Tag Archives | Science

Famed Philosopher Martin Heidegger Speaks In This Rare Documentary

via Wikipedia

Martin Heidegger (German: [ˈmaɐ̯tiːn ˈhaɪdɛɡɐ]; September 26, 1889 – May 26, 1976) was a German philosopher known for his existential and phenomenological explorations of the “question of Being”.[6] Heidegger is known for offering a phenomenological critique of Kant. He wrote extensively on Nietzsche and Hölderlin in his later career. Heidegger’s influence has been far reaching, influencing fields such as philosophy, theology, art, architecture, artificial intelligence, cultural anthropology, design, literary theory, social theory, political theory, psychiatry, and psychotherapy.[7][8]

His best known book, Being and Time, is considered one of the most important philosophical works of the 20th century.[9] In it and later works, Heidegger maintained that our way of questioning defines our nature. He argued that philosophy, Western civilization’s chief way of questioning, had lost sight of the being it sought. Finding ourselves “always already” fallen in a world of presuppositions, we lose touch with what being was before its truth became “muddled”.

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Japanese Scientist Float And Move Objects Mid-Air With Sound

Levitating objects with sound has been done before, but these scientists have taken it to a new level.

Via NPR:

Researchers in Tokyo have put a new twist on the use of sound to suspend objects in air. They’ve used ultrasonic standing waves to trap pieces of wood, metal, and water – and even move them around.

Researchers have used sound to levitate objects in previous experiments, dating back decades. But that work has largely relied on speakers that were set up in a line to bounce sound waves off a hard surface.

The new experiment uses four speakers to surround an open square area that’s about 21 inches wide. Four phased arrays use standing waves to create an ultrasonic focal point in that space, as the researchers explain in a video about their work.

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Earth May Have Dark Matter Halo

Dark matter haloScientists have discovered that the Earth is heavier than they thought, with so-called Dark Matter being the leading candidate for the planet packing on the pounds, reports New Scientist:

GPS is handy for finding a route, but it might be able to solve fundamental questions in physics too. An analysis of GPS satellite orbits hints that Earth is heavier than thought, perhaps due to a halo of dark matter.

Dark matter is thought to make up about 80 per cent of the universe’s matter, but little else is known about it, including its distribution in the solar system. Hints that the stuff might surround Earth come from observations of space probes, several of which changed their speeds in unexpected ways as they flew past Earth. In 2009, Steve Adler of the Institute of Advanced Studies in Princeton, New Jersey, showed how dark matter bound by Earth’s gravity could explain these anomalies.

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Scientists Close To Understanding What Happens When Body Dies

U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Bobby M. Scharton, left, a platoon sergeant, assigned to the 17th Fires Brigade, 7th Infantry Division observes as Christopher Taylor, a sleep technician with Madigan Army Medical 131122-A-BB790-345Keep in mind the debate over neurosurgeon Dr. Eben Alexander’s claims about experiencing the “Afterlife” as you review this report about what it means to die from Lee Bowman, Scripps Howard News Service (via Newsnet5):

Scientists are stretching the boundaries of understanding what happens as the body dies – and learning more about ways to perhaps interrupt the process, which takes longer than we might suppose.

Death is the final outcome for 100 percent of patients. But there’s growing evidence that revival is possible for at least some patients whose hearts and lungs have stopped working for many minutes, even hours. And brain death – when the brain irreversibly ceases function — is also proving less open and shut.

For decades, doctors have recorded cases where people immersed in very cold water have been revived after hours have gone by. Normally, brain cells start dying within a few minutes after the heart stops pumping oxygen.

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We Are All Jellyfish

A breath of life into the dust or a more mucosal event, perhaps Atum in his primordial sea or the operculum of Aphrodite?

Pic: Dan90266 (CC)

Pic: Dan90266 (CC)

The earliest emergence of animal form is being reordered by recent genome sequencing.

Previous classification of sponges as the primogenitor of animal life is now challenged by the ctenophores or comb jellies.  The ancestral march of earlier eucaryote forms, stabilizing as Flagellates, Slime Molds and Ciliates becomes Animal with the acquisition of characteristic structural symmetries, muscle cells, nerve nets and sensory organs.

Comb jellies (though not true jellyfish) appear little more than a blob of slime when subjected to terrestrial conditions.  In the buoyancy of water their apparent formlessness unfurls into an invaginated opalescence of light diffracting cilia and bioluminescence.  They are predatory, some using their flagella as hunting nets or secreting secreting adhesives to capture prey.  Just as nudibranchs some are able to incorporate stinging cells consumed from prey into their tentacles.

