PopSci is all about the children—we staunchly believe, as the sage Whitney Houston instructed us, that we should teach them well and let them lead the way. Unless, of course, theyre the kind of kids who tend to wander off while youre on vacation.
Fortunately, weve got that base covered too. In the April issue, How 2.0 featured a Hardware Trick of the Month showing how to recover a lost USB drive by equipping it with a piece of software that displays a custom message requesting its return whenever it's plugged into a computer. It turns out one prescient reader took the trick a step further, attaching drives to lanyards and hanging them around the necks of his young children while the family was at Disneyland. Sure enough, his three-year-old son disappeared, only to be found by a Good Samaritan and brought to the Happiest Security Facility on Earth. Security personnel then plugged in the USB drive, got the boys name and his parents contact information, and he was returned quickly and safely—an ending befitting, well, a Disney movie. Check out the full story from our friends at Daily Cup of Tech, who wrote the original script for the USB trick. —Doug CantorLink - Have Your Lost USB Drive Ask For Help
According to safeclimate.net, Nicole is an enviro angel
Dear Mega Carbon Emitter... I mean, Megan: I love a challenge, especially one thats impossible to lose. See, heres the thing—its not that Im more environmentally savvy than you (hemp? ew!); its just that I never leave New York City. I rarely travel. Im practically a hermit. And hermits have tiny, tiny carbon footprints. Like baby shoes.
If you live in the New York City area, come to our first meeting of the DIY minds at the Etsy Labs space in Brooklyn, Thursday, March 22 (that's tomorrow!). Phil Torrone of Make fame will be demonstrating and selling some of the Make kits, and Eric Singer, founder and director of LEMUR: League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots, will show of some wacky electronic musical instruments, including something called the Sonic Banana. Get more detail here. Hope to see you there!
How do I mount my new flatscreen HDTV on the wall? Can I permanently erase my name from the Web? How do I get "Big Pimpin'" as my ringtone for free?All good questions. And all are answered by the brightest tech minds we know in PopSci's monthly "Ask a Geek" feature. Today we bring you a roundup of our favorites, but we know there's more. Do you have a different answer to one of the questions posed to our chorus of geeks? Or maybe a question of your own you'd like to see answered? Sound off in the comments below. —John Mahoney
Be the envy of the outdoors with gear that keeps you dry, safe and powered up
By Mark AndersPosted 03.21.2007 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
Nature is swell, but you know what makes the great outdoors especially great? The gear. Check our picks for the best gadgets, technologies and tools that make communing with nature slightly less one-sided.
PopSci senior editor Nicole Dyer and I, PopSci.com's editor, have undertaken a friendly competition to see who leads the greener lifestyle. Basically, she thinks shes more environmentally savvy than I am, and Im not tryin to hear that. I contend that I am the greener girl, although maybe Ive fallen off the wagon a bit lately. I do know a lot about how to reduce my impact on the Earth—I was an environmental educator after college, for chrissake. I worked on an organic farm. I interned at the USDA Sustainable Agriculture office. I read Silent Spring and that Rudolf Steiner book on biodynamics. But Nicole is right: I dont live 100 percent according to the green gospel these days.
We assemble the choicest nerdy nuggets of everyday wisdom from the brightest tech minds around. Start your education now!
By the How 2.0 GeeksPosted 03.20.2007 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
Every group of friends has that one person to go to for tech advice: what kind of TV to buy, the right HTML tags to pimp out a MySpace page, and so on. Believe me, I would know. But although I consider myself fairly willing to share the tech wealth, my powers pale in comparison with the sage wisdom dispersed in the "Ask a Geek" feature found in each issue of Popular Science.
One high-school studentâ€™s successful quest to create atomic energy, just for kicks
By Gregory MonePosted 03.20.2007 at 2:00 am 3 Comments
Build a Homemade Nuclear ReactorCost: $3,500
Time: 2 Years
Itching for a challenging science project, two years ago Thiago Olson decided to build a small nuclear reactor. He had limited funds, limited space in his garage, and little engineering know-how. After all, he was only 15.
This week, several interesting reports on global warming came to light. First, scientists at the Carnegie Institution released the first large-scale study of what the economic impact of global warming has been over the past 20 years. They measured annual yields of the six largest crops worldwide—those that account for 55 percent of non-meat calories consumed by humans and 70 percent of total animal feed—and found, unsurprisingly, that increasingly warmer temperatures led to lower crop yields. What is surprising is that the production numbers amounted to a net economic loss of $5 billion a year.
This revelation comes in the wake of reports showing that this has been the warmest winter on record for the Northern Hemisphere and that the thinning ice at the arctic poles may be on the verge of a tipping point that would trigger change in climates thousands of miles away (warmer winters in the U.S., for instance, as fewer arctic cold fronts roll through).
Yet in some ways, these reports couldnt come at a better time. Though were more aware of the effects of our actions than ever before, Americans are still convinced that the results of global warming are far from imminent (according to a Gallup poll from last month: A majority worries about climate changes, but thinks problems are a decade or more away). Meanwhile, those who deny that there is any such problem, who insist that what the Earth is currently undergoing is part of a natural cycle, still have a prominent presence in the U.S. Studies like these go far in reminding us that global warming has tangible effects, that this is very much an issue of the present, and that our actions have consequences.
Still skeptical? Check back soon for our newest feature, The Green Smackdown, in which two PopSci editors go head to head to see who can live the greener lifestyle. Between catfights, theyll teach you things you can do to lessen your overall carbon footprint. And we promise, it wont hurt. —Abby Seiff