All Posts (6354)

Sort by

Pattern Recognition...

12253962462?profile=RESIZE_710x

 

"Last Battlefield," 47 years later, StarTrek.com, January 10, 2016

 

Topics: Civics, Civil Rights, Civilization, Existentialism, Fascism, Human Rights, Star Trek

https://www.amazon.com/Deadline-Other-Controversial-SF-Classics/dp/1615083863/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2OG3SHB3ZGSZB&keywords=deadline+cleve&qid=1696985555&sprefix=deadline+cleve+cartmill%2Caps%2C116&sr=8-1

 

The Cleve Cartmill affair, source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deadline_(science_fiction_story)

 

I admit I had heard of this before, but I didn't know the government gave it his name. It figures because Cleve was clever (see what I did there?) amid the Second World War and the secret Manhattan Project, led by Robert J. Oppenheimer and now a popular movie from Christopher Nolan. Cleve honestly thought the story was crap, but I can see why the FBI got so excited. Fiction writers are storytellers, and storytellers recognize patterns in human nature and the logical outcomes of scientific research. Instead of the devices that leveled Hiroshima and Nagasaki ("Little Boy" and "Fat Man"), we very well could have had Philip K. Dick's predicted "Heisenberg Device" ("The Man in the High Castle," 1962, also a fascinating alternative history series on Amazon Prime).

 

I found a fascinating Internet archive photocopy of the magazine. I can smell the pages of it: https://archive.org/details/astoundingsciencefiction1944marchdeadlineatombombstory/page/n1/mode/2up?view=theater.

 

The Amazon description (even though they don't have a copy in print):

 

WHY DID THE FBI WANT "DEADLINE" CENSORED? Hugo and Nebula Award winner Robert Silverberg says, "Deadline's publication caus[ed] the FBI to investigate Cartmill, Astounding Science Fiction, John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, and L. Sprague de Camp." Author Cleve Cartmill, editor John W. Campbell, publishers Street & Smith, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, and L. Sprague de Camp were only some of those who came under government investigation after security officials learned of the contents of what was to become science fiction's most controversial brainchild? Why? You will discover the startling answers in Jean Marie Stine's amazing introduction to this first-ever collection of Golden Age author Cartmill's work. Included in this mammoth volume are four complete novellas: The Too-close to Reality for the Government, "Deadline," the noirish outer space mystery, "Some Day We'll Find You," the intellectual thriller of an attempted revolution against a future theocracy; "With Flaming Swords," and the thought-provoking story of a man whose desire to be a normal, patriotic citizen inadvertently lead to his society's "Overthrow." But, be warned: Cartmill questioned authority and traditional explanations and told his stories to inspire readers to see and question the shortcomings of their society. So, if you are completely comfortable with your government, society, and life and never want to doubt what you're told, put down this book immediately and do not read any further. Cleve Cartmill (1908-1964) was a reporter, radio operator and inventor. He is most famous for "Deadline," the Murchison And Co., Space Salvagers series, and his short novels for the legendary Unknown magazine. This book's editor, Jean Marie Stine, is a well-known science fiction author and anthologist. During the late 1960s, she served as a personal assistant to Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, and in the 1970s, she wrote the classic The Prisoner: A Day in the Life, based on Patrick McGoohan's cult television series.

 

*****

 

One of my favorite and most powerful Trek episodes I saw as a youth was "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield." Recall the 60s weren't just "make love, not war": there was a lot of both. Vietnam overseas, protests of the war, and Civil Rights/Voting Rights marches at home. Suspicions that any deviance from the John Birch Society's authoritarian "norm" was judged subversive; communists, therefore, were necessarily purged and crushed from existence. Judging from the airing date, its first showing came nine months after the sad assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King.

 

It also aired during the climate of the Cold War, a period many seemingly LONG to get back to (that madness), where the nuclear "plan" was called MAD: mutually assured destruction. We still possess that insane power, essentially holding humanity hostage, guns to our heads.

 

Gene Roddenberry put an interracial, international crew together: Nyota Uhura (literally: "Freedom Star" in Kiswahili); Hikaru Sulu (for the Sulu sea, meant to represent all of Asia, but of fictional Japanese origin); Pavel Andreievich Chekov (a RUSKIE for crying out loud!). In this fictional treatment, Bele and Lokai "stood their ground" until the end. As I've commented before, Roddenberry developed his own eschatology, y. Yet, it is positive and relevant that we might survive our own hubris, essentially stemming from old tribal conflicts and current contemporary displays of breathtaking stupidity and arrogance.

 

This episode was a stark warning of the inevitable consequences of NOT...

 

Source: Wikipedia

 

"Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" is the fifteenth episode of the third season of the original science fiction television show Star Trek. It was first broadcast on January 10, 1969, and repeated on August 12, 1969. It was written by Oliver Crawford, based on a story by Gene L. Coon (writing under his pen name "Lee Cronin") and directed by Jud Taylor. The script evolved from an outline by Barry Trivers for a possible first-season episode called "A Portrait in Black and White." The script was accepted for the third season following budget cuts. The episode guest-stars Lou Antonio and Frank Gorshin, best known for his role as The Riddler in the Batman live-action television series. Contrary to popular rumors and articles, Gorshin was not Emmy nominated for this role.

 

In this episode, the Enterprise picks up two survivors of a war-torn planet who are still committed to destroying each other aboard the ship.

 

Once the Ariannus mission is completed, Bele takes control of the Enterprise again, but this time, he deactivates the auto-destruct in the process and sends the ship to Cheron. Once there, the two aliens find the planet's population completely wiped out by a global war fueled by insane racial hatred. Lokai and Bele stare silently at the destruction on the monitor and realize they are the only ones left of their race (or, as they see it, their "races").

Instead of calling a truce, the two beings begin to blame each other for the destruction of the planet, and a brawl ensues. As the two aliens fight, their innate powers radiate, cloaking them with an energy aura that threatens to damage the ship. With no other choice, Kirk sadly allows the two aliens to chase each other down to their obliterated world to decide their own fates, consumed by their now self-perpetuating mutual hate. Forlorn, Lt. Uhura asks if their hate is all they ever had. Kirk ruefully says no...but it is all they have left.

 

Let That Be Your Last Battlefield: Script

 

Bele and Lokai. Black on one side and white on the other. Mirror images of each other. Cain and Abel. Brahman and Dalit. German and Jewish. Catholic and Protestant. Hutu and Tutsi. Ukrainian and Russian. Ishmael and Isaac, imago alterius. Of the same genome and lands, on the same PLANET, yet hating one another for the most superficial, if you want to call it this, "reasoning." Which was the more excellent sacrifice? Who is the Abrahamic son of blessing? Though I invoke Biblical struggles, the current crisis started almost with the birth of the modern nation of Israel and the displacement of Palestinians after the Second World War. Vox gives a nice primer on the history. All conflict boils down to a struggle over resources: oil, minerals, rare earth, jewels, water, holy ground, and the faux hierarchies the few use to justify the grand theft of resources from the many.

