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13 Aug

Just when one thinks that scientists tend to take themselves too seriously, or perhaps not seriously enough, there's this.

Anders Sandberg, a computational neuroscientist at the University of Oxford's Future of Humanity Institute, decided to explore the above-titled issue, posting a research paper on the web site arXiv that asked the question, "What if the entire Earth was instantaneously replaced with an equal volume of closely packed, but uncompressed blueberries?"

Sandberg's wonderment assumes the following: That the Earth becomes a mass of "big, thick-skinned highbush blueberries" as opposed to "wild, thin-skinned blueberries."

If that sounds like a distinction without a difference, it's not. According to LiveScience, the larger blueberries would be arranged with significantly more space between them; those spaces would be filled with air, which would also give rise to an interesting set of circumstances.

11 Aug

The Awake Rävik, which operates at speeds up to 35 mph (30 knots or 56 kmh) via a wireless hand-held controller, can coast through waves without polluting the atmosphere with fumes or excess sound.

The result of a year-and-a-half's worth of development and testing, the Rävik can provide 40 minutes of "mixed runtime" on a single charge. An integrated LED indicator lets the rider know when power is fading so that a return trip to shore can be safely anticipated. Users can swap out batteries, which require a charge time of 80 minutes each.

The board's carbon fiber body weighs 77 lbs (35 kg), including the battery pack, and dimensions are roughly 5 feet by 2 feet by a little more than a half-foot in thickness. Not exactly something that easily slings over one's shoulder, but also not excessively unwieldy once in the water.

09 Aug

Although the more health conscious among us may have ditched sugar for good, there are benefits to the carbohydrate. A new study reveals that just a little sugar can have slight brain benefits, especially in older consumers.

Scientists studied the effects of just a small amount of sugar on the brains of people of all ages, grouping study participants into two groups. The first group was between the ages of 18 and 27, while the second group was aged 65-87. Participants were given either a glucose drink or a placebo, then asked to perform a series of memory tasks.

07 Aug

Dieters have long tried to crack the weight loss code, trying everything from counting fat grams to cutting out all carbohydrates. But as nutritionist Daryl Gioffre recently pointed out, the human body is fairly complex, which means that there are many weight loss tips that simply don’t work.

One misconception Gioffre recently overturned is the fat avoidance fad that is now a thing of the past. In actuality, Gioffre says, a small amount of fat each day can actually help with weight loss, especially if it’s a healthy form of fat. She recommends seven to ten portions of good fats like almonds, macadamia nuts, and avocados each day, since good fats can increase metabolism and stave off the urge to eat.

05 Aug

If delivery drivers can have the ability to access smart lock technology to deliver a package to a single family home, why not multiple units in condo and apartment complexes?

United Parcel Service (UPS) is about to find out how well that kind of delivery system might work. And the company isn't choosing an out-of-the-way test market to get the ball rolling on the multiple delivery idea.

Instead, UPS has decided to introduce its new experiment in the land of high population density, New York City. The test, says a Reuters report, will include “hundreds of non-doorman” multi-family structures in Brooklyn and Manhattan that have installed the “smart access system” from Latch.

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