Monthly Archives: August 2016

Level Up! Video Game Myths Quiz

Are you a player

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? Have you been there, done that, completed every quest and leveled all the way up? Then get ready to face the myths and rumors of the video game world to see how much you really know

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. Game on!

Bungee Jumping in Canton, Ohio

Canton, Ohio, is known for its parks and green spaces, vibrant cultural arts scene and as the birthplace of professional football. The city’s dedication to physical health and fitness makes it the perfect place to bungee jump. Whether you’re a first-timer or a veteran jumper, Canton makes an ideal backdrop for bungee jumping.
Most Canton, Ohio, bungee jumping outfitters offer year-round bungee jumping. However, be aware that reservations are subject to cancellation during bad weather. According to Climate Charts, an online climate data resource, Canton can reach minimum temperatures of 17 degrees Fahrenheit in January, and temperatures above 80 degrees Fahrenheit in summer. Rain and snow are not uncommon in winter times, so consider scheduling bungee jumping reservations during more temperate weather.
Bungee jumping processes are fairly standard, including those in Canton, Ohio. Most bungee jumping companies operate from towers built with platforms. Bungee jumpers ascend the tower and are strapped into a harness, usually alongside an expert instructor. There are a variety of jumping harnesses that affect jumping style and performance, according to Bungee Zone. Harnesses include body harnesses, leg harnesses and arm harnesses. Bungee Zone recommends the “swallow dive,” which involves jumping from the platform with outstretched arms. Expect to spend about an hour preparing for and executing the bungee jump.
Wear comfortable clothing suitable for the weather. In Canton, Ohio’s cooler months, it may be wise to warm, layered clothing. Rain jackets aren’t necessary, since bungee jumps are frequently cancelled in the event of rain. Be aware that hats and sunglasses may be lost on the trip down.
Most bungee jumping companies in Canton, Ohio, require that bungee jumpers be at least 18 years old. Technical requirements may prohibit people weighing over 220 pounds from participating. While most companies prohibit anyone other than those jumping from the platform to ascend bungee jumping towers, it’s typically permissible to bring friends and family to cheer from below.
Individual bungee jumps can cost between $100 and $150, although this will vary from company to company. Some outfitters may offer a discount for group rates, although this often requires an advance reservation. Cancellation fees may apply for some Canton, Ohio, bungee jumping companies, and you can expect to pay more for add-ons like photos of the jump and any videography.
Luxergy, a company offering numerous high-energy outdoor activities, also offers bungee jumping in Canton. The company offers gift certificates

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, including corporate packages, for people interested in giving bungee jumps as gifts.

?Robotic Surgery for Astronauts

In this week’s video and podcast, we talked about the present and future of robotic surgery, alluding to the possibility of space-bound surgical robots to operate on astronauts in emergencies. We spoke in terms of possibilities, only to find out just this week that there’s a real-world prototype in the works.
On Tuesday, New Scientist reported the ongoing development of a small surgical robot designed for use in space. The device is the work of a Nebraska-based company called Virtual Incision. As with other surgical robots, the goal is to insert tools into the body through small incisions (in this case, through the belly button) and perform surgery with minimal damage to the external tissue. So-called “minimally invasive” surgery like this is a great thing for medical science in any case, because it leads to quicker recovery times and less pain. But it’s useful for a different reason in space, where microgravity conditions acting on a traditional, large-incision open surgery could mean a spacecraft full of little floating globules of body fluids.
But there are problems with sending surgical robots into space. Existing bots like the da Vinci line tend to be large and heavy. And when you’re trying to get into space, mass is a serious liability. In the past, it has often cost in the neighborhood of $10,000 per pound to launch cargo into space (though the ongoing development of private space launches should, hopefully, be able to bring those costs down in a reliable way)

