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2016/17 SciMail

LATER Older Homos Coral Reefs Time Travel? Galactic? Infinity Reflexes Van Flandern
Fake Science New Skulls Nat. Variations Evolution Infinity Sci-Hubris Temps - CO2 Fake Sci
Kuiper Belt Volcano? Sci-Experts Cosmology Mars Mishaps Bad Wiki Two Books Brain-Zombies
Fake `Warmest' Fake `Dust' Conscious Good Docs False Sci Real Expert Phases Dangers
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Clay Feet Swindle Docu Iced Dead Inertia Brain Speeds Mice & Men `Reality'? Lunar Reply
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Date: Wed, 3 May 2017 22:57:17 +0100
Subject: "Oldest ancient-human DNA ... 400,000 to 600,000 years old"

"Oldest ancient-human DNA ... 400,000 to 600,000 years old"

Quite interesting.  As we've been discussing for some years, that `out of Africa 60,000 years ago' theory is now discredited.

Here we have skeletal remains of folk who we know have interbred with our own direct ancestors, and not from 60,000 but from 400,000 to 600,000 years ago, and not in Africa but Spain!

Just like in other areas, as science improves, our history is extended further and further back - and think there's a long way to go yet!

Ray D
Oldest ancient-human DNA details dawn of Neanderthals
Sequence of 430,000-year-old DNA pushes back divergence of humans and Neanderthals.
Ewen Callaway | 14 March 2016

Matthias Meyer has just published the results of what may be the world's most wasteful genome-sequencing project. In decoding just 0.1% of the genome of the oldest DNA ever recovered from an ancient human, the molecular biologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, threw out enough raw data to map the modern human genome dozens of times over.

But the excess was necessary, because the DNA in the 430,000-year-old bones was degraded and contaminated. Meyer's feat of recovery has revealed that the remains, from a cavern in northern Spain, represent early Neanderthals - and has pushed back estimates of the time at which the ancient predecessors of humans must have split from those of Neanderthals (M. Meyer et al. Nature; 2016).

`Starting such a thing is already very ambitious, and managing it is even more impressive,' says Ludovic Orlando, an ancient-DNA researcher at the Natural History Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen. `We are really reaching the limits of what is possible.'

The analysis addresses confusion over which species the remains belong to. A report published in 2013 sequenced a femur's mitochondrial genome - which is made up of DNA from the cell's energy-producing structures that is more abundant in cells than is nuclear DNA. It suggested that at least one individual identified from the remains was more closely related to a group called Denisovans - known from remains found thousands of kilometres away in Siberia - than it was to European Neanderthals (M. Meyer et al. Nature 505, 403-406; 2014).

`It's wonderful news to have mitochondrial and nuclear DNA from something that is 430,000 years old. It's like science fiction. It's an amazing opportunity,' says Maria Martinón-Torres, a palaeoanthropologist at University College London.

The remains are known as the Sima hominins because they were found in Sima de los Huesos (Spanish for `pit of bones'), a 13-metre-deep shaft in Spain's Atapuerca mountains. Few ancient sites are as important or intriguing as Sima, which holds the remains of at least 28 individuals, along with those of dozens of cave bears and other animals. The hominins might have plummeted to their death, but some researchers think they were deliberately buried there.

The Sima hominin skulls have the beginnings of a prominent brow ridge, as well as other traits typical of Neanderthals. But other features, and uncertainties around their age - some studies put them at 600,000 years old, others closer to 400,000 - convinced many researchers that they might instead belong to an older species known as Homo heidelbergensis.

Confusion peaked when Meyer, his colleague Svante Pääbo and their team revealed the mitochondrial connection to the Denisovans. But they hoped that retrieving the skeletons' nuclear DNA - which represents many more lines of ancestry than does mitochondrial DNA, which is inherited solely from the maternal line - would clear things up.

Nuclear recovery
Meyer's team managed to glean nuclear and mitochondrial DNA from five Sima samples, probably representing different individuals. A key factor in their success, says Meyer, was that since 2006, archaeologists had carefully refrigerated teeth and shoulder-blade tissue from the pit to preserve the ancient DNA - awaiting advanced molecular-analysis techniques.

The nuclear DNA, Meyer's team reports in Nature on 14 March, shows that the Sima hominins are in fact early Neanderthals. And its age suggests that the early predecessors of humans diverged from those of Neanderthals between 550,000 and 765,000 years ago - too far back for the common ancestors of both to have been Homo heidelbergensis, as some had posited.

Researchers should now be looking for a population that lived around 700,000 to 900,000 years ago, says Martinón-Torres. She thinks that Homo antecessor, known from 900,000-year-old remains from Spain, is the strongest candidate for the common ancestor, if such specimens can be found in Africa or the Middle East.

The team's latest mitochondrial sequences, meanwhile, again confirm the puzzling link between the Sima hominins and the Denisovans. Meyer suggests that the ancestors of the two groups carried mitochondrial DNA that is reflected in both - but which is not present in later Neanderthals. This elimination could have happened by chance, but Meyer now favours the hypothesis that an as yet unknown species from Africa migrated to Eurasia and bred with Neanderthals, replacing the mitochondrial DNA lineages. (Supporting this idea, stone-tool technologies spread from Africa to Eurasia around half a million years ago, and again 250,000 years ago).

It is hard to rule out these or other ideas without new data, says Meyer. The full or nearly full genome of a Sima hominin, or genetic data from other early Neanderthals, would be necessary.

`It's fascinating and keeps us all on our toes trying to make sense of it all,' says Chris Stringer, a palaeoanthropologist at the Natural History Museum in London. Stringer says that the recovery of such old nuclear DNA gives him hope that researchers will be able to analyse ancient DNA that stretches even further back in time. `Instead of just being stuck with trying to resolve the last 100,000 years,' he says, `we can really start to put some dates from DNA further down the human tree.'

Nature 531, 296-286 (17 March 2016) doi:10.1038/531286a

Date: Sun, 30 Apr 2017 20:05:47 +0100
Subject: BBC Propaganda - Great Barrier Reef

BBC Propaganda - Great Barrier Reef

Ha!  This item is loaded with subtle propaganda (edited out - check the original) saying "bleaching is caused by over-heating".  WRONG!

In fact bleaching is mostly caused through corals suffering chemical stress, usually by way of pollution of one sort or another.  Australia's government is notoriously hand-in glove with wealthy corporate industry and agri-business, which are responsible for huge amounts of polluted run-off being (cheaply) dispersed into the ocean off the east coast of Australia.

Ray D

PS - We know this because there are many large coral reefs around the world which are HEALTHY & THRIVING - because they don't have pollution problems like Australia!

PS2 - Furthermore, we also know that temperatures were much higher than today for most of last ten thousand years, but corals have happily survived till now!
Great Barrier Reef: Two-thirds damaged in `unprecedented' bleaching

Unprecedented coral bleaching in consecutive years has damaged two-thirds of Australia's Great Barrier Reef, aerial surveys have shown.
The bleaching - or loss of algae - affects a 1,500km (900 miles) stretch of the reef, according to scientists.
The latest damage is concentrated in the middle section, whereas last year's bleaching hit mainly the north.
Experts fear the proximity of the two events will give damaged coral little chance to recover.

Date: Fri, 28 Apr 2017 09:51:13 +0100
Subject: Time Travel - `mathematically possible'?

Time Travel - `mathematically possible'?

Ha!  This guy (a mathematician) is making the same mistake as Hawking (another mathematician) made with his `black holes': building a fancy new edifice atop a `consensus' theory which later turns out to be rubbish!  Also like Dawkins made with his `Darwinism', which is also now known to be rubbish - but only by a few top scientists who are not encouraged to talk about it.

In this particular case, Einstein's `Relativity' theory (actually two of them) is just as faulty as Darwin's `Evolution' theory was, and in both cases most scientists don't yet know.

That's because most `scientists' are relatively uninformed bean-counters who have no idea what's happening at the cutting-edge.  So the science `consensus' is actually the worthless group opinion of a bunch of mediocre non-thinkers.   In science, as in almost everything else, the consensus is always WRONG!

Ray D
Researcher reveals the math of time travel and says it IS possible (but don't expect a working machine anytime soon)
PUBLISHED: 17:28, 27 April 2017 | UPDATED: 17:28, 27 April 2017

A physicist has created a new model that reveals, mathematically, time travel actually is possible - but scientists have yet to discover the right materials to bring a time machine to life.
In the study, Tippett argues that space should not be divided into three dimensions, with time separated. Instead, he says the four dimensions should be imagined simultaneously as a space-time continuum in which the different directions are connected.

Tippetts' model describes a Traversable Acausal Retrograde Domain in Space-time (or, a TARDIS). This would be a `bubble' of space-time geometry, which can carry its contents backward and forward through space and time along a circular path. As it can travel at speeds faster than light, it is able to move backward in time.

While it may be mathematically possible, though, the researcher says it`s unlikely anyone will be able to build a working time machine in the foreseeable future. `People think of time travel as something of fiction,' said Ben Tippett, a mathematics and physics instructor at the University of British Columbia's Okanagan campus. `And we tend to think it's not possible because we don't actually do it. But mathematically, it is possible.'

In a recently published study, Tippett argues that space should not be divided into three dimensions, with time separated. Instead, he says the four dimensions should be imagined simultaneously as a space-time continuum in which the different directions are connected. Based on Einstein's theory, the researcher says the curvature of space-time accounts for the curved orbits of the planets. If space-time were not curved, planets and stars would move in straight lines, he argues.

So, near a massive star, space-time geometry becomes curved, causing the straight trajectories of nearby planets to bend to follow the curvature around the star.

`The time direction of space-time surface also shows curvature,' Tippett says.

`There is evidence showing the closer to a black hole we get, time moves slower. My model of a time machine uses the curved space-time - to bend time into a circle for the passengers, not in a straight line. That circle takes us back in time.'

Tippetts' model describes a Traversable Acausal Retrograde Domain in Space-time (or, a TARDIS) - though not quite like the device Dr Who fans are familiar with. Instead, it would be more of a `bubble'. This would be a `bubble' of space-time geometry, which can carry its contents backward and forward through space and time along a circular path.

As it can travel at speeds faster than light, it is able to move backward in time. While it may be mathematically possible, though, the researcher says it's unlikely anyone will be able to build a working time machine in the foreseeable future.

`HG Wells popularized the term `time machine' and he left people with the thought that an explorer would need a `machine or special box' to actually accomplish time travel,' Tippett says.

`While it is mathematically feasible, it is not yet possible to build a space-time machine because we need materials - which we call exotic matter - to bend space-time in these impossible ways, but they have yet to be discovered.'

Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2017 16:35:49 +0100
Subject: "Galactic garbage" - True!

"Galactic garbage" - True!

Ha!  The programme title piqued curiosity; as I'd not heard of any junk from the Milky Way heading towards us.

So clicked on and found the misleading title was written by a scientifically-illiterate BBC arts graduate - seems they're all the BBC will trust to implement its biased propaganda agenda.

Ray D
Galactic garbage
The race to destroy space debris that threatens Earth
Millions of pieces of human-made trash are now orbiting the Earth. Some are tiny, others are large enough to be seen with a telescope, but all pose a risk to space craft and satellites.

Date: Tue, 18 Apr 2017 16:56:17 +0100
Subject: Re: Fractions of INFINITY?

I don't know Choong - in fact after reading it felt like I didn't know anything!
Ray D

Sent: Thursday, April 13, 2017 4:53 PM
Subject: Re: Fractions of INFINITY?

So Ray, this seems to imply that this reality is not real but a mirror of another one or else there can't be such thing that is not making sense.


On 16-Mar-17 5:19 AM, Ray Dickenson wrote:

Fractions of INFINITY?

Recall recent (and not so recent) conversations on an "infinite, unending universe"?

The other day happened to read a nice comment, bearing on what we know about the universe (and therefore how confidently we can make assumptions about it).

"We only know a tiny fraction of the facts about the Universe.  The Universe looks like being infinite - in time and space - so facts about the Universe will also be infinite - in number.  So before making any assumptions we must recall that *any* fraction of infinity is ZERO!"

[ Came across that in a book by Robert Lanza MD and Bob Berman ]

Ray D

Date: Wed, 5 Apr 2017 17:39:01 +0100
Subject: Half of car crashes involve people distracted by mobile phones - WRONG

Half of car crashes involve people distracted by mobile phones - WRONG

Heck!  As I told them 20+ years ago - it's NOT about "distraction" - it's about having your reflexes and responses SLOWED DOWN by a factor of ten or more!

Which makes any driver a lethal menace on the road.

Ray D
Half of car crashes involve people distracted by mobile phones - study
Published time: 3 Apr, 2017 19:29 | Edited time: 4 Apr, 2017 09:02

Driving data of more than 100,000 vehicle operators show that half of car crashes involved a driver distracted by a phone at some point in the trip, while one in four drivers used a phone within a minute of a crash, according to a new study.

In coordination with Distracted Driving Awareness Month, Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT) released a study on Monday underscoring that phone distractions are a major source of dangerous driving and car wrecks in the US. The company creates mobile apps that measure driving behavior.

One in four drivers who crashed were using a phone during or mere moments before the accident, CMT said.

Meanwhile, distracted driving occurred at some point during 52 percent of car trips that resulted in a crash, CMT's study found.

"This is a big problem for drivers and bikes and pedestrians," said Hari Balakrishnan, chief technology officer of CMT, according to the Chicago Tribune. "It's a fairly dominant factor in determining whether you have a crash."
(more at page ...)

Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2017 10:35:44 +0100
Subject: Tom Van Flandern's masterpiece

Tom Van Flandern's masterpiece

Am nearly through my first complete read of Tom's masterpiece and suspect I'll want to return to it many times.  Had the book a week or three and was progressing, albeit a bit slower than my usual rate.

Last night, while reading, found myself trying to compose a review, however kept on reading of more exciting developments and of Tom's innovative approaches to solving those apparent problems - so kept putting-off that review.

Now in the cold light of day realize it's probably best to give you a sample of opinion from other enthusiastic readers - so here goes
[Cheers, Ray D]

Dark Matter, Missing Planets and New Comets - Paradoxes Resolved, Origins Illuminated
by Tom Van Flandern
Top Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars - An Astronomical Bestseller!

