All Posts (5466)

Measuring Cosmic Distances...

Image Source: Link below

Topics: Astrophysics, Black Holes, Cosmology, Gravitational Waves, LIGO

Decades of experimental effort paid off spectacularly on 14 September 2015, when the two detectors of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) spotted the gravitational waves generated by a pair of coalescing black holes.1 To get a sense of the effort leading to that breakthrough, consider that the gravitational waves caused the mirrors at the ends of each interferometer’s 4 km arms to oscillate with an amplitude of about 10−18 m, roughly a factor of a thousand smaller than the classical proton radius. The detection was also a triumph for theory. The frequency and amplitude evolution of the measured waves precisely matched general relativity’s predictions for the signal produced by a binary black hole merger, even though the system’s gravity was orders of magnitude stronger than that of any system that had been precisely probed before that detection.

Labeled GW150914, that first reported event was soon joined by other detections of binary black hole mergers. Each of those events appeared to be totally dark to traditional astronomical instruments—the matter and electromagnetic fields near the merging black holes were not sufficient to generate any signal other than gravitational. As had long been promised, gravitational waves have opened a window onto an otherwise invisible sector of the universe.

Measuring cosmic distances with standard sirens, Physics Today

Daniel Holz is a professor of physics and of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of Chicago.

Scott Hughes is a professor of physics at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Bernard Schutz is a professor of physics and astronomy at Cardiff University in the UK.

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Check out my latest project, GLYPHX The URBAN MAGE web-comic!

Take a look and leave comments. You can leave comments on most pages; detailing what you like about each. Critiques are welcome and encouraged!


Thank you for your time and energy. I appreciate any feedback or critiques.

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Illustrations of frequency-dependent toughening in a polymer-metal-nanoglue-ceramic composite. Credit: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Topics: Materials Science, Metamaterials, Nanotechnology

In a discovery that could pave the way for new materials and applications, materials scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have found that oscillating loads at certain frequencies can lead to several-fold increases in the strength of composites with an interface that is modified by a molecular layer of "nanoglue."

A newly published article in Nature Communications reports the unexpected discovery of the effects of loading frequency on the fracture energy of a multilayer composite involving a "nanoglue," the use of which was also pioneered at Rensselaer.

"Unearthing, understanding, and manipulating nanoscale phenomena at interfaces during dynamic stimuli is a key to designing new materials with novel responses for applications," said Ganpati Ramanath, the John Tod Horton Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Rensselaer and the lead author on the study. "Our work demonstrates that introducing a nanoglue layer at an interface of a layered composite can lead to large mechanical toughening at certain loading frequencies."

Nanoglue can make composites several times tougher during dynamic loading, Matthew Kwan et al. Nature Communications,

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The Perfect Fluid...

If collisions between small projectiles -- protons (p), deuterons (d), and helium-3 nuclei (3He) -- and gold nuclei (Au) create tiny hot spots of quark-gluon plasma, the pattern of particles picked up by the detector should retain some 'memory' of each projectile's initial shape. Measurements from the PHENIX experiment match these predictions with very strong correlations between the initial geometry and the final flow patterns. Credit: Javier Orjuela Koop, University of Colorado, Boulder

Topics: Astrophysics, Fluid Mechanics, Nuclear Physics, Relativity, Theoretical Physics

Nuclear physicists analyzing data from the PHENIX detector at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC)—a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science user facility for nuclear physics research at Brookhaven National Laboratory—have published in the journal Nature Physics additional evidence that collisions of miniscule projectiles with gold nuclei create tiny specks of the perfect fluid that filled the early universe.

Scientists are studying this hot soup made up of quarks and gluons—the building blocks of protons and neutrons—to learn about the fundamental force that holds these particles together in the visible matter that makes up our world today. The ability to create such tiny specks of the primordial soup (known as quark-gluon plasma) was initially unexpected and could offer insight into the essential properties of this remarkable form of matter.

"This work is the culmination of a series of experiments designed to engineer the shape of the quark-gluon plasma droplets," said PHENIX collaborator Jamie Nagle of the University of Colorado, Boulder, who helped devise the experimental plan as well as the theoretical simulations the team would use to test their results.

