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Man Patents Self-Burying Coffin 159

Posted by samzenpus
from the ashes-to-ashes-righty-tighty dept.
disco_tracy writes "A California inventor has filed a patent for a coffin that screws into the ground vertically. The reason? It greatly reduces excavation labor and burial costs, decreases land use, and opens up more space for burials in unused areas of a cemetery. Writer Clark Boyd also lists 5 other unconventional burial options, including lye, ecopods, GPS devices that track bodies buried without headstones, cryogenics and — my favorite — getting buried in the sky."

Concrete That Purifies the Air 88

Posted by samzenpus
from the clean-roads dept.
fergus07 writes "Although much of the focus of pollution from automobiles centers on carbon emissions, there are other airborne nasties spewing from the tailpipes of fossil fuel-powered vehicles. These include nitrogen oxides (NOx). In the form of nitrogen dioxide it reacts with chemicals produced by sunlight to form nitric acid – a major constituent of acid rain – and also reacts with sunlight, leading to the formation of ozone and smog. Everyone is exposed to small amounts of nitrogen oxides in ambient air, but exposure to higher amounts, in areas of heavy traffic for example, can damage respiratory airways. Testing has shown that surfacing roads with air purifying concrete could make a big contribution to local air purity by reducing the concentration of nitrogen oxides by 25 to 45 percent."

Comment: I, for one, actually like Songbird on Linux (Score 1) 356

by BanachSpaceCadet (#31726346) Attached to: Songbird Drops Linux Support
I've seen a lot of posts that are essentially saying, "good riddance." However, I will miss Songbird. Let me tell you why. When Songbird was first released, it ate through way too much memory for me to be able to use it in Linux. I love the features though, so I kept checking back as new releases came out. By about version 1.0 or so, the memory leaks were taken care of, and it was a great music player! It has far more features than Rhythmbox, especially for managing your song library and meta-data (I have about 12,000 songs, so I appreciate this). As compared to Amarok, it knocked it out of the park. Amarok crashed for me all the time (I've heard it doesn't do well with large libraries), I personally find it ugly, and the layout is unnecessarily cluttered. Songbird has worked like a dream after they fixed their beta-version issues. It's nice to look at, easy to use, very customizable, and should also make iTunes users feel at home (although it has many, many advantages over iTunes). So Songbrid, I will miss you. I'll keep your current version on my system for as long as I can, but with my distro upgrades, etc., you will probably be swept away within a few years. So long, and thanks for all the music.

Comment: ResEdit was what I first loved about Macs! (Score 2, Interesting) 965

by BanachSpaceCadet (#30972268) Attached to: Apple's Trend Away From Tinkering
ResEdit was always my argument in Mac vs. PC arguments! (This was back in the good old System 7 days.) My PC friends could bring up right-clicking, software availability, etc., etc. all day. Then I would show them some of the stuff I'd done with ResEdit (e.g., remake Oregon Trail into a parody version of itself), and I would win the argument hands down. (OK, maybe you could do the same stuff on a PC, but none of us knew how.) These days, I'm a Linux guy, but it's sad to me that Macs are getting more locked up all the time. I guess someone has to satisfy the demands of the just-do-it-for-me consumers, but I'm sad that it turned out to be Apple.

Comment: OK, how long should I wait then? (Score 1) 1231

by BanachSpaceCadet (#29970642) Attached to: Some Early Adopters Stung By Ubuntu's Karmic Koala
I've been an early adopter in the past, but right now, I can't risk stability issues. I only have one computer, and if it's not running, I can't do my work. I'm willing to spend a few hours installing, but I don't have time to spend an entire day ironing out bugs. Surely things should stabilize within a few weeks or months. Does anyone have a suggestion as to how long I should wait? (I plan to do a fresh install.)

Comment: Does this mean LaTeX is coming to the web? (Score 2, Interesting) 206

by BanachSpaceCadet (#29958084) Attached to: Web Open Font Format Gets Backing From Mozilla
Will we finally see an adequate, standardized implementation of LaTeX online? The lack of such an implementation was recently lamented by Fields Medal winner Terrance Tao on his blog: http://terrytao.wordpress.com/2009/10/29/displaying-mathematics-on-the-web/

Comment: Re:It's Called S.E.X (Score 1) 811

by BanachSpaceCadet (#28073231) Attached to: How To Help a Friend With an MMO Addiction?
You just described my life, almost exactly (except that I don't have a smartphone). It's 2:24AM on Sunday, and I'm reading articles online for no reason at all. Actually, I opened this one to see if anyone had good advice for kicking addictive habits. While it's probably good to stay informed, I probably read about 300 headlines a day (who knew there was that much news?). It's totally taking over my life (grades dropping, girlfriend unhappy, me up at night for no reason), and I really can't seem to stop it. It seems simple: "Just don't do it." But apparently addiction doesn't work that way. I've even been seeing a counselor and a psychiatrist about it, but it continues. Damn you, Internets!

Comment: Please re-read 'Freakonomics' (Score 5, Insightful) 115

by BanachSpaceCadet (#26680215) Attached to: Learning To Read With Click and Jane
OK, the whole point in the chapter in 'Freakonomics' was that while the number of books in a child's home IS CORRELATED with how well they do on school tests, IT IS NOT A CAUSAL RELATIONSHIP. Essentially, families that put an emphasis on learning tend to have both smart kids and a lot of books, but simply having a lot of books around does not appear to make children smarter. The person who quoted 'Freakonomics' in this article either intentionally misrepresented the point, or (more likely) completely missed the point. The point was that we should quit spreading the exact fallacy that is being spread here.

Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no substitute for a good blaster at your side. - Han Solo