Category Archives: nature

Mars Moss

I was over at Posthuman Blues and after scrolling down a little bit there, I came across a post he did about Vegitation On Mars . Alas, the link not longer worked (but it worked this morning). So I did my own investigation and here’s what I found:

Plant Life? Animal Life? Or Both?

Take a look at some of these images from Mars’ south pole.

Do they resemble vegetation seen from a high altitude?

The image above is cropped from m0804688a, found on the PDS m0804688a Browse Page.

PDS does not give a discription of this image – just the word sample.

full image of section m0804688a

The lower portion of this image is packed with what looks to some like Martian vegetation.

But is it?

For a very interesting report about the notion that there might be seasonal vegetation on Mars

please see the article, Views on the Martian Polar Spring at

The Electric Warrior.

The author covers a lot of subjects relative to life in any environment

and makes an interesting case for vegetation on Mars.

These photos have been out since 2000-2001 time frame. How come these haven’t been posted in any science journals or on any science shows?

I hate to raise the specter of “NASA Conspiracy” like in the Face On Mars deal, but c’mon here. NASA always claims that “We’d be totally besides ourselves with joy if we found life on Mars!” It looks like to me that runs counter to the evidence I see so far. And it’s not like these photos aren’t genuine, they’re from the Mars Global Surveyor for cryin’ out loud!

Check out the Mars Trees Site.

NanoTech Data Storage

From Scientific American.com :

IBM researchers this week announced they’ve made major strides in nanotechnology by studying how to build storage and other computing devices out of components no bigger than a few atoms or molecules.

Researchers at the company’s Almaden Research Center in San Jose, Calif., report in Science that magnetic anisotropy could eventually be used to store information in individual atoms, paving the way to pack as much as 150 trillion bits of data per square inch, 1,000 times more than current data storage densities. In other words, the ability to store data in individual atoms could lead to devices capable of storing the equivalent of 30,000 movies in a device the size of an iPod.

If this technology is made possible, it could seriously increase the possiblity of a technological Singularity, especially in the area of creating strong AI, or “the ghost in the machine.”

Ray Kurzweil, author, inventer, entrenepeur and prominent Singularitarian advocates creation of such a “being”. In a November, 2006 debate with David Gelernter at MIT, Kurzweil states; ” Mastering human emotion and human language is really key to the Turing test, which has held up as our exemplary assessment of whether or not a non-biological intelligence has achieved human levels of intelligence…and that will require a machine to master human emotion, which in my view is really the cutting edge of human intelligence. That’s the most intelligent thing we do. Being funny, expressing a loving sentiment—these are very complex behaviors…”

Thusly, nanotech data storage at the atomic, or subatomic level could be the next step in Moore’s Law and essential to increased computational speeds-a necessary ingredient in any proposed AI system.

Personally, my view on creating an artificial intelligent system with consciousness without a human being in the loop isn’t feasable. The Universe is uniquely structured toward a biological bias with it’s abundance of carbon and oxygen (Anthropic Principle), a computer imbued with a conscience seems to be antithical to Nature, so there could be a glass ceiling where machines are concerned.

Of course I could be wrong, but I don’t think I am in this respect. If I am, and I wake up tomorrow to a ringing phone and a guy claiming to be “Morpheus” starts talking, well…

The Raelians

When I was up doing my morning routine today, I tuned in to the Science Channel as usual and the subject of human cloning came up. now in American society, when one mentions human cloning, expect to get looks of “eeww” or “yuck” or just plain weird looks. Americans, being schizophrenic in their views of morality think nothing of genocide in far off places like Iraq and Afganistan, but mention something about the human body in the public forum, we hide under rocks and quote the Bible. Now I don’t know diddley squat about cloning at all, be it animal or human, that’s why I’m throwing this out there for debate by people who might happen by and enlighten me and others about the subject. My education, be it college or self taught never covered cloning.

But what got my attention when viewing this program was the mention of a group called the Raelians. The Raelians were founded by Claude Vorilhon, a former French journalist. Vorilhon claims that …to have been taken up in a spaceship by a 4-foot-tall, green-skinned, long-haired, oval-eyed alien who directed him to write a book revealing the identities of the aliens as the creators of human beings. The aliens reportedly called him Rael.”

