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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 11-30-2012, 03:24 PM   #376
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So......... WTF has NASA done to make your life awesome?

Well, it's interesting that you asked...

http://www.wtfnasa.com/

Take a minute to click through some of the thousand ways that NASA has made life better.

Penny4NASA
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:54 PM   #377
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I guess yesterday was a good day for Science...



Pat Robertson has some kind of reverse senility going on....

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Originally Posted by Pat Robertson
“You go back in time, you've got radiocarbon dating. You got all these things, and you've got the carcasses of dinosaurs frozen in time out in the Dakotas,” Robertson said. “They're out there. So, there was a time when these giant reptiles were on the Earth, and it was before the time of the Bible. So, don't try and cover it up and make like everything was 6,000 years. That's not the Bible.”

Before answering the question, Robertson acknowledged the statement was controversial by saying, “I know that people will probably try to lynch me when I say this.”

“If you fight science, you are going to lose your children, and I believe in telling them the way it was,” Robertson concluded.

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/1...s-creationism/
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:58 PM   #378
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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 12-01-2012, 12:57 AM   #379
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The amount of mass is just too large to comprehend...

Giant Black Hole Could Upset Galaxy Evolution Models



ScienceDaily (Nov. 27, 2012) — A group of astronomers led by Remco van den Bosch from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) have discovered a black hole that could shake the foundations of current models of galaxy evolution. At 17 billion times the mass of the Sun, its mass is much greater than current models predict -- in particular since the surrounding galaxy is comparatively small. This could be the most massive black hole found to date.

To the best of our astronomical knowledge, almost every galaxy should contain in its central region what is called a supermassive black hole: a black hole with a mass between that of hundreds of thousands and billions of Suns. The best-studied super-massive black hole sits in the center of our home galaxy, the Milky Way, with a mass of about four million Suns.

For the masses of galaxies and their central black holes, an intriguing trend has emerged: a direct relationship between the mass of a galaxy's black hole and that of the galaxy's stars.

Typically, the black hole mass is a tiny fraction of the galaxy's total mass. But now a search led by Remco van den Bosch (MPIA) has discovered a massive black hole that could upset the accepted relationship between black hole mass and galaxy mass, which plays a key role in all current theories of galaxy evolution. The observations used the Hobby-Eberly Telescope and existing images from the Hubble Space Telescope.

With a mass 17 billion times that of the Sun, the newly discovered black hole in the center of the disk galaxy NGC 1277 might even be the biggest known black hole of all: the mass of the current record holder is estimated to lie between 6 and 37 billion solar masses (McConnell et al. 2011); if the true value lies towards the lower end of that range, NGC 1277 breaks the record. At the least, NGC 1277 harbors the second-biggest known black hole.

The big surprise is that the black hole mass for NGC 1277 amounts to 14% of the total galaxy mass, instead of usual values around 0,1%. This beats the old record by more than a factor 10. Astronomers would have expected a black hole of this size inside blob-like ("elliptical") galaxies ten times larger. Instead, this black hole sits inside a fairly small disk galaxy.

Is this surprisingly massive black hole a freak accident? Preliminary analysis of additional data suggests otherwise -- so far, the search has uncovered five additional galaxies that are comparatively small, yet, going by first estimates, seemed to harbor unusually large black holes too. More definite conclusions have to await detailed images of these galaxies.

If the additional candidates are confirmed, and there are indeed more black holes like this, astronomers will need to rethink fundamentally their models of galaxy evolution. In particular, they will need to look at the early universe: The galaxy hosting the new black hole appears to have formed more than 8 billion years ago, and does not appear to have changed much since then. Whatever created this giant black hole must have happened a long time ago.
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Old 12-01-2012, 11:41 AM   #380
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http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/...ion/52317624/1

Perhaps you've chosen to read this essay after scanning other articles on this website.
Or, if you're in a hotel, maybe you've decided what to order for breakfast, or what clothes you'll wear today. You haven't. You may feel like you've made choices, but in reality your decision to read this piece, and whether to have eggs or pancakes, was determined long before you were aware of it — perhaps even before you woke up today. And your "will" had no part in that decision. So it is with all of our other choices: not one of them results from a free and conscious decision on our part. There is no freedom of choice, no free will. And those New Year's resolutions you made? You had no choice about making them, and you'll have no choice about whether you keep them.
The debate about free will, long the purview of philosophers alone, has been given new life by scientists, especially neuroscientists studying how the brain works. And what they're finding supports the idea that free will is a complete illusion.
The issue of whether we have of free will is not an arcane academic debate about philosophy, but a critical question whose answer affects us in many ways: how we assign moral responsibility, how we punish criminals, how we feel about our religion, and, most important, how we see ourselves — as autonomous or automatons.

What is free will?

