See the Venus Transit Right Now

Transit of Venus | exploratorium.edu/venus

brightcove.createExperiences();

Checking out online? Don’t forget coupons!

For those who like to shop online, it often occurs when checking out that there is a chance to enter a coupon code before the final sale transaction is completed.  Its often worth checking to see if you can find a coupon.

Today I ordered a $20 fitness apparel item and was able to get free shipping on my order just by entering a coupon code.

The site I found which had a working code was retailmenot.com.  If one just does a search via search engine for coupon codes for a particular online store, one will likely obtain a large number of matching results.  But in this day and age of search engine spam and other types of scams its wise to be skeptical of many of these sites.

I ended up trusting retailmenot.com because I believe they are related to another site which was popular some time ago called bugmenot.com.  There was a time in the evolution of the Internet before where all sorts of separate sites required passwords to participate, comment, contribute, or gain access of some kind.  But then each individual site started requiring users to register and login to their site in order for such access.

This was rightly seen as a major annoyance by many, and bugmenot.com’s raison d’etre was to save users from having to go through the cumbersome registration process by openly providing working login/passwwords to websites.  Visitors could search for a site they were visiting or even contribute their own login/password for others to use.

At any rate, both these sites seem to have been run by reputable, upstanding people and today I managed to save 25% of an order using a coupon code.

Get rid of “Press Esc to exit fullscreen mode” annoyance!

Hi, this is my first post with the newly arranged Alaya: Tech blog thingy.  All the previous tech and science related posts will be here.  I apologize if any are missing.  There are around 800 posts to go through and preen and I have not finished the process yet.

The other day I finally got so sick and annoyed by the “Press Esc to exit fullscreen mode” notification which blocks out the whole middle section of the screen whenever a flash video is opened in a browser, I decided to see if there was a way to disable it.  And there is!

A great way!  This really cool app made by Chronomaster on the forum at videohelp.com does the trick.  Here is a link to the forum post where it can be downloaded.

After running the app the result is no more annoying fullscreen escape notification.  It makes a huge difference.

Massive, hidden planet in our solar system?

Is there a massive, hidden planet in our solar system, bigger even than the largest known planet Jupiter?  Or perhaps a red dwarf star that is a sister to our Sun yet which until now has been undetected?

Far far beyond the orbit of Neptune lie what are called trans-neptunian objects.  Way out there is a region called the Oort Cloud where it is believed trillions of objects exist.  The only thing is, at such a far distance, the region of space is exceedingly vast, so even though there are so many objects, they are still extremely far apart.

 

People should make things now for people in 150,000 years

In 150,000 or 200,000 years what is someone going to think, coming across a nuclear waste dump?  “What the fuck is this?”  What thoughts will go through their mind, being aware that, 150,000 or 200,000 years prior, a few generations of Homo sapiens decided to leave this toxic shit around for the next hundreds of millenia?

Safety and emergency plans and preparations take into account maybe days or weeks, sometimes months, but rarely years or decades or centuries.  People invest a high degree of confidence in the catastrophic not happening.  There is an implicit assumption of a certain fundamental continuity into the future.  Things will be more-or-less the same, the thinking goes.  They might be a little different, a little worse, but in major ways it is assumed they will be the same.

Decisions have been and are being – or not being – made which have vast implications for future existence.  And with the yen for which humans now have for creating all sorts of convenient gadgets and devices, why is not even a small fraction, a teeny, itsy fraction, devoted to the people who will live in 150,000 or 200,000 years?  I think its pretty sad if the only thing left for them are dumps with signs which read “Danger” and “Stay away”.

I hope people can find a generosity not just for people of the present, but people of the distant future whose existences will be inevitably touched by those of this time.  I leave it to readers’ imaginations to consider what types of things would be potentially useful to those who live in the far, far distant future.  Even the process of beginning to think about what it would be like has benefits.

It cannot be assumed that there will be continuity.  The manufacturing of devices, of electronic items, of machines powered by fuel – none of that is given.  Given that fact, what might truly be helpful to

Eating algae to prevent malaria?

News today about exciting research where scientists have been able to get algae to create complex proteins similar to those created by the malaria parasites in the Plasmodium genus.

Excerpt:

The use of algae to produce malaria proteins that elicited antibodies against Plasmodium falciparum in laboratory mice and prevented malaria transmission was published May 16 in the online, open-access journal PLoS ONE.

