Dan Goodman's journal - August 2nd, 2006

August 2nd, 2006

August 2nd, 2006
12:00 am


Out of the soylent planet
Tuesday August 1, 2006. This was yesterday, and I forgot: As I left home, a barefoot neighbor said "You're lucky you're not barefoot." He went on to explain that the sidewalks and streets were hot, hot, hot.

I refrained from pointing out that my not being barefoot wasn't luck. I had decided to wear sandals; he hadn't.
The weather was considerably cooler today. Also wetter.

Back to Temple Israel's sale. Today was half-price day. Also, books were $5 a bag.

I spent $1.25, part of which was for an umbrella. I'll probably spend more tomorrow, which is Bag Day.

Downtown to Office Depot.

Took the Chicago Avenue bus to Aldi supermarket on Franklin. Except I lost track of where the bus was, and didn't realize I'd gone too far till the bus was near Lake Street.

As long as I was there, I stopped in at Uncle Hugo's.

Then back to Aldi, and then home.
Self-help information:

Selfwork: My back has loosened up more.
From the physicsweb LiveJournal feed:

Refining the fine-structure constant

Physicists have made the most accurate measurement to date of the fine-structure constant, alpha -- the dimensionless number that is a measure of the strength of the electromagnetic force. The new value, based on the most precise measurements ever of the magnetic moment of the electron, has an uncertainty of 0.7 parts per billion. The new value is ten times better than the next most accurate way to measure alpha.

Current Location: Minneapolis, MN

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03:35 pm


From bna.com's newsletter:

A freelance journalist and blogger was jailed on Tuesday after refusing to turn over video he took at an anticapitalist protest in San Francisco last summer and after refusing to testify before a grand jury looking into accusations that crimes were committed at the protest.

More than 170 Australians have had their tax file numbers stolen by online scammers who captured the information from their home computers when they were using the online e-tax system. The Australian Tax Office has issued a warning about the attack, but said the security breach was not specific to the Tax Office or the e-tax system.
<http://tinyurl.com/qas3a> [SMH]

It will soon be easier for American doctors to accept the donation of computer equipment and software from insurers, hospitals, and others without fear of breaking federal statutes. Under federal law, doctors are prohibited from referring Medicare patients to businesses in which they have a financial relationship, unless an exception applies. The new regulations establish that exception. They also specify that the computer systems that are donated must be able to talk and interact with other health care computer systems around the country.
From politics1.com:

Kansas: GOP centrist Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh easily fended off a primary challenge from State Senator Kay O'Connor, a Religious Right conservative who in 2001 infamously proclaimed her opposition to the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote.

Green Party State Chair Carl Romanelli -- the party's nominee for US Senator Rick Santorum’s (R) -- acknowledged receiving significant financial aid from the GOP in qualifying for the ballot. The AP reports Romanelli received $66,000 from Santorum donors to support his signature gathering effort. As a result of GOP support, Romanelli will submit far more than the 67,070 signatures required under Pennsylvania law. Romanelli did not deny receiving support from the GOP, stating "I have friends in all political parties. It's just that my Republican friends are more confident about standing with me than my Democratic friends. And as a group, my Republican friends are a little better off." Santorum also admitted his desire to see Romanelli on the ballot. "This is politics," Santorum said. "It's no surprise when you're an incumbent, it helps to have more people on the ballot." Santorum -- who trails State Treasurer Bob Casey Jr. (D) by double digits in independent polls -- also acknowledged encouraging his GOP campaign staff and volunteers to help with the signature gathering effort.

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06:01 pm


From the livescience LiveJournal feed:
Survey: Most Obese Claim to Eat Healthy
More than three-quarters of obese Americans say they have healthy eating habits, according to a survey of more than 11,000 people.
From http://eurekalert.org:
Public Release: 2-Aug-2006
UNC study shows ingredient commonly found in shampoos may inhibit brain development
Media representatives are invited to participate in a teleconference with University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researcher Dr. Steven Zeisel, author of a study examining an ingredient found in many shampoos and other personal care products that appears to interfere with normal brain development.
[Press release does not say that the ingredient is.]

