Archive for the ‘Science’ category

The Drain Of Heaven

November 8, 2008

Unknown “Structures” Tugging at Universe, Study Says

Everything in the known universe is said to be racing toward the massive clumps of matter at more than 2 million miles (3.2 million kilometers) an hour—a movement the researchers have dubbed dark flow.

Uh-oh.

Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

Matthew 24:29

Reference: Quantum Time

November 6, 2008

timetraveltweet110608840pm

The Transactional Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics

I am excited about this because as I said before, it “feels” right and helps explain the almost psychic behavior of photons in quantum computers. They react to possibilities that have NOT YET Occurred in our present. This is to put it mildly, a huge mind-fuck.

I must read this thoroughly.

Previously here:

Did Einstein Have A Theory Of Loopholes?

Did Einstein Have A Theory Of Loopholes?

November 6, 2008

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That’s all I’d need to happen to freak me out. Run into a future me.

Now Me: Where the hell did you come from?

Future Me: What do you mean? I’ve always been here!

Now Me: Tell me what happens in the future!

Future Me: Are you nuts? You’re younger. You’ve traveled here into the future from my past. Go back there and live it out! But better!

Time’s arrow all right. Shaped like a screw!

Previously here:

I Want Time Travel: So Does He

I Want Time Travel: So Does He

November 6, 2008

Space cowboy

For more than 50 years, he’s been obsessed with finding a way to return to the past. Specifically, to the Bronx, in 1955. That’s the year his father, Boyd Mallet, died. Mallett’s lifelong mission? To traverse spatiotemporal continuum and warn his dad to take better care of himself. To tell him to kick the two-pack-a-day habit that helped lead to the fatal heart attack he suffered at the age of 33.

The Bronx? 1955? Take me with you!! That’s close enough to where I want to go. I’ll settle for it!!

Do any of you understand what it would feel like to go back in time? I do!

I now have to recount my own “journeyman” episode. It was a dream I had back in 2003 (1/26 to be precise; it’s in my Palm) and it left a permanent mark on me.

I “woke up” standing on the sidewalk looking at a protest marching north near Columbus Circle. It is sometime in the 1970s (I can’t pinpoint the year). I am seeing a protest I had actually witnessed in real life back then. But I am back there with my knowledge of today. And it hits me that I am back there with what I know now. I have traveled back in time. The vividness of the dream, its reality, is as real as real, if not realer (you know how hyper-real dreams can be; if you don’t, I feel sorry for you!). I am there. And I know the future. And all the shit that I’d been through in that future is now gone. Wiped away. I had a sense of freedom, of liberation, that I’d never before experienced in my life. I could do everything differently — and with the foreknowledge I contained inside me. I walked down to a neighborhood I once lived in for a few years. It was pre-gentrified. The rents were still low and I could see the lowlifes who had been swept out in the neighborhood’s redevelopment. They didn’t frighten me. In fact, I was without fear altogether. That I was suddenly homeless and apparently penniless didn’t bother me at all. It was the freedom of it all that excited me. I could get money, I could get an apartment — and beyond all that, I could get rich. I knew the tech stocks to invest in. I knew that Microsoft was still a private company. There was no DOS yet. No IBM PC. Reagan wasn’t yet in office (and when he came in, I’d know there’d never be a nuclear war with the Soviets — something many people actually feared during that time!). Do you understand? Can you imagine it for yourself? How absolutely exciting! To this day — over four years later! — all I have to do is recall that dream and I can recapture some of the emotion of it.

I want to go back!

I must also find out what happened with what I posted in my old blog.

At the old blog:

I Knew This Would Happen In The Future
I Think There Is Retrocausality Is There Think I

R.I.P. Writer Michael Crichton

November 5, 2008

Author Michael Crichton dies, 66

Michael Crichton, author of Jurassic Park, has died aged 66 after a “courageous and private battle against cancer”, his family has said.

