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Comment Re:Pretty simple explanation... (Score 1) 841

The claim is that writing can't be taught on an industrial scale but science can be.

No, these classes are taught this way out of necessity. If a grad student wants a physics degree, (s)he must do research. To this end, a typical physics grad student will TA for just a few semesters until (s)he gets a research project. This is a full time job. There just aren't enough incoming grad students to fill more teaching positions. I suspect it's similar for all the sciences.

I don't know what it's like for English grad students, but I suspect that it's the exact opposite. As far as I'm aware, English majors don't need to do the same kind of time intensive research. I suspect that English grad students will teach classes throughout their higher education.

Thus, even if there are the same number of incoming physics and English grad students, I suspect that there will be 4-6 times as many English majors available for teaching.


Submission + - Studying the Impact of Lost Shipping Containers ( 3

swellconvivialguy writes: Looking at a picture of the world’s largest container ship it’s easy to visualize how 10,000 containers fall overboard from these vessels every year. Now scientists from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute are undertaking the Lost Container Cruise, an attempt to gauge the effects of shipping containers lost at sea by studying a tire-filled container, which marine biologists discovered in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. ( The research is being funded by a multi-million dollar settlement with the operators of the Med Taipei, the ship that lost the cargo.) The work is not unlike studying a deep water shipwreck: Use robotic submarine to take pictures and collect sediment samples; repeat.

Submission + - Edge of Solar System Filled with Bubbles (

cultiv8 writes: "The edge of our solar system is filled with a turbulent sea of magnetic bubbles, according to new NASA research.

Scientists made the discovery by using a new computer model, which is based on data from NASA's twin Voyager probes. The unmanned Voyager 1 and Voyager 2, which launched in 1977, are plying the outer reaches of our solar system, a region known as the heliosheath.

The new discovery suggests that researchers will need to revise their views about the solar system's edge, NASA officials said. A more detailed picture of this region is key to our understanding of how fast-moving particles known as cosmic rays are spawned, and how they reach near-Earth space."


Submission + - World's largest OLED globe from Mitsubishi (

cylonlover writes: Mitsubishi Electric will unveil a huge, 19.7 foot (6 m) wide OLED globe at Tokyo's National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation on June 11. Billed as the world's first large-scale spherical OLED screen, "Geo-Cosmos" is made up of an aluminum frame covered with 10,362 tiny OLED panels, each measuring 3.7 x 3.7 inches. The sphere will display images of clouds and other views of the Earth coming from a meteorological satellite as it hangs almost 60 feet (18 m) above the museum floor.

Submission + - Cell phone link to brain cancer overhyped? (

The Bad Astronomer writes: "Following up on the story posted to Slashdot earlier, the "possible" link between cell phones and brain cancer is very tenuous, to say the least. Looking at the actual data reveals the results are indistinguishable from no connection at all. Not surprisingly, these results are being widely misinterpreted."

Euler's Partition Function Theory Finished 117

universegeek writes "Mathematician Ken Ono, from Emory, has solved a 250-year-old problem: how to exactly and explicitly generate partition numbers. Ono and colleagues were able to finally do this by realizing that the pattern of partition numbers is fractal (PDF). This pattern allowed them to find a finite, algebraic formula, which is like striking oil in mathematics."

Submission + - Cloak hides underwater objects from sonar ( 1

schwit1 writes: In one University of Illinois lab, invisibility is a matter of now you hear it, now you don't.

Led by mechanical science and engineering professor Nicholas Fang, Illinois researchers have demonstrated an acoustic cloak, a technology that renders underwater objects invisible to sonar and other ultrasound waves.

"We are not talking about science fiction. We are talking about controlling sound waves by bending and twisting them in a designer space," said Fang, who also is affiliated with the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology.

The researchers tested their cloak's ability to hide a steel cylinder. They submerged the cylinder in a tank with an ultrasound source on one side and a sensor array on the other, then placed the cylinder inside the cloak and watched it disappear from their sonar.

"The structure of what you're trying to hide doesn't matter," Fang said. "The effect is similar. After we placed the cloaked structure around the object we wanted to hide, the scattering or shadow effect was greatly reduced."

I'm sure the Navy will have kittens if this becomes practical. What's to protect the coast or carrier battle groups from enemy subs?


Submission + - Mozilla To Release Firefox 4 Next Month 1

Neil writes: Damon Sicore, Senior Director of Platform Engineering at Mozilla, has announced that the company is almost ready to ship Firefox 4. On its mailing list, Mozilla has revealed it has around 160 hard blockers to fix, before proceeding to Release Candidate stage. Both the RC and the final version would arrive in February, according to Sicore. Mozilla was originally planning on having Firefox 4 out by the end of last year, but it had to delay the release till 2011. Last month, Firefox 4 Beta 8 was released for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux 32-bit/64-bit, with support for 57 languages. Mozilla's roadmap says it still wants to release a Beta 9, a Beta 10, and at least one Release Candidate build before the final version.

Submission + - Palladium to Steel: Drop Dead

florescent_beige writes: Researchers from Cal Tech and the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab have made a palladium-based glass that is both strong and tough. In fact, it might be the toughest material ever made.

Sadly, with current prices at $800/oz and a density 50% higher than steel, palladium won't be showing up in bridges airplanes, or spaceships anytime soon. Dental applications, maybe.
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Submission + - SPAM: Archos 70 Review, Price and Where To Buy

enal writes: Redefine the best way you browse the online and revel in HD multimedia with an Archos 70 tablet. With the most recent version of Android, enjoy quick net browsing and all of your favourite applications, together with video games with 3D graphic acceleration, all your favourite media, an eBook viewer, and more.
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