Monthly Archives: December 2014

First robot to fly as a paying passenger on an airline

“Athena”, flying from Germany to Los Angeles. Advertisements

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Handwriting vs. Typing: The Pen is Still Mightier Than the Keyboard

As keyboard typing (or scrawling on a tablet with a clunky stylus) takes over, evidence suggests that learning with old fashioned handwriting provides important cognitive benefits. Typing, in contrast, distracts your brain with the mechanical task of replicating content — making it … Continue reading

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Compensation of Top College Presidents

The Chronicle of Higher Education has released facts and figures on 2012 executive compensation at private colleges.  In 2012, 36 private college presidents earned more than $1 million, with the highest being paid more than $7 million.  I was curious what might … Continue reading

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NASA’s Pluto-Bound Spacecraft Has Awakened For the Final Leg of Its Journey

NASA has confirmed that New Horizons, the space probe headed for a close approach to Pluto has emerged from hibernation and is communicating with mission control.  The probe has traveled 3 billion miles from Earth and is scheduled to approach … Continue reading

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CRISPR Genomic Editing Patent Disputes Heat Up

MIT Tech Review has a good article about the brewing intellectual property battle over CRISPR-Cas9 DNA editing.  The ease with which human DNA (or that of any eukaryotic organism) can be edited with the genetic engineering technique is astonishing, and will undoubtedly … Continue reading

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The World at Night with Clear Skies and No Light Pollution

Courtesy of, a beautiful interview with the talented night sky photographer Ben Coffman. Follow both links; you won’t be dissapointed.

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Chromebooks taking iPads to school in education market

A new IDC report claims that more laptops based on Google’s Chrome OS were shipped to schools in the third quarter than Apple’s tablets, thanks in no small part to the notebooks’ low price. While momentum for Chromebooks in schools is substantial, … Continue reading

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3-D-Printing Bio-Electronic Parts

With new “inks” containing semiconductors, researchers have been able to print biocompatible materials, including working LEDs.

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What sort of electronic device do 6th graders really need?

Some folks have asked me what sort of electronic device does a 6th grader really need.  I can give you some insights from what I’ve seen while helping out with two FIRST Lego League teams, and the experience my son had hosting … Continue reading

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