Thursday, December 25, 2008

Constructed languages

Some individuals and groups have constructed their own artificial languages, for practical, experimental, personal, or ideological reasons. International auxiliary languages are generally constructed languages that strive to be easier to learn than natural languages; other constructed languages strive to be more logical ("loglangs") than natural languages; a prominent example of this is Lojban.

Some writers, such as J. R. R. Tolkien, have created fantasy languages, for literary, artistic or personal reasons. The fantasy language of the Klingon race has in recent years been developed by fans of the Star Trek series, including a vocabulary and grammar.

Constructed languages are not necessarily restricted to the properties shared by natural languages.

This part of ISO 639 also includes identifiers that denote constructed (or artificial) languages. In order to qualify for inclusion the language must have a literature and it must be designed for the purpose of human communication. Specifically excluded are reconstructed languages and computer programming languages.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Heredity is the passing of traits to offspring (from its parent or ancestors). This is the process by which an offspring cell or organism acquires or becomes predisposed to the characteristics of its parent cell or organism. Through heredity, variations exhibited by individuals can accumulate and cause a species to evolve. The study of heredity in biology is called genetics, which includes the field of epigenetics.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Almond milk

Almond milk is a milky drink made from ground almonds. Unlike animal milk, almond milk contains no cholesterol or lactose and can be used as a substitute for animal milk in many recipes. Almond milk is also completely vegan. Commercial almond milk products come in plain, vanilla, or chocolate flavors. They are often enriched with vitamins. It can also be made at home by combining ground almonds with water in a blender. Vanilla flavoring and sweeteners are often added. However, users should be cautious not to use bitter almonds, since the combination of bitter almonds and water releases cyanide.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Water Quality

The Environment Agency is responsible for maintaining or improving the quality of fresh, marine, surface and underground water in England and Wales.Many human activities and their by-products have the potential to pollute water. Large and small industrial enterprises, the water industry, the urban infrastructure, agriculture, horticulture, transport, discharges from abandoned mines, and deliberate or accidental pollution incidents all affect water quality.

Pollution may arise as point sources, such as discharges through pipes, or may be more diffuse, such as from run off from streets and buildings, or agricultural nutrients lost from fields.We aim to prevent or reduce the risk of water pollution wherever possible, and to ensure that it gets cleaned up if pollution occurs that might lead to effects on ecosystems or people.

The Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) has overall interests for the quality of water in our taps, and local responsibility rests with the local authority environmental health departments.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Turgor pressure

Turgor pressure' or turgidity is the main pressure of the cell contents against the cell wall in plant cells and bacteria cells, determined by the water content of the vacuole, resulting from osmotic pressure, i.e. the hydrostatic pressure produced by a solution in a space divided by a semipermeable membrane due to a differential in the concentration of solute. Turgid plant cells contain more water than flaccid cells and exert a greater osmotic pressure on its cell walls.

Turgor is a force exerted outward on a plant cell wall by the H2O contained in the cell. This force gives the plant rigidity, and may help to keep it erect. Turgor may also result in the bursting of a cell.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Inner planets Earth

Earth (1 AU) is the largest and densest of the inner planets, the only one known to have current geological activity, and the only planet known to have life. Its liquid hydrosphere is unique among the terrestrial planets, and it is also the only planet where plate tectonics has been observed. Earth's atmosphere is radically different from those of the other planets, having been altered by the presence of life to contain 21% free oxygen. It has one natural satellite, the Moon (Latin: Luna), the only large satellite of a terrestrial planet in the Solar System.

Monday, November 03, 2008

OpenGL 3.0

The newest revision of the OpenGL API is OpenGL 3.0, released August 11, 2008 and is backward compatible with all prior OpenGL versions, though a deprecation mechanism has been introduced to simplify the API in future revisions.

  • OpenGL Shading Language revision 1.30 (GLSL)
  • Array Objects
  • More flexible Framebuffer Objects
  • 32-bit (single precision) floating-point textures and render buffers
  • 16-bit (half precision) floating-point vertex and pixel data
  • Ability to render vertex transformations into a buffer
  • Texture arrays
  • 32-bit (single precision) floating point depth buffer support

Full use of OpenGL 3.0 requires the same level of hardware as is required for DirectX 10 support. Unlike DirectX 10, OpenGL 3.0 does not require Windows Vista and can be used on any OS for which the appropriate drivers are provided.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


On an individual being level, these questions are studied by the separate fields above, but are also more integrated into cognitive ontology of various kinds. This challenges the older linguistically dependent views of ontology, wherein one could debate being, perceiving, and doing, with no cognizance of innate human limits, varying human lifeways, and loyalties that may let a being "know" something (see qualia) that for others remains very much in doubt.

