Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Check out: http://onwisconsin.uwalumni.com/features/milk-matters/
As you know, Wisconsin is The Dairy State, to the tune of $26 billion a year. And the university owns cows. Yet, only 85 undergrads and 45 grad students come from farms.
But getting milk right is an obsession. DNA, big data--all are involved.
Most researchers are men, but one, a woman, is about to give birth and will actually experience their obsession with lactation and mammaries. She is obsessed with the latter herself, she says. Cows, it seems, put more calcium in their milk than they can take in, so they need serotonin to free calcium from their bones to their blood--this means they must "take" serotonin-based drugs. Some have been patented there.
This is just a little of the milk lore.
And did you know most adults are lactose intolerant--but they can still eat cheese. Many of the researchers cannot even have milk with their Oreos.
And--I did not know this--custom dictates that dairy cows' names begin with the same letter their mother's name started with.
Friday, November 22, 2013
Anyhow, fun article by Alexis Madrigal in Next Gov magazine, Nov 21, 2013.
Apparently there is a rumor going around that Google is working on man-dolphin communication (I assume to get more users).
She says interest in this waxes and wanes.
A guy named Doug Michels lobbied for years to build a dolphin embassy under the sea to communicate with sea mammals. That's an artist's rendition in the picture. Never built.
There was also a push for a water-filled space station with a supercomputer and a dolphin crew.
Never built. And the guy was asked to step away from the vodka very slowly.
Now the Google X-dolphin thing. In a New Yorker story on Google's research arm, Google X, reference was made to cybernetic dolphins.
The author of the Next Gov piece wrote to Google, but some buzzkill there said sarcastically that she hadn't seen any dolphin tanks out back.
Well, there is a Google Glass guy from Georgia Tech who is working on some communication deal with dolphins. Apparently a diver outfitted with a complete acoustic system and a keypad on his forearm tries to see if dolphins are using "words" they taught them.
The dolphins probably think it's a giggle not a Google.
Friday, November 15, 2013
Well, two researchers at the Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto have demonstrated an invisibility cloak that's thin and scalable.
Professor George Eleftheriades and PdD student Michael Selvanayagam found a way to surround an object with small antennas that radiate an electromagnetic field that cancels any waves scattering off the cloaked object. (Nov 12, 2013 Physical Review X).
Light and radio waves get bounced away--voila, no way to "see" the object.
At present the antennas, which can be printed flat like a blanket or skin (or say a cloak), must be tuned to the frequency they are trying to cancel--but this can be corrected, the scientists say.
OK--we are now above my pay grade.
They say this can be used to "hide" bases or military hardware--but what about little kids wanting to sneak in their siblings' rooms?
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Gates said interconnectivity as a world savior was "a joke."
Apparently some unnamed entrepreneur echoed the latter in The New Yorker, saying that thinking Facebook was a panacea for the world's problems isn't cynicism, but arrogance and ignorance.
Gates, who is well known for, along with his wife, Melinda, for spending billions on eradicating malaria and polio, said, "What is more important, connectivity or malaria vaccine?"
He went on to say that he loved IT, but when you want to improve lives you need to deal with basics like keeping kids alive and feeding them.
I read one story where the writer went on to say that everything Zuckerberg put into FB, he could have dedicated to curing TB.
Does expanding connectivity get Zuckerberg more FB users? Sure. But so would keeping more people alive.
I guess it comes down to your priorities. Theirs differ. And if more people use the internet, I am sure Gates get some of that, too.
So what do you think?
Or do you feel antsy when moguls fight?
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
She used a kitchen knife, tempera paint, and stamp pad ink.
People love to whack up orange gourds, as the site pointed out.
Everyone needs some fun sometime--to get their creative freak on.
In DC, they used to feed pumpkins to the elephants at the zoo--they had a good time, too.
For more great gourd savaging, go to: http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20750271_30044220,00.html
May not be up long--this fun comes but once a year.
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Personally, I don't like "bundling" where on say, your phone service, you pay more to get rid of features. Clever on their part, irritating as fleas on meth on my part. And why can't we pay 50 cents a month for each cable channel we actually watch, including the movie ones?
No one asked me, nor as far as I can tell, anyone else.
So maybe Kelley--who is a little twee for my tastes--is on to something here. (I am not sure what "twee" means, I just like it.)
I want new colors--yes, there are 200 shades of red--but they are all red. OK--we are limited by the light spectrum. I hate that! New colors, I say! Like murk, maybe, or dazz.
Gravity is so handy for setting things down and expecting them to stay there. But not so great for human flesh. Not sure what we can do about that.
I am sick of the lightbulb as the symbol of creativity. And that box! We should lose that baby. Maybe a basket or muffin tin?
As for cliches--clams are not ecstatic that I can see (of course, I usually meet them in their chowder form). And "kick the can down the road"--let's can that kick until further notice.
Monday, October 14, 2013
But, apparently, people do want to read high tech snark--we are up to 11K hits since Jan.
Kidding aside, Melissa Korn took this up in the WSJ October 9, 2013, when she talked about new approaches to teaching innovation at the university level.
Out are the blah-blah lectures and in are the hands-on innovating opportunities.
Item: Luke Williams' course at New York University's Stern School of Business. This will be two days, cost $2,800, and will offer step-by-step plans for innovation by individuals and teams.
One exercise--if a cell phone doesn't work, instead of thinking the battery has run out, think why cell phones even need batteries.
Item: Columbia Business school has two new courses, one of which called Reinventing Innovation.
Whoa--pretty existential! Oh, OK--applicants have to measure their tolerance for ambiguity first. Whew.
Item: Dartmouth School of Biz--Leading Innovation from Idea to Execution. Pretty linear there. But it does try to rein in wild-eyed innovators with a lot of practical financial thinking.
There are also some innovation courses online. Check out the Haas School of Business at the University of California.
What do you think? Can this crazy stuff be taught--or should anyone with a bent be given a million bucks and a year off to do their worst? Kind of like those designers on Project Runway.