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. At that rate, if your surgical robot weighs, for example, just 100 pounds, that’s a million dollars in launch costs — not to mention the physical space it would take up in the already-cramped living quarters of an exploration vehicle or space station. The new system, in contrast, is “fist-sized” and weighs 0.4 kilograms (less than 1 pound). That’s about the same mass as a regulation American football.
Like other surgical robots of today, this prototype is not an autonomous robot — it’s a system of robotic tools that will be controlled directly by a human operator. In the case of deep space travel, this human operator would probably have to be another astronaut, meaning space travelers would need to be trained to use the device to operate on one another. That seems like a lot to ask of astronauts who already have to undergo incredible amounts of training and preparation. One solution to this problem would be telesurgery — the idea that the person controlling the robot doesn’t actually have to be in the same room. The operator could potentially control the device electronically from another city — or even another continent. But once you get deep into space, telesurgery controlled by someone on Earth probably isn’t an option, because the distance between the doctor and the patient would mean an insurmountable communications delay imposed by the speed of light. Surgeons need to be able to see what they’re doing in real time. A delay of just one second in the visual feedback could be dangerous. But if you’re trying to operate on someone aboard a satellite orbiting Mars, it could take more than 20 minutes for information to travel each way. That’s obviously a non-starter for emergency surgery, and I don’t think we’re going to be communicating faster than light anytime soon.
So telesurgery is probably out — but is there another way around forcing astronauts to become ad-hoc surgeons?
Well of course. The answer is autonomy — the ability to perform the surgery without human input. But that’s also a tall order. It’s one thing getting robots to visually recognize objects and handle them gently when those objects are colored blocks or pieces of fruit. When you’re talking about someone’s internal organs, a less-than-perfect guidance algorithm could be deadly. Yet autonomous surgical robots are not out of the question. Right now, researchers on the cutting edge of robot-assisted surgery are exploring which particular sub-tasks might be safely and effectively designated for autonomous robotic execution. So while a human surgeon would still supervise the procedure and perform many direct-control operations, the robot might be able do things like suturing or debridement (removal of dead or damaged tissue) by itself. Of course, the more sub-tasks these robots take over, the closer they come to full procedural autonomy. It’s difficult to say how far away such a safe and reliable capability would be. If it’s sooner rather than later, it could make a big difference on Earth, but an even bigger difference beyond.
Topics in this Post: medical technology, Stuff We Kind of Like, nasa

?How Sensics SmartGoggles Work

You’re a giant, angry robot.
Oh look, there’s a 40-story office tower in front of you. One swipe of your hand and that office tower is now a dusty pile of rubble

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. Impressed with your own handiwork, you jump over your destruction. Your landing triggers a near-earthquake that ends up causing another building to collapse. To celebrate, you smack the nearest standing building with your fist — just because you can.
Ok, we confess: You’re not actually a building-smashing robot. You’re playing a game called “HateBot,” which capitalizes on some pretty nifty new virtual-reality technology.
While we spoiled

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, 21st-century inhabitants are pretty used to life-like gaming systems

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, SmartGoggles are upping the ante with immersive gaming experiences like the one described above. Created by Maryland-based technology company Sensics Inc., the SmartGoggles platform is a step forward into the promised land of virtual reality. Not yet on the consumer market, Sensics is looking to sell their design to gaming developers and consumer electronics sources, as well as partner with companies like SideKick, which created “HateBot”. And the timing might be right; while there are currently a few different types of virtual reality products on the market, lately there’s been a bigger push for them.
Perhaps that’s due to a tiny tech company called Google, which has been playing with a pair of glasses featuring an augmented reality capability. Essentially, the glasses look like the spectacles you might use to read the New York Times, except these little guys populate your vision by putting up information or images on the lens. They might show you the route you should use to get to the grocery store, for instance, or engage you in a video chat as you walk down the street. Even manufacturers like Oakley (which produces sporting equipment and eyewear) are in the game. They’re targeting the sporty type, who’d like to read on their glasses how far their golf ball lies from the cup, for example, or maybe when to turn around to catch that football being thrown from behind.
SmartGoggles, as we’ll see, have a great deal of potential in a virtual reality market. While the helmet-type prototype we’ll be exploring here is nicknamed Natalia, the technology could translate into many different representations.

turn-down-radio-when-lost

In 1930, the Radio Manufacturers Association lobbied that backseat passengers were more of a driver distraction than a car radio; listening to the radio, they claimed

