Mathematician: Usain Bolt Can Run Faster, Effortlessly

Athlete Usain Bolt can break the world record at the upcoming London Olympics without breaking a sweat, a new study suggests.
The study done by a Cambridge University mathematician suggests a number of factors that would make it easier for the Jamaican sprinter to break his 9.58 record without having to improve on his fitness.
First, Bolt is slower reacting to the starting gun. At the world championships in Berlin, he was the slowest to react to the starting gun, taking 0.146 seconds to get going as compared with .0119 seconds for the speediest starter. This means it actually took Bolt just 9.434 seconds to run the 100 metres race.
Under international athletics rules, sprinters are judged to have made a false start if they leave the block within 0.1 seconds of the starting gun.
Scientists suggest that even with this limitation, Bolt could safely cut his reaction time from 0.146 to 0.13 seconds. This would lower the final time of the sprint from 9.58 to 9.56 seconds.
Secondly, researcher John Burrow suggests, when Bolt ran his epic race, he had a tailwind of 0.9 metres per second. He calculates that if he had the maximum allowable tailwind of 2 metres per second, he would waste less effort battling the wind drag. And if this ideal condition he managed a reaction time of 0.1 seconds, he would reduce his record by a whole one second.
The research published in the latest issue of Significance Journal of UK’s Royal Statistical Society suggests how far we are from any type of ‘ultimate sprinting speed’ in the men’s 100m and the scale of improvements possible.
“These are amazing improvements but they can happen without Bolt becoming a better sprinter,” writes Burrows.
Other observers however have chosen to approach it cautiously. Prof. Mark Denny of Stamford University says it is possible for Bolt to achieve a clinical time of 9.48 seconds. However, he says the reasons suggested above may not work in reality.
“It is easy to say Bolt could attain 0.05 seconds with a perfect start, but trying to achieve that sort of quick getaway got him disqualified in the finals of last year’s championships,” cautions Prof. Denny.

How To Cite a Tweet in Academia

Tweets are now the trend in use by both professional media and other users for breaking news stories as they happen.
In some of the world’s political hotbeds, tweets have been used as an effective means of rallying the masses behind political causes. Tweeting has been hailed as the means through which the so called “Arab Spring” spread like a cancer in the Arab world bringing down regimes.
And now, according to the Modern Language Association (MLA), tweets can be cited in academic papers as a valid sources of information.
In a guide published on the MLA website in March, 2012, the association gives a step-by-step guide on how to cite timely tweets in research work.
MLA says the way to go about it is to begin the entry in the works-cited list with the author’s real name and, in parentheses, user name, if both are known and they differ. If only the user name is known give it alone.
Next provide the entire text of the tweet in quotation marks without changing the capitalization. Conclude the entry with the date and time of the message and the medium of publication (Tweet). For example:

Doug Belshaw (dajbelshaw). “I’m going to be pretty quiet for the next couple of days while I try to recover. Illness doesn’t exactly put me in a positive frame of mind.” 10 April 2012, 8:27 am.

MLA says the date and time of a message reflects the reader’s time zone because readers from different time zones see different times and possibly different dates on the same tweet. Since the date and time the tweet was made may not be known, the researcher can use the time displayed to compare the timing of tweets as long as they are read in the same time zone.
In the main text of the paper, MLA says, a tweet should be cited in its entirety:

Doug Belshaw said he was going to be pretty quiet for the next couple of while he tries to recover. He added that illness doesn’t exactly put him “in the right frame of mind.”


Illness makes one go quiet as it doesn’t put you “in the right frame of mind” (Belshaw). 

Self-Repairing Touch-Screen on Shown in Tokyo Next Week

The touch screen has been one of the most amazing technological innovations of the last decade. The delicate glass screen has revolutionized the way we interact with technology, giving a personal touch to what was otherwise detached interface options.

The self-repairing film will be on display in Tokyo next week.

In spite of it’s benefits, the touch screen is prone to cracks and scratches as we get to interact with it. Few solutions have been made available to deal with this problem, the first of the most successful methods of doing repairs on these cracks and scratches being Gorilla Glass. With this method you would put a layer of Gorilla Glass over the top to help protect the screens but then if the screen got damaged, it needed replacing.
Now Japanese company Toray believes it has a solution in terms of a self-repairing film.
The film has been around and in use as a decorative layer on laptop casing and for other larger devices. Until now it has not been considered for actual screens. But now with a move to mass production and a few properties that make it suitable, self-repairing touch screen is on its way to the market.
From tests done by Toray, the screen is able to make 10 repairs per second at room temperature. At the same time its is flexible meaning it won’t peel or crack and allows 90% of light to pass through it making it suitable for placing over very bright displays. And it can last for as long as 20,000 scratch repairs. That’s ages!
It is not clear when the film will be rolled out on actual touch screens. However, it will be out on display next week at the Highly-Functional Film Technology Expo next week in Tokyo Japan.

