The Right Dose of Exercise for a Longer Life – The New York Times

July 6th, 2015

Studies show that moderate exercise such as walking done just an hour per day significantly increases your longevity (and, hey, makes you feel better, too).

Exercise has had a Goldilocks problem, with experts debating just how much exercise is too little, too much or just the right amount to improve health and longevity. Two new, impressively large-scale studies provide some clarity, suggesting that the ideal dose of exercise for a long life is a bit more than many of us currently believe we should get, but less than many of us might expect. The studies also found that prolonged or intense exercise is unlikely to be harmful and could add years to people’s lives.

Source: The Right Dose of Exercise for a Longer Life – The New York Times

Vagus nerve stimulation – Business Insider

July 5th, 2015

Vagus nerve stimulation might help relieve symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome and other immune system disorders.

Luckily, she would not have to. As she was resigning herself to a life of disability and monthly chemotherapy, a new treatment was being developed that would profoundly challenge our understanding of how the brain and body interact to control the immune system. It would open up a whole new approach to treating rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases, using the nervous system to modify inflammation. It would even lead to research into how we might use our minds to stave off disease.

And, like many good ideas, it came from an unexpected source.

Source: Vagus nerve stimulation – Business Insider

First Measles Death in US Since 2003 Highlights the Unknown Vulnerables – Phenomena: Germination

July 2nd, 2015

For the first time in 12 years, an American resident has died from measles. The victim was taking immunosuppressive drugs which made her vulnerable.

Last week, the CDC reported on a man who contracted measles after passing through an airport gate a full 46 minutes after an infected child passed through the same gate. Learn more about why measles is a scary disease here at Buzzfeed.

Shocking news today out of Washington state: For the first time since 2003, a resident of the United States has died of measles. If you wondered, based on my last post, what happens when measles infects unvaccinated people and travels with them in an untrackable manner, this is the answer: It sickens and kills people who are vulnerable for reasons over which they have no control.

Source: First Measles Death in US Since 2003 Highlights the Unknown Vulnerables – Phenomena: Germination

Moore’s Law is dead – Business Insider

July 1st, 2015

“Moore’s Law,” the observation that computer chips has doubled in capacity every two years, is hitting the limits of physical matter. This is a fascinating look at the miraculous physics that makes our smartphone-enabled world possible, and where we go from here.

When Gordon Moore wrote his paper, the most complex chip had only 64 transistors on it. Back around 2000, the processor on my home-built PC was made using a 180-nanometer process technology. The one I’m using now, also built out of parts, uses a 22-nanometer technology. The amount of transistors on the chip has increased from 37 million to over 1 billion in only 15 years.

Moore’s law is based on shrinkage. How small can you shrink the manufacturing process? The smaller you can do it, the more components you can fit on a silicon wafer. We’ve been really good at that for over 50 years.

But we’re hitting limits with how small we can make these components. In fact, over the past several years, it’s become harder and harder to shrink the manufacturing process. Some experts predict we’ll hit the end of the line by 2020. Some say it will be 2022. Either way, it’s going to happen pretty soon.

Source: Moore’s Law is dead – Business Insider

Original article from Daily Reckoning.

Past Gas, literally

June 30th, 2015

A backhoe digging in this ditch ruptured a gas main this morning

A backhoe digging in this ditch ruptured a gas main this morning


This morning I got to play hero, ironically driving our electric car with our “Past Gas” license plate.

I was driving to work as usual when I turned off of Hillsborough Street onto Ashe Avenue, a spot where a new apartment building is going up. As I go by, I see a construction leap off a backhoe and race across the road. Others scurried away as well, eyes wide with fear. It was then that I smelled natural gas and realized the deafening roar I was hearing was the sound of a busted gas main. Yikes!

