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    Reversing mother nature part three

     

    We talked to North America’s leading In Situ Leach (ISL) uranium mining engineers, and had them explain exactly how ISL worked. Most of the significant ISL operations in the United States were designed and/or constructed by these engineers. They explained how ISL mining is really just reversing the process of Mother Nature. CLEANING UP THE PROJECT Not so fast. Shipping the uranium out of the ISL plant isn’t the final step. The water has to be cleaned up, the property returned to its original condition. If done properly, then the footprint of the ISL uranium operation should have been nearly erased. In an earlier article, “Wyoming Uranium: Now and the Future,” we talked to Pat Drummond at Smith Ranch about this process: The company is meticulous in restoring the landscape as well. Any restoration work on the surface is called “reclamation.” That can involve farming. “When we start a well field, we have to, by license, remove the topsoil and store it somewhere,” Drummond explained. “When we go back to reclaim the property, we take all the pipes out, we take the houses down, and cut our wells off. It’s all identified. We put an ID marker on the well. In 50 years time, when Farmer Joe comes around and wonders what was there, the state can say, ‘That was a uranium well.’ From the time we’ve stopped mining, we put everything back to normal.” The one item we did not address at the time was cleaning up the water after the orebody has been mined out. Why is restoring the water back to background important? “In the mining process, you’re basically elevating sulfate,” explained Anthony. “You’re also elevating calcium because you’re lowering the pH a little bit, down to 6.5 to 7. Because you run it across the ion exchange circuits, you get a little leakage of chlorides into the lixiviant.” Subsequently, the water will have sulfate, chloride, calcium and bicarbonate circulating within it. “When you add carbon dioxide, you’re forming bicarbonate,” Anthony noted. “These are the major ion groups you are elevating during the mining process.” He also added that in some projects, you may get arsenic, vanadium and/or selenium. “They all go into the solution so that at the end of your mining process, these ions will be elevated above their baseline values.” The water will need to undergo a purification process to return them back to a quality consistent with baseline values.” What does the ISL operator do with the water once the facility has mined out the uranium? There are three options, which we discussed with Glenn Catchpole, who has also set up previous ISL operations. In 1996, Catchpole was the General Manager and Managing Director of the Inkai uranium solution mining project in Kazakhstan. He is currently the Chief Executive of Uranerz Energy. “Here’s my order of priority: If you have a receiver formation for deep disposal on your project, that’s my first choice.” Sometimes, a project may not have access to a deep disposal aquifer, warned Catchpole. The water is sent down the receiver formation, down about 4000 feet. “You’re usually sending this water to a formation that is very briny, a poorer quality than what you’re sending down,” Anthony pointed out. Another option, according to Catchpole, would be operations ponds, or evaporating ponds, where the water is evaporated. A third option is “land applied.” Catchpole explained this was for land application. “You take your waste stream, you treat it to remove the certain level of impurities, according to the government requirement, and then you’re allowed to disperse it on the land surface, as if you were irrigating.” When applied to the land, it is soaking into the land. “It’s growing grass, and it’s going into the groundwater system,” concluded Catchpole, “Whatever water quality standard they allow for you to put that water in the land, they want to ensure it doesn’t accumulate some particular chemical over time that is going to build up and contaminate the land.” Generally, during the restoration process, the water is circulated through the barren orebody about eight times. It’s another instance of pore volumes – eight more times through the sandstone formation. Anthony explained, “Normally, the first pore volume is evacuated and disposed of via a disposal well.” But he warned, “This will cause an inflow of surrounding native water back into the mine zone. The resulting water is pumped to the surface and processed through a reverse osmosis unit.” Anthony compared this to the desalination of seawater. “The reverse osmosis equipment acts like an ‘ion filter,’ allowing pure water to pass through a membrane and filtering out ions of sulfate, calcium, uranium, bicarbonate and so forth,” Anthony explained. Two streams of water are produced by the reverse osmosis unit. One stream is called “product water,” and is normally consistent with drinking water quality. The smaller stream of water is called “brine.” It contains, according to Anthony, “95 percent of all the dissolved ions that were in solution.” He said, “The brine is disposed down a deep well into an underground formation, which is typically not suitable for any use.” CONCLUSION For all the lip service and media attention paid to the environmental movement in terms of financial support, recognition and respect, it is the ISL miner who cares more about the environment, about preserving Mother Nature. Environmentalists remain ignorant of, or care not to publicize, the dangers of coal-fired electrical generation. Mining and burning coal to generate power for industry and residential electricity poses a greater threat to Mother Nature than ISL mining and nuclear power-generated electricity. No more evident a case in point is New Mexico, where the Navajo Nation “banned” uranium mining, because their president was misled by environmentalists in believing ISL uranium mining could pose a threat to groundwater. At the same time, the Navajo Nation enjoys over $100 million in coal royalties each year, as their air is polluted by carcinogens filling their air from coal mining in the San Juan Basin and coal-fired plants, which produce most of their electricity. It is time for the world’s environmentalist movements to wake up and smell the air they are breathing. Unfortunately, ISL uranium mining will not replace conventional uranium mining in many deposits across the world. According to the World Nuclear Association, ISL mining accounted for 21 percent of worldwide uranium mining in 2004. “The overriding constraint of ISL is the technology is only applicable to selected uranium deposits,” Stover cautioned. “It’s those deposits wherein the uranium ore resides in a permeable environment, where you can flow water through the deposit and where you can bring the dissolved oxygen and carbon dioxide into contact with the uranium.” Stover explained that, during the evolution of ISL mining, a number of projects failed because the uranium was associated with organic material, was not accessible to the leaching solution, or the uranium was tied up in clays or shale-like material. “They were not able to flow fluid through it,” explained Stover. “The key issue at the onset is a careful characterization of the host environment in which the uranium exists.” The key advantage to ISL is the far lower capital costs to start up a project, compared to the hundreds of millions required for a conventional mining and mill complex. For example, UR-Energy’s William Boberg and Uranerz Energy’s Glenn Catchpole both believe they can install an ISL operation on their Wyoming properties for as little as $10 million. Labor costs are also less. Doug Norris pointed out, “In its heyday, the Highland mine probably had 4,000 working in it.” By comparison, Cameco’s Smith-Highland ranch in Wyoming may soon ramp up to nearly 100 employees. “We’re talking about installing a centralized water treatment plant supported by a large number of water wells, typically completed with PVC,” Stover explained. “That’s in contrast with conventional mining, where you have extensive earth moving, in the case of an open pit or extensive underground workings, and a more complicated, much larger processing plant.” In terms of environmental impact, ISL offers something sensible to the environmentalists. “ISL is much less intrusive, and it is short lived,” Stover said, echoing the sentiments of all who have been involved in this type of uranium mining. “It’s acceptance by the general public is much more favorable,” he concluded. What does the future hold for ISL uranium mining in the United States? “Up until 2004, prices were flat,” Norris pointed out. “The economic picture has just now switched to where mines can start coming on again, but it does take years to properly define where the ore is. It takes a lot of geologic drilling and time to decipher it. Then there are the regulatory requirements, and that can take several years. Even if everybody reacted right now to what’s out there, it would still be several years, upwards of five years, before production jumped from its existing rate to 10 to 20 million pounds at the most.”

