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Old 05-21-2012, 09:43 PM  
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Science is Cool....

This is a repository for all cool scientific discussion and fascination. Scientific facts, theories, and overall cool scientific stuff that you'd like to share with others. Stuff that makes you smile and wonder at the amazing shit going on around us, that most people don't notice.

Post pictures, vidoes, stories, or links. Ask questions. Share science.

This is in support of the Penny 4 NASA project. If you enjoy anything you learned from this thread, consider making a donation and signing the petition.

http://www.penny4nasa.org/

Why should I care?:


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Old 01-08-2014, 09:47 AM   #1231
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No offense to BEP, our resident homeopath nut...

After decades of studies of many hundreds of thousands of participants, evidence is quite clear that Vitamin and Mineral Supplements are nothing but a waste of money. And in some cases they can actually pose health risks.

Enough Is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements

Three articles in this issue address the role of vitamin and mineral supplements for preventing the occurrence or progression of chronic diseases. First, Fortmann and colleagues (1) systematically reviewed trial evidence to update the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation on the efficacy of vitamin supplements for primary prevention in community-dwelling adults with no nutritional deficiencies. After reviewing 3 trials of multivitamin supplements and 24 trials of single or paired vitamins that randomly assigned more than 400 000 participants, the authors concluded that there was no clear evidence of a beneficial effect of supplements on all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, or cancer.

Second, Grodstein and coworkers (2) evaluated the efficacy of a daily multivitamin to prevent cognitive decline among 5947 men aged 65 years or older participating in the Physicians’ Health Study II. After 12 years of follow-up, there were no differences between the multivitamin and placebo groups in overall cognitive performance or verbal memory. Adherence to the intervention was high, and the large sample size resulted in precise estimates showing that use of a multivitamin supplement in a well-nourished elderly population did not prevent cognitive decline. Grodstein and coworkers’ findings are compatible with a recent review (3) of 12 fair- to good-quality trials that evaluated dietary supplements, including multivitamins, B vitamins, vitamins E and C, and omega-3 fatty acids, in persons with mild cognitive impairment or mild to moderate dementia. None of the supplements improved cognitive function.

Third, Lamas and associates (4) assessed the potential benefits of a high-dose, 28-component multivitamin supplement in 1708 men and women with a previous myocardial infarction participating in TACT (Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy). After a median follow-up of 4.6 years, there was no significant difference in recurrent cardiovascular events with multivitamins compared with placebo (hazard ratio, 0.89 [95% CI, 0.75 to 1.07]). The trial was limited by high rates of nonadherence and dropouts.

Other reviews and guidelines that have appraised the role of vitamin and mineral supplements in primary or secondary prevention of chronic disease have consistently found null results or possible harms (5–6). Evidence involving tens of thousands of people randomly assigned in many clinical trials shows that β-carotene, vitamin E, and possibly high doses of vitamin A supplements increase mortality (6–7) and that other antioxidants (6), folic acid and B vitamins (8), and multivitamin supplements (1, 5) have no clear benefit.

Despite sobering evidence of no benefit or possible harm, use of multivitamin supplements increased among U.S. adults from 30% between 1988 to 1994 to 39% between 2003 to 2006, while overall use of dietary supplements increased from 42% to 53% (9). Longitudinal and secular trends show a steady increase in multivitamin supplement use and a decline in use of some individual supplements, such as β-carotene and vitamin E. The decline in use of β-carotene and vitamin E supplements followed reports of adverse outcomes in lung cancer and all-cause mortality, respectively. In contrast, sales of multivitamins and other supplements have not been affected by major studies with null results, and the U.S. supplement industry continues to grow, reaching $28 billion in annual sales in 2010. Similar trends have been observed in the United Kingdom and in other European countries.

The large body of accumulated evidence has important public health and clinical implications. Evidence is sufficient to advise against routine supplementation, and we should translate null and negative findings into action. The message is simple: Most supplements do not prevent chronic disease or death, their use is not justified, and they should be avoided. This message is especially true for the general population with no clear evidence of micronutrient deficiencies, who represent most supplement users in the United States and in other countries (9).

