Trinity College Long Room

Today I had the opportunity to visit Trinity College, see the Book of Kells exhibit and walk through the Library’s Long Room, which was nothing short of amazing.

The Long Room (amply named) was built in 1713, is 213 feet in length, and has 200,000 of the Library’s oldest books. This was originally a single story building, but became full and had the second floor and vaulted ceilings installed in 1860. Pictures don’t do this place any justice, but I’ll share them anyways.

Plight of the refugees

The press coverage about refugees fleeing from countries like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan in recent weeks/months into Europe has been nothing less than astonishing. The lengths and dangers that so many have braved to make a better life for themselves and escape civil war or terror is inspirational. I’m of the opinion that if you chase your dreams, that you can accomplish anything. And these folks are proving it every day.

With so many paths being closed off, some have resorted to taking some pretty dramatic routes to include bicycling through the Arctic.

The BBC also has an interesting ‘by the numbers’ article with some infographics here that help to explain why this is such a big issue for everyone involved.

While I understand the population issues that a mass exodus can cause, I do applaud their effort to get out of a bad situation and try to start anew. Good luck guys.

Turns out, rum can help with some health issues

Hip dislocations have long been dealt with the old-fashioned way, writes Horowitz: Inside the emergency room, doctors simply shove the hip back into its socket. It’s an agonizing procedure, and one that hasn’t changed in years. Normally, doctors use a move called the Allis Maneuver — the patient lays on a gurney, the doctor straddles the patient, and in goes the hip.

But all that changed when emergency medicine professor Gregory Hendey watched an ad for Captain Morgan rum. What if, he wondered, a doctor didn’t straddle patients at all? By putting a knee beneath the raised knee of a person imitating the Captain and pushing, it turns out hips can be popped back into place without the need to crawl onto the gurney.

How a Captain Morgan Advertisement Inspired an Emergency Room Technique that helps with dislocated hips.

Barcode history is probably more interesting than you thought

It had been calculated that only ten digits were needed; the barcode had to be readable from any direction and at speed; there must be fewer than one in 20,000 undetected errors.

Based largely on morse code, and originally intended to streamline the checkout process at a supermarket, the barcode has a pretty interesting history. Iterate, iterate, iterate; and eventually success ensues, as does widespread adoption of new and useful technologies.

Read more about it here, via the Smithsonian Magazine.

Astronaut

My office Friday and Saturday was the Richmond Speedway, where I hung out with Dawn and a couple other NASA folks who were manning a booth demonstrating the Resource Prospector. This is a rover in development that will scour the Moon for water beneath the surface, take core samples, and examine the specimin to determine what’s in it, and if it can be used by man, should we try to colonize the moon.

All in all, it was really great to see how interested the kids were in driving the rover, the questions they asked, and the questions their parents had. Just goes to show that science isn’t boring in the right context, and that kids really do enjoy learning – even if they claim the opposite.

Then this guy walked by: