Wednesday, March 20, 2019




How to Design Your Work Space

How to Design Your Work Space

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In a modern, business environment, it’s important to have every advantage over your competitors. Hence the recent boom in ergonomics: the art of maximising efficiency by reducing discomfort to the employee. Employers love it because it gives their company an edge; we love it because it means we suffer significantly less backache and eyestrain than everyone else. But let’s say your employer can’t afford an ergonomic set-up: does that mean you should just put up with office discomfort? Of course not and for some very good reasons: sitting badly at your workstation every day can lead to long term backache and worse. So here are a few quick tips for personalising your workspace in an ergonomic fashion:

Choose Your Chair

Every office-supplier and his dog are selling ergonomic chairs these days, so it can be difficult knowing where to look. Rather than just picking a particular chair and calling it ‘the best’, we’d encourage you to have a look at its features and decide for yourself. Ideally, a good ergonomic chair should have lower back support (perhaps the most important feature of all), the ability to be raised or lowered with ease, adjustable armrests, should be easily rotatable and made with plenty of padding. The reason for this is to remove the stresses and strains of moving, slouching and hunching. Take your time deciding which chair is best for you, but make sure it incorporates those key features.

Get Your Angles Right

Of course, having the right chair isn’t everything. A good office chair just comfortably encourages you to sit right; it’s you who has to make sure you’re doing so. If you want to sit correctly, it’s a good idea to think about your body as a series of right angles: your knees should ideally be bent at ninety degrees; while putting your arms flat on the desk should leave your elbows at the same angle. Try adjusting your chair until you hit these magic straight lines: you may look unnaturally rigid, but it’ll save you pain in the long run.

Get Your Back Right

Our spines were not originally designed for long periods of sitting. Descended from active, playful apes via upright hominids, our bodies are temples to physical activity, not office living. So sitting for 8 hours a day with our spines at unnatural angles takes its toll over time. Ideally, your lower back should be supported in such a way that it’s pushed forward if you start slouching, following the spine’s natural curve. Again, look for that magic right angle – if you’re not supported at a near-ninety degree angle, you need to readjust now.

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Angle Your Monitor

One of the biggest causes of strain can be your computer monitor. Headaches, blurred vision, migraines and irritation can all result from spending all day peering into the depths of your screen. When properly adjusted, your horizontal line of vision should be just above the monitor: in other words, you shouldn’t be able to directly see the screen looking straight ahead. Try and position the monitor looking up toward you, so that lowering your eye-line around 15 degrees brings it into view. This is generally regarded as the best position for your screen.

Don’t Dangle

Finally, if you’re shorter than average, or work somewhere like a bookies, bank or other customer-facing role that requires you to be sat higher up, do not let your legs dangle. Studies show that legs, feet and ankles become prone to swelling when not supported – especially so if you’ve poor circulation. This in turn can lead to problems, especially if allowed to continue for several years. Invest in a footrest or lower your chair until you can plonk both feet firmly on terra firma.

Contributed by Sydney Michaelson, who writes for Design55.



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NASA Tests First Deep

NASA Tests First Deep

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nasa NASA Tests First DeepNASA has successfully tested the first deep space communications network modeled on the Internet. Working as part of a NASA-wide team, engineers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., used software called Disruption-Tolerant Networking, or DTN, to transmit dozens of space images to and from a NASA science spacecraft located about more than 32 million kilometers (20 million miles) from Earth. “This is the first step in creating a totally new space communications capability, an interplanetary Internet,” said Adrian Hooke, team lead and manager of space-networking architecture, technology and standards at NASA Headquarters in Washington. NASA and Vint Cerf, a vice president at Google, Inc., in Mountain View, Calif., partnered 10 years ago to develop this software protocol. The DTN sends information using a method that differs from the normal Internet’s Transmission-Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, or TCP/IP communication suite, which Cerf co-designed. The Interplanetary Internet must be robust enough to withstand delays, disruptions and disconnections in space. Glitches can happen when a spacecraft moves behind a planet, or when solar storms and long communication delays occur. The delay in sending or receiving data from Mars takes between three-and-a-half to 20 minutes at the speed of light. Unlike TCP/IP on Earth, the DTN does not assume a continuous end-to-end connection. In its design, if a destination path can’t be found, the data packets are not discarded. Instead, each network node keeps custody of the information as long as necessary until it can safely communicate with another node. This store-and-forward method, similar to basketball players safely passing the ball to the player nearest the basket, means that information does not get lost when no immediate path to the destination exists. Eventually, the information is delivered to the end user. “In space today, an operations team has to manually schedule each link and generate all the commands to specify which data to send, when to send it, and where to send it,” said Leigh Torgerson, manager of the DTN Experiment Operations Center at JPL. “With standardized DTN, this can all be done automatically.” Engineers began a month-long series of DTN demonstrations in October. Data were transmitted using NASA’s Deep Space Network in demonstrations occurring twice a week. Engineers use NASA’s Epoxi spacecraft as a Mars data-relay orbiter. Epoxi is on a mission to encounter Comet Hartley 2 in two years. “There are 10 nodes on this early interplanetary network,” said Scott Burleigh of JPL, lead software-engineer for the demonstrations. “One is the Epoxi spacecraft itself and the other nine, which are on the ground at JPL, simulate Mars landers, orbiters and ground mission-operations centers.” This month-long experiment is the first in a series of planned demonstrations to qualify the technology for use on a variety of upcoming space missions, said Jay Wyatt, manager of the Space Networking and Mission Automation Program Office at JPL. In the next round of testing, a NASA-wide demonstration using new DTN software loaded on board the International Space Station is scheduled to begin next summer. In the next few years, the Interplanetary Internet could enable many new types of space missions. Complex missions involving multiple landed, mobile and orbiting spacecraft will be far easier to support through the use of the Interplanetary Internet. It could also ensure reliable communications for astronauts on the surface of the moon. The Deep Impact Networking Experiment is sponsored by the Space Communications and Navigation Office in NASA’s Space Operations Mission Directorate in Washington. NASA’s Science Mission Directorate and Discovery Program in Washington provided experimental access to the Epoxi spacecraft. The Epoxi mission team provided critical support throughout development and operations.

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NASA in the space

NASA in the space

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Fifty years after the former Soviet Union launched Sputnik on Oct. 4, 1957, a spirit of cooperation has led to the International Space Station and a renewed effort to explore the moon. Shown here in its current state as of Summer 2007, the half-built station is the product of more than 16 nations, including the U.S., Russia, Canada, Japan, Brazil and the member states of the European Space Agency.

The Genesis Spacecraft was launched on August 8, 2001.The purpose of the mission was to have the Genesis Spacecraft return small, but precious amount of samples leading to data that is crucial to our knowledge of the Sun and the formation of our solar system The science collection began November 30, 2001, with the opening of the spacecraft’s science canister and the extension of special collector arrays to catch atoms from the solar wind, and concluded on April 1, 2004. Genesis is the agency’s first sample return mission since the last Apollo mission in 1972, and the first ever to return material collected beyond the Moon.

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