Science & Technology Channel

The Weirdness of CES 2016

I did not travel to the International Consumer Electronics Show this year, but did pay close attention to CES 2016 from the comfort of my own home. I find it both amusing and entertaining to find out about the interesting electronics that are presented at the show.

What catches my attention the most are the unexpected things. When I think of CES, it brings to mind smartphone chargers, products that track people’s health, and updated models of computers. I look for things that I wouldn’t have predicted would appear at CES 2016. I refer to this grouping of products as “weirdness”, but not in a derogatory way. Someone out there probably needs these products!

The International Consu...

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Why I’m Making My Twitter Account Private – Forever

When I first started using Twitter, back in 2008 or so, it was a whole lot of fun. Twitter allowed me to have conversations with podcasters that I’d met via podcasting, and who lived far away from me. It felt like a welcoming community.

Years later, Twitter has changed. The people who I follow are awesome, interesting, and creative. I feel lucky to have found them and that they have decided to follow me back (and talk with me from time to time). The problem I’m having is with the multitude of truly horrible people who have found Twitter, and who seem to think it is the best place in the world to share their awful opinions.

So, rather than continuing to play “whack-a-mole” in the hopes of creating some form of safety that Twitter simply refuses to provide – I’m making my Twitter account private. I will be making that change seconds after I post this blog and I will leave my account private forever.

This week, the drama of the moment ...

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Best Tweets About the Runaway JLENS Blimp

On October 28, 2015, a JLENS aerostat blimp broke free from its moorings and floated away. The military blimp went on a four-hour, 160-mile trip before running out helium and drifting to the ground somewhere in Pennsylvania.

When I first started seeing tweets about the blimp on Twitter, I wasn’t sure if it was real or a hoax. But, after the photos started appearing, it became clear that there really was an escaped blimp out there. I gathered up the best tweets about the JLENS aerostat blimp.


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Astronaut Scott Kelly Answered Questions From the ISS

On August 1, 2015, NASA Astronaut Scott J. Kelley (Captain, USN) did a “Q and A” over Twitter. People were instructed to use the hashtag #YearInSpace when they asked their questions. This is the first time an astronaut has done a “Q and A” on social media from the International Space Station.

I didn’t include all of the questions he was asked, or all of the questions that he answered. Instead, I tried to pick out the ones that were about the ISS itself, the experiments that are taking place on it, or the questions about day to day life in space.

Astronaut Scott Kelly has an ...

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The Best Tweets from #PrimeDayFail

According to Amazon, Amazon Prime Day was described as: Prime Day is a one-day global shopping event on July 15, 2015, with more deals than Black Friday, exclusively for Prime members.

The Chicago Tribune reported: Amazon touted its Prime Day event as “more deal than Black Friday”, and said that it would offer “thousands” of bargains on items like gadgets, tools, toys and pet supplies, and that offerings might be refreshed as often as every 10 minutes. To qualify for the deals, shoppers must be members of its Prime service that costs $99 a year, or sign up for a free 30-day trial.

Prime Day did not go well. There were two main problems. One, many of the products being offered were bizarre, outdated, and definitely not the types of deals people would expect from a sale that compared itself to “Black Friday”. Two, there were technical problems that occurred as people tried to make a purchase. Many were unexpectedly shunted into a wait list. Several of the more interesting products were “100% sold out” seconds after being offered.

The one good thing about Prime Day is that it inspired frustrated people to write entertaining tweets about it using the hashtag #PrimeDayFail.

Forbes reported some of the data that had been ...

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The Best Tweets from #GirlsWithToys – Part 3!

The #GirlsWithToys was created by anthropologist Kate Clancy. It was in response to a comment made by Shrinivas Kulkarni, an astrophysicist, during an interview. He said: Many scientists, I think, secretly are what I call ‘boys with toys’.

This made Kate Clancy angry, so she posted some photos of her female laboratory students with the “toys” they do science with. She also posted some of herself. Each time, she used the hashtag #GirlsWithToys.

