Monday, September 29, 2008

SpaceX: Private Rocket Makes it to Space

SpaceX has made history. Its privately developed rocket has made it into space.
After three failed launches, the company founded by Elon Musk worked all of the bugs out of their Falcon 1 launch vehicles.
The entire spectacle was broadcast live from Kwajalein Atoll in the South Pacific. Cameras mounted on the spacecraft showed our planet shrinking in the distance and the empty first stage engine falling back to Earth.
Eight minutes after leaving the ground, Falcon 1 reached a speed of 5200 meters per second and passed above the International Space Station.


Terror in Dayton: Chemical Irritant Sprayed in Mosque

I've often said that the opposite of radical Muslims are NOT radical Christians. The opposite of radical religious nuts is a rational, independent thinker.

...several affected when a suspected chemical irritant was sprayed into the mosque at 26 Josie St., bringing Dayton police, fire and hazardous material personnel to the building at 9:48 p.m.

Someone "sprayed an irritant into the mosque," Dayton fire District Chief Vince Wiley said, noting that fire investigators believe it was a hand-held spray can.

According to fire dispatch communications, a child reported seeing two men with a white can spraying something into a window. That child was brought to the supervising firefighter at the scene.


This site says this came right after the release of an anti-muslim DVD, and claims:

"She told me that the gas was sprayed into the room where the babies and children were being kept while their mothers prayed together their Ramadan prayers. Panicked mothers ran for their babies, crying for their children so they could flee from the gas that was burning their eyes and throats and lungs. She grabbed her youngest in her arms and grabbed the hand of her other daughter, moving with the others to exit the building and the irritating substance there.

"The paramedic said the young one was in shock, and gave her oxygen to help her breathe. The child couldn't stop sobbing.

Palin/ Couric SNL Spoof

In case you haven’t heard, supposedly a segment of the sketch was taken verbatim from the actual interview. The lines in question:

FEY AS PALIN: “Like every American I’m speaking with, we’re ill about this. We’re saying, ‘Hey, why bail out Fanny and Freddie and not me?’ But ultimately what the bailout does is, help those that are concerned about the healthcare reform that is needed to help shore up our economy to help…uh…it’s gotta be all about job creation, too. Also, too, shoring up our economy and putting Fannie and Freddy back on the right track and so healthcare reform and reducing taxes and reigning in spending…’cause Barack Obama, y’know…has got to accompany tax reductions and tax relief for Americans, also, having a dollar value meal at restaurants. That’s gonna help. But one in five jobs being created today under the umbrella of job creation. That, you know…Also…”

From here.

CNN Laughs it up about it:

P.S. Also here's the debate spoof:

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

10 Tips to Prevent Car Accidents

The Edmunds editors should know something about safety. Their jobs entail extensive test driving, and they've seen it all—or at least most of it—from closed-course tests to interaction with drivers on the L.A. Freeway. Here is what they recommend:

1. Stay out of the fast lane.
2. Keep your eyes scanning the area ahead.
3. Beware of blind spots.
4. Get 'racecar driver control' of the wheel (...) so that, with your arm outstretched and your back against the seat, your wrist could rest on the top of the wheel.
5. Place your hands at 9 and 3.
6. Judge drivers by their cars. Cars with body damage or dirty windows could be indicative of an inattentive driver.
7. Know thy vehicle.
8. Keep your vehicle in shape.
9. Nighttime may not be the right time.
10. Consider high-performance training.

Read more.

Thanks to T&J

Friday, September 19, 2008

What it costs to fire a worker around the world

America, New Zealand and Tonga are among the most company-friendly countries, requiring no penalties or compensation to fire a full-time employee of 20 years. By contrast, a business in Zimbabwe must shell out well over eight years' worth of pay to sack a worker. But companies in Venezuela and Bolivia are even more tied—workers there cannot be fired at all.

From the Economist.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Swipe: The Future of Text Input

Absolutely brilliant!

Swype provides a faster and easier way to input text on any screen. With one continuous finger or stylus motion across the screen keyboard, the patented technology enables users to input words faster and easier than other data input methods—at over 50 words per minute. The application is designed to work across a variety of devices such as phones, tablets, game consoles, kiosks, televisions, virtual screens and more.

