milk research

Dr Mark Thomas, from UCL, said: “The ability to drink milk is the most advantageous trait that’s evolved in Europeans in the recent past.

”Although the benefits of milk tolerance are not fully understood, they probably include the advantage of a continuous supply compared with the ‘boom and bust’ of seasonal crops, its nourishing qualities, and the fact that, unlike stream water, it’s uncontaminated with parasites, making it safer.

“All in all, the ability to drink milk gave some early Europeans a big survival advantage.”

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bike trips in portland

Here’s that article that I was reading yesterday about bikes in portland —

I thought these two quotes were interesting:

In 1971, Don Stathos, a Republican state representative angry that his grandchildren couldn’t ride safely to school, penned the Oregon Bicycle Bill. That law set aside 1 percent of all state highway funds to build and maintain bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.

In Portland, an estimated 5 to 6 percent of trips made each day are done by bicycle. City officials wants to boost that number to at least 15 percent.

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website design and layout article

Just came across this today —

From 2003, but very interesting interview with Mike Davidson, Art Director for the ESPN website. In particular:

One other unique aspect of is that we have built in the ability to lay our front page out differently depending on how big any piece of breaking news is. Essentially, we have four publishing modes: regular, twin-top, skirmish, and war. “Regular” is pretty much how you see the page 90% of the time—a big top story and a group of headlines on the right. “Twin-Top” is when we have two major stories of interest. In this case, we have our big top story and then a smaller top story box on the right.

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netflix saving the world

So the total emissions from sending one billion DVDs to its customers is 320 tons (3,200,000 tkm x 100 g/tkm). Keeping in mind that those DVDs are also returned to the same facility we need to double that result to 640 tons of CO2 emissions. If Netflix wanted to offset this amount, which I hope they will, they could do it for around $4500 with DriveNeutral or $8448 with Native Energy.

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just like Bob’s fingerprint thumb drive

I just saw this today:

The screen will be used in cellphones and will add touchscreen and biometric sensor functions to them.

For more details:

Clever image processing algorithms allows to detect not only the placement of the finger but also the angle at which the finger is placed. Thus just by leaning the finger in particular direction you can make the cursor go there. Just like with a joystick or pointing stick.

Whatever it takes: the politics of the man behind “24”

Haven’t read this in entirety yet..

A few years ago, Surnow received it as a gift from an Army regiment stationed in Iraq; the soldiers had shared a collection of “24” DVDs, he told me, until it was destroyed by an enemy bomb. “The military loves our show,” he said recently. Surnow is fifty-two, and has the gangly, coiled energy of an athlete; his hair is close-cropped, and he has a “soul patch”—a smidgen of beard beneath his lower lip. When he was young, he worked as a carpet salesman with his father. The trick to selling anything, he learned, is to carry yourself with confidence and get the customer to like you within the first five minutes. He’s got it down. “People in the Administration love the series, too,” he said. “It’s a patriotic show. They should love it.”

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seven steps to remarkable customer service

This is one person’s perspective on components of great customer service. I thought it was a nice perspective, and general enough – even though it’s focused on software.

1. Fix everything two ways
2. Suggest blowing out the dust
3. Make customers into fans
4. Take the blame
5. Memorize awkward phrases
6. Practice puppetry
7. Greed will get you nowhere
8. (Bonus!) Give customer service people a career path