NEWWorthy shutting down December 2017

Well, it’s been fun blogging on NEWWorthy for 5 years.  Readership hasn’t grown as I had hoped, though, so it’s time to shut down NEWWorthy.

Sometime in December 2017, this site will no longer be accessible.  Feel free to explore all my blog entries before then.  I may move the NEWWorthy Awards to my author site and author blog, and continue adding new awards annually.  If you like NEWWorthy, you can still get a bit of NEWWorthy-ness on my Pinterest board called NEWWorthy.

If you have been intrigued by the science, technology, and health articles I have blogged about here, you might like to keep up with MIT Technology Review, CNet, ComputerWorldScience News, The Scientist, NASA, The Planetary Society, and many of the other magazines and journals I have mentioned in my blogs here on NEWWorthy.

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your 2017 and on into the future.

All the best, Richard S. Levine, NEWWorthy editor

A hyperloop passenger cabin

Okay, cabin may be an exaggeration.  It’s really called a capsule or maybe a pod.  Since it will travel at over 700 mph, presumably it will have to be austere to avoid safety hazards.  Also, compared to subways, you have to wonder if people will be allowed to stand during 760 mph travel from point A to point B.

World’s first cognitive website claims to be the world’s first cognitive website (made with IBM Watson).  While many of us are growing used to asking questions of various smartphone assistants, it feels a bit strange to come to a website that immediately starts talking to you.  That said, since they claim to be the first made with IBM Watson, I decided to ask it a few questions to decide if it is NEWWorthy.  Based on the responses below, I’m not ready to give it the NEWWorthy stamp.

“What is your name?” [my question]

“My name is Lusy but you can call me whatever you like. Apart from Siri. Or Cortana.” [I guess Lusy or Lucy doesn’t know about Google or other assistants]

“Are you really the first?” [my question]

“Sorry, I don’t know what you mean.” [a disappointing answer]

“Name another cognitive website.”

“…” [Lusy offered a definition of cognitive website, but gave no competitor names]

“Who are your competitors?”

“We don’t believe it’s our place to comment on other companies, but if you ask me some questions about Volume, you’ll soon discover what sets us apart.” [a sales person response]





Post-Truth is OED’s international word of the year 2016

The Oxford English Dictionary declared post-truth the international word of the year for 2016.  Wonder what it means?  Look it up.  If more people looked things up that they didn’t understand, and read about them in detail, perhaps post-truth wouldn’t be the word of the year.

And, no, it’s not truth on a post.


Pizza ATM

Blaze Pizza is — or is one of — the pizza company that made the 3-minute pizza famous.  Not only is it prepared quickly, many swear it’s good!

But Blaze’s success may also be problematic for them.  Now there’s Pizza ATM, which also makes pizza quickly but doesn’t require a preparer at the time of order.  The pizza ingredients are assembled earlier and placed in the Pizza ATM, to be cooked in a few minutes time when someone places their order at the kiosk.

Technological progress isn’t always pretty.  It’s like Uber drivers being replaced by automated cars.  In this case, Pizza ATM can easily coexist with Blaze and other quick-pizza businesses, because the ATM is only at one university in America so far.  Also, you can request much more variety on your pizza from a human preparer.

What if eventually cooking time comes down to 1 minute? Will consumers prefer a Pizza ATM at their local grocery store or other close-by location over driving to Blaze for the eat-out experience?  Or maybe pizza lovers will prefer that a robot deliver their prepared pizza to them.  Or how about robot pizza preparation for your eat-out pizza?  Time will tell.

Pizza Slice Mushroom Veggies Pepperoni clip art

First NBA team to win after 3-1 deficit in finals

Congratulations to the Cleveland Cavaliers for becoming the first NBA team to win the championship after being down 3-1 in the finals.  LeBron James was chosen MVP.  Certainly the performance of the best known players on both teams were part of the equation to determine winner and loser, but what about injuries?

In the NBA, like many professional sports, injuries occur.  Who is injured may be as or more important than how many injuries.  For example, an injury to a baseball team’s best pitcher or a football team’s starting quarterback may be more devastating than a few injuries to other players.  But in the NBA, especially in a game 7, you only have 5 players on the court at one time for a team.  If you don’t have your key defensive player or players out there, it can make a huge difference.

