July 28, 2010

Medical Breakthroughs!

There is hope for the English and, apparently, for those who'd like to never quit smoking. Or sitting in a tanning bed.

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August 04, 2009

Should we be worried about Terminators?

Long a subject of dystopian science fiction, the lack of progress in AI has been, in a word, disappointing. At least compared to books and movies written about the subject. So, should we be scared about imminent conflict between humans and AI's? No... at least, not yet.

Indeed, when Wilson chatted with Wired for War author PW Singer during our ominous Machines Behaving Deadly theme week, we learned that a Terminator uprising was unlikely to happen anytime soon because the "preconditions" simply weren't in place—yet.

"The Global Hawk drone may be able to take off on its own, fly on its own, but it still needs someone to put that gasoline in there," he said. Nevertheless, as Wilson added after that comment, "it's not hard to see how this precondition could eventually be overcome." No kidding.

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December 30, 2008

The first step...

...toward practical fusion.

PhotobucketIn the spring, a team will begin attempts to ignite a tiny man-made star inside a laboratory and trigger a thermonuclear reaction.

Its goal is to generate temperatures of more than 100 million degrees Celsius and pressures billions of times higher than those found anywhere else on earth, from a speck of fuel little bigger than a pinhead. If successful, the experiment will mark the first step towards building a practical nuclear fusion power station and a source of almost limitless energy.

The resulting explosion should generate 10 times the energy used to ignite it. While this is still not practical for commercial applications, it's a good first step toward a working fusion reactor.

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November 07, 2008

The Lunatic Round

Apparently, some church in Ft. Worth is debating, in a one sided format, the relative merits of intelligent design vs. THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION.

The Discovery Institute, the whacko's who think humans and dinosaurs walked the Earth together that the oil is created by magical rocks, will be putting the whole thing on. There, obviously, won't be one shred of science that's peer reviewed by anyone considered an expert in, you know, science, but it will have been approved by Dr. Hagee.

If you're going, don't absorb too much nutty!

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March 17, 2008

Things to do...

1) Create artificial blackhole
2) Dump douchebags into it

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February 21, 2008

Take THAT you stupid non-functional satellite!

Remember that satellite the US was supposed to shoot down (the one loaded with a bunch of hydrazine propellant on board)?Apparently the Navy's aim is pretty good.

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January 31, 2008

Bring me the sparkly

Apparently there is a diamond the size of a star. Well, it's the remnant of a star... the carbonized core that has crystallized to diamond. It's only 50 LY away and I really want it.

Get it for me, will ya? I want it before that bitch Liz Taylor tries to make it into a ring.

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December 19, 2007

Damnit! We just can't have nice things!

Someone dented the solar system.

The data was gathered by the craft on its 30-year journey into the edge of the solar system when it crossed into a sweeping region called the termination shock, they said.

It showed that the southern hemisphere of the solar system's heliosphere is being pushed in or "dented."

Voyager 2 is the second spacecraft to enter this region of the solar system behind Voyager 1, which entered the northern region of the heliosheath in December 2004.

The termination shock is a turbulent area far beyond Pluto's orbit where the solar winds emanating from the sun are significantly slowed as they run up against the thin gas of interstellar space. Solar winds blow in all directions from our sun, and shape what was once thought to be a bubble around the solar system called the heliosphere.

"Voyager 2 entered the termination shock almost 1 billion miles closer within the southern hemisphere of the heliosphere of the solar system than Voyager 1 previously had," said Voyager Project scientist Edward Stone of the California Institute of Technology.

And no, it wasn't me.

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December 11, 2007

Human evolution is accelerating...

Just in time for the next round of bullshit about intelligent design comes word from scientists (people smarter than you and I) that human evolution is accelerating and that people all over the world are becoming more and more dissimilar to other folks.

All anyone had to do was look at Connecticut native and current President George Bush to know that was true. He's about as close genetically to normal humans as chimpanzees. Perhaps he's some kind of evolutionary dead end? Wait. I'm kind of off the point, aren't I? Damn, I really need to quit drinking during the day.

Apparently, some populations are experiencing genetic changes that are mostly related to diet and environment (Europeans are now better able to digest dairy as adults and Africans now have genetic resistance to malaria) far faster than previously thought, providing a real world, historically provable proof for the theory of evolution. It also proves that the political management at TEA is pretty dumb. Why? Because you can track the changes than date them in specific populations.

Which is something you can't do with intelligent design. That's would be a bit like trying to rationalize the decision make process used by the political leadership at TEA. It would drive you crazy, you'd ultimately fail and it's a rather foolish thing to bother with.

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November 29, 2007

DNA and racism, the new frontier...

