Monthly Archives: September 2005

My Coffee Exploded

This morning, I poured myself a cup of coffee. Shortly thereafter, I left for Waffle House, because we were out of eggs, but that’s another story.


When I returned, I knew I had a lukewarm cup of coffee sitting up in my room. Rather than go up, get it, bring it back down, microwave it, and then go up to my room (a long walk in my parents’ house, because I have to cross the length of the house six times), I decided I’d get a little bit of coffee really warm, maybe boiling, bring that up, and pour it in to warm the coffee already there.

This was all going well until three seconds from the end of microwaving. At which point my coffee exploded. Yes, exploded. It shot out of the mug and covered the inside of the microwave. At first I was taken aback, but I suspect now that the coffee had superheated (’twas a lot of heat for a little coffee) but not boiled, as it was not sufficiently disturbed. Eventually, it either became too superheated, or it was physically disturbed, and the whole, about 1/5 of a cup of coffee all boiled violentely, and all at once.

It’s going to be a weird day, I can tell already.

Silicon Nanowires Can Detect Cancer

A new article in Nature Biotechnology (abstract) describes

… highly sensitive, label-free, multiplexed electrical detection of cancer markers using silicon-nanowire field-effect devices …

built into arrays. As the article about the paper on discusses, the sensitivity and accuracy of this technology is supposed to be phenomenal. The potential of this is incredible — routine blood tests for cancer! This would make it much easier to catch cancer early, before it does irreversible damage, reducing not only the expense, but also the mortality of cancer occurrences.

As Nature is not an open access journal, I unfortunately have yet to actually read the paper. I might have had access to it via Tulane, but since their servers are still down, I don’t. Would anyone care to send me a pdf?

Note, found this via Slashdot

Kubuntu Breezy Badger is Great!

I just finished installing Kubuntu 5.10 (preview), nicknamed “Breezy Badger.”

I’ve been a desktop linux user for about 6 years solid now, and let me just say, this is a breath of fresh air. I also installed it on my PowerBook 15″ last week without ANY TROUBLE AT ALL. Everything has been auto-detected and set up properly, preferences and menus are clean and logically laid out. If I dreamed up a fantasy linux distribution, set up the way I want it, this would be it.

It’s like debian, only up to date. (It’s based on Debian, after all).

Fantastic. I had been wondering what all of the Ubuntu/Kubuntu chatter was about. Now I understand.