Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky. He also is the Founding Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), the nation’s only academic center dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators, and was a co-creator of the wildly popular video series, Did You Know? (Shift Happens). He has received numerous national awards for his technology leadership work, including recognitions from the cable industry, Phi Delta Kappa, and the National School Boards Association. In Spring 2011 he was a Visiting Canterbury Fellow at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Dr. McLeod blogs regularly about technology leadership issues at Dangerously Irrelevant and Mind Dump, and occasionally at The Huffington Post. He can be reached at scottmcleod.net.
There was a time not so long ago that I would cart along a laptop and a Palm device, in my case a Tungsten T3, wherever I went, whether on the road or even to a local school. If I was making a presentation I would bring an LCD projector, which as we all know back in the day was about the size of a Pullman suitcase. Needless to say, the equipment I lugged around was bulky, weighty, and it was all somewhat inconvenient. But it was necessary. As time went by, though, everything got smaller, faster, and more powerful (and often cheaper). So I've been able to shed much of what I previously carried. But there is a bigger question. What does a person really need to maintain optimal productivity and connectivity when outside the office? One of my goals in life is to travel light (another one is that I don't wait in lines if at all possible, but we'll save that for another day). It never ceases to amaze me what I see people cramming on board airplanes in the guise of "personal carry-ons." It just makes me more determined to stay connected, productive, and most of all, LEAN. Anyway, all I carry these days are (1) a cell phone; and (2) a U3 4GB Cruzer. No more laptops, no more LCDs, no more Palm devices. The key that makes it all work is the Cruzer. It is more than a flash drive on which you can store and transport files. In fact, given online storage sites, even GMail as a good example, you hardly need thumb drives. The beauty of Cruzer is that you can load your commonly used applications (for me, Firefox and OpenOffice are the main ones) and launch them directly from the Cruzer, a USB drive. This allows much better security and utility when using a computer away from home or office. And there is hardly a place anymore where you can't find an online computer to usethat's why I dropped the laptop. Anywhere I present I call to make sure they have a decent projector setup but they all do these days ... no more Pullman-size LCD gear. The Palm device is basically redundant with cell phone features and web-based storage and applications. So, my advice is: Travel light!
Here's the science of black holes, from supermassive monsters to ones the size of ping-pong balls.
- There's more than one way to make a black hole, says NASA's Michelle Thaller. They're not always formed from dead stars. For example, there are teeny tiny black holes all around us, the result of high-energy cosmic rays slamming into our atmosphere with enough force to cram matter together so densely that no light can escape.
- CERN is trying to create artificial black holes right now, but don't worry, it's not dangerous. Scientists there are attempting to smash two particles together with such intensity that it creates a black hole that would live for just a millionth of a second.
- Thaller uses a brilliant analogy involving a rubber sheet, a marble, and an elephant to explain why different black holes have varying densities. Watch and learn!
- Bonus fact: If the Earth became a black hole, it would be crushed to the size of a ping-pong ball.
Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.
In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
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