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November 6, 2006, 8:20 PM CT

Pseudo French iPod Cases

Pseudo French iPod Cases
What to do if you feel your cool factor on the wane? Get your Francophilia on. Le Pod by Your Sister's Mustache is a kicky little iPod holder with four designs to choose from. But be forewarned: none of them has anything to do with France, French culture, or anything remotely French-related. Or at least I don't think so. (hmm). Seriously though, who cares about the throwaway Franglish used to promote this product.

The important thing is you will feel that special je ne sais quoi when, instead of scrounging in your bag for your iPod, you slide it out of one of these colorful holders conveniently tucked around the strap of your cooly ironic, yet sartorially astute hipster handbag or tote.........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source


November 6, 2006, 8:12 PM CT

Laser Scanner to Convert Real-life Object into a 3D Model

Laser Scanner to Convert Real-life Object into a 3D Model
ZCorporation has come up with its ZScanner 700, an accurate handheld laser scanner to convert any real-life object into a 3D model, which may fulfill your dream to become a computer graphics artist. The handheld scanner can capture almost any object from any angle, and wherever you want.

All you have to do is connect the system to your laptop with FireWire-, add the reflective targets to the object, attune without wasting any time and start scanning. Plug-and-play set-up saves your precious time. You may carry the portable, lightweight and mobile system anywhere you need.

Presenting Laptop computer, ZScan- software, Calibration plate validation, Carry-on case and Ergonomic support, the ZScanner 700 offers 0.1 mm (0.004 in) Z Axis resolution, weights 980 grams (2.1 lbs) and comes in 160 x 260 x 210 mm (6.25 x 10.2 8.2 in) dimension.

You may have to dig your pockets deep to get the ZScanner for $39,900.........

Posted by: John      Permalink         Source


November 6, 2006, 4:49 AM CT

Who Would Cut The Cake?

Who Would Cut The Cake?
Suppose a cake is to be divided between two people, Alice and Bob. A fair procedure is to have Alice cut the cake and then have Bob choose whichever piece he prefers. Alice has an incentive to cut the cake exactly in half, since she will be left with whichever piece Bob does not take.

This "you cut, I choose" method, known since time immemorial, has been used in dispute resolutions ranging from land division in the Bible to children's squabbles over birthday cake. An article to appear in the December 2006 issue of the Notices of the AMS draws on the power and precision of mathematics to show there are even better ways to cut a cake.

The three authors of the article, Steven J. Brams, Michael A. Jones, and Christian Klamler, point out that the cut-and-choose method has the desirable property of "envy-freeness": Neither person envies the other, because each knows he has gotten at least half the cake. But the method lacks another desirable property, that of equitability: The subjective value that the two people place on the pieces they get might not be the same. For example, suppose one half of the cake is frosted with vanilla icing and the other with chocolate icing, and suppose Alice values chocolate icing twice as much as vanilla. It is possible that Alice's valuation of the piece she gets will be less than Bob's valuation of his piece, making these the two valuations inequitable.........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source


November 6, 2006, 4:33 AM CT

Children's Belly Fat Increases More Than 65 Percent

Children's Belly Fat Increases More Than 65 Percent
Abdominal obesity increased more than 65 percent among boys and almost 70 percent among girls between 1988 and 2004. The finding of growing girth is significant because abdominal obesity has emerged as a better predictor of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes risk than the more commonly used Body Mass Index, a weight to height ratio that can sometimes be misleading.

As the first nationally representative study to document the increase in children's belly fat, the study in today's Pediatrics paints a bleak picture for these children who have a higher risk of heart disease, adult-onset diabetes and metabolic syndrome. The good news is that, for children and adolescents, the health effects are often reversible through improved lifestyle for weight loss.

"Kids, teens and adults who have early stages of atherosclerosis in their arteries can have a healthy cardiovascular system again," said Stephen Cook, M.D., an assistant professor of Pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center's Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong and an author of the study about childhood abdominal obesity. "Older adults who have plaque build up have a much harder battle, especially if the plaque has calcified".

