Category Archives: Science

Retina Scan: Will Replace The Airport Patrol Force

Photo credits: Expert Infantry

Security at airports around the world was stepped up after September 11, 2001. After terrorists slammed airplanes into skyscrapers in New York City – not to mention the Pentagon – governments began scrambling for ways to make air travel safer. While a lot of innovations have been come up with over the last decade, there’s one that’s likely going to become used more in the future – a move that could reduce the patrol forces necessary at airports.

Pros and Cons of Retina Scans

Let’s start by looking at some of the various pros and cons of retina scans in airports. These specific benefits and negatives will help you understand why this is such a complex topic that a lot of governments are having to deal with on a daily basis. Whatever is decided, there’s no denying that there are both pros and cons to retina scans at airports.

  • Con – Loss of personal freedom is one negative that a lot of people mention when talking about retina scans at the airport. You already have to supply a photo identification, so why take it to the next level some people wonder.

  • Pro – On the positive side of the coin, retina scans may be able to speed up the security lines at airports and also increase the accuracy of identifying people who shouldn’t be flying the friendly skies.

  • Con – Retina scans might also end up being a huge hassle that costs taxpayers a lot of money. From the equipment needed to the people who need to be trained to use the equipment, the cost can add up quickly.

  • Pro – At the same time, it may be found that retina scans actually decrease the cost of keeping airports safe. This wouldn’t be able to be determined until the system was actually put in place, but these days it’s looking more and more like a possibility.

Will retina scans totally replace human security guards at airports? Of course not, but it’s likely the technology is going to be continued to be used more in order to make sure people on a watchlist are not able to travel via planes. This may or may not cut down on terrorism in the sky, but one thing is for certain – it will likely be fought by many people who believe in freedom.

Where do you stand on the issue? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts on retina scans at the airport. Are they needed or merely an invasion of privacy? Whether you agree with them or not, we’d love to hear from you about what you think. If enough people stand up and say they shouldn’t be used at all, it might be possible to stop them from becoming commonplace at airports around the globe. What do you think?

How Technology Makes Us Human

Photo Credits: intersticia

Technology is changing our lives for centuries. From simple reading and recording technical tools to new micro technology, everything is leaving an impact on our lives. Technologists have conducted few surveys to figure out the real fact behind the statements “Technology is making us human”. In actual, the results of these surveys as well as expert opinions are in favor of this fact that “Technology is making us more human”. People have improved personal relationships and they are adopting new culture by interacting via technology and various benefits of health and information are observed. Let’s discuss how technology is making us more human.

How technology is making us more human:

Technology is making us more human with its each new invention. Let’s see how that is possible.

  • Sharing and connect – The basic humanity act is to interact with people and share ideas with them. You feel comfortable by sharing your thoughts. Technology has made this easier for you. Now you can use applications, smart phones and connect with your friends and family any time you want. You have no problem in communication with them and your humanly needs are fulfilled in this way.

Photo Credits: 123rf

  • Brainstorming – Technical tools are now so advanced that everyone can learn and understand by using these tools. Being a human, you want to learn new subjects, want to interact with latest devices. Easy learning, navigating, reading and educating you was not that simple. As a human you want to compete with the world changing tools and technology has fulfilled your wish.

  • Information storage – Few experts do not agree with this fact that information storage is a more humane act. but when you think deeply, you will find it a human helping act. Storing information is not easier in the brain and you cannot recall a lot of things at one time. Technical devices have large storages that save data and store information for your daily needs. It makes you more human by just interacting with new devices to fetch the data to do your tasks.

  • New inventions- A very interesting viewpoint that supports this fact is the technical invention. Who is inventing these new tools? Do you find any other creature doing these? No it’s not. Humans are inventing and creating wonderful tools for making their own lives easier. They are using their brains and knowledge to design and invent new technology. How you can relate Utilizing knowledge to create a new device to a less human act?

Technical means are not less humans but they may have negative impacts on lives depending on the usage of technology. It works the way, you use it. If you use it to find the cure of critical diseases it totally benefits your life but if you use to waste your time and play games all the time then you are using it in the wrong way. Focus on your activities and usage of technology and then complain that it is dehumanizing or making you less human.