Let's be clear: Hamas is a terrorist organization, as the Russian Federation is a terrorist state. Both are not invested in world order (a "Boogie Man" term) because disorder is their only superpower. A coalition between Israel and Saudi Arabia is as disastrous to Hamas as Ukraine is on the border of Russia: they are, ironically, the "threat of a good example" (Noam Chomsky). How do you justify the destruction of a nation when two monotheistic governments cooperate? How do you justify a dictatorship when there is a democracy on your border, that Russians have relatives there, and many have intermarried? "Superpower" is a documentary filmed by the actor Sean Penn at the beginning of the conflict. If you saw Putin's expression the one time he and Volodymyr Zelinsky were on stage together, and Zelinsky defied Putin's version of events, I don't need to study Russian to see when a dictator is incensed. These wars are personal. He and Hamas are Bele.

 

A planet or a nation in the Near East. The pattern is recognizable, as is its conclusion.

 

*     *     *     *     *

 

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."

 

"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom."

 

"We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools."

"The choice is not between violence and nonviolence but between nonviolence and nonexistence."


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., BrainyQuote.com

 

Tao produces one
One produces two
Two produce three
Three produce myriad things
Myriad things, backed by yin and embracing yang
Achieve harmony by integrating their energy
What the people dislike
Are alone, bereft, and unworthy
But the rulers call themselves these terms

 

So, with all things
Appear to take loss but benefit
Or receive benefits but lose
What the ancients taught
I will also teach
The violent one cannot have a natural death
I will use this as the principle of all teachings

 

(Tao te Ching verse 42, translation by Derek Lin, 2006)

 

 

Read more…

Liquid Squeezing...

12254137666?profile=RESIZE_710x

That isn't tea, but the paradox still applies: Dispersing gold nanoparticles in an aqueous chlorine solution. (Courtesy: Ai Du)

Topics: Aerogels, Einstein, Materials Science, Nanomaterials, Soft Materials

If you stir a colloidal solution containing nanoparticles, you might expect the particles to disperse evenly through the liquid. But that’s not what happens. Instead, the particles end up concentrated in a specific region and may even clump together. This unexpected result is an example of Einstein’s tea leaf paradox, and the researchers at Tongji University in China who discovered it – quite by accident – say it could be used to collect particles or molecules for detection in a dilute solution. Importantly, it could also be used to make aerogels for technological applications.

We usually stir a liquid to evenly disperse the substances in it. The phenomenon known as Einstein’s tea leaf paradox describes a reverse effect in which the leaves in a well-stirred cup of tea instead become concentrated in a doughnut-shaped area and gather at the bottom center of the cup once stirring ceases. While this paradox has been known about for more than 100 years and is understood to be caused by a secondary flow effect, there are few studies on how it manifests for nanoparticles in a stirred solution.

Liquid "squeezing"

Researchers led by Ai Du of the School of Physics, Science, and Engineering at Tongji University in Shanghai have now simulated how gold nanoparticle spheres dispersed in water move when the solution is stirred. When they calculated the flow velocity distribution of the fluid, they found that the rate at which the particles moved appeared to follow the fluid’s flow velocity.

“Interestingly, by dividing the whole container into several sectors, we also observed that the high-velocity region driven by the stirrer was also the region in which the particles aggregated,” explains Du. “We think that this phenomenon is probably due to direct ‘squeezing’ of the liquid created by the stirrer and comes from the mass differences between the nanoparticles and the liquid phase.”

Einstein’s tea leaf paradox could help make aerogels, Isabelle Dumé, Physics World.

Read more…

Economics...

12245115465?profile=RESIZE_400x

Topics: Economics, Nobel Laureate, Nobel Prize

Prize announcement. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2023. Mon. 9 Oct 2023. < https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/economic-sciences/2023/prize-announcement/ >

9 October 2023

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2023 to

Claudia Goldin
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA

“for having advanced our understanding of women’s labor market outcomes”

She uncovered key drivers of gender differences in the labor market

This year’s Laureate in the Economic Sciences, Claudia Goldin, provided the first comprehensive account of women’s earnings and labor market participation through the centuries. Her research reveals the causes of change, as well as the main sources of the remaining gender gap.

Women are vastly underrepresented in the global labor market, and when they work, they earn less than men. Claudia Goldin has trawled the archives and collected over 200 years of data from the US, allowing her to demonstrate how and why gender differences in earnings and employment rates have changed over time.

Goldin showed that female participation in the labor market did not have an upward trend over this entire period but instead formed a U-shaped curve. The participation of married women decreased with the transition from an agrarian to an industrial society in the early nineteenth century but then started to increase with the growth of the service sector in the early twentieth century. Goldin explained this pattern as the result of structural change and evolving social norms regarding women’s responsibilities for home and family.

Read more…

Peace...

12242892068?profile=RESIZE_584x

Topics: Existentialism, Nobel Laureate, Nobel Peace Prize

Press release. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2023. Fri. 6 Oct 2023. < https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/2023/press-release/ >

Narges Mohammadi is a woman, a human rights advocate, and a freedom fighter. Her brave struggle for freedom of expression and the right to independence has come with tremendous personal costs. Altogether, the regime in Iran has arrested her 13 times, convicted her five times, and sentenced her to a total of 31 years in prison and 154 lashes.

Narges Mohammadi is still in prison.

Announcement

“Zan – Zendegi – Azadi”
“Woman – Life – Freedom”

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2023 to Narges Mohammadi for her fight against the oppression of women in Iran and her fight to promote human rights and freedom for all. Her brave struggle has come with tremendous personal costs. Altogether, the regime has arrested her 13 times, convicted her five times, and sentenced her to a total of 31 years in prison and 154 lashes. Ms Mohammadi is still in prison as I speak.

In September 2022, a young Kurdish woman, Mahsa Jina Amini, was killed while in the custody of the Iranian morality police. Her killing triggered the largest political demonstrations against Iran’s theocratic regime since it came to power in 1979. Under the slogan “Woman – Life – Freedom”, hundreds of thousands of Iranians took part in peaceful protests against the authorities’ brutality and oppression of women. The regime cracked down hard on the protests: more than 500 demonstrators were killed. Thousands were injured, including many who were blinded by rubber bullets fired by the police. At least 20,000 people were arrested and held in regime custody.

The motto adopted by the demonstrators – “Woman – Life – Freedom” – suitably expresses the dedication and work of Narges Mohammadi.

Woman. She fights for women against systematic discrimination and oppression.

Life. She supports women’s struggle for the right to live full and dignified lives. This struggle across Iran has been met with persecution, imprisonment, torture, and even death.

Freedom. She fights for freedom of expression and the right to independence and against rules requiring women to remain out of sight and to cover their bodies. The freedom demands expressed by demonstrators apply not only to women but to the entire population.

