Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rush – Time Machine Tour Atlanta – YouTube videos


This is one of the best uses of technology I have seen. Rush offers an
iPhone app just to upload your concert videos here.

Reminds me of the Grateful Dead allocating a table at shows for tape
recorders. Dave Matthews Band also allows

Rush Time Machine Tour: Atlanta open thread



UPDATE - 9/30@9:53AM: Apparently the band and crew played golf at The
Trophy Club of Atlanta golf course yesterday afternoon according to a
post on the Club's Facebook page
(thanks Nicecoldbeer):

Rush concert tonight at the Verizon Wireless Ampitheater. The band and all
their crew played golf here yesterday and they were a blast to have out here.
We got a good picture with the band, pic to follow...


Rush to be named Legend of Live at Billboard Touring Awards



From: Rush is a Band

Sent: Wednesday, September 29, 2010 10:31 AM

Subject: Rush to be named Legend of Live at Billboard Touring


Jack Johnson to Receive Honors at Billboard Touring Awards
announced this morning
that Rush will be named this year's Legend of
at the 2010
Billboard Touring Awards
in New York City on Thursday, November 4th. From
the article


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Grab the auto-updating Bing Dynamic theme for Windows 7, enjoy some pretty pictures

Originally launched back in August (yes, we missed
it!), the Bing
Dynamic theme pack
is a quick and easy way to get the latest and greatest
Bing photos pasted all over your Windows 7 desktop wallpaper.

Four new
images were added
to the rotation today
, but I honestly have no idea how many images are
actually part of the pack. Apparently two new images are added every week -- it
uses an RSS feed to discover new images! -- and there's nothing better than
turning your computer on to be randomly surprised by a new, beautiful landscape,

the auto-updating Bing Dynamic theme for Windows 7, enjoy some pretty
originally appeared on Download Squad on Fri, 24 Sep 2010
07:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Stargate Props Auction – September 25th and 26th

Ever dreamed
of owning your own Stargate or other items from the Stargate SG1 and Atlantis
series? Well now is your chance. This upcoming weekend (September 25 – 26) a
live auction will be held at the Experience Music Project|Science Fiction Museum
in Seattle, Washington. You can also bid online if you are unable to make it to
the auction in Washington.

There will be live streaming of the auction available on the Propworx UStream Page.

Visit the links below for more information!

Stargate Auctions – Propworx [via

Begins for Stargate Auction

Live Auction

Download the
Propworx Stargate Auction Catalog here

Note: PDF Catalog is
approximately 28 MB (345 pages).

Video: How the Red Sea Could Have Parted


accounts of the Red Sea’s parting are hydrologically plausible, suggest computer
simulations of sustained winds in a coastal lagoon where the Nile met the
Mediterranean 3,000 years ago.

Under steady 60-mph winds, “the ocean model produces an area of exposed mud
flats where the river mouth opens into the lake,” wrote National Center for
Atmospheric Research oceanographers Carl Drews and Weiqing Han in an August 30
Public Library of Science One study. “These mud flats represent the
area of crossing, and the crossing party would observe water to their left and

In the Book
of Exodus
, Moses is described as leading Israelite slaves in flight from
Egypt, arriving at the Red Sea’s shores just ahead of pursuing armies. At that
point, “Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea
to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and
the waters were divided.”

Han and Drews, who hosts a
dedicated to the compatibility of science and Christian faith, don’t
consider the Exodus narrative to be literally true, but rather “an interesting
and ancient story of uncertain origin.” Others have been similarly intrigued,
suggesting that a rare phenomenon called wind setdown could have created dry
passage across the Red Sea’s narrow northern tip. A wind setdown is essentially
the flip side of a storm surge; when strong, steady winds cause water to rise
dramatically in some areas, it necessarily drops in others.

In 1879, theologian Samuel Bartlett proposed a setdown location at a shallow
inlet near of Suez, used by Arabs to cross the Red Sea at low tide. More
recently, Russian researchers Naum Voltzinger and Alexei Androsov calculated
that a 74-mph wind could have exposed an underwater reef near what is now the
Suez Canal.

In the new study, Han and Drews determined that the depressions in the reef
would have stayed underwater. They propose a different
, 75 miles north of the reef and just south of the Mediterranean, in
what is now known as the Kedua Gap. The area is now dry, but historical
reconstructions suggest an ancient branch of the Nile once flowed into a lagoon

After using satellite measurements and archaeological records to create a
model of local hydrogeography, the researchers ran simulations that found 12
hours of 60-mph easterly winds would have exposed a dry passage, 2 miles long
and 3 miles wide, out of Egypt.

When the winds stopped blowing, the waters would surge back, appearing in the
researchers’ words “as an advancing wall of churning water” — or, per Exodus,
“the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the
host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as
one of them.”