         
    Reversing mother nature part two

     

    We talked to North America’s leading In Situ Leach (ISL) uranium mining engineers, and had them explain exactly how ISL worked. Most of the significant ISL operations in the United States were designed and/or constructed by these engineers. They explained how ISL mining is really just reversing the process of Mother Nature. ISL EXTRACTION AND PROCESSING During ISL mining, water is pumped to the surface from production wells that contain uranium in very low concentrations, on the order of parts per million concentrations. The next step in the ISL process is to extract the uranium dicarbonate. Extraction is done by chemically exchanging ions inside a processing facility. “The ion exchange process is very analogous to a home Culligan® water softener,” Anthony revealed. “It removes hardness or calcium from the water by replacing it with sodium, using ion exchange resins. If you go to Lowe’s or Home Depot, and buy a water softener, you basically have a home version of a uranium extraction plant.” The main difference is your water softener will have a cation exchanger. “For a uranium plant to function properly, you need to use an anion exchange resin, which is specifically designed to load uranium,” Anthony clarified. And what is this magical “ion exchange resin”? The resin is comprised of little polymer beads, which are charged particles having an affinity for uranium anions. “There are literally millions of these small resin beads in a vessel, which can adsorb low concentration of uranium in solution,” said Anthony. Adsorption is when something is attracted to something else or clings to it, like static electricity. Why do you have to process uranium like this? “In essence, the ion exchange process is a beneficiation (reduction) process that concentrates large volumes of low concentrate uranium solution into a much smaller volume containing a much higher concentration of uranium,” said Anthony. In other words, the beneficiation is just concentrating the uranium from the large volume of water in which it is mined into a more compact form. The preferred means is through an ion exchange. Anthony gave a real-life example of the beneficiation process, “Three million gallons of wellfield solution containing dilute concentrations of uranium, of 100 parts per million minus 0.10 grams/liter, is passed through a bed of ion exchange resin. This might take 24 hours to achieve if the solution is flowing at 2,500 gallons per minute. After this length of time, the resin becomes loaded with approximately 2,500 pounds of uranium.” STRIPPING THE URANIUM Stripping the uranium is called the elution process. This is done through a chemical exchange of positively and negatively charged ions. Resins are classified by the charge on the active sites. “The active sites on the resin are positively charged for anion resins and negatively charged for cation resins,” Norris enlightened us. “The resin’s ability to extract chemical ions from a solution is derived from what’s called an active site,” he continued. “In our case, chloride ions obtained from ordinary tale salt are used to stabilize or temporarily neutralize this positively charged active site.” The negatively charged chloride ion sticks to the positively charged site, held in place by what Norris called “electrostatic forces.” When the negatively charged ions, such as uranyl dicarbonate, are placed in contact with the solution, it will kick off the chloride and replace that with the uranyl dicarbonate. That was the chemistry lesson. Anthony summed it up in a nutshell, “They just displace it. There’s a greater affinity for the chloride ion to the resin than there is for the uranium. So, the uranium is stripped from the resin bed.” The processing facility chemically strips the loaded uranium from the resin by soaking the entire package of uranium-laden resin in a salt bath solution. “The volume of salt solution is on the order of 10,000 gallons resulting in a solution concentration of 30 grams/liter uranium,” Anthony said, describing the process of how the uranium becomes concentrated. “The stripped uranium solution concentration is magnified 300 times more than the wellfield solution,” he informed us. “The concentration level can now be economically processed for recovery: precipitation, dewatering, drying and drumming for a nuclear facility.” GETTING URANIUM INTO THE DRUM After the uranium has been removed from the solution, it is precipitated. At this point in the processing stage, you have yellowcake slurry. Up close, it looks like a sort of yellowish and wet, runny cement mixture. The dewatering process does just that, it removes the water from the yellowcake mixture. “I use a filter press, a device that is designed to separate solids from solutions,” explained Anthony. Filter presses are extensively used in various types of food, chemical and drug processing across the world. “The uranium solids, now looking more like yellowcake, are retained in the filter press, where they can be washed and later air dried, before drying them to a powder with a low temperature vacuum dryer,” said Anthony taking us step by step through this process. So what is the filter press and how do you end up with the finished yellowcake when you’re done? “It’s a series of plates and hollow frames, or it could be a series of recessed chambers,” Anthony answered. “Filter cloth is draped over the plates or chalked in the recessed chambers. The yellowcake slurry is pumped through the filter allowing the liquid phase to pass through the filter cloth, trapping the uranium oxide inside the device.” Anthony likes to pack the filter press up with as much yellowcake as it can hold. “It is then washed with clean water to displace the chloride ions to a low level,” Anthony explained. If you don’t remove the chloride concentrations to the acceptable level required by an uranium enrichment facility, a fine is assessed against that shipment. The final steps include conveying the yellowcake to the vacuum dryer. The uranium oxide’s color depends on how high or low a temperature is used to dry the “yellowcake.” Patrick Drummond, the Smith-Highland Ranch plant superintendent, showed us pure uranium oxide dried at high temperatures. It was nearly black. After the drying process is complete, the uranium is packaged up in DOE-approved 55 gallon drums and transported to an enrichment facility. It is then when the enriched uranium can finally be used to power a nuclear reactor and provide an inexpensive source of electricity.

         
    Rishon model of elementary particles

     

