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+ - The World of YouTube Bubble Sort Algorithm Dancing

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "In addition to The Ghost of Steve Jobs, The Codecracker, a remix of 'The Nutcracker' performed by Silicon Valley's all-girl Castilleja School during Computer Science Education Week earlier this month featured a Bubble Sort Dance. Bubble Sort dancing, it turns out, is more popular than one might imagine. Search YouTube, for example, and you'll find students from the University of Rochester to Osmania University dancing to sort algorithms. Are you a fan of Hungarian folk-dancing? Well there's a very professionally-done Bubble Sort Dance for you! Indeed, well-meaning CS teachers are pushing kids to Bubble Sort Dance to hits like Beauty and a Beat, Roar, Gentleman, Heartbeat, Under the Sea, as well as other music. So, will Bubble Sort dancing to Justin Bieber and Katy Perry tunes make kids better computational thinkers?"

Comment: Re:Bear repellent? (Score 1) 276

by dpilot (#48653789) Attached to: TSA Has Record-Breaking Haul In 2014: Guns, Cannons, and Swords

Bear spray is quite nasty stuff. It's meant to stop something big and mean, or at least pursuade it to look toward less-equipped hikers.

Would you have had the "is ... a weapon?" response had it been tear gas instead of bear spray?

The last hike of the vacation was the Grinnel Glacier Trail, and at the end I gave my can to someone headed up that didn't have one. Wasn't going to do me any good, didn't need it at home even if I could get it on the plane, and they weren't properly equipped to hike in Glacier N.P. without it.

+ - Problem Solver Beer Tells How Much to Drink to Boost Your Creativity

Submitted by mrspoonsi
mrspoonsi (2955715) writes "When you've been stuck on a problem or that creative spark just won't come, the chances are you've turned to a cup of coffee to get things moving. A quick java infusion can certainly help, but studies also suggest that alcohol can also have a positive impact on your creative cognition. University of Illinois Professor Jennifer Wiley determined that a person's "creative peak" comes when their blood alcohol level reaches 0.075, lowering their ability to overthink during a task. Medical Daily reports that marketing agency CP+B Copenhagen and Danish brewery Rocket Brewing wanted to help drinkers reach their imaginative prime, so they decided to create their own beer to do just that. The result is he Problem Solver. It's a 7.1 percent craft IPA that its makers say offers a "refined bitterness with a refreshing finish." To ensure you reach the optimum creative level, the bottle includes a scale, which determines how much of the beer you need to drink based on your body weight. The agency does offer a word of warning though: "Enjoying the right amount will enhance your creative thinking. Drinking more will probably do exactly the opposite.""

+ - Heathkit – The electronic history mystery->

Submitted by coop0030
coop0030 (263345) writes "In 2013 there was a lot of buzz in the electronics communities about Heathkit returning in some way, however it’s been exactly one year and there has not been any updates. Heathkit “came back” in 2011 too, but nothing materialized then either. Here is our attempt to help piece together some of the puzzle of what has become of Heathkit."
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Comment: Re:um.... (Score 2) 156

by dpilot (#48646569) Attached to: Can Rep. John Culberson Save NASA's Space Exploration Program?

>NASA did all the really hard work (the basic design of space rockets). You know, the Basic Science that costs billions and
>doesn't pay off for decades. You see, private companies are too focused on short term profit generation to basic science.
>That's why it's done on the public dime.

I won't disagree with you. But I also believe that NASA should be allowing basic launch stuff to go to companies like SpaceX, which reap the rewards of all of that public domain knowledge - the fruits of publicly funded NASA research. It's past time for basic Earth orbit access (and somewhat beyond) to be business as usual.

NASA should be moving on to bigger, tougher jobs, targets that are still beyond the horizon of ordinary business, just like space travel was 50 years ago.

+ - Obsessed: Star Trek TOS continues-> 2

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "ST:TOS's Starship Enterprise was on a 5 year mission, but the original series was canceled after the third year. A new Star Trek:TOS is being created by a dedicated cast and crew intent on keeping true to the spirit of Gene Roddenberry's television show. From recreating the original sets with incredible accuracy and attention to details, staying faithful to original storylines has been a true labor of love for all involved.
        Click on the link below to view a series of videos showing the progress being made on recreating the iconic series."

