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Medicine

Submission + - 'Forest Bathing' is Good for Your Health 2

Hugh Pickens writes: "The NY Times reports that although allergies and the promise of air-conditioning tend to drive people indoors this time of year, when people swap their concrete confines for a few hours in more natural surroundings — forests, parks and other places with plenty of trees — they experience increased immune function. A study of 280 healthy people in Japan, where visiting nature parks for therapeutic effect has become a popular practice called “Shinrin-yoku,” or “forest bathing" found that being among plants produced “lower concentrations of cortisol, lower pulse rate, and lower blood pressure,” among other things. Another study in 2007 showed that men who took two-hour walks in a forest over two days had a 50-percent spike in levels of natural killer cells and a third study found an increase in white blood cells that lasted a week in women exposed to phytoncides in forest air. "It is popular to decry the destruction of tropical rainforests—citing the wonder drugs that may eventually be found there," writes Botanist Joan Maloof. "Meanwhile, closer to home, we may have medicines of our own lurking right beneath our noses. Perhaps someday, when your physician asks you to “take a deep breath,” it will be the old-growth air that he or she is referring to.""

Submission + - Inertial mass separate from gravitational mass? (technologyreview.com)

CPerdue writes: From MIT ARXIV blog

"The equivalence principle is one of the more fascinating ideas in modern science. It asserts that gravitational mass and inertial mass are identical. Einstein put it like this: the gravitational force we experience on Earth is identical to the force we would experience were we sitting in a spaceship accelerating at 1g. Newton might have said that the m in F=ma is the same as the ms in F=Gm1m2/r^2...

All that changes today with the extraordinary work of Endre Kajari at the University of Ulm in Germany and a few buddies. They show how it is possible to create situations in the quantum world in which the effects of inertial and gravitational mass must be different. In fact, they show that these differences can be arbitrarily large."

Um, inertial dampeners and hyperdrives anyone?

http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/25331

Power

Submission + - All-magnet motor demonstrated at Delft University (examiner.com)

An anonymous reader writes: History has been made at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands as Turkish inventor, Muammer Yildiz, demonstrated his motor turning a fan at high speed with his all magnet motor. No wires could be seen running to the device being observed by around 30 scientists in the room.½Â½ÂAfter running for more than 10 minutes at a constant speed, the device was shut off then disassembled in front of the group so they could see that no batteries were hidden in the device. Could it be that an "impossible" source of power — permanent magnets attracting/repelling magnets — has arrived? The energy has to be coming from somewhere. Where?

Submission + - File system optmimized for millions of small files

An anonymous reader writes: Is there a server file system optimized for managing millions of small files within a single directory (10 Million 4K files)? NTFS doesn't handle this workload (even with their optmizations) and there's very little documentation about tuning servers/file systems for large numbers of small files.

What other options do I have?
Space

Submission + - US Delta rocket crashes in Mongolia

Dr La writes: Two metal objects, one cylindrical and a smaller round one, which crashed near Buren Soum in the Tuv province of Mongolia on 19 February , are parts of an American Delta II rocket stage (nr. 35939, 2009-052C) that launched the military STSS Demo 1 & 2 satellites in September 2009. The largest of the two objects is 7.5 meter long and has the serial number "02728" on it. Pictures of both objects can be seen here

The Delta II rocket in question launched a military satellite duo, parts of the STSS program, intended for space-based detection and tracking of missiles.

The fall of the rocket stage was followed by amateur satellite trackers in the months leading up to the February 19 decay over Mongolia. Based on their final orbit determinations just hours before the decay, the decay must have occured near 3:32 UTC on February 19.

Submission + - Key Letter by Descartes, Lost for 170 Years, Found (chronicle.com)

Schiphol writes: A long-lost letter by René Descartes has come to light at Haverford College, where it had lain buried in the archives for more than a century, and the discovery could revolutionize our view of one of the 17th-century French philosopher's major works.

Submission + - Teaching Your Children Computer Skills At Home 1

Jason Levine writes: My son's school district, like many across the country, is facing budget issues. Already, art and music are being cut and two elementary schools are likely to be shut down. (One of which my son currently attends.) My wife recently found out that our school doesn't even have a computer teacher. Nobody's teaching the kids how to use word processing programs, how to browse the Internet, etc. They have "computer time" in which someone watches over them while the kids are allowed to visit PBSKids.org and similar websites.

