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alkemical
02-25-2011, 02:12 PM
Classroom Supermen: A Global Vision for the Future of Education
(http://bigthink.com/ideas/31361?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+bigthink%2Fmain+%28Big+Think+ Main%29)


Dominic Basulto on February 25, 2011, 12:56 PM
Avenues

If you had a chance to create the perfect K-12 educational institution from scratch - and if money was no object - how would you do it? You'd probably start by hand-selecting some of the smartest and most talented educators in the world to develop the vision for the school. Then, you'd ask them to implement a radically new global curriculum that ensures that graduates would become leaders on the future world stage. To make this a reality, you'd make sure that the student body had ready access to the finest educational, artistic and athletic resources in the world. For good measure, you'd bring in a world-class architectural firm to design a stunning building and situate the educational institution in the center of one of the most vibrant cities in the world.

That's the vision for Avenues: The World School, a unique for-profit educational institution opening its doors in New York City's High Line district in 2012. The final goal - brought to you by former Yale President Benno Schmidt and educational pioneer Christopher Whittle (founder of Edison Schools) is to create a truly global educational institution with twenty satellite campuses all over the world - in places like India, China, Brazil, Russia and Europe. By the time that they graduate, students will be fluent in Spanish and Mandarin, at home in any international environment, and confident contributors in the arts (thanks to partnerships with NYC art galleries in Chelsea). To make that vision a reality, Whittle and Schmidt have assembled a top-tier leadership team that includes former heads at some of the nation's elite private schools - Hotchkiss, Exeter and Dalton.

loborugger
02-25-2011, 07:14 PM
I don't want a nation of thinkers, I want a nation of workers.

John Rockefeller

alkemical
02-28-2011, 06:40 AM
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20928014.700-bitter-tastes-make-you-more-judgemental.html?DCMP=OTC-rss&nsref=online-news

Bitter tastes make you more judgemental

DON'T drink and judge - bitter tastes alter your moral compass, making you more judgemental.

So say Kendall Eskine at the City University of New York and colleagues, who asked 57 volunteers to rate how morally questionable a set of scenarios were on a scale of 1 to 100. These included a man eating his already-dead dog, and second cousins engaging in consensual sex. The participants also indicated their political orientation.

Before and halfway through the exercise, participants were given a bitter drink, a sweet juice or water.

Those who drank bitter drinks were much harsher in their judgements than those who drank water, giving scenarios a score that was on average 27 per cent higher. Intriguingly, politically conservative individuals were more strongly affected by bitter tastes than liberals (Psychological Science, DOI: 10.1177/0956797611398497).

Although the mechanisms linking taste and behaviour are not yet clear, the authors ask whether jurors should avoid bitter tastes and whether food preferences play a role in shaping political ideals.

alkemical
02-28-2011, 06:41 AM
http://designyoutrust.com/2011/02/26/eat-healthier-with-the-wheel-of-nutrition/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+dyt+%28Design+You+Trust%29

Eat Healthier With The Wheel of Nutrition

http://designyoutrust.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/unnamed_hwnt1qfkj.jpg

alkemical
02-28-2011, 07:10 AM
http://www.kurzweilai.net/quantum-antennas-enable-exchange-of-quantum-information-between-two-memory-cells

‘Quantum antennas’ enable exchange of quantum information between two memory cells

An Austrian research group led by physicist Rainer Blatt suggests a fundamentally novel architecture for quantum computation. They have experimentally demonstrated quantum antennas, which enable the exchange of quantum information between two separate memory cells located on a computer chip. This offers new opportunities to build practical quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the scientific journal Nature.

Six years ago scientists at the University of Innsbruck realized the first quantum byte — a quantum computer with eight entangled quantum particles; a record that still stands. “Nevertheless, to make practical use of a quantum computer that performs calculations, we need a lot more quantum bits,” says Prof. Rainer Blatt, who, with his research team at the Institute for Experimental Physics, created the first quantum byte in an electromagnetic ion trap. “In these traps we cannot string together large numbers of ions and control them simultaneously.”

To solve this problem, the scientists have started to design a quantum computer based on a system of many small registers, which have to be linked. To achieve this, Innsbruck quantum physicists have now developed a revolutionary approach based on a concept formulated by theoretical physicists Ignacio Cirac and Peter Zoller. In their experiment, the physicists electromagnetically coupled two groups of ions over a distance of about 50 micrometers. Here, the motion of the particles serves as an antenna.

“The particles oscillate like electrons in the poles of a TV antenna and thereby generate an electromagnetic field,” explains Blatt. “If one antenna is tuned to the other one, the receiving end picks up the signal of the sender, which results in coupling.” The energy exchange taking place in this process could be the basis for fundamental computing operations of a quantum computer.

alkemical
02-28-2011, 07:52 AM
How Powerful is an Apology? http://bit.ly/fpNqdR

alkemical
02-28-2011, 01:29 PM
http://seedmagazine.com/content/article/humans_version_3.0/

The next giant leap in human evolution may not come from new fields like genetic engineering or artificial intelligence, but rather from appreciating our ancient brains.

alkemical
03-01-2011, 06:51 AM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1361269/1-4-cancer-cases-missed-GPs-delaying-vital-treatment.html

1 in 4 cancer cases missed: GPs send away alarming number of patients, delaying vital treatment

alkemical
03-01-2011, 06:59 AM
http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-02-historians-longer-alchemy-occult.html

Why many historians no longer see alchemy as an occult practice

No, wizards have not learned how to transmute lead into gold and they haven't found any rejuvenating elixir of life. But the scholars who write the history of science and technology no longer lump alchemy in with witchcraft as a pseudo-science.

Instead they see alchemy as the proper precursor to modern chemistry.

The modern word "alchemy" comes from the Arabic word "al kemia," which incorporated a spectrum of knowledge of chemical properties and practices from ancient times.

Chemist and historian Lawrence Principe of Johns Hopkins University in Maryland believes that the hardworking alchemists of the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance, a period stretching across the 14th to the 17th centuries, were defamed by being lumped in with charlatans of the 19th century, quacks that were often depicted wearing eccentric costumes and casting spells.

"We're in an alchemical revolution," said Principe during a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in February. Principe said that just in the past 30 years articles about alchemy were being accepted into Isis, one of the leading journals devoted to the history of science. Before that a prohibition on alchemical subjects had been in place.

alkemical
03-01-2011, 10:19 AM
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2014330635_apusnationofislamufos.html

Nation of Islam convention to include talk of UFOs

The Nation of Islam, long known for its promotion of black nationalism and self-reliance, now is calling attention to another core belief that perhaps isn't so well-known: the existence of UFOs.

alkemical
03-01-2011, 11:48 AM
http://www.dangerousminds.net/comments/koch_brothers_tea_partiers_union_bashers_anonymous _/

Dear Koch Brothers, Tea partiers & union bashers: ‘Anonymous’ would like your attention please

alkemical
03-03-2011, 08:43 AM
http://designyoutrust.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Before-I-Die-Wall-1.jpg

alkemical
03-03-2011, 08:50 AM
http://seedmagazine.com/content/article/on_curing_everything/

Nobel Prize-winning chemist Kary Mullis offers a radical new way to treat infectious diseases as the effectiveness of our current antibiotics wanes.

Kary Mullis, a self-proclaimed non-specialist, won the Nobel Prize for developing the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), a technique that allows researchers to quickly and cheaply make many copies of single strands of DNA. For the past decade Mullis has been using PCR to create new types of drugs that could soon provide a cure for everything from malaria to anthrax. He tells Seed how he is bridging the gap between disparate scientific fields to devise a radical new way to combat infectious diseases.

Seed: Why do we need to rethink the way we treat infectious diseases?

Kary Mullis: Many pathogens are becoming resistant to our antibiotics. Consider penicillin, for example. We took it from a fungus that grew in the soil and killed bacteria for food. Because of this warfare, some bacteria had developed a resistance via DNA, to penicillin. Over time, they passed this resistance via DNA up to the pathogens that infect our bodies. So now many organisms—like Staphylococcus aureu, the cause of Staph infections—are, in large part, unaffected by penicillin. In this way a lot of bacteria have mutated around our antibiotics.

The standard pharmaceutical response is to go stomping through the jungle trying to find extracts of all the organisms and see if one of them will inhibit the growth of particular bacteria. And that of course will get more and more difficult as time goes on. It is clear that we need another solution.

Seed: What is your solution?

KM: A long time ago they used to speculate that there might be what they called a “silver bullet” for cancer. The idea was that if you could find some molecule that would bind to a cancerous cell but not to a non-cancerous cell and attach a radioactive atom—or some sort of poison—to that molecule, you could cure cancer. It turned out cancer didn’t work that way, but you can take a similar approach to fighting infectious diseases.

My work with PCR allowed for the invention by Craig Tuerk of nucleic aptamers, which are tiny binding molecules that can be designed to attach themselves to harmful bacteria. However, instead of attaching a poison to the other end of the aptamer—as the silver-bullet strategy would call for—I put something on there that is a target for our immune system, a chemical compound with which the immune system is already familiar and to which it is very strongly immune. What you end up with is a drug that will drag this thing to which you are highly immune over to some bacteria you don’t want in your body. And your immune system will attack and kill it.

Seed: Do you have any proof that it works?

KM: Yes, we cured anthrax in mice. If you infect a mouse with anthrax and then wait 24 hours and treat it with a penicillin-type drug, you get about a 40 percent survival rate. But using our drug you get a 100 percent survival rate. Of course, it is unlikely that you are going to get anthrax, but that is sort of a model system.

Seed: It sounds like, at least in theory, the method you have developed could be used to cure any infectious disease.

KM: That’s right. In fact, the science part of it, as far as I’m concerned, is pretty much taken care of. For any particular disease you need a bunch of people to help you because you need organic chemists and infectious disease specialists, but there really aren’t any serious hurdles. A whole lot of people just have to apply the methodology we developed.

Of course, we will need to get through to the big drug companies that can set up human trials and ultimately manufacture the drugs. My reputation will at least get me into their office—though if I make a fool of myself I won’t get to come back.

Seed: Do you think a lot of ideas like yours go overlooked simply because those who have them don’t have your reputation?

KM: Yes, I think supporting early ideas is a really neglected area of science. Where is the foundation that rewards very early ideas that don’t yet have a lab or a company behind them? There are lots of these ideas out there, but nowhere to send them.

What we should be asking about a brand new idea is, “Does it have a chance of ever working?” And if the answer is “yes,” we should consider supporting it. We don’t need to give it a million dollars, just enough money to prove itself. Because today, by the time you get most science prizes, you already have 200 people working on an idea. That’s not when the idea is delicate.

Seed: You have said that you are not a specialist. The non-specialist is an increasingly rare breed in science. What do 
you understand your role to be in today’s highly specialized scientific research community?

KM: I am undisciplined—a loose cannon on deck is one way to talk about me. The positive spin you can put on it is that I can say to one specialist, “You have got some knowledge that, put together with this guy who is an organic chemist and with this guy who knows about influenza in chickens, can accomplish something that none of us could do on our own.” That sounds corny, but it takes years to make those kinds of connections—and doing so requires people wide open with their interests.

It takes a while for me to find people who really understand what I am trying to do and are willing to play in my arena. That is a valuable thing. To be able to collaborate with people is essential, because we can’t do all the things that we can 
think about.

alkemical
03-03-2011, 08:55 AM
http://bigthink.com/ideas/31498?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+bigthink%2Fmain+%28Big+Think+ Main%29

The 98% of Our DNA Formerly Thought of as “Junk” Is Alive

Dna

What’s the Big Idea?

The 98% of the human genome that was once considered to be useless “junk” actually plays a vital role in making us unique.

Why Is It Groundbreaking?

DNA works by transcribing its genetic code of A’s, C’,s G’s, and T’s into proteins, which in turn participate in virtually every cell process from metabolism to reproduction. But only 2% of the 3 billion base pairs in the human genome actually code for proteins; the rest, formerly known as junk DNA, were thought to be useless. But as it turns out, five hundred stretches of this dark DNA are exactly the same in humans as they are in mice, which means that they have remained unchanged for hundreds of millions of years. Scientists hypothesize that if evolution has chosen to leave these segments alone, they must be doing something vastly important, and recent studies have confirmed their role in regulating and activating genes.

Why Should You Care?

Though non-coding DNA is far from fully understood, it has the potential to transform our understanding of cellular life. Clarifying its role in gene regulation and activation will likely have huge impacts on medicine. For example, many diseases like autism, schizophrenia, and epilepsy cannot be fully explained by our genes, but the cure may lie in this non-coding DNA. This also has important implications for genetic engineering and bioengineering,

___

No way!

alkemical
03-03-2011, 11:27 AM
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/03/energy-markwest-compressor-idUSN0319967720110303?feedType=RSS&feedName=rbssEnergyNews&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+reuters%2FUSenergyNews+%28New s+%2F+US+%2F+Energy%29

Thu Mar 3, 2011 12:52pm EST

NEW YORK, March 3 (Reuters) - A natural gas compressor
station in southwestern Pennsylvania was returned to service by
early Thursday after the station caught fire on Tuesday, a
spokesman for MarkWest Energy (MWE.N) said.

There were no injuries from the incident and the company
and state officials did not expect there was any evidence of
environmental damage.

The outage briefly impacted gas producer customers that are
serviced from the station, the spokesman said.
(Reporting by Eileen Moustakis;editing by Sofina Mirza-Reid)

alkemical
03-03-2011, 11:29 AM
http://www.disinfo.com/2011/03/21st-century-youths-a-nation-of-wimps/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+disinfo%2FoMPh+%28Disinformat ion%29&utm_content=Twitter

21st Century Youths: A Nation of Wimps

Posted by BananaFamine on March 3, 2011

Hara Estroff Marano writes for Psychology Today:

Maybe it’s the cyclist in the park, trim under his sleek metallic blue helmet, cruising along the dirt path… at three miles an hour. On his tricycle.

Or perhaps it’s today’s playground, all-rubber-cushioned surface where kids used to skin their knees. And… wait a minute… those aren’t little kids playing. Their mommies—and especially their daddies—are in there with them, coplaying or play-by-play coaching. Few take it half-easy on the perimeter benches, as parents used to do, letting the kids figure things out for themselves.

wimp

Then there are the sanitizing gels, with which over a third of parents now send their kids to school, according to a recent survey. Presumably, parents now worry that school bathrooms are not good enough for their children.

Consider the teacher new to an upscale suburban town. Shuffling through the sheaf of reports certifying the educational “accommodations” he was required to make for many of his history students, he was struck by the exhaustive, well-written—and obviously costly—one on behalf of a girl who was already proving among the most competent of his ninth-graders. “She’s somewhat neurotic,” he confides, “but she is bright, organized and conscientious—the type who’d get to school to turn in a paper on time, even if she were dying of stomach flu.” He finally found the disability he was to make allowances for: difficulty with Gestalt thinking. The 13-year-old “couldn’t see the big picture.” That cleverly devised defect (what 13-year-old can construct the big picture?) would allow her to take all her tests untimed, especially the big one at the end of the rainbow, the college-worthy SAT.

Behold the wholly sanitized childhood, without skinned knees or the occasional C in history. “Kids need to feel badly sometimes,” says child psychologist David Elkind, professor at Tufts University. “We learn through experience and we learn through bad experiences. Through failure we learn how to cope.”

Messing up, however, even in the playground, is wildly out of style. Although error and experimentation are the true mothers of success, parents are taking pains to remove failure from the equation…

Article continues at Psychology Today.

gyldenlove
03-03-2011, 12:41 PM
http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-02-historians-longer-alchemy-occult.html

Why many historians no longer see alchemy as an occult practice

No, wizards have not learned how to transmute lead into gold and they haven't found any rejuvenating elixir of life. But the scholars who write the history of science and technology no longer lump alchemy in with witchcraft as a pseudo-science.

Instead they see alchemy as the proper precursor to modern chemistry.

The modern word "alchemy" comes from the Arabic word "al kemia," which incorporated a spectrum of knowledge of chemical properties and practices from ancient times.

Chemist and historian Lawrence Principe of Johns Hopkins University in Maryland believes that the hardworking alchemists of the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance, a period stretching across the 14th to the 17th centuries, were defamed by being lumped in with charlatans of the 19th century, quacks that were often depicted wearing eccentric costumes and casting spells.

"We're in an alchemical revolution," said Principe during a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in February. Principe said that just in the past 30 years articles about alchemy were being accepted into Isis, one of the leading journals devoted to the history of science. Before that a prohibition on alchemical subjects had been in place.

As with anything else it is dangerous to lump a large group of people into a bin under one lable and assume they are all the same. Alchemy was to some extend a forebearer of modern science, it was a somewhat systematic approach to trying new things, the goal and the intentions were not always honorable, but certainly it was not without importance.

I believe there are 2 reasons why alchemy has been getting a bad rep, one is that it is often simplified as the hunt for turning base metals into gold which is only possible with high powered particle accelerators, and the other I believe is that at the time there were strong religious and political forces trying to eliminate or control any endevour that challenged nature or the status quo.

The seredipitous discovery of phosphorous is a great example of something that was essentially alchemy.

gyldenlove
03-03-2011, 07:36 PM
http://www.disinfo.com/2011/03/21st-century-youths-a-nation-of-wimps/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+disinfo%2FoMPh+%28Disinformat ion%29&utm_content=Twitter

21st Century Youths: A Nation of Wimps

Posted by BananaFamine on March 3, 2011

Hara Estroff Marano writes for Psychology Today:

Maybe it’s the cyclist in the park, trim under his sleek metallic blue helmet, cruising along the dirt path… at three miles an hour. On his tricycle.

Or perhaps it’s today’s playground, all-rubber-cushioned surface where kids used to skin their knees. And… wait a minute… those aren’t little kids playing. Their mommies—and especially their daddies—are in there with them, coplaying or play-by-play coaching. Few take it half-easy on the perimeter benches, as parents used to do, letting the kids figure things out for themselves.

wimp

Then there are the sanitizing gels, with which over a third of parents now send their kids to school, according to a recent survey. Presumably, parents now worry that school bathrooms are not good enough for their children.

Consider the teacher new to an upscale suburban town. Shuffling through the sheaf of reports certifying the educational “accommodations” he was required to make for many of his history students, he was struck by the exhaustive, well-written—and obviously costly—one on behalf of a girl who was already proving among the most competent of his ninth-graders. “She’s somewhat neurotic,” he confides, “but she is bright, organized and conscientious—the type who’d get to school to turn in a paper on time, even if she were dying of stomach flu.” He finally found the disability he was to make allowances for: difficulty with Gestalt thinking. The 13-year-old “couldn’t see the big picture.” That cleverly devised defect (what 13-year-old can construct the big picture?) would allow her to take all her tests untimed, especially the big one at the end of the rainbow, the college-worthy SAT.

Behold the wholly sanitized childhood, without skinned knees or the occasional C in history. “Kids need to feel badly sometimes,” says child psychologist David Elkind, professor at Tufts University. “We learn through experience and we learn through bad experiences. Through failure we learn how to cope.”

Messing up, however, even in the playground, is wildly out of style. Although error and experimentation are the true mothers of success, parents are taking pains to remove failure from the equation…

Article continues at Psychology Today.

This is why colleges today are overrun by idiots whose lack of work ethic and intellectual ability is made up for by an overinflated sense of entitlement.

If it wasn't for the risk of having to go through an entire and time consuming review process and endless meetings I would institute a policy that every time a grade got challenged and the challenge was incorrect they would an amount of marks equal to what they challenged. If you challenge -5% on an assignenment and you are incorrect you lose extra 5%.

alkemical
03-04-2011, 11:07 PM
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/03/energy-markwest-compressor-idUSN0319967720110303?feedType=RSS&feedName=rbssEnergyNews&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+reuters%2FUSenergyNews+%28New s+%2F+US+%2F+Energy%29

Thu Mar 3, 2011 12:52pm EST

NEW YORK, March 3 (Reuters) - A natural gas compressor
station in southwestern Pennsylvania was returned to service by
early Thursday after the station caught fire on Tuesday, a
spokesman for MarkWest Energy (MWE.N) said.

There were no injuries from the incident and the company
and state officials did not expect there was any evidence of
environmental damage.

The outage briefly impacted gas producer customers that are
serviced from the station, the spokesman said.
(Reporting by Eileen Moustakis;editing by Sofina Mirza-Reid)

I just watched "Gasland".

A very eye opening, saddening, apalling..Watching people's tap water catch fire was surreal.

alkemical
03-07-2011, 02:23 PM
This is why colleges today are overrun by idiots whose lack of work ethic and intellectual ability is made up for by an overinflated sense of entitlement.

If it wasn't for the risk of having to go through an entire and time consuming review process and endless meetings I would institute a policy that every time a grade got challenged and the challenge was incorrect they would an amount of marks equal to what they challenged. If you challenge -5% on an assignenment and you are incorrect you lose extra 5%.

I agree with that. Ownership.... How do you teach ownership in a disposable culture?

alkemical
03-07-2011, 02:24 PM
http://www.stealthisknowledge.com/free-thinking-mental-illness/

Is nonconformity and freethinking a mental illness? According to the newest addition of the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), it certainly is. The manual identifies a new mental illness called “oppositional defiant disorder” or ODD. Defined as an “ongoing pattern of disobedient, hostile and defiant behavior,” symptoms include questioning authority, negativity, defiance, argumentativeness, and being easily annoyed.

The DSM-IV is the manual used by psychiatrists to diagnose mental illnesses and, with each new edition, there are scores of new mental illnesses. Are we becoming sicker? Is it getting harder to be mentally healthy? Authors of the DSM-IV say that it’s because they’re better able to identify these illnesses today. Critics charge that it’s because they have too much time on their hands.

New mental illnesses identified by the DSM-IV include arrogance, narcissism, above-average creativity, cynicism, and antisocial behavior. In the past, these were called “personality traits,” but now they’re diseases.

And there are treatments available.

All of this is a symptom of our over-diagnosing and overmedicating culture. In the last 50 years, the DSM-IV has gone from 130 to 357 mental illnesses. A majority of these illnesses afflict children. Although the manual is an important diagnostic tool for the psychiatric industry, it has also been responsible for social changes. The rise in ADD, bipolar disorder, and depression in children has been largely because of the manual’s identifying certain behaviors as symptoms. A Washington Post article observed that, if Mozart were born today, he would be diagnosed with ADD and “medicated into barren normality.”

According to the DSM-IV, the diagnosis guidelines for identifying oppositional defiant disorder are for children, but adults can just as easily suffer from the disease. This should give any freethinking American reason for worry.

alkemical
03-08-2011, 06:22 AM
http://scienceblogs.com/neurophilosophy/2011/03/artificial_nerve_grafts_made_from_spider_silk.php? utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+scienceblogs%2FYsBw+%28Neurop hilosophy%29

Artificial nerve grafts made from spider silk

In the new study, Vogt's group dissected 6cm lengths from the small veins in pigs' legs, washed them and stripped away most of the endothelial cells from their inner walls. They then harvested dragline silk from the golden silk spider Nephila clavipes and pulled the silk through the de-cellularized veins, until it filled about one quarter of their diameter. Using adult sheep, the researchers removed a 6cm length of the tibial nerve in the leg. In one group of animals, the gap was bridged with the spider silk constructs; in another, the section of nerve that had been removed was replaced in reverse orientation.

Defects in the animals' gait became apparent immediately after the surgery - the hind limb was partially paralyzed and flexed abnormally. But within three weeks there was a significant improvement, with both groups of animals being able to stand properly. By four months, the animals could stand upright on both hind limbs, the hind limbs moved in co-ordination with one another during walking, and there was no obvious difference in strength between the operated and unoperated limbs.

Ten months after surgery, the sheep were killed and their regenerated nerves examined under the microscope. In both groups of animals, the severed nerve fibres had regrown into the nerve grafts to bridge the 6cm gap; Schwann cells had migrated into the grafts and wrapped themselves around the entire length of the regenerated nerves; and the sodium channels required for generating nerve impulses were distributed irregularly along the fibres. This shows that myelination had occurred properly, with the formation of Nodes of Ranvier, the regular gaps in the myelin sheath at which the sodium channels normally cluster. No trace of residual spider silk was detected in the experimental animals, and there was no sign of inflammation at the repair site, indicating that the silk fibres were absorbed subtly without adverse effects.

These findings could have important applications in reconstructive nerve surgery. This is the first time that a large animal model has been used to study nerve regeneration, and the study is the first in which a defect longer than 2cm in length has been successfully repaired. The spider silk constructs enhanced nerve regeneration at least as effectively as the sheeps' own nerves, and would be advantageous in the clinic, because transplanting large lengths of a patient's own nerves is unfeasible.

Kaylore
03-08-2011, 08:03 AM
http://www.kurzweilai.net/quantum-antennas-enable-exchange-of-quantum-information-between-two-memory-cells

‘Quantum antennas’ enable exchange of quantum information between two memory cells

An Austrian research group led by physicist Rainer Blatt suggests a fundamentally novel architecture for quantum computation. They have experimentally demonstrated quantum antennas, which enable the exchange of quantum information between two separate memory cells located on a computer chip. This offers new opportunities to build practical quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the scientific journal Nature.

Six years ago scientists at the University of Innsbruck realized the first quantum byte — a quantum computer with eight entangled quantum particles; a record that still stands. “Nevertheless, to make practical use of a quantum computer that performs calculations, we need a lot more quantum bits,” says Prof. Rainer Blatt, who, with his research team at the Institute for Experimental Physics, created the first quantum byte in an electromagnetic ion trap. “In these traps we cannot string together large numbers of ions and control them simultaneously.”

To solve this problem, the scientists have started to design a quantum computer based on a system of many small registers, which have to be linked. To achieve this, Innsbruck quantum physicists have now developed a revolutionary approach based on a concept formulated by theoretical physicists Ignacio Cirac and Peter Zoller. In their experiment, the physicists electromagnetically coupled two groups of ions over a distance of about 50 micrometers. Here, the motion of the particles serves as an antenna.

“The particles oscillate like electrons in the poles of a TV antenna and thereby generate an electromagnetic field,” explains Blatt. “If one antenna is tuned to the other one, the receiving end picks up the signal of the sender, which results in coupling.” The energy exchange taking place in this process could be the basis for fundamental computing operations of a quantum computer.

Quantum computing is going to be groundbreaking. Theoretically you could move the second particle to the other side of the universe and have a "live feed" by using their movement to send a signal.

alkemical
03-08-2011, 08:09 AM
Quantum computing is going to be groundbreaking. Theoretically you could move the second particle to the other side of the universe and have a "live feed" by using their movement to send a signal.

http://www.kurzweilai.net/new-magnetic-resonance-technique-could-revolutionise-quantum-computing

New Magnetic Resonance Technique Could Revolutionise Quantum Computing
March 8, 2011

Source: The physics ArXiv blog — Mar 7, 2011
[+]

Graphic: M.S. Grinolds et al.

Harvard University scientists have develop a miniaturized MRI device that could lead to large-scale quantum computers.

The did it by placing a powerful magnet at the scanning tip of an atomic force microscope to create a powerful magnetic field gradient in a volume of space just a few nanometers across. That allows them to stimulate and control the magnetic resonance of single electrons in a way that could easily be adapted for quantum computation.

Ref: arxiv.org/abs/1103.0546: Quantum Control Of Proximal Spins Using Nanoscale Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Read original article

alkemical
03-08-2011, 08:11 AM
http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=you-can-increase-your-intelligence-2011-03-07

You can increase your intelligence: 5 ways to maximize your cognitive potential

alkemical
03-08-2011, 08:45 AM
http://gizmodo.com/#!5777888/ibm-patents-hal+like-computer-system-for-stuffed-animals

IBM Patents HAL-Like Computer System for Stuffed Animals

alkemical
03-08-2011, 09:00 AM
http://www.disinfo.com/2011/03/corporations-versus-individuals-the-end-of-the-leftright-paradigm/

Corporations Versus Individuals: The End of the Left/Right Paradigm


http://disinfo.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/500px-Political_spectrum_graphic.svg-300x300.png

Looks like the New World Order isn’t going to be a global Big Socialist Government (unless, perhaps, you count corporate socialism). Barry Ritholtz wrote in September of last year:

Every generation or so, a major secular shift takes place that shakes up the existing paradigm. It happens in industry, finance, literature, sports, manufacturing, technology, entertainment, travel, communication, etc.

I would like to discuss the paradigm shift that is occurring in politics.

For a long time, American politics has been defined by a Left/Right dynamic. It was Liberals versus Conservatives on a variety of issues. Pro-Life versus Pro-Choice, Tax Cuts vs. More Spending, Pro-War vs Peaceniks, Environmental Protections vs. Economic Growth, Pro-Union vs. Union-Free, Gay Marriage vs. Family Values, School Choice vs. Public Schools, Regulation vs. Free Markets.

The new dynamic, however, has moved past the old Left Right paradigm. We now live in an era defined by increasing Corporate influence and authority over the individual. These two “interest groups” – I can barely suppress snorting derisively over that phrase – have been on a headlong collision course for decades, which came to a head with the financial collapse and bailouts. Where there is massive concentrations of wealth and influence, there will be abuse of power. The Individual has been supplanted in the political process nearly entirely by corporate money, legislative influence, campaign contributions, even free speech rights.

This may not be a brilliant insight, but it is surely an overlooked one. It is now an Individual vs. Corporate debate – and the Humans are losing.

Consider:

• Many of the regulations that govern energy and banking sector were written by Corporations;

• The biggest influence on legislative votes is often Corporate Lobbying;

• Corporate ability to extend copyright far beyond what original protections amounts to a taking of public works for private corporate usage;

• PAC and campaign finance by Corporations has supplanted individual donations to elections;

• The individuals’ right to seek redress in court has been under attack for decades, limiting their options.

• DRM and content protection undercuts the individual’s ability to use purchased content as they see fit;

• Patent protections are continually weakened. Deep pocketed corporations can usurp inventions almost at will;

• The Supreme Court has ruled that Corporations have Free Speech rights equivalent to people; (So much for original intent!)

None of these are Democrat/Republican conflicts, but rather, are corporate vs. individual issues.

For those of you who are stuck in the old Left/Right debate, you are missing the bigger picture. Consider this about the Bailouts: It was a right-winger who bailed out all of the big banks, Fannie Mae, and AIG in the first place; then his left winger successor continued to pour more money into the fire pit.

