DNA has a 521-year half-life

By comparing the specimens’ ages and degrees of DNA degradation, the researchers calculated that DNA has a half-life of 521 years. That means that after 521 years, half of the bonds between nucleotides in the backbone of a sample would have broken; after another 521 years half of the remaining bonds would have gone; and so on. The team predicts that even in a bone at an ideal preservation temperature…

The Tale of Two Cetis

An intelligent, thoughtful, well-written review of the best of the Star Trek movies. And kudos to the headline writer — amazingly nerdy and appropriate for this story. We know that “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” (1982) is the best of all of the “Star Trek” movies. I am not stating anything new here. The rest of the series of films struggled to repeat the mastery of this film,…

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Fire Chief Grants Fireman 3-Day Extension On Difficult Fire

Shortly before leaving work Monday, local fire chief Pete Wilkes reportedly approved firefighter Joseph Ainslie’s request to take an extra three days on a particularly tough fire, advising him to “take [his] time” with the two-story blaze. “What matters most is doing the job right, not rushing through it and getting it done fast,” Wilkes wrote in an e-mail in which he suggested Ainslie sleep on the problem and return…

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Free Game Friday: Text-Based Games

2012 Interactive Fiction contest we’ll be featuring text-based games in this week’s Free Game Friday roundup. Not all of this week’s games come from the competition, but they all feature the written word as their main gameplay mechanic. We also didn’t have space to feature all the great games in the competition, so here’s a list of all the web playable games in the competition if you need more interactive…

Dennis G. Jerz | Associate Professor of English -- New Media Journalism, Seton Hill University | jerz.setonhill.edu

Text, Speech, Machine: Metaphors for Computer Code in the Law : Computational Culture

On my to-read list once I post midterm grades. As computer software has become increasingly central to commerce and creativity, lawmakers have retrofitted it into preexisting legal regimes to regulate its production and distribution. Currently in the United States, software is eligible for protection under patent law, copyright law, trade secret law and the First Amendment. Legal determinations of technology such as software do much to shape its legacy, uses…

Sumerians Look On In Confusion As God Creates World | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source

I love the Onion. “I do not understand,” reads an ancient line of pictographs depicting the sun, the moon, water, and a Sumerian who appears to be scratching his head. “A booming voice is saying, ‘Let there be light,’ but there is already light. It is saying, ‘Let the earth bring forth grass,’ but I am already standing on grass.” “Everything is here already,” the pictograph continues. “We do not…