All Posts (5466)


(Courtesy: shutterstock/tomertu)

Topics: Antimatter, Astrophysics, Cosmology, Dark Matter, Star Trek, Theoretical Physics

Our universe could be the mirror image of an antimatter universe extending backwards in time before the Big Bang. So claim physicists in Canada, who have devised a new cosmological model positing the existence of an “antiuniverse” which, paired to our own, preserves a fundamental rule of physics called CPT symmetry. The researchers still need to work out many details of their theory, but they say it naturally explains the existence of dark matter.

Standard cosmological models tell us that the universe – space, time and mass/energy – exploded into existence some 14 billion years ago and has since expanded and cooled, leading to the progressive formation of subatomic particles, atoms, stars and planets.

However, Neil Turok of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Ontario reckons that these models’ reliance on ad-hoc parameters means they increasingly resemble Ptolemy’s description of the solar system. One such parameter, he says, is the brief period of rapid expansion known as inflation that can account for the universe’s large-scale uniformity. “There is this frame of mind that you explain a new phenomenon by inventing a new particle or field,” he says. “I think that may turn out to be misguided.”

Instead, Turok and his Perimeter Institute colleague Latham Boyle set out to develop a model of the universe that can explain all observable phenomena based only on the known particles and fields. They asked themselves whether there is a natural way to extend the universe beyond the Big Bang – a singularity where general relativity breaks down – and then out the other side. “We found that there was,” he says.

The answer was to assume that the universe as a whole obeys CPT symmetry. This fundamental principle requires that any physical process remains the same if time is reversed, space inverted and particles replaced by antiparticles. Turok says that this is not the case for the universe that we see around us, where time runs forward as space expands, and there’s more matter than antimatter.

Our universe has antimatter partner on the other side of the Big Bang, say physicists

Cosmology, Physics World

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Ultra-bright X-rays...

Overview: Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory

Topics: High Energy Physics, Particle Physics, Theoretical Physics, X-rays

The upgrade of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory will make it between 100 and 1,000 times brighter than it is today.

“That factor is such a big change, it’s going to revolutionize the types of science that we can do,” said Stephen Streiffer, Argonne Associate Laboratory Director for Photon Sciences and Director of the APS.

“We’ll be able to look at the structure of materials and chemical systems in the interior of things — inside a turbine blade or a catalytic reactor — almost down to the atomic scale. We haven’t been able to do that before. Given that vast change, we can only dream about the science we’re going to do.”

In December, DOE approved the technical scope, cost estimate and plan of work for an upgrade of APS.

The APS upgrade has been in the works since 2010. The upgrade will reveal a new machine that will allow its 5,500 annual users from university, industrial, and government laboratories to work at a higher spatial resolution, or to work faster with a brighter beam (a beam with more X-rays focused on a smaller spot) than they can now.

Beam Us Up: Ultra-bright X-ray beams expanding the boundaries of research

Steve Koppes, Argonne National Laboratory

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Initial posting

I would give an intricate, wordy introduction, but there are some hinderances. I am currently realm-building for a debut series, but life has a way of taking priority. One day, I will have the availability I need. My next one will be more detailed, rest assured.

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Disaster Hypocrisy...

Credit: Karl Spencer Getty Images

Topics: Climate Change, Global Warming, Politics, Research

Mexico won’t pay for President Trump’s border wall. But Northern Californians might.

Many of them live near the American River, one of the country’s most flood-prone urban watersheds.

Houston residents could shoulder the cost, too, along with Texans along the Gulf of Mexico, where the Army Corps of Engineers is working on 10 disaster projects funded by Congress in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Florida might have to put beach nourishment projects on hold. And upgrades to the 60-year-old dike ringing Lake Okeechobee, which many consider to pose the state’s greatest flood risk, could have to wait.

Puerto Rico, still in tatters after Hurricane Maria, could lose funding for a critical flood project in the heart of San Juan, where rapid runoff from the Rio Puerto Nuevo Basin threatens 6,500 people and homes and infrastructure valued at $3 billion.

These are among the 57 construction projects totaling $13.9 billion that the Army Corps prioritized last year. The White House appears to have identified that funding as a potential source of cash for building a border wall if Trump declares a national emergency to circumvent Congress’ spending authority.

The $13.9 billion, allocated under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (P.L. 115-123), is intended to help victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and other natural disasters dating back to 2014.

Now that disaster aid could be seen as a potential funding stream for Trump’s proposed $5.7 billion wall.

The lead-poisoned water in Flint, Michigan, the American opioid crisis (and the previous racially biased and criminalization of the cocaine epidemic); the average of 342 citizens dying in "murders, assaults, suicides, suicide attempts, unintentional shootings, and police intervention" PER DAY...not a national emergency.

