In the News

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Birds flying right into oily morass of Gulf

Postby Tomas » Thu Jul 15, 2010 4:58 am

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Birds flying right into oily morass of Gulf

The piping plovers already are flying toward peril. Some birds, including
the common loon and lesser scaup, spend winters along the Gulf Coast.

"Birds are pretty hard-wired to their habitat,"

Scientists say hundreds of species could be affected by the spill

IMPACT ON THE GULF SHORES >> http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/env ... rate_N.htm
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Re: In the News

Postby Diebert van Rhijn » Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:19 pm

Fossil links humans and monkeys - BBC news 14 July 2010

Researchers have discovered the skull of a 29 million-year-old animal that could be a common ancestor of Old World monkeys and apes, including humans.

"If we knew something about the time period and the condition this animal was living in, we might be able to discover what brought about the changes that led to [the evolution of] apes and humans".
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A Puzzling Collapse of Earth's Upper Atmosphere

Postby Tomas » Sat Jul 17, 2010 7:50 am

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A Puzzling Collapse of Earth's Upper Atmosphere

"Something is going on that we do not understand," >> http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/sc ... ermosphere
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Cocaine & the Japanese Quail (PHOTO)

Postby Tomas » Sun Jul 18, 2010 7:21 am

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U.S. Government Spent $181,406 to Study How Cocaine Enhances Sex Drive of Japanese Quail

"The overall working hypothesis of this proposal is that the magnitude of the sexual response depends on several cocaine preexposure parameters including dose, amount of exposure, time between exposures, and the withdrawl period before sexual behavior testing," says the grant description

The Web site also said, "Finally quail provide a convenient and interesting alternative to standard laboratory rats and pigeons."

Photo: Three Japanese quails less than one-year old >> http://cnsnews.com/news/article/69351
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Israeli Firm Develops 'Stealth Paint' for Aircraft, Soldiers

Postby Tomas » Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:56 am

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Israeli Firm develops 'Stealth Paint' for Aircraft, Soldiers

Shades of Star Trek's Romulan cloaking device

The technology is useful for civilian applications as well >> http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/138613
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Re: In the News

Postby Diebert van Rhijn » Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:56 pm

Romantic Breakup Similar to Overcoming Addiction

“This brain imaging study of individuals who were still ‘in love’ with their rejecter supplies further evidence that the passion of ‘romantic love’ is a goal-oriented motivation state rather than a specific emotion,” the researchers concluded, noting that brain imaging showed some similarities between romantic rejection and cocaine craving.
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Spacequakes Rumble Near Earth

Postby Tomas » Sun Aug 01, 2010 6:07 am

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Spacequakes Rumble Near Earth (see movie)

Researchers using NASA's fleet of five THEMIS spacecraft have discovered a form of space weather that packs the punch of an earthquake and plays a key role in sparking bright Northern Lights. They call it "the spacequake."

"We've long suspected something like this was happening," says Sibeck. "By observing the process in situ, however, THEMIS has discovered something new and surprising."

The surprise is plasma vortices, huge whirls of magnetized gas as wide as Earth itself, spinning on the verge of the quaking magnetic field.

Computer simulated movie here >> http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/sc ... pacequakes
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Re: In the News

Postby Diebert van Rhijn » Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:44 pm

From Medical News Today:

The idea that a modern man who is modest and metrosexual has features women find attractive appears to be a myth, according to a new study published in the peer-reviewed journal Psychology of Men and Masculinity. Researchers found that females see modesty and men's feminine side as a big turn-off.



Aha, the real reason of all the immodest stressing of masculine thinking here!
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Re: In the News

Postby Diebert van Rhijn » Tue Aug 10, 2010 7:36 am

From Primitive Parts, A Highly Evolved Human Brain

    We're still using a communication system developed 600 million years ago by jellyfish. "If our neurons weren't such lousy processors and we didn't need 100 billion of them massively interconnected in order to make a clever brain out of such lousy parts, then we wouldn't have such a long childhood," Linden says.

    And without that long childhood, he says, evolution wouldn't have equipped us with the force that bonds parents together to protect their children.

