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Comment: No, because science != sci-fi/fantasy (Score 3, Insightful) 298

by delibes (#34692810) Attached to: Can Movies Inspire Kids To Be Future Scientists?
Avatar, Star Trek, Star Wars, X-Men ... these are not science movies, they're sci-fi and fantasy. They show you awesome special effects, lots of action, and funny looking aliens/mutants. They lack a "Hero" role in these movies where the character uses, say, the laws of thermodynamics or Newton's laws of motion to save the day. In fact "Evil Science Co Inc." is often the bad evil corporation trying to exploit nature to make a profit (Aliens, Avatar ... Frankenstein?).

Good *science* movies are much harder to find. There's some vaguely interesting scientific issues raised in films like 2001 - where did life come from and what would extra-terrastrial intelligent life be like? Solaris perhaps? And film's like Lorenzo's Oil show science in a positive role. I did like Apollo 13 though for showing the engineers doing the almost impossible to save the astronauts. Can anyone help me make a list of others?

Comment: Agile (Score 3, Interesting) 200

by delibes (#34354352) Attached to: What Software Specification Tools Do You Use?
7" x 5" index cards, a marker pen, and lots of conversations between the people who'll really create the software and the people who'll really use it. Everyone in between can be ignored. All that other stuff you think is important... it's ceremony and job creation. Also, read the end of The Dilbert Principle - if you're one level removed from your company's core business (creating a policy and writing code rather that writing code, talking about customers rather than talking to customers, quality teams, process teams etc etc), then it's not worth doing.

+ - Gravity Theory Mod May Rule Out Dark Matter 2

Submitted by pupitetris
pupitetris (1259782) writes "Newton may prove himself right again when he stated that we should better find the forces that explain the movement of the stars, rather than claiming the existence of misterious and undetectable substances: S. Mendoza and X. Hernandez, two mexican astrophysicists, postulate a modification to the equation of the theory of gravity that explain the current observations of large-scale phenomena that couldn't be previously explained using gravity alone, while still retaining consistency with medium and small scale observations. This renders the Dark Matter theory unnecessary, and provides a cleaner and more ellegant solution to outer-space observations that have startled scientists for decades."

Comment: Re:Quantum Mechanics (Score 1) 137

by delibes (#27738141) Attached to: Quantum Mechanics Involved In Photosynthesis

Is it just me or is everything now being explained through Quantum Mechanics? Don't understand why people make irrational decisions? Quantum Mechanics may be at work. Don't understand how photosynthesis happens? Quantum Mechanics may be at work. Don't understand contradictions in quantum mechanics? Well, that is because sub-atomic paticles may have free will? Can't we just credit God or something?

Is it just me or is everything now being explained through "science"?

Don't understand why the Sun rises every morning?
Science may be at work.

Don't understand why water falls from the sky sometimes?
Science may be at work.

Don't understand contradictions in scripture?
Well, that's because the mere human authors may have free will.

Can't we just credit nature with being the way it is or something?

(Sorry, might be snarky but I hope you see the equally valid and often more testable point?)

Space

Probe Captures Avalanche on Mars 69

Posted by Zonk
from the not-a-recommended-vacation-spot dept.
mdekato writes "MSNBC reports that NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has captured an avalanche on Mars' surface as it happened. Very good still images show what must have been an awesome sight. 'The full image reveals features as small as a desk in a strip of terrain 3.7 miles (6 kilometers) wide and more than 10 times that long, at 84 degrees north latitude. Reddish layers known to be rich in water ice make up the face of a steep slope more than 2,300 feet (700 meters) tall, running the length of the image. Mars' north pole is covered by a cap of ice, and it even snows there. The scientists suspect that more ice than dust probably makes up the material that fell from the upper portion of the scarp.'"
Space

DARPA Fractionated Spacecraft Program Starts 59

Posted by Zonk
from the better-them-than-us dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Start buying Cold War nuclear shelters and piling up the canned food, because Boeing Advanced Systems has started System F6: 'DARPA's Future, Fast, Flexible, Fractionated, Free-Flying Spacecraft United by Information Exchange space technology program.' In other words: multiple, networked specialized spacecraft swarms that are intelligent enough to perform a single coordinated task together, like analyzing the crops or deciding to destroy humanity, Skynet-style. Actually, it could completely change satellites for the better, according to some experts."
Japan

