Liberty Just in Case

A Dialogue for the September 12th World

Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

Be Careful What You Wish For

Posted by redsatellite on February 3, 2009

This often repeated line is repeated for a REASON. Today, humans can’t get enough of computers and technology. It is entrenched in every part of our lives. From the time we wake up, until the time we go to bed. Whether it be….at home, on your job, or running errands….we’re busy using ATMs, Online Bill Pay, eFiling Taxes, Internet Shopping, self-help lines, pre-paid Gift Cards, automobile systems, you name it, we’re using computers.

But what if- one day soon– they exceed our ability to control them?

Google and Nasa are throwing their weight behind a new school for futurists in Silicon Valley to prepare scientists for an era when machines become cleverer than people.

The new institution, known as “Singularity University”, is to be headed by Ray Kurzweil, whose predictions about the exponential pace of technological change have made him a controversial figure in technology circles.

Google and Nasa’s backing demonstrates the growing mainstream acceptance of Mr Kurzweil’s views, which include a claim that before the middle of this century artificial intelligence will outstrip human beings, ushering in a new era of civilisation.

Remember Blade Runner? I, Robot? Or The Terminator movies? Not exactly a rosy picture. The same can be said for our newfound ability to clone. Last week, a couple paid $155,000 to clone their Labrador Retriever. Cloning? Computers More Clever Than Humans?

Think about it.

Posted in Computers, Culture, Intelligence, Morality, Science | 2 Comments »

A Chinese Fire Drill

Posted by redsatellite on October 1, 2008

Okay…I admit it. I didn’t think I would ever utter the word- Melamine. I mean…c’mon- did you? I actually thought I would go my entire life not knowing what it means nor having to PRONOUNCE it. Well..heck..now I do….a week of this nonsense finally has it on my radar.

And I tried so hard to ignore it.

An additional 31 batches of Chinese milk powder were found contaminated with the industrial chemical melamine, China’s government said Wednesday, further broadening a scandal affecting products ranging from baby formula to chocolate.

The contamination has been blamed for the deaths of four children and kidney ailments among 54,000 others. More than 13,000 children have been hospitalized and 27 people arrested in connection with the tainting.

Now you know why. Even in the land of one billion people….this is turning ugly.

Melamine, which is high in nitrogen, is used to make plastics and fertilizers and experts say some amount of the chemical may be transferred from the environment during food processing.

But in China’s case, suppliers trying to boost output are believed to have diluted their milk, adding melamine because its nitrogen content can fool tests aimed at verifying protein content. Melamine can cause kidney stones, leading to kidney failure. Infants are particularly vulnerable.

The scandal was worsened by an apparent cover-up by companies involved and the ignoring by safety officials of tips and warnings from parents and doctors.

Sad AND ugly. Consider yourself…informed.

Posted in China, Healthcare, Science | Leave a Comment »

He’s a Jetsetter….No Really…I Mean It!

Posted by redsatellite on September 25, 2008

This is too cool for school!


Swiss pilot Yves Rossy is set to cross the English Channel strapped to a homemade jet-propelled wing, organizers said Thursday.

Weather permitting, Rossy will leap from a plane more than 2,500 meters (2,700 yards) off the ground, fire up his jets and try to make the 35-kilometer (22-mile) from Calais in France to Dover in England in about 12 minutes, according to a statement put out by his organizers.

The carbon composite-wing weighs about 55 kilograms (121 pounds) when loaded with fuel, and carries four kerosene-burning jet turbines to keep him aloft. The wing has no steering devices — Rossy moves his body to control its movements.

Leaping out of a perfectly good airplane? Good luck buddy. You won’t be getting a second chance.

Posted in Culture, Fun, Science | Leave a Comment »

Gore-bal Warming Infects Washington Post

Posted by redsatellite on September 23, 2008

Like that’s a surprise.

None-the-less, I started out reading a Washington Post article about an issue that separates John McCain from his running mate Sarah Palin- when all of a sudden – the author HIJACKS the entire subject. Yes. Apparently, the writer felt it important that she weigh in.

