Thursday, February 15, 2018

Fwd: Alzheimer's

Researchers have found that gradually depleting an enzyme called BACE1 completely reverses the formation of amyloid plaques in the brains of mice with Alzheimer's disease, thereby improving the animals' cognitive function. The study raises hopes that drugs targeting this enzyme will be able to successfully treat Alzheimer's disease in humans.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Galaxy Song - Monty Python Live in O2 Arena.

I was going to write a Facebook post about how absurd it all seems to
me, that we live on a big rock, rotating at 1037 miles an hour (less
as you move away from the equator), going around the Sun at 67,000
MPH, and moving around the galaxy at unfathomable speed, and all of
this is like a grain of sand on the beach of an immense cosmic ocean
that is forever expanding at an ever accelerating rate.

However, this video expresses it much better:

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Universe (Copy of Facebook Post.)

When I think of the Universe, I think of space. Lots and lots of space. There are around 100 billion galaxies, although I have heard that there might be more, and most galaxies contain at least 100 billion stars. Our Milky Way galaxy alone has between 100 and 400 billion stars and is a hundred thousand light years across. Our galaxy is so big that its gravitational attraction is strong enough to have smaller galaxies orbit it the way the moon orbits the earth.

But what the universe is made of is energy. Enormous amounts of it. Even empty space has energy. Most of the mass of elementary particles comes from the huge amount of energy inside those particles. Energy created the universe and energy causes it to expand at an ever accelerating rate. Energy created space itself.

Empty space is not empty, but full of fields that have energy in them. Everywhere there are fields that correspond to each elementary particle that makes up the universe, and a field for every force that defines how those particles interact. We can't see the fields, but we can observe the results of those fields. The universe is like a boiling pot of water full of energy, and we only observe what is on the surface.


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Quantum Fields: The Real Building Blocks of the Universe - with David Tong

If you have any interest in science, here is a recent hour long video that explains what quantum field theory is, in an easy to understand and entertaining way.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017


The Expanse looks promising as a "hard sci-fi", but the first season seemed to drag out without advancing the story that much.  The show has a ton of characters, so none of them stand out.

RIP Dark Matter.  It was brilliant.

Stargate Atlantis was the best of the 3 Stargate series.  It was consistently good.  Stargate SG-1 that preceded it was uneven, and a little rough in the first season, but it turned out to be a great series.  Stargate Universe got off to a very weak start, but by the second (and last) season it was really wonderful.

​Babylon 5 in the 1990's was science fiction on the cheap.  They used workstation computers to generate their special effects to save money.  The first season was not that great.  But it had an extremely rich storyline.  The show improved in the second season and it turned into a wonderful TV series.

Star Trek Enterprise was my favorite of all the Star Trek series.  

As far as "space" shows go, I don't think anything beats Battlestar Galactica.  

LOST is more fantasy than science fiction, although it had a few science fiction elements.  It is mostly a drama series that blew everyone away at how great it is.  It is also more complicated and harder to follow than most shows.


Insulin, Brown Fat & Ketones w/ Benjamin Bikman, PhD

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Fwd: Google Alert - telomeres

The link might interest you.  :-)

Weekly update September 6, 2017
This is the secret to a longer life
The researchers focused on telomeres, which are proteins found in the cell's nucleus that stabilize the ends of chromosomes. Confused? Let me ...

Saturday, September 9, 2017

What if We Never Went to the Moon?

This video is remarkably statist. Everybody looks at the benefit of government spending, and not the cost. Suppose the $200 billion adjusted for inflation dollars had been spent on something more useful? Cure diseases? Not go into as much debt, which has been compounding for the last 50 years? Reduce the burden of government on the free enterprise system? For a long time we have had more government than we can afford.


Earth. A global map of wind.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Fwd: Reducing many age related diseases

The drugs being tested are called senolytic agents, because they target senescent cells. These are cells that have stopped dividing and secrete toxic chemicals that damage adjacent cells. Accumulation of senescent cells, which increases with age, is associated with chronic conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, most cancers, dementia, arthritis, osteopetrosis, and frailty.

