Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fwd: Dark Matter

Not finding something is also scientific evidence...  Last night I  watched a cool movie called Europa Report about a manned mission to find life on Europa.  In the movie, one of the characters explains that even if they find nothing at all that this still will advance our scientific understanding... 

'The former Homestake Gold Mine in Lead, S.D., has a hallowed place in the history of physics as a spot where nothing happens.


It was there, in the 1970s, that Raymond Davis Jr. attempted to catch neutrinos, spooky subatomic particles emitted by the sun, in a vat of cleaning fluid a mile underground and for a long time came up empty. For revolutionizing the study of those particles, he shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2002.


On Wednesday, an international team of physicists based in the same cavern of the former mine announced a new milestone of frustration, but also hope — this time in the search for dark matter, the mysterious, invisible ingredient that astronomers say makes up a quarter of the cosmos.


In the first three months of running the biggest, most sensitive dark matter detector yet — a vat of 368 kilograms of liquid xenon cooled to minus 150 degrees Fahrenheit — the researchers said they had not seen a trace of the clouds of particles that theorists say should be wafting through space, the galaxy, the Earth and, of course, ourselves, knocking out at least one controversial class of dark matter candidates.


But the experiment has just begun and will run for all of next year. The detector, already twice as sensitive as the next best one, will gain another factor of sensitivity in the coming run.


"Just because we don't see anything in the first run doesn't mean we won't see anything in the second," said Richard Gaitskell, a professor of physics at Brown University and a spokesman for an international collaboration that operates the experiment known as LUX, for the Large Underground Xenon dark matter experiment.


As has become de rigueur for such occasions, the scientists took pride and hope in how clearly they did not see anything. "In 25 years of searching, this is the cleanest signal I've ever seen," Dr. Gaitskell said in an interview.'


Tuesday, October 29, 2013


‘Dendrites, the branch-like projections of neurons, were once believed to be passive wiring in the brain.


Now, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have discovered that these dendrites do more than just relay information from one neuron to the next. They actively process information, multiplying the brain’s processing power.’



… I believe that we can form new dendrites all the time.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

RE: Expansion

This notion that nothing occurred before the big bang because space time didn’t exist before the big bang, per a video on I saw recently on youtube, seems to me like a flaw in the space time idea.


Everything in the universe apparently has a cause, which means everything has something that precedes it.   Even the string theory idea that the universe resulted from the collision of 4 dimensional objects called branes still implies events before the big bang.


I think that space time is a nice mathematical model that explains observed phenomena, but it doesn’t necessarily make it correct.

Best wishes,

John Coffey


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Fwd: Oreo

'Connecticut College students and a professor of neuroscience have found "America's favorite cookie" is just as addictive as cocaine – at least for lab rats. And just like most humans, rats go for the middle first.


In a study designed to shed light on the potential addictiveness of high-fat/ high-sugar foods, Professor Joseph Schroeder and his students found rats formed an equally strong association between the pleasurable effects of eating Oreos and a specific environment as they did between cocaine or morphine and a specific environment. They also found that eating cookies activated more neurons in the brain's "pleasure center" than exposure to drugs of abuse.  '



'A recent study was picked up a lot by the media, claiming that "Oreos are as addictive as drugs". Just to get that out of the way as soon as possible, this headline, as flashy and attractive it is, is flawed. I'll explain why in this post…


The question which naturally arises after that is: If you stop eating Oreos, do you experience Oreo withdrawal? This is basically the difference between things you really like and things you're addicted to – the difference between physiological addiction (addiction to a drug) and psychological addiction.'


Friday, October 4, 2013

RoboKind R50

At the beginning of this decade I predicted that we would see intelligent robots by the end of the decade.

Check out this video on YouTube:

David Hanson: Robots that "show emotion"

Check out this video on YouTube:

Re: Fusion

This is a stark contrast to all the people who condemned cold fusion as lunacy. 

I remain skeptical.  If it were real, I think that the scientific community would be embracing it right now.  This could be a ruse to dupe investors, as this kind of thing has been done before in all sorts of "free energy" schemes.

Turning a proton into a neutron is an amazingly difficult thing to do. 

If it were true, our energy problems would be solved forever.  There would be no limit to what the human race could accomplish.  

On Oct 4, 2013, at 11:56 AM, "Trout, Larry R wrote: