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Comment Re:Real honor (Score 1) 366

Actually that's not right. The New Years Honours list has been drawn up by the political party that's in government for decades and not the Queen at all. This was what caused the "Cash for peerages" scandal a few years back. It was long known that honours went to the i) media-popular as in the over-weight of sports stars in today's list and ii) the correlated worthy-achievers who just happened to be on the same side of the political spectrum as the government in power when they get their honours. Liz II might get an input but it is pretty minor.

Comment Proper Interfaces (Score 1) 556

At not even two years old, a child is still totally grappling with training its motor functions. A tiny keboard is a rubbish interface for a child of that age. Using a mouse (a trackpad is no good for this) with child-related software is as much as you can do but at not even two they are too young for this as well. You mistake that the Fisher-Price type stuff looks like a rip-off and is bad but the point is that it's also taken into account creating interfaces that are actually helpful and child-friendly. Get your child some interactive books / systems that are specially targeted at development and which you can sit and do with them. Leapfrog have graded kit from 12-36 months and up in age brackets thereafter. http://www.leapfrog.com/en/families/leapster/leapster_learning0/leapster.html . My 3 and 6 year old have had this stuff from an early age and the ability to use laptops, pcs and Nintendo DS etc. I found that between the ages of 2 to 4 / 5 they still preferred the Leapster etc.

Comment In defense of the Baroque Cycle (Score 3, Insightful) 356

The Baroque Cycle is just an utterly different (huge) work to anything like Snowcrash or Diamond Age. It needs an editor who isn't scared of Stephenson in places but it is one of the most fantastic feats of human imagination I have ever read. If you can only deal with sci-fi then clearly a novel about Baroque England with Isaac Newton, a half-dicked pirate king and a fabulous ex-Hareem girl turned Duchess with diverse characters and fantastical imaginings isn't going to be your thing. But I can hardly remember a book that left me more open-mouthed with the sheer imagination and achievement of the author. The B.C. is a book that will never leave me.
Power

Daylight Savings Time Increases Energy Use In Indiana 388

enbody writes "The Freakonomics Blog at NYTimes.com reports on a study of Indiana energy use for daylight savings time showing an increase in energy use of 1%. 'The dataset consists of more than 7 million observations on monthly billing data for the vast majority of households in southern Indiana for three years. Our main finding is that — contrary to the policy's intent — D.S.T. increases residential electricity demand.'" Maybe that's just from millions of coffee makers being pressed into extra duty.
Idle

Submission + - UK's biggest newspaper on the tin-foil hat...

EEDAm writes: The Sun, the UK's biggest selling and most read newspaper has recently been reporting on a spate of UFO sightings in Wales. Now, in a stunning update, the home of quality journalism reports that Michael Menkin, a US aircraft worker, has been advising the terrified populace to use a 'thought screen' to prevent alien abduction. Excitingly, Mr Melkin has advanced the technology from the frankly old hat tin-foil favourite to a new material called 'Velostat'. At least if they take the advice of Mr Melkin, the good people of Wales can sleep soundly, if a littly awkwardly, on their pillows tonight...
Movies

MacGyver Film In the Works? 290

An anonymous reader writes "Looks like everyone's favorite Swiss Army knife-wielding action hero may be making an appearance on the big screen. The original series creator has announced plans are in the works for a MacGyver film. Serious questions abound: Will Richard Dean Anderson reprise the role? Will filming and editing somehow be done only using a paperclip, duct-tape, and TV remote?" And who, if not Anderson, would you want to play MacGyver?
Supercomputing

Modeling Supernovae With a Supercomputer 64

A team of scientists at the University of Chicago will be using 22 million processor-hours to simulate the physics of exploding stars. The team will make use of the Blue Gene/P supercomputer at Argonne National Laboratory to analyze four different scenarios for type Ia supernovae. Included in the link is a video simulation of a thermonuclear flame busting its way out of a white dwarf. The processing time was made possible by the Department of Energy's INCITE program. "Burning in a white dwarf can occur as a deflagration or as a detonation. 'Imagine a pool of gasoline and throw a match on it. That kind of burning across the pool of gasoline is a deflagration,' Jordan said. 'A detonation is simply if you were to light a stick of dynamite and allow it to explode.' In the Flash Center scenario, deflagration starts off-center of the star's core. The burning creates a hot bubble of less dense ash that pops out the side due to buoyancy, like a piece of Styrofoam submerged in water."
Education

Science Documentaries for Youngsters? 383

An anonymous reader writes "My 7-year-old daughter is asking some interesting questions, such as, 'How did everything get created?' I've explained, in general terms, our family's non-religious views on the subject of creation and the Big Bang. I'd like to find some documentary videos geared to this age level that may explain better these concepts and theories. I've found a few PBS specials online - Stephen Hawking stuff - but they seem to be geared for young adults and older. Does anyone have recommended titles that might be better geared to children of this age bracket?"

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