Five Ways to Trigger a Natural Disaster

volcano erupting

This is exactly what I was looking for to help me get into the Evil League of Evil. Not too smart of New Scientist, eh?

Can humans trigger sudden “natural” catastrophes?

The answer is yes. From mud volcanoes to disappearing lakes, human actions can have all sorts of unforeseen environmental consequences.

Here we review five disasters with a human cause. We focus on sudden, short-term events rather than protracted environmental catastrophes.


Short Shrift News Links – 7/31/08

News for Geeks

Today’s news is coming in bite-sized chunks again. Covering everything from a shortage of iPods to Arabic calligraphy to a possible breakthrough involving mucus in mice intestines. Enjoy!


- Stock Up On Your Apple Gear Now – Apple Insider warns that Apple is informing their resellers there will be a drought in the coming weeks.

- Google testing “AdSense for Games” in bid to shake up in-game advertising – Today GOOG has made few inroads into in-game adverts, the sleeping giant is awakening.

- Chatting with a Google Street View Driver.

- T-Mobile Sidekick 2008 Review. SlashGear has a hands-on review and unboxing video (youtube).

- Gmail certificate expiry snafu follows security upgrade – OOPS, Google allowed one of its Gmail SSL certificates to expire days after promising users improved webmail security


- Connect Four type. Remember the popular children’s game Connect Four? Here’s an interesting take on that game for a unique type.

- Type in Three Dimensions. This is so very cool, and here’s the ‘making of’ this incredible method of print using a 3D printer.

- Arabic calligraphy as a typographical exercise. This is one of my favorite blogs, if you dig fonts and the creativity behind getting the type just right, you should subscribe.

- Create your own font using FontStruct


- Cracks appear in ice under Mars lander. How cool would it be if the cracks extended, and the weight of the craft broke through the ice plunging into water?

- Smart Contact Lenses. “Smart” contact lenses that measure pressure within the eye and dispense medication accordingly could be made possible using a new material developed by biomedical engineers at UC Davis.

- New technique to compress light could open doors for optical communications. Potentially opening doors to new technology in the fields of optical communications, miniature lasers and optical computers.

- Mucous breakthrough in mice holds promise for cystic fibrosis. A scientist successfully corrected the defect which causes the overproduction of intestinal mucous in mice.


- Go to Space With Your Frequent Flier Miles. Virgin Atlantic is offering customers with truckloads of points to compete for a chance to go sub-orbital on SpaceShipTwo. Beats using your points to buy a bundt cake

- Forever Geek points out this awesome Red Sonja poster

- How Snakes Got Their Fangs, oh sure we all were wanting to know this, right?

- Cardboard Cat Chaise. This is just goofy. But damn, it’s cool.

News Links

Did You Miss Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog?

Dr. Horrible

Dr. Horrible’s sing-along blog was an outstanding 3 act web exclusive and had a limited lifetime on the web, no doubt in order to generate more buzz.

If you missed it before, here’s your second chance to watch it without having to pay for it on iTunes or wait for the DVD:

And remember:

It’s not about making money, it’s about taking money. Destroying the status quo, because the status is not quo. The world is a mess and I need to rule it.


Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Trailer!

My take: Harry Potter = The Goonies meet Bewitched. A perfect combo, this is why it’s raking in money hand over fist. But I digress…

The movie trailer is out for ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’ and jeebus this looks creepy!

A young Dark Wizard emerges in this exclusive first look at moviefone. Watch the ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’ trailer in HD, the movie will be out Nov 2008.


Voldemort is tightening his grip on both the Muggle and wizarding worlds and Hogwarts is no longer the safe haven it once was. Harry suspects that dangers may even lie within the castle, but Dumbledore is more intent upon preparing him for the final battle that he knows is fast approaching. Together they work to find the key to unlock Voldemort’s defenses and, to this end, Dumbledore recruits his old friend and colleague, the well-connected and unsuspecting bon vivant Professor Horace Slughorn, whom he believes holds crucial information.

Meanwhile, the students are under attack from a very different adversary as teenage hormones rage across the ramparts. Harry finds himself more and more drawn to Ginny, but so is Dean Thomas. And Lavender Brown has decided that Ron is the one for her, only she hadn’t counted on Romilda Vane’s chocolates! And then there’s Hermione, simpering with jealously but determined not to show her feelings. As romance blossoms, one student remains aloof. He is determined to make his mark, albeit a dark one. Love is in the air, but tragedy lies ahead and Hogwarts may never be the same again.


AdMob: Mobile Web Use Doubled in Past 12 Months

mobile web marketing cat from tastetherainbow5387 on Flickr

Over at ReadWriteWeb I see that AdMob, the mobile advert marketplace, reports the mobile web has grown >100% in the previous 12 months.

I believe it, and half that traffic is going to the Geeknews mobile portal :

OK, maybe not quite half, but add that to your mobile’s favorites and the next time you’re in the loo and nothing to do, instead of texting your better half, surf to the Geeknews mobile portal to launch out to Sports, worldwide news, Slashdot and more. They’re all mobile optimized pages so no worries about the huge downloads, friend.

Seriously, back to the topic and sorry for the digression. I do believe that mobile optimized sites have a lot to gain by optimizing themselves for mobiles. I find myself spending roughly 25% of my surfing and news reading on the mobile every chance I get that is time normally wasted: Waiting at a red light, standing in line to pay for lunch in the cafeteria, walking with the wife while she shops. You get the point.

Now if only someone would write a half-decent mobile optimizer plugin for WordPress that wasn’t targeting iPhone only. :-/

Question: Do you use your mobile to check the web? Read your hotmail/gmail? What’s your favorite portal on the mobile web and why?

[Found via Scoble]