Researchers at Mayo Clinic's Robert and Arlene Kogod Center on Aging developed the first senolytic drugs to target these harmful cells. In a recent study led by The Scripps Research Institute, Mayo Clinic researchers and others confirmed that the senolytic drugs discovered at Mayo effectively clear senescent cells while leaving normal cells unaffected. The study, which was published in Nature Communications, also describes a new screening platform for finding additional senolytic drugs that will more optimally target senescent cells. The platform, together with additional human cell assays, identified and confirmed a new category of senolytic drugs, which are called HSP90 inhibitors.

Friday, August 18, 2017


We are made off stuff. If you break the stuff down to the smallest possible level, you get elementary particles.  But according to Quantum Field Theory, what we experience as elementary particles are just fluctuations in the fields for those particles, in the same way a photon is a fluctuation in the electromagnetic field, and an electron is just a fluctuation the electric field.  These fields overlap each other and exist throughout all of space.  They interact, like the way the Higgs field gives particles mass.  Reality for us is what we perceive, but the true reality may be just the fields.  You could think of them as God's computer program for the Universe. 

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Quantum Experiment that Broke Reality | Space Time | PBS Digital Studios

There are aspects of this experiment not mentioned that get even weirder. The bottom line is that particles moving through space act like waves. They don't become particles again until they are observed. The act of observing influences the event, and in some cases can influence the event after it has already happened. This is where it gets really weird.

There are alternate theories like the pilot wave theory, that more or less says that particles are just particles, but moving through an invisible field of waves.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Re: Top 10 Climate Change Lies Exposed

On Mon, Aug 7, 2017 at 2:47 AM, Albert Nelms <alnelms
​> ​
Another quick rundown of global warming lies. You've mentioned most of these issues in your debates with friends online.

1.  There is a long term consequence of raising the temperature 5 degrees celsius or more that is very bad, which is that the polar ice caps will completely melt.  Based on current temperature trends, I don't think that this is likely to happen, and if it does happen, it will take 5000 years, giving us plenty of time to do something about it.

2. The direct effect of doubling CO2 in the atmosphere is an increase of 1.1 degrees celsius.  Almost everybody agrees on this.  There are a couple of dissenters who say that over geological periods of time you can't find a clear correlation, but there is so much else going on over geological periods, usually solar and orbital variation, that confuses the issue.  

There are additional positive and negative feedbacks that are in dispute.  Whereas the direct effect is 1.1 degrees celsius, the data since 1880 indicates to me that the Climate sensitivity is slightly under 2 degrees.  That means that there is positive feedback, although solar variation could also be the cause.  It also means that the climate sensitivity is less than the alarmists are claiming.  I heard one lecturer say that the positive feedback was "0.6", which seems to me to be close.

Until about a week ago, I didn't see any evidence of positive feedback, but that was because I had miscalculated the Climate Sensitivity.

#3 and #4 are interesting points.

#12 He doesn't explain his point about acidity very well.  

Warming does cause the oceans to release more CO2.  There is also very little doubt that CO2 causes warming.  The real issue is how much?  The warming caused by CO2 is a logarithmic function, which means that you have to keep doubling the CO2 level to achieve the same result.  Based on current temperature trends, we will run out of fossil fuels long before we reach an increase of 5 degrees celsius.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017


Scientists rejuvenate aging cells from children with progeria

Re: Global Climate


As I recall, the human contribution to total emitted carbon dioxide gasses is around 5%.  The usual argument is that the CO2 both leaving and being put in the atmosphere was in balance before, and now it is not.  Since about 1880 we have seen the atmospheric CO2 level go from about 280 PPM to around 400 PPM.  It was 230 PPM in the preindustrial period.   It is expected to reach 800 PPM by the year 2100.  As long as it doesn't go higher than that, I think that this is more beneficial than detrimental.