In the 1990s, as a young physics student, Narges Mohammadi was already distinguishing herself as an advocate for equality and women’s rights. After concluding her studies, she worked as an engineer as well as a columnist in various reform-minded newspapers. In 2003 she became involved with the Defenders of Human Rights Center in Tehran, an organization founded by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi. In 2011, Ms. Mohammadi was arrested for the first time and sentenced to many years of imprisonment for her efforts to assist incarcerated activists and their families.

Two years later, after her release on bail, Ms Mohammadi immersed herself in a campaign against the use of the death penalty. Iran has long been among the countries that execute the highest proportion of their inhabitants annually. Just since January 2022, more than 860 prisoners have been punished by death in Iran.

Her activism against the death penalty led to the re-arrest of Ms Mohammadi in 2015 and to a sentence of additional years behind walls. Upon her return to prison, she began opposing the regime’s systematic use of torture and sexualized violence against political prisoners, especially women, that is practiced in Iranian prisons.

Last year’s wave of protests became known to the political prisoners held inside the notorious Evin prison in Tehran. Once again, Ms Mohammadi assumed leadership. From prison, she expressed support for the demonstrators and organized solidarity actions among her fellow inmates. The prison authorities responded by imposing even stricter conditions. Ms Mohammadi was prohibited from receiving calls and visitors. She nevertheless managed to smuggle out an article that the New York Times published on the one-year anniversary of Mahsa Jina Amini’s killing. The message was: “The more of us they lock up, the stronger we become.” From captivity, Ms Mohammadi has helped to ensure that the protests have not ebbed out.

Narges Mohammadi is a woman, a human rights advocate, and a freedom fighter. In awarding her this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, the Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to honor her courageous fight for human rights, freedom, and democracy in Iran. This year’s Peace Prize also recognizes the hundreds of thousands of people who, in the preceding year, have demonstrated against the theocratic regime’s policies of discrimination and oppression targeting women. Only by embracing equal rights for all can the world achieve the fraternity between nations that Alfred Nobel sought to promote. The award to Narges Mohammadi follows a long tradition in which the Norwegian Nobel Committee has awarded the Peace Prize to those working to advance social justice, human rights, and democracy. These are important preconditions for lasting peace.

Oslo, 6 October 2023

Read more…

Literature...

12239909296?profile=RESIZE_584x

Topics: Literature, Nobel Laurate, Nobel Prize

Press release. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2023. Thu. 5 Oct 2023. < https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/literature/2023/press-release/ >

The Permanent Secretary

Press release
5 October 2023

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2023

Jon Fosse

The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2023 is awarded to the Norwegian author Jon Fosse,

“for his innovative plays and prose which give voice to the unsayable.”

Publisher's Weekly: https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/authorpage/jon-fosse.html

Amazon, Six Plays: https://www.amazon.com/Fosse-Plays-Oberon-Modern-Playwrights/dp/1783190868

Jon Fosse reads from ‘A New Name: Septology VI-VII: https://youtu.be/Xr27eNW0MkY?si=LacBHRUro_-WWhnA

Read more…

Chemistry...

12239664062?profile=RESIZE_710x

Topics: Chemistry, Nanomaterials, Nanotechnology, Nobel Laureate, Nobel Prize

Prize announcement. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2023. Wed. 4 Oct 2023. < https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/chemistry/2023/prize-announcement/ >

4 October 2023

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2023 to

Moungi G. Bawendi
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, USA

Louis E. Brus
Columbia University, New York, NY, USA

Alexei I. Ekimov
Nanocrystals Technology Inc., New York, NY, USA

“for the discovery and synthesis of quantum dots”

They planted an important seed for nanotechnology

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2023 rewards the discovery and development of quantum dots, nanoparticles so tiny that their size determines their properties. These smallest components of nanotechnology now spread their light from televisions and LED lamps and can also guide surgeons when they remove tumor tissue, among many other things.

Everyone who studies chemistry learns that an element’s properties are governed by how many electrons it has. However, when matter shrinks to nano-dimensions, quantum phenomena arise; these are governed by the size of the matter. The Nobel Laureates in Chemistry 2023 have succeeded in producing particles so small that their properties are determined by quantum phenomena. The particles, which are called quantum dots, are now of great importance in nanotechnology.

“Quantum dots have many fascinating and unusual properties. Importantly, they have different colors depending on their size,” says Johan Åqvist, Chair of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry.

Physicists had long known that, in theory, size-dependent quantum effects could arise in nanoparticles, but at that time, it was almost impossible to sculpt in nanodimensions. Therefore, few people believed that this knowledge would be put to practical use.

However, in the early 1980s, Alexei Ekimov succeeded in creating size-dependent quantum effects in colored glass. The color came from nanoparticles of copper chloride, and Ekimov demonstrated that the particle size affected the color of the glass via quantum effects.

A few years later, Louis Brus was the first scientist in the world to prove size-dependent quantum effects in particles floating freely in a fluid.

In 1993, Moungi Bawendi revolutionized the chemical production of quantum dots, resulting in almost perfect particles. This high quality was necessary for them to be utilized in applications.

Read more…

Physics...

12238985466?profile=RESIZE_710x

 

Topics: Nobel Laureate, Nobel Prize, Physics

 

Prize announcement. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2023. Tue. 3 Oct 2023. <https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/physics/2023/prize-announcement/>

 

3 October 2022

 

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Physics 2023 to

 

Pierre Agostini
The Ohio State University, Columbus, USA

 

Ferenc Krausz
Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, Garching and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany

 

Anne L’Huillier
Lund University, Sweden

 

“for experimental methods that generate attosecond pulses of light for the study of electron dynamics in matter.”

 

Experiments with light capture the shortest of moments.

 

The three Nobel Laureates in Physics 2023 are being recognized for their experiments, which have given humanity new tools for exploring the world of electrons inside atoms and molecules. Pierre Agostini, Ferenc Krausz, and Anne L’Huillier have demonstrated a way to create extremely short pulses of light that can be used to measure the rapid processes in which electrons move or change energy.

 

Fast-moving events flow into each other when perceived by humans, just like a film that consists of still images is perceived as a continual movement. If we want to investigate really brief events, we need special technology. In the world of electrons, changes occur in a few tenths of an attosecond – an attosecond is so short that there are as many in one second as there have been seconds since the birth of the universe.

 

The laureates’ experiments have produced pulses of light so short that they are measured in attoseconds, thus demonstrating that these pulses can be used to provide images of processes inside atoms and molecules.

 

In 1987, Anne L’Huillier discovered that many different overtones of light arose when she transmitted infrared laser light through a noble gas. Each overtone is a light wave with a given number of cycles for each cycle in the laser light. They are caused by the laser light interacting with atoms in the gas; it gives some electrons extra energy that is then emitted as light. Anne L’Huillier has continued to explore this phenomenon, laying the ground for subsequent breakthroughs.

 

In 2001, Pierre Agostini succeeded in producing and investigating a series of consecutive light pulses, in which each pulse lasted just 250 attoseconds. At the same time, Ferenc Krausz was working with another type of experiment, one that made it possible to isolate a single light pulse that lasted 650 attoseconds.

