Welcome to my view on things of this world. This is where I get to write
what I want, when I want, about things that interest me. Expect me to
ramble from topic to topic, because that's what I'm going to do. If you
like what you see, feel free to bookmark this site. I'll try my best to
keep it fresh and updated frequently.
Mackenzie Fraiser is 12-years-old. She's a sixth grader at Somerset
Academy, a charter school in North Las Vegas, Nevada. Mackenzie is also
In February, she was instructed by her technology teacher to create a
PowerPoint demonstration about her life. One of the requirements was to
include a slide with an inspirational message.
So Mackenzie decided to use a Bible verse -- specifically John 3:16.
That familiar passage reads: "For God so loved the world that He gave
his only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have
But the teacher had a problem with Mackenzie's inspirational
message. She explained to the class that none of the students would be
allowed to use any Bible verses.
Five global banks agreed to pay more than $5 billion in combined
penalties and will plead guilty to criminal charges to resolve a
long-running U.S. investigation into whether traders colluded to move
foreign-currency rates for their own financial benefit.
Four of the banks, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Barclays PLC, Royal Bank of
Scotland Group PLC and Citigroup Inc., will plead guilty to conspiring
to manipulate prices in the $500 billion-a-day market for U.S. dollars
and euros, authorities said.
A Swedish company claims that this small-scale concentrated solar energy
system -- which leans on ideas from a 19th-century Scottish clergyman --
converts 34 percent of sunlight into electricity. That could make it the
most efficient solar system in the world.
The Guardian reports that the system -- currently being tested by its
makers, RiPasso Energy, in the Kalahari Desert -- uses 100 square-meter
dishes to focus the sun's light to a single, hot point. The heat then
drives a Stirling engine, first developed by Robert Stirling in 1816,
which uses alternate heating and cooling of a closed volume of gas to
drive a piston and, in turn, flywheel to generate electricity. The
dishes swing on their axes during the day in order to capture as much
light as possible.
The world is one step closer to the day when people can, in good
conscience, drive to work while sipping coffee, texting with a friend
and working on a laptop computer.
On Friday, Google announced that sometime this summer several prototype
versions of its self-driving cars are set to hit the streets of Mountain
View, Calif., the search giant's hometown. The move is still just
another round of testing but it is a significant step toward a pilot
program in which regular consumers could ride in self-driving cars.
Google has long been testing its self-driving car technology with a
fleet of Lexus sport utility vehicles that have driven about a million
miles on public roads, and that continue to put in 10,000 miles each
Minecraft, the online world that most parents simply don't understand,
is now officially the most watched game of all time on YouTube.
According to the video-sharing site, the virtual Lego game has also
become the most searched-for term, behind "music".
It bears out earlier research from YouTube video research firms Newzoo
and Octoloy, which found that Minecraft material notched up more than
3.9 billion views on YouTube in March 2015 alone. None of this will come
as a surprise to the many parents who have become 'Minecraft-widows',
desperately trying to entice their children to go on a bike ride, throw
a ball, visit the park - anything other than while away the hours
watching other people build things with little green bricks on the
Google said Monday that its self-driving cars have been involved in 11
accidents over six years.
In a blog post, the director of Google's self-driving car program
described all the accidents as minor, with no injuries, over 1.7 million
miles of driving. "Light damange, no injuries," wrote Chris Urmson.
Accidents occurred in the cars both when the car was driving itself and
when it was being driven in a normal manner by a worker behind the
The bulk collection of Americans' phone records by the government
exceeds what Congress has allowed, a federal appeals court said Thursday
as it asked Congress to step in and decide how best to balance national
security and privacy interests.
A three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in
Manhattan permitted the National Security Agency program to continue
temporarily as it exists, but all but pleaded for Congress to better
define where the boundaries exist.
Has Bruce Lee been reborn into this pint-size martial artist?
Ryusei, a 5-year-old from Japan, is taking the internet by storm. His
dad posted a video of him recreating Bruce Lee's famous fight scene
from the 1972 film, Game of Death, and the video has gone viral. It
already has had more than 3.5 million views since it was posted to
YouTube on May 1.
Goldman Sachs recently announced that it was partnering with a Chinese
investment firm to lead a $50 million investment into Bitcoin start-up Circle
Internet Financial. This deal represents the first large investment of its
kind by a major bank, and it definitely could make a big difference in the
Bitcoin space as well as the way we transfer money in our everyday lives. So
what does Circle Internet Financial do, and why is it the first Bitcoin
company to attract an investment from a major bank?
It's no secret that being sedentary for long periods of time is
unhealthy. In fact, a study released earlier this year concluded that
the amount of hours someone sits in a day -- regardless of regular
exercise -- is associated with a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes,
cancer and even death.
It's a television fan's nightmare: You're sitting at home watching a
show and the battery in your remote dies just when you're in desperate
need of a channel change. You go digging through your junk drawer and
fish out a battery, but then ask yourself: Is this a new battery? Or is
it an old battery that I just shoved into my junk drawer instead of
discarding? Here's a quick trick to figure it out.
The federal government has lowered the recommended level of fluoride in
drinking water for the first time in five decades.
The Department of Health and Human Services is now advising water supply
managers to reduce levels of the mineral to 0.7 milligrams per liter
(mg/l). The previous recommendation, developed in 1962, advised
communities to permit fluoride concentrations between 0.7 and 1.2 mg/l.
Heard about this one on Indie Gogo.
It's a device you wear around your leg that stimulates your body to create
its own pain relief. I like it a lot and hope the company does well. At the
time of this writing, they've already gone far beyond their $100,000 goal.
I think it's something like $167,000 and rising with 29 days left of their
campaign. Check it out!