Science and Technology

In Search of Ancient Humans

She’s only four feet tall and 110 pounds, but little “Ardi” is causing a sensation among paleoanthropologists. Earlier this month, after fifteen years of research, scientists reported that they had identified Ardi’s skeleton as the oldest hominid known to modern humans. Ardipithecus ramidus, as she is formally known, lived 4.4 million years ago in what is now Ethiopia. She’s remarkable not just for her age, but for what she tells us about human evolution. Scientists are re-arranging the human family tree in light of this new research.

          Up until Ardi’s discovery, Lucy was the most famous hominid skeleton, and she is still important to an understanding of human evolution. Catherine Thimmesh tells her story for readers ten and up in her new book, “Lucy Long Ago, Uncovering the Mystery of Where We Came From.”
 

The eBook eVolution

Let’s talk about eBook readers. I’m sure you’ve seen one by now. Rectangular pieces of plastic capable of storing thousands of books to be read anytime, anywhere. Now equipped with screens employing the latest “electronic ink” technology that mimics the lighting qualities of real paper, they are fast supplanting the "traditional" portable media player as the tech to talk about. 

The Windows 7 Age

Windows 7, the anticipated successor to the oft-maligned Windows Vista operating system from Microsoft, has arrived.  Now available in stores on DVD-ROM, on the web for download (http://store.microsoft.com/win7netbooks), and on newly-purchased PCs, Microsoft has a lot riding on the acceptance of their new OS.

Ditch Your Cable

TV Is Dead. Long Live TV

In these lean times, we’re all looking for ways to cut household costs. You may be pondering whether you should ditch the cable TV or the broadband Internet to free up $50 a month. Take my advice and lose the cable. Heck, even if you aren’t in a financial pickle, go ahead and dump it. Your life will be better for it. Here’s why.

Increasing Your Internet Privacy

Maintaining your privacy online is a tricky matter, as I’m sure you know. And though you’re using a firewall as well as anti-spyware software, and you’ve password-protected your computer, that does almost nothing to keep your information secure online. Here are some ideas to help keep you to yourself when surfing the Web. For your convenience, I’ve divided the information into basic and advanced sections.

Increasing Your Internet Privacy

Maintaining your privacy online is a tricky matter, as I’m sure you know. And though you’re using a firewall as well as anti-spyware software, and you’ve password-protected your computer, that does almost nothing to keep your information secure online. Here are some ideas to help keep you to yourself when surfing the Web. I’ve divided the information into basic and advanced sections for your convenience.

Happy Birthday, Neil Armstrong

"That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind."

Born August 5, 1930, Neil Armstrong has been an aviator, test pilot, and university professor. And, on July 21, 1969, he became the first man to walk on the moon. In the days before the Internet or cable television, people around the world gathered around their sets to watch history being made.

A Lunar Anniversary

On a hot day in July forty years ago, millions of people were huddled around their radios and television sets waiting for the exciting news:  “The Eagle has landed.”


    In “Moonshot, The Flight of Apollo 11,” author-illustrator Brian Floca describes Neil Armstrong as “calm as a man who just parked a car” when he radios Houston that he’s landed safely on the moon.  Floca captures the mission’s mixture of calm professionalism and high drama in poetic words and watercolors. 

Storm Warnings!

The afternoon breeze, humidity, and thunderheads cued the adults to listen to the radio. The broadcast confirmed their suspicions of impending, severe thunderstorms. We went about the business of stowing the toys, the lawn furniture, and garden tools into Grandma and Grandpa's sheds.

About Anno

Mitsumasi Anno grew up in a traditional, beautiful Japanese village named Tsuwano, far away from any bustling city. Although he and his family lived near the sea, the mountains all around kept Anno from experiencing its vastness until he was older. When he was a child, he drew pictures of things he could see and also imagine: mountains, houses, and ghosts. His parents ran an inn, and the colorful magazines lying about for the guests' enjoyment were a big source of inspiration to him as he developed his love of drawing.