    "We wouldn't have love"
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Google cracks Rubik's Cube

Postby Tomas » Fri Aug 13, 2010 9:43 am

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Google cracks Rubik's Cube

Using Google's supercomputers, a team of researchers have processed every one of the Rubik's Cube's 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 different configurations to work what is the maximum number of moves needed to complete it.

Scientists have long believed that 20 was the so-called 'God number' in theory but it has been impossible until now to find the processing power to prove it indefinitely.

Here's How >> http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ ... nigma.html
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Third World children

Postby Tomas » Wed Aug 25, 2010 10:03 am

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Third World children, 'lab rats' for US

"We are now using vulnerable people in vulnerable countries as drug laboratories,"

Big Pharma testing drugs on unsuspecting children >> http://rebelnews.org/politics/africa/37 ... ats-for-us
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Re: In the News

Postby Diebert van Rhijn » Mon Sep 06, 2010 5:12 am

ELO star killed by bale of hay - Monty Pythonesque: a 48-stone hay bale bounced out of a field and landed on his van.
Mike joined ELO in 1972 and the band hit the big time with a version of Roll Over Beethoven.

Mike - known for his bizarre costumes and eccentric style which included plucking his strings with fruit - left in January 1975 to become a Buddhist.

He later changed his name to Deva Pramada and is thought to have remained single. Police are trying to trace his family.
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Newsroom

Postby 1456200423 » Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:53 pm

Breaking News: Same Bullshit Happening Somewhere
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9U4Ha9HQvMo
Last edited by 1456200423 on Sat Sep 11, 2010 5:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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new fabrication technique

Postby 1456200423 » Wed Sep 08, 2010 11:54 pm

Xiangfeng Duan and colleagues the University of California at Los Angeles have developed a new fabrication technique that involves employing alumina-coated nanowires as the gate electrode in a graphene transistor. The device's source and drain electrodes are then made using a self-aligning process using the nanowires as "masks" – a process that also minimizes resistance in the transistor, so improving its performance even further.

http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/43680
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Canada unveils new speed bump

Postby Tomas » Fri Sep 10, 2010 2:41 am

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Canada unveils new speed bump: optical illusion of a child

According to Discover magazine, the pavement painting apprears to rise up as the driver gets closer to it, reaching full 3-D realism at around 100 feet:

See image of Pavement Patty >> http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_upshot/20 ... f-children
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Scientists find drugs that may fight bat disease

Postby Tomas » Mon Sep 13, 2010 9:18 am

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Scientists find drugs that may fight bat disease

Scientists may have found some ways to help the nation's bats, which are being wiped out by a novel fungal disease, an unprecedented wildlife crisis.

"We found that two major classes of antifungal drugs have very good activity" against the bat germ, [Vishnu] Chaturvedi reported Sunday in Boston at a meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.

Now comes the difficult part: >> http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D9I6I8181
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Re: In the News

Postby Diebert van Rhijn » Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:51 am

Meaning of life changes across cosmos
"There seems to be an axis through the cosmos. In one direction, the universe seems to be getting bigger, while in the opposite direction it's getting smaller, not by very much, but it seems to do so significantly."


Speaking of dividing rods...

Moses' Red Sea Parting Explained by Computer Model
He found that a steady 63-mile-per-hour (100-kilometer-per-hour) wind over a digitally reconstructed east-west running lake at the Mediterranean end of the Nile, near today's Port Said, would push the water west to the far end of the lake as well as south up the river
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Re: In the News

Postby cousinbasil » Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:41 am

Hi Diebert - I took a look at your first link above.

I think one should take this article with a few grains of salt. In it, Stuart Gray writes:
Australian scientists have detected a spatial variation in the fine structure constant, one of the fundamental forces of nature that binds electrons to the nuclei of the atom.

The fine-structure constant is a dimensionless ratio associated with the electromagnetic field. It is not a force of any kind.

The research points to this:
"This means in one direction, the fine structure constant was once smaller and in exactly the opposite direction, it was once bigger. And here we are in the middle, where the constant is about 1/137."

