Monday, August 23, 2010

My fitness plan

I thought you'd be interested in seeing my daily workout. I'm up first, followed by my brother and nephew.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Ultraviolet light reveals how ancient Greek statues really looked

"Original Greek statues were brightly painted, but after thousands of years, those paints have worn away. Find out how shining a light on the statues can be all that's required to see them as they were thousands of years ago."

Click the title bar to see more images and to read the article

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

No corkscrew? No problem!

Better busy than doing nothing, scientist proves

The secret to happiness is keeping busy, research has found. 

"Keeping the mind occupied with tasks - no matter how meaningless - staves off negative emotions, the study found. 

However, the bad news is that humans seem hard-wired to be lazy in order to save energy, according to Professor Christopher Hsee, a behavioural scientist at Chicago University.'

In a study 98 students were asked to complete two survey. After they had completed the first they were made to wait 15 minutes to receive the next one.

They were given a choice of either handing in the first survey nearby or at a more distant location they had to walk to. Whichever option they chose, they received a chocolate bar.

Two-thirds (68 per cent) chose the lazy option.

Those who had taken the walk reported feeling happier than those who had stayed put.
Prof Hsee concluded keeping busy helped keep people happy.

He said the findings, reported in the journal Psychological Science, had policy implications.
"Governments may increase the happiness of idle citizens by having them build bridges that are actually useless", he proposed.

At the individual level, he advised: "Get up and do something. Anything. Even if there really is no point to what you are doing, you will feel better for it."

He added: "Incidentally, thinking deeply or engaging in self-reflection counts as keeping busy, too.

"You do not need to be running around, – you just need to be engaged, either physically or mentally."

The academic revealed he had tested the principle by getting a research assistant to carry out pointless tasks.
"I know this is not particularly ethical, but he is happy," he said."


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Bath entrepreneur 'holds the key' to internet security

A Bath entrepreneur has been selected to safeguard the future of internet security across the world.

"Paul Kane - who lives in the Bradford-on-Avon area - has been chosen to look after one of seven keys, which will 'restart the world wide web' in the event of a catastrophic event.

Paul Kane on the right

Mr Kane, based at the University of Bath's SETsquared Innovation Centre, will be the key holder for Western Europe.

Six other people from across the globe have also been asked to look after a key.

In the event of a security breach - such as a terrorist attack - Mr Kane may be required to travel to a secure location in the US.

Here he will meet five other key holders, to recover the master signing key."

Monday, August 02, 2010

Universal translator?

Long live the Chevette

Chevrolet ChevetteImage via Wikipedia
My first car finally made it onto a Time magazine list! Unfortunately, it's the 50 Worst Cars of All Time list.

Actually, we were a Chevette family. My father had a yellow one like that pictured. I had a tan one. My mother had a powder blue one, which I inherited after mine became a Flinstonemobile (the floor underneath the pedals rusted out and went away in short order). Even my then-girlfriend purchased one in turquoise (the relationship didn't last long...and the Chevette might have been a contributing factor).

I'm not sure of this after all of these years, but I believe the car cost $1600.00 new. I do remember that the speedometer topped out at 80 MPH.

"I include the Chevy Chevette only to note that even the most unloved and unlovely cars have their partisans. There are Pacer fan clubs and Yugo fan clubs, and if there is a Chevette fan club, let it begin with me. My girlfriend in college had a diaper-brown Chevette three-door hatchback, as bare bones as an exhibit at the natural history museum. It had a 51-hp engine and a four-speed manual transmission and not much else. It was loud and it was tinny, but we drove that car across the country three times and it never failed us. Once I got a 85-mph speeding ticket in it. That was on the down slope of the Appalachians, but still. The last time I saw that Chevette it was still plugging along. Vaya con Dios, old paint."

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