"For those of you interested in cosmology (the way the solar system and universe work) then this book is great.

Tom Van Flandern clearly and succinctly puts forward his meta-model of the universe in a way that puts mainstream astronomy to shame.

I have always believed that things can be logically explained and make sense in the cosmos around us.  This book does just that. He makes a killer argument about an infinite universe in both time and scale, pointing out many reasons as to why the big-bang is a failure.

Van Flandern discusses the speed of gravity by using the sun-earth-moon system to show that gravity must be travelling far quicker than the speed of light.

I like how this book embraces many aspects of astronomy all in one. Best of all is his discussion regarding the basis of science, in that we should think of new models based on the existing evidence as opposed to fitting evidence to an old model.

This book is a very worthwhile read and will open your eyes to what mainstream astronomy has been keeping from you."

(more reviews on-line)

Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2017 09:10:26 +0100
Subject: FWD - 'Fake research' comes under scrutiny'

'Fake research' comes under scrutiny

Yup, we've been seeing similar reports for some years now, especially with regard to corporate research which is used to `justify' Big Pharma's high prices (for ineffectual / dangerous drugs).

Ray D
`Fake research' comes under scrutiny
By Helen Briggs | BBC News | 8 hours ago

The scale of "fake research" in the UK appears to have been underestimated, a BBC investigation suggests.
Official data points to about 30 allegations of research misconduct between 2012 and 2015. However, figures obtained by the BBC under Freedom of Information rules identified hundreds of allegations over a similar time period at 23 universities alone.

There are growing concerns around the world over research integrity. The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee has begun an inquiry into the issue to reassure the public that robust systems are in place in the UK. Stephen Metcalfe, the committee's chairman, said it was vitally important that people have confidence in research that is paid for by public funds.

"Where research has been found to be fraudulent at a later point it has a big impact on the public - it leads to mistrust," he told BBC News. "What we want to do is to investigate how robust the mechanisms are for ensuring that research is ethical, it is accurate, it is, to a degree, reproducible."

Growing pressures
Requests by the BBC under Freedom of Information rules show that at least 300 allegations were reported at 23 of the 24 research-intensive Russell Group universities between 2011 and 2016 among staff and research students.
A total of 319 cases were reported between 2011 and 2016 among staff and research students. The actual number is likely to be higher as some universities did not provide full figures.
Of these 103 were upheld, 173 were dismissed and 43 are ongoing.

Allegations that were upheld after investigation included:
Falsification of research
Passing off others' work as one's own
Data in a published paper taken from other sources without due acknowledgement

The investigations led to at least 32 research papers being retracted as well as at least three PhD theses. These figures are likely to be an underestimate as some universities could not supply data on retractions.
(more at page ...)

Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2017 08:34:58 +0100
Subject: FWD - "New skulls from China have scientists and the media in a muddle"

"New skulls from China have scientists and the media in a muddle"

D'you remember me giving good reviews to two great new books? `Shattering the Myths of Darwinism' - by Richard Milton, and `The Science Delusion' - by Rupert Sheldrake?.

Well, I'd recommend reading both of them before believing articles like the one below.  I.e. Richard proved that time and again, so-called "scientists" are just faking it when they assign dates like "between 125,000 and 105,000 years" (like below) because ALL dating methods, including the radiometric ones, are so inaccurate that such "precision" is impossible!

So when you read of confident dating like that - remember they're conning you.  They don't really know!

What WE know is their much vaunted "Out of Africa 60,000 Years Ago" has been well and truly shot down, many times by now.

And that pompous claims below, like "Logically, modern humans could only have evolved once" - are not necessarily true.  I.e. - groups could've separated and diverged a long time ago and evolved separately but not growing too far apart - so that when they got back in contact, many millennia later maybe, they were able to still reproduce together and so re-merged, perhaps with the resulting boost to brain and physical fitness that is known as `hybrid vigor'.

So, things are getting interesting, in China and the rest of the Far East.

New Skulls Ray D
New skulls from China have scientists and the media in a muddle
March 13, 2017 by Darren Curnoe, The Conversation

Incomplete skulls from Xuchang archaeological site in China are dated to between 125,000 and 105,000 years old. Credit: Xiu-Jie Wu, IVPP
Just a decade ago we thought we had solved the mystery of mysteries. We were confident we had finally puzzled out the evolutionary origins of modern humans.

Two hundred thousand years ago our species evolved in sub-Saharan Africa and by around 60,000 years ago strode out to settle Asia, Australia, Europe and eventually the Americas, replacing the Neanderthals as we set up home.

But as is so often the case in science, the story of our origins would turn out to be so much more complicated than we had expected. The rapid pace and unexpected nature of discoveries over the last 10 years have led both scientists and the media to muddledom, leaving the wider community in a bit of a daze.

The publication of the first draft sequence of a Neanderthal genome was a game changer, showing that Neanderthals had interbred with the ancestors of non-African people tens of thousands of years ago.

It was followed very quickly by the genome sequence of the mysterious 'Denisovans' which showed that 4-6% of its DNA was present in people living today in New Guinea as a result of interbreeding with their ancestors somewhere in Asia.

Since then, we've learned a heck of lot about the extent and timing of interbreeding, the specific genes transferred into the modern human genome from Neanderthals and Denisovans, and even the negative impact of this gene mixing; including that hybrid modern males were the human equivalent of 'mules'.

And while anthropologists had argued for over a hundred years about whether the Neanderthals were a separate species from us, this was finally resolved in the affirmative during last half decade thanks to genomics research.

If you read the recent media hype surrounding two new skulls of archaic humans from Xichang in eastern China you might be forgiven for thinking anthropology was yet again being subject to a major overhaul.

The discovery was announced by a team led by Zhan-Yang Li and was made in the prestigious journal Science. It took Li 7 years of painstaking excavation to recovery the bones, which are dated to between 125,000 and 105,000 years old. These are important fossils that help fill a major gap in time in the human fossil record, especially in East Asia. In terms of their physical traits, they combine features found in many archaic humans from this period shared with modern humans, like large brain cavities and thin skull bones.

At the same time they possess primitive features like very prominent eyebrow ridges and the greatest width of the skull being across the ear bones, not high up on the brain case like modern humans. They also share with the Neanderthals some features of the skull including the shape of the organs of balance (or semi-circular canals) contained deep within the bony ear tube.

Ann Gibbons writing for Science speculated the Xichang skulls might be from the Denisovans. Fun to speculate, but we only have two finger bones and a tooth from this species so we have no idea what their skulls looked like.

Other outlets claimed the discovery challenged our African origins and proved that Neanderthals had made it to China.

Headlines claiming humans evolved in China might be good click bait but they misrepresent a long standing consensus among anthropologists and geneticists. It would take a heck of a lot more evidence than two incomplete skulls to overturn the African origins theory.

And the features shared with Neanderthals don't prove or disprove they were in China. How about a couple of actual Neanderthal bones from the region for a start?
Still some of the confusion originates from the scientists involved, so we can't blame the media entirely for getting it wrong.
The researchers behind the new study want to have a bet both ways, acknowledging on the one hand the validity of the African origins theory, but then claiming on the other hand the Xichang skulls represent the immediate precursors of modern humans in China.

Logically, modern humans could only have evolved once, and the overwhelming evidence points to Africa. So how does this work, you might ask?
The Xichang skulls are seen as proving a long discredited model dubbed regional continuity which would see living Chinese populations evolving from very early humans in China, as far back as two million years ago.

Only in this case some genes were apparently introduced into this long lasting archaic group from modern humans from Africa and also from Neanderthals from Siberia or Europe. This, the authors think, would explain their mixed set of bony features and gave them a boost on their trajectory to becoming modern people.
But there's no getting around the issue that regional continuity is not supported by genetics or the fossil record anywhere else; not even in China actually. Or that regional continuity makes many spurious assumptions about how evolution broadly, and human evolution specifically, has occurred.

To my mind, if the similarities between the Xichang fossils and modern humans are genuinely reflective of shared ancestry (i.e. they are homologies) then interbreeding offers us far more plausible explanation than a clapped out theory like regional continuity.
Alternatively, the Xichang skulls might simply be an example of a late surviving archaic group in China. Sort of like an East Asian equivalent of the Neanderthals or the Hobbit. And why not?

Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2017 08:56:36 -0000
Subject: Temps. `Not Outside The Range Of Natural Variations'

Temps. `Not Outside The Range Of Natural Variations'

Yup, although the corrupt MSM media are mostly screaming "global warming" panic - we _know_ the climate is still well within normal variations, because today it's colder than the average temperature of the last ten thousand years.short-term temp changes

In fact the Romans took advantage of weather much warmer than today's - they were growing grapes for wine in the far north of England, and at times maybe in Scotland.
If you know your history, that lasted from about two thousand years ago up to about 1,500 years ago, getting cooler towards the end.

Ray D
REPORT: Current Global Warming Is `Not Outside The Range Of Natural Variations'
MICHAEL BASTASCH | 3:16 PM 03/22/2017

A UK-based climate policy group has put out an annual climate assessment `exclusively on observations rather than climate models' to serve as a counterpoint to those put out by the United Nations and government agencies that warn of unabated global warming.

The Global Warming Policy Foundation's (GWPF) climate assessment, like the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), noted 2016 was likely the warmest year on record due to an incredibly strong El Niño warming event that boosted tropical ocean temperatures starting in 2015.

That's about all the GWPF's report has in common with the WMO's assessment for 2016, which warns `the influence of human activities on the climate system has become more and more evident.'

"There is little doubt that we are living in a warm period," said Ole Humlum, a physical geography professor at the University Centre in Norway and author of the GWPF report.

Humlum is a global warming skeptic who's spent decades studying glaciers and climate. Humlum argues that while the world is warming, it's well within the bounds of natural variability.

"However, there is also little doubt that current climate change is not abnormal and not outside the range of natural variations that might be expected," Humlum said.

Humlum found that while 2016 was the warmest year on record, it was mostly due to the incredibly strong El Niño. The WMO, on the other hand, claims El Niño only contributed between 0.1 to 0.2 degrees Celsius to 2016's record 1.1 degree Celsius anomaly.

He argues El Niño was the main driver behind record high temperatures last year because `global air temperatures were essentially back to the level of the years before the recent 2015/16 oceanographic El Niño episode.'

In general, the WMO's report takes a more ominous tone in general when describing climatic conditions in 2016. WMO reported the `increase in global temperature is consistent with other changes in the climate system.'
Humlum counters that unseasonably high temperatures in the Arctic were driven by El Niño. Heat transported from the tropics to the poles. Both poles saw record-low sea ice levels, but that could also be driven by natural cycles.

"In the Arctic, a 5.3-year periodic variation is important, while for the Antarctic a cycle of about 4.5 years duration is important," Humlum wrote. "Both these variations reached their minima simultaneously in 2016, which explains the recent minimum in global sea-ice extent."

Humlum also noted how surface-based temperature datasets have diverged from satellite-based readings since 2003. Surface data shows about 1 degree Celsius more warming than satellites.
(more at page ...)

Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2017 13:54:52 -0000
Subject: A Great Book, from Tom Van Flandern

A Great Book, from Tom Van Flandern

Just started reading `Dark Matter, Missing Planets and New Comets' and am very impressed by Tom Van Flandern's thorough analyses of astronomy / cosmology's problems & paradoxes.

In the first hundred or so pages (of 500+) he's already solved many of them and seems on the way to demolishing the standard models of "big bang" / "age-of-universe" / "black holes" / "dark matter" etc. which are shown to be illusory;  the results of sloppy thinking and ad hoc `theory-repair' panics.  And now he seems to be looking at Quantum Mechanics in a completely new way.
Ray D
Dark Matter, Missing Planets and New Comets: Paradoxes Resolved, Origins Illuminated
by Tom Van Flandern (1999) Paperback - 1994

"Tom Van Flandern is both an insider and an outsider. A professional astronomer for twenty-five years, he is well versed in the customs of mainstream science. On the other hand, after a long review of the assumptions underlying a large portion of received truth in astronomy and cosmology, he has come to a radical conclusion: much currently accepted theory is wrong."
Astronomy Books Club

Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2017 10:13:55 -0000
Subject: States introduce bills to teach evolution as debatable theory

States introduce bills to teach evolution as debatable theory

Heck!  This is way overdue - only the blind dogmatism of Darwinists (actually believers in `neo-Darwinism') has kept the controversy alive so long.

I.e. most informed folk realized quite a while ago that Darwinian evolution doesn't work - it can't fit the chronology (not nearly enough time), nor the fossil record (no transition forms found - so some other reason for new species is necessary).

A very clever - and brave - bloke, T.C Lethbridge, said it clearly some decades ago:  "the fossils say nothing of this hypothesis".

Thankfully, nowadays there are an increasing number of cutting edge scientists willing to speak out against the ill-informed / incompetent old incumbent professors (like Dawkins).

Ray D
`Teach the controversy': States introduce bills to teach evolution as debatable theory
Published time: 16 Mar, 2017 22:18 | Edited time: 17 Mar, 2017 09:02
Kimberly Villanueva, a middle school teacher in southwest Texas, supports the bill because it would give her the flexibility to answer her students' questions and "open [their] minds to scientific possibilities as well."

"I had children last year get up and leave the classroom when we taught plate tectonics and evolution," she told AFP, adding that current law prevents her from answering when her students ask her, `Don't you believe in God?'
Opponents say the bills are `antiscience,' and introduce religion, alternative facts and misleading rhetoric into the classroom.
(more at page ...)

Date: Wed, 15 Mar 2017 21:19:34 -0000
Subject: Fractions of INFINITY?

Fractions of INFINITY?

Recall recent (and not so recent) conversations on an "infinite, unending universe"?

The other day happened to read a nice comment with bearing on what we know about the universe (and therefore how confidently we can make assumptions about it).

"We only know a tiny fraction of the facts about the Universe.  The Universe looks like being infinite - in time and space - so facts about the Universe will also be infinite - in number.  So before making any assumptions we must recall that *any* fraction of infinity is ZERO!"

[ Came across that in a book by Robert Lanza MD and Bob Berman ]

Ray D

Date: Wed, 15 Mar 2017 17:14:31 -0000
Subject: Likely: Universe is infinite; will last forever

Likely:  Universe is infinite; will last forever

`BOSS Analysis says it's likely that the Universe is infinite; and will last forever.'   They don't admit it but that means "no big bang" "no big crunch" "no `heat death' of the universe", as much other evidence has long suggested - see `creation note' .

