VITAM IMPENDERE VERO, IVVENALIS

Science

Invisible Oil Plume?

Indeed.

The oil is there, at least 22 miles of it. You just can’t see it.

A lot of the crude that spewed from BP’s ruptured well is still in the Gulf of Mexico, but it’s far below the surface and invisible. And it’s likely to linger for months on end, scientists said Thursday in the first conclusive evidence of an underwater plume of oil from the disaster.

The crisis is not over, people.

But wait… as Commodity Surge points out:

the alleged 21-mile long oil plume, identified by the Times as “new research,” and the Post as “evidence” of the oil still lingering in the Gulf or some unknown location in the vast seas.

The problem is, this “evidence” was from two months ago, and was by no means new, as the Times asserts, and isn’t considered evidence, as the Post asserts, even by the “academic” scientists proffering the information.

I believe in the magical invisible oil plume… do you?


Zotero/GMU Update: Judge Dismisses Case

Earlier this month:

A Virginia Circuit Court judge dismissed a lawsuit… against George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media.

Link

The lawsuit was, of course, over the Endnote/Zotero dispute between Thompson Reuters and GMU. Here’s another related link.


Lebenswelt

In the early 20th century Edmund Husserl developed a new way of thinking about the world, he called his style of thinking “Phenomenology” as opposed to philosophy or science. Husserl wanted to grasp the phenomena that we encounter from a pre-reflective, pre-scientific point of view. This is because, of course, we have been conditioned by theoretical science to understand phenomena with an outlook that fits nicely with the “world of science and theory.” If we follow Husserl, then we will gain access to “the life-world,” in German “Lebenswelt.”

Here’s a cartoon about the practicality of suspending judgment on the validity of science while exploring “the life-world.”

Comics and cartoons | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle.


The National Coordinator of Health Information Technology

It seems Obama and the Dems fancy themselves M.D.s, in the Stalinist… I mean “Stimulus” bill (also known as “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009″) they want to track the medical records of every American electronically and then use that information for their own purposes, such as the following:

One new bureaucracy, the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, will monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective. The goal is to reduce costs and “guide” your doctor’s decisions (442, 446). These provisions in the stimulus bill are virtually identical to what Daschle prescribed in his 2008 book, “Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis.” According to Daschle, doctors have to give up autonomy and “learn to operate less like solo practitioners.”

Hospitals and doctors that are not “meaningful users” of the new system will face penalties.  “Meaningful user” isn’t defined in the bill. That will be left to the HHS secretary, who will be empowered to impose “more stringent measures of meaningful use over time” (511, 518, 540-541)

What penalties will deter your doctor from going beyond the electronically delivered protocols when your condition is atypical or you need an experimental treatment? The vagueness is intentional. In his book, Daschle proposed an appointed body with vast powers to make the “tough” decisions elected politicians won’t make.

The stimulus bill does that, and calls it the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research (190-192). The goal, Daschle’s book explained, is to slow the development and use of new medications and technologies because they are driving up costs. He praises Europeans for being more willing to accept “hopeless diagnoses” and “forgo experimental treatments,” and he chastises Americans for expecting too much from the health-care system.

Bloomberg.com

Now, if I’m not mistaken, written consent is required before medical documents are disclosed. Also, does the “proletariat” really think that rich white men will have to forgo any treatment whatsoever?

Remember, Daschle would have been Secretary of Health and Human Services if he had paid his taxes. It seems, there is nothing about his anti-American, anti-science, and anti-human-life ideology that Obama disagrees with.


After Election Fact-Checkers Free to Corroborate Einstein’s “E=mc²”

Now that no one cares about the contents of Joe the Plumber’s trash, it seems more resources can be devoted to boring old Albert Einstein’s “E=mc²” formula. It turns out he was right:

PARIS (AFP) — It’s taken more than a century, but Einstein’s celebrated formula e=mc2 has finally been corroborated, thanks to a heroic computational effort by French, German and Hungarian physicists.

A brainpower consortium led by Laurent Lellouch of France’s Centre for Theoretical Physics, using some of the world’s mightiest supercomputers, have set down the calculations for estimating the mass of protons and neutrons, the particles at the nucleus of atoms.

According to the conventional model of particle physics, protons and neutrons comprise smaller particles known as quarks, which in turn are bound by gluons.