On the level of an individual mind, an emergent behavior might be the formation of a new concept, 'bubbling up' from below the conscious level of the mind. A simple way of stating this is that beings preserve their own attention and are at every level concerned with avoiding interruption and distraction. Such cognitive specialization can be observed in particular in language, with adults markedly less able to hear or say distinctions made in languages to which they were not exposed in youth.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Small Arms Protective Insert

The Small Arms Protective Insert (SAPI) is a ceramic plate first used in the Interceptor body armor, a bulletproof vest. It is now also used in the Improved Outer Tactical Vest as well as the Modular Tactical Vest, in addition to commercially available "plate carriers". The kevlar Interceptor vest itself is designed to stop projectiles up to and including 9mm submachine gun rounds, in addition to fragmentation. To protect against higher velocity rifle rounds, SAPI plates are needed.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Personal identification number

A personal identification number (PIN) is a secret numeric password shared between a user and a system that can be used to authenticate the user to the system. Typically, the user is required to provide a non-confidential user identifier or token (such as a banking card) and a confidential PIN to gain access to the system. Upon receiving the User ID and PIN, the system looks up the PIN based upon the User ID and compares the looked-up PIN with the received PIN. The user is granted access only when the number entered matches with the number stored in the system.

PINs are most often used for ATMs but are increasingly used at the Point of sale, especially for debit cards. Throughout Europe the traditional in-store credit card signing process is being replaced with a system where the customer is asked to enter their PIN instead of signing. In the UK and Ireland this goes under the term 'Chip and PIN', since PINs were introduced at the same time as EMV chips on the cards. In other parts of the world, PINs have been used before the introduction of EMV. Apart from financial uses, GSM mobile phones usually allow the user to enter PIN between 4 and 8 digits length. The PIN is recorded in the SIM card.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Bluetooth 2.0

This version of the Bluetooth specification was released on November 10, 2004. It is backward-compatible with the previous version 1.1. The main difference is the introduction of an Enhanced Data Rate (EDR) for faster data transfer. The nominal rate of EDR is about 3 megabits per second, although the practical data transfer rate is 2.1 megabits per second.[8] The additional throughput is obtained by using a different radio technology for transmission of the data. Standard, or Basic Rate, transmission uses Gaussian Frequency Shift Keying (GFSK) modulation of the radio signal; EDR uses a combination of GFSK and Phase Shift Keying (PSK) modulation.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


The British GEE system was developed during World War II. GEE used a series of transmitters sending out precisely timed signals, and the aircraft using GEE, RAF Bomber Command's heavy bombers, examined the time of arrival on an oscilloscope at the navigator's station. If the signal from two stations arrived at the same time, the aircraft must be an equal distance from both transmitters, allowing the navigator to determine a line of position on his chart of all the positions at that distance from both stations. By making similar measurements with other stations, additional lines of position can be produced, leading to a fix. GEE was accurate to about 165 yards (150 m) at short ranges, and up to a mile (1.6km) at longer ranges over Germany. Used after WWII as late as the 1960s in the RAF (approx freq was by then 68MHZ).

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Hearing or audition is the sense of sound perception. Since sound is vibrations propagating through a medium such as air, the detection of these vibrations, that is the sense of the hearing, is a mechanical sense akin to a sense of touch, albeit a very specialized one. In humans, this perception is executed by tiny hair fibres in the inner ear which detect the motion of a membrane which vibrates in response to changes in the pressure exerted by atmospheric particles within a range of 20 to 22000 Hz, with substantial variation between individuals. Sound can also be detected as vibrations conducted through the body by tactition. Lower and higher frequencies than that can be heard are detected this way only. The inability to hear is called deafness.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Prehistoric life

Prehistoric life are the diverse organisms that have inhabited Earth from the origin of life about 3.8 billion years ago (b.y.a.) to the Historic period (about 3500 BC) when humans began to keep written records.

During the course of evolution, new forms of life developed and many other forms, such as the dinosaurs, became extinct. (See Timeline of evolution).

Prehistoric life evolved over this vast timespan from simple bacteria-like cells in the oceans to algae and protozoa, and ultimately to complex multicellular forms such as fungi, land plants, worms, molluscs, crustaceans, insects, and vertebrates.

In geologic terms, humans evolved very recently, only about 2.5 million years ago (mya). (See Geologic time scale, Human evolution).

Very few species of prehistoric life (such as the coelacanth) still exist today unchanged, tens of millions of years later, thereby making them living fossils. Yet other creatures, like sharks, have changed but a little over millions of years.

However, most life forms -- over 99 percent -- have become extinct, and so the only record of them ever existing that remains today are rock imprints, casts or other fossils.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Social anxiety disorder

Social anxiety disorder is also known as social phobia. Individuals with this disorder experience intense fear of being negatively evaluated by others or of being publicly embarrassed because of impulsive acts. Almost everyone experiences "stage fright" when speaking or performing in front of a group. Since occasionally there are artists or performers with social anxiety disorder who are able to perform publicly without significant anxiety, their love of performing and practicing their art may be diminishing their anxiety. Although some high-functioning phobics such as Glenn Gould are able to perform despite anxiety, most people with social phobias become so anxious that performance is out of the question. In fact, their fear of public scrutiny and potential humiliation becomes so pervasive that normal life can become impossible (den Boer 2000; Margolis & Swartz, 2001). Another social phobia is fear of intimacy, or "love-shyness", which most adversely affects certain men. Those afflicted find themselves unable to initiate intimate adult relationships (Gilmartin 1987).

