Flu Virus And Humidity

This is a pretty interesting article about the Flu virus and humidity:

the researchers found the virus survived best at humidity below 50%, similar to the conditions found indoors in “a really heated building,” says Dr. Marr. “The virus is happy if the mucus droplet completely evaporates and leaves it floating around” in the air.

“It’s also fine in humidities above 98%, which you find in the rainy season in the tropics,” she says, where the conditions outside resemble the environment the virus finds in the body. “But in between, in a humidity of 50% to 98%, the virus doesn’t survive very well.”

If offices, schools and other places where people congregated were to install humidifiers and keep a closer eye on building humidity, would flu’s be less problematic? In theory it could actually save a business money to pay attention to the humidity in the building and keep employees from getting sick.

23 And 1/2 Hours

23 and 1/2 hours

This is a pretty interesting presentation on the health benefits of being active. It doesn’t take much to get the benefits. Interestingly my non-city working friends have always looked down upon my 10 minute walk to and from the office like it’s a burden (when they drive right up to their office). Ends up that’s a very healthy way to commute.

The Big Internet Museum

The Big Internet Museum is exactly what it sounds like, a museum for the internet, of course on the internet. It’s quite interesting to read through. Many of the items on there, especially the later half, I can recall the day they launched or occurred. It’s amazing to think how these things have impacted society and how much we’ve experienced in just a few years.

NYC Trying to Reboot The Payphone

NYC is trying to figure out what to do with the old payphone infrastructure. Personally I’d like to see the following:

Each of the 4-6 sides would contain a panel comprised of a touchscreen with simple accessible features such as:

  • Emergency button to facilitate contacting emergency services.
  • Transit information (shown).
  • Event information (for example how to get to Thanksgiving day parade on Thanksgiving).
  • Other information the city feels should be accessible.
  • Microphone, speaker and webcam to facilitate communication with emergency services, TTS for those with disabilities and future uses.
  • Extra space on panel could be advertising or boilerplate information.

Above the user accessible panel would be kiosk space. LED panels would be able to show advertising and information. In an emergency the city could utilize this space to provide directions and information. For example where nearby storm shelters can be found, or amber alerts.

Because all info space on the kiosks are essentially screens they can be programmed and updated remotely over IP network.

Each location could be a WiFi Hotspot providing short free internet access and for a small daily charge access at any other kiosk for up to __ MB for the day or other rate plans. Possibly partner with ISP’s who would offer hotspot access to their customers.

Ideally kiosks would have an overhang to keep sun glare off panels. Otherwise it would be open to deter crime that phone booths saw.

This plan would involve advertising revenue, internet connectivity revenue and possibly even partnership revenue via ISP’s taking advantage of the mesh network built upon this existing infrastructure in a populated area.

NYC Kiosk

Virgil The Monkey From Project X

Project X Movie PosterSlightly obscure in monkey movie circles is the movie Project X staring Matthew Broderick and Helen Hunt. Interestingly enough Virgil the sign language speaking Chimp is actually still alive as of 2011 at a primary sanctuary. He’s aged, and balding, but so are his costars. Twenty-five years later the chimp is apparently still causing trouble with his friends:

Today, Willie, Harry and Okko, all from Twentieth Century Fox, live together in a troop of five energetic male chimpanzees, which includes Chobe and KoKo Michaels. Within this tightly balanced group, Willie’s significant ally is Okko, the leader of the group, although Harry remains a close friend. For years, Okko’s authority was backed by Willie, but in recent months Willie has settled into neutrality.

Two quarreling chimpanzees can stimulate 25 other chimpanzees to scream as they watch every detail of a dispute. The anger-management counselor in Willie’s group is Harry, who will run back and forth trying to settle arguments.

Pretty cool to see they are still taken care of all these years later.

Air Umbrella

Air Umbrella

How brilliant is this idea? Using air to create a force field to keep water off of you. Designed by Je Sung Park & Woo Jung Kwon, it’s essentially an invisible umbrella. Nothing to poke people with when walking down a crowded street, nothing to break when it’s windy out. Presumably it will be nearly or completely dry when you get indoors so no need to store away a wet umbrella.