And:

A Harvard Medical School graduate, Crichton became the toast of Hollywood when his 1971 novel The Andromeda Strain was turned into a film.

Andromeda Strain decades later remains one of the high points of SF in film. Some selected images:

andromedatitle

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strain002

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strain005

strain006

strain007

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strain009

His first love letter to science.

Sand, Surf, And Infection

October 25, 2008

Beaches in U.S. Host Drug-Resistant Bacteria, Researchers Find

Oct. 25 (Bloomberg) — A drug-resistant germ linked to surgical wound and urinary tract infections was found on five U.S. West Coast beaches, according to scientists who said the bacteria isn’t usually seen outside of hospitals.

Samples of sand and water were taken from seven public beaches and a fishing pier in the state of Washington and southern California, according to a study reported today at a meeting of infectious diseases doctors in the nation’s capitol. While the level of public risk is unknown, the beaches may help transmit the germ called enterococci, study authors said.

Though enterococci hasn’t reached the level of methicillin- resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, it’s growing as a public-health threat and the findings suggest the germs may have moved out of hospitals and into the general population, said Marilyn Roberts, a study author,

“I think it’s the tip of the iceberg,” said Roberts, professor of public health at the University of Washington, Seattle, in a telephone interview. The resistant enterococci “have almost always been associated with some kind of health-care facility before.”

OK, how the hell did that happen? How did it get there? Pestilential homeless people ejected from hospitals?

It now makes me wonder what the hell they’d find on the beaches of Cape Cod!

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #346: Taleb

October 17, 2008

I told you so: bankers are brainless

Taleb is in a state of considerable excitement. He is greatly in demand because his recent book, The Black Swan, includes a scathing attack on the financial system. For years he has railed against the banks – bad risks taken for the wrong reasons by incompetent people using bogus financial models. Any fool can say that now. Taleb saw it coming.

“The financial ecology is swelling into gigantic, incestuous, bureaucratic banks,” he wrote in The Black Swan. “When one falls, they all fall.” Taleb’s ideas, widely ridiculed by economists at the time, are being vindicated.

Emphasis added by me.

His book, Fooled by Randomness, is one everybody should read. It’s one of those rare books that is universal in thought and no matter what your particular interest, it can enhance your thinking about that and everything else.

I wish now I’d written to him when I first read it, shortly after it came out. It’s too late now. He’s mobbed.

But I absolutely love this guy. Some more quotes from this article:

Taleb’s writing is a passionate attack on several of modern society’s favourite ideas. First, expertise – “idiots in ties,” Taleb calls so-called experts.

He is suspicious of received wisdom. ‘We think we know infinitely more than we do. We used to think that mother’s milk was no better than bottled milk because we couldn’t find anything special in it. Now we know that Mother Nature knew better than us.”

Taleb’s contempt for self-reinforcing cabals of experts cuts across disciplines: “Academics are usually subhuman.” When my pen pauses and I look up, he adds: “You can say I said that – they are. Academia has nothing to do with producing knowledge. They produce PR. The four most important thinkers of modern history – Freud, Marx, Einstein, Darwin – none was a conventional academic.”

Emphasis added by me.

Sidenote: Who is trying to fix this global financial mess?

Bernanke: An academic!

Scared now?

More wonderfulness:

“When someone says he’s busy, he means that he’s incompetent,” says Taleb. Having a stupidly busy schedule isn’t a sign of being important. It means that you become insulated from the real world.

Emphasis added by me.

There’s lots of that around! (You think $400M-bonused Dick Fuld walked the streets of New York City? What? And risk ruining his Gucci loafers?!)

More:

Understanding luck and randomness has practical benefits for us all. “Leave some space and time redundant,” Taleb says. “It’s good for dealing with black swans.” Like slack in the system? “Exactly. We all need slack. Capitalism doesn’t teach slack. It teaches optimisation – if the banks had had twice the capital, this crisis never would have happened.”

