Tag Archives | Science

You Probably Think You Know What Organic Means

Because I'm the editor, that's why.

Because I’m the editor, that’s why.

Annalee Newitz has a run-down of ten scientific concepts that you’re probably misusing, including “organic”. I mean, rabies and rattlesnakes are organic…

10. Organic

Entomologist Gwen Pearson says that there’s a constellation of terms that “travel together” with the word “organic,” such as “chemical-free,” and “natural.” And she’s tired of seeing how profoundly people misunderstand them:

I’m less upset about the way that they are technically incorrect [though of course all] food is all organic, because it contains carbon,etc. [My concern is] the way they are used to dismiss and minimize real differences in food and product production.

Things can be natural and “organic”, but still quite dangerous.

Things can be “synthetic” and manufactured, but safe. And sometimes better choices. If you are taking insulin, odds are it’s from GMO bacteria. And it’s saving lives.

via 10 Scientific Ideas That Scientists Wish You Would Stop Misusing.… Read the rest

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The 120-Year-Old Mind-Reading Machine

ce461324aFrom The Atlantic comes this tale of the unlikely “science” of yesteryear.

In the 1890s, when technologies like telephones and automobiles and lightbulbs were still strange and wonderful and new, inventors promised another remarkable device would soon be ubiquitous: the mind-reading machine.

Inspired by the phonoautograph—a new device that showed what sound waves looked like on paper—the scientist Julius Emmner invented a machine that he said could record thoughts. It was simple, really. If invisible sound vibrated in a ways that could be measured, Emmner figured, why wouldn’t unseen thoughts do the same?

“Sound is addressed to the ear,” he told The Times of Washington, D.C., in August 1895, “yet it may be made visible, a proof of which fact is found in the phono-autograph, in which the vibrations of sound are made distinctly visible.” Reporters took him at his word. From that same article: “Mr. Emmner is carefully guarding his secret, but he speaks so enthusiastically of his success that he must have obtained the most satisfactory results so far from his investigations.”

via The 120-Year-Old Mind-Reading Machine – Adrienne LaFrance – The Atlantic.… Read the rest

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Do Psychedelics Have a Place in the Future of Medicine? With Brad Burge of MAPS and Army Ranger Tim Amoroso.

Via Midwest Real

“There really has been an exponential increase of media interest in what’s happening. I think that’s the result of new research, (and) the result of some major international conferences that are really establishing the field of psychedelic science and medicine.” Brad Burge of MAPS.

image  image

It seems we’re finally at a turning point in The War on Drugs.  All it took was a few decades of indoctrination, mass-incarceration, astronomical price tags and straight-up horrific body counts. Yet, society’s transition into a deeper understanding of these substances has been far from smooth. Yes, the people have clearly spoken on the subject of marijuana, and nearly half of all U.S. states have taken notice, putting some sort of marijuana-friendly law on the books. However, when it comes to Mary Jane’s more potent psychedelic cousins, the conversation is quite a bit more nuanced and controversial. Thankfully, for the first time in decades, the dialogue surrounding psychedelics is evolving.… Read the rest

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Randall Carlson Responds To Critics: Chevrons, Megatsunamis And Bolide Impacts.


**Time code 2:45:00, Randall describes to Joe the reality of massive chevron formations around the globe and their likely antecedents. Listen to the entire discussion for the full context..**

Mary K Dunn Tweet

An open letter to a critic on the matter of chevrons, megatsunamis and bolide impacts.

Via Randall Carlson of SacredGeometryInternational.com

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Recently I did a podcast with Joe Rogan. In our wide ranging discussion we covered a lot of material. As pleased as I was by the positive response of many in the listeners, I also appreciate and welcome criticism and open minded debate. I do not pretend to have the final truth on anything, I only know that it is fair to question everything and to go where the evidence leads us, in the assumption that science, ultimately, is a search for truth. I am convinced that even in the world of science dogmas and entrenched viewpoints can at times prevail over facts and evidence inconsistent with established beliefs.… Read the rest

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What Happens to the Brain During Spiritual Experiences?

240px-Mindfulness-present-moment-here-now-awareness-symbol-logoNeuroscientist Dr. Andrew Newberg on brain changes associated with spiritual experiences:

When practitioners surrender their will, activity decreases in their frontal lobes, suggesting that speech is being generated from some place other than the normal speech centers.

Newberg is a pioneer in the field of neurotheology, the neurological study of religious and spiritual experiences. In the 1990s, he began his work in the field by scanning what happens in people’s brains when they meditate, because it is a spiritual practice that is relatively easy to monitor.

Since then, he’s looked at around 150 brain scans, including those of Buddhists, nuns, atheists, Pentecostals speaking in tongues, and Brazilian mediums practicing psychography—the channeling of messages from the dead through handwriting.