But before I explain this, let me define what I mean by "free will." I mean it simply as the way most people think of it: When faced with two or more alternatives, it's your ability to freely and consciously choose one, either on the spot or after some deliberation. A practical test of free will would be this: If you were put in the same position twice — if the tape of your life could be rewound to the exact moment when you made a decision, with every circumstance leading up to that moment the same and all the molecules in the universe aligned in the same way — you could have chosen differently.
Now there's no way to rewind the tape of our lives to see if we can really make different choices in completely identical circumstances. But two lines of evidence suggest that such free will is an illusion.

The first is simple: we are biological creatures, collections of molecules that must obey the laws of physics. All the success of science rests on the regularity of those laws, which determine the behavior of every molecule in the universe. Those molecules, of course, also make up your brain — the organ that does the "choosing." And the neurons and molecules in your brain are the product of both your genes and your environment, an environment including the other people we deal with. Memories, for example, are nothing more than structural and chemical changes in your brain cells. Everything that you think, say, or do, must come down to molecules and physics.

True "free will," then, would require us to somehow step outside of our brain's structure and modify how it works. Science hasn't shown any way we can do this because "we" are simply constructs of our brain. We can't impose a nebulous "will" on the inputs to our brain that can affect its output of decisions and actions, any more than a programmed computer can somehow reach inside itself and change its program.

'Meat computers'

And that's what neurobiology is telling us: Our brains are simply meat computers that, like real computers, are programmed by our genes and experiences to convert an array of inputs into a predetermined output. Recent experiments involving brain scans show that when a subject "decides" to push a button on the left or right side of a computer, the choice can be predicted by brain activity at least seven seconds before the subject is consciously aware of having made it. (These studies use crude imaging techniques based on blood flow, and I suspect that future understanding of the brain will allow us to predict many of our decisions far earlier than seven seconds in advance.) "Decisions" made like that aren't conscious ones. And if our choices are unconscious, with some determined well before the moment we think we've made them, then we don't have free will in any meaningful sense.
Psychologists and neuroscientists are also showing that the experience of will itself could be an illusion that evolution has given us to connect our thoughts, which stem from unconscious processes, and our actions, which also stem from unconscious process. We think this because our sense of "willing" an act can be changed, created, or even eliminated through brain stimulation, mental illness, or psychological experiments. The ineluctable scientific conclusion is that although we feel that we're characters in the play of our lives, rewriting our parts as we go along, in reality we're puppets performing scripted parts written by the laws of physics.
Most people find that idea intolerable, so powerful is our illusion that we really do make choices. But then where do these illusions of both will and "free" will come from? We're not sure. I suspect that they're the products of natural selection, perhaps because our ancestors wouldn't thrive in small, harmonious groups — the conditions under which we evolved — if they didn't feel responsible for their actions. Sociological studies show that if people's belief in free will is undermined, they perform fewer prosocial behaviors and more antisocial behaviors.
Many scientists and philosophers now accept that our actions and thoughts are indeed determined by physical laws, and in that sense we don't really choose freely, but philosophers have concocted ingenious rationalizations for why we nevertheless have free will of a sort. It's all based on redefining "free will" to mean something else. Some philosophers claim that if we can change our actions in response to reason, then we've shown free will. But of course the words and deeds of other people are simply environmental influences that can affect our brain molecules. That's how love begins.
Other philosophers argue that while we may not be able to choose our actions, we can choose to veto our actions — in other words, we don't have free will but do have "free won't." But from the standpoint of physics, instigating an action is no different from vetoing one, and in fact involves the same regions of the brain.
Finally, some argue that we have free will if our actions are consistent with our personalities and past behaviors. But that says nothing about whether we "choose' our actions; only that our genetic and environmental makeup affects our actions in a consistent way. As Sam Harris noted in his book Free Will, all the attempts to harmonize the determinism of physics with a freedom of choice down to the claim that "a puppet is free so long as he loves his strings."

If not, then what?

