Tag Archives | Science

Renewable Energy from Evaporating Water

Eva, the first evaporation-powered car, has a turbine engine that rotates as water evaporates from the wet paper lining the walls of the engine. Credit: Xi Chen, Columbia University

Eva, the first evaporation-powered car, has a turbine engine that rotates as water evaporates from the wet paper lining the walls of the engine.
Credit: Xi Chen, Columbia University

Columbia University Via ScienceDaily:

An immensely powerful yet invisible force pulls water from Earth to the top of the tallest redwood and delivers snow to the tops of the Himalayas. Yet despite the power of evaporating water, its potential to propel self-sufficient devices or produce electricity has remained largely untapped — until now.

In the June 16 online issue of Nature Communications, Columbia University scientists report the development of two novel devices that derive power directly from evaporation — a floating, piston-driven engine that generates electricity causing a light to flash, and a rotary engine that drives a miniature car.

When evaporation energy is scaled up, the researchers predict, it could one day produce electricity from giant floating power generators that sit on bays or reservoirs, or from huge rotating machines akin to wind turbines that sit above water, said Ozgur Sahin, Ph.D., an associate professor of biological sciences and physics at Columbia University and the paper’s lead author.

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Consciousness has less control than believed, according to new theory

Hartwig HKD (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Hartwig HKD (CC BY-ND 2.0)

San Francisco State University via EurekAlert:

Consciousness — the internal dialogue that seems to govern one’s thoughts and actions — is far less powerful than people believe, serving as a passive conduit rather than an active force that exerts control, according to a new theory proposed by an SF State researcher.

Associate Professor of Psychology Ezequiel Morsella’s “Passive Frame Theory” suggests that the conscious mind is like an interpreter helping speakers of different languages communicate.

“The interpreter presents the information but is not the one making any arguments or acting upon the knowledge that is shared,” Morsella said. “Similarly, the information we perceive in our consciousness is not created by conscious processes, nor is it reacted to by conscious processes. Consciousness is the middle-man, and it doesn’t do as much work as you think.”

Morsella and his coauthors’ groundbreaking theory, published online on June 22 by the journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences, contradicts intuitive beliefs about human consciousness and the notion of self.

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Emotional Empathy and Rational Empathy

The Shopping Sherpa (CC BY-ND 2.0)

The Shopping Sherpa (CC BY-ND 2.0)

There are two types of empathy: emotional and rational. Emotional empathy means one can actually feel another’s emotions. Rational empathy is when one tries to understand another’s emotions intellectually.

via Psyblog:

The brains of people who respond rationally to emotions are different from those who respond emotionally, the study found.

The study examined whether people with more brain cells in certain areas respond in different ways to emotional stimuli.

Researchers found that people with higher gray matter density in the insula — an area important for the emotions — displayed more emotional empathy.

Those showing more rational empathy had higher gray matter density in the midcingulate cortex.

Mr Eres said:

“Every day people use empathy with, and without, their knowledge to navigate the social world.

We use it for communication, to build relationships, and consolidate our understanding of others.

In the future we want to investigate causation by testing whether training people on empathy related tasks can lead to changes in these brain structures and investigate if damage to these brain structures, as a result of a stroke for example, can lead to empathy impairments.”

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Facial discrimination

In a world obsessed with beauty, living with a facial disfigurement can be hard. Neil Steinberg explores the past and present to find out what it’s like to look different.


“Take your ear off for me, please,” Rosie Seelaus says to Randy James, who is sitting on a black exam chair in a special room designed for viewing colours in the Craniofacial Center on the Near West Side of Chicago.

He reaches up and detaches his right ear, which she created for him out of silicone seven years before. The ear is shabby, stained from skin oil and mottled by daily use. Viewed under various lights in the neutral, grey-walled room – daylight, incandescent, fluorescent – it remains a pasty beige.

James is a doctor with the Department of Veterans Affairs in Las Vegas – the fierce desert sunlight is also tough on his prosthetic ear.… Read the rest

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Skunkwork’s Father of Stealth: Shocking Comments About UFO Technology

Arjun Walia via Collective Evolution:

It’s quite remarkable how many verified statements we have regarding UFOs (unidentified flying objects) and extraterrestrials from people who have held the highest positions possible within the government, military, academia, politics and more. To be honest, it’s overwhelming, and when you put all of those statements together with all of the previously classified documentation that has been released over the past few years, it paints a startling picture. Anybody who has done even a fair amount of research, and adheres to the philosophy of “condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance,” would not be able to deny this, and I have yet to come across someone who has done the research that still subjects this topic to the “conspiracy theory” realm.