As to what’s going on in their brains, Newberg says, “It depends to some degree on what the practice is.” Practices that involve concentrating on something over and over again, either through prayer or a mantra-based meditation, tend to activate the frontal lobes, the areas chiefly responsible for directing attention, modulating behavior, and expressing language.

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Twitter To Hand Over Billions Of Tweets To Scientists

341px-Twitter_logo.svgAll Your #FFs are belong to science.

Five hundred million tweets are broadcast worldwide every day on Twitter. With so many details about personal lives, the social media site is a data trove for scientists looking to find patterns in human behaviors, tease out risk factors for health conditions and track the spread of infectious diseases. By analyzing emotional cues found in the tweets of pregnant women, for instance, Microsoft researchers developed an algorithm that predicts those at risk for postpartum depression. And the U.S. Geological Survey uses Twitter to track the location of earthquakes as people tweet about tremors.

Until now, most interested scientists have been working with a limited number of tweets. Although a majority of tweets are public, if scientists want to freely search the lot, they do it through Twitter’s application programming interface, which currently scours only 1 percent of the archive. But that is about to change: in February the company announced that it will make all its tweets, dating back to 2006, freely available to researchers.

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Science Fails Validity Checks

Picture: Wikimedia Commons (CC)

Picture: Wikimedia Commons (CC)

Science works by building on the work of the past. What happens when you check to make sure that work can be trusted?

via The LA Times:

In today’s world, brimful as it is with opinion and falsehoods masquerading as facts, you’d think the one place you can depend on for verifiable facts is science.

You’d be wrong. Many billions of dollars’ worth of wrong.

A few years ago, scientists at the Thousand Oaks biotech firm Amgen set out to double-check the results of 53 landmark papers in their fields of cancer research and blood biology.

The idea was to make sure that research on which Amgen was spending millions of development dollars still held up. They figured that a few of the studies would fail the test — that the original results couldn’t be reproduced because the findings were especially novel or described fresh therapeutic approaches.

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Scientists Construct 3-D Model of Ant To Study Strength

PIC: (C)

PIC: OSU (C)

These studies could lead to remarkable new developments in cybernetic technology. Look for it on a battlefield or near a police roadblock (hard to tell the difference these days) near you!

A recent study into the biomechanics of the necks of ants – a common insect that can amazingly lift objects many times heavier than its own body – might unlock one of nature’s little mysteries and, quite possibly, open the door to advancements in robotic engineering.

A small group of engineers at The Ohio State University combined laboratory testing and computational modeling conducted at the Ohio Supercomputer Center to determine the relationship between the mechanical function, structural design and material properties of the Allegheny mound ant (Formica exsectoides). Their results were recently published in an article, “The exoskeletal structure and tensile loading behavior of an ant neck joint,” in the Journal of Biomechanics.

The study focused on the ant’s neck – the single joint of soft tissue that bridges the stiff exoskeleton of the ant’s head and thorax.

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Humans Evolving Faster According to Expert

Sometimes it doesn’t seem that way…071210_evolution_hmed2p.hmedium

Humans are evolving at an increasing rate, thanks to medical advances and a larger population, Pobiner said at the “Future Is Here,” a two-day conference celebrating the future of humans, the planet, life beyond Earth and deep space, hosted by Smithsonian Magazine. But just as humans are continuing to evolve, human parasites are evolving, too.

“I invite you to look into the eyes of our ancient relatives,” Pobiner said. “Why did most human ancestors go extinct, while homo sapiens survived? The answer has a lot to do with human brains.” [Top 10 Mysteries of the First Humans]

The human brain represents only about 2 percent of the body’s weight, but consumes 20 percent of its energy. The biggest evolutionary changes have occurred in the neocortex, the brain’s outer wrapping that processes abstract thinking, long-term planning, empathy and language, Pobiner said.

via Human Evolution ‘Definitely Not’ Over, Expert Says | LiveScience.… Read the rest

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Super Happy Comments Funtime!

hypnotogeometry1Hey Thad, where are the regularly scheduled rants that we’ve become accustomed to over the last year or so? Well, I decided several weeks back I should probably actually put the finishing touches on the book I wrote that’s coming out next month (if all goes right) and that maybe I should wrap that up before I spend more of my time ranting at y’all. They’ll be back here soon, and you know what else? Video rants all Lee Camp style. As far as I can tell, the problem with my writing is that no one reading it can tell how ridiculously good looking I am (riiiiight). I mean, how are gay dudes supposed to masturbate to an internet article? How are women supposed to make weird scrapbooks with hearts around me while jotting down the names of our future children? This needs to be resolved and so I’m buying a decent video camera here soon to do just that.… Read the rest

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