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Nov. 25th, 2014

Galaxy Dreaming

Sci-fi fans who hope humanity can one day zoom to distant corners of the universe via wormholes, as astronauts do in the recent film "Interstellar," shouldn't hold their breath. Wormholes are theoretical tunnels through the fabric of space-time that could potentially allow rapid travel between widely separated points — from one galaxy to another, for example, as depicted in Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar," which opened in theaters around the world earlier this month. While wormholes are possible according to Einstein's theory of general relativity, such exotic voyages will likely remain in the realm of science fiction, said renowned astrophysicist Kip Thorne of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, who served as an adviser and executive producer on "Interstellar."

"The jury is not in, so we just don't know," Thorne, one of the world's leading authorities on relativity, black holes and wormholes, told Space.com. "But there are very strong indications that wormholes that a human could travel through are forbidden by the laws of physics. That's sad, that's unfortunate, but that's the direction in which things are pointing." The major barrier has to do with a wormhole's instability, he said. "Wormholes — if you don't have something threading through them to hold them open — the walls will basically collapse so fast that nothing can go through them," Thorne said.

 

Holding wormholes open would require the insertion of something that anti-gravitates — namely, negative energy.


Kemo D. 7

Starshade

"Starshade" technology that could help astronomers find and characterize rocky, Earthlike alien worlds was put to the test earlier this year in the Nevada desert. A starshade, also dubbed an external occulter, is a precisely shaped screen that flies in far-away formation with a space telescope. The device blocks a star's light to create a high-contrast shadow, so that only light from an orbiting exoplanet enters the telescope for detailed study. While a starshade to hunt alien planets has not been flown before, researchers studying the technique are drawing upon a track record of success in fielding large, deployable antennas in space. Some designs foresee a fully deployed starshade measuring some 110 feet (34 meters) in diameter, with a 65-foot (20 m) inner disk and 28 outstretched flowerlike petals, each over 22 feet (7 m) in length.

 

Kemo D. 7

When Spells Worked Magic

A mysterious ancient Egyptian parchment codex that has been in the collection of Macquarie University in Australia for more than three decades has finally been deciphered and found to contain a series of invocations and spells. The book, which likely dates to the seventh or eighth century A.D. and is written in the Egyptian language called Coptic contains a variety of spells—some love spells, some to exorcise evil spirits, and others to treat infections. As to who would have used these spells, lead researcher Malcolm Choat told Livescience, "It is my sense that there were ritual practitioners outside the ranks of the clergy and monks, but exactly who they were is shielded from us by the fact that people didn't really want to be labeled as a "magician."

 

Kemo D. 7

Nov. 20th, 2014

Memorable Quotes

Nov. 17th, 2014

Memorable Quotes


"You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man's freedom. You can only be free if I am free."

~ Clarence Darrow ~

Mysteries

Jordan’s “Big Circles” were first spotted from airplanes in the 1920s, but little has been learned about them since then. The low walls, often made from uncut stones, would not have kept animals in or enemies out. New aerial images of the structures, which generally measure more than 1,300 feet in diameter, have been taken by David Kennedy of the Aerial Archaeology in Jordan Project and the Aerial Photographic Archive for Archaeology in the Middle East (APAAME), located at the University of Western Australia. “Most are crude circles, but many are clearly intended to be geometrically precise, although often slightly distorted,” he told the Daily Mail. Kennedy hopes the photographs will bring attention to the rings. Excavation could tell scientists more about their construction and purpose.

 

Kemo D. 7

Gods and Kings

Just as physical adaptations help populations prosper in inhospitable habitats, belief in moralizing, high gods might be similarly advantageous for human cultures in poorer environments. A new study from the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) suggests that societies with less access to food and water are more likely to believe in these types of deities. "When life is tough or when it's uncertain, people believe in big gods," says Russell Gray, a professor at the University of Auckland and a founding director of the Max Planck Institute for History and the Sciences in Jena, Germany.

"Prosocial behavior maybe helps people do well in harsh or unpredictable environments." Gray and his coauthors found a strong correlation between belief in high gods who enforce a moral code and other societal characteristics. Political complexity—namely a social hierarchy beyond the local community— and the practice of animal husbandry were both strongly associated with a belief in moralizing gods. The emergence of religion has long been explained as a result of either culture or environmental factors but not both.

 

The new findings imply that complex practices and characteristics thought to be exclusive to humans arise from a medley of ecological, historical, and cultural variables.


Kemo D. 7

Nov. 13th, 2014

....

These two clowns have been an embarrassment to our whole country... The world is laughing.


Kemo D. 7

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Nov. 12th, 2014

US and China reach a historic deal!

In a historic climate change deal, U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping announced both countries will curb their greenhouse gas emissions over the next two decades. Under the agreement, the United States would cut its 2005 level of carbon emissions by 26-28% before the year 2025. China would peak its carbon emissions by 2030 and will also aim to get 20% of its energy from zero-carbon emission sources by the same year. "As the world's two largest economies, energy consumers and emitters of greenhouse gases, we have a special responsibility to lead the global effort against climate change," Obama said Wednesday in a joint news conference with Xi.

 

The announcement marks the first time China has agreed to peak its carbon emissions.


Kemo D. 7

World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor!

The best MMO of my generation is back with a new expansion pack! I started playing World of Warcraft (a.k.a. WoW) in January of 2009 but I wish I had discovered it sooner because I missed that golden age of WoW (2005-2008). The new expansion will bring back that "old-school" feeling and I can't wait to explore it tonight. It's gonna feel like "Burning Crusade" 2.0! I have 6 level 90's but only use 2 main characters to play the game; one is a resto shammy on "Proudmoore" and the other is a frost mage on "Area 52." My favorite part of WoW is raiding because I'm mainly into PvE and I raid on both sides (horde and alliance).