    It has been proposed that the quarks and leptons consist of more fundamental particles called rishons. The T rishon may be defined as having mass and charge e/3. The V rishon is neutral and has little or no mass. The rishons have spin 1/2, carry color charge, and combine in triplets or rishon-antirishon pairs. Thus the electron is a TTT, the neutrino VVV, the down quark TVV, and the up quark TTV. If the T has somewhat greater color charge than the V, the down quark would have a net excess of the color carried by the T. The antiup quark TTV would appear to have a net deficiency of the color carried by the V, or equivalently, an excess of anticolor, and behave as an antiparticle. Hence the TTV would appear to have an excess of color and behave as a particle, in agreement with observation. The leptons have no net color. There is no need for hypercolor. All particle interactions consist of rearrangements of rishons, or creation or annihilation of rishon-antirishon pairs. For example, beta-decay occurs when a down quark changes to an up quark, emitting an electron and neutrino: TVV --> TTV + TTT + VVV The massless particle was originally called a neutrino; it was later defined to be an antineutrino. This model favors the first choice. If the binding between rishons is much greater than the binding between quarks or leptons, then quarks and leptons could associate without losing their identity, just as atoms can form molecules. Lepton number is also conserved if the VVV is assigned a negative lepton number. The second and third generations of the electron and the quarks might be formed by adding one or two TT pairs to the first generation. The second and third generations of the neutrino might be formed by adding one or two VV pairs to the first generation. The force binding the rishons is evidently so great that the separate rishon wave functions “fall” together into just one wave function, in which case there would be no internal structure. The effective mass of the TTV is nearly equal to that of the TVV, which implies that the T-T bond has binding energy nearly equal to the bare mass of a T. The electron has three T's and three bonds and hence should have little mass compared to a quark, as observed. The muon obtains most of its mass from the added TT and should have a mass comparable to that of a quark, as observed. The boson carriers of the weak force presumably consist of the rishons required to form the decay products. The photon may consist of a colorless VV pair; for example red-antired. The gluon may consist of a colored VV pair, for example red-antiblue. Hence the weak force may simply be the color force carried by weak bosons; the electromagnetic force is the color force carried by photons, and the strong force is the color force carried by gluons, mesons, quarks, and possibly other hadrons. A real TT would annihilate, while a virtual pair might help carry the strong force. A bare rishon, a TV, TV, TT, or VV would carry net color and, like the quarks, would not be seen in isolation. The proton consists of two up quarks and a down quark, so the hydrogen atom has four T's, four T's, two V's, and two V's. If this typifies the whole universe, then there exist equal amounts of rishons and antirishons. One might speculate further that the emission and absorption of virtual particles is just Hawking radiation. The spacetime itself around a rishon might have quantum states. The large spin of a rishon would eliminate the spherically symmetric S states, leaving three P states with the time coordinate expanded, and three P states with the time coordinate compressed. These might be identified with the three colors and three anticolors. The difference in the time coordinate would cause a slight difference in the reaction rates of rishons and antirishons, explaining why hydrogen is more abundant than antihydrogen. Another possibility is that the rishons and antirishons have opposite handedness and parity violation causes a difference in the reaction rates. The rishons themselves may be just quanta of spacetime. The V rishon might be the lowest P state, and the T rishon the next-highest P state. Thus the T and V would be similar, but somewhat mismatched, as observed. If this sort of model is correct, it would be the basis of the long-sought unified field theory. The strong, weak, and electromagnetic forces are just the color force carried by intermediates, and the color force itself may be identified with quantum gravity of which ordinary gravity is the long-range limit. Reference Haim Harari, "The Structure of Quarks and Leptons," Scientific American, p.56, April 1983.

         
    Robot toy the new generation play tool

     

    Gone are the days when children satisfied themselves with simple games of hopscotch or tag. Heck, there are practically no more "simple toys" in the toy market nowadays wherein it’s slowly being dominated by more and more complicated contraptions. From toy PDA electronic models to enhanced walkie talkies, children nowadays have more discerning taste when it comes to their playing pleasure. So in an age wherein cellphones and digital cameras are just all too common, what’s really the buzz about the wonders of a robot toy? What makes a robot toy tick? And probably, most important, what makes a robot toy click? To put things simply, an electronic robot toy is an extremely sophisticated piece of technology especially for children who have always been used to playing with either plastic, wooden or plush toys. Things are indeed a changin’ nowadays, a robot toy is practically what each and every kid, well boys that is asks for in his wish list. Starting with the very hip and ultra high-tech robot toy, Robo Sapien which promises to be a whole more than just a simple robot toy. A smart robot toy like this actually tries to break the mold ordinary plastic robot toys that only has blinking lights and beeping sound effects. Robot toys that are available in the market today are far more sophisticated than that especially since they’ve been able to make these robot toys more interactive. A very important factor when it comes to ensuring its saleability in this rapidly changing world of toy commerce. Video games have been a common staple when it comes to electronic toy gadgets for children, however these cannot be considered as a robot toy. The once popular Tamagotchi may look and feel like a video game but it is actually in fact a robot toy as well. What’s differentiates the Tamagotchi from being a video game you might ask? Well for one thing, video games are just electronic role playing mind games wherein you have a specific goal or task that must be taken care of while a robot toy like the Tamagotchi is actually highly dependent on the interaction between the Tamagotchi and the user. The Tamagotchi is actually a simulation of what is supposed to be of an animal, just like ordinary toy robots which are mock-ups of human beings while a video game is merely an audio visual device that is used to play games. There are actually all sorts of robot toys available in the market today, from highly sophisticated, not to mention, costly, Robo Sapien to outdated Tamagotchis to high tech robot toy pets that have caused quite a stir even in Japan wherein people don’t really have that much time to take care of a real dog. Robo pets have been creating a lot of buzz in the toy market because of its highly innovative design and almost life like actions, Robo pets usually comes in either a pet dog or a pet cat. It can play fetch, run, heel, even bark at you. This robot pet has certainly come a long, long way from the old wind-up robot toys that used to be every kid’s fancye to think of it, not only children are getting into the whole robot toy craze, with many grown adults now getting more and more hooked to the highly sophisticated robot toys in the market. Considering that adults do have the spending power as compared with children who are still reliant on their parents’ mercy, toy companies are also trying to come out with robot toys that can be appreciated by adults as well.

         
    Saving the world with forensic science

     

    Forensic Science is the application of science in forensic studies, the forensic part of forensic science implies that it is to be utilized in some form or another with a court of law and is relevant to legal proceedings. Forensic Science is rapidly progressing to the point that the science fiction of today could well be the science reality of tomorrow. Forensic Science has been around for many centuries. However, it was not until recently that advances in scientific research and scientific studies made this a true and individual aspect of forensic research. Recent studies and research have brought the field of forensic science to new heights and given it increasing credibility and importance as a deciding factor in many legal proceedings, where forensic evidence often outweighs the testimony even of witnesses on the scene. Almost everybody has heard of DNA evidence or fluorescing as well as many other recent scientific developments in forensic science. While many of us get our information from television programs such as CSI, the reality is that forensic science is rapidly moving from the realm of television to the broader expanse of the real world. DNA evidence is now an important part of most legal proceedings involving any human body. Whether discussing fibers from hair, clothes or even something so mundane as dust, forensic science can often draw conclusions and point to irrefutable facts that often lead to convictions of criminals who, if not for forensic science, would be free to commit more atrocities. Fibers can have a telling tale that can only be exposed by the use of forensic science. Carpet fibers are unique to makes and manufacturers. Gunpowder contains microscopic residue that can correctly identify the type of powder, the manufacturer of the shell and much more information. Simple particles of dust, when viewed by using forensic science can place items or individuals at definitive places often down to an exact time frame. Something that we may see as just a bug or insect can tell how long an item has been in a particular location. There are many factors that are explored with Forensic Science. The scientific conclusion offers irrefutable proof and can be an effective tool in the fight against crime. Advances in science and in particular with forensic science are not only new and fascinating but are constantly improving and being refined. Not only is forensic science a great tool for today, but the future looks bright indeed. An interest in Forensic science may even help the underachiever of today take enough interest in science and related fields of study to turn around and study harder to become the next practitioner of forensic science tomorrow. Forensic science benefits society as a whole in many different ways.

