controlled remotely, but it appeared autonomous to the students.

Read more

My Comment: I would blame both .... and if the programmers did their jobs properly .... the majority of the blame should then be on the human operators.

Aging Genes Highlighted As Potential Targets For Anti-Aging Therapies

Researchers have identified key genes that switch off with aging, highlighting them as potential targets for anti-aging therapies. (Credit: © Sandor Kacso / Fotolia)

Key Genes That Switch Off With Aging Highlighted As Potential Targets For Anti-Aging Therapies -- Science Daily

ScienceDaily (Apr. 19, 2012) — Researchers have identified key genes that switch off with aging, highlighting them as potential targets for anti-aging therapies.

Researchers at King's College London, in collaboration with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, have identified a group of 'aging' genes that are switched on and off by natural mechanisms called epigenetic factors, influencing the rate of healthy aging and potential longevity.

Read more ....

Brain Injuries On The Rise For US Troops (Infographic)

Find out about the rise in brain injuries to U.S. troops, in today's LiveScience GoFigure infographic.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Deleting Yourself From The Internet

How To Delete Yourself From The Internet -- CNet

You may not feel like the flotsam and jetsam that make up the facts of your life are important, but increasingly companies are using that dry data to make your every online step as indelible as if written in blood. Here's how to take back your digital dignity.

The Internet companies that power your online life know that data equals money, and they're becoming bolder about using that data to track you. If they get their way, your every online step would be not only irrevocable, but traceable back to you. Fortunately, there are some positive steps you can take to reclaim your online history for yourself.

Read more ....

My Comment:
Some good points here .... if you want your online presence gone .... start reading this article.

Men Prefer Women In Red

Men Prefer Women In Red Because They Think They Will Sleep With Them On First Date -- The Telegraph

It has long been a colour which is guaranteed to turn heads.

But now researchers believe they have found the real reason why men prefer ladies who wear red. Put simply, they think a scarlet-clad woman is more likely to sleep with them on a first date.

Psychologists who studied 120 male students aged 18 to 21 discovered that most thought choosing to wear red meant a woman had “greater sexual intent” and was more likely to jump into bed with a man than someone who opted for more neutral colours.

Read more ....

My Comment: We are not that easy .... hmmmm .... maybe.

Google's 'Eye On The World' Releases Gallery Of Best Shots

Space Shuttle Endeavour on Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Florida, awaiting launch to the International Space Station - its last flight

Google's 'Eye On The World' Releases Hand-Picked Gallery Of Best Shots Of Our Changing Planet - As Seen From 425 Miles Up -- Daily Mail

The GeoEye-1 satellite is capable of capturing details as small as a dustbin as it hurtles past our planet at 17,000mph - and its creators have hand-picked views that show off the majesty of our planet.

GeoEye provides exclusive imagery to the Google Earth and Google Maps applications.

It captures around 270,000 square miles of Earth's surface ever day - an amount of geographical data equivalent to the size of the State of Texas.

Read more ....

My Comment
: The images are stunning.

Is Marijuana-Infused Wine The New High?

Marijuana-Infused Wine: The New High? -- This Week

Looking for a new way to get buzzed? You're in luck: California winemakers are livening up bottles of syrah and cabernet sauvignon by adding weed.

Travelers making their way through California's Central Coast may smell a pungent new aroma coming from their wineglasses — thanks to a little marijuana. What began as a novelty in the 1980s is becoming more commonplace as California winemakers look to ferment grapes with the sticky, THC-laden leaves. Here, a brief guide to the munchy-inducing trend:

Read more ....

My Comment: Not for me.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner Marks It's First U.S. Passenger Flight

Japan Airlines' Boeing 787 arriving at the gate at Boston's Logan International Airport. Photo: GE Aviation

Boeing 787 Dreamliner Begins First U.S. Passenger Flights -- Autopia

Sunday marked the first U.S. passenger flight for Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner, with Japan Airlines flying non-stop between Tokyo and Boston. The airline is the second to receive the efficient new composite airliner after fellow Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways. But JAL is the first to fly the Dreamliner to a U.S. city. The flight also marks Boston’s first non-stop service to Asia and the 787′s first transpacific flight.

Read more ....

My Comment: A few years late .... but better late than never.

Google To Launch Storage Service Next Week

Google To Launch Storage Service Next Week -- Spiegel Online

Internet search engine Google is expected to enter the cloud computing fray next week with the launch of GDrive, the company's answer to similar offerings by Apple, Microsoft and Dropbox.

Speculation has been rife in recent days over the timing of the planned launch of US search engine giant Google's new cloud-based online storage service, but SPIEGEL has learned the company plans to announce the availability of GDrive next week.

Users who sign up for the service will be provided with 5 gigabytes of storage and, like other Google services, it will be available free of charge.

Read more ....

