Daily Plus 2014-07-27

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Chris Robinson

Soul Travel to meet the Immortals - August 16-22 - a 6 day astral travel workshop in Virginia, United States.  :) Google Director of Engineering predicts we earthlings will become Immortals too ► Ray Kurzweil — Immortality by 2045

For more information on this astral travel seminar, see http://www.monroeinstitute.org/programs/out-of-body-exploration-intensive.  The Monroe Institute, is organizing the astral travel workshop; for more on soul travel, read https://plus.google.com/+AlexP/posts/UJ16xVxk21o.  The basics learned there can be used later to travel to assist  "World Peace Bringers" and to learn from the Immortals in the galaxies.   For those flying to the Monroe Institute the staff will provide transportation for participants to and from the Charlottesville, Virginia airport. Please arrive before 4 PM on Saturday, August 22nd and inform the Institute of your flight schedule. 


SOUL TRAVEL

Alex Tanous was a frequent astral traveler who was very investigated, see this 3 min clip for his remote viewing via astral travel ► Astral projection and Tanous at ASPR.   Skeptics say NDEs (near-death experiences) and OBEs (out of body experiences) are brain imagery.  However, the healthy by-standers can participate in the NDE of the dying, suggesting NDEs are not illusions caused by the lack of oxygen, as skeptics often argue ► Dr.Raymond Moody on Shared Death Experiences.

In a 2013 PLOS ONE paper ► goo.gl/jsAlg, scientists concluded that NDEs are likely not imagined events:).  The 1 hr video on NDEs ► Life After Life - Raymond Moody confirms the research finding that during NDEs people see future events (as in 5 min clip NBC News: Dr Morse Has Done More To Prove Life After Death girl sees her unborn brother heart♥ issue) or objects 100s of feet or miles away.  This 9 min clip details more visions ► Richard & Judy Talk About Ghosts.   For unique NDEs, see goo.gl/5SPBN, that site has over 3500 cases.

There are many research centers documenting proof that humans can soul travel ► iacworld.org, iipc.org, noetic.org, monroeinstitute.org, etc.  Scientists in Shanghai found that quantum action happens at minimum 10, 000 times the speed of lighthttp://www.livescience.com/27920-quantum-action-faster-than-light.html, one day they could realize some things (soul body speed?) are a trillion times faster.. than the "maximum" speed.  

See also a 25 min video on astral travel research by Alex Tanous:  ASPR OBE Experiment 1983.  Alex  explained in the video how he believes we will become physically IMMORTAL one day, i.e. we live in this dimension as long as we want.  :)   Alex shared at 7min22sec of the clip how the scientific understanding of spirit/astral energy will enable us to attain physical Immortality - just like understanding electricity brought us a lot of progress in medicine.  

Other astral travelers have shared that on other planets, humanoids are Immortal and live in Peace.  :)  Albert Taylor quit his NASA Space station job to do astral space travel.  He's been crew chief for U2 planes, had secret clearance for 27 years. He believes he visited other planets via astral body (oberf.org). His book (goo.gl/mcWQyx) details his travels; here's a video of him:  goo.gl/QQyFW

SOME INTERESTING THINGS ABOUT IMMORTALITY

Do you want to co-create a Civilization of Immortals, to build Cities of Immortals or an Immortality University (proving the Immortality of human soul and the existence of advanced civilizations of Physical Immortals) or a World Peace University?  You can travel and learn more about creating an Immortal Culture of Peace, the seed of the Immortal Civilization of the Century when we have evolved to World Peace.  An Immortality University is hidden Within each human being who dares to imagine and explore. :)  The journey of multiple lives (https://plus.google.com/+AlexP/posts/M3H6iiVvmE2) starts today.  :)

 Come one, come all to the astral travel seminar:). Come one, come all, You Lovers of Immortality to the Gathering of All Nations and Races and Cultures, America, (a funny coincidence that linguists may like:  "AM ER I CA" letters rearranged become the "I AM RACE", the Race of the Raceless Immortals, the Gathering of All nations into One that helps the peaceful nations to bring World Peace).  Do you want to build a world of Immortals starting in The United States of Immortals?  Do you love America?  If yes, then apply for the green card lottery ► http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/immigrate/diversity-visa/Diversity-2015-Instructions.html and the Immortals will help you become citizen if your destiny is to build an Immortal University in the United States. :)  ♥  America is a Land of Immortality, awaiting Its Future Immortals, awaiting the emergence of the Global Unified Nation of Earthlings:) that knows Peace, and consequently, later on, Physical Immortality. :)

One day, all nations will merge into One Inter-Planetary paradise of Raceless Shapeshifting Immortals who are telepathic and no longer use these primitive languages and have true super-intelligence. :)  ► https://plus.google.com/110265788529286523789/posts/hNxYHmGDpSP.  
Alex P Alex P

The Greatest Show on Earth

The diameter of the Sun is about 400 times larger than the diameter of the Moon.  The Moon is about 389 times closer to the Earth than the Sun.  This means that the size of the Sun and Moon in the sky are about the same, and that happy coincidence is what allows us to have the greatest show on Earth: the solar eclipse.

Having the same apparent size is just the first requirement for a solar eclipse.  To see a solar eclipse on Earth, the Moon must pass in front of the Sun from our vantage point.  If the orbit of the Moon were exactly in line with the orbit of the Sun, then we might expect a solar eclipse once a month.  But the Moon’s orbit is tilted about five degrees relative to the orbit of Earth, and this means that the Moon is often slightly above or below the Sun from our perspective when it passes between the Sun and Earth.  So most months there is no solar eclipse.  

For the Moon to be lined up in the right way, it has to be located near the plane of the Earth’s orbit when it passes in front of the Sun, and this only happens twice a year, about 6 months apart.  This is why there are “eclipse seasons” in Spring and Fall.  At least one eclipse occurs during each eclipse season.

Not all solar eclipses are alike.   As seen in the image below, since the Sun is larger than the Moon, there are regions where only part of the Sun is blocked by the Moon, and the resulting shadow is called the penumbra.  For a much smaller region where the Sun is completely blocked by the Moon, the shadow is called the umbra.  The type of eclipse you observe depends in part on whether you are viewing it from the umbra or penumbra.

If you are standing in the penumbra, then you will see the Moon block part of the Sun during the eclipse.  This is known as a partial eclipse.  Since the penumbra is much larger than the umbra, this is the most commonly observed type of eclipse.  Sometimes only the penumbra crosses the Earth, and only a partial eclipse is observed, but usually both penumbra and umbra cross the Earth.  Most of us only see a partial eclipse if we are lucky, but those standing in the umbra see a very different view.

For those standing in the umbra, the Moon is directly in front of the Sun.  One would therefore expect the Moon to completely block the Sun, producing what is known as a total eclipse.  Often this happens, but not always.  Although the Sun and Moon appear to be about the same size in the sky, their apparent sizes vary slightly.  The orbit of the Earth is not perfectly circular, so sometimes it is slightly closer to the Sun, and other times slightly farther away.  This means the Sun can appear slightly larger or slightly smaller.  Likewise, the orbit of the Moon isn’t perfectly circular, so the Moon can appear slightly larger or smaller as well.  

These variations are small, so usually we don’t notice them.  But during an eclipse these variations matter significantly.  When the Moon appears slightly larger and the Sun slightly smaller, the Moon can completely block the Sun, and viewed from the umbra it appears as a total eclipse.  If the Moon is slightly smaller and the Sun is slightly larger, then the Moon can’t completely block the Sun.  Instead it mostly blocks the Sun except for a thin outer ring.  This produces what is known as an annular (ring) eclipse.  

The most rare type of eclipse is known as a hybrid eclipse.  In this case the Moon is initially large enough to completely block the Sun, but as the umbra crosses the Earth the relative apparent size of the Sun and Moon shift, so that the Moon is no longer able to completely block the Sun.  This means that what begins as a total eclipse changes to an annular one.  The reverse is also possible, where an annular eclipse becomes a total eclipse.  This means that some people can see a total eclipse, while others can see an annular one.

If you live in the United States and have never seen a total eclipse, make plans for August 21, 2017.  On that day a total eclipse will cross the US from Oregon to South Carolina, making it within a day’s drive of most of the country.   

Image: Wikipedia
Brian Koberlein Brian Koberlein

The experiments stoking fusion's fire - Are these about to set the world ablaze or will they fizzle and fade? If we are serious about finding out we better start throwing money at them.

You might have heard of the most popular fusion design, tokamaks like JET (Joint European Torus) and ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor), devices that look like giant donuts and utilize giant magnets to confine and accelerate plasma. Or perhaps you've heard of NIF's (National Ignition Facility) laser initiated approach which counts on a massive 192 barrel laser cannon to focus all its energy on a tiny pellet in order to compress it to such a degree as to achieve ignition. Those two approaches have received the most attention and as a result have sucked up most of fusion's funding in the last few decades. They do look promising and are worth every penny spent but a variety of new approaches has been picking up steam which too are deserving of a much closer look and thus the funds to do so.

Nature digs into some of them with this excellent article that shines a bit of light on the secretive start-ups that claim to have found the answer to our energy woes. There's Tri Alpha's linear design trying to get things going by having 2 directly opposite plasma cannons fire at each other in sync as well as Helion Energy's somewhat similar colliding-beam reactor and last but not least they also talk a bit about General Fusion's approach which hopes to literally hammer their plasma into obedience.

http://www.nature.com/news/plasma-physics-the-fusion-upstarts-1.15592

If you think that's an exhaustive listing, you'd be wrong. Another big one is Lawrenceville Plasma Physics's Focus Fusion idea but there's also various teams hoping to work on different types of stellarators as well as the so called triple-threat methods. So many avenues worth exploring yet so few funds to do so. Luckily the private sector is chipping in a bit because else these would all have been shot down before even having had a chance of making it to the door. The fact that VCs, including some really big names, are investing in these should raise eyebrows as they don't typically start pumping money into something unless the road to market is somewhat mapped. Is it possible that fusion will follow the google model and reach the world from someone's garage? It might not seem likely but the chance definitely exists for all those billions invested in traditional designs to be bypassed by one really good innovative idea.

Lockheed - Solve for X: Charles Chase on energy for everyone
Google Talks - Focus Fusion: The Fastest Route to Cheap, Clean Energy
TED - Michel Laberge: How synchronized hammer strikes could generate nuclear fusion

Related posts
> A Star in a Bottle (ITER - Tokamak)
https://plus.google.com/108487783243149848473/posts/PQhyt1gHuNb

> National Ignition Facility (NIF - laser based confinement) 
https://plus.google.com/108487783243149848473/posts/UHEhKLCyxLs

> Nuclear man; the humane power station (fission poetry?) 
https://plus.google.com/108487783243149848473/posts/6LKW1s5yW2h


Photo below; General fusion's current experimental prototype on top and what they hope to build below. At the center of the containment vessel, within the spun liquid metal's vortex, plasma rings (think smoke rings) composed of the deuterium-tritium fuel are injected from both above and below which merge to form a single magnetized plasma target. The protruding cylinders you see in the pictures house the pistons used to batter the liquid metal into a fusion susceptible environment. When they are all fired at the same time they send a shockwave through the spinning lead-lithium mixture that gets stronger as it travel towards the center of the vessel where it rapidly collapses the vortex cavity with the plasma in it generating a fusion burst. Quite the turn on wouldn't you say? :)

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday 
Koen De Paus Koen De Paus

3 min video explains how solar energy grows faster than cell phones did.  Wind at 2 cents/kwh and solar at 5cents/kwh are basically cheaper than natural gas and on their way to replace coal-gas-oil for electricity production.