But...we'll have a wall for a mythical crisis on the border. That...wasn't a crisis until the 2018 midterms. That... wasn't a crisis when he had the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives...then, the priority was tax cuts for the already well-heeled and profitable corporations, not a wall.

Just a scared, bigoted, orange, Russian-compromised man; his scared, bigoted followers and their hatred for brown people.

"Who's going to pay for the wall?" The response was decidedly not taking from our own disaster relief funds, or a fake GoFundMe campaign.

Disaster Response Projects Could Lose Funding to Border Wall

Daniel Cusick, Policy and Ethics, Scientific American

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3D Topological Insulators...

Courtesy: H. Chen

Topics: Laser, Optical Physics, Photonics, Materials Science, Nanotechnology, Quantum Mechanics

Reference: Topological Insulators, then the rest of the post.

Researchers in China and Singapore say they have made the first ever 3D photonic topological insulator using a stack of thin plastic sheets embedded with metal nanoantennas. The insulator works at microwave frequencies, but if extended to terahertz or optical wavelengths, it could find use in applications such as high-power lasers, optical diodes and photonic computer chips.

2D topological insulators, also known as 2D quantum spin Hall insulators, are materials that are electrical insulators in the bulk but can conduct electricity extremely well on their edge via special, topologically protected, electronic states. Electrons can only travel in one direction along these states and do not backscatter. This means that they can carry electrical current with near-zero dissipation of energy and so could be used to make energy-efficient electronic devices in the future.

Structures made from photonic crystals
In recent years, researchers have started looking at making topological insulators that work using light rather than electric currents. These structures are made from photonic crystals – materials in which the periodic variation of the refractive index means that only certain wavelengths of light are able to pass through. One of the advantages of these photonic topological insulators is that they can operate at room temperature, unlike their electronic counterparts.

Another is that the space through which photons can travel can be engineered so that it is curved like the surface of a cone. These structures thus mimic a 2D quantum spin Hall insulator that naturally contains so-called surface Dirac cones. These are the sharp single points in a 2D material at which the valence and the conduction bands meet at the Fermi level, and at which electrons behave as though they are relativistic particles with no rest mass.

3D topological insulators go photonic, Belle Dumé, Physics World

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Post Apocalypse...

Nuff said.

Topics: Civics, Civil Rights, Existentialism, Human Rights, Politics

Donald J. Trump is a a carefully-crafted public fiction. I have said this for years, and stand by that assertion. A headline from Newsweek: "Working With Trump Was Like Making the Court Jester King" by Tom Porter pretty much bore my statement out. In this 21st day of a contrived crisis and hostage situation, it's not so much that he wants a "wall" (a mnemonic device used on the campaign trail): he wants a fight, a public spectacle and "debate" about the efficacy of 12th century civil engineering. He also desperately wants not to look like a failure to his adoring followers, particularly to a powerful woman that like his previous presidential opponent, he loathes. He of course had "mommy issues," and by his own behavior: attachment avoidance, lacking empathy particularly for 800,000 furloughed government workers that won't receive a check.

Dr. Randall Pinkett, author of "Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness" attributes his inspiration to his experience as the only African American overall winner on The Apprentice. "The Donald" wanted him to share his prize with the third place white female (Introduction: Not Getting Trumped: Randall's Nationally Televised "Black Faces in White Places" Moment, pages 1 - 3, hardcover). Dr. Pinkett refused, and received for his integrity online death threats. Since I've seen him on news media recently, he's currently alive and well, despite his experience - a precursor for how President Obama would be treated by his determined opposition, and the racist tropes, memes and effigies encouraged by right wing media and Orange Caligula.

The bizarre behaviors we're experiencing as a nation from someone that's supposed to have a natural acumen, a "gut" for right decisions that are demonstrably WRONG in real-time has little to do with Alzheimer's or Dementia as many have surmised. Whether Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Sociopath Disorder; Psychopathic Disorder: this is him! The difference is on The Apprentice (referencing the Newsweek article above), scriptwriters worked ferociously behind the scenes to make his inane decisions from previously baffling episodes look like brilliance. We are behind the curtain in Oz, where wizards and emperors are typically naked. Unfortunately, life is not episodic, nor a "reality show." Unfortunately, life does not impose "cliffhangers" to drive up Nielsen Ratings. Unfortunately, he began to believe his own carefully doctored press. Unfortunately, so did a sizable number of the American electorate, manipulated by a hostile foreign power, social media bots and their own bigotry and xenophobia.

