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"Philosophy to Science - Quark to Cosmos. Musings on the Fundamental Nature of reality"

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Strings are too confining

Okay, so we've been to Mars, say (we know enough) and yeah, the "gods" once walked the Earth - read the second paragraph in the account of The Flood And The Tower Of Babel in the King James version of the New English Bible, the one that goes "In those days, when the sons of the gods had intercourse with the daughters of men, there were giants upon the Earth. Those were the heroes of old.". Then a new paragraph begins to introduce those giants – Noah, Moses, Abraham and all those other long-lived "prophets". (Yeah, the gods have figured out the secret to near immortality, but that didn't necessarily prevent them from being stung to death by scorpions or by succumbing to some other other 'act of God'. That's how Toth died. His crew couldn't get to him soon enough to save him).

There are real archeologically ancient skeletal finds the world over, including America, of a race of humans that averaged twelve feet tall. Some were up to eighteen feet tall. They were normally proportioned for their centre of mass, given gravity. Anyway, if you're interested in learning more, all I can say is look it up. We are all Googlers.

But right now I want to discuss very briefly a new analysis of Dark Matter and Cosmic Background Theory. Scattered elsewhere in this blog are various articles in which I touched on the photon background, and also virtual particles, as in the article about the Casimir effect for example. Apparently virtual particles are always popping in and out of existence out of the cosmic background. To my mind, if superstrings exist, then they must exist there, not in the present reality where material existence is more or less stabilized. But then, I never thought that string theory was viable in any event. In fact, I think that in reality the cosmic background is a matrix of sorts, with an organization of closely packed nodes much like a complex three dimensional weave. So – not strings, but nodes.

When you zoom in to see the smallest sub-atomic particles, we encounter a lot of space between them. In fact, if you scaled the nucleus of an atom up to the size of a golf ball, the outermost electrons would occupy a zone about twelve kilometres away. Similarly, space as a contiguous matrix has a pattern, and the fact that it has a pattern implies that there can, at the highest levels of zoom, be internodal interference which leaks energy that can stabilize and precipitate as cosmic dust, from 'between' those nodes. Not so much space between nodes, but boundaries defining each. Space dust are trapped 'virtual particles', really just energy which has manifest as matter in the only stable dimension in which it is possible to actually exist and be aware of it - ie. this one. That dimension is called reality. Obviously then the cosmic background is not perfect, but that is because of the dynamics of gravitational interactions in our constantly expanding 'firmament'. As virtual particles are constantly being produced, so do nodes continually reproduce, probably of course making that happen. It's all part of the program of continuity for perpetuity. It's a beautiful self-perpetuating cycle.

So, I think that Dark Matter is fresh space dust, not yet accreted into dense volumes by way of gravitic interaction. If we find that our observations suggest that this is happening alarmingly more and more, then one might want to assume that the Universe has stretched as far as it's going to go. Don't. The farther you look out, the more that dust gets in the way, that's all. No need to worry, it's all going to be around for perpetuity.

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Friday, March 18, 2011

Whew, what a journey!

Wow, it's been a long time - just woke up from a Rip Van Winkleishly long nap. <--stretch-->

Well, why so long? To be truthful, ahem, I just got back from Mars. Yes, there's gold there, about a trillion dollars worth, or more, even. Raw, refined ingots showing their age of tens of thousands of years. They look somewhat porous, almost, and rough, but they are easy to rub into a brilliant sheen. A great trove of East African treasure. Stored for what purpose? Wealth. Great riches. Only, I didn't have the resources to bring any back.

Don't believe me? Read this book before you say anything. Read also translations of the Egyptian Hieroglyphs, which tell of the gods' "ships of millions of years". Then study the stones which form the launching platform at Baalbek, in Lebanon, and which existed before the biblical flood, which happened 13,950 years ago when a giant slab of ice the size of a small continent calved off the Antarctic ice shelf, producing a tsunami which made the boxing day event seem but a dribble of slurp crawling up the beach. Ancient Sumerian cuneiform script tells of how the gods ascended into the heavens on great clouds of billowing black smoke, as the earth trembled with a terrible roar all around as far as the eye could see. It's no mystery why the Anunaki chose the Middle East to build their great settlements, the first being "Erdu" (Earth) where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers meet the gulf. The oil fair oozed out of the ground, and it is a simple task to refine and distill the crude into kerosene, a very powerful rocket fuel. They came ashore out of the sea, after splashing down to Earth like the Apollo astronauts did. From whence they came is anybody's guess. I suspect that this part of the cosmos is past its peak in interstellar travels. But then again, it really does take a long time to make those journeys, and we will no doubt witness them again sooner or later. Remember, we are talking thousands of years of ancient history recording on stone for posterity those great events so that future generations would know that something great happened which was beyond the understanding of the minds of those early humans.