:)  


1.3 million Earths fit into the Sun.  The Sun is huge.   The solar energy reaching the Earth is 5000 times the energy we use globally.  We reached 150 GW solar global PV demand this month.  Some countries increased their solar capacity 5000-16000 times in 22 years.

Solar ☼☼ energy can power the whole planet many times over thru solar windows, walls, roofs, roads, car paint, solar-electric cars-planes-ships-trains and battery storage.  This would eliminate arsenic, mercury, sulfur and other forms of pollution and increase life expectancy by many years. Here are some recent exciting solar power-electric car news:

1.  The Cost Of Solar Has Dropped 100 times Since 1977, Bringing Solar Power To Grid Parity in many areas.  More than half the present global solar PV capacity was installed in the last 3 years. 74% of new US electrical capacity came from solar in the first quarter of 2014http://costofsolar.com/residential-solar-us-edges-commercial-solar-q1-2014/.  First Solar says solar module costs will halve over the next few yearshttp://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/solar-costs-to-halve-as-gas-prices-surge-27907.  The age of renewables has begun, according to Citigroup ►  http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/citigroup-says-the-age-of-renewables-has-begun-69852.  Morgan Stanley says that we are nearing the tipping point for going off-grid with solar/wind/green power, battery storage and electric cars ► http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/say-investors-wake-solar-pro-sumers-24413

2. Solar power sells now at 5c/kwh - cheaper than 7c for natural gas and 10 cents for coal in many places as shown by this latest SunEdison contract for 150MW ► http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/cheapest-solar-sunedison-sells-solar-pv-output-at-5ckwh-25296.

3.  January 2014 Nissan Leaf electric car sales went up 118% compared to 2013 in the US ►  http://evobsession.com/us-nissan-leaf-sales-increase-118-takes-1-spot-us-electric-car-sales.  In Norway Leaf sales doubled too.  The Nissan LEAF set a new monthly sales record in May  2014 in the US, at 3117, making it the clear leader, well ahead of the Tesla.

4.  A German state reached 120% electricity from renewables in 2013http://www.renewablesinternational.net/german-state-already-has-120-percent-renewable-power/150/537/79680 and another state is about to reach 100% renewables energy in 2014http://www.renewablesinternational.net/german-state-to-go-100-renewable-power-this-year/150/537/79472/.  Japan launched $0.1 billion program to support battery storage for solar panelshttp://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/japan-launches-battery-storage-subsidy-homes-business-51085

5.  Nissan LEAF Was Best Selling Car In Norway Again In Januaryhttp://insideevs.com/nissan-leaf-is-best-selling-car-in-norway-again-in-january. The fleet of electric vehicles in Norway is the largest per capita in the world, with Oslo recognized as the EV capital of the world.  In 2013 the market penetration of the EV segment reached 4 plug-in electric vehicles per 1,000 people, nine times higher than the United States, the US being the country where half of world's electric cars are.

6.  California installed more solar power in 2013 than in all previous 30 years combinedhttp://goo.gl/04sUxv. China plans to install 14 GW (more than the US total capacity now) of solar in 2014 ► http://goo.gl/XoKPoK.  India almost doubled its solar capacity in 2013http://goo.gl/EPK5xL. :) China already installed in 2013 about 12 GW, more than the US installed before 2013 and in 2013 combinedhttp://goo.gl/E9lxaI.  Japanese solar capacity increased 350% in 2013 versus 2012 ► http://goo.gl/4pI89e, and 20 GW of utility solar is approvedhttp://goo.gl/6CbBjL.

7.  US is in the process of installing 43 GW of solar - enough to power 6 million homes ► http://goo.gl/Qbkunh.   In October 2013, 99% of new electric power capacity in US came from renewable sourceshttp://www.ferc.gov/legal/staff-reports/2013/oct-energy-infrastructure.pdf.  In November, 100% of new electric capacity in US came from renewableshttp://www.ferc.gov/legal/staff-reports/2013/nov-energy-infrastructure.pdf.  50% electricity from wind in Iowa will be real soon due to $1 billion turbine December order ►http://goo.gl/uJ4bdY

8.  Due to price drops you can invest 7k now and get 50k over 40 years. solar is the best one time investment you can make.  www.freecleansolar.com is probably one of the cheapest ways anyone in USA can install solar panels. $2/watt plus install and $500 in permits etc. They are where little guys buy their panels at wholesale. They connect you with local installers who do it all if you don't like installs. It costs now only 13k to buy and install a 5kw system. Plus you get 30% back as tax credit. It costs 10k if you choose a local electrician, as they charge 2000 not 5000 as the professional dolar installers for installing it. 10k means 7k after tax credit. That means for 7k you can eliminate 50000 in electricity costs over next 40 years. To me this is a perfect deal. Utilities limit your system to 5kw or so depending on how much you use. If you go to solarcity or others you end up paying 50-80% more. Panels on the roof make your house easier to sell. You can google "cheapest solar installers in your country" and take a step towards saving money and the environment.

9.  In Scotland 100% renewable energy by 2025 is the goal ► 
http://ecolocalizer.com/2010/09/29/scotland-aiming-for-100-clean-energy-by-2025/.  Tasmania has set a 100% renewable energy in 2020 goal ► http://goo.gl/3VfHOV.  The Philippines also has a 100% renewable energy in 10 years target ►  http://goo.gl/bZoeh.  In the first quarter of 2014, Italy generated 40% of its electricity from renewableshttp://www.qualenergia.it/articoli/20140408-primo-trimestre-2014-cresce-contributo-rinnovabili-su-anno-precedente.   On June 16, 2013, renewables covered 100% Italian electricity demand for 2 hourshttp://www.fondazioneuniverde.it/fuoco/a-giugno-in-italia-il-picco-delle-rinnovabili/

10.  On May 11th 2014, Germany produced 74% of energy from solar+renewableshttp://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/germany-62168.  In December, Denmark produced over 50% electricity from wind ► http://goo.gl/6252tT.   

11.  In October 2013 France has made its natural gas fracking ban absolute, in a victory for supporters of solar ► http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/10/11/2773071/france-frack-ban/.  Fracking causes small earthquakes, poisons ground water and air and makes millions of people sick ► Fracking Loophole Linked To Pollution Of Drinking Water.  On December 19, France approved taxing fossil fuels to speed up solar deployment ► http://goo.gl/6J3eXC.

12.  Sao Paulo, with a metropolitan area of 20 million people, has set 70% electricity from renewables by 2020 goalhttp://goo.gl/JhmSlG.   China plans to reach 35 GW solar capacity by 2015http://goo.gl/18zxzS.  53% of China's new power capacity in the first 10 months of 2013 came from renewables http://goo.gl/UIUptq.

13.  Turkey's Feed in Tariff Program for solar greater than 1 MW led to applications totaling 9 GW ► http://goo.gl/b8tJ2.   Coal India, world's largest coal company, believes the future is renewables and started installing solar panels at their facilitieshttp://goo.gl/NXEOv.

14.  California town of Lancaster requires all new homes to come with installed solar panelshttp://goo.gl/t22RF.  20% of new homes in California will come with solar panels and most new electricity installed in California will be solar next 6 months.  

For the benefits of installing solar power on your roof, see *http://costofsolar.com*.  For more solar statistics and good news, you can read below: 

Figure 6 at ► http://goo.gl/bcCGh shows a graph of Shell Oil predicting solar energy will be main source of energy in 2070.  If even Oil companies admit to it, it means it will happen so much sooner.   Solar could reach 90% in 2025 if the world gets serious about eliminating pollution from smog by ending billions of Big Oil-Gas-Coal taxpayer subsidies and supporting solar instead. The Italian solar capacity increased 150 times from 2007 to 2011 ► http://goo.gl/YZGkE.  The German solar capacity increased 16000 times from 1991 to 2012http://goo.gl/qulHp.  Pollution causes 40% of deaths ► http://goo.gl/2sXL3, it is therefore a matter of public health to switch to solar energy. We can use solar car paint, walls, roads ► Focus Forward Series: Solar Roadways, roofs, shingles ► solar shingle, windows ► Solar windows see power savings with no transmission lines that add EMF pollution & take space.

In April 2013, Spain generated 54% electricity from renewableshttp://goo.gl/8xbJ9. On June 9th 2014 Germany produced 50% electricity from solarhttp://www.thelocal.de/20140619/germany-produces-half-of-electricity-needs-with-solar-power.

Distributed ► http://goo.gl/uz7o0 rooftop solar eliminates a lot of EMF pollution coming from transmission lines and gives more power to the people instead of Big Utilities.  Solar can hit grid parity in many nations fast, all US in 2018 ► http://goo.gl/J0Z83. In March 2013 100% of new US capacity was solar ► http://goo.gl/Amj4G.   In 2013 Portugal reached 70% electricity from renewableshttp://goo.gl/aQUJx and India solar achieved grid parity ► http://goo.gl/1Itzd. :)  

Solar power is now cheaper than oil burning in Saudi Arabiahttp://goo.gl/1fG55, cheaper than grid power in Brazil ► http://goo.gl/jJHPE and in part of US ► http://goo.gl/B5Gtk , cheaper than kerosene for 1.3 billion people (in Africa and many developing nations) ► http://goo.gl/49Nej.  Fossil fuels are on the way out in EU ► http://goo.gl/x7Uxt.  Italian and German solar power reached grid parity a while ago ► http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/03/24/3418145/solar-grid-parity-italy-germany/.

Future Fusion can be safe, it's how the sun generates energy. But present nuclear energy is too dangerous, Thorium included ► http://phys.org/news/2012-12-thorium-proliferation-nuclear-wonder-fuel.html.   Some say Fukushima is worse than Chernobyl ► Has the Fukushima "China Syndrome" begun?, hence Japan is now ramping up solar power a lot.   Chernobyl Decay and Deformed shows the effects of current nuclear tech gone bad. 

Coal can be replaced with solar immediately:) as a public health priorityThe Cost of Coal: Overview.  In China's worst areas, smog makes people live only 4 decades ►  BBC News - China's Grime Belt Air Pollution Extreme.   Coal-fired plants lead to birth defects in China, see the 2 min video ► China Sees Rise in Birth Defects.  In all nations, including USA, people near coal-fired plants often die of cancer at 45 or so, see the 10 min video ► EXPOSED: Koch Industries and Cancer Risk.  Coal pollution leads to cancer, asthma, autism (mercury), etc. Clean coal doesn't exist ► Robert Kennedy Jr.: No clean coal.

Ark Hotel Construction time lapse building 15 storeys in 2 days (48 hrs) shows how tall buildings are built in 2 days.  The surface area of these buildings' exterior is far bigger than that of a solar farm on the building site, sometimes 50 times bigger.   http://landartgenerator.org/blagi/archives/127 shows it takes a small area to power the planet given the cheap 15% efficiency panels. The total urban areas represent about 2% of the global land surface. 60% of urban areas is roofs and pavements that could have solar panels embedded in them.  When we add the exterior of the buildings, we get 20 times more energy than we use today if we use the cheapest 15% efficiency panels.  We already have 40% efficiency panels and can reach 60% with IR.   There are panels that produce 20 times more energy per square foot, so that means 20 times less area needed ► http://goo.gl/vA3Oz.  More info at http://v3solar.com.  MIT also invented a solar array that can produce up to 20 times more power per surface area ► http://goo.gl/aacAs

The 3 min video Solar Nanoantennas shows how in the future we will be able to convert solar IR rays into electricity at night and during very cloudy days.  :)  With good battery storage, we can save the day time solar power for use at night and during eclipses.