Measuring waist circumference is not a "vital sign" normally taken in a visit to the doctor. A BMI is commonly calculated at a well visit, but there are limitations to those measurements. A very muscular person may register a high BMI score, even if he is very healthy and has an average waist circumference. On the flip side, a sedentary child may not register a very high BMI score, but if he carries a lot of fat around his middle, he may be at a higher risk for health problems than other children with the same BMI score.........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source


November 5, 2006, 9:18 PM CT

Toddlers Learn Complex Actions From Picture-book

Toddlers Learn Complex Actions From Picture-book
Parents who engage in the age-old tradition of picture-book reading are not only encouraging early reading development in their children but are also teaching their toddlers about the world around them, as per a research studyin the recent issue of Developmental Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association (APA). This finding shows that interactions with life-like color pictures can aid in children's learning.

Parents of preschool children reported that they own dozens of children's picture books and spend approximately 40 minutes a day reading books to their small children. To determine the extent of a young child's ability to learn from a picture-book, psychology expert Gabrielle Simcock, PhD, University of Queensland and co-author and psychology expert Judy DeLoache, PhD, University of Virginia, tested if toddlers could imitate specific target actions on novel real-world objects on the basis of a picture-book interaction.

A total of 132 children from three different age groups (18 months, 24 months and 30 months) participated in two studies to determine if age influenced a toddler's ability to learn how to construct a simple rattle from a picture-book reading. In the first study, two groups of children ages 18, 24 and 30-months, were given one of two picture books. One contained six color photographs and the other contained colored pencil drawings that were reproductions of the photograph. At the end of the reading, the children were asked to construct a rattle using the items in front of them. The study revealed that a number of of the children were able to imitate the actions depicted and described in the book.........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source


November 2, 2006, 9:09 PM CT

Which Is More Annoying, Spam Or Direct Mail?

Which Is More Annoying, Spam Or Direct Mail?
You open up your e-mail inbox and are inundated with spam that offers everything from inkjet cartridges to "investment opportunities" that are obviously too good to be true. You open up your mailbox at home to find more unsolicited ads, everything from pizza coupons to credit card offers.

Ever wonder which is more annoying?

As per a new study by a researcher in the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, most people find spam more intrusive and irritating than direct mail. The study, reported in the fall issue of the Journal of Interactive Advertising, also explores why people find spam so annoying.

"Overall, spam definitely is regarded as more annoying, irritating and intrusive than postal direct mail," said Mariko Morimoto, assistant professor of advertising. "That was pretty much our hypothesis. And while it's easy to figure out that spam is more annoying, I also wanted to know why".

Morimoto and co-author of study Susan Chang, assistant professor of advertising and public relations at the University of Miami, randomly assigned 119 college students to a survey that asked about either spam or direct mail. On a scale of one to seven, where one is most intrusive and seven is least intrusive, students gave spam an average intrusiveness score of 1.93 in comparison to 4.24 for direct mail. For irritation, the average score was 2.46 for spam in comparison to 3.87 for direct mail.........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source


November 2, 2006, 5:03 AM CT

Serotonin Child Abuse Link

Serotonin Child Abuse Link
A research team observed that when baby rhesus monkeys endured high rates of maternal rejection and mild abuse in their first month of life, their brains often produced less serotonin, a chemical that transmits impulses in the brain. Low levels of serotonin are linked to anxiety and depression and impulsive aggression in both humans and monkeys.

Abused females who became abusive mothers in adulthood had lower serotonin in their brains than abused females who did not become abusive parents, the research showed.

Because the biological make up of humans and monkeys is quite similar, the findings from the monkey research could be valuable in understanding human child abuse, said Dario Maestripieri, Associate Professor in Comparative Human Development at the University of Chicago.

"This research could have important implications for humans because we do not fully understand why some abused children become abusive parents and others don't," Maestripieri said. The research suggests that therapys with drugs that increase brain serotonin early in an abused child's life could reduce the likelihood that the child will grow up to become abusive, Maestripieri said.

