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alkemical 06-09-2008 10:30 AM

Amesj's Odditorium
Instead of all my threads - i think i'm going to reduce it to a running thread - ala my other news thread(s) - but this one will include all matters of things that i find interesting. I am a fan of optimistic ideas, and ways we can get out of the jams we are in. Anyone is invited to participate.


alkemical 06-09-2008 10:33 AM

The Maltese cart ruts are considered to be one of the most enduring ancient enigmas. But could it be that they are precisely what their name suggests: cart ruts?

Kaylore 06-09-2008 10:49 AM


Originally Posted by amesj523 (Post 1977685)
The Maltese cart ruts are considered to be one of the most enduring ancient enigmas. But could it be that they are precisely what their name suggests: cart ruts?

I always thought they were! It's usually the obvious, most-practical thing.

alkemical 06-09-2008 12:18 PM

Steampunk Rising
Steampunk Rising

Steampunk as an active sub-culture arose from the science fiction sub-genre of the same name that became popular in the mid- to late-1990s. Novels like "The Difference Engine" by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling re-imagine a Victorian age where steam-powered technology is far more advanced than it really was in the 19th century. The rollicking, fantastical adventures created by Steampunk authors fit squarely in the tradition of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, but with the twist that modern writers know how technologies like computing actually developed and thus can retro-fit today's tech to an earlier time in an almost plausible fashion. The central conceit of "The Difference Engine," for example, is that Charles Babbage's designs for computational machines, which in reality were never built, have been developed to usher in the Information Age a full century before it actually occurred. Interestingly, the steam-powered computers in Gibson and Sterling's novel are inspired by Babbage's designs for what he called an "Analytical Engine," widely regarded today as the first architectural breakthrough in computing, not his separate plans for a Difference Engine, which was a very powerful but ultimately non-computational calculating machine. Did Gibson and Sterling simply make a mistake? Not likely, says Steampunk author G. D. Falksen, who guesses that the pair probably preferred the way "Difference Engine" rolls off the tongue to the clunkier "Analytical Engine." Falksen credits writers Kevin Jeter and Paul Di Filippo with coining the term "steampunk," a play on the sci-fi genre of "cyberpunk" that was popular in the 1980s and 90s.

Odysseus 06-09-2008 12:31 PM

Cool idea. Thank you.

alkemical 06-09-2008 12:32 PM


Originally Posted by quiettiger (Post 1977742)
Cool idea. Thank you.

The steampunk thing? I've been seeing lots of posts and articles on it - and it's got my interest. One of my "secret" loves is victorian things.

alkemical 06-09-2008 12:42 PM

Odysseus 06-09-2008 12:49 PM

I love history and things that are old.

alkemical 06-09-2008 12:52 PM


Originally Posted by quiettiger (Post 1977757)
I love history and things that are old.

Coolio man.....

Odysseus 06-09-2008 01:04 PM


Originally Posted by amesj523 (Post 1977750)

I just ordered the whole Thumbs Series and you think your cat is freaky. Geez. Those Thumbs were off the chain. I liked Frankenthumb the best. Must have been the mindless violence and all those weird looking thumbs!

Check it out.

alkemical 06-09-2008 01:06 PM

lol, i will seems interesting!

alkemical 06-09-2008 01:32 PM

Living computers solve complex math puzzle
Tweaked bacteria show promise in problem-solving applications

Scientists have genetically tweaked E. coli bacteria to create simple computers capable of solving a classic math puzzle, commonly called the “Burnt Pancake Problem.”

The resulting advance in synthetic biology, according to researchers, hints at the ability of tiny “living computers” to aid in data storage, evolutionary comparisons and even tissue engineering.

The mathematical problem imagines pancakes of varying sizes stacked in random order — each with a burnt side and a golden brown side. The solution requires using the minimum number of manipulations to stack the pancakes according to size, with their burnt sides all facedown. Each manipulation involves flipping one or more pancakes, reversing both their order and orientation.

alkemical 06-09-2008 02:23 PM

alkemical 06-09-2008 02:27 PM

Awesome Or Off-Putting: Homeless Japanese Lady Secretly Not Homeless In Victim’s Closet

alkemical 06-09-2008 02:36 PM

"Massive" Horizontal Gene Transfer In Animal Kingdom Revealed

If you're an animal, you inherit your genes from your parents at the moment of conception, right? Not quite, according to scientists from the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), who have uncovered evidence of "massive" horizontal gene transfer in the animal known as the bdelloid rotifer. Reporting their findings in Science, the researchers say they have discovered numerous chunks of foreign DNA in its genome, from bacteria, fungi, and even from plants. Gene transfer on such a large scale was, until now, thought impossible in the animal kingdom.

