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Comment: Royal Society (Score 1) 323

by DrElJeffe (#48141997) Attached to: How English Beat German As the Language of Science
Don't discount the Royal Society journals and the early influence of British scientists. Yes, Newton's principia was published in latin, but the Journal of the Royal Society was printed in english. Even Leeuwenhoek had to have his work translated into english to get it published. I would say that the language of science went from greek to arabic, then to an early mix of latin and english, then to german due to the influence of the thriving german chemical and optical industries, then back to english.

Comment: Happened to me (Score 5, Interesting) 348

by DrElJeffe (#47873313) Attached to: When Scientists Give Up
Spot on. No funding = no tenure = bye-bye faculty position and no more lab. Very proud of the papers we put out and the 3 PhD students and 1 MS student that graduated before the end though. We had just uncovered a possible mechanism for how an actin-binding protein could be involved in invadopodia formation and cancer metastasis (cancer cells escaping their initial tumor).

Comment: SpaceX is doing something right (Score 4, Informative) 123

by DrElJeffe (#47873139) Attached to: SpaceX and Boeing Battle For US Manned Spaceflight Contracts
Since debuting their Falcon v1.1, SpaceX has had 7 successful launches in the past 12 months (one secondary cargo in wrong orbit, though). Aviation Week announced yesterday that SpaceX just signed more contracts:

SpaceX closed 9 deals, w/possible 2-3 heavies. Four more in the next few weeks, incl one non-GEO, then maybe 4 more before end of the year.


Comment: Not suprising (Score 2) 191

Our brains evolved to learn fine motor skills like chipping flint. Writing notes by hand engages those motor skills and that learning process. Don't just go through your book and highlight important passages - that does almost nothing. Take notes in class. Make notes on those notes when you study.

Comment: Re:So more enthalpy=more life? (Score 1) 185

by DrElJeffe (#46059825) Attached to: A Thermodynamics Theory of the Origins of Life
By heat bath, they do not necessarily mean "hot". The *difference* in temperature matters. The system (life) has to dump heat (delta-Q) into its surroundings (atmosphere, bath, etc) for replication to be favorable. The system usually has to be hotter than the surroundings for the heat (Q) to flow from the system into the surroundings. An engine is more efficient on colder days than hotter days. The system *can* absorb heat from the surroundings, but this is usually accompanied by an increase in disorder of the system.
So, Venus is just too darn hot to act as an efficient head dump for the negative delta-G's of carbon-based biochemistry.
Good old \delta G_sys = \delta H_sys - T \delta S_sys
[That said, I think that the paper is defining delta Q backwards (+ Q flowing out of system) from the usual convention (+ Q flowing into the system).]

SpaceX Boosts Malaysian Satellite Into Orbit 71

Posted by timothy
from the congratulations-to-mister-musk dept.
Soychemist writes "On the same day that yet another shuttle launch was postponed, SpaceX successfully carried a Malaysian satellite, RazakSAT, into orbit. This is the second successful launch in a row for Elon Musk's space exploration startup. Later this year the company will launch its larger Falcon 9 rocket, which could be used to carry cargo to the International Space Station. RazakSAT was designed by ATSB and carries a high resolution camera. If it is intact, the satellite will take photographs of Earth that could be used to better manage natural resources."

Comment: Goldtouch mouse (Score 2, Informative) 171

by DrElJeffe (#13906454) Attached to: Ergonomic Mice Reviewed
I experienced serious pain from using the scroll wheel.
Why, Microsoft, why? Why did you place such a tempting button halfway down the longest finger, why? The tendons that control the bending motion for that finger extend through over six inches of flesh from the finger tips to the muscles in the upper arm. These tendons saw back and forth across several nerves, blood vessels, and tiny bones when when you use the scroll wheel.
I now swear by the Goldtouch optical mouse. Like the Evoluent VerticalMouse, it sits at a slant to place your hand in a more natural position. However, the scroll wheel has been moved from its middle-finger position to a bi-directional button at the side. The scroll button is operated by the thumb, which evolved large muscles at its base to perform this exact bending motion.
I have one of these mice for home and one for work: omicmouse.html

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