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Barbie Like You Have Never Seen Her December 31, 2012

Posted by stuffilikenet in Photography, Toys, Uncategorizable.
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My sister has suggested I enjoy Google Images a little too much.

How could I?

Barbie Like You Have Never Seen Her


Exciting update:


Just For That? December 31, 2012

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Books, Brilliant words.
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From The List Which Cannot Be Named: “My ex-wife learned Czech solely to be able to read Vaclav Havel’s plays without having to suffer through the abominable English translations.  One (1) one-act play was translated by someone else under special license, and that one play was all it took.  She later went to the Czech Republic and met Havel (before he became President).  He rather liked his licensed English translator as a person and had no idea how bad a job she was doing.  So far as I know this was never fixed.”

God, I love listening in on geniuses at coffee.  I only wish I had such cool things to say.

That little quote is from a longer discussion about how one of our number had to read Pascal in the original French, because the translations available were abysmal.

The Ferry at Larkspur Landing This Morning December 28, 2012

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My commute is awesome.

And That Cloud Looks Like a Duck…No, Wait December 25, 2012

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Monstrous AT-AT cloud stands guard over the sunset

Not Again December 25, 2012

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The local police, growing increasingly concerned about this church, ask parishoners to take a sip of wine and then spit it back out for DNA testing. It's blood, and it matches a 1970s murder victim.

From XKCD.

The Autodoc’s Forerunner December 21, 2012

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Geek Stuff, Science, Star Trek Technology.
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Human health is usually described in general terms, based on averages of humans.  After a hundred years of recordkeeping we have a fair idea of what an average man or woman should have in terms of height, weight, red and white cell counts, glucose levels, cholesterols good and bad, liver enzyme levels, potassium and sodium…you probably haven’t had this blood work done lately, but I have and believe me, this information is stored somewhere, and more is being collected all the time.  It won’t be long before some data-harvesting medical company gets laws written to allow them to aggregate this information to provide them with diagnostic information…and then they will want more.


You think this is some kind of weird digression, but it isn’t.  The graphic above is a 50-point assay (see the little red bars?) existing today which can examine most of the diagnostic panel I mentioned above using tiny little bits of antibodies, catalase, red dye and some H2O2.  A drop is introduced, the antibodies cling to matching antigens (RNA or DNA chunks, lipids, whatever) and the catalase is activated.  The H2O2 reacts forming O2 which pushes the red dye up the capillaries proportionally to the antigen (or whatever).  Run a few calibrations and you have a good health snapshot of a human at some point in time. 

Working principle of the V-Chip.

Run two a year for life on thousands of people (and lots more moieties), match it to health outcomes for each person and have neural networking algorithms find correlations and you can now diagnose years in advance of some cancers, rare conditions, psychiatric disorders—all pretty inexpensively (when the patents on these antibodies expire)

Right, that’s sorted.  Now I need some funding.

Multiplexed volumetric bar-chart chip for point-of-care diagnostics, Yujun Song, Yuanqing Zhang, Paul E. Bernard, James M. Reuben, Naoto T. Ueno, Ralph B. Arlinghaus, Youli Zu& and Lidong Qin, Nature Communications  3, Article number: 1283 doi:10.1038/ncomms2292

Merry Winter Solstice Celebration December 20, 2012

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Image may contain: flower, text, outdoor and nature

Android Development Environment—Part Two December 15, 2012

Posted by stuffilikenet in Applications, Geek Stuff, Uncategorizable.
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In which Our Hero has a revelation about printed matter.

I bought a copy of Sam’s Teach Yourself Android Application Development in 24 Hours (2nd Edition) a while back because it was up to date (more or less) and I felt it would have the requisite instructions for correctly setting up the Android development environment for me, the rookie.

I stand corrected.  the development cycle for android is pretty swift, and the book was obsolete before I touched it…also makes too many assumptions about the clarity of its instructions—but I digress. 
The correct way to set up your Android development environment (and don’t listen to anyone who tells you otherwise) is to download the ADT Bundle from android.com (follow the link) and install that. Period.  Seriously: if you try (and I did) to set up each piece individually you will find yourself a broken, bitter wo/man.  It just doesn’t work to do it that way.  The Bundle contains pretty much everything you need.  I installed it to my (present from stepdaughter) Batman-shaped USB thumbdrive, and it seems to be working properly.

Finally.  I had a lost weekend over this, and one weeknight.  Harken to my tale of woe, and let your Bundle flow.

Revelation Space by Alistair Reynolds December 15, 2012

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A trippy little book about future space exploration, nanotechnology, genetic engineering, near light-speed travel and dead alien cultures, Revelation Space has apparently disparate plots that take a while to weave together.  Lucky thing that everyone in the story is long-lived enough to bring all the plots together in a satisfying tapestry of delight.  I liked it very much, for the detailed descriptions of the technologies, the humanness of the protagonists (even the evil ones) and the strangeness of the dead(?) aliens and the malevolence of the Universe (see also Fermi Paradox).  I liked it so well and enjoyed the weaving that I’m not going to tell you anything about the book other than you should get it, read it (or listen; that’s what I did…by the way, the narrator varies his speech volume enough to make car noise an issue—fair warning) and thank me for not giving anything away.

You’re welcome.

Sad Penguin December 9, 2012

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He sounds so sad. 

I still want a penguin.

Devil’s Postpile of Graphene and Nanotubes December 4, 2012

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nanotubes growing from graphene

That, dear reader, is a cluster of carbon nanotubes attached to a graphene sheet. A candidate for the best supercapacitor substrate ever created, it’s the product of a Rice University lab that wasn’t even trying to make supercapacitor substrates. Electrical testing showed no resistance to the flow of current at the junction, and they weren’t even trying.

"The performance we see in this study is as good as the best carbon-based supercapacitors that have ever been made," Tour said. "We’re not really a supercapacitor lab, and still we were able to match the performance because of the quality of the electrode. It’s really remarkable, and it all harkens back to that unique interface."