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+ - Scientists Discover That Exercise Changes Your DNA

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "The human genome is astonishingly complex and dynamic, with genes constantly turning on or off, depending on what biochemical signals they receive from the body. Scientists have known that certain genes become active or quieter as a result of exercise but they hadn’t understood how those genes knew how to respond to exercise. Now the NYT reports that scientists at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm have completed a study where they recruited 23 young and healthy men and women, brought them to the lab for a series of physical performance and medical tests, including a muscle biopsy, and then asked them to exercise half of their lower bodies for three months. The volunteers pedaled one-legged at a moderate pace for 45 minutes, four times per week for three months. Then the scientists repeated the muscle biopsies and other tests with each volunteer. Not surprisingly, the volunteers’ exercised leg was more powerful now than the other, showing that the exercise had resulted in physical improvements. But there were also changes within the exercised muscle cells’ DNA. Using technology that analyses 480,000 positions throughout the genome, they could see that new methylation patterns had taken place in 7,000 genes (an individual has 20–25,000 genes).

In a process known as DNA methylation, clusters of atoms, called methyl groups, attach to the outside of a gene like microscopic mollusks and make the gene more or less able to receive and respond to biochemical signals from the body. In the exercised portions of the bodies, many of the methylation changes were on portions of the genome known as enhancers that can amplify the expression of proteins by genes. And gene expression was noticeably increased or changed in thousands of the muscle-cell genes that the researchers studied. Most of the genes in question are known to play a role in energy metabolism, insulin response and inflammation within muscles. In other words, they affect how healthy and fit our muscles — and bodies — become. Many mysteries still remain but the message of the study is unambiguous. “Through endurance training — a lifestyle change that is easily available for most people and doesn’t cost much money,” says Sara Lindholm, “we can induce changes that affect how we use our genes and, through that, get healthier and more functional muscles that ultimately improve our quality of life.”"

+ - Is the Higgs Boson a Piece of the Matter-Antimatter Puzzle?->

Submitted by TaleSlinger
TaleSlinger (3080869) writes "Why there's more matter than antimatter is one of the biggest questions confounding particle physicists and cosmologists, and it cuts to the heart of our own existence. In the time following the Big Bang, when the budding universe cooled enough for matter to form, most matter-antimatter particle pairs that popped into existence annihilated each other. Yet something tipped the balance in favor of matter, or we – and stars, planets, galaxies, life – would not be here.

The paper is based on a phenomenon called CP – or charge-parity – violation, the same phenomenon investigated by BaBar. CP violation means that nature treats a particle and its oppositely charged mirror-image version differently.

"Searching for CP violation at the LHC is tricky," Dolan said. "We've just started to look into the properties of the Higgs, and the experiments must be very carefully designed if we are to improve our understanding of how the Higgs behaves under different conditions.”

The theorists proposed that experimenters look for a process in which a Higgs decays into two tau particles, which are like supersized cousins of electrons, while the remainder of the energy from the original proton-proton collision sprays outward in two jets. Any mix of CP-even and CP-odd in the Higgs is revealed by the angle between the two jets.

"I wanted to add a CP violation measurement to our analysis, and what Matt, Martin and Michael proposed is the most viable avenue,” Philip Harris, a staff physicist at CERN and co-author of the paper said, adding that he's looking forward to all the data the LHC will generate when it starts up again early next year at its full design strength.

"Even with just a few months of data we can start to make real statements about the Higgs and CP violation," he said."

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+ - Neil deGrasse Tyson causes social media firestorm with tweet on aliens & hum->

Submitted by MarkWhittington
MarkWhittington (1084047) writes "Twitchy, a site that monitors interesting traffic on Twitter, took note on Sunday of a tweet by the celebrity astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson over how aliens might regard humans. He tweeted, “Aliens, seeing Humans kill over land, politics, religion, & skin color, would surely ask, ‘What the f*%k is wrong with you?’” As far as can be determined, Tyson is not personally in contact with aliens and does not have any basis to suggest that they are appalled at human behavior or that they used salty language. However, his views on morally superior aliens looking down on humans seem to track with those of C.S. Lewis, a Christian apologist."
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+ - Stem Cell Treatment to Regrow Torn Meniscus 'Very, Very Close'->

