iLoveMyXO Accessories And You Should Too

We've made a few improvements over here -

First, we recently made the replacement parts available on Amazon. We are hoping that this will allow more people to know that replacement parts are available [versus finding us, the needle in the haystack].

Second, we created a "New" Travel Pack for the OLPC XO Laptop. The "New" Travel Pack now includes the XO Power Adapter and the Laptop Bag. The battery can be added on at a discounted price; not sure how it will go, but we thought it might be worth a try.
The "Original" Travel Pack for the OLPC XO Laptop is still available in limited numbers through our Name Your LinkAmazon storefront

Thank you, thank you for your continued support!

See original: One Laptop Per Child News iLoveMyXO Accessories And You Should Too

Pobreza que vale ouro

Digamos que você tenha ganho um grande prêmio de R$4.000,00 em moedas de um centavo. Você pensa: Uau, que sorte! Com tanto dinheiro assim em um país como o nosso eu consigo quase comprar a quinta parte do carro zero mais barato do mercado! Agora imagine que você encontra uma criança que acabou de achar [...]...

Frebel, A., Aoki, W., Christlieb, N., Ando, H., Asplund, M., Barklem, P., Beers, T., Eriksson, K., Fechner, C., Fujimoto, M.... (2005) Nucleosynthetic signatures of the first stars. Nature, 434(7035), 871-873. DOI: 10.1038/nature03455  Nucleosynthetic signatures of the first stars


See original: Research Blogging - All Topics - Portuguese Pobreza que vale ouro

Product Review: Finis Swimp3 1G [The Questionable Authority]

If your face is regularly complimented with goggle rings and you spend hours every week following the black line, this review might just interest you. If don't know what I'm talking about, it won't.

I like to swim. This is a good thing, since I'm currently employed as a head guard, and spend more than 40 hours a week at the pool. I'm required to swim at least 500 meters every workday, and I usually go well beyond that. And I really, really enjoy it - far more than I've enjoyed any other form of physical exertion.

But - let's face it - a long workout, especially distance sets in a 25 meter pool, can start to feel like Groundhog Day. Swim swim swim, turn, swim swim swim, turn, swim swim swim . . .

The Finis Swimp3 1G is one of the latest mp3 players designed for swimming. I picked up one a couple of weeks ago, and it's certainly not a purchase I regret. It's good to keep in mind, though, that it's not a typical mp3 player, and it does have both good and bad points.

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Also check out the featured ScienceBlog of the week: Neurotopia

See original: ScienceBlogs Select Product Review: Finis Swimp3 1G [The Questionable Authority]

Conference of Surprises

Most diplomatic affairs at the international level are carefully scripted and choreographed under the principle of “no surprises”.

That is not the case in Copenhagen at the international negotiations on global climate change. By only the third day in the two-week conference, there were several surprises and promises of more.

The first surprise came before COP-15 convened: The leak of e-mails from several climate scientists, widely circulated by climate skeptics and cited as evidence that experts were making up the numbers showing that climate change is an urgent and man-made problem. The e-mails, which proved nothing except that scientists are human, re-energized the skeptics and dominated the news media as delegates gathered in Copenhagen.

The second surprise also was a leak, this time of a document reportedly written by leaders in Denmark with the blessing of the United States and United Kingdom. (http://en.cop15.dk/news/view+news?newsid=2889)

The paper, one of several negotiating positions making the rounds in Copenhagen’s sprawling Bella Conference Center, proposes that greenhouse gas mitigation targets be established for many developing nations (they were excluded from these commitments under the Kyoto Protocol), that much of the authority for an international agreement be shifted from the United Nations to the World Bank, and that developed economies be allowed higher per capital carbon emissions than emerging economies.

The Guardian reported that COP-15 was in “disarray” after the paper was leaked and that delegates from many developing countries “reacted furiously”. Tuesday at the end of Day Two, representatives of emerging economies and members of a number of environmental groups marched through the Bella Center in protest. UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer pointed out that the paper was unofficial and for discussion purposes only, but the damage was done: it appeared as though some of the wealthy nations were plotting behind the backs of smaller nations, without consultation.

Meantime, small groups of representatives from smaller nations mixed among the thousands of delegates and observers in bright red uniforms reminiscent of the Olympics, carrying signs that read: “Pay your carbon debt”, a reference to demands from the smaller countries in the G-77 for a major transfer of money and knowledge from the industrialized to non-industrialized world.

In response to news earlier this week that the United States, Australia and several EU nations would propose $10 billion in annual assistance to developing countries, the leader of one of the nations on the receiving end of that aid protested that it wouldn’t be enough to “pay for the coffins” of the people who will die from the severe impacts of a degraded climate.

Then came the announcement from the White House on Monday that America’s environmental watchdog – the Environmental Protection Agency – had officially declared greenhouse gases to be a danger to public health and welfare. That finding triggers EPA’s authority to begin regulating six warming gases as it does several other air pollutants.

