Monthly Archives: July 2005

Friends, Romans, Shoppers: Lend Me Your Ears

Identity technology is still very much in the news this week, with a British scientist speculating that we should use ears as a way of identifying people.

Professor Mark Nixon of University of Southampton told BBC World Service’s Outlook programme that ears do not change much as we get older, unlike other body parts.

Funny. I thought ears and noses continued to grow for your entire life — the reason old people have such big ears.

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Shuttle, Shuttle, Everywhere

It looks like the space shuttle is all over the Sunday morning talk shows today. As anybody who has three brain cells knows by now, some stuff fell off the external tank on the way up. I just got through watching the NASA administrator on NBC.

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Think You Know Your Market? Fuggettaboutit

One of the interesting points in the book I’m reading now, “A Good Hard Kick in the Ass”, is that most inventors think they know their market. But having a general feeling about “what to fix” in the world and having a specific description and plan are two different things.

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$16 Million Fridge Magnet

What do you get when you pay sixteen million bucks for a magnet? A big honking magnet, that’s what. Weighing in at more than 15 tons, the magnet took 13 years to develop. Reports are unconfirmed that it is actually in the shape of California.

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Touring the World Media

I like to read foreign political stories, mainly because it is so fascinating as an American to see the arguments we have here played out in other venues. Watching America is a neat web site that takes foreign newspaper stories and translates them into English — the idea being that most English-speaking people never get to read what is written about world politics in other languages. (BTW, I have no idea about the political leanings of this site — apologies if if offends anyone. I just think it is neat reading articles from foreign papers.) Some interesting ones from this week:

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Biggest Security Hole This Year

This is the biggest security hole discovered so far this year — word that Cisco routers are open to attack. You got an operating system bug, or something wrong with IE? That’s nice — patch your OS or don’t visit certain sites. But if your router is vulnerable? Your network is wide-open.

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Maggot Man Dies

Man who was being eaten by maggots died yesterday. This has got me confused, as I was under the impression that maggots only eat dead skin, and are actually theraputic. In fact, this attribute was first noticed during the American Civil War, when surgeons were not always able to treat men on time, and sometimes they stayed in the field and heat for days before medical treatment arrived. Strangely enough, victims who had the most maggots also had the cleanest wounds. Sometimes just because it looks broken doesn’t mean that it is.

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Exciting Study

Here’s a very exciting study from the world of health: scientists are beginning human trials for stem cell therapy on heart patients after intial success with pigs. It’s unknown what the pigs did to get heart disease — one pictures a bunch of pigs, sitting around in a laboratory drinking beer and watching footbal games, but the scientists did not elaborate.

I have close relatives that have almost completely lost their heart function — I wish there were some way I could get them involved in this study.

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