I have heard variations of humans being uplifted or created by aliens before, Zecharia Sitchin is another proponent of this view. But Vorilhon, or Rael as he his now known, claims to have been given enlightened information from these “Elohim” (Biblical term) or aliens concerning human cloning.

The Raelians have also claimed to have actually cloned two human embryos that have been carried to term. One was in America and the other in Europe. I don’t know about the validity of these claims.

Here are some sources and let me know what you all think.

http://www.clonaid.com/news.php

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,404175,00.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ra%C3%ABlism

http://religiousmovements.lib.virginia.edu/nrms/rael.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/2610795.stm

Quantum Science and “Woo-Hoo” Mysticism

Here’s a comment I received on my Tinfoil Multiverse thread a while back:

Just because you throw the phrase “quantum physics” around doesnt mean you (a) know what the hell you’re talking about or (b) the universe is mysterious beyond comprehension.

Scientists don’t fear quantum physics (I am an active scientist, and I have never, ever feared QP); QP is a part of modern science. yes, it’s wierd from a classical/Newtonian view of the universe, but that’s no reason to fear it. There is a vast difference between QP and woo-woo mysticism:

The former makes demonstrable, falsifiable claims about the universe, which can be (and are) experimentally verified and discarded if necessary; the latter does no such thing.

edge100 – June 22nd, 2007 at 4:26 pm

Wow, my first scientist, and he flamed me!. Oh well, it’s to be expected as I’ve learned, the hard way of course. He didn’t like the way I bandied about “quantum mechanics/physics”.(actual quote: “Quantum mechanics is some weird shit. Most scientists don’t like to use it because it often explodes their own little pet theories/dogmas. As I always said and continue to say, ‘there’s more to reality than our puny five senses.” If we knew what the whole truth was, we wouldn’t even get out of bed!”) It wasn’t in the thread, it was a comment I made, the first one in fact.

So my response was in effect, show me, I want to learn and explain in layman’s terms. Here’s the response:

Quantum physics is not the explanation for all things we cannot explain. It IS difficult to grasp (”if you think you understand QP, you don’t understand QP”, is the standard quote), but it makes predictions, which are experimentally verifiable. Until “ghosts, hauntings…” etc are subjected to experimental verification, this is just woo woo hypothesizing (and it’s barely that).

But my real beef was with the comment you made:

“Quantum mechanics is some weird shit. Most scientists don’t like to use it because it often explodes their own little pet theories/dogmas.”

QM is the subject of active research, by real scientists, who publish their work in real journals, which are reviewed by other real scientists. It explodes classical mechanics, but this is the way science works: theories are developed, based on real data, that explain a given phenomenon. If new data is obtained that does not fit the theory, the theory is modified and/or discarded. BUT, any new theory must explain why the old theory SEEMED to be correct. Special relativity (another ‘hard-to-understand-using-conventional-thinking’ theory) destroyed Newtonian mechanics, but suggested why the latter APPEARED to be correct (SR simplifies to Newtonian mechanics at velocities that are very low with respect to the speed of light).

“As I always said and continue to say, ‘there’s more to reality than our puny five senses.”

There is, of course, more to reality than our five senses (which is why we have devices that can detect information that is beyond our senses). But that doesn’t imply any of the things discussed above.

Quantum physics does not predict anything and everything, but it often gets used to justify things that seem “wierd”.

Ok, Dr. edge100 believes that quantum physics doesn’t predict anything and everything and he doesn’t like the way it gets used to explain “weird” stuff (use a spell checker “Doc”). Fine, I would buy that except for some pretty smart people who say quantum science might explain some weird shit:

  1. Why do ‘particles’ appear to affect each other at a distance, no matter the distance?

Answer: There are no such things as ‘particles’ according to Milo Wolffe:

It is the purpose of this article to explain the origin and cause of the strange instantaneous events associated with these laws. We will show that causality is not actually being violated. Instead, the strange events are merely appearances, “shaumkamm” in the words of Irwin Schroedinger. They were created by our former incomplete knowledge of the Wave Structure of Matter and of the energy exchange mechanism of quantum wave structures. All communication is actually at velocity c. Source

That’s novel, Wave Function Theory, never heard of it, wonder if Dr. edge100 has? Is it ‘woo-hoo mysticism’?

