Archive for February, 2012


The persona, the identity, and all its multifariousness is the dream we carry with us into the waking world. And it’s this dream of self that we inflict upon ourselves and each other. Thus the question must be asked, ‘what kind of dream are you subjecting your fellow beings to?’ This translates into the collective paradigm that we casually refer to as consensus reality. If you want to change the world, change your dream of self. How do you change the dream of self? By diving into and befriending uncertain, unknown depths. Investigate!

Titivillus was a demon said to work on behalf of Belphegor, Lucifer or Satan to introduce errors into the work of scribes in the middle.

No worry kids, Titivillus has been alive and well in the blogosphere as well!

Even with cranes, helicopters, tractors and trucks at our disposal, it would be tough to construct the Great Pyramid of Giza today. Its construction 4,500 years ago is so astounding in some people’s eyes that they invoke mystical or even alien involvement. But the current theory of the building of the Great Pyramid — the notion that it was assembled from the inside out, via a spiraling internal ramp — is probably still the best construction plan.

Following that plan, we could replicate the Wonder of the Ancient World for a cool $5 billion.

First, let’s look at the blueprint: The pyramid is 756 feet long on each side, 481 feet high, and composed of 2.3 million stones weighing nearly 3 tons each for a total mass of 6.5 million tons. Legend has it that the structure was erected in just 20 years’ time, meaning that a block had to have been moved into place about every 5 minutes of each day and night. That pace would have required the (slave) labor of thousands. While traditional theories hold that the pyramid was built via a long external ramp, such a ramp would have had to wind around for more than a mile to be shallow enough to drag stones up, and it would have had a stone volume twice that of the pyramid itself.

A new, more economical theory gaining traction among architects and Egyptologists holds that the bottom third of the pyramid’s height wasconstructed by stones dragged up an external ramp. But above that — for the remaining 33 percent or so of the pyramidal volume — the Egyptians worked their way up through the inside of the structure, building around a gently sloping internal ramp and fitting stone blocks into place as they ascended. Furthermore, the workers could have re-used the stones quarried for the external ramp to build the pyramid’s upper echelons, so that nothing went to waste

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Just a mind fuck!

Flatworms could hold key to immortality

British researchers believe that the worms, which live in ponds and lakes, could live forever after examining their ability to repeatedly regenerate.

Experts from Nottingham University managed to create a colony of more than 20,000 flatworms from one original by chopping it into pieces and observing each section grow into a new complete worm.

They believe that it could help scientists develop new methods to allow humans to stay younger for longer.

“Our data satisfy one of the predictions about what it would take for an animal to be potentially immortal,” Aziz Aboobaker, who led the research.

“The next goals for us are to understand the mechanisms in more detail and to understand more about how you evolve an immortal animal.”

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 Among the many applications of flexible thermoelectric materials is a wristwatch powered by the temperature difference between the human body and the surrounding environment. But if you wanted this watch made of low-cost carbon nanotube (CNT)/polymer materials, you would currently need a piece of fabric with an area of about 500 cm2, which is about 50 times greater than the area of a typical wristwatch.

In order to make such applications more practical, a team of researchers has developed a new multi-layer CNT/polymer design and demonstrated that it has a greatly increased power output compared to previous designs. The new CNT/polymer, which the researchers call “Power Felt,” also has the potential to be much less expensive than other thermoelectric materials.

The research team, which includes Ph.D. student Corey Hewitt and Professor David Carroll from Wake Forest University, along with collaborators from other institutions, has published a paper on the new thermoelectric fabric design in a recent issue of Nano Letters.

Although thermoelectrics have been studied and used commercially for several decades, they’re traditionally made of inorganic materials, such as bismuth telluride (Bi2Te3). But recent research has shown that organic materials could provide a promising alternative, with advantages such as low cost, ease of production, and flexibility. Yet for now, organic materials still lag behind inorganic ones in terms of performance.

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You are the technology through which the future comes into being.

DNA sequencing is becoming both faster and cheaper. Now, it is also becoming tinier.

A British company said on Friday that by the end of the year it would begin selling a disposable gene sequencing device that is the size of a USB memory stick and plugs into a laptop computer to deliver its results.

The device, expected to cost less than $900, could allow small sequencing jobs to be done by researchers who cannot afford the $50,000 to $750,000 needed to buy a sequencing machine.

It might also help doctors to sequence genes at a patient’s bedside, wildlife biologists to study genes in the field, or food inspectors to identify pathogens.

“You don’t need to buy instruments,” Clive G. Brown, the chief technology officer of the company, Oxford Nanopore Technologies, said in an interview. “It’s pay-as-you-go sequencing.”

Oxford presented details of the device, as well as of a new, somewhat larger sequencer that it also plans to begin selling late this year, at the Advances in Genome Biology and Technology conference in Marco Island, Fla., which has become the sequencing industry’s annual boast-fest.

