Sunday, April 18

Month: June 2014

New Research Shows That Heavily Decorated Walls Distract Students
Local

New Research Shows That Heavily Decorated Walls Distract Students

Colorful artwork, maps and shapes often cover the walls in a typical elementary school classroom. Are these displays encouraging learning, or could they actually be a distraction? In a new study by Carnegie Mellon, researchers found that busy decorations correlated to distracted behaviors.The research, published in Psychological Science, details how highly decorated classrooms impact children in more ways than one. When exposed to these classrooms, instead of a more bare classroom, children were more likely to spend time off-task, experience smaller learning gains, and be more distracted. Though children are not usually actively examining the walls, the results are in line with earlier studies on how children are impacted by the physical setup of learning environments. "Young children s...
Pixar Makes its Animation Software Available for Free
Business

Pixar Makes its Animation Software Available for Free

If you've always wanted to play around with the same animation software that created some of the world's most beloved animated films, this is your lucky day. 3D computer animation studio Pixar has made available a version of its state-of-the-art RenderMan visual effects software to the public for free. Aspiring computer animators can now use the tools that created films like Toy Story and Monsters, Inc. to create their own masterpieces at no cost. It originally cost $500 to purchase and use RenderMan, according to geek.com. There are a few rules for acquiring RenderMan, the studio's in-house version of 3D rendering software, according to the Huffington Post: for example, you can only use the software for free only if it's for non-commercial purposes. Pixar explained its reasoni...
After Five Years, Greece Legalizes Street Views on Google Maps
World

After Five Years, Greece Legalizes Street Views on Google Maps

Google Maps can now legally show street views of Greece, San Jose Mercury News reports. For five years, the Greek government denied Google rights to post up-close photographs online. Culture Minister Panos Panagiotopoulos recently overruled that ban, hoping the map application and service will help revive tourism in the country. "We have so much to show off. This is a godsend," Panagiotopoulos said. "Everyone knows how difficult things are, with all the obstacles that are there when dealing with the Greek state. We are trying to overcome these difficulties." Panagiotopoulos adds that the country's landscape resembles an "endless archaeological park," according to San Jose Mercury News. The leading internet company is ready to launch the pictures as soon as they are able. "Google was ...
Chicago Activists Aim to End City’s Use of Sweatshop-Produced Uniforms for Workers
World

Chicago Activists Aim to End City’s Use of Sweatshop-Produced Uniforms for Workers

Those in Chicago who wear uniforms to city jobs, such as firefighters, police officers, and maintenance personnel, may soon wear more ethically-produced apparel, thanks to an effort by Chicago Fair Trade activists in the city. The new ordinance, introduced in the Chicago City Council on May 28, would enforce labor rights for the workers who manufacture these garments if the law is passed, essentially cutting out any sweatshop-produced uniforms. Garment workers in many other countries are often subject to harsh treatments from their employers, so low wages and long hours are common, along with wage theft in some cases. And the working conditions of the factories are just as bad: fire exit doors are padlocked to keep workers from leaving and buildings have haphazardly constructed addition...
After Allegedly Stealing and Pawning Jewelry, Rochester Woman Finds Herself in the Slammer
Local

After Allegedly Stealing and Pawning Jewelry, Rochester Woman Finds Herself in the Slammer

A Rochester woman faces charges after being arrested earlier in May for the alleged theft and sale of stolen jewelry. Shaumyk Santiago, 21, is accused of breaking into a home in Wolcott, NY in January and stealing many of the owner's valuable pieces of jewelry. After Ms. Santiago sold the items to the Jewelry and Coin Exchange, a pawn shop for valuable items, on West Ridge Road in Greece, she found herself in cuffs. Santiago awaits further proceedings on the matter, but for now, she has been sent to the Wayne County Jail on $10,000 bail. Theft in Rochester is Nothing New Theft in Rochester isn't exactly a novel concept. According to the most recently available statistics, the Flower City plays host to 7,683 thefts per 100,000 people every year, or over 15,000 annually. Among those crim...
Luxury Home Sales Blow Away Expectations, Grow Leaps and Bounds Over Wider Market
Lifestyle

