• I’d like to see handicapped folks use the Birdly machine. Wouldn’t that be great?

  • Earth Day Retrospective

    Saturday we celebrated the 48th instance of Earth Day, a day dedicated to celebrating  the planet we live on and love.

    Earth Day was the brainchild of Senator Gaylord Nelson of […]

  • Yes, I saw this. Hilarious! Thanks Humphrey.

  • Moore’s Law

    Moore’s Law, first stated by Intel cofounder Gordon Moore, that semiconductor processing power would double approximately every two years, has been chronically and erroneously reported to hav […]

    • Melting ice — incredible

      A clear and now present danger

      What would happen if this video were shown to all school children around the world? Would the kids revolt and force their parents to act now.

      Keep in the ground is a start.

      Put it back in the ground is needed.

      If is is not already past the tipping points…

      My wife, 50 years ago, had nightmares about melting ice. She saw the possibility all the way back then. And it scared her. Now, ……

      Trump has to fire off another missile

      We have to create more terrorists and more displaced people to add to those displaced by climate change

      and, what about water??

    • Unfortunately I saw this on another forum and most the comments dismissed this (ice melt) as fake news, Fools!!!. At least my millennial kids realize that we have a problem with climate change.

    • Thanks for the post. I hope my addition appeals to the physics part of you.


      Nothing seems to sum up the universe’s descent into disordered chaos quite like shoes getting untied. Try as your shoes might to keep themselves together (unless you’re rocking Velcro straps), inevitably their strings will come unravelled, causing you to trip and fall in some embarrassingly public setting.
      Image: UC Berkeley

      But how do your shoes come undone? That was the question guiding a set of mechanical engineers at the University of California, Berkeley. The answer, they think, lies in a complex albeit somewhat intuitive combination of physical factors.

      The idea behind the research started when the authors stumbled upon a 2005 TED talk by Terry Moore about how to tie shoes — but it didn’t talk about why shoelace knots fail. “It seems like no matter how hard you tie them they become untied,” graduate student and study co-author Christopher Daily-Diamond told Gizmodo. “That intrigued us. Why is it happening?”

      The team hypothesised that the knots failing came from a few things. The acceleration of the leg swinging forward leaves the free strings feeling a force in the opposite direction, resisting the change in motion and loosening the knot. The impact of the shoe hitting the ground deforms the knot, reducing the friction that the string feels and making it easier to slide out. The repeated impacting and deforming, combined with the swinging motion, makes the knot looser. The inertial force of the free string overpowers that of the loop side causing the loop to get smaller and push through the knot, until the whole thing falls apart.

      I have one particular pair of shoes that the left one becomes undone that I have to double knot it.

    • How climate chaos affects the larger weather patterns is such important info and really knocks the legs out from under deniers. But it’s not a simple enough story for our MSM so many people still think in terms of hot and cold–if it’s colder, how can it be “global warming”?

    • Interesting and informative, as always.

  • Each MOAB costs 15 million dollars. There were 36 casualties. That comes out to approximately 417,000 dollars per casualty. Looks like there’s no money left for free hot dogs at the school cafeteria.

  • Maybe a smear campaign on Oscar Munoz would be in order.

  • #deleteunited: United Airlines getting the Uber treatment. The plane was not overbooked: they bumped the asian doctor to make room for their f*cking employees. Also, according to the BBC, which featured this latest insanity, the bumps are not random, but are low fare tickets. Mofos: I will never fly United again. I hope they lose millions in…[Read more]

  • I found this today (Tuesday). Might help. It’s for allergies, but you said infections.

    Click here.

  • Trump is so presidential looking, starting a war from his f**king golf course. Could you be less serious, more lazy? It looks like all the pricipals are around a folding table off hole 9.

  • Benny:

    Google peoples pharmacy sinus infections to see if there are some homeopathic remedies you may not have heard of. Best to you.

  • What Really Are Emotions?

    Are emotions pre-wired into our brains at birth, or do we learn them, in the context of the norms of the society in which we grow up?

    Lisa Feldman Barrett of Northeastern University […]

    • Regarding antibiotics, which I always need in May/June and in October (spring and fall) due to sinus infections, is there anything else science can tell us about other remedies? (I do the other stuff too, sprays, spray steroids, sinus rinsing, but ultimately the infection often appears anyway. The case for wiping out microbiomes is a better case for taking them sparingly than just “getting too used to them”, then they don’t help.