So if we don't have free will, what can we do? One possibility is to give in to a despairing nihilism and just stop doing anything. But that's impossible, for our feeling of personal agency is so overwhelming that we have no choice but to pretend that we do choose, and get on with our lives. After all, everyone deals with the unpalatable fact of our mortality, and usually do so by ignoring it rather than ruminating obsessively about it.
But there are two important ways that we must face the absence of free will. One is in religion. Many faiths make claims that depend on free choice: Evangelical Christians, for instance, believe that those who don't freely choose Jesus as their savior will go to hell. If we have no free choice, then such religious tenets — and the existence of a disembodied "soul" — are undermined, and any post-mortem fates of the faithful are determined, Calvinistically, by circumstances over which they have no control.
But the most important issue is that of moral responsibility. If we can't really choose how we behave, how can we judge people as moral or immoral? Why punish criminals or reward do-gooders? Why hold anyone responsible for their actions if those actions aren't freely chosen?
We should recognize that we already make some allowances for this problem by treating criminals differently if we think their crimes resulted from a reduction in their "choice" by factors like mental illness, diminished capacity, or brain tumors that cause aggression. But in truth those people don't differ in responsibility from the "regular" criminal who shoots someone in a drug war; it's just that the physical events behind their actions are less obvious.
But we should continue to mete out punishments because those are environmental factors that can influence the brains of not only the criminal himself, but of other people as well. Seeing someone put in jail, or being put in jail yourself, can change you in a way that makes it less likely you'll behave badly in the future. Even without free will then, we can still use punishment to deter bad behavior, protect society from criminals, and figure out better ways to rehabilitate them. What is not justified is revenge or retribution — the idea of punishing criminals for making the "wrong choice." And we should continue to reward good behavior, for that changes brains in a way that promotes more good behavior.
There's not much downside to abandoning the notion of free will. It's impossible, anyway, to act as though we don't have it: you'll pretend to choose your New Year's resolutions, and the laws of physics will determine whether you keep them. And there are two upsides. The first is realizing the great wonder and mystery of our evolved brains, and contemplating the notion that things like consciousness, free choice, and even the idea of "me" are but convincing illusions fashioned by natural selection. Further, by losing free will we gain empathy, for we realize that in the end all of us, whether Bernie Madoffs or Nelson Mandelas, are victims of circumstance — of the genes we're bequeathed and the environments we encounter. With that under our belts, we can go about building a kinder world.
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:03 PM   #381
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Germs...

Your body is made up of approximately 100 trillion human cells and 1,500 trillion microbes. By numbers you are little more than 10% you.
However, eukaryotic cells are significantly larger than prokaryotic cells, so those 1,500 trillion microbes only make up between 2 and 5 pounds of your weight.

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Old 12-04-2012, 10:53 PM   #382
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A size comparison of a neutron star to New York city. A neutron stars contain up to as much as 500,000 times the mass of the Earth in a sphere no larger than Brooklyn, United States.
A neutron star is a type of stellar remnant left behind after a supernova. Gravitational collapse occurs and if a black hole does not form, then a neutron star does.

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Old 12-04-2012, 10:55 PM   #383
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:03 PM   #384
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I'll gift you a better evening...

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"He had no teeth, and he was slobbering all over himself. I'm thinking, 'You can have your money back, just get me out of here. Let me go be an accountant." I can't tell you how badly I wanted out of there."
Denver rookie QB John Elway, on Jack Lambert, after Lambert and the Steelers knocked Elway out of his first game as a pro (1983).
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I wish I always ended up at gay bars.
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:01 AM   #385
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Spaceship Enterprise in 20 years? Beam me up!


By Nancy Atkinson
Universe Today
updated 5/12/2012 12:13:38 AM ET


In Star Trek lore, the first Starship Enterprise will be built by the year 2245. But today, an engineer has proposed — and outlined in meticulous detail — building a full-sized, ion-powered version of the Enterprise complete with 1G of gravity on board, and says it could be done with current technology, within 20 years.

"We have the technological reach to build the first generation of the spaceship known as the USS Enterprise — so let's do it," writes the curator of the Build The Enterprise website, who goes by the name of BTE Dan.

This "Gen1" Enterprise could get to Mars in 90 days, to the moon in three, and "could hop from planet to planet dropping off robotic probes of all sorts en masse — rovers, special-built planes and satellites,” BTE Dan says.

Complete with conceptual designs, ship specs, a funding schedule and almost every other imaginable detail, the BTE website was launched just this week and covers almost every aspect of how the project could be done. This Enterprise would be built entirely in space, have a rotating gravity section inside of the saucer, and be similar in size with the same look as the USS Enterprise that we know from classic "Star Trek."





“It ends up that this ship configuration is quite functional,” writes BTE Dan, even though his design moves a few parts around for better performance with today’s technology. This version of the Enterprise would be three things in one: a spaceship, a space station and a spaceport. A thousand people can be on board at once — either as crew members or as adventurous visitors.

While the ship will not travel at warp speed, with an ion propulsion engine powered by a 1.5GW nuclear reactor, it can travel at a constant acceleration so that the ship can easily get to key points of interest in our solar system. Three additional nuclear reactors would create all of the electricity needed for operation of the ship.

The saucer section would be a 0.3-mile-diameter (536-meter-diameter) rotating, magnetically suspended gravity wheel that would create 1G of gravity.




The first assignments for the Enterprise would have the ship serving as a space station and spaceport, but then go on to missions to the moon, Mars, Venus, various asteroids and even Europa, where the ship's laser would be used not for combat but for cutting through the moon's icy crust to enable a probe to descend to the ocean below.

