Top Ten Tweets: October 1, 2010

By | October 1, 2010

…where Stephen takes the top ten recent subjects in his tweet stream and writes further. Enjoy.


  1. Cool tech: The Livescribe Smartpen records audio, tagging notes to points within the audio stream. Allows “pencasts.”

    According to the article it completely changes the art of note taking. You tend to hit key words rather than full outlines. Then, when reviewing later, you can touch the pen to your outline and replay that portion of the lecture.

    “Pencasting” is where the instructor uses the pen and writes out notes or a math problem while he’s explaining it. The resulting Kahn-like movie clips can then be shared.

  2. cellresearch
    ‘Major’ stem cell development announced – Washington Times

    An easy way of turning adult stem cells into embryonic stem cells is a Holy Grail of biology – think of all the political battles that could be avoided.

  3. singulr
    ’100 percent’ chance for life on newly found planet? – Gliese 581g may be the new Earth.

    That headline is just a little misleading. They are 100% sure that there is a chance of life on this planet, not 100% sure there is life. Cute, huh?

    Since this planet is tidally locked – meaning one side of the planet is always boiling in the sun, the other side is freezing – the habitable zone of the planet would be rather narrow. We are not even sure life could develop under such circumstances.

    Other links to this story: sciam
    most popular on the site now: “Planet Hunters Discover a World That Could Harbor Life”

    Reuters_Science: Just-right planet that can support life detected.

  4. Brian Wang explains how we could get to Gliese 581g: metamaterial-based model of the Alcubierre warp drive to go up to 25% of the speed of light.

    Since the planet is 20 light years away, it would take 80 years (with no time for speeding up or slowing down) to get there with this first-gen warp drive.

  5. emilmgeorge tweets:

    O+P+T+I+M+U+S = 15+16+20+9+13+21+19 = 113

    113 is a Prime number;

    Optimus = Prime.

    Your mind = Blown Again.

  6. Two completely different developments in solar cells – either could make solar cells the cheapest way to produce electricity:

    io9: New technology that captures “exciton” particles could replace today’s solar cells

    Stanford: Solar cells thinner than light wavelengths hold huge power potential. 12-fold increase in light absorption.

  7. DIY is the future.

    sciam Tinker Joys: DIYers Turn Inspiration into Everything from Bamboo Bikes to Urban Rooftop Cosmic-Ray Detectors


    diy-science-invention_1_bamboo_bike.jpg

    BoingBoing
    A dream makers’ and fabbers’ pad

  8. miketreder:
    “New York City is more populous than all but 11 states; but granted statehood, it would rank 51st in per-capita energy use.” – David Owen

    No doubt about it. Urban living is more energy efficient, and is easier on the planet.

  9. bluepinegrove tweets: Multiple ebook readers present problems for libraries. Will standards emerge?

    Multiple ebook standards favor nondedicated devices like the iPad. Dedicated ebook readers will go the way of dedicated word processors. An example is this tweet from Sydell: The New Yorker has released its iPad App. It’s wonderful. Yes, it is bitter sweet. That stack near my bed is going to disappear.

  10. newscientist
    Evolutionary biologists rumble in Amsterdam: Sparks fly over origin of altruism

    I love this mental picture. Scientist “A” argues that altruism developed as a byproduct of language, Scientist “B” argues that it preceded language acquisition by millions of years. “A” picks up a rock, “B” picks up a thigh bone, and the rumble is on.

    • Phil Bowermaster

      Narrow as the habitable zone for the newly discovered planet might be, it’s a lot broader than any previously discovered habitable zone. It’s kind of interesting to ponder life that develops in that temperate band and then evolves very differently as it spreads out in one direction vs. the other.

    • stephentg

      A perpetual twilight world – what kind of weather would it have? Would the habitable zone be large enough to produce a breathable atmosphere for some form of life? If life needed O2 there as here, would there be a large enough region in the twilight to provide Oxygen?

      And what about continental drift? Maybe there wouldn’t be any in a world that never turns, but it would be a bit of a problem if it were to happen.

      Yeah, some very interesting questions.