The announcement immediately raised speculation that Obama might have his own surprise when he visits Copenhagen next week – a declaration that his Administration intends to use its regulatory powers to cut U.S. emissions higher than Congress so far has agreed.

During a presentation at the U.S. Center in the conference hall on Tuesday afternoon, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson was asked three times whether such a surprise was in the works. Three times, she avoided giving a clear answer.

Also on Tuesday, a group of Republican congressmen from the United States announced their plan to travel to Copenhagen next week to undercut President Obama’s commitment that the United States will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent by 2020, a modest goal that mirrors the target narrowly approved by the House of Representatives earlier this year. (http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20091208/sc_afp/unclimatewarminguspolitics)

One of the traveling congressmen, Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, warned that Obama should not repeat the “mistake” former Vice President Al Gore made when he collaborated with other countries on the Kyoto Protocol, only to fail to achieve ratification by the U.S. Senate.

As the first week of COP-15 reached its mid-point, rumors circulated that some G-77 delegates might walk out in protest over what they perceive to be weak pollution targets and paltry financial pledges from industrial nations.

The only thing that was clear is that COP-15 is far from scripted and choreographed, and very far from predictable. Stay tuned.

See original: Climate Change Task Force Conference of Surprises

New drug threat to Asian vultures

A veterinary pain drug can be lethal to vultures that eat the carcasses of treated livestock, say scientists.

See original: Earth | Earth News New drug threat to Asian vultures

I Become My Resting Place

Alan M. Clark is an Oregon based artist, who drew all three of the beneath shown paintings. The first one, titled “I Become My Resting Place” inspired F. Paul Wilson in writing the story Anna. Later it was reused as cover art for Black October Magazine. I’ve never heard for any of them, but thought it would be worth mentioning. Anyway, first timers often misinterpret Alan’s images, only later to realize there is more to it than just some dead trees and branches. Actually, if you look closer you’ll notice not everything is as it seems. What I love about these pictures, is that you can easily imagine all kind of scary stories behind them. How would you interpret each?

As the technology exponentially progresses each year, sometimes we have hard time following it. Not to mention understanding new services. For example, in the beginning RSS feeds were so abstract to me, I didn’t even have a clue what to do with them. Same goes for Twitter and Google Wave. It made sense only after I had a practical need for a service of sort, later to learn was supported by mentioned products. Just recently I began understanding Twitter and potential behind it. Then the idea struck me, I could use our official Twitter account to directly post additional illusions, links, articles and photos that never made their way here to moillusions.com website. Even though we have millions of visitors here, it’s somehow hard to get followers for our Twitter account. Care to join our channel?

I Become My Resting Place - Alan M. Clark

I Become My Resting Place - Alan M. Clark

I Become My Resting Place - Alan M. Clark



See original: Mighty Optical Illusions I Become My Resting Place

I Become My Resting Place

Alan M. Clark is an Oregon based artist, who drew all three of the beneath shown paintings. The first one, titled “I Become My Resting Place” inspired F. Paul Wilson in writing the story Anna. Later it was reused as cover art for Black October Magazine. I’ve never heard for any of them, but thought it would be worth mentioning. Anyway, first timers often misinterpret Alan’s images, only later to realize there is more to it than just some dead trees and branches. Actually, if you look closer you’ll notice not everything is as it seems. What I love about these pictures, is that you can easily imagine all kind of scary stories behind them. How would you interpret each?

As the technology exponentially progresses each year, sometimes we have hard time following it. Not to mention understanding new services. For example, in the beginning RSS feeds were so abstract to me, I didn’t even have a clue what to do with them. Same goes for Twitter and Google Wave. It made sense only after I had a practical need for a service of sort, later to learn was supported by mentioned products. Just recently I began understanding Twitter and potential behind it. Then the idea struck me, I could use our official Twitter account to directly post additional illusions, links, articles and photos that never made their way here to moillusions.com website. Even though we have millions of visitors here, it’s somehow hard to get followers for our Twitter account. Care to join our channel?

I Become My Resting Place - Alan M. Clark

I Become My Resting Place - Alan M. Clark

I Become My Resting Place - Alan M. Clark

See original: Mighty Optical Illusions I Become My Resting Place

The USPSTF mammography guidelines and African American women: Do they even apply? [Respectful Insolence]

A while back I wrote about really rethinking how we screen for breast cancer using mammography. Basically, the USPSTF, an independent panel of physicians and health experts that makes nonbinding recommendations for the government on various health issues, reevaluated the evidence for routine screening mammography and concluded that for women at normal risk for breast cancer, mammography before age 50 should not be recommended routinely and should be ordered on an individualized basis, and that routine formalized breast self-examination (BSE) should also not be routinely recommended. In addition, for women over 50, it was recommended that they undergo mammography every other year, rather than every year. These recommendations were based on a review of the literature, including newer studies.

