Nearly 350 years ago, Sir Isaac Newton sat under the apple tree contemplating the motion of the moon about the Earth. What it is, he may have asked, this force that holds the moon in its path, constantly circling the Earth? No doubt, Dr. Ryan Stone has similar thoughts as she tumbles uncontrollably through the darkness of low-Earth orbit.
Of course, you probably already know that Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) is the main character in the movie “Gravity.” “Gravity” opens this Friday, and if the trailers are anywhere close to accurate, this movie promises to be one of the most riveting movies of the year.
Imagine yourself floating through the vacuum of space while a field of space junk wipes out your spaceship and your fellow astronauts. All that’s left is your spacesuit and fellow extravehicular traveller, George Clooney. You have 90 minutes to contemplate the silence amongst the spectacular beauty of the Earth and stars. And then after one orbit, you hit the space junk again.
Given my penchant for science fiction, I can’t wait to go see this movie. It seems like forever since the last “pure” science fiction movie hit the theaters. (By pure, I mean that it doesn’t grossly violate the laws of physics.) Even if you are not into sci-fi, the special effects and action should keep you on the edge of your seat.
Don’t believe me? Go pull up the trailer and see if you can stay away!
Binge TV — I am one of those who will discover a TV show after its peak. This is especially true with “Breaking Bad.” I haven’t yet watched a single episode. However, due to the brilliance of on-demand programming, my next quiet weekend will be spent watching the entire series. I’m not sure what that will do to my mind, but everybody tells me it’s worth the risk.
Hints on Lithium — Every time I’ve gotten a new iPhone, I’ve been astounded by how long the battery lasts. Let’s face it: new devices seem to run forever. Of course, you’ve got the obligatory tweaking — turn off push notifications, adjust pull rates, disable location services, etc. Every tech website has an article or more on tuning for performance. I won’t bore you with the details. The point is that when you get it set up, the battery life for a new phone is usually pretty darn good.
Then after about a year or so, something changes. The battery isn’t bad per se, but it just doesn’t seem to last as long. All batteries go bad over time — we all know that. But is there something that can be done to prolong battery life? We’ve heard many myths, but what really works?
Batteryuniversity.com has some great tips on what you need to do to keep your battery performing. When it comes to Lithium-ion batteries, the first tip is don’t overcharge the battery. It’s common practice to keep a phone or laptop plugged in when possible. In reality for most Li-Ion batteries, keeping the phone at 100 percent charge puts additional stress on the battery, thereby reducing the number of charge cycles.
In a similar manner, fully discharging a battery will increase battery wear. The ideal typical usage would charge the battery to 80 percent and run the battery until it reaches 40 percent. A full charge would only be performed if you were travelling or otherwise needed the additional use time. Li-Ion batteries do not have a memory, so storing with a partial charge is not a problem.
Other types of batteries behave differently. See batteryuniversity.com for additional tips on how to maintain your mobile device batteries.
Until next time, I’m off the grid @gregory_a_baker.