Both the tiny MinIon and the larger GridIon look likely to be the first sequencers to use nanopore sequencing, in which a strand of DNA is read as it is pulled through a microscopic hole, sort of like a noodle being slurped through rounded lips.

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Icebergs in a blizzard near Graham Land, Antarctica.

Did it feel like time flew in November 2009? It turns out the days were actually going a wee bit faster for part of that month, according to a team of NASA and European scientists.

Earth spun about 0.1 millisecond faster for a two-week stretch, said study co-author Steven Marcus, a researcher at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

The planet’s speedier spin appears to have been due to a slowdown in an ocean current that whips around Antarctica.

“The Earth speeding up is just like a [twirling ice] skater pulling in her arms,” he explained. When the skater does this, she spins faster, because the laws of physics dictate that her body must conserve what’s called angular momentum.

“When [the skater] sticks out her arms, they move pretty fast, because there’s a big circle. When she pulls in her arms, the circle is smaller, so in order to have the same angular momentum, she has to speed up,” Marcus said.

“It is the same with the Earth,” in the sense that if an ocean current slows down, the planet’s spin must speed up to conserve angular momentum.

Scientists have long known that changes in the speed of ocean and atmospheric currents can—and do—slightly affect the rate of Earth’s rotation and, hence, the length of a day.

“The thing is, with the ocean the effect is a lot weaker, since the ocean flows a lot slower than the atmosphere,” Marcus said.

But in November 2009, he said, a slowdown in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current “seemed to be a lot stronger than usual, and that’s probably what made it large enough to be detected in the Earth’s spin data.”

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Tools

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Jianhui manipulates objects with his hands and gets a drink as a reward. Unknown to him, not far away a robot hand mirrors his fingers’ moves as it receives instructions from the chips implanted in his brain.

Zheng Xiaoxiang of the Brain-Computer Interface Research Team at Zhejiang University in Zijingang, China, and colleagues announced earlier this week that they had succeeded in capturing and deciphering the signals from the monkey’s brain and interpreting them into the real-time robotic finger movements.

The two sensors implanted in Jianhui’s brain monitor just 200 neurons in his motor cortex, Zheng says. However, this was enough to accurately interpret the monkey’s movements and control the robotic hand.

Humans have used electrodes to control prosthetic arms, but Zheng claims this research looks at the finer movements of the fingers.

“Hand moves are associated with at least several hundreds of thousands of neurons,” she said. “We now decipher the moves based on the signals of about 200 neurons. Of course, the orders we produced are still distant from the truly flexible finger moves in complexity and fineness.”

Happy :)

A new method of genetic analysis developed by Queensland researchers has shed fresh light on the elusive genetic underpinnings of schizophrenia and shown that schizophrenia-causing genetic variations are common in the general population.

The collaborative study by The University of Queensland’s Queensland Brain Institute (QBI), The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute (UQDI) and the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR), found that all people carry genetic variants for schizophrenia.

While previous studies have pinpointed several genes along with rare chromosomal deletions and duplications associated with the disease, these account for less than three per cent of risk of schizophrenia.

But the new method found that about a quarter of schizophrenia is captured by many variants that are common in the general population.

According to QBI’s, Associate Professor Naomi Wray, who led the international study, this suggests that we all carry genetic risk variants for schizophrenia, but that the disease only emerges when the burden of variants, in combination with environmental factors, reaches a certain tipping point.

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Korean designer Jihyum Ryou reimagines food storage without a fridge.

In his project ‘Save Food From The Fridge’ Ryou uses traditional word-of-mouth knowledge and everyday objects to preserve food in an eco-friendly way, without the use of a fridge to keep the food fresh.

“Observing the food and therefore changing the notion of food preservation, we could find the answer to current situations such as the overuse of energy and food wastage.” Ryou wrote on his website.

“My design is a tool to implement that knowledge in a tangible way and slowly it changes the bigger picture of society. I believe that once people are given a tool that triggers their minds and requires a mental effort to use it, new traditions and new rituals can be introduced into our culture.”

Symbiosis of Potato+Apple
Ryou keeps apples and potatoes together, as apples emit ethylene gas. Ethyene gas speeds up the ripening process of fruits and vegetables kept together with apples. With apples, the potatoes are prevented from sprouting.


Verticality of Root Vegetables 
Ryou also noted that keeping roots in a vertical position allowed the organisms to save energy and remain fresh for a longer time. He made a shelf that had sand, to helps them stand easily. The sand also helps to keep proper humidity.

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Cotard’s syndrome is a rare neuropsychiatric disorder in which people hold a belief that they are dead (either figuratively or literally), do not exist, are putrefying, or have lost their blood or internal organs. In 55% of cases it may include delusions of immortality.

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