Place your mind back to that of an early human of ancient history. The concepts of space, planets, star-hopping, all are far outside the realm of understanding. The world was the center of the Universe, the sky but an interesting tapestry. Even 50 years B.C., relatively recent, Titus Lucretius Carus, the poet (see sidebar), thought that the sun was as big as you see that it is - the size of a walnut. It was just so energetic and powerful that it didn't need to be any bigger.

For better or worse, that collection of manuscripts whose production spanned a time frame of seven hundred years - legend, fable, history, poetry and song, lesson - have been combined into a single tome whose interpretations have been made religiocentric. The purity of their symbolism is magnetic, but painfully lacking in correctness. The cuneiform script on those Sumerian tablets, some over ten thousand years old, are not. They are real accounts of events whose witnesses sought to record in as unbiased a manner as possible. They are worth researching.

Thanks to the Rosetta Stone, we now know what they were telling us. Thanks to Zechariah Sitchin, whose sixty years of dedication to the task of interpreting them and correlating the data with ancient Greek, Hebrew, Babylonian and scriptural writings, we can now begin to rationalize their words. He passed away November, 2010, having published "There Were Giants Upon the Earth" in June of that year. May he rest in peace.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

LHC: Feeding the nasty Rumor Mill

1.18 Tera Electron Volts (TeV) today. Great. Just a few more..

* * *

It seems that people almost want to fear what the LHC may do to life in this reality, like creating a black hole that swallows up the earth and sun, or perhaps exploding into a mini big bang. My playful nature gets the better of me.

Here's a cool scenario that'll never happen. Or will it?!?! Think of this 'quantum event potential' peering over the horizon at CERN: if the photon background should "rupture", for lack of a better word, as it might, spilling a cascade of massive bosons into time and space, then technically the beam would continue accelerating into the same "place", since there is no dimensional space time reality beyond the photon background. In other words, no time and no place for the beam to travel. At that point it would be feeding itself until some quantum threshold is reached, then trading off in heat and cataclysmic reactions. Oh, no!

Think of it! Mankind might represent the only influence that meets entropy's definition of that Universal Tendency Toward Chaos, and humans might be solely responsible for nova and nebula and other such chaotic stellar events. Chalk it up to curiosity. Anyway, if there is an afterlife than all will be well. At least for we who don't work at CERN, because, of course, they will all be going to hell. If not, then we're not around to know any different anyway, so - c'est la vie.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

LHC dangers unfounded

Kudos to the team at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Ultimately, the LHC's particle collision energies promise to be a feather in the cap of European particle physicists in that competitive arena. Whether they stand to learn anything new from their experimentation remains to be seen. What I think is certain is that any fear of creating a catastrophic event with those high energy beam collisions is completely unfounded and just plain ludicrous.

What might happen at the extreme is the possibility of slight damage to the collider during experimentation at those high energies. The existence of a photon background is supported by evidence of occasional spontaneous creation of electron-positron pairs during collision experiments, which must be sourced there. An event involving extreme energies may very well cause a very temporary disturbance, or "rift" (for lack of a better word) in that photon background, resulting in a cavalcade of unstable mediating particles. A resonating wave might be produced which propagates the energies producing it and pass those on to the material of which the chamber is constructed, and that might cause some damage, which in turn would just lead to automatic shutdown of the collider. The event can be considered analogous to a tsunami, which of course is just water, analagous to the photon background, and which returns to calm sea eventually.

It might also be that far greater energies than what the LHC can possibly generate might be required to create that particular event. Even were it to happen, it would still produce a wealth of useful information.

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Ideas, ideas.. .. and solutions.

I occasion to sit around and think up ideas.

I mentally pan the issues of the day and try to discover interesting ways to contribute to the solutions to the problems that they represent. Wait, that means that there are no problems, only issues. Well, there are no issues, only solutions.

The subject of ecology has given way to environmental awareness, which in turn has introduced us to specific issues like ozone layer depletion, deforestation and desertification, global warming, waste, and a myriad of other not the lesser but just as important issues like unemployment, homelessness and poverty.