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, was safer than looking in the rear view mirror. Some strongly opposed the industry’s claims, arguing car radios were distracting and hazardous. Illinois

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, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Ohio state legislatures all considered implementing car radio fines, and in 1935 Connecticut legislators actually did introduce a bill that would have placed a steep fine on radio installation — $50 in 1935, which is about $850 today. Others considered making car radio installation a crime [sources: Novak, Bureau of Labor Statistics]. It wasn’t until the 1939, though, that anyone actually studied whether a correlation between car radios and car crashes existed: Car radios played little to no role in car accidents, determined the Princeton Radio Research Project [source: Bijsterveld].
Decades ago, the Society of Automotive Engineers advised drivers follow the 15-second rule. That is, a driver can be distracted with an in-car activity, such as talking to passengers or retrieving an item from the glove compartment, for up to 15 seconds before the task becomes a visual distraction and becomes unsafe. Fifteen seconds, can you imagine? Every five seconds at 55 mph a car travels about 360 feet (107 meters), which is the length of a football field. Now multiply that by three — that’s a lot of distance covered without the driver’s attention and focus on driving. Today, both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) recommend no in-car activity take more than two seconds, else it becomes a distraction [sources: Parkview Trauma Centers, Barth].
We’d be surprised if a present-day car rolled off the assembly line without at least a radio installed, if not a sleek audio system. Today

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, too, car audio systems are considered to be among low-level distractions (along with eating and drinking) that, combined, are responsible for distracting us about one-third of the time we spend behind the wheel. In fact any time you fiddle with a device — or reach for a french fry — while you’re driving, you take your attention away from the road [sources: DMV, University of Groningen].
Although listening to music while driving has long been considered a driving distraction, hearing the music without handling a media player or touching the car audio controls, has been found, actually, to contradict that long-held belief. Listening to music — just listening — it turns out, may help drivers stay focused on the road during long trips on monotonous highways [source: University of Groningen]. So why, then, are we wonky about the radio volume when it comes time to look for an upcoming exit sign or when we’re approaching an unfamiliar destination? It has to do with the demands on our ability to concentrate, and the limitations of the human brain.

How Long Until a Chipped Bone on the Knee From Playing Football Heals?

Football is a high-impact sport that can take its toll on your body. Sprinting, sudden starts and stops and direct collisions can lead to injuries of the knees. Chipped bones in your knee often result from a previous injury that causes bone or cartilage pieces to chip off. This condition is known as osteochondritis dissecans, and it should be treated by a physician to promote proper healing. A chipped bone in the knee can take weeks or months to heal, according to Cedars Sinai Orthopaedic Center

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.
Osteochondritis dissecans occurs most often in young men, especially those who have sustained prior joint injuries, according to the Mayo Clinic. When pieces of bone or cartilage chip from the knee, the fragment may become jammed between the moving portions of your knee joint. This can lead to pain, especially during sports and star climbing. If you have osteochondritis dissecans, you also might notice joint locking or popping as you move. Your knee joint may feel weak, have a limited range of motion or appear swollen and tender. Some individuals with this condition may never experience symptoms.
If you experience persistent knee pain, see a physician and discontinue football until he says otherwise

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. the doctor will perform a physical examination and review your medical history

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. Your doctor might take X-rays of your knee to rule out other conditions. Further imaging studies, such as CT scans or MRIs

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, may provide a more detailed view of your knee joint to help your doctor determine where chipped bone is present and what he needs to do to treat your condition.
The goal of treatment of osteochondritis dissecans is to restore normal function of your knee and to reduce pain. Docs generally try conservative measures first to relieve your pain. Your doctor may recommend avoiding high-impact physical activities such as football and participation in low-impact exercise, such as swimming or using an elliptical machine. You may also be required to use crutches to allow your knee to rest. Physical therapy might help increase strength and range of motion in your knee joint. If conservative treatment fails, surgery might be necessary to remove bone chips.
The recovery time for treatment for osteochondritis dissecans largely depends on the type of treatment used. Cedars Sinai Orthopaedic Center indicates that competitive sports and physical activities should be avoided for six to eight weeks. During this time, a knee brace or crutches may be used. If after three to six months of conservative treatment, your doctor may recommend surgery. Surgery may be performed by completely opening the knee or with arthroscopic surgery. The recovery time for arthroscopic surgery tends to be shorter than having opened knee surgery. Only your doctor can provide you with an exact recovery time from surgery based on the severity of your condition and how well your body handles surgery and rehabilitation.
Your return to football largely depends on your pain level, as well as the type of treatment you received. Ultimately, you and your doctor will make the decision. You should not return to football until you have regained strength in your knee and are able to run and spring without limping. Your knee should not be swollen or tender. You should be able to jump without pain, cut back and forth on the football field and run figure-eights without experiencing pain.

