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2009-08-06 18:32:29

I'm Bob Karson with the discovery files -- new advances in science and engineering from the National Science Foundation.Getting data onto the internet is one thing; the real trick may be getting rid of the data. I mean when you write an extremely sensitive e-mail or chat message, you really have no idea where that information could turn up may be even years later.University of Washington researchers have developed a system for making things like web-based e-mails, Facebook posts and other...

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2009-07-30 10:00:00

Two researchers from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) and the University of Aberdeen in the United Kingdom have shown for the first time that the law of brevity in human language, according to which the most frequently-used words tend to be the shortest, also extends to other animal species. The scientists have shown that dolphins are more likely to make simpler movements at the water surface."Patterns of dolphin behavior at the surface obey the same law of brevity as human...

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2009-06-23 09:30:00

Imaginary World Invisibly Teaches Kids to Program Duke University computer scientist Susan Rodger is hoping ice skaters, cute animals and fearsome dragons will bring new talent to her field. With support from the National Science Foundation, she and collaborators nationwide are using the power of storytelling to draw younger students into programming. An animation program called "Alice," invented by the late Randy Pausch of Carnegie Mellon University, allows student programmers of all ages to...

2009-06-15 16:05:00

It's common for retailers to bundle two different products (like razors and blades) together and describe one as free. A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research shows that this strategy leads consumers to devalue the items when they're sold individually.Authors Michael A. Kamins (Stony Brook University-SUNY), Valerie S. Folkes (University of Southern California), and Alexander Fedorikhin (Indiana University) found that describing a bundled item as free decreases the amount consumers are...

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2009-05-14 10:40:00

After the success of his first video game, "Boom Blox", Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg is set to release the first follow-up, "Boom Blox Bash Party" under videogame publisher Electronic Arts.Spielberg released the first "Boom Blox" for Nintendo's Wii in May 2008. Since its release, the title has sold nearly one million copies worldwide. He said the concept for the game came from the traditional family game of building blocks.Spielberg admits to being an avid console gamer, but he is...

2009-05-13 10:37:31

Kids always seem to be ahead of trends, and marketers realize the importance of new products and services taking off with the younger set. A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research helps identify which children might be the trendsetters of their generation.Authors Jan Kratzer (Berlin University of Technology) and Christopher Lettl (University of Aarhus, Denmark) examined the attitudes and networks of children who are "lead users," people who are most likely to develop and disseminate...

2009-05-06 08:21:00

"Physically active transport is probably our best bet for helping populations at risk of heart disease and diabetes to increase physical activity levels, since we have to spend time getting to and from work anyway," says Dr Erik Hemmingsson, who led the research.The study was carried out at the Obesity Unit at Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm and lasted 18 months. It involved 120 obese and unfit women between the ages of 30 and 60 with a waist circumference of at least 88...

2009-05-01 09:00:01

When you're on a diet, deciding to skip your favorite calorie-laden foods and eat something healthier takes a whole lot of self-control--an ability that seems to come easier to some of us than others. Now, scientists from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have uncovered differences in the brains of people who are able to exercise self-control versus those who find it almost impossible.The key? While everyone uses the same single area of the brain to make these sorts of...

2009-03-04 08:06:09

New national surveyHalf of all Americans expect another country to emerge this century as the world's leader in addressing technological challenges that range from the economy to global warming, according to a survey of U.S. public opinion released Tuesday by Duke University.Although only 34 percent of Americans gave themselves a grade of A or B for understanding "the world of engineers and what they do," 72 percent nonetheless expect the technological advancements of the 21st century to...

2009-02-11 08:43:35

Researchers at Canada's largest children's rehabilitation hospital have developed a technique that uses infrared light brain imaging to decode preference "“ with the goal of ultimately opening the world of choice to children who can't speak or move.In a study published this month in The Journal of Neural Engineering, Bloorview scientists demonstrate the ability to decode a person's preference for one of two drinks with 80 per cent accuracy by measuring the intensity of near-infrared...


Word of the Day
toccata
  • In music, a work for a keyboard-instrument, like the pianoforte or organ, originally intended to utilize and display varieties of touch: but the term has been extended so as to include many irregular works, similar to the prelude, the fantasia, and the improvisation.
This word is Italian in origin, coming from the feminine past participle of 'toccare,' to touch.
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