“Childhood’s End” on SYFY Dec. 14

Arthur C. Clarke’s novel “Childhood’s End” is OLDWorthy, having been published in the 1950’s.  It’s never been made into a movie or television series, until now.  So while you may have read the book, or you might know that it’s one of his best novels, I’m hoping that the SYFY channel has made the story into an equally riveting 3-night event.  That would certainly make it NEWWorthy.


Who knew the Newtonian universe evolves? Poe did.

According to new research from Italy, “Edgar Allan Poe: the first man to conceive a Newtonian evolving Universe.”  That’s OLDWorthy and NEWWorthy at the same time.

Paolo Molaro and Alberto Cappi, both at the INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste, Italy, examine Poe’s book “Eureka” for clues that Poe conceived of a Newtonian evolving Universe.  You can find “Eureka” by Poe on Project Gutenberg.

Their paper begins with a quote from Poe’s “The Raven” 1845.

“Deep into the darkness peering, long I stood
there, wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever
dared to dream before.”
Poe’s famous words inspired me about ten years ago to write a science fiction short story called “My Life’s a Dream” which examines music’s universal influence.  It can be found in my anthology “Science Fiction: The Arts”.


Pong enters World Video Game Hall of Fame

The Strong National Museum of Play recently inducted the first selected group of games — DOOM, Pong, Pac-Man, Super Mario Bros., Tetris, and World of Warcraft into the World Video Game Hall of Fame.

Although all of these games are old now, they are NEWWorthy once again.  Pong may be particularly deserving, since when it was introduced no one had any idea if there was a market for video games.

Pong clip art

Vegan Pizza

Vegan pizza is OLDWorthy, especially since Daiya and other non-dairy cheeses have been around for almost 10 years now. Even Domino’s launched its first vegan pizza (in Israel) a couple of years ago.  And keep in mind that vegan pizza does not even really require cheese, so get the right crust and veggie ingredients and sauce and you’ve got a vegan pizza.

But recently PETA listed “32 Pizza Places That Let You Have It Your (Vegan) Way“.  Perhaps now that vegan pizza is becoming almost mainstream — at least among vegans — it can be called NEWWorthy.

Veggie Pizza clip art

For the birds?

The expression “for the birds” is described by the Free Dictionary online as “based on the idea that birds eat seed, which is not worth much”.

CNN reports that research published in the journal Nature shows that “the oldest stone tools made by our human ancestors have been discovered in northwestern Kenya and they date back 3.3 million years.”  That’s 700,000 years earlier than any previously known human stone tools.  NEWWorthy or for the birds?  Time will tell.

Speaking of birds, The Scientist reports that partial skeletons of the oldest known ancestor — 130.7 million years old — of modern birds have been found in China.  That’s 6 million years earlier than the previous record.  Will this research in Nature Communications hold up or is it for the birds?

Again in The Scientist, yet another team of scientists report that a fossil has been found that represents a winged species of dinosaur.  Not all scientists agree.  Is a winged dinosaur find for the birds?

Flock Of Birds clip art

Find your Qi in furniture

With so many people now communicating over wireless phones, wireless technology is now OLDWorthy.  Even powering your phone wirelessly has been around for a while now.

Furniture is, of course, also OLDWorthy.  But with Ikea about to release its line of wireless charging furniture that support the Qi standard built into many new phones, wireless and furniture are about to become NEWWorthy again.  They’re also selling DIY kits so you can embed wireless charging technology into your own furniture.

IKEA Belgium presents a vision below of how wireless charging technology can easily integrate into the home.


What does the dwarf planet Pluto have to do with a Brontosaurus?  Both are trying to make a comeback!  Some scientists would like to promote Pluto back to full planet status.  And what about the species Brontosaurus, which got rolled into the same classification as Apatosaurus Ajax?

Dinosaurs are OLDWorthy.   But according to The Scientist magazine, researchers from Portugal and the U.K. are considering reinstating the genus Brontosaurus.  If they do, the Brontosaurus will once again be NEWWorthy.

Brontosaurus clip art

The Dow Jones, historically speaking

It is perhaps interesting to look at the Dow Jones historical average as a complete amateur in finance, but with an eye towards patterns.  I present this as entertainment and not a financial analysis of any kind.   Note that NEWWorthy does not offer financial advice.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is OLDWorthy.  As you may well know, from 1997 to 2015 we have seen at least two major drops in the average, but in recent years it has risen sharply.  Take a look at the years 1915 to 1934 in the Dow Jones chart (see link above).  Does it look like a similar curve?  How about the years 1936 to 1946?  In one case we see a sharp fall, and in the other a continued rise.

Is the stock market just a machine that repeats itself?  Can stock prices be predicted — with far more and accurate analysis than I just did — based on statistics and past history?  You’ll have to decide that for yourself.  If you do not believe the market can be predicted, then what happens in the next several years may be NEWWorthy.

The American Association of Individual Investors presents a Sentiment Survey each week.  That’s another way that some data researchers look at trends in the stock market.

So what’s a quant? A quantitative analyst, someone who tries to predict market trends using past and current data. A Prudential video below provides a fairly quick definition.  They present quants as people who may be able to provide some form of comfort for investors, particularly when the market is hard to predict.   Some say that the quants were responsible for the 2008 market crash — as in this Scientific American article — while others today — as in this Wall Street Journal article — are saying that quants are predicting the future.

