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.