 

The laureates’ contributions have enabled the investigation of processes that are so rapid they were previously impossible to follow.

 

“We can now open the door to the world of electrons. Attosecond physics gives us the opportunity to understand mechanisms that are governed by electrons. The next step will be utilizing them,” says Eva Olsson, Chair of the Nobel Committee for Physics.

 

Read more…

Physiology or Medicine...

12238025478?profile=RESIZE_710x

Figure 2. mRNA contains four different bases, abbreviated A, U, G, and C. The Nobel Laureates discovered that base-modified mRNA can be used to block the activation of inflammatory reactions (secretion of signaling molecules) and increase protein production when mRNA is delivered to cells. © The Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine. Ill. Mattias Karlén

Topics: COVID-19, Medicine, Nobel Laureate, Nobel Prize, Physiology

Press Release

2023-10-02

The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet

has today decided to award

the 2023 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

jointly to

Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman

for their discoveries concerning nucleoside base modifications that enabled the development of effective mRNA vaccines against COVID-19

The discoveries by the two Nobel Laureates were critical for developing effective mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 during the pandemic that began in early 2020. Through their groundbreaking findings, which have fundamentally changed our understanding of how mRNA interacts with our immune system, the laureates contributed to the unprecedented rate of vaccine development during one of the greatest threats to human health in modern times.

mRNA vaccines: A promising idea

In our cells, genetic information encoded in DNA is transferred to messenger RNA (mRNA), which is used as a template for protein production. During the 1980s, efficient methods for producing mRNA without cell culture were introduced, called in vitro transcription. This decisive step accelerated the development of molecular biology applications in several fields. Ideas of using mRNA technologies for vaccine and therapeutic purposes also took off, but roadblocks lay ahead. In vitro transcribed mRNA was considered unstable and challenging to deliver, requiring the development of sophisticated carrier lipid systems to encapsulate the mRNA. Moreover, in vitro-produced mRNA gave rise to inflammatory reactions. Enthusiasm for developing the mRNA technology for clinical purposes was, therefore, initially limited.

These obstacles did not discourage the Hungarian biochemist Katalin Karikó, who was devoted to developing methods to use mRNA for therapy. During the early 1990s, when she was an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania, she remained true to her vision of realizing mRNA as a therapeutic despite encountering difficulties in convincing research funders of the significance of her project. A new colleague of Karikó at her university was the immunologist Drew Weissman. He was interested in dendritic cells, which have important functions in immune surveillance and the activation of vaccine-induced immune responses. Spurred by new ideas, a fruitful collaboration between the two soon began, focusing on how different RNA types interact with the immune system.

Read more…

A Cult of Ignorance...

12236332883?profile=RESIZE_710x

 

Asimov image: https://karsh.org/isaac-asimov/

 

Sagan image: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0755981/

 

Topics: Civics, Civil Rights, Civilization, Climate Change, Democracy, Existentialism

 

Note: The Nobel Prize will be awarded starting Monday in Physiology, then Physics (my admitted favorite), Chemistry, Literature, Peace, and Economics the following Monday. Thus, the concentration of the postings will be Nobel as they post. I will be “nerding out.”

 

“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding [its way] through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

 

Isaac Asimov

 

This is an often-used quote for memes from a longer essay by Isaac Asimov, who was at the time a professor of biochemistry at Boston University and the author of 212 books of science and science fiction (an interesting “side hustle”). I provided the link above and below, highlighted with his name. Dr. Asimov had much to say about the state of affairs as he saw it during my freshman year at North Carolina A&T State University in 1980. It was also the year the New York Times reported more black males in college than in the prison industrial complex. It was an election year and the year for the inaugural of 24-hour news media in Ted Turner’s Cable News Network (CNN), which birthed copycats Fox and MSNBC in 1996. It’s hard to imagine that before Ted’s innovation, television wasn’t a profit-making enterprise as much as a public service. Pundits didn’t wear their party affiliations on their sleeves or give “opinions” on the “news.” Mostly, they did not lie to their audiences to goose ratings either.

 

Asimov’s poignant observation of the phrase “Don’t trust anyone over 30” had to morph to “Don’t trust the experts” since Neverland never existed. The Second Law of Thermodynamics (the “arrow of time”) does, and did, meaning that those who gave that warning eventually would be untrustworthy after the “big 3-0.” Therefore, “Don’t trust the experts” became the foundation for railing against elites, which means anyone who goes to a library, pursues an education up to a terminal degree, or reads a book.

 

Experts created the Internet. Experts like “Hidden Figures” Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Dorothy Vaughan enabled the United States to get to the Moon (there would be no “SpaceX” without them). Experts like Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett were one of many who helped to create the mRNA technology for the vaccines used to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

But “Don’t trust the experts,” a vapid slogan or talking point if there ever was one.

 

Sloganeering in the Cambridge Dictionary has a succinct and to-the-point definition: “trying to persuade people by repeating phrases instead of explaining your ideas.” It means the absence of an argument. Thus, there is a deliberate absence and avoidance of thinking or outlining to formulate a cogent framework, relying on volume and repetition so that others will begin following your “lead” from the sheer exhaustion of gaslighting.

 

*****

 

“I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time -- when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness…

 

The dumbing down of Americans is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30-second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance.”
Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

 

*****

 

Dr. Sagan published these words in 1995. Both authors’ works are still available years after their deaths.

 

Celebrating ignorance invariably leads to a cult of ignorance.

 

It is a cult of ignorance when expertise is assailed as bullying.

 

It is a cult of ignorance when your side can’t admit to losing the Civil War or a presidential election.

 

It is a cult of ignorance when Dr. Fauci, Senator Romney, the FBI, the CDC, elected officials, and VOLUNTEER election workers must shell out dollars to protect their families from raving lunatics who believe every conspiracy tall tale printed, uttered, tweeted, or truth-ed.

 

Source material: Cult of Ignorance

 

Climate scientists are experts, yet they cannot be believed if the stupefying mantra is to be obeyed. The war against experts has always baffled me. No couple during Braxton Hicks contractions wants an Appalachian folk medicine doctor like Granny from the “Beverly Hillbillies” applying moonshine and a hacksaw or Norm, the mailman from the sitcom “Cheers” to start spitballing and wing it through the full delivery.

 

But, “it’s the weather,” following the “Don’t trust the experts” mantra, despite new Hurricane Katrinas repeated since 2005 across the globe, fire seasons in California and Canada, and women never having complications from ectopic pregnancies, high blood pressure, depression, stillbirths that need intervention by what is now illegal in most neo-confederate states (“conservative” they are not) because of the “sanctity of life” until the children are old enough to be lead-sprayed by psychopaths. Because in terms of climate, some wish to induce the apocalypse, and because in terms of bodily autonomy, the stork brings all babies alive and well as requested to cisgender parents, and no “others.”

 

*****

 

I contend that the slogan “America’s right to know” is [a] meaningless one when we have an ignorant population and that the function of a free press is virtually zero when hardly anyone can read.

 

What shall we do about it?

