DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Archive for the 'News You Can Use.' Category

What Is the Blue Light From our Screens Really Doing to Our Eyes?

1st September 2014

Read it.

“I discovered that using light at night is bad for people’s health and interferes with their sleep. I felt a moral obligation to do something about it, particularly when I learned it’s the blue component in ordinary white light that is suppressing the production of melatonin. And melatonin not only helps you sleep but is a marvelous material that has a very big influence on health in general; specifically, if you don’t have enough you may develop diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and even a couple kinds of cancer.” [emphasis added]

Sky is falling. Film at 11. Meanwhile, on the Kardashian front….

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

Myth of Arctic Meltdown

1st September 2014

Read it.

The speech by former US Vice-President Al Gore was apocalyptic. ‘The North Polar ice cap is falling off a cliff,’ he said. ‘It could be completely gone in summer in as little as seven years. Seven years from now.’

Those comments came in 2007 as Mr Gore accepted the Nobel Peace Prize for his campaigning on climate change.

But seven years after his warning, The Mail on Sunday can reveal that, far from vanishing, the Arctic ice cap has expanded for the second year in succession – with a surge, depending on how you measure it, of between 43 and 63 per cent since 2012.

Oh, gee, AlGore was wrong? What news!

Posted in News You Can Use. | 1 Comment »

Cause of ALS Is Found, Northwestern Team Says

30th August 2014

Read it.

Researchers at Northwestern University say they have discovered a common cause behind the mysterious and deadly affliction of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, that could open the door to an effective treatment.

Dr. Teepu Siddique, a neuroscientist with Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine whose pioneering work on ALS over more than a quarter-century fueled the research team’s work, said the key to the breakthrough is the discovery of an underlying disease process for all types of ALS.

Now perhaps we’ll be spared the sight of rich narcissists pouring ice over their heads to get a few more minutes of fame.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

USEFUL STUFF SATURDAY

30th August 2014

For-ghetti spaghetti fork.

ButterUp butter knife.

Hugo’s Amazing Tape.

Beer stein for cans.

Leather beer caddy for bikes.

Compact folding bow. This baby can save your life if you’re suddenly cast back into the Middle Ages. Hey, it could totally happen.

Batman branding iron. You know you want one.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

The Secrets of Fake Flavours

29th August 2014

Read it.

Artificial flavours are more complex and interesting than first appears. Chris Baraniuk discovers a world of sensory trickery – and a curious myth about fake banana.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

Someone 3D Printed a Castle in His Backyard and It’s Awesome

29th August 2014

Check it out.

What’s next? A “full-scale” house. The castle is large enough to walk around in, but it seems that the builder has bigger plans. Also the next building will likely be built someplace warmer. Why warmer? Concrete sets at only so quick a pace — if you can help it cure, you can probably build more quickly.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

Bonuses Are the New Raises

29th August 2014

Read it.

A new survey from human-resources services firm Aon Hewitt found that companies are spending a record share of their payroll on performance-based bonuses, signaling a shift away from longer-term salary increases.

We are all CEOs now.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

If Britain Were a U.S. State, It Would Be the Second-Poorest, Behind Alabama and Before Mississippi

27th August 2014

Read it.

Maybe that’s why they talk so funny.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

London’s Most Unusual Royal Warrant Holders

27th August 2014

Read it.

Many of Her Majesty’s shopping habits are a matter of public record, thanks to the Royal Warrant Holders Association, a prestigious group of 800 or so companies selected as official suppliers to the Royal Household.

If you could afford the best of everything, from whom would you buy it?

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

China Building Supersonic Sub That Travels in a Bubble

27th August 2014

Read it.

Rather than working up its own successor-to-Concorde project, the South China Morning Post says scientists at Harbin Institute of Technology’s Complex Flow and Heat Transfer Lab are working on developing a technique called supercavitation, first pursued by the Soviet military during the Cold War.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

Monster Dogs of Myth and Legend

27th August 2014

Read it.

Just in case you were wondering. I know I was.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

Your Fingernails Grow Way Faster Than Your Toenails

26th August 2014

Read it.

I’ll bet you didn’t know that.