Compelling evidence for small drops of perfect fluid, Brookhaven National Laboratory,

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BOCs @ Home...

Quantum games: Artist’s impression of the Alice Challenge experimental setup. (Courtesy: ScienceAtHome/Aarhus University)

Topics: Bose-Einstein Condensate, Electromagnetic Radiation, Quantum Mechanics, Theoretical Physics

Citizen scientists have outperformed physicists in creating Bose–Einstein condensates (BECs) of ultracold atoms. That is the finding of an international team of scientists and social scientists, which ran the first-ever optimization challenge in which the public was able to create a BEC remotely by manipulating laser beams and magnetic fields. Optimization experts using state-of-the-art algorithms took a similar challenge and both groups created BECs containing more atoms than the physicists who had built the experiment – even though the physicists had months to perfect their techniques.

By studying the behavior of the 600 citizen scientists who participated, the team has uncovered insights into what makes human problem solving unique. As well as providing hints for creating advanced algorithms based on human intuition, the study suggests how to exploit the best of human and artificial intelligence in the future.

The research was done by Jacob Sherson and colleagues at Aarhus University in Denmark, Ulm University in Germany and the University of Sussex in the UK. Sherson and some of his colleagues have been involved in the ScienceAtHome project, which develops games that use the brainpower of the general public to solve quantum science challenges. In 2016, they described how more than 10,000 players of one of these games – Quantum Moves –had efficiently optimized operations that could run a hypothetical quantum computer. “[With Quantum Moves], we documented that humans can contribute to solving complex challenges,” says Sherson. “With our current work we now take on the challenge of starting to answer how they contribute.”

Citizen scientists excel at creating Bose–Einstein condensates Benjamin Skuse, Physics World

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The Diversity Track & Black Science Fiction Society Back For Dragoncon 2019

I just got news this week that the Diversity Track will be back for 2019 at DragonCon. I'm excited to be invited back for another groundbreaking event. Everyone associated with the first one this year knocked it out of the park! I could not ask for better volunteers, guests, photographers, moderators and participants.

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Assault of the Mainstream

Now that the Mainstream has tried and failed to take the life force outta the growing indie-Black age movement with its "afro-futuristic" blockbuster along with its here today-gone tomorrow great token Hero of Harlem, who among us is really about winning at  this challenge and profiting from the opportunities it presents?

Their best efforts to corner and control the Black Age is my proof that we are actually winning in this war for minds and market shares.....inspite of addictive  brand loyalty...the Black On Black boycott....and culturally based anti-intellectualisms.  I often present on panels.....over the years since San Diego,,,,,Wizards.......C2E2.....on the Black Age or diversity....  Usually with a lame unprofessional uninformed person in charge.  Each time some hater stands up to taut how racist the Black Age is and how he of she gets so much more outta Manga/Anime'.

Sort of like all of the Black folks that spent 8 years complaining about how President Obama wasn't Black enough instead of helping to make things betta....

OK. I know a lot of folks wanna grow up and become Ninja-Girls.....but has anyone ever noticed the names in the credits? All Japanese.  Behind that industrial smile is a hand all the way in their bank accounts and a grin that is saying..."Sucker"!.

Now I totally support with money, time and praise, all Brothers & Sisters that make money in the mainstream.  That is as god as cash and them and their successes matter too!

Then the ones who wish the mainstream would create something betta they could relate to......but in both cases not wanting to hear the merits and impact of the growing indie-Black Age. That's like only accepting a rescue from your captor.

I started down this path professionally in 1970. That was the last century! I hope it doesn't extend to the next.

The solution lays in a nexus of better business practices.....better cultural ownership on the parts of Blacks to items, services and concepts pioneered by Blacks.....and commerce. Commerce means buying......not those lame penniless "Likes" that folks think are as good as cash.

When was the last time you visited a store with a rack dedicated to indie-Black Age products, graphic novels, games & comix?

How indie-Black Age is your collection? 

Is it as Black as your music collections?

Is it as diverse as your cuisine selections? 

These are areas of massive growth potential.


Even my favorite wannabe Ninja-Girls agree with me on this. 

