25 April 2010

Sunday Smorgasbord

With baseball season underway, this is a good time to recall a Cincinnati Reds player who in 2004 hit a baseball into an adjoining state.

Our state has been besieged by meteorite hunters this week after one lit up the skies and crashed here.  Part of the interest is scientific, and part of it is financial, because meteorites can be sold for $2 - $8 per gram.

A split-belt treadmill has been developed; the left side and right side can move at different speeds.  It's not as crazy as it sounds; it was created for the rehabilitation of stroke patients who have a weak leg that doesn't take a full stride length.

Jerusalem Post reports that the week following Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Day), Israel implemented a law requiring Palestinians to show their papers or be deported; some wags are calling this Holocaust Irony Week.

If you bank online, you are at risk from the Zeus banking virus.  It is a keystroke-logger that has infected about one out of every 3,000 computers.

An editorial at the Guardian expresses the somewhat-fringe(y) but widely believed opinion that the world financial meltdown was not the result of innocent accidental mistakes, but rather part of a global con game.

A concise piece on the SEC's case accusing Goldman Sachs of financial fraud.

A store in California was found to be selling food after its expiration date.  Way after the expiration date.  Way, WAY after the expiration date.  Some items had expiration dates from 10-15 years ago.  Note, this is NOT illegal.  Caveat emptor.

Several reports this week about a newly recognized fungus (a type of Cryptococcus) which is "thriving" in Oregon and spreading to other states.  Unlike conventional crypto, this one infects normal people.  Other reports suggest it is more of a curiosity than a threat.  Time will tell.

Some of you will remember when the Please Rob Me website was launched to bring to people's attention the risks they run by postiing their activities on social networking sites.  Now some insurance companies are indicating that they may raise homeowner's insurance rates for Facebook and Twitter users.

I believe I've posted the "Pale Blue Dot" video before.  Gizmodo has it now, along with full text of Carl Sagan's narrative.

Pepsico, maker of Frito-Lay potato chips, is redesigning the salt crystal.  Apparently they are going to make it plate-like rather than the conventional cubic shape, so that it will dissolve more quickly in the mouth and not be swallowed undissolved.  If that works, it may be possible to impart the same "saltiness" to chips while ingesting less salt overall.  More details at Popsci.

A brief video shows why ibex have curved horns.

Bohemian Rhapsody covered by P!nk.

Photo credit LandLearn NSW.


  1. The link the Zeus article is duplicated from Jerusalem Post article.

  2. Fixed. Thanx for the heads-up, jimfl.


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