Ha!   You'll notice that these paradigm-changing data are now admitted to be "likely true" (confirming a lot of earlier `infinite universe' indications).

Yet much of this release (which I've cut, as rubbish) is still repeating the mantras of the standard model of Big Bang  (i.e. a finite universe, `created' from nothing and with only a `short' life expectancy).  Yup, no coincidence that's a fear-inducing religious concept, as I've stressed before.

As we now know, most `conspiracy theories' are actually true - so we shouldn't be surprised that our prestige sci-journals have been lying to us about almost everything, and for a long time - see `journal note'.

Ray D
BOSS Measures the Universe to One-Percent Accuracy
News Release Paul Preuss - JANUARY 8, 2014 - Updated: June 1, 2015
Among other cosmic parameters, says White, the BOSS analysis `also provides one of the best-ever determinations of the curvature of space. The answer is, it's not curved much.'

Calling a three-dimensional universe `flat' means its shape is well described by the Euclidean geometry familiar from high school: straight lines are parallel and triangles add up to 180 degrees. Extraordinary flatness means the universe experienced relatively prolonged inflation, up to a decillionth of a second or more, immediately after the big bang.

"One of the reasons we care is that a flat universe has implications for whether the universe is infinite," says Schlegel. "That means - while we can't say with certainty that it will never come to an end - it's likely the universe extends forever in space and will go on forever in time. Our results are consistent with an infinite universe."

The BOSS analysis is based on SDSS-III's Data Releases 10 and 11 (DR 10 and DR 11) and has been submitted for publication in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society; the analysis is available online at

Ripples in a sea of galaxies
The BOSS analysis incorporates spectra of 1,277,503 galaxies and covers 8,509 square degrees of the sky visible from the northern hemisphere. This is the largest sample of the universe ever surveyed at this density. When complete, BOSS will have collected high-quality spectra of 1.3 million galaxies, plus 160,000 quasars and thousands of other astronomical objects, covering 10,000 square degrees.
The SDSS-III Collaboration's press release on this analysis may be found at
DOE's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit the Office of Science website at

Updated: June 1, 2015

Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2017 10:15:38 -0000
Subject: Aging `scientist' has hubris attack: rants and raves

Aging `mad scientist' has hubris attack: rants and raves.

Ha!  Dawkins has all the hubris of an elderly, once fashionable scientist who doesn't realise the public has twigged he's been talking crap all his life!

All Dawkins' famous hyping of selfishness (back when "greed is good" was fashionable), is now seen to be shallow, simplistic CRAP, and unscientific to boot.

[ A bit like Hawking, the mathematician who dashed into the limelight claiming to be a `physicist / cosmologist' when he didn't even realize the effects of angular momentum, that awesome power which helps shape all the large structures in our universe, and, incidentally prevents there being any such thing as a "black hole" - a favourite `scare-fetish' of Hawking's.

I.e. a massive accreting body must increase its spin, eventually to the `jetting point', whereupon axial jets (emerging from both poles) will blast out the core's material as a hot plasma, which, if hot enough, can re-combine into `virgin hydrogen' - ideal building material for `new' stars (with low or zero metallicity). ]

Ray D
By JACK WARREN | PUBLISHED: 07:10, Fri, Mar 10, 2017

BBC viewers OUTRAGED as Richard Dawkins brands Brexit voters `IGNORANT' in outrageous rant
A TOP academic has branded Brexit voters `ignorant' and `misled' during an outrageous rant calling for a second referendum.

The two-minute rant, uploaded to the BBC Newsnight Facebook page, has been described as `completely wrong' by furious viewers.
In the post, the well-known atheist ridicules the phrase `the British people have spoken' as he insists "No they haven't!" (more at page ...)

Date: Thu, 9 Mar 2017 22:35:06 -0000
Subject: EPA chief Scott Pruitt says carbon dioxide is not a primary contributor to global warming

EPA chief Scott Pruitt says carbon dioxide is not a primary contributor to global warming

Right, can sympathise with him, because if you check the data _very_ carefully:
see graph (and testimony) at glacials page, and more precise graphs at page;
that evidence seems to say there is NO correlation of increased temperature following increased CO2 - quite the reverse!

I.e - the long AND short-term correlations seem to show initial high temperatures (probably from solar activity), followed, after long periods, maybe thousands, or hundreds of thousand of years, by CO2 increases coming from increased plant growth and decay - due to that earlier heat.

But that's not good for the careers (or the financing / funding) of all those political "climate experts". Cheers
Ray D
Tom DiChristopher | @tdichristopher | 9 March 2017

EPA chief Scott Pruitt says carbon dioxide is not a primary contributor to global warming
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said Thursday he does not believe carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming.

"I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there's tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact, so no, I would not agree that it's a primary contributor to the global warming that we see," he told CNBC's "Squawk Box."
(more at page ...)

Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2017 13:51:25 -0000
Subject: Science faces "reproducibility crisis"

Science faces "reproducibility crisis"

Yup, we've seen warning hints in last few years.  The truth is most science `discoveries' are fake - because our modern politico-academic ruled system demands lots of hype, but only about fashionable subjects, and only when conforming to fashionable beliefs (i.e. the latest paradigms).

That's why about 80% (or more) of Big Pharma's drugs don't actually work (except for nasty, often lethal side effects); and why most of those loudly trumpeted `breakthroughs' you heard and read about over last few years and decades haven't actually materialized.  They were fake anyway.

Ray D
Most scientists `can't replicate studies by their peers'
By Tom Feilden | Science correspondent | 22 February 2017

Science is facing a "reproducibility crisis" where more than two-thirds of researchers have tried and failed to reproduce another scientist's experiments, research suggests.
This is frustrating clinicians and drug developers who want solid foundations of pre-clinical research to build upon.

"It is a big problem, but it's something the journals can't tackle on their own. It's going to take a multi-pronged approach involving funders, the institutes, the journals and the researchers."
But we need to be bolder, according to the Edinburgh neuroscientist Prof Malcolm Macleod.

"Without efforts to reproduce the findings of others, we don't know if the facts out there actually represent what's happening in biology or not."
Without knowing whether the published scientific literature is built on solid foundations or sand, he argues, we're wasting both time and money.
"It could be that we would be much further forward in terms of developing new cures and treatments. It's a regrettable situation, but I'm afraid that's the situation we find ourselves in."
(more at page ...)

Date: Thu, 2 Mar 2017 10:09:02 -0000
Subject: I-O-T - The Kuiper Belt

I-O-T - The Kuiper Belt

Not really enthralling - they did a humdrum, almost boring introductory run-through of the origin of the Solar System which was way too simplistic; relying only on Gravity and ignoring the fact that Gravity can't explain the transfer of almost all the proto-Sun's angular momentum to the planets - mostly to Jupiter of course but maybe roughly proportionate to each planet's mass.

The only `mechanism' that could link the orbiting planets to the Sun, and effect that huge transfer of angular momentum, is a `braided' electro-magnetic plasma field linking the whole rotating system together.

But the `plasma' word is apparently still taboo in mainstream science I suppose - from reading Section Two - Of Bangs and Braids, the story of Hannes Alfven the plasma pioneer.  (Related in Kicking the Sacred Cow by James P. Hogan)

Ray D
PS last time I heard, the BBC was still saying that `Gravity moves [only] at the speed of light' - WRONG AGAIN; check the work of Tom Van Flandern. - RD
In Our Time - 43 minutes - Listen live
The Kuiper Belt

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Kuiper Belt, a vast region of icy objects at the fringes of our Solar System, beyond Neptune, in which we find the dwarf planet Pluto and countless objects left over from the origins of the solar system, some of which we observe as comets.

It extends from where Neptune is, which is 30 times further out than the Earth is from the Sun, to about 500 times the Earth-Sun distance. It covers an immense region of space and it is the part of the Solar System that we know the least about, because it is so remote from us and has been barely detectable by Earth-based telescopes until recent decades.

Its existence was predicted before it was known, and study of the Kuiper Belt, and how objects move within it, has led to a theory that there may be a 9th planet far beyond Neptune.

Carolin Crawford
Public Astronomer at the Institute of Astronomy and Fellow of Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge
Monica Grady
Professor of Planetary and Space Sciences at the Open University

Stephen Lowry
Reader in Planetary and Space Sciences, University of Kent

Date: Mon, 20 Feb 2017 15:10:48 -0000
Subject: 1783 - a really hot summer (volcanic?)

1783 - a really hot summer (volcanic?)

Too hot for meat-eaters?
Ray D
it's from `The Natural History of Selborne' by Gilbert White
"The summer of the year 1783 was an amazing and portentous one, and full of horrible phaenomena; for besides the alarming meteors and tremendous thunder-storms that affrighted and distressed the different counties of this kingdom, the peculiar haze, or smokey fog, that prevailed for many weeks in this island, and in every part of Europe, and even beyond its limits, was a most extraordinary appearance, unlike anything known within the memory of man.

By my journal I find that I had noticed this strange occurrence from June 23 to July 20 inclusive, during which period the wind varied to every quarter without making any alteration in the air.  The sun, at noon, looked as blank as a clouded moon, and shed a rust- coloured ferruginous light on the ground, and floors of rooms; but was particularly lurid and blood-coloured at rising and setting.

All the time the heat was so intense that butchers' meat could hardly be eaten on the day after it was killed; and the flies swarmed so in the lanes and hedges that they rendered the horses half frantic, and riding irksome.

The country people began to look with a superstitious awe, at the red, louring aspect of the sun; and indeed there was reason for the most enlightened person to be apprehensive; for, all the while, Calabria and part of the isle of Sicily, were torn and convulsed with earthquakes; and about that juncture a volcano sprung out of the sea on the coast of Norway.

On this occasion Milton's noble simile of the sun, in his first book of Paradise Lost, frequently occurred to my mind; and it is indeed particularly applicable, because, towards the end, it alludes to a superstitious kind of dread, with which the minds of men are always impressed by such strange and unusual phaenomena."

... As when the sun, new risen,
Looks through the horizontal, misty air,
Shorn of his beams; or from behind the moon,
In dim eclipse, disastrous twilight sheds
On half the nations, and with fear of change
Perplexes monarchs.

Date: Mon, 20 Feb 2017 13:27:53 -0000
Subject: "Experts"


"Please do not, dear reader, either here or for anything important in your life, defer your judgement to experts"
p. xxiii `Dark Matter, Missing Planets & New Comets' by Tom Van Flandern

Just starting to read Tom's book and he's got me hooked - in the Preface already.

That sentence made me stop and think - and almost immediately saw the truth of it:  in almost every way we are surrounded by `experts' who don't know what they are doing or are actually lying to us.

a) BTW, recently reacquired `Worlds in Collision' and `Ages in Chaos', partly because I'd remembered how one of them interested me some years ago, and also because I've since found how Velikovsky was mistreated and indeed abused by the experts, the `great and the good' of science, who all - more or less - behaved like thugs, using blackmail, threats and downright lies trying to suppress his work.

N.b. an early hero of mine, Carl Sagan, brought shame on himself by conspiring with Harlow Shapley (senior astronomer) and a `consensus' of bigshot scientists, to badmouth Velikovsky by consistently lying about the science, in a so-called `trial of the facts'.

Velikovsky has since been proven right about most of his statements and almost all of his forecasts, whereas it soon became obvious that Sagan had been lying about most points in dispute - a disgraceful thing for a scientist to do - since illustrated by a critical book, webpages and some videos on the subject - go to westward page and maybe scroll those two or three paragraphs for all the gory details.

[ Importantly - Shapley and the rest of the `experts' had to be aware that Sagan was lying, therefore the whole charade had only one purpose:  to fool the public.  Whenever we hear of a `consensus' of scientists being invoked we can be pretty sure that is to make dupes of us public. ]

b) That's why the `global warming' debate leaves me with a similar nasty taste (btw that `97% consensus' never even existed, the phrase was cooked up by a statistical liar - and if he wants to sue me he knows where I am!).

NOT to say the weather hasn't warmed slightly over the short-term (last 80 to 100 years), but with occasional colder blips;
BUT compared with the medium-term (last 12,000 years) we are still quite a bit colder than the average;
AND compared with the long-term (last few millions, or billions, of years) we are still in an Ice Age - the average temperature was very much higher than now;
- see all the graphs at glacials page.

c) And we've only yesterday seen how most of our academic and scientist experts in astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology are drawing their high salaries under false pretences - they don't know hardly ANYTHING about the realities of the universe surrounding us!

Ray D

Date: Sun, 19 Feb 2017 08:36:36 -0000
Subject: Science's `Rats' & Politicos - on a Sinking Ship

Science's `Rats' & Politicos on a Sinking Ship

Redshift?, Expanding Universe? C.M.B? Big Bang? Black Holes? Dark Matter? Dark Energy?
ABSOLUTE BUNKUM - the lot of them!

Just now reading `The Static Universe' by Hilton Ratcliffe, a South African astrophysicist who dares to tell the truth about the mess that is cosmology, astronomy and astrophysics today, when most Western (USA, UK) universities and observatories are censoring young scientists, suppressing truthful publications and doctoring fake data (airbrushing photos etc).

I already knew that Fred Hoyle had long been suppressed (he'd earned several Nobels but UK's `Oxbridge Mafia' vetoed the Nobel Committee - you didn't think the Nobels were `straight' did you?), and that Halton Arp's work was shut down and exiled to Europe, also that Tom Van Flandern and many other brave folk were marginalized.

[ I've found some good Youtube presentations by those `rebels' - they're listed here. ]

Now Ratcliffe is amassing all the evidence and it's compelling - for some decades the scientific `powers-that-be' have been cheating and lying to keep us in the dark: all their theories are being revealed as CRAP!

[ It's quite amusing how the `great and the good' of science and academia seem to be squirming, trying to save their scientific necks - the `Astronomer Royal' is kicking and screaming louder than most, and Hawking is regretting everything he ever said (seems all his career was based on RUBBISH ideas, not one thing was true! ]

Can't wait to continue reading!