It stretches credulity: No "billionaire" has six bankruptcies. No "billionaire" enunciates with the diction of Archie Bunker. No "billionaire" refuses to read and self-learn in his field of expertise, proud of his willful ignorance. No "billionaire" needs an infusion of money from first daddy, then Russian oligarchs because no American banks trusted him to loan any money. No "billionaire" works for a reality show he's recruited to, nor would he take a salary, or be a member of the Screen Actors Guild receiving a pension. No "billionaire" sends his own tweets from a porcelain throne: if they have an account, they have staffs that do it for them, and it aligns with their company and product. George Conway has designated himself as at least a counter tweeter in the resistance.

There will be an "aftermath" to this. There will be a last tweet, a last insult, a last government shutdown, a last broadcast; a last time of dominating the news cycle. With the Mueller investigation concluding, there will likely be legal action in what ever form that might take. There will be an eventual fade-to-black as an orange mistake melts away into the pages of history and purgatory of obscurity. There will be an end to this: either by electoral route, term limit, impeachment or 25th Amendment. There will be an end because counter to Gil Scott-Heron, "the revolution [is] both televised," and live. There will be a decisive end, and a reaction: perhaps jubilation in the streets - here, and worldwide. Perhaps shots toasted; tears from his particular peculiar sect's fan base. Or just, a collective sigh of relief and the marveling of normal days and news without self-projected tragicomedy. The last tweet should be memorialized in a museum.

For the dwindling white evangelical base that empowered this dystopian nightmare, there will be a reckoning. Robert P. Jones captured this in "The End of White Christian America," where before the entire demographic becomes a numerical minority circa 2042, this particular sector became one in 2017. The so-called "moral majority" spent decades telling everyone that wasn't White Anglo Saxon Protestant, Cisgender Males how to live their lives. 81% of them voted for the vagina grabber and are trying to justify him as the second coming of King Cyrus. They are mocked now; their philosophies exposed as hypocrisy, though dominionism - a flirtation of the right - should not be taken lightly: it is a friendly fascism, right before the ovens fired. The youth are departing the church in a flood, and those tabernacles' pews are noticeably barer than earlier days. Religious orders have commonly unified behind agreed upon external enemies. For African American and Hispanic congregations, it's almost always been white supremacy; for WASP-C's, it's always been "other" than themselves. A desperate constituency raised on the mother's milk of white supremacy might do desperate things, collusion included. Unless they can override The Constitution and install him as king or "god emperor," the next democratic president will have to recover not just possibly our economy, but our national image. Internally however, white evangelicals are headed to an inevitable Entropic oblivion of their own making.

The Trump family is simply a criminal enterprise - similar to the Mafia and exported from New York to Washington, DC, which usually receives rational actors in the POTUS chair regardless of party. Thus, this impacts everyone and everything on the planet.

Instead of Michael Corleone, this criminal enterprise is being run by Fredo.

Related link:

Party of Apocalypse - a pre-election, frustrated essay rant that sadly hasn't faded away.

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Hobbled Hubble...

The Hubble telescope launched in 1990. Credit: NASA

Topics: Astronomy, Astrophysics, NASA, Politics, Research

Yet another casualty: science. The NSF, NOAA and other related sites are either down, or limited. Research is slow to crippled. The FDA is discontinuing food inspections. Any delay in industry was almost a death sentence in semiconductors, as your competitors took advantage of your tardiness to market, and sped past you. This is Economics 101 one would THINK a "businessman" would understand, but tariffs seem a mystery to him. A months long, or year-long shutdown as threatened by this hostage situation, will cause our economy and along with it the world's to falter. I can't imagine China or Russia standing still while our orange child throws a tantrum for his wailing/whining wall pablum. "Winning"... #MCGA, #MRGA

Aging telescope’s wide-field camera fails while key NASA staff are on involuntary, indefinite leave due to political impasse.

One of the Hubble Space Telescope’s main instruments stopped working on 8 January because of an unspecified hardware problem, NASA says. Engineers are unlikely to be able to fix the aging telescope until the ongoing US government shutdown ends — whenever that might be.

Hubble’s mission operations are based at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, where most employees are on involuntary leave during the shutdown. A few people who operate spacecraft that are actively flying, including Hubble, have been allowed to keep working.

But fixing the problem with Hubble, which is almost 30 years old, will almost certainly involve additional government employees who are forbidden to work during the shutdown. NASA has formed an investigative team, composed primarily of contractors and experts from its industry partners, to examine the technical troubles.

Federal law allows agencies to keep some personnel working during a shutdown if they are deemed necessary to protect life and property. It is not clear whether NASA might request an emergency exception to allow repairs to Hubble before the shutdown — now in its 19th day — ends.

