Archive for September, 2010

NCBI ROFL: Oh, the irony!

By ncbi rofl | September 30, 2010 7:33 pm

mr peanut(Not funny ha-ha, but unbelievable).

Transfer of peanut allergy from the donor to a lung transplant recipient.

“Among solid organs, transfer of peanut allergy from donor to recipient has been implicated after liver transplantation. We report the first case in which such transfer occurred after a lung transplant. Read More


Space Tourists Will Get Their Own Special Space Beer

By Jennifer Welsh | September 30, 2010 5:55 pm

space-beerA new type of beer is being marketed to a very select demographic: space tourists. The special beer is about to undergo testing in a near-weightless environment to qualify it for drinking in space.

Unlike other space beers, which are created from barley that grew on the International Space Station, this space beer is being made especially to be consumed in space. The brew is a team effort from Saber Astronautics Australia and the 4-Pines Brewing Company (aka Vostok Pty Ltd), and will be given its low-gravity try-out by the non-profit organization Astronauts4Hire. From the Vostok Pty Ltd Facebook page:

As space exploration becomes more commercial, it is likely to support a market for the tasty brew. While the brew is designed to be enjoyed in low gravity environments (i.e., a space station, the Moon, or Mars) it will also be tasty on Earth.

The brew was bottled in early September and is expected to make its inaugural flight in November, aboard a plane that flies in long parabolic arcs to create periods of weightlessness. The beer will be tested for its qualitative taste and drinkability (hopefully not by the pilot). The reason why space-goers need their own beer is two-fold.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Aliens Therefrom

The World's Fastest Lawn Mower, a Fire-Throwing Bike, and More Bizarro Vehicles

By Jennifer Welsh | September 30, 2010 4:35 pm

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NCBI ROFL: On brassieres and poop.

By ncbi rofl | September 29, 2010 7:00 pm

3630932511_2f93dd3d50Field studies on inhibitory influence of skin pressure exerted by a body compensatory brassiere on the amount of feces.

“The present experiment investigated the effects of skin pressure produced by a body compensatory brassiere [a brassiere with underwires] on defecation activity. Seven healthy females (11-41 yrs) volunteered as participants, being free of medication and constipation. The experiment lasted 3 weeks. The participants did not wear the body compensatory brassiere for the first week, wore it during waking hours for the second week, and again did not wear it for the third week. Whenever they desired to defecate, they did so and then weighted the amount of feces immediately by themselves. Read More


The Mass of Hurricanes Converted to More Familiar Units: Cats & Dogs & Elephants

By Jennifer Welsh | September 29, 2010 6:03 pm

hurricaneIf you were to calculate how much a hurricane weighs, what units would you pick?

To understand how much water is in a cloud, it seems many researchers pick the good ole elephant unit, or sometimes a blue whale. Choosing some of the largest animals on the planet gives everyone a better sense of just how much water is up there in the clouds.

Calculating the number of elephants in a small white puffy cloud will start to give you a sense of just how many elephants to expect from your average hurricane. Andy Heymsfield of the National Center for Atmospheric Research told NPR’s science correspondent Robert Krulwich that a single, small, white, cotton-ball cloud weighs about the same as 100 (4-ton) elephants:

“I think the dimensions are somewhat deceiving,” clouds, he says, look small when you are down on the ground, but very often they are much bigger than you think.

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My, What Biometrically Unique Ears You Have

By Jennifer Welsh | September 29, 2010 2:40 pm

baby-earIt’s not in the eyes, the face, or fingerprints. For some researchers, the future of biometrics lies in the ear.

Imagine walking into a store and instead of submitting to an iris scan, like in Minority Report, having the cameras scan your ear, noting its curves and wrinkles, to identify you. Christopher Mims, blogging for Technology Review, reports that that day may come.

What makes the human ear good for use as a biometric is its uniqueness, which does not change with age. But first the computer needs to be able to pick your ear out of the crowd, which–while easy for a human–is quite difficult for a computer.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology Attacks!
MORE ABOUT: biometrics, ear, ears

NCBI ROFL: What's worse than a new driver? A new driver in a fancy car.

By ncbi rofl | September 28, 2010 7:00 pm

bmwEffects of inferred social status and a beginning driver’s sticker upon aggression of drivers in Japan.

“The present study examined how inferred social status [e.g. a fancy car] and a beginning driver’s sticker influenced aggressive drivers’ behavior on the road in Japan. Read More

Sunbather Singed by Shiny Hotel's Reflected "Death Rays"

By Jennifer Welsh | September 28, 2010 5:34 pm

vdaraPoolside at Las Vegas’s Vdara hotel is a dangerous place to be. That’s according to one tourist who claims he almost had his hair singed off by a “death ray”—the term used by some hotel employees—reflected from hotel’s shiny facade.

The hotel’s spokesperson would understandably prefer to use the term “hot spot” or “solar convergence” to describe the spot near the pool where the sunlight reflects off the building’s side. Hotel guests say they have seen plastic cups and bags melt from the heat of the ray. The Review-Journal was tipped off to the problem by the story of a poolside lounger named Bill Pintas from Chicago:

[Pintas] became so uncomfortably hot that he leaped up to move. He tried to put on his flip-flop sandals but, inexplicably, they were too hot to touch. So he ran barefoot to the shade. “I was effectively being cooked,” Pintas said. “I started running as fast as I could without looking like a lunatic.” Then he smelled an odor, and realized it was coming from his head, where a bit of hair had been scorched.

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Bicycle Bubble/Monorail Transportation System—Crazy or Genius (or Both)?

By Jennifer Welsh | September 28, 2010 12:54 pm

Shweeb-in-actionA human-powered monorail system called Shweeb won $1 million from Google’s 10^100 innovations contest.

The company that manufactured the Shweeb is one of five to be awarded a total of $10 million from the competition. They will use the money to develop the Shweeb for use as a city commuter transport option.

The Shweeb efficiently uses human power from a rider sitting in the recumbent seat, pedaling the bubble-shaped pod through the air. This vision for public transportation is a little out there, but the Shweeb has some promise, says Gearlog:

Like all truly forward thinking ideas, Shweeb seems completely nuts at first glance. As a tech blogger I’d love nothing more than to mock Google and it’s choice of Shweeb with its poor-man’s take on the Jetsons opening sequence. But the more you read about it, the more Shweeb’s innovative take urban transport makes a whole lot of sense.

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NCBI ROFL: When life gives you camels, make sausage.

By ncbi rofl | September 27, 2010 7:00 pm

camelCamel cocktail sausage and its physicochemical and sensory quality.

“The objective of this study was to compare the nutritional values of camel semitendinosus muscles with those of calves. Then, sausages were made from camel meat, beef and equal proportions of each and stored at 4 degrees C for 45 days. The composition, physicochemical characteristics, sensory properties, and microstructure of the samples were evaluated. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: eat me, fun with animals, NCBI ROFL

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