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Showing posts from February, 2010

US Wins Four-Man Bobsled Gold

After a sixty-two year drought, the United States won the gold medal in the four-man bobsled at the Vancouver Winter Olympics. A big reason for the success of the bobsled team has to do with the sled itself. The American team had been using second-hand sleds until NASCAR engineers started to design the US sleds.

Obama Shocks McCain By Agreeing With Him

From The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, a clip from the bipartisan health care summit held yesterday where President Obama shocks John McCain by agreeing with his point about the deals made to secure the passage of the health care reform bill.

Scientist Finds Godless, Sexless Liberals Smarter

An evolutionary psychologist at the London School of Economics correlated liberalism, atheism, and monogamy in men with higher intelligence. Satoshi Kanazawa notes that the difference in IQ score, while statistically significant, was not stunning. The scientists behind the study identified themselves as a conservative and a libertarian.

Al Qaeda Terrorist Najibullah Zazi Pleads Guilty In Civilian Court

From Reuters:

Zazi's guilty plea on Monday provided a much-needed political victory for U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. President Barack Obama, who have come under criticism from conservatives calling them soft on terrorism. Zazi, 25, admitted to receiving al Qaeda training and plotting a suicide bomb attack on the New York subway system, pleading guilty to three felony counts that could put him in prison for life -- all after being read his rights and given a defense lawyer in civilian proceedings. "It does show that it's possible to get suspected terrorists to talk without inflicting brutal abuses on them," said Jameel Jaffer, director of the National Security Project for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

"Family Guy" Actress With Down's Syndrome PWNS Sarah Palin

Last week, Sarah Palin criticized the TV show Family Guy for making fun of her daughter Trig, who has Down's Syndrome. Andrea Fay Friedman, the actress who voiced the retarded character on Family Guy, responded to Palin's charges with devastating wit.
In my family we think laughing is good. My parents raised me to have a sense of humor and to live a normal life. My mother did not carry me around under her arm like a loaf of French bread the way former Governor Palin carries her son Trig around looking for sympathy and votes. Vicious pwning. Wow.

Hormone Spray May Help Autism Patients

Researchers have very preliminary evidence that a nasal spray containing the hormone oxytocin helps autism patients interact with others. The study included thirteen patients with autism or Asperger's syndrome, which is related to autism. The treatment helped the patients make eye contact and play toss with others. More research is necessary but the study is provocative because it provides a lead for drug companies to develop compounds that may be even more effective. Early use of the nasal spray may help ameliorate the impact of the disease.

I think it's amazing that a hormone can have such profound effects on our social skills and psyche.

Demetri Martin: Sames & Opposites

Demetri Martin sings about Sames & Opposites. For instance, a musical is the same as a burlap sack; he doesn't want to be in either. I'm happy he finally got his own show on Comedy Central.


NAS As Remote File Server

We have had a Synology 210j file server at work for a few months now. Having a central store of all of our files  has been very useful. We don't have to worry about different version of files when collaborating.  Also, the documents are securely and remotely backed up every night using Cobian and RSYNC.

Preying Mantis Hunts Mouse Cursor In Vain

A preying mantis sits on a man's Macbook, patiently trying to hunt the mouse cursor while a dog barks in the background.

Google Buzz: Death Of Privacy?

Recently, Google decided to use its Gmail service as the basis for Google Buzz, a new social networking platform meant to compete with Facebook and Myspace. (Well, not so much Myspace.) Effectively, a Gmail user's contact list became their friend list. Unfortunately, Google made this change without advance notice and without adequate consideration of its users' privacy interests.

Google Buzz probably caused many people to realize the ugly truth: that Google knows a lot about them. Google Dashboard allows the curious to get a glimpse of their Google dossier, but Buzz finally forced them to confront the fact that their real lives is hopelessly interconnected with their online lives, and that Google has a lot of data on both.

I don't see the Google genie going back into the bottle. The database is there and won't go away. The upside to Buzz might be to remind us that we are responsible for everything that we write or do online unless we take measures to keep them private…