"It is quite amazing that bdelloids are able to recruit foreign genes, which were acquired from remarkably diverse sources, to function in the new host," says MBL's Irina Arkhipova. "Bdelloids may have the capacity for tapping into the entire environmental gene pool, which may be of [evolutionarily] adaptive significance during expansion into new ecological niches, and may even contribute to bdelloid speciation."

The new findings may help to explain why bdelloids, which are exclusively asexual, have managed to diversify into more than 360 species over 40 million years of evolution. Sometimes called an "evolutionary scandal," bdelloids contradict the notion that sex - which recombines the DNA from the parents in their offspring - confers diversity and greater adaptability on a population, thereby boosting its evolutionary success. Arkhipova's study suggests that if bdelloids can incorporate foreign DNA from their environment, they could also pick up DNA from other bdelloids which, from an evolutionary standpoint, is almost as good as having sex.

alkemical 06-09-2008 02:38 PM

Sounds and colour influence the taste of food
Sounds and colour influence the taste of food

Researchers have also found that changing the colour of a food can influence the flavour experienced by consumers.

The sound of sizzling bacon can prompt diners to taste it - Sounds and colour influence the taste of food
The sound of sizzling bacon can prompt diners to taste it

Food manufacturers are now hoping to exploit the findings in a bid to make their foods more appealing.

Previously it was thought that the sense of taste and smell were the only human senses that played a role in experiencing flavour. Professor Charles Spence, a sensory psychologist at Oxford University, believes it is possible to change the flavour of food simply by exciting people's sense of hearing and vision.

He has found that by tinkering with the sound a food makes while it is being eaten can make it seem crunchier or softer in the mouth.

Playing sounds of the seaside while diners are eating can make them detect seafood flavours while the sound of clucking chickens or sizzling bacon brings out the taste of eggs or bacon.

alkemical 06-09-2008 04:22 PM

Silicon chip filters out cancer cells

* 07 June 2008
* David Robson
* Magazine issue 2659

IT'S harder than finding a needle in a haystack. Unusual or rare cells, such as those that cause the spread of cancer, are difficult to isolate from thousands of other cells in a sample.

Now a new device has been developed which can direct and focus streams of cells in a liquid, and even separate them out according to size. "We can take a stream of cells and focus, defocus and reflect it as if it's a light beam," says Robert Austin of Princeton University, who developed the device with colleagues from Princeton and Boston University, Massachusetts.

The device is a silicon wafer studded with rows of tiny pillars through which a liquid containing particles of various sizes is made to flow. Due to friction, the liquid flows more slowly close to the pillars than midway between them. Small particles are unaffected by this, but those above a critical size ...

alkemical 06-09-2008 04:25 PM

Open source personal fabrication device creates first copy of itself

BroncoBuff 06-09-2008 08:58 PM

I don't know about about this idea ... and I'm not sure about this ames guy. I preferred claviculasolominis.

Dudeskey 06-09-2008 09:51 PM

Never heard of steampunk... awesome stuff

alkemical 06-10-2008 08:31 AM


Originally Posted by Dudeskey (Post 1978319)
Never heard of steampunk... awesome stuff

Yeah, i thought so too. I want to find a convention to go to, i'd like to do a thing on it.

Kaylore 06-10-2008 10:37 AM

Final Fatasy III(VI) was a great game in the steam-punk genre.

I don't understand why this thread is in the Religion/War/Politics forum...

alkemical 06-10-2008 10:41 AM

is there a better place?

Kaylore 06-10-2008 11:23 AM


Originally Posted by amesj523 (Post 1978657)
is there a better place?

The main forum? There's nothing here that warrants putting this in the WRP forum. That said, some people around here don't even use the main forum and its your thread.

alkemical 06-10-2008 11:49 AM


Originally Posted by Kaylore (Post 1978679)
The main forum? There's nothing here that warrants putting this in the WRP forum. That said, some people around here don't even use the main forum and its your thread.

Not yet. But I do have some science articles in the pipeline to post, as well as some other things.

The main forum sucks, it would get buried under other ****. I could have put it in the OT forum, but -eh. Seems most people can find me here...i guess that's why it's here.

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