Ultimately, it is difficult for the average person to know how to apply historical information to stock market trends, or whether it even makes sense to do so.  Like many other things in life, it’s something you have to figure out for yourself.

Arads and Vrads

With Virtual (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) systems coming in the not too distant future, advertisers are already planning ways to meet consumer’s eyes.  Ads have been around for a long time — long before the year 0 — so they’re OLDWorthy.  Ads on VR and AR — which I’m calling Arads and Vrads or ARads and VRads — are a relatively new idea.  So maybe they’re NEWWorthy.  That is, if you don’t mind a slightly new meaning to the old Bell ad motto “Reach Out and Touch Someone” — or in the case of VR and AR, touch or control something.

OLDWorthy Mail trucks and NEWWorthy Deliverbots

Mail trucks in the United States are OLDWorthy.  The Wall Street Journal says that “It’s Time to Retire the Old Mail Truck” and get replacement vehicles.

I wonder if they will keep the boxy shape we’ve all grown accustomed to seeing?  On the other hand, it might not be long before consideration should be given to Deliverbots — self-driving delivery robots.

Weight of Awards

Awards are OLDWorthy.  Yet if you search on awards for literature, art, or entertainment, you might get the impression that they are not all that old.  Most awards mentioned started in the late 1800’s — such as the Nobel Prize — and later.  The Academy Awards started in the 1920’s.  So while it is obvious that people have probably given other people some kind of prize or award throughout history, most modern award lore on the internet is typically about the last 100 years or so.

That said, I was curious how much each major award weighs.  I mean, have you watched people win an Oscar and tightly grip it so they would not drop it?  It’s pretty heavy.  So, in honor of the recent awards season,  here are some of the weights I found.

Oscar is 8.5 pounds according to Wikipedia.

Golden Globe is 5.5 pounds according to CBS News.

Emmy is 6 pounds 12.5 ounces (or about 6.8 pounds) according to Wikipedia.

The Grammy is 4 pounds 6.4 ounces (or about 4.4 pounds) according to Country Hound.

According to Playbill, the Tony is 3.5 pounds as of 2010, unless it has changed since then.  Before 2010 it was only 1.5 pounds.

The Nobel Prize Medal averages about .386 pounds, according to Wikipedia.

NEWWorthy Awards 2014

Again we had a fun and busy year putting together the NEWWorthy blog in 2014.  It’s time to list some of the best articles, inventions, discoveries, and events reported here in each major category on NEWWorthy in 2014. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our blog as much as we did putting it together.

Technology had a particularly big year in 2014, with several innovations.  We had a hard time picking the winner and had to list a number of honorable mentions that seemed worthy.  Jibo, even if lacking the ability to wash/dry/iron clothes, proved that there’s demand for a family robot.

We’re excited to see what’s in store for 2015. NEWWorthy will continue to keep an eye on what’s new and worthy.  Whether it’s new research in science or the latest new happenings in entertainment and travel, we’ll be taking a look at it.

What’s coming in 2015? Who can tell, but we suspect there will be more talk about Deep Learning, U.S. elections 2016, ‘omes (as in proteomes, microbiomes, and genomes — for under $500?), Pluto, getting to Mars, and wearable computing (goggles, headsets, fitness bands, watches, etc.).  Perhaps “the fog of things” will make the dictionary in 2015.

Happy 2015!  Here are the NEWWorthy Award winners for 2014…


ENTERTAINMENT: Winner – “Rory McIlroy accidentally gives cholla to a fan” — this may become classic golf footage someday;  Honorable Mentions – What’s upworthy.com?; If HuvR tech were real…; Jurrasic Park” might have been wrong about birds

FINANCE: Winner – Could we soon see better logistics?; Honorable Mentions – Veggie Burger fakes meat; To BOX, or not to BOX — still a hot topic in early 2015 before their IPO; AARP’s new Guide for Tipping;

SCIENCE HEALTH: Winner – Alzheimers memory loss reversed? — even a possible small step forward could be huge; Honorable Mentions – Top 10 innovations 2014 – The Scientist — The $1000 genome; Transplants with hearts that have stopped beating; Compound emotions — 15 new emotions identified

SCIENCE: Winner – Nanomotors manipulated in living cells; Honorable Mentions – Necrobiome on CSI?…Human interactome map; Synthetic DNA replicated within living bacteria; Human genome origami; CRISPR gene editing

TECHNOLOGY: Winner – Bots with magnetic personalities; Honorable mentions – To Hybrid or not to Hybrid; First orbitable flight with legs…landing legsCovert and mathematically invisible; Big Data makes the dictionary; The fog of things; Simply Brilliant (.org, that is); World’s first ‘family robot’ – Jibo; A comet walks Rosetta; MOM orbits Mars; World’s first 3D printed cars

TRAVEL: Winner – One way car rental deals; Honorable mentions – Delta’s miles for money; 2014 Atlantic storm names; Hitchbot;

OLDWORTHY: Winner – Sailing stones finally observed; Honorable mentions – Welwitschia, one of a kind; Smokey at 70; Titanosaur;  Intellivision Flashback – and the comeback of other old video game consoles

OLDWorthy cruise

A “Dark Shadows” cruise has to place among the odd OLDWorthy happenings this year.  Who would go?  The biggest star of the show, Jonathan Frid — who might have had the biggest draw for this cruise — died in 2012.  Still, I have to give Royal Caribbean credit for making something OLDWorthy new again.
(Image combines Bat and Ship images from clker.com)