Friday, November 23, 2007

Giant Bugs

Imagine a world where bugs rule the world. They are bigger than you, stronger than you and aren't afraid of you. There are no fly swatters big enough to smash these bugs.

Now I know that this sounds like a scene from Honey, I Shrunk the Kids but at one point in history, bugs were much bigger than they are today and paleontologists have proof in the form of giant fossils.

Recently, paleontologists have found more exciting evidence of giant bugs. The fossil of a giant sea scorpion was found in Germany. It was eight feet and some change long and had claws that were 18 inches long. Before this discovery, they knew that bugs used to be very large but had no idea that they could be larger than humans. In fact, this bugger is a foot and a half larger than the largest previously known sea scorpion.

Paleontologists think this giant bug remained only in the water. It was very large and had legs, but they were too small to be useful for walking on land, as you can see from the picture. They believe that the legs were used for catching prey. The sea scorpion was at the top of the food chain when he was alive. He'd eat anything from small armored fish to smaller sea scorpions. The reason he was such a big head was because the fish he ate were still jawless. There wasn't much to provide competition to the giant bugs.

Today, the biggest bugs are lobsters and spider crabs.

Wow, this really blows my mind. I don't know about you, but I have nightmares about giant bugs attacking the house. It's really mind boggling to think about how these giant bugs actually existed and not all of them were water bugs. There were giant sized cockroaches and dragonflies too. I'm glad evolution led to them being smaller because it'd be a really harsh world if we had to deal with the giant dragonflies landing on the car while trying to get to work.

Thanks National Geographic for the picture and the content.

Technology Madness: Black Friday

One day in the year people go completely crazy for electraonics, appliances, make up, clothes, and just about anything you can think of, for a few hours in the earliest part of the morning. People call this day Black Friday. This is the day after thanksgiving. Practically every store possible discounts every possible item, in order to attract buyers in the kickoff of what is considered to be Christmas season shopping.

I have heard of this event before, but I have never wanted to participate in it. This year will be different though. This year me and some of my friends will be going to two of the major electronic stores in search for a xbox 360 and a laptop, mainly. I'm sure we will find a lot of other items to get while we are out. Find out later about a more detailed experience of Black Friday.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Open Source Software

Suppose you were using a program you liked, and you found a bug in it, or thought of a useful feature to add to it.

If it's proprietary software, that made and sold by companies like Microsoft, you couldn't really do anything. Maybe write them an e-mail, but you couldn't really get anything done.

But if it were an open source program, you could download the source code (for free, the same way you got the program itself), modify it and then upload it so other can benefit from your work.

Open source software also promotes good programming technique. If you know no one else is going to look at your code, you might just not bother making it readable, making it hard to change in the future. But if you're releasing it to an open source project, people will complain and be less likely to use your code if it is unreadable.