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Comment Ban Calculators (Score 1) 489

Calculators should be banned from Maths classes. They are OK in subjects such as physics or design & technology, but calculators add as little value to maths classes as paint by numbers does to art. And, while the UK worries about numeracy, perhaps they could also concentrate on language. I'm appalled by the lousy grammar in England, and it amazes me how impressed British people can be by those who are fluent in another language. Mental arithmetic should be exercised at primary school level, and at secondary school pupils should be encouraged to solve problems, not compute answers.

Comment Shut down coal fired power stations (Score 3, Insightful) 392

Coal fired powers stations emit more radioactivity than nuclear power stations and also release greenhouse gases and ash. We should be shutting all of these as soon as possible to protect the Earth and its people. The deaths due to coal mining annually exceed all deaths in over fifty years of nuclear power generation.

Submission + - Virtual London 2012 Olympics off starting block (bbc.co.uk)

Alwinner writes: Testing of the technology to ensure a smooth Olympic Games in London next year has started. The virtual Olympic lab will begin testing seven sports, including Athletics, tennis, basketball and triathlon and these seven alone will require half a million lines of code.

Some 880 PCs, 130 servers and 110 network switches are involved in analysing results and other crucial data created from the 35 sporting events that will be available in 2012.

Comment Tantrix and board games (Score 0) 458

Playing board games with children is a good way to teach them that games (and life) have rules. Tantrix is good fun, and colourful (www.tantrix.com), and easily picked up by kids. Spending time with the kids teaching them a game like chess may be worth more than any cheap bits of plastic and could encourage them to use logic.

Feeling Upset? Look At Some Meat 155

Meshach writes "A study out of Canada claims that seeing meat actually calms a person down. From the article: 'Contrary to expectations, a McGill University researcher has discovered that seeing meat makes people significantly less aggressive. Frank Kachanoff, who studies evolution at the university’s department of psychology, had initially thought the presence of meat would provoke bloodlust, believing the response would have helped our primate ancestors hunt. But in fact, his research showed the reverse is true.'" I can see all the "Make Steak, Not War!" protest signs already.

Fat Fingered Sumo Wrestlers Given iPads 69

The Japan Sumo Association is handing out about 60 iPads to training stables to help the wrestlers communicate because their fingers are too fat to use a regular mobile phone. From the article: "The iPad was chosen because the sumo association believed the device was big enough to cater to wrestler's fat fingers, unlike the smaller keys on mobile phones, according to reports."

Playboy Launches Safe For Work Website 98

If you're one of the three people in the world who actually reads Playboy for the articles, today is your lucky day. Every young boy's favorite magazine to find in their uncle's closet has launched a "safe for work" website. From the article: "TheSmokingJacket.com will contain none of the nudity that makes Playboy.com NSFW — not suitable for work. Instead, it'll rely on humor to reach Playboy's target audience, men 25 to 34 years old, when they are most likely to be in front of a computer screen."

Submission + - Use your skin to control your gadgets (bbc.co.uk)

Alwinner writes: "The human body is the ultimate input device," said Chris Harrison, Skinput's creator. This prototype device will allow users to interact with gadgets by touching their skin. As devices get smaller, the size of fingers limits the size of the input screen. By using the skin, a larger surface is available to interact with the device using sound waves based on the place on the arm the user touches.

Bill To Ban All Salt In Restaurant Cooking 794

lord_rotorooter writes "Felix Ortiz, D-Brooklyn, introduced a bill that would ruin restaurant food and baked goods as we know them. The measure (if passed) would ban the use of all forms of salt in the preparation and cooking of food for all restaurants or bakeries. While the use of too much salt can contribute to health problems, the complete banning of salt would have negative impacts on food chemistry. Not only does salt enhance flavor, it controls bacteria, slows yeast activity and strengthens dough by tightening gluten. Salt also inhibits the growth of microbes that spoil cheese."

The 10 Most Absurd Scientific Papers 127

Lanxon writes "It's true: 'Effects of cocaine on honeybee dance behavior,' 'Fellatio by fruit bats prolongs copulation time,' and 'Are full or empty beer bottles sturdier and does their fracture-threshold suffice to break the human skull?' are all genuine scientific research papers, and all were genuinely published in journals or similar publications. Wired's presentation of a collection of the most bizarrely-named research papers contains seven other gems, including one about naval fluff and another published in The Journal of Sex Research."

Microsoft Demos Three Platforms Running the Same Game 196

suraj.sun writes with this excerpt from Engadget: "Microsoft's Eric Rudder, speaking at TechEd Middle East, showed off a game developed in Visual Studio as a singular project (with 90% shared code) that plays on Windows with a keyboard, a Windows Phone 7 Series prototype device with accelerometer and touch controls, and the Xbox 360 with the Xbox gamepad. Interestingly, not only is the development cross-platform friendly, but the game itself (a simple Indiana Jones platformer was demoed) saves its place and lets you resume from that spot on whichever platform you happen to pick up."

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