Last night I read M. Luke McDonnell's The Perfect Specimen. This kindle short, by an old friend, takes some modern day ethical challenges and plays them out in the near future.
A cancer researcher is given a grant on a far away world. As the colony is a corporate settlement, ethical concerns about testing are far less important than intellectual property rights and making cash. Immature and taken advantage of, every choice our protagonist makes seems to be the wrong one. Things work out in the end.
McDonnell offers an interesting take on how intellectual property rights may play out if we stay on our current path.
The Perfect Specimen by M. Luke McDonnell
Lionfish have become an invasive challenge along the southern Atlantic coast of the United States. Lauren Arrington's science fair project demonstrated that invasive lionfish can survive in water far less saline than previously thought.
From Uncover California:
When Lauren started to study the lionfish for her sixth grade science fair, she did not know that her discovery would one day overwhelm conservationists. She started to study the creature with the help of her father, who has a Ph.D. in fish ecology. She initially thought that lionfish would not be able to survive in water with salinity less than 12 parts per 1,000. This level of salinity is one-third of the ocean salinity.
Lauren reduced the salinity beyond that and reached to six parts per 1,000. She was surprised to find that the fish was doing really well. However, Lauren decided not to further reduce the salinity, fearing that might kill the fish. North Carolina State University ecology professor Craig Layman tried to make use of findings available from the study of Lauren. He built upon her findings and found that the invasive lionfish is well capable of surviving in nearly fresh water.
**UPDATE: Researcher Zack Judd claims the research does not belong to the young girl and he has been taken advantage of. (Via io9)
Some Florida men found a "mannequin" hanging in a vacant garage they were cleaning out. "Israel Lopez and Adam Hines told authorities they thought the former renters had left a "Halloween-like" hoax. Lopez hauled the debris to the landfill while Hines continued cleaning."
LJ Kummer's Fun as Hell is a great kindle single. A fast read about a journalist and his girlfriend who take a training course intended to show civilians what war is all about.
Kummer share the tale of journalist coming to understand why he writes. As he and his surgeon girlfriend experience a rigorous military training program, the protagonist each exercise helps him understand why he has chosen his career.
Kummer doesn't leave you with a firm ending, but he manages to use the short story telling format well and leaves you thinking about what comes next.
Fun as Hell by LJ Kummer
I am deeply tempted to build this beautiful model of the iconic 1962 VW camper van. I may hold out for a Vanagon, however.
My MacBook Air has a small SSD and there is no way to upgrade it, I've recently started carrying an SDD, in this handy $18 SSD optimized external storage case.
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To celebrate the release of his new album, Mara Altman interviewed Weird Al Yankovic. I'm completely unsurprised that Al is a wonderful artist who really loves what he does.
When you get past Altman's short description of her trip/soul journey to Weird Al's house in LA, and the interview begins, this Kindle Single is excellent. I felt like Al really enjoyed the interview and shares a lot about what it takes to be a well-known recording artist for 30 years. He goes to church, avoids getting involved in politics and just wants to entertain people.
This is a very short and fast read, only 66 pages, but it was well worth the .99 to learn something about a guy so cool as to be called 'Weird.'
Weird Al Yankovic: The Kindle Singles Interview
Star Trek's reliance on shaking the camera and having the actors simulate delirium tremens is spotlighted in this fantastic video. The video was inspired by a subreddit: Star Trek Stabilized.
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Upon seeing the inherent glory, I immediately purchased this Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem t-shirt on Threadless.
Foria, a new personal lubricant, is being marketed to medical marijuana patients in California. La Mota tells us
that Foria is "A viscous, smooth, slippery substance that will allow you to enjoy at least 15 minutes of continuous orgasms."
This song always makes me think of you. Dunno why.
Last night I tore through Hiroshi Sakurazaka's All You Need Is Kill. I have not bothered to see Edge of Tomorrow, a movie based on this fine piece of battle armor/combat genre sci-fi, but now definitely I will.
As I enjoy stories in vein of Haldeman's the Forever War or Scalzi's Old Man's War, All You Need Is Kill was suggested as a must read. Keiji Kiriya is a novice 'Jacket' trooper killed in his first engagement against the strange alien Mimics. Somehow his death puts him in a time loop where he must refight the battle over and over. After 158 attempts, Keiji finds an ally and learns the secrets that may enable humanity to survive.
I really liked the starfish-like Mimics and their origin story, I found them some of the best enemies/assailants of humanity I've read recently.
All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka
"The way you swerve and curve, really wrecks my nerves"
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This cute article on Elite Daily references a few studies demonstrating that people who read more have a deeper understanding of a wider range of life experience.
Finding someone who reads is like dating a thousand souls. It’s gaining the experience they’ve gained from everything they’ve ever read and the wisdom that comes with those experiences. It’s like dating a professor, a romantic and an explorer.
This should not serve as an invitation to interrupt me while I am reading.
In our podcast Gadgets, I recently reviewed my daughter's rubber band loom. This Monster Tail loom, made by the same folks is a new favorite.
Smaller and designed to be handheld, my daughter brings the Monster Tail in the car, to restaurants, nearly anywhere she wants to ignore her father; it is easy to schlep. The Monster Tail has a more complex pattern of smaller posts than the Rainbow Loom, and thus allows for even more intricate designs.
The Monster Tail uses the same rubber bands as the Rainbow Loom and the same pick. For $8 it has provided countless hours of distraction for my darling kid.
Monster Tail Mini Loom