I have two posts of Clive Thompson's bookmarked that I desperately want to use in a story but haven't been able to work them in.
"Your shoes talk," as Apple boasts. "Your iPod nano listens."
And apparently, so does your creepy ex. A group of computer scientists at the University of Washington wondered if they could build a simple device to secretly track somebody by the signal emitted from their shoes. So they set up a laptop, and whaddya know: It turns out that each shoe broadcasts a unique identifier, and it took the scientists only a few hours to write computer code that would sniff it out and track it. They wrote a report summarizing the stalkertastic possibilities raised by the shoes, as their press release reports...
Clive's article goes on to describe this phenomenon and provide links to some really scary cool information.
Now, the science:
According a piece in Newsweek, Lance Becker -- another emergency-medicine expert -- has recently made headway in grappling with one of the biggest mysteries: Why do we die when our oxygen flow is cut off? Traditionally, doctors have assumed it's because our cells need oxygen to live, so they die when they're deprived. But that theory was dealt a big blow when scientists finally started looking at oxygen-starved cells under a microscope, only to find that they survived just fine for up to several hours when cut off from blood flow (and thus oxygen).
Becker, in contrast, discovered something really nuts: That when you deprive cells of oxygen for more than five minutes, they die not because of an immediate lack of oxygen. They die when the oxygen supply is resumed.
Wild, huh? Clive's posts are long, but interesting. Totally worth the time to read.