Thursday, December 18, 2014

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Interview With Diana on "Radiology In Practice"

Announcement: On Thursday evening, philosopher Dr. Diana Hsieh will interview me about "Radiology in Practice" on her live internet radio show, Philosophy in Action. This episode of internet radio airs at 6 pm PT / 7 MT / 8 CT / 9 ET on Thursday, 18 December 2014, in the live studio.

If you miss that live broadcast, you can listen to the podcast later. Here's a bit more about the show:
Most people have seen cool medical imaging devices such as CT and MR scanners on TV shows. But what do those machines really do? Advanced medical imaging has revolutionized patient care in the past 25 years, allowing doctors to make diagnoses more accurately, quickly, and safely than ever before.
Radiologist Paul Hsieh will discuss the basics of modern radiology (x-rays, MRI, ultrasound, and nuclear medicine), how these different tests work, what they show about the human body, and how they help doctors take better care of patients.
To join the live broadcast and its chat, just point your browser to Philosophy in Action's Live Studio a few minutes before the show is scheduled to start. By listening live, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask follow-up questions in the text chat. The podcast of this episode will be available shortly after the live broadcast here: Radio Archive: 18 December 2014.

For more about Philosophy in Action Radio, visit the Episodes on Tap and Podcast Archives.

MOOCs Aren't Revolutionizing College, But They're Not a Failure

MIT Technology Review: "MOOCs Aren't Revolutionizing College, but They're Not a Failure"

The Drones Are Coming

Nice overview of some of the interesting new technical and legal challenges as drone use becomes more widespread in the civilian economy.

Princeton Scientists 3D Printing LEDs Into Contact Lenses

"Princeton Scientists 3D Printing LEDs Into Contact Lenses"

Robin Hanson On The Great Filter

TEDx talk from Robin Hanson: "The Great Filter". 

As he puts it, "Something out in the universe is killing everything, and we're likely next."

Monday, December 15, 2014

Crappy Magazines in Doctors' Waiting Rooms

Science Has Spoken! "Researchers Finally Figured out Why Doctors’ Waiting Rooms Have Such Crappy Magazines" (Slate, 12/13/2014).

From the Slate article:
Bruce Arroll, a doctor and professor at the University of Auckland in New Zealand (apparently this is a global problem) gathered up 87 new and old magazines (a number determined by "how many magazines the investigators could rustle up from family and friends") covering a variety of topics and placed them in the waiting room of his practice.
It turns out that if there are current magazines around, people steal them.
Here's the original British Medical Journal article: "An exploration of the basis for patient complaints about the oldness of magazines in practice waiting rooms: cohort study" (12/11/2014).

From the BMJ article:
"Figure 1. Survival probability for gossipy and non-gossipy magazines in waiting room"

Personal case example: When I went to take my father to a doctor's appointment in Los Angeles earlier this year, they had this 1987 (!) magazine in the waiting room.

I'm pretty sure this falls in the BMJ "non-gossipy" category.

How to Survive A Helicopter Crash

"How to Survive A Helicopter Crash". (Via H.R.)

Big Data In Museums

WSJ: "When the Art Is Watching You"

Iowa Digital Driver's License

"Iowa's smartphone driver's license is a big step toward all-digital wallets".

One possible concern: "Why The Iowa Digital Driver's License Seems So Cool—And Scary; If phones = wallets, should we hand them to cops?"

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Friday, December 12, 2014

Worst Parking Job In North America

"The worst parking job in North America caught by police, YouTube".  (Via B.T.)

Glasses For Color-Blind People

Special glasses for color-blind people, "effectively provide high color contrast, producing an image in which the primary colors of red, blue, and green 'pop' and are perceived correctly by the wearer." 

The company website explains how the technology works.

And some cool video of color-blind people trying them out for the first time:

When the Computer Mouse Was New

"When the Computer Mouse Was New"

Hot iPod Classic

The discontinued iPod Classic is a hot item on the secondary markets, often selling for 4x the original price.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

How the Perfect Car Door Sound Is Made

Lots of science behind making the perfect card door sound.

From the article:
Some of the most advanced uses of these techniques today are found in the high-end automotive industry, where engineers and designers now routinely lavish attention on every acoustic detail, from the sound of the engine to cabin noise to the squeak of the windshield wipers to the reassuring k-thunk of a car door closing — a subtle but remarkably influential sound when it comes to a potential customer’s decision to buy a new car, experts say.

“The customer may not really know this is important for him, but this is something that really affects his decision to buy a car,” says Florian Frank, Specialist for Noise, Vibration and Harshness who works on acoustical design for BMW and is responsible for perfecting the sound profile of new car designs.

For example, the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is “a sporty car, so the door isn’t supposed to sound too heavy. It can’t sound too light, because a light door wouldn’t convey the right aspects of quality and safety. But it’s not supposed to sound too heavy, either. It should have a precise sound.”

By contrast, “the BMW 7 Series would be a bit softer maybe, a bit darker in the sound as it’s our flagship sedan.” 
(Via Marginal Revolution.)

Microsoft Vs. Feds on Data Privacy

"Microsoft tells US: The world's servers are not yours for the taking"

The Batmobile of Yachts

"The Batmobile of Yachts Is as Awesome as It Sounds"

Math Vs. Maths

"Why Do Brits Say Maths and Americans Say Math?"