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The author Amina DeLaMere's has a new, and revised ebook entitled, SHE. The book was first written a few years back, later on Miss DeLaMere's will work it all out to rewrite the book, SHE, having the space being Ximena to board her spaceship to travel out into space way beyond her extraterrestrial world, Beta Nevaeh.  "Sometime ago, a politician once wrote, "there are no do overs." Maybe concerning politics, however in the world of a writer a do over, could be a new beginning," notes the author Amina Delamere. SHE, the ebook is now on sale on

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The Talented Tenth Saga

 Fundraiser for The Talented Tenth Saga. I need your help to see this live action comic book/short film to come true.

A Time Traveler from the future arrives in the present to be captured by a billionaire called The Salesman who is rumored to be almost 200 years old. The Time Traveler must call the superhero group called The Talented Tenth for help. 

Can the Human Pearl, The Buffalo Soldier, Fiery Furnace, Shining Star, The Mysterious Maestro, White Butterfly, Alien Ambassador and John Henry 2.0 rescue the Time Traveler and save the Past, Present and Future.

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On Teargas and Positive Thinking...

Reuters (via HuffPost): A Honduran toddler in diapers who came to the border on the migrant caravan sobs after she and her mother fled tear gas fired by American officers at the Mexican border Sunday.

Topics: Biology, Ethics, Existentialism, Politics

Note: Studying for and taking finals next week. Will be on hiatus until 10 December.

I've decided not only will there not be a "presidential pivot," but that there is no "low." When we think he's reached it, he'll just tunnel further to the center of Hades. Apparently, deviant meditations can be generated with the combination of an aggressive laxative encouraging septuagenarian elimination and early morning tweeting, a perversion of the old maxim "walking and chewing gum." The presence of his spot-on clone of Joseph Goebbels (himself a descendant of Holocaust survivors), only eggs on the most depraved behavior from our government and mimicked by a cult following of nihilists. It emboldens fascists globally: domestic terrorists here in the US, and authoritarians worldwide. What's happening at the border can't be done alone: there had to be a group of fellow citizens working in government for YEARS waiting for this moment and its orange, tweeting avatar. We have gone in two years from the world's best example (and that is arguable on many levels, I admit), to its decidedly worst.


Tear "gas" consists of either aerosolized solid compounds or evaporated liquid compounds (bromoacetone or xylyl bromide), not gas. Tear gas works by irritating mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, mouth and lungs, and causes crying, sneezing, coughing, difficulty breathing, pain in the eyes, and temporary blindness. With CS gas, symptoms of irritation typically appear after 20–60 seconds of exposure and commonly resolve within 30 minutes of leaving (or being removed from) the area. With pepper spray (also called "oleoresin capsicum", capsaicinoid or OC gas), the onset of symptoms, including loss of motor control, is almost immediate. There can be considerable variation in tolerance and response, according to the National Research Council (US) Committee on Toxicology.

Use of tear gas in warfare (as with all other chemical weapons,) is prohibited by various international treaties that most states have signed. Police and private self-defense use is not banned in the same manner. Armed forces can legally use tear gas for drills (practicing with gas masks) and for riot control. First used in 1914, xylyl bromide was a popular tearing agent since it was easily prepared. Source: Wikipedia


"The use of tear gas on children -- including infants and toddlers in diapers -- goes against evidence-based recommendations, and threatens their short and long-term health," the statement, written by AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) President Colleen A. Kraft, reads.

"Children are uniquely vulnerable to physiological effects of chemical agents. A child's smaller size, more frequent number of breaths per minute and limited cardiovascular stress response compared to adults magnifies the harm of agents such as tear gas."

The AAP also alludes to possible psychological trauma, since children who have arrived at the border "have taken harrowing journeys."

"We must make every effort not to retraumatize them," Kraft writes. [1]


Washington (CNN) President Donald Trump on Monday denied that federal agents along the US-Mexico border used tear gas on child migrants, but photos and videos show women and children migrants were among those caught up in an incident between border agents and a migrant group that rushed a border crossing Sunday.

At the White House, Trump said that border agents involved in the incident "had to use (force) because they were being rushed by some very tough people and they used tear gas."