 

If you are looking for a new game I would highly recommend World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor!


Kemo D. 7

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Nov. 10th, 2014

The Best Show Ever!

I was always having trouble deciding what to watch on Netflix when a friend of mine suggested "The Walking Dead." So, I checked it out and now I'm really hooked on this show. It's one of the best TV dramas that I have seen in years. I watched all 4 seasons on Netflix and bought the first 4 episodes from season 5 on Amazon to quickly catch up. My 3 favorite characters on the show are: Rick, Tara and Beth. I can't wait for the next episode because I'm officially a big fan of the show now.

 

Kemo D. 7

Nov. 9th, 2014

Movie of the Year

Storyline: With our time on Earth coming to an end, a team of explorers undertakes the most important mission in human history; traveling beyond this galaxy to discover whether mankind has a future among the stars.

Humanity's interest in the heavens has been universal and enduring. Humans are driven to explore the unknown, discover new worlds, push the boundaries of our scientific and technical limits, and then push further. The intangible desire to explore and challenge the boundaries of what we know and where we have been has provided benefits to our society for centuries. Human space exploration helps to address fundamental questions about our place in the Universe and the history of our solar system.

Through addressing the challenges related to human space exploration we expand technology, create new industries, and help to foster a peaceful connection with other nations. Curiosity and exploration are vital to the human spirit and accepting the challenge of going deeper into space will invite the citizens of the world today and the generations of tomorrow to join NASA on this exciting journey.

This is the beginning of a new era in space exploration in which NASA has been challenged to develop systems and capabilities required to explore beyond low-Earth orbit, including destinations such as translunar space, near-Earth asteroids and eventually Mars. Space programs may often seem bogged down in technical details, politics and funding controversies. But we should not lose sight of the longer term implications. Although its practical benefits are many, space exploration has no higher calling than this search for our place in the universe.

 

"We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time."


Kemo D. 7

Source: NASA, Poem by T. S. Eliot

Nov. 2nd, 2014

Invest now or face 'irreversible' effects

The cost of fighting climate change will only climb if industrialized nations don't take steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the United Nations' panel on the matter warned Sunday in its wrap-up report. In its "synthesis report," the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said that the hundreds of authors involved in the study were even more certain than before that the planet is warming and humans are the cause. "If left unchecked, climate change will increase the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems," the report said. The report said there are solutions to keeping the rise in temperatures from crossing a 2-degree Celsius increase, the goal of many governments.

"It is technically feasible to transition to a low-carbon economy," said Youba Sokona, the co-chairman of IPCC Working Group III. "But what is lacking are appropriate policies and institutions. The longer we wait to take action, the more it will cost to adapt and mitigate climate change." According to the IPCC, to stay below a 2-degree C increase, greenhouse gas emissions need to fall as much as 70% around the world by 2050 and to zero by 2100. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the report is "another canary in the coal mine" and added that "ambitious, decisive and immediate action" is needed. "We have that opportunity, and the choice is in our hands," R. K. Pachauri, chairman of the group, said in the report.

 

Kemo D. 7

Oct. 30th, 2014

Throwback Thursday

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#GreenWorldRising

Oct. 9th, 2014

:-)

Hey ya'll, I'm taking a lil break from blogging this month and will continue updating my journal after the 25th. Have a great weekend everyone!

Kemo D. 7
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Oct. 7th, 2014

The Future of Renewable Energy

A future where electricity comes mostly from low-carbon sources is not only feasible in terms of material demand, but will significantly reduce air pollution, a study published in the today's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says. An international team led by Edgar Hertwich and Thomas Gibon from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology conducted the first-ever global comprehensive life cycle assessment of the long-term, wide-scale implementation of electricity generation from renewable resources.


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Evolution of the Brain

Humans appear to have evolved puny muscles even faster than they grew big brains, according to a new metabolic study that pitted people against chimps and monkeys in contests of strength. The upshot, says biologist Roland Roberts, is that "weak muscles may be the price we pay for the metabolic demands of our amazing cognitive powers." Scientists have long noted that the major difference between modern humans and other apes, like chimps, is our possession of an oversize, energy-hungry brain. It was the development of that brain that drove the evolution of our early human ancestors away from an apelike ancestor, starting roughly six million years ago.

But the question of just why and how we evolved such big brains, which consume 20 percent of our energy, has long bedeviled science. "A major difference in muscular strength between humans and nonhuman primates provide one possible explanation," suggests thenew study, led by Katarzyna Bozek of Germany's Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology. The study, published Tuesday in the journal PLoS Biology, looked at how rapidly the metabolic needs of various organs, ranging from our brains to our kidneys, have evolved. Some scientists have suggested that the rapidly evolving metabolism of the human gut, for example, drove the brain's evolution. Instead, the new study suggests that muscles and brains have essentially traded off their energy use.

 

The researchers found that in the last six million years, people have evolved weaker muscles much more rapidly—eight times faster—than the rest of our body changed.


Kemo D. 7

Oct. 2nd, 2014

#tbt

Me in 2005 :-)

"People spend too much time finding other people to blame, too much energy finding excuses for not being what they are capable of being, and not enough energy putting themselves on the line, growing out of the past, and getting on with their lives." -- J. Michael Straczynski

Oct. 1st, 2014

Other Worlds

A group of international astronomers and astrobiologists have published new research that assesses the possibility of complex life on other worlds. Their calculation in the Milky Way alone is staggering: 100 million worlds in our home galaxy may harbor complex alien life. One. Hundred. Million.


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