Hubble telescope camera is broken — and US government shutdown could delay repairs

Alexandra Witze, Nature

Related link:

About the Hubble Space Telescope, NASA

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Earth's AT-ATs...

Image Source: Link below

Topics: Green Energy, Green Tech, Mechanical Engineering, Robotics, Star Wars

Ironically, I drive a Hyundai Santa Fe (2013). But I'm satisfied with its performance, so I don't think I'll be "trading up" to this one. Plus, it's designed primarily for first responders.

You have to admit: it resembles Imperial Walkers or AT-AT's (all-terrain, armored tanks), from a movie franchise "long, long ago; in a galaxy far, far away." Heck, they even say it in the article.

Hyundai started 2019 off right by teasing a concept vehicle that could allegedly walk and climb. Now, Hyundai has brought this concept to CES 2019, and it's every bit as wild as we hoped.

Hyundai used CES 2019 as the backdrop to debut its Elevate walking car concept. While it's primarily designed to give first responders an additional edge in rescuing people, it can also be used to enhance mobility options for all sorts of citizens.

According to Hyundai, the Elevate is capable of driving at highway speeds, but it can also allegedly climb a 5-foot wall, step over a 5-foot gap and have a track width up to 15 feet. So, it's basically an AT-AT from Star Wars that has, as Hyundai puts it, "both mammalian and reptilian walking gaits."

CES 2019: Hyundai's walking car concept is perfect for first responders, Andrew Krok, CNET

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Nano Zappers...

Topics: Biology, Cancer, Electromagnetic Radiation, Green Energy, Nanotechnology, Research

One potentially valuable way to attack cancer cells is to zap them with low-intensity alternating current. This interferes with the flow of calcium and potassium ions in and out of the cells, a process so important that disrupting it ultimately kills them.

But there is a problem with this approach: healthy cells are just as susceptible to ion channel disruption as cancer cells, so the treatment kills healthy and cancerous cells alike. What’s needed is a way to focus the treatment on cancer cells while leaving the healthy ones untouched.

Enter Attilio Marino at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Enrico Almici at the Polytechnic University of Turin, and colleagues in Italy. These guys use piezoelectric nanoparticles that generate current inside the body when repeatedly compressed with ultrasound. And they have gathered the first evidence that this could be turned into an effective treatment for cancer.

The technique is straightforward in theory. Piezoelectric materials generate a charge when squeezed (and similarly change shape when zapped with a voltage). They are widely used in everything from microphones to motors.

Marino and co’s idea is to inject biocompatible nanoparticles into the body and then bombard them with ultrasound. The high and low pressures associated with the ultrasound should cause the nanoparticles to generate a charge that interferes with ion channels and kills the cells. The team choose barium titanate nanoparticles, which are considered biocompatible since they contain no lead.

Electric nanoparticles can target and kill cancer cells by zapping them

Emerging Technology, arXiv

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Multi Messenger Astronomy...

Figure 1: On 17 August 2017 LIGO detected gravitational waves from a neutron-star collision. Within 12 hours observatories had identified the source of the event GW170817 within the galaxy NGC 4993 – shown in this Hubble Space Telescope image – and located the associated radioactive emissions, or “kilonova”. Hubble observed that flare of light fade over the course of six days, as shown in these observations taken on 22, 26 and 28 August (insets). (Courtesy: NASA, ESA; A Levan (University of Warwick), N Tanvir (University of Leicester), A Fruchter and O Fox (STScI))

Topics: Astronomy, Astrophysics, General Relativity, Gravitational Waves, LIGO, Neutron Stars

04 Jan 2018

Congratulations to Imre Bartos, whose article "A new cosmic messenger" has been picked as one of Physics World's five favourite features of 2018. Taken from the January 2018 issue of Physics World. Members of the Institute of Physics can enjoy the full issue via the Physics World app.

The first observation of gravitational waves from two merging neutron stars that was recently made by the LIGO and Virgo detectors has – along with data from telescopes across the globe and in space – kicked off a new era in multimessenger astronomy. Imre Bartos describes this watershed moment, which crowned decades of research and will shape the future of observational astronomy.

It was almost over. There was only one week to go before the Advanced LIGO and Virgo detectors would complete their observational run, and be shutdown for a year. Indeed, many of my colleagues from the LIGO–Virgo team were already on vacation, while I was awaiting relatives who were visiting. Then my phone buzzed. An automated text message, which read “ALERT FROM GWHEN | New event: G298048 | Check your email!” prompted me to rush to my computer, to look at the signal in a LIGO database. When a flurry of agitated phone calls from collaborators followed, it became clear that a historic moment was unfolding. We observational astronomers needed to act quickly, and as our findings were still a secret, I couldn’t even tell my relatives, who had arrived in the middle of the excitement, why I would need to work.

