It's the simplest planner available. Users type plain-language commands into Coolendar—no need for precise syntax—hashtagging keywords to organize similar tasks. For example, "Monday, 5 p.m., don't forget to pick up the #dry-cleaning." Coolendar automatically slots these into a to-do list and will send Gmail and Google Talk reminders. The free site syncs with other calendars and has an app for smartphones.
Since 2009, Utah has used computers to grade essays on a state student-assessment test. And testing companies use essay-evaluating software as one of two graders on graduate-school admissions exams such as the GRE. But how well, really, can a computer grade an essay?
To find out, Mark Shermis, an education researcher at the University of Akron, ran 22,029 standardized middle- and high-school essays through software from eight companies (plus one open-source algorithm). The programs, which generally track content, organization and style, generated results indistinguishable from those of humans—just much faster. With that kind of efficiency, robot graders could mean more homework for students everywhere.
In 2018, NASA will launch the James Webb Space Telescope, which will boast mirrors approximately seven times larger than those on the Hubble. Once operational, the telescope will peer through interstellar dust and clearly image some of the youngest stars and galaxies in the universe.
After it reaches its destination, 930,000 miles from Earth, its components will chill down to –400°F. To make sure that the telescope's scientific instrumentation can handle the cold, engineers at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland put the components through rigorous environmental testing in the Space Environment Simulator. As temperatures within the chamber drop to –400°, the engineers monitor the components and scientific instrumentation to determine whether they will function properly.
Last December, U.S. astronaut Don Pettit launched from Kazakhstan in a Russian Soyuz space capsule and arrived at the International Space Station, where he spent the next 191 days. While there, Pettit orbited the Earth 3,088 times and witnessed the arrival of the SpaceX Dragon, the first commercial craft to dock at the ISS. He also experienced significant physiological changes. Extended periods in low gravity lead to bone density loss and heart shrinkage.
When Pettit returned to Earth in July, his body could not endure even minor physical exertion in normal gravity, so the ground crew carried him to a nearby medical tent for routine post-spaceflight examinations. Research has shown that astronauts' muscle tone improves after a few weeks, but their bone density may never return to pre-spaceflight levels.
For All Your Reminders Coolendar.com
Robo-Grading Programs Judge Students Essays Better Than Humans Do
The James Webb Space Telescope Gets Chilled to 400 Degrees Below Zero
An Astronaut Readjusts To Earth's Gravity