• And Baby Makes Five

    Hadrons are heavy nuclear particles composed of either 2 quarks called a meson, or three quarks called a baryon.  Recent work at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN has led to the […]

    • Not so much now but in my younger days (according to the unit calculations) I would have been a full blown alcoholic. LOL!

    • Speaking of Stephen Hawking made an appearance in Hong Kong recently. (well sort of).

    • Not sure if this is scientific or not.

    • Juan Cole’s blog has an article this morning about another area of the Trump administration failures

      And that is before the 200 civilians killed in our bombing raid …

      A distracted Trump administration Couldn’t even focus on its own anti-ISIL summit.

      A ‘security’ expert is quoted about the screw ups and …

      Alterman concludes with a particularly acid comment:

      “Nobody can imagine a world without the U.S. in a leading role, but governments are starting to think that they need to imagine and hedge against it.”

      Trumpism got push back in congress, what about push back from the world???

      Now that Trumpism has made it obvious that US is a rogue nation, what about The New Climate Regime?

      Europe alone—only Europe
      Bruno Latour
      Translated by Stephen Muecke
      I begin with the simple idea that climate change and its denial have been organising all contemporary politics at least for the last three decades. Climate change plays the same role that social questions and the class struggle played over the two preceding centuries.

      We can understand nothing about the way inequalities have exploded for forty years, and the accompanying movement towards massive deregulation, if we don’t admit that a good part of the globalised elite had perfectly understood what was going on with the bad news about the state of the planet, which, thanks to the work of scientists, began to crystallise at the beginning of the nineties.

      Since the threat was real, the elites drew the conclusion that it would be necessary to adopt two opposing courses of action. First, give up the post-war liberal dream of a common world created by the modernisation of the planet—so, let’s cut ourselves off as quickly as possible, through deregulation at any price, from the rest of the inhabitants to whom we sold this dream of universality; secondly, systematically organise long-term denial of this ecological change, which nevertheless brings in not just the environment but what is called the Earth-system.

      (One can see in the case of Exxon-Mobil, which, at the beginning of the nineties, moved quickly from cutting edge scientific research on climate and the Earth, to the organisation of a denial of climatic change, a useful empirical benchmark to situate this transformation of liberal ideals).

      Bruno makes some strong assertions in these paragraphs.

      Climate change and its denial play the same role as class struggle played for the last 2 centuries.

      Inequality is a global problem and the governmental systems are not able to deal with it.

      Then in a couple of sentences he notes that Elites have withdrawn from the promise of a global world, a retreat, since it would take several earths to provide the resources for the current population AND then denial.

      What makes today’s political situation so disconcerting is that this double movement, renunciation and denial, is an open secret

      Europe alone—only Europe

    • Air pollution leads to dementia. And in future will cost more to deal with it than heart and lung disease

      Trump’s Coal Plants, Auto Emissions are causing our Alzheimer’s Epidemi

    • super cool, as always. :O)

  • Trump said the bill failed because no dems voted for it (I can’t make this shit up).

    And in related news, no jews vote for Trump’s gas chamber clean showers bill.

  • Thanks Don. I thought about writing about time crystals, but I don’t fully understand them (yet!). I did find this video (one of many) that is illustrative:


  • VX Explained

    Following the assassination of Kim Jung-Nam (half brother to North Korea’s current dictator Kim Jung-Un) last month at Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur airport, I thought it might be worthwhile to expl […]

    • Time Chrystal

      A time crystal or space-time crystal is an open system in non-equilibrium with its environment that exhibits time translation symmetry breaking (TTSB). In March 2017, it was reported that the theoretical concept of time crystals had been proven, showing that, contrary to the expectation of the laws of thermodynamics, it has been shown to be impossible for these crystals to be in equilibrium with their environment over time.[1]

      The idea of a time crystal was first put forward by Nobel laureate and MIT professor Frank Wilczek in 2012.[a] Space-time crystals extend the ordinary three-dimensional symmetry seen in crystals to include the fourth dimension of time; a time crystal spontaneously breaks the symmetry of time translation. The crystal’s pattern repeats not in space, but in time, which allows for the crystal to be in perpetual motion.[3] Time crystals are closely related to the concepts of zero-point energy and the dynamical Casimir effect.

      this article form wiki gets into quantum physics and other weird stuff.

      One can get through the words but really deep. I was a math major all the way through so I saw a link to topological order so it sounded like topology classes I took in my graduate math classes. Here are the first two paragraph from the link (also a wiki article)

      In physics, topological order[1] is a kind of order in zero-temperature phase of matter (also known as quantum matter). Macroscopically, topological order is defined/described by robust ground state degeneracy[2] and quantized non-Abelian geometric phases of degenerate ground states.[1] Microscopically, topological order corresponds to patterns of long-range quantum entanglement.[3] States with different topological orders (or different patterns of long range entanglements) cannot change into each other without a phase transition.