Read more here. Bunglaow Bill wrote regarding Ritholtz’s article:

It didn’t take long for the light bulb to go off in my head once I got to the third paragraph to see truth in his article. The first and obvious is the recent bailouts, which included the bailouts to General Motors and Chrysler. The American people were sold on the bailouts being essential to save American jobs; perhaps there is some truth to that. However, it wasn’t long after the bailouts when GM began the talk of closing down American factories and building factories in China, Mexico, and Korea.

Left vs. Right became in government terms corporations vs. individuals. There was no guarantees in the bailouts, nothing that forced automakers to invest in our country. It was just easy money thrown their way at the expense of the taxpayer to make up for their bad corporate decisions.

We see it in the biotech business. I hate to say this, but I see the same thing developing thanks to a bad decision by our Supreme Court that allows corporations to patent life. This has led to Monsanto and other corporations taking over the nation’s food supply by forcing farmers to use genetically modified seeds thanks to pollen that contaminates farmers fields who worked hard to provide a healthy alternative to GMO foods. Innocent farmers are being taken down the river because surrounding farmers planted Monsanto seeds and the wind blew the pollen in their direction. Once the pollen mixes with a pure field, Monsanto sends it’s lawyers ready to make honest family farmers pay up for patent infringement.

Monsanto sends their Monsanto police teams onto private property spraying Round Up in non-Monstanto fields to see if the corn dies or not. If it doesn’t die, Monsanto then accuses farmers of the unauthorized use of their seeds. The problem, like I said, may revolved around the wind cross pollinating with a Monsanto GMO field.

Farmers are losing everything they have worked for all their lives over this practice. I think it’s wrong.

From 2001 on, it seems like Republicans became moderate liberal Democrats–ready to spend money and grow government. While Americans are angry at Democrats for threatening more Constitutional rights, it’s hard not to point out the Republicans set all of this up with the Patriot Act. We have known for more than a year, Obama wants to increase the power the Patriot Act gave the government to track people.

Read more at Bungalow Bill’s Conservative Wisdom.

alkemical
03-08-2011, 11:09 AM
I personally think 3D printing is a tool we can use to compete with China:

http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/onepercent/2011/03/jacob-aron-technology-reporter.html

http://gizmodo.com/#!5779365/3d+printed-airbike-is-as-strong-as-your-aluminium-bike

alkemical
03-09-2011, 06:40 AM
http://inhabitat.com/samsung-unveils-solar-powered-zero-energy-transparent-tv/

Lea Bogdan
Samsung Unveils Solar-Powered Zero Energy Transparent TV

<img src="http://inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2011/03/samsung_lcd2-537x402.jpg">

alkemical
03-09-2011, 07:12 AM
http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_17553507

"Farm" owners

Tom Cruise
Actor
Property: Five parcels of land on a mesa northwest of Telluride, about 248 acres in a region of high-end vacation homes
Property tax: $400

Gail Schwartz
State senator
Property: 15.4 acres of partially irrigated meadowland near Basalt
Property tax: $54.52

Charlie Ergen
Media mogul
Property: The Enchanted Mesa Ranch, nearly 600 acres near Ridgway
Property tax: $3,185

Walker Stapleton
Treasurer
Property: 180 acres near Castle Rock
Property tax: $116

Klaus Obermeyer
Ski pioneer
Property: 3.2 acres along a road that parallels Colorado 82 near Basalt
Property tax: $27.80

Goldie Hawn
Actor
Property: 34.56 acres and a 2,700- square-foot home that adjoins Kurt Russell's property with two residences
Property tax: $2,873

Read more: In Colorado, some famous faces, names get ag-land tax breaks, too - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_17553507#ixzz1G7DeaRvy
Read The Denver Post's Terms of Use of its content: http://www.denverpost.com/termsofuse

alkemical
03-09-2011, 07:19 AM
http://www.blacklistednews.com/index.php?news_id=12979

Breaking: Newly Obtained Homeland Security Documents Reveal Radical Shift In Internet Policy
Published on 03-08-2011 Email To Friend Print Version
Share |

Source: Demand Progress

Brian McCarthy ran a website, channelsurfing.net, that linked to various sites where you could watch online streams of TV shows and sports networks. A couple months ago, the government seized his domain name and on Friday they arrested him and charged him with criminal copyright infringement -- punishable by five years in prison.

We just obtained a copy of the complaint (below) that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) made against him -- and they don't even allege that he made a copy of anything! Just that he ran what they call a "linking website" which linked to various sites with copyrighted material. Under that sort of thinking, everyone who's sent around a link to a copyrighted YouTube video is a criminal.

This is another shocking overreach by DHS and ICE -- a steamship-era department that's proving once again that it doesn't understand the Internet. We need to push back -- and fast -- before they try to lock up more Americans.

PETITION TO JANET NAPOLITANO, DIRECTOR OF HOMELAND SECURITY, AND JOHN MORTON, DIRECTOR OF IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT: There's nothing wrong or illegal about posting a link to a website. This is another shocking overreach by ICE: You need to drop the charges against Brian McCarthy right away.

SIGN THE PETITION HERE: we'll deliver the petition to DHS and ICE later this month.

alkemical
03-09-2011, 07:25 AM
http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=you-can-increase-your-intelligence-2011-03-07

You can increase your intelligence: 5 ways to maximize your cognitive potential

http://technoccult.net/archives/2011/03/08/6-ways-to-amplify-your-intelligence/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Technoccult+%28Technoccult%29

7 Ways to Amplify Your Intelligence

Kuszewski’s list:

1. Seek Novelty – “People who rate high on Openness are constantly seeking new information, new activities to engage in, new things to learn—new experiences in general.”

2. Challenge Yourself – “Individual brain training games don’t make you smarter—they make you more proficient at the brain training games,” Kuszewski writes. “Once you master one of those cognitive activities in the brain-training game, you need to move on to the next challenging activity. Figure out how to play Sudoku? Great! Now move along to the next type of challenging game.” (Previous Technoccult coverage)

3. Think Creatively – “Contrary to popular belief, creative thinking does not equal ‘thinking with the right side of your brain.’ It involves recruitment from both halves of your brain, not just the right.” (Previous coverage)

4. Do Things the Hard Way “There are times when using technology is warranted and necessary. But there are times when it’s better to say no to shortcuts and use your brain, as long as you can afford the luxury of time and energy.”

5. Network “By networking with other people—either through social media such as Facebook or Twitter, or in face-to-face interactions—you are exposing yourself to the kinds of situations that are going to make objectives 1-4 much easier to achieve.” (Previous coverage)

alkemical
03-09-2011, 07:28 AM
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/series/untangling-the-web-with-aleks-krotoski

The Guardian has an excellent ongoing series called ‘Untangling the Web’ that examines the social psychology of the internet and how it affects our lives.

Written by social psychologist Aleks Krotoski it’s looked at everything from what effect the internet has had on out sex lives to how it has affected hate campaigns.

Rarely predicable and always informative the series is well worth keeping an eye on, with the latest column on disability being particularly good.

alkemical
03-09-2011, 07:34 AM
http://wrongwaywizard.blogspot.com/2011/03/comet-elenin-closer-look-at-image.html


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypercube


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/55/Tesseract.gif/75px-Tesseract.gif



http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2060/2231999052_468f023cf5_o.jpg

alkemical
03-09-2011, 08:59 AM
http://www.space.com/11038-china-suns-video-unexplained.html

China's 'Two Suns' Video Unexplained By Science

http://i.space.com/images/i/8482/i02/two-suns-china-02.jpg?1299282564

To check whether more has been learned about the double sun effect since the time of Minnaert's writing, Life's Little Mysteries consulted several atmospheric optics experts. None of them had ever seen anything quite like the effect shown in the video.

"This is not a common optical phenomenon that we're seeing here," said Grant Perry, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Institute for Satellite and Meteorological Studies. "I'm asking myself if this is an artifact of the lens, but if that were the case – if it's reflections of the lens elements – then the images would move in relation to each other as the camera moves," Perry said. "But that doesn't happen."

In terms of an optical explanation, he said, "You would have to assume it is particles of ice or something in the atmosphere aligned in such a way that they would refract the sunlight at that very small angle, but only in one direction. It would require some fairly peculiar characteristics."

Several related atmospheric optical effects are fully explained by science. Sun dogs, sunset mirages, sun pillars and sun halos are all relatively common and well understood. But not this effect.

"It's very intriguing," said Kaler.

alkemical
03-09-2011, 02:02 PM
http://bigthink.com/ideas/31550?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+bigthink%2Fmain+%28Big+Think+ Main%29

How Women Are Changing the Web
Dominic Basulto on March 8, 2011, 12:24 AM
Laptop_girl

If the Web had a gender, it would be female. There, I've said it. Despite all the traditional indicators typically cited - such as the declining number of women signing up for computer science majors at our nation's universities or the relatively small number of female tech CEOs - the future of the Web is largely being determined by women, and it's not just a matter of demographics. Yes, women now account for more than 50% of the workforce for the first time ever, but the way we think about and use the Web is also changing.

The Web is less about coding and programming, and more about design and aesthetics. Just a few years ago, go-to destinations on the Internet for Web designers would have included sites like Slashdot; now they also include sites like Swiss Miss and Core 77. As a result, typical surveys that examine the number of people in Internet-related fields are likely under-counting the number of women. When it comes to the Web, roles like "social media strategist" and "community manager" are just as likely to be women as men.

alkemical
03-10-2011, 07:05 AM
People don't understand Cognitive Liberty:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_liberty

Cognitive liberty is the freedom to be the absolute sovereignty of the individual’s own consciousness. It is an extension of the concepts of freedom of thought and self-ownership.[citation needed]

The American nonprofit Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics, founded and directed by neuroethicist Dr. Wrye Sententia and legal theorist Richard Glen Boire, defines cognitive liberty as "the right of each individual to think independently and autonomously, to use the full spectrum of his or her mind, and to engage in multiple modes of thought."[1]


___


Now, I don't want to get into the politics regarding their stance on the freedom of/from drugs, but i'll drop some knowledge here so it's disclosed:

An individual who enjoys cognitive liberty is free to alter the state of their consciousness using any method they choose, including but not limited to meditation, yoga, psychoactive drugs, prayer and so on. Such an individual would also never be forced to change their consciousness against their will. So, for example, a child who is forced to consume Ritalin as a prerequisite for attending public school, does not enjoy cognitive liberty, nor does an individual who is forced to take anti-psychotics in order to be fit to stand trial, nor an individual who faces criminal charges and punishment for changing the state of their consciousness by consuming a mind-altering drug, although other explanations for criminalization of some drugs do not fit this argument.[citation needed]

We're playing with half a deck as long as we tolerate that the cardinals of government and science should dictate where human curiosity can legitimately send its attention and where it can not. It's an essentially preposterous situation. It is essentially a civil rights issue, because what we're talking about here is the repression of a religious sensibility. In fact, not a religious sensibility, the religious sensibility.
—American freethinker Terence McKenna in: Non-Ordinary States Through Vision Plants, Sound Photosynthesis, Mill Valley CA., 1988, ISBN 1-569-64709-7

American psychologist and writer Timothy Leary has summarized this concept by postulating two “new commandments for the molecular age”:

* Thou shalt not alter the consciousness of thy fellow men.
* Thou shalt not prevent thy fellow man from changing his or her own consciousness.[2]


Now, why isn't the "mind" free? Why is "thought" bought and paid for? What sort of discussion on ethics needs done?

Knowledgenugget:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuroethics

Neuroethics is the ethics of neuroscience, and the neuroscience of ethics.[1]

The ethics of neuroscience deals with matters as a subclass of bioethics. Examples include the issue of mind control via the administration of psychopharmaceuticals substances, such as whether or not to give mind altering drugs to an autistic person to make them more "normal",[2] or the ethics of brain surgery such as performing an anterior commissurotomy to control epilepsy,[3] a consequentialist moral anthropologist considering the consequences of Mayan brain surgery, or a politician considering the ethics of war and the use of brainwashing techniques,[4] or the ethics of speech writing to control the mind of a crowd.[4]

The neuroscience of ethics deals with questions of moral development in the child, as in work of Piaget in the 20th century, or more modern theories of free will that derive from evolutionary theories and molecular biology.[5]

The origin of the term "neuroethics" has occupied some writers. Rees and Rose (as cited in "References" on page 9) claim neuroethics is a neologism that emerged only at the beginning of the 21st century, largely through the oral and written communications of ethicists and philosophers. They state that neuroethics addresses concerns about the effects that neuroscience and neurotechnology will have on other aspects of human life, specifically personal responsibility, law, and justice. Further, they claim that neuroethical problems will become real by the 2020s.

Adina Roskies identified two major divisions in neuroethics: the ethics of neuroscience and the neuroscience of ethics.[6] Research falling under the first area, the ethics of neuroscience, is focused on the ethics of practice of neuroscience and "the implications of our mechanistic understanding of brain function for society... integrating neuroscientific knowledge with ethical and social thought". The neuroscience of ethics borrows from the field of neurophilosophy and examines the neurological foundations of moral cognition.[6]

So what does the DSM now have to say:

http://www.stealthisknowledge.com/free-thinking-mental-illness/

Is nonconformity and freethinking a mental illness? According to the newest addition of the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), it certainly is. The manual identifies a new mental illness called “oppositional defiant disorder” or ODD. Defined as an “ongoing pattern of disobedient, hostile and defiant behavior,” symptoms include questioning authority, negativity, defiance, argumentativeness, and being easily annoyed.

The DSM-IV is the manual used by psychiatrists to diagnose mental illnesses and, with each new edition, there are scores of new mental illnesses. Are we becoming sicker? Is it getting harder to be mentally healthy? Authors of the DSM-IV say that it’s because they’re better able to identify these illnesses today. Critics charge that it’s because they have too much time on their hands.

New mental illnesses identified by the DSM-IV include arrogance, narcissism, above-average creativity, cynicism, and antisocial behavior. In the past, these were called “personality traits,” but now they’re diseases.

And there are treatments available.

All of this is a symptom of our over-diagnosing and overmedicating culture. In the last 50 years, the DSM-IV has gone from 130 to 357 mental illnesses. A majority of these illnesses afflict children. Although the manual is an important diagnostic tool for the psychiatric industry, it has also been responsible for social changes. The rise in ADD, bipolar disorder, and depression in children has been largely because of the manual’s identifying certain behaviors as symptoms. A Washington Post article observed that, if Mozart were born today, he would be diagnosed with ADD and “medicated into barren normality.”

According to the DSM-IV, the diagnosis guidelines for identifying oppositional defiant disorder are for children, but adults can just as easily suffer from the disease. This should give any freethinking American reason for worry.

Although the authors of the manual claim no ulterior motives but simply better diagnostic practices, the labeling of freethinking and nonconformity as mental illnesses has a lot of potential for abuse. It can easily become a weapon in the arsenal of a repressive state.


So....You want to talk about violent rhetoric (http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7243) eh:


House passes the "Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act"

First let’s take a look at the definitions of violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism as defined in Section 899A of the bill.

The definition of violent radicalization uses vague language to define this term of promoting any belief system that the government considers to be an extremist agenda. Since the bill doesn’t specifically define what an extremist belief system is, it is entirely up to the interpretation of the government. Considering how much the government has done to destroy the Constitution they could even define Ron Paul supporters as promoting an extremist belief system. Literally, the government according to this definition can define whatever they want as an extremist belief system. Essentially they have defined violent radicalization as thought crime. The definition as defined in the bill is shown below.

`(2) VIOLENT RADICALIZATION- The term `violent radicalization' means the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change.

The definition of homegrown terrorism uses equally vague language to further define thought crime. The bill includes the planned use of force or violence as homegrown terrorism which could be interpreted as thinking about using force or violence. Not only that but the definition is so vaguely defined, that petty crimes could even fall into the category of homegrown terrorism. The definition as defined in the bill is shown below.


So we have a war on Cognitive liberty, THOUGHT...FREE THOUGHT. What happens as this new language (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newspeak) that is defined by "The State". So now we have a virus of thought that is propagating it's way through out brains that consume this message.

We've seen VNR's used by the Executive Branch (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_news_release), and we know that a % of callers to "talk radio" shows are paid propaganda (http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CB8QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fboingboing.net%2F2011%2F03%2F07%2 Fglenn-becks-syndicat.html&rct=j&q=glenn%20beck%20astroturf&ei=juB4TdatOsGY0QG09LD0Aw&usg=AFQjCNE4dUtyUex6fe_nbhimIr5o30szyA&sig2=HfSWuncmzoinUZb7OliVHQ&cad=rja).

Which brings up propaganda techniques (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Propaganda_techniques):

Rhetorical Techniques

During the period between World Wars I and II, the now-defunct Institute for Propaganda Analysis (IPA) developed a list of common rhetorical techniques used for propaganda purposes. Their list included the following:

* doublespeak
* fear
* glittering generalities
* name-calling

Other Techniques / Terms

* ad hominem
* apologise
* astroturf
* bad science
* bait and switch
* big lie
* buzz
* buzzwords
* comic books
* concision
* controlling the message
* demonizing the opposition
* disinformation
* divide and conquer
* echo chamber
* front group
* greenwashing
* guerrilla marketing
* junk science
* misinformation
* photographic manipulation
* policy laundering
* politics of personal destruction
* Political Code Words
* product placement
* providing pictures
* Public Service Announcments
* push poll
* quoting out of context
* release of forged documents
* repetition
* straw man
* swiftboating
* using celebrities
* talking points
* vagueness
* video news releases
* viral marketing (word of mouth)



Most people base their arguments on "something they heard/saw/read/etc", this is "Argument from Authority" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_authority):

Examples of appeals to authority
[edit] Arguments

* Referring to the philosophical beliefs of Aristotle: "If Aristotle said it was so, it is so."
* Referring to a famous text or work: "Democracy in America criticized American political party division, so we ought to promote bipartisanship."
* Quoting a well-known personage: "As Samuel Johnson said, patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel." Implying that, therefore, patriotism is always bad. (The term "patriot" was used at the time by radical followers of John Wilkes, whom the conservative Johnson opposed); or "There is no need to critically examine Plan A because [person's name] is in favour of it, and [person's name] is [experienced, knowledgeable, respected] in this field."
* Referring to what one is told by one's teacher and/or parent: "My teacher said so, therefore it must be so."
* Believing something because it is attributed to an honored profession, as in: "This doctor recommends (brand-name) aspirin" or "Bankers recommend that people have six months' wages in a savings account".
* Appealing to some reference or citation from a famous book or author without considering the actual truth of the citation. References in no way ensure, without any doubt, that the claim is true. References simply show where the information or claim possibly originated and to avoid plagiarism.
* Appeals to various well known opinion poll firms that are assumed to have collected the best data from a large enough sample, and that there were no leading questions.

[edit] The nature of the fallacy

An appeal to authority cannot guarantee the truth of the conclusion, given the nature of truth and the Consensus theory of truth, because the fact that an authority says something does not necessarily make it so. The fact that, objectively, a proposition is in fact true or that it has good unrelated arguments supporting it will be what makes authorities believe it to be true. The fallacy comes in when the opposite situation occurs, with authority opinions leading to the belief itself. Thus, an appeal to authority confuses cause and effect.

As with all logical fallacies, the fact that an argument is an appeal to authority does not make its conclusion untrue (this line of thought is sometimes known as the logical fallacy fallacy) and does not make it unreasonable to believe the truth of the argument. It also must be noted that a rigorous concept of truth is a complex subject. In informal logic, the fact that a majority of experts in a given field believe X—for example, the fact that nearly all medical scientists think that HIV causes AIDS and reject AIDS denialism—makes it more reasonable for a person without knowledge in the field to believe X.

The bandwagon fallacy is very similar to the appeal to authority, given that it—with popular opinion being cited in support of an idea rather than popular opinion coming to believe an idea based on the idea's own inherent truth—confuses cause and effect in the same way. In normal conversation, these two fallacies frequently intermingle. For example, consider the statement: "Basically everyone, economic experts included, supports the financial bailout and so must I."


So when people argue via Authority, they are only advertising. They aren't thinking for themselves...but the trick is...THEY DON'T EVEN KNOW IT. That's the rub, they are made to think they thought it.

How does this work? Faith & Trust. They feel that their source for information is TRUSTED. They don't look at their source's agenda, or what profit is to be gained.

How can you have a conversation with someone who is only waiting to repeat the same message over and over again...?

Let's ask Newt (http://www.skilluminati.com/research/entry/newt_gingrich_on_using_language_for_social_control/)!

NOTE: this is all verbatim from GOP documents

As you know, one of the key points in the GOPAC tapes is that "language matters." In the video "We Are a Majority," Language is listed as a key mechanism of control used by a majority party, along with Agenda, Rules, Attitude and Learning. As the tapes have been used in training sessions across the country and mailed to candidates, we have heard a plaintive plea: "I wish I could speak like Newt."

That takes years of practice. But we believe that you could have a significant impact on your campaign and the way you communicate if we help a little. That is why we have created this list of words and phrases.

This list is prepared so that you might have a directory of words to use in writing literature and mail, in preparing speeches, and in producing electronic media. The words and phrases are powerful. Read them. Memorize as many as possible. And remember that, like any tool, these words will not help if they are not used....

...third time I've said that. (Laughter.) I'll probably say it three more times. See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda. (Applause.)

--source link

image
Contrasting Words

Often we search hard for words to help us define our opponents. Sometimes we are hesitant to use contrast. Remember that creating a difference helps you. These are powerful words that can create a clear and easily understood contrast. Apply these to the opponent, their record, proposals and their party.

decay... failure (fail)... collapse(ing)... deeper... crisis... urgent(cy)... destructive... destroy... sick... pathetic... lie... liberal... they/them... unionized bureaucracy... "compassion" is not enough... betray... consequences... limit(s)... shallow... traitors... sensationalists...

endanger... coercion... hypocrisy... radical... threaten... devour... waste... corruption... incompetent... permissive attitudes... destructive... impose... self-serving... greed... ideological... insecure... anti-(issue): flag, family, child, jobs... pessimistic... excuses... intolerant...

stagnation... welfare... corrupt... selfish... insensitive... status quo... mandate(s)... taxes... spend(ing)... shame... disgrace... punish (poor...)... bizarre... cynicism... cheat... steal... abuse of power... machine... bosses... obsolete... criminal rights... red tape... patronage

"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country."

"If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, it is now possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing it."

-- Edward Bernays

alkemical
03-10-2011, 12:46 PM
http://hackaday.com/2011/03/10/youll-shoot-your-eye-out-with-a-1mw-laser-pulse-pistol/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+hackaday%2FLgoM+%28Hack+a+Day %29

You’ll shoot your eye out…with a 1MW laser pulse pistol

G.I. Joe used them to battle Cobra’s evil forces. Han solo shot his first in the Mos Eisley Cantina. For years, hand-held pulse laser guns have been something that existed only in the realm of cartoons and movies…until now.

German hacker [Patrick Priebe] recently constructed a laser pulse gun that looks so good, it could have easily come off a Hollywood movie set. Its sleek white and black exterior adds intrigue, but offers little warning as to how powerful the gun actually is.

Fitted with a Q-switched Nd:YAG laser, it fires off a 1 MW blast of infrared light once the capacitors have fully charged. The duration of the laser pulse is somewhere near 100ns, so he was unable to catch it on camera, but its effects are easily visible in whatever medium he has fired upon. The laser can burst balloons, shoot through plastic, and even blow a hole right through a razor blade.

[Patrick] says that he is more than happy to help out anyone looking to source parts and build one for their own use, so what are you waiting for?

Stick around for a quick demo video of the gun in action.

alkemical
03-10-2011, 12:50 PM
http://inhabitat.com/u-s-department-of-energy-announces-new-biofuel-for-the-replacement-of-gasoline/

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has just announced a breakthrough discovery in the world of biofuels. Led by Energy Secretary Steven Chu, the research team headed up by the Department’s BioEnergy Science Center has developed a cost effective method for converting woody plants straight into isobutanol, which can be used in conventional car engines like gasoline. The new discovery will not only provide a feasible and important alternative to oil, but have potential to create a considerable amount of new jobs in rural parts of the country.

Non-edible woody plant matter is the focus material for the biofuel endeavor, and scientists have been on the hunt for a cost effective way to break down the cellulose to obtain the soft innards which could be used for fuel. Scientists have now pinpointed a microbe, the Clostridium celluloyticum, able to process the cellulose. The same microbes have also been proven effective in cleaning up polluted sites, powering fuel cells, and even transforming wastewater into bioplastic. The new super microbe is also able to break down plant matter and produce isobutanol in one relatively inexpensive step, as compared to conventional biofuel production which requires a multi-stage process using various microbes that complete different functions.

In his announcement Chu also pointed out that biofuel production has the potential to create new jobs in rural parts of the country by putting more farmland into production. But it is worth noting that the DOE’s new isobutanol process does not necessarily rely on new agricultural – apart from cultivated biofuel crops, the mircrobes can also process woody waste from other crops including wheat and rice straw, corn stover, and lumber waste. It is the handling, transporting and refining of the wate that could potentially generate new jobs.

alkemical
03-10-2011, 01:19 PM
http://www.humpjones.com/rear/entry/banksy_pure_****ing_truth/

Banksy = Pure ****ing Truth

Posted Mar 10, 2011
...DON’T EVER ASK ME IF I WROTE THIS.

People are taking the piss out of you everyday. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small. They make flippant comments from buses that imply you’re not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate. They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it. They are The Advertisers and they are laughing at you.

You, however, are forbidden to touch them. Trademarks, intellectual property rights and copyright law mean advertisers can say what they like wherever they like with total impunity.

**** that. Any advert in public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not, is yours. It’s yours to take, re-arrange and reuse. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head.

You owe the companies nothing. Less than nothing, you especially don’t owe them any courtesy. They owe you. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don’t even start asking for theirs.

alkemical
03-10-2011, 01:59 PM
http://www.blacklistednews.com/index.php?news_id=12989

Company suspends DHS site because of its creepy pedophile content...

Source: The Smoking Gun


http://i.cdn.turner.com/dr/teg/tsg/release/sites/default/files/assets/pthco030811.jpg

In an aggressive bid to entice prospective “sex tourists,” the Department of Homeland Security last year launched an undercover web site that purported to arrange trips from the U.S. to Canada, where clients could engage in sexual activity with minors, The Smoking Gun has learned.

The “Precious Treasure Holiday Company” web site was active until a few weeks ago when its Massachusetts-based web hosting firm removed the site from its servers, apparently in response to a complaint about its content. Now, visitors to precioustreasureholidaycompany.com are greeted with the message, “This site has been suspended.”

After a year online, the DHS undercover site may have fallen victim to its own sleazy, overt come-on. As seen at right, the site’s front page carried three symbols that an FBI intelligence bulletin has identified as being used by pedophiles. Additionally, the site’s acronym, PTHC, is an allusion to “preteen hardcore” pornography. The site’s carefully misspelled motto--“We Help Make Your Fantasy’s Come True!”--also does little to mask its illicit intentions.

An account executive with the hosting firm, who appeared unaware that “Precious Treasure Holiday Company” was a government operation, said that following a site’s suspension an internal investigation is launched. Upon the review’s completion, a site is either reinstated or reminated. The executive, Jason Crawford, added that if a customer’s site is found to contain illicit material like child pornography, the FBI is contacted.

alkemical
03-11-2011, 06:56 AM
References to dumbing down in popular culture

* The 2005 film Idiocracy portrays a society 500 years in the future massively dumbed down by low-IQ people enthusiastically outbreeding the most intelligent parts of society.
* Pop group The Divine Comedy sing about "mindless fluff" on television in their song "Dumb it Down" from their album Regeneration.
* British Anarcho-Folk band Chumbawamba portray culture in the United States as growing increasingly simplistic and mindless in their song Dumbing Down
* American hip hop trio Ugly Duckling lambasts the trend in American discourse of "dumbing down", with their song Dumb It Down.
* American rapper Lupe Fiasco attacks dumbing down lyrics on his song "Dumb It Down" saying "They told me I should come down cousin, but I flatly refuse, I ain't dumbin' down nothing."
* American rapper Jay-Z was quoted on the song "Moment of Clarity" off of his "Black Album" saying, "I dumb down for my audience and double my dollars / they criticize me for it; but they all yell 'holla!'"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dumbing_down

alkemical
03-11-2011, 07:30 AM
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704288304576171251689944350.html

The television is channeling you.

The television is channeling you.

Data-gathering firms and technology companies are aggressively matching people’s TV-viewing behavior with other personal data—in some cases, prescription-drug records obtained from insurers—and using it to help advertisers buy ads targeted to shows watched by certain kinds of people.

At the same time, cable and satellite companies are testing and deploying new systems designed to show households highly targeted ads.

The goal: emulate the sophisticated tracking widely used on people’s personal computers with new technology that reaches the living room.

One of the most advanced companies, Cablevision Systems Corp., has rolled out a system that can show entirely different commercials, in real time, to different households tuned to the same program. It can deliver targeted ads to all the company’s three million subscribers concentrated in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey.

In an early test of Cablevision’s technology, the U.S. Army used it to target four different recruitment ads to different categories of viewers.

baja
03-11-2011, 07:44 AM
http://www.mindmovies.com/mm21/john_assaraf_visualization.php?ol=11&ac=lp560&tv=l&ver=21

alkemical
03-11-2011, 08:28 AM
"I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells."

Dr. Seuss.

baja
03-11-2011, 08:31 AM
You think the law of allowing is nonsense?

baja
03-11-2011, 08:31 AM
It's what makes our reality (dream) what it is or what it isn't

alkemical
03-11-2011, 08:34 AM
You think the law of allowing is nonsense?

Who are you talking too?

alkemical
03-11-2011, 08:34 AM
It's what makes our reality (dream) what it is or what it isn't

Sorry baja - this is where I disagree. You can't out run "destiny".

baja
03-11-2011, 08:38 AM
Sorry baja - this is where I disagree. You can't out run "destiny".

we are here to co create with the 'I Am" our "destiny".

The outer mirrors the inner perfectly.

Like a tree, branches to roots

baja
03-11-2011, 08:39 AM
If you believe in destiny you are living in victim conscientious.

also known as "Original sin"

alkemical
03-11-2011, 08:40 AM
we are here to co create with the 'I Am" our "destiny".

The outer mirrors the inner perfectly.


I think you sometimes forget whom you are talking too.

alkemical
03-11-2011, 08:42 AM
If you believe in destiny you are living in victim conscientious.

also known as "Original sin"

Incorrect. Sorry Baja - but I know lots of people who dream of being rich and they haven't won the lottery yet.

You have much to learn about the laws that govern the "below".

baja
03-11-2011, 09:07 AM
Incorrect. Sorry Baja - but I know lots of people who dream of being rich and they haven't won the lottery yet.

