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Nov. 15th, 2015

United We Stand

Kemo D. 7


Nov. 13th, 2015

Space Economy

Congress passed H.R. 2262, a celestial “Finders Keepers” law, that grants U.S. citizens to legally claim natural resources mined in space. “Many years from now, we will view this pivotal moment in time as a major step toward humanity becoming a multi-planetary species,” Eric Anderson, co-founder of asteroid mining company Planetary Resources, said in a press release. “This legislation establishes the same supportive framework that created the great economies of history, and it will foster the sustained development of space.” The new Space Act allows ventures to keep and sell any natural resources mined on planets, asteroids and other celestial bodies. Commercial operations could reap trillions of dollars from mining precious metals like platinum, common metallic elements such as iron, and water, the “oil of space.”

Kemo D. 7


Nov. 8th, 2015

Kemo's Church

The first ancient human genome from Africa to be sequenced has revealed that a wave of migration back into Africa from Western Eurasia around 3,000 years ago was up to twice as significant as previously thought, and affected the genetic make-up of populations across the entire African continent. The genome was taken from the skull of a man buried face-down 4,500 years ago in a cave called Mota in the highlands of Ethiopia -- a cave cool and dry enough to preserve his DNA for thousands of years. Previously, ancient genome analysis has been limited to samples from northern and arctic regions.

The latest study is the first time an ancient human genome has been recovered and sequenced from Africa, the source of all human genetic diversity. The findings are published in the journal Science. The ancient genome predates a mysterious migratory event which occurred roughly 3,000 years ago, known as the 'Eurasian backflow', when people from regions of Western Eurasia such as the Near East and Anatolia suddenly flooded back into the Horn of Africa.

The genome enabled researchers to run a millennia-spanning genetic comparison and determine that these Western Eurasians were closely related to the Early Neolithic farmers who had brought agriculture to Europe 4,000 years earlier. By comparing the ancient genome to DNA from modern Africans, the team have been able to show that not only do East African populations today have as much as 25% Eurasian ancestry from this event, but that African populations in all corners of the continent -- from the far West to the South -- have at least 5% of their genome traceable to the Eurasian migration.

Researchers describe the findings as evidence that the 'backflow' event was of far greater size and influence than previously thought.

Kemo D. 7

Nov. 1st, 2015

Kemo's Church

Scientists have just announced a remarkable discovery of a new genus and species of ape which would have walked this planet, they estimate, around 11.6 million years ago. This puts the animal on Earth before hominids split from the gibbons. They are calling this ancient primate “Pilobates cataloniae,” and they believe it could be the next missing link—the final common ancestor—between the hominids and the gibbons before the definitive evolutionary split.

“This fossil discovery is providing a missing chapter to the beginning of ape and human history,” explains Sergio Almécija, who is an assistant professor of anthropology in the Center for the Advanced Study of Human Paleobiology at GW’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. He continues, “We used to think that small apes evolved from larger-bodied apes, but this new species tells us that small and large apes may have co-existed since hominoids originated.”

He also notes, “These remains clearly belong to an ape, but they are so small. Then we realized, maybe we are looking at this the wrong way. Maybe some early ape ancestors were smaller than we thought.” Lead author David Alba—with the Institut Catala de Paleontologia Miguel Crusafont (ICP)—comments, “Pliobates indicates that small-bodied taxa might have played a much more significant role than previously thought in the evolution of modern hominoids (great apes), and that their last common ancestor might have been, in some respects, such as skull shape and body size, more gibbon-like than previously thought.”

Kemo D. 7

Oct. 25th, 2015

Kemo's Church

Humans are in the midst of an evolutionary transition that can completely alter the way we look in 1000 years. Within the next few decades, scientific breakthroughs will propel our species forward with changes in physical traits and capabilities, but what causes this transformation to occur? Over the last century and a half, humans have undergone a series of changes in height and lifespan. The average height has increased roughly by 10 centimeters and within the last six and a half decades, the global life span has expanded about 20 years due to science.