      Topologically ordered states have some interesting properties, such as (1) topological degeneracy and fractional statistics/non-abelian statistics that can be used to realize topological quantum computer; (2) perfect conducting edge states that may have important device applications; (3) emergent gauge field and Fermi statistics that suggest a quantum information origin of elementary particles (it from qubit);[4] (4) topological entanglement entropy that reveals the entanglement origin of topological order, etc. Topological order is important in the study of several physical systems such as spin liquids,[5][6][7][8] the quantum Hall effect,[9][10] along with potential applications to fault-tolerant quantum computation.[11]

      I got my Ph. D. in math 44 years ago and there was nothing like physics in the abstract topological spaces we played around with. No point in giving the link because can find from the first article.

      A friend sent this article to me.

      Strange that about the same time I was reading an article on Bruno Latour and Charles Peguy. The latter was a poet, pamphleteer and an philosopher and was killed in WWI in 1914. Bruno looks to his work and his challenge to modernity (le monde moderene) as relevant to today. The article by Latour on Penguy has an introduction. Notice what it says about readers and then ends with space-time

      Latour celebrates Péguy as a reader of le monde moderne. He describes
      how, for Péguy, reading must always entail a collaboration between reader
      and text, a form of travailler avec,6 in which each must act reciprocally
      upon the other in order to synthesize a new reality out of what was
      present before. In this arrangement the reader is called—or “deployed,”
      as Péguy might say—to read in such a way as to create, literally, a new
      space-time, participating in the glorious reality of the Bergsonian élan
      vital. The reader who succeeds in this task will be lauded by Péguy as a
      revolutionary, as a hero or as a saint. The reader who fails in this task,
      however, will find himself castigated for succumbing to the spirit of the
      age, for passively rehashing ready-made concepts and ideas, for mutating
      and deforming a living tradition, and for applying a hermeneutic
      to the text that is valid for the natural sciences alone (hence, Péguy’s
      disdain for the old Sorbonnards such as Gustave Lanson). A true reading
      experience, then, is one that is constantly renewed by each successive
      generation. The reading experience we find in modernity, by contrast,
      is calcified and habituated: “Homer is new this morning,” Péguy tells
      us, “and there is nothing perhaps so old as today’s newspaper.”7 What
      results for those inhabiting le monde moderne, then, is nothing less than
      a deflation of space-time

      Latour’s work with 15 modes of existence is a project to unravel the many contradictory themes of modernity which get in the way of, for example, not realizing that The New Climate Regime is the emergency facing the world and it cuts across all institutions and all cultures and all non humans (at least those in the Earth/Gaia thin layer that we have only and always inhabited and have to return to rather than looking to some transcendent God or promise of technology to save us). This article does not address what was in parenthesis but that is covered many other places.

      Another comment from the introduction to the article. Notice that Latour leads us into a new understanding of space-time, and through his work on An Inquiry into the Modes of Existence to understand how we have been able to deny and deflect The New Climate Regime

      Latour’s own project, from day one, has been likewise concerned with
      tracing the mediations and translations that determine the reality we
      inhabit, a reality that is all-too-frequently obscured for us by a worldview—
      by a form of “reading,” we might say—that has been imposed upon
      us by le monde moderne.8 Moreover, in his most recent project, Latour
      invites us to join him in investigating how the space-time of modernity
      can be recaptured or thought anew by means of a plurality of modes
      of existence.9

      In Latour’s short article he notes that Penguy used poetry to express things that could not be expressed in other speech. That was a really important insight for me who only in recent years have been able to get into poetry a little bit. And of the 15 modes of existence, with major ones being Science, Religion, Law, Politics, another one is Fiction. Only in the last couple of years have I gotten into fiction.

      This article is behind a pay wall. I can send out a pdf. If you let me know your email address I will be glad to send it out to you.

      I seem to be a broken record on Latour….

      • OH MY God. Thw whole post ended up with no paragraph marks. Have to run off to church. Will fix it later and put in white spaces. and quotes


        • no worries – when one clicks on “Read more” at the end of your comment, it opens to include your intended paragraphs.

      • Thanks Don. I thought about writing about time crystals, but I don’t fully understand them (yet!). I did find this video (one of many) that is illustrative:


    • Thanks, beimbob

    • A real alien invasion would be more one sided than the Spanish Conquest of the Americas. Just imagine what advantages a species with a ten thousand year head start on us would have. They could most probably simply kill us off with a virus and mop up the survivors.

