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Testing a Widget: Amazon.com's Music widget and the HFY "A Life's Worth of Memories" Playlist

A while back, I'd written a piece called "
Stir of Echoes: Haunted Hearts and Healing Memories" where I listed a set of music tracks that reminded me of Mumsie, of her life and of my care-giving experience, and of her life with my wife. Make the jump»

Lenovo Introduces Three New Tablets

Lenovo has introduced three new computer tablets that continue to expand their habit of creating stylish, useful personal technology devices.

The three new tablets are:

  1. The IdeaPad Tablet K1
  2. The IdeaPad Tablet P1, and  
  3. The ThinkPad Tablet

What caught my eye about the latest release is the ThinkPad Tablet, which sports a Tablet Keyboard Folio Case and has digital pen support.

It's technology I'd love to get my hands on for a full - and ideally long-term - test drive.

What kind of new technology has sprung up in the marketplace lately that's caught your eye? Comments are open...

 

Open Thread: Welcome to my Universe

Okay, I gotta admit it was kinda fun (and a little empowering) to list all those scientific terms in the tags box.  The idea of parallel universes fascinates me ... and could explain alot.

A July 19th article by Alexander Vilenkin and Max Tegmarkin in Scientific American makes the scientific case for the existence of parallel universes, multiverse if you will. Make the jump»

Tuesday Evening Open Thread: Robotics Alliance, NASA Edition

Ever heard of the Robotics Alliance Project? If so, you're aware of their mission:

To create a human, technical, and programmatic resource of robotics capabilities to enable the implementation of future robotic space exploration missions.

That sounds like a pretty cool mission to me. It's even more impressive when you check out their goals and some of their alliances.

Here's their goals, as stated on the website, for your perusal:

Robotics Alliance Project Goals

The NASA Robotics Alliance Project focuses on four multi-year goals:
   
RAP-I: Enroll American support for the advancement of Robotics Technologies required for Extraterrestrial Exploration. Outcome #3 of NASA's Education Framework. See Milestone Objectives RAP-I-73 and RAP-I-75.
   
RAP-II: Inspire American high school students to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Robotics Engineering. Outcome #2 of NASA's Education Framework. See Milestone Objectives RAP-II-71 and RAP-II-74.
   
RAP-III: Motivate American BSRE undergraduates and graduates to pursue M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in robotics. Outcome #1 of NASA's Education Framework. See Milestone Objectives RAP-III-72 and RAP-III-76 and RAP-III-77.
   
RAP-IV: Engage BSRE, MSRE and PhDRE students prior to graduation.
   
   

I love tinkering with robots. The potential for extending our reach and understanding of the world, and worlds, around us increases phenomenally when we apply our ingenuity and technology - robotics are just one example.

It's a field that touches many other areas of technology, and even occasionally takes us on brief forays into the Uncanny valley.

Have you ever experimented with anything robotic? (Have you ever been experimented on robotically?) Tell us more about it in the comments below, and remember: This is an Open Thread.

New problems emerge in Japan's nuclear power emergency

Freedom

Sampling of ocean water 30 km off Japan's coast found radioactive "iodine concentrations at or above Japanese regulatory limits," as well as amounts of cesium-137 below regulatory limits. Some of the contamination may be due to recycled sea water used to cool down the reactors and spent fuel ponds. Still, the volume of water thus contaminated suggests that the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant complex has already released massive quantities of radionuclides over the past two weeks.

More massive releases are a disturbing possibility, experts say. Make the jump»

Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Tsunami Impact, Tech Shortage Edition

The tsunami that struck Japan in the wake of the recent major earthquake has wrought tremendous damage in terms of both loss of life and physical destruction. But the impact isn't limited to Japan. Via Mashable (hat-tip Roxy);

As Japan digs out from its worst earthquake and tsunami in recent history, and engineers scramble to contain the damage at the Fukushima nuclear plant, another crisis is unfolding behind the scenes: massive disruption to the global supply chain.

As relatively unimportant as it may seem, Japan’s factories are the lifeline for electronics companies the world over. Some 20% of all semiconductors and 40% of all flash memory chips sold in the world’s smartphones, tablets, cameras and computers are made in Japan.

[...Read more...]

Affected manufacturers and suppliers include Toshiba, Sony, Texas Instruments and Hitachi. See the original Mashable article for more detail on the products impacted, and share your thoughts in comments below about what other types of impact the series of disasters may have on both Japan and the world at large.

Keep the Japanese people in your thoughts, meanwhile, and remember: This is an Open Thread.

Saturday Morning Open Thread: Magic Legislation, Montana Alternate Reality Edition

From Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse of DailyKos comes this incredible tidbit of reality disconnect: Montana Legislator Proposes Bill Declaring Global Warming 'Natural' and 'Beneficial'.

Yes, folks, you read that correctly -- by simply passing a bill, the Montana legislature has solved the global warming "problem" and turned all the scientifically supporting studies into just another pile of worthless paper. Abracadabra! It's magic Montana legislation, not anti-science Republicans!

It's not some cataclysmic case of denial that further undermines our nation, it's the GOP coming to rescue us from the dauntingly dismal effects of unrestrained reality!

Huzzah!

...oh, and in other Montana news, "Glacier National Park has lost 83 percent of its glaciers, seasons have shifted, insect outbreaks have devastated forests..."

Good times, good times.

Now we just have to patiently wait for Montana's magic legislators to resolve the national jobs situation, fix the economy and do something about that pesky HCR.

In the meantime, keep doing whatever you're doing -- good or bad, Montana's magic legislators will fix it. And remember, this is an Open Thread.