You have much to learn about the laws that govern the "below".

Try this and see what happens.

<iframe title="YouTube video player" width="480" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/AUUrVHlZh-o" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

alkemical
03-11-2011, 09:08 AM
Try this and see what happens.

<iframe title="YouTube video player" width="480" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/AUUrVHlZh-o" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Can't watch vids.

baja
03-11-2011, 09:09 AM
Incorrect. Sorry Baja - but I know lots of people who dream of being rich and they haven't won the lottery yet.

You have much to learn about the laws that govern the "below".

You are missing the law it's not about wishing to win the lottery.

baja
03-11-2011, 09:12 AM
Can't watch vids.

here;

http://www.emofree.com/

alkemical
03-11-2011, 09:12 AM
You are missing the law it's not about wishing to win the lottery.



Oh no, i'm not missing the law. I understand it. It just doesn't apply all the TIME.

alkemical
03-11-2011, 09:14 AM
here;

http://www.emofree.com/

I don't think you know me as well as you think you do.

baja
03-11-2011, 09:19 AM
Oh no, i'm not missing the law. I understand it. It just doesn't apply all the TIME.

It applies all the time that's why it's a "Law" it's immutable. people are creating their reality 100% of the time. This is the great error (original sin)

alkemical
03-11-2011, 09:20 AM
It applies all the time that's why it's a "Law" it's immutable. people are creating their reality 100% of the time. This is the great error (original sin)


I don't think you really know me Baja, not in the least bit at all.

baja
03-11-2011, 09:21 AM
I don't think you know me as well as you think you do.

My posts are not only directed at you.

You are not n Colorado because of limiting beliefs.

alkemical
03-11-2011, 09:21 AM
My posts are not only directed at you.

You are not n Colorado because of limiting beliefs.

Incorrect.

baja
03-11-2011, 09:22 AM
If I wanted to be in Colorado I'd be there.

I have don't these things all my life.

I just made 25 G sitting at my computer

baja
03-11-2011, 09:23 AM
you are a victim of your limiting beliefs and you don't even realize it.

alkemical
03-11-2011, 09:24 AM
If I wanted to be in Colorado I'd be there.

I have don't these things all my life.

I just made 25 G sitting at my computer


Again, you don't want to listen, then we can't have a conversation.

alkemical
03-11-2011, 09:24 AM
you are a victim of your limiting beliefs and you don't even realize it.

Again, you don't want to listen, so we can't have a conversation.

baja
03-11-2011, 09:27 AM
Listen to what, your self limiting stories?

alkemical
03-11-2011, 09:32 AM
Listen to what, your self limiting stories?


It's cool Baja. I hope you have a good day, and maybe one day you and I can have a conversation.

baja
03-11-2011, 09:43 AM
If I were you I'd be pissed too. People do not want to hear they are responsible for their life circumstances.

alkemical
03-11-2011, 09:47 AM
If I were you I'd be pissed too. People do not want to hear they are responsible for their life circumstances.

I have never ducked responsibility, and that's why i'm pissed. You won't LISTEN. You are only hearing what you want to hear.

baja
03-11-2011, 09:58 AM
I have never ducked responsibility, and that's why i'm pissed. You won't LISTEN. You are only hearing what you want to hear.

My point is you create your perceived reality but if you like I will listen to your excuses as to why you are not getting what you think you are projecting.

baja
03-11-2011, 10:37 AM
If you recall we had this same discussion when you claimed forces outside of yourself caused you to "fail" in your quest to establish yourself in Seattle. I like you Josh and I am not attacking you just pointing out you have more control over what life reflects back at you than you currently believe.

alkemical
03-15-2011, 03:38 PM
would anyone be interested in books or art from my collection?

mosca
03-15-2011, 07:27 PM
You think the law of allowing is nonsense?
This sounds like something out of The Secret, similar to their 'Law of Attraction.'

I'm not trying to rain on anyone's parade, it's a good idea and all, and I like the positive mindset - but really... who are we fooling by pretending that this is a 'Law'? It's a concept, a mindset... but why are people trying to fool others with the bogus claim that this is somehow a scientific, infallible Law?

BroncsRule
03-17-2011, 01:33 PM
This sounds like something out of The Secret, similar to their 'Law of Attraction.'

I'm not trying to rain on anyone's parade, it's a good idea and all, and I like the positive mindset - but really... who are we fooling by pretending that this is a 'Law'? It's a concept, a mindset... but why are people trying to fool others with the bogus claim that this is somehow a scientific, infallible Law?

Because belief is powerful.

BroncsRule
03-17-2011, 01:33 PM
here;

http://www.emofree.com/

Baja - is this related to Psych-K?

baja
03-17-2011, 04:14 PM
Baja - is this related to Psych-K?

I am not familiar with Phych-K so i don't know.

BroncsRule
03-17-2011, 05:06 PM
I did a little checking, and short answer: yes - EFT and Psych-K are related - they are both Kinesthetic systems - probably from the same root. I'll check more later

mosca
03-17-2011, 06:26 PM
Because belief is powerful.
Sure, I agree.

But as for some kind of 'Law'? That's just it - there is no proven scientific law backing up the so-called 'Law of Attraction' or 'Law of Allowing'. They're just labelling it as a Law so they can sell more books and movies by passing off their stuff as science, which it's not.

Science is not the answer to all of the universe's questions.

alkemical
03-21-2011, 12:40 PM
http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/20/nanoparticle-inks-print-3d-antennas-orders-of-magnitude-better/

Nanoparticle inks print 3D antennas 'orders of magnitude' better than your boring 2D antenna


If you want better cellphone reception it's time to go small or go home, with researchers at the University of Illinois coming up with a nanoscale printing technique that allows for the creation of so-called 3D antennas. Of course, unless you're hunting for signal in Flatland all antennas are to some degree three-dimensional, but these suckers are printed using nanoparticle silver ink onto a curved substrate, as shown up yonder. The resulting components "exhibit performance metrics that are an order of magnitude better than those realized by monopole antenna designs." In fact these creations are said to approach the Chu-Harrington Limit of theoretical performance in an antenna. Most important? They look pretty darned cool. Shame they'll likely find themselves tucked away inside of a device's chassis -- whenever they actually go into production.

alkemical
03-21-2011, 12:40 PM
http://hackaday.com/2011/03/20/smartphone-operated-garage-door-is-beginning-of-arduino-home-automation-system/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+hackaday%2FLgoM+(Hack+a+Day)&utm_content=Google+Reader

Smartphone operated garage door is beginning of Arduino home automation system

alkemical
03-21-2011, 12:45 PM
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20265-biologys-dark-matter-hints-at-fourth-domain-of-life.html?DCMP=OTC-rss&nsref=online-news

Biology's 'dark matter' hints at fourth domain of life

alkemical
03-22-2011, 06:27 AM
http://mindhacks.com/2011/03/22/bollocks-to-it/

Bollocks to it

Teenagers love to swear. Says who? Says science you melon farmers. And what could be better than a top ten of teenage swearing compiled by science wielding psycholinguists? A US – UK show down. Let the cursing commence.

The book Trends in Teenage Talk: Corpus Compilation, Analysis and Findings was written to summarise the findings of research on the word use of teenagers in London.

In Chapter 4, on slang and swearing, the authors compare the frequency of swear words in London teens to the same from an earlier study in East Coast American adolescents.

First the Londoners:

http://mindhacksblog.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/london_swearing.png?w=380&h=295

And now on to the East Coast Americans:

http://mindhacksblog.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/east_coast_swearing.png?w=380&h=299

I would first like to express my disappointment that the word bollocks is being neglected by UK teenagers.

Unfortunately, a decline in social standards and a lack of respect for tradition is leading to a generation of ****ing obsessed adolescents.

Indeed, one of the great pleasures of this eminently British tradition is the low level of recognition among Americans, meaning bollocks can be used openly in the States without causing offence.

However, the small sample size of the American data means it may not be the most reliable guide to the true population ranking.

I note, for example, that there are only 27 bitches and 24 asses which may mean that the true bitch – ass prevalence is being obscured by random variation in the sample.

alkemical
03-22-2011, 06:30 AM
http://dornob.com/warped-wallpaper-custom-printed-to-wrap-doors-decor/


Warped Wallpaper: Custom-Printed to Wrap Doors & Decor

http://cdn.dornob.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/custom-unique-3d-wallpapers.jpg

Odysseus
03-22-2011, 07:04 AM
would anyone be interested in books or art from my collection?

Oh hell yes! I have library built for books of value. Ship it!

alkemical
03-22-2011, 07:17 AM
http://inhabitat.com/chicagos-willis-tower-to-become-a-vertical-solar-farm/

Andrew Michler
Chicago’s Willis Tower to Become a Vertical Solar Farm

Chicago’s iconic Willis Tower (formally the Sears Tower) is set to become a massive solar electric plant with the installation of a pilot solar electric glass project. The high-profile project on the south side of the 56th floor will replace the windows with a new type of photovoltaic glass developed by Pythagoras Solar which preserves daylighting and views while reducing heat gain and producing the same energy as a conventional solar panel. The project could grow to 2 MW in size — which is comparable to a 10 acre field of solar panels — turning North America’s tallest building into a huge urban vertical solar farm.



green building, eco glass, green glass, solar farm, solar shading, Chicago sears tower retrofit, solar window, Pothagoras Solar, vertical solar, solar heat gain, solar electric windows, urban solar,

The project is a collaboration between the tower’s owner and the manufacturer to prove the viability of the building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) system, which will also save energy by reducing heat gain and cooling costs. The new windows, dubbed high power density photovoltaic glass units (PVGU), are a clever hybrid technology that lays typical monocrystalline silicon solar cell horizontally between two layers of glass to form an individual tile. An internal plastic reflective prism directs angled sunlight onto the solar cells but allows diffuse daylight and horizontal light through. Think of it as a louvered shade which allows for views but cuts out the harsh direct sun.

The manufacturer claims that the vertically integrated solar cells will produce the same amount of energy as normal rooftop-mounted solar panels. This is great news for cities that have precious little rooftop space and towering walls of glass. The product is also a potential breakthrough in energy efficiency in glass towers, where solar heat gain is the bane of energy-efficient design.

Requiem
03-22-2011, 07:18 AM
I'd be interested in trading books with anyone here. Just give me a potential topic or whatever and I'll see what I can do.

alkemical
03-22-2011, 07:20 AM
I was looking at doing something sort of "old school". I was thinking of filling a jump drive with some ebooks, and some other things (music, etc) - and sending it to someone else to have them share some things, etc etc.

Sort of a digital chain letter - but giving people a way to share things they want others to see.

Requiem
03-22-2011, 07:27 AM
Yeah, that works too. :)

alkemical
03-22-2011, 07:34 AM
I'd like to find cool ways for people to connect, share and have something tangible that helps make connections something more than "just words".

alkemical
03-22-2011, 07:43 AM
The Great Retirement Swap: A Radical Proposal (http://www.bigthink.com/ideas/31645)

The way that we think about retirement in America is fundamentally flawed. The current retirement system assumes that people must diligently invest in the stock market over an extended period of 30 years or more in order to buy things in the future - like food, shelter, and clothing. But what if people are free to share, barter and swap for these goods? To travel to wherever they want, provided someone has a spare room for them to use? To have access to any item they need, as long as they have an item of similar value to swap?

That's where the ground-breaking idea of collaborative consumption (http://www.collaborativeconsumption.com/) comes in. As Rachel Botsman (http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/rachel_botsman_the_case_for_collaborative_consumpt ion.html) and Roo Rogers explain in their new book What's Mine is Yours (http://www.amazon.com/Whats-Mine-Yours-Collaborative-Consumption/dp/0061963542/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1300391582&sr=8-1), we are undergoing a transformative moment in capitalism as we transition from a "shopping" to a "swapping" mentality. The relentless accumulation of consumer goods is being replaced by a more sustainable model based around bartering, sharing and swapping. Instead of financial capital, it's all about reputation capital: it's not how much you earn, it's how trustworthy you are in your community.

The pioneers of the collaborative consumption movement (http://www.collaborativeconsumption.com/the-movement/cc-pioneers-and-protagonists.php) are companies like Airbnb,TaskRabbit, Swaptree, Zipcar, Couchsurfing and SnapGoods -- all of which are fundamentally reshaping the way we think about how we live. Other companies emphasize swapping of goods or services within geographic communities - why buy that expensive new snowblower if your neighbor down the block already owns one and is willing to share with you? The new Trade School in New York City enables people to barter for classroom instruction - no money changes hands.

So what in the world does this brave new world of swapping and sharing have to do with retirement?

Well, what if we fundamentally change the way we think about retirement to take into account the new trend toward collaborative consumption? Call it The Great Retirement Swap. At a macro-level, Americans would be swapping a bleak version of retirement for a positive, hopeful one. At a more tactical level, older Americans would be swapping for goods and services, rather than owning them. Wealth in retirement would become a relative issue - are you wealthier if you own a second home in Florida, or if you have unfettered access to apartments across Europe, at any time of the year?

Senior citizens could "swap" their accumulated knowledge from a lifetime of hard work within a certain industry for tangible goods. The higher their reputation capital, the more they would be able to get -- giving teachers, factory foremen and civil servants the chance to become equals of more highly-paid workers in other industries. They could barter away goods they no longer need -- like leftover items from their children -- for goods that they do need. They would share access to cars and bikes with neighbors in their community. Any savings they have acquired through diligent investing would be a "bonus" for them.

While all this sounds a bit "un-capitalistic," it's actually the free market at work, on a grand scale. When you barter for goods, there is a market price established for those goods. And best of all, it doesn't require 7% annual compounded returns in the stock market to succeed.

With millions of Baby Boomers set to start retiring within the next few years, retirement nest eggs shattered by the financial crisis, and even eternal optimists convinced that Social Security is no longer sustainable in the long-run, it's time to start thinking of a ground-breaking, innovative - dare I say it - radical solution for helping Americans attain the type of retirement they always dreamed of in their golden years.

Who knows? Maybe all those TV investment commercials showing senior citizens sitting on the dock of the bay, enjoying a little quality time with their new yacht will actually become a reality. A famous book about the Wall Street investment industry once asked: Where Are the Customers' Yachts (http://beginnersinvest.about.com/b/2008/04/26/257149.htm)? I'll tell you where these yachts might be -- one day, they'll be jointly owned by thousands of people, who are willing to lend them out to trustworthy senior citizens in oceanfront communities across the country.
Tags: babyboomers, barter, collaborative, consumption, investments, rachelbotsman, retirement, sharing, swapping
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Branded Data: Visualizing the Internet's Future

alkemical
03-22-2011, 08:08 AM
http://technoccult.net/archives/2011/03/16/the-rise-of-farmpunk/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Technoccult+(Technoccult)&utm_content=Google+Reader

The Rise of Farmpunk

Mr. Jones, 30, and his wife, Alicia, 27, are among an emerging group of people in their 20s and 30s who have chosen farming as a career. Many shun industrial, mechanized farming and list punk rock, Karl Marx and the food journalist Michael Pollan as their influences. The Joneses say they and their peers are succeeding because of Oregon’s farmer-foodie culture, which demands grass-fed and pasture-raised meats. [...]

The problem, the young farmers say, is access to land and money to buy equipment. Many new to farming also struggle with the basics.

In Eugene, Ore., Kasey White and Jeff Broadie of Lonesome Whistle Farm are finishing their third season of cultivating heirloom beans with names like Calypso, Jacob’s Cattle and Dutch Ballet.

They have been lauded — and even consulted — by older farmers nearby for figuring out how to grow beans in a valley dominated by grass seed farmers.

But finding mentors has been difficult. There is a knowledge gap that has been referred to as “the lost generation” — people their parents’ age may farm but do not know how to grow food. The grandparent generation is no longer around to teach them.

New York Times: In New Food Culture, a Young Generation of Farmers Emerges (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/06/us/06farmers.html?_r=4&scp=1&sq=grange&st=cse)

alkemical
03-22-2011, 09:08 AM
http://inhabitat.com/new-shock-wave-engines-have-the-potential-triple-fuel-efficiency-in-hybrid-vehicles/

We’ve seen a number of innovations focused on improving the efficiency of hybrid cars. But while most of these new ideas have focused on optimizing battery capacity, here is one new piece of technology that is about to revolutionize the engine itself. Straight from the engineers at Michigan State University, this new ‘wave disk engine’ is 3.5 times more fuel efficient than a conventional combustion engine, can be run on almost any fuel and emits 95% less carbon dioxide.

Wave disk engines are built to be small, light, clean, simple, and cheap. The engine basically uses a disk that spins around super fast, and the disk is affixed with a number of channels that fill up with air and fuel as the rotor spins. Pressure builds up as inlets are blocked off, causing a shock wave within the chamber that ignites the compressed air and fuel. Essentially, as shock waves from the rotation compress and ignite fuel in the channels, the combustion causes the rotor to spin, generating electricity.

According to Michigan State University, the wave disk engine is about 20% lighter than a conventional engine and significantly cheaper to manufacture – a $500 OEM price for a wave disk generator that could power a car. But like all turbine-type engines, the wave disk engine is probably only able to provide high levels of efficiency when it’s at its optimal speed, meaning that it will likely be most useful to apply the technology to charge the batteries of an electric vehicle, rather than to drive the car alone.

Michigan State’s engineers have a prototype wave disk generator in action, and they hope to have a car-sized 25 kilowatt version running by the end of the year. They have also received a sizable $2.5 million from the Department of Energy for their project.

mosca
03-22-2011, 07:14 PM
The Great Retirement Swap: A Radical Proposal (http://www.bigthink.com/ideas/31645)

The way that we think about retirement in America is fundamentally flawed. The current retirement system assumes that people must diligently invest in the stock market over an extended period of 30 years or more in order to buy things in the future - like food, shelter, and clothing. But what if people are free to share, barter and swap for these goods? To travel to wherever they want, provided someone has a spare room for them to use? To have access to any item they need, as long as they have an item of similar value to swap?

That's where the ground-breaking idea of collaborative consumption (http://www.collaborativeconsumption.com/) comes in. As Rachel Botsman (http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/rachel_botsman_the_case_for_collaborative_consumpt ion.html) and Roo Rogers explain in their new book What's Mine is Yours (http://www.amazon.com/Whats-Mine-Yours-Collaborative-Consumption/dp/0061963542/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1300391582&sr=8-1), we are undergoing a transformative moment in capitalism as we transition from a "shopping" to a "swapping" mentality. The relentless accumulation of consumer goods is being replaced by a more sustainable model based around bartering, sharing and swapping. Instead of financial capital, it's all about reputation capital: it's not how much you earn, it's how trustworthy you are in your community.

The pioneers of the collaborative consumption movement (http://www.collaborativeconsumption.com/the-movement/cc-pioneers-and-protagonists.php) are companies like Airbnb,TaskRabbit, Swaptree, Zipcar, Couchsurfing and SnapGoods -- all of which are fundamentally reshaping the way we think about how we live. Other companies emphasize swapping of goods or services within geographic communities - why buy that expensive new snowblower if your neighbor down the block already owns one and is willing to share with you? The new Trade School in New York City enables people to barter for classroom instruction - no money changes hands.

So what in the world does this brave new world of swapping and sharing have to do with retirement?

Well, what if we fundamentally change the way we think about retirement to take into account the new trend toward collaborative consumption? Call it The Great Retirement Swap. At a macro-level, Americans would be swapping a bleak version of retirement for a positive, hopeful one. At a more tactical level, older Americans would be swapping for goods and services, rather than owning them. Wealth in retirement would become a relative issue - are you wealthier if you own a second home in Florida, or if you have unfettered access to apartments across Europe, at any time of the year?

Senior citizens could "swap" their accumulated knowledge from a lifetime of hard work within a certain industry for tangible goods. The higher their reputation capital, the more they would be able to get -- giving teachers, factory foremen and civil servants the chance to become equals of more highly-paid workers in other industries. They could barter away goods they no longer need -- like leftover items from their children -- for goods that they do need. They would share access to cars and bikes with neighbors in their community. Any savings they have acquired through diligent investing would be a "bonus" for them.

While all this sounds a bit "un-capitalistic," it's actually the free market at work, on a grand scale. When you barter for goods, there is a market price established for those goods. And best of all, it doesn't require 7% annual compounded returns in the stock market to succeed.

With millions of Baby Boomers set to start retiring within the next few years, retirement nest eggs shattered by the financial crisis, and even eternal optimists convinced that Social Security is no longer sustainable in the long-run, it's time to start thinking of a ground-breaking, innovative - dare I say it - radical solution for helping Americans attain the type of retirement they always dreamed of in their golden years.

Who knows? Maybe all those TV investment commercials showing senior citizens sitting on the dock of the bay, enjoying a little quality time with their new yacht will actually become a reality. A famous book about the Wall Street investment industry once asked: Where Are the Customers' Yachts (http://beginnersinvest.about.com/b/2008/04/26/257149.htm)? I'll tell you where these yachts might be -- one day, they'll be jointly owned by thousands of people, who are willing to lend them out to trustworthy senior citizens in oceanfront communities across the country.
Tags: babyboomers, barter, collaborative, consumption, investments, rachelbotsman, retirement, sharing, swapping
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I love these ideas... definitely progressive, nu-skool, and paradigm changing.

What I fear is that the corporate proponents of capitalism will intentionally sabotage some of these attempts - false flag type stuff. Deliberately send in operatives to rip people off who are offering to share their stuff/homes/etc. to give it a bad rap and discourage others from doing the same. That way they will maintain their monopoly on selling us more 'stuff' that we really don't need to own.

alkemical
03-22-2011, 07:19 PM
Agreed, that's also a concern of mine as well. I don't know a solution for that yet...ha!

Would your parents be intested in concepts like these? Mine does, but she's hesitant.

mosca
03-22-2011, 07:23 PM
My parents are too untrusting of others to ever try this stuff. It sounds similar to time-shares, but even I am hesitant of those. Heard too many horror stories.

Been wanting to try out Couch Surfing for a while though!

alkemical
03-22-2011, 07:29 PM
mi couch, su couch.

trust is the most important. i understand that...and wish we could get passed selfishness.

OABB
03-22-2011, 07:32 PM
I'd like to find cool ways for people to connect, share and have something tangible that helps make connections something more than "just words".

Bow shika bow wow.

alkemical
03-22-2011, 07:36 PM
Bow shika bow wow.

I'm easy, but i do have standards.... haha!

OABB
03-22-2011, 07:38 PM
I'm easy, but i do have standards.... haha!

I was just playing the wawah, man.



Just the wawah.

alkemical
03-23-2011, 05:41 AM
China cuts off phone calls if word 'protest' is used
from New Scientist - Online News



The Chinese government is monitoring phone conversations and automatically cutting the call when forbidden words are used

alkemical
03-23-2011, 06:02 AM
http://hackaday.com/2011/03/19/building-a-home-automation-mesh-network/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+hackaday%2FLgoM+%28Hack+a+Day %29&utm_content=Google+Reader

Building a home automation mesh network

[Ian Harris] designed a bunch of home automation for his parents using X10 hardware. He was a bit disappointed by the failure rate of the modules and the overall performance of the system so he set out to replace it with his own hardware. Lucky for use he’s documented the journey in a four-part series about mesh networks.

The hardware seen above is his test rig. He’s using a couple of Sparkfun breakout boards to develop for nrf2401a RF transceiver chips. These could be used as slave modules, with a central command device, but due to the home’s architecture wireless signals don’t propagate well from one end of the house to the other. The solution is to build a mesh network that will allow each module to act as a network node, receiving and passing on messages until they arrive at the target device. He’s trying to do this with cheap hardware, selecting the PIC 16F88 which boasts 7 KB or program memory and 368 bytes of ram. In the end it doesn’t take much code to get this running, it’s the concepts that take some time and research before you’ll be comfortable working with them.

alkemical
03-23-2011, 06:17 AM
http://mindhacks.com/2011/03/18/the-brain-behind-the-lion-heart/

The brain behind the lion heart

I’ve just read a completely fascinating New York Times article on the neuropsychology of courage – a core human attribute that curiously seems to be largely ignored by cognitive science.

The piece looks at how we define courage, it’s relation to fear and the sometimes wonderfully innovative research that has tackled the area.

In pioneering work from 1970s and beyond, Stanley J. Rachman of the University of British Columbia and others studied the physiology and behavior of paratroopers as they prepared for their first parachute jump.

The work revealed three basic groups: the preternaturally fearless, who displayed scant signs of the racing heart, sweaty palms, spike in blood pressure and other fight-or-flight responses associated with ordinary fear, and who jumped without hesitation; the handwringers, whose powerful fear response at the critical moment kept them from jumping; and finally, the ones who reacted physiologically like the handwringers but who acted like the fearless leapers, and, down the hatch.

These last Dr. Rachman deemed courageous, defining courage as “behavioral approach in spite of the experience of fear.” By that expansive definition, courage becomes democratized and demilitarized, the property of any wallflower who manages to give the convention speech, or the math phobe who decides to take calculus.

It is also a wonderfully written article, by the way, so well worth making the leap for.


Link to NYT article ‘Searching for the Source of a Fountain of Courage’.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/04/science/04angier.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all

______


This was a very cool read.

alkemical
03-23-2011, 06:32 AM
http://hackaday.com/2011/03/19/building-a-home-automation-mesh-network/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+hackaday%2FLgoM+%28Hack+a+Day %29&utm_content=Google+Reader

Building a home automation mesh network

[Ian Harris] designed a bunch of home automation for his parents using X10 hardware. He was a bit disappointed by the failure rate of the modules and the overall performance of the system so he set out to replace it with his own hardware. Lucky for use he’s documented the journey in a four-part series about mesh networks.

The hardware seen above is his test rig. He’s using a couple of Sparkfun breakout boards to develop for nrf2401a RF transceiver chips. These could be used as slave modules, with a central command device, but due to the home’s architecture wireless signals don’t propagate well from one end of the house to the other. The solution is to build a mesh network that will allow each module to act as a network node, receiving and passing on messages until they arrive at the target device. He’s trying to do this with cheap hardware, selecting the PIC 16F88 which boasts 7 KB or program memory and 368 bytes of ram. In the end it doesn’t take much code to get this running, it’s the concepts that take some time and research before you’ll be comfortable working with them.

http://www.orangemane.com/BB/showthread.php?t=97457

There is an audrino thread i started for anyone else interested




http://www.gizmag.com/kinect-as-a-set-of-eyes/18179/

NAVI project turns Kinect into a set of eyes for the visually impaired

http://images.gizmag.com/hero/navi.jpg

While we've looked at a couple of efforts to upgrade the humble white cane's capabilities, such as the ultrasonic Ultracane and the laser scanning cane, the decidedly low tech white cane is still one of the most commonly used tools to help the visually impaired get around without bumping into things. Now, through their project called NAVI (Navigation Aids for the Visually Impaired), students at Germany's Universität Konstanz have leveraged the 3D imaging capabilities of Microsoft's Kinect camera to detect objects that lie outside a cane's small radius and alert the wearer to the location of obstacles through audio and vibro-tactile feedback.

The vibrotactile wistbelt
Debug view of the software used to tune the parameters for depth processing
The Kinect camera mounted on a sugru socket and fixed with duct tape
The backpack used to hold the laptop
View all

That's right, I said "wearer" because the system created by Master's students Michael Zöllner and Stephan Huber places the Kinect camera atop the visually impaired person's head thanks to a hard hat, some sugru and a liberal application of duct tape. The image and depth information captured by the Kinect cameras is sent to a Dell laptop mounted in a backpack, which is connected via USB to an Arduino 2009 board glued to a fabric belt worn around the waist.

The depth information captured by the Kinect camera is processed by software on the laptop and mapped onto three pairs of Arduino LilyPad vibration motors located at the upper and lower left, center and right of the fabric belt. When a potential obstacle is detected, its location is conveyed to the wearer by the vibration of the relevant motor.

A Bluetooth headset also provides audio cues and can be used to provide navigation instructions and read signs using ARToolKit markers placed on walls and doors. The Kinect's depth detection capabilities allows navigation instructions to vary based on the distance to a marker. For example, as the person walks towards a door they will hear "door ahead in 3, 2, 1, pull the door."

The students see their system as having advantages to other point-to-point navigation approaches using GPS – which don't work indoors – and seeing-eye dogs – which must be trained for certain routes, cost a lot of money and get tired.

For their NAVI project, the Universität Konstanz students wrote the software in C# and .NET and used the ManagedOpenNI wrapper for the Kinect and the managed wrapper of the ARToolKitPlus for marker tracking. The voice instructions are synthesized using Microsoft's Speech API and all input streams are glued together using Reactive Extensions for .NET.

alkemical
03-23-2011, 08:52 AM
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-12809944

Academics to 'embrace Wikipedia'


Scholars to stop pretending they don't use Wikipedia; will work out best practices instead
from Boing Boing by Cory Doctorow
58 people liked this - you, and 57 more
Some students and profs London's Imperial College have decided to stop using scary anaecdotes to frighten students away from Wikipedia; instead, the scholars will acknowledge that kids use Wikipedia, that there's lots of good there, and will work out evidence-based best practices for learning with Wikipedia.

"Students know there is an inherent unreliablity, as it's open edited. We're not trying to hide that.

"But it's a place where you can orientate yourself when you start a topic.

"The quality has improved and the readability is often second to none," he says.

But Mr Patel says there is a real gap in knowledge about how this free resource is being used.

Rather than swapping anecdotes about the use of Wikipedia, he says his group wants to move to a more evidence-based discussion about the place of Wikipedia in universities.

Academics to 'embrace Wikipedia'

alkemical
03-23-2011, 08:54 AM
http://hackaday.com/2011/03/23/surplus-military-gear-keeps-your-hands-free-calls-private/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+hackaday%2FLgoM+%28Hack+a+Day %29&utm_content=Google+Reader

Surplus military gear keeps your hands free, calls private
posted Mar 23rd 2011 5:04am by Mike Nathan
filed under: misc hacks, phone hacks

heli_helmet

[Julian] was rummaging through a military surplus store when he spotted a pair of old helicopter pilot helmets that he absolutely had to have. At $25 they were a steal, but pretty useless in their current state. He decided to modify one of the helmets for use while playing video games, but he didn’t stop there.