  • Zebra is owned by the Japanese guy, so sez Wikipedia.

  • I believe the Norwegian lives in house 1, which is yellow, smokes kools, owns a zebra, and drinks water. I will now go look and see if I got it.

  • Kurzweil talks about nanorobots with chips the size of blood cells. It’s gonna be a brave new world.

  • The Coming Singularity

    In physics and mathematics, the term singularity refers to an undefined physical state, typically one approaching infinity.  For example, the density of a black hole is thought to be […]

    • Wait But Why. love it.

    • Interesting about the Komodo Dragons. Goes to show how unlikely flora and fauna can hold answers to our most difficult problems. Hard to utilize if we make everything extinct with our plunder of the planet.

      • Augh. Forgot to put in my link…


        Some interesting stuff on cyborg insects and other robotics.

        We had a blizzard last night – or at least what passes for one here. Magical in the moonlight late! Now it’s almost gone already. All the trees and shrubs were in full bloom before the snow. Bradford pears opened on 2/20. But we had BEES!!! Tons of honeybees! I am always so happy to see them. We leave big patches of clover uncut in our (2 acre) yard for them.

        • Nano technology may have a role to play in this developing technology as well.

          • Kurzweil talks about nanorobots with chips the size of blood cells. It’s gonna be a brave new world.

      • That’s why the rate of the amazon being destroyed scares me so much flora, fauna being destroyed on a daily basis that would benefit mans illness’s.

    • OK. Should have listened. I think the Norwegian drinks water, and working on the zebra.

      • I believe the Norwegian lives in house 1, which is yellow, smokes kools, owns a zebra, and drinks water. I will now go look and see if I got it.

        • Zebra is owned by the Japanese guy, so sez Wikipedia.

        • This is exactly what I got, beimbob, but the solution shows the Japanese guy with the zebra.

          I’m going to try the spreadsheet method. I wish I was better at functions and spreadsheets.

    • Not looking at whoever answered me and below until i either get it or give up. i did see, and agree with, the Norwegian lives in House 1. :O) bebimbob was right not to start it….. but i love it, too.

  • A Brave New World

    It’s been a little while since I wrote about the CRISPR system, which I must admit I still don’t fully understand.

    Put simply, the CRISPR system is a gene editing technology — bor […]

    • I certainly am very far from a physicist but I came across this article concerning metallic hydrogen


      A few weeks ago, inside a Massachusetts lab, a tiny speck of silver reflected lights and made headlines around the world: metallic hydrogen, a long-theorized state of matter, had finally been crushed into existence between diamond anvils. The synthesis, which occurred at extraordinary pressures, turned an elemental gas into a glimmering solid and — after the study was promptly published and publicized by Science — catapulted Harvard physicist Isaac Silvera into the talk of the very small town that is high-pressure physics.

      Not everyone had nice things to say.

      Twenty-eight days after the paper was published, the sample of metallic hydrogen vanished. Silvera, an affable, spectacled laboratory veteran who had doggedly worked on metallic hydrogen for 45 years, expressed disappointment, speculating that his precious sample had gotten lost or simply vaporized back into gas.

    • Honestly I never wondered why but here is an explanation for a Panda Bear’s coloring.


      Scientists in California say they have determined why giant pandas have such distinctive black and white fur.
      In a study published in the journal Behavioural Ecology this week, researchers at University of California, Davis, said the markings are used for camouflage and communication.
      “Understanding why the giant panda has such striking coloration has been a long-standing problem in biology that has been difficult to tackle because virtually no other mammal has this appearance, making analogies difficult,” he said, according to the UC Davis website.

    • thanks, bebimbob!

    • I always wondered about that commercial about mosquitos research, this explains it

  • Daddy, Are We There Yet?

    On February 22, 2017, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA announced the discovery of a planetary system orbiting a ultra-cool dwarf star about 39 light years away from Earth.  […]

  • The Microbiome Revisited

    Here’s a wonderful and instructive synopsis of current research on the microbiome and its relationship to our overall health states.

    Dr. Warren Peters of Loma Linda University M […]

    • Thank you once again for your endeavours to keep us informed with scientific matters.

    • I came across the site which shows the impact of the recent heavy rains in California.


      It is amazing how much the situation has improved over the last year.

      I guess with Climate Change one never knows how it will impact different areas.