 

We might begin by asking ourselves whether ignorance is so wonderful after all and whether it makes sense to denounce “elitism.”

 

I believe that every human being with a physically normal brain can learn a great deal and be surprisingly intellectual. I believe that what we badly need is [a] social approval of learning and social rewards for learning.

 

We can all be members of the intellectual elite, and then, will a phrase like “America’s right to know” and, indeed, any true concept of democracy have any meaning.

 

Isaac Asimov

 

Read more…

OSIRIS-REx...

12232224885?profile=RESIZE_710x

The sample return capsule from NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission is seen shortly after touching down in the desert at the Department of Defense's Utah Test and Training Range. Keegan Barber/NASA

Topics: Asteroids, Astrobiology, Astrophysics, NASA, Space Exploration

Scientists are exulting over the safe arrival of a canister containing about a cup's worth of asteroid rocks, collected 200 million miles away, that landed in a Utah desert after a 7-year NASA mission sent to retrieve them.

The black pebbles and dirt are older than Earth and are undisturbed remnants of the solar system's early days of planet formation. As part of an asteroid named Bennu, these rocks traveled unsullied through space for eons.

While bits of asteroids regularly fall to our planet as meteorites, scientists want to study pristine asteroid material, stuff that's uncontaminated by our planet, to understand the early chemistry that might have contributed to the emergence of life.

NASA asteroid sample lands safely in Utah before being whisked away by helicopter, Nell Greenfieldboyce, NPR

Read more…

Cloth Diapers...

12224450857?profile=RESIZE_584x

 

Topics: Civics, Civil Rights, Civilization, Democracy, Existentialism, Fascism

 

This essay is derived from a creative work of the same title, posted on my poetry blog Monday.

 

Happy birthday, mom. I miss you.

 

Sixty years ago, you were thirty-eight years old. I was one year, one month, and one day old. I was apparently potty-trained, which I didn't know until my big sister told me after I bragged that my granddaughter, your great-granddaughter, was potty-trained at two.

 

"We had cloth diapers back then. No one was playing with you, Reggie."

 

I took this to mean the task of changing cloth diapers, flushing the load, and WASHING them was probably unpleasant. It also subtly suggests that disposable diapers stifle our development.

 

Twenty-two years ago this past Monday, a Saudi Sheik, Osama Bin Ladin, trained by the CIA when he was in the Mujahadeen, fighting a proxy war with Russia in Afghanistan, convinced 19 hijackers, 15 from his nation, to plunge top-filled planes into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon: Flight 93 was supposed to hit the Capitol, except for the passengers who decided to intervene, "let's roll." 3,000+ people died. The nation was terrorized.

 

On your birthday, four little black girls were murdered for the crime of singing in a choir, or, correction, PRACTICING to sing in a choir for a performance. It happened on your thirty-eighth birthday. It was a Sunday.

 

Monday, you and Pop had to go to work like it was "normal." Violence has been normal for African Americans since the 13th Amendment ended enslavement (EXCEPT as a punishment for a crime: "wiggle room" that has been abused), the 14th gave us birthright citizenship, and the 15th gave at least our men, the right to vote. That was immediately thwarted in the aftermath of the antebellum South by naming the number of coins/marbles/soap bubbles in a bottle, poll taxes, tests to recite The Constitution (when civics knowledge for the average citizen - then, and now - would likely fail miserably).

 

You both had to drop me off at the sitter and hope to see me alive again and pretend, like every black person at the time, that this was "normal."

 

"Two medical professionals, Dr. Elizabeth H. Blackburn and Dr. Carol W. Greider,
Shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine with Dr. Jack W. Szostak in 2009 "for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase."

 

"The long, thread-like DNA molecules that carry our genes are packed into chromosomes, the telomeres being the caps on their ends. Elizabeth Blackburn and Jack Szostak discovered that a unique DNA sequence in the telomeres protects the chromosomes from degradation. Carol Greider and Elizabeth Blackburn identified telomerase, the enzyme that makes telomere DNA. These discoveries explained how the ends of the chromosomes are protected by the telomeres and that they are built by telomerase.

"If the telomeres are shortened, cells age. Conversely, if telomerase activity is high, telomere length is maintained, and cellular senescence is delayed."

Source: http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/2009/

 

Telomeres are shorter for African Americans, a byproduct of 400 years of racial terrorism.

 

We were, and are, terrorized for being human, for wanting what's in The Constitution, for exercising our birthright citizenship. They want to take that away, too., for undocumented immigrants, then probably selective brown people who won't vote for them. The Growth and Opportunity Project said they should reach out to African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, the LGBT, Women, and Youth to expand the party. They instead engage in "culture wars" that are silly, like fighting the banning of gas stoves (there isn't one), the replacement of incandescent lights with more climate-friendly fluorescent or LED lights, and somehow, it's outrageous to suggest limiting beer consumption (no one did).

 

I'm tired, momma.

 

September 11, 2001, Pop had been dead for two years. The boys were in fourth grade and college. They had questions. I had no answers, and I wanted to talk to Pop, but I couldn't. Now I can't talk to you.

 

As Americans finally experienced, on September 11, 2001, the psychological effects of the horrific fear of not knowing what calamity would end your existence.

 

Living in fear of being killed for the "sin" of being alive shortens your telomeres.

 

As my big sister observed:
This country needs more cloth diapers for our development.

 

Happy Heavenly birthday, momma. I miss you. Love, "Stink."

 

Read more…

Pines' Demon...

12224357688?profile=RESIZE_710x

Lurking for decades: researchers have discovered Pines' demon, a collection of electrons in a metal that behaves like a massless wave. It is illustrated here as an artist’s impression. (Courtesy: The Grainger College of Engineering/University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)

Topics: Particle Physics, Quantum Mechanics, Research, Solid-State Physics, Theoretical Physics

For nearly seven decades, a plasmon known as Pines’ demon has remained a purely hypothetical feature of solid-state systems. Massless, neutral, and unable to interact with light, this unusual quasiparticle is reckoned to play a key role in certain superconductors and semimetals. Now, scientists in the US and Japan say they have finally detected it while using specialized electron spectroscopy to study the material strontium ruthenate.

Plasmons were proposed by the physicists David Pines and David Bohm in 1952 as quanta of collective electron density fluctuations in a plasma. They are analogous to phonons, which are quanta of sound, but unlike phonons, their frequency does not tend to zero when they have no momentum. That’s because finite energy is needed to overcome the Coulomb attraction between electrons and ions in a plasma in order to get oscillations going, which entails a finite oscillation frequency (at zero momentum).

Today, plasmons are routinely studied in metals and semiconductors, which have conduction electrons that behave like a plasma. Plasmons, phonons, and other quantized fluctuations are called quasiparticles because they share properties with fundamental particles such as photons.

