Archive | October, 2011

Science: Computer Symbols explained

15 Oct

Nerdy facts for nerds interested in nerd stuff.

Nerdy stuff for nerd posers…ugh…

Nerdy stuff to sound smart talking about to friends

Either way these are explanations of  origins of The power, @, USB, Apple and Bluetooth symbols.


In the 1940s, WWII engineers used the binary system to label individual power buttons, toggles and rotary switches: a 1 meant “on,” and a 0 meant off. In 1973, the International Electrotechnical Commission vaguely codified a broken circle with a line inside it as “standby power state,” and sticks to that story even now. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, however, decided that was too vague, and altered the definition to simply mean power.


Named the snail (France and Italy), the little mouse (China), and the monkey’s tail (Germany) respectively. In 1971, a Bolt, Beranek & Newman programmer Raymond Tomlinson decided to insert the symbol between computer network addresses to separate the user from the terminal. Prior to Tomlinson’s use, the @ also graced the keyboard of the American Underwood in 1885 as an accounting shorthand symbol meaning “at the rate of.” Some also suggest that @ has its origins in the sixth century, when monks adopted it as a better way of writing the word ad-Latin for “at” or “toward” that was not so easily confused with AD, the designation for Anno Domini, or the years after the death of Christ.


Created as part of the USB 1.0 spec, the USB icon was drawn to resemble Neptune’s Trident, the mighty Dreizack. In lieu of the pointed triangles at the tip of the three-pronged spear, the USB Promoters decided to alter the shapes to a triangle, square and circle. This was done to signify all the different devices that could be attached using this standard connector.


While working with other team members to translate menu commands directly to the keyboard, Hertzfeld and team decided to add a special function key. The idea was simple: When pressed in combination with other keys, this “Apple key” would select the corresponding menu command. Steve Jobs hated it. the symbol used to represent the button which was yet another picture of the Apple logo. Hertzfeld recalls his reaction: “There are too many Apples on the screen! It’s ridiculous! We’re taking the Apple logo in vain!” A hasty redesign followed, in which bitmap artist Susan Kare poured through in international symbol dictionary and settled on one floral symbol that in Sweden, indicated a noteworthy attraction in a campground. Alternately known as the Gorgon loop, the splat, the infinite loop, and, in the Unicode standard, a “place of interest sign,” the command symbol has remained a mainstay on Apple keyboards to this day.


The Bluetooth symbol is actually a combination of the two runes that represent a King Harald Bluetooth’s ( Denmark and Norway) initials. It just so happens the first Bluetooth receptor also had a “teeth-like” shape, and was blue. The king was instrumental in uniting warring factions in parts of what are now Norway, Sweden, and Denmark just as Bluetooth technology is designed to allow collaboration between differing industries such as the computing, mobile phone, and automotive markets.


Love: Zombie Love Letters

15 Oct

Really this is a

Guest Site:

He has a feature article title “WHAT WOMEN WANT”

The stuff he says is gold. It’s ALOT to read…but it does not disappoint and the spelling is far better than mine. I say it is a MUST READ but if not I highlighted some things that would peek interest.

Exerptz and Preview:

“As a member of, it did something to me I didn’t think possible, it made me seriously dislike women. And as somebody who has nothing but bile in regards to my own gender, I figured this wasn’t a feeling to be nurtured”

“I am seriously starting to feel that women are on their way to matching if not surpassing men as the shallow, self-absorbed half of the species.”

“If a woman’s idea of security is having her man father children he isn’t the least bit invested in, or committing himself to a miserable marriage from which he will almost certainly stray, well…If that’s not shallow and selfish I don’t know what is”

“To women, a wedding ring is but a trinket if it cost less than a quarter of a million and is smaller than a hand grenade”

“The veins on our forearms don’t stand out as sexily as on her last boyfriend”

“Womens trends have nothing to do with trying to look attractive to men and everything to do with impressing other women. ”

—This is so true because the woman with her chest showing in a tight TIGHT  shirt with tight jeans showing her figure is more appealing than ‘red bottoms’, ‘coach bag’, and whatever fall designer nonsense that is out at the time. Think  Hooters girl compared to a server girl at TGI Fridays.

