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My daughter Sara’s latest post!

Prospecting Patterns

Did you think it would be a great idea to turn in iPad into a computer? I did too, but someone else thought of the idea first and put it on Kickstarter, a crowd-sourced funding platform for creative projects. Your–and my–idea is now the Brydge and it is more than 600% funded, thanks to Kickstarter. Titled as a product design project to “Do More,” Brydge and its creators reached over 2,000 people who provided financial support because they thought it was a great idea:

Named one of the best websites of 2011 by TIME magazine, Kickstarter.com has enabled the funding of more than 20,000 creative projects since their inception in 2009. Kickstarter offers a scaffolding: a system where people with innovative projects can present their ideas through Kickstarter in order to connect with potential investors, who in return, gain a reward, such as a limited edition of the item or…

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Starry Night for the iPad

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If you have recovered from your Mega Letdown from not winning the Mega Millions, and you are bored of watching the Condor Cam, or the YouTube video of a baby elephant playing with the new Galaxy Note, and tired of hunting for Google’s April Fools jokes, check out Petros Vrellis’ new iPad app which is an interactive Starry Night by Van Gogh. If you don’t have an iPad (or are still too busy dreaming of that trip around the world you were going to take if you had won) just watch the video below.

 

How to stop spam texts and calls on your cell phone

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Recently I received my first-ever spam text which reads: “Do you need some extra MONEY for the new year? You can easily get $1500 today! Just visit http://www.MyClick4Pay.com to start. Write “NO” to end.”  I was hesitant to reply “NO” to the text because I thought maybe then the spammer would know that s/he had actually succeeded in reaching a real cell number. I’ve also been receiving random calls on my cell phone offering credit at “reduced” interest rates–despite the fact that I’ve been extremely careful about to whom I have given my cell number. What to do? There are, in fact, a number of simple steps you can take to reduce and/or end spam calls and texts. I also encourage you to file a complaint with the FCC — instructions below.    Continue reading

I watched elephant polo

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In February 2004 we took our three children out of school for two months and traveled in India, Cambodia, Thailand, Hong Kong & Tokyo. 38 days, 37 hours on a plane, 23 hours in an airport, 20 time zones, 35 hours of driving, 10 hours of animal riding (specifically camels and elephants), 190 malaria pills (38 each), 360 antibacterial Handi-wipes (15 boxes), 2 bottles of Purell, and 5 cuisines later, we flew to Hawaii for a “vacation”. This post is part of a series on that trip.

When my husband and I were in Jaipur, India with our three kids, we went to an Elephant Festival, which is held annually to celebrate the Hindu holiday of Holi.  The religious significance of Holi completely eluded us as it seemed to consist mainly of young men squirting water on each other, followed by handfuls of brightly colored powered paint; or–to be more expedient–pre-mixed water and colored paint. The paint stains do not come off your skin for up to two weeks, and do not come off your clothes ever.  The frequency with which people (do not) bathe or change their clothes became immediately apparent as we saw paint-splotched skin and clothing for days afterwards.  Continue reading

Today I invited…

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Today I invited my daughter Sara to share two of her posts from her brand-new science blog helichrysums, which highlights “patterns in the world”. Sara is a college senior with a major in Biology and a minor in Digital arts and is headed towards a career in science visualization. Stay tuned for her website, which will showcase her own science animations!

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http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/01/sunflowers-solar-energy/

Alexander Mitsos, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at MIT, discovered an efficient solar layout based off the geometric patterns of sunflowers. In concentrated solar power arrangements, fields of mirrors track the sun, refocusing the sunlight on a single point to generate electricity. Mitsos’ lab discovered that the Fermat spiral of sunflower florets can be applied to the arrangement of mirrors to reduce land use by %10 and maintain efficiency.

Also check out the video, Nature by the Numbers by Christobal Vila, which visually explains some of the most astounding mathematical patterns in nature–a must watch if you haven’t seen it.

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Researchers created a stain that differentiates between more than 70 cell types

In The 16 Best Science Visualizations of 2011, Wired magazine showcases the best picks from the 2011 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge. In completely new, innovative ways, scientists and artists come together to create incredible close-ups of viruses, movies explaining the applications of nanoparticles, pictures of dark matter in the universe, and interactive games that reveal the inner workings of cells.

–Sara Remsen, helichrysums

How to print from your iPad or iPhone

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Printing from your iPad or iPhone is deceptively simple–so simple that a clear explanation is hard to find when searching online or in the App store. How to print from your iPad or iPhone? The short answer is that you do not need a special app; however, you do need an Airprint printer which is connected to the same wireless network as your iPad–then your printing capability magically appears. Here’s the long (and hopefully clear) answer:

1. Do not be tempted to try to connect to a non-Airprint printer. There are apps which claim to do this (Print, Print n Share, Print to all printers, etc.) but in my experience  they don’t work without a serious amount of tinkering, support a limited list of printers, or in some cases do not work at all.

2. Do buy an Airprint printer. Check out the list of supported printers Continue reading

5 really useful tips for adding traffic to your WordPress blog

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English: WordPress Logo

As a brand new blogger it has taken several days for me to learn to make the most of my blog, and to become searchable by Google and Bing. WordPress has excellent support articles, but after much searching and reading I have come up with these 5 simple tips:

  1. Enter your new blog address in Google’s blogsearch service (in beta): http://blogsearch.google.com/ping
  2. Do the webmaster stuff: http://en.support.wordpress.com/webmaster-tools/. Note that Yahoo has recently merged their search engine with Bing, so you can skip Yahoo. Also remember to copy/paste only the BOLDED text in the instructions – it took me a zillion tries of doing it wrong to realize this.
  3. Read this to learn how to get featured on WordPress’s Freshly Pressed: http://en.support.wordpress.com/five-ways-to-get-featured-on-freshly-pressed/
  4. Use global tags: http://en.wordpress.com/tags/
  5. Add Zemanta: go to  Dashboard >Users > Personal Settings. At the very bottom, just above “Account Details” see “Additional Post content”. Check the box “Help me find related content…”, then Save Changes. Go back and edit your posts with Zemanta’s suggested tags and add related content. When you are editing a post Zemanta’s recommendations show up in the lower right of the screen. Read about it here if you have questions.

How to get your iTunes music onto your Android phone

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Did you know there is a very simple way to get up to 20,000 of your iTunes songs to play on your Android phone? All you need is a gmail account and the Chrome browser on your computer.

To get a Gmail account, click here.

To download the Chrome browser, click here.

Instructions:

  1. Open your Chrome browser, and click on Google Web Store. (if you don’t see Google web store, copy & paste this link into the Chrome browser to get there: https://chrome.google.com/webstoreContinue reading