"Here's the bottom line, nobody's coming into our country unless they're coming legally," he added. Trump also said the Mexican government "wants to see if they can straighten it out." [2]

The Trump family infrequently attended Marble Collegiate Church, on Fifth Avenue in New York City. It was chaired famously by Reverend Norman Vincent Peale, author of the "Power of Positive Thinking" and other books published along the lines of the "new thought" philosophy that would become famous in motivational books, speaking circles as well as prosperity gospel ministries, and the new age movement. Dr. Peale performed his first wedding to Ivana; his successor would perform his second to Marla Maples in the same facility. Peale would famously be derided by the psychological community as a fraud. Maybe evidenced by his choices of consigliere that was an appealing trait.

One major criticism of The Power of Positive Thinking is that the book is full of anecdotes that are hard to substantiate. Almost all of the experts and many of the testimonials that Peale quotes as supporting his philosophy are unnamed, unknown and unsourced. Examples include a "famous psychologist", a two-page letter from a "practicing physician", another "famous psychologist", a "prominent citizen of New York City", and dozens, if not hundreds, more unverifiable quotations. Similar scientific studies of questionable validity are also cited. As psychiatrist R. C. Murphy exclaimed, "All this advertising is vindicated as it were, by a strict cleaving to the side of part truth," and referred to the work and the quoted material as "implausible and woodenly pious".

A second major accusation of Peale is that he attempted to conceal that his techniques for giving the reader absolute self-confidence and deliverance from suffering are a well known form of hypnosis, and that he attempts to persuade his readers to follow his beliefs through a combination of false evidence and self-hypnosis (autosuggestion), disguised by the use of terms which may sound more benign from the reader's point of view ("techniques", "formulas", "methods", "prayers", and "prescriptions"). One author called Peale's book "The Bible of American autohypnotism". Source: Wikipedia

This is why my theory is, I don't think he "thinks" he's lying: he's - in the parlance of "faith confessions" - speaking the outcome he wants to see, a warped understanding, or an intellectual laziness not to even BOTHER to understand.

Because he said President Obama was born in Kenya, he HAD to be born in Kenya. Because he "says" the Mueller probe is a witch hunt, it HAS to be a witch hunt (that has bagged a substantial amount of Warlocks). Because he "says" there was "no collusion," their CAN'T have been any collusion. Because he "says" the children aren't harmed, they can't be harmed by teargas. Because he "says" global warming is a hoax by the Chinese, it HAS to be a hoax by the Chinese. Because he SAID their were "fine people on both sides" in Charlottesville, they have to have BEEN fine people on both sides in Charlottesville, Virginia (to remind: one side - antifascists; the other side - Nazis).

I could go on for 6,420 false claims in 649 days (9.89/day). Every prevarication uttered like a steady flow of diarrhea from an erupting sewer are all individual, cherished "golden nuggets" of truth for us mere mortals that don't understand his vibe...

Most of the saner rest of us just calls it lying.

1. This is how tear gas affects children, AJ Willingham, CNN

2. Trump denies tear gas was used on child migrants despite pictures, video, Maegan Vazquez and Geneva Sands, CNN

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Eugenics Wars...

Some say a global moratorium on germline gene editing is called for In the wake of He Jiankui's controversial study. LUISMMOLINA/ISTOCKPHOTO

Topics: Biology, Ethics, Existentialism, Star Trek

"Superior ability breeds superior ambition."
– Spock, 2267 ("Space Seed") Source: The Eugenics Wars (Memory Alpha)

The Eugenics Wars (or the Great Wars) were a series of conflicts fought on Earth between 1992 and 1996. The result of a scientific attempt to improve the Human race through selective breeding and genetic engineering, the wars devastated parts of Earth, by some estimates officially causing some thirty million deaths, and nearly plunging the planet into a new Dark Age. (TOS: "Space Seed"; ENT: "Borderland")


When a researcher in China startled the world earlier this week with the revelation that he had created the first gene-edited babies, only one prominent scientist quickly spoke out in his defense: geneticist George Church, whose Harvard University lab played a pioneering role in developing CRISPR, the genome editor used to engineer embryonic cells in the hugely controversial experiment. Church has reservations about the actions of He Jiankui, the scientist in Shenzhen, China, who led the work.