Luxury Home Sales Blow Away Expectations, Grow Leaps and Bounds Over Wider Market

A new report from online real estate service Redfin is showing some positive signs of growth in one of America's smallest, albeit most lucrative, sectors of real estate. Year-over-year, the sales of luxury homes in the U.S. have grown by 35.7%. Since January,luxury home sales have grown by more than 21%. In a country where the rest of the real estate market remains shaky at best, this growth is more than welcome news, both for the overall economy and the real estate agents who are making big things happen. Luxury Homes Sales Buck Dismal Nationwide Trends When looked at against new home sales for April, the boom in luxury homes is even more impressive. New home sales in the general market only grew by 6.4% last month, and while that should be seen as encouraging after two months of decl...
Glance, at a Glance: the New Gadget That Transforms Ordinary Watches Into Smartwatches
World

Glance, at a Glance: the New Gadget That Transforms Ordinary Watches Into Smartwatches

This week, the tech world was abuzz with news of Glance, an $80 gadget that gives smartwatch capabilities to any ordinary watch. According to techcrunch.com, the team behind Kiwi Wearables started a Kickstarter campaign to fund the final design and production processes needed before the gadget can be sold. Glance is a small device designed to fit beneath the band of the wearer's watch. It offers a small OLED display and a wide range of features and capabilities that traditional watches can't offer. Glance's developers have enabled it to work with Android and iOS software, according to techcrunch.com. Eventually, BlackBerry and Windows phone support will be added. Some of the features Glance offers are call and text notifications, Bluetooth connectivity, phone location and remot...
New Research Explains How POS Technology Can Help Restaurants Eliminate Costly Theft
Business

New Research Explains How POS Technology Can Help Restaurants Eliminate Costly Theft

Could better Point of Sale (POS) technology help your restaurant stay on top of employee theft? According to a new survey, it could be. Previously, National Restaurant Association research has indicated that restaurants and other food service operators experience unusually high levels of internal employee theft. According to a paper titled "Cleaning House: The Impact of Information Technology Monitoring on Employee Theft and Productivity" published by professors at MIT, Brigham Young University, and Washington University, POS technology could potentially solve this industry-wide problem. Their study, using restaurant guard technology that monitors employee interactions with POS systems, found that not only were losses reversed, but restaurants actually experienced greater profit beyond...
Woman Wolf Two Massive Steak Dinners, Shatters Eating Challenge Record
Lifestyle

Woman Wolf Two Massive Steak Dinners, Shatters Eating Challenge Record

At 5-foot-7 and 125 pounds, Molly Schuyler looks like the kind of woman who mainly eats her kids' leftovers and a salad a day, which is precisely what her diet looks like most days. Appearances can be deceiving though, as Schuyler proved last week when she devoured a shrimp cocktail, baked potato, roll, salad, and a 72-ounce steak in under five minutes. What's most impressive though is the fact that she had room for dessert, which just so happened to be the exact same meal again, wolfing it in nine minutes the second time around. “We witnessed history,” said Danny Lee, co-owner of the The Big Texan Steak Ranch where Schuyler feaster. “If there’s a zombie apocalypse, I want to stay away from this girl.” The challenge actually dares contests to only eat one of the feasts in under an ho...
Researchers Discover That Lasers Can be Used to Generate New Tooth Growth
Business

Researchers Discover That Lasers Can be Used to Generate New Tooth Growth

In a groundbreaking study published this week in Science Translational Medicine, researchers say that a low-powered laser could be the key to creating new tooth growth. In the lab, the Harvard-led team were able to use lasers to "turn on" a natural healing cycle, which caused dentin to regrow inside teeth. This technology could allow a cavity to essentially "fill itself" back in with healhy tooth tissue, or enable a broken tooth to regrow again.Although the technology has only been tested on rats so far, it is possible that human clinical trials could begin within the year. "There's potential for this to be broadly useful," says David Mooney, the paper's senior author and a Harvard University bioengineer. If the approach works, the implications stretch beyond just avoiding the “drilling an...