Posted by timothyon Friday February 06, 2015 @11:01PM from the if-you-don't-like-this-you-have-no-heart dept.
szczys writes Would you do a better job designing hardware if your life depended on it? Chris Nefcy is in that exact position. Years ago he developed an Automatic External Defibrilator for First Medic. The device allows non-doctors to restart a human heart in the field. When Chris had a heart attack his ticker was restarted with shocks from his own hardware. His story isn't just heartwarming, he also covers the path that led him into developing the AED and the bumpy road encountered getting the hardware to market
Posted by timothyon Tuesday February 03, 2015 @01:02PM from the literally-exploding-with-rage dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this Fascinating profile of one particular Wikipedia editor Giraffedata (a 51-year-old software engineer named Bryan Henderson), who has spent the last seven years correcting only the incorrect use of "comprised of" on Wikipedia. Using a code to crawl for uses of "comprised of" throughout all of Wiki's articles, he'll then go in and manually correct them (for example, using "consists of" or "composed of") and has made over 47,000 edits to date.
Addition of 2/7/2015:
Stu wants to know why I misspelled "Peeve" in the title as "Peave". He was kind enough to say that he didn't get the meaning of my word play. It wasn't word play, Stu. It was a screw-up! Thanks for pointing it out. I did check my spelling in previous "Pet Peeve" postings and was relieved to find that they were spelled correctly (as it is in the "Categories" listing - whew!)
Mary Eisenhower, granddaughter of Dwight D. Eisenhower, unveils the Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport logo. Mayor Carl Brewer and Wichita City Council members are on the right. (Jan. 26, 2015) Mike Hutmacher The Wichita Eagle
An excerpt from the referenced article is below.
Eisenhower, who served as president from 1953 to 1961, grew up in Abilene. His boyhood home is preserved in Abilene, on the grounds of Eisenhower’s presidential library and museum.
Mary Esienhower said in her remarks that her grandfather had a pilot’s license, and he and her father owned a Piper Cherokee, a single piston-engine aircraft.
“I should add that he was a talented pilot and quite keen on aerobatics,” she said in her speech.
Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/news/business/aviation/article8152866.html#storylink=cpy
Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/news/business/aviation/article8152866.html#storylink=cpy
In addition (I understand that I've written this before): 1) They keep putting stupid pink hats on girls and stupid blue hats on boys in the neo-natal care units of the hospitals and 2) parents continue to dress babies/toddlers/infants in clothes that scream out, "I am a boy!" or "I am a girl!" (Please note blue and pink clothing in the cartoon, for gods sake.)
Posted by timothyon Sunday January 25, 2015 @08:22AM from the pure-sugar-all-the-time dept.
HughPickens.com writes Jennifer Abel writes at the LA times that according to a recent survey over 80% of Americans says they support "mandatory labels on foods containing DNA," roughly the same number that support the mandatory labeling of GMO foods "produced with genetic engineering." Ilya Somin, writing about the survey at the Washington Post, suggested that a mandatory label for foods containing DNA might sound like this: "WARNING: This product contains deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). The Surgeon General has determined that DNA is linked to a variety of diseases in both animals and humans. In some configurations, it is a risk factor for cancer and heart disease. Pregnant women are at very high risk of passing on DNA to their children." The report echoes a well-known joke/prank wherein people discuss the dangers of the chemical "dihydrogen monoxide" also known as hydrogen oxide and hydrogen hydroxide. Search online for information about dihydrogen monoxide, and you'll find a long list of scary-sounding and absolutely true warnings about it: the nuclear power industry uses enormous quantities of it every year. Dihydrogen monoxide is used in the production of many highly toxic pesticides, and chemical weapons banned by the Geneva Conventions. Dihydrogen monoxide is found in all tumors removed from cancer patients, and is guaranteed fatal to humans in large quantities and even small quantities can kill you, if it enters your respiratory system. In 2006, in Louisville, Kentucky, David Karem, executive director of the Waterfront Development Corporation, a public body that operates Waterfront Park, wished to deter bathers from using a large public fountain. "Counting on a lack of understanding about water's chemical makeup," he arranged for signs reading: "DANGER! – WATER CONTAINS HIGH LEVELS OF HYDROGEN – KEEP OUT" to be posted on the fountain at public expense.