GIFs and Internet Memes You May Have Missed

Animated Madness and Mayhem to Make you Laugh

If you look at the animated GIF to the right, you’ll see a good example of a classic animated GIF. It’s a short sequence of images but when put together they work really well. Add a one liner that’s funny and you have a winner.

Animated GIFs have been around since the very early days of the Internet, but it’s really become an art form to come up with one that goes viral and becomes an official meme that spreads quickly around the world.

Classic Animated GIF Memes

Here are some other classic animated GIFs you may have missed over the years somehow.

Haters Gonna Hate

The origin of this meme starts back in 2008 when an artist put up an animated gif of a cartoon character strutting in an endless loop. Then, in 2009 someone started the idea of using the phrase “Haters Gonna Hate” with a still picture of some sort of activity taking place – the more ridiculous the better. Eventually the two memes bled together and an outbreak of “Haters Gonna Hate” animated GIFs broke out in 2011 – and still continues to this day unfortunately!

Internet Fight

This meme started as a way to make fun of people who argue online in virtual forums. Because Internet arguing is so futile and doesn’t really solve anything, people began labeling pictures of people fighting with words saying that Internet arguments are pretty stupid. As always, the animated GIF people jumped on board with this meme and really helped it spread. Here’s one example you may have missed.

Scarlett Johansson Falling Down

Scarlett Johansson is a doll, a perfect sweetheart, but unfortunately that makes for a funny animated GIF for some people. This one was spread thanks to BuzzFeed originally, but since that time many others have taken up the cause and have gone out of their way to loop a GIF of her falling here, there and everywhere. How many times can you watch her fall? The record is 128 times by a man with no job in New Jersey.

Make Your Own

If you’ve been inspired by some of the classic animated GIFs above, you need to get your own GIF maker. Luckily, you can easily find a free GIF maker online that works really well. Once you have that, it’s all a matter of finding the right images and stringing them together so they’re animated. Just be careful, once you start making animated GIFs it can be very hard to stop – especially if one goes viral. Don’t let that stop you from getting some software and seeing what you can do. It really can be a lot of fun.

Exam Results – Are They All In The Genes?

Despite all the talk about school performance league tables, declining exam results and investing in education, it would seem that how well you or your children do at school can actually have more to do with genetics than it does the right teacher.

Recent research looked at results from over 11,000 teenagers who had recently sat their GCSEs, and found that for the core subjects at least, genetics affected their results by almost 60 per cent. Results in English, maths and science were 58% affected by genetics, whereas artist and musical ability seems to be less affected by genetics, with only 42% genetic factors involved.

Testing to see how genes affected exam results involved looking at the GCSE scores of identical and non-identical twins, who would share the same environment and either 50 or 100 per cent of their genes.

Comparing the scores of different types of twins gave the scientists a way to find out how much of the variation in exam results was down to their environment, and how much could be attributed to genetic make-up. It meant that if identical twins got different scores in the same subject but were in different classes, the difference could be put down to their learning environment – classmates or teacher, rather than genetic ability in that subject.

The study showed that although a child’s DNA influences academic ability to a great extent, it’s not the only factor involved, and it’s still very possible for one identical twin to excel at a subject their twin doesn’t do as well at. However, on average, over half the variations could be put down to genetics. A child’s upbringing, home and learning environment accounted for 36% of the variation across all subjects. Details of the study appear in the journal, Plos One.

So, why do genetics have such a big effect on our academic ability? The reason that the researchers gave for genetics being such a major influence on exam scores is that the education system places a lot of importance on giving every child the same opportunities and education. It follows that if the school, teaching and other factors are equal, genetic similarities (or differences) will show up more.

Michael Reiss, professor of science education at the Institute of Education in London, was unimpressed by the findings, saying that while he could accept that genetics played a part in a child’s academic performance, knowing this might not actually be of much use.

He added that in the last decade, plenty of programmes had been created to help children who were falling behind in any area of their education, such as reading programmes for children who were struggling. These programmes don’t take genetics into account at all, they just focus on helping the individual child get to grips with whatever they are struggling with, and bring them up to the same level as other students.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re teaching maths or the trombone.” Reiss said, “A good teacher is sensitive to the needs of the learner, and I don’t think that genetics is going to help very much with that.”

Even so, it’s certainly an interesting debate and brings the whole question of ‘nature –v- nurture’ back into the spotlight.

Written by Kerry Jones, a teaching assistant and GCSE exam marker.