Because here’s the counter theory to that:

Quantum physics tries to explain the behavior of even smaller particles. These particles are things like electrons, protons, and neutrons. Quantum physics even describes the particles which make these particles! That’s right; the model of an atom that you were taught in high-school is wrong. The electrons don’t orbit like planets; they form blurred clouds of probabilities around the nucleus. Source.

Different theories about the same science? Which is ‘woo-hoo mysticism’? Who’s right? The model of the atom taught to us in school is wrong. Hmmph. And isn’t probabilities something like throwing dice continuously, like for a very long time?

And didn’t Einstein say something like, “You believe in the God who plays dice, and I in complete law and order in a world which objectively exists, and which I, in a wildly speculative way, am trying to capture. I hope that someone will discover a more realistic way, or rather a more tangible basis than it has been my lot to find. Even the great initial success of the Quantum Theory does not make me believe in the fundamental dice-game, although I am well aware that our younger colleagues interpret this as a consequence of senility. No doubt the day will come when we will see whose instinctive attitude was the correct one. (Albert Einstein to Max Born, Sept 1944, ‘The Born-Einstein Letters’) Source

How ’bout that, the Father of Quantum Physics doesn’t like his child much. He must’ve thought it was ‘woo-hoo’ mysticism.

My point is that today’s “woo-hoo” mysticism could be tomorrow’s accepted theory and the unforeseen future’s truth. Why couldn’t Paul Eno be right? Just because his theory doesn’t fit present dogma and can’t be proven with “physical evidence”, without instrumentation to measure any effects? Present particle/wave theories couldn’t be tested until particle accelerators became available. Who’s to say that some machine won’t be invented that extracts a “wormhole” from the “quantum foam” and expands it wide enough to see a “parallel universe” using a Casimir device?

No, I am not a scientist, hold a PhD, a published author, a professional researcher or any of that, I never claimed to. I have a blog that is dedicated to asking hard questions about politics, conspiracy theories, science-fiction and science. Especially dogma of any type. I love to question that. Along with authority.

Like Milo Wolffe says, “Most scientists will deny any new truths”. Source

“Beeing” Survivors

Remember a couple of weeks back I posted some news about bee colonies dying off? Well, it seems that “organic” bees aren’t dying:

Over the past few weeks we have highlighted reports that suggest bee populations are declining at rates of up to 80% in areas of the U.S. and Europe. Experts are calling the worrying trend “colony collapse disorder” or CCD.

While no one can pin point the exact reason as to why bees are declining so rapidly it is interesting to note that no organic bee keepers are reporting losses.

A recent report at sci-tech website redicecreations.com cites a statement from longtime environmental activist and part-time organic beekeeper Sharon Labchuk from Prince Edward Island who states:

I’m on an organic beekeeping list of about 1,000 people, mostly Americans, and no one in the organic beekeeping world, including commercial beekeepers, is reporting colony collapse on this list. The problem with the big commercial guys is that they put pesticides in their hives to fumigate for varroa mites, and they feed antibiotics to the bees. They also haul the hives by truck all over the place to make more money with pollination services, which stresses the colonies.

Labchuk has twice run for a seat in Ottawa’s House of Commons, making strong showings around 5% for Canada’s fledgling Green Party. She is also leader of the provincial wing of her party. She is adamant that it is the rigors of the commercial agricultural industry that are wiping out bee populations.

Yah. So much for the “cell phone” and “powerline” theories that penetrated the airwaves by the CMSM. I was talking to a farmer friend of mine at work today and we talked about the bee die-off. We both agreed it had to do with pesticides.

And now who wouldn’t want us to know about any nasty pesticides killing off the nice bees that make us honey and enable us to have veggies and fruits?

It wouldn’t be those nice chemical corps like Monsanto, Bayer and Dupont would it?

Nah.

Don’t Go On A Diet, Move To Canada!