The helmet had two decent speakers built-in so he kept them, but tweaked the wiring from a mono-only configuration to accept stereo input. A RF wireless headset was disassembled and wired into the helmet so he could use it for playing video games while his wife is asleep. As an added bonus, the headset he used happened to have an AM/FM receiver built in, so he can enjoy music while sitting around with his helmet on as well. A Bluetooth cell phone headset was also torn down and wired into the helmet for gaming and handling phone calls. The Bluetooth mic was extended into the original mic stem built into the helmet, keeping things authentic-looking.

Overall it’s a quite a useful recycling of some old military junk. It’s a great idea though the helmet looks like it could be a touch cumbersome after awhile.

http://hackadaycom.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/heli_helmet.jpg?w=470&h=174

alkemical
03-23-2011, 08:59 AM
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20928045.200-the-mathematics-of-being-nice.html?full=true

The mathematics of being nice

Our ability to cooperate is the secret of humanity's success, says Martin Nowak, who tackles some of biology's biggest questions using mathematics

alkemical
03-23-2011, 09:03 AM
http://www.kurzweilai.net/move-over-einstein-machines-will-take-it-from-here

Move over, Einstein: machines will take it from here
March 23, 2011

Source: New Scientist Physics & Math — Mar 22, 2011

Researchers at Cornell University have developed an evolutionary computing algorithm called Eureqa that allows the laws of nature to be extracted from data at unheard of rates, says Michael Schmidt.

Rather than coming up with a hypothesis to test, they carry out experiments first, feeding the data into their computer to discover the laws of nature.

By randomly stringing together 10,000 simple mathematical expressions to create equations, Schmidt’s law-finding computer tested each equation to see how well it described the data. Some fit a little better than others. Eureqa then “bred” these equations together to produce next-generation offspring that were different than the parents. Over thousands of generations, in one case, the computer discovered the law of conservation of energy.

Lipson speculates that this kind of machine learning will become the scientific norm, and we humans will forever be playing catch-up: “This is a post-singularity vision of science,” he says.

alkemical
03-23-2011, 09:57 AM
How people really behave during disasters
from Boing Boing by Maggie Koerth-Baker
49 people liked this - you, and 48 more

If you expect a massive earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis to lead to panic in the streets and every-man-for-himself struggles, then you've probably been surprised by the Japanese response to their country's woes. But, before you start waxing philosophical about how different the Japanese are from your home country, consider what's known about how people—people all over the world—actually behave in disasters. Hint: A lot of the stories you've heard about crime and mayhem are either myths, or overblown accounts that don't represent the vast majority. The London Independent's Johann Hari writes for the Huffington Post:

In her gorgeous book A Paradise Built In Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise In Disaster, Rebecca Solnit shows how this is how almost everybody responds to disaster, across continents and across contexts. When power grids are destroyed and city grids demolished, social grids light up.

This is so cross-cultural -- from Haiti to New Zealand -- that it is probably part of an evolved instinct inherent to our species, and it's not hard to see why. We now know that 60,000 years ago, the entire human race was reduced to a single tribe of 2000 human beings wandering the savannahs of Africa. That was it. That was us. If they -- our ancestors -- didn't have a strong impulse to look out for each other in a crisis, you wouldn't be reading this now.

Yet there are a few examples stubbornly fixed in the popular imagination of people reacting to a natural disaster by becoming primal and vicious. Remember the gangs "marauding" through New Orleans, raping and even cannibalizing people in the Super-Dome after Hurricane Katrina? It turns out they didn't exist. Years of journalistic investigations showed them to be racist fantasies. They didn't happen. Yes, there was some "looting" -- which consisted of starving people breaking into closed and abandoned shops for food. Of course human beings can behave atrociously - but the aftermath of a disaster seems to be the time when it is least likely.

This information is essential for knowing how to respond to disasters. There is a fear that the Japanese government is with-holding information about the dangers of the nuclear meltdown because they don't trust the people to react sensibly and calmly. There is no way of knowing, yet, whether this is true. But understanding this crucial history should guide the government to tell the truth and trust the people. As Solnit puts it: "If you imagine that the public is a danger, you endanger the public."

That analysis also fits with Amanda Ripley's 2008 book The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes. So far, I've only read parts of this book—enough to make me completely rethink a short story I was planning out for my writing club—but it's very high on my list of books I must read in their entirety asap.

This seems to be one of those places where "common sense" simply isn't. On the whole, humans respond to disasters more like the Japanese people responded to this one, and less like what we imagine from movies and nightmares.

alkemical
03-23-2011, 10:21 AM
Whole lotta shakin' goin' on in Florida

Investigators are trying to solve a bizarre mystery in Flagler County. A wave of people called 911 around 9:30am Friday to report the ground shaking in Flagler County. The calls all came from the Hammock area of Palm Coast.

However, people in the north Daytona area, as well as in Deltona and as far north as St. Augustine, said they felt it as well. Many people were worried that the shaking was an earthquake.

The Emergency Management Office was on the phone all day trying to figure out the cause of the shaking. Residents said that buildings were shaking, and even a dispatcher in the county felt it happen.

The 911 call was one of about a dozen calls that poured into Flagler County. An unexplained phenomenon, described as everything from a low rumble to a window shaking movement, rattled residents from St. Augustine to the Volusia County.

"The ground rumbled and the building rumbled. Definitely abnormal for here," a resident said.

"It definitely felt like an earthquake," one resident said. "Enough to make you look to the ocean and say, 'OK, what's next, tsunami?' Because you're going, 'Is it an earthquake or not?'"

The U.S. Geological Survey told Flagler County that sensors in Georgia and Orlando picked up no movement. The National Weather Service reported nothing odd, and the Navy and Coast Guard stated they had no information regarding on or offshore bombing exercises.

"We are checking with all the agencies that monitor those kinds of things and hopefully we'll come up with an answer, but right now, we're kind of perplexed," an official stated.

Everything, from a meteor burning up to a moon phase that allows ocean waves to hit hard enough to vibrate the shoreline, is being considered as a cause. - wftv.com

alkemical
03-23-2011, 10:22 AM
Did NASA Pick Up Distress Signal From Doomed Planet?

ufobriefcase - Recently the UK Ministry of Defence released to the National Archives the 7th batch of UFO Files.

Interestingly, One of those files features an article Published in the Weekly World News, (September 15, 1998 Vol 19 No. 51) with story about how NASA detected and decoded a mathematics based distress Signal from a doomed Planet outside our own Galaxy.

The signal was detected in January of 1998 however took many months to decode the message.

For your convenience the article has been transcribed:

NASA experts claim to have intercepted an intergalactic distress call from an alien civilization that had already peaked and was actually dying when saber-tooth tigers still roamed the earth!

The 80,000-year-old SOS was received and tape recorded in late January (1998).

But only in recent weeks have radio astronomers and lanuage experts found the key to the complex mathematics-based language that enabled them to translate the frantic plea for help.

The world press has been suspiciously silent about the startling message, though lengthy scientific reports are scheduled for publication in two professional journals, Radio Astronomy and Universe.

According to a highly placed NASA source in houston, noted Russian space scientist Victor Yulakow is leading a United Nations research team from a state-operated observatory 50 miles northwest of Moscow.

Dr. Kulakov told Universe that the signal emanated from a point beyond the galaxy nearest to our own – Andromeda – and was sent by beings that had apparently achieved a civilization no more advanced than our own here on Earth.

“The simple fact that we received and decoded the message proves beyond any doubt that their knowledge and technology were, at the very best, within our reach.” Dr Kulakov explained.

“And while there are years of study ahead of us, I can say with certainty that the death of their civilization was not the result of some cosmic catastrophe. It was the result of the civilization turning on itself, possibly with devastating nuclear weaponry.”

Dr Kulakov flatly refused to provide either of the magazines with a transcript of the message, but he did say it began with the plea, “Help us,” and went on to give data pinpointing the exact position of the doomed planet.

There was a quite lucid account of apocalyptic devastation, hellish explosions, widespread death and terminal illnesses,” he said.

“A Shower of meteors? Perhaps. But what stikes me, and this is just a feeling, is an underlying acceptance of guilt. It’s as if the senders of the message are acknowledging blame for what happened.”

Whatever it was, they apparently had no means to evacuate the remaining population. Interplanetary space travel was available to them, but only on a very limited level. The message makes it very clear that they were trapped on their world,” said Dr. Kulakov.

alkemical
03-23-2011, 10:46 AM
http://technoccult.net/archives/2011/03/17/rip-owsley-%E2%80%9Cbear%E2%80%9D-stanley-original-sound-engineer-for-the-grateful-dead-and-big-time-lsd-manufacturer/

RIP Owsley “Bear” Stanley, Original Sound Engineer for the Grateful Dead and Big Time LSD Manufacturer

Owsley “Bear” Stanley, the original sound engineer for the Greatful Dead who was also credited with kickstarting the 60s by manufacturing massive amounts of LSD, died in a car accident in Australia last weekend.

National Post’s Obituary of Stanley

The Dead get a bad rap these days. Many have forgotten the band’s contributions outside of hippie music. Jerry Garcia, a lifelong science fiction fan, was actually a technology advocate with an interest fringe science ideas like cryogenics. Lyricist John Perry Barlow went on to co-found the EFF. The Dead forum was a core part of the important BBS The WELL, an early force bringing together counter-culture and high technology. In the history of cyberculture, the Dead is up there with Stewart Brand and Timothy Leary in terms of importance.

A couple years ago Uriah Zebadiah hipped me to the Dead’s contributions to audio technology via Stanley. In addition to being an LSD manufacturer, Stanley wanted to experiment with audio technology – and the Grateful Dead were his lab. He funded the band just so he could experiment with their equipment.

From San Francisco Chronicle’s profile of Stanley from 2007 (via Boing Boing):

Less well known are Bear’s contributions to rock concert sound. As the original sound mixer for the Grateful Dead, he was responsible for fundamental advances in audio technology, things as basic now as monitor speakers that allow vocalists to hear themselves onstage. [...]

“We’d never thought about high-quality PAs,” says the Dead’s Weir. “There was no such thing until Bear started making one.”

The Chronicle profile includes a rare interview with Stanley about his all-meat diet and his belief in a coming Ice Age.

For more history of LSD, check out the Skilluminati article Ronald Hadley Stark: The Man Behind the LSD Curtain.

alkemical
03-23-2011, 01:12 PM
http://news.discovery.com/history/god-wife-yahweh-asherah-110318.html

God's Wife Edited Out of the Bible -- Almost
God's wife, Asherah, was a powerful fertility goddess, according to a theologian.


THE GIST

God, also known as Yahweh, had a wife named Asherah, according to a British theologian.
Amulets, figurines, inscriptions and ancient texts, including the Bible, reveal Asherah's once prominent standing.

alkemical
03-24-2011, 05:39 AM
Warning: If you are reading this then this warning is for you. Every word you read of this useless fine print is another second off your life. Don't you have other things to do? Is your life so empty that you honestly can't think of a better way to spend these moments? Or are you so impressed with authority that you give respect and credence to all that claim it? Do you read everything you're supposed to read? Do you think every thing you're supposed to think? Buy what you're told to want? Get out of your apartment. Meet a member of the opposite sex. Stop the excessive shopping and masturbation. Quit your job. Start a fight. Prove you're alive. If you don't claim your humanity you will become a statistic. You have been warned- Tyler.

alkemical
03-25-2011, 06:25 AM
http://laughingsquid.com/mysterious-tiny-doors-appearing-around-san-francisco/

http://laughingsquid.com/wp-content/uploads/tumblr_lh34zqp1Ul1qbfdi3-640x426.jpg

San Francisco artist Jeff Waldman has begun installing little doors around the city. He started by building and installing a small, elaborately locked (from the outside) red door on Fern Alley in the Tenderloin. Additional doors will be built by other artists and sent to Waldman for installation around the city.

The idea is to install small doors, unexplained portals, throughout the city. To start, in San Francisco. These doors would be scaled down to a size that is cognitively possible but whimsically improbable. Tiny ones. Like, Alice Through The Looking Glass, maybe 15-25 inches or so. I don’t imagine them to be operable, but the more detailed in appearance the better.

alkemical
03-25-2011, 06:27 AM
Ostara's history, observances and ties to Easter
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William Browning – Wed Mar 16, 1:10 pm ET
Contribute content like this. Start here.

Ostara, a pagan holiday surrounding the move from winter into spring, is celebrated by pagans on the spring equinox each year. Ostara is an homage to a Norse goddess whose symbols include the egg and the hare. Here's a look at the history and observances of Ostara, the word from which the Anglo-Saxons derived Easter.

History of Ostara

Witchvox.com states the holiday Ostara is traced back to the Norse goddess of the same name. Her festival day occurs on the vernal equinox in late March. Called "Oestre" or "Eastre" in Anglo-Saxon languages, her name is also the derivative of the word "east" where the sun rises. Therefore, Ostara celebrates many things including the new season, warmer weather and brighter days with more sunlight.

Eventually, the name of Ostara go transferred to Easter which became the spring holiday Christians observe the first Sunday after the first full moon of spring. When two religions were competing for attention, it helped to have holidays near the same date on the calendar to win followers.

Ostaraobservances

Eggs and rabbits are associated with the Norse goddess herself. According to Religious Tolerance, other pagan religions in Greece and Rome also had spring festivals. The term Easter stuck with Christian churches throughout France and England when they had contact with Norse people such as Vikings.

When spring happens, normal life returns and everyone frolics outdoors. Hence, finding eggs outside is a tradition of getting up and active to explore your surroundings at the dawn of a new season. Animals come out of hibernation and start to eat.

Eating and having a feast on the first day of spring is a natural thing for humans. When food was scarce in the winter, often poor farmers ate less to conserve their food supply. When spring came, it was time to celebrate because now food could be grown.

Feasts with fresh meat such as ham and greens grown in the spring are relevant to having a feast on Ostara. Asparagus and dandelion greens are popular customs but it is important to partake of fresh food to symbolize the new season. Green leafy vegetables welcome the new season with simple foods apropos to the season.

Fertility is a prominent theme of Ostara. Spring in when animals come out of their winter slumber and mate. The Christian Feast of the Annunciation is also around the time of the vernal equinox so it reinforces the idea that spring is a time for child bearing and children.

The festival of Ostara happens as early as March 19 or as late as March 23 as the date of the vernal equinox changes from year to year. No matter what religion you follow, chances are there is some celebration of the new season each year revolving around spring. Many customs in the United States regarding finding eggs and eating chocolate bunnies can be traced to Ostara, the Norse goddess of fertility.

William Browning is a research librarian.

alkemical
03-25-2011, 06:30 AM
http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/time-travel-gods-particle-and-higgs-singlet-how-messages-might-be-sent-to-the-past-or-future-20110322-1c4qq.html

Time travel, God's particle and Higgs singlet: how messages might be sent to the past or future

Scientists believe they are one step closer to creating time travel.

American physicists from Vanderbilt University believe they may be able to use the Large Hadron Collider, the world's biggest atom smasher buried underground near Geneva, to send a type of matter called the Higgs singlet into the past.

But they're unsure if the Higgs singlet actually exists and whether the machine can produce it, according to a report by Live Science.
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The Higgs singlet is related to another hypothesised particle called the Higgs boson, dubbed "God's particle" because it is associated with giving other particles mass, which the 27-kilometre long atom smasher may produce.

If the Higgs boson is created, the Higgs singlet may also appear, scientists say.

The Higgs singlet may be able to jump through space and time, travel through a hidden dimension, and then re-enter our dimension forwards or backwards in time, physicists Professor Thomas Weiler and graduate fellow Chui Man Ho believe.

"One of the attractive things about this approach to time travel is that it avoids all the big paradoxes," Professor Weiler said in a statement on research website arxiv.org.

"Because time travel is limited to these special particles, it is not possible for a man to travel back in time and murder one of his parents before he himself is born, for example.

"However, if scientists could control the production of Higgs singlets, they might be able to send messages to the past or future."

The singlet, a highly technical term to describe the particle that doesn't interact with matter in the usual way, and boson are both named after theoretical physicist Peter Higgs.

The researcher's study is based on M theory, or "the theory of everything", which attempts to unite the cause of all matter.

But it's much too early to start thinking like Back to the Future's Marty McFly.

University of Sydney Associate Professor of Physics Kevin Varvell said the study was highly speculative, something the researchers themselves admit.

"From my reading of the paper, these guys themselves aren't going crazy over the idea of time travel," Professor Varvell said.

"They explicitly say we're not talking about time travel for humans, they're talking about potentially one might be able to send information through the production of these particles.

"But they're also saying that's very, very highly speculative as well.

He said it's one of many ideas that proposes using the collider and it is serious scientific work.

"But, again, I think we need to find the Higgs boson or something like it, before we can entertain other new particles being produced in association with it."

The Large Hadron Collider, which cost more than $4 billion to build, has attracted plenty of controversy.

Before it started working, some feared it would create black holes and its operation was delayed several times due to a string of technical problems, including a liquid helium leak in 2008.

alkemical
03-25-2011, 06:31 AM
http://news.discovery.com/space/once-upon-a-time-the-universe-was-really-weird-110321.html

According to an interview with PhysOrg.com, Mureika and Stojkovic have calculated that the early universe didn't only possess a hot, energetic primordial state of matter, but it also had a primordial state of dimensions.

If they're correct, the three dimensions of space and one dimension of time that make the four-dimensional spacetime we live in today isn't how it's always been -- the Universe may have existed in a lower dimensional state in the past.

alkemical
03-25-2011, 10:29 AM
http://disinfo.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/CIAFacebook.jpg

Via the Onion:

After years of secretly monitoring the public, we were astounded so many people would willingly publicize where they live, their religious and political views, an alphabetized list of all their friends, personal emails addresses, phone numbers, hundreds of photos of themselves, and even status updates about what they were doing moment to moment. It is truly a dream come true for the CIA.

mosca
03-26-2011, 03:17 PM
This is so cross-cultural -- from Haiti to New Zealand -- that it is probably part of an evolved instinct inherent to our species, and it's not hard to see why. We now know that 60,000 years ago, the entire human race was reduced to a single tribe of 2000 human beings wandering the savannahs of Africa. That was it. That was us. If they -- our ancestors -- didn't have a strong impulse to look out for each other in a crisis, you wouldn't be reading this now.
Do you have any other info on this theory? It sounds fascinating and I would like to read up more on it if there is any truth behind it.

alkemical
03-26-2011, 06:45 PM
Do you have any other info on this theory? It sounds fascinating and I would like to read up more on it if there is any truth behind it.

word!

mosca
03-27-2011, 11:34 AM
Found some other articles on the one-tribe theory, though it appears to not be universally accepted:

African tribe populated rest of the world

The entire human race outside Africa owes its existence to the survival of a single tribe of around 200 people who crossed the Red Sea 70,000 years ago, scientists have discovered.

Research by geneticists and archaeologists has allowed them to trace the origins of modern homo sapiens back to a single group of people who managed to cross from the Horn of Africa and into Arabia. From there they went on to colonise the rest of the world.
Genetic analysis of modern day human populations in Europe, Asia, Australia, North America and South America have revealed that they are all descended from these common ancestors.
It is thought that changes in the climate between 90,000 and 70,000 years ago caused sea levels to drop dramatically and allowed the crossing of the Red Sea to take place.
The findings are to be revealed in a new BBC Two documentary series, The Incredible Human Journey, that traces the prehistoric origins of the human species.
Dr Peter Forster, a senior lecturer in archaeogenetics at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge who carried out some of the genetic work, said: "The founder populations cannot have been very big. We are talking about just a few hundred individuals."
(continued at link)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/5299351/African-tribe-populated-rest-of-the-world.htm (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/5299351/African-tribe-populated-rest-of-the-world.html)

alkemical
03-29-2011, 01:30 PM
I'm going to look more into this mosca, just been busy.

alkemical
03-29-2011, 01:31 PM
http://www.orderofmelchizedek.com/illuminaticardgame.htm

alkemical
03-30-2011, 05:44 AM
http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/28/mit-professor-touts-first-practical-artificial-leaf-signs-dea/

MIT professor touts first 'practical' artificial leaf, signs deal with Tata to show up real plants
By Christopher Trout posted Mar 28th 2011 3:54PM
A professor at MIT claims to have Mother Nature beat at her own game. Dr. Daniel Nocera says his invention is ten times more efficient at photosynthesis than a real-life leaf, and could help to bring affordable alternative energy to developing countries. Described as an "advanced solar cell the size of a poker card," the device is made of silicon, electronics, and inexpensive catalysts made of nickel and cobalt. When placed in a gallon of water under direct sunlight, the catalysts break the H2O down into hydrogen and oxygen gases, which are then stored in a fuel cell -- the energy produced is apparently enough to power a single house for a day. Of course, this isn't the first time we've seen scientists try to one-up nature, in fact, we've seen solar-powered leaves before, but this thing actually looks poised for the mass market -- Nocera signed a deal with Tata in October. Full PR after the break.

alkemical
03-30-2011, 05:45 AM
http://craphound.com/images/5558871176_10ef4d4b15_z.jpg

Trixie Bedlam's photo captures a poignant moment of bedbug existentialism.

anyone can see (via Warren Ellis)

alkemical
03-30-2011, 05:47 AM
http://data.whicdn.com/images/8134778/tumblr_ligr4mhynv1qfkg32o1_500_large.jpg?130080494 2

alkemical
03-30-2011, 05:49 AM
http://www.gizmag.com/prevue-home-4d-ultrasound-etextile-home-concept/18254/

PreVue would offer parents a live 4D baby watch window during pregnancy

http://images.gizmag.com/hero/prevue4d.jpg

Checking the health of a baby inside the womb using ultrasound has been going on for a good many years and can be a useful tool for detecting problems early. A new concept from industrial designer Melody Shiue proposes using the technology to enhance the bond between parents and the growing fetus. PreVue would take advantage of developments in e-textile research and advances in ultrasound technology to offer mother and father a live window into the various stages of their little treasure's development... Continue Reading PreVue would offer parents a live 4D baby watch window during pregnancy

alkemical
03-30-2011, 07:29 AM
http://technoccult.net/archives/2011/03/29/the-most-anxiety-producing-jobs-are-those-in-which-the-workers-have-little-control-over-their-day-to-day-activities/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Technoccult+%28Technoccult%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

The Most Anxiety-Producing Jobs Are Those In Which the Workers Have Little Control Over Their Day to Day Activities

In your research, which jobs did you find to be the most stressful?

You might think that jobs that require the biggest amount of work or the longest hours would be the worst, but that’s not actually the case. The most anxiety-producing jobs are the ones in which the employee has very little control over what he or she does during the workday. One of the more compelling studies that I talk about in the book compares musicians in smaller, chamber groups with those that play in a larger orchestra. The former proved to be a lot less anxious than the latter because they got to decide their own schedule. Orchestral musicians tend to be at the mercy of a tyrannical conductor who decides when they play, what they play and when everyone can take a bathroom break. The notion of executive stress syndrome — the idea that bosses and corporate executives experience much higher levels of anxiety than their underlings — has proven to be total bull****. Executives tend to have more control over what they’re doing, and they often displace their anxieties on the people that work beneath them.

So a run-of-the-mill production assistant is more stressed out than an air traffic controller?

We love to point a finger at air traffic controllers, but we may need to stop. Objectively speaking, their job has gotten more stressful in the last quarter-century. There are fewer of them employed now and they’re dealing with more traffic than at any point in the history of air travel. The difference is that Ned Reese, who headed the training for our country’s air traffic controllers for a number of years, has completely radicalized the selection process. Rather than pick people based on their physical proficiency, he began hiring controllers with a very a specific psychological makeup. We might see their work as stressful, but they tend to think of it as simply challenging.

Salon: “Nerve”: Why is America so anxious?

(via Alex Pang)

alkemical
03-30-2011, 07:47 AM
http://i.qkme.me/162y.jpg

alkemical
03-31-2011, 07:29 AM
http://www.gizmag.com/solarball-creates-drinkable-water/18270/

Student-designed Solarball creates drinkable water

http://images.gizmag.com/hero/solarball-0.jpg

The Solarball is a student-designed device that creates clean drinking water through evaporation and condensation (All photos courtesy Monash University)
Image Gallery (3 images)

When he set out on a trip to Cambodia in 2008, Industrial Design student Jonathan Liow had no idea it was going to be a life-changing experience. Upon seeing the poverty and poor living conditions in that country, however, he decided that he wanted to build things that could help people. After hearing about the need for cheap and effective water purification in Africa, he proceeded to create the Solarball for his graduate project at Australia's Monash University. The ball is reportedly capable of producing 3 liters (about 3 quarts) of drinkable water per day, using nothing but polluted water and sunlight.

Users start by pouring dirty water into the Solarball. That water proceeds to get heated by the Sun's rays, which shine in from 360 degrees through the ball's transparent upper section. Condensation forms on the inside of the ball, and is guided down to a spout via an internal gutter that runs around its diameter. What comes out is pure, clean water, as the contaminants are left behind in the unevaporated water.

Liow – who has since graduated from Monash – said that one of the main challenges in the design was "to make the device more efficient than other products available, without making it too complicated, expensive, or technical." The plastic used in its construction is food-safe and entirely recyclable, and we would hope it's UV-tolerant.

The Solarball has since been named as a finalist in the 2011 Australian Design Awards - James Dyson Award, and will be displayed at the Milan International Design Fair. Liow is currently in the process of looking for funding to get the ball manufactured and distributed on a large scale.

It would be interesting to see how it performs as compared to products utilizing SODIS water purification, in which the heat and radiation of sunlight are used to kill pathogens in tainted water.

Via Inhabitat

alkemical
03-31-2011, 07:33 AM
http://hackaday.com/2011/03/30/stupid-expert-builds-a-machete-slingshot-for-the-impending-zombie-apocalypse/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+hackaday%2FLgoM+%28Hack+a+Day %29

http://hackadaycom.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/machete_slingshot.jpg?w=470&h=235

Sometimes people build things for the simple challenge of building. This is one of those cases.

The gentleman you see in the image above is [Jörg Sprave] of The Slingshot Channel. He is a self-proclaimed “Supid Expert” on the subject of slingshots and has taken his love of flinging things at absurd velocities to a whole new level.

His latest creation is a machete slingshot, which is really more accurately described as a machete crossbow. Measuring over six feet long, the impressive apparatus fires a specially altered machete with an insane amount of force using thick rubber bands. In the test firing shown in the video below, the machete is embedded up to the hilt in six layers of very thick cardboard, requiring quite a bit of work to remove.

As he states in the video while brandishing his bloodied forearm, building such a device is extremely dangerous, and should be limited to “Stupid Experts” . In no way should you attempt to build one of your own.

alkemical
03-31-2011, 07:38 AM
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21028063.300-wind-and-wave-energies-are-not-renewable-after-all.html?page=2

Wind and wave energies are not renewable after all

Humans currently use energy at the rate of 47 terawatts (TW) or trillions of watts, mostly by burning fossil fuels and harvesting farmed plants, Kleidon calculates in a paper to be published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. This corresponds to roughly 5 to 10 per cent of the free energy generated by the global system.

"It's hard to put a precise number on the fraction," he says, "but we certainly use more of the free energy than [is used by] all geological processes." In other words, we have a greater effect on Earth's energy balance than all the earthquakes, volcanoes and tectonic plate movements put together.

Radical as his thesis sounds, it is being taken seriously. "Kleidon is at the forefront of a new wave of research, and the potential prize is huge," says Peter Cox, who studies climate system dynamics at the University of Exeter, UK. "A theory of the thermodynamics of the Earth system could help us understand the constraints on humankind's sustainable use of resources." Indeed, Kleidon's calculations have profound implications for attempts to transform our energy supply.

Of the 47 TW of energy that we use, about 17 TW comes from burning fossil fuels. So to replace this, we would need to build enough sustainable energy installations to generate at least 17 TW. And because no technology can ever be perfectly efficient, some of the free energy harnessed by wind and wave generators will be lost as heat. So by setting up wind and wave farms, we convert part of the sun's useful energy into unusable heat.

"Large-scale exploitation of wind energy will inevitably leave an imprint in the atmosphere," says Kleidon. "Because we use so much free energy, and more every year, we'll deplete the reservoir of energy." He says this would probably show up first in wind farms themselves, where the gains expected from massive facilities just won't pan out as the energy of the Earth system is depleted.

Using a model of global circulation, Kleidon found that the amount of energy which we can expect to harness from the wind is reduced by a factor of 100 if you take into account the depletion of free energy by wind farms. It remains theoretically possible to extract up to 70 TW globally, but doing so would have serious consequences.

Although the winds will not die, sucking that much energy out of the atmosphere in Kleidon's model changed precipitation, turbulence and the amount of solar radiation reaching the Earth's surface. The magnitude of the changes was comparable to the changes to the climate caused by doubling atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (Earth System Dynamics, DOI: 10.5194/esd-2-1-2011).

alkemical
03-31-2011, 07:50 AM
http://www.blacklistednews.com/?news_id=13294

Sock Puppet Planet: The Secret State's Quest for 'Persona Management Software'

Not since AT&T whistleblower Marc Klein's 2006 revelations that U.S. telecommunications giants were secretly collaborating with the government to spy on Americans, has a story driven home the point that we are confronted by a daunting set of invisible enemies: the security and intelligence firms constellating the dark skies of the National Security State.

As echoes from last month's disclosures by the cyber-guerrilla collective Anonymous continue to reverberate, leaked HBGary emails and documents are providing tantalizing insight into just how little daylight there is between private companies and the government.

The latest front in the ongoing war against civil liberties and privacy rights is the Pentagon's interest in "persona management software."

A euphemism for a suite of high-tech tools that equip an operative--military or corporate, take your pick--with multiple avatars or sock puppets, our latter day shadow warriors hope to achieve a leg up on their opponents in the "war of ideas" through stealthy propaganda campaigns rebranded as "information operations."

Corporate Cut-Outs

Following up on last month's revelations, The Guardian disclosed that a "Californian corporation has been awarded a contract with United States Central Command (Centcom), which oversees US armed operations in the Middle East and Central Asia, to develop what is described as an 'online persona management service' that will allow one US serviceman or woman to control up to 10 separate identities based all over the world."

That firm, a shadowy Los Angeles-based outfit called Ntrepid is devoid of information on its corporate web site although a company profile avers that the firm "provides national security and law enforcement customers with software, hardware, and managed services for cyber operations, analytics, linguistics, and tagging & tracking."

According to Guardian reporters Nick Fielding and Ian Cobain, Ntrepid was awarded a $2.76M contract by CENTCOM, which refused to disclose "whether the multiple persona project is already in operation or discuss any related contracts."

Blurring corporate lines of accountability even further, The Tech Herald revealed that Ntrepid may be nothing more than a "ghost corporation," a cut-out wholly owned and operated by Cubic Corporation.

