Since it folds in three dimensions, we could store all of the world’s current data—everyone’s photos, every Facebook status update, all of Wikipedia, everything—using less than an ounce of DNA. And, with its propensity to replicate given the right conditions, millions of copies of DNA can be made in the lab in just a few hours. Such favorable traits make DNA an ideal candidate for storing lots of informations, for a long time, in a small space.But how stable is DNA? The Reed-Solomon method, long used to error-check data transmission and duplication, is now being explored as an adjunct to the long-term archiving of information encoded in DNA. A post by Alex Riley at the PBS Science blog NOVA/NEXT.
An Idaho State Senator, Paul Shepherd, has called on the state to impeach federal judges who struck down the state's anti-SSM law. One mistake, though. He forgot to renew the domain for his re-election campaign, and now a gay nerd has taken it over.
No really, these are real "covers" on Amazon. Each cover for these self published books is fine tuned to attract a specific demographic.
There are many, many black days. The most famous, probably, is Black Tuesday, the Wall Street crash of 1929 that is commonly held as the start of the Great Depression. Its polar opposite? Black Friday, the day after the US Thanksgiving Holiday, where buying is the thing. George Soros, amongst others, broke the UK Pound and the government of John Major on Black Wednesday, and the peak of the 1988 Yellowstone Wildfires happened on Black Saturday. But there's another black day -- a day that happens every year. A day that is today. Black Monday. [more inside]
At last night's Academy Awards, singer Adela Dazeem stunned everyone with a spectacular performance of the song "Let It Go," from the animated film "Frozen." (Both the song and the film went on to win their respective awards.) In unrelated news, you are all cordially invited to John Travolta's Big Hollywood Party.
Boeing's largest, and ugliest, aircraft today is the 747 LCF, better known as the DreamLifter. The primary job of the DreamLifter is delivering entire 787 fuselages for final assembly. Yesterday evening, one DreamLifter was supposed to land at Wichita, Kansas... [more inside]
BBC America has shipped the ‘Doctor Who’ Season 7B Blu-Ray/DVD set early to those who pre-ordered it. Only one problem: it includes the season finale, which airs next week. The BBC confirms on Facebook (where people are having fun in the comments,) and Steven Moffat has promised that if fans keep spoilers off the net, they'll release a special video featuring the 10th and 11th Doctors after the finale airs. [more inside]
The Hairpin publishes a (satirical) article entitled Chamberpots: A Resurgence? about a pair of Park Slope hipsters and their embrace of chamber pots and cheap rent. The article is picked up by Curbed, MSN Money, and the Daily Mail, all of whom miss the satire, and a Slate blogger uses the article to comment on the lack of affordable housing in Brooklyn.
Mythbusters misfire maligns members of Dublin, CA. MSNBC, CNET. Did Grant let NASA do his maths?
Texas Governor and GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry is booked on all the major morning shows tomorrow, and with good reason. After two months of gaffes, impolitic stands, and bizarre speeches that quickly waned his once-strong odds of winning the Republican nomination, Perry went into Wednesday's CNBC debate sorely needing a win... only to deliver a tortuous, cringingly forgetful attempt [video] to recall just which three cabinet departments he'd vowed to abolish, a stunning failure political scientist Larry Sabato deemed "the most devastating moment of any modern primary debate" in his memory. While Perry's slow-motion flameout has boosted the fortunes of dark horse candidate Herman Cain, the unlikely challenger is facing troubles of his own in a volley of sexual harassment claims -- an oddly ineffective scandal Cain is doing his best to (somewhat dubiously) disavow. If Cain collapses, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich may reap the benefits, but his moribund campaign has issues of its own. Pawlenty, Bachmann, Perry, Christie, Cain, Gingrich... the base is loathe to rally round him, but after so many failed, flawed, or forfeited challenges, can anyone topple Mitt Romney?
Flight to Dallas? $400. Hotel Room? $179 a night. No seat for you at the Super Bowl, even with a ticket? Pricel... 3 times face value of ticket
Apparently the NFL was looking for a record crowd at Cowboys Stadium, and tried to add temporary seating. 2 hours before kickoff, workers were still installing that seating. That status later changed to 400 fans being denied entry and instead being offered 3 times the face value of their tickets. Fans are not happy, and the screw-up is news, both locally, and in Pittsburgh and Green Bay.