To view a fraction of these verified quotes, and documents, more you can click HERE.

Below is an example, and a video I’ve used many times before, as it is an extremely powerful statement.

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Chiara Marletto: The Code of the Cosmos

In this article Oxford Physicist Chiara Marletto explores whether we should consider information, rather than matter as the fundamental building block of the universe.

593 The Universe Code.cxjIII

Information has come to play an increasingly fundamental role in our lives during the last few decades: billions of computers are now interconnected over the world, and our technology – and hence our survival and well-being – crucially rely on them.

It is much harder to argue that information plays a role in fundamental physics.

Traditionally, fundamental physics expresses predictions about where, say, a particle will go, given its initial state and its laws of motion. This paradigm has been the prevailing one since Galileo and Newton and has been extremely successful – allowing us to formulate deeper and deeper explanations of the physical world, of which quantum theory and general relativity are the current best examples. Yet, there are things in the physical world that this mode of explanation cannot adequately capture for us.

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Black Holes Are Not Ruthless Killers, but Instead Benign Hologram Generators

This artist's concept illustrates a supermassive black hole with millions to billions times the mass of our sun. Supermassive black holes are enormously dense objects buried at the hearts of galaxies. Smaller black holes also exist throughout galaxies. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

This artist’s concept illustrates a supermassive black hole with millions to billions times the mass of our sun. Supermassive black holes are enormously dense objects buried at the hearts of galaxies. Smaller black holes also exist throughout galaxies.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Ohio State University Via ScienceDaily:

Are black holes the ruthless killers we’ve made them out to be? Samir Mathur says no. According to the professor of physics at The Ohio State University, the recently proposed idea that black holes have “firewalls” that destroy all they touch has a loophole.

In a paper posted online to the arXiv preprint server, Mathur takes issue with the firewall theory, and proves mathematically that black holes are not necessarily arbiters of doom.

In fact, he says the world could be captured by a black hole, and we wouldn’t even notice.

More than a decade ago, Mathur used the principles of string theory to show that black holes are actually tangled-up balls of cosmic strings.

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Could we one day control the path of lightning?

Bruce Guenter (CC BY 2.0)

Bruce Guenter (CC BY 2.0)

Institut national de la recherche scientifique – INRS via Science Daily:

Lightning dart across the sky in a flash. And even though we can use lightning rods to increase the probability of it striking at a specific location, its exact path remains unpredictable. At a smaller scale, discharges between two electrodes behave in the same manner, streaking through space to create electric arcs where only the start and end points are fixed. How then can we control the current so that it follows a predetermined path? Professor Roberto Morandotti and his colleagues have discovered a way to guide electric discharges–and even steer them around obstacles–through the clever use of lasers. This scientific breakthrough was published on June 19, 2015, in Science Advances.

Using the Advanced Laser Light Source (ALLS) facility, researchers from the INRS Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications research centre tackled this challenge, which had previously been the subject of intensive research, particularly in the 1970s.

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Jakob Böhme — The Teutonic Theosopher

Aurora

Aurora

Jakob Böhme – THE TEUTONIC THEOSOPHER

Jakob Böhme (/ˈbeɪmə, ˈboʊ-/;[1] 1575 – November 17, 1624) was a German Christian mystic and theologian. He is considered an original thinker within the Lutheran tradition, and his first book, commonly known as Aurora, caused a great scandal. In contemporary English, his name may be spelled Jacob Boehme; in seventeenth-century England it was also spelled Behmen, approximating the contemporary English pronunciation of the German Böhme.

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How might algorithms rule our lives? Mapping the logical space of algocracy

IBM_Blue_Gene_P_supercomputer

This post was originally published on Philosophical Disquisitions.

This post is a bit of an experiment. As you may know, I have written a series of articles looking at how big data and algorithm-based decision-making could affect society. In doing so, I have highlighted some concerns we may have about a future in which many legal-bureaucratic decisions are either taken over by or made heavily dependent on data-mining algorithms and other artificial intelligence systems. I have even referred to such a future state of governance as being a state of ‘algocracy’ (rule by algorithm).

Anyway, one thing that has bothered me about these past discussions is their relative lack of nuance when it comes to the different forms that algocratic systems could take. If we paint with too broad a brush, we may end up ignoring both the advantages and disadvantages of such systems. Cognisant of this danger, I have been trying to come up with a better way to taxonomise and categorise the different possible forms of algocracy.… Read the rest

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