My son is very bright and computer savvy for a first grader, but obviously I want him to know how to do more than simply load up a website. We've discussed home schooling with varying degrees of seriousness. Even if we don't home school, we might want to supplement what he's learning in school with computer lessons at home. My wife is a teacher and has access to various resources, but I was wondering what resources the Slashdot community might recommend.

How do you teach your children about computers and how to use them? Do you know of any websites or programs that would be appropriate for my first grade son to use? (I've already introduced him to TuxPaint, TuxMath and TuxTyping.)
The Media

Linux Action Show Returns 61

BJ writes "The Linux Action Show, the Linux-podcast to end all Linux-podcasts, is returning with their 11th season after over 7 months off the air. Kicking it all off with a live streaming event this Saturday at 5pm. Topics are set to include: Maemo/Moblin merging into Meego, Open Source Nividia drivers with 3D, KDE 4.4 and much, much more."
Science

Submission + - Why Astronomy Matters (edgeofphysics.com)

edgeofphysics writes: A look at how key astronomical observations have been instrumental in changing fundamental perceptions about our universe, ourselves and our place in the universe.
Crime

Submission + - Austin Crash Pilot Was Disgruntled Engineer (cnn.com)

johndiii writes: The pilot of the plane that was crashed into an Austin office building was apparently one Joseph Andrew Stack, a self-employed software engineer. Before crashing the plane, he is said to have set his house on fire. Stack apparently had repeated tax problems with the IRS, and left a manifesto detailing his complaints against the government and organized religion. In case that page goes down, the manifest was copied at DemocraticUnderground.

Submission + - Why Ubuntu fails to meet the needs of ordinary use (kteck.ca) 1

cuttheredwire writes: As a user of an operating system I expect it to be secure and easy to use, I don't expect it to limit the kinds of applications I use. For this reason I don't have a smart phone and its attendant tie into to app stores and the like.

Microsoft in general provides for my needs, the OS runs,and Firefox upgrades automatically when there is a new version, Open-office does the same. In fact I can run all the open source software I care about on Windows XP without a problem. I am not alone in finding Ubuntu lacking because it does not work this well, see http://blog.kteck.ca/2010/01/29/install-firefox-3-6-on-ubuntu-9-10/

I prefer to use Ubuntu, but on this supposedly holy grail of open source systems, I am currently locked into a previous version of Firefox and a previous version of open office. The only way I will get an upgrade is when Ubuntu spin the next rev of the OS to 10.4. Now imagine the uproar if MS said you cant update your 3rd party programs without updating the whole system!

Now sure, I have the skills to trivially take .dbs and update myself — but I should not have to! windows users would view this as positive proof of the arcane nature of Linux, they ask why do they need the funny black window with the little white writing in it to do what they can achieve with no effort with windows.

The Linux desktop experience still needs work, I expect 3rd party applications to be easily installed with at worst a click on their home page. Really what I what, is to have what I have under windows, the applications update themselves,

Submission + - Long-Term Unemployment Blues 1

An anonymous reader writes: I've been underemployed for so long that I goto bed at night and pray for death. It has gotten to the point where I can't hide my depression and desperation from interviewers any more. Suggestions?
Google

Submission + - Google Search Leads to Mystery Countdown Clock

Hugh Pickens writes: "The Telegraph reports that Google has sparked a mystery by launching an unexplained countdown that appears when users press the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button on the search engine when no words are entered into the search box. Simple calculations indicate that the number will fall to zero in 17 days – around the turn of the New Year but Google has released no statement explaining the hidden clock after initial speculation that the search giant had advance warning of the end of the world. This would be the latest in a long line of pranks and hidden treats dropped into Google products by the firm's engineers. For example, type "recursion" into the google search box and it suggests "recursion" as an alternative, sending you on a loop of clicks that all generate identical results; or spin round to the waterfront side of the Sydney Opera House in Google Earth and you'll find a model of the late wildlife expert and adventurer Steve Irwin wrestling a crocodile; or type "answer to life, the universe and everything" into the google query box and the answer to the calculation will be "42"."

Submission + - Depressed Facebook user gets insurance cancelled (www.cbc.ca)

No. 24601 writes: A Quebec woman on long-term sick leave, due to a diagnosis of depression, lost her health benefits after her insurance provider found photos of her on Facebook smiling and looking cheerful at parties and out on the beach. Besides all the obvious questions, how did the insurance company access her locked Facebook profile?

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