Prehistoric Wings Discovered in Amber

pre-historic wings
Scientists have recently discovered a pair of wings that belonged to dinosaur-era bird ancestors encased in amber. From The Verge:

In a new study published in the Nature Communications journal this week, researchers say that the wings have very similar structures, coloring, and feather layouts as the wings of modern birds, despite the fact they likely belonged to 100-million-year-old avialans called enantiornithes.

X-ray scans indicate that the fossilized wings — found in northern Myanmar — likely belonged to juvenile creatures, and contain skin, muscle, and claws, as well as various layers of feathers, arranged in a markedly similar fashion to those of birds. That’s not the only similarity: the feathers appear uniformly black inside the amber, actually show up in shades of brown, silver, and white under the microscope.

I love that discoveries like this are still being made. It gives us more insight into our planet’s past.

The Max is Coming to Chicago

the max

The Max, the fictional diner from Saved by the Bell is coming to Chicago this summer. The popup restaurant will only be around for the summer, but is sure to be a popular destination for people my age who grew up on the Saturday morning television show.

The diner, called Saved by the Max, sold out reservations quickly, but travelers may still be able to walk-in for brunch and some late night grub. Visitors can order themed items from the menu, such as A.C. Sliders, Mac and Screech, Preppy BLT and the Bayside Burger (no green mystery meat here). According to Vogue, Ed Alonzo will reprise the role of namesake magician-owner of The Max and is set to perform magic tricks for the grand opening—just one in the series of late-night Bayside After Dark special events scheduled. Others include Tuesday Saved by the Bell trivia challenges and Sunday performances from the diner’s in-house band, The Zack Attack.

The decor looks great, but small. You can see photos at Vogue.

Unfortunately, I was not able to get a reservation. If anyone I know is going, please take pictures!

The Bygone Ballparks of St. Louis

Now that Baseball season is upon us, I thought I’d share a link that was sent to me a couple of weeks ago. Distilled History has a great look at the history of baseball parks in St. Louis (please forgive the author for not being a Cardinals fan). I never realized how many there actually were, especially in north St. Louis. Growing up, I only really heard of Sportsman’s Park, and of course, Busch II & III.

Go check out the post. He has some great images and maps.

st. louis ballparks

Automatic iCloud Backups Killed My Internet Connection

For the past few months I’ve been experiencing intermittent connection issues with my home internet. The internet would stop working completely, on every device in the house, for a period of 10-15 minutes a couple of times a day. After a few months of experiencing this, I decided to finally start investigating. It was this past weekend when I finally noticed that about a minute after I plugged my iPhone into a charger, any charger, the internet would quit working. I was able to consistently recreate the issue. If I unplugged the phone right away, the internet would come back right away.

I figured out it was due to iCloud’s automatic backup when plugged in and on a known wireless network. So, when the phone starts to backup, the internet connection dies for all other devices while the backup is taking place, or tries to take place. Most of the time, iCloud backups on my home network fail 1. I did some searching on the internet to see if others have had similar issues and found a couple of posts, but no real solution. For a few days I thought I had fixed it by resetting the network settings on the phone. It looked like the small, but annoying problem, was finally resolved. Or so I thought.

While working from home yesterday, the problem returned. Plugged in the phone and the internet would stop working. Unplug it and internet is back. I’m not sure what the exact problem is. Is it a problem with the modem? The router? iOS? Last night I decided to update to the latest iOS 9.3 beta to see if backups become more reliable. So far, it does not look good. The phone was not able to backup to iCloud overnight. I will have to test more at home tonight to see if my connection dies the next time it tries to backup. I’m not sure what else to try at this point, besides disabling iCloud backups, but I’m not giving up yet. Suggestions welcome 2.

  1. Most successful backups I see are being made on my work’s network when my phone is plugged in during the day
  2. [email protected] or @shep on Twitter

How Far is Planet 9?

This excellent video by a former NASA employee does a great job explaining just how far Planet 9, the mysterious planet that exists way past Pluto, is from our Sun. The planet is so far from the sun that it takes 15,000 Earth years to orbit the sun once.