Since then, many women in various fields of science joined in. This blog is the third (and final) post in my series about this hashtag. That being said, the #GirlsWithToys hashtag is still very popular, so there will be more photos of women of science, and their “toys” out there.

Previous to this post, I posted The Best Tweets from #GirlsWithToys – Part 2! and the first post I did on this topic The Best Tweets from #GirlsWithToys.

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The Best Tweets from #GirlsWithToys – Part 2!

Kate Clancy, an anthropologist, created the #GirlsWithToys hashtag. It was in response to a comment made by Shrinivas Kulkarni, an astrophysicist, during an interview. He said: Many scientists, I think, secretly are what I call ‘boys with toys’.

This comment made Kate Clancy angry, so she posted on Twitter some photos of herself with the “toys” she used to do science. She also posted some photos of her female laboratory students with the “toys” they used to do science. She was the first to use the #GirlsWithToys hashtag.

The #GirlsWithToys hashtag became extremely popular as other women, who were scientists, added their own photos of themselves (or female colleagues) who were using “toys” to do science. All together, it is very clear that women are not only capable of doing science, but also are out there, right now, doing it.

This is my second blog that has a collection of those Tweets. The first one got too big and wouldn’t load properly anymore. I moved many of those Tweets here, and will add as many more as I can.

For further details, I suggest you check out the firs...

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The Best Tweets from #GirlsWithToys

Kate Clancy is an anthropologist at University of Illinois who is studying evolutionary origins of women’s physiology and cultural origins of gender inequality. With that background, it is easy to see why she got angry over something said in an NPR piece that was part of the “Joe’s Big Idea” series.

In it, Joe Palca interviewed Shrinivas Kulkarni, who is a Caltech astrophysicist. In the interview, Shrinivas Kulkarni said: “Many scientists, I think, secretly are what I call ‘boys with toys’.”

In an article for Slate, Kate Clancy described some of the reasons why the phrase “boys with toys”, as a reference to scientists, bothered her. In response, she posted some photos of herself, her daughter, and some of the laboratory students (all of whom are female), doing science. She used the hashtag #GirlsWithToys.

It took off! Other women in science posted photos of themselves doing science (and the #GirlsWithToys hashtag). I collected some of the best Tweets from #GirlsWithToys in this blog. It is so vitally important for girls to see examples of women who are involved with science.

In the article she wrote for Slate, Kate Clancy pointed out...

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“Firsts” with My First Smartphone

Earlier this year, I got my very first smartphone.  I’m experiencing a bit of a “learning curve” as I transition from an extremely basic flip-phone to an iPhone 6.  I thought it might be interesting to put together a series of blogs that show what I’ve learned (so far).

There must be other women out there, who are in their 40’s, and who are inexperienced smartphone users.  Perhaps some of them will find this blog and discover that they are not alone.  I’ve decided to take the viewpoint that every little thing I learn how to do with my iPhone 6 is a “victory”.  Focusing on what I can do is encouraging.  Thinking about all the stuff that is left for me to figure out is intimidating.

In this blog, I am going to feature some of my “firsts” with my iPhone 6.  These small accomplishments are things that I figure most people breeze through while they are teens or in their twenties (and that they don’t need to give much thought to).  For me, it’s all new.

My First “Selfie”

The photo that is at the top of this blog is the very...

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Desperately Seeking Mario

One of the problems that comes with a new (or, used but new to you) smartphone is that it has a phone number attached to it. In some cases, it is possible for people to transfer their old phone number from one phone to another. I didn’t transfer my old number over for many reasons, one of which was I wanted a “fresh start”.

As a result, I have gotten a number of calls, texts, and messages from people who were desperately seeking to connect with someone named Mario. I’ve never met Mario, and have absolutely no idea who he is. Even so, I’ve ended up learning a bit about his life thanks to all the people who wanted to contact him. If, by random chance, Mario is reading this… please give your friends and family your new phone number. I’d like them to stop calling me.

In general, no one calls me...

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