The fiercely debated experiment, described by He at a meeting in Hong Kong, China, today, used CRISPR to try to make the babies resistant to HIV by crippling a receptor, CCR5, that the virus uses to infect white blood cells. But Church also thinks there’s a frenzy of criticism surrounding He that exaggerates the severity of what one critic gingerly called his “missteps” but another called “monstrous.” [1]


HONG KONG, CHINA--An international conference on human gene editing dominated by news of the birth of the world's first genetically engineered babies today concluded with a statement from the organizers that harshly condemned the controversial study. But it did not call for a global moratorium on similar studies, as some scientists had hoped; instead it called for a "translational pathway" that might eventually bring the ethically fraught technology to patients in a responsible way.

The hotly debated study, which apparently resulted in twin baby girls whose genomes were altered in a way that could affect their offspring, came to light on the eve of the Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing here. The first summit, held in Washington, D.C. in December 2015, concluded with a statement that specifically said that unless and until safety, efficacy, and ethical and regulatory issues are resolved, "it would be irresponsible to proceed with any clinical use of germline editing," a reference to genetic modifications that can be passed on to the next generation.

But that is exactly what Chinese researcher He Jiankui did, crippling a gene known as CCR5 in hopes of making the babies as well as their offspring resistant to HIV infection. After the news appeared in the media, He appeared at a special session at the summit yesterday to defend his work and answer questions from the stunned audience. (He, an associate professor at Southern University of Science and Technology in nearby Shenzhen, withdrew from a second session on embryo editing on Thursday afternoon.) [2]

1. ‘I feel an obligation to be balanced.’ Noted biologist comes to defense of gene editing babies, Jon Cohen, Science Magazine

2. Organizers of gene editing meeting blast Chinese study but call for a "pathway" to human trials, Dennis Normile, Science Magazine

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In Time for the Holidays...

A glass of beer, deconstructed. (a) At the beer’s surface sits a head of foam. (b) A trail of bubbles rises from a nucleation site along the glass wall. The rising of bubbles from different nucleation sites induces a global circulation (sketched here with white arrows). (c) Cellulose fibers serve as nucleation sites; gas cavities inside the fiber are clearly visible. (d) A 3-mm-wide mushroom-shaped bubble plume arises from the implosion of a millimeter-sized bubble when a beer bottle is gently tapped. (e) Surface bubbles seen from below are nearly on edge. (Panels a and b courtesy of Rodrigo Viñas, TresArt Collective.)

Topics: Chemistry, Fluid Mechanics, Physics Humor

Carbonation can also occur by fermentation. When yeast eats simple sugars, it primarily excretes ethanol and CO2. If the process occurs in a closed container, the pressure rises as the amount of CO2 increases. In turn, as the pressure rises, the gas dissolves. Although beer making dates back thousands of years,3 it is unclear how bubbly beer could have been originally—old ceramic containers were most likely unsealed. Sparkling wine was discovered later—in the 17th century—and its carbonation comes from a secondary fermentation inside the bottle.

The presence of alcohol and other molecules during fermentation, such as proteins and enzymes, makes the physical description even more interesting. They affect the liquid’s surface tension, viscosity, density, and other properties, which in turn affect the formation, motion, and surface stability, or lifetime, of the bubbles. No less important is the bubbles’ ability to accelerate the absorption of alcohol in the body and thus the rapidity of intoxication.4

Alcoholic or not, bubbly drinks are full of physics. Figure 1 illustrates the processes that occur when a carbonated drink is poured into a tall glass. If the liquid is poured shortly after the bottle is opened, the birth of bubbles is visible inside the liquid and on the surface of the glass. Streams of bubbles continuously form and induce convection that affects their production rate and motion. As they grow, the bubbles rise and eventually reach the surface. Once there, depending on the properties of the liquid, the bubbles either burst or float.

The fluid mechanics of bubbly drinks, Physics Today

Roberto Zenit ( is a professor and researcher at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City.

Javier Rodríguez-Rodríguez is a fluid mechanics professor at the Carlos III University of Madrid in Spain.

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Strange Metals...