The evidence also has implications for research. Antioxidants, folic acid, and B vitamins are harmful or ineffective for chronic disease prevention, and further large prevention trials are no longer justified. Vitamin D supplementation, however, is an open area of investigation, particularly in deficient persons. Clinical trials have been equivocal and sometimes contradictory. For example, supplemental vitamin D, which might prevent falls in older persons, reduced the risk for falls in a few trials, had no effect in most trials, and increased falls in 1 trial. Although future studies are needed to clarify the appropriate use of vitamin D supplementation, current widespread use is not based on solid evidence that benefits outweigh harms (10).

With respect to multivitamins, the studies published in this issue and previous trials indicate no substantial health benefit. This evidence, combined with biological considerations, suggests that any effect, either beneficial or harmful, is probably small. As we learned from voluminous trial data on vitamin E, however, clinical trials are not well-suited to identify very small effects, and future trials of multivitamins for chronic disease prevention in well-nourished populations are likely to be futile.

In conclusion, β-carotene, vitamin E, and possibly high doses of vitamin A supplements are harmful. Other antioxidants, folic acid and B vitamins, and multivitamin and mineral supplements are ineffective for preventing mortality or morbidity due to major chronic diseases. Although available evidence does not rule out small benefits or harms or large benefits or harms in a small subgroup of the population, we believe that the case is closed— supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults with (most) mineral or vitamin supplements has no clear benefit and might even be harmful. These vitamins should not be used for chronic disease prevention. Enough is enough.
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Old 01-08-2014, 09:49 AM   #1232
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I have spent the last year trying to learn Clifford Algebra in the form of Geometric Algebra. (Have I turned you off yet.) You may ask why bother. This is the correct way to apply Calculus to Vectors. You know vectors are the little "arrows" people use in Physics. However the problem with vectors as taught is that you can't divide within the vector math itself. It is not a complete algebra to solve problems. The American Physicists Gibbs gave us a work-around method we use in vector study and Calculus much later taught by the small book "The Div, Grad, Curl and all that stuff" that is known to most physical scientists and others. But here is a story about a new, fresh look at Quantum Mechanics:

https://www.simonsfoundation.org/qua...antum-physics/

The Grassman Algebra is front and center in Geometric Algebra. In this article the emphasis is upon area as representing answers. Vectors most people have used are called directed line segments. In order to extend the algebra to allow division operations, you have to include directed areas, volumes and beyond up to the dimensions under study.

You can get a feel for this in looking at any parallelogram formed between two parallel lines. If you move the upper line segment the shape of the parallelogram is skewed in ever highly angled parallelograms. But with the top and bottom sides remaining the same and the height between the parallel lines the same, the area of any shape formed remains the same. The answer to why areas are important in this article.

http://www.homeschoolmath.net/teaching/g/area_3.php

And using Calculus making ever smaller parallelograms to give us the area, we get an algebra for vectors in any dimension we can think of.

Of course this isn't all of it (for instance you have to have something like the imaginary i for square roots of minus numbers which exists in Geometric Algebra). But I hope it can give you a glimpse of the tools for the next iteration in understanding coming in the not to distant future.
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Old 01-08-2014, 10:24 AM   #1233
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High Tech is Sorcery and the people who are really powerful are literally telling people to commit crimes using the psychic interspace created by the WWW and Wireless. They are controlling peoples actions like drones . The two things are deeply intertwined. The more man's brain interfaces with machines the creepier it gets. They use brains separate from a human body in a supercomputer and you have The Image of the Beast. The military has been doing this since the 50s
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Old 01-13-2014, 09:03 AM   #1234
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Old 01-13-2014, 01:52 PM   #1235
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This week in science!



Deepest images of space: http://bit.ly/1iDVnUB
Fossilized pigments: http://bit.ly/KSxM6W
Exoplanets: http://bit.ly/1eNPGB1
Plant reproduction: http://bit.ly/1kwWf1D
New class of stars: http://bit.ly/1exzfbJ
Brown dwarfs rain iron: http://bit.ly/1arefnV
Great white sharks: http://bit.ly/1lS8BQ5
Universe measurement: http://bit.ly/1hef3hv
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High Tech is Sorcery and the people who are really powerful are literally telling people to commit crimes using the psychic interspace created by the WWW and Wireless. They are controlling peoples actions like drones . The two things are deeply intertwined. The more man's brain interfaces with machines the creepier it gets. They use brains separate from a human body in a supercomputer and you have The Image of the Beast. The military has been doing this since the 50s
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Old 01-13-2014, 02:29 PM   #1236
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NASA's newest deep field shot is pretty awesome. I intended to post this before, but ended up forgetting it. Thanks for the reminder...

