Archive for December, 2011

New Year’s Resolution: Get fit, make electricity

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: December 31, 2011   View Article

A new generation of workout machines that generate electricity as you work up a sweat are poised to invade fitness centers and help you keep your New Year’s resolution to trim down your waistline.

The electricity generated by the machines is fed back into the grid, helping the gym save on its utility bills.

New Year’s Resolution: Get fit, make electricity

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: December 30, 2011   View Article

A new generation of workout machines that generate electricity as you work up a sweat are poised to invade fitness centers and help you keep your New Year’s resolution to trim down your waistline.

The electricity generated by the machines is fed back into the grid, helping the gym save on its utility bills.

Mysterious Mass Sacrifice Found Near Ancient Peru Pyramid

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: December 28, 2011   View Article

An apparent ritual mass sacrifice—including decapitations and a royal beer bash—is coming to light near a pre-Inca pyramid in northern Peru, archaeologists say.

Excavations next to the ancient Huaca Las Ventanas pyramid first uncovered bodies in August, and more have been emerging since then from a 50-by-50-foot (15-by-15-meter) pit.

The pyramid is part of the Sicán site, the capital of the Lambayeque people—also known as the Sicán—who ruled Peru’s northern coast from about A.D. 900 to 1100.

Ashton Kutcher, friends, key to Twitter’s success

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: December 21, 2011   View Article

Developers of the next-big social networking application stand a greater chance at skyrocketing success if Hollywood stars and big media go gaga over it, according to an analysis of Twitter’s meteoric rise in popularity.

Data collected on the number of users adopting the microblogging service in its early years (between 2006 and 2009) show that it first spread gradually via traditional social networks — real-world friends, work colleagues, neighbors — then took off when media stars started to gather their flocks.

End of the World in 2012? Maya “Doomsday” Calendar Explained

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: December 20, 2011   View Article

It’s remotely possible the world will end in December 2012. But don’t credit the ancient Maya calendar for predicting it, say experts on the Mesoamerican culture.

It’s true that the so-called long-count calendar—which spans roughly 5,125 years starting in 3114 B.C.—reaches the end of a cycle on December 21, 2012.

That day brings to a close the 13th Bak’tun, an almost 400-year period in the Maya long-count calendar.

But rather than moving to the next Bak’tun, the calendar will reset at the end of the 13th cycle, akin to the way a 1960s automobile would click over at mile 99,999.9 and reset to zero.

Grant turns lab rats into scientific entrepreneurs

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: December 20, 2011   View Article

Lab scientists are getting a $50,000 assist from the U.S. government to go to school and learn the entrepreneurial skills required to take their innovations into the marketplace and, perhaps, become millionaires.

“I am basically teaching them how to do eye contact and test their hypotheses outside of the lab,” Steve Blank, a startup guru at Stanford University who designed and teaches the course, told me Tuesday.

‘Neon signs’ made with bacteria

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: December 20, 2011   View Article

The bar of the future may have all-organic brews on tap and blinking neon signs in the window made with millions of bacterial cells that periodically glow in unison.

The same “living neon sign” technology could also be used to help brewers and other folks monitor environmental pollutants in water such as arsenic, according to research published online Sunday in the journal Nature.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach