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What Causes the Smell of New & Old Books?

Generally, it is the chemical breakdown of compounds within paper that leads to the production of ‘old book smell’. Paper contains, amongst other chemicals, cellulose, and smaller amounts of lignin. Both of these originate from the trees the paper is made from; finer papers will contain less lignin than, for example, newsprint. In trees, lignin helps bind cellulose fibres together, keeping the wood stiff; it’s also responsible for paper yellowing…

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Disruptive Decorations: Kids learned better in a sparesly-decorated CMU lab

Kids learned better in a sparse lab setting than they did in a decorated room. Of course, if they were familiar with the room, and the decorations came from their own artwork and class projects, perhaps the items would be reminders rather than distractions, but the study didn’t test that possibility. For the study, 24 kindergarten students were placed in laboratory classrooms for six introductory science lessons on topics they…

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Adam Savage’s 10 Commandments Of Making

Adam Savage took a few minutes today at the Maker Faire Bay Area to share what he feels are the 10 Commandments of Making. Make something Make something useful Start right now Find a project Ask for help, advice, and feedback Share Recognize that discouragement and failure is part of the project Measure carefully Make things for other people Use more cooling fluid. Adam Savage’s 10 Commandments Of Making |…

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Times photo staffer’s invention: the streaming backpack

“From a photographer’s perspective it makes our photography process more similar to the days of film, where you went out you did your assignment, dropped off your roll of film, and went off to do another assignment. Now you download your cards, color correct and caption it. It takes away from the creative process of photography.” There’s certainly an entrepreneurial opportunity if the newsroom gets the smaller iteration down pat,…

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Has life in the age of casual magic made moviegoers numb to the amazing?

This is one of the reasons I’ve become more interested in local theater. The dropped lines, unexpected blackouts, and last-minute casting replacements are what makes it so much more engaging to me than a slick professional production. Avatar left me completely numb… yes the visuals were stunning, but I feel much more connected to fantasy characters in a BBC-TV video production from the 1980s. We are living in an age…