Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas, is offering a Summer biology field research program
designed for a diverse mix of able-bodied students and students with ambulatory disabilities. Eight students will spend a month in the trees, studying water bears and learning that being in a wheelchair doesn't have to be an impediment to doing biological field research. — Maggie
Science journalist Colin Schultz writes about how boys who know next to nothing about menstruation become men who are uncomfortable with and/or dismissive about the normal bodily functions of their friends, lovers, and wives ... and why that's a problem education can solve. — Maggie
The Guardian reports
that the Phillips Island Penguin Foundation in Australia is asking volunteers to knit sweaters for penguins being rehabilitated after oil spills. Back in 2011, Dean wrote here
about a similar request. The catch: That earlier plea for penguin sweaters (in fact, every
earlier plea for penguin sweaters) has produced far, far more penguin sweaters than penguins actually need. For instance, in 2000, the Tasmanian Conservation Trust requested 100 sweaters and received 15,000
. Yes, penguins wearing sweaters are cute, but it may be a good idea to contact the Phillips Island Penguin Foundation
you get started knitting. — Maggie
Dave from the Electronic Frontier Foundation sez, "Remember when Rep. Mike Rogers likened opponents of pernicious cybersecurity legislation to 14-year-olds? It turns out that middle-school-age students are also well-prepared to debate him on the NSA's programs as well.
EFF congratulates students from two middle schools who took home top prizes in the C-SPAN StudentCam 2014 competition for young filmmakers with their documentaries on the debate over mass surveillance."
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Above is the original glorious painting, artist unknown, used for the cover of the pseudonymous Warren Smith's 1970 book Strange Abominable Snowmen. Having been lost for decades, it recently turned up at a yard sale. I only wish I was the lucky duck who found it. Loren Coleman has the news along with a gallery of other fantastic cover art from vintage cryptozoology paperbacks of that era.
It's not an exercise bike for your nose. Instead, the nasal cycle is the biological cycle that automatically switches the bulk of your breathing from one nostril to another throughout the course of the day. It's the reason why you usually feel more stuffed up on one side when you have a cold but, as Matt Soniak explains at mental_floss, it's got some benefits, too.
One, it makes our sense of smell more complete. Different scent molecules degrade at different rates, and our scent receptors pick up on them accordingly. Some smells are easier to detect and process in a fast-moving airstream like the decongested nostril, while others are better detected in the slower airstream of the congested nostril. Nasal cycling also seems to keep the nose maintained for its function as an air filter and humidifier. The alternating congestion gives the mucous and cilia (the tiny hairs up in your nose) in each nostril a well-deserved break from the onslaught of air and prevents the insides of your nostrils from drying out, cracking and bleeding.
Image: Some rights reserved by sapienssolutions
This iGo keychain fob sized USB smartphone charging cable is fantastic! It is compact, flat and simply gets the job done.
I work outside of the house quite a bit and keeping a smartphone charged is a total pain. Remembering to bring the right cable for the right gadgets, external chargers or what-have-you is always a problem. This iGo pocket-sized USB micro and mini cable solves this. The iGo is also sturdy. I've had problems with other, slightly cheaper models falling apart in a matter of weeks.
iGo KeyJuice Charger for Smartphones - USB to Micro and Mini USB
Michael Froomkin writes, "My latest privacy paper, Regulating Mass Surveillance as Privacy Pollution: Learning from Environmental Impact Statements, has a new take on how to regulate mass surveillance in the US where the EU privacy model has not taken root, and where the 1st Amendment creates obstacles to stopping some data sharing."
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I've been thinking about the news that Keurig has added "DRM" to its pod coffee-makers since the story first started doing the rounds a couple of days ago. I've come to the conclusion that while the errand is a foolish one, and the company deserves nothing but contempt for such an anti-competitive move, that there might be a silver lining to this cloud. As I've written recently, there's not a lot of case-law on Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the law that prohibits "circumventing...effective means of access control" to copyrighted works. In the past, we've seen printer companies and garage door opener manufacturers claim that the software in their devices was a "copyrighted work" and that anyone who made a spare part for their products was thus violating 1201. But that was 10 years ago, and it's been a while since there was someone stupid and greedy enough to try that defense.
I think Keurig might just be that stupid, greedy company.
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Satoshi Nakamoto, 64, is apparently the San Bernardino man who first developed Bitcoin, the popular cryptocurrency and drama machine. He is bemused, and generally unimpressed. Leah McGrath Goodman found him.
But a two-month investigation and interviews with those closest to Nakamoto and the developers who worked most frequently with him on the out-of-nowhere global phenomenon that is Bitcoin reveal the myths surrounding the world's most famous crypto-currency are largely just that - myths - and the facts are much stranger than the well-established fiction.
Jon Lebkowsky writes, "EFF and EFF-Austin, working with the amazing Maggie Duval, put together this celebration of the 90s Internet and cyberpunk memes. On stage: Gareth Branwyn, Bruce Sterling, Cory Doctorow, William Barker (Schwa), Chris Nakashima-Brown, Aaron Jue from EFF, and yours truly. Thomas Fang is DJ, and Jasmina Tesanovic will sing her Hacker Hymn. We'll have a cyberpunk scifi genre panel and a talk by Gareth, along with the release of his successful Kickstarter memoir book project, Borg Like Me. We'Cll also have projected visuals, memories of Mondo 2000, Boing Boing, Fringeware, 2600: The Hacker Quarterly, Schwa, etc. Event is open to SXSW badgeholders. Hang out with EFF at their event table, praise their great work, give them your money!"
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Marcus Wohlsen covers the plans of Green Mountain Coffee to add DRM to the little plastic cups of ground coffee
used in its Keurig-brand coffee machines,
More than just curbing your coffee choices, Green Mountain’s protections portend the kind of closed system that could gut the early promise of the Internet of Things — a promise that hinges on a broad network of digital, connected devices remaking the everyday world.
He cites new research on interoperability and DRM's fundamental aversion to it; think of what happens when, say, hospitals turn into locked-in, single-vendor institutions. The underlying problem is simple: they're making disobedient computers.
There is a certain elegance to the Keurig idea, though: people who use K-Cups, being lazy and spendthrift, are an ideal target for a new DRM price-control wheeze. It's a bit like Ferrari's cheap and nasty resistive touchscreen implementation of iOS: their customers are rich suckers who would never know better, so why not screw them? The business psychology at hand is simple, short-term greed.
Jane Friedman and Manjula Martin founded Scratch Magazine, a born-digital publication that tells writers what they're worth and how the publishing industry sausage-making factory actually works. Jane has an extensive background as an editor, and may be best known for her decade at Writer's Digest. Manjula is a freelance writer, whose work has appeared widely in places like Modern Farmer, San Francisco Weekly, and our own The Magazine, in which she wrote about musician and producer John Vanderslice.
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Online "character quizzes," suddenly ultra-viral thanks to adroit Facebook-centric designs at sites like Zimbio, are all the rage. Are they fueled by narcissism? No, says Devon Maloney: it's fear
: "We crave the peace of mind that comes from believing the human condition is quantifiable
." Which is to say, of course, our own conditions. It's the Myers-Briggs sorting hat for a new generation, telling you what you just told it. — Rob