Previously, I did my math wrong.  I thought that an atmospheric increase of CO2 from 280 PPM to 400 PPm was a 70% increase, but that was because I did a brain fart on the math.  Instead, it is about a 43% increase.  I just now discovered my mistake.  Doing a new calculation, based upon the 0.85 temperature increase since 1880, I get a new climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 of 1.98 degrees Celsius.  However, the IPCC changed the low end of their range to only 1.5 degrees because they accepted papers that said that this was the climate sensitivity based upon 20nth century data.  So other people are looking at recent data and are coming up with Climate Sensitivity numbers.  The generally accepted range by the IPCC is from 1.5 to 4.5 degrees.  Whereas the skeptics think that 1.5 degrees is the most the climate sensitivity could be, the IPCC think that it will be at least this much, if not much higher.  I just watched a climate scientist claim that it is 6 degrees celsius.

I just found yet another source claiming that it will take 5,000 years for the polar ice caps to melt.  This is the disaster scenario that the alarmists warn about.  The temperature has to warm about 5 degrees celsius for this to happen.  Obviously we have plenty of time to change course if the Climate Sensitivity is more than I think it is.

Correlation is not the same as causality.  The biggest driver of temperature is solar variation.  Ice core samples going back hundreds of thousands of years show that temperature increases precedes CO2 increases, and not the other way around.  This is because warmer air causes the oceans to release more CO2.  Although the two things are correlated, it doesn't necessarily mean that there is a clear causality relationship between CO2 and temperature.  When I looked at temperature data, sometimes the two went in opposite directions.  Although I am certain there is a greenhouse effect, CO2 may not the main driver of temperature.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Climate Change

See if you can follow my reasoning here. If I am wrong, I would like concrete reasons as to why I am wrong. Let's say that the predictions are correct, and the atmospheric CO2 levels by the year 2100 are 800 PPM, double of what we have now. I have no reason to doubt this. Based on the temperature record of the last 137 years, where the CO2 level has gone up roughly 72%, the likely atmospheric temperature increase would be about 1.2 degrees celsius, and there are a number of people who believe this. (However, during the Cretaceous period, a doubling of CO2 only resulted in an increase of 0.6 degrees Celsius, and there are some skeptics who think that this is what would happen again.) This is not enough to melt the polar ice caps, which is the doomsday scenario some have predicted. However, the IPCC predicts a different temperature increase, giving a range anywhere from 1.5 to 4.5 degrees, with the average being about 3 degrees. Again, not sufficient enough to melt the polar ice caps. However, if we take the upper figure to be true, then we are indeed in danger of melting the polar ice caps, but I have read from multiple sources that it would take thousands of years for the polar ice caps to melt. This would give us plenty of time to remedy the situation, and we do have remedies. It is almost certain that we will have nuclear fusion by the mid 21st century, and therefor we could phase out fossil fuels as much as we need to. There is also this thing called Iron Fertilization that would allow us to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. Therefor I see no reason to panic, nor any reason to impose onerous energy taxes that would make energy unaffordable to many, nor any reason to impose any other kind of government mandate. At least not in the short term.


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Monckton's Mathematical Proof - Climate Sensitivity is Low

I don't pretend to understand the math, which he doesn't bother to explain, but if the math presented here is correct, then this could be one of the most significant findings of our lifetime.

Lord Monckton is a bit wordy, so I created the link above to start 27 minutes into the video where he gets to his main points.

This seems to give credence to my earlier observation that existing data suggests a relatively low climate sensitivity.  Other people have noted that predictions of large climate sensitivity are not supported by the observations.

Lord Monckton sees the climate debate as a struggle between freedom and those who oppose it, and he sees this as a conspiracy.  Although I am also concerned about how climate alarmism will impact our freedom, it really should be a separate issue from the climate science, because it could bias how we view this.  However, it is possible that the alarmists are also biased. 

I also watched some other videos by climate alarmists who noted that if we don't act we will face dire consequences.  These same videos further claimed that the reason we don't act is that the threat is not very visible to us.  It is not the same as seeing a tiger coming at you, but these videos claim that the threat is real nevertheless.  

If the alarmists are correct, then I certainly want to know that.  I tried to find a refutation to Monckton's recent claims above, but I think that it is too soon.  I hope that the science community takes this seriously and either refutes Monckton's math or confirms it.  The consequences to us either way are quite significant, and we need good sound science in to determine the correct course of action.

