Fertility phones, planting yellow plums, save as PDF

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Samsung fertility patent I have four things to share today. Ready, set, go:

1. Here’s some interesting technology news from Engadget Mobile: Samsung has filed a patent application for a fertility-measuring phone. The phone is capable of tracking a woman’s fertile periods. Oh, yes, it’s true . . . by measuring eardrum distance and body temperature. I enjoyed this comment from derX regarding the images used to accompany the news:

Am I the only person disturbed by the juxtaposition of a cell phone, an anatomically correct representation of an ear, and a fertility diagram?

2. A friend gave me some cherry-sized yellow plums from his neighbor’s yard. They were so tasty that I decided to save a pit and see if I can manage to grow a tree, since these plums are obviously grown successfully in the Willamette Valley. I believe they are Mirabelle plums.

Mirabelle plums But I had questions: Should I dry the pit before planting? When do I plant it? How deep should I plant it?

Here’s what I’ve determined: The pit needs to go through the winter in order to germinate.

I found many variations on this advice: “The easiest way is to plant the pit about 2 or 3 inches deep where you want the tree to grow. It will go through winter stratification and scarification and, if the seed is viable, it will germinate and grow into the tree of your plum-producing dreams! Just make sure you plant it in an area where it can grow into a tree, with plenty of sunlight.”

(By the way, I stole the inset Mirabelle plums photo (with AA battery for scale) from Just Hungry.)

Adobe PDFMaker toolbar 3. Since I’ve had a couple of people ask me how to save web pages as PDFs lately, here are a couple of ways to do it (assuming you have Adobe Acrobat installed):

  1. In your web browser of choice, instead of printing to a physical printer, print to the Adobe PDF printer. Unfortunately, the Adobe PDFMaker plugin and toolbar (see inset image) is only available in limited software applications like Microsoft Office.
  2. Save the web page as “Web Page, complete” and then open Acrobat and convert the HTML file from within Acrobat via File > Create PDF > From File.

One of these usually works pretty well. I haven’t yet found a Firefox extension that adds Acrobat plugin functionality, but I guess the option to save a web page as a PDF is due to be released with Firefox 3. You can also install the handy Save As Image extension. I love Firefox extensions and regularly use over a dozen of them.

4. Finally, here’s a random amusing site: Dance Sister Dance. I don’t particularly like the Scissor Sisters as a band (and yes, their name is related to the term Mr. Garrison used in South Park to refer to lesbian sex), but their customizable dancing Flash application is a hit. Upload a photo (or two) of a friend’s head today and pass on the enjoyment!

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