Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Meat from Poop - Really Japan?

Remember that scene in “Demolition Man” where Sylvester Stalone’s character eats a rat burger and likes it? Thinks he’d feel the same way if he ate human excrement in the form of a burger?
A team of Japanese researchers lead by Mitsuyuki Ikeda of the Okayama Laboratory have created a way through which the biological process of consuming food then passing it can be cyclical. Yes, they’ve created a way to make edible “meat” out of human excrememnt.
This novel and very disgusting concept was discovered when Ikeda was asked to look at the various possible uses of sewage. Instead of complaining over having a really terrible job, he discovered that it contains a great deal of protein due to the bacteria that populates it.
Sounds kind of gross, huh? But it’s not like the “meat” is created by taking poop and squishing it into a patty. The process involves extracting the proteins from the sewage, combining them with a “reaction enhancer” (whatever that is), and putting it in an “exploder.” Magical science-y stuff ensues and VOILA! You have poop meat.
Once created, the “meat” is colored red and the flavor is enhanced with soy protein. The finished product is broken down as follows: 63% proteins, 25% carbs, 3% lipids, and 9% minerals. Yes, this is all well and good, but how does it taste?
According to initial reports, it actually tastes like beef. Of course, the hardest part is getting people to eat it. According to Professor Ikeda, there are “psychological barriers that need to be surmounted knowing that your food is made from human feces.” The ultimate goal, then, is to convince people that eating a poop burger isn’t all bad and will consider the environmental impact when making the decision between meat made from animals and meat made from poop.
Right now the product costs 10-20 times the price of normal meat, though this is due to the cost of the research. With luck (and I use that term loosely) “poop burgers” and every variation of this bizarre creation will be priced the same as their natural counterparts.
The “meat” will also have fewer calories, but when you’re eating poop I’m sure that’s the least of your worries.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Off-Topic; What really grinds my gears, OLD PEOPLE DRIVING

In the next 20 years the number of elderly drivers (persons 70 & over) is predicted to triple in the United States. As age increases, older drivers generally become more conservative on the road. Many mature drivers modify their driving habits (for instance to avoid busy highways or night-time driving) to match their declining capabilities. However, statistics show that older drivers are more likely than younger ones to be involved in multi-vehicle crashes, particularly at intersections.
Research on age-related driving concerns has shown that at around the age of 65 drivers face an increased risk of being involved in a vehicle crash. After the age of 75, the risk of driver fatality increases sharply, because older drivers are more vulnerable to both crash-related injury and death. Three behavioral factors in particular may contribute to these statistics: poor judgement in making left-hand turns; drifting within the traffic lane; and decreased ability to change behavior in response to an unexpected or rapidly changing situation.
Concern about the increased number of older drivers and their potentially decreased driving abilities is growing, especially among younger drivers. Statistics, based on all people injured or killed in traffic crashes, indicate that older drivers are at a disproportionate risk for becoming involved in fatal crashes. A NHTSA study of 1995 FARS (Fatal Accident Reporting System) data reports that senior citizens accounted for:
  • 5% of all people injured in traffic crashes
  • 13% of all traffic fatalities
  • 13% of all vehicle occupant fatalities
  • 18% of all pedestrian fatalities
In a 1997 NHTSA study, older people made up 9 percent of the population but accounted for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities and 17 percent of all pedestrian fatalities. NHTSA's "Traffic Safety Facts 1997: Older Population" (DOT HS 808 769) reports that:
  • In 1997, more than 24 million people in the United States were over 70 years of age.
  • Representing 9 percent of the population in 1997, the 70-and-older age group grew 2.1 times faster from 1987 to 1997 than the total population.
  • In 1986 older drivers were 7 percent of licensed drivers; in 1996 they were 19 percent of licensed drivers.
  • Of traffic fatalities involving older drivers, 82 percent happened in the daytime, 71 percent occurred on weekdays, and 75 percent involved a second vehicle.
  • When a crash involved an older driver and a younger driver, the older driver was 3 times as likely as the younger driver to be the one struck. Moreover, 28 percent of crash-involved older drivers were turning left when they were struck-- 7 times more often than younger drivers were struck while making left turns.
  • Older drivers involved in fatal crashes and fatally injured older pedestrians claimed the lowest proportion of intoxication--defined as a blood alcohol concentration of 0.10 grams per deciliter or higher.
  • While only 55 percent of adult vehicle occupants (ages 18 to 69) involved in fatal crashes were using restraints at the time of the crash, 70 percent of fatal- crash-involved older occupants were using restraints.
  • "On the basis of estimated annual travel, the fatality rate for drivers 85 and over is nine times as high as the rate for drivers 25 through 69 years old."
Statistics show that in two-vehicle fatal crashes involving an older and a younger driver, it is 3.1 times as likely that the vehicle driven by the older person will be struck. In 27% of these two-vehicle fatal crashes the older driver was turning left. Drivers over 65, along with new teen-age drivers, have the highest accident rates per miles driven. Another NHTSA study found that on the basis of estimated annual travel, the fatality rate for drivers 85 and over is nine times as high as the rate for drivers 25 through 69 years old.
Lawrence Nitz, a political scientist from the University of Hawaii, conducted a three-year study of Hawaiian traffic records and found that drivers over 75 were far more likely than other motorists to be cited for certain offenses, including failing to yield to pedestrians, backing up unsafely and failing to stop at a flashing red light.

