Daily Archives: January 19, 2014

Headlines from around the world: 1/20/14

Car bomb in Nigeria
17 people died in the Nigerian city of Maiduguri due to a car bomb. Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the attack. This was one of many attacks in Boko Haram’s terrorist campaign. Military forces claimed to have arrested a suspect. Approximately 1,200 Nigerians have died due to radical Islamic activities since the beginning of this campaign.

How Does Bioavailability of Metal-Based Engineered Nanomaterials Influence Their Ecological and Health Implications?

Dr. Sam Luoma, a fellow of the John Muir Institute of the Environment and a professor at the University of California (Davis) spoke this Friday to the Mines chemistry department about metallic nanoparticle toxicity. By definition, a nanoparticle is a particle 100 nanometers in size or smaller. Nanoparticles (NPs) behave differently from larger particles because of their exceptionally high surface-to-volume ratio.

AMS Colloquium: Spatial Models Help Deal With Large Sets of Geophysical Data

Can it be possible that there is such a thing as too much data to work with? Sometimes the answer is actually yes. Advancements in data generation and storage capacities have begun to exceed the growth in any given machine’s bandwidth capabilities, causing a bottleneck effect when attempting to move and work with huge amounts of data. What has become particularly troublesome is when one tries to work with multiple massive datasets from more than one source that are stored across more than one location, as is often the case when dealing with satellite or geophysical data. Due to the potential for datasets from this source to reach from thousands to millions of observations each at one time, the cost and difficulty of moving them renders these sets practically immovable. So how, then, can one consolidate all of this distributed data and use it to draw conclusions from the data, especially when inferences are commonly sought over a period time (resulting in even more data points)?

Music Review: The Ten Most Popular Songs of 2013 (Part One of Two)

In honor of the new year, the Oredigger will be looking back on the most popular songs of 2013. According to the website Spotify, the top ten songs streamed globally last year were:
1. Can’t Hold Us by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
2. Wake Me Up by Avicii
3. Thrift Shop by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
4. Get Lucky by Daft Punk
5. Radioactive by Imagine Dragons
6. Let Her Go by Passenger
7. Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke
8. Just Give Me A Reason by Pink
9. Ho Hey by The Lumineers
10. I Need Your Love by Calvin Harris feat. Ellie Goulding


“Okay Glass, you are more than okay”

The challenge of being able to give Google Glass a dispassionate and objective review is a Sisyphean task, as soon as analytical descriptions come to mind, they are instantaneously inflated with florid emotions. As the emotion is removed, what makes Google Glass so special is also removed, so the whole cycle starts over again. When Glass was first demoed in 2012, the hype surrounding the upcoming product was nearly fanatical within tech communities. Like all new technology, dreams of upcoming release dates were broken and anticipated costs kept rising to levels above and beyond the typical cost of anything but the most luxurious budget breaking products. With costs soaring to $1500 by the start of the Glass Explorer program’s commencement, it almost appeared as though, what was viewed as a simple Heads Up Display (HUD), may forever be outside the realm of the normal consumer. Since Glass still remains at this absurd cost, the question of whether or not the technology is worth the cost depends highly on “how much do you have to spend?”

Game Review: Dungeons of Dredmor

In the midst of a gaming world full of multiplayer focused, first-person shooters, foul mouthed twelve year olds, open world role playing games where finding a quest can take hours, and games relying on gimmicks like motion capturing and touch screens instead of gameplay, it can be refreshing to go back to basics. Dungeons of Dredmor is exactly that. The game is a fairly straightforward, Roguelike, dungeon crawling role playing game made up of randomized levels with a single semi-customized character and a very uncomplicated quest in mind. This game heavily invokes Nethack by being an incredibly fun, if on occasion frustratingly difficult game that can be played over and over again because of the randomization of the dungeon and the broad range of ways to actually trudge through the game’s ten to fifteen levels.

Comic Corner – Injustice: Gods Among Us Volume 1

“Injustice: Gods Among Us” is a popular fighting game based on the DC universe released last year. The game takes place in a world where Superman killed the Joker after the Clown Prince of Crime managed to kill Jimmy Olsen and trick the Big Blue Boy Scout into killing Lois Lane and all of Metropolis. These events convince Superman once and for all that he has not been doing enough to protect his adopted planet and he successfully takes over all the world’s governments, establishing himself as ruler in order to maintain peace and safety among Earth’s people. Batman establishes a resistance and heroes choose sides. The player enters the story five years after the death of the Joker. However, given that this is a game based on a comic book world, it seems only natural that expansions to the story in the form of comics would exist and indeed, DC began releasing a series of prequel comics a few months before the game came out. Without further ado, it is time to explore the first volume of comics that made the unthinkable a reality.

Book Review: “William Shakespeare’s Star Wars”

This book is exactly what is on the cover: “Star Wars: A New Hope” written in the style of William Shakespeare, and it is a glorious experience. It imitates the Bard’s style quite well, turning the familiar story of “A New Hope” into a worthy Shakespearean play with dialogue written in iambic pentameter, a list of Dramatis Personae at the beginning, lines for a chorus interspersed throughout the production, and a five act structure with stage directions galore. It even goes so far as to direct interested readers to the publisher’s website using a sonnet at the end of the book. There are a few illustrations scattered about the book showcasing the familiar “Star Wars” characters clothed in a mix of their familiar movie costumes and the capes and frills for which Shakespearean plays are known, which are a lot of fun to run into as the reader makes his or her way through the play.

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