Experiment Shows Traffic 'Shock Waves' Cause Jams 642

Posted by Zonk
from the science-in-the-wheels dept.
Galactic_grub writes "Japanese researchers recently performed the first experimental demonstration of a phenomenon that causes a busy freeway to inexplicably grind to a halt. A team from Nagoya University in Japan had volunteers drive cars around a small circular track and monitored the way 'shockwaves' — caused when one driver brakes — are sent back to other cars, caused jams to occur. Drivers were asked to travel at 30 kmph but small fluctuations soon appeared, eventually causing several vehicles to stop completely. Understanding the phenomenon could help devise ways to avoid the problem. As one researcher comments: 'If they had set up an experiment with robots driving in a perfect circle, flow breakdown would not have occurred.'"
Privacy

70% of P2P Users Would Stop if Warned by ISP 318

Posted by Zonk
from the oh-hai-there dept.
Umpire writes "As the UK considers a three strikes policy to fight copyright infringement, a new survey reports that 70% of UK broadband users would stop using P2P if they received a warning from their ISP. 'Wiggin commissioned the 2008 Digital Entertainment Survey, which found that 70 percent of all people polled said they would stop illegally sharing files if their ISP notified them in some way that it had detected the practice. When broken down by age group, an unexpected trend emerges: teenagers are generally more likely to change their behavior than older Internet users.'"
Medicine

A Virus that Attacks Brain Cancer 131

Posted by Zonk
from the ach-mein-cancerin dept.
Ponca City, We Love You writes "In the past few years, scientists have looked to viruses as potential allies in fighting cancer. Now researchers at Yale University have found a virus in the same family as rabies that effectively kills an aggressive form of human brain cancer in mice. Using time-lapse laser imaging, the team watched vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) rapidly home in on brain tumors, selectively killing cancerous cells in its path, while leaving healthy tissue intact. 'A metastasizing tumor is fairly mobile, and a surgeon's knife can't get out all of the cells,' says Anthony Van den Pol, lead researcher and professor of neurosurgery and neurobiology at Yale. 'A virus might be able to do that, because as a virus kills a tumor cell, it could also replicate, and you could end up with a therapy that's self-amplifying.' It's not yet clear why VSV is such an effective tumor killer, although Van den Pol has several theories. One possible explanation may involve a tumor's weak vascular system. Vessels that supply blood to tumors tend to be leaky, allowing a virus traveling through the bloodstream to cross an otherwise impermeable barrier into the brain, directly into a tumor."

Comparing the OLPC, Classmate and Eee 188

Posted by Zonk
from the choose-but-choose-wisely dept.
ZDOne writes "Small and inexpensive notebooks have been a hot topic in recent months as the Classmate, XO laptop, and the Asus Eee go head-to-head with each other for the low end/educational market. ZDNet has a look at all three systems, comparing the three platforms on multiple points of data to determine which of the three fits your needs. 'In terms of overall stylishness the Eee is the winner, but the XO and the Classmate are both more rounded and rugged, and come with carrying handles. The OLPC XO has the biggest screen, an innovative 7.5in. dual-mode transmissive/reflective LCD that can swivel from traditional clamshell mode to 'e-book' mode with the screen facing outwards, tablet-style (although it's not a touch-screen). The Classmate and Eee both have similar, rather cramped, 7in. TFT displays. '"
The Internet

Higher-Resolution YouTube Videos Currently In Testing 214

Posted by Zonk
from the someday-that-dog-shall-rule-the-world dept.
jason writes "YouTube has never really been known for streaming videos at a high resolution, but it appears that they are taking early steps at providing higher quality videos. The project was announced last year by the site's co-founder Steve Chen, and now appears to be in the earliest stages of deployment. By adding a parameter onto the end of a video's URL you're able to watch it in a higher quality (in terms of audio and video) that is actually quite noticeable. Not all videos have been converted at this point, but they do have millions upon millions of videos that they need to do."

Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll invite himself over for dinner. - Calvin Keegan

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