How to Put a Belt on Football Pants

Every item a football player wears, including his belt, plays a significant role in his safety and ability to play well. Although a belt might not present itself as being particularly important, it keeps a player’s pants in place when running and can keep protective hip and butt pads in place during a game. The fit between a belt and football pants is a tight one, but it is not impossible to manage

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.
Place your football pants on a flat surface with the waist section within easy reach.
Slide an index finger and thumb into the slot to the left side loop in the pants

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. This refers to the side that is on your left when wearing the pants. Push one end of the belt toward your thumb and finger sitting inside the first loop. Pinch the belt with your finger and thumb. Pull the belt through the loop.
Pull the belt through the front loop slit until the free end sits six to eight inches away from the front edge of the loop. Continue working the belt through each loop until you reach the mounting point of the left hip pad. Align the slots of the pad with the corresponding loop in the pants. Slide the belt through both sets of slots. Move to the next pant loop and push the belt through

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.
Align the slots of the butt pad with the corresponding pant slots. Push the belt through. Make sure the pads remain in place as you continue putting the belt in the pants until you reach the right side pad. Repeat the alignment and threading procedure as described for the left side pad.
Finish putting the belt in the pants until you reach the opening located at the groin.

Little League Baseball Rules on Rainout

As the Little League players shelter in the dugout, the rain continues pouring down. For the safety of the players, Little League rules mandate that participants play only on safe terrain. Rain may dampen the field, causing players to slip or fall and possibly injure themselves. While the ultimate decision is generally up to the Little League umpire or the coaches, officials must follow specific rules when deciding whether to cancel a game due to rain.
The strictest rules in Little League regarding a rainout cover lightning storms. If anyone sees lightning or hears thunder, adults must immediately clear the field of all players until the lightning storm passes. Players should remain in the dugout or preferably inside the clubhouse if one is available. Coaches and umpires have the option of either continuing the game if lightning is not seen for a reasonable amount of time — usually about 30 minutes — or canceling the game.
Little League players may continue a game during rain or wet conditions if the umpire, coaches or other Little League official has determined that the field is safe for play. Adults should inspect the paths between bases, the infield and the outfield for any unsafe locations. Deep puddles, slippery patches in the dirt or grass

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, and any other potentially unsafe surfaces should not be present on the field during play. If adults notice any unsafe area as a result of rain, even if the players do not frequently move across that specific area, the game should be paused until conditions improve or canceled if conditions are unlikely to improve.
If a rainout call occurs after the players have played four innings, the game is considered official, which means that the team currently in the lead is the game’s winner even if the game cannot be played to completion. A tie at the time a rainout is called during an official game suspends the game until play can be resumed on another day. Additionally, a rainout after one full inning but before four innings also suspends the game, with play to be resumed on another day, even if one team is in the lead

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. In both instances, play begins immediately where it stopped, with players in the same positions — including on bases if necessary — and the number of balls, strikes and outs consistent

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. If a rainout occurs before one full inning, then the game will start over on another day as if it were a brand-new game.

?The Creepy TV Show Fan Theories Quiz

TV fans take their shows seriously — they even come up with their own story lines. But sometimes those theories pass inventive and get plain creepy

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. Try not to get too spooked as you take this quiz on some of the strangest TV show fan theories.

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?The Creepy TV Show Fan Theories Quiz

TV fans take their shows seriously — they even come up with their own story lines

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. But sometimes those theories pass inventive and get plain creepy

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. Try not to get too spooked as you take this quiz on some of the strangest TV show fan theories.

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