If true, this would violate what most cosmology texts call the Cosmological Principle (or the Copernican Principle): "The Universe is homogeneous and isotropic in three-dimensional space, has always been so, and will always remain so." (Introduction to Cosmology, Roos, 2003)

This would indeed be big news!

However, the article swiftly speculates:
If correct, the discovery could mean only our part of the Universe may be capable of supporting life.

How quickly it becomes fodder for anthropological debate. If true, the discovery "means" no such thing. Because if it weren't true, we would still have no idea if there is life in any other "part" of the universe, only that we had no a priori reason to suspect that there may not be, since we would have physical laws the same everywhere. If it is true, we have no reason to suppose a differential fine structure constant would preclude life rather than make it more probable.

Remember, this is a slight difference in a dimensionless ratio (roughly 1/137). I can still recall a university cosmology physics lecture where the professor was making a mathematical argument on the board and ended by ignoring a factor of 2pi. "We don't worry about things like two times or three times when we are talking about outer space. We just pay attention to orders of magnitude to see whether we are on the right track!"
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Re: In the News

Postby Diebert van Rhijn » Thu Sep 23, 2010 7:40 am

The news in here isn't meant to pick apart really. I mean, where to start? :-)

It's a bit nitpicking though, the FSC can be said to measure a specific strength in a couple of interpretations. For the layman, strength and force would be interchangable. A scientist might be more careful.

If true, this would violate what most cosmology texts call the Cosmological Principle (or the Copernican Principle)

That would be the stunning implication indeed.

Because if it weren't true, we would still have no idea if there is life in any other "part" of the universe, only that we had no a priori reason to suspect that there may not be, since we would have physical laws the same everywhere. If it is true, we have no reason to suppose a differential fine structure constant would preclude life rather than make it more probable.

It's not a question of probability. The whole mathematical and theoretical framework needed to even speculate about formation of matter, organic molecules and such while using other constants is just not there. So there's good reason to suppose preclusion. But the preclusion doesn't have to become a cosmological absolute constant itself. It remains current understanding with firm conclusions being part of that - all relatively!

Remember, this is a slight difference in a dimensionless ratio (roughly 1/137). I can still recall a university cosmology physics lecture where the professor was making a mathematical argument on the board and ended by ignoring a factor of 2pi. "We don't worry about things like two times or three times when we are talking about outer space. We just pay attention to orders of magnitude to see whether we are on the right track!"

The difference is that there's no mathematical path to the number. It's "just there" when there's stuff like electrons and photons around.
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Re: In the News

Postby cousinbasil » Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:25 am

Where to start?
The news in here isn't meant to pick apart really.

Says who? A forum is where one discusses things. You posted a link. I respect you by following that link and reading the article. Then what? Wait for you to post another link and follow that one? I am commenting on a link you posted!
For the layman, strength and force would be interchangable. A scientist might be more careful.

Well maybe I think that is just not good enough for a "genius" forum. I do not purport to be either a genius or a scientist, and this error in the author's writing was the first thing I noticed. I assume most geniuses and or scientists would notice it as well.
It's not a question of probability. The whole mathematical and theoretical framework needed to even speculate about formation of matter, organic molecules and such while using other constants is just not there.

Of course it is a question of probability! If this finding pans out, I am pretty sure most physicists would not discard the "whole mathematical and theoretical framework" that exists concerning the formation of matter as a result. When something uncertain is under consideration, one considers how likely competing scenarios are to be true, given the empirical information. Since we do not know and can only speculate about life elsewhere in the universe, we are speaking of likelihoods and not certainties.
So there's good reason to suppose preclusion.

What good reason does this specific finding offer? We can just as well suppose preclusion because we only know that life exists on this planet. If the FSC were different in another part of the universe, presumably some of the laws of physics we know to date would not apply to that part. Is that the same as saying no laws would apply? I think we can assume some perhaps modified laws would hold. Why would one then assume these modified laws would be less conducive to life existing in that part of the universe? Because life is so evidently abundant in this part? All we know for sure is that there is life on this planet, and we are speaking in cosmological terms. That is a huge difference.
But the preclusion doesn't have to become a cosmological absolute constant itself. It remains current understanding with firm conclusions being part of that - all relatively!

