2008-05-27

Fixing jet lag

Copied from one of the comments of "Fasting may fix jet lag":
The procedure suggested by the researchers is:
  1. Start with the day you will arrive in your final time zone.
  2. Count back 16 hours from your normal breakfast time on that day, and stop eating from that point.
  3. At your normal breakfast time on the final day, eat a substantial, nutritious, meal
Note that this means you may have to eat your breakfast on a plane or in an airport, and it may not be your normal breakfast time in the local timezone when you eat breakfast. You are supposed to eat substantial real food, not coffee and a pastry, so you may have to expend some effort and foresight to ensure that such food is available when you are supposed to eat it.

2008-05-25

Decomposing plastic

In the book "The world without us" (web site links to a great "Daily Show" interview), Alan Weisman mentions that plastic has an incredible staying power; it takes over 1000 years to decompose. This might change in the future. For example, it also took bacteria a while to learn how to decompose wood.
Also, there is an island of plastic trash floating on the seas that is at least the size of Texas. So the following should be good news: "Teenager's Science Fair Project May Deliver Us From Plastic".

Related post:

Warren Buffet likes the German economy

"Germany: Warren Buffett Likes It, And So Do We"
Who would have thought? Warren Buffet likes the German economy and is worried about the US economy (link target is in German). This is currently not consistent with the German self-image, but obviously things have changed during recent years.

The post-oil future

The Washington Post has published the great article “Wake Up, America. We're Driving Toward Disaster.” In it, the author makes the case that getting rid of oil means changing everything that currently depends on it and it turns out that that is a lot: How we travel, how we produce food, how we build our cities, etc.
Interestingly, even if, at one point, we find an energy source that allows us to freely live the “oil life style”, I think all the changes that are currently forced on us are for the better: We have to grow more food locally, pay farmers better, develop public transport, build more compact cities (thus wasting less land), etc.

2008-05-11

Distributed version control systems

Where central version control systems (VCS) keep a single repository in a publicly accessible computer, distributed VCS consist of an arbitrary amount of repositories (each one containing all the data) that can be put anywhere. Changes are propagated between these repositories. This leads to a number of advantages. The following article describes these and other details about distributed VCS:
Distributed Version Control Systems: A Not-So-Quick Guide Through”, Sebastien Auvray