Reuters reports on a study that demonstrates exercise builds new brain cells, something of particular interest to 30-something geeks like me since:
Tests on mice showed they grew new brain cells in a brain region called the dentate gyrus, a part of the hippocampus that is known to be affected in the age-related memory decline that begins around age 30 for most humans.
Bum Rush the Charts is a grassroots effort by bloggers and podcasters to demonstrate the power of independent media by sending one track by an independent artist to the top of the iTunes Music list for a single day (or longer, if possible).
The bum rush begins March 22 at midnight as everyone involved with the effort buys the track "Mine Again" by the band Black Lab. If you buy the track via an iTunes affiliate link on the Bum Rush web site, the organizers will get a cut of the funds, which they're then putting into a college scholarship.
SpaceWesterns.com is a soon-to-be launched online magazine for "space westerns, science fiction westerns, and western science fiction." Watch a few episodes of Firefly and you'll get an idea of the kind of universe they're planning on exploring.
The site is revving up for its formal debut, and is the process of soliciting submissions. Editor (and long-time friend) N.E. Lilly reports:
"We’re currently collecting stories, artwork, and other content for an April 1st launch. Join our announcement list to get an e-mail reminder for when we launch, and, if you’re interested in providing fiction in any from of media then visit the submission guidelines page for information on current rates and guidelines."
After two weeks of being sick and not wanting to eat anything (strep throat has that effect on me) I've managed to reach a new low of 203 lbs. I'm finally feeling better thanks to the amoxicillin and getting my appetite back, so we'll see if it stays off.
JMeter is a cool open source tool for evaluating the load performance of web servers. You can setup scripts that have computer-controlled users login to a web site, do something, and then log out, and log the results while it's doing it. This allows you to easily simulate a few hundred people hitting a site simultaneously, which is something I need to do at the day job.
Things take a horror tinged turned in this week's podcast with reviews of Midnight Syndicate's retrospective horror music album Out of Darkness and the horror-movie inspired board game Betrayal at House on the Hill by Avalon Hill.
Elsewhere in the podcast as for feedback from geek parents about the merits of getting a notebook computer vs. a desktop computer and start looking for some craft/mommy podcasts for my wife to listen to on her spiffy new 30 GB white iPod. Finally, Net News has the welcome return of the Harping Monkey's Round Table podcast, which ends its hiatus just in time for me to start doing home improvements again.
My autumn reading jag, which saw me tear through a half-dozen novels, petered out this winter as I ran into the slow, meandering text of The Difference Engine, a book that promised a steampunk revolution but got bogged down in its own minutiae. I haven't done much better on the audio front, after a preachy opening to The Light Fantastic turned me away from audio books for a bit and inspired me to catch up on my podcasts instead. Meanwhile, the double-sized January/February 2007 issue of Analog has been riding back and forth to work in my backpack for weeks, but I've only just started to work my way through its pages.
Game Day may be cancelled due to snow -- freaking Pennsylvania spring weather -- but that doesn't mean we can't still dream of what might have been.
Flash fiction web site AntipodeanSF features 10 new short stories in its 105 edition including "The Shadow" by Amanda Pillar, "Timely Loss" by Derek Smith, "Ten Past Two" by Elaine Kemp and "The Year The Zombies Came For Christmas" by Peter M. Ball. There's also reviews of the novels Nova Swing by M. John Harrison and New Moon by Stephenie Meyer.