No one, including Gov. Sarah Palin, questions that Alaska’s climate is changing more rapidly than any other state’s. But her skepticism about the causes and what needs to be done to address the consequences stands in sharp contrast to the views of her running mate, Sen. John McCain, and place her to the right of the Bush administration and several other Republican governors.

Hmmm….sounds innocuous enough, huh? Yep, so they disagree on the reasons behind “climate change”. But then…out of the blue(not green)….like Al Gore at a McDonald’s drivethru…. we get this little Chicken McNugget:

Although Palin established a sub-cabinet to deal with climate change issues a year ago, she has focused on how to adapt to global warming rather than how to combat it, and she has publicly questioned scientists’ near-consensus that human activity plays a role in the rising temperatures.

SAY WHAT?

‘Near consensus’? Where did you get that cockamamie idea? Certainly not from the THIRTY ONE THOUSAND scientists who disagree. And exactly- when- did you get to opine Ms. Eilperin? This article you wrote is NOT posted in the Op/Ed section.

When she established her climate sub-cabinet last September, she said in a news release that Alaskans “are already seeing the effects” of warming: “Coastal erosion, thawing permafrost, retreating sea ice and record forest fires affect our communities and our infrastructure.”

But when environmentalists urged the governor to include language attributing global warming to humans and suggested that the state set a target for limiting greenhouse gas emissions, Palin hedged.

And I’m glad she did. I’m relieved to see Sarah Palin understands the difference between industry CO2 emissions and sunspots and solar flares. Why is it…that liberals like Ms. Eilperin over at the Washington Post can’t remove themselves from the debate? Seriously, they just can’t help themselves…. it’s their nature. They must…and I do mean MUST…dictate the discourse.

Sit down and shut up and just….report.

Posted in Environment, Gore-bal Warming, Liberalism, MSM, Science, Weather | 1 Comment »

Big Bang For Your Buck

Posted by redsatellite on September 10, 2008

How much does it cost to find out the origin of the universe? The Swiss have the answer: $9 billion

Scientists Wednesday applauded as one of the most ambitious experiments ever conceived got successfully underway, with protons being fired around a 27-kilometer (17-mile) tunnel deep beneath the border of France and Switzerland in an attempt to unlock the secrets of the universe.

The Large Hadron Collider — a $9 billion particle accelerator designed to simulate conditions of the Big Bang that created the physical Universe — was switched on at 0732 GMT to cheers and applause from experts gathered to witness the event.

Personally, I think the 9 billion could’ve been better spent…but that’s just me. Let’s see 9 billion divided by $900 (price of a decent Swiss watch) = 10,000,000….Yep. The Swiss government could’ve handed out 10 million BRAND NEW Swiss watches. That’s a watch for every citizen of Switzerland AND Roger Federer!

Skeptics, who claim that the experiment could lead to the creation of a black hole capable of swallowing the planet, failed in a legal bid to halt the project at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.

A Black Hole?

How apropos! I think the Swiss government has already FOUND their ‘black hole’. That’s where all the Swiss francs went…

Posted in Intelligence, Science | Leave a Comment »

Michael Bloomberg and T. Boone Pickens: Two Windbags

Posted by redsatellite on August 21, 2008

Enough already.

I get that we need alternative energy sources. I do. But the reality of some of these solutions- like Mayor Bloomberg’s and T. Boone Picken’s visionare ridiculous. With Bloomberg: at least he’s having second thoughts.







Mayor Michael Bloomberg is backing off his suggestion to put windmills on city bridges and rooftops after newspapers mocked the idea with photo illustrations of turbines on the Brooklyn Bridge and the Empire State Building.

There are aesthetic considerations,” Bloomberg said. “No. 2, I have absolutely no idea whether that makes any sense from a scientific, from a practical point of view.”

Gee…Ya think? (Yes…it’s comforting to know that billionaires like Oprah Winfrey, T. Boone Pickens, and Michael Bloomberg can be stupid too.)

If you’ve ever been to Palm Springs, Ca like I have…you’ll know what I mean. Hundreds of huge windmills dot the Coachella Valley – meandering to and fro, up and down the desert floor- ERASING any vestiges of the desert’s natural beauty.

