Racefan’s Ramblings

Collecting my thoughts, news and inspirations on Tech, Psychology, Motorsport and … well anything!! . . . . . . . . . STILL UNDER DEVELOPMENT IN LIMITED SPARE TIME!

Archive for the ‘Idle thoughts’ Category

Ruminations about life in general

Bees sniff bombs on the breeze

Posted by Pat Kershaw on November 30, 2006

I know this is a serious scientific … um … breakthrough, but I laughed out loud!

Guess there are some cheap sniffer dogs on the early retirement market?

From ABC Online News in Science

Bees have been trained to sniff out explosives in a project scientists say could have far-reaching applications for security and the Iraq war.Scientists at a US weapons laboratory say they trained honey bees to stick out their proboscis, the tube they use to feed on nectar, when they smell explosives in anything from cars and roadside bombs to belts similar to those used by suicide bombers.

At least they have a sense of humor, the project title? … Stealthy Insect Sensor Project.

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Why do all our gadgets break?

Posted by Pat Kershaw on November 29, 2006

I agree 100% with this story on Crave (Cnet.com). I have been through so many mobiles, they make them with the screens easily scratch, weak pivots, and electronics that break when you drop them in your pocket!!
From the article

Why do all our gadgets break?“Of course, we live in an upgrade culture, in which mobile phones, laptops and iPods are discarded for cosmetic reasons as much as technical. But there is a
splinter cell whose members don’t want to upgrade their current product, yet is forced to by the increasingly poor build quality of many modern consumer electronics.

… Engineers have built obsolescence into mass-produced technology since the 1920s. There are two kinds of planned deterioration in a product: one is technical, the other is stylistic.
The fashion industry relies on your eagerness to keep up with changes in style to keep their new products selling, while the technology industry used to rely on the simple fact that computers were never
quite fast enough for the average user.

And the kicker

The electronics industry has clearly spotted this problem, [how to get people to keep buying their products when they havn’t improved much] and has worked out a simple way to make you upgrade even if you’re not a slave to fashion: your gadgets will simply break within the year. The evolution of the microchip to a point where the average consumer cannot tax it technically has ushered in The Age of the Flimsy — delicate, beautiful supermodels that can’t go the distance.

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Absolutly useless trivia — No l

Posted by Pat Kershaw on November 29, 2006

Trivia LogoI don’t remember where I read this, But it is a real statistic, there are over 1500 people killed EVERY YEAR mining COAL. So how old is the nuclear industry?

From reccolection the same story said that even post Chenoble, there is less than 2000 people who have been HURT or effected negatively by nuclear accidents…

Now I ask you

  Is Coal safer? Who For?

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Absolutly useless trivia — No l

Posted by Pat Kershaw on November 25, 2006

Trivia    Most people assume that we sear steaks in order to “seal in thejuices”. This is completely false.         Technically speaking, a steak cooked at high temperatures contains less of its own juice, as that
alluring sizzling noise is actually the sound of the meat’s own liquid evaporating into thin air. (For maximum retention of natural juices, cook the steak slow and steady, and don’t salt until the end).
Nevertheless, our intuitions aren’t compelety crazy: even if a well-seared steak is literally drier, it still tastes juicier. The disquieting explanation of this culinary illusion is that a well-seared steak – its Maillard crust crisp and crackling, its interior plush and bloody – makes us drool in anticipation. As a result, when we eat the more appetizing – yet less juicy – steak, the meat seems to be juicier. However, what we are actually sensing is our own saliva, which the brain induced our salivary glands to release.

Our personal decision to drool warps our sensory experience of the steak!

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Summary of the Australian Nuclear Power Debate

Posted by Pat Kershaw on November 22, 2006

coolingtowers221106.jpgI saw this as I was scrolling through a few days backlog.

1. It is a long post, but covers a lot of territory.
2. I have been to several doctors and hurt my bad back in the process (getting an X-Ray!) I will be tied up a bit next week as I have ANOTHER MRI and more specialists. Starting to look like they may actually operate!!!