Ray D

Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2017 11:43:31 -0000
Subject: `Evidence: ancient Mars was wet - problem'

`Evidence: ancient Mars was wet - Problem'

The simplest answer is that suggested by Tom van Flandern, which is supported by several other peculiarities of Mars:   a) Mars has one hemisphere heavily cratered while other is not;   b) Mars' crustal thickness is likewise dichotomous - one hemisphere has more than twice crustal thickness of the other - see NASA's picture of the Mars crust

Those are the characteristics of a tide-locked moon!    Yup, our own moon has just those same two hemispherical imbalances - of cratering and of crustal thicknesses.

So Tom van Flandern argued that Mars was once a captive, tide-locked moon closely orbiting one of the gas giants - Jupiter or Saturn.  I.e. the strong magnetic field of the gas giant protected Mars' atmosphere from the Solar wind, and also maintained a relatively high temperature on Mars.

All that ended when Mars was impacted, probably by a planetary-sized object - leaving those enormous volcanic bulges either end of a huge "scar": the Valles Marineris: The Grand Canyon of Mars.

Ray D
NASA - Mars scientists are wrestling with a problem. Ample evidence says ancient Mars was sometimes wet, with water flowing and pooling on the planet's surface.
Yet, the ancient sun was about one-third less warm and climate modelers struggle to produce scenarios that get the surface of Mars warm enough for keeping water unfrozen.
(more at page)

Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2017 16:38:00 -0000
Subject: Wikipedia - propagandists for the `status quo'

Wikipedia editor - propagandist for the `status quo'

Wikipedia editor is exposed as propagandist for the `status quo', sneakily trying to suppress innovators by mis-describing them.

Take the entry for Rupert Sheldrake - here's how it starts:
"Alfred Rupert Sheldrake (born 28 June 1942) is an English author,[3] and researcher in the field of parapsychology,[4] known for his "morphic resonance" concept.[5] "

Absolute crap!  In actual fact Sheldrake is primarily a biochemist and (plant) biologist who has worked extensively in several countries and has made some significant discoveries (all published) in cellular biology.  (But Wikipedia editors know most folk don't read beyond first line.)

Here's Wiki's belated `second line' entry for Sheldrake:
"He worked as a biochemist and cell biologist at Cambridge University from 1967 to 1973[3] and as principal plant physiologist at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics until 1978.[6]"

So why couldn't Wiki say so initially?  Instead of that crap about "author" and "parapsychology" (both terms of disrepute in skeptic circles!).

[UPDATE - 15 Feb. 2017]
In fact Sheldrake himself points out - p. 233 `The Science Delusion' - the materialists' (skeptics) misuse of those terms:

"Psychic phenomena are normal in the sense that they are common: for example, most people have made other people turn round by staring at them, or had seemingly telepathic experience with telephone calls, as discussed below.  But because these experiences do not fit in with the materialist mind-in-brain theory, they are classified as paranormal, literally meaning `beyond the normal'.  In this sense, `normal' is defined not by what actually happens, but by the assumptions of materialists.

Likewise, the term parapsychology means `beyond psychology' and implies that it is not part of normal psychology.  I think this term is unfortunate and prefer the older term `psychic research' or `psi research' for short.  If psi phenomena exist, which I think they do, they are normal, not paranormal; natural, not supernatural.  They are part of human nature and animal nature, and they can be studied scientifically."

Ray D

PS - It seems the area proposed for investigation by Sheldrake (and Richard Milton, see below) is too scary for dogmatic `materialists', because it can disprove Darwinian evolution (i.e. `neo-darwinism': which dictates there is only random mutations followed by natural selection).
But both Sheldrake and Milton show examples of `purpose' in simple lifeforms (even bacteria and single-celled animals and plants!).
So I've updated my index entry for "entelechy", since it now seems to encompass that (maybe new) area of the biological sciences - see subindex.html#ent

Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2017 18:16:37 -0000
Subject: Two Great Books - Two Great Writers

Two Great Books - Two Great Writers

Shattering the Myths of Darwinism - by Richard Milton
The Science Delusion - by Rupert Sheldrake

Really glad I got these - I can re-read them at leisure, and, like now, find new points of interest and many more points of agreement.

Richard's book title is simply truthful, and he goes at it with a will: - so shallow-minded Darwinists (like the dishonourable liar and bad-mouther Dawkins) have all their claims / arguments destroyed, not a leg left to stand on!

Whereas Rupert's title is (I think) a wry take-off (coincidentally) of Dawkins' "God Delusion".

Coming from two different directions (I didn't realize that Sheldrake was already a successful biologist, with significant discoveries to his name) they convincingly show that dogmatic reductionist and materialist science is dead - incapable of answering the biggest and most urgent questions.

"I am convinced that the sciences are being held back by assumptions that have hardened into dogmas, maintained by powerful taboos." - Rupert Sheldrake

Ray D

PS - It's always a pleasure to read of lying self-publicists like Dawkins getting their come-uppance - see example at creation.html#dork1; and also to see the snooty editor of the journal `Nature' being shown up as a cowardly hypocrite who doesn't know his science - see earlier example at greatest.html#journal.

Date: Fri, 27 Jan 2017 10:22:44 -0000
Subject: I-O-T - Parasitism (the zombies ARE here)

I-O-T - Parasitism (the zombies ARE here)

Interesting program, especially when they progressed to zombie snails (infected by parasite and zombie ants (infected by parasite

Finally they got around to Toxoplasma gondii - the cat-lovers parasitic brain disease which has infected somewhere between 1/3rd to 3/4s of the human race (84% is the estimated infection rate of humans in France).

[ The parasite presumably evolved along with early mammals - i.e. during dinosaur age - and in the bodies of proto-cats, an environment it still needs for reproduction.  I.e. it would be advantageous to have infected prey-mammals becoming tolerant of or attracted to the scent of a predator big cat (like saber-tooth tigers etc.). ]

BTW - don't believe those text books still saying there's "no symptoms in humans infected" - it's now known that infected human males become slightly more aggressive and measurably more stupid
(more dying in traffic accidents and fights).

Whereas infected human females become slightly more sexually promiscuous
(the parasite "wants" more offspring as potential victims for their cat hosts to eat) and also slightly more intelligent / careful (the parasite "wants" those offspring to survive and grow, for a while at least).

So human zombies ARE here, maybe in a majority - which might explain wars and other political stupidities down the ages.

Ray D
In Our Time - Parasitism

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the relationship between parasites and hosts, where one species lives on or in another to the benefit of the parasite but at a cost to the host, potentially leading to disease or death of the host.

Typical examples are mistletoe and trees, hookworms and vertebrates, cuckoos and other birds. In many cases the parasite species do so well in or on a particular host that they reproduce much faster and can adapt to changes more efficiently, and it is thought that almost half of all animal species have a parasitic stage in their lifetime.

What techniques do hosts have to counter the parasites, and what impact do parasites have on the evolution of their hosts?

Steve Jones
Emeritus Professor of Genetics at University College, London
Wendy Gibson
Professor of Protozoology at the University of Bristol
Kayla King
Associate Professor in the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford

Date: Fri, 20 Jan 2017 13:21:18 -0000
Subject: "World's warmest year"?

"World's warmest year"?
Nope - the headline _and_ the content is UNTRUE!  And the BBC knows it's untrue!

Many times in the past the world was MUCH HOTTER than now, even as recently as the Medieval Warm Period (when the Vikings were farming in Greenland).
[ Check picto-graph for details - of last 4,500 years' temperatures ]

Ray D
By Matt McGrath | Environment correspondent
Climate change: Data shows 2016 likely to be warmest year yet
Temperature data for 2016 shows it is likely to have edged ahead of 2015 as the world's warmest year.

Date: Sun, 15 Jan 2017 11:09:08 -0000
Subject: "UK Govt lied about deadly smog"

"UK Gov't lied about deadly smog"

Ha!  And I'm called a cynic when I say that politicians' first resort is to lie - and then lie again!

Read the bit about deadly pollution from EU agri-businesses and UK factories being blamed on `Saharan dust' by UK's lying politicos and their lying `climate scientists'.

So do we believe them on `global warming'?

Ray D
Published time: 12 Jan, 2017 12:04 | Edited time: 13 Jan, 2017 13:44
Govt accused of `criminal neglect' over smog that killed 300 people in 10 days

A deadly smog that covered Britain killed 300 people in 10 days, and put another 1,600 in hospital, according to a new report.
The fatal fog during the spring of 2014 was caused primarily by ammonia fertilizer from farms in Europe combined with vehicle and factory pollution from Britain.

At the time, the government said the weather had been caused by `Saharan dust.'

The number of toxic particles in the air rose to a level more than three times the limit advised by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Green Party peer Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb said more action should have been taken during the smog. Speaking to the Times, she highlighted tweets sent out at by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), that warned even fit and healthy people should reduce exercise during the smog. (more at page)

Date: Wed, 4 Jan 2017 20:31:10 -0000
Subject: "Major Shifts in Consciousness Observed"?

"Major Shifts in Consciousness Observed"?

Slightly interesting, and reminded me to to renew examination of `consciousness' problems.  There's lots of evidence indicating that women developed full modern consciousness before men.  In fact a lot of archeological traces point to a time, before ten or twelve thousand years ago, when our civilization was `ruled' or at any rate `organized' by females, in that women were aware of and used breeding techniques to improve and domesticate both plant-crops and animals as livestock.

[ Diodorus Siculus, early Greek historian, wrote of a time when invading patriarchal Hellenes entered the eastern Aegean / Black Sea area (enroute to mainland Greece and then Crete) and found a civilization ruled by women, where men recited their ancestry by their grandmothers' names, and their citizenship also was inherited by way of their mothers - i.e. the society was both matriarchal and matrilinear: rulership and property rights belonged to the female line.  From loosely associated events - i.e. the flooding of the Black Sea etc - one might date these accounts to c. 5,000 BCE - 7,000 BCE. ]

We must also remember that in even earlier days human males were totally `driven' by "rut" during fixed and restricted mating periods, dictated by seasonal and lunar cues, and locally activated by a female's "estrus".   And, although `estrus' was almost fully automatic, the final say-so was still with the female.  So even then, albeit in a fairly reflex manner, human females were selecting, by their mating choices, the future direction of human evolution, and that process continues to the present day.

So we can speculate that when males sort-of (or partly) `caught-up' with female consciousness then both human males and females might've (continued?) reacting to large-scale (`cosmic') changes in the `constants of nature'.   Which is a bit scary in a way, because we can't possibly tell if further changes might completely change all our thought processes and motivations.   "Major shifts" indeed!

Ray D
Major Shifts in Consciousness Observed Throughout the Animal Kingdom
Christina Sarich, Staff Writer - Waking Times

Humans have long thought themselves to be the smartest animals on the planet, but evidence continues to reveal that even with little shared DNA - animals are catching up, and perhaps even surpassing our own evolutionary intelligence.
(more at page ...)

Date: Tue, 3 Jan 2017 10:09:58 -0000
Subject: "Women are better doctors than men"

"Women are better doctors than men"

Yup, saw yesterday that UK + USA mainstream media are picking up on this report.  [It seems to be a `meta-analysis' - increasingly seen as a better way of obtaining and using large amounts of data.]

The conclusion - that women are better doctors than men - should be no real surprise to observers, and not only in the `caring' professions.  In fact it seems apparent that overall female superiority in organizing and executing effective procedures in almost any kind of work has only been hidden, suppressed and covered-up by early denial of education for women, exclusion of women from academic and professional bodies and then, extending to the present day, an almost total domination of media (MSM) by male reporting.

Those male reporters tend to be either shallow `shock-jocks' who can't cover stuff too difficult for their semi-literate audience, or bitchy `culture-queens' (BBC types - often with a great deal to hide).

Ray D
December 19, 2016
Comparison of Hospital Mortality and Readmission Rates for Medicare Patients Treated by Male vs Female Physicians

Yusuke Tsugawa, MD, MPH, PhD1,2; Anupam B. Jena, MD, PhD3,4,5; Jose F. Figueroa, MD, MPH1,2; et al E. John Orav, PhD2,6; Daniel M. Blumenthal, MD, MBA7; Ashish K. Jha, MD, MPH1,2,8 JAMA Intern Med. Published online December 19, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.7875

Outcomes of Hospitalized Medicare Beneficiaries Treated by Male vs Female Physicians (JAMA Internal Medicine)
Question Do patient outcomes differ between those treated by male and female physicians?

Findings In this cross-sectional study, we examined nationally representative data of hospitalized Medicare beneficiaries and found that patients treated by female physicians had significantly lower mortality rates (adjusted mortality rate, 11.07% vs 11.49%) and readmission rates (adjusted readmission rate, 15.02% vs 15.57%) compared with those cared for by male physicians within the same hospital.
Importance Studies have found differences in practice patterns between male and female physicians, with female physicians more likely to adhere to clinical guidelines and evidence-based practice.
(more at page ...)

Date: Sat, 31 Dec 2016 18:10:23 -0000
Subject: "BBC Inside Science"

"BBC Inside Science"?

Well, mainstream 'popular' science doesn't improve much (not the BBC version anyway).  They seem trapped in the biggest science sin: false assumptions.

[An obvious one is assuming the `correctness' of authority without giving due weight to _all_ possible alternatives - but the BBC has a long history of crawling to those in power, no matter how stupid (or corrupt, or pervert).]

Today the most egregious false assumptions are simply repeated as FACTS by shoddy BBC reporters:

#1 "expansion of Universe _proved_ by Hubble's results" [Hubble's Law].   NO!  That only proved that apparent redshifts varied - apparently systematically - throughout the Universe. It didn't _prove_ which were nearest or farthest, or what the mechanisms of redshift actually are. I.e. - a putative `Big Bang' is NOT necessary.

#2 the CMB _must_ be the remnant of a putative `Big Bang'.  NO!  There are many equally logical explanations, from `tired starlight' thru to. `photon colliding' (repeated). Again - a putative `Big Bang' is NOT necessary.

Ray D
BBC Inside Science
Listeners' Questions

Adam Rutherford puts listeners' science questions to his team of experts: physicist Helen Czerski, cosmologist Andrew Pontzen and biology Yan Wong. Queries include gravity on sci-fi space ships, how animals would evolve on the low gravitational field of the Moon, gravitational waves, mimicry in parrots, sea level rise, the accelerating university, dinosaur intelligence, the Higgs field and concerns about oxygen levels in the atmosphere.