Posted in News You Can Use. | 1 Comment »

The Kennewick Man Finally Freed to Share His Secrets

26th August 2014

Read it.

The storm of controversy erupted when the Army Corps of Engineers, which managed the land where the bones had been found, learned of the radiocarbon date. The corps immediately claimed authority—officials there would make all decisions related to handling and access—and demanded that all scientific study cease. Floyd Johnson protested, saying that as county coroner he believed he had legal jurisdiction. The dispute escalated, and the bones were sealed in an evidence locker at the sheriff’s office pending a resolution.

“You can count on your fingers the number of ancient, well-preserved skeletons there are” in North America, he told me, remembering his excitement at first hearing from Chatters. Owsley and Dennis Stanford, at that time chairman of the Smithsonian’s anthropology department, decided to pull together a team to study the bones. But corps attorneys showed that federal law did, in fact, give them jurisdiction over the remains. So the corps seized the bones and locked them up at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, often called Battelle for the organization that operates the lab.

Your tax dollars at work.

Owsley and his group were eventually forced to litigate not just against the corps, but also the Department of the Army, the Department of the Interior and a number of individual government officials. As scientists on modest salaries, they could not begin to afford the astronomical legal bills. Schneider and Barran agreed to work for free, with the faint hope that they might, someday, recover their fees. In order to do that they would have to win the case and prove the government had acted in “bad faith”—a nearly impossible hurdle. The lawsuit dragged on for years. “We never expected them to fight so hard,” Owsley says. Schneider says he once counted 93 government attorneys directly involved in the case or cc’ed on documents.

And working hard.

I asked Schneider why the corps so adamantly resisted the scientists. He speculated that the corps was involved in tense negotiations with the tribes over a number of thorny issues, including salmon fishing rights along the Columbia River, the tribes’ demand that the corps remove dams and the ongoing, hundred-billion-dollar cleanup of the vastly polluted Hanford nuclear site. Schneider says that a corps archaeologist told him “they weren’t going to let a bag of old bones get in the way of resolving other issues with the tribes.”

It’s like something out of a bad spy novel.

During the trial, the presiding magistrate judge, John Jelderks, had noted for the record that the corps on multiple occasions misled or deceived the court. He found that the government had indeed acted in “bad faith” and awarded attorney’s fees of $2,379,000 to Schneider and his team.

“At the bare minimum,” Schneider told me, “this lawsuit cost the taxpayers $5 million.”

And these fools want to be in charge of your health care.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

Tire Makers Race to Turn Dandelions Into Rubber

24th August 2014

Read it.

I can barely stand the excitement.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

The Speech Accent Archive

24th August 2014

Read it.

Over the years, I’ve met with several foreign speaking partners. Through conversation, I learn their language — Spanish, Korean, Japanese — and they learn mine — English. Many of them first got serious about their study of that more-or-less-international tongue with the goal of completely eliminating their native accent which, while demonstrably possible, takes so much additional effort as an adult that I’ve always advised them to just spend that time learning another language (or two) instead. Many, of course, come to that conclusion themselves, realizing that English speakers all over the world have created a legitimate culture of speaking English in all kinds of different ways, with all kinds of different accents, whether or not they learned the language from childhood. But it still makes one wonder: how many different accents do people speak it in? And what do they all sound like? Wonder no longer, for we have The Speech Accent Archive, created by Steven H. Weinberger of George Mason University’s Linguistics department, who introduces it in the video above.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

3D-printed Vertebra Used in Spine Surgery

23rd August 2014

Read it.

Surgeons in Beijing, China, have successfully implanted an artificial, 3D-printed vertebra replacement in a young boy with bone cancer. They say it is the first time such a procedure has ever been done.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

Do People Really Use Hotel Irons to Cook Food?

23rd August 2014

Read it.

All America wants to know.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

This Insect Has the Only Mechanical Gears Ever Found in Nature

23rd August 2014

Read it.

The small hopping insect Issus coleoptratus uses toothed gears on its joints to precisely synchronize the kicks of its hind legs as it jumps forward.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

Where Is ‘Open Carry’ Legal?

23rd August 2014

Read it.