NASA Hubble Telescope reveals deepest view into the Universe yet



WASHINGTON — Two venerable space telescopes, the Hubble and the Spitzer, have teamed to study the very early universe, and here's what they see at the cosmic dawn: a wild and woolly party, with brilliant blue stars that aren't ready to settle down into anything so structured as a conventional spiral galaxy.

Instead, the early years of the universe featured a profusion of small, irregular, blobby galaxies that were popping with big, hot, super-luminous stars forming at a furious rate. Galaxies were colliding all over the place.
Ray Villard, a spokesman for the Space Telescope Science Institute, which conducts Hubble research for NASA, said it's like seeing the finale of a fireworks show, just that it's close to the beginning of time.

The new results and images of the early cosmos were released Tuesday at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society at National Harbor.
This is not the first time that the Hubble, in its third decade of operation, has taken a "deep field" look at the universe, training its gaze on a tiny spot and holding it there to collect the ancient light. But a new observation campaign, dubbed the Frontier Fields, supplements Hubble time with data from the Spitzer, which observes in infrared, and another space telescope, the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

The new campaign exploits a phenomenon known as gravitational lensing. This is an opportunistic maneuver that draws inspiration from Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, which describes how gravity curves the fabric of space and time.

In the foreground of one new image is a galaxy cluster named Abell 2744, containing hundreds of galaxies. "Foreground" is perhaps an imperfect term given that these galaxies are 3.5 billion light-years away — it has taken 3.5 billion years for the light to reach the Hubble. The gravity of the clustered galaxies creates a lensing effect that magnifies thousands of galaxies that are far in the background — some of them more than 12 billion light-years away, having emitted that light in the very earliest era of galaxy formation.
"Light following a path around those clusters is bent," Jennifer Lotz, an astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute, said at a news conference Tuesday.


The initial expansion of the universe, known as the Big Bang, happened about 13.7 billion years ago, a measurement that has become more precise in the past few years with new data from space telescopes. Theorists believe it took about 400 million years for the first stars to ignite and the first galaxies to form. The Hubble can't see quite that deeply in time and space, but the earliest galaxy-forming epoch is a target for NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled for launch in 2018.

The universe in its youth was going through a blue period, because the stars were blue, just like the young, hot stars we see in the constellation Orion, said Garth Illingworth, professor of astronomy at the University of California at Santa Cruz and one of the scientists involved in the new research.
In telescopes, these young galaxies look red, because their light has been stretched out — red-shifted — over billions of years. "In reality, if you go there, it's all blue," Illingworth said.

If you could have parked yourself in that young universe, you would have seen those blue galaxies all around, many as big as our moon, Illingworth said. But you couldn't go for a star-gazing stroll, because there were no planets then. The matter in the cosmos was mostly hydrogen, with a smidgen of helium and hardly any atoms larger than that.

"It was much, much wilder than what we see today," said Anahita Alavi, a graduate student in the physics and astronomy department at the University of California at Riverside. "Everything was closer together. The possibility of these galaxies colliding with each other, and merging with each other, was higher."

Star formation picked up speed for several billion years. But then, about 9 billion years ago, the situation calmed down markedly and became more organized. Stars formed at a slower rate. The expanding universe became home to billions of majestic spiral and elliptical galaxies — and, on one rock at least, to astronomers staring into the night sky.
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Old 01-13-2014, 02:34 PM   #1237
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1%.... Like a BOSS....

Universe measured to 1% accuracy

Astronomers have measured the distances between galaxies in the universe to an accuracy of just 1%.

This staggeringly precise survey - across six billion light-years - is key to mapping the cosmos and determining the nature of dark energy.

The new gold standard was set by BOSS (the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey) using the Sloan Foundation Telescope in New Mexico, US.

It was announced at the 223rd American Astronomical Society in Washington DC.

"There are not many things in our daily lives that we know to 1% accuracy," said Prof David Schlegel, a physicist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the principal investigator of BOSS.

"I now know the size of the universe better than I know the size of my house.

"Twenty years ago astronomers were arguing about estimates that differed by up to 50%. Five years ago, we'd refined that uncertainty to 5%; a year ago it was 2%.

"One percent accuracy will be the standard for a long time to come."