Scientists predict computers will reach computational speed of the human brain, possibly leading to transhumanism. This theory suggests future nanobots, or tiny robots, will be subtly integrated into our bodies enhancing our own abilities. This means we will no longer be limited by our own physiology, but rather become a mixture of biology and machine on the inside. The world's rising temperature and the deterioration in the protective ozone layer will also influence our physical traits. Added UV radiation reaching the planet may create a scenario where darker skin will become an evolutionary advantage by protecting us against UV damage.

Our bodies may become taller and thinner, which may be ideal for dissipating excess body heat, as it creates the best body surface area to volume ratio. Now, while genetic mutations may give us a new eye color, or unique abilities, artificial selection (human influenced changes) will likely drive most of our evolution. We may be able to modify our babies' genes before birth to eliminate diseases they may carry, or include desirable traits for our offspring. This may make us smarter, stronger, and even better looking, but such a genetic similarity can leave room for a new disease to wipe what would then be the entire human race.

Kemo D. 7

Oct. 21st, 2015

Happy Back to the Future Day!

Great Scott! The Chicago Cubs are in the playoffs. Hoverboards are all the rage. And Pepsi is set to release Pepsi Perfect bottles. It's 2015 and the future is here. It's October 21st and millions across the world are celebrating Back to the Future Day. It's a day that movie fans have been waiting for since the film's release in 1989. And unlike the hoaxes the internet has seen over the years, this time, the date on the calendar will match that on the dashboard of Doc Brown's DeLorean time machine seen in the movie. I'm gonna celebrate the day by watching the movie at a local theater. It will be my first time seeing a Back to the Future movie on the big screen and I'm looking forward to it. Have a great day everyone!

Kemo D. 7

Oct. 18th, 2015

Kemo's Church

A set of ancient teeth discovered in China have been found to be about 80,000-years-old. Scientists in Southern China discovered human teeth, which have been found to be at least 80,000-years-old. This means that the teeth have been there for more than 20,000 years before modern humans were believed to have left their widely acknowledged origin in Africa and begun their long march of evolution across the world. The 47 teeth were discovered in Fuyan Cave, a limestone cavern in Daoxian, in China’s Hunan province. Interestingly, while these ancient teeth may indicate that modern humans first migrated from Africa to Asia 80,000 to 120,000 years ago, it might also mean humans might have evolved out of Africa as well.

This essentially questions the most basic models of evolution that have been commonly accepted, said María Martinón-Torres, a forensic anthropologist at University College London. The teeth indicate the presence of humans or Homo sapiens at a location that, according to standard archaeological theory, shouldn’t have been there in the first place. Moreover, the discovery of these teeth in China indicates the presence of humans in the area, at least 20,000 years earlier than any previous research had indicated. The most commonly accepted theory of human migration is called “Out of Africa,” because the available scientific data strongly suggests that modern humans originated in Africa about 70,000 to 80,000 years ago, reported The Christian Science Monitor.

Thereafter, with great struggle, these relatively primitive relatives to modern day humans successfully completed their migration to the rest of the world in a single huge wave between 50,000 to 70,000 years ago. However, the presence of the ancient teeth in China not just challenge the theory in terms of timing, but the very core idea of evolution of humans in Africa as well, said one of the study’s lead researchers, Liu Wu, from China’s Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP). The ancient teeth also suggest there may have been a struggle between Neanderthals and Homo sapiens over territory, which the former had occupied for a long time.

Kemo D. 7

Oct. 16th, 2015

The Most Mysterious Star in Our Galaxy!

Most of the time, stars are pretty predictable. Our telescopes plot their brightening and dimming, usually caused by periodic planetary transits, without too many erratic deviations from the norm. But KIC 8462852 is different. This star is more massive, hotter, and brighter than the Sun. It’s about 1,500 light-years away—and NASA’s Kepler space telescope has seen some pretty weird data coming from it. There are huge, irregular dips in the light, sometimes dropping up to 22%.

Phil Plait: "Straight away, we know we’re not dealing with a planet here. Even a Jupiter-sized planet only blocks roughly 1 percent of this kind of star’s light, and that’s about as big as a planet gets. It can’t be due to a star, either; we’d see it if it were. And the lack of a regular, repeating signal belies both of these as well. Whatever is blocking the star is big, though, up to half the width of the star itself! There’s also an apparent change in brightness that seems to go up and down roughly every 20 days for weeks, then disappears completely. It’s likely just random transits, but still. It’s bizarre."