Trust me…it’s a complete blight on the landscape….urban OR rural.

Posted in Environment, MSM, Science | Leave a Comment »

Feeling a Little Small…

Posted by Mark on August 20, 2008

You may too, after watching this video. Think of it as perspective before watching the Presidential Conventions.

Posted in Science, Space | Leave a Comment »

The Mad Scientist

Posted by redsatellite on August 1, 2008

Hmmm….this actually may close the book on all those post 9/11 Anthrax attacks back in 2001. Very strange- the FBI may have found the right guy.

A top U.S. biodefense researcher apparently committed suicide just as the Justice Department was about to file criminal charges against him in the anthrax mailings that traumatized the nation in the weeks following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to a published report.

The scientist, Bruce E. Ivins, 62, who worked for the past 18 years at the government’s biodefense labs at Fort Detrick, Md., had been told about the impending prosecution, the Los Angeles Times reported for Friday editions. The laboratory has been at the center of the FBI’s investigation of the anthrax attacks, which killed five people.

I don’t think I would commit suicide if I was INNOCENT. But what’s maddening is…if he was indeed- the mad scientist behind the nationwide Anthrax panic- we will never know what his motive was.

All of this reads like a creepy science fiction book.

Posted in 9/11/01, Crime, Science, War and Terror | Leave a Comment »

The Grid

Posted by redsatellite on April 8, 2008

The need for speed.

That’s what it ALL comes down to. When I sit down to my computer, I HAVE TO HAVE speed. Otherwise, I get irritable. I get DYSPEPTIC. Surly. Peevish. Yes friends dare I say- irascible. Well hold on to your megabytes, this just in, help is on the way!

The internet could soon be made obsolete. The scientists who pioneered it have now built a lightning-fast replacement capable of downloading entire feature films within seconds. At speeds about 10,000 times faster than a typical broadband connection, “the grid” will be able to send the entire Rolling Stones back catalogue from Britain to Japan in less than two seconds.

David Britton, professor of physics at Glasgow University and a leading figure in the grid project, believes grid technologies could “revolutionise” society. “With this kind of computing power, future generations will have the ability to collaborate and communicate in ways older people like me cannot even imagine,” he said. 

And I thought my DSL connection was sweet. Ha!

The power of the grid will become apparent this summer after what scientists at Cern have termed their “red button” day – the switching-on of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the new particle accelerator built to probe the origin of the universe. The grid will be activated at the same time to capture the data it generates. Cern, based near Geneva, started the grid computing project seven years ago when researchers realised the LHC would generate annual data equivalent to 56m CDs – enough to make a stack 40 miles high.

 

Technology is on the move like never before.

Posted in Computers, Science | Leave a Comment »

Global Warming Rages Through China

Posted by redsatellite on February 26, 2008

That Al Gore…he’s everywhere.

Snow cover over North America and much of Siberia, Mongolia and China is greater than at any time since 1966.The U.S. National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) reported that many American cities and towns suffered record cold temperatures in January and early February. According to the NCDC, the average temperature in January “was -0.3 F cooler than the 1901-2000 (20th century) average.”China is surviving its most brutal winter in a century. Temperatures in the normally balmy south were so low for so long that some middle-sized cities went days and even weeks without electricity because once power lines had toppled it was too cold or too icy to repair them.

How can that be? Al Gore told me the oceans would rise 20 FEET in the near future. John Kerry said the threat of Gore-bal Warming was worse than the Cold War! Damn it….th-th-th-they’re scaring m-m…m-me!

In just the first two weeks of February, Toronto received 70 cm of snow, smashing the record of 66.6 cm for the entire month set back in the pre-SUV, pre-Kyoto, pre-carbon footprint days of 1950.

Gilles Langis, a senior forecaster with the Canadian Ice Service in Ottawa, says the Arctic winter has been so severe the ice has not only recovered, it is actually 10 to 20 cm thicker in many places than at this time last year.

Dripping sarcasm aside, those supercilious mountebanksand their unctuous followers are so full of carbon monoxide, it’s enough to blot out the sun.

Posted in Environment, Liberalism, predictions, Science, Weather | Leave a Comment »