Solar power + electric cars = no smog.  http://solarimpulse.com shows a solar plane.  Here are some more electric car news:

In September-October 2013 the top selling car in Norway has been an electric model too like in January 2014, in September the Tesla Model S, in October the Nissan Leaf ► http://goo.gl/GqjLMY.  Kia EV will have 120 miles range ► http://goo.gl/Tqz3U8.  For a few months, South Korea has already used roads to charge electric cars ► http://goo.gl/12IgSG.  US electric car sales increased 360% in 2013 compared to 2012http://goo.gl/uLc5yV.  Bhutan - with an income per capita lower than China or Russia and 7 times lower than United States - plans as of November 2013 to shift all cars of its capital to electric Nissan Leafs and other modelshttp://goo.gl/Iql06c  Countries richer than Bhutan could aim to switch most big cities to electric cars.  China decided in November that 40% of new cars in Beijing will be hybrids or electric by 2017http://goo.gl/U7cjEe.  After rebates, one can buy a Leaf for 18K or lease it for $139/month at some dealers. In Europe they are testing a bus that can charge in 15 seconds ► http://goo.gl/9OT75. In November, 12% of new cars sold were electric in Norway ► http://goo.gl/3gZQtK.


some reasons for buying your next car electric:

1.  help humanity since you no longer generate carcinogenic exhaust, otherwise known as smog, which kills millions of people each year ► http://goo.gl/jDj0hI and leads to lower IQ ► http://goo.gl/alNQIk and autism ► http://goo.gl/66nqwr.  

2.  save lives since you reduce heart attacks caused by traffic noise ►  http://goo.gl/Fuhvn.   Electric cars are much quieter.

3.   save humanity from oil wars that destroy the environment and kill countless civilians.  Iraq war trillions could have powered all US with solar/wind ► http://goo.gl/ZqN47.  

4.  you no longer have to change oil or spark plugs; no more smog check either; electric cars have 60% less parts, so you will go for repairs much less.  Combustion engines are noisy and only 15% efficient;  electric motors are 90% efficient. 

5.  bring the end of gas stations that poison the water wells with MTBE or other compounds leading to billions of dollars wasted in cleaning up the well water (example:  $0.4 billion settlement ► http://goo.gl/eKasZD)

6.  save money as you spend 4 times less money on fuel, since electricity is 4 times cheaper than gasoline as a fuel.  If you have enough solar panels,  you get free CLEAN fuel for life, since you charge at home and utilities pay you for energy you put on the grid.  Likewise, Tesla Motors offers free solar ☼ charging for lifeTesla Motors Supercharger Event?  

7.  save money for noble purposes because electric cars are cheaper than many oil cars after the federal and state rebates:  in Colorado, you can buy a Nissan Leaf for only 15, 000, while in most other states for 18-21, 000.  A Smart EV costs only $12, 000 in Colorado, see http://smartusa.com.  Mitsubishi i-MieV is only $13, 000 in California and $10, 000 in Colorado ► http://www.evworld.com/news.cfm?rssid=31881

8.  electric car batteries and solar panels are far greener than alternatives.  Battery recycling for today's oil car lead batteries is happening at a 97% rate globally. It will be even better for the far safer lithium car batteries.   Lithium Ion batteries are classified by the federal government as non-hazardous waste.  Lithium ion batteries are made from nontoxic lithium carbonate (used in ovenware), nontoxic cobalt oxide (in pottery glaze), nontoxic graphite (in pencils), and a polymer (plastic) membrane. The most toxic components are the electrolyte and lithium cobalt oxide, neither of which are persistent in the environment and both of which are increasingly being replaced by safer compounds.  Wang Chuan-Fu, CEO of BYD, demonstrated the safety of the electrolyte in their lithium ion batteries by drinking it. Zero Motorcycles founder Neal Saiki said that the Lithium Ion batteries they use are safe to eat

Solar is way better than coal, oil or natural gas which spew 100-1000 times more carcinogens in the environment per unit of energy produced, besides far more CO2.  How long does a solar panel system have to operate to recover the energy used for making the panel? Energy payback for rooftop panels is 1-4 years depending on type.   Assuming a life of 30 years for a panel, that means that most energy produced will be free from pollution of any sort ► http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy04osti/35489.pdf.   


                        #solar                           #cleanair                         #health                    #longevity       
Alex P Alex P

Today in History: Microsoft Makes Deal of Century—
Buys QDOS (86-DOS) Rights for $50,000
On July 27, 1981 — 33 years ago today — a very young and tiny Microsoft bought the rights from Seattle Computer Products to a computer operating system, 86-DOS, originally called “QDOS (Quick and Dirty Operating System)” by its author, Tim Paterson. 

One of the largest companies in the world and the dominant computer manufacturer, International Business Machines (IBM), had been distracted by a long-running U.S. anti-trust lawsuit, had missed the fast-growing minicomputer market of the 1970s, and was determined not to miss the young and rapidly growing microcomputer market in which Apple and many other firms were already fully engaged. IBM’s President John Opel realized that normal new product development took years within the IBM enormous bureaucracy and that IBM needed to act quickly to participate in the expanding PC market; so Opel created an independent business unit (IBU) to create a personal computer as quickly as possible. Opel’s IBU team created a personal computer within a year by using “off the shelf” components, including Intel’s 8088 chip, and open architecture; and it provided transparent technical details for third-party hardware and software developers. In a momentous serendipity, John Opel served on United Way’s national executive committee, of which Bill Gates’s mother, Mary Gates, served as chair. A conversation between Opel and Mary Gates led to an IBM request of the tiny Microsoft company to write an operating system for IBM’s new PC!

Seven years earlier, Gary A. Kildall had created CP/M (Control Program for Microcomputers) and had founded Digital Research, which became the first large software company in the PC industry. By the early 1980s, CP/M was the #1 operating system in use on microcomputers, and IBM made half-hearted attempts to work out a deal with Digital Research to license CP/M for IBM’s new PC. But after the meeting between Mary Gates and John Opel, IBM focused its attention on having Microsoft develop IBM’s PC’s operating system. 

Microsoft was not capable of developing an operating system quickly enough to meet IBM’s needs, but it was able to license 86-DOS from Seattle Computer Products, a company that used Kildall’s CP/M API. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen negotiated the deal without informing Seattle Computer Products of its intended use — an operating system on IBM PCs. For a total of $50,000, Microsoft secured the rights to distribute 86-DOS to unlimited end users and sublicense it to unlimited OEM customers, including its source code. Microsoft received an upfront advance from IBM of $400,000 for 86-DOS, and Gates negotiated with IBM a royalty deal in which Microsoft would retain full control of the operating system. Has a better deal ever been made?

Microsoft’s co-founder Bill Gates is now the richest man in the world. Gary Kildall, the original author of CP/M that was largely copied to become 86-DOS, is dead. Gary did become a millionaire when he sold Digital Research to Novell in 1991, but he expressed annoyance when the University of Washington, where he got a doctorate in computer science, invited him to UofW’s computer science program anniversary in 1992 and Bill Gates, a Harvard dropout, was asked to give the keynote speech. In his memoir, Kildall wrote that Gates “is divisive. He is manipulative. He is a user. He has taken much from me and the industry,” and he called Microsoft’s deals regarding DOS “plain and simple theft.” Gary died on July 8, 1994 in a bar, after suffering from alcohol abuse in his last years.
 
Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seattle_Computer_Products_QDOS
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_8086
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MS-DOS
http://inventors.about.com/od/computersoftware/a/Putting-Microsoft-On-The-Map.htm
http://www.extremetech.com/computing/91202-ms-dos-is-30-years-old-today
http://www.vanwensveen.nl/rants/microsoft/IhateMS_1.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Opel
http://www.nytimes.com/1994/06/11/obituaries/mary-gates-64-helped-her-son-start-microsoft.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Maxwell_Gates
http://lbo-news.com/2010/12/02/bill-gates-business-genius/
http://www.digitalresearch.biz/CPM.HTM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Gates
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Kildall
http://www.nytimes.com/1994/07/13/obituaries/gary-kildall-52-crucial-player-in-computer-development-dies.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Research
http://books.google.com/books?id=K55xk6s7aj0C&pg=PA128&lpg=PA128&dq=paul+allen+negotiates+deal+with+seattle+computer+products&source=bl&ots=zEmrm0mNQZ&sig=DcuE92D63mA-sKn7foQFKwXcCIA&hl=en&sa=X&ei=L_jUU4fsA9KLyAS8-oLQDw&ved=0CCsQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=paul%20allen%20negotiates%20deal%20with%20seattle%20computer%20products&f=false
http://www.computerhistory.org/atchm/gary-kildall-40th-anniversary-of-the-birth-of-the-pc-operating-system/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_x86_DOS_operating_systems

Image Credits:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Kildall#mediaviewer/File:GaryKildall.jpg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Gates#mediaviewer/File:Dts_news_bill_gates_wikipedia.JPG
Brad Acker Brad Acker

Cambridge Delights

There is a quaint little ice cream stand attached to a bicycle that can be found around Cambridge. Jack's Gelato has very quirky flavours, my favourites so far being Earl Grey Tea and Jordanian Orange Flower. This afternoon they were at a farm shop so it was nice to sit under the trees and enjoy some ice cream. 

Trying this again because mobile app is being a pita. 
Buddhini Samarasinghe Buddhini Samarasinghe

"Is America Falling Off the Flat Earth?"  Investments in basic scientific research provide crucial contributions to a robust and thriving economy. 

"The power of America’s economic system and the role its universities, industry and government have played in its effectiveness have not gone unnoticed by other countries competing in the global job market. In fact, they seek not only to copy it but to improve upon it."

"[I]nstead of racing to meet the challenge, America...is permitting this highly successful system of discovery and innovation that has served this nation well since the end of WWII, to atrophy."

Neal F. Lane, Former director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

Four experts recently offered testimony at the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation hearing "The Federal Research Portfolio: Capitalizing on Investments in R&D" held on July 17, 2014.  

They included "Mariette DiChristina, editor in chief and senior vice president of Scientific American; Vinton G. Cerf, computer scientist, Google’s Internet Evangelist and one of the fathers of the Internet; Neal F. Lane, former director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; and Stephen E. Fienberg, professor of statistics and social science at Carnegie Mellon University."

In Defense of Science
http://www.scientificamerican.com/report/in-defense-of-science/

Vinton G. Cerf: "The Value of Investment by the U.S. Government Cannot Be Overstated"

Mariette DiChristina: "Science Is an Engine of Human Prosperity"

Stephen E. Fienberg: "Innovation Is a Process That Itself Requires Investment"

Neal F. Lane: “Investments in Basic Research Are Just That: Investments”


Why Research Matters

"If the United States is to ... provide its citizens with the opportunity for high-quality jobs, it will require the nation to excel at innovation—that is, to be first to market new products and services based on new knowledge and the ability to apply that knowledge. This capacity to discover, create and market will continue to be heavily dependent on the nation’s prowess in science and technology."

"Indicators of trends in these fields are, at best, highly disconcerting. While many factors warrant urgent attention, the two most critical are these: (1) America must repair its failing K-12 educational system, particularly in mathematics and science, in part by providing more teachers qualified to teach those subjects, and (2) the federal government must markedly increase its investment in basic research, that is, in the creation of new knowledge."

"Only by providing leading-edge human capital and knowledge capital can America continue to maintain a high standard of living—including providing national security—for its citizens."

From the executive summary of:

Is America Falling Off the Flat Earth? 

Norman R. Augustine, Chair, Rising Above the 
Gathering Storm Committee, National Academy of 
Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and 
Institute of Medicine of the National Academies 
ISBN: 0-309-11224-9, 92 pages, 7 x 10, (2007)
http://www.nap.edu/catalog/12021.html
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. 