Jason Wright, an astronomer from Penn State University, is set to publish an alternative interpretation of the light pattern. SETI researchers have long suggested that we might be able to detect distant extraterrestrial civilizations, by looking for enormous technological artifacts orbiting other stars. Wright and his co-authors say the unusual star’s light pattern is consistent with a “swarm of megastructures,” perhaps stellar-light collectors, technology designed to catch energy from the star.

Several researcherss are now working with Andrew Siemion, the Director of the SETI Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley. They want to point a massive radio dish at the unusual star, to see if it emits radio waves at frequencies associated with technological activity. If they see a sizable amount of radio waves, they’ll follow up with the Very Large Array (VLA) in New Mexico, which may be able to say whether the radio waves were emitted by a technological source, like those that waft out into the universe from Earth’s network of radio stations.

Assuming all goes well, the first observation would take place in January, with the follow-up coming next fall.

Kemo D. 7

Oct. 13th, 2015

The American People Are Angry

Bernie Sanders for President!

Kemo D. 7

Sep. 24th, 2015

Person of the Week

Welcomed with a fanfare of trumpets and a chorus of amens, Pope Francis introduced himself to the United States on Wednesday with a bracing message on climate change, immigration and poverty. He devoted more of his address to climate change than any other topic. “Mr. President,” Francis said, “I find it encouraging that you are proposing an initiative for reducing air pollution.” He added that there was still time to heal the planet for its children. “To use a telling phrase of the Rev. Martin Luther King, we can say that we have defaulted on a promissory note, and now is the time to honor it,” he said.

Kemo D. 7

Sep. 10th, 2015

The John Titor Phenomenon

This is our planet’s bleak future: a second Civil War splinters America into five factions, leaving the new capital based in Omaha. World War III breaks out in 2015, starting with Russia and the U.S. trading nukes and ending with three billion dead. Then, to top it all off, a computer bug delivers where Y2K sputtered, destroying our world as we know it. That is, unless an audacious time traveler successfully traverses the space-time continuum to change the course of future history. In late 2000, that person signed onto the Internet.

A poster going by the screen names “TimeTravel_0” and “John Titor” on a variety of message boards, beginning with the forum at the Time Travel Institute, claimed he was a soldier sent from 2036, the year the computer virus wiped the world. Over the next four months, Titor responded to every question other posters had, describing future events in poetically-phrased ways, always submitted with a general disclaimer that alternate realities do exist, so his reality may not be our own. Then he suddenly disappeared, never to be heard from again...

What seemingly should have been dismissed as a four-month hoax, the work of some nerd killing time at his boring temp job, somehow turned into a phenomenon.

Kemo D. 7

Alien Oceans

The bright glint of alien oceans may be visible from afar, allowing astronomers to flag potentially habitable exoplanets. As Earth travels around the sun, it moves through phases much like the moon when seen from afar. The planet's oceans reflect a great deal of light, especially during the crescent phase. The same principle should apply to exoplanets, researchers say. Seeing excessive brightness at the crescent phases could be a telltale signal of ocean planets.

Kemo D. 7

Aug. 23rd, 2015

Vote for Bernie!

Wall Street's greed, recklessness, and illegal behavior drove this country into the worst recession since the Great Depression. For too long, this billionaire class has corrupted our political system. We must act decisively to make our economy fair again. Wall Street's dangerous manipulation of our economy has helped divert most of all new income to the top one percent, contributing to the most unequal level of wealth and income distribution of any major country on earth.

Today, we live in the richest country in the history of the world, but that reality means little because much of that wealth is controlled by a tiny handful of individuals. The skyrocketing level of income and wealth inequality is not only grotesque and immoral, it is economically unsustainable.

The reality is that for the past 40 years, Wall Street and the billionaire class have rigged the rules to redistribute wealth and income to the wealthiest and most powerful people in this country. As a result, Wall Street exists as an island unto itself, benefiting only the extremely wealthy while using our money to get rich.