Topics: Condensed Matter Physics, Materials Science, Quantum Mechanics, Superconductors

A ubiquitous quantum phenomenon has been detected in a large class of superconducting materials, fueling a growing belief among physicists that an unknown organizing principle governs the collective behavior of particles and determines how they spread energy and information. Understanding this organizing principle could be a key into “quantum strangeness at its deepest level,” said Subir Sachdev, a theorist at Harvard University who was not involved with the new experiments.

The findings, reported today in Nature Physics by a team working at the University of Sherbrooke in Canada and the National Laboratory for Intense Magnetic Fields (LNCMI) in France, indicate that electrons inside a variety of ceramic crystals called “cuprates” seem to dissipate energy as quickly as possible, apparently bumping up against a fundamental quantum speed limit. And past studies, especially a 2013 paper in Science, found that other exotic superconducting compounds — strontium ruthenates, pnictides, tetramethyltetrathiafulvalenes and more — also burn energy at what appears to be a maximum allowed rate.

Universal Quantum Phenomenon Found in Strange Metals, Natalie Wolchover, Quanta Magazine

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6 Minutes of Terror...

As InSight enters Mars's atmosphere, it will be traveling at around 12,300 mph, generating a tremendous amount of heat. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Topics: Mars, NASA, Planetary Science, Space Exploration, Spaceflight

When NASA's InSight mission arrives at Mars on Monday (Nov. 26), the probe faces a formidable challenge — perhaps the most harrowing so far of its seven-month journey — touching down on the planet's surface.

Any given moment of the process of launching a spacecraft and propelling it toward a distant target in our solar system carries risks. But InSight's descent will be an especially nerve-wracking nail-biter for NASA: Mission control won't have any idea what's happening to the spacecraft in real time, due to the minutes-long delay in the craft's transmission signal.

During the critical minutes after InSight breaches Mars' atmosphere, when the probe is hurtling toward the planet's surface, news of the lander's progress won't yet have reached Earth. For 6 long minutes, NASA engineers will tensely wait for InSight's status reports to catch up, leaving the team unable to confirm if InSight landed safely or if something unexpected went horribly wrong. The latter could leave the lander "dead" on the Martian surface.

There are three stages that InSight (short for Interior Exploration Using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) will undergo as it zooms toward the landing site: a rocket-powered trip through Mars' upper atmosphere; a parachute descent after ejecting the lander's protective heat shield; and a powered descent to the ground, slowed by 12 firing engines, according to NASA. First, the "cruise stage" will separate and the capsule will reposition itself so its heat shield faces the atmosphere, where the shield will heat up to more than 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit (1,000 degrees Celsius), Rob Manning, a systems engineer at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), said in a video.

Get Ready for InSight Mars Landing's '6 Minutes of Terror', Mindy Weisberger, Live Science

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Being creative or innovative is the easy part. The challenge that tends to overwhelm folks of African descent is the one of commerce. Controlling and profiting from the financial, administrative and distribution of those amazing good & services tends to lag behind.  Leaving those with better expertise in these areas to dog it out, exploit and profit. Not to mention over-control.

This is why breaking the "Black On Black" boycott of legal honest Black owned operations in a must!  Once one controls masses of money then comes the control of everything else. 

Where as Black On Black Money will overcome everything negative!

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Coup D'état...

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

Blog break: 26 Nov - 7 Dec (Thanksgiving, finals, projects). There will be a break around Christmas into the new year. And after the new year:


Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;

Or close the wall up with our English dead.

In peace there's nothing so becomes a man

As modest stillness and humility:

But when the blast of war blows in our ears,

Then imitate the action of the tiger;

Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,

Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage;...

'Cry God for Harry, England, and Saint George!' speech of Shakespeare's Henry V, Act III, 1598.

Because apathy gives power to a demagogue. As he is wounded, and apparently moping, he will try something, ANYTHING to constantly change the subject during a creeping authoritarianism; (as Bill Maher said) a slow-moving coup.

Late night comedians are making great hay of this moment. It allows us to diffuse our angst in humor. Charlie Chaplin did so in 1940 with his self-produced speaking film, "The Great Dictator," Adolf Hitler personified in his cinematic character (and, Chaplin's obvious opinion of him) Adenoid Hynkel. That levity did not stop the coming atrocities, or the war.

