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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Sci/Tech Tidbits

Sci/Tech Tidbits

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the invention of Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation—LASER. Theodore Harold Maiman constructed the first functioning laser beam in Malibu, California in 1960. He had a hunch that it could be useful, but he had no idea how. “A laser is a solution seeking a problem,” Maiman said at the time. Today, we can thank laser technology for bringing us the CD player, DVDs, those barcode-reading devices at the supermarket, super fast printers and a bunch of medical as well as military technologies.  Google Indignant About Chinese HackersLast week Google announced it was the victim of an attack targeted at the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists. The attack, which originated in China, was not successful, but it uncovered the sophisticated surveillance efforts Chinese leaders are employing against dissidents. In response, Google announced its intentions to stop censoring results on Google.cn, and perhaps close its offices in China altogether. New Varnish to Make Soap ObsoleteThere’s some good news for anyone who’s tired of doing the dishes. Scientists in Purdue University, in West Lafayette, Indiana are developing a new technology that will make washing dishes a lot easier, and also better for the environment. The technology is basically a clear coating that rejects grease. It could be applied to dishes, mirrors, windows and other surfaces. To be cleaned, dishes with the special coating would need to be rinsed in water, with no detergent, soap or scrubbing necessary. The coating could also be used on car windshields to prevent fogging and greasy fingerprints. An added bonus would be a decrease in the amount of detergents that go down our drains and end up polluting the environment. Men Prefer Peeing on FliesA new technology is dramatically decreasing maintenance costs at public bathrooms around the world and improving men’s aim in urinals. Airports, stadiums and elementary schools are upgrading their urinals by engraving pictures of flies next to drain holes. According to a manager at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, instances of “spillage” were reduced by as much as 80 percent after the introduction of the flies. Apparently, the purpose of the drain hole itself is not always self-explanatory.  Men Evolve Faster Than Women, Study FindsThe fact that guys are not properly potty-trained even in adulthood makes it is easy to dismiss the entire male population as sloppy, primitive and plain gross, but a recent study might suggest otherwise. Scientists at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge have determined that the Y chromosome, which only men have, is the fastest evolving chromosome in the human genome. Meaning that in a way, men are evolving faster than women. The study could not explain why even with a speedier rate of evolution men are still light years behind women in most practical matters. Television Linked to Cancer and Heart DiseaseIn other disconcerting news, a new study claims that sitting around, laying back, and possibly even just chillin’ while watching TV can kill you. Researchers at the IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Australia found that every hour spent in front of the TV correlates to a nine percent increased risk of dying from cancer and an 11 percent greater risk of dying because of heart problems. People who watch more than four hours of TV a day have an 80 percent greater chance of dying of either cause compared to people who watch less than two hours daily. If you’d like to extend your life but feel that giving up on your couch-potato ways is not an option, the researchers suggest standing up occasionally, during commercials, for example, even if only to move to another chair. Hamsters Are Just Like UsIf you feel like partying too much over winter break has really taken a toll on you, you’re not alone. Hamsters suffer from hangovers too, according to a new study. Scientists at Kent University in Ohio found that hamsters that were given alcohol had slept later the next morning, were more susceptible to bright lights, and felt embarrassed about the way they acted the night before.

About the Contributor
Shira Kaminsky served as the following positions for The Mass Media the following years Editor-in-Chief: Spring 2012; 2012-2013 Managing Editor: Fall 2011 Arts Editor: Fall 2010