We Can Do This
The issue of wealth and income inequality is the great moral issue of our time, it is the great economic issue of our time, and it is the great political issue of our time. I can understand how this might feel daunting. We are up against a billionaire class that has bought our political system to enrich itself, and is now faced with the breakup of their oligarchy. Know this: when people come together to organize, we can beat any amount of money thrown around by the Koch Brothers, Goldman Sachs executives, or anyone else.

Our political revolution is underway, and when it is built, we will win not just against Wall Street, but we will win the White House.

Bernie Sanders

Aug. 22nd, 2015

The Best News I've Heard All Day!

Megan Fox is single again!

Kemo D. 7

Jul. 23rd, 2015

Hi All!

I'm taking a little summer break from blogging for the next 2 weeks. As always, thanks for reading my blog!

Kemo D. 7


Jul. 16th, 2015

A New Horizon

Scientists are stunned at the incredible new images of the surface of Pluto, its largest moon Charon and its farthest-flung moon Hydra, which are just the tip of the scientific iceberg that will be sent back by NASA's New Horizons probe in the wake of its epic flyby. At a media briefing held yesterday, leaders of the New Horizons team discussed some of the new images taken during and around closest approach. Among other amazing revelations, the new photos showed that Pluto's surface is surprisingly young and is studded with big, icy mountains; and that Charon has been geologically active recently and possesses canyons up to 6 miles (10 kilometers) deep. The Pluto flyby occurred exactly 50 Years after the 1st Mars encounter. On July 14, 1965, NASA's Mariner 4 probe flew by the Red Planet, becoming the first spacecraft ever to capture up-close looks at another planet.

Kemo D. 7

The philosopher's Stone

In the winter of 1884, two young French epigraphers were exploring the ancient Greco-Roman town of Oinoanda in southwestern Turkey and made an intriguing discovery. Scattered in the well-preserved ruins on a hilltop covered in cedar trees, they found five stone fragments inscribed with writings of a then-unknown philosopher, Diogenes of Oinoanda. On one of the fragments, Diogenes explains why he committed his thoughts to stone:

"The majority of people suffer from a common disease, as in a plague, with their false notions about things, and their number is increasing. ...I wished to use this stoa to advertise publicly the [medicines] that bring salvation."

The “medicines” Diogenes hoped to use to cure the “disease” of false understanding was Epicureanism, a system of philosophy founded in the fourth century B.C. by the Greek philosopher Epicurus. It was grounded in physics, held that the pursuit of pleasure is the highest good, and eschewed belief in divine intervention. The wealthy Diogenes had paid for the inscription to be carved on the wall of a stoa, or covered walkway, that probably once stood in one of the town’s public squares. He makes plain that he hoped Oinoandans and visitors alike would make a close study of his words and come away converts to the Epicurean school of thought.

Philologist Jürgen Hammerstaedt, from the University of Cologne, believes that 75 to 80 percent of the inscription could remain underground or have been recycled as part of other buildings at the site. He is especially interested in the potential for discovering more of Diogenes’ personal letters, which could shed additional light on the philosopher himself. “After all, he was a remarkable man and a cosmopolitan man,” says Hammerstaedt, who recites a favorite quote from Smith’s translation of a passage in which Diogenes declares that he set up the inscription:

"Not least for those who are called foreigners, for they are not foreigners. For, while the various segments of the Earth give different people a different country, the whole compass of this world gives all people a single country, the entire Earth, and a single home, the world."

Kemo D. 7

Future Generations

Before long parents may be able to take advantage of gene-splicing and genetic enhancements that can enhance the human mind. If such techniques are used over enough generations, we may see the evolution of a much smarter human race. Einsteins may be as common then as texting teenagers are today. If this happens, future generations may look back at our generation and regard us as slow-paced dolts. They may ask themselves: how did these airheads ever manage to invent the Internet? They may also regard it as a major miracle if our generation somehow manages to avoid blowing itself up or destroying itself through technological or environmental folly. Click here to read the full article.

Kemo D. 7

Sci-Fi Art by Layne Johnson

Jul. 11th, 2015

Never Forget Srebrenica

Christiane Amanpour wrote a great article (link below) to mark the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide. Please read and share this article.

The Srebrenica genocide: A defining moment

Kemo D. 7


Jul. 7th, 2015

2 degrees Celsius

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