Tag Archives | Life

Life Under ISIS

Patrick Cockburn writes at CounterPunch:

The Islamic State was declared in the weeks after the capture of Mosul, Iraq’s second city, by Isis on 10 June 2014. It was only then that countries around the world began to wake up to the fact that Isis posed a serious threat to them all. Reorganised under Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in 2010 after the death of the previous leader, Isis took advantage of the Syrian uprising of 2011 to expand its forces and resume widespread guerrilla warfare. Sunni protests against mounting repression by the Baghdad government transmuted into armed resistance. In the first half of 2014 Isis defeated five Iraqi divisions, a third of the Iraqi army, to take over most of the giant Anbar province. A crucial success came when Isis-led forces seized the city of Fallujah, 40 miles west of Baghdad, on 3 January 2014 and the Iraqi army failed to win it back.

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NASA Ames reproduces the building blocks of life in laboratory

Left to right: Ames scientists Michel Nuevo, Christopher Materese and Scott Sandford reproduce uracil, cytosine, and thymine, three key components of our hereditary material, in the laboratory. Credit: NASA/ Dominic Hart

Left to right: Ames scientists Michel Nuevo, Christopher Materese and Scott Sandford reproduce uracil, cytosine, and thymine, three key components of our hereditary material, in the laboratory.

Credit: NASA/ Dominic Hart

Via Science Daily:

NASA scientists studying the origin of life have reproduced uracil, cytosine, and thymine, three key components of our hereditary material, in the laboratory. They discovered that an ice sample containing pyrimidine exposed to ultraviolet radiation under space-like conditions produces these essential ingredients of life.

Pyrimidine is a ring-shaped molecule made up of carbon and nitrogen and is the central structure for uracil, cytosine, and thymine, which are all three part of a genetic code found in ribonucleic (RNA) and deoxyribonucleic acids (DNA). RNA and DNA are central to protein synthesis, but also have many other roles.

“We have demonstrated for the first time that we can make uracil, cytosine, and thymine, all three components of RNA and DNA, non-biologically in a laboratory under conditions found in space,” said Michel Nuevo, research scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California.

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Friends Know How Long You’ll Live, Study Finds

Gerry Everding writes at Washington University in St. Louis’ Newsroom:

Young lovers walking down the aisle may dream of long and healthy lives together, but close friends in the wedding party may have a better sense of whether those wishes will come true, suggests new research on personality and longevity from Washington University in St. Louis.

“You expect your friends to be inclined to see you in a positive manner, but they also are keen observers of the personality traits that could send you to an early grave,” said Joshua Jackson, PhD, assistant professor of psychology in Arts & Sciences.

Published Jan. 12 in an advance online issue of the journal Psychological Science, the study demonstrates that your personality at an early age (20s) can predict how long you will live across 75 years and that close friends are usually better than you at recognizing these traits.

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Anal Goblins, Randian Dweebs and Crude Middle-manager Types: Thinking about Nietzsche’s Ubermensch

Mitch Hell CC BY-ND 2.0)

Mitch Hell (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Occasionally–the first time being about 10 years ago, or so– I’ll attempt to read Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States. It’s a book any self-respecting intellectual or radical thinker or simple-minded liberal or Un-American is supposed to read. If you don’t read it, your membership to any of the aforementioned labels/clubs gets revoked. Therefore, every couple of years,  I start to get antsy and I begin to feel nervous that if I don’t read the book, others will recognize that I’m just a “Poser,” a “Fake,” a “Sell Out,” or even an “American” and so I dig through a much-too-big pile of unread books that I have in a closet and pluck out Zinn’s opus, and the same thing happens every goddamned time.

I can’t make it past the first two chapters.

Each and every time I start from the beginning, as any worthwhile book should be read, and I make it through the first two chapters and… I just can’t do it.… Read the rest

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Immortality at the Click of a Mouse?

epSos .de (CC BY 2.0)

epSos .de (CC BY 2.0)

Via BrainBlogger:

Human beings have always longed for immortality. Magic potions, fountains of youth and time travelling are just some of the ideas found in fantasy and science fiction. However, the digital world is not lagging far behind. If we want to become immortal we now have another option: when we pass away we can leave our digital being behind.

That is what is being claimed by the start-up project Eterni.me. Developed as part of MIT’s Entrepreneurship Development Program, it already has thousands of registered users.

Eterni.me is a project that could integrate all the information we have produced online and use it to create a digital simulation of us as individuals. Our discourses, our possible answers to questions, and even characteristics such as our voice could become part of our digital avatar. If taken further, these kinds of digital technologies could one day even be used to develop videos or some kind of holograms of us once we are dead.

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Alien Life: Sea Animal ‘Mushroom’ Discovered

No one knows what this new animal that looks like a mushroom might be, reports BBC News:

A mushroom-shaped sea animal discovered off the Australian coast has defied classification in the tree of life.

Dendrogramma enigmatica sp. nov., holotype.png

“Dendrogramma enigmatica sp. nov., holotype” by Jean Just, Reinhardt Møbjerg Kristensen and Jørgen Olesen – Dendrogramma, New Genus, with Two New Non-Bilaterian Species from the Marine Bathyal of Southeastern Australia (Animalia, Metazoa incertae sedis) – with Similarities to Some Medusoids from the Precambrian Ediacara. PLOS ONE, September 03, 2014. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0102976. Licensed under CC BY 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

A team of scientists at the University of Copenhagen says the tiny organism does not fit into any of the known subdivisions of the animal kingdom.

Such a situation has occurred only a handful of times in the last 100 years.

The organisms, which were originally collected in 1986, are described in the academic journal Plos One.

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Best Explanation of Quantum Field Theory That You Will Ever Hear

via chycho


Below you will find an excellent lecture by Dr. Sean Carroll delivered on 12 June 2013 at the 46th Annual Fermilab Users Meeting, focusing on the importance of the discovery of the Higgs boson confirming the existence of the Higgs field – giving us a glimpse into the world of “Particles, Fields and The Future of Physics”.

For me, the highlight of the lecture occurred during the question and answer period, at approximately 1:14:32, when one of the members of the audience asked the following question:

Question: “So, could you explain a bit more on measurement? You said that you have wave and it interacts with an entangled amount of waves and then pops out a particle, right?

I found the following response by Dr. Carroll to be the best description of quantum field theory that I have ever come across:

Sean Carroll: “Yes.

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Daniele Bolelli: The Drunken Taoist Takes On Gnosis

The following is from the new book, THE QUEST FOR GNOSIS, available now.Dan22

Mr. Bolelli is the author of the book, Create Your Own Religion: A How To Book Without Instructions. His perspective on life, death and everything in between has always intrigued and inspired me and I just had to have a talk with him for The Quest For Gnosis.

GDR: So… you’re called the “Drunken Taoist.”

DB: Sure.

GDR: Why is that? What’s the story behind that?

DB: Um… Drunken Taoist I guess, you know how in kung fu movies you’ve got the old drunk guy who looks like crap and always manages to defeat these burly, strong, younger, better, faster attackers and nobody can quite figure out how. The Drunken Taoist is the power of weirdness: It’s an unorthodox approach, that no one can quite figure out why it works, but it does.

GDR: Right.… Read the rest

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