“If a crossing actually took place here, any debris field of military
artifacts should be found to the north of the gap,” wrote Han and Drews.

Video: Tim Scheitlin and Ryan McVeigh, NCAR. Image: Nicolas Poussin,
The Crossing of the Red Sea./Wikimedia Commons.

See Also:

Citation: “Dynamics of Wind Setdown at Suez and the Eastern Nile Delta.”
By Carl Drews and Weiqing Han. Public Library of Science One, Vol. 5 No. 8,
Augusts 30, 2010.

Brandon Keim’s Twitter stream and reportorial outtakes; Wired Science on Twitter. Brandon is currently working
on an ecological tipping point

Life on Earth May Have Had an Icy Start

The cracks in ice could have served as a safe environment — much like a cell
— for the first life on Earth to replicate and evolve.

The study adds plausibility to the ‘RNA World’
that argues life began with a single stranded molecule capable of

“I always thought that the idea of an RNA world was exciting, but that RNA
was a perverse choice of primordial material because it was hard to imagine
chemical conditions under which they could survive on the early earth,” said
biologist Philipp Holliger of MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in the United
Kingdom, who led a study in Nature
September 21.

“What we’ve found is that RNA would have been much happier in the ice than in
hydrothermal vents
, where it would have lasted only a few seconds,” Holliger

Holliger was inspired to study how RNA replicates
in icy conditions by a 2004
that found when nucleotides — the building blocks of genetic code —
are frozen in ice, they spontaneously assemble into random strands of RNA.

If nucleotides were present in the ice on early Earth, they could have formed
uncountable combinations of these random genetic strands, many of which would
have been meaningless. But a few of the strands might have contained the right
genetic code to begin self-replication.

Over time, the replicating RNA strands would have mutated and changed with
some of them surviving better than others, beginning the long chain of evolution
towards more complex organisms.

By testing the process out in beakers, adding water, salts, RNA building
blocks, and ribosomes — an
RNA-derived molecule that serves as a center for the further RNA replication —
Holliger found that liquid pockets ice would have served as an essential
container for this process to occur. The cold would have also kept the molecules
from degrading.

“It’s like the tortoise and the hare problem,” Holliger said. “The tortoise
is slower, but it keeps on going, rather than falling apart. One thing that was
available at the beginning of the Earth was time.”

A decade ago, this theory might have been dismissed because the early Earth
was thought to be so hot and volcanic that ice couldn’t form. But more recently
there has been evidence that the climate may have been more temperate, with
areas of ice on the poles and at high altitudes, Holliger said.

If the theory of an ice RNA world is correct, it could dramatically change our
search for life
elsewhere in the universe.

“Ice is literally everywhere,” Holliger said . “If we can conceive of life
arising and maybe thriving in ice it would considerably broaden the places to
look for life, both extant and extinct.”

Images: Flickr/Anita363

See Also:

Monday, September 20, 2010

Intel to charge $50 to fully unlock their CPUs

So does this mean that the new desktop you bought with
Intel’s latest line up chips has had it’s performance throttled in some way? I
have never heard of this and wonder if AMD does the same thing.



Sent: Sunday, September 19, 2010 11:20 PM

Subject: Intel to charge $50 to fully unlock their


Intel to charge $50 to fully unlock their CPUsIntel has
begun testing a new way to fleece consumers of their money, selling "upgrade
cards" that will allow buyers to fully unlock CPUs they have just purchased.

The first CPU added to the program is the cheap Pentium G6951
processor, which for an $50 upgrade card, can be unlocked to a full 1MB of L3
cache and HyperThreading support.

Each of those features are on
the chip from the get-go, but stay hidden unless you buy the upgrade codes.

Once you purchase the upgrade code, you head to Intel's site, enter the
code and run some software to unlock the full features.

Intel says
it is currently only "testing this upgrade mechanism at the budget end of the
market in selected markets."

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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Hubble Captures Cosmic Ice Sculptures

This water-color-esque image
captures hot stellar winds carving away at pillars of cold gas, like ice
sculptors wielding torches.

These one-light-year-tall pillars of cold hydrogen and dust are located 7,500
light-years away in the Carina Nebula. Violent
stellar winds and powerful radiation from massive stars are sculpting the
surrounding nebula. Inside the dense structures, new stars may be born.

This image is a composite of two images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope’s Advanced
Camera for Surveys
, one in July 2005 and one in February 2010. The 2005
observations captured light emitted by hydrogen atoms, which shows up here in
blue and cyan. The 2010 image is of oxygen light, which appears yellow and

The Carina Nebula is the subject of two of Hubble’s most famous portraits:
the “Pillars of Creation
and the dramatic new image released for the space telescope’s 20th

Image: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Project (STScI/AURA)

See Also:

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