A San Diego-based firm describing itself as "a global leader in defense and transportation systems and services" that "is emerging as an international supplier of smart cards and RFID solutions," Cubic clocks in at No. 75 on Washington Technology's list of 2010 Top Government Contractors.

Founded by Walter J. Zable, the firm's Chairman of the Board and CEO, Cubic has been described as one of the oldest and largest defense electronics firms on the West Coast.

Chock-a-block with high-level connections to right-wing Republicans including Darrell Issa, Duncan Hunter and Dan Coates, during the 2010 election cycle Cubic officers donated some $90,000 to Republican candidates, including $25,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee and some $30,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, according to the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org.

With some $1 billion in 2009 revenue largely derived from the Defense Department, the company's "Cyber Solutions" division "provides specialized cyber security products and solutions for defense, intelligence and homeland security customers."

The RFI for the Air Force disclosed by Anonymous Ragan reports, "was written for Anonymizer, a company acquired in 2008 by intelligence contractor Abraxas Corporation. The reasoning is that they had existing persona management software and abilities."

In turn, Abraxas was purchased by Cubic in 2010 for $124 million, an acquisition which Washington Technology described as one of the "best intelligence-related" deals of the year.

As The Tech Herald revealed, "some of the top talent at Anonymizer, who later went to Abraxas, left the Cubic umbrella to start another intelligence firm. They are now listed as organizational leaders for Ntrepid, the ultimate winner of the $2.7 million dollar government contract."

Speculation is now rife that since "Ntrepid's corporate registry lists Abraxas' previous CEO and founder, Richard Helms, as the director and officer, along with Wesley Husted, the former CFO, who is an Ntrepid officer as well," the new firm may be little more than an under-the-radar front for Cubic.

Amongst the Security Services offered by the firm we learn that "Cubic subsidiaries are working individually and in concert to develop a wide range of security solutions" that include: "C4ISR data links for homeland security intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions;" a Cubic Virtual Analysis Center which promises to deliver "superior situational awareness to decision makers in government, industry and nonprofit organizations," human behavior pattern analysis, and other areas lusted after by securocrats.

The Guardian informs us that the "multiple persona contract is thought to have been awarded as part of a programme called Operation Earnest Voice (OEV), which was first developed in Iraq as a psychological warfare weapon against the online presence of al-Qaida supporters and others ranged against coalition forces."

"Since then," Fielding and Cobain wrote, "OEV is reported to have expanded into a $200m programme and is thought to have been used against jihadists across Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Middle East."

While CENTCOM's then-commander, General David Petraeus told the Senate Armed Services Committee last year that the program was designed to "counter extremist ideology and propaganda," in light of HBGary revelations, one must ask whether firms involved in the dirty tricks campaign against WikiLeaks have deployed versions of "persona management software" against domestic opponents.

While we cannot say with certainty this is the case, mission creep from other "War on Terror" fronts, notably ongoing NSA warrantless wiretapping programs and Defense Department spy ops against antiwar activists, also involving "public-private partnerships" amongst security firms and the secret state, should give pause. 

alkemical
03-31-2011, 10:59 AM
http://www.dangerousminds.net/images/uploads/Anarchy11111_thumb.jpg

alkemical
03-31-2011, 12:18 PM
http://hackaday.com/2011/03/30/robotic-bird-flaps-away-last-bits-of-privacy/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+hackaday%2FLgoM+%28Hack+a+Day %29


Robotic bird flaps away last bits of privacy

http://hackadaycom.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/robotic-bird.jpg?w=470&h=348

This really gives a lifelike look to the eye in the sky. In case you were worried that every part of your life wasn’t being recorded by a surveillance camera, the Festo Bionic Learning Network has come up with a drone that will be hard to discern from the wildlife.

Watch the video after the break. We’re not 100% certain that it’s not fake, but it looks real enough (the mark of a truly amazing design). You’ll see the robo-bird flapping away both from a fixed point on the ground, and from a camera view behind the head of the device. It propels itself both by flapping and rotating the wings and is capable of taking off, flying, and landing autonomously.

It’s bigger than the hummingbird drone that was developed for DARPA, but we think that it sticks out less when caught at a glance. No word on the intended use for the device, but we’re sure that some of you are enjoying the nostalgia of the mechanical owl from Clash of the Titans, and that’s why we want one.

BroncsRule
03-31-2011, 04:54 PM
on the "bottleneck theory" of human history mentioned earlier, it is often linked to the Toba mega volcanic eruption:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toba_catastrophe_theory

alkemical
03-31-2011, 05:52 PM
http://cdn-www.cracked.com/articleimages/ob/comp4.jpg

alkemical
04-01-2011, 05:54 AM
http://designyoutrust.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/africa.jpg

alkemical
04-01-2011, 05:56 AM
Charles Schulz's Peanuts comics often conceal the existential despair of their world with a closing joke at the characters' expense. With the last panel omitted, despair pervades all.

http://3eanuts.tumblr.com/page/2

alkemical
04-01-2011, 05:59 AM
http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/31/zdenek-kalals-object-tracking-algorithm-learns-on-the-fly-like/

http://www.blogcdn.com/www.engadget.com/media/2011/03/eye-object-tracking.jpg

Zdenek Kalal's object tracking algorithm learns on the fly, likely to make next 007 flick (video)

Microsoft's own OneVision Video Recognizer may be novel, but if the folks in Redmond are seriously looking to take things next-level, they should probably cast their gaze across the pond. Zdenek Kalal, a researcher at the University of Surrey, has just created what may be the most sophisticated vision system known to the civilian world. In essence, it takes the mundane task of tracking objects to an entirely new platform, enabling users to select an object on the fly and have the algorithm immediately start tracking something new. Within seconds, it's able to maintain a lock even if your object twists, turns, or leaves / returns. Furthermore, these "objects" could be used as air mice if you force it to track your digits, and if you teach it what your staff looks like, you'll have a fully automated security scanner that can recognize faces and grant / deny access based on its database of white-listed individuals. Frankly, we'd rather you see it for yourself than listen to us extolling its virtues -- vid's after the break, per usual.

alkemical
04-01-2011, 06:08 AM
http://www.kurzweilai.net/source-code-movie-combines-mind-uploading-time-travel-simulated-reality

Source Code movie combines mind-uploading, parallel universes, time travel, simulated reality

In the science-fiction movie Source Code (April 1 release), a secret program called “Source Code” sends an Air Force officer back in time to cross over into another man’s identity and relive the last eight minutes of the passenger’s life on a train.

[+]The mission: find a bomb that exploded on the train, killing everyone on board, to prevent another terrorist attack in six hours.

“People like Ray Kurzweil have suggested that one day, if we can actually map out the entire brain and how it works, we can take one person’s consciousness and transport it into another’s.” — Jordan Wynn, producer of Source Code.

“I’m sure that within a couple of decades, we’ll have workers controlled by people with helmets performing deadly tasks, maybe at some point extracting information from the parallel universe.”— Physicist Michio Kaku



trailers @source link

alkemical
04-01-2011, 06:43 AM
http://www.redicecreations.com/article.php?id=14760

Feds forbid scientists probing Gulf dolphin deaths from speaking to media

http://www.redicecreations.com/ul_img/14759dolphintail.jpg

Last month dolphin corpses began washing up on the Gulf Coast in alarming numbers. Well, more dead dolphins continue to be found, bringing the total this year up to 114 -- 100 more than the average number of dead dolphins that washed ashore during the first three months of any year between 2002 and 2007.

So, naturally, there are quite a few people interested in what might cause such dramatic increases in marine mammal mortality. But Mississippi’s WLOX reported recently that government testing on the animals has been slow to commence, and Reuters reported over the weekend that a gag order has been put into place forbidding wildlife biologists at the National Marine Fisheries Service to talk to the media about their findings.

Reports Reuters:

The gag order was contained in an agency letter informing outside scientists that its review of the dolphin die-off, classified as an "unusual mortality event (UME)," had been folded into a federal criminal investigation launched last summer into the oil spill.

"Because of the seriousness of the legal case, no data or findings may be released, presented or discussed outside the UME investigative team without prior approval," the letter, obtained by Reuters, stated.

One veteran biologist-- speaking on the condition on anonymity -- told the news agency that fellow government scientists are "confused" and "angry" about the order because it leaves outside "marine experts out of the loop completely" and it "throws accountability right out the window."

Meanwhile, Gulf Coast residents already convinced that their government is either lying to them about the situation in the Gulf or doing everything in its power to suppress bad news (or both) aren’t likely to find such reports reassuring.

"The government’s full of more crap than a bathroom at a Taco Bell," one Louisiana fisherman told this reporter over the weekend. "Anybody down here with a lick of sense knows that."

(Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP)



Article from: news.yahoo.com

alkemical
04-01-2011, 09:50 AM
http://io9.com/#!5786651

10 Mysterious Underground Cities

alkemical
04-01-2011, 11:27 AM
http://www.disinfo.com/2011/03/china-to-pass-united-states-in-science-in-two-years/

China ‘To Pass United States In Science’ In Two Years

Posted by JacobSloan on March 30, 2011

MAI0002272_PFor years we were warned that American students trailed other nations’ in math and science — now the chickens have come home to roost. The BBC reports that in 2013 China will pass the United States as the global leader in scientific output. But can scientific progress really be measured? And, must it be viewed as a battle between nations? This issue may be as much about Western fears as anything else:

The country that invented the compass, gunpowder, paper and printing is set for a globally important comeback. China is on course to overtake the US in scientific output possibly as soon as 2013 – far earlier than expected.

That is the conclusion of a major new study by the Royal Society, the UK’s national science academy. The study, Knowledge, Networks and Nations, charts the challenge to the traditional dominance of the United States, Europe and Japan. The figures are based on the papers published in recognized international journals listed by the Scopus service of the publishers Elsevier.

In 1996, the first year of the analysis, the US published 292,513 papers – more than 10 times China’s 25,474. By 2008, the US total had increased very slightly to 316,317 while China’s had surged more than seven-fold to 184,080. After displacing the UK as the world’s second leading producer of research, [China] could go on to overtake America in as little as two years’ time.

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Posted in: China, Education, Geopolitics & Globalization, Science & Technology

alkemical
04-01-2011, 12:51 PM
http://inhabitat.com/scientists-develop-solar-powered-wind-turbine/

Timon Singh
Scientists Develop Solar-Powered Wind Turbine for Ultimate Energy Generation

Read more: Scientists Develop Solar-Powered Wind Turbine for Ultimate Energy Generation | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World

alkemical
04-01-2011, 12:57 PM
http://www.realitysandwich.com/grab_shovel_and_revitalize_your_community

Grab a Shovel and Revitalize Your Community!

As a part of the next stage of the Evolver Social Movement, we will be hosting and supporting national and global initiatives that evolvers can partake in to help transform their local communities in the world. For the second installment of the Evolver Action Alerts, we are teaming with Transition US and 350.org to grow food, conserve water, save energy and build community.

Transition US is a nonprofit organization that provides inspiration, networking and training for Transition Initiatives across the United States. They seek to build resilient communities that can weather challenges such as peak oil, climate change and the economic crisis. This is in order to engage people in their communities, resulting in lives that are more sustainable, equitable and socially connected.

Amidst a dizzying array of crises and mounting despair, together we must bring the hope of transition and show what we are capable of with our heads, hearts and hands aligned in action. It’s time for action, rooted in a shared vision and voice.



Think of a project for your community about: Food, Water, Energy or Community and register here.



NOTE: In the coming months I will be facilitating the Evolver Action Alerts, if you have any issues you'd like to shed light on, leave it in the comments section!

alkemical
04-01-2011, 01:19 PM
http://chzgifs.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/snakesnakep1.gif

alkemical
04-01-2011, 01:25 PM
http://ano.lolcathost.org/thumbs/temp_msn_jaketheman072_hotmail_comhljuc.png

alkemical
04-01-2011, 01:26 PM
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-dsB3r8NR-Ww/TYtLf0zPdII/AAAAAAAAAuI/YMHsJfbYF2U/s320/evil-clown-love1.jpg

alkemical
04-04-2011, 05:50 AM
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=ANA20110402&articleId=24103

Lawsuit seeks to invalidate Monsanto’s GMO patents

A landmark lawsuit filed on March 29 in US federal court seeks to invalidate Monsanto’s patents on genetically modified seeds and to prohibit the company from suing those whose crops become genetically contaminated.

The Public Patent Foundation filed suit on behalf of 270,000 people from sixty organic and sustainable businesses and trade associations, including thousands of certified-organic farmers. In Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association, et al. v. Monsanto, et al. (U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, Case No. 11 CIV 2163), PUBPAT details the invalidity of any patent that poisons people and the environment, and that is not useful to society, two hallmarks of US patent law.

"As Justice Story wrote in 1817, to be patentable, an invention must not be 'injurious to the well being, good policy, or sound morals of society,'” notes the complaint in its opening paragraphs, citing Lowell v. Lewis.

The suit points to studies citing harm caused by Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, including human placental damage, lymphoma, myeloma, animal miscarriages, and other impacts on human health.

Plaintiffs condemn Monsanto for prohibiting independent research on its transgenic seeds and for its successful lobby efforts to ban GM food labeling. Many raise the specter of allergic reaction to GM foods, proof of which is hidden by lack of labeling.

The suit also confronts the propaganda that transgenic seeds improve yield and reduce pesticide use, citing reports on failure to yield and increased pesticide use. The complaint mentions a 2010 lawsuit by West Virginia after several studies contradicted yield results claimed in Monsanto’s ads. And, it notes the growth in glyphosate-resistant superweeds.

“Thus, since the harm of transgenic seed is known, and the promises of transgenic seed’s benefits are false, transgenic seed is not useful for society.”

This means, should the court agree, that all transgenic seeds fail the test of patent law. The suit has the potential to reverse patent approval on all biotech seeds, impacting BASF, Bayer, DuPont, Dow, and Syngenta, and others. Genetic contamination of natural plants occurs where GM seeds are grown, no matter who developed them. Ingesting food which has had its DNA mucked with is dangerous, regardless of who does the mucking.

What makes Monsanto different is its US seed monopoly. Well documented by market authorities, Plaintiffs point out that, “Over 85-90% of all soybeans, corn, cotton, sugar beets and canola grown in the U.S. contains Monsanto’s patented genes.”

Through its monopoly, Monsanto has spiked the cost of seeds. In the past decade, corn seed prices increased 135% and soybean prices 108%, the suit asserts. As recently as 1997, soybean farmers spent only 4-8% of their income on seeds, “while in 2009, farmers who planted transgenic soybeans spent 16.4 percent of their income on seeds.”

Monsanto has also used its dominant position to limit competition from other herbicide producers, as well, the suit alleges.

alkemical
04-04-2011, 05:52 AM
http://www.kurzweilai.net/sixth-type-of-symmetry-discovered

Sixth type of symmetry discovered
April 4, 2011 by Editor
Lattice Symmetry

http://www.kurzweilai.net/images/Lattice-Symmetry.jpg

A lattice composed of columns of squares representing repeating molecular structures, one rotated clockwise (colored blue) and another counterclockwise (colored orange) with respect to each other (credit: Penn State University, Gopalan lab, Ryan Haislmaier)

Researchers at Penn State have discovered a sixth type of symmetry in the structure of materials called rotation reversal.

Rotation-reversal symmetry enriches the mathematical language that researchers use to describe a crystalline material’s structure and predict its properties. The research is expected to have broad relevance in many development efforts involving physical, chemical, biological, and engineering disciplines, such as the search for advanced ferroelectric ferromagnet materials for next-generation ultrasound devices and computers.
Lattice2 Symmetry

A lattice composed of two repeating squares that represent molecular structures (credit: Penn State University, Gopalan lab, Ryan Haislmaier)

Four types of symmetries (rotation, inversion, rotation inversion, and translation) have been known for thousands of years. A fifth type, time reversal, was discovered about 60 years ago. As a result of the discovery of the new sixth type, the number of known ways in which the components of crystalline materials can be combined in symmetrical ways has multiplied from 1,651 to more than 17,800.

A goal of the research is to describe each of the more than 17,800 different combinations of the six symmetry types to give materials scientists a practical new tool for significantly increasing the efficiency and effectiveness in finding novel materials.

The researchers see immediate applications in the search for structures in materials that could have strong ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties (allowing the electrical control of magnetism in computers), and in quartz crystals that are used widely in watches and electronic equipment.

Ref.: Venkatraman Gopalan & Daniel B. Litvin, Rotation-reversal symmetries in crystals and handed structures, April 3 online edition, Nature Materials

Topics: Nanotech/Materials Science

alkemical
04-04-2011, 05:56 AM
http://www.disinfo.com/2011/04/prepare-for-revolution-the-empire-state-rebellion-opesr/

Prepare For Revolution: The Empire State Rebellion | #OpESR

Posted by revspook on April 1, 2011

We The People“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never has, and it never will.” — Frederick Douglass

David DeGraw writes on Amped Status:

Contrary to rumors being spread around, I do not know what our friends at Anonymous have planned for Operation Empire State Rebellion (OpESR). However, I wholeheartedly agree with the goals they presented in their “Communication #1” video. They are very similar to reports I have been writing and the movement we have been calling for on our social network:

(embedded video @ source)

The Anonymous OpESR “manifesto” presented in their first video states the following:

“We are a decentralized non-violent resistance movement, which seeks to restore the rule of law and fight back against the organized criminal class.

One-tenth of one percent of the population has consolidated wealth in unprecedented fashion and launched an all-out economic war against 99.9% of the population.

We are not affiliated with either wing of the two-party oligarchy. We seek an end to the corrupted two-party system by ending the campaign finance and lobbying racket.

Above all, we aim to break up the global banking cartel centered at the Federal Reserve, International Monetary Fund, Bank of International Settlement and World Bank.

We demand that the primary dealers within the Federal Reserve banking system be broken up and held accountable for rigging markets and destroying the global economy, effective immediately.

As a first sign of good faith, we demand Ben Bernanke step down as Federal Reserve chairman.

Until our demands are met and a rule of law is restored, we will engage in a relentless campaign of non-violent, peaceful, civil disobedience.”

In addition to this manifesto, a press release was picked up by Zero Hedge which mentioned our site and directly referenced a list of “Grievances and Demands” that also appear on our social network. The release begins:

“We, Anonymous, would like to offer you the opportunity to join and support our movement. We are a group that formed on the internet – one that knows no constructs or absolutes, and one that has recently grown exponentially…” [Read full release.]

I do not know who issued this press release. For more information on my limited interactions with unknown Anonymous sources you can watch the TV interview I had with Max Keiser discussing this.

alkemical
04-04-2011, 06:28 AM
http://www.dangerousminds.net/images/uploads/masterofflair_thumb.jpg

alkemical
04-04-2011, 06:28 AM
http://www.greatnewsnetwork.org/index.php/news/article/macedonia_plants_three_million_trees_to_revive_for ests/?source=rss

Macedonia plants three million trees to revive forests
Apr 02, 11 | Comment
"There is no better feeling than when you plant a tree and after some time come and see it growing,"
- opera singer and UNESCO Artist for Peace Boris Trajanov

Thousands of Macedonians took a day off work on Thursday to plant three million trees to revive the nation's forests after fires ravaged an estimated 35,000 hectares (86,000 acres) of greenery.

Trajanov launched the initiative three years ago, gaining wide support from the government, local authorities, non-governmental organisations, foreign representatives and businesses.

Around 30 million trees have previously been planted on more than 8,500 hectares.

"This has become a nice tradition that is not only increasing the awareness among citizens about need for protection of the environment, but is making Macedonia more green and more clean," the Interior Minister Gordana Jankuloska said as she planted a tree near the capital Skopje.

Continue reading on Terra Daily article opens in new window

alkemical
04-04-2011, 06:46 AM
http://www.realitysandwich.com/contesting_abundance

Contesting Abundance: Shared for the Common Good or Monopolized for Private Profit?

alkemical
04-04-2011, 08:58 AM
http://chzgifs.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/bellyfloppingphysicsp1.gif

alkemical
04-04-2011, 09:46 AM
http://www.dangerousminds.net/comments/hare_krishnas_psychedelize_utah/

Hare Krishnas psychedelicize Utah

http://www.dangerousminds.net/images/uploads/holi.jpg

Every year the Hare Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork, Utah puts on the biggest Holi celebration in the Western Hemisphere. In 2011 the Spanish Fork Police department estimated that over 40,000 people attended in the first day alone of the two-day festival. Organizers carefully rationed their stash of approximately 120,000 bags of colored powder.

Attendees come from all over the country (and some from abroad), but the majority of attendees are students from Brigham Young, Utah Valley, and Utah universities.

Holi celebrates the triumph of good over evil and ushers in the spring season. The festival commemorates a Hindu myth about a witch who burned children in a fire. One child repeated the Hare Krishna mantra as he was carried into the flames and the witch was burned instead. At the Spanish Fork festival, rock and roll, R&B, and other modern interpretation of the mantra are played by musicians throughout the day and chanted in a call and response game between performers and attendees. The main event of each festival is the coordinated throwing of colored powder, when the sky above the crowd is filled with rainbow puffs of dye.

alkemical
04-06-2011, 09:20 AM
http://www.gizmag.com/michelin-protek-max-presses-punctures-closed/18333/

New Michelin bike inner tube squeezes punctures closed

Bicycle inner tubes that contain a small-puncture-sealing slimy liquid may not be a new development in and of themselves, but Michelin has released a product that takes the concept a step further. The company's Protek Max tube not only contains a sealant, but is designed to compress when punctured to assist the self-sealing process.

The two things you'll notice about the Protek is that it has a square cross-section, and funny little bumps on its surface. The square shape helps align it within the tire casing and against the rim well, which Michelin says eases mounting and eliminates the twisting problems that can occur with traditional sausage-shaped tubes.

When the tube is fully inflated within the tire, its textured surface causes the rubber to compress instead of expand when under pressure. This means that the internal air pressure actually closes holes off, giving the sealant a better chance at taking care of them for good.

The tubes also are claimed to hold air longer – when tested against Michelin's self-sealing AIRSTOP tube, the Protek was said to maintain proper pressure for twice the amount of time.

Commuters and mountain bikers, but not road racers, can get a Protek Max to fit their tire. It is available in sizes of 700 x 35-47c (200 grams) and 26 x 1.4-2.125 inches (260 grams), with Presta or Shrader valves, for a suggested retail price of US$8.99.

alkemical
04-07-2011, 05:45 AM
http://hackaday.com/2011/04/06/everything-you-need-to-know-about-wall-warts/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+hackaday%2FLgoM+%28Hack+a+Day %29

If you work with electronics at any skill level you need juice. [Jon] has a great, and clearly worded tutorial about with pretty much everything you need to know about those little black boxes hanging off of your outlets.

The whole thing starts off with the basics like transformers, rectification smoothing and regulation, then moves on to the different basic types, dedicating a page to linear, regulated and switching types, giving output performance charts under different situations.

Also included is a run-down of DC barrel jack structure so you get the right plug every time, wall wart type identification, a random sample comparison test, and a good selection of formulas to even keep the old hats reading along. Although you might want to set aside a little time at 9 pages and some Q/A in the comments, it might take a moment to read.

alkemical
04-07-2011, 05:48 AM
http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/la/organizing/habitchanging-furniture-143423?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+apartmenttherapy%2Fmain+%28Ma in%29

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/uimages/la/040611behavior-01.jpg

We talk a lot about simplifying our lives, usually starting with clearing out the physical clutter in our homes and sometimes involving incorporating cleaner, more streamlined modern furniture that fits a certain simple aesthetic.

But what about not just buying furniture for aesthetic desires, but to alter your habits to fit a lifestyle you want to achieve? Two examples immediately come to mind. Urbancase, a small design company in Seattle, has two pieces: their Ledge is reminiscent of the old-fashioned writing desk—updated for electrical needs—and created to encourage simple, undistracted correspondence. Their Emergency Cocktail Station was designed because urbancase founder Darin Montgomery wants to see more pre-dinner socialization and less veg-out-in-front-of-the-TV-after-work habits.

Dean Heckler’s One Less Desk fits this idea, too. Designed to help folks shake off the old way we used to work—with giant desks to hold all our giant tech things—One Less Desk isn’t just about creating a desk with a slim profile. By taking away more surface area, it forces you to avoid stacks and clutter, perhaps slowly helping you achieve a more organized state of living (or at the very least desk working).

alkemical
04-07-2011, 05:51 AM
http://www.engadget.com/2011/04/06/dell-to-trial-mushroom-based-packaging-on-servers-hugs-it-hippi/

Dell to trial mushroom-based packaging on servers, hugs IT hippies

We've already seen Dell embracing the bamboo woods to package its products, so what's next for Round Rock's green fingers? Mushrooms, apparently. Unveiled at the Fortune Brainstorm Green conference yesterday is a biodegradable cushioning tray, which is grown -- yes, grown -- out of a mold stuffed with old cotton hulls, mushroom spawn, and nutritious agricultural waste. While it does take about five to ten days for the mycelium (aka mushroom root) to form the desired shape, the merit of such process is that all the energy required for the manufacture is provided by the recycled waste, thus reducing other energy dependencies. What's more, this fungal packaging has already passed Dell's extensive lab tests "like a champ," and it'll soon be trialed on Multipack packaging shipments for the PowerEdge R710 servers. If you want to thank Michael, he'll be in his usual tree house.

alkemical
04-07-2011, 05:54 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/06/science/06particle.html?_r=2

At Particle Lab, a Tantalizing Glimpse Has Physicists Holding Their Breaths

By DENNIS OVERBYE
Published: April 5, 2011

Physicists at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory are planning to announce Wednesday that they have found a suspicious bump in their data that could be evidence of a new elementary particle or even, some say, a new force of nature.

Giovanni Punzi, the Fermilab physicist who is spokesman for the international team that did the work, said by e-mail that he and his colleagues were “strongly thrilled at the possibility, and cautious at the same time, because this would be so important that almost scares us — so we think of all possible alternative explanations.”

Physicists outside the Fermilab circle said they regarded the results, which have been widely discussed in physics circles for several months, with a mixture of awe and skepticism.

“If it holds up, it’s very big,” said Neal Weiner, a theoretical physicist at New York University. Lisa Randall, a theorist at Harvard, said the same thing: “It is definitely interesting, if real.”

But Nima Arkani-Hamed of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., said he did not find the bump convincing, saying it could be an artifact of how the data was sliced and diced.

The important thing, he said, was that if this and other anomalies recently reported at the Tevatron are real, then the Large Hadron Collider, a rival machine run by CERN, “will see dramatic evidence in not too long — that’s certainly what I’m waiting for.”

The key phrase, everyone agrees, is “if it holds up.” The experimenters estimate that there is a less than a quarter of 1 percent chance their bump is a statistical fluctuation, making it what physicists call a three-sigma result, enough to attract attention but not enough to claim an actual discovery. Three-sigma bumps, as every physicist knows, can come and go.

The Tevatron has been colliding beams of protons and their opposites, antiprotons, that have been accelerated to energies of one trillion electron volts, for more than two decades looking for new forces and particles. The bump showed up in an analysis of some 10,000 of those collisions collected by the Collider Detector at Fermilab, one of two mammoth detectors at the facility, which is outside Chicago.

They found that in about 250 more cases than they expected, what came out of the collision were two jets of lightweight particles, like electrons, and a heavy-force-carrying particle called the W boson were produced. The team found that in about 250 times more cases than expected, the total energy of the jets clustered around a value of about 144 billion electron volts, as if they were the decay products of a hitherto unsuspected particle with that mass-energy. For comparison, a proton weighs about one billion electron volts.

This could not be the Standard Model Higgs, Dr. Punzi and his colleagues concluded, because the Higgs is predicted to decay into much heavier particles, namely quarks. Moreover, the rate at which these mystery particles were being produced was 300 times greater than Higgs bosons would be produced.

If real, it was something totally new, Dr. Punzi said. The result had recently been strengthened, he said, by new calculations of interactions between quarks, which are notoriously difficult to compute. “It is so new, so astonishing, we ourselves can barely believe it,” he said. “We decided we had to let the whole world know.”

Dr. Punzi and his colleagues have submitted a paper that was to be posted on a physics Web site Tuesday night and has been submitted to Physical Review Letters.

alkemical
04-07-2011, 05:59 AM
http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-04-overturned-scientific-explanation-good-news.html

Overturned scientific explanation may be good news for nuclear fusion

Flat out wrong. That’s what a team of Duke researchers has discovered, much to its surprise, about a long-accepted explanation of how nuclei collide to produce charged particles for electricity – a process receiving intense interest lately from scientists, entrepreneurs and policy makers in the wake of Japan’s nuclear crisis.

Plasma physicists have been trying for 25 years to create electricity from the fusion of boron and hydrogen atoms.

The new study says their efforts have been based on a misunderstanding of the underlying physics – although the error could end up actually helping those looking to fusion energy as an alternative energy source.

Researchers have been developing reactors to slam hydrogen at high speeds into boron-11, a collision that yields high-energy helium nuclei, or alpha particles. Those alphas then spiral through a tunnel of electromagnetic coils, transforming them into a flow of electrons, or electricity.

“Obviously, a detailed understanding of the energy and location of every outgoing alpha particle is crucial to the development of this reactor,” says Duke nuclear physicist Henry Weller, a co-author of the new study.

Weller and his colleagues took a fresh look at the hydrogen-boron reaction at the Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory (TUNL) on Duke’s campus. They expected to confirm the accepted wisdom that a collision of one hydrogen particle and one boron-11 particle produces a single high-energy alpha particle -- which produces electricity well – and two lower energy alphas, which are less useful for generating electricity.

Instead, the team found the collision yields two high-energy alphas, which shoot off at an angle of 155 degrees, along with one lower-energy alpha. The existence of this second high-energy alpha could mean these kinds of fusion systems are able to produce much more electricity than expected, says Duke nuclear physicist and study co-author Mohammad Ahmed. The results appear online in Physics Letters B.

The unexpected finding appears to confirm a long-forgotten observation from physicists at Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, England. In 1936, they made crude, but apparently correct, estimates of the two higher-energy alphas.

Their results were “buried in history” until now, Ahmed says.

Now, 75 years later, the new insight makes the boron-fusion reaction even more interesting as a possible alternative to the nuclear fission process used in reactors in Japan and other parts of the world. A reactor based on this process could produce electricity without radioactive wastes. It also would not produce the carbon dioxide and other gases emitted by coal-powered plants.

