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July

Flies
Scientists find key to fly's maneuverability and the speed with which they elude fly swatters. Why is it so hard to catch a fly? "Fly's eyes can see movement 10 times faster than the human eye." They relay visual info directly to their wings' steering appartus. "House flies can change course in response to visual images within an amazingly short 30 milliseconds." via iBlog

Will this knowledge help you swat flies more effectively? No, but it may help when engineering your fly-powered paper airplane.

Fire and Ice
North Pole running out of ice. There's an ice-free patch of water at the top of the world. "The last time scientists can be certain the pole was awash in water was more than 50 million years ago and say it provides more evidence that global warming is already affecting climate . " More detail at the National Snow and Ice Data Center's State of the Cyrosphere. If all that doesn't warm you up, check out the National Interagency Fire Center's wildland fire map.

New browsers
Is Your Site Ready for Netscape 6? Webmonkey article discusses the good news and bad about the long overdue NN6. "Pages that are coded specifically for Netscape 4 will not render well on this new version... Most notably, <LAYER> and <ILAYER> are gibberish to Navigator 6 and will be ignored. The same goes for the Navigator 4 DOM extentions - if you use document.layers[] in your JavaScript, it will fail. In fact, Navigator 6 will be more similar to IE 4 and IE 5 than to Navigator 4."

E-journalists banned from the Olympics
The International Olympic Committee has banned online journalists from covering the games. Read NUblog's editorial. There is an un-official site which is sure to get it self in trouble - silly2000.com - a parody site with articles like "UK: Dressage hooliganism on the rise".

Knowledge database
Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy - Earth edition is another contributable knowledge database. Learn about Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, How to Keep Children Amused on Long Journeys, and How to make Lutefisk. I went right to the very good alcohol section.

Navigation Interfaces
Rhizome's has two interesting navigation interfaces to get to its content. Starrynight works on the constellation metaphor - content is represented as stars, and keywords link the stars in constellations. "Each star gets brighter the more often it is clicked on. The brightest stars have been visited the most, while the dimmest stars have been visited the least." Spiral, is another interface, which uses a spinning-warpdrive-type timeline.

Weekend reading assignments
Here's a few web-work related articles

Science Projects
Ever want to learn how to start a fire with a bow, make fake blood, invisible ink, a Tesla coil or a cloud chamber? Bizarre stuff is a colection of home science projects. "It is a sort of warped semi-scientific cookbook of tricks, gimmicks, and pointless experimentation, concoctions, and devices, using, for the most part, things found around the house." Its a great place for aspiring Macgyvers. You can even learn how to make a shruken head (like most of the experiment pages, this one carries an obvious disclaimer). The matchstick rocket experiment page leads to the Matchstick Rocket Lab, where tiny-rocket scientists collaborate on tiny propulsion system design.

Star Map found in Lascaux
A German researcher has determined that several of the ice-age drawings in the caves of Lascaux are star maps. The enigmatic drawings of a bull, bird man and a bird on a stick may have been a prehistoric zodiac. These drawings are in the Shaft of the Dead Man section of the cave. (for Lascaux's site's navigational frames click on that link, then follow the Discover and Virtual Visit links to that section). The eyes of the eyes of the bull, birdman and bird supposedly represent the three prominent stars Vega, Deneb and Altair, which according to this week's Sky at a Glance Are some of the brightest stars this month. "The brightest star nearly overhead right after dark this month is Vega. The brightest in the southeastern sky, rather high, is Altair. Even higher in the east-northeast is Deneb. These three stars form the big Summer Triangle." You can use this star chart for August to find them.

Fun with Anagrams
Ran "knowledge is power" through this anagram maker and got back these results. I could change the name of this blog to any of these.
  • we owe dog sprinkle
  • pew owners godlike
  • we do work sleeping
  • owls know pedigree
  • we is pro knowledge
  • pig owe elk downers
Thanks to array

Political links
Here's a few links relating to the Presidential Candidates and the Internet

The Hunley
Alot of search engines are finding me when looking for the Hunley raising. So I thought I'd post the most recent links about the 39.5 foot long Confederate sub:
  • MSNBC story with some pictures and a video of a computer recreation.
  • The Friends of the Hunley offers detail about the Sub, recovery and conservation efforts while they ask for donations.
  • Charleston.net has more links to other Hunley sites and updated news articles.


iBooks
Without getting too epiniony - I've had an iBook for awhile now, and am extremely pleased with it. (The only problem I've had is with a third party USB mouse that stops working after an hour or so in ceratin applications. I unplug it, and plug it back in and it works. Very wierd.) But now its time to get serious and set-up an Airport network at home. Here's a MacWeek article on some non-traditional uses for it, along with some discussion about installation and speed. However the Author, David K. Every - editor of MacKido, says: "I can take the laptop out into a grassy area in front of the condo and have a picnic while I work in the sunlight". You should be warned against dreaming of working outside in the sun. While you can tilt the iBook screen to avoid glare, its almost impossible to see the screen if you're in direct sunlight. .

PC Security
Haven't seen this around much - Adobe has released a Patch for Acrobat that eliminates a security hole. "This vulnerability could be exploited by a malicious user who could create a PDF file that, when viewed in Acrobat on Windows, would cause Acrobat to crash or to run arbitrary code on the machine."

Meanwhile Netscape's Java has a serious hole and an emailed Microsoft Word attachment could be made into a potent Trojan horse. [Insert standard Mac laugh here]
.


Lake Michigan
To protect the Mississippi from exotic, aquatic species, the Army Corps of Engineering is working on an Aquatic Nuisance Species Dispersal Barrier in the Chicago Ship and Sanitary Canal, which connects the Great Lakes and the Mississippi basin. The barrier will be an underwater electric fence. This Fox News Page on the subject explains the problem and the solution. For more about the Great Lakes, including news about the environment and economy see the Great Lakes Information Network.

Canadian Water
Canada could be a water superpower within 25 years when it becomes one of the few countries in the world with enough fresh water. "Canada is home to roughly 40 per cent of the Earth's store of fresh water, experts say that Canada could become the Saudi Arabia of water." .

Weblogs
Dan of Lake Effect not only redesigned, he updated the Chicago Weblogs page with a few new ones. .


Bootlegging
As napster continues to operate, the government ignores the real threat the internet holds for an entire industry: Needlepointers who swap pattern designs " Making matters more complicated, the practice may also be spreading to knitting and crocheting." via found objects.

Weblogs
Its been a while since I've pointed to any good Weblogs. Here's a few:
  • Ideaphore In the category of science/world around us blogs, this one does what I believe a good blog should - find worthwhile links and describe them so I know where I'm going. Lots of original links - a sign of a good Web explorer.
  • Array Art and applied tech news. Lots of links daily to popular to obscure media sources. Also includes regular software update news.
  • Booknotes books, libraries, preservation, online literature links.
  • SiteSherpa Two week-old news blog
  • Bottomquark Science and technology news and discussion. Slashdot for science enthuasists. Good links, not exactly raging discussions yet.


Dinosaur birds
The November '99 National Geographic featured a 125-million-year-old fossil of "Archaeoraptor liaoningensis" and claimed it as the long-sought missing link between birds and dinosaurs. Now they find out it was a fake. "Storrs Olson, the curator of birds at the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History, fired off a letter to the magazine characterizing its piece as "sensationalistic, unsubstantiated, tabloid journalism." He also blasted the editors for featuring an "illicit" fossil and noted that they had committed a taxonomic faux pas by bestowing a scientific name on a creature in a journalistic forum." via ghost rocket.

Mosquitos
The West Nile virus scare has made me complie this list of mosquito info.



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