12 January 2006

Today in the Science News

Diet appears to reverse Type 2 diabetes:
Very good news. The diet, which is high-fiber and low-fat, and moderate exercise work together to slow the progression of Type 2 diabetes. About half of those who go through the three-week program are no longer considered clinically diabetic.

Hey, this pulsar is spinning faster than the models say is possible! It must be emitting dark energy!
:
Ok, the scientists didn't actually say that. I just like pointing out stories that demonstrate how incomplete our knowledge of the universe is.

Also, astronomers are not very good at names. PSR J1748-2446ad? At least call it "The Pulsar That Knew Too Much" or something.

Moore's Law may march on beyond transistors:
Nanoscale magnets can be cajoled into performing the same digital arithmetic as the transistor-based logic gates in computer chips, according to a new study.
The researchers built a logic gate using these magnets, which would allow for even smaller computer chips. Of course, there are problems, including the delicacy of the magnets. They would have to be shielded.

Personally, I still suspect that DNA computers may be the wave of the future. And I'm not alone in this conjecture. A friend and I took an honors math class together a couple years ago, and one day, the professor started talking about quantum computing. My friend started giggling, which I found odd given the subject matter, so I elbowed her and asked what was so funny, and she said that she was just thinking that by the time quantum computers were feasible, they'd be obsolete because we'd have DNA computers.

THE SINGULARITY IS COMING!:
And robot cars are only the first step! Sure, they're protecting the pedestrians now, but what happens when they gain control of their own programming and start attacking instead?? Run for the hills!

Speaking of hills, my cruise control is pretty worthless when driving in hilly areas. So what makes scientists think I would ever let a robot have complete control of my car? Damn robots probably would never go above the speed limit, and they'd swerve around snakes instead of trying to hit them.*

Anyway, Congress needs to pass a law stating that every robot must have an Evil Indicator, preferably in the form of red LEDs.

*I'm kidding. I actually love snakes, mostly because they eat other animals I can't stand. I would rather find a 10-foot python in my living room than a cockroach.

Seeds to be stored in vault in the event of doomsday:
Women, minorities hardest hit.

I'm trying to decide if this is sort of cool or incredibly stupid. In the event of a horrible doomsday, who's going to be left to open the frickin' vault? What if everyone with access to it is dead? What if the vault itself is the site of doomsday? And, most importantly, is the secret access code being kept on a rat that appears to be a statue?

I think our time would be much better spent developing Enertrons. Maybe we'd still be hungry, but our HP and MP would be fully restored.
[The vault] will not be permanently manned, but "the mountains are patrolled by polar bears", says Fowler.
Polar bears. Right. Once again, how are people going to get to this vault after the asteroids have destroyed our centers of government? Now you're adding polar bears to the equation. Fowler, don't you know what happens to animals in the wake of nuclear events? I think such films as Them and The Killer Shrews have amply demonstrated the folly of allowing any animal life to continue within a 100-mile radius of strategically important locations.

Rabbit-human embryo in the works:
No word on whether it will have nasty, sharp, pointy teeth.

Seriously, some researchers are going to use rabbit and human cells to produce stem cell lines that will be used for research of diseases and treatment. I'm not sure if I'm fer it or agin it, but at least no one's murdered to provide these cells. (With the possible exception of rabbits, but they're disgusting, so it's no loss.)

Global warming is killing frogs:
What I said about the rabbits, but even more so.

Helical magnetic field wrapped around Orion's cloud:
Very cool, and the observation supports an earlier theory. You go, astronomers! 1 out of 1,000,000!

Tatooines not only possible, but likely:
But we all know it wouldn't be the bright spot of the universe.

Sony makes a reader for electronic books:
Not bad, but I still like the e-tome idea better. Basically, you would have a tome about the size of a standard hardcover book, with pages of e-paper. The inside cover would have the interface to call up whatever book you wanted, and then you could read the tome just like a regular book. Memory would be stored via USB stick, probably in the spine. I think it would be especially cool for college textbooks.

"Better than Star Trek"? No way!:
Dude, this door is so lame compared to the Next Generation doors. Where's the cool whoosh? And how long do you gotta stand there before it lets you in? Star Trek doors open as you approach, so you don't even have to break stride, as opposed to automatic doors nowadays.


Thanks for consuming the science news via an additional layer of editorial fact-checking. Come back again!

3 Comments:

Blogger geoff said...

I think the rabbit-human embroyo item "bears" directly on the seed cache story (which seems like a good idea, especially with all the crop plagues (chestnuts, wine grapes, etc.) we've been having). A rabbit-polar bear combo - now THAT would be a defense system. Sproinging polar bears bringing ruin to the nefarius seed snatchers!

Wait 'til Spurwing finds this site and the patrolling polar bears story.

1:57 PM  
Blogger geoff said...

I think the rabbit-human embroyo item "bears" directly on the seed cache story (which seems like a good idea, especially with all the crop plagues (chestnuts, wine grapes, etc.) we've been having). A rabbit-polar bear combo - now THAT would be a defense system. Sproinging polar bears bringing ruin to the nefarius seed snatchers!

Wait 'til Spurwing finds this site and the patrolling polar bears story.

1:57 PM  
Blogger Chilperic said...

In fairness to the Norwegians, I understand that the polar bears are only an obstacle if you don't have a key to the jetbike they are currently testing with the assistance of the James Dean cyborg

11:39 PM  

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