Lest I feel the burden that all of this world's imperfections begs to heap upon my shoulders if I let them, I tend to gravitate to more interesting and less affectatious notions dealing with matters personal and consumerist. Creations that might yet contribute to the betterment of our individual lives. I guess that's where the money is.

Say, for example, that your cell phone is handy but you're doing business online and even a quick search for where the ringing is coming from, when it finally reveals its whereabouts, just sends you up the wall. What if the caller is as impatient as you - and stops trying just as you grab the phone, or you make it almost in time but the phone is upside down in your hand and it stops ringing just after you have deftly turned it right side up? So.. what if the mouse you're using is really just an iPhone that serves double duty as a wireless mouse with the press of a key, but still takes calls? Just an idea.

Legitimate though these preoccupations of mine be, they never completely drag me away from the more important possibilities for the resolution of matters affecting us in annoying ways. Like the economy, for instance. I think that it might be possible to impact economic growth positively while bringing a large number of financially challenged people out of their frustrating existence.

I am thinking of the surprisingly many who answer the question, "Do you have a bank account?" with the negative. The reason is that one needs a picture identification card like a driver's license. In fact, I know of one who could not open a bank account because she had no driver's license. Obtaining one has become more difficult over the years. Driver education is one economic experiment that still profits from the inadequacy of economics.

But every bank should have a facility for providing a personal bank account picture ID card to anyone who needed to open a bank account but otherwise could not for reasons stated. The card would come with privileges and restrictions, such as the ability to save money, write cheques, make debit card purchases, and use the investing strategy services offered by the bank, and most importantly, to establish one's credibility as a sound and frugal money manager. There is no argument for denying this feasibility, since the same level of security exists with the common debit card.

Just an idea.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Do lobsters feel pain?

There are conflicting reports from reputable institutions that have undertaken in-depth research projects which have studied the question of whether boiling a lobster alive causes them to feel any pain. Even the notorious Cecil Adams, of Straight Dope fame and who knows almost absolutely everything, appears to be fence-sitting on this one, passing on this particular assignment to one of his cohorts, Gfactor, who reports, "As a recent article on the topic puts it: It's debatable whether the debate will ever be resolved."

As far as I am concerned, we only pretend that the lobster doesn't feel any pain and will promote any source which agrees with that viewpoint, because we would like to continue to eat lobster without feeling any guilt over the cruel act of having dropped them alive into a pot of boiling water. I would prefer to have them saturated in vodka or rum before doing the nasty deed, so as to at least numb them. I haven't actually tried that, but then I am no great fan of lobster or crab because they are simply too much work and too messy, and in the case of crab, hardly worth the effort to get at the meat. I prefer shaved roast beef au jus on a kaiser myself, on the side.

I sit with those who believe that lobsters do indeed feel pain and gross discomfort when dropped squirming into a pot of boiling water. I have reason to believe this. The Atlantic Veterinary College has an interesting link to its Frequently Asked Questions site, dealing with lobster anatomy. On this page can be found a compelling discussion of the lobster's uncanny sense of smell...

Lobsters "smell" their food by using four small antennae on the front of their heads and tiny sensing hairs that cover their bodies. Their sense of smell is so fine that they can sniff out a single amino acid that tags their favorite food.
Now, that's very, very sensitive. So, it turns out that the lobster is a very sensitive and perceptive creature. Naturally, because of their different anatomy, they will sense things differently. It stands to reason that this must include their sense of touch. They no doubt have tactile sense, are able to perceive, and yes, understand, the difference between sandy and rocky sea floor. I can't imagine any lobster trying to dig out a shelter in a rock.

The conclusion drawn by most researchers is that if a lobster feels any pain, they must feel it differently than we do. Well, of course. Insomuch that lobster "smell" their food by using four small antennae on the front of their heads and tiny sensing hairs that cover their body, you can be pretty sure that these antennae and sensing hairs will feel intense "pain" when they are in contact with boiling water. That would be the same sense that steers them clear of the ocean's thermal vents, to keep from being boiled alive at the bottom of the sea, which to many would be a total waste of a good lobster.

