News For Nerds: June 18, 2010

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  • Posted by: Dom Testa|
  • 6/18/2010 |
  • 10:00 am

When your phone is running out of juice, how'd you like to just plug it into your shoe? And, instead of ordering from a menu, what if you ordered from an iPad? And as much as you enjoy going to 3D movies at the theater, researchers now say it could be dangerous (they always spoil our fun!).

All of these stories, and more, are inside this report. C'mon, let's get our nerd on!

When we think of archaeologists, we usually think of someone like Indiana Jones, either scraping dirt from an old mummy, or Howard Carter digging up King Tut's tomb. But sometimes instead of gold or mummies, we find interesting things like...shoes!

shoeArchaeologists have uncovered a leather shoe that's about 5500 years old in the mountains of Armenia. It was made from a single piece of leather, and stuffed with grass, either as insulation, or to keep the shape intact while it was stored.

The studies of ancient people are fascinating, and to find a living area within a remote cave can reveal a lot about their society. You can read all about it right here.

And no, word has it that the shoe did NOT smell.

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powerwelliesAnd, since we're talking about shoes, how would you like to plug your phone into your boot? Yes, it sounds ridiculous, but Power Wellies relies upon the electrical current that you generate by walking in order to power some of your portable devices.

The secret is in a special wafer that generates a charge between the heat of your foot and the cold of the ground. That charge is then stored and later used as a power source.

As one of the designers said, the Power Wellies "not only keep you dry, but they also provide a crucial eco electricity source."

I, for one, don't really find them very attractive, but being green is, right? Here's the full scoop.

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Ozzy Osbourne TributeFor the last few years there's been a rush to sequence the human genome, primarily because it can hopefully help us cure and/or prevent diseases. Well, if you wanna explore the concept of helping those with drug and alcohol issues, who better to study than Ozzy Osbourne?

That's right, the crazy train is coming to a lab near you. Ozzy has abused his body enough through the years that scientists think the information in his genome could help explain how the body absorbs - and somehow survives - the various drugs that it ingests.

Mapping the genome of healthy individuals is fine, but analyzing people with "extreme medical histories" is invaluable in adding to the basic understanding of our bodies. Hence, we turn to people like Ozzy, the self-proclaimed Prince of Darkness.

The human genome was successfully mapped in 2003 after 13 exhaustive years of work. These days it can be done in about 90 days. It's fascinating stuff, and this will tell you more about it.

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Hungry? Forget the menu. Instead, why not peruse the iPad at the restaurant?

Chris Lucan runs a restaurant in Melbourne, Australia called Pearl. He decided that hungry customers might want more information than your standard menu. So, he replaced them with Apple's newest hot gadget.

Now you can check out the food and wines, and, should you find something interesting, dig a bit deeper to see where the wine came from, or what would best be suited with a certain dish. You can also access the recipes of some of your favorite dishes at Pearl, and take a virtual tour of the vineyard that produced your Pinot.

For those of you worried about the wait staff, have no fear. Lucas claims that this won't replace the waiters, but instead will help the restaurant do a better job of communicating with its customers, and provide a more entertaining dining experience.

They won't be the last to do this, by the way.

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3dIt seems like 3-D movies have taken America by storm. Most of us have been thrilled to pick up the funky little glasses at the theater and watch the action zero fly straight at our nose.

But hold on, says the Good Housekeeping Research Institute. They went out and tested the 3-D glasses (both those wrapped in plastic, and those unwrapped) and found enough germs to give you the creeps.

Like what, you ask? Well, like the germs that cause skin infections, food poisoning, sepsis and conjunctivitis, a nasty eye disorder. Oh, and if that's not enough, they also found one set of glasses contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus, the leading cause of staph infections.

Great. First the popcorn is gonna kill us, and now even our 3-D glasses?

As if to temper their findings, researchers noted that similar germs would probably turn up on the theater seats and door knobs, and we seem to be okay.

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That's it for this week. Bookmark this site and check back in next week for another edition of News For Nerds!

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