On 17 August 2017 the LIGO detectors in Louisiana and Washington detected gravitational waves from the collision of two neutron stars – ultracompact dead stars that weigh as much as our Sun, but are barely 20 km in diameter, roughly the size of Manhattan. Such an event had been anticipated for decades, but had never been observed until now. Within two seconds of the arrival of gravitational waves at LIGO, NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope detected a short gamma-ray burst. This made it even clearer: the gravitational-wave detection – dubbed GW170817 – was not a false alarm, and observatories across the globe quickly needed to turn towards the direction of the collision, or the data would be lost forever. More than 70 telescopes and observatories around the globe and in space were rapidly notified, and were able to execute a co-ordinated survey of the merger and its aftermath, across the full electromagnetic spectrum – gamma-rays, X-rays, light, radio waves – and neutrinos. A new era in multimessenger astronomy had begun (figure 1).

What did we learn?

Neutron-star mergers may be the main source of heavy elements in the universe.
The expansion of the universe can be measured by neutron-star mergers,
We have a new upper limit on the mass of neutron stars.
The neutron stars in GW170817 orbited each other for billions of years before colliding.
The colliding neutron stars created a gamma-ray burst.
There’s something strange about the energetic jet.

A New Cosmic Messenger, Imre Bartos, Physics World

Imre Bartos is an assistant professor at the University of Florida in the US, where he studies extreme cosmic explosions related to the formation and evolution of black holes. He is a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and an associate member of the IceCube Collaboration

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Intelligent Collectors encouraged!

The fact that most indie Black Age publishers produce limited editions or small press runs insures the collector will likely have a rare item to treasure. Future speculative investors, auctions and collectors, once its time has come, will pay dividends to acquire items from this extended important era in this industry. Seeing "Black" as investment value or prestige is growing beyond the realm of that which comes from the mainstream. Most will be left saying...."I had those Black Age books...I didn't ever think much of them. Damn!"

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Culture, Creativity, & Commerce

Concept. Design. Production. All strong and at the ready. But where are the matching, ready for the challenge up for the opportunity legal, marketing, investment or distribution folks? Are they simply missing in action? Are they slow and derivative? Or do they only see value in drafting on the cast offs and one offs of the mainstream instead of embracing the future profits of our Dreams?

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Anyone See the Grinch's Comet?

The past weekend something spectacular supposedly had appeared in the skies above planet earth.Astronomers and the folks at NASA had charted out on December 16, a greenish, blobs like comet could be seen making a close approach to earth on December 16.The comet supposedly moves closer to earth a trifle closer than the Moon, so close the greenish comet on that night could be seen with the naked eye. The particular,greenish comet is known as tube "Wirtanen,"one,and on December 16 any persons wanting to view tube comet, there were watch gatherings set up in different areas of America to view, the flashing green comet. Now,in The as the weather is mild in during the days and a smidgen cooler at night,but where I live there are lights too numerous makes the viewing of the green comet not too clear. However,in case some of us other folks on planet earth missed, "the Grinch's comet,"well according to NASA, the Wirtanen,the true name of the comet will not make another flashy,green show until another twenty years,and the Grinch would be possibly nearing the age of say 90 years old?
The author Amina Delamere has sell-published a recent,and rewrite of one of her older novels entitled;ALEXANDREI.After a cosmonaut returns to earth he returns a vampire,but there is another evil on planet earth waiting to destroy ALEXANDREI.The ebook is sold on the sites of Amazon and Barnes and Noble online store. Have a safe, and happy holiday season.Peace,and goodwill for the entire world

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Control and Chaos...

Topics: Civics, Civil Rights, Diversity, Human Rights, Humor

Note: Enjoy the holidays. I'll be on break until 7 January 2019.

"He's a 'Chaos Candidate' and He’d Be a 'Chaos President,'" former Florida Governor John Edward ("JEB") Bush in an alarmingly accurate moment of prescience.

