ksmith: (rs_david)

…performed by Cmdr Chris Hadfield.

It’s marvelous.

Mirrored from Kristine Smith.

ksmith: (bride)

Because 3-D printing just boggles the hell out of me.

Check out the article for a photo of the ear that was grown. It looks very ear-like.

Mirrored from Kristine Smith.

ksmith: (christmas tree)

Spam header of the day: “A complete line of products for failures in bed.”
Not much of a market for those, I would think.

In Real Science(TM) news, a spider has been discovered that builds decoy spiders, legs and all, possibly to deter predators.

Hope everyone who celebrates had a good Christmas, and everyone who doesn’t a nice vacation day. Mine was quiet. Cooking got short shrift for a number of reasons, but dinner still turned out surprisingly well. The initial plan was roast chicken with mashed parsnips and roasted carrots, but I lacked the time/energy. So.

Peeled and chopped the parsnips and carrots into roughly equal-sized pieces. Added two chopped onions. A couple of stalks of wilted celery I didn’t want to toss. Mixed it all in a bowl and tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Sautéed on medium heat until almost but not quite soft. Added bone-in chicken breasts, herbes de Provence, and chicken stock, and braised until the chicken was done. Removed chicken. Mashed veggies, which by this point were mushy, with butter, cream, and a tablespoon of cognac.

I served this with stuffing, but it didn’t need it. Forgot the cranberry sauce, and didn’t miss it. The chicken picked up the flavor of the veggies, and stayed moist. Call it Braised Chicken Breasts w/ Puree of Root Vegetables. Whatever you call it, it’s a keeper.

In other news, WordPress site is still getting killed with spam. I’ve gotten more in the last couple of months than I did in the last year and a half. Akismet snags the bulk of it, but still. How many counterfeit designerwear sites are there out there?

Mirrored from Kristine Smith.

ksmith: (teashop)

Articles like this give me hope that my best writing years may not be behind me.

Prevailing wisdom about the role creativity plays in aging is that it can help slow down the process of mental decline, memory loss, and brain-related health issues such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia. But there is now a growing body of evidence that the aging brain may be more creative and capable of innovation than younger brains.

Maybe it’s premature of me to be thinking about this now. I am 54, which is supposedly the new 41-and-a-half or whatever the Age of the Moment is at the moment. But I got into this game so much later than other writers I know that I still feel like a newb at times. I’M STILL A KID, DAMMIT. Except that I’m not. I’ve crossed the border into the land of interesting medical tests, creaky knees, and AARP. I’ve heard that writing productivity can slow starting at age 60, and the gulf between 54 and 60 is not quite as wide as I would like it to be. I’m a slow enough writer as it is–I don’t want to get even slower. Worse yet, I don’t want to lose the ability to, well, make shit up. I want the idea furnace to continue to burn hot.

My mom lived to 87. I would love to still be writing at 87. Even if I have to tell the voices in my head to speak up.

(h/t to The Passive Guy)

Mirrored from Kristine Smith.


Sep. 21st, 2012 11:10 pm
ksmith: (cloud dream)

The photos that folks have posted of Endeavour’s last flight are gorgeous, but the most poignant thing I read was a tweet by a musician named Marian Call:

And as it flew, the big plane whispered to the space shuttle, “Please. I’ll never go there. What was it like? Tell me.”

Mirrored from Kristine Smith.


Aug. 16th, 2012 11:36 pm
ksmith: (bride)

I’m not sure I agree with all of Lowe’s arguments, but I do believe this is the funniest description of R&D that I have ever come across:

R&D, on the other hand, is not the profitable side of the business. Far from it. We are black holes of finance: huge sums of money spiral in beyond our event horizons, emitting piteous cries and futile streams of braking radiation, and are never seen again.

Mirrored from Kristine Smith.

ksmith: (me)

The video of the nursing home patient reawakened by the music he loved has been rocketing around the internet:

There’s a follow-up article in today’s Washington Post. You can donate old iPods so that others can feel the same magic again:

According to Dan Cohen, spokesman for the Music and Memory Project, the reaction to the clip has been tremendous. “I am truly delighted and surprised,” he told The Washington Post in a Thursday phone call.

For those interested in helping the project, Music and Memory accepts donations of iPods of any kind, he said. The group starts people out with the iPod shuffle, but also uses other iPods and iPads to help improve the lives of nursing home residents.


Mirrored from Kristine Smith.

ksmith: (bride)

Jurassic World

He (Breslow) adds: “An implication from this work is that elsewhere in the universe there could be life forms based on D-amino acids and L-sugars. Such life forms could well be advanced versions of dinosaurs, if mammals did not have the good fortune to have the dinosaurs wiped out by an asteroidal collision, as on Earth. We would be better off not meeting them.”