Further questions are answered in the podcast version of the show. They cover Antarctic dinosaurs, reducing CO2 levels in the atmosphere by trapping it as limestone, and Neanderthal DNA.

Date: Sat, 17 Dec 2016 16:51:51 -0000
Subject: `Climate change' cannot be confirmed"

`Climate change' cannot be confirmed for hundreds of years of further study - anything else is simply untrue.

paraphrased quote from Hermann Flohn - "one of the world greatest climatologists" [Wiki - see below]

"Climate - even under its natural development alone - varies continually.  Each year, each decade, each century, each millennium, since long before any question of impact of human activity, has produced a somewhat different record.
It is important to gauge the magnitudes and time-scales of these variations, since planning should not be based on expectations of return to some non-existent norm.
And the magnitude and extent of any changes attributable to Man's activities - or even whether any such effects are occurring on more than a local scale - cannot be determined without knowing the range, and the likely timing, of changes due to natural causes."

- Hermann Flohn, in `The Climate of Europe: Past, Present and Future', p. 25
Ray D


: Fri, 9 Dec 2016 19:26:39 -0000
Subject: "1 in 4 Americans Apparently Unaware the Earth Orbits the Sun"

"1 in 4 Americans Apparently Unaware the Earth Orbits the Sun"

Ha!  The writer can't help sounding a bit `superior' about this, but I'm here to say "It's easy to fall off the rails of logic and land back on the track of appearances".

I.e. I've found, in the work of science-fiction authors who really should know better, examples of such failures of logic:  like one hero lying on his back looking at the Moon and speculating what part of its surface someone on the far side of Earth would be seeing at that same moment.  The answer?  Exactly the same as the hero - the Moon is too far away for your position on this Earth to really matter - we all see the same Moon.  But even so we can get a bit giddy when trying to think about it..

Ray D
PS - Another `giddy-making' exercise is trying to work out which way is the center of the Galaxy - from only the clues afforded by your local newspaper's astronomy star-chart.
PS2 - mind you, I can recall a young US lady in Europe saying how she missed seeing `an American Moon'.
1 in 4 Americans Apparently Unaware the Earth Orbits the Sun
Samantha Grossman @sam_grossman Feb. 16, 2014

A National Science Foundation study involving 2,200 participants find that about 25 percent of Americans got this question wrong: `Does the Earth go around the sun, or does the sun go around the Earth?'

Does the Earth go around the sun, or does the sun go around the Earth?
When asked that question, 1 in 4 Americans surveyed answered incorrectly. Yes, 1 in 4. In other words, a quarter of Americans do not understand one of the most fundamental principles of basic science. So that's where we are as a society right now.

The survey, conducted by the National Science Foundation, included more than 2,200 participants in the U.S., AFP reports. It featured a nine-question quiz about physical and biological science and the average score was a 6.5.

And the fact that only 74 percent of participants knew that the Earth revolved around the sun is perhaps less alarming than the fact that only 48 percent knew that humans evolved from earlier species of animals.

Here's the thing, though: Americans actually fared better than Europeans who took similar quizzes - at least when it came to the sun and Earth question. Only 66 percent of European Union residents answered that one correctly.

We won't know the full results of the survey - or its methodology - until the National Science Foundation delivers its report to President Obama and U.S. lawmakers. But on this evidence we may end up getting a new national holiday out of this: Spread the Word That the Earth Revolves Around the Sun Day.

Date: Sun, 4 Dec 2016 16:26:51 -0000
Subject: `Really Dangerous Times' - Not Hawking's
`We're at most dangerous moment in history of humanity,' Stephen Hawking warns
Published time: 2 Dec, 2016 16:00 | Edited time: 3 Dec, 2016 14:03
The rise of Donald Trump and Britain's Brexit vote come at "the most dangerous time in the history of the human race," renowned theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking has warned.

Heck!  Hawking doesn't seem to know reality - maybe he's allowed his brain to be swamped by fashionable current affairs.  If you want to be REALLY SCARED, by an appreciation of what REALLY DANGEROUS times we're in, then read `The Mars Mystery' (subtitle: `A Warning from History That Could Save Life on Earth') by Graham Hancock, Robert Bauval, John Grigsby.

I've got a lot of respect for the discipline and concentration of Bauval, while Hancock certainly provides imagination and flair (although his approach is sometimes a bit `scatter-gun').  However in this latest edition they've collected ALL the research results on asteroids, comets, and anything else liable to be a threat in the Solar System, and also the far greater cosmic mechanisms at work out in our galaxy (and maybe even farther out) - which also will eventually penetrate down into our fragile local planetary environment.

The results will amaze you (and should terrify you also).  The evidence is overwhelming, so overwhelming that even our greedy and ignorant politicians have been forced to heed it (although they're still holding our tax-money for themselves rather than use it to save all our skins).

Although I think I found one or two mathematical mistakes in the book (maybe Graham had been over-indulging), am totally convinced by the mass of astro-data and the matchings of timings, that we are indeed well into an impact era at this time and have to expect a planet-killer [large asteroid or comet) to appear at any moment (i.e. that's in maybe up to a thousand years).

What we can do about it is something else entirely!

Ray D

Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2016 14:02:56 -0000
Subject: TRUTH - "Polluted Water Quality hurting Great Barrier Reef" - _NOT_ Climate Change

TRUTH - "Polluted Water Quality hurting Great Barrier Reef" - _NOT_ Climate Change

Ha!  Try a careful read and see it contradicts all those recent claims that "Climate Change is killing the Great Barrier Reef", which is a downright lie.

The GBR is being killed by Australian agro-pollution and industrial pollution.  We know that because other large coral reefs elsewhere in the world are perfectly healthy and thriving - although at the same temperature and acidity as the Australian GBR.

Ray D
Great Barrier Reef progress report: We have to do better on water quality, says Australia
Efforts to curb tree clearing have failed, the government admits in its update to Unesco on work to save the world heritage site

Joshua Robertson and Michael Slezak | Thursday 1 December 2016 13.01 GMT

Australia needs to work faster on lifting water quality to save the Great Barrier Reef, according to its first progress report to Unesco since the world heritage site was spared an `in-danger' listing.

The report admitted that a key plank of Australia's conservation plan - land-clearing reforms in Queensland to staunch water pollution - had failed. It also highlighted climate change, which is the biggest threat to the reef and led to the worst recorded coral bleaching in its history this year, but which the plan makes no attempt to address.

But the Australian government reports `good progress' over the first 18 months of its Reef 2050 plan, citing limits on new port developments and a ban on dumping in reef waters the spoil from the dredging of shipping channels.

Australia had clinched an `investment framework' that mapped out $1.28bn in spending over the next five years, with $716m from the federal government, $409m from the Queensland government and $161m from `other sources'.

The report noted `no undertaking of comparable scope, complexity and financial commitment has been attempted in a marine environment or world heritage site'.

While the priority was to lift the quality of water running into the reef and things were "steadily" improving, the update flagged the `need to accelerate our progress towards the ambitious targets that have been set'.

The update pointed to the 2015 reef report card - written before bleaching this year wiped out about a quarter of all coral - which still gave the reef a `D' for its overall health for the fifth year in a row.

Progress in cutting nitrogen pollution was `very poor' and improving farm practices `poor', it said, with Queensland poised next year to bring in tougher laws governing use of fertiliser.

On funding the water-quality targets, the report acknowledged a Queensland government study showing it would cost $8.2bn over 10 years. But it then indicated it wasn't willing to invest the required amount.

"The diminishing return on investment for the more expensive interventions makes these options impractical to implement at this time," the update said.

The Queensland environment minister, Steven Miles, said he was confident the report would be enough to avert fresh consideration of a Unesco `in-danger' listing as it "demonstrates that we've done everything we can to be on track" with conservation plans.

Miles said a "lot of those big important things" such as the ban on dredge spoil dumping, limits on new ports and reef water-quality investment were under way.

"However, given the bleaching event, given the failure of the Queensland parliament to pass the land-clearing laws, and also given the continuing slow progress towards the water-quality targets, there's obviously some concerns out there," he said.

Great Barrier Reef: why are government and business perpetuating the big lie?

"If this goes to a debate about in-danger listing, the responsibility will rest at the feet of the [state Liberal National opposition] who, despite claiming credit for the plan, then refused to support a key element of the plan, land-clearing laws.

"We know that land clearing is driving massive amounts of sediment out on to the reef and that is one of the biggest threats to the reef."

Miles said bleaching had increased the focus on the failure of the promised land-clearing reforms, which the Queensland Labor government vowed to push through if it won the next election.

"Having said that there is a lot of progress and a lot of commitment particularly from the state and commonwealth governments and I think the global community is likely to see that for what it is and recognise we need more time to demonstrate we can get these things on track," he said.

The federal environment minister, Josh Frydenberg, said the report showed `significant progress' and that `the blueprint for a new era in reef protection has been established for ongoing cooperation and collaboration involving governments, science, industries and communities'.

"The update highlights that of the 151 actions scheduled in the initial five years, 32 have been completed and another 103 are under way and on track."

Miles said Australia's reef conservation plan mainly dealt with `localised' threats. A market-based mechanism for pricing carbon was needed to address the reef's biggest threat of climate change, he said.

"We've actually been damaging the reef for decades through what we've done up and down the coast. So we need to address those things if we're going to give the reef any chance of surviving."

Miles said Queensland was poised to introduce tougher regulations about the use of fertiliser in early 2017, with the sugar cane industry in particular having "a long way to go" in cleaning up its act "enough to actually have an impact on water quality".

The report made frequent mention of the bleaching event that hit the reef this year but it didn't earmark any further funding for conservation action in response.

Ian Chubb, chair of the independent expert advisory committee and former Australian chief scientist, wrote an introductory note emphasising the dire threat climate change meant for the reef.

Chubb said global action on climate change would be "paramount" but that it must be coupled with initiatives to reduce other pressures.

Penelope Wensley, chair of reef 2050 advisory committee, said in an introductory note that the plan "represents the best possible chance for the reef" and "we cannot afford to fail". Progress was pleasing, she said, but "we have to quicken the pace".

She said many committee members were "calling for stronger action and a greater investment of effort and resources to accelerate progress towards achieving the targets, objectives and outcomes of the reef 2050 plan".

Before seeing the update, the Greens senator Larissa Waters said the government risked "failing its homework" by underfunding the reef plan, delaying water quality targets, spruiking new coal and ignoring global warming.

Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2016 10:30:24 -0000
Subject: Re: Battling scientists

Battling scientists

Ha!  Sad but also very funny.  We might think this sort of thing is new, but deep and vicious hatreds have always been a largely hidden sub-text of science.

Think of genial and warm-hearted Leibniz and the vilification he had to endure from the badmouthing, plagiarizing, lying Newton.

Newton was only allowed to claim priorities on those `Laws of Motion' (inc. `Gravity' and some of `Optiks'), due to English nationalism and class bias, and also because the main originator (Galileo) was silenced and dead, Kepler (`Inverse-square Gravity' per se, via suppressed Hooke) also dead, and Leibniz (`Relativity' and the Calculus) was isolated, far away in Europe.


From: Mark ******
Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2016 1:36 AM
Subject: Battling scientists

Something from the local paper:

Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2016 07:58:48 -0000
Subject: Wales trying for an EDU come-back

Wales trying for an EDU come-back

Yup, as recalled in last post, recently Shanghai was top, and Finland before that.  Hope Wales can succeed, by keeping clear of the "English Disease" (these days that's class bias / hatred - much earlier the `English Disease' was homosexual pedophilia: the rape of little boys).
Ray D
Thursday 1 December 2016 07.00 GMT
Can Welsh schools make up for `lost decade' to climb in Pisa league?
After a poor showing in the 2013 international tables of 15-year-olds, and strenuous efforts to improve, Wales awaits its new Pisa scores with bated breath.

Heather Nicholas, headteacher of Ferndale community school, is matter of fact about the difficulties her pupils face growing up in a deprived part of Wales. "I think every child should own a book," she says. One book may not sound like much but it is in Maerdy, a former coalmining village along the main road that snakes up the Rhondda Fach valley, where a good house can be had for less than £30,000.

Ferndale has a lot riding on it. Local government spending cuts saw the school take over running the local library and swimming pool, to keep them open. And Nicholas is about to meet officials to discuss what more the school can do when the area's generous EU funding disappears, post-Brexit.

But right now Ferndale carries even more weight for Wales's educational reputation, as one of the schools chosen to take part in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's triennial Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa), which tests core skills in maths, literacy and science.

Last year Ferndale's 15-year-olds sat the Pisa exams alongside half a million of their peers in 72 countries. The results will be published on 6 December.

Governments worldwide use Pisa as the litmus test for their schools. It was Pisa that highlighted Finland's remarkable success within Europe, and then Shanghai's table-topping performance as a sign of China's development. (more at page ...)

Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2016 18:07:43 -0000
Subject: "Why Do Singapore Students Surpass the Rest of the World?"

"Why Do Singapore Students Surpass the Rest of the World?"

Hmmm - think we last heard that Shanghai was tops - after years of Finland?
Still - it's clear that some countries are doing things way better than most of us!
Ray D
Why Do Singapore Students Surpass the Rest of the World in Math and Science?

The latest results from the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) - an international assessment of 60 participating countries - have been released to prove that once again Singapore's students dominate both math and science in every tested grade level.

This raises a familiar question: What makes Singapore students so STEM-savvy and what can U.S. students learn from them to improve?

While U.S. students have shown long-term improvement since TIMSS was first administered in 1995, the results are lackluster for a country that has been tirelessly focused on improving its students' skills in math and science fields.
(more ...)

Date: Fri, 18 Nov 2016 00:22:17 -0000
Subject: Blind Scientists NOT Communicating

Blind Scientists NOT Communicating

A while ago I got angry enough, with our sometimes pompous and complacent scientists, to write pages called "Blind Science" & "Bent Science".  Even now they're being added to, which continues to amaze and shock me:

If you read Roger Penrose, a rigorous mathematician / physicist, after a dense and closely argued analysis, you can find his confident summation: "We appear to be driven to the firm conclusion that there is something essential in human understanding that is not possible to simulate by any computational means." p. 201 `Shadows of the Mind'.

