THE BIG DISCOUNT

So we went to the drugstore to pick up Bob’s post heart-attack prescriptions and the pharmacy clerk said she looked around and knocked $135 off the price. That cut the bill in half. She should go on our Christmas list. What she did was look at our prescription list and then went to her phone to check that against an app called “Good RX.” This must be pretty new stuff because we just heard of it last week. We heard of it but we’re not as sharp as the gal at the pharmacy and we didn’t install it on our phone. We thought: come on, how much could this save you? Good RX gives you coupons for lots of pharmacies, […]

Read more

WHO’S THAT DOWN THERE?

This is one of the weirdest cases we’ve ever heard of from a reader. A woman wrote to say that anyone replying to her emails was redirected to a hacker. We tried writing her back, and sure enough, we saw her email address change before our eyes. An extra letter was automatically inserted. We didn’t put it there, we just hit “reply.” Off it went to the hacker. The next time, we hit “reply” we carefully erased the “send” address and put in the one without the extra letter. This was beyond annoying for the reader. Friends thought she was getting their email but those messages all went to the hacker instead. She first tried getting help from “Geek Squad” […]

Read more

FINDING YOUR ANCESTORS ONLINE

Topics in this column include: Finding Your Ancestry Online, Brain Teasers and other interesting websites, Getting a hacked Gmail account back, Fun Projects from Maker Lab’s new book, Sending birthday greetings online, Tips and Tricks for your cell phone.

Read more

BLUETOOTH MYSTERIES

We heard from a reader who wasn’t sure what Bluetooth was and why she needed it on her new iPad Mini. The answer is (the envelope, please): It’s a short-range radio transmitter and receiver, and she doesn’t need it.

Read more

CHEMICAL OF THE DAY

ChemicalOfTheDay.squarespace.com gives you info on thousands of chemicals in the products we use. Joy switched her “natural” skin lotion after finding out it has phenoxyethanol, an aromatic form of ethanol that has raised some issues. Whole Foods and other stores have a variety of lotions without harmful chemicals. NOTE: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates there are approximately 75,000-80,000 chemicals in daily use, of which only a few hundred have been tested for toxicity.  The European Union equivalent agency says the number is 140,000. A Canadian agency says about 30,000 are in common use.

Read more

LINKING CHILDREN TO SCIENCE PROJECTS WORLDWIDE

GlobalSchoolNet.org links children worldwide for science projects and cultural experiences. A current project looks at the problem of plastic in the oceans.

Read more

27 SCIENCE FICTION IDEAS THAT BECAME SCIENCE FACTS

“27 Science Fiction ideas that Became Science Facts in 2012.  Click to find descriptions of an invisibility cloak, a computer controlled by thought, a photo of DNA, genetically-modified silk stronger than steel, spray-on skin and genetically modified mice that lived three times longer than normal — the equivalent of a 200 year-old human being.

Read more

THE COOLEST REACTIONS YOUR SCIENCE TEACHER NEVER SHOWED YOU

ViralNova.com has an article entitled “The Coolest Reactions Your Science Teacher Never Showed You.” Watch a solid object floating on a gas. See gallium melt in the palm of someone’s hand. Watch some explosive dirt.

Read more

WHY BABIES ARE POWERED BY ROCKET FUEL

YouTube.com/user/RoyalInstitution has lectures from Britain’s 216 year old Royal Institution, an organization founded for research and teaching in the sciences. Of particular note are their famous Christmas lectures. We recently watched “What a Wonderful World: One Man’s Attempt to Explain the Big Stuff,” by Marcus Chown. He spoke on  “why babies are powered by rocket fuel, why slime molds have 13 sexes, and why 98% of the Universe is invisible.”

Read more

CURIOSITY STREAM

CuriosityStream.com claims to have the world’s best documentaries from the BBC and other channels around the world, plus original programming. The first month is free, then it’s $3 a month if you want to continue. But you have to give them a credit card for the free trial — and we never like that.

Read more