Of course, like all spaceships today, the big "if" for such an effort would be getting Congress to provide NASA the funding to do a huge 20-year project. But BTE Dan has that all worked out, and between tax increases and spreading out budget cuts to areas like defense, health and human services, housing and urban development, education and energy, the cuts to areas of discretionary spending are not large, and the tax increases could be small.

"These changes to spending and taxes will not sink the republic," says the website. "In fact, these will barely be noticed. It’s amazing that a program as fantastic as the building a fleet of USS Enterprise spaceships can be done with so little impact."

BTE Dan adds that "the only obstacles to us doing it are the limitations we place on our collective imagination." His proposal says that NASA could still receive funding for the science, astronomy and robotic missions it currently undertakes.

But he proposes not just one Enterprise-class ship, but multiple ships, one of which can be built every 33 years — once per generation — giving three new ships per century. "Each will be more advanced than the prior one. Older ships can be continually upgraded over several generations until they are eventually decommissioned."

BTE Dan, who did not respond to emails, lists himself as a systems engineer and electrical engineer who has worked at a Fortune 500 company for the past 30 years.

The website includes a blog, a forum and a Q&A section, where BTE Dan answers the question, "What if someone can prove that building the Gen1 Enterprise is beyond our technological reach?"

Answer: "If someone can convince me that it is not technically possible (ignoring political and funding issues), then I will state on the BuildTheEnterprise site that I have been found to be wrong. In that case, building the first Enterprise will have to wait for, say, another half century. But I don’t think that anyone will be able to convince me it can’t be done. My position is that we can — and should — immediately start working on it.”


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Old 12-07-2012, 05:41 PM   #386
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Old 12-07-2012, 09:47 PM   #387
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There really was a Bigfoot at one time. A giant ass intelligent Harry and the Henderson sumbitch.

Gigantopithecus!

Classification: Chordata,* ‬Mammalia,* ‬Primates,* ‬Hominidae,* ‬Ponginae.
Species: G.* ‬blacki,* ‬G.* ‬bilaspurensis,* ‬G.* ‬giganteus.
Diet: Herbivore.
Size: Roughly estimated to be up to* ‬3* ‬meters tall and up to* ‬540* ‬kilograms in weight for largest species G.* ‬blacki,* ‬while smaller species like G.* ‬giganteus are only half this size.* ‬However the lack of other known fossils makes these estimates far from certain.
Known locations: China,* ‬India and Vietnam.
Time period: Messinian of the Miocene through to Late Ionian of the Pleistocene.* ‬Possibly slightly later.



Discovery and species
During* ‬1935* ‬the palaeontologist Gustav Heinrich Ralph von Koenigswald visited a Chinese apothecary shop in Hong Kong and discovered an unusually large molar,* ‬a tooth similar to the large flat ones that you have towards the back of your mouth.* ‬Fossils like this are often found in Traditional Chinese medicine where they are called* ‘‬dragon bones*’‬,* ‬but this tooth did not come from a mythical creature,* ‬instead study revealed it to have come from some kind of gigantic ape.* ‬When describing it as a new genus the choice of name was obvious and so von Koenigswald created* ‬Gigantopithecus with literally translates as* ‘‬giant ape*’‬.

Since this first discovery over one thousand three hundred teeth have been tracked down,* ‬many of them from the Traditional Chinese medicine market.* ‬More excitingly however are the discoveries of some lower jaws which have allowed palaeontologists and primatologists to infer a little about what Gigantopithecus might have been like.* ‬Unfortunately this is where the clues stop as so far no other parts of the skeleton or even the skull have so far been found.

The most famous species of Gigantopithecus known is G.* ‬blacki which seems to be the largest of the known species.* ‬This was the first species to be named and so far is known from caves in South East Asia* ‬and is represented by both teeth and mandibles.* ‬Another species is G.* ‬giganteus,* ‬but this is something of a misnomer as it actually seems to be only half the size of G.* ‬blacki.* ‬This species is however known from India,* ‬and the size difference might be down to a different climatic adaptation,* ‬even though there is evidence to suggest that it also inhabited parts of China.* ‬Another Indian species is G.* ‬bilaspurensis and this species really stands out from the other two because its remains are dated to as far back as the late Miocene period,* ‬extending the temporal range of* ‬Gigantopithecus for many millions of years between the Miocene and Pleistocene periods.
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Old 12-07-2012, 09:59 PM   #388
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Ummm no. Math fail.
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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 12-07-2012, 10:03 PM   #389
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Ummm no. Math fail.
Really? It was posted on http://saganet.org/

I didn't really think about the math.......
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Old 12-07-2012, 10:23 PM   #390
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Originally Posted by Fish View Post
Really? It was posted on http://saganet.org/

I didn't really think about the math.......

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