He then proceeds to the question of `consciousness':
    "First, why is it that the phenomenon of consciousness appears to occur, as far as we know, _only_ in (or in relation to) brains - although we should not rule out the possibility that consciousness might be present also in other appropriate physical systems?
    Second, we must ask how it could be that such a seemingly important (putative) ingredient as non-computational behaviour, presumed to be inherent - potentially at least - in the actions of all material things, so far has entirely escaped the notice of physicists."
p. 216 `Shadows of the Mind'
That too seems a fairly confident - and sweeping - statement.    (Background at consciousness page)
Recently had the good luck to find and read Mae-Wan Ho's books - `The Rainbow and the Worm' (3rd edition), and `Living Rainbow H2O'.

I found her lively and enthusiastic exploration of quantum biology (she's originally a microbiologist and geneticist) quite fascinating, being densely packed with the latest research information on the quantum information-bearing and re-radiating properties of cellular materials (mainly water).

So in Chapter 8 of `Living Rainbow H2O' (her final book) we find:
    "Quantum coherence is the prerequisite for conscious experience ... It is the "I" in every one of us, despite the fact that we are made of 100 trillion cells, each with 100 trillion atoms, the vast majority of which are in water.  There is now good evidence that water is quantum coherent under ambient conditions.  It should not surprise anyone, therefore, that cells and organism are quantum coherent.

    I shall flesh out the picture by degrees, starting with how liquid water dances with ions and macromolecules, individually and in concert, at interfaces outside and inside the cell.  I shall show how water, ions, and macromolecules animate and energize cells and organisms, regulates and coordinates the diverse wet chemistry that fills life with feelings, passions, and excitement, which elude any electronic artificial life.

    Most of all, the quantum coherent organism is a macroscopic quantum being, with a unique evolving wave function spread ultimately throughout the entire universe, entangling the wave functions or consciousness, of all other quantum beings.  Perhaps we are already in touch with extraterrestrial life without our being overtly conscious of it;  we are almost certainly in touch with all life on Earth, from bacteria to whales."

That, to me, seems a complete answer to Roger Penrose's questions above - and, BTW, also provides a mechanism for Rupert Sheldrake's "morphic fields" / "morphic messaging".

Ray D

* definition of `quantum coherence' from Roger Penrose himself

PS - Mae-Wan Ho was not afraid to follow the evidence where it leads - even when it supports the case for homeopathy!

PPS - Mae-Wan Ho opined we might be `in touch' with ET "without being overtly conscious of it", but leaves open the possibility that some advanced ETs might've refined the use of entanglement as a `sixth sense':  long-range and instantaneous.  As speculated here. - RD

Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2016 19:49:55 -0000
Subject: Quake News from New Zealand

Quake News from New Zealand

Just got an email from a long-time correspondent in New Zealand - we hadn't talked for a few years as we were both busy on new things, (and he and his family had moved to a new farm - which takes a lot of organizing).

The big quake in central NZ yesterday prompted him to recall some of our conversations, especially about alignments of planetary masses being capable of triggering quakes on Earth, and large multi-alignments setting off solar storms.  The probable cause of that quake was the `super-moon' syzygy, although the first quake was a bit in advance of the actual alignment.  Details (including late NASA confirmation) at checkalign.html.

He forwarded a link to some sci-images on HuffPost (which persists in mis-calling neutron stars and galactic cores as "black holes" - which I've never believed in, and am in good `scientific' company).  The lowdown on suchlike phenomena is at jets.html and also nblckhls.html.

We've also come to similar opinions on `climate change' (was "global warming") - see the archives at glacials.html

Was glad to hear he and family were OK - and still enjoying life.
Ray D

BTW - happened to notice that an EDU browser in L'Aquila, Abruzzo, Italy was reading these pages sometime today (14th Nov), which is understandable - folk in L'Aquila have personal and some tragic reasons for interest in alignments and subsequent quakes.  Coincidentally have my own memories of seismic events in Italy

Date: Mon, 31 Oct 2016 11:37:21 -0000
Subject: "Dish to listen for ET around strange star"

"Dish to listen for ET around strange star"

This remains an interesting item - and if it turns out that the dimming _is_ caused by artificial structure(s) then our scientists (and politicos) are going to get awfully nervous.  So nervous they'll probably try to censor the news.

Don't forget what Fred Hoyle said a while ago after his own startling statement..

Ray D
Dish to listen for ET around strange star | 27 October 2016

The Breakthrough Listen project, backed by Prof Stephen Hawking, will train a US radio telescope on a target called Tabby's Star.
Tabby's Star has been a subject of attention and controversy over its irregular dimming pattern.
Some scientists have been puzzled by large dips in the star's brightness.

One of the most favoured explanations for this behaviour is that a swarm of comet fragments is periodically blocking light from the star, which also known by its official designation - KIC 8462852. One very remote and speculative idea - yet one that has attracted much attention in the media - is that the pattern is caused by some kind of artificial structure, or a collection of structures, around the star.

The co-director of the Breakthrough Listen programme, Dr Andrew Siemion, said he was sceptical of explanations that involved intelligent life.
He added: "The Breakthrough Listen programme has the most powerful SETI equipment on the planet, and access to the largest telescopes on the planet.
"We can look at it with greater sensitivity and for a wider range of signal types than any other experiment in the world."
The team plans to use the 100m Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia, US, to observe the star, which is named after the leader of the team that discovered it - Tabetha Boyajian, assistant professor at Louisiana State University.

Previous searches, using the Hubble Space Telescope and the Keck Observatory, have failed to find any unusual signals around the star. But Dr Siemion explained: "The Green Bank Telescope is the largest fully steerable radio telescope on the planet, and it's the largest, most sensitive telescope that's capable of looking at Tabby's star given its position in the sky."

The unusual behaviour around Tabby's star was first reported in September 2015 by Dr Boyajian, who was then a postdoctoral student at Yale University. The findings were published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. The team was actually looking for evidence of planets orbiting stars other than our own. While most such dimming by transiting planets is brief, regular and blocks just 1 or 2% of the light of the star, Tabby's star dims for days at a time, by as much as 22%, and at irregular intervals.

Speculation that the phenomenon could be caused by a "megastructure" built by an intelligent civilisation, has been dismissed by most scientists. But it has propelled the stellar object to prominence in the popular media. "I don't think it's very likely - a one in a billion chance or something like that - but nevertheless, we're going to check it out," said Dan Werthimer, chief scientist at Berkeley SETI, based at the University of California, Berkeley.

Yet Tabby's Star remains a fascinating conundrum for astronomers. Some observations show that the dips in brightness are more irregular than a comet swarm would produce. And another study suggested that it had been dimming at a steady rate for the past century. The Breakthrough Listen initiative was launched in 2015 at an event in London. It is largely funded by Russian entrepreneur Yuri Milner - who also supports the Breakthrough Prizes for science and maths.

Date: Sat, 29 Oct 2016 16:55:16 +0100
Subject: Hidden `latent' mutations

Hidden `latent' mutations

Recall us discussing dangers of `inbreeding' due to cultural traditions of cousin-marriages in various parts of the world (usually Muslim +/or Hindu)?

And more recently, of me beginning to read "What is Life?" by Erwin Schrödinger?

Well, by coincidence have just got to where Schrödinger, having established the workings of "genes", opens a chapter (p. 39) headed `THE HARMFUL EFFECT OF CLOSE BREEDING' - and goes into detail, showing that the dangers are worse than I'd thought.

That's because harmful `recessive' mutations build up "secretly" (i.e. without being expressed in human beings), until a wrong-cousin marriage suddenly brings together some (or many!) of those recessively mutated genes, which then ALL try to get expressed in some or all of the resulting children of these marriages.

He continues (p. 40), "in addition to comparatively rare deficiencies of a serious kind, there seems to be a host of minor ones whose chances combine to deteriorate the offspring of close-breeding as a whole.  Since we are no longer inclined to eliminate failures in the harsh way the Lacedemonians* used to adopt in the Taygetos mountain, we have to take a particularly serious view about these things ..."

[* Lacedemonians = the Spartans, whose wealth-retaining close-family marriages resulted in many `monster births'.  They `cured' this by exposing such babies on the mountain, to die `by the will of Heaven'.  However unseen mental defects accumulated until a resulting Spartan lack of intellect and vocabulary gave rise to a new adjective - based on the Spartan domain of Laconia.  Today `laconic' means choosing to use few words, but the Spartans had lost that choice.  Their mental impairment, along with social corruption, meant Sparta collapsed quite early.]

Summing up (p. 45), Schrödinger says - "[A]ny possibility of gradually infecting the human race with unwanted latent mutations ought to be a matter of concern to the community."

Ray D

Date: Tue, 18 Oct 2016 20:01:25 +0100 Subject: "Feet of Clay"
"Feet of Clay"

These days seems I'm too often finding my heroes / heroines have feet of clay (i.e. are no better than the rest of us and sometimes much worse).

And, shamefully enough, it's in the "pure" professions: physics, mathematics etc. - where people have behaved worst.

Can you imagine two `saints' of astronomy and astro-physics like Harlow Shapley and the slightly more `modern' Carl Sagan - both idolized by two generations of readers - behaving badly?

Well they did!  Shapley a self-important senior scientist, and Sagan a newcomer earning his spurs, both lied, blackmailed publishers, misrepresented (Veliskovsky) in misleading or lying quotes, and, worst of all, both lied about their science (to a credulous public) to try to make Velikovsky look bad.

So have made a brief outline - because many folk still believe that mainstream smear stuff, where you can also click on two videos:
Velikovsky's Truth Solar System and Planetary Formation (1/2)
Velikovsky's Truth Solar System and Planetary Formation (2/2)

Have fun
Ray D

Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2016 14:49:39 +0100
Subject: "The Great Global Warming Swindle""

"The Great Global Warming Swindle"

Have been gently reminding folk for a decade or so that solar variations can increase (or decrease) temperatures on Earth, while large volcanic eruptions will decrease temperatures (sometimes for long periods).

And that overall the Earth's temperature is kept relatively stable (and usually above freezing point - its `natural' place) by our thick atmosphere of water vapour - the only really effective `greenhouse gas'.

Recently heard of this documentary, which was aired only once in UK and then bought (and canned) by USA's PBS.  When `free speech' protestors took PBS to court they reluctantly aired it once - but only in Washington DC.

For me that is reason enough to want to see it.

Ray D
[our research]
BTW - have always believed in a smallest possible personal footprint and minimal pollution of nature.
"The Great Global Warming Swindle"

Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2016 12:42:51 +0100
Subject: "Frozen Corpses of a Forgotten WWI Battle"

"Frozen Corpses of a Forgotten WWI Battle"

Heck -they've forgotten how to think.  If those soldiers were fighting in trenches etc. and have since been covered up and frozen into the icy landscape (and the central glacier) it can only mean that temperatures plummeted sometime after their deaths and are only returning to those earlier levels about now!

Gee - so those `global warming' graphs were untrue?

Ray D
PS - check a real temperature graph - it show temps _were_ higher around the early 1900's
Global Warming Is Thawing Out the Frozen Corpses of a Forgotten WWI Battle
Written by LEANDER ROET | January 15, 2014 // 04:59 PM EST

In what is quite possibly the most bizarre result of global warming yet, a melting glacier in the Northern-Italian Alps is slowly revealing the corpses of soldiers who died in the First World War. After nearly a century, the frozen bodies appear to be perfectly mummified from the ice. With the remains also comes the story of the highest battle in history - `The White War'.

The year is May 1915. The newly unified Italy decides to join the Allied Forces in the First World War, which by then is 10 months underway. Italy, eager to expand its borders, decides to wage war against Austria in an effort to annex the mountain areas of Trentino and Southern Tirol. The conflict results in what is now known as `The White War': a cold, four-year-long standoff between Italian mountain troops, named `the Alpini', and their Austrian opponents, `the Kaiserschützen'. The battle was fought at high altitude, with special weapons and infrastructure like ice-trenches and cable transports. Often the sides would use mortar fire to try and incur avalanches - `the white death' - on each other's camps, claiming thousands of lives.

Now, thanks largely to decades of global warming, the Presena glacier running through the battleground is slowly melting away. And with that melting the remains of the White War are slowly emerging. Remarkably well-kept artifacts have been streaming down with the melting water of the glacier since the early 90s: A love letter dated from 1918, to a certain Maria that was never sent. An ode to an old friend, scribbled down in a diary. A love note picturing a sleeping woman, signed, in Czech, "Your Abandoned Wife."

Now, after almost a century, the bodies are following suit. Because of the cold, the remains often surface completely intact, still wrapped in their original uniforms. Last September, two Austrians emerged from the ice, aged 17 and 18, both blue-eyed and blonde - with bullet holes in both of their skulls.

"The first thing I thought of were their mothers," Franco Nicolis from the local Archeological Heritage Office told the Telegraph. "They feel contemporary. They come out of the ice just as they went in. In all likelihood the soldiers' mothers never discovered their sons' fate."

The local community has been laboring for years now to reveal the remains of this largely forgotten war. In 2004, Maurizio Vicenzi, a local mountain guide and head of the Peio's war museum, discovered the bodies of three soldiers hanging upside down from an ice wall at an altitude of 12,000 feet - victims of one the highest front lines in history. Multiple findings followed. In one rare find, a team discovered a hidden ice tunnel, that, after being melted open with huge ventilators, turned out to house an enormous wooden structure used as a transportation station for ammunition and supplies.

All bodies that have since emerged pass through the office of Daniel Gaudio, a forensic anthropologist tasked to trace the identities of the war victims. Despite the fact that in most cases he's able to extract the DNA from the corpses, he rarely succeeds. They're missing contextual information, he says, that is necessary to determine the possible whereabouts of the families of the war victims.

To date, more than 80 bodies have appeared from the depths of the glacier. And more will surely follow. On the Italian side alone more than 750,000 soldiers died in battle, according to historian Mark Thompson, author of The White War. Next summer, archeological teams will continue their search for more remains of icy melee. And the bodies are certain to keep on coming - climate change looks certain to continue, even accelerate, the thaw.

For now, it's winter. Not far from the place where the soldiers were first discovered lies Peio, a ski resort where Italians, Austrians, Germans and Russians are once again sharing the same mountain. They do so more peacefully now.

