Archive for the Science Category

Deep Thoughts

Posted in Philosophy, Rants, Science on December 5, 2011 by jstevenperry

There is no difference between strong and weak nuclear force, electromagnetic force and gravitational force. Force is force – and force is mass – and depends on the definition of “is”. At least, all this is true in three spatial dimensions, in which the speed of a photon in a vacuum is constant. Very exciting. There are also conditions under which, when time is constant and the speed of light varies that universes can be created and studied in an instant. In scenarios with multiple time dimensions, even more spatial dimensions are possible.

Our mathematics is too primitive to deal with the universe as it really is.

All structures are unstable. We have even been able to calculate the half-life of a proton (though it is longer than the currently speculated age of the experiment (universe)).

Eventually this experiment (universe) will end, the data will be collected, analyzed and the conclusion will be drawn: physics in three spatial dimensions with constant time is not sustainable. Everything eventually breaks down. The universe itself even “leaks” this truth through to its doomed inhabitants on occasion (to those who are open and listening). The ultimate truth is this: all are one.

How can it be that such primitive life can arrive at this marvelous conclusion?

Printing Body Parts?

Posted in Science on March 3, 2010 by jstevenperry

I LOVE stuff like this. This article from the Economist about creating body parts from a person’s own DNA using a special machine is just really neat. Basically, the idea is that the “bio printer” first erects a water soluble “scaffold” on which the 3D printing will be done, then the machine – using as “toner” a combination of the patient’s DNA and other stuff – prints out the blood vessel or whatever is being printed. After the item has been printed, the water soluble scaffold is washed away and the item is ready for implantation.

The printer should be ready for wide spread use in as little as five years. I’ll be you can’t get the toner for that printer at Office Depot.

Buckle up kids, we’re headed back to the moon

Posted in Science on July 10, 2009 by jstevenperry

It appears that NASA’s goal of returning to the moon will happen in spite of recent economic downturns, budget cuts and the like. The plan? To use the existing space shuttle platform, but without the space shuttle. Check out the article here from the San Francisco Chronicle.

The basic idea is to save lots of money by reusing existing designs and launch configurations. Sounds good to me. A billion here, a billion there really adds up after a while.

Two billion aluminum atoms can’t be wrong

Posted in Science on June 30, 2009 by jstevenperry

The idea of quantum computing is fascinating to me. I don’t fully understand how it works, but the idea that computer innards continue to become vanishingly small is just, well, neat. I ran across this article on quantum computing. Using two billion aluminum atoms to create an “artificial atom”, scientists at Yale University have created the first all electronic quantum bits (or qubits, pronounced, “Throat wabbler mangrove”). Wow.

Wait! There’s more. Apparently, in a nifty little bit of quantum mechanical hoo-ha, these guys are able – in a single calculation – to determine the correct answer from four possibilities. The article said that is like not knowing which of four phone numbers your friend has, and getting the right one on the first try every time. Wow.

But can it balance my checkbook?

An Argument For Cloning?

Posted in Rants, Science on May 22, 2007 by jstevenperry

This is pretty cool: MSNBC reports on a study by the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine where volunteers got several cuts, and were then given a concentrated “goo” made from their own blood consisting mostly of platelets. The study found that the wounds healed around 10% faster than they would have naturally (sans goo). Interesting.

It got me to thinking:

Me #1: “Gee, if my own body’s products can help me heal faster, what does that mean if, say, someday I need an organ transplant? Wouldn’t a clone of my own failing organ work best?”

Me #2: “Shutup, you godless heathen.”

Anyway, I am definitely not in favor of cloning, say, an entire human being. But you have to figure that if we can map the human genome, surely someday we can figure out how to create a new version of, for instance, a kidney (or heart, or lung, or hip joint?). Again, it got me to thinking:

Me #1: “So if we could keep enough controls on DNA research, couldn’t we prevent the kind of rampant abuses of power and lack of accountability that pervade the current administration, while at the same time doing some real good for mankind?”

Me #2: “I’m sorry, what? I’m trying to figure out how to create a useless global conflict to justify the financial interest of my cronies. If only I had a model to follow…”

Me #1: “What?!? I don’t think I like you anymore.”

Me #2: “Hey, pal, if you’re not with me, you’re against me. I answer to noone.”

Me #1: (sigh)

Something to think about…

or not.

Asteroid: what’s that tugging on me?

Posted in Science on February 19, 2007 by jstevenperry

Apparently, there is a near Earth object, specifically an asteroid named Aphophis, that is going to come close to a collision with the Earth in 2034. Here’s the article from Pretty scary stuff. But we have a potential solution: gravity tugging. We’re going to strap on some gravity tugging devices to slowly pull the asteroid off course just enough to miss us.