Monday, August 25, 2008

Memory management

Among other things, a multiprogramming operating system kernel must be responsible for managing all system memory which is currently in use by programs. This ensures that a program does not interfere with memory already used by another program. Since programs time share, each program must have independent access to memory.

Cooperative memory management, used by many early operating systems assumes that all programs make voluntary use of the kernel's memory manager, and do not exceed their allocated memory. This system of memory management is almost never seen anymore, since programs often contain bugs which can cause them to exceed their allocated memory. If a program fails it may cause memory used by one or more other programs to be affected or overwritten. Malicious programs, or viruses may purposefully alter another program's memory or may affect the operation of the operating system itself. With cooperative memory management it takes only one misbehaved program to crash the system.

Memory protection enables the kernel to limit a process' access to the computer's memory. Various methods of memory protection exist, including memory segmentation and paging. All methods require some level of hardware support (such as the 80286 MMU) which doesn't exist in all computers.

In both segmentation and paging, certain protected mode registers specify to the CPU what memory address it should allow a running program to access. Attempts to access other addresses will trigger an interrupt which will cause the CPU to re-enter supervisor mode, placing the kernel in charge. This is called a segmentation violation or Seg-V for short, and since it is usually a sign of a misbehaving program, the kernel will generally kill the offending program, and report the error.

Windows 3.1-Me had some level of memory protection, but programs could easily circumvent the need to use it. Under Windows 9x all MS-DOS applications ran in supervisor mode, giving them almost unlimited control over the computer. A general protection fault would be produced indicating a segmentation violation had occurred, however the system would often crash anyway.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Population Ecology

Population ecology Population ecology is a major sub-field of ecology that deals with the dynamics of species populations and how these populations interact with the environment.

The older term, autecology refers to the roughly same field of study, coming from the division of ecology into autecology—the study of individual species in relation to the environment—and synecology—the study of groups of organisms in relation to the environment—or community ecology. Odum (1959, p. 8) considered that synecology should be divided into population ecology, community ecology, and ecosystem ecology, defining autecology as essentially "species ecology." However, biologists have for some time recognized that the more significant level of organization of a species is a population, because at this level the species gene pool is most coherent. In fact, Odum regarded "autecology" as no longer a "present tendency" in ecology (i.e., an archaic term), although included "species ecology"—studies emphasizing life history and behavior as adaptations to the environment of individual organisms or species—as one of four sub-divisions of ecology.

The development of the field of population ecology owes much to the science of demography and the use of actuarial life tables. Population ecology has also played an important role in the development of the field of conservation biology especially in the development of population viability analysis (PVA) which makes it possible to predict the long-term probability of a species persisting in a given habitat patch .

Monday, August 11, 2008


PCX is an image file format developed by the ZSoft Corporation of Marietta, Georgia, USA. It was the native file format for PC Paintbrush (PCX = "PC Paintbrush Exchange") and became one of the first widely accepted DOS imaging standards, although its use has since been succeeded by more sophisticated image formats such as GIF, JPEG, and PNG.

The PCX is a device-independent raster image format; the file header stores information about the display hardware (screen resolution, color depth and palette information, bit planes and so on) separately from the actual image information, allowing the image to be properly transferred and displayed on computer systems with different hardware. PCX files commonly store palette-indexed images ranging from 2 or 4 colors to 16 and 256 colors, although the format has been extended to record true-color (24-bit) images as well.

A PCX file has three main sections. A 128 byte header which is followed by image data and an optional 256 color palette. PCX files were designed for use on PC and so always use little endian byte ordering.

Monday, August 04, 2008


Mitosis is the process by which a cell separates the chromosomes in its cell nucleus, into two identical sets in two daughter nuclei. It is generally followed immediately by cytokinesis, which divides the nuclei, cytoplasm, organelles and cell membrane into two daughter cells containing roughly equal shares of these cellular components. Mitosis and cytokinesis together define the mitotic (M) phase of the cell cycle - the division of the mother cell into two daughter cells, genetically identical to each other and to their parent cell.

Mitosis occurs exclusively in eukaryotic cells, but occurs in different ways in different species. For example, animals undergo an "open" mitosis, where the nuclear envelope breaks down before the chromosomes separate, while fungi such as Aspergillus nidulans and Saccharomyces cerevisiae (yeast) undergo a "closed" mitosis, where chromosomes divide within an intact cell nucleus. Prokaryotic cells, which lack a nucleus, divide by a process called binary fission.

The process of mitosis is complex and highly regulated. The sequence of events is divided into phases, corresponding to the completion of one set of activities and the start of the next. These stages are prophase, prometaphase, metaphase, anaphase and telophase. During the process of mitosis the pairs of chromosomes condense and attach to fibers that pull the sister chromatids to opposite sides of the cell. The cell then divides in cytokinesis, to produce two identical daughter cells.