In 1956, Pines hypothesized the existence of a plasmon which, like sound, would require no initial burst of energy. He dubbed the new quasiparticle a demon in honor of James Clerk Maxwell’s famous thermodynamic demon. Pines’ demon forms when electrons in different bands of metal move out of phase with one another such that they keep the overall charge static. In effect, a demon is the collective motion of neutral quasiparticles whose charge is screened by electrons from another band.

Demon quasiparticle is detected 67 years after it was first proposed. Edwin Cartlidg, Physics World.

Read more…

Polluting the Pristine...

12222728900?profile=RESIZE_584x

The sea floor near Australia’s Casey station in Antarctica has been found to have levels of pollution comparable to those in Rio de Janeiro’s harbor. Credit: Torsten Blackwood/AFP via Getty

Topics: Antarctica, Biology, Chemistry, Environment, Physics, Research

Antarctica is often described as one of the most pristine places in the world, but it has a dirty secret. Parts of the sea floor near Australia’s Casey research station are as polluted as the harbor in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, according to a study published in PLoS ONE in August.

The contamination is likely to be widespread across Antarctica’s older research stations, says study co-author Jonathan Stark, a marine ecologist at the Australian Antarctic Division in Hobart. “These contaminants accumulate over long time frames and don’t just go away,” he says.

Stark and his colleagues found high concentrations of hydrocarbons — compounds found in fuels — and heavy metals, such as lead, copper, and zinc. Many of the samples were also loaded with polychlorinated biphenyls, highly carcinogenic chemical compounds that were common before their international ban in 2001.

When the researchers compared some of the samples with data from the World Harbor Project — an international collaboration that tracks large urban waterways — they found that lead, copper, and zinc levels in some cases were similar to those seen in parts of Sydney Harbour and Rio de Janeiro over the past two decades.

Widespread pollution

The problem of pollution is not unique to Casey station, says Ceisha Poirot, manager of policy, environment, and safety at Antarctica New Zealand in Christchurch. “All national programs are dealing with this issue,” she says. At New Zealand’s Scott Base — which is being redeveloped — contamination left from past fuel spills and poor waste management has been detected in soil and marine sediments. More of this historical pollution will emerge as the climate warms, says Poirot. “Things that were once frozen in the soil are now becoming more mobile,” she says.

Most of Antarctica’s contamination is due to historically poor waste management. In the old days, waste was often just dumped a small distance from research stations, says Terence Palmer, a marine scientist at Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi.

Research stations started to get serious about cleaning up their act in 1991. In that year, an international agreement known as the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, or the Madrid Protocol, was adopted. This designated Antarctica as a “natural reserve, devoted to peace and science,” and directed nations to monitor environmental impacts related to their activities. But much of the damage had already been done — roughly two-thirds of Antarctic research stations were built before 1991.

Antarctic research stations have polluted a pristine wilderness, Gemma Conroy, Nature.

Read more…

Quantum Slow Down...

12222716882?profile=RESIZE_710x

Topics: Chemistry, Computer Science, Quantum Computer, Quantum Mechanics

Scientists at the University of Sydney have, for the first time, used a quantum computer to engineer and directly observe a process critical in chemical reactions by slowing it down by a factor of 100 billion times.

Joint lead researcher and Ph.D. student Vanessa Olaya Agudelo said, "It is by understanding these basic processes inside and between molecules that we can open up a new world of possibilities in materials science, drug design, or solar energy harvesting.

"It could also help improve other processes that rely on molecules interacting with light, such as how smog is created or how the ozone layer is damaged."

Specifically, the research team witnessed the interference pattern of a single atom caused by a common geometric structure in chemistry called a "conical intersection."

Conical intersections are known throughout chemistry and are vital to rapid photochemical processes such as light harvesting in human vision or photosynthesis.

Chemists have tried to directly observe such geometric processes in chemical dynamics since the 1950s, but it is not feasible to observe them directly, given the extremely rapid timescales involved.

To get around this problem, quantum researchers in the School of Physics and the School of Chemistry created an experiment using a trapped-ion quantum computer in a completely new way. This allowed them to design and map this very complicated problem onto a relatively small quantum device—and then slow the process down by a factor of 100 billion. Their research findings are published August 28 in Nature Chemistry.

"In nature, the whole process is over within femtoseconds," said Olaya Agudelo from the School of Chemistry. "That's a billionth of a millionth—or one quadrillionth—of a second.

"Using our quantum computer, we built a system that allowed us to slow down the chemical dynamics from femtoseconds to milliseconds. This allowed us to make meaningful observations and measurements.

"This has never been done before."

Joint lead author Dr. Christophe Valahu from the School of Physics said, "Until now, we have been unable to directly observe the dynamics of 'geometric phase'; it happens too fast to probe experimentally.

"Using quantum technologies, we have addressed this problem."

Scientists use a quantum device to slow down simulated chemical reactions 100 billion times. University of Sydney, Phys.org.

Read more…

"Boldly Going" Pretty Close...

12222266855?profile=RESIZE_584x

Artist's conception of the dwarf planet Sedna in the outer edges of the known solar system. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (SSC))

Topics: Astronomy, Astrophysics, Exoplanets, NASA, Space Exploration

Astronomers are racing to explain the peculiar orbits of faraway objects at the edge of our solar system.

Among the many mysteries that make the furthest reaches of our solar system, well, mysterious, is the exceptionally egg-shaped path of a dwarf planet called 90377 Sedna.

Its 11,400-year orbit, one of the longest of any resident of the solar system, ushers the dwarf planet to seven billion miles (11.3 billion km) from the sun, then escorts it out of the solar system and way past the Kuiper Belt to 87 billion miles (140 billion km), and finally takes it within a loose shell of icy objects known as the Oort cloud. Since Sedna's discovery in 2003, astronomers have struggled to explain how such a world could have formed in a seemingly empty region of space, where it is too far to be influenced by giant planets of the solar system and even the Milky Way galaxy itself.

Now, a new study suggests that a thus far undetected Earth-like planet hovering in that region could be deviating orbits of Sedna and a handful of similar trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs), which are the countless icy bodies orbiting the sun at gigantic distances. Many TNOs have oddly inclined and egg-shaped orbits, possibly due to being tugged at by a hidden planet, astronomers say.

Could an 'Earth-like' planet be hiding in our solar system's outer reaches? Sharmila Kuthunur, Space.com

Read more…

Pools, Climate Change and Miscegenation...

12220063478?profile=RESIZE_584x

Taken at Bethlehem Community Center by the author, spring 2023

© August 30, 2023, the Griot Poet

Too few public pools

“There are more than 10 million private swimming pools in the United States, according to a C.D.C. estimate, compared with just 309,000 public ones. That figure includes pools that belong to condo complexes, hotels, and schools, so the number of pools truly accessible to the public is even smaller. The biggest reason so many Americans can’t swim is that they have too few places to learn to do so.

“Then the expansion stopped. In the 1960s, many towns across the South **filled or destroyed their public pools** rather than allow Black Americans to swim in them. Northern cities, strapped for resources amid suburbanization and white flight, struggled to maintain their pools. This is how public investment in pools withered, one more ghastly sacrifice America has laid at the altar of anti-Black racism and twisted fears about miscegenation.”