It's holiday time! Perhaps you'd like to add some DIY decoration to your gifts. Let's make some "Literary Leaf Gift Tags." Which book should you make them from? Oh, any old book will do—say, this one looks splendid. Et voila! Gift tags that are perfect for the literate aesthete, complete with mentions of "gaunt human skulls" and "slave labor camps." [more inside]
oops, by Chris Beckman, is a fascinating video collage of people dropping their cameras. It won the experimental category of the 2010 Vimeo Awards (previously).
The ISS Progress 38 cargo carrier was launched to bring supplies to the International Space Station. The unmanned Russian vessel has experienced problems attempting to dock with the station and has now disappeared from view, spinning uncontrollably.
McAfee's latest DAT update quarantined the svchost.exe file on millions (or maybe 800,000) of corporate Windows XP systems, rendering them inoperable (sort of).
Ever wanted a visual tally of the computers, personal data, and other property lost by or stolen from the US federal government? Presenting the Government Lost & Found Map, via OhMyGov!.
Meanwhile in Hollywoodland, the trailer for James Cameron's much anticipated AVATAR debuted online yesterday and ... ooops! [more inside]
Russia's Gazprom and Nigeria's oil company NNPC are forming a joint venture. Hmmmm...what do you call such a thing? GazGeria? Nah, Nigeria should come first. How 'bout NIGAZ? Perhaps unsurprisingly, some people have a problem with this.
KaBOOM! This past Friday, the MythBusters exploded 500 pounds of ammonium nitrate (25% of the same material used in the Oklahoma City bombing,) at a rock quarry in Yolo County, CA for an upcoming episode. But the explosion was apparently a wee bit bigger than they expected. It shattered windows in nearby Esparto and was large enough to be picked up as a "small event" ground tremor by National Geographical Survey sensors. Which myth were they busting, you ask? [more inside]
Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition. There's a Murphy's Law for most fields of endeavor. [more inside]
[first name of a candidate] and pre/2 [last name of a candidate] w/7 bush or gore or republican! or democrat! or charg! or accus! or criticiz! or blam! or defend! or iran contra or clinton or spotted owl or florida recount or sex! or controvers! or racis! or fraud! or investigat! or bankrupt! or layoff! or downsiz! or PNTR or NAFTA or outsourc! or indict! or enron or kerry or iraq or wmd! or arrest! or intox! or fired or sex! or racis! or intox! or slur! or arrest! or fired or controvers! or abortion! or gay! or homosexual! or gun! or firearm!
Two Spanish women meet in their late twenties and realize that they're identical twins. The hospital had accidentally swapped one with another random newborn, and each family had unknowingly taken home the wrong baby. Now all three women - the two actual twins, and the one fake twin - are suing the hospital, who seriously did not have their act together. But there are all sorts of ways this could happen. For example... [more inside]
Enough bad news, enough gloom and doom. You remember that Asteroid 99942 Apophis that we were afraid might hit Earth in 2029? Ain't gonna happen. But it will get close enough for Earth's gravity to alter its orbit and there's a chance it could hit the next time around in 2036. But only a tiny chance: "less than 1 in 45,000 using standard dynamical models". according to NASA. Oh wait... NASA just got skooled by a 13-year-old German Astronomy Geek who says the chances are more like 1 in 450. Still a tiny chance, and the official numbers were only off by a factor of 100. Oh yeah, we're doomed.
Think you've had clumsy moments? Ten bucks says you've never had one quite this bad.
The "Nuclear Nav." On March 11, 1958, Captain Bruce Kulka was the navigator on an Air Force B-47 Stratojet carrying nuclear bombs to an airfield in North Africa. Somewhere over the southeastern US, the captain sent him to back the bomb bay to check on a cockpit warning light. As he climbed through the narrow space around the Mark 6 nuclear bomb, Kulka grabbed the emergency release pin by mistake. [more inside]
An Unfortunate View From the Sky. The U.S. Navy has decided to spend as much as $600,000 for landscaping and architectural modifications to obscure the fact that one its building complexes looks like a swastika from the air.