The odd thing is this: the mass of gluons is zero and the mass of quarks is only five percent. Where, therefore, is the missing 95 percent?

The answer, according to the study published in the US journal Science on Thursday, comes from the energy from the movements and interactions of quarks and gluons.

In other words, energy and mass are equivalent, as Einstein proposed in his Special Theory of Relativity in 1905.

The e=mc2 formula shows that mass can be converted into energy, and energy can be converted into mass.

By showing how much energy would be released if a certain amount of mass were to be converted into energy, the equation has been used many times, most famously as the inspirational basis for building atomic weapons.

That’s right folks, Albert Einstein, genius and, lest we forget, war-monger.

Thanks, AFP, for adding the line about Einstein’s formula being “the inspirational basis for building atomic weapons” without any further contextual information as to Einstein’s political views.


Gibson Limited Edition (Robot?) Guitar

I don’t quite know what to think about this new “Robot” guitar. I have a Gibson SG Standard, which I love, and I don’t think that adding “robotics” could make it any better. In an age when drum machines and synthesizers fill the air waves and dance halls, it’s a shame to see Gibson go techno on us.

Hold the cursor over various areas of the graphic to explore options and info pertaining to the “Robot” SG


Come On, Thomson Reuters (EndNote), Don’t Be Like That

If you’ve used “EndNote” (a bibliography resource and information database organization program made by Thomson Reuters), then you may have come across a few annoying “issues” that can make the program less-than satisfying. That’s why GMU’s Center for History and New Media developed “Zotero.” Here’s the Wiki description:

(more…)


Breaking: Math News – Computers Determine Largest Prime Number Yet

There is some exciting news in the world of math this week as geeks and “about 100,000 computers” determine the largest prime number that has been proven, it’s about 13 million digits:

The new number is little more than that. Prime numbers are useful “building blocks” to many equations, but using existing algorithms to find new, large primes won’t likely affect ongoing research, said Cameron Stewart, a University of Waterloo professor and the Canada Research Chair in Number Theory. There are some practical implications (computer and security encryptions are based on prime numbers), but the find is more sport.

“They’re a good tool. They’re also mysterious; they’re subtle objects …” Prof. Stewart said of prime numbers.

Okay, so maybe it’s not really a big deal. And yes, that is a hint of snark in my words above (including the title). In fact, if you ask me, with the aid of computers these geeks have nothing to brag about.


Metaphysical Awareness Month

Apparently September is “Metaphysical Awareness Month,” and the Leiter Reports blog is asking:

How Are You Celebrating “Metaphysical Awareness Month”?

Well, I guess I’ve been engaged in a dialogue with Dan Peterson at scientificblogging.com about his post: Watching Sports Is Good For Your Brain

Here’s an excerpt:


RE: Google Chrome (UPDATE)

If you don’t know about Google’s web-browser “Google Chrome” … google it.

I will say that I downloaded and installed it yesterday and found that once a page was loaded it was faster than even Firefox 3. However, I’ve uninstalled the browser and cleaned my system because this morning after taking a shower, I discovered that my computer had suffered (and thankfully recovered) from a severe crash. I am therefore waiting for Google to work out the kinks and recommend others do the same.

UPDATE:


Penn and Teller on Environmentalism from Calvinists 4 Conservatism

Could this website be run by RALPH!!!?

I couldn’t have shown the fallacies of the environmentalist movement better. Although Penn and Teller may be blasphemous atheists and magicians that hate America, when it comes to the strong points of libertarianism, and the ones that libertarians tout the most, Penn and Teller are almost without equal.

more about “Penn and Teller on Environmentalism f…“, posted with vodpod

The Earth’s Dependance on Natural Gas and Oil is Causing Terragenic Climate Change or Why are you warming yourself?

In areas of California’s Ventura County the ground temperature has hit 812 degrees. This is evidence of tremendous climate change, and, naturally, as a human I feel that this change is unnatural because it doesn’t suit my tastes. That said, I feel the need to complain to my government to stop whatever it is that is making the ground so hot, namely: (more…)


It’s Part of Islamic Teaching, So It Has To Be Right!

The Guardian UK’s website has an opinion blog post about how ethics “in Islam” (well, what the author really means is in Iran) does not hold back scientific progress.

Indeed, “Iran’s geneticists are unhindered by doctrine.”