To save you a little time, this (below) is an excerpt from the Oklahoma State University report on a survey taken by their Department of Agricultural Economics.
If, like mine, your last name falls near the end of the alphabet and, if like me, you subscribe to at least one magazine, you'll probably have noticed by now that most of the world reads "your" magazine before it graces your postal box. Everyone else has already read and digested The New Yorker, January 26, 2015 issue, I'm sure. My copy came in today's mail.
I'll keep this brief; but, I can't ignore the article entirely. First off, the article was so much fun to read. Secondly, it answered a question that I didn't even know I had.
As you can tell by the sub-title, the article addresses Internet archiving. One of the enterprises engaged in such activitie is the Internet Archive, based in San Francisco CA. In the article, we are told:
"The address of the Internet Archive is archive.org, but another way to visit is to take a plane to San Francisco and ride in a cab to the Presidio, past cypresses that look as though someone had drawn them there with a smudgy crayon. At 300 Funston Avenue, climb a set of stone steps and knock on the brass door of a Greek Revival temple. You can’t miss it: it’s painted wedding-cake white and it’s got, out front, eight Corinthian columns and six marble urns."
"“We bought it because it matched our logo,” Brewster Kahle told me when I met him there, and he wasn’t kidding. Kahle is the founder of the Internet Archive and the inventor of the Wayback Machine. The logo of the Internet Archive is a white, pedimented Greek temple."
And now, we've stumbled upon a question that I didn't know I had. For some years, I've never faltered when running across the term "Wayback Machine" - understanding from context what it meant. I did not know that the "Wayback Machine" had its genesis in a kids' TV cartoon. A later paragraph in the article educates me.
"Kahle is long-armed and pink-cheeked and public-spirited; his hair is gray and frizzled. He wears round wire-rimmed eyeglasses, linen pants, and patterned button-down shirts. He looks like Mr. Micawber, if Mr. Micawber had left Dickens’s London in a time machine and landed in the Pacific, circa 1955, disguised as an American tourist. Instead, Kahle was born in New Jersey in 1960. When he was a kid, he watched “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show”; it has a segment called “Peabody’s Improbable History,” which is where the Wayback Machine got its name. Mr. Peabody, a beagle who is also a Harvard graduate and a Nobel laureate, builds a WABAC machine—it’s meant to sound like a UNIVAC, one of the first commercial computers—and he uses it to take a boy named Sherman on adventures in time. “We just set it, turn it on, open the door, and there we are—or were, really,” Peabody says."
Returning to the Greek Revival temple much later in the article we are told that:
"On the wall on either side of the altar, wooden slates display what, when this was a church, had been the listing of the day’s hymn numbers. The archivists of the Internet have changed those numbers. One hymn number was 314. “Do you know what that is?” Kahle asked. It was a test, and something of a trick question, like when someone asks you what’s your favorite B track on the White Album. “Pi,” I said, dutifully, or its first three digits, anyway. Another number was 42. Kahle gave me an inquiring look. I rolled my eyes. Seriously?"
I no longer post recipes - usually. While Bogie was visiting for a few days, I did look around for a recipe for Tumbleweeds - and - promptly modified the one that I picked out - to suit my own taste. So I will be able to find the recipe the next time I wish to make Tumbleweeds, here it is.
1 quart vanilla ice cream (slightly softened)
¼ cup Kahlua coffee liqueur
¼ cup Crème de Cacao chocolate liqueur
¼ cup Brandy
¼ cup Frangelico hazelnut liqueur
Place mixture in tightly covered container, returning to freezer until time to serve. When served, sprinkle with grated nutmeg (if you like!)
Tumbleweeds were served by a member of our "social circle" back in the mid-1960s. Yes, shockingly enough, HH and I belonged to a "social circle" back then, comprising members of the local Jaycee chapter and its auxiliary. (I cannot believe that the spell checker wanted me to use "it's". Did I do OK, ME?)
Posted by timothyon Monday January 19, 2015 @08:03AM from the so-more-emoticons-then? dept.