It has not been tested yet on humans, but if it works it would be a vast discovery with the ability to save millions of lives.

Useful tool for runners, hikers, and bicyclists

There is a feature of Google Maps, which is not enabled by default, called Distance Measurement Tool.  First it has to be enabled as per these instructions.  Then one clicks on points on the map to create the route for calculating the distance.  Here’s a useful video showing how it works:

I don’t know how many times I wanted to do this an couldn’t.  Now I can!

Midi-chlorian therapy

I think I’ve made a couple posts here in the past about how the realm of microorganisms in the body, in particular things like intenstinal flora, are like this other, undiscovered realm which may be far more powerful that we know or think.

I think I wrote about how someone making a sloppy kiss can transmit candida to another person, and how that in effect can be like an attack.  Its like an immune war between people.  There’s this whole realm of how there are these secret immune wars going on between people at the relationship level, familial, societal, and even perhaps planetary levels.  There could be collective dynamics to these immune wars, these secret midi-chlorian wars being fought through humans as their mostly unwitting agents.

I think I speculated on how it could be possible that in fact it is the flora inside the bodies of humans which in certain ways directs their lives, or are responsible for fundamental impulses which affect or direct human existence.

With the past year it has been established that there are at least three basic “enterotypes” within humans – three biologically distinct types of floral ecosystems found within humans.  Some people therefore are more compatible based on their enterotype.

Now today there is an article about research showing how a process of gut microbiota transplantation can possibly prevent diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

In other words, just by transplanting midi-chlorians from one person to another it may be possible to prevent serious diseases.

FREE online sheet music

IMSLP Petrucci Music Library is a comprehensive online source of music scores.  I just got violin parts for a Bach cantata and a mass.  Full scores are available as well as separate parts for individual instruments.  I also saw a copy of Bach’s handwritten manuscript for a violin part to a mass.  This was a scan of a manuscript in a library in Germany.

Documents all seem to be in PDF format which is excellent since they can be imported into MobileSheets in Android and displayed on a Galaxy Tab 10.1.  It might not be the best display to stick on a music stand and read but it works!  It really works!

What this means is that classical music scores can now be easily obtained for free and viewed with an electronic viewer instead of having to need physical copies of sheet music.  You can put a tablet device on a music stand just as you would any book of music and play away (obviously make sure you don’t bump the stand and cause the tablet to fall)!

Ok, this actually does have some limitations over paper scores.  In fact I seem to not be able to make notations and markings in the scores which is a big problem.  MobileSheets appears to have some kind of support for this though so perhaps there’s just something more needed to do this.

One feature of MobileSheets which is really useful – you can set the default zoom level for an entire score.  So if a score is displaying too small you can zoom until it fits exactly in the entire screen and that setting will stay the same for all pages in the score.

 

Ultra-cool Android hack

This hack is so cool I lost sleep because of it.  Warning, do not do this hack late in the evening.

Basically I wanted to be able to watch Korean tv on my Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 yet for some reason the app I needed to watch this one channel is not available in the USA and Japan.

But then I found this app called Market Unlocker which makes Android Market (now actually called Google Play) think that you are in a different country.  You can select which country from a list.  The “pro” version of the app is only $2.07 and well worth it.  It does require that your device is rooted.  I posted on here a while ago about how to do this on a Verizon Galaxy Tab and its in fact really easy.

After changing to another country I was able to install the app for Korean tv.  Yaay.  There’s actually a PC app for the Korean tv as well and I don’t mind the $6 monthly fee to pay the actors and staff of these dramas and other shows.

With Market Unlocker it was cool to see what different apps are available for example in Switzerland, Britain, France, Korea, etc.  Really cool.

I actually found another app in the Swiss market called “TV air“.  Its basically a whole bunch of air broadcast tv stations that would be available if you lived in Switzerland.  Since I speak German this would be really cool.

But unfortunately the app is able to tell if you are not in Switzerland based on your IP address and will not let you see the channels “aus rechtlichen Grunden” (for legal reasons).  Mist (crap)!

In fact if one were really determined one could hack around it by using what is called a proxy.  But to have a decent working proxy that could mask your IP so it looked like you were in Switzerland you would have to pay for the service.  Worse than that, because usually the only people who do things like that are those trying to hide from authorities for doing something weird, it made me feel uncomfortable.

Perhaps there is some more up-front way to do it that I will discover down the road.  It would be really cool to watch Swiss tv on my Galaxy Tab.

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