That's not to say that lobsters are not found around hydro-thermal vents. Thermal vents offer a favorable (I doubt the lobster knows any better) environment for the Kiwa Hirsuta "yeti" lobster, a species of Squat lobster, which are only found in a region about a mile deep off the Easter Islands. They have evolved a tolerance for super-heated water, and as evidence that proximity to their food source is a valuable asset which contributes to their survival, have also evolved extraordinarily long, what appear to be insulated pincers. Obviously these creatures have a genetic predisposition to wariness and trepidation, acquired no doubt because their food can only be found in that zone around those hot thermal vents where it is most abundant, and where just a little too much heat would render the predator but a wasted delicacy. They are blind, a required sacrifice for the privilege of survival.

squat lobster

Some might argue that those feathery hairs on the pincers allow them to sense their food, but I am more inclined to think that they at least also serve the purpose of deflecting the waves of heat radiating from the thermal vents, to keep their heads cool.

Squat lobsters are among the most abundant decapods (which is what lobsters are). Among the largest of the Squat lobsters - only a few species are found around the hydro-thermal vents on the ocean floor - are the Chirostylids, with their extremely elongated pincers, which are thought to have evolved by way of competitive mating, but it seems to me that these creatures have descended from survivors of an era when the world was volcanically volatile, and the longer one's pincers were, the better one's chances for survival, lest one be exhumed by one's proximity to a spume of fatally hot geyser waters.

The specimen in the image below is of the New Zealand shallow-water squat lobster. Actually, that is a misnomer, as these species of squat lobster, called the Galatheids, of which he is Munida Gregaria, are found at abyssal depths. They are so abundant that their spawn produces a "red tide" at times. I can just picture this fellow reaching into a hot plume for some tasty morsel not quite out of its reach.

squat lobster

Their numbers, not just their adaptation, suggest that these particular creatures were around long before the Earth cooled enough for surface life to emerge.

Hydro-thermal vents offer a dynamic environment for the highly specialized life forms that are found around them. The actual temperatures around a hydro-thermal vent are subject to constant change. Tube worms are abundant in these environments, helping to serve as markers for the vent openings. A tube worm might experience a 20 to 30 degree temperature gradient over the length of its body. The actual temperatures where these tube worms live vary anywhere from about 2 degrees to 30 degrees Centigrade or more above ambient temperatures, while the plume of water rising from a vent opening is super-heated to much greater temperatures. Extreme temperature variations are a function for evolutionary environmental adaptations and appear very likely to have endowed the squat lobster with its unique ability to survive in close proximity to water temperatures that can easily kill it.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Alzheimer’s disease is preventable

A great deal of knowledge about Alzheimer’s disease has come to light as a result of intensive research over the last few years. Some sources estimate that about 50% of people who live longer than 80 years of age will probably develop the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

More than just cognizance and awareness are affected by this insidious disease. The brain monitors and manages heart rhythm, breathing reflex, the immune response, and so on – in short, all of the transparent physiological and metabolic functions that keep us alive and healthy while we go about our business. People don’t necessarily die from Alzheimer’s directly. The disease causes the brain to malfunction in those areas. The normal communication between neurons and neuron networks are disrupted to the extent that their normal functions cease and the body steadily degenerates as a result, leaving it prone to complications from other causes like cancer.

There is hope, in the form of a particular type of vaccine produced by the Merck Company called Zostavax. Zostavax is a vaccine provided only to people over the age of 60 to protect against the development of shingles in mature adults. Shingles is a painful condition caused by the infection and subsequent deterioration of the myelin insulation which protects healthy nerves. A very common virus lies at the root of this condition.

Chicken pox, and later shingles, are caused by the Varicella zoster virus, or cold sore virus. Herpes zoster remains dormant in the roots of certain nerves and can be reactivated during times of stress. Anyone who has had chicken pox as a child is at very high risk for developing shingles in their maturity.

There are at least 8 viruses associated with the herpes family which can infect humans, of which the most common is the cold sore herpes virus called HSV1. HSV1 is carried by anyone who has had the chicken pox and/or who develops cold sores. That very likely includes almost everyone alive.

Recent studies at the University of Manchester of the brains of deceased Alzheimer’s patients have revealed the presence of HSV1 DNA in 90% of the amyloid plaques found in the affected brain areas. This fact points to a direct correlation between HSV1 and Alzheimer’s.

It follows that a good first line of prevention of Alzheimer’s disease is to treat any HSV1 infection with acyclovir, the anti-viral agent commonly prescribed for herpes. In older people, the best possible deterrent against the development of Alzheimer’s associated with the re-activation of the dormant HSV1 virus leading to shingles is to ask the doctor for the Zostavax vaccine as soon as one is past 60 years of age.

It is becoming apparent that vigilance in the application of preventive measures can probably prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s in people who might otherwise die because of it. I saw my mother go that way recently, and it is not pretty.

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