SQL, 4.23.11


Some Quality Links…

–Smarter people than I will undoubtedly come with myriad uses for this kind of technology.  (a better explainer)

When damaged, this matrix of chains is disturbed — and that’s when the cunning part comes in. The material can absorb UV light, and turn it into heat, which allows the chains to disassemble, flow around the damage, and when the light is turned off, the chains re-assemble.

This is an oft-repeated refrain of mine, but I’m intensely curious what kinds of technology will be around after I cease to be.  How advanced will our species get?  What will life on Earth be like in 200 years, 500 years, 10,000 years, 500,000 years?

…I need to quit with this podcasting nonsense and get back to work on that time machine.

–Kids:  When your parents tell you to ‘stop staring at that (gorram) screen and go out and play’, they’re totally right.  (a better explainer)

These data suggest that physical activity could have a beneficial influence, whereas screen time has a potential adverse influence on retinal microvascular structure. The magnitude of arteriolar narrowing associated with each hour daily of TV viewing is similar to that associated with a 10-mm Hg increase in systolic blood pressure in children.

–Bamini Gopinath; Louise A. Baur; Jie Jin Wang; Louise L. Hardy; Erdahl Teber; Annette Kifley; Tien Y. Wong; Paul Mitchell

What it all means:  While in childhood, excess time spent in front of a TV or computer can lead to heart problems in adulthood, which sucks.

Exercise–it extends your lifespan!

–A pretty great prank.  Humans love simulated reproduction!

–Easter in Hungary is a bit different than Easter in the U.S.

In the U.S., we hide easter eggs and consume copious amounts of chocolate.  In Hungary, young boys dump buckets of water on young girls.

I find this to be a notable difference.

A true Patriot.

–In which horseplay with a pool cue goes wrong.

We’d all had a few drinks when one of the lads did a moonie. A player picked up a pool cue and it all went wrong from there.

–Some moron who raped a teammate with a pool cue

I’m not sure more analysis is needed here.

–Episode V of RDsLoL drops Monday.  Catch up with the show here, subscribe to / rate the show here.


SQL, 4.22.11


Some Quality Links…

–I always find these ‘the high-profile roles such and such actor passed on‘ stories to be fun and interesting.  The most jarring for me:

…obviously Beverly Hills Cop would have been way, WAY different if Stallone had taken the role of Axel Foley.

Definitely worth a read for movie buffs.

–I’ll bet you won’t guess the movie that surpassed ‘Avatar’ at the box office.  After hitting the link, I’ll also bet you can understand how & why it passed ‘Avatar’.

Humans love simulated acts of reproduction!

–I’m a car-lover.

Not in a nuts & bolts / engine grease kind of way, but in a ‘that car looks awesome’ or ‘that car represents a new & better way of doing things’ kind of way.  As such, I think it’s a pretty big deal that this car was named the ‘World Car of the Year’.

Efficiency, for it’s own sake, makes sense.  Why use more of something than you have to…especially if that ‘something’ isn’t a renewable resource and, largely, must be imported?  The trick, of course, is to make the tech more affordable, but we’re definitely getting there.

Congrats to the winner of the World Car of the Year.  Here’s to hoping it and others like it herald an era of independence from foreign oil (and, really, oil in general).

Science +5.

On a related note: Happy Earth Day.  Without our planet, we wouldn’t exist.

–Trophy Fail:

On the Ryan Braun Extension, Quickly


We have some Ryan Braun contract news to discuss…have a go at this.

The Brewers, making a major investment in their future, signed left fielder Ryan Braun to a five-year, $105 million contract extension Thursday.  The deal, which covers the years 2016-2020 and a mutual option for an additional year, will follow Braun’s current eight-year, $45 million contract, which expires in ’15. The contract is the longest commitment to a player in Brewers franchise history.

–Ken Rosenthal

That Brewers ownership was this aggressive with their dollars could actually benefit the Pirates long-term…especially considering Milwaukee might’ve overpaid a bit.

