Category Archives: Science

Links o' the day 6/11/08

While the world continues to cheer the election of Barack Obama as president of the world’s most powerful democracy, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck has been anointed king of the world’s newest, Bhutan.

Apparently you can accidentally steal a car.

Gorillas need surgery too.

Companies are turning to blogging as a way of reporting layoffs, rather than letting them get picked up by the traditional media.

It’s a beard off!

Cleantech is growing in silicon valley.

The Mars lander is guestblogging on Gizmodo 😀

Links o' the day, 4/10/08

Because science is awesome we can now clone formerly extinct animals.

Because science is dumb a HIV vaccine actually increased the risk of infection.

I think Dilbert has given us a way out of taking responsibility for the economic crisis.

Jeff Jarvis on a future for news media:

I proposed a problem to solve: What if a city, say Philadelphia, loses its paper tomorrow. What would you build in its place to serve the community? The [working] group went to town. Rather than trying to hack at the old, they build something new.

They calculated the likely revenue Philadelphia could support online and then figured out what they could afford in staffing. Instead of the 200-300-person newsroom that has existed in print, they decided they could afford 35 and they broke that down to include a new job description: “community managers who do outreach, mediation, social media evangelism.” They settled on three of those plus 20 content creators, two programmers, three designers, five producers (I think they were a bit heavy on those two), and — get this — only three editors.

I’m glad I don’t have money saved with Bank of Ireland.

Flickr’s three billionth photo.

No duh headline on a very important story: How HIV changed ex-addict’s life.

None to carry Iceman's torch

I meant to do more substantial blogging stuff this weekend but life had other plans. This is interesting though, if a little sad:

Gene scientists delving into the 5,300-year-old remains of Oetzi the Iceman, the mysterious mummified man found high in the Alps, say he most likely has no modern-day relatives.

Italian and British experts looked into the mitochondrial DNA — genetic material handed on down the maternal line — teased from Oetzi’s body at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano, Italy.

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is very stable, changing only gradually as it is handed down the generations, which means it is an excellent yardstick for genealogy.

Oetzi’s mtDNA belonged to a broad genetic category called K1, which is still common in Europe today, the investigators reported on Thursday.

However, modern Europeans today belong to three sub-lineages of K1, whereas Oetzi’s sub-lineage has most probably petered out.

Links o' the day, 23/10/2008

The journey so far… in numbers (Kathy Foley)

My Saks spree: How to spend $150,000 like Palin (Slate, chosen more for its oddness than me having an interesting in such shopping :P)

Is this the most eco-friendly car innovation since the hybrid? (Treehugger)

Leukemia drug halts, reverses MS (AFP)

New car targets 1,000mph record (Sky)

In Jordan, prayers for the persecuted (The National)

Fake cop busted after stopping real one (AP)

The return of micro-states? (Catholicgauze)

Dolls and toys that creep us out (Dark Roasted Blend)

X-rays made from Scotch tape (Boing Boing)

Links o' the day, 17/10/2008

Rogue ass jailed in Egypt. (RTÉ)

Palin lookalike strippers to strut in pageant. (AP)

RIAA appeals mistrial in file-sharing case. (CNet)

Its native tongue facing extinction, Native American tribe teaches the young. (International Herald Tribune)

Bee Gees song Stayin’ Alive helps doctors perform CPR. (The Daily Telegraph)

Your bottled water may be no purer than tap. (Lifehacker)

Space smells of steak, says Nasa. (The Sun)

A ringer

An interesting enough science bit from AP:

Mathematicians at UCLA have discovered a 13 million-digit prime number [one divisible only by itself and 1], a long-sought milestone that makes them eligible for a $100,000 prize. The group found the 46th known Mersenne prime last month on a network of 75 computers running Windows XP.

Hang on a sec. “Mathematicians discover”… but it was the computers actually doing the thing. I could run the Boinc app on my PC and do calculations for SETI, but that wouldn’t mean I “discovered” anything. Now, if it had been a group busily working away with pens and paper, or maybe an abacus, that would count as mathmaticians discovering. But then one could argue that many scientific discoveries should be attributed to the equipment, rather than the individual.

Maybe I’m just bitter and twisted. And maybe that explains why I think this: If it was Windows Vista, they’d still be looking.