      BTW, are you planning something special for Earth Day/March for Science? I am still looking for local marches and I thought it could be interesting if others went to local or state marches, we could post reports on a thread.

      • Benny:

        Google peoples pharmacy sinus infections to see if there are some homeopathic remedies you may not have heard of. Best to you.

      • I found this today (Tuesday). Might help. It’s for allergies, but you said infections.

        Click here.

    • I know for a fact that short term memory weakens as we age. …….Now if i can remember what else I was going to write.

    • Insights from Bruno Latour from a review of one of his books

      Regular readers have noticed that I have a thing about Bruno. But it is a big mountain to climb.

      Here is a review of one of his books,”Science in Action” This scientist points out what he has learned by reading the book.

      In particular, the reason that scientific papers are hard to read is that they are hardened, ready for battle. A scientist’s work must stand up to attacks so they structure their arguments and bring in supporting evidence to fight the battle.

      Latour undertakes this investigation by not listening to what philosophers say about Truth, not listening to what sociologists say about Society, and not listening to what scientists say about Nature, but instead to observe the scientists at work. Find out what they do, and not what they say. And some of his interpretations of their actions are quite surprising.

      Latour starts with analyzing technical papers, as those consume a great portion of most scientists’ time. He decomposes the dense tangle of references, citations, and figures and explains how this tangle is necessary as a defense against those who would attack the paper. By referencing and citing others, the scientist mobilizes an army against those who would attack him. “Aha!” he says. “To attack my claim, you would first have to disprove all of these other claims!” Figures serve a similar purpose, except that they connect him to the laboratory. To disprove the figures requires having a similarly equipped lab to run a similar experiment.

      It was really interesting to me to see this take on papers. I had never really thought about why technical papers were so hard to read, but it makes sense if one thinks of the scientist as being hunkered down in a bunker ready to defend their claim against all attackers. And this was just the first chapter, so I looked forward to the rest of the book.

      Science in Action, by Bruno Latour

      The man who reviewed the book has a background in Physics and spent a year at CERN but didn’t want to spend a lifetime in particle physics. His recent home page says that he is Eric Nehrlich, Unrepentant Generalist

    • I had meant to post this over the weekend but was not able to get on. Hope its not too late (and thanks for these bebimbob!) I know I suck at commenting and need to get better at that as I appreciate these posts a great deal. Quite informative.

      Happy feet: why a 61m-year-old penguin foot has researchers dancing for joy

      A recent paper by a team of bird paleontologists from the Canterbury Museum in Christchurch, New Zealand, and the Senckenberg Museum in Frankfurt, Germany, describes a penguin fossil foot from the mid-Paleocene Waipara Greensand location in New Zealand. This locality is dated to about 61 million years ago. The fossil foot belongs to a new species of penguin. The specimens were found at the same locality where another species of large penguin was found as well, Waimanu manneringi (Slack et al. 2006), which is considered the oldest penguin known to date.

      Tarsometatarsi vary tremendously from one group of birds to another, and are therefore a very useful bone to identify birds. In penguins, the tarsometatarsi is very distinct; it is extremely short and broad, as if someone took a heron’s tarsometatarsus, cut out the long bit in the middle and glued the top and bottom together again. But even within penguins, the shape of the tarsometatarsus varies. The new fossil foot differs from Waimanu, and looks more like modern penguins, in its proportions and the shape of the hypotarsal canals, a set of ridges on the plantar side of the bone that keep the tendons for the foot in place during locomotion.

      The finding of this new fossil penguin foot alongside more primitive species of penguins indicates that penguin diversity early after the Cretaceous – Palaeogene extinction event was larger than expected. Moreover, the penguin foot shows characteristics that we are used to seeing in much younger penguins. This shows that the typical penguin tarsometatarsus morphology evolved more rapidly than we thought. The difference in tarsometatarsus morphology between the new specimen and Waimanu likely reflects differences in locomotion both in the water and on land.

  • Climate Change

    In the video above, Hari Sreenivasan of PBS News Hour interviews the editor in chief of National Geographic Susan Goldberg about the lead article in the magazine’s latest issue concerning t […]

  • 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.

      • Good! I would never get in one of those and I do not like the thought of them anywhere near me.

    • 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.

      • 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.

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