In January 2006, small amounts of genetically engineered rice turned up in a shipment that was tested ... by a French customer of Riceland Foods, a big rice mill based in Stuttgart, Ark. Testing revealed that the genetically modified rice contained a strain of Liberty Link that had not been approved for human consumption. What's more, trace amounts of the Liberty Link had mysteriously made their way into the commercial rice supply in all five of the Southern states where long-grain rice is grown. Aventis Crop Science had contracted with a handful of farmers to grow the rice, which was known as Liberty Link because its genes had been altered to resist a weed killer called Liberty, also made by Aventis. Then, the French pharmaceutical giant that owned Aventis Crop Science decided to sell the U.S. biotech unit and abandon the very emotional business of reengineering the foods we eat. "We didn't want to take any chances," says a former Aventis executive. "We burned and buried enough rice to feed 20 million people." Last November, the USDA retroactively approved the Liberty Link rice for human consumption.
"Like the famous 18-minute gap in the Nixon White House tapes ... This sounds like the Administration's version of 'the dog ate my homework" says Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt, as the White House struggles to explain how dozens of staffers' emails sought by the Senate Judiciary Committee in the course of its investigation were 'accidentally' deleted. "You can't erase e-mails, not today. They've gone through too many servers," said Leahy, D-Vt. "Those e-mails are there, they just don't want to produce them. We'll subpoena them if necessary."
The Swiss accidentally invaded Liechtenstein last night but no retaliation is expected. Oops! Guess it's time to make these standard military issue. The last time something like this happened, the Spanish ignored an accidental British invasion. Previously on MeFi: More about Liechtenstein than anyone ever cared to ask.
Don't Buy this Book! Seth Godin, author and marketing guru, has his book, Everyone is an Expert, for purchase on Amazon. The problem? He wrote it as an ebook in 2005, and it is downloadable for free. And it isn't even illegal, as it was licensed under a Creative Commons license that allows for for profit reproduction.
Do You Live Near a Brothel? It turns out that I do, and they're at Sacramento State's Art Department, the local office of NOW, and the Sacramento Film Commission, among others. Dubya, as it turns out, lives near a bunch of them as well, including the Center for Public Integrity and the local branch of the DC Public Library. You can find out the houses of ill repute near you, too, by simply entering your zip code and the word "brothels" in the Google Maps search box. It's supposed to be returning destinations for that type of local business. Oops. Google has no comment.
Bush/Cheney Poster Creator
Best use of web resources to reach the masses, or easiest.culture-jam.ever? You be the judge.
Best use of web resources to reach the masses, or easiest.culture-jam.ever? You be the judge.
Someone needs Photoshop classes. Cat Schwartz, TechTV vixen, posted some pictures of herself on her blog. Due to an obscure bug in Photoshop, she also inadvertently posted pictures of herself nude. Oopos. Warning: Minor nudity enclosed.
This might be taking the war on terrorism a little to far. Royal Marines get lost or should I say vamos. (Parden my french).
Wow, talk about your bad luck. Or perhaps proof that heavy pot use(or hot-tubbing) can addle your thinking processes.
Oops! A plaque intended to honor James Earl Jones at a Martin Luther King Jr. celebration said: "Thank you James Earl Ray for keeping the dream alive.''
Ben Brown once had this thing called Teeth Magazine. I don't know how long it lasted. But visiting ye olde Glassdog, I saw a random adzert for it. Intrigued, I clicked on it. And it's a bit different now. Anyone else have funny lapsed-domain stories?
Oops! Drugs awareness officer dies from overdose. I just saw 'Traffic' tonight...
When captions go bad? It's the one below the first picture.
Intel botches one bigtime. They recalled their 1.133 GHz P3 the very same day that AMD started volume shipment of the 1.10 GHz Athlon. (More inside)
Tonight, I was thinking of replacing my old North Face fleece jacket, so I went to their site to shop for a new one. Instead of a product catalog or online store, I learned that their copy of Apache worked! Wow, that helps me out.
My car gets ten rods to the hogshead and that's the way I like it! I love how we stubborn Americans just flat out refuse to adopt the metric system; the mars orbiter blowing up cost us $125 million.