Date: Thu, 22 Sep 2016 14:51:10 +0100
Subject: "MP tries to school science professor on science... and fails"

"MP tries to school science professor on science... and fails"

Sad to say there seem to be many like him, in positions of authority and power - but knowing nothing of any value about the world, nature or even of human life.

Can recall making an off-the-cuff remark about `inertia' in a long-running group discussion about propulsion methods.   Immediately a guy writing from a grand University e-mail address tried to lambast me - printing that "inertia is in things standing still - momentum is in moving things".  Yeah - sure, if you never progressed beyond kids school ideas.

Had to break it to him that, as far as we know, everything in the Universe is moving!  Therefore all bodies of mass have _one_ attribute, resisting acceleration (i.e. also resisting stopping - if already moving).  You can call it momentum if you want but I personally prefer the more accurate `inertia'.  The exact same attribute is responsible for a mass's reaction to a gravitational field.

He didn't reply.  Maybe he was a janitor at that Uni.

Ray D
UKIP's only MP tries to school science professor on science... and fails
Published time: 20 Sep, 2016 15:45 | Edited time: 21 Sep, 2016 17:20

UKIP's only MP, Douglas Carswell, got into an Twitter spat with a University of Sussex scientist in a doomed attempt to convince the academic that the sun's gravity - rather than the moon's - causes the Earth's tides. Carswell, MP for Clacton-on-Sea, challenged Paul Nightingale, a science policy researcher, after the academic used the concept of gravity to argue that the UK sign trade deals with neighbors rather than China.
(more ...)

Date: Sat, 17 Sep 2016 18:50:25 +0100
Subject: "Get caught on the phone twice while driving and you will lose your licence"

"Get caught on the phone twice while driving and you will lose your licence"

That won't achieve a thing!  About two decades ago or more, I published and circulated the reason why using a phone while driving is lethal!  AND why humans still want to use the phone whenever they can:

a) we can only drive competently by using the fast-reacting cerebellum (part of rear-brain), BUT we cogitate (read and converse) by using the much slower cerebrum (fore-brain).  SO switching from cerebellum to cerebrum automatically makes a person unfit to drive at even moderate speeds.

b) while driving (using cerebellum) the forebrain is mostly unused and so humans tend to feel more `curiosity' about the world and society than normal, which is why some can't resist using their phones.

So, maybe evolution will get rid of the weak-minded ones in traffic accidents, unfortunately taking a lot of us with them.
Ray D
Get caught on the phone twice while driving and you will lose your licence
Under new measures to be announced by Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, using a mobile phone while driving will carry an automatic six point penalty

Date: Thu, 15 Sep 2016 09:32:12 +0100
Subject: "I shall largely speak of mice," he begins, "but my thoughts are on man"

"I shall largely speak of mice," he begins, "but my thoughts are on man"

Excellent piece from `Atlas Obscura' - It reminds me of a BBC report on similar rodent research, when the scientist was answering a BBC lady's questions:  He described the bare cages of some mice as `deprived' and other cages (with toys, exercise wheels etc.) as `enriched' and told how mice mentality & health was better in `enriched' cages.  The BBC lady, completely misunderstanding, gushed "Oh, so it's a class thing?"

The scientist took a deep breath, probably cursing the BBC habit of hiring stupid upper-class ladies, and replied "No - wild mice live in the richest environment of all, and they are "poor" by your standards".

Strange things seems to've happened to the mice (and rats) of John B Calhoun.
Ray D
BTW - downloaded that PDF Calhoun report "Death Squared" as well, looks to be worth a read.
The Doomed Mouse Utopia That Inspired the 'Rats of NIMH'
Dr. John Bumpass Calhoun spent the '60s and '70s playing god to thousands of rodents.
By Cara Giaimo SEPTEMBER 14, 2016

On July 9th, 1968, eight white mice were placed into a strange box at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Maybe "box" isn't the right word for it; the space was more like a room, known as Universe 25, about the size of a small storage unit. The mice themselves were bright and healthy, hand-picked from the institute's breeding stock. They were given the run of the place, which had everything they might need: food, water, climate control, hundreds of nesting boxes to choose from, and a lush floor of shredded paper and ground corn cob.

This is a far cry from a wild mouse's life - no cats, no traps, no long winters. It's even better than your average lab mouse's, which is constantly interrupted by white-coated humans with scalpels or syringes. The residents of Universe 25 were mostly left alone, save for one man who would peer at them from above, and his team of similarly interested assistants. They must have thought they were the luckiest mice in the world. They couldn't have known the truth: that within a few years, they and their descendants would all be dead.

The man who played mouse-God and came up with this doomed universe was named John Bumpass Calhoun. As Edmund Ramsden and Jon Adams detail in a paper, "Escaping the Laboratory: The Rodent Experiments of John B. Calhoun & Their Cultural Influence," Calhoun spent his childhood traipsing around Tennessee, chasing toads, collecting turtles, and banding birds. These adventures eventually led him to a doctorate in biology, and then a job in Baltimore, where he was tasked with studying the habits of Norway rats, one of the city's chief pests.

In 1947, to keep a close eye on his charges, Calhoun constructed a quarter-acre "rat city" behind his house, and filled it with breeding pairs. He expected to be able to house 5,000 rats there but over the two years he observed the city, the population never exceeded 150. At that point, the rats became too stressed to reproduce. They started acting weirdly, rolling dirt into balls rather than digging normal tunnels. They hissed and fought.

This fascinated Calhoun - if the rats had everything they needed, what was keeping them from overrunning his little city, just as they had all of Baltimore?

Intrigued, Calhoun built another, slightly bigger rat metropolis - this time in a barn, with ramps connecting several different rooms. Then he built another and another, hopping between patrons that supported his research, and framing his work in terms of population: How many individuals could a rodent city hold without losing its collective mind? By 1954, he was working under the auspices of the National Institute of Mental Health, which gave him whole rooms to build his mousetopias. Like a rodent real estate developer, he incorporated ever-better amenities: climbable walls, food hoppers that could serve two dozen mice at once, lodging he described as "walk-up one-room apartments." Video records of his experiments show Calhoun with a pleased smile and a pipe in his mouth, color-coded mice scurrying over his boots.

Still, at a certain point, each of these paradises collapsed. "There could be no escape from the behavioral consequences of rising population density," Calhoun wrote in an early paper. Even Universe 25 - the biggest, best mousetopia of all, built after a quarter century of research - failed to break this pattern. In late October, the first litter of mouse pups was born. After that, the population doubled every two months - 20 mice, then 40, then 80. The babies grew up and had babies of their own. Families became dynasties, carving out and holding down the best in-cage real estate. By August of 1969, the population numbered 620.

Then, as always, things took a turn. Such rapid growth put too much pressure on the mouse way of life. As new generations reached adulthood, many couldn't find mates, or places in the social order - the mouse equivalent of a spouse and a job. Spinster females retreated to high-up nesting boxes, where they lived alone, far from the family neighborhoods. Washed-up males gathered in the center of the Universe, near the food, where they fretted, languished, and attacked each other. Meanwhile, overextended mouse moms and dads began moving nests constantly to avoid their unsavory neighbors. They also took their stress out on their babies, kicking them out of the nest too early, or even losing them during moves.

Population growth slowed way down again. Most of the adolescent mice retreated even further from societal expectations, spending all their time eating, drinking, sleeping and grooming, and refusing to fight or to even attempt to mate. (These individuals were forever changed - when Calhoun's colleague attempted to transplant some of them to more normal situations, they didn't remember how to do anything.) In May of 1970, just under 2 years into the study, the last baby was born, and the population entered a swan dive of perpetual senescence. It's unclear exactly when the last resident of Universe 25 perished, but it was probably sometime in 1973.

In 1973, Calhoun published his Universe 25 research as "Death Squared: The Explosive Growth and Demise of a Mouse Population." It is, to put it lightly, an intense academic reading experience. He quotes liberally from the Book of Revelations, italicizing certain words for emphasis (e.g. "to kill with the sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts"). He gave his claimed discoveries catchy names - the mice who forgot how to mate were "the beautiful ones"' rats who crowded around water bottles were "social drinkers"; the overall societal breakdown was the "behavioral sink." In other words, it was exactly the kind of diction you'd expect from someone who spent his entire life perfecting the art of the mouse dystopia.

Most frightening are the parallels he draws between rodent and human society. "I shall largely speak of mice," he begins, "but my thoughts are on man." Both species, he explains, are vulnerable to two types of death - that of the spirit and that of the body. Even though he had removed physical threats, doing so had forced the residents of Universe 25 into a spiritually unhealthy situation, full of crowding, overstimulation, and contact with various mouse strangers. To a society experiencing the rapid growth of cities - and reacting, in various ways, quite poorly - this story seemed familiar. Senators brought it up in meetings. It showed up in science fiction and comic books. Even Tom Wolfe, never lost for description, used Calhounian terms to describe New York City, calling all of Gotham a "behavioral sink."

Convinced that he had found a real problem, Calhoun quickly began using his mouse models to try and fix it. If mice and humans weren't afforded enough physical space, he thought, perhaps they could make up for it with conceptual space - creativity, artistry, and the type of community not built around social hierarchies. His later Universes were designed to be spiritually as well as physically utopic, with rodent interactions carefully controlled to maximize happiness (he was particularly fascinated by some early rats who had created an innovative form of tunneling, where they rolled dirt into balls). He extrapolated this, too, to human concerns, becoming an early supporter of environmental design and H.G. Wells's hypothetical "World Brain," an international information network that was a clear precursor to the internet.

But the public held on hard to his earlier work - as Ramsden and Adams put it, "everyone want[ed] to hear the diagnosis, no one want[ed] to hear the cure." Gradually, Calhoun lost attention, standing, and funding. In 1986, he was forced to retired from the National Institute of Mental Health. Nine years later, he died.

But there was one person who paid attention to his more optimistic experiments, a writer named Robert C. O'Brien. In the late '60s, O'Brien allegedly visited Calhoun's lab, met the man trying to build a true and creative rat paradise, and took note of the Frisbee on the door, the scientists' own attempt "to help when things got too stressful," as Calhoun put it. Soon after, O'Brien wrote Ms. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH - a story about rats who, having escaped from a lab full of blundering humans, attempt to build their own utopia. Next time, maybe we should put the rats in charge.

Date: Wed, 14 Sep 2016 07:04:41 +0100
Subject: "Reality doesn't exist until we measure it" (WRONG?)

"Reality doesn't exist until we measure it" (WRONG?)

We keep reading these quasi-supernatural interpretations of quantum results, like the headline below, which deeply offended Einstein and still offend many (include me in), like Bohm and lately Penrose.  They're often written as statements, as below, but they are only interpretations, resting on various assumptions, and there are other interpretations, many more rational.

Fr'instance Bohm's `pilot-wave theory' neatly provides the `hidden variable' to account for quantum results, including the interference experiments below (like the classic "two-slit experiment").  Although personally I much prefer the converse: a radial instantaneous incoming (and outgoing) `force' or `field' (I called it UEF) which also provides that `hidden variable'.

And no, neither suggestion requires `magic' events - we already know that quantum entanglement _does_ transfer data (but not signals), apparently instantaneously, over arbitrary distances, which can easily be the mechanism for either `pilot-wave' or UEF.

Ray D.
Reality doesn't exist until we measure it, quantum experiment confirms

Australian scientists have recreated a famous experiment and confirmed quantum physics's bizarre predictions about the nature of reality, by proving that reality doesn't actually exist until we measure it - at least, not on the very small scale. That all sounds a little mind-meltingly complex, but the experiment poses a pretty simple question: if you have an object that can either act like a particle or a wave, at what point does that object 'decide'?

Our general logic would assume that the object is either wave-like or particle-like by its very nature, and our measurements will have nothing to do with the answer. But quantum theory predicts that the result all depends on how the object is measured at the end of its journey. And that's exactly what a team from the Australian National University has now found.

"It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it," lead researcher and physicist Andrew Truscott said in a press release. Known as John Wheeler's delayed-choice thought experiment, the experiment was first proposed back in 1978 using light beams bounced by mirrors, but back then, the technology needed was pretty much impossible. Now, almost 40 years later, the Australian team has managed to recreate the experiment using helium atoms scattered by laser light.

"Quantum physics predictions about interference seem odd enough when applied to light, which seems more like a wave, but to have done the experiment with atoms, which are complicated things that have mass and interact with electric fields and so on, adds to the weirdness," said Roman Khakimov, a PhD student who worked on the experiment.

To successfully recreate the experiment, the team trapped a bunch of helium atoms in a suspended state known as a Bose-Einstein condensate, and then ejected them all until there was only a single atom left. This chosen atom was then dropped through a pair of laser beams, which made a grating pattern that acted as a crossroads that would scatter the path of the atom, much like a solid grating would scatter light.

They then randomly added a second grating that recombined the paths, but only after the atom had already passed the first grating. When this second grating was added, it led to constructive or destructive interference, which is what you'd expect if the atom had travelled both paths, like a wave would. But when the second grating was not added, no interference was observed, as if the atom chose only one path.

The fact that this second grating was only added after the atom passed through the first crossroads suggests that the atom hadn't yet determined its nature before being measured a second time.

So if you believe that the atom did take a particular path or paths at the first crossroad, this means that a future measurement was affecting the atom's path, explained Truscott. "The atoms did not travel from A to B. It was only when they were measured at the end of the journey that their wave-like or particle-like behaviour was brought into existence," he said. Although this all sounds incredibly weird, it's actually just a validation for the quantum theory that already governs the world of the very small. Using this theory, we've managed to develop things like LEDs, lasers and computer chips, but up until now, it's been hard to confirm that it actually works with a lovely, pure demonstration such as this one.

The full results have been published in Nature Physics

Date: Tue, 13 Sep 2016 16:39:11 +0100
Subject: Re: "The moon could cause huge earthquakes"

Right Choong, and the scientists are _still_ waffling and covering-up - they're now saying "tidal effects" account for the correlation but that's NOT true.

Tidal effects - caused by good old "gravity" - have characteristic timings and shapes (lobes) of maximum "power" but will bet they won't find correlation with those.