Jay Leno's Classic Hybrid

The control mechanism on Jay's 1916 Owen Magnetic hybrid was so complicated that a placard warned operators to take the vehicle to the factory for repairs. John Lamm

The 1916 Owen Magnetic: Jay Leno's Classic Hybrid -- Popular Mechanics

At the dawn of the automotive industry, carmakers were already tinkering with hybrid designs. Perhaps the most interesting in Jay Leno's Garage is the Owen Magnetic, a hybrid car far ahead of its time—which proved its undoing.

People think hybrids are something new, but they've been around since the beginning of the automobile. Ferdinand Porsche built the Lohner-Porsche series hybrid car back in 1901. It used a gas engine to spin a generator that fed electricity to in-wheel motors. In 1917, the Woods Motor Vehicle Company of Chicago offered the Woods Dual Power, a series hybrid that could motor along—at speeds of less than 15 mph—solely on battery power. But I think the 1916 Owen Magnetic might be the most interesting early hybrid of them all.

Read more ....

My Comment: Jay Leno's collection of cars makes me jealous .... but I also admire the work and effort that he has put himself in making this collection.

Lamborghini's Future SUV Unveiled

Stunning Urus SUV Concept Could Cement Lamborghini's Future -- Popular Mechanics

Sporty SUVs from revered nameplates have long been dismissed by the enthusiast fringe. But in the current automotive zeitgeist where well-heeled buyers are snatching up Porsche Cayennes, BMW X6 Ms, and Mercedes-Benz AMG sport utes at a surprising clip, Lamborghini's much-rumored Urus concept could be the key that solidifies the future of the exotic Italian brand.

Read more ....

There is more on this car here.

This Person's Job Is To Build Robots

Roboticist: This Is My Job -- Popular Mechanics

As a 12-year-old, Matt Bunting built robots that chased his cat around the house. Now, here's professional roboticist making machines inspired by biology.

When Matt Bunting was 12, he began building robots—simple rovers driven by remote control. His parents were supportive of his hobby, but one member of the household wasn't so thrilled. "I'd make the rovers chase after my cat," Bunting says. "It would hide, so I had to make a robot to invade its privacy!" His robots became more sophisticated, and when he got to the University of Arizona, he built a hexapod with artificial intelligence. Bunting's professor offered him a job in the Robotics and Neural Systems Lab, where the 25-year-old now creates robots inspired by biology. "I knew that this was what I wanted to do, and now I'm doing it," he says. "It's incredible."

Read more ....

My Comment: Lucky guy .... but I suspect that there is a lot of pressure on him.

Why Drones Will Not Be Taking Over Our Wars (For Now)

Live Fighters Aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge, pilots play a key role in shows of force and complex missions. Even as drones become integrated into the fleet, pilots will lead. U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Tommy Lamkin

The Human Element -- Popular Science

Why drones won't be taking over our wars anytime soon.

Early in 2008 on the Black Sea coast, a Georgian drone flying over the separatist enclave of Abkhazia transmitted an instantaneous artifact from the age of human flight—the video record of its own destruction by an attacking fighter jet. What happened that day was born of incendiary post-Soviet politics. The Kremlin backed Abkhazia and was furious that Georgia had bought surveillance drones to watch over the disputed ground. Georgia’s young government flaunted its new fleet, bullhorning to diplomats and to journalists like me what the drones were documenting of Russia’s buildup to war. I remember the Georgian bravado. We have drones. Ha! We have arrived. Tensions led to action. Action came to this: A Russian MiG-29 intercepted one of Georgia’s unmanned aircraft, an Israeli-made Hermes 450, which streamed live video of the fighter swinging into position. The jet pilot fired a heat-seeking missile. Viewed on the drone operator’s screen down below, the missile grew larger and its exhaust plume grew longer as it rushed near. Then the screen went fuzzy. Georgia’s drone was dead.

Read more

My Comment
: Drones may not be taking over our wars now .... but the trend is shifting to that goal.

White Killer Whale Spotted InTthe Wild

"Iceberg" is believed to be the first mature white orca observed

White Killer Whale Adult Spotted For First Time In Wild -- BBC

Scientists have made what they believe to be the first sighting of an adult white orca, or killer whale.

The adult male, which they have nicknamed Iceberg, was spotted off the coast of Kamchatka in eastern Russia.

It appears to be healthy and leading a normal life in its pod.

White whales of various species are occasionally seen; but the only known white orcas have been young, including one with a rare genetic condition that died in a Canadian aquarium in 1972.

Read more ....

My Comment
: This is a surprising find.

Touch Photography

Haptography seeks to have viewers feel what they see — from afar. CREDIT: NSF

Touch Photography: Giving Computer Users A Feel For Things -- Live Science

This Behind the Scenes article was provided to LiveScience in partnership with the National Science Foundation.

A new type of camera that captures how a surface feels is exactly the kind of technology mechanical engineer Katherine Kuchenbecker believes will change the way humans and computers interact. And she’s helping make that happen.

Read more ....