         
    Scotland s most infamous female she could ruin your holiday

     

    The summer days in Scotland are long and mild with nights that stay bright until 10pm. The scenery is beautiful, the weather is at its best and the tranquillity makes an ideal choice for a relaxing vacation, or so you would think. Your holiday has just started and at the end of the first day the prospect of an aperitif in the garden or by the lakeside is very appealing. It has just passed 5pm. The first sip is rewarding and satisfying as you sit back to breath in the clean, fresh air and absorb the breath-taking scenery. Gradually you feel uncomfortable and find that you have the urge to scratch your head and face. Then you are aware of something like dust particles floating around the upper part of your body. Dismissing them with a wave, thinking they are far too small to contemplate, you carry on with your aperitif and conversation. But then you find yourself itching so much, eventually you can’t take it any more and head inside wondering how these minute creatures could have ruined your evening, you can hardly see them! Next day you frighten yourself as you look in the bathroom mirror, still itching, and see an image of someone who appears to be suffering from measles! But it’s not measles, it’s the result of the bite of the ferocious Culicoides impunctatus, the infamous female Highland Midge ! She will come out every evening like a vampire, to fulfil her need to supply her unborn eggs with blood. She breeds in damp vegetative areas and is attracted to you by the carbon dioxide you breath out. The only way she will not detect you and attack for your blood is if you stop breathing! However, there is an alternative…that works!

         
    Seti search for extraterrestrial intelligence and the aliens conundrum part i

     

    I. The Six Arguments against SETI The various projects that comprise the 45-years old Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) raise two important issues: (1) do Aliens exist and (2) can we communicate with them. If they do and we can, how come we never encountered an extraterrestrial, let alone spoken to or corresponded with one? There are six basic explanations to this apparent conundrum and they are not mutually exclusive: (1) That Aliens do not exist; (2) That the technology they use is far too advanced to be detected by us and, the flip side of this hypothesis, that the technology we us is insufficiently advanced to be noticed by them; (3) That we are looking for extraterrestrials at the wrong places; (4) That the Aliens are life forms so different to us that we fail to recognize them as sentient beings or to communicate with them; (5) That Aliens are trying to communicate with us but constantly fail due to a variety of hindrances, some structural and some circumstantial; (6) That they are avoiding us because of our misconduct (example: the alleged destruction of the environment) or because of our traits (for instance, our innate belligerence) or because of ethical considerations. Argument Number 1: Aliens do not exist (the Fermi Principle) The assumption that life has arisen only on Earth is both counterintuitive and unlikely. Rather, it is highly probable that life is an extensive parameter of the Universe. In other words, that it is as pervasive and ubiquitous as are other generative phenomena, such as star formation. This does not mean that extraterrestrial life and life on Earth are necessarily similar. Environmental determinism and the panspermia hypothesis are far from proven. There is no guarantee that we are not unique, as per the Rare Earth hypothesis. But the likelihood of finding life in one form or another elsewhere and everywhere in the Universe is high. The widely-accepted mediocrity principle (Earth is a typical planet) and its reification, the controversial Drake (or Sagan) Equation usually predicts the existence of thousands of Alien civilizations - though only a vanishingly small fraction of these are likely to communicate with us. But, if this is true, to quote Italian-American physicist Enrico Fermi: "where are they?". Fermi postulated that ubiquitous technologically advanced civilizations should be detectable - yet they are not! (The Fermi Paradox). This paucity of observational evidence may be owing to the fact that our galaxy is old. In ten billion years of its existence, the majority of Alien races are likely to have simply died out or been extinguished by various cataclysmic events. Or maybe older and presumably wiser races are not as bent as we are on acquiring colonies. Remote exploration may have supplanted material probes and physical visits to wild locales such as Earth. Aliens exist on our very planet. The minds of newborn babies and of animals are as inaccessible to us as would be the minds of little green men and antenna-wielding adductors. Moreover, as we demonstrated in the previous chapter, even adult human beings from the same cultural background are as aliens to one another. Language is an inadequate and blunt instrument when it comes to communicating our inner worlds. Argument Number 2: Their technology is too advanced If Aliens really want to communicate with us, why would they use technologies that are incompatible with our level of technological progress? When we discover primitive tribes in the Amazon, do we communicate with them via e-mail or video conferencing - or do we strive to learn their language and modes of communication and emulate them to the best of our ability? Of course there is always the possibility that we are as far removed from Alien species as ants are from us. We do not attempt to interface with insects. If the gap between us and Alien races in the galaxy is too wide, they are unlikely to want to communicate with us at all. Argument Number 3: We are looking in all the wrong places If life is, indeed, a defining feature (an extensive property) of our Universe, it should be anisotropically, symmetrically, and equally distributed throughout the vast expanse of space. In other words, never mind where we turn our scientific instruments, we should be able to detect life or traces of life. Still, technological and budgetary constraints have served to dramatically narrow the scope of the search for intelligent transmissions. Vast swathes of the sky have been omitted from the research agenda as have been many spectrum frequencies. SETI scientists assume that Alien species are as concerned with efficiency as we are and, therefore, unlikely to use certain wasteful methods and frequencies to communicate with us. This assumption of interstellar scarcity is, of course, dubious. Argument Number 4: Aliens are too alien to be recognized Carbon-based life forms may be an aberration or the rule, no one knows. The diversionist and convergionist schools of evolution are equally speculative as are the basic assumptions of both astrobiology and xenobiology. The rest of the universe may be populated with silicon, or nitrogen-phosphorus based races or with information-waves or contain numerous, non-interacting "shadow biospheres". Recent discoveries of extremophile unicellular organisms lend credence to the belief that life can exist almost under any circumstances and in all conditions and that the range of planetary habitability is much larger than thought. But whatever their chemical composition, most Alien species are likely to be sentient and intelligent. Intelligence is bound to be the great equalizer and the Universal Translator in our Universe. We may fail to recognize certain extragalactic races as life-forms but we are unlikely to mistake their intelligence for a naturally occurring phenomenon. We are equipped to know other sentient intelligent species regardless of how advanced and different they are - and they are equally fitted to acknowledge us as such. Argument Number 5: We are failing to communicate with Aliens The hidden assumption underlying CETI/METI (Communication with ETI/Messaging to ETI) is that Aliens, like humans, are inclined to communicate. This may be untrue. The propensity for interpersonal communication (let alone the inter-species variety) may not be universal. Additionally, Aliens may not possess the same sense organs that we do (eyes) and may not be acquainted with our mathematics and geometry. Reality can be successfully described and captured by alternative mathematical systems and geometries. Additionally, we often confuse complexity or orderliness with artificiality. As the example of quasars teaches us, not all regular or constant or strong or complex signals are artificial. Even the very use of language may be a uniquely human phenomenon - though most xenolinguists contest such exclusivity. Moreover, as Wittgenstein observed, language is an essentially private affair: if a lion were to suddenly speak, we would not have understood it. Modern verificationist and referentialist linguistic theories seek to isolate the universals of language, so as to render all languages capable of translation - but they are still a long way off. Clarke's Third Law says that Alien civilizations well in advance of humanity may be deploying investigative methods and communicating in dialects undetectable even in principle by humans. Argument Number 6: They are avoiding us Advanced Alien civilizations may have found ways to circumvent the upper limit of the speed of light (for instance, by using wormholes). If they have and if UFO sightings are mere hoaxes and bunk (as is widely believed by most scientists), then we are back to Fermi's "where are they". One possible answer is they are avoiding us because of our misconduct (example: the alleged destruction of the environment) or because of our traits (for instance, our innate belligerence). Or maybe the Earth is a galactic wildlife reserve or a zoo or a laboratory (the Zoo hypothesis) and the Aliens do not wish to contaminate us or subvert our natural development. This falsely assumes that all Alien civilizations operate in unison and under a single code (the Uniformity of Motive fallacy). But how would they know to avoid contact with us? How would they know of our misdeeds and bad character? Our earliest radio signals have traversed no more than 130 light years omnidirectionally. Out television emissions are even closer to home. What other source of information could Aliens have except our own self-incriminating transmissions? None. In other words, it is extremely unlikely that our reputation precedes us. Luckily for us, we are virtual unknowns. As early as 1960, the implications of an encounter with an ETI were clear: "Evidences of its existence might also be found in artifacts left on the moon or other planets. The consequences for attitudes and values are unpredictable, but would vary profoundly in different cultures and between groups within complex societies; a crucial factor would be the nature of the communication between us and the other beings. Whether or not earth would be inspired to an all-out space effort by such a discovery is moot: societies sure of their own place in the universe have disintegrated when confronted by a superior society, and others have survived even though changed. Clearly, the better we can come to understand the factors involved in responding to such crises the better prepared we may be." (Brookins Institute - Proposed Studies on the Implications of Peaceful Space Activities for Human Affairs, 1960) Perhaps we should not be looking forward to the First Encounter. It may also be our last. (contnued)