To say that these new recommendations caused a firestorm in the breast cancer world is an understatement. The USPSTF was accused of misogyny; opponents of health care reform leapt on them as evidence that President Obama really is preparing "death panels" for your mom; and HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius couldn't run away from the guidelines fast enough. Meanwhile, a society I belong to (the American Society of Breast Surgeons) issued a press release accusing the USPSTF of sending us back to the "pre-mammography" days when, presumably women only found breast cancer after it had grown to huge size (just like Europe and Canada, I guess, given that the recommendations for screening there closely mirrors those recommended by the USPSTF. Meanwhile, in the most blatant example of protecting its turf I've seen in a very long time, the American College of Radiology went full mental jacket with a press release that was as biased as it was insulting. Meanwhile some physicians even likened the recommendations to going back to being like Africa, Southeast Asia and China as far as breast screening goes in that he actually speculated that he'd now become very busy treating advanced, neglected breast cancers.

I had left the issue alone for a while, primarily because I was seeing a whole lot of heat and no light in the discussion. I had my problems with the new guidelines; indeed, I was surprised at how far they went and how fast. I had expected a rethinking of our recommendations on mammographic screening based on multiple new studies questioning the value of screening the way we have screened. If you want to know more before I move on to the meat of this post, I'll list my posts here:

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Also check out the featured ScienceBlog of the week: Neurotopia

See original: ScienceBlogs Select The USPSTF mammography guidelines and African American women: Do they even apply? [Respectful Insolence]

A. Thomas McLellan, Deputy Director of the US Office of National Drug Control Policy [Terra Sigillata]

By way of my substance abuse blogger colleague, The Discovering Alcoholic, I learned of yesterday's New York Times article by Sarah Kershaw on Dr. A. Thomas McLellan. McLellan is a psychologist and drug abuse researcher with over 400 peer-reviewed publications to his credit. He held an academic appointment at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and was scientific director of the Treatment Research Institute which he co-founded in 1992 with Jack Durell, MD, and other researchers from Penn's Center for the Studies of Addiction.

However, McLellan is not a career bureaucrat like many in Washington ("I hate Washington," he is quoted as saying.). Beyond being a substance abuse researcher, he has experienced firsthand the pain and suffering of addiction:

But the loss of his younger son, who overdosed on anti-anxiety medication and Scotch last year at age 30 while his older son was in residential treatment for alcoholism and cocaine addiction, changed his perspective.

"That's why I took this job," said Dr. McLellan, who was sworn in as the deputy director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy in August. "I thought it was some kind of sign, you know. I would never have done it. I loved all the people I've worked with, I loved my life. But I thought maybe there's a way where what I know plus what I feel could make a difference."

Married to a recovering cocaine addict, Dr. McLellan has been engulfed by addiction in life and work. His own family has been a personal battleground for one of the country's most complex and entrenched problems, while as an expert he has been a leading voice for the idea that addiction is a chronic illness and not a moral issue. [emphasis mine]

McLellan notes that his experience in substance abuse research and treatment did not make him any better prepared for facing the addiction challenges of his sons:

"If it has to happen, better it happens to me, I'm an expert, right?" Dr. McLellan said. "I didn't know what to do and none of my buddies knew what to do, and let me tell you they were experts. So I said, 'What the hell are we doing?' "

Kershaw's article speaks in greater depth about the shift in drug abuse policy from one of a "war on drugs" to one of treatment and prevention. Even McLellan's boss, former Seattle police chief, R. Gil Kerlikowske, has had family members with substance abuse issues.

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Also check out the featured ScienceBlog of the week: Neurotopia

See original: ScienceBlogs Select A. Thomas McLellan, Deputy Director of the US Office of National Drug Control Policy [Terra Sigillata]

BBC News - Mapping the unborn baby's brain in 3D (by MRI) http://ff.im/cEEHA

EvoMRI: BBC News - Mapping the unborn baby's brain in 3D (by MRI) http://ff.im/cEEHA

See original: Twitter BBC News - Mapping the unborn baby's brain in 3D (by MRI) http://ff.im/cEEHA

Open Knowledge Conference 2010

OKCon, now in its fifth year, is the interdisciplinary conference that brings together individuals from across the open knowledge spectrum (such as also DBpedia in particular and Linked Open Data in general) for a day of presentations and workshops.Open knowledge promises significant social and economic benefits in a wide range of areas from governance [...]

See original: DBpedia Open Knowledge Conference 2010

Liked "Open Knowledge Conference 2010" http://ff.im/cEAaM

EvoMRI: Liked "Open Knowledge Conference 2010" http://ff.im/cEAaM

See original: Twitter Liked "Open Knowledge Conference 2010" http://ff.im/cEAaM