We’ll never know if injuries were the reason that the Warriors lost to the Cavaliers last night in game 7, but not having Andrew Bogut was certainly a big loss.  Additionally, Andre Iguodala was not healthy.

Perhaps the Warriors will learn something about injuries from their loss.  Sports analytics in professional sports has become big business.  Companies like Catapult and P3 are attempting to keep or make teams healthy using devices and data, and many professional sports teams are listening.  According to Catapult’s website, it does not appear that either the Cavs or Warriors used their services in 2016.

Take a look at this article about injuries during the NBA playoffs from 2015.  With Love and Irving injured, it made it very difficult for the Cavaliers to win the championship.  This year was different.  Love was out a few games, but in game 7 he played well enough to get 14 rebounds.  And Irving was fantastic, hitting the key shot in the final minute of the game.

Think the Warriors should have won?  Take a look at this game 7 prediction written December 2015 to see how important Andrew Bogut was to the analysis.  Or see Mark Purdy’s thoughts in the Mercury News before game 7.  He said “…Amidst all the hubbub over Green’s suspension and Steph Curry’s thrown mouth guard, people seemed to forget that the Most Valuable Player [Andre Iguodala] of last year’s Finals was hobbling up and down the floor…”

Basketball clip art

2016 New Hotel listings

With summer approaching and families preparing to travel, here at NEWWorthy we figured it was time to update our list of New Hotel and Grand Opening websites.  Please note that this list is considered incomplete, as there are many other hoteliers and hotel listing sites not shown here.

Note that some motels and hotels may also list renovated properties as new.  One possibly method for detecting a renovated versus a new property is to search out reviews on the property and see how far back in time they go.

Accor Hotels

Belmond Hotels – Select “Our Collection” to see (Opening …) properties

Best Western

Choice Hotels – I couldn’t find a complete list of new hotels, but their development pages talk about some of them.

Fairmont Hotels

Five Star Alliance lists some new hotels

Four Seasons hotels

How about some Hilton Hotels that are coming soon internationally, or new Doubletree, Hampton Inns, or Hilton Garden Inns, or new Embassy Suites?

Hotel Industry News lists recent openings of hotels around the world.


IHG (such as Holiday Inn)

Kempinski Hotels

Kimpton Hotels – See “Coming Soon” on that page

La Quinta


NewSleeps provides a search for many new hotel properties

Oberoi Hotels – See list of “Upcoming Hotels” on that page


Radisson Blu


The Ritz-Carlton

Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts


Taj Hotels – See “Happenings” at bottom of that page

Travel and Leisure provides their top picks for new hotels in 2016.





Write on

Most people have heard of a write-off, what taxpayers sometimes use to get a reduction in taxes.  But have you heard of a write-on?

LIX is a new kind of 3D printing pen that — according to its makers — lets you create structures as you write.  For now it seems to be mostly marketed to creative types.  It’s also the smallest circular 3D printing pen in the world.

LIX PEN Smart 3D PEN from LIX 3D PEN on Vimeo.

Family Tree Solitaire can be played on the web

Now (May 19, 2016) I’ve also posted quick/short rules for the game on my website in text format for printing.  There is also a pdf version of the intro video that you can print.

Tile358x173Now you can also play my new video game Family Tree Solitaire on the web for FREE– however, the web version probably won’t run in mobile (phone or tablet) browsers or internet explorer.  Below are links to getting the game for FREE on various device stores.

Get it on Windows 10AvailableAtAmazonGet it on Google Play

Family Tree Solitaire – my new video game

Now (May 19, 2016) I’ve also posted quick/short rules for the game on my website in text format for printing.  There is also a pdf version of the intro video that you can print.

I am excited to announce that “Family Tree Solitaire” is available on the Google Play Store.  You can find detailed rules on my author website for “Family Tree Solitaire” — my new video game — in html and pdf format.

I hope you will enjoy “Family Tree Solitaire”.

Please see my author website for more information.