What is being done to address the problem?

Mandatory driving tests - California, which requires retesting for anyone involved in a fatal crash or three or more crashes in one year, requires drivers over 70 to retest if they are involved in two or more crashes in one year. Proposals in several other states to toughen licensing requirements for older drivers have been thwarted by senior-citizen lobbying groups (AARP & others), who say age-based measures are discriminatory. They claim that a person's chronological age is not an accurate predictor of driving ability. The lobbyists argue that if seniors are forced to take mandatory roadtests in the absence of an incident, other age groups should be required to take them as well.
Deficit reporting laws - Pennsylvania is one state that has a physician's reporting law, requiring physicians to report disabilities that may affect driving ability. Some physicians, however, are reluctant to jeopardize their relationship with a patient by making such a referral. Most other states do not require physicians to report psycho-motor, visual, and cognitive deficiencies that may affect driving to licensing agencies.

What else can be done?

  • Deficit screening - Screening could be given to all drivers for whom age-related decline is suspected and whose performance is viewed as a safety concern for themselves and other motorists. In addition, health professionals and others who work with older populations could administer the tests. Screening could become a part of the regular process of license renewal. By reducing testing time, drivers could be quickly screened and identified either as capable, or as in need of further testing.
  • Crash statistics - DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) and insurance company records can help identify high-risk older drivers. In addition to crash counts, the details of the crash (roadway condition, time of day, location, fault) are important. Some crash patterns (e.g., the driver stopped in the middle of the roadway) may be better predictors of future crashes than others. Given that many older drivers involved in crashes have never had a crash before and may not have another one during the following year, crash records will identify only a few high-risk older drivers. However, crash statistics may be an important part of a comprehensive program to identify high-risk older drivers.
What can you do? - You may wonder about older friends and family members' performance on the road. You want to support their continued mobility but on the other hand you worry about their driving abilities. Unfortunately we don't all retain the ability to drive a car throughout our lifetime. Physical disabilities, mental illness, medications, loss of vision, or frailty can end anyone's driving career prematurely. Before you bring up the subject, keep in mind that the thought of losing a driver's license is very disturbing to most older people. Americans rely upon their cars to get to work, go to the doctor, go shopping, and visit their friends and relatives. The elderly equate losing their driving privileges with being dependent, feeling trapped, perhaps losing choice, control, and spontaneity in life. Discussing driving skill with an older person requires great diplomacy.
AgeQuest, a specialty firm addressing the training needs of professionals in the field of aging, older adults, and family caregivers, suggests in its publication "Supporting the Mature Driver" that the decline of skills necessary for safe driving sometimes occurs suddenly or subtly. Signs may include a pattern of close calls, violations or collisions, increasing difficulty in noticing pedestrians, signs, objects, or other vehicles; an observable decline in physical abilities; or a rapid onset of fatigue from driving.
Older drivers need to be aware that medications can significantly impair their driving by making them drowsy or distracted. Physicians and pharmacists should be consulted before starting new medications, to see if the drug can affect the ability to drive. Since side effects are often worse for the first few days of a new medication, people should avoid driving until they know exactly how a new drug affects them. If any medication causes sleepiness or disorientation, someone else should do the driving.
Eyes change with age. They lose the ability to focus quickly. Peripheral vision narrows and the retina becomes less sensitive to light. Physical activity is needed to keep a person strong and flexible for those quick reactions needed while driving. To be a safe driver, paying attention to road conditions and your own body changes is essential. A person's chronological age is not an absolute predictor of driving ability, but its impact should not be denied. Ultimately, however, what counts on the road is performance.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Another brick in the Wall

