Archive for the ‘Science and Technology’ category

Massive Cosmic Explosion Struck Medieval Earth | Medieval News

January 25th, 2013

A massive burst of inter-stellar radiation may have stuck the Earth in the middle ages, researchers have announced. It is thought that the explosion occurred when two black holes or neutron stars collided somewhere in the Milky Way. The resultant gamma ray burst sent shockwaves through the galaxy, and hit our planet in the eighth century AD, the German team behind the study told the BBC. It is the latest development of the theory that the middle ages saw a spike in the amount of radiation that can now be found in trees and rocks. In 2012 a Japanese team found that ancient cedar trees had high levels of carbon-14, an isotope which is created when radiation strikes atoms in our upper atmosphere. Further research on radiation found in ice in the USA pinned the explosion down to between 774 and 775 AD. An entry in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle for the year 774 reads: “This year also appeared in the heavens a red crucifix, after sunset; the Mercians and the men of Kent fought at Otford; and wonderful serpents were seen in the land of the South-Saxons.”

via Massive Cosmic Explosion Struck Medieval Earth | Medieval News.

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The Problem with the Data-Information-Knowledge-Wisdom Hierarchy – David Weinberger – Harvard Business Review

October 20th, 2011

Addressing the Data/Information/Knowledge/Wisdom hierarchy by Ackoff (or Eliot? or Zappa?), David Weinberger argues that “knowledge is not a result merely of filtering or algorithms. It results from a far more complex process that is social, goal-driven, contextual, and culturally-bound.”

via The Problem with the Data-Information-Knowledge-Wisdom Hierarchy – David Weinberger – Harvard Business Review.

Is DIKW a simplification? Yes. An over-simplification? Maybe. But that’s what computer scientists, as Mr. Weinberger argues, crave — drilling down into the information, filtering out the extra, and refining the unnecessary to reach the real raison d’etre.

BBC News – Time zones: About time

April 7th, 2011

 

 

An interesting look at how time zones work, by the BBC: BBC News – Time zones: About time. Covers time around the world, including Antarctica, and even in space (at the International Space Station). Wonder why Indiana’s different? Or why China only has one time zone? These and lots of other questions are covered in this clever app. Take it for a spin…