Tag Archives | Science

New Robotic Milkers Allow Cows to Choose When to Be Milked

Keith Weller/USDA

Keith Weller/USDA

New robotic milkers allow cows to choose when they want to be milked.

via The New York Times:

Something strange is happening at farms in upstate New York. The cows are milking themselves.

Desperate for reliable labor and buoyed by soaring prices, dairy operations across the state are charging into a brave new world of udder care: robotic milkers, which feed and milk cow after cow without the help of a single farmhand.

The cows seem to like it, too.

Robots allow the cows to set their own hours, lining up for automated milking five or six times a day — turning the predawn and late-afternoon sessions around which dairy farmers long built their lives into a thing of the past.

With transponders around their necks, the cows get individualized service. Lasers scan and map their underbellies, and a computer charts each animal’s “milking speed,” a critical factor in a 24-hour-a-day operation.

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How Much Does a Cloud Weigh?

Photo by Michael Jastremski

Photo by Michael Jastremski

How much does a cloud weigh?

via Mental Floss:

First, figure out how dense the cloud is. Scientists have measured the water density of a typical cumulus cloud (the white, fluffy ones you see on a nice day) as 1/2 gram per cubic meter—about a small marble’s worth of water in a space you and a friend could comfortably sit in. The density will be greater for different types of clouds.

Next, figure out how big the cloud is. By measuring a cloud’s shadow when the sun is directly above it, you can get an idea of its width. LeMone does this by watching her odometer as she drives under a cloud. A typical cumulus, she says, is about a kilometer across, and usually roughly cubical—so a kilometer long and a kilometer tall, too. This gives you a cloud that’s one billion cubic meters in volume.

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The Mathematically Correct Way to Debate Climate Change

A recent Disinfo article about climate change denial by Camron Wiltshire has caused quite the controversy among many Disinfonauts. A lot of you have written to us to express your concern and outrage. To present somewhat of a light-hearted counter argument, I give to you John Oliver and the correct way to debate climate change:

As a general reminder, Disinfo doesn’t necessarily endorse all ideas presented by columnists on our blog. With films like Greedy Lying Bastards, we actually side with those 97% of scientists.

Carry on.

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Everything is Sound and Light, Plus Sigil Generation Technology

universalconstantsSome might recall that last year I wrote a piece about 3rd, 4th, and 5th dimensional timespace perception based on various visionary experiences I’ve had throughout the years. All consciousness is part of a continuum and I’m quite sure I wouldn’t have had these sorts of experiences without the writings of people like Robert Monroe, Terrence McKenna, Robert Anton Wilson, and Grant Morrison forever stretching the parameters of my linguistic operating system. And that’s the main reason I put this sort of fringe weirdness on the internets – to directly influence the psychic hive mind grid of humanity and potentially create exotic experience in the reader. Anyway, apparently it works because I got a message on Facebook (friend me) from a dude named Andrew Cary linking me to this rather brilliant piece he wrote, partially inspired by my theories on dimensional perception. What I love about this is whereas what I do is essentially translating mystical concepts for a generation of kids raised on crap like VICE and stoner comedy, he takes a vastly more scientific approach.… Read the rest

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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

Download PDF

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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