Some scientists have noticed that certain genetic markers for intelligence seem to be more frequent in people of European and Asian descent. So, a blogger in NY used that to softpeddle racism...

Nonscientists are already beginning to stitch together highly speculative conclusions about the historically charged subject of race and intelligence from the new biological data. Last month, a blogger in Manhattan described a recently published study that linked several snippets of DNA to high I.Q. An online genetic database used by medical researchers, he told readers, showed that two of the snippets were found more often in Europeans and Asians than in Africans.

No matter that the link between I.Q. and those particular bits of DNA was unconfirmed, or that other high I.Q. snippets are more common in Africans, or that hundreds or thousands of others may also affect intelligence, or that their combined influence might be dwarfed by environmental factors. Just the existence of such genetic differences between races, proclaimed the author of the Half Sigma blog, a 40-year-old software developer, means “the egalitarian theory,” that all races are equal, “is proven false.”

Of course, the blogger conveintiently failed to mention that other genetic markers for high intelligence are found more frequently in those of African descent than this those of Asian and European descent.

The reality is that not all races and not all people are gifted equally. However, it does not mean that all races and people should not be treated equally. At the end of the day, you can do a lot with poor genetics. Just look at how well Connecticut native George W. Bush has done.

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June 17, 2007

Big shoes? Not necessarily impressive package

Yeah, yeah... I've heard it, too. The size of a guy's foot is close to the size of his dick. Turns out, not so much...

It's long been held as a popular belief that the larger a man's foot, the larger that gentleman's member, but Dr Karl explained that a UK study has dispelled the myth.

Two researchers from the Department of Urology at St Mary's Hospital in London, used a sample of 104 men and measured the penis length and related this to their shoe size. The average penis length was 13 cm, and the average shoe size was 9. After crunching the numbers, they found there was no significant correlation between the two.

13 cm, just FYI, is a little over 5 inches. Shit. Any well rounded gay man could have told you that shoe size has NOTHING to do with cock size.

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April 08, 2007

Mr. Fusion can't be far behind...

A high school student in Michigan decided to build a fusion reactor. Wouldn't you love to have this kids SAT scores...

For two years, Olson researched what he would need and scrounged for parts from eBay and the hardware store. Flanges and piping? Check. High-voltage X-ray transformer? Check. Pumps, deuterium source, neutron bubble dosimeter? Check, check, check. “I have cross-country and track, so during those seasons I don’t have much time to work on it,” says Olson, a high school senior in Michigan. “It’s more of a weekend project.” Last November the machine finally delivered the hallmark of success: bubbles in the dosimeter. The bubbles indicate the presence of neutrons, a by-product of fusion—an energy-releasing process in which two hydrogen nuclei crash together and form a helium nucleus. Fusion is commonplace in stars, where hydrogen nuclei fuse in superhot plasma, but temperatures that high are hard to achieve on Earth. Still, the prospect of creating all this energy while forming only nonradioactive helium and easily controlled neutrons has made harnessing fusion one of the most sought-after and heavily funded goals in sustainable energy.

So let me get this straight... the little fucker built a FUSION REACTOR in his basement and he got the components off EBAY? Next question... is it self sustaining. The answer is... not so much.

Olson’s apparatus won’t work for generating commercial power because it takes more energy to run than it produces. But he has succeeded in creating a “star in a jar,” a tiny flash of hot plasma. “The temperature of the plasma is around 200 million degrees,” Olson says modestly, “several times hotter than the core of the sun.”

That's the suck. Wonder what the power looks like for mom & dad. What about radiation? Well, it turns out the State of Michigan thought about that as well.

And, aside from using high voltage and emitting low-level radiation, the machine has been deemed harmless. “About a week ago, the department of health from Michigan called my principal,” Olson says. “They wanted to come over and inspect it. They did that, they were impressed, and it checked out.”

He sooo better get a full ride to MIT. I gotta say, I'm impressed since I can barely get my phone to work right (thanks Cingular!). Yet still... I hate this kid. He's the one that always blew the curve. What a dick.

Posted by mcblogger at 03:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Mr. Fusion can't be far behind...

A high school student in Michigan decided to build a fusion reactor. Wouldn't you love to have this kids SAT scores...

For two years, Olson researched what he would need and scrounged for parts from eBay and the hardware store. Flanges and piping? Check. High-voltage X-ray transformer? Check. Pumps, deuterium source, neutron bubble dosimeter? Check, check, check. “I have cross-country and track, so during those seasons I don’t have much time to work on it,” says Olson, a high school senior in Michigan. “It’s more of a weekend project.” Last November the machine finally delivered the hallmark of success: bubbles in the dosimeter. The bubbles indicate the presence of neutrons, a by-product of fusion—an energy-releasing process in which two hydrogen nuclei crash together and form a helium nucleus. Fusion is commonplace in stars, where hydrogen nuclei fuse in superhot plasma, but temperatures that high are hard to achieve on Earth. Still, the prospect of creating all this energy while forming only nonradioactive helium and easily controlled neutrons has made harnessing fusion one of the most sought-after and heavily funded goals in sustainable energy.