Read online at:
http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12021&page=R9

IS AMERICA FALLING OFF THE FLAT EARTH?
 
CAN AMERICA COMPETE?
 
DISTANCE IS DEAD
 
THE GATHERING STORM
 
AMERICA, WE HAVE A PROBLEM 
 
THE DINOSAURS NEVER SAW IT COMING
 
WELCOME TO THE 21ST CENTURY BOARD ROOM
 
THE COMPETITIVENESS EQUATION—THE COST OF LABOR
 
THE COMPETITIVENESS EQUATION—THE QUALITY OF THE WORKFORCE

THE COMPETITIVENESS EQUATION—THE SUPPLY OF SCIENTISTS AND ENGINEERS

THE COMPETITIVENESS EQUATION—THE RESEARCH ENTERPRISE
 
THE COMPETITIVENESS EQUATION—THE INNOVATION ECOSYSTEM

GONDWANALAND LIVES!
 
A NEW BEGINNING … OR A NEW END?

See also: "Rising Above the Gathering Storm, Revisited: Rapidly Approaching Category 5".

National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine, Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2010.

Read online at: http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12999

Chart from Neal F. Lane's testimony. 

"Among OECD nations, the U.S. ranks 10th in national R&D investment as a percentage of GDP, or R&D intensity. As China’s R&D intensity (red line) rapidly grows at an average of 8% per year in pursuit of the globally-recognized 3% GDP goal, U.S. investments (blue line) have pulled back. At this pace, China will surpass the U.S. by this measure in about eight years."

Data Source: OECD, Main Science and Technology Indicators, 2013, Gross Domestic Expenditures on R&D as a percentage of GDP.

http://stats.oecd.org/

“Where nations once measured their strength by the size of their armies and arsenals, in the world of the future knowledge will matter most.”
President Bill Clinton

#science   #policy #stem #research #investment #economics  

For #ScienceSunday hosted by +Buddhini Samarasinghe, +Rajini Rao, +Chad Haney, +Allison Sekuler, +Robby Bowles, +Carissa Braun, and +Aubrey Francisco. 
Denise Case Denise Case

Chilling facts about Red Hot Chilli Powder

I read a news report titled “Fabric dye mixed chilli powder has hit the market - CAA “ which appeared in the local newspaper today,  with much concern. http://goo.gl/NjsFsf

Instead of using food colouring dye,  illicit manufacturers use strong fabric dye to manufacture chilli powder which is extremely poisonous and hazardous to human health. To get a very bright reddish mixed orange shade the manufacturers use fabric dye which in other terms the consumers would believe that the best quality chilli powder has a dark, bright, red colour.. ..... ..

The low quality spices are sold retail without a packet, label or a brand. Most such substandard products are sent to day fairs and street markets held in remote areas where customers are willing to buy anything cheaper”.

✿  Industrial dyes are used for colouring spices
 Food adulteration with industrial dyes has been a common practice with deceitful vendors. However,  it has been on the rise with the rapidly increasing demand for spices and food ingredients by the fast food outlets and roadside restaurants that have come up in the city in recent times. The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) has detected many such establishments in the recent past. The most common spices that are adulterated with industrial dyes are chilli powder and turmeric powder.

The dyes used are mostly azo dyes, used for dying fabric and other non food items, which are freely available in the market at a cheaper price than food colouring.

Sudan IV and metanil yellow dyes are common adulterants of spices. Sudan IV is a suspected genotoxic carcinogen. Metanil yellow is also a '*non permitted food dye*' . Adverse effects of metanil yellow has been reported in rats, indicating that consumption of metanil yellow can predispose both the developing and the adult central nervous system (CNS) of the rat to neurotoxicity.

Rhodamin B, an anionic dye is also used to adulterate spices.

✿  Detecting adulteration
Adulterated spice samples could be analysed using the analytical technique of chromatography.
Paper chromatography* and thin layer chromatography as well as HPLC (High Performance Liquid Chromatography) are used to detect the presence of industrial dyes which are not intended as food colouring.

In paper chromatography, and also in thin layer chromatography, substances are distributed between a stationary phase and a mobile phase.  In paper chromatography, the stationary phase is usually chromatography paper e.g. high quality filter paper. The mobile phase is a solvent ( the developing solvent) that travels up the stationary phase by capillary action carrying the components  with it. Components of the sample will partition between the stationary and mobile phases depending on the polarity of the components and the solvent.
The ratio of the distance traveled by the substance to the distance traveled by the solvent  is used as the reference value (Rf), and compared with that of known standards.  
http://goo.gl/9FycAV

What the consumer can do
         * Obtain condiments and spices from reliable sources

         * If available, get the raw material and grind to a powder

         * Report suspicious outlets and vendors to the authorities

         * Avoid eating spicy street food and food sold by vendors at  fairs, open stalls and bazaars.

Useful links:

http://omicsonline.org/scientific-reports/srep586.php
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8095244
+ScienceSunday 
Siromi Samarasinghe Siromi Samarasinghe

Matt Uebel - hmmm
+17 - 1 shares - 17 comments

hmmm
Matt Uebel Matt Uebel

In the 1990s we discovered seven middle aged neutron stars. By observing these "magnificent seven" we may be able to understand the structure of neutron stars.
Brian Koberlein Brian Koberlein

If all cultures are equal, why aren't people breaking down doors to get into Cuba or Somalia or Iraq? #AmericaTheMovie
Filippo Salustri Filippo Salustri

Is Facebook Overvalued?
Does this chart (produced my me using Google sheets from data in link below) explain why Janet Yellen's Fed, in its biannual report, cited social media stocks as “potentially overvalued”?

Data (market value and annual profit in billions of dollars) extracted from this article:
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jul/25/facebook-valuation-billions-market-buy-sell-profit?CMP=twt_gu

Other sources:
http://www.nasdaq.com/article/janet-yellen-thinks-social-media-stocks-are-overvalued-is-she-right-cm370802
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/16/business/yellen-tells-congress-that-fed-will-continue-to-help-economy.html?_r=0
Brad Acker Brad Acker

mary Zeman - wait for it...
+43 - 6 shares - 4 comments

wait for it...
mary Zeman mary Zeman

I didn't know Grumpy is a female cat.
Mercè Gamell Mercè Gamell

Betsy McCall -
+25 - 7 shares - 2 comments


Betsy McCall Betsy McCall

'Telling people how to walk is simply not British.'

The +BBC News recently published a funky piece entitled: 'Advice for foreigners on how Britons walk' (http://goo.gl/VpRJ3Z) in which they comment on the fact that there is apparently no real rule in the UK as to which side of the pavement you are supposed to walk on.

I've just written a blog post looking at this in terms of game theory by modelling the process as a strategic game, discussing the 'price of anarchy' and also talking about the evolutionary dynamics: http://goo.gl/HD9qJV

Basically you can show that 'randomly walking on either side' is a Nash equilibrium that is much worse than the Nash equilibrium of being told to walk on a particular side of the pavement.

#sciencesunday   #gametheory  
Vincent Knight Vincent Knight

You know what irritates the shit out of me?  E-Deals that make no sense.
+Washington Post   has a digital access plan, no physical paper, for $99/yr.  ok.  maybe.
But, if I agree to kill trees once a week, and get a physical Sunday paper, I also get the digital premium access for $39.99/yr.
What the hell?
mary Zeman mary Zeman

I feel like the biggest waste of space today.  I shouldn't say that to myself- I have done dishes and laundry, finished a bag and got it blocking, written up notes for something I'm writing, fed walked and played with pets.... but bleah.  All I want to do is lay in bed.
mary Zeman mary Zeman

Video is ubiquitous today. This is a bad thing.
Not universally bad. There are maybe 10 good ones. But when you consider putting your message (course) on video, please remember why it costs so much to produce a movie.
Writers, Cinematographers, Makeup, sets and locations, and of course professional actors whose voices are understandable.
It's not cheap and if you skimp, it means failure.

This message was brought to you compliments of me having watched a video that I will NOT reference because it was so boring. Instead, I give you this faucet dripping.
Bob Calder Bob Calder

Chilling facts about Red Hot Chilli Powder

I read a news report titled “Fabric dye mixed chilli powder has hit the market - CAA “ which appeared in the local newspaper today,  with much concern. http://goo.gl/NjsFsf

Instead of using food colouring dye,  illicit manufacturers use strong fabric dye to manufacture chilli powder which is extremely poisonous and hazardous to human health. To get a very bright reddish mixed orange shade the manufacturers use fabric dye which in other terms the consumers would believe that the best quality chilli powder has a dark, bright, red colour.. ..... ..

The low quality spices are sold retail without a packet, label or a brand. Most such substandard products are sent to day fairs and street markets held in remote areas where customers are willing to buy anything cheaper”.

✿  Industrial dyes are used for colouring spices
 Food adulteration with industrial dyes has been a common practice with deceitful vendors. However,  it has been on the rise with the rapidly increasing demand for spices and food ingredients by the fast food outlets and roadside restaurants that have come up in the city in recent times. The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) has detected many such establishments in the recent past. The most common spices that are adulterated with industrial dyes are chilli powder and turmeric powder.

The dyes used are mostly azo dyes, used for dying fabric and other non food items, which are freely available in the market at a cheaper price than food colouring.

Sudan IV and metanil yellow dyes are common adulterants of spices. Sudan IV is a suspected genotoxic carcinogen. Metanil yellow is also a '*non permitted food dye*' . Adverse effects of metanil yellow has been reported in rats, indicating that consumption of metanil yellow can predispose both the developing and the adult central nervous system (CNS) of the rat to neurotoxicity.

Rhodamin B, an anionic dye is also used to adulterate spices.

✿  Detecting adulteration
Adulterated spice samples could be analysed using the analytical technique of chromatography.
Paper chromatography* and thin layer chromatography as well as HPLC (High Performance Liquid Chromatography) are used to detect the presence of industrial dyes which are not intended as food colouring.

In paper chromatography, and also in thin layer chromatography, substances are distributed between a stationary phase and a mobile phase.  In paper chromatography, the stationary phase is usually chromatography paper e.g. high quality filter paper. The mobile phase is a solvent ( the developing solvent) that travels up the stationary phase by capillary action carrying the components  with it. Components of the sample will partition between the stationary and mobile phases depending on the polarity of the components and the solvent.
The ratio of the distance traveled by the substance to the distance traveled by the solvent  is used as the reference value (Rf), and compared with that of known standards.  
http://goo.gl/9FycAV

What the consumer can do
         * Obtain condiments and spices from reliable sources

         * If available, get the raw material and grind to a powder

         * Report suspicious outlets and vendors to the authorities

         * Avoid eating spicy street food and food sold by vendors at  fairs, open stalls and bazaars.

Useful links:

http://omicsonline.org/scientific-reports/srep586.php
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8095244
+ScienceSunday 
mary Zeman mary Zeman

Let me mansplain this tweet.
Paul T Morrison Paul T Morrison

Tribute to Dutch AIDS researcher Dr Joep Lange who was on the ill fated Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 that perished over Ukraine #MH17  
Ciro Villa Ciro Villa

Is it silly to think this is adorable and romantic?  Don't care.
mary Zeman mary Zeman

The Greatest Show on Earth

The diameter of the Sun is about 400 times larger than the diameter of the Moon.  The Moon is about 389 times closer to the Earth than the Sun.  This means that the size of the Sun and Moon in the sky are about the same, and that happy coincidence is what allows us to have the greatest show on Earth: the solar eclipse.