“Guys try and make themselves out to be as horrible as possible in their online profiles, as they believe that’s the only way to get a woman interested enough to secure a date.”

THIS IS A MUST READ (Men and Women)

Who will be the next…Lauryn Hill or Black African American Negro Leader

14 Oct

There is a shortage of  Black African American Negro leaders.

Back story:

The rap game. Cause most young folk can relate. Think about how thorough Lauryn Hill. She could have been a King of Rap. Soon she learned it’s a man’s world and fullfilled her natural calling as a woman.  When Hill was a young inspirted female she was dominant. She gained props from the likes of Jay Z, Kanye and other artist.  She was even sought by Wyclef to regroup the Fugees and revive Hip Hop.  Thanks to Dave Chappllee she was out on Block Party and we were able to see her one last time (on a serious note that is). Thing is…she is gone now. Moved on. Lil Kim, Foxy (Sharpton/ Jackson) came along but could hang on longevity. Nicki Minaj (Cornell West *yea he has always been here, i know) has been holding it down, but usually clashes with other females in the game.


Who the kids gonna listen to? Guess me if it isn’t you. -Kanye West

Well the whole Lauryn Hill scenario reminds me of the Black leaders of America today. Obama will be gone, Herman Cain is a joke…who will be the next legitimately Black leader?

Candidates —>

Rent to damn high guy ( got evicted)

Don Lemon (haaay not saying there can’t be a black gay leader, just not yet).

Jay-Z,  Waka Flocka, Wyclef, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, (musicians won’t work).

Tavis Smiley, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Cornell West (just the names I know but most out of their prime). They know the dilemma more than anyone.  

These young confused young black men in skinny jeans growing up on Dora and Sponge Bob totally foriegn to struggle and sticking together as a race thinking they are Meek Mills and when they should be watching 2 Pac and Malcolm X (Stan the White man) since we just had Martin as President. (run on sentence, one of many)

If you were in a movie then you shouldn’t even be a candidate. The Ronald Ragon days are over. Get money? Yea!! Like Diddy, but for your campaign, not your champagne. You are gonna need it. Develop a crew like Prince and expand. Basically, get strong like Lauryn Hill but also consider the decline after she left. All the voices can be lifted however only ONE will need to be heard. (Like Obama)

I just want to know who it will be ? or will the glass ceiling be replaced after the Obama finishes his 8 years.

Yesterday we were king, who are we today.

I Cant Speak for All Philadelphians: Martin Luther King Jr

14 Oct

Martin Luther King Jr BLVD (Phila)

Dubbed Safest Road in World

You hear it here first.

Philly has most murals in the world if you didn’t know

I Cant Speak for All Philadelphians: Why Phillies Green ?

14 Oct

Why do the Phillies wear Green? Are the Phillies doing the Go Green thing? Is it Irish Cheer? Is it the color of the ghost of the Phillies postseasons. The Irish theory works but !! Was Philly an Irish town with know Irish players?

Phillies spirit I don’t get it. Wait !! We got the Philly Phanatic, who IZ GREEN!!! Huh!!…Citzens Bank has a Green logo and that’s the name of the park, is it that ? Is Philly so cheap it makes a profit off left over St Patricks Day shirts.  Yes, People in Philly don’t make money so “tis was all she could afford.” (Phillies fans are so cheap that you can spot a Champion Lenny Dykstra jersey in the crowd sometimes)

Guest site:  7thand Patterson <—asks this same question

Why Green? The Phillies have and ‘authentic’ batting practice Kelly green jersey that they never use.

Is that the reference? Is it St/ Patty’s Day? It surely can’t be a throwback to 1876 and the Philadelphia A’s can it? Was green even invented then? This  jersey needs to be left on the shelf. If for some reason ‘by way of a gift’ from you senile grandma this ends up in your possession you have two options. !!Never wear it OR BURN IT !!

