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Comment Reminds me... (Score 1) 30

I once complimented a woman for her Christmas brooch, which had tiny, multicolored, rapidly flickering LEDs on it. "I use it at work," she said, when she has to feed Alzheimer's patients. They fixate on the flickering brooch, she explained, which gives them the calming and the concentration needed to accept her spoonfeeding.

I hope other caregivers experiment with LEDs.

Comment Re: those costs (Score 1) 217

That high-cost form of care adds up too. Here in Canada, publicly-funded health care — together with retail health care costs outside of the public system (like prescription drugs) — cost about 9% or 10% of GDP...I forget the exact number. By the same yardstick, U.S. health care is 13% of GDP. So tlhingan is right, the user-pay system *is* more expensive. Obamacare will have reduced U.S. costs a bit by now, but maybe not by enough to make a dent in the 13% figure.

Submission + - SPAM: Naomi Campbell shows off her incredible figure

An anonymous reader writes: She's been a supermodel for more than a quarter of a century — and Naomi Campbell showed her still astonishing figure on the catwalk at a fashion show in Moscow yesterday. Naomi, who's 41 on May 22 and has been modelling since she was 15, was wearing an unforgiving white and grey all-in-one which made it look like her faultless curves had been painted.
Link to Original Source

Comment Re:How expensive is this thing Cerium? (Score 1) 269

From "It is the most abundant of the rare earth metals and is found in minerals including allanite, monazite, cerite, and bastnaesite. There are large deposits found in India, Brazil and the USA."

I saw one price point online, $12 per kilogram. To my eye, that's cheap and suggests ready availability. Especially for the ingredient in the CalTech fuel-making process which gets regenerated.

Herschel Spectroscopy of Future Supernova 21

davecl writes "ESA's Herschel Space Telescope has released its first spectroscopic results. These include observations of VYCMa, a star 50 times as massive as the sun and soon to become a supernova, as well as a nearby galaxy, more distant colliding starburst galaxies and a comet in our own solar system. The spectra show more lines than have ever been seen in these objects in the far-infrared and will allow astronomers to work out the detailed chemistry and physics behind star and planet formation as well as the last stages of stellar evolution before VYCMa's eventual collapse into a supernova. More coverage is available at the Herschel Mission Blog, which I run."

Relativistic Navigation Needed For Solar Sails 185

KentuckyFC writes "Last year, physicists calculated that a solar sail about a kilometer across with a mass of 300 kg (including 150 kg of payload) would have a peak acceleration of roughly 0.6g if released about 0.1AU from the Sun, where the radiation pressure is highest. That kind of acceleration could take it to the heliopause — the boundary between the Solar System and interstellar space — in only 2.5 years; a distance of 200 AU. In 30 years, it could travel 2500AU, far enough to explore the Oort Cloud. But the team has discovered a problem. Ordinary Newtonian physics just doesn't cut it for the kind of navigational calculations needed for this journey. Because the sail has to be released so close to the Sun, it becomes subject to the effects of general relativity. And although the errors these introduce are small, they become magnified over the course of a long journey, sending the sail roughly 1 million kilometers off course by the time it reaches the Oort Cloud. What these guys are saying is that if ever such a sail is launched (and the earliest estimate is 2040), the navigators will have to be proficient in a new discipline of relativistic navigation."

Comment Re:Overkill? (Score 2, Interesting) 497

My provincial goverment is using your quick and violent method, in fact, to destroy about 30,000 hard drives.

Well, not exactly *your* method, using bullets. But the same idea.

As they take each old computer out of service during a government-wide system upgrade, they:

1. Remove the hard drive.
2. Drill through it once, using a cordless drill. Right there in the office!

Full munching and recovery of recyclable materials takes place later at a depot. The important thing is to keep citizens' private data private! It's leaks to the media which drives the paranoia, by the way.

French Senate Passes Anti-Piracy Internet Cut-Off Law 225

An anonymous reader writes "The French Senate has approved a three strikes law for Internet users who download copyrighted entertainment media without paying for it. If, after two warnings, a person continues to download pirated music and movies, the internet service providers would cut off access for a year. Quoting: 'The legislation passed with a massive cross-party majority of 297 votes to 15. Only a handful of conservatives, centrists and socialists voted against, while the Communists abstained. In passing the bill, the senators rejected an amendment proposed by senator Bruno Retailleau of the right-wing MPF party replacing internet cut-off with a fine. ... The bill sets up a tussle between France and Brussels. In September, the European Parliament approved by a large majority an amendment outlawing internet cut-off." We discussed the introduction of this legislation several months ago.

New Class of Pulsars Discovered 93

xyz writes "NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has discovered a new class of pulsars which emit purely in gamma rays. A pulsar is a rapidly spinning neutron star, and of the nearly 1,800 cataloged so far, only a small fraction emit at frequencies higher than radio waves. The gamma-ray-only pulsar, which lies within a supernova remnant known as CTA 1, is silent across parts of the electromagnetic spectrum where pulsars are normally found, indicating a new class of pulsars. It is located 'about 4,600 light-years away in the constellation Cepheus. Its lighthouse-like beam sweeps Earth's way every 316.86 milliseconds. The pulsar, which formed in a supernova explosion about 10,000 years ago, emits 1,000 times the energy of our sun.'"

Comment Earliest of all, I reckon (Score 1) 718

In the summer of 1961, as a kid, I got to play tic-tac-toe on the new Axel Wenner-Gren computer at the University of British Columbia. No way can I remember the model, but the Wikipedia article on Wenner-Gren suggests that it was a Wegematic 1000.

It filled a room, and they say its air conditioner was housed in a second room. Ah, tubes... It had something like 32 words of memory. I typed my move on an electric typewriter, and it re-drew the board in typewriter characters a few seconds later.

My older sister used it to customize a job application letter for a number of different companies. That surely is one of the first end-user mail-merges in history.

And to think I'm not 60 yet. Computers really are new!

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