Frozen ripples
The BOSS team used baryon acoustic oscillations (BAOs) as a "standard ruler" to measure intergalactic distances.

BAOs are the "frozen" imprints of pressure waves that moved through the early universe - and help set the distribution of galaxies we see today.

"Nature has given us a beautiful ruler," said Ashley Ross, an astronomer from the University of Portsmouth.

"The ruler happens to be half a billion light years long, so we can use it to measure distances precisely, even from very far away."

Determining distance is a fundamental challenge of astronomy: "Once you know how far away it is, learning everything else about it is suddenly much easier," said Daniel Eisenstein, director of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III.

The BOSS distances will help calibrate fundamental cosmological properties - such as how "dark energy" accelerates the expansion of the universe.

The latest results indicate dark energy is a cosmological constant whose strength does not vary in space or time.

They also provide an excellent estimate of the curvature of space.

"The answer is, it's not curved much. The universe is extraordinarily flat," said Prof Schlegel.

"And this has implications for whether the universe is infinite.

"While we can't say with certainty, it's likely the universe extends forever in space and will go on forever in time. Our results are consistent with an infinite universe," he said.

When BOSS is complete, it will have collected high-quality spectra of 1.3 million galaxies, plus 160,000 quasars and thousands of other astronomical objects, covering 10,000 square degrees.

An analysis of the current data - 90% complete - is published on the Arxiv preprint server, with final results expected in June.

After that, future surveys will have to start filling in the enormous gaps between the vast boundaries the BOSS team have defined - and to go much deeper in space. This latter task will be a key objective of Europe's Euclid space telescope due to launch at the end of the decade.
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Old 01-13-2014, 02:34 PM   #1238
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This week in science!



Deepest images of space: http://bit.ly/1iDVnUB
Fossilized pigments: http://bit.ly/KSxM6W
Exoplanets: http://bit.ly/1eNPGB1
Plant reproduction: http://bit.ly/1kwWf1D
New class of stars: http://bit.ly/1exzfbJ
Brown dwarfs rain iron: http://bit.ly/1arefnV
Great white sharks: http://bit.ly/1lS8BQ5
Universe measurement: http://bit.ly/1hef3hv
Go, science!
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Old 01-13-2014, 02:35 PM   #1239
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There HAS to be sentient life forms somewhere in the universe. There ****ing HAS TO BE.
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Old 01-13-2014, 02:46 PM   #1240
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Something very cool that I never knew about Neil DeGrasse Tyson...

He was at ground zero on 9/11, and actually lives just a few blocks away. Pretty cool story here:

Neil deGrasse Tyson: Why You Will Never Find Scientists Leading Armies Into Battle

On his experience on 9/11 in downtown Manhattan, and why “you will never find scientists leading armies into battle.”

“I was at home looking out the window. Yeah, it was right there. I watched it unfold: One plane in the North Tower, okay, that’s a really bad accident. And then a second plane hits, and everyone can do the calculations. Yes, I saw the second plane hit. In fact, I was filming the fire in the North Tower on my camcorder, using my high-zoom lens to assess, is it going to tip over? Because I live closer to Ground Zero than the height of the towers. If they were to fall at their base toward me, what would I do? In retrospect, it was clear that the tower could not have fallen at its base because it was not destabilized at its base…. And while I’m watching this happen, the South Tower gets hit, and then you see the fireball. It’s all in the camcorder….

“It was an odd kind of—I may have been the closest scientist to that event. And when I sent out an email that evening to my colleagues and family, I just sort of described what I saw analytically. Now, how did I feel? What I know is, when you have a cosmic perspective, when you know how large the universe is and how small we are within it—what Earth looks like from space, how tiny it is in a cosmic void—it’s impossible for you to say, ‘I so don’t like how you think that I’m going to kill you for it.’ You will never find scientists leading armies into battle. You just won’t. Especially not astrophysicists—we see the biggest picture there is. We understand how small we are in the cosmos. We understand how fragile and temporary our existence is here on Earth. We understand there are bigger problems we need to solve as a species than what God you pray to.

“Any time scientists disagree, it’s because we have insufficient data. Then we can agree on what kind of data to get; we get the data; and the data solves the problem. Either I’m right or you’re right or we’re both wrong. And we move on. That kind of conflict resolution does not exist in politics or religion. It does not exist in so much of what we do as human beings on this Earth that it’s almost tragic.


