The Silky Smooth Sounds of Nerddom

Codex Nerdicus

Or, y’know, my dorky voice talking with an old friend about nerdy stuff. You could describe it that way too…

I’ve been so busy with all the drama and illness lately that I damn near forgot to mention my latest project – a podcast called Codex Nerdicus. My old friend Dave Wolfe and I have had these awesomely geeky conversations for as long as we can remember and despite having been told repeatedly “you need to record that shit” we never have – until now. [Read more…]

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Stem Cells Cure Deafness in Gerbils

Hearing Aid

It’s been estimated that there are about 28 million people in the U.S. suffering from hearing problems, and as many as 1 in a thousand are born profoundly deaf. Cochlear implants can have a dramatic effect on those whose deafness is caused by damage to sensory “hair cells” in the cochlea, but for the many whose deafness is due to damaged auditory nerves, there has been no effective treatment… until now. [Read more…]

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Reading is Good For Your Brain. YOU’RE WELCOME.

Latin_dictionary

Today in the “obvious science is obvious” category: A Stanford University study confirms that reading is good for your brain. Turns out all this blogging is a bona fide public service after all! What’s the big deal? I mean, this only seems to confirm things we already knew (or at least suspected) but we have a bit more detail to work with now, as well as some revelations about how the way you’re reading might be affecting what kind of workout your brain is getting from the deal. [Read more…]

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Scientific Flag-Planting

NASA flag

I stumbled across something interesting in my typically-dull DBM380 homework today. Apparently at some point a number of individuals have rigidly codified something which I always assumed was common sense in the DBA world: normalization. In the world of databases, normalization is the process by which a database is structured (or re-structured) to reduce or eliminate the redundancy or inconsistency of data. It’s pretty basic stuff, at least for those of us who work with databases with any regularity, but I wasn’t aware that an entire range of such structures were available, codified from 1NF to 6NF (or DKNF for you purists). It’s not that I wasn’t aware of the concepts – nearly every database I’ve ever created has apparently been 6NF normalized – I just wasn’t aware they had names. In fact, one level of normalization, between 3NF and 4NF actually has a person’s name (two people actually): the “Boyce-Codd Normal Form” or BCNF. Now, I wonder if they actually need names… [Read more…]

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