Apr 01, 2015

Why no century will ever start on a Sunday, Wednesday or Friday

posted by Larra Morris

 

The Gregorian calendar is full of wonderful mathematical quirks, and here's one of them: under its regime, a century will never start on a Sunday. Or a Wednesday or Friday, for that matter.

The reason is (fairly) straightforward. The Gregorian calendar completely cycles every 400 years; add 400 years to any date, and the day of the week will be exactly the same. That means that there are only four different days with which a century can begin, and they happen to be Monday, Saturday, Thursday, or Tuesday (in that that order, for each consecutive century).
via Gizmodo

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Apr 01, 2015

Scientists recreate medieval medicine, find that it kills MRSA

posted by Larra Morris

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Pictured above is Bald’s Leechbook, a 10th Century Latin and Anglo-Saxon manuscript owned by the British Library. It’s a reference manual for what passed for pharmaceutical science at that time. And it’s holding up pretty well, even though it’s a thousand years old. Scientists made a salve using a recipe in the Leechbook. In laboratory experiments, that salve killed the deadly MRSA infection.

The drug is called “eyesalve.” It consists of two species of onion, wine, and cow bile. When prepared according to the instructions, eyesalve proved highly effective in treating MRSA-infected mice.
via Neatorama

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Image: British Library

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Mar 31, 2015

20 embarrassing phrases even smart people misuse

posted by Laura Domela

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When you hear someone using grammar incorrectly do you make an assumption about his or her intelligence or education? There's no doubt that words are powerful things that can leave a lasting impression on those with whom you interact. In fact, using an idiom incorrectly or screwing up your grammar is akin to walking into a meeting with messy hair. That's according to Byron Reese, CEO of the venture-backed internet startup Knowingly. The company recently launched Correctica, a tool that scans websites looking for errors that spell checkers miss. And the business world is no exception. "When I look for these errors on LinkedIn profiles, they're all over the place--tens of thousands," he says.

Correctica recently scanned a handful of prominent websites and you might be surprised at how many errors it found. Here is Reese's list of the some of the most commonly misused phrases on the Web.
via Inc. 

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Mar 31, 2015

Why it won't be long until we ride in driverless cars

posted by Laura Domela

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Our future will include driverless cars.

At this year's CES, car companies and graphics card manufacturers alike featured the technology that they believe will power the vehicles of tomorrow. I remember each morning of CES as I sipped coffee on the stoop of The Verge's trailer, watching Volkswagen demonstrate its new driverless parking functionality. The demonstration looked silly, but felt like looking at the not-so-distant future — sort of like how the ASIMO demonstration at Disneyland feels both gimmicky and like a prescient warning of our robot overlords.
via The Verge

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Mar 31, 2015

What really happens when someone enters the witness protection program

posted by Laura Domela

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Longtime Department of Justice attorney Gerald Shur was the man behind the creation of the U.S. Marshall Service Witness Security Program (WITSEC). Shur has also co-written an informative book on the topic, Witsec: Inside the Federal Witness Protection Program. More than 18,000 people have been protected from harm under WITSEC since it was initiated in 1971.
via Neatorama

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Mar 31, 2015

Arduino-assisted automatic 3D-printed tea maker

posted by Larra Morris

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If the earlier Arduino projects weren’t your cup of tea, try out this Automatic 3D Printed Tea Brewer. 24 Hour Engineer Brian McEvoy designed this project which uses the Arduino to control a servo which dunks the tea bag for a predetermined length of time for perfect brew control. The LCD readout provides information about the brewing time for various teas.
via Dangerous Protoypes

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Mar 31, 2015

Bird-inspired self-folding wings could help drones recover from collisions

posted by Larra Morris

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If you've ever watched a flying bird weaving its way through a forest, you may have wondered how it could do so without hitting its wings on the trees. Well, birds actually do hit trees with their wings. Unlike the rigid wings of an aircraft, however, birds' wings simply fold back under impact, then immediately fold open again to maintain flight. Now, scientists from Stanford University have developed wings for flapping-wing drones that do the same thing.
via Gizmag

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Image: Stanford University

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