Gongol.com Archives: June 2010
Brian Gongol

June 18, 2010

Science and Technology A little bit of insurance against existential risk
1.4-gigapixel camera newly mounted to a Hawaiian telescope will record four terabytes of data per night of photos of the night sky, which scientists will use to determine whether any big objects are headed our way

Computers and the Internet Cell phones are helping labor organizers in China
Technology undermining authoritarianism. Interesting.

News Oil from the Gulf could be in the Atlantic by October
Computer-based simulations suggest that it's going to be difficult to predict exactly what will happen, but the general outlook puts the oil on the East Coast by fall

Business and Finance How bad will the municipal-bond crisis be?
Lots of cities have been over-spending, and the same ratings agencies that failed to predict what would happen with the housing market are the ones judging how good the municipal bonds are. This could make for trouble.

Humor and Good News Major-League catcher marries woman he hit on from the bullpen

Weather and Disasters National Weather Service pushes lightning safety
On average, about 5 dozen Americans are killed every year by lightning. In terms of the total number of deaths each year, it's a tiny fraction of the whole. But lightning deaths are generally avoidable, so there's value in encouraging safe behavior.

Health Do yourself a favor: Take two minutes for a self-exam today
Take a minute or two and conduct some basic self-screenings for cancer. Early detection saves lives. There's lots of misinformation about cancer that finds its way around the Internet, largely because we've been trained to wait expectantly for some sort of magic-bullet solution to cancer. But cancer risks can be significantly reduced through a balanced diet, exercise, and early detection and treatment. Meanwhile, science is making great progress towards improving genetic detection, which holds great promise for some types of cancer. Instead of forwarding hoax-ridden e-mails about "cancer cures" and false threats, people should instead remind their friends and family to assess their health once a month.

Weather and Disasters Just before the storm
A well-defined boundary on an incoming severe thunderstorm. There's a pretty extraordinary risk of large hail moving into eastern Iowa, northern Illinois, and southern Wisconsin.

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