Nuclear fusion still faces formidable challenges, one of the greatest being that hydrogen and boron only begin to fuse at temperatures close to 1 billion degrees Kelvin (nearly 2 billion degrees Fahrenheit). But building this type of reactor is realistic, says Weller, whose team is continuing to study the process at TUNL

alkemical
04-07-2011, 06:04 AM
Stem cells coaxed into forming partial eyeball (http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20341-stem-cells-coaxed-into-forming-partial-eyeball.html#)


http://www.newscientist.com/data/images/ns/cms/dn20341/dn20341-1_300.jpg

Mouse stem cells have been coaxed into forming a partial eyeball, and the method may one day lead to retina transplants.

Yoshiki Sasai at the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe, Japan, and colleagues encouraged embryonic stem cells to develop into retinal cells, and then grew them alongside a protein matrix to promote the formation of tissue.

Over 12 days, the retinal cells formed a vesicle which subsequently transformed into a cup-like structure. Within this "optic cup", six major types of retinal cells were identified. They had spontaneously arranged themselves into six different layers, mimicking those seen in the adult retina.

While it is not yet possible to generate a fully formed eye – including a lens, sclera and cornea – Sasai says it may be feasible to use human stem cells with minor modifications to generate retinal tissues large enough for human transplantation in the next few years.

"The retina is severely impaired in genetic diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa. This replacement therapy would become practical once human retina tissue is available by our method," says Sasai.

alkemical
04-07-2011, 06:08 AM
http://www.krqe.com/dpp/news/botanist-finds-mysterious-plant-in-nm

Botanist finds mysterious plant in NM

Updated: Saturday, 02 Apr 2011, 10:35 AM MDT
Published : Saturday, 02 Apr 2011, 10:35 AM MDT

ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) - Little green men are no strangers to Roswell, but now one New Mexico botanist says a little green plant has an out-of-this world connection to New Mexico.

David Salman said he was on a seed hunting trip near Roswell when he noticed a faint glow coming from what appeared to be a meteor crater.

He said it turned out the light was coming from a small patch of carnivorous cacti.

Salman said he found a cactus that eats bugs, glows and probably came to earth on a meteor.

He says he scooped up some samples to see if someone could identify them, so far no one has been able to.

alkemical
04-07-2011, 06:19 AM
http://www.gizmag.com/solar-thermal-cell/18346/

New solar-thermal device harnesses heat and light

http://images.gizmag.com/hero/solarthermaldevice.jpg

Researchers at Wake Forest University have developed a new type of polymer solar-thermal device that combines photovoltaics with a system that captures the Sun's infrared radiation to generate heating. By taking advantage of both heat and light, researchers say the device could deliver up to 40 percent savings on the cost of heating, as well as helping reduce power bills by producing electricity.

The hybrid cell is designed with an integrated array of clear tubes, five millimeters (approx 1/4 inch) in diameter. Lying flat, visible sunlight shines into the clear tube which is filled with an oil blended with a proprietary dye, heating the oil which then flows into a heat pump to transfer the warmth inside a home.

Electrical current is produced via a polymer photovoltaic sprayed onto the back of the tubes.

The result is a solar-thermal device with an impressive 30 percent conversion efficiency.

In comparison to flat solar cells, the tube design also has the advantage of being able to capture light at oblique angles, so it can accumulate power for a much longer stretch in the day and be more readily integrated into building materials – it could be produced to resemble a roofing tile for example.

The research team aims to produce a 3 foot square solar thermal cell over the coming months, a key step in bringing the technology closer to market.

"It's a systems approach to making your home ultra-efficient because the device collects both solar energy and heat," said David Carroll, Ph.D., director of the Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials at Wake Forest University. "Our solar-thermal device takes better advantage of the broad range of power delivered from the sun each day."

alkemical
04-07-2011, 06:21 AM
Blurring the distinction between a particle and its mirror image (http://www.kurzweilai.net/blurring-the-distinction-between-a-particle-and-its-mirror-image)

http://www.kurzweilai.net/images/Quantum-Mirror.jpg

Mirror demonstrates quantum superposition states (credit: Technische Universität Wein)

Physicists from Heidelberg Unversity, and colleagues from Technische Universität (München and Wein), have extended a thought experiment by Einstein and managed to blur the distinction between a particle and its mirror image by creating quantum superpositions.

The physicists experimentally produced motional coherence by a single spontaneous emission event close to a mirror surface. By placing atoms close to the mirror’s surface, they demonstrated that there are two possible paths for any photon traveling to an observer: one emitted directly in the direction of the observer, and a second traveling in the opposite direction and reflected in the mirror.

They showed that if there is no way of distinguishing between these two paths, the motion of the atom is indeterminate and the atom moves in a superposition of both paths. The atom paradoxically moves towards the mirror and away from the mirror at the same time.

The research extends Einstein’s recoiling slit experiment, in which a particle hits a plate with two slits and passes through both slits simultaneously, due to its wave-like quantum mechanical properties.

Ref.: Jörg Schmiedmayer & Markus K. Oberthaler et al., Single spontaneous photon as a coherent beamsplitter for an atomic matter-wave, Nature Physics, April 3, 2011

alkemical
04-07-2011, 06:23 AM
This is how I am. I'm usually in bed at 2a, and up at 6-7a.

http://www.disinfo.com/2011/04/the-elite-dont-sleep/

For a small group of people—perhaps just 1% to 3% of the population—sleep is a waste of time.

Natural “short sleepers,” as they’re officially known, are night owls and early birds simultaneously. They typically turn in well after midnight, then get up just a few hours later and barrel through the day without needing to take naps or load up on caffeine.

They are also energetic, outgoing, optimistic and ambitious, according to the few researchers who have studied them. The pattern sometimes starts in childhood and often runs in families.

While it’s unclear if all short sleepers are high achievers, they do have more time in the day to do things, and keep finding more interesting things to do than sleep, often doing several things at once.

Nobody knows how many natural short sleepers are out there. “There aren’t nearly as many as there are people who think they’re short sleepers,” says Daniel J. Buysse, a psychiatrist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and a past president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, a professional group.

Out of every 100 people who believe they only need five or six hours of sleep a night, only about five people really do, Dr. Buysse says. The rest end up chronically sleep deprived, part of the one-third of U.S. adults who get less than the recommended seven hours of sleep per night, according to a report last month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…

[continues in the Wall Street Journal]

TheReverend
04-07-2011, 07:52 AM
FBI — The Vault (http://vault.fbi.gov/)

alkemical
04-07-2011, 07:55 AM
Score! Thanks Rev.

TheReverend
04-07-2011, 08:06 AM
Score! Thanks Rev.

Thousands of credible pages have been released on every topic from foreign counter intelligence to the paranormal.

They even have this about Roswell:

"An investigator for the Air Force stated that three so-called flying saucers had been recovered in New Mexico," according to the memo dated March 22, 1950. "They were described as being circular in shape with raised centers, approximately 50 feet in diameter. Each one was occupied by three bodies of human shape but only 3 feet tall, dressed in metallic cloth of a very fine texture. Each body was bandaged in a manner similar to the blackout suits used by speed flyers and test pilots."

alkemical
04-07-2011, 08:15 AM
Hmmm, i'll have to spend some time there.

alkemical
04-07-2011, 12:34 PM
http://www.sacred-texts.com/cfu/artwar.txt

II. Waging War

1. Sun Tzu said: In the operations of war, where there are in the
field a thousand swift chariots, as many heavy chariots, and a hundred
thousand mail-clad soldiers, with provisions enough to carry them
a thousand li, the expenditure at home and at the front, including
entertainment of guests, small items such as glue and paint, and sums
spent on chariots and armor, will reach the total of a thousand ounces
of silver per day. Such is the cost of raising an army of 100,000
men.

2. When you engage in actual fighting, if victory is long in coming,
then men's weapons will grow dull and their ardor will be damped.
If you lay siege to a town, you will exhaust your strength.

3. Again, if the campaign is protracted, the resources of the State
will not be equal to the strain.

4. Now, when your weapons are dulled, your ardor damped, your strength
exhausted and your treasure spent, other chieftains will spring up
to take advantage of your extremity. Then no man, however wise, will
be able to avert the consequences that must ensue.

5. Thus, though we have heard of stupid haste in war, cleverness has
never been seen associated with long delays.

6. There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged
warfare.

7. It is only one who is thoroughly acquainted with the evils of war
that can thoroughly understand the profitable way of carrying it on.

8. The skillful soldier does not raise a second levy, neither are
his supply-wagons loaded more than twice.

9. Bring war material with you from home, but forage on the enemy.
Thus the army will have food enough for its needs.

10. Poverty of the State exchequer causes an army to be maintained
by contributions from a distance. Contributing to maintain an army
at a distance causes the people to be impoverished.

11. On the other hand, the proximity of an army causes prices to go
up; and high prices cause the people's substance to be drained away.

12. When their substance is drained away, the peasantry will be afflicted
by heavy exactions.

13,14. With this loss of substance and exhaustion of strength, the
homes of the people will be stripped bare, and three-tenths of their
income will be dissipated; while government expenses for broken chariots,
worn-out horses, breast-plates and helmets, bows and arrows, spears
and shields, protective mantles, draught-oxen and heavy wagons, will
amount to four-tenths of its total revenue.

15. Hence a wise general makes a point of foraging on the enemy. One
cartload of the enemy's provisions is equivalent to twenty of one's
own, and likewise a single picul of his provender is equivalent to
twenty from one's own store.

16. Now in order to kill the enemy, our men must be roused to anger;
that there may be advantage from defeating the enemy, they must have
their rewards.

17. Therefore in chariot fighting, when ten or more chariots have
been taken, those should be rewarded who took the first. Our own flags
should be substituted for those of the enemy, and the chariots mingled
and used in conjunction with ours. The captured soldiers should be
kindly treated and kept.

18. This is called, using the conquered foe to augment one's own strength.

19. In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns.

20. Thus it may be known that the leader of armies is the arbiter
of the people's fate, the man on whom it depends whether the nation
shall be in peace or in peril.

alkemical
04-07-2011, 12:48 PM
http://inhabitat.com/ge-will-build-the-largest-solar-panel-factory-in-the-united-states/

GE Will Build the United States’ Largest Solar Panel Factory
by Rebecca Paul, 04/07/11
filed under: Renewable Energy,Solar Power

solar panel factory, GE, General Electric, General Electric solar panel factory, thin-film solar, First Solar, solar power, renewable energy, primestar, primestar solar

GE has just announced their plans to build the largest solar panel factory in the U.S. The company will spend 600 million dollars on the new factory and their goal is to produce of 400 megawatts of thin-film solar annually, by the time they open for business in 2013. GE’s solar panels with be composed of the same thin layers of cadmium telluride currently used by their largest competetor First Solar, but for nearly less than a third of the cost.

GE has become one of the world’s primary manufacturers of wind turbines, and according to Victor Abate, Vice President of GE’s renewable energy business, the company will continue to actively invest in high-tech solar products to advance their position in the renewable energy industry.GE’s first step toward building their new factory has included the recent acquisition of PrimeStar Solar located in Arvada, Colorado.

Abate relays, “The biggest challenge for solar is the cost of energy. For every point you can move [higher] in efficiency, you reduce the cost of the system by 10%.” To counter this issue PrimeStar Solar is seen as a major asset to GE. The company has been able to produce a CdTe thin-film panel with a record-breaking efficiency of 12.8%. The cadmium telluride thin-film also proves to be cost efficient, reducing production costs from $1.20 a watt (the cost of traditional silicon solar panels) to just $.80 a watt.

GE has stated that worldwide demand for solar products is expected to grow by 75 gigawatts over the next five years. With these focused investments GE is hoping to capitalize on the growth. Thus far they already have 100 megawatts worth of orders from utility-scale solar customers in the U.S.

Via Forbes

Read more: GE Will Build the Largest Solar Panel Factory in the United States | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World

alkemical
04-07-2011, 12:50 PM
http://www.dangerousminds.net/images/uploads/obamalockedout.gif

alkemical
04-08-2011, 05:43 AM
http://www.kurzweilai.net/huge-asteroid-to-pass-near-earth-in-november

http://www.kurzweilai.net/images/Huge-Asteroid.jpg

The Asteroid 2005 YU55, about 1,300 feet in diameter, will approach Earth within 0.85 lunar distances in early November 2011.

Discovered on December 28, 2005, “the close Earth approach of 2005 YU55 on November 8 is unusual since it is close and big. On average, one wouldn’t expect an object this big to pass this close but every 30 years,” says Don Yeomans, manager of NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.

“This flyby will be the closest by any near-Earth asteroid with an absolute magnitude this bright since 1976 and until 2028,” says Lance Benner, a research scientist at JPL.

Initially the asteroid will be too faint for telescopes. But late in the day (UTC) on November 8, the solar elongation will grow sufficiently to see it.

alkemical
04-08-2011, 05:46 AM
I wonder when/if google will buy GE?

http://inhabitat.com/google-invests-in-german-solar-power-plant-that-will-power-5000-homes/

Google announced that they are putting an investment of $5 million USD — or $3.5 million euros — into one of Germany’s largest solar power plants. The investment is their first renewable energy investment in Europe and though the plans still need approval from the German government, when it is finished it will power about 5,000 homes in the area. The project is slated to be built on land that was once used as training grounds for the Russian military.


After Google created their own energy subsidiary the company began investing heavily in wind power projects in the United States — including the massive Atlantic Wind Connection that will bring wind power up and down the East Coast.

The announcement of the investment in Germany by Google comes at a time when Germany is wrestling with the future of their renewable energy systems. Following the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear emergency in Japan, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a moratorium on all pending nuclear projects and turned away from her promise to keep Germany’s 17 reactors operating into the future. She’s now promising a move away from nuclear and toward other forms of renewable energy. With the momentum of Germany’s energy ideas at the moment, we’re thinking this new solar project will get off the ground pretty quickly and Google will soon be part owner of Germany’s clean energy future.

Via PhysOrg

Read more: Google Invests in German Solar Power Plant That will Power 5,000 Homes | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World

alkemical
04-08-2011, 05:47 AM
http://cryptogon.com/?p=21636

Via: Forbes: Sunny Saudi Arabia plans to shift most of its domestic energy use to solar and nuclear power, diverting more oil to exports, a Saudi official said yesterday at the Third Saudi Solar Energy Forum in Riyadh. “The use of alternative sustainable and reliable resources reduces dependency on hydrocarbons and keeps them as a [...]



What does this tell you via a business perspective?

alkemical
04-08-2011, 05:49 AM
Psychedelic drug cuts brain blood flow and connections
from New Scientist - Online News

Rather than expand the mind, the active ingredient of magic mushrooms decreases blood flow and connectivity

alkemical
04-08-2011, 05:50 AM
Again, for those of you who like this thread - but don't want to be tied to the OM for it - I do have a google reader feed and twitter. I've been a little lax with it - but i've been a little busy these days.

alkemical
04-08-2011, 05:54 AM
http://ano.lolcathost.org/thumbs/1296116454365.jpg

alkemical
04-08-2011, 05:55 AM
http://felixhoward.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/dominos-pizza-complaint1.jpg?w=596&h=618

alkemical
04-08-2011, 06:03 AM
:f***off:

http://www.engadget.com/2011/04/07/us-homeland-security-department-planning-to-use-facebook-twitte/

http://www.blogcdn.com/www.engadget.com/media/2011/04/facebook-alert-04-07-2011.jpg

US Homeland Security Department planning to use Facebook, Twitter for terrorism alerts

It looks like we finally know what the US Department of Homeland Security plans to use instead of the now infamous color-coded terrorism alert system. According to a draft document obtained by the Associated Press, the department's new system will simply have two levels of alerts -- "elevated" and "imminent" -- and it seems those warnings will even be published online using Facebook and Twitter "when appropriate." There's no word as to exactly how those alerts will be published, however, or any indication that the two companies have actually committed to aiding the department in any way, for that matter. We should know more soon enough, though -- the new system is expected to be in place by April 27th.
The Globe and Mail
sourceAssociated Press
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alkemical
04-08-2011, 06:06 AM
Biologists create self-replicating RNA molecule
from New Scientist - Online News

A nifty little molecule has brought us a step closer to the first self-replicating molecule: a key event in the origin of life

alkemical
04-08-2011, 10:38 AM
Colon cleansing course fined for toilet shortage
from Nothing To Do With Arbroath by arbroath
1 person liked this
The arrangers of a Hawaiian colon cleansing course in northern Sweden that worked a little too well have been fined for not having enough toilets. One of the course's female participants reported the company that arranged the course after she was forced to empty her bowels outside in front of other participants.

According to the woman, the fact there were more participants than toilets forced participants to employ a "first come, first served" policy, much to the detriment of those for whom the treatment worked less urgently. The course in Hawaiian colonic cleansing was organised at a residential study centre in Ångermanland in northern Sweden.



The centre has now been ordered to refund 1,000 kronor ($158) to the woman after she complained that not only did the toilet facilities not meet demand, the course was too short and too expensive. "The board assumes that the vast majority would prefer, and even take for granted, the possibility to defecate in private, unless otherwise apparent from the event's information," the Swedish National Board for Consumer Disputes (Allmänna reklamationsnämnden - ARN) wrote in its decision.

Hawaiian colon cleansing is a process developed by the island nation's Kahunas - taken to mean variously expert, sorcerer, magician or minister - for the radical purging of bowel plaque and acids. The cleansing process is completed by drinking large quantities of lightly-salted water and herbal concoctions over the course of several days.

alkemical
04-08-2011, 10:40 AM
Solar Costs May Already Rival Coal, Spurring Installation
from cryptogon.com by Kevin
Barring a major wildcard event (global nuclear war, massive asteroid impact, etc.), the horror show will grind on, now with even more Clean and Green. Via: Bloomberg: Solar panel installations may surge in the next two years as the cost of generating electricity from the sun rivals coal-fueled plants, industry executives and analysts said. Large [...]

alkemical
04-08-2011, 10:47 AM
http://www.realitysandwich.com/trouble_vaporware

At the middle/end of this article they are discussing which types of solar hotwater heaters work best for what areas.

alkemical
04-08-2011, 10:53 AM
http://inhabitat.com/ecovative-teams-up-with-ford-to-create-compostable-car-parts-from-mushrooms/

Ecovative Teams Up With Ford to Create Compostable Car Parts from Mushrooms
by Tafline Laylin, 04/05/11
filed under: Green Materials,green packaging



Ushering in a new generation of partially compostable cars, Ecovative has teamed up with Ford to use their mushroom-based foam as a key component in bumpers, side doors, and dashboards. The best part is that the material will decompose just one month after being buried. Gavin McIntyre and Eben Bayer discovered that mycelia (mushroom roots) are a natural binding agent that can be combined with agricultural products such as corn and oat husks to make an incredibly durable material that can replace styrofoam and polystyrene in practically every application. Several companies from a number of industries are looking to the Green Island, NY-based startup to cook up alternative materials for their products as well — so we can finally leave polystyrene and styrofoam in our earth-loving dust.

Ecovative combines mushroom roots with corn or oat husks in trays of various sizes. These are then left to fester and furl in a dark warehouse for five days, after which the mix emerges glued together. This is then cooked and fried, and voila! a new packaging material is born. Not only is the new product biodegradable, but it is also fire and waterproof, making it an excellent substitute for polystyrene and styrofoam – the bane of every environmentalist’s existence.

The head of Ford’s plastic research department Deborah Mielewski became interested in the product, as that company hopes to replace 30 pounds of each car’s petroleum-based foams with more environmentally sensible alternatives. It turns out that Ecovative’s mushroom foam is every bit as affordable as polystyrene and styrofoam, uses very little energy, and reuses what would otherwise be agricultural waste.

The company, which has approximately 30 employees, has received a total of $4 million in grants and other funding to buoy their research and development initiatives. Other potential applications for their products include cosmetics and computer parts; a wine distributor has even solicited their genius – but we’re not allowed to know why just yet. There is a caveat: Ecovative has to overcome the challenge of maintaining a consistent density with a raw material that is a living organism, but a lot of people believe that they are going to make it work.

Read more: Ecovative Teams Up With Ford to Create Compostable Car Parts from Mushrooms | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World

alkemical
04-08-2011, 10:56 AM
http://www.gizmag.com/ford-mucell-technology/18357/

Ford turns to chocolate bar to develop lighter plastic components

http://images.gizmag.com/hero/mucell.jpg

We've seen the world's first Formula 3 car running on a fuel derived from waste chocolate, and now engineers at Ford have turned to the tasty treat for inspiration to produce lighter plastic parts for Ford's vehicles. Plastic parts have traditionally been a difficult area to save weight without sacrificing strength and durability, but by looking to the Aero chocolate bar they have produced a lighter plastic by introducing gas bubbles into the plastic as it is molded. The result is a microscopic honeycomb structure that Ford says saves weight by reducing the amount of plastic used without compromising the integrity of the part.

Dubbed MuCell, the technology also offers speed and efficiency benefits in the manufacturing process, with lower pressures used to mold the plastic and up to 33 percent more parts produced per hour in comparison to the conventional process. This results in a reduction in energy consumption, manufacturing emissions and cost for the parts produced.

"We are saving weight in many ways, not just by using this new plastic, because lighter cars handle better, accelerate faster and stop more quickly. For the customer it is win-win, the plastic is 20 per cent lighter without increasing cost or reducing strength and it will help make their Ford better in almost every aspect," said Ford's MuCell technology expert, Carsten Starke.

Ford says the MuCell technology will make its first appearance in engine covers on vehicles such as the Focus, C-MAX, Grand C-MAX, S-MAX, Mondeo and Galaxy in the next few years. The company has committed to a minimum of 100kg weight reduction from even its smallest cars and 300kg from larger cars by 2020 to help cut emissions and fuel use.

alkemical
04-08-2011, 10:58 AM
http://failblog.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/07f8bd92-382b-45cd-8ad1-e028e0a850f0.jpg

alkemical
04-08-2011, 11:08 AM
http://i.imgur.com/IFdcZ.jpg

alkemical
04-08-2011, 11:25 AM
http://www.greatnewsnetwork.org/index.php/news/article/mcdonalds_sets_long_term_sustainable_beef_coffee_p lans/?source=rss

McDonald’s Sets Long-Term Sustainable Beef, Coffee PlansMcDonald's has laid out a plans to move to more sustainable meat, coffee and packaging.

The company's Sustainable Land Management Commitment will require suppliers to gradually source food and materials from sustainably-managed land, though there are no specific timelines for now, and it is initially focusing just on beef, poultry, coffee, palm oil and packaging.

Those five were chosen, with the help of analysis from the World Wildlife Fund, since they have the most potential to be changed to have lower impacts. Beef, especially, has some of the biggest impacts among McDonald's foods.

In a sign of the campaign's success, John Sauven, a Greenpeace campaign director at the time—issued a statement congratulating McDonald's for using "its might to push a multi-million dollar industry towards a more sustainable future."

alkemical
04-08-2011, 12:50 PM
http://disinfo.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Neuter.jpg

alkemical
04-11-2011, 06:16 AM
http://www.engadget.com/2011/04/09/world-bank-report-finds-selling-virtual-goods-in-games-more-prof/

World Bank report finds selling virtual goods in games more profitable than 'real' economy


A report commissioned by the World Bank's infoDev unit has cast fresh light on one of the more fascinating aspects of our brave new interconnected world: the virtual economy. The "third-party gaming services industry" -- where wealthy but impatient players have someone else grind away at online games for them in exchange for monetary reward -- is one of the focal points of the study, chiefly owing to it having generated revenues in the region of $3 billion in 2009 and now serving as the primary source of income for an estimated 100,000 young folks, primarily in countries like China and Vietnam. What's encouraging about these findings is that most of the revenue from such transactions ends up in the country where the virtual value is produced, which contrasts starkly with some of the more traditional international markets, such as that for coffee beans, where the study estimates only $5.5 billion of the $70 billion annual market value ever makes it back to the producing country. The research also takes an intriguing look at the emerging phenomenon of microwork, which consists of having unskilled workers doing the web's version of menial work -- checking images, transcribing bits of text, bumping up Facebook Likes (naughty!), etc. -- and could also lead to more employment opportunities for people in poorer nations. To get better acquainted with the details, check the links below or click past the break.

alkemical
04-11-2011, 06:19 AM
http://designyoutrust.com/2011/04/08/stop-motion-photography-by-stephen-dalton/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+dyt+%28Design+You+Trust%29

Stop-​​motion photography by Stephen Dalton
oliver13 on 04 08 11 - 709 views ( Comments )

“Stephen Dalton’s pho­tog­ra­phy has made his name leg­endary among nature lovers and pho­tog­ra­phers the world over. By freez­ing motion with his cam­era he has unlocked the mys­ter­ies of ani­mal move­ment and this has had a stun­ning impact in the way we see nature.” Stephen has been an enthu­si­as­tic nat­u­ral­ist ever since he can remem­ber, but his inter­est in pho­tog­ra­phy did not develop until his early twen­ties. Then, after study­ing the art and sci­ence of pho­tog­ra­phy for three years in Lon­don he merged his two pas­sions to embark on a career of nature photography.

http://designyoutrust.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/sd2k.jpg

Tombstone RJ
04-11-2011, 10:20 AM
http://felixhoward.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/dominos-pizza-complaint1.jpg?w=596&h=618

yep, that wasn't one of my better days...

alkemical
04-12-2011, 06:17 AM
World Water Day: 15 Amazing Reasons Why Each Drop Is Precious (http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/water/news-world-water-day-%E2%80%93-15-amazing-reasons-why-each-drop-precious-pics?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+environmentalgraffiti+%28Envi ronmental+Graffiti%29)


http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/sites/default/files/images/6happy-birthdayjpg.preview.jpg


http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/sites/default/files/images/10marblesjpg.preview.jpg


http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/sites/default/files/images/13morning-starjpg.preview.jpg

http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/sites/default/files/images/32-big-dropjpg.preview.jpg


http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/sites/default/files/images/15flower-basketjpg.preview.jpg

alkemical
04-12-2011, 06:21 AM
7 Carnivorous Wonders of the Plant World (http://webecoist.com/2011/04/11/7-carnivorous-wonders-of-the-plant-world/)

http://cdn.webecoist.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/7-carnivorous-wonders-main.jpg

alkemical
04-12-2011, 06:36 AM
http://journal.borderlands.com/2011/an-introduction-to-project-hermes/

http://journal.borderlands.com/wp-content/themes/arras-theme/library/timthumb.php?src=http://journal.borderlands.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/hermes.png&w=630&h=250&zc=1

An Introduction to Project Hermes

In the fall of 1951 the former director of BSRA, Meade Layne, received a diagram and description of an untried electronic device whose avowed purpose was to stimulate ESP. Meade published this in the Nov—Dec 1951 Round Robin. Some of the Associates, and no doubt others, made haphazard attempts to construct a working model; but only one, Associate Ed John of San Francisco, reported any positive success with it. He claimed it worked to some degree with everyone on whom he tried it; but his report was so at variance with the failure of all the rest that nothing was really settled, one way or the other Apparently no systematic attempt was made to calibrate the variable condenser, so that uniform responses of the brain for different settings could be predicted. Nor did anyone come up with the maximum and minimum frequencies of the coils, as specified in the original diagram or in Ed John’s modifications. So in effect, in this year of 1960, we are starting from scratch in reviving Project Hermes; though your present director of BSRA hopes that electronics have come so far in eight years that the original questions can be easily answered now.

alkemical
04-13-2011, 07:55 AM
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/apr/12/brave-new-world-challenged-books

Brave New World among top 10 books Americans most want banned

Huxley's vision of a totalitarian future comes third on American Library Association's list of 2010's 'most challenged' books

alkemical
04-13-2011, 10:19 AM
http://www.realitysandwich.com/sites/realitysandwich.civicactions.net/files/imagecache/large/shroom.jpg?

alkemical
04-13-2011, 10:45 AM
http://www.realitysandwich.com/bnote_green_currency_baltimore

I am trying to do the same thing here.

alkemical
04-13-2011, 12:45 PM
http://www.disinfo.com/2011/04/the-newest-kindle-has-mandatory-ads/

The Newest Kindle Has Mandatory Ads

Posted by moezilla on April 12, 2011

KindleIs this the free market at work – or a horrible preview of things to come?

Amazon just announced a new $114 Kindle Wireless Reading Device — $25 cheaper than any other model — but it comes with a big catch.

It’s the Kindle “with special offers,” showing sophisticated advertisements in the screensavers, along with shopping discounts which display at the bottom of the screen.
Related Posts with Thumbnails

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Posted in: Advertising, Book Publishing, Books, Kindle, Technology

alkemical
04-13-2011, 12:48 PM
http://www.disinfo.com/2011/04/living-in-a-world-of-lies/

Living In A World Of Lies

Posted by Joshua Davis on April 10, 2011
Pinocchio by Jim Dine. Photo: Mrkgrd (CC)

Pinocchio by Jim Dine. Photo: Mrkgrd (CC)

Lies have an interesting quality. Repeated often enough, lies become accepted as truth, and it must be said that our lives and our minds are filled with them. Filled with half-truths that are also half-lies, credulously accepted though unfounded rumors, filled with the lies of advertisers sowing insecurity and selling false satisfaction. But not all lies are created equal, some lies are useful, even necessary.

Our physical perception of the world is a kind of lie. Where science tells us there are swarms of swirling electrons, protons and neutrons we see a table or a dog. Our eyes lie to us by omission, registering only a narrow spectrum of all the light streaming into them. These are what we might call necessary and useful lies, simplifications of the truth that allow us to make sense of and interact with the world around us.

But many lies are not so benign. Consider the lies that most of us accept about personal success and happiness. We could sum these up with a catch-phrase from 1980’s pop culture: “Greed is good.”

This is a succinct summation of economic thought in its current, mainstream variety. Economists assume that the world would work best if everyone tried to maximize their individual utility, where “utility” means, essentially, money and stuff. If everyone tries to accumulate as much wealth as they can, competing with everyone else for scarce resources, then everything will automatically work out for the best, as if guided by “an invisible hand.”

In reality, greed leads to unnatural shortages, as some people capture and hoard vast amounts of wealth, while many more are left to scratch out an existence from the ever-dwindling remains. Greed leads to ill will among people: callousness in those who are successful in their hoarding and resentment in those left out.

Greed is not good, as pretty much every religion has been telling us for millennia. It’s a little embarrassing that they have to tell us at all, and even more so that we so often refuse to listen.

Some lies are more subtle, like the lies we tell ourselves about our own powerlessness. We see the news filled with natural disasters and human suffering, wars, corruption, and social and environmental devastation, and we think we can do nothing, or at least not very much. We give a little bit to the Red Cross or United Way and think that we’ve done all we can. But this is a lie.