There are a couple of other factors that I have commented on before, but are almost never mentioned by anybody else.  The first is that nuclear fusion as a power source will very likely happen in our lifetime, which in my opinion will make the entire argument mute.  The second is that a technique called iron fertilization would allow us to remove as much CO2 from the atmosphere as we want.  

Then there is this:  

In other words, if you argue that the Earth has a low climate sensitivity to CO2, you are also arguing for a low climate sensitivity to other influences such as solar irradiance, orbital changes, and volcanic emissions.  In fact, as shown in Figure 1, the climate is less sensitive to changes in solar activity than greenhouse gases.  Thus when arguing for low climate sensitivity, it becomes difficult to explain past climate changes.  For example, between glacial and interglacial periods, the planet's average temperature changes on the order of 6°C (more like 8-10°C in the Antarctic).  If the climate sensitivity is low, for example due to increasing low-lying cloud cover reflecting more sunlight as a response to global warming, then how can these large past climate changes be explained?


Sunday, April 30, 2017

Climate Sensitivity Reconsidered

Final climate sensitivity

Substituting in Eqn. (1) the revised values derived for the three factors in ΔTλ, our re-evaluated central estimate of climate sensitivity is their product –

ΔTλΔF2x κ f ≈ 1.135 x 0.242 x 2.095 ≈ 0.58 °K (30)

Theoretically, empirically, and in the literature that we have extensively cited, each of the values we have chosen as our central estimate is arguably more justifiable – and is certainly no less justifiable – than the substantially higher value selected by the IPCC. Accordingly, it is very likely that in response to a doubling of pre-industrial carbon dioxide concentration TS will rise not by the 3.26 °K suggested by the IPCC, but by <1 °K.


We have set out and then critically examined a detailed account of the IPCC's method of evaluating climate sensitivity. We have made explicit the identities, interrelations, and values of the key variables, many of which the IPCC does not explicitly describe or quantify. The IPCC's method does not provide a secure basis for policy-relevant conclusions. We now summarize some of its defects.

The IPCC's methodology relies unduly – indeed, almost exclusively – upon numerical analysis, even where the outputs of the models upon which it so heavily relies are manifestly and significantly at variance with theory or observation or both. Modeled projections such as those upon which the IPCC's entire case rests have long been proven impossible when applied to mathematically-chaotic objects, such as the climate, whose initial state can never be determined to a sufficient precision. For a similar reason, those of the IPCC's conclusions that are founded on probability distributions in the chaotic climate object are unsafe.

Not one of the key variables necessary to any reliable evaluation of climate sensitivity can be measured empirically. The IPCC's presentation of its principal conclusions as though they were near-certain is accordingly unjustifiable. We cannot even measure mean global surface temperature anomalies to within a factor of 2; and the IPCC's reliance upon mean global temperatures, even if they could be correctly evaluated, itself introduces substantial errors in its evaluation of climate sensitivity.

The IPCC overstates the radiative forcing caused by increased CO2 concentration at least threefold because the models upon which it relies have been programmed fundamentally to misunderstand the difference between tropical and extra-tropical climates, and to apply global averages that lead to error.

The IPCC overstates the value of the base climate sensitivity parameter for a similar reason. Indeed, its methodology would in effect repeal the fundamental equation of radiative transfer (Eqn. 18), yielding the impossible result that at every level of the atmosphere ever-smaller forcings would induce ever-greater temperature increases, even in the absence of any temperature feedbacks.

The IPCC overstates temperature feedbacks to such an extent that the sum of the high-end values that it has now, for the first time, quantified would cross the instability threshold in the Bode feedback equation and induce a runaway greenhouse effect that has not occurred even in geological times despite CO2 concentrations almost 20 times today's, and temperatures up to 7 ºC higher than today's.

The Bode equation, furthermore, is of questionable utility because it was not designed to model feedbacks in non-linear objects such as the climate. The IPCC's quantification of temperature feedbacks is, accordingly, inherently unreliable. It may even be that, as Lindzen (2001) and Spencer (2007) have argued, feedbacks are net-negative, though a more cautious assumption has been made in this paper.