         
    Seti search for extraterrestrial intelligence and the aliens conundrum part ii

     

    (1) How can we tell the artificial from the natural? How can we be sure to distinguish Alien artifacts from naturally-occurring objects? How can we tell apart with certainty Alien languages from random noise or other natural signals? (2) If we have absolutely nothing in common with the Aliens, can we still recognize them as intelligent life forms and maintain an exchange of meaningful information with them? II. Artificial vs. Natural "Everything is simpler than you think and at the same time more complex than you imagine." (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe) Complexity rises spontaneously in nature through processes such as self-organization. Emergent phenomena are common as are emergent traits, not reducible to basic components, interactions, or properties. Complexity does not, therefore, imply the existence of a designer or a designplexity does not imply the existence of intelligence and sentient beings. On the contrary, complexity usually points towards a natural source and a random originplexity and artificiality are often incompatible. Artificial designs and objects are found only in unexpected ("unnatural") contexts and environments. Natural objects are totally predictable and expected. Artificial creations are efficient and, therefore, simple and parsimonious. Natural objects and processes are not. As Seth Shostak notes in his excellent essay, titled "SETI and Intelligent Design", evolution experiments with numerous dead ends before it yields a single adapted biological entity. DNA is far from optimized: it contains inordinate amounts of junk. Our bodies come replete with dysfunctional appendages and redundant organs. Lightning bolts emit energy all over the electromagnetic spectrum. Pulsars and interstellar gas clouds spew radiation over the entire radio spectrum. The energy of the Sun is ubiquitous over the entire optical and thermal range. No intelligent engineer - human or not - would be so wasteful. Confusing artificiality with complexity is not the only terminological conundrum. Complexity and simplicity are often, and intuitively, regarded as two extremes of the same continuum, or spectrum. Yet, this may be a simplistic view, indeed. Simple procedures (codes, programs), in nature as well as in computing, often yield the most complex results. Where does the complexity reside, if not in the simple program that created it? A minimal number of primitive interactions occur in a primordial soup and, presto, life. Was life somehow embedded in the primordial soup all along? Or in the interactions? Or in the combination of substrate and interactions? Complex processes yield simple products (think about products of thinking such as a newspaper article, or a poem, or manufactured goods such as a sewing thread). What happened to the complexity? Was it somehow reduced, "absorbed, digested, or assimilated"? Is it a general rule that, given sufficient time and resources, the simple can become complex and the complex reduced to the simple? Is it only a matter of computation? We can resolve these apparent contradictions by closely examining the categories we use. Perhaps simplicity and complexity are categorical illusions, the outcomes of limitations inherent in our system of symbols (in our language). We label something "complex" when we use a great number of symbols to describe it. But, surely, the choices we make (regarding the number of symbols we use) teach us nothing about complexity, a real phenomenon! A straight line can be described with three symbols (A, B, and the distance between them) - or with three billion symbols (a subset of the discrete points which make up the line and their inter-relatedness, their function). But whatever the number of symbols we choose to employ, however complex our level of description, it has nothing to do with the straight line or with its "real world" traits. The straight line is not rendered more (or less) complex or orderly by our choice of level of (meta) description and language elements. The simple (and ordered) can be regarded as the tip of the complexity iceberg, or as part of a complex, interconnected whole, or hologramically, as encompassing the complex (the same way all particles are contained in all other particles). Still, these models merely reflect choices of descriptive language, with no bearing on reality. Perhaps complexity and simplicity are not related at all, either quantitatively, or qualitatively. Perhaps complexity is not simply more simplicity. Perhaps there is no organizational principle tying them to one anotherplexity is often an emergent phenomenon, not reducible to simplicity. The third possibility is that somehow, perhaps through human intervention, complexity yields simplicity and simplicity yields complexity (via pattern identification, the application of rules, classification, and other human pursuits). This dependence on human input would explain the convergence of the behaviors of all complex systems on to a tiny sliver of the state (or phase) space (sort of a mega attractor basin). According to this view, Man is the creator of simplicity and complexity alike but they do have a real and independent existence thereafter (the Copenhagen interpretation of a Quantum Mechanics). Still, these twin notions of simplicity and complexity give rise to numerous theoretical and philosophical complications. Consider life. In human (artificial and intelligent) technology, every thing and every action has a function within a "scheme of things". Goals are set, plans made, designs help to implement the plans. Not so with life. Living things seem to be prone to disorientated thoughts, or the absorption and processing of absolutely irrelevant and inconsequential data. Moreover, these laboriously accumulated databases vanish instantaneously with death. The organism is akin to a computer which processes data using elaborate software and then turns itself off after 15-80 years, erasing all its work. Most of us believe that what appears to be meaningless and functionless supports the meaningful and functional and leads to them. The complex and the meaningless (or at least the incomprehensible) always seem to resolve to the simple and the meaningful. Thus, if the complex is meaningless and disordered then order must somehow be connected to meaning and to simplicity (through the principles of organization and interaction). Moreover, complex systems are inseparable from their environment whose feedback induces their self-organization. Our discrete, observer-observed, approach to the Universe is, thus, deeply inadequate when applied to complex systems. These systems cannot be defined, described, or understood in isolation from their environment. They are one with their surroundings. Many complex systems display emergent properties. These cannot be predicted even with perfect knowledge about said systems. We can say that the complex systems are creative and intuitive, even when not sentient, or intelligent. Must intuition and creativity be predicated on intelligence, consciousness, or sentience? Thus, ultimately, complexity touches upon very essential questions of who we, what are we for, how we create, and how we evolve. It is not a simple matter, that... III. Intersubjectivity and Communications The act of communication implies that the parties communicating possess some common denominators, share some traits or emotions, and are essentially more or less the same. The Encyclopaedia Britannica (1999 edition) defines empathy as: "The ability to imagine oneself in anther's place and understand the other's feelings, desires, ideas, and actions. It is a term coined in the early 20th century, equivalent to the German Einfьhlung and modelled on 'sympathy'." Empathy is predicated upon and must, therefore, incorporate the following elements: Imagination which is dependent on the ability to imagine; The existence of an accessible Self (self-awareness or self-consciousness); The existence of an available Other (other-awareness, recognizing the outside world); The existence of accessible feelings, desires, ideas and representations of actions or their outcomes both in the empathizing Self ("Empathor") and in the Other, the object of empathy ("Empathee"); The availability of common frames of reference - aesthetic, moral, logical, physical, and