Because cytokinesis usually occurs in conjunction with mitosis, "mitosis" is often used interchangeably with "mitotic phase". However, there are many cells where mitosis and cytokinesis occur separately, forming single cells with multiple nuclei. This occurs most notably among the fungi and slime moulds, but is found in various different groups. Even in animals, cytokinesis and mitosis may occur independently, for instance during certain stages of fruit fly embryonic development. Errors in mitosis can either kill a cell through apoptosis or cause mutations that may lead to cancer.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sociocultural evolution

Sociocultural evolution(ism) is an umbrella term for theories of cultural evolution and social evolution, describing how cultures and societies have developed over time. Although such theories typically provide models for understanding the relationship between technologies, social structure, the values of a society, and how and why they change with time, they vary as to the extent to which they describe specific mechanisms of variation and social change.

Most 19th century and some 20th century approaches aimed to provide models for the evolution of humankind as a whole, arguing that different societies are at different stages of social development. At present this thread is continued to some extent within the World System approach. Many of the more recent 20th-century approaches focus on changes specific to individual societies and reject the idea of directional change, or social progress. Most archaeologists and cultural anthropologists work within the framework of modern theories of sociocultural evolution. Modern approaches to sociocultural evolution include neoevolutionism, sociobiology, theory of modernization and theory of postindustrial society.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Featural scripts

A featural script notates the building blocks of the phonemes that make up a language. For instance, all sounds pronounced with the lips ("labial" sounds) may have some element in common. In the Latin alphabet, this is accidentally the case with the letters "b" and "p"; however, labial "m" is completely dissimilar, and the similar-looking "q" is not labial. In Korean hangul, however, all four labial consonants are based on the same basic element. However, in practice, Korean is learned by children as an ordinary alphabet, and the featural elements tend to pass unnoticed.

Another featural script is SignWriting, the most popular writing system for many sign languages, where the shapes and movements of the hands and face are represented iconically. Featural scripts are also common in fictional or invented systems, such as Tolkien's Tengwar.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Purebred breeding

Mating animals of the same breed for maintaining such breed is referred to as purebred breeding. Opposite to the practice of mating animals of different breeds, purebred breeding aims to establish and maintain stable traits, that animals will pass to the next generation. By "breeding the best to the best," employing a certain degree of inbreeding, considerable culling, and selection for "superior" qualities, one could develop a bloodline or "breed" superior in certain respects to the original base stock.

Such animals can be recorded with a breed registry, the organisation that maintains pedigrees and/or stud books.

The observable phenomenon of hybrid vigor stands in contrast to the notion of breed purity. However, on the other hand, indiscriminate breeding of crossbred or hybrid animals may also result in degradation of quality.

Sunday, July 06, 2008


A buckler (French bouclier 'shield', from old French bocle, boucle 'boss') is a small shield gripped in the fist -- it was generally used as a companion weapon in hand-to-hand combat during the Middle Ages, as its size made it poor protection against missile weapons (e.g., arrows) but useful in deflecting the blow of an opponent's sword or mace. There are two major forms of medievally documented bucklers. The first is a simple round shield with the fist positioned directly behind the boss with a variety of shapes of face and depths of rim. These could also have projections from the top and bottom as in Hans Talhoffer's Fechtbücher or serrated rings around the boss as in one example in the Wallace Collection. The second major form is a corrugated rectangle as suggested by Achille Marozzo in his Opera Nova.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Molecular basis

Several types of molecules are particularly important during morphogenesis. Morphogens are soluble molecules that can diffuse and carry signals that control cell differentiation decisions in a concentration-dependent fashion. Morphogens typically act through binding to specific protein receptors. An important class of molecules involved in morphogenesis are transcription factor proteins that determine the fate of cells by interacting with DNA. These can be coded for by master regulatory genes and either activate or deactivate the transcription of other genes; in turn, these secondary gene products can regulate the expression of still other genes in a regulatory cascade. Another class of molecules involved in morphogenesis are molecules that control cell adhesion. For example, during gastrulation, clumps of stem cells switch off their cell-to-cell adhesion, become migratory, and take up new positions within an embryo where they again activate specific cell adhesion proteins and form new tissues and organs. Several examples that illustrate the roles of morphogens, transcription factors and cell adhesion molecules in morphogenesis are discussed below.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Cytokinesis is the process whereby the cytoplasm of a single cell is divided to spawn two daughter cells. It usually initiates during the late stages of mitosis, and sometimes meiosis, splitting a binucleate cell in two, to ensure that chromosome number is maintained from one generation to the next. In animal cells, one notable exception to the normal process of cytokinesis is oogenesis (the creation of an ovum in the ovarian follicle of the ovary), where the ovum takes almost all the cytoplasm and organelles, leaving very little for the resulting polar bodies, which then die. In plant cells, a dividing structure known as the cell plate forms across the centre of the cytoplasm and a new cell wall forms between the two daughter cells.

