SnoreCraft: NASA’s MMO?!

April 21st, 2008. By Dave Oei. 9,046 views.
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Oh, say it ain’t so.

At TinySci, we pride ourselves in our deep skepticism of practically everything. Some say this leads only to apathy while others wonder how we can then be passionate about anything. Well if you’ve had a chance to read a few of our posts, you’ll realize that neither is the case. Rather, the skepticism helps bring about a solid case of objectivity.

Which is what I’m thinking is lacking for those NASA administrators who believe they can create a viable, let alone interesting, massively multiplayer online (MMO) game targeted to the teens of tomorrow.

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Two Reasons to Tune in to TV This Tuesday

April 21st, 2008. By Dave Oei. 4,934 views.
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Despite its status as a high-end sports car, most of us wouldn’t give a thumbs up after taking in a few whiffs from a Corvette’s exhaust.  But, most of us aren’t the Car Guys from Car Talk.  And most of us don’t have access to what I assume is a fuel-cell powered vehicle.

If you listen to NPR, it’s likely you know of Tom and Ray, the automotive geniuses on Car Talk. They’re staring in a new episode of NOVA this Tuesday appropriately titled, “Car of the Future”.  If you don’t listen to Car Talk, you probably aren’t in TinySci’s demographic, so no worries.

They’re reason #1 to watch TV on Tuesday. Read more…

“The Tie That Binds” – BSG Raw

April 20th, 2008. By Dave Oei. 112,104 views.
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Battlestar Galactica made its mark on cinematic sci-fi by taking an uncharacteristic sci-fi approach. The show has not been so much about going where no one has gone before or exploring strange new worlds. BSG’s focus has been doggedly and stubbornly turned inward, toward its crew and the basic conflict between themselves and their Cylon coutnerparts. Gone are the voice-command computers, isolinear chips, and even the obligatory happy ending.

Welcome instead to hell in space.

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Greenland’s Glaciers: Going, Going…

April 20th, 2008. By Dave Oei. 6,590 views.
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Scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute have captured nearly conclusive evidence of glacial surface meltwater draining in Greenland, and its corresponding effect on ice sheet movement.

Until now, it was hypothesized that some of the vast quantity of meltwater that originates at the surface of Greenland’s glaciers during the summer season may filter all the way down through thousands of feet of ice sheet to the surface. And, once there the meltwater would have a lubricating effect, allowing the glacier to slide at a faster rate toward it’s meeting with the Atlantic.

Well, these folks actually witnessed the event in progress, and by their accounts the overall effect was quite colossal.

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May the Biggest Fish Win?

April 17th, 2008. By Dave Oei. 6,665 views.
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May the Big Fish Win? Only smaller game fish need worry if recent findings on size-targeted fishing from Scripps’ scientists are on the money. They examined the the effects of fishing regulations specifying the throw back of smaller fish on ecological stabilization and species population dynamics.

If you don’t fish, you may not be aware that for many game fish species only those that exceed a certain size may be kept while the remainder are thrown back. For example, in California there is a 10 inch minimum on bocaccio, a type of rockfish. Any smaller and they’re free. Larger ones go in the BBQ.

What the folks at Scripps found was that taking only the larger, and presumably older and mature fish had highly destabilizing effects on fish species populations and the overall area ecology. Thus, they advocate to instead leave behind the older fish as they tend to eat less, help maintain the population pyramid, and produce more viable young.

Sounds good to me since what’s implied is that an overall balanced ecosystem should also improve yields in the long term. For now, we’ll see how long it takes lawmakers to make the change, but don’t expect the fishing lobby to go down without a fight.

Source: Scripps Institute of Oceanography
Photo: Finding Nemo @ Disney

Construction, Serendipity, and the Synchrotron

April 16th, 2008. By Dave Oei. 4,856 views.
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If you haven’t noticed, we at TinySci have been quietly and discretely making a series of modifications and improvements to the website to make reading and finding what you’re looking for a whole lot easier. And enjoyable!

One of the major changes is a subtle one for you, but was a major undertaking for us. It involved reconstructing the “interesting pics” page to conform to the content management system in place, rather than be an ordinary static page. You’ll never notice the difference, but it’ll make updating and rotating those pictures a breeze for us.

Also, we’ve added links to the most popular and recent posts. You can dig and find these on your own, but hey, now it’s easier, right?

Finally, to mark the start of a revised look, I dug around for a construction picture in Google. What came up first is what you see. As serendipity would have it, it’s a picture taken during construction of one of the world’s largest synchrotrons.

Don’t worry, I didn’t know what a synchrotron was either.

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