PHACTS THE PHILLIES SHARE WITH ST LOUIS CARDINALS ( Team that beat em green with envy in the playoffs)

The Phillies are one of six teams in Major League Baseball that do not display the name of their city, state, or region on their road jerseys. (teams include Los Anageles Angels of Anaheim, Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Rays, and the Florida Marlins. The Phillies are the only team that also diplays the players number on one sleeve. In addition to the usual placement on the back of the jersey.


I Cant Speak for All Philadelphians: Power 99

14 Oct

The origin of this post was ‘Why is it called ‘Power House’. ‘Power House is Power 99’s annual summer concert/ jam that usually has the best names in the music inDUSTry. Power 99 is a Philadelphia radio station and is usually considered the number one station to listen to when you come to Philadelphia. (Shout out to Y100, B101 and WMMR)

If  Power 99 ever reads this…

-Please make a history and chronology of Power House. Shanks. There is no history about it.

Power 99 (WUSL 98.9) was a Country station at first. Did you know Q102 (another local station) had Power 99 on the ropes  and Power somehow got enough POWER to survive. Though both stations rivaled each other back in the day, one remained true, the other, changed DRASTICALLY.  Power 99 done came a long way.

Wiki has the whole deal. There is actually a nice history to tell.

Everybody has a start

Science: Curing AIDS using Video Game Nerds

14 Oct

Aids is cured!!! Well read on, there are steps that can be taken now to develop medicines for HIV. It’s not an excuse to go raw yet though…so use a condom and FOLDIT.

Guest Sites:



When scientists struggle with a problem for over a decade, few of them think, “I know! I’ll ask computer gamers to help.” That, however, is exactly what Firas Khatib from the University of Washington did. The result: he and his legion of gaming co-authors have cracked a longstanding problem in AIDS research that scientists have puzzled over for years. It took them three weeks.

Khatib’s recruits played Foldit, a programme that reframes fiendish scientific challenges as a competitive multiplayer computer game. It taps into the collective problem-solving skills of tens of thousands of people, most of whom have little or no background in science. Here’s what I wrote about Foldit last year:

The goal of the game is to work out the three-dimensional structures of different proteins. Proteins are feats of biological origami; they consist of long chains of amino acids that fold into very specific and complicated shapes. These shapes can reveal how proteins work, but solving them is fiendishly challenging. To do it, scientists typically need to grow crystals of purified protein before bouncing X-rays off them.

Foldit takes a different approach, using the collective efforts of causal gamers to do the hard work. And its best players can outperform software designed to do the same job. Best of all, you don’t need a PhD to play Foldit. Barely an eighth of the players work in science, and two-thirds of the top scorers have no biochemistry experience beyond high school. The controls are intuitive; tutorial levels introduce the game’s mechanics; colourful visuals provide hints; and the interface is explained in simple language. While protein scientists concern themselves with “rotating alpha-helices” and “fixing degrees of freedom”, Foldit players simply ‘tweak’, ‘freeze’, ‘wiggle’ and ‘shake’ their on-screen shapes.

Foldit’s success relies on the fact that it doesn’t shallowly flirt with interactivity – it’s a true game. Its creator Seth Cooper designed it to “attract the widest possible audience… and encourage prolonged engagement”. It’s competitive: players are scored based on the stability of the structures they end up with and a leader board shows how they rank against other gamers. There’s also a social side: gamers can chat on online forums, work in groups to solve puzzles and share solutions on a wiki. And just like real game development, everything was tuned according to feedback from the players. Tools were added and refined, the difficulty of the tutorials was tweaked to stop frustrated beginners from leaving, and puzzles were matched to the skills of the players.

There’s the thrill of contributing to genuine scientific research, but that motivates less than half of the community. The rest do it for the achievement, the social aspects and largely, because the game was fun and immersive.