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What Lies Beyond The Higgs Boson?

A simulated event in the CMS detector, featuring the appearance of the Higgs boson. (CERN)

A simulated event in the CMS detector, featuring the appearance of the Higgs boson. (CERN)

Apparently scientists are having a tough time with the Higgs Boson. From Science Recorder:

According to a news release from Harvard University, Harvard and Yale scientists have made the most precise measurements ever of the shape of electrons and, as a result, have raised “severe” doubts about several popular theories of what lies beyond the Higgs boson.

“We are trying to glimpse in the lab any difference from what is predicted by the Standard Model, like what is being attempted at the LHC,” said John Doyle, Professor of Physics at Harvard, in a statement.

“It is unusual and satisfying that the exquisite precision achieved by our small team in its university lab probes the most fundamental building block of our universe at a sensitivity that compliments what is being achieved by thousands at the world’s largest accelerator,” added Gerald Gabrielse, the George Vasmer Leverett Professor of Physics at Harvard.

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Chinese Doctors Temporarily Attach Man’s Hand To His Foot

Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 9.38.15 AMKind of gruesome, but I guess you have to give the doctors a hand for thinking quick on their feet.

Via Newser:

Fast-thinking doctors in China are trying to save a man’s severed hand by temporarily reattaching it to his foot, the Daily Mail reports. Xiao Wei cut off his hand in a work accident early last month, leaving him “shocked and frozen on the spot,” he said, “until co-workers unplugged the machine and retrieved my hand and took me to the hospital.” Local doctors couldn’t help, so he went to a regional facility where experts gave him a second look. “I am still young, and I couldn’t imagine life without a right hand,” Wei said.

Doctors attached the hand to his ankle to keep it alive until they can perform a proper surgery.

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False Memories Occur Even Among Those with Superior Memory

400px-Neuron_Hand-tuned.svgRick Nauert writes at Psych Central News:

Some people have the unique talent of being able to remember daily details of their lives from decades past.

But surprising new research finds that even among this select group of memory experts, false memories occur at about the same frequency as among those with average memory.

False memories are the recollection of an event, or the details of an event, that did not occur. UC Irvine psychologists and neurobiologists created a series of tests to determine how false information can manipulate memory formation.

In their study they learned that subjects with highly superior autobiographical memory preformed similar to a control group of subjects with average memory.

“Finding susceptibility to false memories even in people with very strong memory could be important for dissemination to people who are not memory experts.

“For example, it could help communicate how widespread our basic susceptibility to memory distortions is,” said Lawrence Patihis.

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Wait A Femtosecond, I Can See Atoms!

Photo: MSU

Photo: MSU

First, lenses wowed us with a teeming world just too small for our unaided eyes to perceive.

The electron microscope gave us images at the atomic level. We could see the structure of micro organisms, cells, crystals, metals, and more. That was pretty awesome, but those images were static; form without function.

Now, scientists at Michigan State University have created a device that “captures movements of atoms and molecules” according to the university’s online publication MSU Today.

Developed by MSU Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy Chong-Yu Ruan, the microscope lets scientists observe the nano world, where material change happens.

Those changes are measured on a femtosecond timescale. Its the unit of time, Ruan explains, that atoms take to perform specific tasks, such as mediating the traffic of electrical charges or participating in chemical reactions.

A femtosecond is one-millionth of a billionth of a second, which is incomprehensible without analogies.… Read the rest

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Japan’s Plan To Supply All The World’s Energy With A Power Plant On The Moon

Kelvinsong (CC)

Kelvinsong (CC)

Jeez, why can’t we just leave the moon alone? The United States and the Soviet Union wanted to to nuke it, NASA now wants to turn it into a vegetable garden, and the Japanese want to turn it into a power plant. The latter story from Quartz:

Shimizu, a Japanese architectural and engineering firm, has a solution for the climate crisis: Simply build a band of solar panels 400 kilometers (249 miles) wide (pdf) running all the way around the Moon’s 11,000-kilometer (6,835 mile) equator and beam the carbon-free energy back to Earth in the form of microwaves, which are converted into electricity at ground stations.

That means mining construction materials on the Moon and setting up factories to make the solar panels. “Robots will perform various tasks on the lunar surface, including ground leveling and excavation of hard bottom strata,” according to Shimizu, which is known for a series of far-fetched “dream projects” including pyramid cities and a space hotel.

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