Having the same apparent size is just the first requirement for a solar eclipse.  To see a solar eclipse on Earth, the Moon must pass in front of the Sun from our vantage point.  If the orbit of the Moon were exactly in line with the orbit of the Sun, then we might expect a solar eclipse once a month.  But the Moon’s orbit is tilted about five degrees relative to the orbit of Earth, and this means that the Moon is often slightly above or below the Sun from our perspective when it passes between the Sun and Earth.  So most months there is no solar eclipse.  

For the Moon to be lined up in the right way, it has to be located near the plane of the Earth’s orbit when it passes in front of the Sun, and this only happens twice a year, about 6 months apart.  This is why there are “eclipse seasons” in Spring and Fall.  At least one eclipse occurs during each eclipse season.

Not all solar eclipses are alike.   As seen in the image below, since the Sun is larger than the Moon, there are regions where only part of the Sun is blocked by the Moon, and the resulting shadow is called the penumbra.  For a much smaller region where the Sun is completely blocked by the Moon, the shadow is called the umbra.  The type of eclipse you observe depends in part on whether you are viewing it from the umbra or penumbra.

If you are standing in the penumbra, then you will see the Moon block part of the Sun during the eclipse.  This is known as a partial eclipse.  Since the penumbra is much larger than the umbra, this is the most commonly observed type of eclipse.  Sometimes only the penumbra crosses the Earth, and only a partial eclipse is observed, but usually both penumbra and umbra cross the Earth.  Most of us only see a partial eclipse if we are lucky, but those standing in the umbra see a very different view.

For those standing in the umbra, the Moon is directly in front of the Sun.  One would therefore expect the Moon to completely block the Sun, producing what is known as a total eclipse.  Often this happens, but not always.  Although the Sun and Moon appear to be about the same size in the sky, their apparent sizes vary slightly.  The orbit of the Earth is not perfectly circular, so sometimes it is slightly closer to the Sun, and other times slightly farther away.  This means the Sun can appear slightly larger or slightly smaller.  Likewise, the orbit of the Moon isn’t perfectly circular, so the Moon can appear slightly larger or smaller as well.  

These variations are small, so usually we don’t notice them.  But during an eclipse these variations matter significantly.  When the Moon appears slightly larger and the Sun slightly smaller, the Moon can completely block the Sun, and viewed from the umbra it appears as a total eclipse.  If the Moon is slightly smaller and the Sun is slightly larger, then the Moon can’t completely block the Sun.  Instead it mostly blocks the Sun except for a thin outer ring.  This produces what is known as an annular (ring) eclipse.  

The most rare type of eclipse is known as a hybrid eclipse.  In this case the Moon is initially large enough to completely block the Sun, but as the umbra crosses the Earth the relative apparent size of the Sun and Moon shift, so that the Moon is no longer able to completely block the Sun.  This means that what begins as a total eclipse changes to an annular one.  The reverse is also possible, where an annular eclipse becomes a total eclipse.  This means that some people can see a total eclipse, while others can see an annular one.

If you live in the United States and have never seen a total eclipse, make plans for August 21, 2017.  On that day a total eclipse will cross the US from Oregon to South Carolina, making it within a day’s drive of most of the country.   

Image: Wikipedia
Tom Eigelsbach Tom Eigelsbach

Morons want to secure crash site by fighting rebels for it. Genius. Candy Crowley wants Ukraine to "push" rebels away by using mortars? That won't hurt the evidence at all.

This is just an excuse to further critique rebels by saying people can't get to the site.
.
Jonathan Langdale Jonathan Langdale

Betsy McCall -
+13 - 5 comments


Betsy McCall Betsy McCall

Total darkness at night is key to success of a particular breast cancer therapy

Exposure to light at night, which shuts off nighttime production of the hormone melatonin, renders breast cancer completely resistant to tamoxifen, a widely used breast cancer drug, says a new study by Tulane University School of Medicine cancer researchers. The study, "Circadian and Melatonin Disruption by Exposure to Light at Night Drives Intrinsic Resistance to Tamoxifen Therapy in Breast Cancer," published in the journal Cancer Research, is the first to show that melatonin is vital to the success of tamoxifen in treating breast cancer.
Ward Plunet Ward Plunet


Spider catching prey A spider’s web is a finely tuned violin

Silk’s dual role as both a telegraph wire and a food-catching net presents a potential evolutionary problem: What’s good for one purpose may not be good for the other.

Nautilus: http://nautil.us/blog/food-vibrationsspiders-are-total-virtuosos-with-their-webs

.
Rich Pollett Rich Pollett

Heavy genomes.

#genomes  
Paul T Morrison Paul T Morrison

I can haz presidency?

#tongueincheek  
mary Zeman mary Zeman

Los Angeles-based artist Alexa Meade has made a name for herself by transforming real people into walking, talking works of art. Using acrylic paints, she paints on the skin of human subjects in a way that optically flattens them into two-dimensional paintings.

Images of her art are being used to illustrate forthcoming manuscripts by philosophers Slavoj Žižek and Alain Badiou. Her work has been displayed in the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery in DC.

Click through to see some of her mind-blowing creations or check out her web site, and keep in mind that every one of these is an actual living person: http://alexameade.com/ or watch her TED talk: Alexa Meade: Your body is my canvas and this episode of "Off the Wall" about her: Off The Wall - Alexa Meade 

"In some ways, artist Alexa Meade is a traditional figure painter. But she works on an unusual canvas: the actual human body. And she takes a classical concept — trompe l'oeil, the art of making a two-dimensional representation look three-dimensional — and turns it on its head. Her aim is to do the opposite, to collapse depth and make her living models into flat pictures." -- from PBS
Ciro Villa Ciro Villa

Stone wall balancing act! #FunFinds #FF
Gail Barnes Gail Barnes

Quantum Gravity in under five minutes [Fast Forward Science 2013]
Benjamin Bahr 
Published on 30 Aug 2013
A short introduction to the missing puzzle piece in our understanding of nature: the unification of quantum theory and general relativity. But why are physicists so interested in this theory of "quantum gravity", and what do they expect it to do for them? Watch this video and find out!

Submission to the Fast Forward Science Competition 2013 
http://www.fastforwardscience.de/en/home.html

h/t +Sabine Hossenfelder 
Denise Case Denise Case

Wear this multi-tool hair clip and feel just like Storm with her headdress lock picks.
Mindy Weisberger Mindy Weisberger

The funny thing about this sign? It points into a wall of trees (hence the weird angle), and we never did find any water of any kind within about half a mile of the sign!  let alone a boat launch area! LOL
"area open for fishing and boating only"
#signsunday  
mary Zeman mary Zeman

Wingsuits Over The Big Apple. (about 2 mins)
A bit of fun for you...
Brad Acker Brad Acker

An excellent follow up article to the shocking report of parents locking their autistic twin sons in the basement at night, to keep them from wandering off.
There are no easy answers, and very little help.
mary Zeman mary Zeman

Strategy proposed for preventing diseases of aging

Researchers writing in the journal Nature say that by treating the metabolic and molecular causes of human aging, it may be possible to help people stay healthy into their 70s and 80s.
Ward Plunet Ward Plunet

"What is the max speed of a baby pram?"...
Now there is a question you never see but for this guy its just under 54 MILES per hour.
Bob Calder Bob Calder

#crochet   Hookin'4lyfe
mary Zeman mary Zeman

mary Zeman - I am askeered.
+8 - 1 shares - 3 comments

I am askeered.
mary Zeman mary Zeman

Weird Al and critical thinking? Nifty.
PLUS gratuitous references to the Illuminati!

via +David Tribe 
Bob Calder Bob Calder

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest, 30/14.
Affecting cognitive decline, negative mass, printing complete boards, atmospheric waveguides, spinning nanorods, restoring insulin sensitivity, wave tractor beams, biomimicry for audio chips, solar passive cooling.

1. A (Reversible?) Mechanism for Age-Related Cognitive Decline.
Recent studies show that extracellular matrix proteins in the hippocampus of animals undergo robust and progressive upregulation over time, increasing with age and believed to directly contribute to cognitive decline by inhibiting synaptic plasticity and cell mobility https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2014/07/involvement-of-the-extracellular-matrix-in-age-related-memory-loss-in-mice.php. The studies were conducted in mice and so confirming the effect in human brains will be important. Given that only one group of four proteins of the extracellular matrix increased strongly, this may present a convenient target to down-regulate protein expression and restore cognitive function. Speaking of cognitive decline a non-invasive retinal imaging technique claims to detect changes indicating Alzheimer’s 15 to 20 years before clinical diagnosis http://www.cedars-sinai.edu/About-Us/News/News-Releases-2014/Study-of-Noninvasive-Retinal-Imaging-Device-Presented-at-Alzheimers-Conference.aspx

2. Proving Negative Mass can Exist in the Universe.
The consensus in cosmology has been that negative mass cannot exist in the Universe due to theoretical conflict with things like General Relativity. However, recent analysis and new solutions to General Relativity imply that negative mass could indeed exist in our Universe without conflicting existing theories https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv-blog/cosmologists-prove-negative-mass-can-exist-in-our-universe-250a980320a7. Turns out that if negative mass exists it would create a plasma in space that would absorb gravity waves, and so providing a plausible answer for why gravity waves have never been detected despite increasingly sensitive instruments. Whether there is a threshold frequency above which gravity waves might propagate through such a plasma is an interesting avenue of inquiry that might provide an interesting means to test the theory. A minority of cosmologists postulate that antimatter has negative mass but there has not yet been an empirical test one way or the other http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitational_interaction_of_antimatter

3. All-In-One Printer for Functional Circuit Boards.
Representing another little evolution in the technology for printable electronics, the Squink printer takes your designs for a circuit board, prints traces with conductive ink, prints conductive glue where the components will attach, and then finally engages a pick-n-place robotic tool to place the components - such as resistors, diodes, ICs, etc - where they are supposed to go http://gizmodo.com/this-all-in-one-printer-churns-out-completely-functiona-1608373786. Once the wet-phase material has cured and dried the printed board can be fired up and used; great little advance for hobby and prototyping applications with commensurate cost and time savings. Should get more sophisticated over time too.

4. Punching Laser Waveguides in Air.
Short, powerful laser pulses can now be used to create the equivalent of optical waveguides in air, the core of which has a higher refractive index than the outside, and so allowing concentrated focusing of subsequent laser light - avoiding the typical spreading and loss of intensity with distance that light in air experiences http://cmns.umd.edu/news-events/features/2356. The laser pulses last only a trillionth of a second, but the “fibers” or waveguides formed last for milliseconds; a very long time in comparison and longer than needed to take advantage of by firing more powerful beams down the guide with little or minimal loss of energy. While longer distances still need to be tested but there are very promising applications in high-bandwidth air-based communications, long-range chemical analysis, over-air power transmission, and laser weapons to name a few. 

5. Rapidly Spinning Nanorods for Chemistry and Medicine.
Nanorods injected into the bloodstream of mice and rapidly spun up by magnets have been shown to double the effectiveness of blood-clot busting drugs that help with stroke; the rods act like a mixing tool, shaking the clots and helping the drug be more effective and ideally allowing a much lower dose (and lower side effects) to achieve the same therapeutic result http://spectrum.ieee.org/nanoclast/biomedical/devices/nanoparticles-improve-stroke-treatment/. Further, nanorods measuring 300nm by 2000nm, placed in solution will rotate at 150,000 rpm when stimulated by 3MHz ultrasound, and act as a very effective and dispersed mixing mechanism with possible applications in speeding up chemical reactions http://phys.org/news/2014-07-ultrasonically-propelled-nanorods-dizzyingly-fast.html

6. Injecting a Single Protein Restores Insulin Sensitivity and Normal Glucose Metabolism.
Injecting the protein FGF1 (fibroblast growth factor) into mice with type 2 diabetes results in the restoration of normal insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism for up to two days; sustained treatment could possibly cure type 2 diabetes in humans http://www.salk.edu/news/pressrelease_details.php?press_id=2037. The molecule does all of this without causing the normal side effects and other risks associated with most other diabetes drugs. While promising this is still early stage; to progress to humans the group wants to discover the biochemical pathway that causes the effect, and will also need to create modified proteins that stimulate insulin sensitivity without stimulating cell growth (which this one does).

