cold fjord writes: Red wine is a popular marinade for meat, but it turns out that it may become a popular treatment for creating iron based superconductors as well: "Last year, a group of Japanese physicists grabbed headlines around the world by announcing that they could induce superconductivity in a sample of iron telluride by soaking it in red wine. They found that other alcoholic drinks also worked--white wine, beer, sake and so on--but red wine was by far the best. The question, of course, is why. What is it about red wine that does the trick? Today, these guys provide an answer, at least in part. Keita Deguchi at the National Institute for Materials Science in Tsukuba, Japan, and a few buddies, say the mystery ingredient is tartaric acid and have the experimental data to show that it plays an important role in the process. . . It turns out that the best performer is a wine made from the gamay grape--for the connoisseurs, that's a 2009 Beajoulais from the Paul Beaudet winery in central France."Link to academic paper Link to Original Source
hackingbear writes: Reports from oversea (in Chinese) and Hongkong-based Chinese media report that China appears to have unblocked several sensitive political keywords. Using Baidu.com the country's leading search engine, users within the mainland border find, in Chinese, uncensored web page links and images using keywords like Tiananmen and "June 4". (Readers can click on the first one to view the images.) Given that the unblocking of these most sensitive keywords (of all) comes one week after Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao publicly denounced left-wing leader Bo Xilai's movement of "striking down the ganster while reviving the red culture" as going down the path of Cultural Revolution, it could signal the silent start of a major political change. Separately, the Financial Times reports that the Premier has proposed the rehabilitation and re-evaluation of the 1989 Tiananmen Incident, but he met strong resistance from the left-wing fraction led by Bo. Bo has been sacked following the denouncement. Also the linked sites of the search result appear still being blocked and that other keywords, such as "Dalai Lama", are still being censored. Link to Original Source
An anonymous reader writes: Astronomers have begun to blast 3 million cubic feet of rock from a mountaintop in the Chilean Andes to make room for what will be the world's largest telescope when completed near the end of the decade. The telescope will be located at the Carnegie Institution's Las Campanas Observatory-one of the world's premier astronomical sites, known for its pristine conditions and clear, dark skies. Over the next few months, more than 70 controlled blasts will break up the rock while leaving a solid bedrock foundation for the telescope and its precision scientific instruments. Link to Original Source
An anonymous reader writes: The Seattle PI has news about a Seattle start-up training neural networks to predict human behaivor that results in parking tickets and auto theft. It's interesting to see technical folks using big data to open up the panopticon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panopticon) instead of creating new ones. Link to Original Source
netchaos writes: Bhagavad Gita As It Is, the ISKON version of Bhagavad Gita one of the holiest Hindu scriptures, is facing a legal ban in Tomsk, Russia on charges of religious extremism. The prosecutor's office requested the court to include the book in the Federal List of Extremist Materials along with Hitler's Mein Kampf and other literatures illegal in Russia,and to ban its printing, possession, and distribution. Link to Original Source
dell623 writes: Google is rolling out an OTA upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich for the Nexus S. GSM versions can already be updated manually. An early review is largely positive and comments on the significant visual and performance improvements. The Nexus S upgrade allows for a direct comparison against Gingerbread on the same hardware, and the likely improvement in current phones that will receive the upgrade. Link to Original Source
from the why-is-the-alphabet-in-that-order? dept.
asheller writes "The Star Tribune tells us the zodiac signs have shifted. Earth's wobble has shifted the signs, a new one's been added and many of us have changed signs. Formerly a Cancer, I've apparently been upgraded to Gemini and am now married to an Ophiuchus, a new sign. What's yor sign? The new Zodiac Chart is pretty interesting." Here are some priceless reactions to this celestial development. As long as the Chinese Zodiac is unaffected, I'll still be able to accurately judge people based on when they were born, so please indicate in comments your (new) sign and birth year animal, so we'll be able to know where you're coming from.
from the try-saying-that-five-times-fast dept.
techmuse writes "In a veritable Who's Who of Doctor Who, 10th Doctor David Tennant is marryingGeorgia Moffett, the daughter of 5th DoctorPeter Davison, who played the Doctor's daughter in an episode of Doctor Who. Except that the Doctor's daughter was a clone of the Doctor, which meant that she really was Who. So a newer Doctor is marrying an older Doctor's daughter, who is a clone of the newer doctor, but only has half the DNA of the older Doctor."
from the going-for-the-logs dept.
BigSes writes "A 23-year old man has been hospitalized after police in South Carolina say he was hit by an SUV while playing a real-life version of the video game Frogger. Authorities said the 23-year-old man was taken to a hospital in Anderson after he was struck Monday evening. Before he was hit, police say the man had been discussing the game with his friends. Chief Jimmy Dixon says the man yelled 'go' and darted into oncoming traffic in the four-lane highway. Has it come time to ban some of the classics before someone else goes out and breaks a few bricks with their heads after eating a large mushroom?"
from the unhand-me-sir-unhand-me dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Elliptic Labs will reveal their Touchless Gesture User Interface technology at CES 2011. Elliptic Labs sprung forth from the signal processing environment at the University of Oslo and what they've come up with is an [iPad] dock which creates a 'touchless zone' that extends out about 1 foot in front and to the sides of the iPad screen. Users can then initiate a number of gestures, much like on Microsoft Kinect, to manipulate onscreen content."