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Rich Tehrani
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Chess Master Dorsa Derakhshani Left Iranian Oppression for the U.S.

December 29, 2017

The origins of chess are not 100% known. Historians believe it was invented in India or China but either way, it spread to Persia until the Arabs conquered the country and then spread it around the world.

It's exciting to know that one of the best chess players in the world is Iranian-born Dorsa Derakhshani. She recently fled the oppressive middle-east filled with religious tension and the treatment of women as second-class citizens (at best).

Photo from Beyond Chess

She recently penned an editorial worth reading. In it she refers to how Iranian federation officials were more concerned about the tightness of her jeans or head-covering than her ability to play chess.

They eventually banned her from playing, Her brother was banned as well for playing an Israeli.

She concludes that chess is like America at its best.

Mosquito Magnet Cleared my Mosquitos

August 13, 2013

My yard has always been quite buggy. This past weekend however I went outside and didn’t see or more importantly feel a single biting insect after being outside at dusk for about ninety minutes. Since we had a very wet spring, the mosquito population in May and June was absolutely tremendous – I didn’t even want to go outside without liberal amounts of spray which is harmful to humans.

The good news is I can actually see where all these biting critters went… Into a net in my Mosquito Magnet Executive.

Jetman: A Rocket Powered Human Can Fly

August 5, 2013

Iron Man fans everywhere rejoice as it is now possible to fly with rocket power and a wing strapped to your back. Yves Jetman Rossy is responsible for making the flying suit which avoids bumpy landings because it uses a parachute.

The extreme sports enthusiast has flown across the English Channel and some years back tried to cross the Strait of Gibraltar from Morocco to Spain.

Mosquito Magnet One Solution to West Nile Outbreak

August 22, 2012

US West Nile cases have just surpassed 1,100, the highest number in a year since 1999 when the disease was first detected. According to reports, the disease is way under-reported and up to 94,000 people in the US could be infected with the disease.

I've been using Mosquito Magnet traps since 2005 - and these traps kill many of these biting insects - not just mosquitoes.

The trap works by emulating the breath of a cow which attracts biting insects which are subsequently sucked into a net and die from dehydration. A quite pleasurable experience is to watch them accumulate in your trap over time. Every one in there is one less which could bite and potentially kill you.

The downside is this particular trap works with propane which means you need to fill the tank every 21 days or so.

One Nanometer Per Bit Storage in our Lifetime?

July 11, 2012

Researchers at the The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have embedded an iron atom into a nanometer-sized molecule consisting of 51 atoms to enable it to function as an on-off binary switch. The molecule acts as protection for the charge allowing the molecules to be packed together closely without worrying about the superparamagnetic effect which limits smaller bit sizes in hard disks. According to Engadget, magnetic storage such as a spinning disk needs a whopping 3 million atoms per bit meaning this new discovery can theoretically store 3 million times as much data in the same amount of space.

The downside?

Scientists Working on Device Which Travels Through Bloodstream

April 6, 2012

Scientists are working on a device of just 3mmx4mm with an antenna of 2mm in order to allow better diagnostics in the human bloodstream. Imagine how this sort of technology could revolutionize the science of heart disease, allowing the average person to get a good idea of how much plaque they have in their arteries, etc.

The device is too large to fit in veins for now but the scientists are hoping to shrink the device even more.

Instead of relying on an internal battery the device uses radio frequencies similar to the technology used to activate RFID circuits allowing people access to corporate offices without a physical key or giving them the opportunity to speed through tolls without having to reach into their pockets to get change.

The good news is this is the sort of technology could revolutionize medicine, extend lives, keep us healthy and generate many thousands of jobs if not more. Its conceivable the check-up of the future will rely on many such devices and this seems like a very promising field.

Seriously? A Moon Base?

January 31, 2012

Like most fans of Newt Gingrich – I believe he can effectively articulate the conservative vision for America which someone will need to do in contrast to President Obama’s vision of a redistributive utopia. Obama fans I mean no disrespect – just that he will continue to take from some groups and give to others like what is being done with food stamps, healthcare, etc.

But when Newt said we need a moon base I almost fell off the bed – and I was lying in the middle of it so you can imagine the acrobatic positions my body involuntarily contorted into as a result of this bizarre utterance.

I am still trying to wrap my head around how any candidate who says he or she is conservative can be for building moon bases. Unless of course there are diamonds or gold up there – which frankly the US government can use.

To learn more check out this article from Doug Mohney on TMCnet titled: Moonbase Newt vs. Republican Pragmatics . 

Evolution Understanding has Evolved

October 20, 2011

My paraphrased theory of evolution basically says DNA is passed from parent to offspring and through various mutations the offspring may be more adaptable to the changing environment, allowing them to be more apt to survive. But more recently I have read articles about how offspring can also be altered based on parental behavior.

In fact a new field of epigenetics is focused on chemical changes which determine if a gene is expressed or not.

This article I discovered today is very interesting if you have an interest in science, genetics or evolution as it details the concept of a molecular memory of a parent's experience. A few items of note are scientists have been able to alter the genes of worms to get them to live longer but offspring bred with non-mutated worms and no longer possessing the mutations still lived longer.

Basically it proves you can alter offspring through methods beyond mutations.

There is also a reference to a paper which shows the diet of a parent can change the offspring's cholesterol and lipids. Moreover, parents eating high-fat diets made daughters fatter and gave them type 2 diabetes.

While this topic is not my usual area of focus - I have always found science fascinating and moreover, I can't help but think that if the cost of healthcare is such a huge problem and it is in-part rising due to an ever-heavier population...

CNBC Special on Science Interest in the US

October 17, 2011

In the past I have written about how I have huge concerns about how the US has gone from a  nation where the youth is fascinated by science and technology to a celebrity culture where kids are more concerned about what celebs eat for lunch than they are about their own education and future. The first time I tackled the issue was in a post titled US Schools Must Improve where I contrasted the US educational system to that of Iran - a country which was barely third-world when I visited it decades ago. The point was that Iranian students had much more homework and were far better at math and science than comparable US students.

My next post on the matter discussed how Global Unrest is Tech's Fault - specifically I detailed how two billion people in Asia have entered the workforce in the past two decades because of technology which has allowed the cheapest and most productive labor to be a mouse click away.

Tonight on CNBC at 9:00 pm EST there is a special on how science has lost its luster among the youth in America. It is called Meeting of the Minds, The Business of Science.

UCONN Flexes Technology Muscle to Help Fuel CT Economy

September 2, 2011

Last week – as hurricane Irene was beginning its journey up the east coast, I spent some time with the faculty at the University of Connecticut (UCONN) to hear all the exciting things the university was up to since my graduation from the School of Engineering in 1989. The campus has grown tremendously in the last two decades with buildings seemingly coming out of the ground wherever you look.

I had a discussion with Reda Ammar, Ph.D, Professor & Department Head of Computer Science & Engineering, Don Swinton, Development Officer of the School of Engineering, Kylene Perras, Program Director, Leadership Giving, School of Engineering & Heidi Douglas Director of Engineering Alumni Relations I came away highly impressed with the progress the university has made.

I also had a chance to speak with Mun Choi, dean of the School of Engineering, a man who I have heard great things about and was honored to meet.

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