Chocolate Printer Whets Cravers’ Appetites

Few cravings beat the urge to munch a thick dark, sugary bar of chocolate especially during special occasions or even when you can’t just resist the temptation.
Chocolate is known to contain a considerable amount of antioxidants thus being a healthy indulgence, if not abused.
Chocolate manufacturers have over the years juggled several different designs that have evolved form tiny candy tablets to sizable handful bars that can be munched for hours on end.

The printer makes a chocolate bar layer by layer. COURTESY BBC

Now the chocolate has been taken to another dimension with the invention and perfection of a chocolate 3D printer by UK scientists.
They say necessity is the mother of invention and that’s just what Choc Edge company founder Dr. Liang Hao was responding to when he formed the company to commercialize the chocolate printer after it was demonstrated to retailers as a concept product about a year ago.
What they have done is improve it to give it commercial appeal.
“We’ve improved and simplified the machine so now it is really easy to use,” said Dr. Hao. “You just need to melt some chocolate, fill a syringe that is stored in the printer, and get creative printing your chocolate.”
Of course the 3D printer has been around for sometime now. According to a report appearing on the BBC website, 3D printing using plastic, wood and metal is already widely used by industries to create objects ranging from jewellery and footwear to human bones.
Speaking to the BBC, Dr. Hao said chocolate printing just like any other 3D printing technique starts with a flat cross-section image – similar to that produced by ordinary printers turning out images and then prints out chocolate layer by layer to create a 3D shape, without any molding shape.

Developers of the machine hope to make it available in shops by the end of April 2012.

Study: Busier, Happier Students Learn Better

Learning can be a very boring activity especially if it merely involves the teacher giving materials to an attentive class of students in what is commonly known as the lecture.
Lectures can be boring to students, who are often reduced to “idle” recipients of knowledge making learners sad in the process and therefore leading to poor reception and retention of what has been taught.
But now all that is set to change following the publication of a study that shows the need for emphasis on varied  activities in the classroom.
The study which was carried out among 98 college students, suggests that busyness is equals to happiness.
The main aim of the study was to find out who was happier; the person leading a sedentary, non-active life or the kind that are involved in activities that always keep them on their toes?
Apparently going against reality, the researchers based their research on two premises. The first hypothesis was that people dread idleness and desire busyness. The second hypothesis was that without a reason to get busy, people tend to revert to idleness.
In this particular study, activities such as watching TV instead of tackling the laundry, surfing the net instead of getting some exercise and playing video games instead of creating recipes were all considered idleness.
During the study, which was first published in the Sage Journal of the Association of Psychological Science, the students were given a task after being dispossessed of their belongings to ensure they concentrated on the task at hand.
They were then allowed a 15 minute break, within which they were told to drop their first assignment at a designated location.
There were two such locations, one just outside the room and the other at a distance that would take about 12 to 15 minutes round-trip.
The students could either deliver the assignment to the nearby location and wait out the remaining time (the idle option) or deliver the assignment to the faraway location, return and then wait out the remaining time (the busy option).
In both cases they would receive a piece of candy when they drop off the assignment as a token of appreciation.
Some participants were told that the candy was the same in both locations while others were told that there were two kinds of candy and that they would be chosen at random.
“How good did you feel in the last 15 minutes?” the students were asked at the end of the 15 minutes waiting period. Responses were made on a scale of 1 (not good at all) to 5 very good.
The students who had been told the candy was the same mostly fell in the “idle” group and chose the closer location while those who were told the candy was of two kinds fell mostly in the “busy” group and chose the faraway location.
The potential of a “better” candy was incentive enough to convince the students to reject the “lazy” option and choose the busy option.
And when they were asked how they felt during the past 15 minutes, the students who chose the “busy” option  were happier than the “lazy” students.
The study does not however tell us whether the thought of having eaten “better” candy might have contributed in making the “busy” students happier.

