When Disability Becomes an Unfair Advantage

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No, this isn’t a cue for me to start complaining about how the disabled are so lucky because they get all the best parking spaces and cool motorized chairs and awesome things like that.* What I’m talking about is this man: Oscar Pistorius, who I admire tremendously, and about whom I’ve written before. Pistorius was born [Read More...]

Technology and Archaeology in the Holy Land

Thomas Levy, the Norma Kershaw Chair in the Archaeology of Ancient Israel and Neighboring Lands at the University of California (San Diego), gives a TEDTalk about the convergence of technology and archaeology in the Holy Land. In particular, he explains about “cyber-archaeology”: using the latest tech for visualization, data collection and management, and site analysis. New techniques are pumping out vast amounts [Read More...]

The Very First Tech?

“Technology” is a pretty broad category. It encompasses the practical application of knowledge to the fabrication of tools or methods for solving a problem. Picking up a rock and hammering a nail with it is not technology, because the rock has not been modified for a particlar purpose. If we had to guess, the first [Read More...]

Turing’s Death Not a Suicide?

Professor Jack Copeland, an expert on the life of Alan Turing, believes there’s no evidence that Turing committed suicide. Turing was found dead in his bed from cyanide poisoning on June 7th, 1954. He was 41 years old. Two years earlier he had been prosecuted for gross indecency after his homosexuality came to light during a [Read More...]

Printing a Human Bladder and Kidney

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Dr. Anthony Atala gives an interesting TED talk about printing organs on 3D printers using cells. One of the printers is on stage printing an organ while he speaks. He goes through many of the techniques, and even introduces a patient who received a printed bladder a decade ago. The patient, Luke Massella, talks about the [Read More...]

Mac Users Paying More at Orbitz?

Macs are more expensive than PCs and tend to be used by a more rarefied and appealing demographics (better educated, more disposable income), so it’s inevitable that online shopping by Mac users is different than online shopping by PC users. Orbitz noticed that the people accessing their site from Macs pay, on average, 30% more [Read More...]

Turing at 100

Tomorrow is the centenary of the birth of Alan Turing, whose work made computers possible. I’m already seeing the trend in these memorials, and it is so very tedious. Turing is briefly acknowledged for his pioneering work, and then is immediately transformed into a martyr for gay rights. Like Oscar Wilde, his genius becomes secondary to his [Read More...]

Some Very Cool Evidence of Early Eyeglass Use

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Medievalist.net found this story about some incredibly neat evidence of eyeglass use from a medieval manuscript. No, it wasn’t a mention in the manuscript: it was on the manuscript. Witness: Someone placed their eyeglasses, most likely leather-framed spectacles, inside the flyleaf, closed the book, and then went off and forgot about them or got killed [Read More...]


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