So let me get this straight... the little fucker built a FUSION REACTOR in his basement and he got the components off EBAY? Next question... is it self sustaining. The answer is... not so much.

Olson’s apparatus won’t work for generating commercial power because it takes more energy to run than it produces. But he has succeeded in creating a “star in a jar,” a tiny flash of hot plasma. “The temperature of the plasma is around 200 million degrees,” Olson says modestly, “several times hotter than the core of the sun.”

That's the suck. Wonder what the power looks like for mom & dad. What about radiation? Well, it turns out the State of Michigan thought about that as well.

And, aside from using high voltage and emitting low-level radiation, the machine has been deemed harmless. “About a week ago, the department of health from Michigan called my principal,” Olson says. “They wanted to come over and inspect it. They did that, they were impressed, and it checked out.”

He sooo better get a full ride to MIT. I gotta say, I'm impressed since I can barely get my phone to work right (thanks Cingular!). Yet still... I hate this kid. He's the one that always blew the curve. What a dick.

Posted by mcblogger at 03:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 29, 2006

Just in time for the Holidays... the BAC Calculator

Here at McBlogger, when we're not drinking we're thinking of you. So yeah, we're only paying attention to y'all for a few hours in the morning before the bloody's start to have their desired effect. However, we do love y'all (even if we don't necessarily LIKE all of you) and want you to be safe this holiday season. Or Christmas season, if you're Bill O'Reilly. If you are Bill O'Reilly, why the fuck are you here?

Here's a super helpful site to let you know how much is too much. And, from our good friends at the insurance industry, an interactive BAC calculator.

This is one of those times when lying about your weight is way counterproductive.

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October 09, 2006

Beam me up, Hamlet

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingFirst it was individual atoms. Now, it's trillions of atoms. Soon it will be you. Or me. Or the bottle of scotch you're just dying to send to me, right?

Danish researchers have teleported both matter and light over a distance of half a meter. While this isn't exactly Star Trek, it's a start to creating commercialy viable quantum computers and ultimately, commercial teleportation.

Given the advance of technology and not fully knowing our ultimate needs, wouldn't it be prudent to not engage in some kind of massive transportation project?

Last question... could we also use it to put Matzo somewhere in deep space? Like beyond the orbit of Pluto? Without a spacesuit? I guess we'll have to contract that out to the Danes.

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September 21, 2006

Oceans rising faster? Oh, say it ain't so...

Apparently, when you heat water it expands. Who knew? Also, when ice gets warm, it melts which was a real shock to me. Seriously, most of the time my glass is empty before the ice has a chance to really melt.

The present prediction of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, from its third assessment report in 2001, is that global sea levels will rise by between 9cm and 88cm by 2100, depending on a number of factors including how far emissions are controlled, with a best guess of about 50cm over the century.

Previous projections weren't near that because scientists using data developed in 2001 did not anticipate how fast warming would accelerate, thus raising ocean levels (threatening London and Bangledesh...oh, and New Orleans) through heat expansion and... ice melting.

Last week, two American studies showed that the melting of the winter sea ice in the Arctic had accelerated enormously in the past two years, with a section the size of Turkey disappearing in just 12 months.

At this point I'd like to take a moment to remember Myron, who now looks like the dumbass of the universe. Myron said that sea ice wasn't melting! Myron was wrong because Myron's a paid shill and a remarkably stupid person.

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April 06, 2006

My REALLY great grandfather... and (likely) yours as well!

Front page of the NYT this AM...Fossil Called Missing Link From Sea to Land Animals


The skeletons have the fins, scales and other attributes of a giant fish, four to nine feet long. But on closer examination, the scientists found telling anatomical traits of a transitional creature, a fish that is still a fish but has changes that anticipate the emergence of land animals — and is thus a predecessor of amphibians, reptiles and dinosaurs, mammals and eventually humans.

Granted, it's not the fossil that shows the evolutionary chain from apes to modern humans (homo sapiens bloggerentis) but it does provide additional proof that all life evolves and puts another nail in the creationsim/intelligent design coffin.

Other scientists said that in addition to confirming elements of a major transition in evolution, the fossils were a powerful rebuttal to religious creationists, who have long argued that the absence of such transitional creatures are a serious weakness in Darwin's theory.

I'll tell you one thing... we've definitely become much better looking in the last 375MM years. Just take a look at this sexy thing...

Image hosting by Photobucket

... isn't that a face only a mother could love?

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