We live in a rich country where many of us have much more than we need, but rather than use our personal resources to improve the world, we buy an iPad and have discussions about what the government should do or what some corporation should do. We rely on those “in power” to fix things, denying that we ourselves have power. We undermine our power by squandering it on mindless indulgences and we deny having it because we are frightened of the responsibility that having it implies. We all remember what Uncle Ben said to Peter Parker, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

We have the power, much more than we like to admit, to make the world a profoundly better place. But if we are to exercise this power we will need to re-evaluate our lives, reconsider what it is that truly leads to happiness, recognize the oft-repeated lies of our culture for what they are: lies. The truth is inevitably more complex than the lie, and this can be frightening, but we must be courageous if we are indeed concerned for the fate of our fellow humans, for our brother and sister creatures and for the planet that we all share. If we are concerned with freedom, with recognizing and reclaiming our own power, we must be relentless in exposing and rejecting lies wherever they may be, whether plastered across a billboard or hidden in the recesses of our own hearts.

alkemical
04-13-2011, 12:51 PM
http://kookscience.tumblr.com/post/4538581847/borderlandsciences-crosses-the-event-horizon

http://kookscience.tumblr.com/photo/1280/4538581847/1/tumblr_lji0329vct1qa5pif


Vyacheslav I. Dokuchaev asks “Is there life inside black holes?” (http://arxiv.org/abs/1103.6140) in a recent research paper, speculating that “advanced civilizations may inhabit the interiors of supermassive black holes, being invisible from the outside and basking in the light of the central singularity and orbital photons.” This thought experiment reminds us of the hypothesis that we could be living inside a black hole (http://www.oursecrethouse.com/?p=1458), and what better place to hide from prying eyes and unwanted attention (http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20361-exoevolution-aliens-who-hide-survive.html)?

Image: “A Race Round a Black Hole”, via NASA.

alkemical
04-15-2011, 09:27 AM
http://inhabitat.com/breaking-solar-power-breakthrough-could-render-solar-cells-obsolete/#

Researchers at the University of Michigan have made a discovery about the behavior of light that could change solar technology forever. Stephen Rand, a professor in the departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Physics and Applied Physics and William Fisher, a doctoral student in applied physics, discovered that light, when traveling at the right intensity through a material such as glass that does not conduct electricity, can create magnetic fields that are 100 million times stronger than previously thought possible. In these conditions, the resulting magnetic field is strong enough to rival a strong electric effect. The result is an “optical battery, which could lead to “a new kind of solar cell without semiconductors and without absorption to produce charge separation”, according to Rand.

Read more: BREAKING: Solar Power Breakthrough Could Render Photovoltaic Cells Obsolete | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World

alkemical
04-15-2011, 10:12 AM
http://www.gizmag.com/flynano-microlight-aircraft/18411/

The 70 kg US$39,000 FlyNano Electric Microlight

http://images.gizmag.com/hero/flynano-microlight-aircraft.jpg


Finnish aeronautical engineer Aki Suokas launched a remarkable new single-seat aircraft this week at Aero Friedrichshafen. The FlyNano is made entirely of carbon fiber composite, lands and takes off on water, and weighs just 70 kilograms ready to fly. Three variants are available: a 20kW electric-only version, and petrol-engined 24 bhp and 35 bhp models, the latter proposed as a racing version. The Flynano tops out at over 140 km/h, with a service ceiling of 3 km. If you think that's remarkable, the most expensive of the three variants ex-factory and ex-VAT is just EUR 27,000 (US$39,000) and deliveries begin three months from now.

The FlyNano's wingspan is nearly five meters, it has a maximum take off weight of 200 kg and it has a speed range of 70 km/h to 140 km/h. FlyNano's true airspeed is about 140 km/h at 75% power with a theoretical operational distance of 70 kilometers.

The almost exclusive use of carbon fiber has enabled the Flynano to come in at under the magic 70 kg weight limit which determines how a new plane is legally classified. In this class in most jurisdictions, there's no license required and a minimum of red tape. Of course there's no passenger and no luggage, but it already rates as a breakthrough in aviation cost-performance.

Though the electric version has a limited range of 40 kilometers, the low speed torque and minimal vibration of the electric motor enables the low-speed four-blade prop to be whisper quiet, ensuring you'll get no complaints from the neighbors.

A transferable buy option will get you a place in the 2011 delivery queue at EUR 900 (US$1300), with 30% payable on delivery confirmation and the remainder prior to delivery. There's also an optional purpose-built trailer and storage box for the Flynano which retails for EUR 5,300 (US$7,700).

alkemical
04-15-2011, 10:19 AM
http://www.infinitereality.org/

alkemical
04-15-2011, 10:42 AM
http://www.engadget.com/2011/04/14/magnetic-fields-shut-down-speech-permit-love-songs-video/

Magnetic fields shut down speech, permit love songs (video)

Science, Alt
Magnetic fields shut down speech, permit love songs (video)
By Jesse Hicks posted Apr 14th 2011 5:56PM
You already know the strange powers of Stephin Merritt, but today we're talking about real magnetic fields. Powerful electromagnets, it turns out, can do remarkable things to the brain -- in this case, prevent a volunteer from reciting "Humpty Dumpty." The carefully directed magnets temporarily disrupt the brain's speech centers; the volunteer can still sing the rhyme using different areas of the brain, but simply can't overcome a series of stammers when trying to merely recite it. Of course, it's not all mad scientist applications: the UK team experimenting with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) thinks it can help us understand and treat migraines (as we've seen before with the Migraine Zapper), depression, and ADHD, among other ailments. But improving physical well-being doesn't make for nearly as entertaining media -- see the British inflict some involuntary quiet time in the video above.
Physorg
sourceNew Scientist
Leave A Comment
Tweet

alkemical
04-15-2011, 10:44 AM
http://inhabitat.com/breaking-solar-power-breakthrough-could-render-solar-cells-obsolete/#

Researchers at the University of Michigan have made a discovery about the behavior of light that could change solar technology forever. Stephen Rand, a professor in the departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Physics and Applied Physics and William Fisher, a doctoral student in applied physics, discovered that light, when traveling at the right intensity through a material such as glass that does not conduct electricity, can create magnetic fields that are 100 million times stronger than previously thought possible. In these conditions, the resulting magnetic field is strong enough to rival a strong electric effect. The result is an “optical battery, which could lead to “a new kind of solar cell without semiconductors and without absorption to produce charge separation”, according to Rand.

Read more: BREAKING: Solar Power Breakthrough Could Render Photovoltaic Cells Obsolete | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World


http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-04-solar-power-cells-hidden-magnetic.html

Solar power without solar cells: A hidden magnetic effect of light could make it possible

(PhysOrg.com) -- A dramatic and surprising magnetic effect of light discovered by University of Michigan researchers could lead to solar power without traditional semiconductor-based solar cells.

The researchers found a way to make an “optical battery,” said Stephen Rand, a professor in the departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Physics and Applied Physics.

In the process, they overturned a century-old tenet of physics.

“You could stare at the equations of motion all day and you will not see this possibility. We’ve all been taught that this doesn’t happen,” said Rand, an author of a paper on the work published in the Journal of Applied Physics. “It’s a very odd interaction. That’s why it’s been overlooked for more than 100 years.”

Light has electric and magnetic components. Until now, scientists thought the effects of the magnetic field were so weak that they could be ignored. What Rand and his colleagues found is that at the right intensity, when light is traveling through a material that does not conduct electricity, the light field can generate magnetic effects that are 100 million times stronger than previously expected. Under these circumstances, the magnetic effects develop strength equivalent to a strong electric effect.

“This could lead to a new kind of solar cell without semiconductors and without absorption to produce charge separation,” Rand said. “In solar cells, the light goes into a material, gets absorbed and creates heat. Here, we expect to have a very low heat load. Instead of the light being absorbed, energy is stored in the magnetic moment. Intense magnetization can be induced by intense light and then it is ultimately capable of providing a capacitive power source.”

What makes this possible is a previously undetected brand of “optical rectification,” says William Fisher, a doctoral student in applied physics. In traditional optical rectification, light’s electric field causes a charge separation, or a pulling apart of the positive and negative charges in a material. This sets up a voltage, similar to that in a battery. This electric effect had previously been detected only in crystalline materials that possessed a certain symmetry.

Rand and Fisher found that under the right circumstances and in other types of materials, the light’s magnetic field can also create optical rectification.

“It turns out that the magnetic field starts curving the electrons into a C-shape and they move forward a little each time,” Fisher said. “That C-shape of charge motion generates both an electric dipole and a magnetic dipole. If we can set up many of these in a row in a long fiber, we can make a huge voltage and by extracting that voltage, we can use it as a power source.”

The light must be shone through a material that does not conduct electricity, such as glass. And it must be focused to an intensity of 10 million watts per square centimeter. Sunlight isn’t this intense on its own, but new materials are being sought that would work at lower intensities, Fisher said.

“In our most recent paper, we show that incoherent light like sunlight is theoretically almost as effective in producing charge separation as laser light is,” Fisher said.

This new technique could make solar power cheaper, the researchers say. They predict that with improved materials they could achieve 10 percent efficiency in converting solar power to useable energy. That’s equivalent to today’s commercial-grade solar cells.

“To manufacture modern solar cells, you have to do extensive semiconductor processing,” Fisher said. “All we would need are lenses to focus the light and a fiber to guide it. Glass works for both. It’s already made in bulk, and it doesn’t require as much processing. Transparent ceramics might be even better.”

In experiments this summer, the researchers will work on harnessing this power with laser light, and then with sunlight.

The paper is titled “Optically-induced charge separation and terahertz emission in unbiased dielectrics.” The university is pursuing patent protection for the intellectual property.

Provided by University of Michigan (news : web)

Odysseus
04-15-2011, 01:40 PM
http://i.imgur.com/IFdcZ.jpg

Are these guys posters on this board? ROFL!

alkemical
04-16-2011, 09:06 AM
LOL! Maybe!!!

I've been observing humans lately. Very interesting.

Just interesting in how tribes and clans operate. Interesting to see how some of our animal side resides in our behaviours. While this doesn't mean it's all a negative, i've seen lots of good...and the potential.

Want to know who is in charge at work?

Don't look for titles...watch and you'll see who is in charge.

randomtask
04-16-2011, 10:26 AM
http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-04-solar-power-cells-hidden-magnetic.html

Solar power without solar cells: A hidden magnetic effect of light could make it possible

(PhysOrg.com) -- A dramatic and surprising magnetic effect of light discovered by University of Michigan researchers could lead to solar power without traditional semiconductor-based solar cells.

The researchers found a way to make an “optical battery,” said Stephen Rand, a professor in the departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Physics and Applied Physics.

In the process, they overturned a century-old tenet of physics.

“You could stare at the equations of motion all day and you will not see this possibility. We’ve all been taught that this doesn’t happen,” said Rand, an author of a paper on the work published in the Journal of Applied Physics. “It’s a very odd interaction. That’s why it’s been overlooked for more than 100 years.”

Light has electric and magnetic components. Until now, scientists thought the effects of the magnetic field were so weak that they could be ignored. What Rand and his colleagues found is that at the right intensity, when light is traveling through a material that does not conduct electricity, the light field can generate magnetic effects that are 100 million times stronger than previously expected. Under these circumstances, the magnetic effects develop strength equivalent to a strong electric effect.

“This could lead to a new kind of solar cell without semiconductors and without absorption to produce charge separation,” Rand said. “In solar cells, the light goes into a material, gets absorbed and creates heat. Here, we expect to have a very low heat load. Instead of the light being absorbed, energy is stored in the magnetic moment. Intense magnetization can be induced by intense light and then it is ultimately capable of providing a capacitive power source.”

What makes this possible is a previously undetected brand of “optical rectification,” says William Fisher, a doctoral student in applied physics. In traditional optical rectification, light’s electric field causes a charge separation, or a pulling apart of the positive and negative charges in a material. This sets up a voltage, similar to that in a battery. This electric effect had previously been detected only in crystalline materials that possessed a certain symmetry.

Rand and Fisher found that under the right circumstances and in other types of materials, the light’s magnetic field can also create optical rectification.

“It turns out that the magnetic field starts curving the electrons into a C-shape and they move forward a little each time,” Fisher said. “That C-shape of charge motion generates both an electric dipole and a magnetic dipole. If we can set up many of these in a row in a long fiber, we can make a huge voltage and by extracting that voltage, we can use it as a power source.”

The light must be shone through a material that does not conduct electricity, such as glass. And it must be focused to an intensity of 10 million watts per square centimeter. Sunlight isn’t this intense on its own, but new materials are being sought that would work at lower intensities, Fisher said.

“In our most recent paper, we show that incoherent light like sunlight is theoretically almost as effective in producing charge separation as laser light is,” Fisher said.

This new technique could make solar power cheaper, the researchers say. They predict that with improved materials they could achieve 10 percent efficiency in converting solar power to useable energy. That’s equivalent to today’s commercial-grade solar cells.

“To manufacture modern solar cells, you have to do extensive semiconductor processing,” Fisher said. “All we would need are lenses to focus the light and a fiber to guide it. Glass works for both. It’s already made in bulk, and it doesn't require as much processing. Transparent ceramics might be even better.”

In experiments this summer, the researchers will work on harnessing this power with laser light, and then with sunlight.

The paper is titled “Optically-induced charge separation and terahertz emission in unbiased dielectrics.” The university is pursuing patent protection for the intellectual property.

Provided by University of Michigan (news : web)

Very, very cool stuff.

alkemical
04-18-2011, 06:29 AM
I wonder if this is some of the "zero point" energy that was spoken of.

alkemical
04-18-2011, 07:17 AM
http://www.engadget.com/2011/04/18/first-light-wave-quantum-teleportation-achieved-opens-door-to-u/

Science
First light wave quantum teleportation achieved, opens door to ultra fast data transmission
By Richard Lai posted Apr 18th 2011 8:33AM


http://www.blogcdn.com/www.engadget.com/media/2011/04/quantum-teleport-04182011.jpg

Mark this day, folks, because the brainiacs have finally made a breakthrough in quantum teleportation: a team of scientists from Australia and Japan have successfully transferred a complex set of quantum data in light form. You see, previously researchers had struggled with slow performance or loss of information, but with full transmission integrity achieved -- as in blocks of qubits being destroyed in one place but instantaneously resurrected in another, without affecting their superpositions -- we're now one huge step closer to secure, high-speed quantum communication. Needless to say, this will also be a big boost for the development of powerful quantum computing, and combine that with a more bedroom friendly version of the above teleporter, we'll eventually have ourselves the best LAN party ever.
Gizmodo
sourceUniversity of New South Wales

Kaylore
04-18-2011, 08:34 AM
http://www.engadget.com/2011/04/18/first-light-wave-quantum-teleportation-achieved-opens-door-to-u/

Science
First light wave quantum teleportation achieved, opens door to ultra fast data transmission
By Richard Lai posted Apr 18th 2011 8:33AM


http://www.blogcdn.com/www.engadget.com/media/2011/04/quantum-teleport-04182011.jpg

Mark this day, folks, because the brainiacs have finally made a breakthrough in quantum teleportation: a team of scientists from Australia and Japan have successfully transferred a complex set of quantum data in light form. You see, previously researchers had struggled with slow performance or loss of information, but with full transmission integrity achieved -- as in blocks of qubits being destroyed in one place but instantaneously resurrected in another, without affecting their superpositions -- we're now one huge step closer to secure, high-speed quantum communication. Needless to say, this will also be a big boost for the development of powerful quantum computing, and combine that with a more bedroom friendly version of the above teleporter, we'll eventually have ourselves the best LAN party ever.
Gizmodo
sourceUniversity of New South Wales
This will be viable in just a few years now. They just need to plug everything together.

gyldenlove
04-18-2011, 08:59 AM
I wonder if this is some of the "zero point" energy that was spoken of.

Doesn't seem related, the zero point energy is the lowest energy a particle can have in vacuum, from quantum mechanics that energy can be calculated and it turns out it is not 0, but slightly above 0. Some people have suggested that if we could get particles in the lowest energy state and have them interact and impart their non-0 energy to other particles they would have to still keep an energy above 0, and that idea could be provided by a mechanism not yet known but possibly infinite which would allow for a sustainable energy supply.

As best as I can work out the idea of zero point energy utilization is nonsense.

gyldenlove
04-18-2011, 09:00 AM
http://www.engadget.com/2011/04/18/first-light-wave-quantum-teleportation-achieved-opens-door-to-u/

Science
First light wave quantum teleportation achieved, opens door to ultra fast data transmission
By Richard Lai posted Apr 18th 2011 8:33AM


http://www.blogcdn.com/www.engadget.com/media/2011/04/quantum-teleport-04182011.jpg

Mark this day, folks, because the brainiacs have finally made a breakthrough in quantum teleportation: a team of scientists from Australia and Japan have successfully transferred a complex set of quantum data in light form. You see, previously researchers had struggled with slow performance or loss of information, but with full transmission integrity achieved -- as in blocks of qubits being destroyed in one place but instantaneously resurrected in another, without affecting their superpositions -- we're now one huge step closer to secure, high-speed quantum communication. Needless to say, this will also be a big boost for the development of powerful quantum computing, and combine that with a more bedroom friendly version of the above teleporter, we'll eventually have ourselves the best LAN party ever.
Gizmodo
sourceUniversity of New South Wales

I love these optic experiments, it is like a model train set.

alkemical
04-18-2011, 09:23 AM
Doesn't seem related, the zero point energy is the lowest energy a particle can have in vacuum, from quantum mechanics that energy can be calculated and it turns out it is not 0, but slightly above 0. Some people have suggested that if we could get particles in the lowest energy state and have them interact and impart their non-0 energy to other particles they would have to still keep an energy above 0, and that idea could be provided by a mechanism not yet known but possibly infinite which would allow for a sustainable energy supply.

As best as I can work out the idea of zero point energy utilization is nonsense.

Very interesting.

I wasn't sure if this magnetic property would be included in the energy that scientists were hunting for an "energy" field that could be tapped into.

alkemical
04-19-2011, 07:01 AM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1377797/EmSense-comes-EmBand-device-track-brainwaves-watch-TV.html#ixzz1Jv6OTOBm

A new Clockwork Orange? The marketing gadget that tracks brainwaves as you watch TV

Would you feel comfortable if market researchers could know your every thought?

A headband designed by San Francisco firm EmSense can sense your brainwaves as you have reactions to watching something and then record the data for researchers.

The process of measuring your reaction to something is known as ‘quantitative neurometrics’ and it can be carried out as you watch a computer or television screen.

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/04/17/article-1377797-0BAB183B00000578-400_468x374.jpg

The firm is launching its ‘in-home’ research panel employing the EmBand monitoring technology in an attempt to get better feedback on emotional responses.

The EmBand can also measure how much attention you are paying, or your ‘cognitive engagement’, by measuring brainwave activity, reported technology site Venture Beat.


More...

Taking it very easy: The 'mobile armchair' that can be reclined and driven using a Kinect motion controller

The firm does studies by asking respondents to voluntarily share their information.

This has been compared to the controversial 1971 film A Clockwork Orange, where authorities try to psychologically modify the behaviour of a teenage thug.

But the big difference with EmSense is that the test subjects are volunteers.

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/04/17/article-1377797-00AC144F1000044C-506_468x313.jpg

It says market research firms want to measure emotional responses more accurately to get better reactions to advertising, creative concepts, packaging and shopping.

EmSense ships the user a kit with an EmBand wireless headset and a wireless receiver for use with his or her PC computer, directing them to a specific web page.

The firm, which has 80 employees, was founded by technologists from Hewlett-Packard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2004.

It has tested more than 100,000 respondents in 25 countries, reported Venture Beat.

alkemical
04-19-2011, 07:07 AM
Inspiration: Backyard Escapes (http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ny/inspiration/inspiration-backyard-escapes-144588?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+apartmenttherapy%2Fmain+%28Ma in%29)

http://s3.amazonaws.com/atimg/2409560/PUNKROCKBARBIE041911_rect540.jpg

http://s3.amazonaws.com/atimg/2409530/JULIA041911_rect540.jpg

http://s3.amazonaws.com/atimg/2409570/ESCAPADE041911_rect540.jpg

alkemical
04-19-2011, 07:12 AM
http://www.kurzweilai.net/nanotech-for-wound-and-tissue-regeneration

Nanotech for tissue regeneration
April 18, 2011 by Editor

Researchers have developed new nanotechnologies for wound healing and blood-vessel tissue, and have determined how ribosomes insert a growing protein into a cellular membrane.

http://www.kurzweilai.net/images/Nanofiber-Sphere-259x259.jpg
Nanofiber Sphere


Nanofiber spheres carry cells into wounds to grow tissue (credit: Peter Ma)

Nanofiber spheres for wound healing

Scientists at the University of Michigan have made star-shaped, biodegradable polymers that can self-assemble into hollow, nanofiber spheres that biodegrade when injected with cells into wounds, while the cells live on to form new tissue.

The nanofibrous hollow spheres are combined with cells and then injected into the wound. The nanofiber spheres are slightly bigger than the cells they carry.

The cells start growing easily in the wound because the nanofiber spheres provide an environment in which the cells naturally thrive.

During testing, the nanofiber repair group grew as much as three to four times more tissue than the control group.

Regenerating blood supply

Researchers at The University of Western Ontario have discovered a strategy for stimulating the formation of highly functional new blood vessels in tissues that are starved of oxygen.

The researchers developed a strategy in which fibroblast growth factor 9 (FGF9) is delivered at the same time that the body is making its own effort at forming new blood vessels in vulnerable or damaged tissue.

The result is that an otherwise unsuccessful attempt at regenerating a blood supply becomes a successful one.

How ribosomes insert membranes into cells
Membrane Protein

http://www.kurzweilai.net/nanotech-for-wound-and-tissue-regeneration/membrane-protein
Cryogenic electron microscope images were used to construct an atom-by-atom model of the system that threads a growing protein into a cellular membrane (credit: L. Brian Stauffer)

Computational theoretical scientists at the University of Illinois and experimental scientists at University of Munich have provided the first detailed atom-by-atom view of the elaborate chemical and mechanical interactions that allow the ribosome to insert a growing protein into a cellular membrane.

The first study used cryo-electron microscopy to image one moment in the insertion process. The researchers were able to get a picture of how the ribosome, membrane, membrane channel, and newly forming protein come together to complete the insertion process.

They found that regions of the membrane channel actually reach into the ribosome to help funnel the emerging protein into the channel. Depending on the type of protein being built, the channel will thread it all the way through the membrane to secrete it or open a “side door” that directs the growing protein into the interior of the membrane.

In the second study, the researchers found that proteins get inserted into the membrane in two stages. First, the ribosome “pushes” the growing protein into the membrane channel, and then, in a second step, the protein enters the membrane.

Ref.: The University of Michigan work is scheduled for advanced online publication in Nature Materials

Ref.: Klaus Schulten et al., Cryo-EM structure of the ribosome-SecYE complex in the membrane environment, Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, 2011

Ref.: Klaus Schulten et al., Free-energy cost for translocon-assisted insertion of membrane proteins, PNAS, February 11, 2011

Ref.: J. Geoffrey Pickering et al., Fibroblast growth factor 9 delivery during angiogenesis produces durable, vasoresponsive microvessels wrapped by smooth muscle cells, Nature Biotechnology, April 17, 2011

baja
04-19-2011, 07:43 AM
I wonder if this is some of the "zero point" energy that was spoken of.

Check this out


http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41XsK965bsL._SL500_AA266_PIkin3,BottomRight,-16,34_AA300_SH20_OU01_.jpg

alkemical
04-19-2011, 12:32 PM
http://blog.pasqunpeu.fr/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/894105001302797078.gif


http://www.cnn.com/2011/TRAVEL/04/15/tsa.screeners.complain/

TSA security looks at people who complain about ... TSA security

CNN has obtained a list of roughly 70 "behavioral indicators" that TSA behavior detection officers use to identify potentially "high risk" passengers at the nation's airports.

Many of the indicators, as characterized in open government reports, are behaviors and appearances that may be indicative of stress, fear or deception. None of them, as the TSA has long said, refer to or suggest race, religion or ethnicity.

But one addresses passengers' attitudes towards security, and how they express those attitudes.

It reads: "Very arrogant and expresses contempt against airport passenger procedures."

TSA officials declined to comment on the list of indicators, but said that no single indicator, taken by itself, is ever used to identify travelers as potentially high-risk passengers. Travelers must exhibit several indicators before behavior detection officers steer them to more thorough screening.

But a civil liberties organization said the list should not include behavior relating to the expression of opinions, even arrogant expressions of opinion.

"Expressing your contempt about airport procedures -- that's a First Amendment-protected right," said Michael German, a former FBI agent who now works as legal counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union. "We all have the right to express our views, and particularly in a situation where the government is demanding the ability to search you."

"It's circular reasoning where, you know, I'm going to ask someone to surrender their rights; if they refuse, that's evidence that I need to take their rights away from them. And it's simply inappropriate," he said.

The TSA says its security programs are informed by real-world situations and intelligence. Indeed, the immigration agent who refused to let the alleged "20th hijacker" into the United States in 2001 later testified that the man's arrogant behavior contributed to his suspicions.




Uhhh......

alkemical
04-19-2011, 12:50 PM
http://www.economist.com/node/18560525?story_id=18560525

Who wants to be a triple trillionaire?
Window-shopping with China’s central bank

Last week, the state-controlled Chinese Central Bank released figures indicating the country now holds over $3 trillion dollars in foreign-exchange reserves. The Economist has some interesting ideas on what the bank could buy if it were ever inclined to shop around for sexy investments, rather than squirrel money away on stodgy foreign currency.

The fictional-but-still-realistic shopping list includes:

http://media.economist.com/images/images-magazine/2011/04/16/fn/20110416_fnc546.gif

alkemical
04-19-2011, 01:32 PM
http://www.usatoday.com/money/smallbusiness/2011-04-16-indoor-farming.htm

Told ya guys it's the future... :D

alkemical
04-20-2011, 06:07 AM
http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/34/3458.asp

Michigan: Police Search Cell Phones During Traffic Stops
ACLU seeks information on Michigan program that allows cops to download information from smart phones belonging to stopped motorists.

CelleBriteThe Michigan State Police have a high-tech mobile forensics device that can be used to extract information from cell phones belonging to motorists stopped for minor traffic violations. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan last Wednesday demanded that state officials stop stonewalling freedom of information requests for information on the program.

ACLU learned that the police had acquired the cell phone scanning devices and in August 2008 filed an official request for records on the program, including logs of how the devices were used. The state police responded by saying they would provide the information only in return for a payment of $544,680. The ACLU found the charge outrageous.

"Law enforcement officers are known, on occasion, to encourage citizens to cooperate if they have nothing to hide," ACLU staff attorney Mark P. Fancher wrote. "No less should be expected of law enforcement, and the Michigan State Police should be willing to assuage concerns that these powerful extraction devices are being used illegally by honoring our requests for cooperation and disclosure."

A US Department of Justice test of the CelleBrite UFED used by Michigan police found the device could grab all of the photos and video off of an iPhone within one-and-a-half minutes. The device works with 3000 different phone models and can even defeat password protections.

"Complete extraction of existing, hidden, and deleted phone data, including call history, text messages, contacts, images, and geotags," a CelleBrite brochure explains regarding the device's capabilities. "The Physical Analyzer allows visualization of both existing and deleted locations on Google Earth. In addition, location information from GPS devices and image geotags can be mapped on Google Maps."

The ACLU is concerned that these powerful capabilities are being quietly used to bypass Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches.

alkemical
04-20-2011, 07:16 AM
http://www.disinfo.com/2011/04/states-to-ban-undercover-photos-and-videos-of-factory-farms/

States To Outlaw Undercover Photos And Videos Of Factory Farms

Posted by JacobSloan on April 19, 2011

4944283870_202e5923c1A bill before the Iowa legislature would make it a crime to produce, distribute or possess photos and video taken without permission at an agricultural facility.

In Iowa, Florida, and Minnesota, laws are in the works to criminalize the documenting of animal cruelty and health violations in factory farming. With activists nosing around, “people are scared to death that they might be found in a compromising position,” [says the] president of the Iowa Farm Bureau — it’s about “making producers feel more comfortable.” The New York Times reports:

Undercover videos showing grainy, sometimes shocking images of sick or injured livestock have become a favorite tool of animal rights organizations to expose what they consider illegal or inhumane treatment of animals.

Made by animal rights advocates posing as farm workers, such videos have prompted meat recalls, slaughterhouse closings, criminal convictions of employees and apologies from corporate executives assuring that the offending images are an aberration.

In Iowa, where agriculture is a dominant force both economically and politically, such undercover investigations could soon be illegal.

Similar legislation is being considered in Florida and Minnesota, part of a broader effort by large agricultural companies to pre-emptively block the kind of investigations that have left their operations uncomfortably — and unpredictably — open to scrutiny.

alkemical
04-20-2011, 07:20 AM
https://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17Sugar-t.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

Is Sugar Toxic?

Gary "Big Fat Lie" Taubes wrote a long feature for the NYT Magazine analyzing the claims made by UCSF childhood obesity expert Robert H. Lustig in his infamous lecture Sugar: The Bitter Truth , which has gotten about a million YouTube views (it's also had other exposure: I watched it last year on UC cable access while in LA).

Lustig claims that sugar is a "chronic toxin" -- a poison that will make you sick if you eat it for long enough -- and he blames it for everything from cancer to heart disease. Taubes traces the history of this theory about sugar through the past century, and concludes that while not conclusive, the evidence is worrying. I've tried to eliminate sugar from my diet with varying success since 2003, when I did a year of "strict Atkins" and lost 80 lbs, most of which I've kept off since by avoiding processed carbs where possible. I find that eating a little sugar (or high-carb food like bread) generally leads to cravings for a lot more, which means that slight slips tend to snowball.

Lustig's argument, however, is not about the consumption of empty calories -- and biochemists have made the same case previously, though not so publicly. It is that sugar has unique characteristics, specifically in the way the human body metabolizes the fructose in it, that may make it singularly harmful, at least if consumed in sufficient quantities.

The phrase Lustig uses when he describes this concept is "isocaloric but not isometabolic." This means we can eat 100 calories of glucose (from a potato or bread or other starch) or 100 calories of sugar (half glucose and half fructose), and they will be metabolized differently and have a different effect on the body. The calories are the same, but the metabolic consequences are quite different.