What is Walling? Walling refers to the use of buildings in order to make a choke more narrow (and thus easier to defend) or even completely blocked off in some situations. Applications are usually defensive, but they can also be used offensively to trap players in early on, or in any likely place of battle (usually late game) to give an advantage to your ranged units fight against melee (or lesser ranged) units.
How do I wall? Well with Terran, it's pretty easy. Protoss slightly less so and Zerg being (close) to unable to wall.
one Example:
Terran players create walls much more frequently than other races do because of the versatility they have from the Supply Depots ability to lower into the ground as well as the ability of most of their buildings to Lift off. Most common Terran walls are composed of two Supply Depots and a Barracks or one Barracks, one Factory and one Add on.
With Protoss you can use a combination of Warpgates and pylons with other buildings to create a wall but you CANNOT lower them like Terran players can do to supply depots.
How do I make a right wall? Well, it's not too hard. First off is a wall that will not allow units through like this one:
As you can see these structures overlap, thus disallowing units to pass through.
Any buildings adjacent to each other horizontally or vertically will completely block units from passing between them. If two buildings are placed diagonally so that only their corners meet, only small sized units can pass between them.

This placement results in a "semi-wall" through which only small sized units can pass

Is it bulletproof? Lol, No, nothing in SC2 is bulletproof, Enemy units that have equal or greater range than your own units can safely attack the wall itself, while your own units cannot attack back from behind the wall. This is a reason why Protoss players do not normally wall against Terrans, who get ranged Marines very early. Similarly, Protoss players can sometimes take advantage of the range of a Void Ray to attack a Terran wall from outside the range of defending marines.
A wall composed of weaker structures such as Supply Depots or Pylons early on can present a false sense of security, as Zerg players can perform a Baneling Bust to easily break down the wall, leaving the defender with few units to defend against the flood of zerglings breaching your wall. For this reason, Terran players tend to use Barracks and Factories for their wall as they are much harder to destroy, and can still provide the door function by lifting off. Protoss do not have this advantage and would have to destroy the building (or cancel before it finishes construction) to provide through access.
If your wall of supply depots or pylons is breached, you can become supply blocked, rendering you unable to reinforce or produce more units during the attack.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Not that kind of scouting, the STARCRAFT kind of scouting!

The first(and most basic) strategy for StarCraft 2 is Scouting.
What is Scouting? Well…Scouting usually involves using a Worker(Probe, Drone, SCV) to reveal remote areas of the map to gain information about the opposing player(s).
We should be scouting for multiple reasons, such as:
  • To uncover enemy game-play decisions
  • To reveal the expansions of the opponent
  • To learn the location of enemy units
  • To facilitate the prediction of tech choices
  • To assist game-play decisions
Now they can be doing a large variety of things , but how are we supposed to know EXACTLY what they’re doing? Sometimes its having an extra worker, double gas right away or dropping early production buildings. Some common indicators of strategy are:
  • Proxy - lack of buildings in base.
  • Cheese - lack of workers and more unit-producing structures.
  • Double Gas - would indicate a fast tech build.
  • No Gas - usually indicates a fast expand.
  • Structures - the type of unit producing structures will give an indication of what build or what units the opponent will use.
  • Placement - the placement of the buildings can indicate if the opponent will turtle or play aggressively.
Some Races have their own little tricks too, for example, Zerg players usually send their initial Overlords to find their opponent’s base, making sure to position them close to a cliff or edge if there is a possibility of ground-to-air units. Drones can also be used to build an extractor in the opponents base, canceling it before it finish building, continue scouting and repeat. Canceling a building results in a 25% loss of the cost. The prolonging of denying a geyser by canceling and rebuilding even up to 4 times would only result in a loss of 25 minerals and can be very worth it.
I’ve personally never used to drone dodge technique before, despite having played plenty o’ Zerg in my day, Some people may feel that small bit of an edge is what they need, a lot of people do not. It all comes down to how you wanna play it out, there isn’t much else going on at that point in the game anyway.
That’s all I got for today folks, next topic is going to be Harassment; The kind you don’t go to Jail for.