Maestripieri is lead author of a paper reporting the research, "Early Maternal Rejection Affects the Development of Monoaminergic Systems and Adult Abusive Parenting in Rhesus Macaques" reported in the current issue of Behavioral Neuroscience.........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source


November 1, 2006, 8:23 PM CT

New Study Forecasts Democratic Takeover

New Study Forecasts Democratic Takeover Joseph Bafumi (Photo by Joseph Mehling '69)
A new study, "Forecasting House Seats from Generic Congressional Polls" authored by Dartmouth Professor of Government Joseph Bafumi and his colleagues at Columbia and Temple universities, predicts that based on current ballot polling data, the Democratic Party can expect to gain 32 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives in the Nov. 7 mid-term congressional elections. Such a gain would guarantee the Democrats a House majority and exceed a number of current forecasts for Democratic gains in the House.

The study, co-authored by Robert Erikson of Columbia University and Christopher Wlezien of Temple University, translates the results of generic congressional polls conducted by CNN, USA Today/Gallup, ABC/Washington Post, Fox/Opinion Dynamics and Newsweek into the partisan midterm swing. The polling data they used asked respondents which party they would choose in the next election. As per that analysis, Democratic congressional candidates are predicted to receive 55 percent of the votes cast, plus or minus a few percentage points.

The study then goes on to analyze whether that majority of votes is likely to translate into a majority of House seats. Combining the partisan swing, estimated from the generic congressional polls, with historical data at the congressional district level, they predict which party will win each district race. The scientists observed that if Democrats receive even 53 percent of votes cast, the probability that they will win enough seats to take over the House increases to more than 90 percent.........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source


November 1, 2006, 4:41 AM CT

Rock Climbing Does Not Increase Risk Of Osteoarthritis

Rock Climbing Does Not Increase Risk Of Osteoarthritis
A study in the US has found there is no greater risk of osteoarthritis in rock climbers in comparison to non climbers, contrary to prior theory.

The study, reported in the recent issue of Journal of Anatomy, examined osteological changes in the hands and fingers of rock climbers that result from intense, long-term mechanical stress placed on these bones. Specifically, whether rock climbing leads to increased cortical bone thickness and joint changes linked to osteoarthritis. Scientists also wanted to identify whether climbing intensity and frequency of different styles of climbing influence changes.

Adam Sylvester of the University of Tennessee explains: "Radiographs of both hands were taken for each participant and were scored for radiographic signs of osteoarthritis using an atlas method. We compared 27 recreational rock climbers and 35 non-climbers for four measures of bone strength and dimensions and osteoarthritis. The results suggest that climbers are not at an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis compared with non-climbers.

Climber's finger and hand bones are, however, greater in cross-sectional area and total width, indicating that additional bone is being deposited on the external surface, not commonly seen in adults. The strength of the finger and hand bones are correlated with styles of climbing that emphasize athletic difficulty. Significant predictors include the highest levels achieved in bouldering and sport climbing".........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source


October 31, 2006, 7:24 PM CT

Download Soundflavor DJ

Download Soundflavor DJ
Windows only: Freeware application Soundflavor DJ is an iTunes companion designed primarily as a playlist generator.

We've been seeing a lot of playlist generators for iTunes lately, but so far Soundflavor has impressed me the most. Like the rest, Soundflavor fingerprints your music and builds playlists based on similarity of fingerprints (with the option to populate playlists with more or less similar music); by now this whole things become fairly old hat, but Soundflavor has still managed to impress me with innovative extras, like concert notifications when artists in your library are playing in your area (free registration with Soundflavor required) and the ability to integrate songs from other shared iTunes libraries on your network (!).

My only complaint with Soundflavor is that its interface is a bit stutter-y on my computer (it's also got around a 40MB memory footprint, which ain't terribly small). Then again, these are the kind of complaints I make when I'm particularly interested in a software, so I certainly think it's worth a try. Soundflavor DJ is a free download, currently Windows only with the promise of a Mac version in the works. - Adam Pash.

Site........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source


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