Anyway, the nuclear issue in Australia is really kicking on. I have a few other posts that should be before this quote from the ABC, but they will come 2-morrow!!! I decided to summarize into one post. They are all basically from the ABC News Online; although that not where I first found it, they do good, clear concise stories!

Read the rest of this entry »

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I’m Doomed!

Posted by Pat Kershaw on November 15, 2006

acedamia.jpgDid you know that single men die younger? ” But this should wake you up a little:

[…] and lack of a marital partner was associated with mortality before age 85 years.”


It pays to get married then, if you like a long life. (Although, frankly, 85 seems like a pretty grand old age as well.)

The study How to Live a Longer, Healthier Life — for Men� by John M. Grohol, Psy.D., actually found you need to eat right, exercise and not smoke or drink to much. So most of it was not that earth shattering!
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Subject: politically-correctness: the ugly side

Posted by Pat Kershaw on November 15, 2006

topiccensorship.gifI received this from a friend in an E-mail today.
      1. It is a joke?
      2. It scary how close to reality it is
      3. Will common sense ever win out?

CHILDREN at a British childcare centre have been taught to sing “Baa baa rainbow sheep” to avoid causing offense.

NEWS.com.au asked their readers to rewrite your favourite nursery rhyme to make it more politically correct. Read the rest of this entry »

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Local Boy comes good

Posted by Pat Kershaw on November 14, 2006

From the ABC.

Will is a local Toowoomba boy, and deserves everything he has achieved. He has worked hard for it, and maintains a wonderfully level headed outlook. Go Will!

Power podiums, secures Rookie title

Australian driver Will Power claimed his first Champ Car World Series podium placing and sealed Rookie of the Year honours at the season-ending race in Mexico City this morning.Power, from Toowoomba in south-east Queensland, finished third behind Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais and England’s Justin Wilson.

Power became the first Australian to claim a Champ Car podium finish since Geoff Brabham finished third in the season finale in 1987.

His effort elevated Power into sixth place in the championship standings, making him the highest-finishing Australian in the Champ Car World Series standings, eclipsing Brabham’s eighth place finishes in the championship in 1982, 1984 and 1987.

Bourdais bumped his way past England’s Wilson on the final lap to capture the race, ending the season with seven wins from 14 starts.

Bourdais, 27, had already sealed his third consecutive Champ Car crown thanks to his eighth-place showing on the Gold Coast.

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Queensland Health- And Australias, wierd prioprities

Posted by Pat Kershaw on November 14, 2006


The opinionator

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Caffiene helps concentration? Fact or Falacy?

Posted by Pat Kershaw on November 12, 2006

Caffiene helps concentration? Fact or Falacy?

I have always loved a good cup of coffee, and am always hearing all the old wives tales about it. here is an article from Cognitive Daily. I certainly are not going to stop drinking it. Besides with the painkillers I am on a bit of cafiene may actually help. I am trying a new post style, Let me know what you think. I have to much time not being able to get out due to the pain, so can’t stop playing to keep mind occupied!

Cognitive Daily: Caffeine and concentration

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If you’re like me, sometimes you feel as if you couldn’t get anything done at all if it weren’t for coffee. I’m sipping from a cup right now as I write this (a double Americano, in case you’re curious). Caffeine seems to perk me up just enough to organize my thoughts into a coherent whole.But Hugo at AlphaPsy points out that caffeine’s effects aren’t all good. If you give a spider a large dose, her web will be a random mess instead of a beautiful spiral. Even more fascinating are the human responses to arguments while under the influence of caffeine: In these experiments, people were made to drink an orange juice before they proceeded. In one condition, the orange juice contained some added caffeine: in the other it was pure orange juice. When the attitudes were measured after the persuasive message, it was found that the attitudes of participants under caffeine had changed more than that of the control participants.But coffee doesn’t just make you more gullible: quite the contrary. In another experiment, the researchers studied the effect of argument strength. They did exactly the same thing as in the first case, but this time there were two types of arguments: the strong ones and the weak ones. It turns out that people under caffeine are not more convinced by weak arguments, but only by strong ones. So in fact caffeine makes you more suited to understand the strength of good arguments.Potent stuff, this caffeine.

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