During normal proliferative divisions, animal cell cytokinesis begins shortly after the onset of sister chromatid separation in the anaphase of mitosis. A contractile ring, made of non-muscle myosin II and actin filaments, assembles equatorially (in the middle of the cell) at the cell cortex (adjacent to the cell membrane). Myosin II uses the free energy released when ATP is hydrolysed to move along these actin filaments, constricting the cell membrane to form a cleavage furrow. Continued hydrolysis causes this cleavage furrow to ingress (move inwards), a striking process that is clearly visible down a light microscope. Ingression continues until a so-called midbody structure (composed of electron-dense, proteinaceous material) is formed and the process of abscission then physically cleaves this midbody into two. Abscission depends on septin filaments beneath the cleavage furrow, which provide a structural basis to ensure completion of cytokinesis. After cytokinesis, non-kinetochore microtubules reorganize and disappear into a new cytoskeleton as the cell cycle returns to interphase (see also cell cycle).

Sunday, June 15, 2008


The final step in the development process, starting in the 1980s and continuing through the present, was "Very Large-Scale Integration" (VLSI). This could be said to start with hundreds of thousands of transistors in the early 1980s, and continues beyond several billion transistors as of 2007.

There was no single breakthrough that allowed this increase in complexity, though many factors helped. Manufacturing moved to smaller rules and cleaner fabs, allowing them to produce chips with more transistors with adequate yield, as summarized by the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS). Design tools improved enough to make it practical to finish these designs in a reasonable time. The more energy efficient CMOS replaced NMOS and PMOS, avoiding a prohibitive increase in power consumption. Better texts such as the landmark textbook by Mead and Conway helped schools educate more designers...

In 1986 the first one megabit RAM chips were introduced, which contained more than one million transistors. Microprocessor chips passed the million transistor mark in 1989 and the billion transistor mark in 2005. The trend continues largely unabated, with chips introduced in 2007 containing tens of billions of memory transistors .

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Popular trance

By the mid-1990s trance, specifically progressive trance, which emerged from acid trance much as Progressive house had emerged from Acid house, had emerged commercially as one of the dominant genres of dance music. Progressive trance has set in stone the basic formula of modern trance by becoming even more focused on the anthemic basslines and lead melodies, moving away from hypnotic, repetitive, arpeggiated analog synth patterns and spacey pads. Popular elements and anthemic pads became more widespread. Compositions continued to contain incremental changes (aka progressive structures), sometimes composed in thirds (as BT frequently does). Meanwhile, a different type of trance, generally called uplifting trance was becoming popular. Uplifting trance had buildups and breakdowns that were longer and more exaggerated, being more direct and less subtle than progressive, with more easily identifiable tunes and anthems. Many such trance tracks follow a set form, featuring an introduction, steady build, a breakdown, and then an anthem, a form aptly called the "build-breakdown-anthem" form. Uplifting vocals, usually female, were also becoming more and more prevalent, adding to trance's popular appeal.

Immensely popular, trance found itself filling a niche that was 'edgier' than house, more soothing than drum and bass, and more melodic than techno, which made it accessible to a wide audience. Artists like Tiësto, Armin van Buuren, Paul van Dyk, Robert Miles, Above & Beyond, Darren Tate, Ferry Corsten, Johan Gielen, ATB and Paul Oakenfold came to the forefront as premier producers and remixers, bringing with them the emotional, "epic" feel of the style. Many of these producers also DJ'd in clubs playing their own productions as well as those by other trance DJs. By the end of the 1990s, trance remained commercially huge, but had fractured into an extremely diverse genre. Some of the artists that had helped create the trance sound in the early and mid-1990s had, by the end of the decade, abandoned trance completely in favor of more underground sounds - artists of particular note here include Pascal F.E.O.S. and Oliver Lieb.

As trance entered the mainstream it alienated many of its original fans. As the industry became bigger, record labels, Ibiza based producers, clubs (most notably Ministry of Sound) and DJs continued to alter their sound to more of a pop based one, so as to make the sound more accessible to an even wider and younger audience.

Monday, June 02, 2008


A mushroom is the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus, typically produced above ground on soil or on its food source. The standard for the name "mushroom" is the cultivated white button mushroom, Agaricus bisporus, hence the word mushroom is most often applied to fungi (Basidiomycota, Agaricomycetes) that have a stem (stipe), a cap (pileus), and gills (lamellae, sing. lamella) on the underside of the cap just as do store-bought white mushrooms. However, "mushroom" can also refer to a wide variety of gilled fungi, with or without stems, and the term is used even more generally to describe both the fleshy fruiting bodies of some Ascomycota and the woody or leathery fruiting bodies of some Basidiomycota, depending upon the context of the word. Forms deviating from the standard form usually have more specific names, such as "puffball", "stinkhorn", and "morel", and gilled mushrooms themselves are often called "agarics" in reference to their similarity to Agaricus or their placement in the order Agaricales. By extension, "mushroom" can also designate the entire fungus when in culture or the thallus (called a mycelium) of species forming the fruiting bodies called mushrooms.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Understanding the Context

Many different methods of communication are possible on the Internet; some use specific software and all involve text and/or graphics.

* Some activities take place in real-time while others allow for a delayed reply.

* Discussion areas may be public or exist for a particular group of people.

* Information can either be broadcast or targeted at a particular user.

