Pointers: Recommended Reading

EPA wants to make you a star
Source: Environmental Protection Agency
www.epa.gov

The Environmental Protection Agency is hoping some hidden talent in the general public can help combat a widespread health threat.

Officials are looking for 30-second to 60-second videos that encourage people to test their houses for radon gas, the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.
The winner will receive a $2,500 award, and the video will appear on EPA’s Web site and be shown at the upcoming 2008 National Radon Meeting.

A tip of the hat to Steve Ressler, a former Rising Star award winner, for sending us this pointer.

To infinity and beyond
Source: San Jose Mercury News
www.mercurynews.com

NASA officials and scientists gathered in Silicon Valley last week to ponder the future of manned space flight, beginning with a return to the moon.

According to NASA officials, the latest effort differs from Neil Armstrong’s mission 39 years ago in its emphasis on a permanent moon settlement as a jumping-off point for further space exploration.
The San Jose Mercury News quotes S. Pete Worden, director of NASA’s Ames Research Center, as saying: “We’re going back, and this time we’re going to stay. This is the first step in settling the solar system.”

The urgency of telework
Source: Navy Department
www.doncio.navy.mil/Blog.aspx

In response to the rising cost of fuel, Robert Carey, the Navy Department’s chief information officer, is challenging managers to find more ways to accommodate employees who want to telework.
The need for flexibility “has risen to the critical stage,” given the burden of commuting in terms of time and cost, Carey wrote.

He asked managers to find ways to offer their workers the greatest possible flexibility.
“Ultimately, the department’s [information technology] infrastructure supports the mobile worker and will continue to do so,” he wrote. “Our work culture must as well.”


An uncommon view of common sense
Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
analogyspace.media.mit.edu

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab is promoting an initiative called AnalogySpace, which applies data-visualization methodology to a knowledge base of common sense.

One example uses a six-axis grid to illustrate things people want versus things they are capable of.

The resulting “patterns, called ‘eigenconcepts,’ help to classify the knowledge and predict new knowledge by filling in the gaps,” according to the Web site.

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