This seems to support other studies conducted by educationists to prove that happier children are better in class than their sad counterparts.
“Students reporting greater happiness show more appropriate classroom behavior, higher school grades, better peer and teacher relationships better physical health and better participation in classroom and extracurricular activities,” writes Scott Huebner in an October 2010 article appearing on the US National Association of School Psychologists website.
In the same article, Huebner reports that “sad” students are more likely to report mental health problems, peer victimization, poor relationships with parents and teacher and a variety of risk behaviors including; alcohol and drug abuse, risky sexual behavior, violent behavior, eating problems and suicidal thoughts.

Main Source

OneSense Headphones, Listen Uninterrupted

There comes a time in your life when you just want to listen to audio files such as music without being interrupted by passers-by, visually intrusive ads, technology and surrounding events.

The OneSense Concept Headphones

That is when you need the OneSense concept headphones that not only cover your ears but also your eyes.
“In an age where technology allows for constant bombardment of senses, where tablet computers mean we are reachable 24/7 OneSense symbolizes the human need for periods of peace and tranquillity,” says Joe Doucet the creator of the new headphones.
The bright red design and intimidating spikes will make people think twice before approaching you.
“OneSense not only obscures environmental sight and sound from encroaching on the wearer but utilizes the colour red and a display of spikes drawn from natures symbols for warning and defence, to alert others not to intrude,” says Joe.
It is not clear when the OneSense earphones would be going on sale across the world.
From the sound of things OneSense may turn out to be the best thing that happened to the world of learning since the launch of the virtual MP3 Library of Classics.
Just as you need total tranquillity reading, you might just need the new headphones to help listen to MP3 recordings of the worlds best books uninterrupted.
The headphones will be exhibited at the Meet My Project exhibition event in Milan Italy between 17th and 21st April 2012.

Enhance Your Gaming Experience With Augmented Reality Puzzles

For those of you who derive satisfaction in piecing together thousands of jigsaw pieces to solve a puzzle, things look upwards with the release of the new augmented reality puzzles by Germany’s Ravensburg.
“The company has released four puzzles that, upon completion, can be transformed into jaw-dropping video animation and sound effects on an iPhone or iPad via a free to download app,” says a report on
In essence, at the end of every puzzle, you will be drawn into a reality world that includes a rooftop view of Paris, a mass of creatures in an undersea world and a photo safari in Africa.
“The iDevice user can (then) take a virtual 360 degree tour of Paris, watch sea creatures swim around, play bonus game, go on animated safari in Africa or make their very own Norwegian snow globe onscreen,” says the gizmag report.
Recent studies have shown that playing puzzle games could help improve your child’s ability to understand mathematics.
A study by University of Chicago found that the early introduction of puzzle games in a child’s life helped to improve their ability to perceive space from an early age and therefore perform better in mathematics.
And now with the augmented reality these new puzzle games may just take learning to another level by exposing learners to realities they can best access virtually in an increasingly digitised word.
You can now find the Augmented Reality Puzzles in Europe for $20, with an October release for the US.

By Patrick Wameyo Otundo

Earphones That Care For Your Safety

The sight of people, both young and young at heart, walking the streets, earphones locked in, is now so common that it does not escape a keen observers eyes to notice that the habit could be a hazard.

The earHero earphones do not fit completely in the ear canal, allowing you to hear external sounds.
Conventional earphones are designed to make you “removed” from the world around, a feature that makes it hard for you to hear the sound of oncoming traffic.
You can imagine what would happen to you if you were walking the streets, music blowing your eardrums up and down, blocking you from the honking sound of a car driving directly in your path.
My gut feeling tells me you might not live to tell the story, as dead men tell no tales.
A diagram showing how the earHero fits in the ear canal.
Enter the earHero, a set of earhpones that allow you to hear more than the music. It is an earphone system designed not to block the ear canal so that you can still be able to hear what’s going on around you.
They come as a result of seven years of research by audiologist Matt Murphy the designer. It incorporates two tiny speakers one of which slides into each of your ear canals leaving a retention device sitting inside each ear to keep it in place.
The speakers are so small that they don’t occupy the entire width of the your ear canal, say the developers, allowing you to hear outside noise.
Because they don’t seal the entire ear, they are also said to prevent hearing loss, a known result of continued use of earphones.
However, this might mean that other people are easily able to hear your music.
You have a choice between the earHerosport if you’re a regular user and the stealthier earHeropro if you work in the security industry.
The makers claim that it’s quite comfortable to wear these phones for long periods of time. Sound quality is, however still a matter of conjuncture.
You can get earHero for $149 in the US.