Interesting things I've bookmarked (old posts, page 46)

Astronaut Chris Hadfield Photos

Chris Hadfield is a Canadian astronaut who was the first Canadian to walk in space. A former Royal Canadian Air Force fighter pilot, Hadfield has flown two space shuttle missions, STS-74 in 1995 and STS-100 in 2001, and served as capsule communicator for both Space Shuttle and International Space Station (ISS) expeditions. On 19 December 2012, Hadfield launched in the Soyuz TMA-07M flight for a long duration stay on board the ISS as part of Expedition 35. He arrived at the station on 21 December, as scheduled, and became the first Canadian to command the ISS when the crew of Expedition 34 departed. On 12 May 2013 he turned over command of the ISS, and safely returned home aboard the Soyuz spacecraft on 13 May. He received significant media exposure during his time on the ISS, and ended his time on the station by paying tribute to David Bowie with a rendition of "Space Oddity".

Why is Science Behind a Paywall

Although the act of publishing seems to entail sharing your research with the world, most published papers sit behind paywalls. The journals that publish them charge thousands of dollars per subscription, putting access out of reach to all but the most minted universities. Subscription costs have risen dramatically over the past generation. According to critics of the publishers, those increases are the result of the consolidation of journals by private companies who unduly profit off their market share of scientific knowledge.

10 Best Recent Dinosaur Discoveries

Dinosaurs aren't all big and scaly. The more fossils they find, and the closer they examine them, the more scientists realize how diverse these animals were. Sure, some were massive. Some took to the air on giant wings. But lots more scampered around on the ground chomping on vegetation. And many more than previously thought may have sported feathers, perhaps using them to impress a mate with a bit of tail-shaking action the way peacocks do today.

10 Best Recent Dinosaur Discoveries

10 Best Recent Dinosaur Discoveries

Our Solar System Is Not Normal

Some things you just count on. Like if we ever meet a space alien, it should have eyes (and maybe a head). Like somewhere out there, there are planets like ours. Like we have an ordinary solar system - "ordinary" because you know what it looks like ... As of this month, we've discovered 884 planets, 692 planetary systems, 132 of them with more than one planet and, strange to tell, almost none of them look like us.

Our Solar System Is Not Normal

America is Forfeiting the Space Race

NASA is paying $424 million more to Russia to get U.S. astronauts into space, and the agency's leader is blaming Congress for the extra expense. NASA announced its latest contract with the Russian Space Agency on Tuesday. The $424 million represents flights to and from the International Space Station aboard Russian Soyuz spacecraft, as well as training, for six astronauts in 2016 and the first half of 2017. That's $70.6 million per seat -- well above the previous price tag of about $65 million. Russia currently provides the only means of getting people to and from the space station, and its ticket prices have soared with each new contract.

Why I Let My Students Cheat On Their Exam

None," I replied. "You are UCLA students. The brightest of the bright. Let's see what you can accomplish when you have no restrictions and the only thing that matters is getting the best answer possible."Once the shock wore off, they got sophisticated. In discussion section, they speculated, organized, and plotted. What would be the test's payoff matrix? Would cooperation be rewarded or counter-productive? Would a large group work better, or smaller subgroups with specified tasks? What about "scroungers" who didn't study but were planning to parasitize everyone else's hard work? How much reciprocity would be demanded in order to share benefits? Was the test going to play out like a dog-eat-dog Hunger Games? In short, the students spent the entire week living Game Theory. It transformed a class where many did not even speak to each other into a coherent whole focused on a single task-beating their crazy professor's nefarious scheme.

BeagleBone Black Mini Linux PC goes on sale

Although BeagleBone Black costs $10 more than a Raspberry Pi, it comes with a power supply and network cable whereas the Pi does not. BeagleBone Black has 2GB of on-board storage that's pre-installed with Angstrom Linux, and the MicroSD slot can be used for additional storage or to boot another operating system. BeagleBone Black upgrades the RAM over the previous version from 256MB of DDR2 memory to 512MB of DDR3L memory.

BeagleBone Black Mini Linux PC goes on sale

US terror vs gun laws

If only Americans reacted the same way to the actual threats that exist in their country. There's something quite fitting and ironic about the fact that the Boston freak-out happened in the same week the Senate blocked consideration of a gun control bill that would have strengthened background checks for potential buyers. Even though this reform is supported by more than 90% of Americans, and even though 56 out of 100 senators voted in favour of it, the Republican minority prevented even a vote from being held on the bill because it would have allegedly violated the second amendment rights of "law-abiding Americans".So for those of you keeping score at home - locking down an American city: a proper reaction to the threat from one terrorist. A background check to prevent criminals or those with mental illness from purchasing guns: a dastardly attack on civil liberties. All of this would be almost darkly comic if not for the fact that more Americans will die needlessly as a result. Already, more than 30,000 Americans die in gun violence every year (compared to the 17 who died last year in terrorist attacks).