7. Creating Tractor Beams with Waves.
It has previously been demonstrated that laser light can exert both a pushing and a pulling force on objects. Interestingly, these concepts have now been scaled up and applied to conventional water waves, in which the propagation and timing of water waves can either push or pull floating objects https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv-blog/tractor-beam-created-using-water-waves-8d9271134c50. That’s a backward pulling force from forward propagating waves, and a pretty interesting fluid dynamics result. Applications could include feeding the knowledge back into the laser work for better optical tractors, better tracking of ocean-borne ships, rubbish, and debris, more efficient cleanup of oil spills, and fun applications with wave pools. 

8. Biomimicry Inspires Super Acoustic Chips.
Drawing on inspiration of a certain fly’s auditory apparatus - which it uses to precisely target crickets on which to birth its larvae - a chip-based replica has been engineered that uses a similarly-structured 3mm square mechanical beam on silicon with a piezoelectric coating that is able to very accurately sense displacement modes corresponding to sound direction and distance http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/at-work/test-and-measurement/mimicking-the-super-hearing-of-a-crickethunting-fly. Such a miniaturised chip-based acoustic sensor has military applications in sensing the direction and distance of sound sources, but it might also help improve this indoor positioning system based on echolocation http://www.technologyreview.com/view/529176/an-indoor-positioning-system-based-on-echolocation/, or even allow simple devices such as mesh networked sensors to cheaply and easily determine the direction and distance to other devices. 

9. Engineering Passive Cooling into Solar Cells.
As good as current solar panels have become they suffer significant losses in energy conversion efficiency when they become too hot and proposals to install active cooling systems almost defeat the point due to the energy required by the pumps. A new passive cooling system involves applying a thin layer with a pattern of micropyramids onto the panels that are optimised to draw away heat and shed it into the atmosphere as infrared radiation http://www.gizmag.com/self-cooling-solar-cells/33061/. The coating lets visible light in and and infrared light out, and should lower operational temperatures, increase efficiency, and lengthen operational lifetimes. 

10. Project Loon Matures After One Year.
Twelve months after first being announced Google’s Project Loon has started to mature, achieving new and significant milestones with its high-altitude balloons designed to provide wireless, ground-level Internet access http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2014-06/17/google-loon-one-year-on. Now considered to be more likely than not to be a viable commercial operation in future, the balloons are providing up to ten times the bandwidth, navigational abilities, and flight times compared to one year ago. A year ago the balloons remained aloft for a few days; now an average of 75 days is common and many pass 100 days with some circling the globe three times. LTE communications have been added and download speeds reach up to 22 MB/s compared to 2 MB/s. One step closer to seamless global wireless Internet access. 

The weekly SciTech Digests are also available as a Google Newsstand Magazine Edition here: 
https://www.google.com/producer/editions/CAow4-hB/scitech_digest 

+ScienceSunday, with your hosts +Buddhini Samarasinghe, +Rajini Rao, +Chad Haney, +Allison Sekuler, +Robby Bowles, +Carissa Braun, and +Aubrey Francisco!
Rich Pollett Rich Pollett

Excellent breakdown of the issue.
The Viking Stadium design as proposed needs to be fixed, or there will be a lot of dead migratory birds.
Bug Gwen Bug Gwen

Alan Tudyk recounts the time Nathan Fillion was confronted by Bieber while playing Halo.
#firefly  
Filippo Salustri Filippo Salustri

Vivek Wadhwa: "The only solution that I see is a shrinking work week."
Matt Uebel Matt Uebel

Country cottage. #FunFinds
Gail Barnes Gail Barnes

Scientists identify body language tied to creativity, learning

In this experiment, creativity was measured by the number of ideas that the duos produced.

Previous research has indicated that encouraging people to move synchronously improves team collaboration and test scores. Conducted by hand, these observational studies also lacked fine detail and were open to bias.

By measuring every angle of the participants' bodies and limbs, Bailenson and Won discovered that the more synchronous the subjects' head movements, the more creative ideas they churned out. Across the sample, gauging the synchronicity of head movements proved a powerful predictor of creative output.
Ward Plunet Ward Plunet

Why A Stupid App Like Yo May Have Billion-Dollar Platform Potential

As an app, Yo is utterly stupid. Let’s all agree to that. It probably isn’t worth a tiny fraction of its current valuation if we were to evaluate it as an app. But as a platform, Yo has an outside chance at a moonshot.

Alerts and notifications are part of the core use experience of a phone. They come naked into the smartphone platform, and any app built on top of the smartphone leverages the alerts and notifications layer. This is where things get interesting: Yo isn’t about messaging; it’s about alerts and notifications. Yo’s potential to be much more than an app is in its ability to potentially be a platform.
Ward Plunet Ward Plunet

Nobody ever thought of this before? Really? Is Rush Limbaugh the only one you don't want shooting off his mouth?
Bob Calder Bob Calder

Blue skies and wheat
David Bradley David Bradley

The BBC have announced today that the premiere episode of Doctor Who Series 8 will receive theatrical screenings across the world. Deep Breath, featuring Peter Capaldi as The Doctor, will be shown in cinemas from August 23.

// doctorwho.tv/watch/cinema

~DSD #DoctorWho #Series8 #CalapDay
mary Zeman mary Zeman

Pairings for Sunday's matches at the International Crown #LPGAIC14
mary Zeman mary Zeman

They found instances when three quantum particles, they wrote, put in two boxes "yet no two particple are in the same box."
.
Jonathan Langdale Jonathan Langdale

Just out... Protein Breakfast: Practice this summer for those busy fall mornings! 4 vids, thanks +Jeff Copper !
Dr. Charles Parker Dr. Charles Parker

Kyle Crider -
+2 - 2 comments


Kyle Crider Kyle Crider

Uh wow- do they really think this is a good idea?!!!  o.O
DC has had a ban on handguns forever, only recently changed to allow for registered guns in the home. 
mary Zeman mary Zeman

On this week's episode of This Week in Virology, we talk about an interesting strategy for mitigating the risk of gain of function experiments, and a second protein required for entry of Lassa virus into cells.
Vincent Racaniello Vincent Racaniello

Alcohol improves your sense of smell – in moderation

Across all three experiments, the team found a correlation between a person's blood-alcohol level and score on tests of odour detection and discrimination. But while low levels of alcohol improved performance, too much – about two units within an hour for women and three for men – led to a significant reduction in sense of smell.
Ward Plunet Ward Plunet

Facebook is automating privacy services. This both confirms that Privacy is becoming a new scarcity, and that new scarcities don't necessarily lead to more human jobs -- they can also lead to more automation.

"Making privacy a product in itself, like the news feed or Facebook Messenger, allowed us to think about it a little more holistically, in a little more of a user-centric way."
Matt Uebel Matt Uebel

The NYT is doing an op-ed series on marijuana. They are taking the stand that the US government should legalize the use, possession, growth, and manufacture of marijuana. After that hurdle the states could regulate licensing and other restrictions within their own borders. Beside the "popular uses of pot" there would be a supposed increase in the economic uses of hemp. Cloth, canvas, denim, clothesline, flooring, carpeting. Imagine it. All of it done without petrochemicals. Now that's a problem. Isn't it? 
mary Zeman mary Zeman

Jonathan Langdale - .
+3 - 1 comments

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Jonathan Langdale Jonathan Langdale

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest, 30/14.
Affecting cognitive decline, negative mass, printing complete boards, atmospheric waveguides, spinning nanorods, restoring insulin sensitivity, wave tractor beams, biomimicry for audio chips, solar passive cooling.

1. A (Reversible?) Mechanism for Age-Related Cognitive Decline.
Recent studies show that extracellular matrix proteins in the hippocampus of animals undergo robust and progressive upregulation over time, increasing with age and believed to directly contribute to cognitive decline by inhibiting synaptic plasticity and cell mobility https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2014/07/involvement-of-the-extracellular-matrix-in-age-related-memory-loss-in-mice.php. The studies were conducted in mice and so confirming the effect in human brains will be important. Given that only one group of four proteins of the extracellular matrix increased strongly, this may present a convenient target to down-regulate protein expression and restore cognitive function. Speaking of cognitive decline a non-invasive retinal imaging technique claims to detect changes indicating Alzheimer’s 15 to 20 years before clinical diagnosis http://www.cedars-sinai.edu/About-Us/News/News-Releases-2014/Study-of-Noninvasive-Retinal-Imaging-Device-Presented-at-Alzheimers-Conference.aspx

2. Proving Negative Mass can Exist in the Universe.
The consensus in cosmology has been that negative mass cannot exist in the Universe due to theoretical conflict with things like General Relativity. However, recent analysis and new solutions to General Relativity imply that negative mass could indeed exist in our Universe without conflicting existing theories https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv-blog/cosmologists-prove-negative-mass-can-exist-in-our-universe-250a980320a7. Turns out that if negative mass exists it would create a plasma in space that would absorb gravity waves, and so providing a plausible answer for why gravity waves have never been detected despite increasingly sensitive instruments. Whether there is a threshold frequency above which gravity waves might propagate through such a plasma is an interesting avenue of inquiry that might provide an interesting means to test the theory. A minority of cosmologists postulate that antimatter has negative mass but there has not yet been an empirical test one way or the other http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitational_interaction_of_antimatter

3. All-In-One Printer for Functional Circuit Boards.
Representing another little evolution in the technology for printable electronics, the Squink printer takes your designs for a circuit board, prints traces with conductive ink, prints conductive glue where the components will attach, and then finally engages a pick-n-place robotic tool to place the components - such as resistors, diodes, ICs, etc - where they are supposed to go http://gizmodo.com/this-all-in-one-printer-churns-out-completely-functiona-1608373786. Once the wet-phase material has cured and dried the printed board can be fired up and used; great little advance for hobby and prototyping applications with commensurate cost and time savings. Should get more sophisticated over time too.

4. Punching Laser Waveguides in Air.
Short, powerful laser pulses can now be used to create the equivalent of optical waveguides in air, the core of which has a higher refractive index than the outside, and so allowing concentrated focusing of subsequent laser light - avoiding the typical spreading and loss of intensity with distance that light in air experiences http://cmns.umd.edu/news-events/features/2356. The laser pulses last only a trillionth of a second, but the “fibers” or waveguides formed last for milliseconds; a very long time in comparison and longer than needed to take advantage of by firing more powerful beams down the guide with little or minimal loss of energy. While longer distances still need to be tested but there are very promising applications in high-bandwidth air-based communications, long-range chemical analysis, over-air power transmission, and laser weapons to name a few. 