    • https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2017/nasa-moon-data-provides-more-accurate-2017-eclipse-path

      On Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, millions in the U.S. will have their eyes to the sky as they witness a total solar eclipse. The moon’s shadow will race across the United States, from Oregon to South Carolina. The path of this shadow, also known as the path of totality, is where observers will see the moon completely cover the sun. And thanks to elevation data of the moon from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, coupled with detailed NASA topography data of Earth, we have the most accurate maps of the path of totality for any eclipse to date.

    • 75 th anniversary of the internment of Japanese in WWII. Up on a twitter feed for a while before displaced by a sports star or a movie star. Most focus is on the US but also happened in Canada.

      The Japanese dissent naturalist, David Suzuki, was 5 years old and they were moved from the west coast into the interior of Canada. David later was a student planning to become a doctor and a book just came out, “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson and at the point he changed to biology. His mother never forgave him. He started out in DNA research and then later had a nature TV program for about 30 years in Canada. He says in the speech that his work as an environmental activist was a failure. Yes they did stop destruction of forests and led many demonstrations and organized, but the push to climate destruction continued.

      This morning I am rereading Bruno Latour’s Gifford lectures from a couple of years ago. It is an important lecture series focusing on Natural Theology.

      The prestigious Gifford Lectureships were established by Adam Lord Gifford (1820–1887), a senator of the College of Justice in Scotland. The purpose of Lord Gifford’s bequest to the universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, St. Andrews and Aberdeen was to sponsor lectures to “promote and diffuse the study of Natural Theology in the widest sense of the term—in other words, the knowledge of God”.

      Since the first lecture in 1888, Gifford Lecturers have been recognized as pre-eminent thinkers in their respective fields. Among the many gifted lecturers are Hannah Arendt, Noam Chomsky, Stanley Hauerwas, William James, Jean-Luc Marion, Iris Murdoch, Roger Scruton, Eleonore Stump, Charles Taylor, Alfred North Whitehead, and Rowan Williams.

      David Hume, 1771-1776 was a Scottish philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist, who is best known today for his highly influential system of radical philosophical empiricism, skepticism, and naturalism.

      In Bruno’s second lecture in the series he focuses on David Hume and the dialogue among a couple of people. He points out that Hume views rationality as information transfer, not which is the case of true religion, namely, to transform the listener. He shows that there were 16 dimensions involved in this extremely narrow view of rationality that was too thin to deal with either religion or science. Bruno is about widening the scope of rationality through 15 modes of existence of which religion is one of those.

      Here is a talk I went to about 5 years ago given in Cleveland for an award to David Suzuki. Have to start at about 22 minutes in when he starts talking. We are heading down the freeway at 120 miles per hour, in the trunk.

      2012 Inamori Ethics Prize Ceremony and Lecture

      Are the counters of youtube valid? It shows only 578 views. I also learned about the 1992 letter to Humanity about the environment signed by most of the Nobel Prize winners. This is only 2 pages long.

      1992 World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity

      • Thank you, as always, Don. I didn’t know that he said he had failed! OMGoodness. He contributed so much and continues to, i believe. If we squeak out of this one, he will be one of the major reasons why.

        I’m betting that even Trump has to hear from the Pentagon, and they have a study about the horrendous effects of climate chaos. Of course, from their point of view, it may be a positive–culling the herd, new workers, more births here, more unrest, more need for all those outsourcing corpses.

        I heard that Trump is building a sea wall around some golf course (Florida?) so he’s at least somewhat aware. So hateful. I hope the Dalai Lama visits him and somehow blasts a blessing into his demented soul.

        • Bruno talks about this several places.

          During the rise of socialism, he points out, there was a massive effort across culture, architecture, government, arts, language, etc. There has not been this effort in regard to the climate. The stance is to point out scientific results and wait for the consensus to form. That includes almost all the players, including David Suzuki.

          The long standing gap between nature and culture and the various disciplines, and subject/object dichotomy, have led to a climate dialogue within which both sides use the same frame. Hence no way out from that intellectual approach or cultural approach.

          The Water Protectors are bringing ancient, archaic, non modern, culture out in public, to be on the same stage as us moderns. The ancient cultures had a much stronger bond between human and non human that we have lost as we turned the non human over to scientists.

          Now all humans are under attack like the former archaic people and there is no political, economic, religious institution, etc. to turn to.

          In Bruno’s politics is the collective which needs to be brought together to deal with the problems that face us.

          Lecture given at Cornell University, 25th October 2016
          My hunch is that the disorientation everybody feels about the dislocation of politics — even more evident at this time of the presidential election — is the direct consequence of this other disorientation regarding the territory. If politics appears so vacuous, it might be because it has not a solid and shared ground on which to raise issues of substance. How can you expect to have substantial policy debates if there is no territory to map, no cosmos to share, no soil to inhabit? How could we maintain a minimum of decent common institutions if we have no land in common, literally no common ground? In this lecture I want to diagnose the origin of such disorientation and to imagine how this very special institution that we call the University could in some ways help us to land somewhere, to reach a place drawn realistically enough so that politics could start afresh. Let me look at some of the reasons why we feel so disoriented.