They’ve paid Braun as a superstar when I’d have him a notch lower, merely as a star.  In time, the deal could easily turn out to be a bargain if MLB’s salary scale becomes more inflated and Braun keeps mashing / stays healthy, but in the here and now, it’s a bit of an overspend in my opinion.

This benefits the Pirates by :

A) Ensuring Prince Fielder is gone after the 2011 season, which he basically was even before this extension

B) Indirectly pressuring small market ownership (like Pgh.) to pony up some dollars to keep some of the young talent long-term

C) Depriving Brewers teams of the future of budgetary wiggle-room…they’re basically spending as much as they can right now (attendance and revenue streams in Milwaukee are ~ maxed out), and I can’t imagine much will change there.  It’s also true that having one player on a roster making roughly 20-25% of a team’s payroll can be problematic, especially so over a term of several seasons.

So before Pirates fans lament the latest investment from the Brewers, understand that some good could and should come from this extension.

SQL, 4.21.11


Some Quality Links:

–The ‘humblebrag’ phenomenon on twitter is taking off.

This isn’t at all surprising, as Twitter itself is a perfect medium for self-promotion and thinly-veiled narcissism.  The more followers we accrue, the more a feeling of self-importance is reinforced in our own minds.  This might not apply to every person out there, but I’d argue it’s more the rule than the exception.

I, myself, belong to the exception group, of course.  I use Twitter for neither self-promotion nor self-congratulatory ‘humblebrags’.  And along those lines, please listen to my meager new podcast (located a bit lower on the page), which is lighting up the charts on iTunes.

–This is cool–an emailer asks who the guys are at the start of Valve games with the valves sticking out of their heads?

–Also Valve-related: the updated metacritic numbers for Portal 2.  I, myself, have played a couple hours of co-op with Mrs. DeMaro, but haven’t done any single-player portal-ing just yet.  Been busy with a special ep. (1.5) of RDsLOL leading up to Easter weekend, which shaves a few days off my week.  I’m hopeful you’ll enjoy the next episode very much, as it bridges a gap I’ve been meaning to…um…bridge.

–With Nintendo readying a new machine relativey soon, when will Microsoft and Sony roll out new consoles?

–There’s some worry out there about some iPhones and iPads constantly tracking their users locations.  Here’s a good explainer of what’s really going on and just how at-risk your privacy likely is.

A Special Guest for (1.5); Some Quality Links


I’ve just wrapped up a very special interview for next week’s RDsLOL.  I’ll be throwing a bit of a curveball into the routine of the show for episode (1.5), but I hope you guys and gals will enjoy it.

I won’t divulge any specifics until much later in the week, so for now just try to be caught up with episodes 1-4 by Monday.  And be sure to subscribe to the show on iTunes!


Now for Some Quality Links

–The coolest ‘Firefly’-themed cupcakes you’ll see all day.

–The grass is NOT always greener…especially if your planet happens to orbit a red dwarf.

Some background on today’s date and it’s relevance with the cannabis subculture.

–If you like Pac-Man and you have things to do, you should probably avoid this site.

An angry man boasting an odd haircut.


The Latest Terminator Fears


I can’t think of a movie franchise that has impacted real-life tech and tech analysis more than ‘Terminator’.

And for good reason–as computers get smaller and smaller, faster and faster, the future imagined in ‘Terminator’ seems more and more feasible.

There was this post a few weeks ago over on Wired.com, which seems innocuous enough…until you really think about what’s really going on and the systems required to make those little guys do their thing:

Now we have this latest story from The Guardian.


It is essential that before unmanned systems become ubiquitous (if it is not already too late) … we ensure that, by removing some of the horror, or at least keeping it at a distance, we do not risk losing our controlling humanity and make war more likely…

–The UK Ministry of Defence.