Coup D'état (n) : a sudden decisive exercise of force in politics
especially : the violent overthrow or alteration of an existing government by a small group Merriam-Webster


The Trump administration is breaking with 75 years of precedent by attempting to interfere in how science is practiced by the U.S. government, according to three experts who issued a dire warning to their profession in the journal Science on Thursday. The administration is empowering political staff to meddle with the scientific process by pushing through reforms disguised to look as though they boost transparency and integrity, the experts say.

“It is tempting to conclude that recent proposals for reforming regulatory science are similar to what has occurred in the past,” they write. “They are not.”

“People who are not scientists are telling us how scientific synthesis and analysis should be done,” says Wendy Wagner, a professor of law at the University of Texas at Austin and one of the authors of the paper. “We’re not even getting scientists’ best work. We’re tying scientists’ hands behind their back and not even giving them a shot.”

“It’s a very dangerous place for science and public policy,” she told me. “Politics has gone to a place that should be off limits, and no one is noticing and calling them on that fact.”

Why are all these reforms so unprecedented? According to the authors, each of them places some stage of the scientific process under political direction. For decades, they write, the EPA and other federal agencies have followed a “two-step process” when consulting science: First, scientific staff have reviewed existing research and summarized and synthesized it for political staff. Then that political staff “can accept, ignore, rerun some of the analysis, or reinterpret the results.”

This process essentially erects an apolitical wall between the agency’s scientific staff and its policy makers, and it has been endorsed by the U.S. National Academy of Science, the authors say. But every single one of the proposed EPA reforms breaches that wall, allowing political staff to dictate the terms of scientific analysis and synthesis to scientists.

Trump’s Interference With Science Is Unprecedented, Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic


In his piece on Psychology Today, Eric R. Maisel, Ph.D. lists "What You Can Expect From an Authoritarian." The list is terrifying, but number 7: "Truth Held As Enemy - Authoritarians have little regard for the truth. If your agenda is to punish others because you are filled with hatred and anger, the truth of any particular matter is a mere inconvenience." This sums up the assault on legitimate news media and science. There is method to this madness.


1. Systematic efforts to intimidate the media.

2. Building an official pro-Trump media network.

3. Politicizing the civil service, military, National Guard, or the domestic security agencies.

4. Using government surveillance against domestic political opponents.

5. Using state power to reward corporate backers and punish opponents.

6. Stacking the Supreme Court.

7. Enforcing the law for only one side.

8. Really rigging the system.

9. Fearmongering.

10. Demonizing the opposition.

Top 10 Signs of Creeping Authoritarianism, Revisited, Stephen M. Walt, Foreign Policy Magazine

Related link

#P4TC: The Mendacity of Dopes...August 24, 2018

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Proton Pump...

Magneto-ionic switching based on hydrogen accumulation at the metallic ferromagnet/nonmagnetic heavy metal interface. Courtesy: G Beach

Topics: Electrical Engineering, Electromagnetism, Materials Science, Semiconductor Technology, Spintronics

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology say they have discovered a new way to electrically control magnetism using a gate voltage that could be applied to a wide variety of magnetic materials, including oxides and metals. The “magneto-ionic” technique, which involves reversibly inserting and removing protons into the material structures, could help advance the field of spintronics (a technology that exploits the spin of the electron rather than its electrical charge) for the post CMOS-world.

Complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technologies are reaching the end of their road map and scientists are looking for alternatives to silicon microchips. Spintronics devices show promise in this context because they retain their magnetic state even when the power supply is switched off, something that it is not true for silicon memory chips. They also require much less power to operate and generate far less heat than their silicon counterparts.

One of the most important phenomena being studied in spintronics today is spin-orbit coupling, explains MIT Materials Research Laboratory co-director Geoffrey Beach, who led this research effort. “In many spintronics systems, emergent effects are generated at the interface between, for example, a metallic ferromagnet and a nonmagnetic heavy metal (like platinum or palladium),” he says. “Heavy metal/ferromagnetic interfaces have long been exploited to engineer magnetic thin films with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy, that is, films that spontaneously magnetize in a direction perpendicular to the film plane, which is required for most applications.”

Controlling magnetism using a proton pump, Belle Dumé, Physics World

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