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+ - On breaking with George Lucas and his Toy Empire->

Submitted by
BenboX
BenboX writes "Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back producer Gary Kurtz discusses the bittersweet experience of creating the original two movies in the trilogy, and then breaking with George Lucas over the future of the Star Wars Universe. "I could see where things were headed," Kurtz said. "The toy business began to drive the [Lucasfilm] empire. It's a shame. They make three times as much on toys as they do on films. It's natural to make decisions that protect the toy business, but that's not the best thing for making quality films." Kurtz then reveals his initial idea for the "Return of the Jedi, " which would have been a more emotionally nuanced finale to an epic adventure than the forest celebration of the Ewoks that essentially ended the trilogy with a teddy bear luau.""
Link to Original Source

Comment: Not the reason for Exam Room computers (Score 1) 368

by BenboX (#32241996) Attached to: Doctors Seeing a Rise In "Google-itis"

Physicians need to start putting computers in exam rooms not because of Google-itis, but because we desperately need to start using electronic medical records.

An extraordinarily low percent of hospitals are using EMRs. Source: study by the New England Journal of Medicine, reported here in the American Medical Association:

http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2009/04/06/gvsc0406.htm

Forget Google-itis, how about having a system where if one doctor prescribes a medication, an alert immediately pops up warning the physician that this patient is also taking another medicine that will cause severe reactions if the two are taken together?

Imagine an industry that has extremely high-tech factory production equipment (Advance MRIs, Gamma Knife non-invasive surgical devices), but has the back office operations run entirely on post-it notes and shuffling paper back and forth on shopping carts. Get the systems in there to prevent dumb medical mistakes and improve cost efficiencies. Preventing Google-itis is a small amusing beneficial side effect.

Ben

Biotech

Printing Replacement Body Parts 101

Posted by kdawson
from the portrait-mode dept.
Deep Penguin sends in a piece that appeared in The Economist a couple of weeks back about a developing technology to "print" body parts for transplant. "A US and an Australian company have developed the $200,000 machine, which works by depositing stem cells and a 'sugar-based hydrogel' scaffolding material. (The stem cells are harvested from a transplant patient's own fat and bone marrow, to avoid rejection down the line.) The companies are Organovo, from San Diego, specializing in regenerative medicine, and Invetech, an engineering and automation firm in Melbourne, Australia. The initial targets are skin, muscle, and 'short stretches of blood vessels,' which they hope to have available for human implantation within five years. Down the line, they expect the technology could even print directly into the body, bypassing the in-vitro portion of the current process."
Idle

Steampunk Con Mixes In More Maker Fun 50

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the rebuttal-of-disposable-culture dept.
California has once again been blessed with another steampunk convention, this time to be held in Emeryville, CA on March 12-14 as the "Nova Albion Steampunk Exhibition." This year's event promises to mix in much more of the DIY/maker flavor for a greater hands-on feel. Steampunk has been gaining much broader appeal in recent months with the continued growth of maker communities, and the many delightful varieties of music and literature. The con will feature, among other things, a 2 day track of 2-hour how-to, hands-on, and interactive workshops gear towards makers, DIY-ers, mad scientists, and evil geniuses. Of course, if you are an evil genius you probably don't need a workshop except as a gathering for potential test subjects.
Science

Why Time Flies By As You Get Older 252

Posted by kdawson
from the like-a-banana dept.
Ant notes a piece up on WBUR Boston addressing theories to explain the universal human experience that time seems to pass faster as you get older. Here's the 9-minute audio (MP3). Several explanations are tried out: that brains lay down more information for novel experiences; that the "clock" for nerve impulses in aging brains runs slower; and that each interval of time represents a diminishing fraction of life as we age.
Science

Colliding Particles Can Make Black Holes After All 269

Posted by Soulskill
from the act-now-while-supplies-last dept.
cremeglace writes with this excerpt from ScienceNOW: "You've heard the controversy. Particle physicists predict the world's new highest-energy atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva, Switzerland, might create tiny black holes, which they say would be a fantastic discovery. Some doomsayers fear those black holes might gobble up the Earth — physicists say that's impossible — and have petitioned the United Nations to stop the $5.5 billion LHC. Curiously, though, nobody had ever shown that the prevailing theory of gravity, Einstein's theory of general relativity, actually predicts that a black hole can be made this way. Now a computer model shows conclusively for the first time that a particle collision really can make a black hole." That said, they estimate the required energy for creating a black hole this way to be roughly "a quintillion times higher than the LHC's maximum"; though if one of the theories requiring compact extra dimensions is true, the energy could be lower.
Space

A Hyper-Velocity Impact In the Asteroid Belt? 114

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-played-that-game dept.
astroengine writes "Astronomers have spotted something rather odd in the asteroid belt. It looks like a comet, but it's got a circular orbit, similar to an asteroid. Whether it's an asteroid or a comet, it has a long, comet-like tail, suggesting something is being vented into space. Some experts think it could be a very rare comet/asteroid hybrid being heated by the sun, but there's an even more exciting possibility: It could be the first ever observation of two asteroids colliding in the asteroid belt."
Image

Air Canada Ordered To Provide Nut-Free Zone 643

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-nuts dept.
JamJam writes "Air Canada has been told to create a special 'buffer zone' on flights for people who are allergic to nuts. The Canadian Transportation Agency has ruled that passengers who have nut allergies should be considered disabled and accommodated by the airline. Air Canada has a month to come up with an appropriate section of seats where passengers with nut allergies would be seated. The ruling involved a complaint from Sophia Huyer, who has a severe nut allergy and travels frequently. Ms. Huyer once spent 40 minutes in the washroom during a flight while snacks were being served."
Image

Living In Tokyo's Capsule Hotels 269

Posted by samzenpus
from the living-in-the-hive dept.
afabbro writes "Capsule Hotel Shinjuku 510 once offered a night’s refuge to salarymen who had missed the last train home. Now with Japan enduring its worst recession since World War II, it is becoming an affordable option for people with nowhere else to go. The Hotel 510’s capsules are only 6 1/2 feet long by 5 feet wide. Guests must keep possessions, like shirts and shaving cream, in lockers outside of the capsules. Atsushi Nakanishi, jobless since Christmas says, 'It’s just a place to crawl into and sleep. You get used to it.'”
Image

Jetman Attempts Intercontinental Flight 140

Posted by samzenpus
from the a-jetwing-and-a-prayer dept.
Last year we ran the story of Yves Rossy and his DIY jetwings. Yves spent $190,000 and countless hours building a set of jet-powered wings which he used to cross the English Channel. Rossy's next goal is to cross the Strait of Gibraltar, from Tangier in Morocco and Tarifa on the southwestern tip of Spain. From the article: "Using a four-cylinder jet pack and carbon fibre wings spanning over 8ft, he will jump out of a plane at 6,500 ft and cruise at 130 mph until he reaches the Spanish coast, when he will parachute to earth." Update 18:57 GMT: mytrip writes: "Yves Rossy took off from Tangiers but five minutes into an expected 15-minute flight he was obliged to ditch into the wind-swept waters."
Image

Scientists Say a Dirty Child Is a Healthy Child 331

Posted by samzenpus
from the snack-is-going-to-be-on-the-floor-today dept.
Researchers from the School of Medicine at the University of California have shown that the more germs a child is exposed to, the better their immune system in later life. Their study found that keeping a child's skin too clean impaired the skin's ability to heal itself. From the article: "'These germs are actually good for us,' said Professor Richard Gallo, who led the research. Common bacterial species, known as staphylococci, which can cause inflammation when under the skin, are 'good bacteria' when on the surface, where they can reduce inflammation."

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