Author Archives: Sean Cox

Is Hunt A Killer Any Good?

Welcome back to all our loyal readers! I’ve taken a bit of a break over the past few months, returning today with a site redesign (hope you like PINK) and a new review of a product I’ve been playing with recently called Hunt A Killer.

If you like watching CSI Miami or Law and Order, you’re in luck, because now you can live out those fantasies in real life (kind of). Or at least, in a game format. The purpose of Hunt A Killer is to let you pretend like you’re a real detective as you sort through clues and try to solve a mystery. Once a month, you’ll get shipped new items, and you have to investigate them and figure out what’s going on.

For an honest rundown on how this game works, I recommend reading this Hunt A Killer review from

The problem with Hunt A Killer, IMO, is its cost, as there are other games like it that go for much cheaper.

Stanford researchers propose to set fires to prevent them

It is possible to prevent fires by setting them in certain areas and in particular ways: this suggests a new study, which appeared in Nature Sustainability and was carried out by Stanford scholars who propose the use of so-called “controlled fires” to fight forest fires, also in light of the vast fires that have broken out in Australia.

Controlled fires, or “prescribed fires,” would prove useful especially in those areas where years of suppression of the same fires have led to the massive accumulation of wood and plant fuels in the forests, literally piled up and ready to start new fires. Controlled fires rarely escape predetermined boundaries and can also have ecological benefits on a par with natural fires.

These include the limitation of pests, diseased plants and generally an increase in species diversity. Fire has always been a natural part of the very ecology of forests and woodlands and is certainly not new as a tool used by farmers and foresters. The problem is that it can easily be lost or abused, with all the risks that follow.

Researchers have made precise calculations in their studies by defining the areas to be burned in order to obtain maximum benefits. For example, in California alone there would be a need for controlled fires or controlled logging of about 20 million acres, almost 20% of the area of the entire state.

“Controlled fires are effective and safe,” says Chris Field, director of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and Melvin. “California must remove obstacles to their use so that more devastating fires can be avoided.”

Fresh water found under the Norwegian sea bed

Fresh water from the bottom of the sea: this is the discovery that amazed researchers at the Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate (CAGE) when they analyzed the water collected by a remote-controlled submarine vehicle during an expedition off the Norwegian Sea in 2017.

The leak is probably caused by a freshwater aquifer hidden under the sediment of the same seabed. This phenomenon, according to the researchers, probably originated in the last Ice Age when thick ice caps surrounded Norway and sometimes pushed towards the coast squeezing large amounts of meltwater that then became trapped through the fissures on the seabed.

This is the most interesting feature of this discovery: it is a geological process that began millions of years ago when water was trapped, the same water that is only now making its way through the fissures and faults, as Wei-Li Hong, a marine geologist from Norges Geologiske Undersøkelse (NGU) who participated in the analysis, says.

The freshwater was found about one kilometer below the seabed but the groundwater could be much deeper and the scientists themselves have no idea how big it is. A similar phenomenon has also recently been found off the east coast of the United States.

According to the researchers, these large underwater freshwater reservoirs could be numerous and could be an important resource in the future.

Even in Japan, a private company launches a rocket into space

It has also happened in Japan: a private company successfully launched a rocket into space and is the first, of course, in the country of the rising sun. A video published on YouTube shows the launch phase from the rocket itself. This successful launch shows how much the space sector, at least the rocket launch sector, is becoming in many parts of the world of primary importance for the private sector after being essentially of public interest only.

It was the third attempt by Interstellar Technologies to launch its experimental rocket called Momo-F3. The latter was able to take off smoothly from a site near the town of Taiki, the northern island of Hokkaido.

Four minutes after the launch, the rocket already managed to reach a maximum altitude of 113.4 kilometers, essentially passing the Earth’s atmosphere and entering space after passing the Kármán line. It then descended back to Earth and plunged into the Pacific Ocean at a distance of about 37 kilometers from the launch site.

The first launch attempt was made in 2017 when Japanese technicians tried to launch into space Momo-1. However, there was a technical problem in telemetry and the launch was interrupted 66 seconds after takeoff. The second attempt took place in the summer of last year and resulted in a failure with the rocket explosion a few seconds after takeoff.

The third attempt was instead successful although even the latter can be considered a bit troubled considering the continuous cross-references and problems, such as those related to a cryogenic valve, that technicians had to solve before the actual launch.

Early morning blue light is useful for circadian rhythm

Blue light exposure therapy with early morning sessions can help people with mild traumatic brain injury and generally to regulate the circadian rhythm. A team of researchers led by William D. “Scott” Killgore who published their study on Neurobiology of Disease is of this opinion.

According to the researchers, a short exposure, held every morning, to the wavelength of blue light can be of help especially for the circadian rhythm and this consequently also helps with the quality and regularity of sleep. The researchers realized that these short therapy sessions could be particularly useful for people with mild traumatic brain injuries because the improvement in sleep went in parallel with an improvement in cognitive functions due also to a decrease in daytime sleepiness and in general thanks to an effective repair of the brain, as explained by Killgore himself who is professor of psychiatry at the College of Medicine of the University of Arizona.

Brain lesions can lead to an explosion of pressure in the brain and this can cause microscopic damage to blood vessels and brain tissue, as Killgore himself explains: “Your brain has the consistency of a large Jell-O. Imagine a bowl of Jell-O gets punched or slammed into the steering wheel in a car accident. What are you doing? He absorbs the shock and bounces back. During that impact, microscopic brain cells thinner than a lock of hair can easily stretch and tear due to force.”

Supported by previous research showing that the brain can repair itself during sleep, Killgore and his colleagues tried to figure out whether a better sleep could actually lead to faster recovery. In a randomized clinical trial, they exposed several patients to a blue light projected from a desk device. This happened for 30 minutes every morning for six weeks.

For the control group, which was exposed to bright amber light, those exposed to blue light showed suppression of melatonin in the brain, helping people to align with their natural circadian rhythm and sleep-wake cycle.

“When you are exposed to blue light in the morning, move your brain’s biological clock so that your melatonin will kick in at night. First and it helps you fall asleep and sleep,” Killgore explains again. People exposed to the blue light not only showed more regular sleep, they also showed less drowsiness during the day.

The results of such a study can be explained by the fact that humans have mostly evolved over millions of years with a regular 24-hour light-dark cycle and an almost total lack of artificial lights (except for the dim light of a fire). This has led to a circadian rhythm deeply rooted in all our cells: if we can get cells to follow this archaic circadian rhythm, we can sleep more regularly and much better “because the body and brain can coordinate all these repair processes more effectively,” as the researchers explain.