Foldit’s origins lie within  Rosetta, a piece of software designed to solve protein structures by simulating and testing thousands of different folds. Rosetta is an example of ‘  distributed computing’, where volunteers run the program on their home computers when they don’t need it. They effectively donate their computing power to speed up the laborious task of solving protein structures. But the volunteers wanted to use their biological computers – their brains – as well as their man-made ones. They suggested an interactive version of the programme and in May 2008, they got their wish with Foldit.

Last year, Cooper showed that Foldit’s gamers were better than the Rosetta programme at solving many protein structures. They used a wide range of strategies, they could pick the best places to begin, and they were better at long-term planning. Human intuition trumped mechanical number-crunching.

This year, Khatib wanted to see if the Foldit community could solve fresh problems. He entered the players into a twice-yearly contest called CASP (Critical Assessment of Techniques for Protein Structure Prediction), where structural biologists from all over the world compete to predict the structures of proteins that have almost been solved. They get the best predictions from Rosetta to begin with. Then, they’re on their own.

Khatib’s gamers, bearing names such as Foldit Contenders Group and Foldit Void Crushers Group, had varying degrees of success in the contest. In many of the categories, they did reasonably well but they couldn’t match the best groups. They weren’t as good at using the structures of similar proteins to tweak the ones they were working on. They could also head down dead ends if they started at the wrong place. In one case, their strategy of refining their starting structures to the best possible degree led to one of the “most spectacular successes” in the contest. But mostly, they focused too heavily on tweaking already imperfect solutions that other teams achieved better results by making large-scale changes.

Learning from that lesson, Khatib stepped in himself. He agitated the initial protein structures in many random ways, to create a wide variety of terrible answers that the gamers could then refine. In their attempts, they came up with the best-ranked answer to the most difficult challenge in the competition.

It was a success, and more would follow. After the competition, the players solved an even more important problem. They discovered the structure of a protein belonging to the Mason-Pfizer monkey virus (M-PMV), a close relative of HIV that causes AIDS in monkeys.

These viruses create many of their proteins in one big block. They need to be cut apart, and the viruses use a scissor enzyme –a protease – to do that. Many scientists are trying to find drugs that disable the proteases. If they don’t work, the virus is hobbled – it’s like a mechanic that cannot remove any of her tools from their box.

To disable M-PMV’s protease, we need to know exactly what it looks like. Like real scissors, the proteases come in two halves that need to lock together in order to work. If we knew where the halves joined together, we could create drugs that prevent them from uniting. But until now, scientists have only been able to discern the structure of the two halves together. They have spent more than ten years trying to solve structure of a single isolated half, without any success.

The Foldit players had no such problems. They came up with several answers, one of which was almost close to perfect. In a few days, Khatib had refined their solution to deduce the protein’s final structure, and he has already spotted features that could make attractive targets for new drugs.

“This is the first instance that we are aware of in which online gamers solved a longstanding scientific problem,” writes Khatib. “These results indi­cate the potential for integrating video games into the real-world scientific process: the ingenuity of game players is a formidable force that, if properly directed, can be used to solve a wide range of scientific problems.”

Update: Stephen Curry, who works on protein structures, had this to say about the paper: “Credit where it’s due: this is certainly an innovative approach to the problem of determining crystal structures of proteins. And I do like the idea of ‘citizen science’. Although it’s probably questionable how much science the gamers are understanding, the involvement in this sort of research, even if it is just at the level of playing a game, is undoubtedly a good thing.”

Curry also points out that a structure for this protein was published in 2003 using a different method called nuclear magnetic resonance. Khatib says that this is “quite inaccurate” and that people have struggled to use it to progress any further, but Curry says that they don’t say much about the differences between the old and new structures.

Likewise, Khatib doesn’t mention how closely related the M-PMV protease and the HIV ones are. “This information is crucial for deciding whether a structure of M-PMV protease is going to be any use as a template for the design of novel classes of drug targeted to HIV protease. If I had reviewed this paper, I would have asked for that information to be included because it is needed to make sense of observed differences in structure,” he says.