other. While (a) is presumed to be universally present in all agents (though in varying degrees), the existence of the other components of empathy cannot be taken for granted. Conditions (b) and (c), for instance, are not satisfied by people who suffer from personality disorders, such as the Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Condition (d) is not met in autistic people (e. g., those who suffer from Asperger's Disorder). Condition (e) is so totally dependent on the specifics of the culture, period and society in which it exists that it is rather meaningless and ambiguous as a yardstick. Thus, the very existence of empathy can be questioned. It is often confused with inter-subjectivity. The latter is defined thus by "The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, 1995": "This term refers to the status of being somehow accessible to at least two (usually all, in principle) minds or 'subjectivities'. It thus implies that there is some sort of communication between those minds; which in turn implies that each communicating minds aware not only of the existence of the other but also of its intention to convey information to the other. The idea, for theorists, is that if subjective processes can be brought into agreement, then perhaps that is as good as the (unattainable?) status of being objective - completely independent of subjectivity. The question facing such theorists is whether intersubjectivity is definable without presupposing an objective environment in which communication takes place (the 'wiring' from subject A to subject B). At a less fundamental level, however, the need for intersubjective verification of scientific hypotheses has been long recognized". (page 414). On the face of it, the difference between intersubjectivity and empathy is double: Intersubjectivity requires an EXPLICIT, communicated agreement between at least two subjects. It pertains to EXTERNAL things (so called "objective" entities). Yet, these "differences" are artificial. This is how empathy is defined in "Psychology - An Introduction (Ninth Edition) by Charles G. Morris, Prentice Hall, 1996": "Closely related to the ability to read other people's emotions is empathy - the arousal of an emotion in an observer that is a vicarious response to the other person's situation... Empathy depends not only on one's ability to identify someone else's emotions but also on one's capacity to put oneself in the other person's place and to experience an appropriate emotional response. Just as sensitivity to non-verbal cues increases with age, so does empathy: The cognitive and perceptual abilities required for empathy develop only as a child matures... (page 442) Thus empathy does require the communication of feelings AND an agreement on the appropriate outcome of the communicated emotions (an affective agreement). In the absence of such agreement, we are faced with inappropriate affect (laughing at a funeral, for instance). Moreover, empathy often does relate to external objects and is provoked by them. There is no empathy in the absence of an (external) empathee. Granted, intersubjectivity is confined to the inanimate while empathy mainly applies to the living (animals, humans, even plants). But this is distinction is not essential. Empathy can, thus, be recast as a form of intersubjectivity which involves living things as "objects" to which the communicated intersubjective agreement relates. It is wrong to limit our understanding of empathy to the communication of emotions. Rather, it is the intersubjective, concomitant experience of BEING. The empathor empathizes not only with the empathee's emotions but also with his or her physical state and other parameters of existence (pain, hunger, thirst, suffocation, sexual pleasure etc.). This leads to the important (and perhaps intractable) psychophysical question. Intersubjectivity relates to external objects: the subjects communicate and reach an agreement regarding the way THEY have been AFFECTED by said external objects. Empathy also relates to external objects (to Others) - but the subjects communicate and reach an agreement regarding the way THEY would have felt had they BEEN said external objects. This is no minor difference, if it, indeed, exists. But does it really exist? What is it that we feel in empathy? Do we feel OUR own emotions/sensations, provoked by an external trigger (classic intersubjectivity) or do we experience a TRANSFER of the object's feelings/sensations to us? Probably the former. Empathy is the set of reactions - emotional and cognitive - triggered by an external object (the Other). It is the equivalent of resonance in the physical sciences. But we have no way of ascertaining that the "wavelength" of such resonance is identical in both subjects. In other words, we have no way of verifying that the feelings or sensations invoked in the two (or more) subjects are the same. What I call "sadness" may not be what you call "sadness". Colours, for instance, have unique, uniform, independently measurable properties (their energy). Even so, no one can prove that what I see as "red" is what another person (perhaps a Daltonist) would call "red". If this is true where "objective", measurable phenomena, like colors, are concerned - it is infinitely more so in the case of emotions or feelings. We are, therefore, forced to refine our definition: Empathy is a form of intersubjectivity which involves living things as "objects" to which the communicated intersubjective agreement relates. It is the intersubjective, concomitant experience of BEING. The empathor empathizes not only with the empathee's emotions but also with his physical state and other parameters of existence (pain, hunger, thirst, suffocation, sexual pleasure etc.). BUT The meaning attributed to the words used by the parties to the intersubjective agreement known as empathy is totally dependent upon each party. The same words are used, the same denotates, but it cannot be proven that the same connotates, the same experiences, emotions and sensations are being discussed or communicated. Language (and, by extension, art and culture) serve to introduce us to other points of view ("what is it like to be someone else" to paraphrase Thomas Nagle). By providing a bridge between the subjective (inner experience) and the objective (words, images, sounds), language facilitates social exchange and interaction. It is a dictionary which translates one's subjective private language to the coin of the public medium. Knowledge and language are, thus, the ultimate social glue, though both are based on approximations and guesses (see George Steiner's "After Babel"). But, whereas the intersubjective agreement regarding measurements and observations concerning external objects IS verifiable or falsifiable using INDEPENDENT tools (e. g., lab experiments) - the intersubjective agreement which concerns itself with the emotions, sensations and experiences of subjects as communicated by them IS NOT verifiable or falsifiable using INDEPENDENT tools. The interpretation of this second kind of agreement is dependent upon introspection and an assumption that identical words used by different subjects possess identical meanings. This assumption is not falsifiable (or verifiable). It is neither true nor false. It is a probabilistic conjecture, but without an attendant probability distribution. It is, in short, a meaningless statement. As a result, empathy itself is meaningless. In human-speak, if you say that you are sad and I empathize with you, it means that we have an agreement. I regard you as my object. You communicate to me a property of yours ("sadness"). This triggers in me a recollection of "what is sadness" or "what is to be sad". I say that I know what you mean, I have been sad before, I know what it is like to be sad. I empathize with you. We agree about being sad. We have an intersubjective agreement. Alas, such an agreement is meaningless. We cannot (yet) measure sadness, quantify it, crystallize it, access it in any way from the outside. Both of us are totally and absolutely reliant on your introspection and on my introspection. There is no way anyone can prove that my "sadness" is even remotely similar to your sadness. I may be feeling or experiencing something that you might find hilarious and not sad at all. Still, I call it "sadness" and I empathize with you. FINIS

         
    Shun cloning scientists must speak out

     

    Scientists say evidence is mounting "that creating healthy animals through cloning is More difficult than they had expected." So began a front-page story in the New York Times (Marching 25), highlighting the frustrations of animal cloners, and the chance that person cloning whitethorn prove technically inconceivable. Those worried about the ethics of individual cloning have greeted this as good news, a sign that the slippery slope is leveling come out of the closet. Unfortunately, the new obstacles English hawthorn prove less than insurmountable in the hanker tally--and in bioengineering, the yearn running often proves surprisingly short. For those whose doubts about ergonomics ar expressed by the philosopher Leon Kass as "the wisdom of repugnance," it is no meter to relax: The slope Crataegus laevigata soon steepen once Thomas More. In cloning, a cellular cell nucleus from the grownup to be cloned is injected into an testis from which the karyon has been removed. As it turns , the environment of the unfertilized testicle, hijacked for cloning purposes, is able-bodied to "reprogram" big nuclei, returning their DEOXYRIBONUCLEIC ACID to a naive, pseudo-embryonic state. As the orchis develops, it follows the familial blueprint of the full-grown from which the core was derived, essentially producing an identical twin of that individual. But at that place problems. When Ian Ian Wilmut and his co-workers produced the cloned sheep Doll, they caught about biologists unawares because it was thinking out of the question to clone a mammal. Frogs had been cloned Sir Thomas More than twenty-five years ago, but many biologists cerebration that a phenomenon termed "imprinting" would prevent mammalian cloning. Imprinting confers "memory" on a developing cell, helping to distinguish fully grown skin cells, for instance, from heart, liver, and blood cells. Experiments in mice suggested that imprinting permanently altered the DESOXYRIBONUCLEIC ACID, making it unimaginable to derive a feasible embryo from an grown core group. changed all that. Still, the cloning of mammals is a precarious enterprise. himself acknowledged that cloning was ineffective and fraught with grotesque loser, and he strongly advised against trying to clone world. Even the just about experienced researchers to generate executable clones only 2 to 5 percent of the metre. The failures appear to stem from the imprinting phenomenon, which had been discounted post-: the hereditary absolution conferred by the ball turns to be at best, and memories persist in the of cloned embryos, interfering with their development. This point was made by MIT developmental biologist Rudolf Jaenisch during testimony earlier a House subcommittee on Master of Architecture 28, and in a forceful article he co-authored with , "Don't Clone Humans!" (Science, MArch 28). As Jaenisch and others stressed ahead Congress, the high unsuccessful person rate in animal cloning should make somebody cloning unthinkable. The proponents of cloning, a motley crew of UFO cultists and fringe physicians, argue that they volition succeed in human race where experts have failed in animals. Their position is, of course, untenable. For now, soul cloning testament probably end up prohibited. However, in that location is a danger in arguing against cloning on technical grounds alone: Once the procedure is perfected, it implicitly becomes ethically permissible.

         
    Silk a hard job for everyone

     

    Producing silk isn't as easy as it sounds. We're going to examine some of what's involved including a look at what typical mass production is in some of the more productive countries such as Japan, China and Thailand. Silk production is done in stages. The first stage is hatching the silkworm egg in a controlled environment. This is usually done in an aluminium box. The boxes first have to be examined to make sure they are free of disease. The female silkworm usually lays about 300 to 400 eggs at a time. In an area about the size of a piece of typing paper about 50 moths can lay over 20,000 eggs at one time. Each of these eggs is about the size of a pinhead and virtually undetectable to the human eye. After laying the eggs the female dies almost immediately. The male lives only for a short while after this. The eggs are then tested for disease. If they are disease free they are then raised in a controlled environment. The eggs are fastened to a flat surface by a substance that is secreted by the female. The larvae hatch out of the eggs in about 10 days and are about a half a centimeter long. After the larvae hatch they are placed under a layer of gauze. Afterwards, they are fed a large amount of cut up mulberry leaves. During this time they are left to shed their skin, which they do about four times during the process. Sometimes they'll feed the larvae orange juice or lettuce. The larvae that are fed the mulberry leaves are the ones that produce the finest silk. Each larvae can eat over 50,000 times its size in food. After the larvae has reached its maximum length, which is about 7.5 centimeters, it stops eating. This takes about four to six weeks. After this happens it changes color and attaches itself to some kind of object like a frame, tree branch, twig or shrub. Once attached, they start spinning their silk. This goes on for about three to eight days. This is where the hard work by the silkworms comes in. Over the next few days, the silkworm produces a thread by making a figure eight motion over 300,000 times, during which time it is actually constructing a cocoon. This is a non stop process. The cocoon is made because this is where the silkworm plans to live during what is called its chrysalis stage. During this stage it sleeps and sheds its skin. During this stage, which lasts about sixteen days, the silkworm begins the next process of turning into a moth. The problem, for the silk manufacturer, is if the pupae remains alive it will secrete a substance that will destroy the cocoon, thus ruining the silk threads. To prevent this from happening the pupae are killed. This is why activists have such a problem with the process. The truth is, the percentage of silk that is actually saved in this process is very small. Thousands of pupae die. It takes about 80 kg of cocoons to produce just 1 kg of raw silk.

         
    Sir isaac newton and the three laws of determinism

     

    Sir Isaac Newton and the Three Laws of Determinism In the foreword to the first edition of the well-known "Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy" the great physicist, Sir Isaac Newton wrote, in particular, that it would be desirable to extend the harmonious principles of mechanics to other natural phenomena. Since then, there were some attempts to identify certain analogies to mechanics in a number of separate sciences. However in a broad sense, the wish of Newton remained unrealized. Today, with the advent of the concept Ring Determinism, we at last, have an opportunity to generalize the mechanics of Newton over a wide range of phenomena. Let's start with the First law of Newton, which states: In the absence of external influences, a material body remains in a condition of rest or continues in uniform and rectilinear movement through inertia. This law is also known as "the law of inertia". And what is inertia? As a matter of fact, it describes the ability of a body to preserve the initial parameters of its own motion. The formula of the Newton's second law is: F = m • a, where F = the size of the external force, m = size of inert mass, a = size of the acceleration of a body. If we rewrite this as: a = F / m it becomes obvious, that the larger the mass of a body, the greater external effort is required to apply the same acceleration to it. Actually, inertial mass here acts as a measure of its own internal resistance to the influence of the external force. The third law of Newton states that any external influence on a body causes an equal and opposite action from the body. In other words, any separate body can adequately "answer" an external influence. It is necessary to pay attention to the fact that in these laws, there is transparently implied for each separate material body, a certain special internal self-determining mechanism, the origin of which demonstrates an ability towards self-preservation and resistance to external influences. Until now, only teleology tried to explain the presence in each separate body of a special internal determination. There is no such explanation in the framework of materialism. With the advent of the concept of Ring Determinism, it is possible to give this a strict scientific explanation and to generalize this and apply it to a wide range of phenomena. The concept of ring determinism asserts that in the case of casual or intentional closure of the ends of a segment of any causal chain, there is the creation of a closed causal steady or quasi-stable natural formation. Through continuous internal circulation, a specific internal determining stream can arise. The idea is that the presence of this continuous internal stream gives rise to creation of a new determining origin, which allows new formations. This is not only to affirm itself as a separate natural factor with a set of its own special properties, but also to oppose itself against the world and every possible external influence in material, power, force, information and other aspects. Inertia is an example of a mechanical display of internal determining origins. Generally, displays of this origin can be rather diverse. It concerns the sphere of electromagnetic phenomena, and processes in biology, anthropology, politics, sociology, pedagogics and other spheres. But in all cases, the panel of regulations noted by Newton, can be generalized by way of the following three laws of determinism: The first law of determinism: In the absence of external influences, the separate natural formation retains its condition or continues motion, function, behaviour, development under the influence of its own internal determination. The second law of determinism: the more strongly (of higher power) its own internal determining origin is expressed (developed), the greater the external effort that must be applied to its movement (life, behaviour, development) to induce change. The third law of determinism: any external influence on a separate natural formation causes a corresponding reaction, as long as it keeps its structural and functional integrity. Clearly, this action is organized, carried out and directed by its own internal determination. This necessarily applies the widest spectrum of things surrounding us, including temporary social groups, mighty atmospheric formations, computer software products, psychological aims and others that exhibit a separate natural formation. So, the generalization of Newton's laws apply to a broad range of experience and enable us to say that they conform to constructive ordered principles. Furthermore the general theory of determinism receives a necessary modification.