As the technology develops, and users and providers become more proficient, the boundaries between the different Internet services are blurred. For example, email is used in chat rooms, web pages include discussion areas and newsgroups can have files attached.

Each Internet service has its own educational value, risks, and recommended ways of dealing with problems, and these are detailed in the following pages. They are not exhaustive and many apply across Internet services. Schools should consider the sum of the advice in these guidelines across all areas.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Overview of the Click Thinking Pack

Schools and government initiatives are encouraging the educational use of the Internet right across the curriculum and young people are taking readily to this way of learning and communicating.

At the same time, the media tends to focus on the rare occasions when use of the Internet causes distress. The Scottish Executive believes that young people need to be protected and informed; and that those responsible for them, whether teachers, parents or other careers, should be aware of the issues involved.

Previous Scottish Executive Education Department (SEED) publications in this area have dealt with the need to protect pupils from misuse of computers (Information Ethics) and to understand copyright implications (Copyright and Ethics in a Digital Age).

This booklet focuses on personal safety and wellbeing. It attempts to clarify potential risks and to empower Internet users in schools so that they can keep themselves safe. Those who manage Scottish schools, and all teachers, whether responsible for a primary class or for teaching a subject, will find policy guidelines and background information which will prepare our pupils to take their safe and well-earned place in the Digital Age.

Much of the advice in these guidelines will be relevant to other Local Authority staff responsible for overseeing young people's use of the Internet (e.g. managers and staff in community education centers, residential homes for young people, libraries and other settings). These groups should take account of the messages about personal safety, and put into place the recommendations suitable for their setting.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


CPSC Urges Bicyclists to Wear Helmets

CPSC Document #5002

Each year about 800 bicyclists are killed and more than half a million are treated in hospital emergency rooms. In recent years, almost two-thirds of the deaths and one-third of the injuries involved head and face injury. About one-half the injuries to children under the age of 10 involved the head or face. Helmets may reduce the risk of head injury to bicyclists by as much as 85 percent. Yet, only about 50 percent of bicyclists wear helmets.

The purpose of a helmet is to absorb the energy of an impact to minimize or prevent a head injury. Crushable, expanded polystyrene foam generally is used for this purpose.

A bicycle helmet should have a snug but comfortable fit on the rider's head. Some helmets are available with several different thicknesses of internal padding to custom fit the helmet to the user. If a parent is buying a helmet for a child, the CPSC recommends that the child accompany the parent so that the helmet can be tested for a good fit.

For a helmet to provide protection during impact, it must have a chin strap and buckle that will stay securely fastened. No combination of twisting or pulling should remove the helmet from the head or loosen the buckle on the strap. Children should be instructed to always wear the helmet level on the forehead, not tilted back. The chin strap should be adjusted correctly and firmly buckled.

Helmets manufactured after March 1999, are required by federal law to meet the CPSC standard. When purchasing a helmet, consumers are urged to examine the helmet and accompanying instructions and safety literature carefully. Consumers should also look for a label stating conformance with the CPSC standard.

Bicyclists should avoid riding at night. If you must ride at night, install and use front and rear lights on the bicycle and wear clothing with reflective tape or markings. These precautions are in addition to the reflectors that the CPSC requires to be on the front, rear, pedals, and wheels of bicycles.

Many bicycle-car crashes can be avoided by applying the rules of the road and by increasing attentiveness of cyclists and motorists. Bicyclists have a legal right to share the road, but they are often not noticed in traffic. Drivers should always keep an eye out for bicyclists, especially when turning, merging, changing lanes, or entering intersections.

Monday, April 28, 2008

All-Terrain Vehicle Safety

Too many ATV riders -- young and old -- are dying or experiencing life altering injuries from incidents involving ATVs. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends that all ATV riders follow the seven safety tips below every time they ride.

An estimated 740 people died in 2003* in incidents associated with ATVs. In addition, in 2004* there were an estimated 136,100 emergency room treated injuries associated with ATVs. About a third of all deaths and injuries involved victims under 16 years old. CPSC also reported that ridership has continued to grow, with 6.2 million 4-wheeled ATVs in use in 2003*.

The major ATV manufacturers agreed in Consent Decrees in 1988 and in subsequent voluntary action plans that they would not manufacture three-wheel ATVs; they would place engine size restrictions on ATVs sold for use by children under 16; and they would offer driver-training programs.

Children and young people under the age of 16 should not ride adult ATVs.

All ATV users should take a hands-on safety training course.

Always wear a helmet and safety gear such as boots and gloves while on an ATV.

Never drive an ATV on paved roads.

Never drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Never drive a youth or single-rider adult ATV with a passenger, and never ride these vehicles as a passenger.

There are some ATVs that are designed for two riders. Passengers on tandem ATVs should be at least 12 years old.

Monday, April 21, 2008

J-Hook Shaped Stake style (Anchor Types)

This style is used when holes are not pre-drilled into the ground shoes (bars) or rear ground shoe (bar) of the goal. Similar to the peg or stake style, this anchor is hammered, at an angle if possible, directly into the earth. The curved (top) portion of this anchor fits over the goal member to secure it to the ground (Figure 3.4). Typically, two to four stakes of this type are recommended (per goal), depending on stake structure, manufacturers specifications, weight of goal, and soil conditions. Stakes with larger diameters or textured surfaces have greater holding capacity.