It is of no little significance that the IPCC's value for the coefficient in the CO2 forcing equation depends on only one paper in the literature; that its values for the feedbacks that it believes account for two-thirds of humankind's effect on global temperatures are likewise taken from only one paper; and that its implicit value of the crucial parameter κ depends upon only two papers, one of which had been written by a lead author of the chapter in question, and neither of which provides any theoretical or empirical justification for a value as high as that which the IPCC adopted.

The IPCC has not drawn on thousands of published, peer-reviewed papers to support its central estimates for the variables from which climate sensitivity is calculated, but on a handful.

On this brief analysis, it seems that no great reliance can be placed upon the IPCC's central estimates of climate sensitivity, still less on its high-end estimates. The IPCC's assessments, in their current state, cannot be said to be "policy-relevant". They provide no justification for taking the very costly and drastic actions advocated in some circles to mitigate "global warming", which Eqn. (30) suggests will be small (<1 °C at CO2 doubling), harmless, and beneficial.


Even if temperature had risen above natural variability, the recent solar Grand Maximum may have been chiefly responsible. Even if the sun were not chiefly to blame for the past half-century's warming, the IPCC has not demonstrated that, since CO2 occupies only one-ten-thousandth part more of the atmosphere that it did in 1750, it has contributed more than a small fraction of the warming. Even if carbon dioxide were chiefly responsible for the warming that ceased in 1998 and may not resume until 2015, the distinctive, projected fingerprint of anthropogenic "greenhouse-gas" warming is entirely absent from the observed record. Even if the fingerprint were present, computer models are long proven to be inherently incapable of providing projections of the future state of the climate that are sound enough for policymaking. Even if per impossibile the models could ever become reliable, the present paper demonstrates that it is not at all likely that the world will warm as much as the IPCC imagines. Even if the world were to warm that much, the overwhelming majority of the scientific, peer-reviewed literature does not predict that catastrophe would ensue. Even if catastrophe might ensue, even the most drastic proposals to mitigate future climate change by reducing emissions of carbon dioxide would make very little difference to the climate. Even if mitigation were likely to be effective, it would do more harm than good: already millions face starvation as the dash for biofuels takes agricultural land out of essential food production: a warning that taking precautions, "just in case", can do untold harm unless there is a sound, scientific basis for them. Finally, even if mitigation might do more good than harm, adaptation as (and if) necessary would be far more cost-effective and less likely to be harmful.

In short, we must get the science right, or we shall get the policy wrong.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Metallic hydrogen

Metallic hydrogen, once theory, becomes reality.

"This is the holy grail of high-pressure physics," Silvera said. "It's the first-ever sample of metallic hydrogen on Earth, so when you're looking at it, you're looking at something that's never existed before."

To create it, Silvera and Dias squeezed a tiny hydrogen sample at 495 gigapascal, or more than 71.7 million pounds-per-square inch - greater than the pressure at the center of the Earth. At those extreme pressures, Silvera explained, solid molecular hydrogen -which consists of molecules on the lattice sites of the solid - breaks down, and the tightly

bound molecules dissociate to transforms into , which is a metal.

 predictions suggest metallic hydrogen could act as a superconductor at room temperatures.

Among the holy grails of physics, a room temperature superconductor, Dias said, could radically change our transportation system, making magnetic levitation of high-speed trains possible, as well as making electric cars more efficient and improving the performance of many electronic devices.

The material could also provide major improvements in energy production and storage - because superconductors have zero resistance energy could be stored by maintaining currents in superconducting coils, and then be used when needed.

"It takes a tremendous amount of energy to make metallic hydrogen," Silvera explained. "And if you convert it back to molecular hydrogen, all that energy is released, so it would make it the most powerful rocket propellant known to man, and could revolutionize rocketry."

The most powerful fuels in use today are characterized by a "specific impulse" - a measure, in seconds, of how fast a propellant is fired from the back of a rocket - of 450 seconds. The specific impulse for metallic hydrogen, by comparison, is theorized to be 1,700 seconds.

"That would easily allow you to explore the outer planets," Silvera said. "We would be able to put rockets into orbit with only one stage, versus two, and could send up larger payloads, so it could be very important."