HughPickens.com writes Everyone who is part of an organization — a company, a nonprofit, a condo board — has experienced the pathologies that can occur when human beings try to work together in groups. Now the NYT reports on recent research on why some groups, like some people, are reliably smarter than others. In one study, researchers grouped 697 volunteer participants into teams of two to five members. Each team worked together to complete a series of short tasks, which were selected to represent the varied kinds of problems that groups are called upon to solve in the real world. One task involved logical analysis, another brainstorming; others emphasized coordination, planning and moral reasoning. Teams with higher average I.Q.s didn't score much higher on collective intelligence tasks than did teams with lower average I.Q.s. Nor did teams with more extroverted people, or teams whose members reported feeling more motivated to contribute to their group's success. Instead, the smartest teams were distinguished by three characteristics (PDF). First, their members contributed more equally to the team's discussions, rather than letting one or two people dominate the group. Second, their members scored higher on a test called Reading the Mind in the Eyes, which measures how well people can read complex emotional states from images of faces with only the eyes visible. Finally, teams with more women outperformed teams with more men. It appeared that it was not "diversity" (having equal numbers of men and women) that mattered for a team's intelligence, but simply having more women. This last effect, however, was partly explained by the fact that women, on average, were better at "mindreading" than men. Interestingly enough, a second study has now replicated the these findings for teams that worked together online communicating purely by typing messages into a browser . "Emotion-reading mattered just as much for the online teams whose members could not see one another as for the teams that worked face to face. What makes teams smart must be not just the ability to read facial expressions, but a more general ability, known as "Theory of Mind," to consider and keep track of what other people feel, know and believe."
If you take a test called Reading the Mind in the Eyes, above, let's hope you do better than I did. There are 36 expressions to "read" on the test, of which I correctly read only 22. Not surprisingly, only 2 of the 14 expressions that I "missed" were of men. Consider that I've spent my whole life dealing with brothers, male students, or male colleagues. A caution to the guys reading this: I can read you like a book! Interpretation of scoring is given.
Understanding Your Score The average score for this test is in the range of 22 to 30 correct responses. If you scored above 30, you may be quite good at understanding someone’s mental state based on facial cues. If you scored below 22, you may find it difficult to understand a person’s mental state based on their appearance.
Posted by Soulskillon Wednesday January 21, 2015 @11:03AM from the bad-news-for-my-clone-army dept.
New submitter Bogdan Vasilescu writes: Diversity in teams is a double-edged sword. Increased team diversity results in more varied backgrounds and ideas, providing the team with access to broader information, enhanced creativity, adaptability, and problem solving skills. However, due to greater perceived differences in values, norms, and communication styles in more diverse teams, members become more likely to engage in stereotyping, cliquishness, and conflict. In a recent study, researchers from University of California, Davis and Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands have analyzed the effects of gender and tenure diversity on productivity and turnover for more than 23,000 open-source projects on GitHub. Using regression modeling, they showed that after controlling for team size and other confounds (such as a project's age, development model, or amount of social activity), both gender and tenure diversity are positive and significant predictors of productivity, together explaining a small but significant fraction of the data variability. On an economic and societal scale, these findings suggest that added investments in educational and professional training efforts and outreach for female programmers will likely result in added overall value. The paper describing the results (preprint PDF here) will be presented at the prestigious ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, in Seoul, South Korea, in April 2015.
Posted by samzenpuson Monday January 19, 2015 @02:27PM from the who's-to-blame dept.
BarbaraHudson writes Times Live is reporting that while doctors have usually been blamed for bacterial resistance because of over-prescribing, Karl Rotthier, chief executive of the Dutch DSM Sinochem Pharmaceuticals, claims lax procedures at drugs companies are the real cause. "Most antibiotics are now produced in China and India and I do not think it is unjust to say that the environmental conditions have been quite different in these regions. Poor controls mean that antibiotics are leaking out and getting into drinking water. They are in the fish and cattle that we eat, and global travel and exports mean bacteria are traveling. That is making a greater contribution to the growth of antibiotic resistance than over-prescribing", Rothier said. "We cannot have companies discharging untreated waste water into our environment, contributing to illness and, worse, antibacterial resistance. We cannot accept that rivers in India show higher concentrations of active antibiotic than the blood of someone undergoing treatment."