Maxwell Smart, a.k.a. Agent 86, works for CONTROL, a Washington, D.C.-based counterintelligence agency. Totally inept as a secret agent, Smart can barely use the gadgetry the agency provides him (including a phone embedded in his shoe). Nevertheless, he and his fellow agents always seem to thwart the operations of KAOS, an organized crime outfit dedicated to evil. Agent 99 is Smart's smarter partner, a resourceful agent who eventually marries her bumbling cohort. Smart and Agent 99's boss is a man known only as The Chief. Source: Google users search

His "charity" has met the fate of his "university": eventual oblivion. The market has erased all its gains in 2018 in November, and it doesn't show any signs of slowing down. We are at this posting, hours from a reality TV inspired government shutdown that the current occupant of the Executive Mansion proudly owned to the surprised delight of "Nan-Chuck-Ku," who needed no mental Jujitsu to outwit a nitwit. Michael Cohen is "rat" and Michael Flynn a "saint," at the moment - the jury's still out on Roger Stone. With his 3-month delayed Mulligan sentence to think about Flynn and his lawyer's cute "perjury trap" stunt and Judge Sullivan's disgust, he'll likely be Mus musculus by poetically, the Ides of March and a morning bowel movement/Twitter rant. Wired published a complete guide to 17 investigations related to him. So...much..."winning."

"Who's going to pay for the wall? MEXICO!"

This was the refrain at rallies before and after the election. It was shtick; an applause line that appealed to his audience's racism and xenophobia. He embarrassed himself literally begging the previous Mexican president, Enrique Peña Nieto to fund it, who patently refused. Now he's demanding 5 billion dollars - an arbitrary number I'm certain - or, the equivalent of a screaming match from a toddler ensues. A toddler that until January has control of the Executive Branch, Supreme Court, the Senate and the House he lost in the midterms. Mattis is out; and the stock market is in free fall. So a shutdown is the chaos that goes down well, in the spirit of the season with sugar, coal and golf at Mar-a-Lago. The secret service will by duty protect him, albeit unpaid.

New Knowledge published a White Paper "The Tactics and Troupes of the Internet Research Agency." You should read it. We all should read it. At 101 pages, it's shorter than a novel. At 10 pages a day, you could have it finished in over a week. The social media companies have always made money on the aggregation of information our behaviors log on their platforms. They then sell that typically to companies. It's why your "like" of something on social media turns up on Amazon or other websites as an associated product to sell you. It's not too far a reach to speculate they'd sell it to governmental agencies, or extra-governmental agencies (i.e. "spies"), some interested in exploiting the fissures in our society. If the most famous democratic republic in history falls, it's dominoes across the planet. We are literally, the linchpin to chaos.

I participated in the Facebook boycott, adding Twitter and Google since those are the main platforms I use. Before we wait on the slow grind of government to finally regulate social media companies, we should regulate our own behaviors. They gather that aggregate data by the sheer number of times we engage their platforms, typically now through social media apps on our mobile phones. Rather than a single day's abstinence, why not delete the apps from our phones? That is what I did. I imagine it would cut engagement times from a surprising number of hours to minutes. I think you'll find yourselves less distracted, and like I said, it's an easy, voluntary implementation. The companies will regulate themselves to survive and get some of your business back.

My theory of the case is simple: he never meant to win, and Putin never envisioned him winning. His biggest fear isn't pee tapes, but that Putin knows his actual net worth (which we'd know if he released his taxes). He wanted to hamper his opponent - who he really hated - from implementing her agenda. It's why he has that Cheshire cat smirk every time he and Orange Doofus are in the same room: he despises him, thinks he's an idiot and the pee tapes are probably on permanent loop at the Kremlin with Vodka and laughter. And like a cat, Cheshire or otherwise, he's playing with his prey before he's done with it. Any collusion by his Keystone Cop campaign was clumsy and stupid. It's why the tower in Russia was still on the table. His payoffs of an adult film star and a Playboy centerfold was pure ego. The affairs happened years before: If he was going to lose, he WASN'T going to lose for that! Though, he would rather have lost, and just not admitted to losing. Then he could scream from the bleachers "the system is rigged," get another Apprentice gig and his own Faux News 2.0 station with his buddies Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly.

It was the PERFECT plan...until he won.

Related link:

Saturday Night Live Cold Open: It's a Wonderful Life
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Sudoku and Velocity Fields...

Image Source: Link below

Topics: Materials Science, Probability, Radiation, X-rays

To see what happens inside a pile of sand or another volume of granular material, researchers rely either on deformation observations at the surface, which don’t always reflect any internal flows, or on simulations. Several existing techniques can image interior flows, but they each have one or more disadvantages, such as limited spatial and temporal resolutions, high costs, and invasiveness. A new technique, developed by James Baker, Itai Einav, and their colleagues at the University of Sydney, overcame those hurdles by using sets of two-dimensional x-ray radiographs to uncover the three-dimensional velocity field inside a volume of opaque grains.

X rays were fired from three orthogonal locations through a container of opaque grains that were being sheared from below by a conveyor belt, as shown in the diagram above. By spatially correlating successive radiographs, the researchers extracted the probability density functions (PDFs) of the two displacement components orthogonal to the x-ray direction for each grid cell. Each PDF was then sampled evenly to generate an unsorted array of the different displacements through the beam direction.

