Archive for January, 2012

postheadericon Music May Have a Beneficial Influence on Our Aging Process

Good news for music addicts and musicians like me!

According to research that has been published in Neurobiology of Aging, music may have a beneficial influence on our aging process. Scientists came to this conclusion by doing experiments with young and old musicians and with people who hardly or never played an instrument.

Musicians of an older age were able to respond faster and better on audio tests with speech than the persons that were still young but never played an instrument. Research suggests that playing an instrument during most of your life has a big influence on your nervous system, which will be better able to process sound and speech on an older age.

Read more about this research on the following pages:

Also related to this subject is a post I linked to in September 2010:

postheadericon SAP Engineer Says Their New HANA Database Runs Circles Around Oracle’s Database

Business Insider has an interesting interview with Vishal Sikka, the SAP engineer that created the HANA database with his team of developers. In the first six months the HANA database generated $200 million in sales. And the claims in speed and performance are quite outrageous. Check out these quotes from the article/interview:

Given a chance, he’s happy to rattle off the happy customers who have already yanked out their old database and replaced it with HANA.  He says that two such customers have become members of the “100,000K club” which means that HANA runs 100,000-times faster than their previous database.

One large Japanese retailer used to need three days to process its customers rewards program. With HANA it now takes three seconds.

“The son of the owner of company runs the IT department. He was so psyched he called me,”  Sikka laughs. It actually took them longer — five hours — to calculate and verify the performance improvement numbers than it did to issue its rewards. The company can now offer its customers on-the-spot rewards while shopping in the store, based on the items loaded in the shopping cart.

This is hard to believe, but if it is only partly true, this could mean serious competition for Oracle.

Link : Business Insider – The Guy That Created SAP’s Hottest Product Ever Thinks It Will Squash Oracle Like A Bug

postheadericon The Pitch-drop Experiment: The World’s Longest-Running Lab Experiment

Eighty-five years and eight fallen drops later, this surely is a long-running experiment!

The pitch-drop experiment—really more of a demonstration—began in 1927 when Thomas Parnell, a physics professor at the University of Queensland in Australia, set out to show his students that tar pitch, a derivative of coal so brittle that it can be smashed to pieces with a hammer, is in fact a highly viscous fluid. It flows at room temperature, albeit extremely slowly. Parnell melted the pitch, poured it into a glass funnel, let it cool (for three years), hung the funnel over a beaker, and waited.

Read the rest of the story by following the link below.

Link : Popular Science – FYI: How Long-Running Is the Longest-Running Lab Experiment?