J-Hook Shaped Stake style (Anchor Types)

This style is used when holes are not pre-drilled into the ground shoes (bars) or rear ground shoe (bar) of the goal. Similar to the peg or stake style, this anchor is hammered, at an angle if possible, directly into the earth. The curved (top) portion of this anchor fits over the goal member to secure it to the ground (Figure 3.4). Typically, two to four stakes of this type are recommended (per goal), depending on stake structure, manufacturers specifications, weight of goal, and soil conditions. Stakes with larger diameters or textured surfaces have greater holding capacity.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Anchoring/Securing/Counterweighing Guidelines

A properly anchored/counterweighted movable soccer goal is much less likely to tip over. Remember to secure the goal to the ground (preferably at the rear of the goal), making sure the anchors are flush with the ground and clearly visible. It is IMPERATIVE that ALL movable soccer goals are always anchored properly (see Figure 2). There are several different ways to secure your soccer goal. The number and type of anchors to be used will depend on a number of factors, such as soil type, soil moisture content, and total goal weight.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Soccer Goal Injuries and Deaths

According to the 1994 National Soccer Participation Survey (Soccer Industry Council of America), over 16 million persons in the United States play soccer at least once a year. Seventy-four percent (over 12 million) of these persons are under the age of 18. Soccer ranks fourth in participation for those under 18, following basketball, volleyball, and softball and well ahead of baseball, which has an annual participation of 9.7 million.
There are approximately 225,000 to 500,000 soccer goals in the United States. Many of these soccer goals are unsafe because they are unstable and are either unanchored or not properly anchored or counter-balanced. These movable soccer goals pose an unnecessary risk of tip over to children who climb on goals (or nets) or hang from the crossbar.
The CPSC knows of four deaths in 1990 alone and at least 21 deaths during the past 16 years (1979-1994) associated with movable soccer goals. In addition, an estimated 120 injuries involving falling goals were treated each year in U.S. hospital emergency rooms during the period 1989 through 1993. Many of the serious incidents occurred when the soccer goals tipped over onto the victim. Almost all of the goals involved in these tip over appeared to be home-made by high school shop classes, custodial members, or local welders, not professionally manufactured. These home-made goals are often very heavy and unstable.
The majority of movable soccer goals are constructed of metal, typically weighing 150-500 pounds. The serious injuries and deaths are a result of blunt force trauma to the head, neck, chest, and limbs of the victims. In most cases this occurred when the goal tipped or was accidentally tipped onto the victim. In one case an 8-year-old child was fatally injured when the movable soccer goal he was climbing tipped over and struck him on the head. In another case, a 20-year-old male died from a massive head trauma when he pulled a goal down on himself while attempting to do chin-ups. In a third case, while attempting to tighten a net to its goal post, the victim’s father lifted the back base of the goal causing it to tip over striking his 3-year-old child on the head, causing a fatal injury.
High winds can also cause movable soccer goals to fall over. For example, a 9-year-old was fatally injured when a goal was tipped over by a gust of wind. In another incident, a 19-year-old goalie suffered stress fractures to both legs when the soccer goal was blown on top of her.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

B.C.-Canada Place officially closes doors

Monday, March 20, 2006 marks the official close of British Columbia-Canada Place, one of the most successful attractions of the 2006 Torino Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

Over the course of the 2006 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, British Columbia-Canada Place drew more than 100,000 visitors and journalists. These visitors were able to experience first hand the province’s culture, heritage, natural beauty and bustling cities. Also, more than 80 British Columbia businesses were able to connect with an international audience and showcase some of B.C.’s best products and services.

B.C.-Canada Place will be a legacy to the people of Torino. The official transfer took place in a ceremony yesterday, with Torino Mayor Sergio Chiamparino accepting a ceremonial key to the building.

“This generous gift from British Columbia will be a constant reminder of our friends in Canada and the celebrations that took place in our city during the 2006 Winter Games,” says Mayor Chiamparino. “We are honored to have this permanent B.C. presence in our city.”

Monday, March 24, 2008

Kent Kickin' Mini-Scooters

Kent is recalling about 90,000 scooters. The scooter handles can unexpectedly come out of the steering column if the clamp holding them in is not tight, causing the rider to lose control, fall and possibly suffer injuries.
Kent has received four reports of the handles coming out, resulting in four children suffering injuries, including broken arms, a broken wrist, bruises, abrasions and a cracked tooth.
These are Kickin' Mini-Scooters made of chrome-plated steel. A vertical decal on the steering column reads "KICKIN' MINI SCOOTER." The scooter's black plastic platform measures about 15 inches long, and it has 4-inch translucent in-line style wheels. "KENT" and "MADE IN CHINA" are written on the lower part of the steering column. The scooters were sold with black backpacks embroidered in white with the word "Kickin."
Toys R us stores nationwide sold the Kent scooters from May 2000 through September 2000 for about $60.
Consumers should stop riding these Kent scooters immediately, and call Kent International to receive a free replacement handlebar with pins to secure the handlebars. For more information, call Kent International at (800) 451-KENT (5368) between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday.
Kent has sold other models to Toys R Us such as the Street Craze, the Street Racer and Scoot that are NOT part of this recall. Scooters that Kent sold to Wal Mart, Meijer's, Target and AAFES are also NOT part of this recall.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Trampoline Safety Alert