By combining the PDF results orthogonal to each other and solving a Sudoku-style puzzle, the researchers were able to reconstruct the 3D velocity field shown from 2D projections. As in Sudoku, the displacement values that should be placed in each row and column are known from the two sets of PDFs, but how to arrange those displacements in space defines the puzzle. Unlike in Sudoku, though, there is no unique solution.

X-ray correlations assemble a complete velocity field, Alex Lopatka, Physics Today

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Nouveau Terra Firma...

Topics: Climate Change, Existentialism, Global Warming, Politics

Note: I participated in the Facebook boycott yesterday, and included Twitter and Google. I'll speak to that on my last post for the year Friday.

"Then I saw 'a new heaven and a new earth,' for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea." Revelation 21:1

The Arctic is continuing to warm twice as fast as the rest of the planet; air temperatures every year from 2014 to today have been warmer than all previous records since 1900.

The reasons for this trend include less snow and ice to reflect sunlight, warmer oceans releasing heat into the atmosphere later into the fall, and increasing winter cloudiness, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

NOAA released its 13th annual Arctic Report Card, synthesizing the peer-reviewed work of 81 scientists from 12 countries, on 11 December 2018 at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting in Washington, DC. The report sounded warnings about the current effects of Arctic warming in such diverse fields as caribou populations and poisoning of shellfish.

Emily Osborne, who heads NOAA’s Arctic research programme, told reporters at AGU that the higher air and water temperatures are pushing the Arctic into uncharted territory. The average temperature this past year was 1.7 °C above the long-term average, she said, and an unusually sluggish and wavy high-altitude jet stream coincided with a heat wave at the North Pole and a swarm of severe winter storms in the eastern US.

Arctic heads for ‘uncharted territory’, Harvey Leifert, Physics World

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Speaking of Superheros...

Pauline Jennings, UC Berkeley Courtesy of PolyPEDAL Lab, UC Berkeley

Topics: Biology, Biophysics, Nanotechnology


1. Gecko Nanotechnology, Berger, Michael, Royal Society of Chemistry, Nano Werk dot com

2. Gecko adhesion: evolutionary nanotechnology, Autumn, Kellar; Gravish, Nick, The Royal Society Publishing

Animals famous for walking up walls can also use a combination of techniques to race across water.

The flat-tailed house gecko can not only stick to walls and glide through the air, but also run on water, a new study finds. This discovery of the combination of techniques the reptile uses to race across water could one day lead to robots capable of the same feats, researchers said.

The flat-tailed house gecko (Hemidactylus platyurus) is a common pet reptile native to southern and Southeast Asia. Not only can bristles on its toes help it climb walls and hang from ceilings, but it can glide with the aid of its webbed feet and skin flaps. "They're kind of like superheroes -- every time you look at them, they can do more things," said study senior author Robert Full, an integrative biologist at the University of California, Berkeley.

The newfound talent of this species was discovered by study co-author Ardian Jusufi, a biophysicist now at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, Germany, when he was in a rain forest in Singapore and saw the geckos skidding across puddles to escape predators. Lab experiments with these reptiles found they could run up to nearly a meter per second over 8 centimeters of water, faster than the swimming speeds of many aquatic creatures, including ducks, muskrats, juvenile alligators and marine iguanas. They could also easily switch to dashing across solid ground or scampering up a wall.

How Geckos Run on Water, Charles Q. Choi, Inside Science

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Conjuring Ray Palmer...

MIT engineers have devised a way to create 3D nanoscale objects by patterning a larger structure with a laser and then shrinking it. This image shows a complex structure prior to shrinking. Courtesy: Daniel Oran

Topics: 3D Printing, Materials Science, Metamaterials, Nanotechnology, Science Fiction

A new 3D nanofabrication technique called Implosion Fabrication could be used to create a wide variety of nano- and microstructures not previously possible. The technique, which can print 3D objects of nearly any shape by patterning a polymer scaffold with a laser and then shrinking the structure to a thousandth of its original volume, might be used to make novel optical metamaterials and electronics devices.

Shrinking hydrogel scaffold
Most existing nanofabrication techniques are limited in what they can produce. Direct laser writing methods, for example, can produce 2D patterns but not 3D ones, which need to be built up a layer at a time – a process that is difficult and slow. Lithography, one of the oldest nanofabrication techniques, can again only print 2D layers on patterned surfaces.

The apropos cultural reference that absolutely dates me!