A useful map. Contrary to what you would expect, Texas does not allow open carry.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

Moose Sex Corridor Expands With Land Donation

23rd August 2014

Read it.

Project aims to help mating moose move from New Brunswick into Nova Scotia

Which, I gather, is what you do if you’re a mating moose. Who knew?

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

USEFUL STUFF SATURDAY

23rd August 2014

AirEnergy.

The Chairless Chair.

The Cozy Room.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

These 8 Rich Liberals Are Using Super PACs to Buy the 2014 Election

22nd August 2014

Read it.

Quick, somebody call Harry Reid and tell him that the 1% are Democrats, not Republicans.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

What Lies Beneath Stonehenge?

21st August 2014

Read it.

Why, the control tower for the Landing Ring, of course, silly.

Posted in News You Can Use. | 1 Comment »

Teacher Says Union Resorting to Bully Tactics in Wake of Decertification

21st August 2014

Read it.

In May 2013, Deerfield faculty voted to decertify KNEA within USD 216, meaning the union could no longer negotiate with local board of education members on teachers’ behalves. At the time Pamela Torgerson, director of Southwest UniServ, the district headquarters for KNEA, said the decision could turn foul without warning.

“My concern with that is that without any kind of organizational backing, it’s going to be hard for the teachers there to enforce their negotiated agreement,” Torgerson said. “So, if they get into trouble during bargaining, they have to go to mediation on their own, and if things work out even worse and they decide to go to fact-finding, they’re pretty much on their own.”

If anything, Crandall said, the opposite has happened. Negotiations prior to the current school year were smooth and uneventful, he told Kansas Watchdog. The rocky part, he said, has been KNEA’s response following its expulsion from Deerfield USD 216.

“I was a member of KNEA for 27 years and the president of our local association here for over 15 years and I did not see how they manipulate statements and try to ‘bully’ others that oppose them until after I helped us to decertify,” Crandall said.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

Ancient Maya Cities Found in Jungle

20th August 2014

Read it.

Found in the southeastern part of the Mexican state of Campeche, in the heart of the Yucatan peninsula, the cities were hidden in thick vegetation and hardly accessible.

“Aerial photographs helped us in locating the sites,” expedition leader Ivan Sprajc, of the Research Center of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (ZRC SAZU), said.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

40 Maps That Explain the Roman Empire

20th August 2014

Read it.

If, of course, that’s what you want to do.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

Audi Rethinks the Piston Engine

19th August 2014

Read it.

Autocar reports that the automaker is working on a unique four-cylinder motor that features a bank of pistons sitting offset and parallel to the crankshaft rather than directly above it.

Posted in News You Can Use. | 1 Comment »

Giant Rats Trained to Sniff Out Tuberculosis in Africa

18th August 2014

Read it.

Hey — ya work with what ya got.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

Recreating Richard III: Channel 4′s “New Evidence”

17th August 2014

Read it.

Smee, an unemployed IT teacher, was startled by the resemblance to the curvature in his own back. “I had this feeling,” he says. “The hairs stood up on the back of my neck.”

As it turned out, Smee, who provides historians with crucial missing pieces to the Richard III puzzle in Channel 4’s latest film about the last Plantagenet ruler, has an uncannily similar deformity of the spine to the king. It’s caused by the same rare form of adolescent-onset scoliosis that Richard was thought to have, with the angle of the curve around 70 degrees to the right hand side, and the S-shaped curvature of the ribs too. “He’s almost identical!” one stunned scientist exclaims in the documentary.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

USEFUL STUFF SATURDAY

16th August 2014

Waterfall bathroom faucet.

iPhone laser pointer. I am not making this up.

Floppy tube garlic peeler. Can double as an enhanced interrogation device in a pinch. (That’s not on her copy, of course.)

Pile of Poop Emoji Mask. You know who you are.

Chocolate Lego Blocks.

Best Butt Exercises for Women (Android app).

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

Scientists Begin Removing Encrusted Debris and Rust From Confederate Submarine

14th August 2014

Read it.

Scientists using small air-powered chisels and dental tools have begun the laborious job of removing the encrusted sand, sediment and rust from the hull of the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley, the first submarine in history to sink an enemy warship.

