Don’t forget the meteor shower!

Geminid Meteor Shower

Geminid Meteor Shower, 2012. Credit: NASA & JeffDai950; for much higher resolution version see APOD original posting

Not long ago I posted about the new meteor shower — brand new, one never before seen, so could be quite a humdinger — that will grace the wee hours of the night sky Saturday and Sunday morning (i.e., to see it you’ll need to stay up past midnight Friday and Saturday night).

And there’s not much required to enjoy it: You only need to drive out to some really dark location well away from city lights, stay up after midnight, and use the standard eyeballs God gave you. This could be such a spectacular event that I’m posting this again; here’s a link to the original post with more info.

Latest NASA update and even more info.

Enjoy!

Spectacular storm chase

Stormchasers in Wyoming captured time-lapse video of a spectacular super-cell that really shows the amazing power and terrifying beauty of this sky phenomenon.

DON’T go chasing storms like this unless you really know what you’re doing — they can be really dangerous, and driving around near them is very, very dangerous. (Trust me on this — been there, done that, did some things that, in hindsight, were really dangerous and stupid.)

Who gives the most? A curious finding…

Who are the most charitable people and countries in the world? It’s a complex question because charity can be measured so many ways. (The U.S. Navy rushed in and set up massive medical support and provision of water after the giant Indonesian Christmas-day quake in 2004, something that probably no one but the U.S. Navy could have done; it probably saved thousands of lives. But how does one measure something like that?)

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Google driving “trick”

Google has invested years and many millions of dollars developing a self-driving cars. And their progress has been remarkable: Those who have ridden in Google’s self-driving cars (always with a human driver in place and ready to take over, of course) have reported that the robotic cars drive so well they’re downright boring: they drive smoothly, safely, and one could even say intelligently.
But it turns out there’s a little trick involved, in fact the more I think about it the more I’m inclined to call it a very BIG trick, and the Google-bots’ ability to drive well could reallly be much more limited than it seems. This article from The Atlantic explains — click on the photo of the Google-bot car for the details.

Gluten: What you think…

… may all be wrong.

At least in the case of glucose intolerance, the same researcher that stirred up much of the brou-ha-ha about the dangers of gluten may have now found evidence to the contrary — or at least that much of the fear is very much misplaced. In fact, it’s looking like much of the the glucose sensitivity everyone was panicked about may not exist at all.

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