5. Rapidly Spinning Nanorods for Chemistry and Medicine.
Nanorods injected into the bloodstream of mice and rapidly spun up by magnets have been shown to double the effectiveness of blood-clot busting drugs that help with stroke; the rods act like a mixing tool, shaking the clots and helping the drug be more effective and ideally allowing a much lower dose (and lower side effects) to achieve the same therapeutic result http://spectrum.ieee.org/nanoclast/biomedical/devices/nanoparticles-improve-stroke-treatment/. Further, nanorods measuring 300nm by 2000nm, placed in solution will rotate at 150,000 rpm when stimulated by 3MHz ultrasound, and act as a very effective and dispersed mixing mechanism with possible applications in speeding up chemical reactions http://phys.org/news/2014-07-ultrasonically-propelled-nanorods-dizzyingly-fast.html

6. Injecting a Single Protein Restores Insulin Sensitivity and Normal Glucose Metabolism.
Injecting the protein FGF1 (fibroblast growth factor) into mice with type 2 diabetes results in the restoration of normal insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism for up to two days; sustained treatment could possibly cure type 2 diabetes in humans http://www.salk.edu/news/pressrelease_details.php?press_id=2037. The molecule does all of this without causing the normal side effects and other risks associated with most other diabetes drugs. While promising this is still early stage; to progress to humans the group wants to discover the biochemical pathway that causes the effect, and will also need to create modified proteins that stimulate insulin sensitivity without stimulating cell growth (which this one does).

7. Creating Tractor Beams with Waves.
It has previously been demonstrated that laser light can exert both a pushing and a pulling force on objects. Interestingly, these concepts have now been scaled up and applied to conventional water waves, in which the propagation and timing of water waves can either push or pull floating objects https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv-blog/tractor-beam-created-using-water-waves-8d9271134c50. That’s a backward pulling force from forward propagating waves, and a pretty interesting fluid dynamics result. Applications could include feeding the knowledge back into the laser work for better optical tractors, better tracking of ocean-borne ships, rubbish, and debris, more efficient cleanup of oil spills, and fun applications with wave pools. 

8. Biomimicry Inspires Super Acoustic Chips.
Drawing on inspiration of a certain fly’s auditory apparatus - which it uses to precisely target crickets on which to birth its larvae - a chip-based replica has been engineered that uses a similarly-structured 3mm square mechanical beam on silicon with a piezoelectric coating that is able to very accurately sense displacement modes corresponding to sound direction and distance http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/at-work/test-and-measurement/mimicking-the-super-hearing-of-a-crickethunting-fly. Such a miniaturised chip-based acoustic sensor has military applications in sensing the direction and distance of sound sources, but it might also help improve this indoor positioning system based on echolocation http://www.technologyreview.com/view/529176/an-indoor-positioning-system-based-on-echolocation/, or even allow simple devices such as mesh networked sensors to cheaply and easily determine the direction and distance to other devices. 

9. Engineering Passive Cooling into Solar Cells.
As good as current solar panels have become they suffer significant losses in energy conversion efficiency when they become too hot and proposals to install active cooling systems almost defeat the point due to the energy required by the pumps. A new passive cooling system involves applying a thin layer with a pattern of micropyramids onto the panels that are optimised to draw away heat and shed it into the atmosphere as infrared radiation http://www.gizmag.com/self-cooling-solar-cells/33061/. The coating lets visible light in and and infrared light out, and should lower operational temperatures, increase efficiency, and lengthen operational lifetimes. 

10. Project Loon Matures After One Year.
Twelve months after first being announced Google’s Project Loon has started to mature, achieving new and significant milestones with its high-altitude balloons designed to provide wireless, ground-level Internet access http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2014-06/17/google-loon-one-year-on. Now considered to be more likely than not to be a viable commercial operation in future, the balloons are providing up to ten times the bandwidth, navigational abilities, and flight times compared to one year ago. A year ago the balloons remained aloft for a few days; now an average of 75 days is common and many pass 100 days with some circling the globe three times. LTE communications have been added and download speeds reach up to 22 MB/s compared to 2 MB/s. One step closer to seamless global wireless Internet access. 

The weekly SciTech Digests are also available as a Google Newsstand Magazine Edition here: 
https://www.google.com/producer/editions/CAow4-hB/scitech_digest 

+ScienceSunday, with your hosts +Buddhini Samarasinghe, +Rajini Rao, +Chad Haney, +Allison Sekuler, +Robby Bowles, +Carissa Braun, and +Aubrey Francisco!
Matt Uebel Matt Uebel

Kyle Crider -
+1 - 1 shares - 1 comments


Kyle Crider Kyle Crider

The end of July brings the realization that that I’ll be teaching graduate and undergraduate courses again in the fall, and that I need to prepare readings, lectures, and an official course outline for each course. In addition to being distributed to…
Paul Minda Paul Minda

A very interesting genetic and epigenetic study on the timing of first menstrual cycle in girls has found that over 123 gene variants are known to have links to onset of Puberty in Girls.
The study has various implication from woman's health in general to nutritional needs of women in developing societies for timely occurrence of puberty and reproductive health welfare. #sciencesunday #healthpolicy  
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/280127.php
Aghamarshan Jn Aghamarshan Jn

SIRP-Alpha is a protein that is found on the surface of various cells throughout the body. It helps normal cells tell the immune system not to attack, and previous research has shown that they are involved in a neuron’s ability to form a presynaptic nerve terminal, which is an extension of the cell that reaches out towards a neighboring cell and can send the chemical signals brain cells use to communicate with one another.

They found that when a brain cell receives signals from a neighboring cell across a synapse it releases SIRP-alpha into the space between the cells. Two molecules within the cell, CaMK and MMP, act like scissors that cut the SIRP-alpha protein in half so it can float to other cells. The SIRP-alpha protein attaches to a #CD47 receptor on the other cell. When this binding occurs, a message is sent to the first cell indicating that the signal was received and that the synapse is a good one. The cell then sends more chemical signaling molecules into the synapse. The researchers believe that this process helps brain cells determine which synapses to keep and which to let wither away.
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Jonathan Langdale Jonathan Langdale

'Telling people how to walk is simply not British.'

The +BBC News recently published a funky piece entitled: 'Advice for foreigners on how Britons walk' (http://goo.gl/VpRJ3Z) in which they comment on the fact that there is apparently no real rule in the UK as to which side of the pavement you are supposed to walk on.

I've just written a blog post looking at this in terms of game theory by modelling the process as a strategic game, discussing the 'price of anarchy' and also talking about the evolutionary dynamics: http://goo.gl/HD9qJV

Basically you can show that 'randomly walking on either side' is a Nash equilibrium that is much worse than the Nash equilibrium of being told to walk on a particular side of the pavement.

#sciencesunday   #gametheory  
Paul Harper Paul Harper

A remote place in the Alps? No, you will find these 300 sheeps in Munich, in the Englischer Garten.
Rodolphe D'Inca Rodolphe D'Inca

SCRAMBLING FOR EGGS

"Right now they're scrambling to really put any egg in the incubator that can be in the incubator, and they're paying a price in terms of not as good hatchability," he said.

A genetic change causes Rooster overeating & reduces sex drive...

Sanderson Farms, the third-largest U.S. poultry producer and one of Aviagen's largest customers, said it and Aviagen systematically ruled out other possible causes for a decline in fertility before determining a genetic issue was at the root of the problem.

The U.S. Agriculture Department last month reduced its U.S. chicken production forecast for 2014, predicting only a 1 percent increase in poundage from 2013, well below the long-run annual average of 4 percent. The agency predicted 2015 production would be up only 2.6 percent.

Mike Cockrell, Sanderson's chief financial officer, said about 17 percent of eggs laid by Aviagen hens mated with the rooster breed failed to hatch. Typically, the failure rate is about 15 percent, he said.

Aviagen sent a team of scientists to Sanderson last autumn to study the issue and has acknowledged that an undisclosed change it made to the breed's genetics made the birds "very sensitive" to being overfed, he said.

"We fed him too much. He got fat. When he got big, he did not breed as much as he was intended to," Cockrell said about the breed of rooster. "The fertilization went way down, and our hatch has been way down."

Aviagen regularly tweaks genetics in birds to improve them, Cockrell added.

The fertility problem is occurring at a time when the industry is dealing with a shortage of breeder birds, which are in demand as the sudden hike in beef and pork prices this year has renewed demand for chicken.

The shortfall came about after breeders reduced their flocks when a spike in feed prices in 2011 squeezed their profit margins, according to Sanderson and poultry experts. While grain prices have now fallen and demand for chicken is on the rise, U.S. poultry breeders are still rebuilding their flocks.

Aviagen's Robinson declined to comment on the reasons breeder birds are in tight supply. The nation's other major breeding company, Cobb Vantress, owned by Tyson Foods, declined to comment for this article.
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Jonathan Langdale Jonathan Langdale

Kyle Crider -
+1 - 1 comments


Kyle Crider Kyle Crider

 Today, L0 is restricted to African populations, whereas L1 is the ancestral haplogroup of all non-Africans, as well as most Africans. Mitochondrial Eve's sequence can be approximated by comparing a sequence from L0 with a sequence from L1. By reconciling the mutations in L0 and L1. The mtDNA sequences of contemporary human populations will generally differ from Mitochondrial Eve's sequence by about 50 mutations.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_mitochondrial_molecular_clock#Coding_region_sequence_based_methods
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Jonathan Langdale Jonathan Langdale

I had a disappointing battery crash last week, so now I've got a Chromebook. It's a lot more pocketbook friendly and will likely become my laptop of choice. 

What you might not know is that you can jailbreak it so that it is also a Linux box. I've not had much experience with Linux and it's not making me wish I had made the switch years ago, but it's does the trick.

(Between fiddling with a new system, my other work and keeping track of the kids, I've been very busy.)

#jailbreak   #chromebook  
Bob Calder Bob Calder

Fold a piece of paper in half 103 times, and its wider than the observable universe. Yo!

#science  
Wally Wynn Wally Wynn

The variation of mitochondrial DNA between different people can be used to estimate the time back to a common ancestor, such as Mitochondrial Eve. This works because, along any particular line of descent, mitochondrial DNA accumulates mutations at the rate of approximately one every 3,500 years per nucleotide.

Mitochondrial Eve is the most recent common matrilineal ancestor, not the most recent common ancestor. Since the mtDNA is inherited maternally and recombination is either rare or absent, it is relatively easy to track the ancestry of the lineages back to a [ matrilineal most recent common ancestor] MRCA; however, this MRCA is valid only when discussing mitochondrial DNA.

Mitochondrial Eve lived later than Homo heidelbergensis and the emergence of Homo neanderthalensis, but earlier than the out of Africa migration.
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Jonathan Langdale Jonathan Langdale

One of my favourites from the early eighties....Kenny Aronoff is such is a solid drummer... That big popping snare. 
Paul Minda Paul Minda

Mark Miodownik (my PhD supervisor) thinks that we are a bit too wasteful with the resources we use to build our gadgets. In this BBC video he meets some people that know how to address this.
David Basanta David Basanta

Virtual body-hack lets you become someone else

I KNOW I'm no longer myself when I see my own body standing beside me. What's more, when I look down, I see the body of a man. Then I lift my arms, and the other "me" moves her arms in time. It's an odd feeling.

