Category Archives: Science

Hot Coffee Better for You than Cold Brewed

coffee

Coffee – Personally I like hot coffee. Now there is some scientific proof that hot coffee is better for you than the ever more popular cold brewed coffee. I read that today in the article “Hot brew coffee has higher levels of antioxidants than cold brew“. Specifically:

the researchers [from Philadelphia University & Thomas Jefferson University] found that hot-brewed coffee has higher levels of antioxidants, which are believed to be responsible for some of the health benefits of coffee.

Their report was published Oct. 30 in Scientific Reports (Scientific Reports is an online multidisciplinary, open access journal from the publishers of Nature) “Acidity and Antioxidant Activity of Cold Brew Coffee“.

So buy some freshly roasted coffee beans, grind them yourself, and brew up some healthy coffee!

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Robot Does Parkour

Robots – Most of the images we have seen of biped robots show them as slow, clumsy machines. This latest demo of the Boston Dynamics Atlas is far from that. Boston Dynamics bills Atlas as The World’s Most Dynamic Humanoid. Certainly watching the video above that seems like a valid claim.

Museum Day 2018

Today is Museum Day 2018 in the US. Nearly 1,500 US museums are participating in Smithsonian magazine’s Museum Day this year, when institutions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia offer free admission to anyone with a Museum Day ticket.
Museum visitors can download tickets for participating museums online by visiting Smithsonian magazine’s website. Tickets provide free admission for two people, and they can be downloaded through 3 p.m. on September 22. Some museums are holding their open house on Sunday the 23.

You can use this Smithsonian site to search for Museums near you that are participating. See if there is a participating institution near you and go explore a museum today!

Would You Upload Your Memories to a Computer After You are Gone?

I don’t know if this is creepy or just a sign of the future.

The startup Nectome, a company in California founded by computer scientist Michael McCanna and engineer Robert McIntyre, is working towards preserving your memories. They plan to do this by preserving your brain after death and then mapping its connectome—the web of synapses that connect neurons. While the company has raised more than $1 (US) million for further research, their plan is not without controversy.

Assuming this was affordable and it works, would you consider preserving your memories?

See the article “Would You Want Your Memories Uploaded to a Computer After You Die?” if you want to learn more.

A Space elevator is Being Launched in Orbit Today​?

Space – Yes, a space elevator is being launched into orbit today, but don’t get your hopes up for a ride to space.

This is only a scale model for testing purposes. The model will consist of two cube sats (roughly 4″ on a side) connected together by a 10-meter steel cable. A container with an internal motor will move along the cable between the satellites. This experiment is being conducted by Shizuoka University in Japan.

While we are many years away from a true space elevator, once in place they will bring significantly lower costs to putting materials into orbit. While they were thought to be impossible when first proposed, today’s modern materials, such as carbon nanotubes, may make them a reality one of these days. If you are interested, read the article “A Japanese Company is About to Test a Tiny Space Elevator… in Space“.

macOS New App Release – International Space Station 2

Product Announcements – Tension Software of Milano, Italy has released International Space Station 2 for macOS, which allows users to see the position of the the International Space Station over an interactive map of the world or an interactive tridimensional representation of the globe.

With a simple view users will be able to see if the International Space station will be visible (naked eye) from their local position in the next hours. Using the application (release 1) I did it many time and success is granted and also the ‘Wow effect’ from the one you show it in the sky. Many people has no idea the space station can be seen naked eye (if you know when to look and where)

With a simple click anyone can also see the live webcam stream coming from the International Space Station. Users will watch the astronauts activities with video and audio, all live.

Calculation of the position of the station is very accurate, the app uses the latest NASA code optimized for Mac to calculate it. Users don’t get an approximated position, they get the exact position, speed and altitude of the Station updated every second.

The route path is visualized over the map to evaluate if the station is coming near your position in the next hours (when meteorological and light condition are adequate you can see it without any instruments, just observing the sky naked-eye).

Time of day matters, you can’t see it during the day but only when you have dark sky and the station still get the sun light, so usually after sunset for around 3 hours and before dawn (for a period of 3 hours).

Every year during the summer I had the possibility to see it many times in a month and many nights you have 2 valid passages (distanced by the time it spend for a world circle with is around 90 minutes at 27 000 Km/h – 17 000 MPH)

You can zoom, move and resize the map as you like at any time and on the map you see exactly from where it’s coming and where to look to catch it After some time you will become expert to spot it in the sky as soon as it is on the horizon.

The application downloads at regular time, once per day when you startup it, from our server, the latest orbital parameters to calculate the orbit, so the calculation obtained for the position is always accurate and perfect because the app uses the most updated orbital parameters.

No user action required, the app does it all alone. Our own server provides always updated NASA data to your app when it requires it.

International Space Station is easy and fun to use, anyone can use it even if it uses sophisticated satellite orbit calculation with the same alghoritm used by pro orbital calculation software.

