Archive for the ‘Interesting’ Category
The purpose of the British Royal Family is procreation; its prime duty is to produce at least one heir to the throne. Each heir has to provide a child that will guarantee the survival of a monarchy that began with Athelstan, the first king of all-England in 926.
The baptism of Prince George is the second of his public appearances on the road to his coronation as George VII. Royal job done. Or is it?
In spite of his celebrity parents, Prince George’s chances of being king are not as high as most appear to think even though the monarchy is more popular than it has ever been during this sovereign’s reign.
Umbrellas — like rain itself, like a two-lane highway, like a four-piece pizza at a table for five — tend to bring out the worst in us all. These made-for-one tools enforce, in spite of themselves, a terrible strain of meteorological Darwinism: they encourage us to prioritize ourselves over others in our effort to stay dry. Which leads to, among other things, The Awkward Umbrella Bump. And The Inadvertent-But-Still-Insulting Eye Poke. And The Escalator Cascade, when the umbrella of one person is perfectly angled to funnel rainwater onto the unfortunate rider below.
This stormy state of affairs, one entrepreneur believes, cannot stand.
You’ve seen it at the local pool, at the beach, or even on your own grandpa. Old grizzled men with enough back hair to knit an afghan. Rampant tufts of hair springing out of dark nasal and ear cavities and eyebrows that look Cro-Magnon. What causes hair to grow everywhere but the head as we age?
Scientists don’t exactly know what causes hair to sprout excessively from places like the ears and nostrils but Dr. David Liebovitz, an associate professor of Medicine at Northwestern University, guesses that it has to do with hormones and the lifecycle of hair.
Hairs grow in three stages: anagen, catagen and telogen. First, hair cells grow and divide in the anagen phase. Head hair naturally remains in the anagen phase for an extended period of time, up to several years. Hair on your arms, however, will move on to the catagen phase in a matter of weeks. This is when the hair stops growing and transitions to the dormant telogen phase. The hair stops lengthening and eventually falls out naturally through shedding or external trauma such as pulling.
When John Morrell left his post at Yale University last year and decamped to Apple (AAPL), some members of the robotics community were perplexed.
Morrell, a robotics whiz and one of the leading engineers behind the Segway, had been tapped as director for Yale’s newly opening Center for Engineering Innovation & Design. This center marked a play by Yale to reinvigorate its engineering and applied sciences efforts. (You may not have noticed, but Yale grads haven’t exactly been killing it in the technology scene.) Morrell had been overseeing research around how robots climb stairs and open doors, and how humans generally interact with machines. And then—poof—the superstar director bailed on the project.
Since Apple discloses very little about upcoming projects, it’s anyone’s guess what Morrell is actually working on. My roboticist friends think he must be working on something pretty fantastic to have quit the Yale post. My great hope is that he is indeed building a robot that transforms health care, or crafting the first mind-bending consumer 3D printer, or devising something far more spectacular.
A surefire way to establish one’s moral superiority—certainly in our society and in most Western nations—is to renounce any interest in revenge. No matter the damage done, the outrageousness of the conduct, or the magnitude of loss, most people will reflexively wave off any suggestion that vengeance is what they desire. Indeed, they will indignantly deny having a vengeful streak, as if nothing could be so shameful as the simple wish to settle a score. Take your pick of maxims: “Vengeance is beneath me”; “I’m not out for revenge, I just want to make sure this doesn’t happen to someone else”; “All I care about is justice, not revenge.”
That’s what President George W. Bush told the nation shortly after 9/11. “Ours is a nation that does not seek revenge, but we do seek justice.”
The president knew that line would draw applause, and it did. Why? Because we’ve been trained to believe that justice is a sign of refinement, while vengeance is a barbaric holdover from a primitive past. So we couch our vengefulness in the language of the law, and cast our lot with the rule of law, with all its emotional detachment and cool dispassion. Leave revenge to the louts and the hotheads; civilized people suppress their instincts and moral outrage, and recite the script that justice is the enlightened man’s revenge.
Birds do it, bees do it — but how did 3-ton dinosaurs with sharp, pointed spikes on their backs and tails get it on?
Very carefully, say some researchers, who believe mounting a female from behind would have proved deadly for the males of dinosaurs like Stegosaurus.
“The females could not raise their tails, because the bones at the top end were fused,” Brian Switek, a dinosaur researcher and writer, told the Sunday Times. “Also, some species had lethal spikes on their backs, which would have been impossible to get past.”
There are times when the crime lab at the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office functions like an episode of CSI: NY. Take, for instance, the case of the Hilton Netherland Plaza security guard who was stabbed to death December 7 in a stairwell of the hotel.
About a week after the slaying, video surveillance led investigators to a suspect. The prosecutor called coroner Lakshmi Kode Sammarco late on a Friday night wanting to know how quickly the suspect’s DNA could be tested. The crime lab received the sample on Monday morning, and 72 hours later their results showed a match between the suspect’s DNA and evidence at the crime scene. The suspect, Joseph Tucker Jr., was quickly indicted—he’s now awaiting trial for the murder of guard Richard Campbell—and Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters publicly thanked the crime lab for their work. Made-for-TV stuff.
But there are other scenes at the crime lab that are decidedly at odds with the way the public imagines the high-tech world of forensic science. Investigators on television don’t have to dry marijuana on the floor of a boiler room the way Hamilton County analysts do; their hallways aren’t lined with desks because they’ve outgrown the office space; they don’t have to worry about where to plug in a new piece of equipment; they’re not traveling two floors away to perform basic lab tests.
Companies with female board members are more likely to make decisions that benefit everyone from investors to staff and not just themselves and other directors, the study added.
Business school researchers said the findings show that having women in the boardroom is not just good for equality but good for business too.
The study for the International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics surveyed 600 board directors about their approach to decision making and other corporate issues.
It found that when there were conflicting interests, women board members tended to make fairer decisions than men.
Female directors were more likely to consider how the decision would affect others, whether it is employees, investors or stakeholders for instance.