The U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) wants you and your family to be safe when using trampolines. The CPSC estimates that in 2001 there were 91,870 hospital emergency room-treated injuries associated with trampolines. About 93 percent of the victims were under 15 years of age, and 11 percent were under 5 years of age. Since 1990, CPSC has received reports of 6 deaths of children under age 15 involving trampolines. Injuries and deaths were caused by:

* Colliding with another person on the trampoline.
* Landing improperly while jumping or doing stunts on the trampoline.
* Falling or jumping off the trampoline.
* Falling on the trampoline springs or frame.
Most of the trampolines associated with injuries were at private homes.
Here are the steps you can take to help prevent serious trampoline injuries, especially paralysis, fractures, sprains, and bruises:

* Allow only one person on the trampoline at a time.
* Do not attempt or allow somersaults because landing on the head or neck can cause paralysis.
* Do not use the trampoline without shock-absorbing pads that completely cover its springs, hooks, and frame.
* Place the trampoline away from structures, trees, and other play areas.
* No child under 6 years of age should use a full-size trampoline. Do not use a ladder with the trampoline because it provides unsupervised access by small children.
* Always supervise children who use a trampoline.
* Trampoline enclosures can help prevent injuries from falls off trampolines.

Monday, March 10, 2008


In a computer CPU, an accumulator is a register in which intermediary arithmetic and logic results are stored. Without a register like an accumulator, it would be necessary to write the result of each calculation (addition, multiplication, shift, etc.) to main memory, possibly only to be read right back again for use in the next operation. Access to main memory is slower than access to a register like the accumulator because the technology used for the huge main memory is slower (but cheaper) than that used for a register.

The canonical example for accumulator use is adding a list of numbers. The accumulator is initially set to zero, then each number in spin is added to the value in the accumulator. Only when all numbers have been added is the result seized in the accumulator written to main memory or to another, non-accumulator, CPU register.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Obsolete And Special-Purpose Printing Technologies
The following technology are either out of date, or limited to particular applications though most were, at one time, in widespread use.

Thermal printers work by selectively heating regions of exacting heat-sensitive paper. These printers are limited to special-purpose applications such as money registers and the printers in ATMs and gasoline dispensers. They are also used in some older reasonably priced fax machines.

Impact printers rely on a forcible impact to transfer ink to the media, like to the action of a typewriter. All but the dot matrix printer rely on the use of shaped characters, letterforms that represent each of the characters that the printer was capable of printing. In addition, most of these printers were confidential to monochrome printing in a single typeface at one time, although bolding and underlining of text could be done by overstriking, that is, printing two or more impressions in the same character position. Impact printers variety contain, Typewriter-derived printers, Teletypewriter-derived printers, Daisy wheel printers, Dot matrix printers and Line printers. Dot matrix printers remain in general use in businesses where multi-part forms are printed, such as car rental service counters.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

British coin Triple Unite

The Triple Unite, valued at sixty shillings, 60/- or three pounds, was the peak British denomination to be shaped in the era of the hammered money. It was only shaped during the Civil War, at King Charles I's mints at Oxford and, on the odd occasion, at Shrewsbury in 1642. It weighed 421 grains, or right away over seven-eighths of a troy ounce.
The gold coins are without a doubt magnificent pieces of work, and they show the king holding a sword and an olive branch on the obverse, suggestive of his wish for peace rather than war.
The extremely rare Shrewsbury-produced coin shows, on the obverse, a plume behind the kings' head bounded by the legend CAROLUS DG MAG BRIT FRAN ET HIBER REX -- Charles by the grace of God King of Great Britain France and Ireland.
The overturn shows the legend RELIG PROT LEG ANG LIBER PAR in two lines -- The religious confidence of the Protestants, the laws of England and the liberty of Parliament, with three plumes and the value numeral III above the announcement and the year 1642 below it, the whole being surrounded by the legend EXURGAT DEUS DISSIPENTUR INIMICI - Let God arise and His enemies be scattered.
The Oxford issues are extremely similar to the Shrewsbury one, except that the legend on the reverse appears in three lines rather than two, and the face legend appears as CAROLUS DG MAG BRIT FR ET HIB REX. Oxford coins come into view with slight design differences in each year of 1642, 1643, and 1644

Monday, January 07, 2008

Sustainable Transportation

Sustainable transportation concerns systems, policies, and technologies. It aims for the efficient transit of goods and serivces, and sustainable freight and delivery systems. The design of vehicle-free city planning, along with pedestrian and bicycle frendly design of neighbourhoods is a critical aspect for grassroots activities, as are telework and teleconferencing.