Friday, November 02, 2007

its like a hard drive

Joe: They can fail catastrophically.

Bob: What can?

Joe: Hard drives.

Bob: Funny that.

Joe: What’s that?

Bob: That something called a hard drive can fail catastrophically. I mean if it’s so hard...

Joe: Not surprising to me.

Bob: Why is that?

Joe: Well if you look in nature you will find that the more rigid something is the more likely it will fail catastrophically.

Bob: Like buildings? Like the twin towers in New York.

Joe: Yea but not like you think. I mean buildings are not as rigid as you think. Did you know that the Washington Monument sways 1/8” in a 100 mile per hour wind? And that isn’t a design quirk either that is part of the structural integrity of the building. It needs to give some or otherwise break.

Joe: We need to all include a little give in our lives. Or...

Bob: Or it’s like a hard drive.

Joe: Yea, its like a hard drive.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Subprime Meltdown

Gretchen Morgenson has some interesting things to say about Greenspan.
clipped from

Fresh Air from WHYY, October 10, 2007 · Pulitzer Prize-winning business columnist Gretchen Morgenson talks about the subprime mortgage crisis and its effects on the markets and on the economy. Morgenson, an assistant business and financial editor for The New York Times, has covered the financial markets for The Times since 1998.

Listen to this story... 

What Killed the Mammoth

What led to the late Pleistocene extinction of North American Megafauna? The old theory was hunting by the newly arrived human population. But now...

One team of scientists thinks it knows what killed the woolly mammoth and other ice-age creatures. In a paper published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, they say they have evidence that a comet or other low-density space object exploded in the upper atmosphere of the Earth about 13,000 years ago, possibly leading to the extinction of mammoths and the decline of Stone Age people. We'll talk about their findings.
Teachers, find more information about using Science Friday as a classroom resource in the Kids' Connection.

Winning the Cancer War

In this segment, Ira talks with cancer researcher Robert Weinberg about what he calls the last frontier of cancer research. Weinberg has been instrumental in studies of oncogenes, genes that can spark the rapid cell multiplication associated with cancerous tumors. Now, in two studies published over the past month, Weinberg and colleagues present clues as to how tumors spread through the body. They found that microRNAs, small molecules that typically disrupt protein production by binding to the messenger RNAs that transmit DNA instructions for proteins, can cause tumors to metastasize. Could the research help curb the spread of cancer within people? We'll talk about the research.

Biotech: Printing Living Cells

In this segment, we'll look at new research into using inkjet technology to build artificial tissues. Writing in the journal Science, Paul Calvert describes efforts to convert the common home office technology of inkjet printing to manipulate living cells. Using printing technology is of interest to biomaterials researchers because it is a precise, simple, rapid and clean process that avoids contamination. Researchers have successfully printed bacteria, yeast and animal cells. What will it take to move from those studies to more complex tissue? Is it realistic to imagine 'printing' living tissue?
Teachers, find more information about using Science Friday as a classroom resource in the Kids' Connection.