Friday Morning Open Thread: Monster Machine, Samsung SSD Edition

YouTube: 

This is bloody awesome. I want one.

(Well, ok -- I want five.) Hat-tip to Devon in Acton for the heads-up.

So, what's your idea of a "monster machine"? And do you have it, or is it a pipe dream?

On an oddly related note1, this sucks. (Technically, as has been pointed out, it blows. Whatever.

Icelandic volcano 'set to erupt'

Scientists in Iceland are warning that another volcano looks set to erupt and threatening to spew-out a pall of dust that would dwarf last year's event.

[...click for full article...]

...the only thing that would suck more is to be Bobby Jindal and to have his comment about "something called volcano monitoring" thrown back in his face...again.

 

See our prior piece for a related story on last year's Icelandic eruption.

Whatever else you may do today, keep in mind: this is an Open Thread.

 

1 Oddly related because it was a thread about the volcano that led to my digging out the video about the monster machine created with 24 SSD drives. Go figure. :)

 

In Defense of Climate Change Science

As if real science really needs to be defended? Anyways...

GreyHawk posted, over the weekend, some of the most current (and relevant) information we have to weigh the issue of climate change.

But I thought this little bit of communist/socialist tree hugging hippy environmental activism was notable both for its source and reasoning. The Navy is preparing for climate change as a matter of national security: Make the jump»

Early evening astronomy for the late night moon bats

I am only warning you about this now because I don't want you to be scared as I practice some tricks from my "Merlin's Winter Solstice Magic for Dummies" tonight. Anyways...

Tonight (tomorrow morning?), from about one thirty am est until about five thirty am est, the moon will be completely swallowed by the shadows of the earth. The last time a total lunar eclipse coincided with the winter solstice was in 1638, but I was not around to cause that one.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

If you are too busy blogging, participating in NASA's live chat or just surfing the net and don't want to put down your iPad, iPod or iPhone to follow this eclipse, there is an app for that. However, if you would prefer to hunt some planets, instead of staying up in the middle of the night to see me magically paint the moon a reddish-orange with my eclipse, there is some less lunar loony news and information on planet hunting for the "citizen scientist" and "amateur scientist" below the fold. Make the jump»

Climate Disruption and the Arctic Conveyor

I've seen more battalions of climate deniers lately than I care to even acknowledge. They engage in a game of dangerous anti-intellectualism and prefer to dwell in a place of self-enforced ignorance, where they receive as well as cultivate ongoing support for their fallacies.

This piece isn't to waste time on them, or their highly funded interest in climate denial that special interests funnel a steady flow of money into.

A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance. ~Saul Bellow

Let them be ignorant, and reduced to the blather of background noise. This piece is simply a short inquiry for those who dwell in reality, surrounded by facts and thoughtful pursuits.

Here's the observation (in the form of an excerpt) and the question -- from here:

__________

According to NASA (circa May 2004), there's a potential sometime over the next few decades for melting sea ice to trigger colder weather in Europe and North America.  This isn't the first time we've heard about the effect -- our own Darksyde (Science Friday: Mystery of the Icebox Killer, Fri Sep 09, 2005 at 07:45:05 AM EST) wrote about the possibility a year later, and we've seen a few references to many unexpected changes -- increases -- in the rate of Arctic ice melt not only in 2005 but also in 2007, 2008, 2009 (and here) and 2010 (and here.

So, what's the likelihood now of any effect on the ocean conveyor?

Granted, the past impacts happened when a massive flood of cold fresh water rushed into it -- this time, it's not such an all-at-once scenario.  But -- will the increase impact the conveyor?  Destabilize or shift it?  Alter it's speed, course or charming sense of humor?

__________

...thoughts?

Saturday Morning Open Thread: The Edge of Space, Backyard Amateur Edition

This is an incredible father-son project, not to mention one heck of an innovative accomplishment:

Homemade Spacecraft from Luke Geissbuhler on Vimeo.

Father and son film outer space, do-it-yourself style
By Stephen Messenger, TreeHugger
Posted Fri Oct 8, 2010 12:30pm PDT

Like many youngsters, and those young at heart, seven-year-old Max Geissbuhler and his dad dreamed of visiting space -- and armed with just a weather balloon, a video camera, and an iPhone, in a way they did just that.

The father-and-son team from Brooklyn managed to send their homemade spacecraft up nearly 19 miles, high into the stratosphere, bringing back perhaps the most impressive amateur space footage ever. ...

[...continued...]

What kind of projects did you do with your parents when you were a kid? And, perhaps most importantly, what kind of projects do you do with your kids (or siblings' kids, or neighborhood kids, if you don't have any of your own)?

The possibilities in this world of ever-advancing, affordable technologies are nearly endless.

Share your tale(s) in the comments below, and remember: this is an Open Thread.

;) Make the jump»

NASA: "What's up for October 2010?"

Here's a small video from NASA regarding what's up for October 2010. Enjoy!

Like a kid waiting for Christmas ...

Originally posted 2010-09-05 13:40:33 -0400. Bumped and promoted. -- GH

It is probably no secret that I love Google. :)  In fact just this past week, GreyHawk and I were trying to decide on a name for my Google affliction (addiction?).  Make the jump»

Google, I forgive you

YouTube: 

We've been waiting for it ... making phone calls from your gmail.  Google announced its release today:

If you have a Google Voice phone number, calls made from Gmail will display this number as the outbound caller ID. And if you decide to, you can receive calls made to this number right inside Gmail (see instructions). Make the jump»

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