When I spyed the title to this article in NewScientist.com, my eyebrows did a “Mr. Spock” arch. How can one part of the Earth have different gravity than other sections? That would mean the mass of that part of the planet would be lighter or denser, right?

If it seems Canadians weigh less than their American neighbours, they do – but not for the reasons you might think. A large swath of Canada actually boasts lower gravity than its surroundings.

Researchers have puzzled for years over whether this was due to the crust there rebounding slowly after the end of the last ice age or a deeper issue involving convection in the Earth’s mantle – or some combination of the two.

Huh? Bouncing planetary crust? Weird science indeed!

Satellites solve mystery of low gravity over Canada

Friday Science Tinfoil (or is it?)

From NewScientistTech:

Fast silicon chips that use both light and electricity to process information and communicate could made be more efficient using a new “energy harvesting” technique developed by US researchers.

I heard rumors about silicon chips using optical means to process information faster, now it seems somebody might’ve solved the problem. ‘Energy Harvesting’

This one will make Mirthy happy:

For decades, posters depicting rabbits with inflamed, reddened eyes symbolised campaigns against the testing of cosmetics on animals. Now the most severe of those tests are to be banned across the European Union.

I’m an old softy when it comes to small animals. But I don’t let too many people know that, gotta maintain an image y’know. Europe bans most severe animal tests

This one here doesn’t surprise me much:

Cost and benefit

The most awaited figures of the report relate to the cost of limiting global warming. The final version says that stabilising concentrations of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere at between 590 and 710 parts per million (ppm) would cost 0.2% of global GDP. Computer modelling studies predict that within this range, global temperatures should not rise beyond 4°C.

Stabilising greenhouse gas concentrations at between 445 and 535 ppm will cost 3.0% of global GDP. Current concentrations are at 425 ppm. The IPCC’s best estimate is that 445 ppm will bring about a 2°C rise in global temperature.

But “there is only about a 40% chance of staying below 2°C even if we opt for 450 ppm stabilisation”, notes Myles Allen, of Oxford University in the UK.

The “pinch” point is 2050 as far as population growth and global warming are concerned, meaning that the Earth’s ecosphere will reach a stress point; runaway greenhouse effect and a population clash resulting in more wars and genocide over dwindling resources, water being a big one. But in the end, will it matter if the nation with the most money win? Price placed on limiting global warming.

It has been theorized that reducing caloric intake, and this has been proven with studies on mice, can lengthen life spans. Well, that’s ok, but I like to eat and most Americans do also. Now some wiz-kid has a possible way to get around this conundrum, using worms! A Lean Gene for Low-Cal Longevity

And I gotta add some tinfoil to Friday Science, or I would lose my credibility amongst the faithful, no?

As countless photos from space can attest, Earth is round—the “Blue Marble,” as astronauts have affectionately dubbed it. Appearances, however, can be deceiving. Planet Earth is not, in fact, perfectly round.

This is heresy! Columbus must be rolling in his grave! But St. Thomas of Friedman recently wrote a book about the Earth being ‘flat’. Okay, I won’t go there. Strange but True: Earth Is Not Round.

Ancient Iraqi Tinfoil

When the United States destroyed Iraq per the orders of George W. Bush, I’m sure he didn’t have in mind the fact that Iraq was home to the earliest known civilization, Sumeria.

Sumeria, which started as the city-state Ur ( or Uruk) eventually evolved into Akkadia, Assyria and Babylon. The Sumerians, along with Egyptians were the first to record events surrounding them. Most of the time (80%) all this entailed was accounting records, census and property deeds. But they recorded some extrordinary “myths” or epic tales of great kings, angels and gods. Alot of these stories ended up with the Bible via the Hebrew Torah. There’s some debate with that, but that’s for another day, but what I’m going to say next might clear part of that up.

Zecharia Sitchin is an investigator and author of many books, one of which is entitled The 12th Planet. The premise of the book is that the Sumerian texts that describe the gods they worshipped as “giants who came from the sky” were actual creatures and that they came from a planet named “Nibiru” or body that crosses or travels. The used-to-be planet Pluto figures prominently in this scenario also because according to Sitchin, Pluto used to be a moon of Saturn:

Our solar system has only eight “classical” planets – so has decided the astronomer’s union, meeting in Prague.  Pluto – still out there – must be laughing. 