I'm wearing an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset as part of a system developed by Yifei Chai at Imperial College London that gives you the illusion of inhabiting another body.
Ward Plunet Ward Plunet

"To test the hypothesis that mitochondrial variation contributes to Parkinson disease expression, van der Walt et al. (2003) genotyped 10 single-nucleotide polymorphisms that define the European mitochondrial DNA haplogroups in 609 white patients with Parkinson disease and 340 unaffected white control subjects. Overall, individuals classified as haplogroup J (odds ratio = 0.55; 95% CI 0.34-0.91; p = 0.02) or K (odds ratio = 0.52; 95% CI 0.30-0.90; p = 0.02) demonstrated a significant decrease in risk of Parkinson disease versus individuals carrying the most common haplogroup H. Furthermore, a specific SNP that defines these 2 haplogroups, 10398G (516002.0002), is strongly associated with this protective effect (odds ratio = 0.53; 95% CI 0.39-0.73; p = 0.0001). The 10398G SNP causes a nonconservative amino acid change from threonine to alanine within the ND3 (516002) of complex I. After stratification by sex, this decrease in risk appeared stronger in women than in men. In addition, the 9055A SNP of ATP6 (516060) demonstrated a protective effect for women. Van der Walt et al. (2003) concluded that ND3 is an important factor in Parkinson disease susceptibility among white individuals and could help explain the role of complex I in Parkinson disease expression."
Jonathan Langdale Jonathan Langdale

In the vast majority of cases, these diseases are transmitted by a female to her children, as the zygote derives its mitochondria and hence its mtDNA from the ovum.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitochondrion#Dysfunction_and_disease
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Jonathan Langdale Jonathan Langdale

Indirect != direct

This potential autism link to dysfunctional mitochondria in the context of vaccines is not served well by the misconception that this is a direct connection between the autistic child and the given vaccine.  This is a direct result of a fraudulent paper connecting a vaccine directly to autism.

Since mitochondria is inherited only from the mothers, and since autism more often than not appears in boys, it's surprising that they're not considering the affect of 50-70 years of vaccines on non-autistic mothers and their non-autistic daughters such that there is no mtRNA feedback from ADS males while their child-bearing sisters carry on the suspect mtRNA.

If there are mitochondrial defects causing a rapid increase in ASD, these defects are being passed on maternally, mother to daughter, with no male input because ASD tends not to show in females nearly as much.
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Jonathan Langdale Jonathan Langdale

84% of affected bird populations are composed of chicken and farm birds, while the 15% is madeup of wild birds according to capture-and-release operations in the 2000s, during the SARs pandemic. The first deadly Canadian case was confirmed on January 3, 2014.

This is interesting because in order to produce a vaccine for H5N1/A H1N1/A, we typically need billions of chicken eggs.

H5N1 has killed millions of poultry in a growing number of countries throughout Asia, Europe, and Africa. Health experts are concerned that the coexistence of human flu viruses and avian flu viruses (especially H5N1) will provide an opportunity for genetic material to be exchanged between species-specific viruses, possibly creating a new virulent influenza strain that is easily transmissible and lethal to humans. The mortality rate for humans with H5N1 is 60%.

http://kottke.org/09/11/how-the-h1n1-vaccine-is-made
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Jonathan Langdale Jonathan Langdale

CD47 is a 50 kDa membrane receptor that has extracellular N-terminal IgV domain, five transmembrane domains, and a short C-terminal intracellular tail. There are four alternatively spliced isoforms of CD47 that differ only in the length of their cytoplasmic tail.

Form 2 is the most widely expressed form that is found in all circulating and immune cells. The second most abundant isoform is form 4, which is predominantly expressed in the brain and in the peripheral nervous system. Only keratinocytes expressed significant amounts of form 1. Little is known about the functional significance of this alternative splicing. However, these isoforms are highly conserved between mouse and man, suggesting an important role for the cytoplasmic domains in CD47 function.

Binding of TSP-1 to CD47 influences several fundamental cellular functions including cell migration and adhesion, cell proliferation or apoptosis, and plays a role in the regulation of angiogenesis and inflammation.
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Jonathan Langdale Jonathan Langdale

Co-expression of integrin-associated protein (IAP/CD47) and its ligand thrombospondin-1 on human granulosa and large luteal cells.

In the present study, we have raised a monoclonal antibody (mAb) designated OG-4 against human granulosa cells (GC).

By immunohistochemistry, the expression of OG-4 antigen was observed on human GC and large luteal cells, but not on thecal and small luteal cells. A complementary DNA (cDNA) clone encoding OG-4 antigen was screened and isolated by a panning method using OG-4 mAb from a human corpus luteum (CL) cDNA library that was expressed transiently in COS-7 cells. Nucleotide sequencing revealed that OG-4 antigen was identical to integrin-associated protein (IAP)/CD47 antigen.

Subsequent reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis revealed that the isoform 2 mRNA of IAP is predominantly expressed in human GC and CL.

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

A granulosa cell or follicular cell is a somatic cell of the sex cord that is closely associated with the developing female gamete (called an oocyte or egg) in the ovary of mammals.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CD47
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Jonathan Langdale Jonathan Langdale

Nrf1 functions as a transcription factor that activates the expression of some key metabolic genes regulating cellular growth and nuclear genes required for mitochondrial respiration, and mitochondrial DNA transcription and replication. Nrf1, together with Nrf2, mediates the biogenomic coordination between nuclear and mitochondrial genomes by directly regulating the expression of several nuclear-encoded ETC proteins, and indirectly regulating the three mitochondrial-encoded COX subunit genes by activating mtTFA, mtTFB1, and mtTFB2. The Nrf proteins are also important for the upregulation of antioxidant and xenobiotic-metabolizing enzymes during oxidative stress.

Nrf1 is also involved in heme biosynthesis through regulation of globin gene expression. The protein has also been associated with the regulation of neurite outgrowth.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006291X05012726

NRF-1 is a critical regulator of the promoter of human IAP/CD47 gene, a gene related to memory formation in rodents. However, its function in neurons was unknown. We found that stable or transient expression of full-length α-Pal/NRF-1 in human neuroblastoma IMR-32 cells significantly induced neurite outgrowth and increased the length of neurites both in medium containing 10% fetal bovine serum and in serum-free medium. In contrast, the dominant-negative mutant of α-Pal/NRF-1 inhibited the induction and extension of neurites. Ectopic expression of full-length α-Pal/NRF-1 also increased the induction of neurite outgrowth in primary mouse cortical neurons.

The IAP antisense cDNA significantly inhibited the increase of neurite outgrowth by α-Pal/NRF-1. These findings indicate that a novel function of α-Pal/NRF-1 is to regulate neuronal differentiation, and that this function is mediated partly via its downstream IAP gene.
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Jonathan Langdale Jonathan Langdale

The +University of Wisconsin-Madison's Department of  Life Sciences Communication seeks applications for a tenure track assistant professor in science communication. The successful candidate will have an outstanding research record in science communication, ideally using as contexts of inquiry one or more of the college's key strategic areas (health, food, bioenergy, climate change, community development, ecosystems). The candidate will teach cutting-edge courses in science communication in one of the college’s fastest-growing undergraduate majors. The candidate will also advise Masters and Ph.D. students and teach graduate level courses in their area of expertise in LSC’s M.S. programs and in our Ph.D. program (jointly administered with UW’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication), one of the most highly-ranked graduate programs in communication internationally. Ability to work in interdisciplinary settings and willingness to work with units across UW-Madison's College of Agricultural and Life Sciences will make this new colleague a perfect addition to our faculty.

For more details, see link below:
Gustavo Olivares Gustavo Olivares

A few weeks ago we launched Suggested Edits (http://goo.gl/OHJaJw) in Google Docs--a way to make edits that can be accepted or rejected by the owner of the document.

We know that some of you work with people who still use Word, so today we’re making it easier to collaborate with them by mapping tracked changes in .docx files to Suggested Edits in Docs and vice versa.

Happy editing!
Gustavo Olivares Gustavo Olivares

" associations are not randomly distributed across genes of all classes and function; rather they converge upon genes that are expressed in certain tissues and cellular types "
Animesh Sharma Animesh Sharma

Obama wants more global drone practice ranges

A top White House official suggested Saturday that Congress pass new legislation to support President Barack Obama's authority to act against an array of terrorist groups not clearly linked to the September 11 attacks.
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Jonathan Langdale Jonathan Langdale

In genetics, paternal mtDNA transmission and paternal mtDNA inheritance refer to the incidence of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) being passed from a father to his offspring. Paternal mtDNA inheritance is observed in a small proportion of species; in general, mtDNA is passed unchanged from a mother to her offspring, making it an example of non-Mendelian inheritance. In contrast, mtDNA transmission from both parents occurs regularly in certain bivalves.

In human mitochondrial genetics, there is debate over whether or not paternal mtDNA transmission is possible. Many studies hold that paternal mtDNA is never transmitted to offspring. This thought is central to mtDNA genealogical DNA testing and to the theory of mitochondrial Eve. The fact that mitochondrial DNA is maternally inherited enables researchers to trace maternal lineage far back in time.

Since the father's mtDNA is located in the sperm midpiece (the mitochondrial sheath), which is lost at fertilization, all children of the same mother are hemizygous for maternal mtDNA and are thus identical to each other and to their mother. Because of its cytoplasmic location in eukaryotes, mtDNA does not undergo meiosis and there is normally no crossing-over, hence there is no opportunity for introgression of the father's mtDNA. All mtDNA is thus inherited maternally; mtDNA has been used to infer the pedigree of the well-known "mitochondrial Eve."

It is now understood that the tail of the sperm, which contains additional mtDNA, may also enter the egg. This had led to increased controversy about the fate of paternal mtDNA.

Some sources state that so little paternal mtDNA is transmitted as to be negligible ("At most, one presumes it must be less than 1 in 1000, since there are 100 000 mitochondria in the human egg and only 100 in the sperm (Satoh and Kuroiwa, 1991).") or that paternal mtDNA is so rarely transmitted as to be negligible ("Nevertheless, studies have established that paternal mtDNA is so rarely transmitted to offspring that mtDNA analyses remain valid..."). One study stated that about 1–2% of a person's mitochondria can be inherited from the father."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heteroplasmy
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Jonathan Langdale Jonathan Langdale

My Overview & Demonstration of Android Wear on the Gear Live.

I decided to take the plunge and order a Gear Live Android Wear smartwatch as soon as it was available, and I've now been wearing the device for nearly two weeks. I wanted to share my experiences and overall impression of the platform; if you've been sitting on the fence regarding these devices this might sway you one way or the other. 

The video is longer than I would like but I really wanted to cover most of the main user interface elements and key device features, benefits, and software tools / apps. The video covers a few basic areas:
* Basic UI & hardware
* Native apps that control certain apps running on your phone
* Custom apps that you install to do extra things
* Notifications and voice messaging (see SMS with my wife for a laugh)
* Overall feelings

The Bad
For me the heart rate monitor was a selling point because I wanted to conveniently start tracking this data. Unfortunately it is completely useless; working only when at rest, basically, and not working at all when exercising or exerting oneself and sweating. I performed comparison tests with a proper chest-mounted heart rate monitor to confirm this, but the Gear Live would only even return a (very wrong and very delayed) reading when exercising about 1 time in 5 when asked. I felt this was misleading advertising from Samsung and was quite disappointed. Fitness aspects of the device also suffer from the lack of Google's Fit platform being launched; hopefully this will be rectified over the next couple of months - I'd really like to do sleep tracking too. 

The Good
After not wearing anything on my wrist for over five years I'm presently surprised how comfortable the device is. Love the Google Now integration, notifications, and voice interaction; in under two weeks these features have changed the way I interact with my Nexus 5 smartphone - almost curing me of the twitching, addict-like frequent checking of the phone for time and notifications. Sometimes, in a noisy environment I would miss a message or phone call and this is now a thing of the past given the device on my wrist. Utilisation of Google Now is now far more frequent. 

The watch and my bluetooth headset now cover up to 95% of my daily communications needs and subtle buzzing notifications on my wrist obviate the need for ringtones or sound notifications from my phone. This device attached to my body 24/7 now provides a better way to interact with my phone and with device-borne information in general. I'm looking forward to seeing the platform evolve and deriving the benefits there-of, and I'm keen to explore integrating different Tasker Tasks to trigger complex behaviours with a touch. 

#androidwear   #gearlive   #smartwatch  
Matt Uebel Matt Uebel

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