The fructose component of sugar and H.F.C.S. is metabolized primarily by the liver, while the glucose from sugar and starches is metabolized by every cell in the body. Consuming sugar (fructose and glucose) means more work for the liver than if you consumed the same number of calories of starch (glucose). And if you take that sugar in liquid form -- soda or fruit juices -- the fructose and glucose will hit the liver more quickly than if you consume them, say, in an apple (or several apples, to get what researchers would call the equivalent dose of sugar). The speed with which the liver has to do its work will also affect how it metabolizes the fructose and glucose.

alkemical
04-20-2011, 07:30 AM
http://www.redicecreations.com/article.php?id=15014


Red Ice News Feed
Every human language evolved from ’single prehistoric African mother tongue’

Every language in the world - from English to Mandarin - evolved from a prehistoric ’mother tongue’ first spoken in Africa tens of thousands of years ago, a new study reveals.

After analysing more than 500 languages, Dr Quentin Atkinson found compelling evidence that they can be traced back to a long-forgotten dialect spoken by our Stone Age ancestors.

The findings don’t just pinpoint the origin of language to Africa - they also show that speech evolved at least 100,000 years ago, far earlier than previously thought.

alkemical
04-20-2011, 07:33 AM
http://technoccult.net/archives/2011/04/19/the-carbon-footprint-of-marijuana-how-does-it-compare-with-carbon-footprint-of-television/

The Carbon Footprint of Marijuana – How Does It Compare with Carbon Footprint of Television?
from Renegade Futurist by Klint Finley
1 person liked this - you

By now you may have seen coverage of this report on the carbon footprint of marijuana cultivation in the U.S. If not, check out the report or this Huffington Post story on it.

The figure that the HuffPo and other sources cite, that indoor marijuana cultivation accounts for 1% of electrical use in the U.S., is meaningless to me. I mean, how does that compare to other stuff? According to the report’s FAQ, that 1% figure works out to “22 billion kilowatt-hours/year estimated for indoor Cannabis.”

Working backwards from this page from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, I’ve worked out some comparisons. This data is from 2001, so there may have been significant advances in efficiency since then, but this is the best I could find on short notice:

-PCs and printers: 23 kWh
-Dishwashers: 29 kWh (I’ve read that electric dishwashers actually end up using fewer resources than washing dishes by hand, but I don’t have a source handy. I’m also not sure if those figure factor in the manufacture of dishwashers).
-Color TVs and TV peripherals: 49 kWh
-Refrigerators: 156 kWh (freezers add an additional 39 kWh)
-Air conditioning: 183 kWh

That of course doesn’t include the carbon foot print of manufacturing the equipment. Nor the cost of producing TV shows, and the carbon foot print of data centers and servers to power the Internet. You and I are probably doing more environmental damage right now by writing and reading this blog post than my pot-smoking neighbors down the hall are.

That doesn’t mean that growing indoor weed couldn’t or shouldn’t be made more efficient. But “indoor marijuana cultivations uses slightly less than half the total amount of electricity spent powering TVs” is less impressive than saying “1% of U.S. power consumption in the U.S. goes to growing pot.”

Also of interest is the environmental footprint of other drugs. Marijuana has a much lower impact than crystal meth, because meth requires chemicals imported from India and China. Marijuana doesn’t generally have to travel far once it’s grown, which reduces its footprint.

The ecological case for decriminalizing drugs is probably stronger for drugs other than marijuana. From the report’s FAQ:

Does this study support the case for criminalization?
No. In fact, many argue that criminalization is an important driver towards energy-intensive indoor production. Criminalization also contributes to many of the energy inefficiencies in the process, including long driving distances, noise and odor suppression measures that undercut ventilation efficiencies, and off-grid power production that is far less efficient produces more greenhouse-gas emissions than many electric grids. Moreover, decades of criminalization has resulted in this energy-using sector being passed over by massive efforts to incentivize and mandate efficiency improvements. The analysis does suggest a role for improved management of energy use, in much the same way that we address the energy use and fuel economy of our cars, buildings, and appliances.

Does this study support the case for decriminalization?
Not really. People grow indoors for many reasons aside from criminalization, e.g., quality control, pest control, and year-round yield. Many producers with licenses choose to grow indoors. That said, in a scenario where production is legalized it is, in principal, easier to address the energy issues.

Update: I thought I should also mention that 22 kWh per year for growing pot is still a pretty high number, even when compared to TV and other stuff, in that only about 10% of the U.S. population smokes marijuana. However, I still don’t think it justifies alarmism.

alkemical
04-20-2011, 07:46 AM
http://www.redicecreations.com/article.php?id=15009

Scientists warn that drugs of the future will be designed specifically to control the human mind

It may sound like something out of a science fiction plot, but Oxford researchers say that modern conventional medicine is gradually developing ways to change the moral states of humans through pharmaceutical drugs, and thus control the way people think and act in various life situations. These new drugs will literally have the ability to disrupt an individual’s personal morality, and instead reprogram that person to believe and do whatever the drug designer has created that drug to do.

"Science has ignored the question of moral improvement so far, but it is now becoming a big debate," said Dr. Guy Kahane from the Oxford Centre for Neuroethics in the UK. "There is already a growing body of research you can describe in these terms. Studies show that certain drugs affect the ways people respond to moral dilemmas by increasing their sense of empathy, group affiliation and by reducing aggression."

While this may sound good in theory, mind control is already a very dangerous side effect of existing drugs. Take the antidepressant drug Prozac, for instance, which has been known to cause those taking it to lash out in violent rages.

[...]

Read the full article at: naturalnews.com

alkemical
04-20-2011, 07:58 AM
http://www.kurzweilai.net/nanoparticles-blast-cancerous-cells-with-killer-drugs

Nanoparticles blast cancerous cells with killer drugs
April 19, 2011 by Editor
Drug-Cargo

Greenly fluoresced cancerous liver cell penetrated by protocells. The small red dots are lipid bilayer wrappings (credit: Carlee Ashley)

Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories, the University of New Mexico, and the UNM Cancer Research and Treatment Center have produced an effective strategy for using nanoparticles to blast cancerous cells with a melange of killer drugs.

The silica nanoparticles are about 150 nanometers in diameter and are honeycombed with cavities that can store large amounts and varieties of drugs. The nanoporous core, with its high surface area combined with the improved targeting of an encapsulating lipid bilayer (liposome), permits a single protocell loaded with a drug cocktail to kill a drug-resistant cancer cell.

The nanoparticles and the surrounding cell-like membranes formed from liposomes together become a protocell: the membrane seals in the drug cocktail and is modified with molecules (peptides) that bind specifically to receptors overexpressed on the cancer cell’s surface. The nanoparticles provide stability to the supported membrane and release the drug cargo within the cell.

The lipids serve as a shield that restricts toxic chemotherapy drugs from leaking from the nanoparticle until the protocell binds to and takes hold within the cancer cell. Few poisons leak into the system of the human host if the protocells find no cancer cells. This cloaking mitigates toxic side effects expected from conventional chemotherapy.

The particles are small enough to avoid the liver and other cleansing organs and can circulate harmlessly for days or weeks, depending on their engineered size, seeking their cancerous prey.

Ref.: David S. Peabody & C. Jeffrey Brinker et al., The targeted delivery of multicomponent cargos to cancer cells by nanoporous particle-supported lipid bilayers, Nature Materials, April 17, 2011

alkemical
04-22-2011, 12:50 PM
Going Underground
(http://www.media-underground.net/site/index.php?/archives/1560-Going-Underground.html)
If you visit here often you've probably noticed it's been real quiet for a while.

I mean, it's not like there's nothing going on in the world that can't be commented on, it's just that I've stopped caring and have come to the conclusion that it's impossible to determine exactly what's really taking place since all media is propaganda in one form or another.

That's what the internet has become. That's what people have created. It's gotten old and dull to me.

Basically, the web is saturated in so much ****, and bombards you with so much unverifiable information, that I no longer care or take any interest.

The world is going to hell in a hand basket, and quite frankly, it's pointless highlighting the obvious when nothing I say or do here will change anything anyway. So my advice is to look after No.1, detach yourself from all of it, and go spend some time with the people you love and care about.

These days it's all Facebook and Twitter and everyone has something to say but little of it worth taking an interest in. In other words, it's all about ego and displaying how popular you are and who you're connected to.

I tire of people's self-centredness real quick!

If you want to network socially with people then have a barbeque, or go to the pub and interact with people in person. Maybe grow some vegetables, enjoy a nice meal together, or embark on a project with like-minded individuals. In other words, quit wasting your time online, that's what everyone is doing and it's unimaginative to be like everyone else.

If you're unhappy about the political environment, or pissed at the current financial meltdown, then take to the streets.

Join a protest group, throw a brick through a window, or take a dump on the floor of your local financial institution. Blogging about it will achieve nothing but taking action will send a clear message.

The era of the browser is over for me. The Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) that we've all come to accept as "the internet" is dead. The future of the internet lies perhaps in the old protocols and most definitely in more modern ones such as BitTorrent.

Perhaps the rediscovery and use of protocols like Telnet or FTP is where Media Underground will go in the future, reopening long forgotten communication portals and doing so with the latest technology.

This site has never been about popularity, or advertising, or making money. Media Underground was setup primarily for the exchange of information and at its peak a few years ago, it achieved that and more. But times change and methods need to be readjusted.

It's time the underground went underground.

If you have any ideas about how we go about this then email me before I quit using IMAP, POP3 and SMTP as well (due to the constant influx of spam-saturated bull****).

Humanity ruins everything that becomes popular. Email and browser-based interactions are now highly inefficient, clogged up, and deeply uninspiring.

The modern internet is about selling you products, and I don't like products.

The modern internet is about selling you as a product, and I don't want to be prostituted.

The modern internet is about popularity, and I despise popularity.

So, let's move forward. If we're going to continue we need to distance ourselves from the methods that everyone else is using.

Let's become unpopular. Let's go underground.

alkemical
04-26-2011, 06:18 AM
i'm going to hit this up this weekend:

http://www.crownover.org/hawkrock.html

What's going on with you guys? Any plans/events going on?

What's cool or interesting where you are?

alkemical
04-26-2011, 08:00 AM
Evil ninjas terrorize Pittsburgh
(http://feeds.boingboing.net/~r/boingboing/iBag/~3/ox3q91v3QXc/evil-ninjas-terroris.html)

spate of mysterious crimes carried out by ninjas has left Pittsburghers annoyed and confused. In the latest event, a sword-wielding ninja smashed 11 cars in South Union Township, PA. and tried to stab a man who confronted him, say police. Santino Guzzo said he heard glass breaking, found the ninja hiding in a yard, and was cut in the hand during the ensuing ninja escape. "He was like a gazelle that just got attacked by a lion," Guzzo told the Pittsburgh Trib. "He got up and fell, and got up and fell. Then he jumped off a cliff."

Guzzo reported that he "did not move with the grace typically associated with a ninja" and that he therefore "will not live in fear of the ninja's return."

WTAE news, quoting neighbor Chelsey Cunningham, said the ninja also left behind "like, a fifth of liquor."

A few weeks ago in Scottdale, PA, a man was charged with child endangerment after leaving his 4-year old child at home alone. Police insist that Ross Hurst, 28, was dressed in ninja garb when approached. Hurst denies being a ninja and says it was all a misunderstanding.

"I wasn't playing ninja," Hurst told WPXI news. "I wasn't playing anything. I went out for a jog."

Not long ago, two sword-wielding ninjas robbed a gas station in Richland Township, PA, taking with them cash, cigarettes and lottery tickets.

"It did appear they were dressed like ninjas," said local police chief Robert Amman. Local businessman Rick Lekki reported that it happened just across from his bar.

"It's shocking. Things like that just don't happen out here. I just can't believe it happened," Lekki told a local news affilliate, narrowing his eyes as a menacing, discordant note escaped an unseen shakuhachi flute.


**Embedded links @ source

alkemical
04-26-2011, 08:03 AM
http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/chicago/outdoor/diy-your-own-solar-lights-from-canning-jars-the-hand-me-down-house-145094

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/uimages/chicago/042511-canningjars.jpg

Solar lights are getting less and less expensive these days, but that still doesn't mean their little spikes will stay in the ground when a strong wind comes around or they look especially attractive. These pretty little lights were made from a little food coloring, mod podge, and some store bought lights that were dismantled in the name of crafting.




At my house we have many places that require illumination but we don't exactly have nice grassy spots (or dirt at all) to place a solar light stick. They're getting inexpensive these days ($1 or $2!) at mass retailers and the folks over at The Hand Me Down House have taken full advantage of that.

Did you know you could add food coloring to Mod Podge and get a cool colored glaze for glass? Well surprise you can and for this project that's just what was used on a set of canning jars. The outsides were painted and left to dry before adding a top from a store bought solar light. The neck of the jar was wrapped with wire or twine and can now hang from any hook, tree or location you need a little more light!

• Check out the full step-by-step tutorial over at The Hand Me Down House (http://thehandmedownhouse.blogspot.com/2010/06/solar-mod-podge-amazing.html)

alkemical
04-26-2011, 08:13 AM
http://www.mariekestaps.nl/?/Design/Soil-Lamp-2/

http://www.mariekestaps.nl/content/8.Design/5.Soil-Lamp-2/02.soil-lamp-staand2.jpg

Soil Lamp

Free and environmentally friendly energy forever and ever. The lamp runs on mud. The metabolism of biological life together with the chemical reaction of copper and zinc produce enough electricity to keep a LED lamp burning. The mud is enclosed in various cells. These cells contain copper and zinc that conduct the electricity. The more cells there are, the more electricity they generate. This technique offers a wealth of possibilities. The only thing that the lamp needs is a splash of water every now and then.

alkemical
04-26-2011, 08:14 AM
BOSTON (Reuters) – The smell of marijuana smoke is no longer enough reason for police to order someone out of a car, now that pot has been decriminalized in Massachusetts, the state’s highest court said in a decision published on Tuesday.

The ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court was in response to an appeal filed by lawyers for Benjamin Cruz from Boston, whom police ordered out of a car in 2009 when they approached the vehicle parked in front of a fire hydrant and smelled marijuana.

Cruz was later charged with possession of a class B controlled substance with intent to distribute and committing a controlled substance violation in a school zone.

The high court said a key factor in its decision was the 2008 change in state law which made possession of one ounce or less of marijuana a civil rather than a criminal offense.

“Without at least some other additional fact to bolster a reasonable suspicion of actual criminal activity, the odor of burned marijuana alone cannot reasonably provide suspicion of criminal activity to justify an exit order,” the opinion said.

For more information, see original article. (http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/04/20/marijuana-smoke-odor-in-car-not-enough-for-police-action/)

alkemical
04-26-2011, 08:17 AM
http://www.realitysandwich.com/mushrooms_environmental_restoration

The Intelligence of Mushrooms in Environmental Restoration

Branching from the base of mushrooms are thin, threadlike mycelia that communicate so much information between plants and trees that it has become known, due to the scholarship of mycologist Paul Stamets, as the neural network of the terrestrial biosphere. Mycelium is found in soil or other substrates, sometimes spreading beneath a forest floor as one gargantuan organism, such as in Oregon where a 2,400-acre contiguous growth has been recorded as the largest organism in the world.[i]

Mycelium uses its reach to communicate vital information throughout the ecosystem. For example, if a tree at one end of a forest becomes sick, the mycelia can send this information to the other trees, so that they can boost up their immune systems and prevent contagious spread. As if that were not enough to demonstrate its intelligence, mycelium moves beyond being the connective internet-type network for forests (refer to Image 1), to conducting large-scale environmental restoration by neutralizing toxic wastes through digestive processes.[ii]
As decomposing agents, mycelia of certain mushroom species have the digestive systems to break down long, recalcitrant[1] bonds of many organic pollutants produced by human beings. With proper knowledge of this appetite, mycologists have been learning how to feed toxic wastes such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons of oil wastes to mycelia in what plays out as a magic show of ecological transfiguration. Mycelium not only shows us how, but also shares with us the power to transform our toxic environments into once again thriving, healthy, abundant ecosystems.

alkemical
04-26-2011, 08:17 AM
http://www.realitysandwich.com/mushrooms_environmental_restoration

The Intelligence of Mushrooms in Environmental Restoration

Branching from the base of mushrooms are thin, threadlike mycelia that communicate so much information between plants and trees that it has become known, due to the scholarship of mycologist Paul Stamets, as the neural network of the terrestrial biosphere. Mycelium is found in soil or other substrates, sometimes spreading beneath a forest floor as one gargantuan organism, such as in Oregon where a 2,400-acre contiguous growth has been recorded as the largest organism in the world.[i]

Mycelium uses its reach to communicate vital information throughout the ecosystem. For example, if a tree at one end of a forest becomes sick, the mycelia can send this information to the other trees, so that they can boost up their immune systems and prevent contagious spread. As if that were not enough to demonstrate its intelligence, mycelium moves beyond being the connective internet-type network for forests (refer to Image 1), to conducting large-scale environmental restoration by neutralizing toxic wastes through digestive processes.[ii]
As decomposing agents, mycelia of certain mushroom species have the digestive systems to break down long, recalcitrant[1] bonds of many organic pollutants produced by human beings. With proper knowledge of this appetite, mycologists have been learning how to feed toxic wastes such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons of oil wastes to mycelia in what plays out as a magic show of ecological transfiguration. Mycelium not only shows us how, but also shares with us the power to transform our toxic environments into once again thriving, healthy, abundant ecosystems.

alkemical
04-26-2011, 10:59 AM
http://www.iftf.org/OpenFabrication

Apr 21, 2011
by Jean Hagan
Gathering Experts to Explore the World of Open Fabrication

During the one-day session on April 19 at the AutoDesk Gallery, experts, researchers, and guests explored the many different frontiers where 3D printing and open manufacturing are changing the way that things are made. Among the topics that were explored were:

The affordances that fabrication offers for the unprecedented personalization of products. Scott Summit from Bespoke Innovations demonstrated the work they are doing to revolutionize medical prosthetics.
Creative and artistic applications of 3D printing, including Bathsheba Grossman’s overview of new viral art forms that could not be physically produced in any other way.
The great potential for open, local and modularized production processes with Humblefacture.
The sobering intellectual property issues that next generation manufacturing will trigger with Michael Weinberg of Public Knowledge.
Autodesk’s own ongoing work in 3D printing, including their fabrication of a full scale model of a turbo prop engine and 7-foot tall Lego dinosaur.

Researchers from IFTF's Technology Horizons program also shared our forecasts on the future of Open Fabrication, including Research Manager Mathias Crawford's experience building and using a Makerbot Thing-O-Matic. Research Director Anthony Townsend discussed the human side of fabrication, including how people will respond to a world where they can fabricate for themselves. Finally, Program Director Lyn Jeffery explored the communities are arising around open fabrication, particularly in China.

By the end of the workshop, it was clear that many of the opportunities in open fabrication can be found in the tension between this technology’s incredible potential and its very real limitations. It was also apparent that the open manufacturing revolution that it is enabling is poised to dramatically change the world of production in both very predictable and very unintuitive ways.

alkemical
04-26-2011, 11:10 AM
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/sciencenotfiction/2011/04/07/mood-manipulation-is-not-mind-control/

Mood Manipulation is not Mind Control

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Blade Runner‘s dead-tree forebear) opens with Deckard arguing with his wife about whether or not to alter her crummy attitude with the “mood organ.” She could, if she so desired, dial her mood so that she was happy and content. Philip K. Dick worried that the ability to alter our mood would remove the authenticity and immediacy of our emotions. Annalee Newitz at io9 seems to be worried mood manipulations will enable a form of social control.

The worry comes from recent developments in neuro-pharmaceuticals. Drugs are already on the market that allow for mood manipulation. The Guardian‘s Amelia Hill notes that drugs like Prozac and chemicals like oxytocin have the ability to make some people calmer, more empathetic, and more altruistic. Calm, empathetic, and altruistic people are far more likely to act morally than anxious, callous, and selfish people. But does that mean mood manipulation going to let us force people to be moral? And if it does, is that a good thing? Is it moral to force people to be moral?

The question is a strange one. Force people to be moral – what does that even mean? Let’s cast some clarity onto the issue of moral enhancement:

The field is in its infancy, but “it’s very far from being science fiction”, said Dr Guy Kahane, deputy director of the Oxford Centre for Neuroethics and a Wellcome Trust biomedical ethics award winner.

“Science has ignored the question of moral improvement so far, but it is now becoming a big debate,” he said. “There is already a growing body of research you can describe in these terms. Studies show that certain drugs affect the ways people respond to moral dilemmas by increasing their sense of empathy, group affiliation and by reducing aggression.”

That last sentence is a critical one, so I’m going to disassemble it. Some drugs affect, that is, influence or temper a person’s response to a moral dilemma. Your initial response might be, “I don’t want my decisions being influenced by a drug!” We see ourselves as rational beings in control of our emotions. But our mood is often critical to our decision making, particularly in regard to how we react to others.

We intuitively recognize that mood is often related to morality. When a person is upset or depressed, they can “snap” at a friend, being unjustifiably cruel, violent, or neglectful. Often a person who snaps at a friend will immediately apologize, offering “I don’t know why I did that. I’m in a bad mood, but not at you in particular. I’m sorry.” In these cases, mood creates poor conditions for moral behavior towards friends, let alone acquaintances or general strangers.

The important point is that mood creates conditions conducive to moral behavior. Mood does not determine moral behavior. Like many discussions around human enhancement, it is impossible to overemphasize the difference between determining and enabling a behavior or trait. Think of it like buying a pair of running shoes. Just because you own the shoes, or even if you choose to wear your running shoes every day, doesn’t mean you’ll go running. But you’re more likely to go running in running shoes than if you are wearing flip-flops or snow boots.

Mood enhancers work the same way. I might take a pill that makes me more more likely to be empathetic and altruistic, but it doesn’t guarantee that I will be any more than me having a crummy day will make me a jerk to others. Humans are able to exercise reason and willpower over our emotions and moods to control our actions.

The great thing about mood enhancers is that they make it so that our reason and willpower don’t have to overcome anger, fear, and angst to enable us to do the moral thing. A person in the right mood has an easier time making good choices when faced with moral dilemmas. There is, of course, a caveat:

Ruud ter Meulen, chair in ethics in medicine and director of the centre for ethics in medicine at the University of Bristol, warned that while some drugs can improve moral behaviour, other drugs – and sometimes the same ones – can have the opposite effect.

“While Oxytocin makes you more likely to trust and co-operate with others in your social group, it reduces empathy for those outside the group,” Meulen said.

As with every other technology in existence, mood manipulation and moral enhancement is a double-edged sword. Again, mood manipulation creates the conditions conducive to moral or immoral behavior, as the case may be. But, no matter how you look at it, mood manipulation is not mind control.

Follow Kyle on his personal blog and on facebook and twitter.

Image of pills that do who-knows-what by brains the head via Flickr Creative Commons

alkemical
04-26-2011, 11:28 AM
British and American tobacco companies deliberately added powerful appetite-suppressing chemicals to cigarettes to attract people worried about their weight, according to internal industry documents dating from 1949 to 1999. Chemical additives are just one of several strategies successfully used by tobacco companies over the past 50 years to convince people that smoking makes you thin.

Tobacco giants Philip Morris and British American Tobacco added appetite suppressants to cigarettes, according to the documents, released during litigation in the US. Four other major companies tested potential chemicals, including amphetamine and nitrous oxide, better known as laughing gas, but the documents, which are incomplete, do not reveal if such chemicals were ever added and sold to the public.



The presence of appetite-suppressing chemicals could help explain why smokers who quit often gain weight, according to Swiss researchers in the European Journal of Public Health. They call for stricter rules on tobacco additives amid suggestions that sensitive documents are being removed from databases by the industry to avoid disclosure.

Professor David Hammond, a tobacco industry expert at Waterloo University, Ontario, Canada, said: "We don't know if appetite-suppressing molecules are still added, because compliance with additive regulations is poor and sensitive internal documents are usually shredded."

alkemical
04-26-2011, 11:29 AM
USDA Moves to Let Monsanto Perform Its Own Environmental Impact Studies on GMOs
from cryptogon.com by Kevin
Via: Grist: In early April, the USDA made what I’m reading as a second response to Judge White, this one even more craven. To satisfy the legal system’s pesky demand for environmental impact studies of novel GMO crops, the USDA has settled upon a brilliant solution: let the GMO industry conduct its own environmental impact [...]

alkemical
04-26-2011, 12:09 PM
http://www.kurzweilai.net/solar-power-goes-viral

Viruses improve solar-cell conversion efficiency

Researchers at MIT have found a way to make significant improvements to the power-conversion efficiency of solar cells by using viruses to perform detailed assembly work at the microscopic level.

The researchers found that a genetically engineered version of theM13 virus, which normally infects bacteria, can be used to control the arrangement of nanotubes on a surface, keeping the tubes separate so they can’t short out the circuits, and keeping the tubes apart so they don’t clump.

The researchers tested dye-sensitized solar cells, which are lightweight and inexpensive cells consisting of an active layer of titanium dioxide, rather than the silicon used in conventional solar cells. The researchers said the same technique could be applied to quantum-dot and organic solar cells as well.

The viruses perform two different functions in the process of converting sunlight to energy. First, they possess peptides (short proteins) that can bind tightly to the carbon nanotubes, holding them in place and keeping them separated from each other. Each virus can hold five to 10 nanotubes, each of which is held firmly in place by about 300 of the peptide molecules.

Second, the virus was engineered to produce a coating of titanium dioxide (TiO2), a key ingredient for dye-sensitized solar cells, over each of the nanotubes, putting the titanium dioxide in close proximity to the wire-like nanotubes that carry the electrons.

These two functions are carried out in succession by the same virus; its activity is “switched” from one function to the next by changing the acidity of its environment. This switching feature is an important new capability that has been demonstrated for the first time in this research, the researchers said.

Adding the virus-built structures enhanced the power conversion efficiency of the dye-sensitized solar cells to 10.6 percent from 8 percent. This improvement took place even though the viruses and the nanotubes make up only 0.1 percent by weight of the finished cell.

Ref.: Paula T. Hammond & Angela M. Belcher et al., Virus-templated self-assembled single-walled carbon nanotubes for highly efficient electron collection in photovoltaic devices, April 24 online edition, Nature Nanotechnology

alkemical
04-26-2011, 12:17 PM
http://inhabitat.com/boeing-announces-new-factory-will-be-100-powered-by-renewable-energy/

Boeing recently announced that their new 787 jet assembly plant in South Carolina will be completely powered by renewable energy. The new facility will have a roof covered with solar panels that will provide most of the energy they need for operations, and they will supplement this energy source with renewable energy certificates bought from SCE&G. The solar array will be made up of 18,000 solar panels, will produce 2.6 megawatts of power, and will cover a whopping 10 acres of rooftop.

Read more: Boeing Announces New Factory Will be 100% Powered by Renewable Energy | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World


The solar panels on the roof of the new factory will produce enough energy to power 250 homes, and according to Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, it is Boeing’s first 100% renewably powered factory in the world. It appears to be a step in the right direction for a manufacturer whose products are some of the most polluting transportation vessels on earth.

“What this shows us is that Boeing is going to do everything just a little bit better,” said fellow U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint. That sentiment was seconded by U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. “The fact that Boeing would lead the way is going to make it easier for other businesses in South Carolina and in the country to follow,” he said. The plant will be officially open for business in July and the first jet built with renewable power will take off about a year from the plant’s opening.

Read more: Boeing Announces New Factory Will be 100% Powered by Renewable Energy | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World

alkemical
04-26-2011, 12:29 PM
http://www.p3air.com/2011/coming-soon-from-the-air-force-mind-reading-drones/

Coming Soon From the Air Force: Mind-Reading Drones

Scientifically speaking, it’s only a matter of time before the drones become self-aware and kill us all. Now the Air Force is hastening that day of reckoning.

Buried within a seemingly innocuous list of the Air Force’s recent contract awards to small businesses are details of plans for robot planes that not only think, but anticipate the moves of human pilots. And you thought it was just the Navy that was bringing us to the brink of the drone apocalypse.

It all starts with a solution for a legitimate problem. It’s dangerous to fly and land drones at busy terminals. Manned airplanes can collide with drones, which may not be able to make quick course adjustments based on information from air traffic control as swiftly as a human pilot can. And getting air traffic control involved in the drones cuts against the desire for truly autonomous aircraft. What to do?

The answer: design an algorithm that reads people’s minds. Or the next best thing — anticipates a pilot’s reaction to a drone flying too close.

Enter Soar Technologies, a Michigan company that proposes to create something it calls “Explanation, Schemas, and Prediction for Recognition of Intent in the Terminal Area of Operations,” or ESPRIT. It’ll create a “Schema Engine” that uses “memory management, pattern matching, and goal-based reasoning” to infer the intentions of nearby aircraft. Not presuming that every flight will go according to plan, the Schema Engine’s “cognitive explanation mechanism” will help the drone figure out if a pilot is flying erratically or out of control. The Air Force signed a contract with Soar, whose representatives were unreachable for comment, on December 23.

DSCN0616 300x225 Coming Soon From the Air Force: Mind Reading Dronesuav soar technologies explanation schemas and prediction for recognition of intent mind reading drones air force f drone did israel create the drones Air Force And Soar’s not the only one. California-based Stottler Henke Associates argues that one algorithm won’t get the job done. Its rival proposal, the Intelligent Pilot Intent Analysis System would “represent and execute expert pilot reasoning processes to infer other pilots’ intents in the same way human pilots currently do.” They don’t say how their system will work and they’ve yet to return an inquiry seeking explanation. A different company, Barron Associates, wants to use sensors as well as algorithms to avoid collision.

And Stottler Henke is explicitly thinking about how to weaponize their mind-reading program. “Many of the pilot intent analysis techniques described are also applicable for determining illegal intent and are therefore directly applicable to finding terrorists and smugglers,” it told the Air Force. Boom: deal inked on January 7.

Someone’s got to say it. Predicting a pilot’s intent might prevent collisions. But it can also neutralize a human counterattack. Or it can allow the drones’ armed cousins to mimic Israel in the Six Day War and blow up the manned aircraft on the tarmac. Coincidentally, according to the retcon in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, April 19, 2011 — today — is the day that Skynet goes online. Think about it.

The Air Force theorist Col. John Boyd created the concept of an “OODA Loop,” for “Observation, Orientation, Decision and Action” to guide pilots’ operations. Never would he have thought one of his Loops would be designed into the artificial brain of an airborne robot.

Source: WIRED