“I feared for the future of the world on witnessing [9/11]. I thought we had gotten past that, that the greatest atrocities the world had seen previously were over…. I was disappointed in us as a species.”
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Old 01-13-2014, 02:52 PM   #1241
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Old 01-13-2014, 03:25 PM
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Old 01-13-2014, 03:25 PM   #1242
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NASA's newest deep field shot is pretty awesome. I intended to post this before, but ended up forgetting it. Thanks for the reminder...

NASA Hubble Telescope reveals deepest view into the Universe yet



WASHINGTON — Two venerable space telescopes, the Hubble and the Spitzer, have teamed to study the very early universe, and here's what they see at the cosmic dawn: a wild and woolly party, with brilliant blue stars that aren't ready to settle down into anything so structured as a conventional spiral galaxy.

Instead, the early years of the universe featured a profusion of small, irregular, blobby galaxies that were popping with big, hot, super-luminous stars forming at a furious rate. Galaxies were colliding all over the place.
Ray Villard, a spokesman for the Space Telescope Science Institute, which conducts Hubble research for NASA, said it's like seeing the finale of a fireworks show, just that it's close to the beginning of time.

The new results and images of the early cosmos were released Tuesday at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society at National Harbor.
This is not the first time that the Hubble, in its third decade of operation, has taken a "deep field" look at the universe, training its gaze on a tiny spot and holding it there to collect the ancient light. But a new observation campaign, dubbed the Frontier Fields, supplements Hubble time with data from the Spitzer, which observes in infrared, and another space telescope, the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

The new campaign exploits a phenomenon known as gravitational lensing. This is an opportunistic maneuver that draws inspiration from Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, which describes how gravity curves the fabric of space and time.

In the foreground of one new image is a galaxy cluster named Abell 2744, containing hundreds of galaxies. "Foreground" is perhaps an imperfect term given that these galaxies are 3.5 billion light-years away — it has taken 3.5 billion years for the light to reach the Hubble. The gravity of the clustered galaxies creates a lensing effect that magnifies thousands of galaxies that are far in the background — some of them more than 12 billion light-years away, having emitted that light in the very earliest era of galaxy formation.
"Light following a path around those clusters is bent," Jennifer Lotz, an astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute, said at a news conference Tuesday.


The initial expansion of the universe, known as the Big Bang, happened about 13.7 billion years ago, a measurement that has become more precise in the past few years with new data from space telescopes. Theorists believe it took about 400 million years for the first stars to ignite and the first galaxies to form. The Hubble can't see quite that deeply in time and space, but the earliest galaxy-forming epoch is a target for NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled for launch in 2018.

The universe in its youth was going through a blue period, because the stars were blue, just like the young, hot stars we see in the constellation Orion, said Garth Illingworth, professor of astronomy at the University of California at Santa Cruz and one of the scientists involved in the new research.
In telescopes, these young galaxies look red, because their light has been stretched out — red-shifted — over billions of years. "In reality, if you go there, it's all blue," Illingworth said.

If you could have parked yourself in that young universe, you would have seen those blue galaxies all around, many as big as our moon, Illingworth said. But you couldn't go for a star-gazing stroll, because there were no planets then. The matter in the cosmos was mostly hydrogen, with a smidgen of helium and hardly any atoms larger than that.

"It was much, much wilder than what we see today," said Anahita Alavi, a graduate student in the physics and astronomy department at the University of California at Riverside. "Everything was closer together. The possibility of these galaxies colliding with each other, and merging with each other, was higher."

Star formation picked up speed for several billion years. But then, about 9 billion years ago, the situation calmed down markedly and became more organized. Stars formed at a slower rate. The expanding universe became home to billions of majestic spiral and elliptical galaxies — and, on one rock at least, to astronomers staring into the night sky.
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High Tech is Sorcery and the people who are really powerful are literally telling people to commit crimes using the psychic interspace created by the WWW and Wireless. They are controlling peoples actions like drones . The two things are deeply intertwined. The more man's brain interfaces with machines the creepier it gets. They use brains separate from a human body in a supercomputer and you have The Image of the Beast. The military has been doing this since the 50s
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Old 01-13-2014, 03:54 PM   #1243
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I guess you really can feel happiness all over...