England’s strange spelling of ‘defence’ aside, I happen to believe they’re right to be concerned with the implications of machines killing humans…not so much in today’s world, but in, say, 30 years or 50 years when microprocessors are much faster and more capable. Moore’s Law, though not technically a ‘law’, has merit and should be a reminder to us meatbags that, at some point, a time for extreme computing caution will come.


Ankle Anger


On Thursday of last week I was enjoying my Life of Leisure.  Went out and attended a softball practice.  All was well.

In the course of taking BP, though, I somehow clipped my right ankle bone with the bat.  Not sure how I did that, but it kinda stung.

I kept on with the BP and afterward went running around the outfield to shag some flies.  Had some pain, but all was ok.  Thought, at worst, it was a bruise.

Got home, cleaned up…and my entire lower right leg started throbbing.

Something was definitely not happy in there.

The subsequent four days have been full of hopping, hobbling, crutch-wielding and doctor visiting.  I now know of the frustrations this man (fictionally) deals with.

Ascending the staircase is unpleasant; descending, more so.  Household chores have gone from ‘annoyance’ to ‘serious challenge’.  And showering is now pretty much the most dangerous thing ever.

My left quad is beginning to resemble Rafael Nadal’s left arm and, if there is a break in my ankle, I’m on a similar path of asymmetry (refer to ep. (1.4) of RDsLOL for context).

Despite playing sports heavily throughout the entirety of my time here on Earth, I’ve somehow never broken a bone, save for my unfortunate softball v skull situation a few years back.

I had some x-rays taken today.  If there is a break, this would be an epic Life of Leisure fail.  My summer has lots of sports pencilled in.

Fingers crossed.

UPDATE: X-Rays negative! Crisis averted. Life of Leisure back on track.

UPDATE II: How very anti-climactic.



A hearty hello from all of us here at RoccoDeMaro.com…which, for now, amounts to me and my technical wizard, Mrs. DeMaro.

I offer no long, formal introductions or grandiose mission statements as we launch the site.  Just know that RoccoDeMaro.com will serve as a creative outlet in addition to ‘Rocco DeMaro’s Life of Leisure’, my suitably titled podcast.

Expect interesting science/tech/culture things in the ‘Delightfully Nerdy’ category, podcast-related bits in the ‘RDsLOL’ category, sports stuff in the ‘Sport’ category and so on.  The site will grow to include more as we move along…but know this:  you’ll best be able to navigate the content via the ‘categories’ located on the right-hand side of the homepage.

Also note the ‘Donate’ page, which is pretty straightforward.  I am without an income presently, so if you’ve been entertained by the RDsLOL podcast or the website, feel free to buy me the odd cup of coffee.

Thanks again for visiting and welcome.



The fourth episode of my Life of Leisure includes many things.

Firstly, my life of leisure is available on iTunes.  Subscribe here.

‘Stuff I’m Reading’:  Sports Illustrated writer and co-author of ‘Scorecasting’ Jon Wertheim is interviewed. We discuss the mysteries of home field advantage in sports, squishy strike zones and Rafael Nadal’s glaring lack of symmetry.

‘Stuff I’m Watching’:  A new contender emerges in the landscape of cable television.

‘Stuff I’m Playing’:  A tribute to one of my favorite games of this current console generation, ‘Portal’.

Clean Version:

Explicit Version:

Listener feedback is part of my Life of Leisure.  Email the show at RoccosLifeOfLeisure@gmail.com.

Twitter: http://twitter.com/RoccoDeMaro

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rocco.demaro


Solar Panels, for the win.


Who knows what the dominant form of clean energy will be in 50 or 100 years?  I sure don’t.

But I get the feeling that solar power has the most upside, as the giant ball of fusion that gives life to our planet won’t be going away anytime soon.

Because of the sheer sustainability of solar power, I root for it…so naturally, reading this made me happy.


And then my jaw dropped even further as I watched a small Dyesol panel in action — spinning a pair of fans in the company boardroom. Indoors. With the blinds closed. In deep shadow.


I often wonder what the state of the world’s technology will look like when I die.

That was more morbid than I intended.

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