Emphasis added by me.

I haven’t read Black Swan yet. I don’t know if that’s in the book itself.

But what did I say on September 23 in Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #225

And you’ll hear it here first now too: The bailout will FAIL.

They are applying old self-destructive greedy solutions to a problem that requires — for lack of a better business-y term — massive amounts of Slack.

Slack!

This is not something any of them are prepared to give.

And since they want to keep holding tight, they will strangle to death the very thing they’re trying to save.

They are seeking a logical solution. This requires a stochastic solution.

Emphasis in original.

This is a man, you eejits:

The colourless conformity of corporate life appals Taleb: “Screw the money. No money can compensate for being turned into a rat in a cage.” In a typical piece of intellectual mischief, his next book describes how two of his fictional characters meet Socrates when the Greek philosopher visits the modern world. One of them predicts that Socrates will notice the absence of slaves. “Absence of slaves?” the second replies. “We’ve got plenty of slaves. You can identify them because they wear neckties.”

Emphasis added by me.


Master of the Universe Self-Delusion

He had talents equal to business, and aspired no higher.

Tacitus

And finally, here is a snapshot of Taleb’s home page, with red highlighting by me:


Click = big

Yeah: Screw your money!

Think of it! Greed, ignorance. All television and no literature — think! And now any one thing is good as any other. Why, I can remember when people used to fall helplessly in love. … Now these sons of bitches love their goddamn jobs, so-called, more than their goddamn wives!

— Lee, by Tito Perdue; pgs. 64-65

Screw. Your. Money.

At the old blog:

Overclock Your Mind

Free eBook: Body Hot Spots

September 25, 2008

Body Hot Spots: The Anatomy of Human Social Organs and Behavior by R. Dale Guthrie

Hm. An odd one. This has a 1976 Copyright date. Thirty-two years old.

It can be read via web browser or downloaded as an RTF or MSWord97(!) file.

— via Twitter from top_book

Previously here:

Free eBook: Small Business Guide
FREE eBooks, Excerpts, Stories!

Reference: Bisphenol A (BPA)

September 16, 2008

Packaging chemical ‘increases heart disease risk’

Exposure to a ubiquitous chemical used in plastic baby bottles, food cans and a host of other products may increase the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes, a study suggests.

In the first major study of the possible health effects of bisphenol A (BPA), one of the world’s most heavily-produced substances, researchers found that even small traces in the body — less than 100 times the current recommended limits — were potentially linked to health problems.

BPA can be found in detectable levels in nine out of ten people, suggesting that it is widespread and enters the body primarily through food but also through drinking water, dental sealants, absorption through the skin or inhalation of household dusts.

The researchers, from the Peninsula Medical School, Exeter, found that relatively high levels of the chemical found in urine were associated with a three times higher risk of cardiovascular disease and more than twice the risk for type-2 diabetes.

OK, this is really really really freaking me out now.

This is a chemical I also mentioned at the old blog: Today’s This Is Just Too Damned Scary For Me To Think About

Your Important Question

September 1, 2008

Photo taken today, Monday, September 1, 2008 on Satan Staten Island with the Philips crapcam.

Study: Bypass better than stents in long term

For heart patients with clogged arteries, the choice between bypass surgery or an angioplasty may come down to one question: How many procedures would you like to have?

In research presented Monday at the European Society of Cardiology meeting in Munich, experts concluded that while bypass surgery and angioplasty offer comparable results, patients who have angioplasties are twice as likely to require another procedure within a year.

“If you don’t want to have another heart operation for at least a decade, you should pick the surgery,” said Dr. Heinz Drexel, professor of medicine at the University of Innsbruck in Austria and spokesman for the European Society of Cardiology. Drexel was not connected to the research.

“But that means you have to have your chest cracked open,” he said.

Emphasis added by me.


This is open-heart surgery.
(No, that was not taken with the crapcam!)