What firm conclusions and whose current understanding?

I personally see no reason to assume or preclude the possibility of life elsewhere in in the universe. If conditions were just so that life began spontaneously here on earth at one point in time and I believe that such highly unlikely conditions are a prerequisite for life to start itself, I only have to look up at the sky on a clear night and see the countless stars. Numerator or denominator, which is bigger? Probabilities.
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Re: In the News

Postby Diebert van Rhijn » Fri Sep 24, 2010 6:07 am

cousinbasil wrote: A forum is where one discusses things. You posted a link. I respect you by following that link and reading the article.

I'm not as serious as you with this news section, I suppose. But next time I'll avoid ABC, I normally try to use the best sources I can find for science articles.

If the FSC were different in another part of the universe, presumably some of the laws of physics we know to date would not apply to that part. Is that the same as saying no laws would apply?

Well, with small variations the laws of physics wouldn't allow for heavy elements to bind. That would mean no planets, for starters.

I only have to look up at the sky on a clear night and see the countless stars. Numerator or denominator, which is bigger? Probabilities.

If you want to speculate about non-carbon based lifeforms or intelligent blue clouds drifting between planets, I'm all for it! But that isn't science as you found so important to point out before.
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Re: In the News

Postby cousinbasil » Fri Sep 24, 2010 6:56 am

Diebert wrote:If you want to speculate about non-carbon based lifeforms or intelligent blue clouds drifting between planets, I'm all for it! But that isn't science as you found so important to point out before.

You might be all for such speculation, but I wouldn't share the enthusiasm. You are bringing up intelligent blue clouds, whatever that is supposed to be, and NCLFs, and I suppose you are doing so for a reason, but the reason escapes me, which is fine with me. All I was saying is that no matter how unlikely the outcome life is, we do know it has happened once. That means it is not impossible. Repeat a trial enough times when an outcome has a nonzero probability of occurring and eventually you get that outcome. How many trials? How many suitable stars are there and have there been? I think it is folly to suppose this one planet contains all the life in the entire universe, but it is a common one for an egocentric outlook.
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Re: In the News

Postby Diebert van Rhijn » Fri Sep 24, 2010 7:53 am

cousinbasil wrote: I suppose you are doing so for a reason, but the reason escapes me... All I was saying is that no matter how unlikely the outcome life is, we do know it has happened once. That means it is not impossible.

We were talking about the "fine-tuned universe" idea, right? Not about life on other planets but life in (areas in) universes which are differently tuned.
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Re: In the News

Postby cousinbasil » Fri Sep 24, 2010 8:46 am

Diebert van Rhijn wrote:
cousinbasil wrote: I suppose you are doing so for a reason, but the reason escapes me... All I was saying is that no matter how unlikely the outcome life is, we do know it has happened once. That means it is not impossible.

We were talking about the "fine-tuned universe" idea, right? Not about life on other planets but life in (areas in) universes which are differently tuned.

Are you deliberately misunderstanding me? We were talking about the article that you posted. Did you read it before you posted it? The article itself brought up life in other parts of the universe. That's what I was commenting on. Why can't you understand that?
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Re: In the News

Postby Diebert van Rhijn » Sat Sep 25, 2010 3:02 am

cousinbasil wrote: The article itself brought up life in other parts of the universe. That's what I was commenting on.

What the article referred to here was the idea of the fine-tuned Universe. Then you somehow tried to make the phrase "could mean" found in a popular science article into some absolute position which you then started to attack. Of course the fine-tuning argument is heavily debated but in my view the scientific consensus is that things certainly look tuned toward development of life as we know it and many calculated models still support it. Therefore it remains a reasonable statement in the context of the discovery to suggest life might be only possible in certain pockets in the Universe because of its varying structure. It certainly isn't fodder for "anthropological debate", perhaps you meant anthropocentric?
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