Mara Gay, New York Times

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/07/27/opinion/drowning-public-pools-america.html

I came to Earth via Kate Bitting Hospital,

Now, Reynolds Clinic,

On what used to be Seventh and Cleveland, now Cleveland and Martin Luther King Avenue.

The segregated hospital was named after the wife of RJ Reynolds, the tobacco magnate,

One of 12 hospitals for African Americans,

It’s where my mother worked as a nurse,

It, and all the others, no longer exists.

 

I attended Bethlehem Community Center for preschool and kindergarten.

It was, and is, right up the street from the hospital,

It was, and is, predominantly minority, with some immigrants,

We once had a pool where I learned to swim, to my big sister’s chagrin (she found out abruptly after I dove into the deep end of a then-segregated pool).

That pool is now closed.

On a recent visit to Bethlehem earlier this year, I saw the site where the pool once was now a surface cemented over.

 

My old neighborhood is still De Facto segregated.

I being a rare exception, some have been trapped in “The Racist Matrix” for generations.

A ghetto was brought over from Germany to the US.

After Germany put on steroids, American eugenics.

A place exquisitely designed to sequester possibilities and shatter dreams.

Black children are more likely to die from drowning,

Because if they HAD any pools in their neighborhoods, they’re cemented over.

If you’re lucky, someone’s dad (like mine) erects one of those plastic above-ground, temporary pools and invites your friends to come over, play, and cool off in it.

 

Occam’s razor:

Pair ceiled public pools with climate change,

The fear of water in black children,

The fear of miscegenation with white women,

Society has designed a slow crucifixion.

We’re barreling towards 3 degrees Celsius,

And the need for humans to keep cool in an ever-warming environment.

 

Who wins?

Which group has a survival advantage: 10 million private pools or 309,000 public ones?

Which groups are disadvantaged?

Are pools and universal healthcare inalienable human rights?

Or is this some National Security Study Memorandum 200/Thomas Malthus Eugenics strategy?

Or is their plan to keep a numeric majority to cook us before heaven or hellish eternities?

 

Who knows?

I just know that my granddaughter can swim because her parents can afford her lessons at a swim club [for] it.

It used to be that learning to swim didn’t require a middle-class wallet.

 

I just know that I attended,

Bethlehem Community Center from pre-k to kindergarten,

I learned how to read, how to swim, and how to grieve our loss of Dr. Martin Luther King,

As rifle shots rang out [and] confederate flags in the parking lot passed by our windows.

They were thrilled. We were devastated.

The same flag of insurrection was carried by their grandchildren at the US Capitol on January 6th.

The city of Winston-Salem left a cement surface like it was a marker to a tomb.

 

Even pre-k, to kindergarten:

Even there, in that innocence,

They couldn’t leave us alone...to swim.

Read more…

60 Years Ago Tomorrow...

12212014264?profile=RESIZE_710x

 

Source: March on Washington, History dot com editors

 

Topics: Civics, Civil Rights, Civilization, Democracy, Existentialism, Fascism, Human Rights

 

Sixty years ago tomorrow, two dear friends turned a year old, and ten years old. Sixty years ago tomorrow, I was a year, and 12 days old. The March on Washington happened on the eighth anniversary of the terrorism and slaying of Emmett Till, August 28, 1955, the actual date of original march August 28, 1963, this coming Monday. The demonstrators asked for a form of reparations that would come in the Civil Rights Bill in 1964 the next year, the Voting Rights Bill in 1965, and the Fair Housing Act in 1968. Dr. King, in a recording before the march opined that "we were coming to get our check." There were celebrities like Harry Belafonte, Sidney Poitier, Marlon Brando, and future politicos (on opposite sides now) Nancy Pelosi, and Mitch McConnell. The march was a sea of "diversity, equity (sought) and inclusion (goaled for)" in that there were African Americans, white Americans, Jews, women and other minority groups on the Washington Mall. It was the "future and the hope" Gene Roddenberry and Lucille Ball launched Star Trek from. In two hundred years, we will have to get something right about living together.

 

At the original march, there were very few, if any, women allowed on the platform, John Lewis and Dr. King being the most famously remembered, as the Civil Rights Movement had a notable flaw: it was misogynist to its core. A lot of work behind the scenes, the arrests, the enduring of fire hoses was done by women like my big sister, heretofore unacknowledged. The hierarchy the then young people were marching against was a justification for those who "had," and those who "had not," but that did not let women at Langston's table yet. This stratification is a competition for resources, and those who have had the resources are never eager to part with or share them, even if it insures species survival. It makes "trickledown" a gaslighting myth, as any distribution, regardless of speed, is anathema to the system.

 

Tomorrow, there will be a commemorative march populated by the "least of these": African Americans, Asians, Hispanic/Latinos, LGBTQ, Women: all whose constitutional rights as citizens and EXISTENCE as humanity has been challenged since August 28, 1963. There has been a sustained assault by the ones who have benefited the most from the hierarchy that established Levittown's that are more economically segregated (de facto) than de jure (by law). No one has to burn crosses on your front lawn if you can't afford to live there. All of the aforementioned groups have seen the Voting Rights Act gutted, Roe vs. Wade eliminated, bodily autonomy and privacy of what we as citizens do at home in our bedrooms, down to contraception itself for the same reason: the hoarding of resources by those who consider themselves "worthy" so long as they have pariahs' necks to stamp.

 

The world population in 1963 was estimated at 3,195,779,247.

 

The world population in 2023 is estimated at 8,045,311,447.

 

Source: https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/WLD/world/population

 

Generation X was born between 1965 and 1980. Millennials from 1981 to 1996. Generation Z from 1996 (overlap) to 2012, and my granddaughter is "Generation Alpha" from 2013 to 2025. Source: https://caregiversofamerica.com/2022-generation-names-explained/

 

The globe hasn't gotten bigger, and Zephram Cochrane hasn't cracked the warp drive code (note: in the fictional Trek universe, he isn't born until the 2030s).

 

The world population is projected to reach 8.5 billion in 2030, and to increase further to 9.7 billion in 2050 and 10.4 billion by 2100. As with any type of projection, there is a degree of uncertainty surrounding these latest population projections. United Nations

 *****

Broadly defined, ecofascism is any environmentalism that advocates or accepts violence and does so in a way that reinforces existing systems of inequality or targets certain people while leaving others untouched. It is basically environmentalism that suggests that certain people are naturally and exclusively entitled to control and enjoy environmental resources. Some types of people, in other words, are “native species” and others are “invasive.”

 

The term itself is still very much up for debate but gathering currency largely due to high-profile individuals who have explicitly identified themselves as ecofascist. An example includes the man who murdered 51 People in a Christchurch, New Zealand, mosque in 2019. The El Paso, Texas, shooter, also in 2019, did not refer to himself as an ecofascist, but he plagiarized the Christchurch shooter’s manifesto, including many of its bogus arguments about race, nation, and environment. More recently, as you mentioned, another young man drove several hours to Buffalo, New York, where he targeted Black grocery shoppers.