  • Perfect results as using pro orbital software but in an easy to use app
  • Offers 6 different types of map/3D globe on macOS 10.13 (5 on previous release, plain map not available till 10.12, and only 3 types on macOS 10.10)
  • Customizable latitude/longitude format
  • Measure units in Km and Km/h or NM and MPH
  • Zoomable interactive Map and 3DGlobe showing also night/day areas
  • ‘Keep Centered’ function
  • Circle area of visibility moving with the station* Autodetect of your position and circle area of visibility around your position
  • Includes a PDF User Guide

Plus it offers fast access via your web browser to various dedicated area:

  • Page Station at NASA
  • Nasa station blog
  • Web Cam stream on board of the station
  • Audio stream from the station
  • Facebook page of the station
  • Twitter NASA astronauts
  • Twitter ESA astronauts
  • YouTube presence
  • Flickr presence

Requires an internet connection for Apple Map visualization, data update once a day, web cam stream and web pages access. Position is calculated locally using the latest algorithm for orbit computation coded for macOS. We have also a version for the iPhone and the iPad with similar features. Search on the iOS App Store for ‘ISS Track 2’

What’s new in release 2.0:

  • Now uses native Apple MapKit
  • 6 different type of maps
  • Till 12 hours of station trajectory
  • User position visualization
  • Visibility circle also around the user
  • Improved algorithm
  • Various optimizations
  • Various Bug fixes

Device Requirements:

  • macOS
  • 13.4 MB

Pricing and Availability:
International Space Station 2 is just $6.99 USD (or an equivalent amount in other currencies) and is available worldwide through the Mac App Store in the Education category.

Coffee and Caffeine – Of Course There Is An Algorithm​ For Optimum Consumption

coffee
Coffee – Many of us brew coffee first thing in the morning and begin our daily consuption. The U.S. Army researched the consuption of coffee and found that there is an algorithm we can follow to achieve optimum alertness. The results of the study indicates that people’s performance on an attention task can be improved by up to 64 percent. When the algorithm is followed, caffeine consumption can be reduced by up to 65% while still maintaining elevated levels of performance.

As a result of the research a web-based tool 2B‐Alert Web has been developed to help predict a person’s alertness based on their sleep time and caffeine consumption.

The study “Caffeine dosing strategies to optimize alertness during sleep loss” was published in the Journal of Sleep Research on May 28, 2018.

I don’t drink coffee intending to enhance my alertness these days. I drink it because I simply like the taste. However, if you are in a position where alertness is essential to your job, this may be something to look into.

Coffee is Good for You!

coffee

Coffee – As I sit at my desk drinking my second cup of coffee of the day, I remember seeing the article “Is Coffee Good For You? This New Report Says It Is, So Drink Up” a few weeks ago and wanted to share it. What this article refers to is the study “Association of Coffee Drinking With Mortality by Genetic Variation in Caffeine Metabolism” published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The findings (taken from the published report):

This large prospective cohort study of a half million people found inverse associations for coffee drinking with mortality, including among participants drinking 1 up to 8 or more cups per day. No differences were observed in analyses that were stratified by genetic polymorphisms affecting caffeine metabolism.

So what does that say in plain English? Those that drink coffee may live a little longer than those who do not. This is true whether the consumer has just one or two, or even up to eight, cups of coffee each day. Coffee consumption can be part of a healthy diet. The health improvement seems to come from the ingredients other than the caffeine in the coffee beans.

This study is not so radically new. I posted in August of 2017 “Drink Coffee, Prolong Your Life” and “Evidence that Drinking Coffee May Slow Aging” in January of 2017. The evidence keeps piling up on the benefits of drinking coffee. So buy some freshly roasted beans, then grind away each morning to brew yourself a few cups of healthy goodness.

Coffee – Maybe You Just Need the Smell?

Coffee – I like coffee and have posted about it before. I saw a recent reference to a study “The impact of coffee-like scent on expectations and performance” published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology.

The study looked at performance on an analytical reasoning task as well as on actual performance. Their key results were:

  • people in a coffee-scented (versus unscented) environment perform better on an analytical reasoning task due to heightened performance expectations
  • people expect that being in a coffee-scented environment will increase their performance because they expect it will increase their physiological arousal level
  • a coffee-like scent (which actually contains no caffeine) can elicit a placebo effect

While I do like the scent of fresh brewed or even roasting coffee, I’m not sure that the scent alone is enough in the morning, though it no doubt helps. I still plan to have my two cups each morning. Perhaps though this is a good incentive for companies to allow coffee pots in and around workspaces where the scent of brewing coffee can drift over the workers in the morning.

Hurricane Season 2018 Opens with Beryl

Well, Hurricane Season (nominally defined as June 1 to November 30) is back. The first major storm of the season is  Beryl. If you live in the US, particularly the eastern portion of the country or are traveling there or have family there, you will want to keep up with hurricanes.

A while back I published reviews on three good websites for keeping track of hurricanes. I thought it was a good time to bring them back to peoples attention. These are:


You may be interested in my other Web Tool recommendations