As NASA found out some years ago, but kept quiet about it, the same non-tidal link exists between planetary alignments and disturbances of the Sun's surface - all the way to synchronizing with the solar cycle. See summary of NASA's paper (lead author Ching-Cheh Hung of Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio).

As statistics accumulate I'll bet they'll eventually have to admit the real correlation in both cases (earthquakes and Solar storms etc) - i.e. an `instantaneous' effect, over arbitrary distance, something like how you'd imagine a "tractor beam" to operate, and produced by alignment of large masses, especially rotating masses.

Ray D

From: Choong K*** Y***
Sent: Tuesday, September 13, 2016 4:06 PM
Subject: Re: "The moon could cause huge earthquakes"

I am speechless, are they this slow in coming to conclusion that whenever two large objects adjacent to each other there will exist a "tug of war" between the two in terms of magnetic field and probably other unknown forces too?
Date: Tue, 13 Sep 2016 12:27:31 +0100
Subject: "The moon could cause huge earthquakes"

"The moon could cause huge earthquakes"

NOT NEW - these people, scientists _and_ media, don't bother checking already published research and archives - I.e. most of the claims in this article are untrue.

I've published fairly detailed forecasts of Lunar (and planetary) alignment quake effects, and supplied tools for readers to use - for over a decade now, and the basic principles for almost two decades.

See main `planetary alignment page', and maybe check the earlier research referenced.

Here's some text file detail:
- my own mail from 2005, thanking Loren Coleman for his info;
- record of earlier research, confirming, starting in Russia 2001.
Ray D
The Independent | News - Science | Andrew Griffin, 13 Sep. 2016

The moon could cause huge earthquakes because of the stress it puts on our planet, according to new research. Scientists have long suspected that the moon might play some part in the major earthquakes that strike across the world and often cause huge amounts of death and destruction.

But until now they haven't been able to prove it, and no connection between our moon's activity and those quakes has been established.

High tides are usually just caused by the gravitational pull of the moon, which moves the ocean's water. But twice a month, when the moon is new or full, the tides are especially high - the moon, earth and sun line up together and lead to an extra-high `spring' tide.

When that happens, it might lead to extra stress on the Earth's surface and strain the faults that lead to earthquakes, the new study - led by Satoshi Ide from the University of Tokyo and published in Nature Geoscience - suggests. Scientists have long held that might be true - but never been able to be sure.

The scientists worked that out by looking at the amount of stress that the tides can put on those geological faults, by using information gathered from recent big earthquakes.

They found that very large earthquakes - such as those in Sumatra in 2004, 2010 in Chile and in Japan in 2011 - tend to happen around the times that the tidal stress gets at its highest. The scientist discovered that nine of the 12 biggest quakes on record happened near or on full or new moons.

That discovery could help people forecast when such very big earthquakes are about to happen. But even though the correlation might exist, whatever the moon is up to there is a tiny chance of such an earthquake, so it might prove hard to predict on that basis.

It isn't clear that the same effect happens for smaller earthquakes.

Abstract at

Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2016 06:49:42 +0100
Subject: "Insecticide hurts queen bees' egg-laying abilities"

"Insecticide hurts queen bees' egg-laying abilities"

That's a nobrainer!   Are they really surprised that a vicious insecticide harms (important) insects?
Ray D
PS - Maybe check blinded.html#pharma for earlier background stuff
September 9, 2016 by Scott Schrage
Damaged Bees That stings: Insecticide hurts queen bees' egg-laying abilities

The world's best-selling insecticide may impair the ability of a queen honey bee and her subjects to maintain a healthy colony, says new research led by a University of Nebraska-Lincoln entomologist.

The research examined the effects of imidacloprid, which belongs to a popular class of nicotine-based insecticides known as neonicotinoids. Honey bees often become exposed to neonicotinoids in the process of pollinating crops and ornamental plants while foraging for the nectar and pollen that feed their colonies.

Queen bees in colonies that were fed imidacloprid-laced syrup laid substantially fewer eggs - between one-third and two-thirds as many, depending on the dose of imidacloprid - than queens in unexposed colonies, the study reported.

"The queens are of particular importance because they're the only reproductive individual laying eggs in the colony," said lead author Judy Wu-Smart, assistant professor of entomology. "One queen can lay up to 1,000 eggs a day. If her ability to lay eggs is reduced, that is a subtle effect that isn't (immediately) noticeable but translates to really dramatic consequences for the colony."

Wu-Smart and her colleague, the University of Minnesota's Marla Spivak, assessed colonies populated by 1,500, 3,000 and 7,000 honey bees. Some colonies received normal syrup, with others given syrup that contained imidacloprid in doses of 10, 20, 50 and 100 parts per billion, or PPB.

Colonies that consumed the imidacloprid also featured larger proportions of empty cells, the signature hexagonal hollows that serve as cribs for honey bee broods. About 10 percent of cells in the unexposed colonies were vacant, compared with 24, 31, and 48 percent of the 20, 50 and 100 PPB colonies, respectively. The finding suggests poor brood health in the exposed colonies, Wu-Smart said.

The researchers further found that exposed colonies collected and stored far less pollen, which they convert into a "bee bread" that provides crucial protein for recently hatched larvae. While more than four percent of the cells in unexposed hives contained pollen, less than one percent of cells in even the 10 PPB colonies did.

And the honey bee equivalent of biohazard containment - the removal of mite-infested or diseased pupae before they can infect the hive - also suffered. An unexposed colony of 7,000 bees removed more than 95 percent of the ailing brood, but a 100 PPB colony eliminated only 74 percent and a 50 PPB colony just 63 percent. Wu-Smart said this reduction in hygienic behavior indicates that the exposed colonies could be more susceptible to pests and pathogens.
(more at page ...)

Fashion, Faith and Fantasy
Date: Sat, 10 Sep 2016 17:36:13 +0100
Subject: "Fashion, Faith and Fantasy"

"Fashion, Faith and Fantasy"

Just arrived:  "Fashion, Faith and Fantasy in the New Physics of the Universe" the latest sci-blockbuster from Roger Penrose - 500 pages of close arguments, deep speculations and what looks like the mathematics to go with it.  Maybe let you know how it goes.

Date: Sat, 10 Sep 2016 16:11:09 +0100
Subject: 'Memories' pass between generations

'Memories' pass between generations

This is getting re-hashed in social media today:
Notice the article said that phobias might've been passed down by this DNA mechanism.

Re the `spider phobia' (maybe the most common) - a while ago a guy suggested that spiders might be descended from an alien species and so we fear them.

Well, am aware that Earth has had very hot, and highly oxygenated periods, when insects and other arthropods grew to huge size, and, at that time our remote ancestors were relatively tiny shrew-like animals.  Therefore it's extremely likely that our biggest predators were hunting spiders, ambush spiders and ordinary web-spiders - all much bigger than our ancestors at the time.

It now looks like our DNA could've passed down the (sensible) fear of spider-shapes and spider-motions.

Ray D
'Memories' pass between generations
By James Gallagher | Health and science reporter, BBC News
1 December 2013

Behaviour can be affected by events in previous generations which have been passed on through a form of genetic memory, animal studies suggest.
Experiments showed that a traumatic event could affect the DNA in sperm and alter the brains and behaviour of subsequent generations.
A Nature Neuroscience study shows mice trained to avoid a smell passed their aversion on to their "grandchildren".

Experts said the results were important for phobia and anxiety research.
The animals were trained to fear a smell similar to cherry blossom.

The team at the Emory University School of Medicine, in the US, then looked at what was happening inside the sperm.
They showed a section of DNA responsible for sensitivity to the cherry blossom scent was made more active in the mice's sperm.
Both the mice's offspring, and their offspring, were "extremely sensitive" to cherry blossom and would avoid the scent, despite never having experienced it in their lives.
Changes in brain structure were also found.

"The experiences of a parent, even before conceiving, markedly influence both structure and function in the nervous system of subsequent generations," the report concluded.

The findings provide evidence of "transgenerational epigenetic inheritance" - that the environment can affect an individual's genetics, which can in turn be passed on.

One of the researchers Dr Brian Dias told the BBC: "This might be one mechanism that descendants show imprints of their ancestor.
"There is absolutely no doubt that what happens to the sperm and egg will affect subsequent generations."

Prof Marcus Pembrey, from University College London, said the findings were "highly relevant to phobias, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorders" and provided "compelling evidence" that a form of memory could be passed between generations.

He commented: "It is high time public health researchers took human transgenerational responses seriously.  I suspect we will not understand the rise in neuropsychiatric disorders or obesity, diabetes and metabolic disruptions generally without taking a multigenerational approach."
(more at page ...)

Date: Sun, 28 Aug 2016 18:43:10 +0100
Subject: "Stephen Hawking, Yuri Milner Plan To Explore Closest Earth-Like Planet Proxima B"

Well, well - considering that Hawking and others were recently warning us NOT to attract attention from potentially dangerous ETs, sending an easily traceable `probe' to Proxima Centauri, part of the Alpha Centauri triple-star system, could be seen as doing just that.  And of course, it would be an irrevocable act.
Ray D
Stephen Hawking, Yuri Milner Plan To Explore Closest Earth-Like Planet Proxima B
28 August 2016, 1:05 am EDT By Alyssa Navarro Tech Times

The discovery of the closest Earth-like planet to our solar system is creating a buzz in the scientific community. With that, top scientific minds such as Stephen Hawking are planning to launch an ambitious exploration to the exoplanet.

Renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking and Russian billionaire Yuri Milner teamed up in April for an ambitious plan to send interstellar probes to a nearby star system for the first time in around 20 to 30 years.

Back then, Milner pledged approximately $100 million toward the "Breakthrough Starshot" project, which aims to propel tiny spaceships to 20 percent the speed of light with a laser propulsion system. The nanospaceships will be sent to Alpha Centauri, the closest star system to our solar system at 4.37 light-years away.

Now, the discovery of an Earth-like and possibly habitable exoplanet located in Alpha Centauri may prompt the Breakthrough Starshot team to tweak their plans.
On Wednesday, Aug. 24, scientists from the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and Harvard University announced the discovery of exoplanet Proxima b, the closest exoplanet ever detected.

Proxima b revolves around a red dwarf star in the Alpha Centauri known as Proxima Centauri, which is also considered the smallest star in its star system, according to astronomers.
Abraham Loeb, committee chair of the Starshot mission advisory, said Proxima b has given them a new target for their spacecraft.

"The discovery is likely to energize the project," Loeb, also a physicist at Harvard, told CNET. "It provides an obvious target for a flyby mission." Loeb said should they send a spacecraft to Proxima b, it would be equipped with a camera and several filters that could take color images. The camera could infer whether the planet is green and harbors life; blue and contains water oceans; or just brown and contains dry rock.

The Breakthrough Starshot team hopes to conduct a launch in two or three decades and reach Proxima Centauri in 20 years. The photos taken by the tiny probes would arrive on Earth 4.23 years later - the distance in light-years from Earth to Proxima b.

With that in mind, Loeb and colleagues think their nanoprobes, which will be named StarChips, could take photos of Proxima b by 2060. Each StarChip would be built out of a silicon wafer that carries cameras, power supply, photon thrusters, communication equipment and navigation, the team said. Tiny space probes are more ideal to travel to star systems like the Alpha Centauri because a traditional spacecraft would take 20,000 years to reach it. But probes such as the StarChips can make the journey in just 20 years, researchers added.
Meanwhile, before scientists can make this plan a reality, they have to solve several "overarching problems" first.

Breakthrough Starshot developers say much of the plan is still theoretical at this point. The laser propulsion system still requires a proof of concept, with about five to 10 years of study dedicated to investigating whether the lasers will work.

Date: Wed, 24 Aug 2016 18:10:50 +0100
Subject: `Living Rainbow H2O'

`Living Rainbow H2O' by Mae-Wan Ho [Amazon]

Just begun reading `Living Rainbow H2O' by geneticist Mae-Wan Ho and am impressed - just the first chapter or two has a huge amount of the new and mysterious info emerging about the characteristics and attributes of WATER - which I'd always thought was a simple and inert fluid.  NO WAY - water has multiple personalities and maybe even quantum coherence as a force!

Sadly this was her most recent and final book, but it reads full of zest and enthusiasm - may be tempted to get her earlier works just for kicks.

Ray D
PS - hope to follow-up on this, have already found more revelations in the book, and a major surprise.

Date: Thu, 25 Aug 2016 02:03:17 +0800
Subject: Re: `Living Rainbow H2O'

Yes Ray, I have read many interesting characters of water by the research of a Japanese professor, water is not as simple as we thought to be and into that I were being redirected to what we already know about the practices of some cultures including the Chinese of whom for those in those days and even till this day occasionally consult temple medicine man who would issue talisman to be burn over the glass as part of the treatment and its not strange for us that it works most of the time, imagine the quantum manipulation that H20 is also reactive to consciousness in ways we haven't truly understood yet as how once upon a time no one would have though that in the science of cymatic each frequency range or its harmonics can create sacred geometry of the high form including the Star of David., the cosmic intelligence is all accessible through vibration and the clue to its form is something like the Mandelbrot set in the mathematical realm.


Date: Sat, 20 Aug 2016 13:47:24 +0100
Subject: NASA's PubSpace

NASA's PubSpace
Nasa just made all its research available online for free
Want to learn more about Martian tsunamis or keeping fit in space? Now you can

Care to learn more about 400-foot tsunamis on Mars? Now you can, after Nasa announced it is making all its publicly funded research available online for free. The space agency has set up a new public web portal called Pubspace, where the public can find Nasa-funded research articles on everything from the chances of life on one of Saturn's moons to the effects of space station living on the hair follicles of astronauts.


National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2016 12:33:52 +0100
Subject: "That should set off alarms"

"Well, when you have a consensus of scientists, that should set off alarms."
David F. Noble, who Susan Mazur called `the Tarzan of science and technology historians'.

"the average `scientist', being relatively uninformed about cutting-edge research results, usually prefers to believe in a `consensus' of safe, accepted (fashionable) views.  A consensus which, because it is composed of the views of mediocre uninformed `scientists', is worthless."

"it should be made clear that majority opinion, no matter how important it may be for democratic government, should in no way be used as the criterion for scientific acceptability."
Roger Penrose - `The Road to Reality'p. 13

Ray D
PS - that `climate consensus' never even existed: it was faked with rigged numbers - check the real facts.

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