Image Source: Wikipedia link below

Raymond "Ray" Palmer, is a physicist and professor at Ivy University in the fictional city of Ivy Town, somewhere in New England, specializing in matter compression as a means to fight overpopulation, famine and other world problems. Using a mass of white dwarf star matter he finds after it lands on Earth, Palmer fashions a lens that enables him to shrink any object to any degree he wishes. Compression destabilizes an object's molecular structure, however, causing it to explode. Source: Wikipedia

It's also the epitome of escapist fiction, since a white dwarf in real life is kind of dense.

Imploding hydrogel shrinks objects to the nanoscale, Belle Dumé, Physics World

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Damnatio memoriae...

Topics: Civics, Existentialism, Humor, Politics

Damnatio memoriae is a modern Latin phrase meaning "condemnation of memory", i.e., that a person is to be excluded from official accounts. There are and have been many routes to damnatio, including the destruction of depictions, the removal of names from inscriptions and documents, and even large-scale rewritings of history.

In Latin, the term damnatio memoriae was not used by the ancient Romans. The first appearance of the phrase is in a dissertation written in Germany in 1689. The term is used in modern scholarship to cover a wide array of official and unofficial sanctions whereby the physical remnants of a deceased individual were destroyed to differing degrees.

Damnatio memoriae, or oblivion, as a punishment was originally created by the peoples of Ephesus after Herostratus set fire to the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of antiquity.[citation needed] The Romans, who viewed it as a punishment worse than death, adopted this practice.[citation needed] Felons would literally be erased from history for the crimes they had committed.[citation needed] Wikipedia

Apparently I have a few fans on the site Black In America dot com, a forum started by Soledad O’Brien when she was an anchor at CNN:

Another idiot is Mr. Reginald Goodwin! He’s always criticizing Pres. Trump, but I logically know this!
I am positive that Mr. Goodwin voted for Hillary Clinton and this is my argument.
If Mr. Goodwin was as smart as he think he is he would have reasoned like I did that Mr. Trump would be White America’s 45th president. Instead, the idiot Mr. Goodwin comes on Black in America and trash Pres. Trump for winning proving that Mr. Goodwin isn't smart at all since he voted for the wrong candidate, Ms. Hillary Clinton!

The policies that Mr. Trump campaigned on I reasoned Mr. Trump would win and that did happen, Mr. Trump won!

Mr. Goodwin is an idiot and I can say he is because I've proven he is since he voted for the wrong person and is now trashing the candidate that won, that is not intelligence!

Despite calling me out with an insult, I'm judiciously protecting this person's privacy. I'm obviously being facetious about his fandom. From his own words, we know who he's a fan of.

A few points before my retort:

2. The Mueller indictments so far: Lies, trolls and hacks, Jesus Rodriguez and Beatrice Jin, Politico
3. Mueller Indictments: Who’s Who, Wall Street Journal
4. Quoting myself in the post Belief in Oneness:
65,853,625 voted for the sane (though, maybe not desired) candidate.
62,985,105 voted for the orange fascist tweeting on the loo and defecating from his pie hole in a breathtaking achievement of daily, all-time Olympic-level lying.

Note: I was Who's Who For Colleges and Universities in my undergraduate days; International “Who’s Who” of Professionals 1998, volume 3 - page 2-47. I've never aspired however, to be on Director Robert Mueller's "Who's Who."

In response, I'm positive I voted for Secretary Clinton too. I'm pretty certain I did (my candidate is saner, and makes complete sentences on and off Twitter). I also don't think she's so much of a narcissist to call for a civil war if removed from office. He's Vladimir Putin's orange wet dream.

My retort (curt and to-the-point):

Who the hell are you, and why should I care? Take your meds and go back to bed, idiot. A prophet you're not, and a profit you've yet to net from your asinine comments. Enjoy oblivion as you will now be blocked and your insane commentary you can keep to yourself. Monday, December 10th 2018 at 1:52 PM

My troll posits himself a "prophet," a title I suspect he's assigned himself and is probably as accurate as Ms. Cleo, may she rest in peace, not speaking ill of the dead.

So, my response was to use the site's tools to block him. Because I've blocked him, he can only fume, post, spit at me from cyberspace and I won't respond or care. I do sincerely hope he takes his meds.

Lastly, I think damnatio memoriae is apropos once we are all post this era of Tweets, insults, incitements, indictments, arrests and Russian collusion. Oblivion should be his purgatory and zero access to the Internet. Like the Witch in the "Wizard of Oz" and my disturbed troll that is his fan: Entropy will allow him to shrivel and die alone and ignored, a Twitter account archived; no presidential library commissioned, bald; bereft of ferret toupees and tanning beds in something beyond hell and pee-pee tapes he would loathe above all else - obscurity.
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