Could 'advanced' dinosaurs rule other planets.

Mirrored from Kristine Smith.

ksmith: (bride)

…but printed bones are just wow.

An 83-year-old woman operated on last summer was the first person to receive an entire 3D-printed jaw transplant, her Belgian doctors announced Monday. The woman’s own lower jaw was riddled with infection, and given her age, and the fact that reconstructive surgery would have been a long and painful process, her doctors decided to have a new jaw specially manufactured for her. The replacement jaw is made out of titanium, assembled in thousands of layers by a 3D printer.

Rest of the story here, with a link to a paper about 3-D printing of bone substitute implants.

Mirrored from Kristine Smith.

ksmith: (bride)

No time to say more than…whoa. Totally encrusted with science…and just a bit scary.

And if they get a little bigger and brave the outdoors, UFO sightings will jump about 1000%.

Mirrored from Kristine Smith.

ksmith: (bride)

There are printers that can spit out 3-D model cars and others that can make paper solar panels. Next up: technology that can print food for restaurants and homes.

Engineers envision printed breakfasts synced with alarm clocks and gourmet spreads downloaded from high-end restaurants but served at the dinner table. Printers could to linked to digital food logs and programmed to churn out meals that fill in the day’s nutritional blanks.

So instead of not being able to get a table at an exclusive restaurants, will there be a waiting list for licenses for a particular dish?

It occurs to me how this could revolutionize food manufacturing–anything you eat could be plumped full of nutrients/fat-free/tuned to your individual metabolism. Could kick world hunger in the slats as well, depending on the price of the starting materials.

UPDATE: added link to the Cornell website, which I forgot to do before.

Link to the Cornell website here.

Mirrored from Kristine Smith.

ksmith: (me)

Another good column/Q&A about introversion, by author Susan Cain. The most surprising thing that Cain discovered?

The most surprising and fascinating thing I learned is that there are “introverts” and “extroverts” throughout the animal kingdom – all the way down to the level of fruit flies! Evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson speculates that the two types evolved to use very different survival strategies. Animal “introverts” stick to the sidelines and survive when predators come calling. Animal “extroverts” roam and explore, so they do better when food is scarce. The same is true (analogously speaking) of humans.

I have my extroverted moments. But the quiet glass of wine with a friend instead of a party? The need for seclusion at times? The irritation concerning the confusion between shyness and introversion? So me.

Mirrored from Kristine Smith.

ksmith: (guilty)

The difference between climate and weather explained, with bonus puppy.

Noisy Systems and Wandering Canines.

Mirrored from Kristine Smith.

ksmith: (me)

A worrying tale, if it proves out. And a horrendous fate for infected bees…which frankly has ZOMBIE written all over it.

There are many possible causes of this “colony collapse disorder” (CCD). These include various viruses, a single-celled parasite called Nosema apis, a dramatically named mite called Varroa destructor, exposure to pesticides, or a combination of all of the above. Any or all of these factors could explain why the bees die, but why do the workers abandon the hive?

Andrew Core from San Francisco State University has a possible answer, and a new suspect for CCD. He has shown that a parasitic fly, usually known for attacking bumblebees, also targets honeybees. The fly, Apocephalus borealis, lays up to a dozen eggs in bee workers. Its grubs eventually eat the bees from the inside-out. And the infected workers, for whatever reason, abandon their hives to die.

There are hundreds of species of Apocephalus flies, and they’re best known for decapitating ants from the inside. The larvae, laid within an ant, migrate to the head and devour the tissue inside. The brainless ant wanders aimlessly for weeks, before the larvae release an enzyme that dissolves the connection between the ant’s head and body. The head falls off, and adult flies emerge from it.

Follow the link below for the rest of the story:

Parasitic fly spotted in honeybees, causes workers to abandon colonies.

Mirrored from Kristine Smith.

ksmith: (bride)

Courtesy of DISCOVER magazine, and based on !Science!

1. Objects dropped from rest will accelerate toward the ground at an approximately constant rate, up to corrections due to air resistance.

2. Of all the Radium-226 nuclei on the Earth today, 0.04% will decay by the end of the year.

3. A line drawn between any planet (or even dwarf planet) and the Sun will sweep out equal areas in equal times.

Go here for the rest.

Mirrored from Kristine Smith.

ksmith: (bride)

An absolutely marvelous time-lapse video of the Earth, taken from the ISS.

Gacked from Bad Astronomy.

Earth | Time Lapse View from Space, Fly Over | NASA, ISS from Michael König on Vimeo.

Mirrored from Kristine Smith.

ksmith: (bride)

How deep is the Mariana Trench? An infographic, courtesy of the inestimable Ed Yong.

Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom.

Mirrored from Kristine Smith.

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