Sunday, October 28, 2007

Illegal questions a potential employer should avoid at interview

Like "Do you smoke or use alcohol?" Alternative workarounds here.

An echolocating boy

From the neurophilosophy blog at scienceblogs (first 10-minute segment of video below):

At the age of 2, Underwood was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a rare form of cancer that that affects about one in 5 million children. One year later, his eyes were surgically removed, to prevent the tumour from spreading throught the optic nerve and into the brain.
Soon after his surgery, Underwood realized that he could use echoes to determine the positions of objects, and began to develop this "six sense." His ability to echolocate is now so sophisticated that he can ride a bike, skateboard and play computer games.

D-Lab -- MIT brains tackling technological problems of developing world

But in low tech, affordable ways.

Save a slow system with Damn Small Linux

Those old computers don't have to be junked?

Damn Small Linux is a free download that fits inside less than 50MB, so it's easily booted from a CD, a USB drive, or an ancient PC with only 8MB of memory.

Better airfares for off-peak dates

At American, the cheapest price on a Thanksgiving trip from New York to Las Vegas and back was a hefty $1,095 for travel on Nov. 21, the day before Thanksgiving, and returning on Sunday, Nov. 25. Those are the peak days for those holidays. But change your itinerary to leave Thanksgiving Day and return the following Tuesday, and the Las Vegas getaway costs only $335 on American.

More nuclear apocalypses averted

The previously posted story of Lt. Col. Petrov is here, but there's also the Americans misinterpreting for a moment. It's happened a few times on both sides.

JackBe -- mashups of all kinds of superfeed data for corporations

Mashups are created primarily in ten different ways (using graphs, maps, grids, etc.) ... If you check out JackBe’s customers page, you’ll see that Citigroup uses Presto for “Tax Collection, Bank Tellers, Credit Workflow, Branch executives, Insurance Quoting/Sales and eBanking”; the Defense Intelligence Agency uses it to “paint a picture of situational awareness across various intelligence data sources, using a paradigm of drag-and-drop and bookmarking of the resulting briefing in a private workspace for future use and sharing”; and Tupperware uses it “to provide real-time price, inventory and product updates to field sales representatives.”

Anesthesia awareness

CBS story on the phenomenon where you are paralyzed during your operation, but still awake. There's a thriller called Awake with this as a premise coming out at the end of November.

Hilarious kid's Hallowe'en costume

Very adorable homage to Alien. Click through for the larger photo at the site.

RapidTyping -- free typing tutor

I also recall there being a site zealously promoting the Dvorak layout as well. If you want speed, there are ways.

Kitty Genovese stabbing reframed

The number of witnesses may have been off a lot. And then,

Indeed, none of the witnesses reported actually seeing the stabbing. And whereas the myth states that none of the apartment residents overlooking the crime intervened, in fact the murderer felt compelled to abandon his first attack after one of the witnesses shouted at him. This led to the actual murder taking place inside a nearby building where none of the trial witnesses could see.

Making the internet 200 times faster with present copper

By cutting down the interference.

The movie Ratatouille and Jewish assimilation

An analysis of the the rats in the movie as Jews in a Christianized world.

Awake for eleven days

Not the record now, but did break the previous at the time.

By the fourth day, the sand-clawed demons of sleep were scraping at the back of his eyeballs. He suddenly and inexplicably hallucinated that he was Paul Lowe, a large black football player for the San Diego Chargers. Gardner, in reality, was white, seventeen years old, and 130 pounds soaking wet.
The last record noted was made in 1977 -- 449 hours, some rocking chair marathon.

Traveler's checklist -- travel day

Dress for the security check, carry snacks, ...

Chris Anderson: Technology's Long Tail

Importantly covers the four stages of tech life, implies opportunities at more than one point.

Forward GrandCentral calls to your Gizmo number

Sounds like free (no roaming charges) inbound calls from anywhere:

With this you can now be travelling anywhere on the planet and can receive calls through your Gizmo client when somebody calls your local GrandCentral number.

ETube -- YouTube of electronics

Complete courses as well as specific devices.

Arsenals of Folly -- The Making of the Nuclear Arms Race

In a narrative that reads like a thriller, Rhodes reveals how the Reagan administration's unprecedented arms buildup in the early 1980s led ailing Soviet leader Yuri Andropov to conclude that Reagan must be preparing for a nuclear war. In the fall of 1983, when NATO staged a larger than usual series of field exercises that included, uniquely, a practice run-up to a nuclear attack, the Soviet military came very close to launching a defensive first strike on Europe and North America. With Soviet aircraft loaded with nuclear bombs warming up on East German runways, U.S. intelligence organizations finally realized the danger.
As a general rule, we are just way too sure of ourselves. This volume appears to be a continuation of The Making of the Atomic Bomb and Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb.

Foreign language acquisition assistance on the Web

Like a speech accent archive so that you know what it is supposed to sound like.

Nasal spray helps people fight chronic social phobias

Scientists say that DCS [D-Cycloserine, usually for TB] has no effect on fear on its own, but enhances the therapy sessions by changing the neurotransmitters in the brain associated with learning to overcome fear.

Free political documentaries

Streamed. Has The Trials of Henry Kissinger and Fahrenheit 9/11.

Boom 2 Borda

30 mile range, 25mph top speed, ~$900. Handheld trigger controller.
Flash page, so may take some time.

ProQuo -- stop paper junk mail

If it's free, then how does it make money?

In the future, ProQuo will allow consumers to request offers that they do want in addition to eliminating the offers that they don’t want. ProQuo will make money from the advertisers that provide these offers. ProQuo will only provide these offers when requested by consumers.

Bridgestone's full-color e-paper

Only 0.29mm thick and 4096 colors on an eight-inch display.

Reason for American Revolution not taxes

From Benjamin Franklin:

The Colonies would gladly have borne the little tax on tea and other matters had it not been the poverty caused by the bad influence of the English bankers on the Parliament, which has caused in the Colonies hatred of England and the Revolutionary War.
There appears to be some kind of solution in the form of some buyout clause in the Federal Reserve Act.

A possible molelcular neurodevelopmental path in schizophrenia

The gene, GAD1, makes an enzyme essential for production of the chemical messenger, called GABA. The more the gene is turned on, the more GABA synthesis can occur, under normal circumstances. GABA helps regulate the flow of electrical traffic that enables brain cells to communicate with each other. It is among the major neurotransmitters in the brain.

Abnormalities in brain development and in GABA synthesis are known to play a role in schizophrenia, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are unknown. In this study, scientists discovered that defects in specific epigenetic actions – biochemical reactions that regulate gene activity, such as turning genes on and off so that they can make substances like the GAD1 enzyme – are involved.

Guy skills

A Popular Mechanics list of skills a guy should have.

Chronic subjugation of adolescent turns into aggression in adulthood

Using hamsters:

Their aggression was context dependent. In the presence of equal size hamsters, they showed little aggression; however, they were excessively aggressive toward smaller, younger animals.

Hello Kitty HK-AK-47

And it's only $1072.95!

Maher Arar gets apology from Congress for rendition

However, now Congressmen of both parties, even some like Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) who still support the practice of rendition, have come together to acknowledge the wrong that was committed.