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Science

+ - Your Melatonin-reducing iPad Keeping you up at night? Try Pink Noise.->

Submitted by mayberry42
mayberry42 (1604077) writes "You've probably never been jealous of an elephant, but you're about to be. Elephants need only three to four hours of sleep per night in order to be their happy elephant selves during the day. So what's Dumbo's secret? Deeper, more stable sleep--and new research may have found the secret to helping you achieve elephantine-levels of repose each night: Pink noise...Pink noise is a type of sound in which every octave carries the same power, or a perfectly consistent frequency, Zhang explains. "Think of rain falling on pavement, or wind rustling the leaves on a tree," It's called pink noise because light with a similar power spectrum would appear pink, he says.

Additionally, on a somewhat separate note, the production of melatonin, a natural chemical used to put your body to sleep at night, is diminished in the presence of bright blues (and likely to be the reason why your laptops are keep you up at night). Software such f.lux dimish the blues on screen to allow for better sleep. (note: I am in no way, shape or form, associated with f.lux. I just like their product and am not aware of any other software that does the same.)"

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Space

+ - Mysterious Dark Matter Blob Confounds Experts-> 1

Submitted by mayberry42
mayberry42 (1604077) writes "Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope are mystified by a merging galaxy cluster known as Abell 520 in which concentrations of visible matter and dark matter have apparently come unglued. A report on the Hubble observations, published in the Astrophysical Journal, raises more questions than answers about a cosmic pile-up that's occurring 2.4 billion light-years away.

"According to our current theory," says Arif Babul, the study team's senior theorist, "galaxies and dark matter are expected to stay together, even through a collision. But that's not what's happening in Abell 520. Here, the dark matter appears to have pooled to form the dark core, but most of the associated galaxies seem to have moved on.""

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Comment: Re:What I do (Score 1) 647

by mayberry42 (#38448006) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Do You Like To Read?

1. Go for books with strong imagery over dense plot (e.g. Stross's Jennifer Morgue, Gaiman's Neverwhere, Lewis's Blind Side.) You get interrupted so much on planes that a 40 page idea is hard to enjoy: go for simple ideas done vividly. 2. Pack three unstarted paperbacks in carry-on. Don't be afraid to switch books if the current one isn't gripping you. 3. If all else fails, drink and then sleep. 4. Be in the first-class cabin.

Good ideas, but for 2, why not just get a Kindle or nook? They are fairly cheap, books are even cheaper than their dead-tree counterparts, and you can literally carry 1000's of thousand-page books with you (not that one would, but it's possible).

Comment: Re:You can't go home again (Score 1) 138

by mayberry42 (#38109146) Attached to: Nintendo Releases <em>The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword</em>

Give it up. A new Zelda game will never recreate that experience of firing up The Legend of Zelda on your NES for the first time when you were 10 years-old.

Perhaps not, but then again no new games can reproduce the nostalgic effects of a 25 year old game, however good they may be. Having said that, classics do have to start somewhere. Give it time and it just may become the next A Link To The Past...or Twilight Princess.

Comment: Re:I gave gifts like this once. Everyone hated the (Score 1) 377

by mayberry42 (#38106342) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Good, Useful Free Software For Gifts?

They just don't care. And they surely don't want to receive it as a gift.

This says more about them (highly disrespectful and inconsiderate) than about you (thoughtful) and your gifts, to be honest. Dont be so quick to judge this as a bad idea - some families actually treat each other with kindness, courtesy and respect (something you may want to consider mentioning next time you talk to your niece) and thus will appreciate a custom-made gift - even if its something they dont like.

Comment: What I use (legally) (Score 1) 377

by mayberry42 (#38105818) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Good, Useful Free Software For Gifts?
I'd say add Ubuntu / Linux Mint (which people seem to really like, more so than Ubuntu it seems). Other software could be: TrueCrypt and KeePass for internet security, calibre for ebook management,Thunderbird for email and LibreOffice for office needs. While you're at it, Skype (full download) might be good as well - i always seem to need it at the most inopportune moment). This might be a bit of a cheat, but check out here. You know your friends, see for yourself what they might like from here and download accordingly.
Nintendo

+ - The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is finally out

Submitted by mayberry42
mayberry42 (1604077) writes "Finally, the wait is over — for European fans, anyway. After months (well, over a year) of delays the latest adventure of Link is finally out. And the results are, to say the least, universally astounding. Famitsu magazine has given it a perfect score, and IGN stating "The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is the greatest Zelda game ever created. It's the best game for Wii and one of the finest video game accomplishments of the past 10 years." Of course, some of you may have already known this given that it has already been hacked (and yes, it looks even more fantastic in HD). I would love to hear what our European counterparts have to say about this game. Have you played it? Is it as good as they say? Why or why not?"

Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.

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