Simply Trace a Path

The word “quick” was generated from tracing the path shown above in a fraction of a second, by roughly aiming to pass through the letters of the word. A key advantage to Swype is that there is no need to be very accurate, enabling very rapid text entry.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Breast cancer vaccine kills tumors in mice

DETROIT, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- Wayne State University researchers say a breast cancer vaccine completely eliminated HER2-positive tumors in mice -- without any toxicity.

The study, published in the journal Cancer Research, suggests the vaccine could treat women with HER2-positive, treatment-resistant cancer or help prevent cancer recurrence. The researchers also say it might potentially be used in cancer-free women to prevent initial development of these tumors.

"The immune response against HER2-positive receptors we saw in this study is powerful, and works even in tumors that are resistant to current therapies," lead investigator Wei-Zen Wei says in a statement.

"The vaccine could potentially eliminate the need to even use these therapies."


Star Wars vs. Harry Potter

Funny. From here.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Friday, September 05, 2008

Move Your Hand to Control the TV?

Scientists at a Toshiba research laboratory in Cambridge have created the technology that allows viewers to operate their TV purely by gestures.
Catherine Breslin, 22 demonstrates the hand signal which allows you to pause TV

For example, raising a hand in a 'stop' sign will pause the action on TV. Flapping a hand up or down can raise or lower the volume.

And the technology could be customised to suit individuals.

Touching your right ear, for instance, would increase volume, while touching your left ear would lower it. The software could also recognise viewers as they walk into a room and switch automatically to their favourite channel - opening a whole new area for family disputes.
Catherine Breslin, 22 demonstrates the hand signal which allows you to move the on
But, of course, there are always potential hazards, such as the TV misinterpreting a stretch or a sneeze.


Thanks to RM

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Creationist Paleontologists Discover Dinosaur Saddle

A team of creationist paleontologists from the Discovery Institute's main field research arm announced today that they had discovered the remains of a large manmade object confirmed to be an ancient dinosaur saddle. The Discovery Institute's discovery was discovered in the remote Dusty Rivers area of southwestern Arizona. A spokesman for the paleontological team said that the dinosaur saddle provides irrefutable proof that man and dinosaurs lived simultaneously, as predicted by most creationist or "intelligent design" doctrines.

"I can't tell you how thrilled we all were to stumble upon this groundbreaking historical find," said Dr. K. Firth Booble, leader of the expedition. "We knew there had to be some evidence for man-dinosaur concurrence buried somewhere around here, but didn't think we'd discover it so quickly."

Dr. Booble, who received his doctorate in paleontology from the respected Holy Patriot!™ Bible University and Correspondence College of Claptrappe, Oklahoma, had embarked on the search, funded by a $2 million Discovery Institute grant, expecting to remain in the field for at least two years. The dinosaur saddle was unearthed a mere two weeks after the expedition's launch.

"...we just started digging, and boom, there it was."

The stunning find, a large saddle Dr. Booble believes would have been used by early man in riding "a Velociraptor, or a small Stegosaurus" is in relatively good condition considering its age, which Dr. Booble estimates to be "between 6,000 and 6,500 years".

"We haven't yet found any human remains in the area, but that's merely a question of time," said Dr. Booble.

According to Dr. Booble and the Discovery Institute, a conservative think-tank based in Seattle with affiliates operating at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C., dinosaurs were expelled from the Garden of Eden for excessive flatulence and "unruly behavior" at about the same time that Adam and Eve were forced to leave as a penalty for a serpent-related "apple conspiracy". Those descendants of Adam who were not captured and eaten by some of the larger carnivores are assumed to have domesticated the less spiky and more manageable species for livestock, along with cows, chickens, goats and pigs.

Read all here.

P.S. I think this is an Onion-like joke article, but I don't know anything more. The names indicate to me it's a big joke, but I'm sure some people would love to believe it.

As Adam Savage said:

What I do see as a huge issue is a very anti-science vibe. Like I said, the newspapers talking about evolution versus creationism is very much an attack on science as a type of religion—believing that the scientific method is some type of religious belief. And it's not! That kind of attack absolutely is damaging science exploration across the whole country. I do think that's a significant problem. And until we can get our head out of the sand and realize that science isn't about truth—it's why this debate about the "theory of evolution" bugs the hell out of me. What scientists mean by theory is very different than what people think.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Blogging from IM: IMified

Pretty cool... IMified ( provides IM widgets that let you do things straight from your IM client, very cool! I'm writing this from my IM. :-)

New Google Chrome Browser Available

Check it out here.

Sports News: