Category Archives: Sci-Tech

Science and Technology

15 Feb 2010
It’s not the fall …

… it’s the sudden stop at the end. When your plane breaks apart at 35000 feet, you have about three minutes before you hit the ground at around 120 miles per hour. You might even survive. Dan Koeppel provides a morbidly humorous survival guide in Popular Mechanics’ “How to Fall 35,000 Feet—And Survive“. According to […]

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06 Jan 2010
Shed free

Today, as Brian and I were discussing a problem with a DAT-72 tape drive, I happened to glance at a cleaning tape lying on the table. Whenever a tape drive turns on its “I’m feelin’ dirty!” light, you pop in a cleaning tape to take care of it, but otherwise you don’t really pay much […]

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03 Jan 2010
Salt with a kick

“[S]odium-free salt (potassium chloride) is sufficiently radioactive (from the isotope potassium-40) that after several months, a saltshaker-ful will form an image on film.” —Theodore Gray, Gray Matter: DIY X-Ray Photos, Popular Science Unrelated to the content, a brief rant…. Apparently PopSci (yeah, I know) is de-optimized for my flavor of Firefox. I ran across the […]

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29 Oct 2009
What you get without network neutrality

quink has provided us with an illustration of what happens if network neutrality disappears (reddit discussion): click here for full-size image

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24 Oct 2009
Why TV robots are dumb

A funny bit of synchronicity — I found this xkcd comic, “More Accurate“, in my feed reader last night, right after I finished watching the final episode of “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles“. Such a shame TSCC was cancelled after only two seasons. When we’re fighting high technology, we have to do more than just […]

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12 Oct 2009
Installing Fedora 10 on SCSI/RAID

I’ve recently installed Fedora 10 on a few desktop systems without any problems. However, I did run into an issue on a Dell Power Edge 850 with a PERC 4/SE RAID controller. Note: this problem occurs on other SCSI systems as well. The installation runs to completion without any errors, but, when the system reboots, […]

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03 Sep 2009
Point of no return

Are you passionate enough about anything to leave on a one-way trip — no way, no hope of return — that will likely result in your early death? Lawrence M. Krauss, the director of the Origins Initiative at Arizona State University, suggests just that in “A One-Way Ticket to Mars“, an op-ed piece in the […]

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30 Aug 2009
I’m not depressed, I’m adaptive

Scientific American has an interesting article: “Depression’s Evolutionary Roots“. This is not to say that depression is not a problem. Depressed people often have trouble performing everyday activities, they can’t concentrate on their work, they tend to socially isolate themselves, they are lethargic, and they often lose the ability to take pleasure from such activities […]

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25 Aug 2009
Is the sky falling?

How many of the 12 questions in The Science Knowledge Quiz can you get right? Go ahead and try it now — it’s quick and easy. For more detailed and statistically sound analysis, check out Science and Engineering Indicators 2008, which I posted about last year. It states “[…] many Americans do not reliably distinguish […]

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21 Aug 2009
Personal Satellite

I want one of these. I’ve no idea what I’d do with it, but still … my own personal satellite in LEO, if only for a few weeks. Interorbital Systems has this cool TubeSat Personal Satellite Kit for only $8000, which includes launching it into low earth orbit. Briefly, what you get is “the satellite’s […]

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