Astonishingly, the author explains: (more…)


Pictures

I’ve scanned photocopies of photocopies of 3 pages from an arithmetic “textbook” that was hand-written by my great-great-great-grandfather in the 1810s (he dates the first page “July 2nd 1813″). There are 136 pages in all and the writing is kinda sloppy, imho. I’m going to read through it and look for mistakes.

My grandfather turned 90 on the 25th of July, so I’ve been on the road lately. Luckily Melo came along for the ride to keep me company.

Also here, are pics of a road-sign which can be seen not far from my grandparents’ home.

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Epic Revolution

According to Scientific American:

Researchers say that references to planets and constellations in the Odyssey describe a solar eclipse that occurred in 1178 B.C., nearly three centuries before Homer is believed to have written the story. If correct, the finding would suggest that the ancient poet had a surprisingly detailed knowledge of astronomy.

SciAm

Those familiar with The Odyssey should not be surprised at all by this claim. Just look at the names of the characters and lands which Odysseus encounters on his way home. From the first line of the epic poem (Hom. Od. 1.1) we learn that Odysseus finds himself in the lands of Helios Hyperion (the sun) and Calypso (the ‘Concealer’). These are just two of many people and places with “sun” or “darkness” related names in the epic.

On a side note,

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Very Cool

Check out this video of “solar tornadoes.” I was under the impression that these were just your everyday gas eruptions bubbling to the surface of the sun and firing out a jet of flames. But apparently, they spin like tornadoes, well there are some differences:

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Science and Religion

Here’s a video shamelessly lifted from the front page of LGF. It’s a lecture given by Dr. Kenneth Miller about intelligent design and evolution.

It just so happens that I’m finishing up a piece against a Calvinist (creationist) “thinker” who tries to argue for the legitimacy of Christian belief as a form of knowledge, that is, he thinks that Christian belief is rational, justified, true belief produced by cognitive faculties and processes functioning properly. Proper function of cognitive faculties and processes is a biological concept and a good 5th of the 1,500 pages (of the three main texts) is an argument that evolution can not explain proper function as well as creationism, so, if we want to escape skepticism, we must do away with former and adopt the latter.

But anyway, here’s the video: (more…)


You Were Saying, Mr. Waterfield?

Throughout this post “liberal” refers to “classical liberal” the exact opposite of how the term is commonly used today. I also will have to quote freely form primary sources, for I can not assume my readers know the works to which I refer.

Robin Waterfield justifies his loose interpretation of Xenophon’s Oikonomikos as “The Estate-Manager” by explaining:

The Latinized Greek title of The Estate-Manager is Oeconomicus. The Greek oikonomikos means ‘one skilled at managing an oikos’, where oikos means first a ‘house’, and then by extension all the people and things which occupy a house – a ‘household’ – and then by a little further extension all one’s property – an ‘estate’.

One reason why I prefer to translate the title, rather than transliterate it, is that oikonomikos is the root of the English word ‘economics’, and one occasionally comes across careless statements to the effect that the work is an early treatise on economics. This is not the case. For a work to be concerned with economics properly speaking, it must at the very least include some analysis of economic factors¹

Waterfield goes on to assert that no such economic factors are analyzed. In fact, Waterfield sees no indication of anything like what we would call “economics” today, in Xenophon.

On the surface, I agree, however, this is merely because (more…)


Check This Out

from www.liveleak.com posted with vodpod

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Whenever I see something like this, I think of military applications right away… I wonder why? Oh well.


Muslim Robot


Psychoactive Molecules in Plants in Sinai Desert

This is interesting:

Writing in the British journal Time and Mind, Benny Shanon of Jerusalem’s Hebrew University said two plants in the Sinai desert contain the same psychoactive molecules as those found in plants from which the powerful Amazonian hallucinogenic brew ayahuasca is prepared.

But, especially if they left out the ‘may,’ this seems to be too much of a leap:

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The biblical Israelites may have been high on a hallucinogenic plant when Moses brought the Ten Commandments down from Mount Sinai, according to a new study by an Israeli psychology professor.

H/T – Melo


The Fatwa of The Future!

Although Artificial Intelligence has not yet become a reality, artificial Islamic ideologue thinking has!

That’s right!

The new French-made “Electronic Mufti” draws on the opinions of Islamic scholarship through the centuries, as well as the Qur’an and Hadith to produce only the highest quality fatawa!

(more…)


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