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Posted at 06:15 PM ET, 01/08/2008

News & Notes: Geek me out!

Tracking weather while in transit; Science of cold on PBS tonight

As if your cell phone didn't provide enough reason to ignore the road while driving, DC-based XM Satellite Radio announced Sunday that they will debut the first-ever real-time in-vehicle weather tracking system at next week's North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The system, called NavWeather, will provide weather geeks as well as normal folks "immediate alerts on developing weather conditions, such as hail, tornado and storm warnings, mapped to the driver's specific location and driving route."

The "Threat Matrix" technology was developed in conjunction with Baron Services, Inc., a major Doppler radar and storm tracking provider. Baron already markets WxWorx, a mobile weather application for marine and aviation use.

The PBS science series NOVA begins a two-part exploration of the science of cold tonight at 8 pm on WETA-TV 26 and WMPT-TV 22 locally; the second installment airs next Tuesday. Absolute Zero is the "story of the harnessing of cold and the race to reach the lowest temperature possible." Among the topics covered are "the invention of thermometers, the origin of the ice business in 19th-century New England, Clarence Birdseye's fishing trip that led to the invention of frozen food, and a couple of cold-inspired scientific races towards absolute zero that ended in Nobel Prizes."

A teacher's guide, including viewing ideas and classroom activity, is available on the program's web site.

The show is based on the book, "Absolute Zero and the Conquest of Cold", by Tom Shachtman.

By Steve Scolnik  |  06:15 PM ET, 01/08/2008

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