It will take about a year of painstaking work to reveal the hull of the hand-cranked sub for the first time in 150 years.

 

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

This Sponge-Like Polymer Could Fix Facial Deformities

14th August 2014

Read it.

Grunlan says surgeons would heat a chunk of the polymer in salt water until it becomes pliable, then mold it into the exact shape of the missing bone section. Once in place, the polymer would cool and stiffen. “After the foam is in place, bone cells come in and replace the foam, which is absorbed into the body and naturally excreted,” said Grunlan.

In lab experiments, she and her colleagues coated the PCL with another biodegradable polymer, called polydopamine, that is known to stimulate bone growth. They seeded the polymers with human bone cells, and after a few days saw that the cells were not only multiplying, but producing important bone-forming proteins.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

Hobbit-Themed Beer Is Coming

14th August 2014

Read it.

I am not making this up.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

CRISPR: A Game-Changing Genetic Engineering Technique

13th August 2014

Read it.

The specificity of CRISPR-based immunity in recognizing and destroying invading viruses is not just useful for bacteria. Creative applications of this primitive yet elegant defense system have emerged in disciplines as diverse as industry, basic research, and medicine.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

Super-Strength Robot Suits Are Now Being Used in Real Life

12th August 2014

Read it.

This man can pick up a 70-pound lump of metal like it’s bag of groceries. But it’s not because he’s Iron Man—he just happens to be wearing a robotic suit that grants him immense strength.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

First Female Winner for Fields Maths Medal

12th August 2014

Read it.

It looks male from here. But what do I know?

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

Geckos Control Toe Hairs to Be Sticky or Not, Inspiring Bioengineers to Do the Same

12th August 2014

Read it.

Jeez, that’s all we need, sticky bioengineers….

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

Citing Second Amendment, Connecticut-Based Mossberg Expands Manufacturing in Texas

12th August 2014

Read it.

“Investing in Texas was an easy decision,” said CEO Iver Mossberg. “It’s a state that is not only committed to economic growth but also honors and respects the Second Amendment and the firearm freedoms it guarantees for our customers.”

Come on down!

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

Spotting Cancer in a Vial of Blood

12th August 2014

Read it.

We need to focus on prevention more.

Posted in News You Can Use. | 1 Comment »

Injecting Liquid Metal Could Help Kill Tumours, Says Chinese Research Team

11th August 2014

Read it.

One of the most interesting emerging treatments for certain types of cancer aims to starve the tumour to death. The strategy involves destroying or blocking the blood vessels that supply a tumour with oxygen and nutrients. Without its lifeblood, the unwanted growth shrivels up and dies.

One way to do this is with drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors which prevent the formation of new blood vessels that tumours rely on for sustenance. But there is another approach as well?—?physically blocking the surrounding blood vessels so that blood can no longer flow into the tumour.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

Burger Robot Poised to Disrupt Fast Food Industry

10th August 2014

Read it.

“Our device isn’t meant to make employees more efficient,” cofounder Alexandros Vardakostas has said. “It’s meant to completely obviate them.”

That’s what increasing the minimum wage gets you. Simple economics, so simple that intellectuals can’t grasp it.

The Momentum burger-bot isn’t remotely humanoid. You can forget visions of Futurama’s Bender. It’s more of a burger assembly line. Ingredients are stored in automated containers along the line. Instead of pre-prepared veggies, cheese, and ground beef—the bot chars, slices, dices, and assembles it all fresh.

Burger robots may improve consistency and sanitation, and they can knock out a rush like nobody’s business. Momentum’s robot can make a burger in 10 seconds (360/hr). Fast yes, but also superior quality. Because the restaurant is free to spend its savings on better ingredients, it can make gourmet burgers at fast food prices.

By replacing human cooks, the machine reduces liability, management duties, and, at just 24 square feet, the overall food preparation footprint. Resources once dedicated to preparation can instead fund better service.

Better burgers through automation.

Posted in News You Can Use. | 1 Comment »

‘Aunt Jemima’ Heirs File $2 Billion Lawsuit Against Pepsi and Quaker Oats

9th August 2014

Read it.

