Physicists Find Clue as To Why the DNA Double Helix Twists To the Right
That explains why in Star Trek all intelligent life can interbreed despite evolving separately for billions of years. ;)
Malaysian Passenger Plane Reportedly Shot Down Over Ukraine
This is probably all fake and they are using the crash site to dispose of the missing Malaysian flight 370 that has been hidden by the Chinese up until now
Public To Vote On Names For Exoplanets
Can we use "Ceti Alpha Six" on a planet orbiting a star not in the constellation "Ceti"
Lawsuits Seek To Turn Chimpanzees Into Legal Persons
If a corporation can be a person, why can't a chimp?
Step 1: Create a corporation called Chimp Inc. and make its owner a chimp named Bonzo. (People can leave their fortunes to a pet cat, they should be able to leave controlling interest of a corporation to a chimp.)
Step 2: Once Bonzo the chimp has control of the Chimp Inc. corporation, have Chimp Inc. buy Bonzo the chimp.
Step 3: Bonzo is the sole owner of Chimp Inc.
and the only property of Chimp Inc. is Bonzo.
Chimp Inc. is a legal corporate person.
Chimp Inc. = Bonzo the chimp.
Therefore Bonzo the chimp is a legal person.
World's Largest Ocean Thermal Power Plant Planned For China
If it works China will use the partnership to steal any useful technology, produce it themselves and out compete Lockheed. See partnerships with high speed train manufacturers and solar cell production.
Panda Blood May Hold Potent Assailant Against Superbugs
Time to kill a whole lot of pandas and collect their blood to extract the antibiotics.
Solar Panels For Every Home?
There was an article earlier in the Times, before this one, that detailed how homes with existing Solar Panels did not have electricity after the storm because they were designed to feed directly into the grid,not store locally in batteries. This is a cheaper design. The houses usually still ran off the grid. The grid had to be powered down in places to prevent downed power lines from killing people and the Solar Panels had to stop feeding electricity into the grid to allow workers to repair lines. In order for people to go off the grid they would need to put in banks of batteries. People tend to put them in basements which would have been a bad idea in this case because in a lot of places the basements flooded. This proposal advocates changing the current default Solar installation to allow people to go off the grid when the grid goes down.
Astronomers Search For Dyson Spheres of Alien Civilizations
Even though shows like Star Trek show Dyson spheres to be a solid objects, Dyson originally meant it to be more like a sphericle cloud of technology that surrounds a star. The cloud could be made up of hollowed out asteroids or spacestations or nano-bots. All of these would intercept the energy from the local sun.If some leaked through between two space stations someone else would build a space station further out and intercept the overflow. There might be a high probability of collision, but the cloud will not fall into the sun in one piece.
Seaweed is Good for You and Can Be Tasty, Too (Video)
He mentions that an aquaculture farm is letting him use their greenhouses. The name contains "Dulce" which made me think of "Dulse" a seaweed that people in Ireland eat. It is not only the Japanese and Koreans (and aparently the Hawaiins) who eat seaweed. I would guess Dulse is a cold water seaweed and unsuitable for a greenhouse in Austin Texas
Low Budget Air Space Photography
350 pounds? With a weight budget like that, they could have sent me to the edge of space. That would have been an amateur record.;)
Tapping Solar Wind's Renewable Energy
I think they got the measurements and units wrong. The article says that the power would not be generated like a windmill but from a wire. Then it says that the wire would be relatively short and the sail impossibly huge. Chances are the article got it wrong and the reality is that a small sail would be used to tow out a long 5,000 mile spool of wire. As the solarwind particles cross over the wire it will create the electricity just like passing a wire through a magnetic field creates electricity. I would like to read the original source rather than this typical example of science journalism.
FOSS Development As Economic Stimulus
Capitalist economics doesn't work like that. Money that consumers don't spend doesn't contribute to GDP, but money they do spend does, and GDP is the magic number (remember, we're all happier when the numbers go up).
This highlights why OSS won't be a pillar of Obama's spending spree. Microsoft sell software made by developers they pay and these developers then spend their pay on other software (say). This moves money round the economy continuously and makes the GDP look great. Paying a developer to create a free piece of software is effectively a one off payment and doesn't contribute to GDP much (it mainly increases coffee consumption), in fact all it does really is inflate government spending/borrowing.
What about highway spending? If the government pays people to build highways does this money disappear? Do all the roads paid for by government need to be toll roads so we can employ toll collectors othewise no jobs are created and no GDP growth takes place?
No, companies are contracted, workers are hired, people are paid, infrastructure gets built enabling other companies to more easily and efficiently provide goods and services.
Likewise, this proposal says: pay people to produce free software. People are paid, a pool of talent and experience is built up. Businesses get software that will enable them to provide goods and services more cheaply and efficintly. At the end of the program we will have experienced programmers who may go on to create their own businesses, rather than unemployed road contstruction workers. There will also be an aftermarket for services of installing and maintaining this software.
This is an infrastructure program.
The downsides are to companies like Microsoft that sell boxed software but no services. They would be the only ones hurt by this program. All others would benefit.
Sci-Fi Books For Pre-Teens?
Dune by Frank Herbert
Asimov's Early Robot Series - Caves of Steel,The Naked Sun,Robots of Dawn
Heinlein's "Juvenile" books - http://www.geocities.com/NapaValley/1872/juvie.htm I especially liked "The Star Beast" and "Have Space Suit, Will Travel"
Daniel Keys Moran http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Keys_Moran Especially "The Long Run", "The Armageddon Blues"
Vernor Vinge: "The Peace War" The hero is a child math wiz.
Douglass Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy book #1
JRR Tolkien The Lord of the Rings
R.A. MacAvoy, Damiano Series http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._A._MacAvoy
Gene Wolf Urth of the New Sun Series, maybe just the first book.
Terry Pratchett's Disc World books