Submitted by LesterMoore
LesterMoore (1842172) writes "In a new study, researchers put 3D model meniscus in sheep's knees. (Their joints are a lot like humans'.) The model attracted stem cells to it and supplied growth factors and eventually biodegraded. New working menisci grew and the sheep regained full mobility. Orthopedists say similar treatments for humans are "very, very close," according to one article."
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+ - Excuse Me While I Kiss This Guy: The Science of Misheard Song Lyrics

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Maria Konnikova writes in The New Yorker that mondegreens are funny but they also give us insight into the underlying nature of linguistic processing, how our minds make meaning out of sound, and how in fractions of seconds, we translate a boundless blur of sound into sense. One of the reasons we often mishear song lyrics is that there’s a lot of noise to get through, and we usually can’t see the musicians’ faces. Other times, the misperceptions come from the nature of the speech itself, for example when someone speaks in an unfamiliar accent or when the usual structure of stresses and inflections changes, as it does in a poem or a song. Another common cause of mondegreens is the oronym: word strings in which the sounds can be logically divided multiple ways. One version that Steven Pinker describes goes like this: Eugene O’Neill won a Pullet Surprise. The string of phonetic sounds can be plausibly broken up in multiple ways—and if you’re not familiar with the requisite proper noun, you may find yourself making an error.

Other times, the culprit is the perception of the sound itself: some letters and letter combinations sound remarkably alike, and we need further cues, whether visual or contextual, to help us out. In a phenomenon known as the McGurk effect, people can be made to hear one consonant when a similar one is being spoken. “There’s a bathroom on the right” standing in for “there’s a bad moon on the rise” is a succession of such similarities adding up to two equally coherent alternatives.

Finally along with knowledge, we’re governed by familiarity: we are more likely to select a word or phrase that we’re familiar with, a phenomenon known as Zipf’s law. One of the reasons that “Excuse me while I kiss this guy” substituted for Jimi Hendrix’s “Excuse me while I kiss the sky” remains one of the most widely reported mondegreens of all time can be explained in part by frequency. It’s much more common to hear of people kissing guys than skies."

+ - New Apps Mark the Digital Return of the Rhythm Method

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Count natural family planning among the ways young people are hearkening back to the practices of their grandparents as Olga Khazan reports at The Atlantic that new apps are letting women know if they can have sex with their partners without a condom or a contraceptive pill using calendar-based contraception. The underlying motive is not so much trendiness as it is a dissatisfaction with the Pill, which is still the most common form of birth control for women. In a recent CDC study of 12,000 American women, 63 percent of women who stopped using the Pill did so due to its side effects (PDF). And while as of 2010, only about 22 percent of women used “periodic abstinence," an umbrella term that includes counting days, measuring temperature, and tracking cervical mucus to predict fertility, their ranks may grow as new apps and other technologies make it easier to manage the historically error-prone task of measuring, recording, and analyzing one’s cycle in order to stay baby-free.

CycleBeads, for example, is an iPhone app that allows women to track fertility based on the Standard Days Method, a system developed by Georgetown University's Institute for Reproductive Health in which specific days of each woman’s cycle are considered infertile. While the method is not as effective for women who have cycles outside of the 26-32 day range, Leslie Heyer says that its success rate is about 95 percent for “perfect use” and 88 percent for “typical use,” which would mean it beats condoms and falls just short of the Pill. “At first [my husband and I] were worried,” says Kate, a woman who began using CycleBeads nearly three years ago after experiencing weight gain and moodiness on the Pill, “but then we got used to it and have grown to trust it. I honestly can't imagine ever going back on the Pill.”"

+ - 2 Futures Can Explain Time's Mysterious Past->

Submitted by cyberspittle
cyberspittle (519754) writes "Tentative new work from Julian Barbour of the University of Oxford, Tim Koslowski of the University of New Brunswick and Flavio Mercati of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics suggests that perhaps the arrow of time doesn’t really require a fine-tuned, low-entropy initial state at all but is instead the inevitable product of the fundamental laws of physics. Barbour and his colleagues argue that it is gravity, rather than thermodynamics, that draws the bowstring to let time’s arrow fly. Their findings were published in October in Physical Review Letters."
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