 

A common ecofascist argument, then, links national environment to population, contending that certain (often specifically nonwhite) populations, within the US or beyond it, are the primary cause of climate change and other environmental issues.

 

A Darker Shade of Green: Understanding Ecofascism, September 7, 2022 | Elaina Hancock - UConn Communications

 

I would also call this "eco-eugenics."

 

Environment. Levittown. Wealth. Population. All determined by a sick, psychopathy. Divided like a pie on the table of the depraved, in this case, the pariah Lazarus, and his kin get no crumbs from the Koinonia table. When you found a nation on the land grab and murder of its indigenous inhabitants, from Columbus to "Manifest Destiny," when you cultivate and build your wealth on the backs of kidnapped enslaved people from the continent that BIRTHED humanity, the only way you can maintain such a system that would make Alfred Hitchcock BLUSH is through the application of unmerciful violence. "Christian nation" and "United States" become a form of delusion and self-gaslighting. You might have to ban a few books to keep up the façade. Burning them would be too obvious.

 

I don't know what the world will be in 200 years, just like I don't know if a Zephram Cochrane will ever exist, but I hope for my "little one's" sake in six decades, it is still here, balanced on indigenous sensibilities with the environment, more egalitarian, and less authoritarian, the inequity quelled and every stomach filled, including hers, sixty years from now. She will be a little older than me, hopefully in a better world that I helped form.

 

2083: 10,427,226,400, Source: World Population Projections

 

"When the last tree is cut down, the last fish eaten and the last stream poisoned, you will realize that you cannot eat money." Cree Tribal Prophesy

 

Read more…

Stronger Than Steel...

12208004276?profile=RESIZE_710x

Researchers from the University of Connecticut and colleagues have created a highly durable, lightweight material by structuring DNA and then coating it in glass. The resulting product, characterized by its nanolattice structure, exhibits a unique combination of strength and low density, making it potentially useful in applications like vehicle manufacturing and body armor. (Artist’s concept.)

Topics: Biotechnology, DNA, Material Science, Nanomaterials

Researchers have developed a highly robust material with an extremely low density by constructing a structure using DNA and subsequently coating it in glass.

Materials possessing both strength and lightness have the potential to enhance everything from automobiles to body armor. But usually, the two qualities are mutually exclusive. However, researchers at the University of Connecticut, along with their collaborators, have now crafted an incredibly strong yet lightweight material. Surprisingly, they achieved this using two unexpected building blocks: DNA and glass.

“For the given density, our material is the strongest known,” says Seok-Woo Lee, a materials scientist at UConn. Lee and colleagues from UConn, Columbia University, and Brookhaven National Lab reported the details on July 19 in Cell Reports Physical Science.

Strength is relative. Iron, for example, can take 7 tons of pressure per square centimeter. But it’s also very dense and heavy, weighing 7.8 grams/cubic centimeter. Other metals, such as titanium, are stronger and lighter than iron. And certain alloys combining multiple elements are even stronger. Strong, lightweight materials have allowed for lightweight body armor and better medical devices and made safer, faster cars and airplanes.

Scientists Create New Material Five Times Lighter and Four Times Stronger Than Steel. Sci-Tech Daily

Reference: “High-strength, lightweight nano-architected silica” by Aaron Michelson, Tyler J. Flanagan, Seok-Woo Lee, and Oleg Gang, 27 June 2023, Cell Reports Physical Science.
DOI: 10.1016/j.xcrp.2023.101475

Read more…

Build Better Batteries...

12202262287?profile=RESIZE_710x

Electric field- and pressure-assisted fast sintering to control graphene alignment in thick composite electrodes for boosting lithium storage performance. Credit: Hongtao Sun, Penn State

Topics: Battery, Energy, Graphene, Green Tech, Lithium, Materials Science, Nanomaterials

The demand for high-performance batteries, especially for use in electric vehicles, is surging as the world shifts its energy consumption to a more electric-powered system, reducing reliance on fossil fuels and prioritizing climate remediation efforts. To improve battery performance and production, Penn State researchers and collaborators have developed a new fabrication approach that could make for more efficient batteries that maintain energy and power levels.

The improved method for fabricating battery electrodes may lead to high-performance batteries that would enable more energy-efficient electric vehicles, as well as such benefits as enhancing power grid storage, according to Hongtao Sun. Sun is an assistant professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering at Penn State and the co-corresponding author of the study, which was published in and featured on the front cover of Carbon.

"With current batteries, we want them to enable us to drive a car for longer distances, and we want to charge the car in maybe five minutes, 10 minutes, comparable to the time it takes to fill up for gas," Sun said. "In our work, we considered how we can achieve this by making the electrodes and battery cells more compact, with a higher percentage of active components and a lower percentage of passive components."

If an electric car maker wants to improve the driving distance of their vehicles, they add more battery cells, numbering in the thousands. The smaller and lighter, the better, according to Sun.

"The solution for longer driving distances for an electric vehicle is just to add compact batteries, but with denser and thicker electrodes," Sun said, explaining that such electrodes could better connect and power the battery's components, making them more active. "Although this approach may slightly reduce battery performance per electrode weight, it significantly enhances the vehicle's overall performance by reducing the battery package's weight and the energy required to move the electric vehicle."

Thicker, denser, better: New electrodes may hold the key to advanced batteries, Jamie Oberdick, Pennsylvania State University, techxplore.

Read more…

Until the Next July...

12201892655?profile=RESIZE_710x

This map shows global temperature anomalies for July 2023 according to the GISTEMP analysis by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Temperature anomalies reflect how July 2023 compared to the average July temperature from 1951-1980. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies

Topics: Civilization, Climate Change, Existentialism, Global Warming, NASA

Editor's Note: This release has been updated to add additional graphics and captions and to spell out the words degrees Fahrenheit and Celsius.

According to scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York, July 2023 was hotter than any other month in the global temperature record.

“Since day one, President Biden has treated the climate crisis as the existential threat of our time,” said Ali Zaidi, White House National Climate Advisor. Against the backdrop of record-high temperatures, wildfires, and floods, NASA’s analysis puts into context the urgency of President Biden’s unprecedented climate leadership. From securing the Inflation Reduction Act, the largest climate investment in history, to invoking the Defense Production Act to supercharge domestic clean energy manufacturing, to strengthening climate resilience in communities nationwide, President Biden is delivering on the most ambitious climate agenda in history.”

Overall, July 2023 was 0.43 degrees Fahrenheit (F) (0.24 degrees Celsius (C)) warmer than any other July in NASA’s record, and it was 2.1 F (1.18 C) warmer than the average July between 1951 and 1980. The primary focus of the GISS analysis is long-term temperature changes over many decades and centuries, and a fixed base period yields anomalies that are consistent over time. Temperature "normals" are defined by several decades or more - typically 30 years.

NASA Clocks July 2023 as Hottest Month on Record Ever Since 1880

Read more…