Note to CNN: Please Stop

January 22nd, 2009. By Dave Oei. 7,358 views.
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Dear Editors at CNN:

Please stop.  You know what I’m talking about.

The silly holographic reporter (TinySci Readers, click and view this CNN video at your own risk, you may want to put on some eye-pro first), which by the way, fails to resemble either holography or reporting, is downright idiotic.  Are we supposed to be shocked and awed by the fact that you know how to use a green screen and multiple cameras…simultaneously?

As if that wasn’t enough, we let out a collective “Ugh” when you debuted Obama’s “Moment” in “3D”.  First of all, Photosynth is not your creation – it’s Microsoft’s.  Second, “3D” means stereoscopic, otherwise it’s just 2D.  In other words, your rendition of  “The Moment” looks no different to me than it would to someone who was blind in one eye.

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Steven Chu, Secretary of Energy: The Nobel Story

January 22nd, 2009. By Dave Oei. 3,324 views.
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Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu

Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu. Source: Lawrence Berkeley Nat'l. Lab

If you were like me, you spent most of Tuesday working, only to return home and sit glued to your TV watching the inauguration  on your DVR.  Yes, Obama is president.  Which also means, yes, we again have people in government who put their faith in Science.

One of those people is Steven Chu, the just affirmed Secretary of Energy.  He’s got his work cut out for him.  Not only has Obama charged him with reducing our dependence on foreign oil, but he has to figure out how to curb greenhouse gasses while making our country more energy efficient.  And if he can turn every car into a plug-in, call it icing on the cake.

Of course, like everyone else on Obama’s cabinet, Chu has serious street cred.

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Sugar Deal: Great for Everglades, Bad on Pocketbook?

June 24th, 2008. By Dave Oei. 3,825 views.
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In what’s billed to be the largest land restoration and buyback in US History, Florida is purchasing 187,000 acres from US Sugar Corp which will eventually be rehabilitated to it’s natural Everglades habitat.  Doing so will help mitigate against future flooding and remove the need for some existing dams.  While making for some nice alligator, fish, and great egret homes.  Overall, it’s great news for the ecology of the Everglades and all the wildlife that exist in the region.

But, there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.  With corn and corn-related products at an all time high due to soaring food demand and the likes of ethanol, this Everglades deal will no doubt exasperate the corn pricing problem.  You see, US Sugar is currently producing about 10% of our current consumption of sugar.  Which means that either current surgar consumers will have to find other sources of sugar or switch to an alternative.

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Coaxing HIV Out of Hiding with Clever Engineering

May 8th, 2008. By Dave Oei. 8,433 views.
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When it comes to combating HIV, doctors and scientists have an arsenal of drugs and regimens to choose from. Unfortunately, none are 100% effective because of the one sinister trait of HIV – it’s ability to hide and lay dormant in T-cells for years or decades.

Which is why flushing HIV out of T-cells has been on the forefront of medical science for years. Through experimentation it’s been shown that two naturally occurring plant compounds, Prostratin and DPP, in combination with other drugs are able to push HIV out of T-cells with about 80% efficacy. Sure, it’s not 100%, but experimentation had been hampered by the availability of these compounds.

They come from scarcely found plants from far away places and produce variable yet meager quantities of these valuable compounds. In other words, they must be extremely expensive and hard to come by.

Fortunately, there are real people out there who actually performed very well in Organic Chemistry. And it is they who come to this story’s rescue.

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Product of the Day: The $100k Tesla

May 7th, 2008. By Dave Oei. 8,682 views.
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Technically, this is strictly an engineering story. But since engineering is nothing other than the application of science, in this case, at least physics, aerodynamics, chemistry, and electrodynamics, we thought you wouldn’t complain.

I mean, take a look, it’s beautiful.

In case you haven’t heard, this is a Tesla, a 100% battery operated car. A fast one at that. And if you had the wherewithal to reserve a Tesla and set aside slightly over $100k to burn and eventually own one, at least you wouldn’t also have to worry about burning anything else, that is, in the name of global warming.

Word on the street is, the Tesla is ready for sale. Today. In Los Angeles.

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