These heat maps reveal where we feel love, anger, shame & sadness on our bodies



Scientists have conclusively proven that love gives you the warm fuzzies and sadness makes you feel blue.

A team of Finnish researchers have created heat maps of where and how emotions are experienced on the human body. The goal of the study was to find out if there is a consistent connection, across various demographic groups and geographical regions, between what we feel and the physical sensation of that feeling.

“Even though we are often consciously aware of our current emotional state, such as anger or happiness, the mechanisms giving rise to these subjective sensations have remained unresolved. Here we used a topographical self-report tool to reveal that different emotional states are associated with topographically distinct and culturally universal bodily sensations; these sensations could underlie our conscious emotional experiences,” the findings said.

The study asked 773 participants to color bodily regions where they felt activity increasing or decreasing while viewing stimulus, such as emotional words, stories, movies, or facial expression. They were prompted with six “basic” emotions and seven “complex” emotions, as well as a neutral state.

Yellow indicates the strongest amount of activity, followed by red, black, dark blue and light blue at the bottom, for a deadening of emotion.

Happiness shows yellow and red coloring all over, with the strongest feelings in the head and chest. Love is strongest of all the emotions, with yellow filling in the head, chest, and groin region. Unlike happiness, we apparently don’t feel love in our legs.

Depression is also experienced across the body, with the head and limbs showing up as various shades of blue. Interestingly the depressed stomach feels neutral. Sadness, in contrast, is dark blue on the arms and legs, but the head and chest show red.

Shame and anxiety are experienced all over the body as well, with warm colors in the head and chest, and blue colors in the legs. Surprise doesn’t look that different from shame, and envy — like surprise — shows up as red in the head and chest, and dark blue in the legs. Contempt and envy resemble each other, although contempt is strong in the head and only felt in the groin area on the bottom half.

Fear and disgust manifest as warm and hot colors in the head through the stomach. Fear is felt more in the chest, while disgust is stronger in our mouth and stomach. Interestingly, the pride body map resembles happiness, love, and anger in its yellow across the head and chest.

The study says that numerous studies before it established that emotions prepare us for external challenges by adjusting our bodies to respond. These assume that our bodies react, thus triggering emotional feelings that will affect our behavior. However, it is still uncertain whether “the bodily changes associated with different emotions are specific enough to serve as the basis for discrete emotional feelings.”

“We propose that consciously felt emotions are associated with culturally universal, topographically distinct bodily sensations that may support the categorical experience of different emotions,” the report said.

Beyond being interesting, this research could have significant implications for the psychology, serving as a “biomarker for emotional disorders.”
Why in the he'll didn't they do stress?!
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Old 01-13-2014, 04:00 PM   #1244
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That new Hubble shot defies words, I'd love to have that blown up in extreme high quality and frame it right up.
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Old 01-14-2014, 02:16 PM   #1245
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This is pretty cool. Seth McFarlane has taken over production of the new Cosmos. Ensuring that Cosmos will be shown on Fox and Nat Geo. Hopefully balancing out a tiny bit of the dumb that Fox viewers are known for...

Seth MacFarlane Producing Sequel to ‘Cosmos’

Late last year it was announced he was tackling immigration in a new series. Now, Seth MacFarlane is stepping into the world of science.

MacFarlane, who is the mastermind behind Fox’s Family Guy, American Dad, and Dads, is producing a sequel to Carl Sagan’s popular series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage.

The new 13-part series is called Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, and will be shown on two channels. The first airing will be March 9 on Fox, and then March 10 on National Geographic.

The project was already in development before MacFarlane came aboard by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who will be hosting the series, and co-producer Ann Druyan, Sagan’s widow. MacFarlane told them that Fox would give them a much broader audience than other networks.

Speaking about his involvement, MacFarlane told USA Today that he’d always been a fan of its predecessor.

“I had seen it as a child, and then when I was in high school saw it again and was able to process in much more depth,” he added.

Tyson wasn’t sure about the sincerity of FOX’s interest, and initially thought they were just being polite because of MacFarlane. After a couple meetings, however, their sincerity showed.

“It became clear that they were interested in Cosmos regardless of whether Seth had sat there making the presentation with us,” he said.

While some may think he’s using a series such as this to help balance out the kind of work he does, that’s not how he sees it.

“I get myself involved with shows and people that I’m enthusiastic about. It’s not a matter of balance in my mind because I don’t see it that way,” he said.
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