Public Release: 2-Aug-2006
American Sociological Review
Heat waves kill in areas without businesses to draw older citizens
Severe heat waves kill more people in neighborhoods where there are few inviting businesses to draw older people out of their apartments, new research suggests. A study of the 1995 heat wave in Chicago found higher-than-average mortality rates in areas where businesses were run-down, and dominated by liquor stores and bars.
National Institute of Aging, National Institutes of Health
Public Release: 2-Aug-2006
Physical Review Letters
Pigment formulated 225 years ago could be key in emerging technologies
A mixture of zinc oxide and cobalt, first formulated in 1780 as a pigment called cobalt green, appears capable of allowing electrons to be manipulated magnetically at room temperature without losing its magnetism.
National Science Foundation, Research Corporation, Dreyfus Foundation, Sloan Foundation, US Department of Energy

Public Release: 2-Aug-2006
Business Ethics Quarterly
More regulations make Web sites less trustworthy, study shows
Placing strict controls and regulations on website operators does not make the Internet more secure and private for users, a new study shows. In fact, stringent policies seem to make the matter worse, says Dr. Karim Jamal, a professor in the University of Alberta School of Business.

Public Release: 2-Aug-2006
The secret life of semen
Semen could have far bigger role to play in reproduction than just acting as the primary carrier for sperm. According to an American researcher, seminal fluid from fertile men contains a host of hormones, some of which, such as follicle stimulating hormone, are known to induce ovulation. Others have a role in maintaining pregnancy. The researcher told New Scientist, "IVF clinics should consider not rinsing away the semen from sperm."

Public Release: 2-Aug-2006
Royal Society's Biology Letters
Predators prefer to hunt small-brained prey
Predators such as leopards and chimpanzees consistently target smaller-brained prey less capable of escape; research at the University of Liverpool has shown.

Public Release: 2-Aug-2006
A sub-stellar Jonah
Using ESO's Very Large Telescope, astronomers have discovered a rather unusual system, in which two planet-size stars, of different colors, orbit each other. One is a rather hot white dwarf, weighing a little bit less than half as much as the Sun. The other is a much cooler, 55 Jupiter-masses brown dwarf.

Public Release: 2-Aug-2006
Brain's 'gambling circuitry' identified
From gamblers playing blackjack to investors picking stocks, humans make a wide range of decisions that require gauging risk versus reward. However, laboratory studies have not been able to unequivocally determine how the very basic information-processing "subcortical" regions of the brain function in processing risk and reward.
National Science Foundation, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Public Release: 1-Aug-2006
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Trees appear to respond slower to climate change than previously thought
Genetic analysis of spruce trees provides strong evidence for the presence of a tree refuge in Alaska during the last glacial period, and suggests that trees cannot migrate in response to climate change as quickly as some scientists thought.
David and Lucile Packard Foundation, National Science Foundation

Public Release: 1-Aug-2006
Journal of Alzheimer's Disease
UMass Lowell research shows benefits of apple juice on neurotransmitter affecting memory
New research demonstrates that apple products can help boost brain function similar to medication. Animal research from the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML) indicates that apple juice consumption may actually increase the production in the brain of the essential neurotransmitter acetylcholine, resulting in improved memory.
US Apple Association, Apple Products Research and Education Council

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11:42 pm


From the gutenbergupdate LiveJournal feed:

Dracula by Bram Stoker
Language: English
From the online_books LiveJournal feed:

What is Coming? A Forecast of Things after the War (1916), by H. G. Wells (Gutenberg text)
[Old futurology is among my favorite forms of humor.]

Euphues and His England (Lyly)
Euphues and His England (based on the 1580 edition with author's changes; original spelling), by John Lyly (HTML at elizabethanauthors.com)
From the new_scientist LiveJournal feed:
Supernovae make dark matter bloat
The invisible dark matter at the centre of galaxies is not as dense as we would expect - and now we know why

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