It is ironic – or, perhaps, symbolic – that the decision to deprive Pluto of its status as our sun’s ninth planet coincides with the 30th anniversary of the publication of my seminal work The Twelfth Planet in Autumn l976.  In it I suggested that the Sumerian Epic of Creation is not an allegorical myth but a sophisticated cosmogony scientifically describing how our solar system came to be; and it most definitely included Pluto. 

Inscribed on seven clay tablets, the text described how the inner and outer planets appeared; how an invading celestial body (“Nibiru”) collided with and broke up the planet ‘Tiamat’, creating “a new heaven;” and how Nibiru, captured in a great elliptical orbit, became the twelfth member of the Sun’s Family – Sun, Moon, and ten planets including Earth, Nibiru and Pluto. These ‘celestial gods’ were matched by a pantheon of twelve deities on Earth. 

The reports from Prague at first suggested that astronomers were bothered by Pluto’s small size, now that a large icy body has been found farther out. But the final vote focused on what has troubled astronomers almost from Pluto’s discovery in 1930.  Its unusual inclined orbit that weaves in and out of Neptune’s path.

This odd orbit has led some astronomers to speculate that Pluto began its life as a satellite, perhaps of Neptune.  But what forceful event could have caused it to shift position and adopt a strange orbit? No one knew. But in The 12th Planet I wrote that the Sumerians of ancient Mesopotamia knew: Pluto (“GAGA” in the Epic of Creation) was indeed a moon of Saturn, pried off and sent into independent orbit by the invading Nibiru to play an important role in those celestial encounters. 

In fact, the Sumerians were also aware that Gaga/Pluto ended up in the odd orbit next to Neptune.  In the Sumerian pantheon, the planet we call Neptune was the celestial counterpart of the Aquarius god Enki.  His ‘chancellor’ or ‘visier’ was nicknamed Ushmu, meaning “He ‘of two faces” – and so was he depicted, with one face looking at Enki and a second face looking away from him (Fig. 1) – exactly the way Pluto looks at Neptune.

Wow. Ancient astronauts. Pluto. When I was 13 years old the idea of ancient astronauts posing as gods was big medicine to me and got me into alot of trouble with my parents (Dad especially), my dad’s family and the preacher of the church my parents attended. It was my first trip wearing the tinfoil hat (some would say that trip is to hell). I’m still wearing that hat by the way, though it’s showing it’s age by now.

This is new stuff to me, even though I cut my teeth on Von Daniken who was a broad base investigator and theorised on the Earth’s cultures at large. Sitchen concentrates on one group of people and how their “religion” was one of the bases for the “Abrahamic” religions.

Read the rest of Sitchin here.

The disclaimer to this is that Sitchin’s translations are inaccurate and since they are inaccurate, his claim is not a legitimate scientific theory. Follow the other links he has on his site after you look through it and judge for yourself. Foil away!

Peak Oil? How about Peak Water

From livescience.com:

 As the world warms, water — either too little or too much of it — is going to be the major problem for the United States, scientists and military experts said Monday. It will be a domestic problem, with states clashing over controls of rivers, and a national security problem as water shortages and floods worsen conflicts and terrorism elsewhere in the world, they said.

Water and controlling sources of water have been a center piece of human civilization for five thousand years. After all, ancient city-states and the oldest nation-state on Earth started along rivers and in river valleys.

Human beings are reaching the cusp point faster than we ever imagined; one way is toward denial, wars for decreasing resources, death and a fate worse than the Fall of Rome, Black Death and the early Dark Ages combined, or we can face facts, stop throwing money at military contractors and start a program the equivilant to the Manhattan Project in a step forward in our evolution to a true planetary society.

U.S. and Global Water Wars Loom

Olympic Summer Rain

Weather control has always been the holy grail of meteorologists, but just could be reality. The Chinese plan to make it rain two weeks before the 2008 games in order to clean the air around Beijing.

Also, being able to control the weather is a step toward becoming a Type I planetary civilization.

China Plans To Make Rain Ahead Of The Olympics