Get It To The Geek (Or Figure It Out Yourself)

I recently got a new one-terrabyte external hard drive. I already have one, and my computer’s hard drive is already that size, so I now have three terrabytes of disk space. It will never be enough.

After discovering that, for some reason, my computer was not really recognizing that this new external was connected to it, I decided to hold off for a week until a friend of mine could come and visit and I could ask him to take a look at it.

It’s not that I’m not computer-savvy. I am. My formal computer education was very basic-level computer education in elementary school (my favorite part of which was playing The Logical Journey Of The Zoombinis). This was in the nineties. I then had a typing class in seventh grade, which was helpful . . . although, to be honest, my typing became a lot faster in eighth grade when I started using instant messenger and also began doing my non-school writing on the computer. But, like many Millennials, particularly those of us born in the eighties (in my case, the late eighties), most of my knowledge of computers is self-taught. I consider myself competent with computers. I can hook them up, open them up to clean them, find files, etc. In some circles, I would be considered computer-illiterate, as I am not, say, a programmer. Compared to my mother, who, when she last had me look at her laptop, had two recycling bin icons on her very cluttered desktop, I am one of those unrealistically competent hackers in movies and on television* who can access anything on any computer.

Why did I wait to have my friend look at it before I did? Because he knows more about computers than I do. I’m not ignorant about them, but he is more likely to know something than I am. Instead of solving this particular problem for myself, which would have taken maybe fifteen minutes of trial-and-error (the solution being very simple), I waited a week for a friend of mine to look at it because I just felt …

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Science! Science Fiction That Stopped Being Fiction In 2012

Have you guys seen this list of 27 things that made the transition from science fiction to reality in 2012? I mean, they aren’t part of everyday reality just yet. But that’s okay. Some of these were big news for everyone (James Cameron’s adventure to the ocean depths, the discovery of the Higgs boson), but I had not heard about a few of these.

The short version of the list? Mentally controlling a robotic arm, robots crossing an obstacle course, silk that is stronger than steel, DNA photographed, invisibility cloaks, spray-on skin, reaching the depths of the ocean, stem cells may extend human life significantly (it worked on mice), 3D printer prints a house, legalized self-driving cars (in a few states; they’re just thinking ahead, really), Voyager I leaves the solar system, a human mandible was printed and given to a patient (as in, it’s part of his body and it works, now), rogue planet found floating through space, monkeys created from more than one embryo, artificial leaves that generate electricity, the Higgs boson discovered, inexpensive solar panels, diamond planet, optical implant to restore sight, Wales recorded the DNA of every flowering plant in Wales, an unmanned commercial flight docked with the International Space-Station, flexible glass, robotic exoskeletons (for NASA), human brain’s practical functions are observed, a planet with four suns, and Microsoft patented real-world virtual reality for games.

So, that’s just the list. You should really read the actual list and look at the pictures (and videos) and read the descriptions. So worth it.

But, for me, there were some definitely highlights. Um, stem cells dramatically extending human life. Obviously, “dramatically extending” is not the same thing as immortality. But, if this treatment is available and affordable within, say, three decades, then that gives me a very good chance of living long enough to, well, never die. This treatment does not confer immortality, but we all know that it’s …4

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Making an Active Choice for Healthier Kids (And Healthier Yous)

Photo of Children Eating Apples

As school heads back into full swing, there’s often a feeling of guilt on the part of parents. After all, leaving your kiddos in the hands of a school system that might or not be taking in loco parentis to heart is a bit frightening.

Perhaps to alleviate potential parental anxiety, Womenshealth.gov recently gave out some tips for what parents can do to give their children the best in terms of both help and well being.

1. Encourage your kids to catch all the Zs they can.

Adequate sleep and rest are essential, Dr. Peter Richel, a pediatrician at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mt. Kisco, N.Y., said in a hospital news release. His advice in this regard? Establish fixed bedtime routines and avoid booking too many extracurricular activities.

You know, it’s funny about kids and sleeping. My about-to-turn-sixteen-year-old daughter is a hard-core night owl. I cannot seem to convince the kid to go to bed at a normal hour (except every morning at 5:30 a.m. when I’m shaking her awake, at which point she laments her decision to stay up until two in the morning), and she’s almost proud of the fact that she spent much of her Honors Biology class last year asleep.

On the contrary, my little one totally resents the concept of naptime at school. Hates it. Wants to be learning (or on the playground) every minute.

It just got me wondering why younger children are given structured “rest time” of which they’re resentful while adolescents, who could probably use a mid-day siesta far more, struggle to say awake.

Odd.

2. Kids need to eat healthy.

Make sure your children get three healthy meals a day, [Dr. Richel] added. Breakfast is particularly important, and eating together as a family helps promote good communication skills.

I don’t think this is news to anyone. What’s worthy of conversation, however, is the follow through put forth by most parents.

And I’m guilty of this. One of my children has a cold Pop Tart for breakfast every morning, the other a cup of coffee.

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