Interesting reading...

by | Jun 2, 2008 12:00 AM ET

The 6 Most Badass Stunts Ever Pulled in the Name of Science - "Here we look at seven self-endangering scientists who only wear lab coats because you can't get explosive-bear-proof tuxedos outside of MI6. Each one of these researchers has been voted "Most likely to inject themselves with the Omega Serum while shouting, 'Dammit, there's no time for testing!'""

Eight reasons higher prices will do us a world of good - "For one of the nastiest substances on earth, crude oil has an amazing grip on the globe. We all know the stuff's poison, yet we're as dependent on it as our air and water supplies -- which, of course, is what oil is poisoning..."

3 Ideas That Are Pushing the Edge of Science - "Medical bots powered by sperm, clean fusion power, and two-dimensional time..."

Ideas do not spread because they are good - "I'd like to debunk a myth that has gone on, rampant and unchallenged in marketing circles, especially viral and social marketing, for some time now, but first I feel a few caveats are in order..."

Bacteria-Run Computer Solves Math Puzzle - "A new living computer, bred from E. coli bacteria instead of stamped from silica, has for the first time successfully solved a classic mathematical puzzle known as the Burnt Pancake Problem..."

Microfiltering Sepsis - "Each year, intensive care units in the United States hospitalize nearly 750,000 patients with severe sepsis, a syndrome that manifests when a body's immune system overreacts to infection. As sepsis sets in, inflammation rapidly spreads through the body, often shutting down organs and potentially leading to death. Antibiotics are often the main course of treatment, but there's a lag time before the drugs kick in, during which inflammation continues to spread. Now scientists at Children's Hospital Boston are developing a miniature filtration device that can rapidly pump blood out of the body, clearing it of infectious agents before delivering the blood back to the body..."

Biggest Under Reported Story: Google's BigTable Costs 10 Times Less than Amazon's SimpleDB - "It's surprising that the blogosphere hasn't picked up the biggest difference in pricing:

Google's datastore is less than a tenth of the price of Amazon's SimpleDB while offering a better API..."

The Car of the Future: It Talks, It Thinks, and It Can Drive Itself - "Sounds great, doesn't it? What this cheery vision of a morning commute hides is a growing sense of urgency on the part of the world's automakers. The current model for making and selling cars in the United States -- big vehicles with big fuel tanks and sky-high costs -- has almost driven the auto industry off the road. No one's predicting that gasoline prices will come down dramatically anytime soon, if ever. The pollution and energy consumption, plus the traffic, created by so many cars will simply force the industry to change..."

Up in the Sky, An Unblinking Eye - "The UAV is the "smart bomb" of the Iraq War, the latest turn in the unending offense-defense spiral that characterizes the history of warfare. Army units searching and fighting house-to-house are using hundreds of drones, some of them as small as a model airplane (the Raven), to track enemy movements. Patrols regularly use them to scout out the route ahead. Commanders position them over well-traveled roads to keep an eye out for insurgents planting IEDs—a task once performed by soldiers sitting in their Humvees for hours on end. The Army is even working on drones that can detect IEDs by seeing where the earth has been recently disturbed. Army drones alone flew more than 46,450 hours in March..."

Norway's Think to Produce, Sell Small Electric Cars in U.S. - "Norway's Think Global AS, with backing from U.S. venture capital investors, plans to produce and sell a small all-electric car in the U.S. that could go as far as 110 miles when fully charged – fresh evidence that the race to woo American consumers with electric cars is heating up and drawing interest from the same investors that helped build Silicon Valley..."

All-Electric Mini Cooper Ready for Consumer Market - "he car is reported to have a range of 120+ miles on a single charge, speeds up to 80 miles per hour, and acceleration of 0-60 in 6.0 seconds. According to the press release, "The Mini Cooper Frame is produced by Mini Cooper in Oxford England, and the conversion to all-lithium currently takes place in North Carolina at Hybrid's Mooresville plant.""

Press "Pause" to Prevent Pregnancy - "The remote control, implanted device will allow users to 'press pause' on their sperm. (although it doesn't mention whether a 'rewind' function is in the works). The device has been developed by Australian scientists, and could herald a new dawn of even more convenient contraception for men, which has the potential to keep population growth under control more effectively..."

Turn Your Point-and-Shoot into a Super-Camera - "If you're using a consumer grade point-and-shoot Canon digital camera, you've got hardware in hand that can support advanced features way beyond what shipped in the box. With the help of a free, open source project called CHDK, you can get features like RAW shooting mode, live RGB histograms, motion-detection, time-lapse, and even games on your existing camera. Let's transform your point-and-shoot into a super camera just by adding a little special sauce to its firmware..."

No Way to Build an Operating System - "So, apparently, the 2009-2010 version of Windows will still not have the next-gen file system I was writing about more than 10 years ago -- when "Cairo" was the lead codename -- let alone a microkernel with modules for OS "personalities" and compatibility..."

How John McCain Went from the GOP's 4th Choice to Its Nominee - "Flash back to a little less than 12 months ago. In Iowa, the leader board featured a former Mayor of New York, a former Governor of Massachusetts, and the DA from Law & Order. In New Hampshire, the outlook was similar: Mitt Romney was at the front of the pack, followed distantly by Rudy Giuliani. By all accounts, John McCain's presidential hopes were dead in the water..."

Scientists Use GPS to Spy on Whale Watch Tours, Uncover Ugly Secret - "Approximately 1 million people paid for tickets to go on whale watching cruises off the coast of Massachusetts and Maine in 2006. These sales generated around $21 million dollars for the companies who operate the boats: no small change. While the public might have been enjoying the experience of seeing and learning more about endangered whales and other animals that sometimes use the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration were concerned that perhaps the tours were affecting the whales negatively..."

Via Nano takes on Intel Atom - "The Via Nano range promises up to four times the performance of the existing Via C7 processor family while remaining within the same power range..."

[See previous IR]

More To Explore