I rolled down the road for a moment or two while frantically fumbling to unlock my phone to dial 911 (I temporarily forgot I can do this from the locked screen, but whatever). I blurted out what I saw and heard to the dispatcher and gave my name and number. Though the dispatcher told me they were already sending someone out, I didn’t see or hear any first responders so I took matters into my own hands. I figured I might not be trained in how to direct traffic but any idiot can block traffic, so I pulled my car across the oncoming lane and got my geeky yellow safety vest and my emergency light out from the trunk.
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NSA can track everyone’s phone calls again — for a while – CNET

June 30th, 2015

Who needs the Patriot Act when a judge can simply extend NSA’s domestic spying with the stroke of a pen?

When did you last call your mother? Don’t worry if you can’t remember — the National Security Agency can once more keep track of that for you. That is, for the next 180 days.

After briefly suspending its bulk collection of phone call data, the NSA now has the authority to start it up again, a federal judge ruled on Monday.

Source: NSA can track everyone’s phone calls again — for a while – CNET

Daily Mail invents critics of Facebook’s “Celebrate Pride” feature

June 30th, 2015

A friend shared a story on a website called the “Conservative Post” called “Everyone Who Changed Their Facebook Photos To Rainbow Just Got DUPED.” I’m always curious of what gets my righty friends all worked up so I read it.

Conservative Post got duped

Conservative Post got duped

Over a million people changed their facebook profile pictures to a rainbow filter in support of gay marriage.

New reports reveal that the “Celebrate Pride” tool may not have been the best idea…

According to Daily Mail, this tool was actually Facebook’s way of performing psychological testing on their users.

Cesar Hidalgo wrote on Facebook yesterday. “The question is, how long will it take for people to change their profile pictures back to normal.”

Experts say that by setting up the tool, Facebook was able to get an unprecedented insight on how to influence their users.

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Calming Signals – The Art of Survival – Turid Rugaas – International Dog Trainer

June 27th, 2015

A glossary of signals dogs use to calm each other down. Very interesting.

For species who live in packs it´s important to be able to communicate with its own kind. Both in order to cooperate when they hunt, to bring up their offspring, and perhaps most importantly: to live in peace with each other. Conflicts are dangerous – they cause physical injuries and a weakened pack, which is something that no pack can afford – it will cause them to og extinct.

Dogs live in a world of sensory input: visual, olfactory, auditory perceptions. They easily perceive tiny details – a quick signal, a slight change in another´s behavior, the expression in our eyes. Pack animals are so perceptive to signals that a horse can be trained to follow the contraction in our pupils and a dog can be trained to answer your whispering voice. There´s no need to shout commands, to make the tone of our voice deep and angry – what Karen Pryor refers to as swatting flies with a shovel.

Source: Calming Signals – The Art of Survival – Turid Rugaas – International Dog Trainer

Why mosquitoes bite some people and not others — and the surprising non-toxic way to avoid bites

June 26th, 2015

Here’s an insightful read on what attracts (and repels) mosquitoes. Science for the win!

Why are some people so much more attractive to mosquitoes than others? And what can you do about the pesky little bloodsuckers, especially if you don’t want to resort to DEET? (DEET, while effective, is also weakly neurotoxic in humans.)

To start, there are some 150 different species of mosquitoes in the United States, and they differ in biting persistence, habits, ability to transmit disease, and even flying ability.

Source: Why mosquitoes bite some people and not others — and the surprising non-toxic way to avoid bites

Supreme Court On Gay Marriage: ‘Sure, Who Cares’ – The Onion – America’s Finest News Source

June 26th, 2015

Love won today, as the Supreme Court ruled marriage is marriage for everybody. I’m thrilled for my LGBT friends (and everyone, frankly) who are no longer denied the fundamental right to love whom they choose.

It reminded me of this article from the Onion a few years back, which pretty much sums up my thoughts about the whole matter.

WASHINGTON—Ten minutes into oral arguments over whether or not homosexuals should be allowed to marry one another, a visibly confounded Supreme Court stopped legal proceedings Tuesday and ruled that gay marriage was “perfectly fine” and that the court could “care less who marries whom.”

Source: Supreme Court On Gay Marriage: ‘Sure, Who Cares’ – The Onion – America’s Finest News Source