          Is Geo-logy the new umbrella for all the sciences?
          Hints for a neo-Humboldtian university

    • Excellent Ted Talk on microbiomes. I’ve been following developments in this field for about the last twelve years or so. My confidence in probiotics has grown to the point where my wife and I and our Beagle consume probiotics every day. I rarely get sick and, when I do, I recover quite quickly. Our Beagle is 15 1/2 now and is in great shape for his age. I think the saying treat your body like a temple is most apt. Keep your consumption of processed food, sugar and trans fats as low as possible and always try to eat whole, real food as much as possible. It’s always a challenge to eat healthy while on a tight budget but it can be done. Thanks for the video.

    • Ditto everyone else. Fun and interesting. Our own Bill Nye, the Science Guy! :O)

      • wi58 replied 1 month ago

        Glad bebimbob takes the time for this series always informational. Read the 1992 article, the sad thing is we have the tech so solve the climate ,environmental issues but the PTB-Mic are more concerned with power and profit above all. I really don’t expect much help from Trump inc or the repubs over the next 4 years most likely will regress on environmental issues. The earth’s environment will survive in some form. The question is will mankind be able to survive in it? even if their is a nuclear holocaust life will find a way. I’m still holding out hope that we can effect change and live in better harmony with the environment it can be done.

  • I did not nominate any munchkins for my cabinet. I don’t even like donuts. I am a vegetarian.

    D. J. Drumpf

  • Flynn was never my national security adviser. If he was, I would’ve fired him on my TV show! Fake news! Sad!!

    D. J. Drumpf

  • There’s a Ted talk that explores how homo sapien almost went extinct in our species’ early years. I think we were down to 2000 individuals. Now we are up to almost 7.5 billion.

  • Yes it would. I think the material was first designed for power generation plants, which are always running hot. Nevertheless, for residences in chronically warmer climates, this material, which can be put over solar panel roofs, does preferentially export infrared radiation one way (which would be out, to the environment, and because of the 8…[Read more]

  • The Mighty Nose

    The human nose is an amazing biological detecting device.  In the nose alone, there are over 400 olfactory sensors capable of discriminating between roughly 1 trillion scents.

    Our sense o […]

    • Thanks for your post

      Maybe I am wrong. But wouldn’t the cooling material be a negative during the winter when the heat is appreciated. It may be practical in areas where it is hot all year long.

      • Wondering the same thing?

      • Yes it would. I think the material was first designed for power generation plants, which are always running hot. Nevertheless, for residences in chronically warmer climates, this material, which can be put over solar panel roofs, does preferentially export infrared radiation one way (which would be out, to the environment, and because of the 8 micron glass sphere size, out into space itself).

    • Homo sapiens might soon be added to that image unless there is a sudden change in the world’s reaction to climate change.

      • There’s a Ted talk that explores how homo sapien almost went extinct in our species’ early years. I think we were down to 2000 individuals. Now we are up to almost 7.5 billion.

    • I look forward to your Science Sunday series every week.
      Did we loose the spot to “vote up” the writer? If so, where is it. I still “vote up” many replies, but I like to give the author recognition. I appreciate your efforts with this series.

  • The Fermi Paradox

    The great Italian physicist and Nobel Laureate Enrico Fermi asked the seemingly innocuous question “Where are they?” in response to a luncheon conversation with colleagues about the odd […]

    • Fascinating! Never heard of tardigrades until now!

    • Love it!

    • If their peaceful and advanced probably did a “fly by” and decided to much tribal war fare on this planet and will contact us if we grow up. They are probably shaking their head(s)in disgust over the behavior of the lifeforms on our planet. Then again their are 7 billion potential slaves or “To Serve Man” for those that remember the Twilight zone episode. Lots of other possibilities though.

  • They need new talking points. San Bernadino and 9-11 were Saudi Arabia, but that country is curiously absent from the list of seven countries. That’s how you know it’s all religious discrimination and ethnic racism.

  • Thanks grapevines. Seriously cool.

  • Rogue Twitter accounts that resist Trump’s gag order on Federal agencies reported by Eric Zorn of the ChiTrib:

    The most prominent so far is @AltNatParkSer, billed as “the unofficial resistance team of U.S. National Park Service,” which acquired nearly 1.3 million followers a week after Team Trump brought the hammer down on the park service’s…[Read more]

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