D.W. Hunter, the great grandson of Anna Short Harrington, the woman who became “Aunt Jemima,” has filed a class action lawsuit against PepsiCo, The Quaker Oats Company, Pinnacle Foods Group and The Hillshire Brands Company on behalf of all of her great grandchildren. He is seeking $2 billion, plus punitive damages to be determined at trial.

Hunter alleges that the companies conspired to deny that Harrington had been an employee of Quaker Oats, all the while exploiting her image and recipes for profit, while refusing to pay an “equitable fair share of royalties” to her heirs for more than 60 years.

It would be amusing for the government to step in and take 45% of whatever they get as ‘inheritance tax’.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

USEFUL STUFF SATURDAY

9th August 2014

Beekeeping Starter Kit.

Spray Cake.

Nunchopsticks. Perfect gift for Bruce Lee.

Water-draining soap dish.

Spud bar.

Peg-leg pirate chopsticks.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

Bikanta’s Tiny Diamonds Find Cancer Before It Spreads

8th August 2014

Read it.

Y Combinator-backed biotech company Bikanta wants to find and stop cancer at its source by inserting tiny, fluorescent diamonds inside your body. The brainchild of Dr. Ambika Bumb, who holds a PhD in biomedical engineering from Oxford, these nanodiamonds can detect molecular abnormalities at a much earlier stage, essentially stopping cancer from spreading any further.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

Scientists May Have Cracked the Giant Siberian Crater Mystery — and the News Isn’t Good

5th August 2014

Read it.

According to a recent Nature article, “air near the bottom of the crater contained unusually high concentrations of methane — up to 9.6% — in tests conducted at the site on 16 July, says Andrei Plekhanov, an archaeologist at the Scientific Centre of Arctic Studies in Salekhard, Russia. Plekhanov, who led an expedition to the crater, says that air normally contains just 0.000179% methane.”

The scientist said the methane release may be related to Yamal’s unusually hot summers in 2012 and 2013, which were warmer by an average of 5 degrees Celsius. “As temperatures rose, the researchers suggest, permafrost thawed and collapsed, releasing methane that had been trapped in the icy ground,” the report stated.

Posted in News You Can Use. | 2 Comments »

Robotic Suit Gives Shipyard Workers Super Strength

4th August 2014

Read it.

At a sprawling shipyard in South Korea, workers dressed in wearable robotics were hefting large hunks of metal, pipes and other objects as if they were nothing.

It was all part of a test last year by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, at their facility in Okpo-dong. The company, one of the largest shipbuilders in the world, wants to take production to the next level by outfitting staff with robot exoskeletons that give them superhuman strength.

Gilwhoan Chu, the lead engineer for the firm’s research and development arm, says the pilot showed that the exoskeleton does help workers perform their tasks. His team is working to improve the prototypes so that they can go into regular use in the shipyard, where robots already run a large portion of a hugely complex assembly system.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

Nerve Implant Retrains Your Brain to Stop Tinnitus

3rd August 2014

Read it.

GOT that ringing in your ears? Tinnitus, the debilitating condition that plagued Beethoven and Darwin, affects roughly 10 per cent of the world’s population, including 30 million people in the US alone. Now, a device based on vagus nerve stimulation promises to eliminate the sounds for good by retraining the brain.

As someone who suffers from tinnitus, I hope this gets to market soon.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

This Startup Is Using a ‘Carbon Honeycomb’ to Capture Carbon Emissions

3rd August 2014

Read it.

Capturing carbon emissions and selling them for oil production could be big business in the U.S. as the country prepares to require power plant owners to cut their emissions.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

Stanford Breakthrough Might Triple Battery Life

2nd August 2014

Read it.

A team that includes former Energy secretary Steven Chu says it’s building a lithium anode battery that might give electric vehicles a 300-mile driving range and triple a cellphone’s juice. Stanford professor Yi Cui says it will likely take three to five years, though, to bring the product to market.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

USEFUL STUFF SATURDAY

2nd August 2014

Turn Any Regular Lighter Into Powerful Windproof Torch.

Darth Vader Outdoor Wood Stove.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off