         
    Smarter ways to teach math

     

    Schools across the country have found new ways to make math add up for students-and the country's most recent "report card" is showing the results of that hard work. According to the U. S. Department of Education, a study called the Nation's Report Card, which provides state-by-state educational data, shows across-the-board gains in mathematics. In fact, overall fourth-grade and eighth-grade math scores rose to all-time highs, according to the study. The news comes as many Americans have focussed on ways to help their children improve their math scores in an effort to help ensure that their children have more successful academic and financial futures. To help, many schools have used new types of technology to teach kids math. For instance, an interactive computer program called Accelerated Math, by Renaissance Learning, Inc., helps educators personalize their lessons to each student in a classroom. The technology prints personalized math practice sheets for students, corrects their work and then reports their results. Detailed reports and record keeping functions give educators a daily snapshot of each student's progress and mastery. The process makes it easier for teachers to gauge each student's individual strengths and weaknesses and to help kids meet state and federal test requirements. Accelerated Math content is designed to work with existing math textbooks and is aligned to state standards. Teachers can learn more about how to use Accelerated Math by working with a specialist from the company. The specialists advise on ways to use classroom-proven routines and best practices associated with the software, as well as ways to get the most time-saving benefits from the technology. For instance, teachers using the software need to grade fewer papers and develop fewer lesson plans, freeing them up to pay more attention to their students. It's thought such technology can help schools remain competitive in the global academic arena.

         
    So was he a hero or a traitor

     

    We build our reality on our beliefs. And although we don’t admit that they are only our beliefs we do set our lives by them. They become us – our reality - and woe to anyone who tries to ridicule or challenge our faith. Through the recent discovery of certain biblical-like documents, scholars are now toying with the understanding that Judas was the true buddy of Jesus rather than his traitor. According to these writings, Jesus so trusted Judas that he selected him out of all the other apostles to co-ordinate the role and act as a traitor - to fulfil the prophecy. Will Judas now be declared as a saint and a martyr? If these writings are accepted to be true what will happen to all Christian believers? Here is another example. Millions believe that the American astronauts ascended on the moon and returned back. At this point in time, I am not opening the argument of a moon hoax but, what will happen to these millions when in the not too distant future it will be revealed that it was all a hoax? Both religion and science could create fanatics from their followers. Belief is a very sensitive and dangerous thing. Confusion and chaos are still the price for many a different belief. Both God and gravity are still a phenomenon. They are both unproven entities and yet man hold on to what he thinks about them as fact. As regards to gravity, man today is still in the dark as he was when he believed that the earth was flat. Here, may I ask, what if all the planets (including our moon) have the same gravitational forces? It is quite a different story when a non-scientist dares to direct reasoned criticism at science - the majority of professional scientists immediately object. I consider myself as another Faraday. The sad thing is that we are easily entangled into illusions and let these same illusions direct our lives. We should always question certain issues that are coming from the so-called ‘reliable’ sources (media, government and institutions). There may be hidden agendas behind everything we hear or see - such as marketing issues for purposes beyond our knowing. To doubt and question is healthy. It can provide you with an opportunity to explore horizons that previously were inaccessible due to the narrow outlook of the issue.

         
    Sodium vapour lamp

     

    Sodium Vapour Lamp consists of a discharge tube made from a heat resistant glass, containing a small amount of metallic sodium, neon gas and two electrodes, Neon gas is added to start the discharge and to develop enough heat to vaporize the sodium. Because of law pressure inside the tube, a sufficiently long tube required to obtain more light. To reduce the overall dimension of the lamp, this tube is generally bent into U-shape. The light produced by this lamp is yellowish which is produced at its optimum pressure of about 0.004mm of mercury. This pressure is obtained at a temperature of about 280° C and so it becomes necessary to maintain this temperature. For this purpose the U-tube is enclosed in a double walled flask to prevent lose of heat. The double walled flask is interchangeable and can be fitted on to another U-tube. While replacing the inner U-tube one must be very careful because if it is broken and sodium comes in contact with moisture, it may result in fire. All electric discharge lamps require a higher voltage at the time of starting and low voltage during operation. Generally, sodium vapour lamps are operated by a high leakage reactance transformer. At starting a high voltage of about 450 volts is applied across the lamp which is sufficient to start the discharge. When the lamp is fully operative after 10 - 15 minutes, the voltage across it falls to about 150 volts. Because of the high reactance of circuit, the power factor is low and hence a p. f improvement capacitor is connected. The efficiency of a low pressure sodium vapour lamp is very high (about 40 - 50 lumens/watt) and it produces a light of particular wavelength having yellow color. Sodium lamps are mainly employed for street, high way and airfield lighting where color distinction is not so necessary.

         
    Solar power worth the hassle

     

    In this piece of work that I am about to commence with I will discuss whether or not it is wise to convert or at least supplement your home electricity source with solar power. This is a worthwhile undertaking because there are many things in this world that are billed as cost or time saving and are actually the opposite when looked at with the right measurements or perspective. So the question is, “is solar power what it claims to be—a clean source of energy that is cheaper than other forms, or is it merely a fad that makes people think that they are being kind to the environment or cost effective.” So let’s talk about the claims. Number one: a clean source of energy. When you think about it the energy from the sun is about as clean and as natural as you get. There is no chemical reaction that creates an undesirable waste product, there is no burning, no smoke, no extra gases formed. So in this way—yes it is clean. But you also have to look at how you harness that energy. If you have to create undesirable waste such as plastic or other materials that can’t be naturally broken down; or you have to use energy that is not clean such as coal or other fossil fuel burning to create the product than you are at least decreasing the benefit of the clean power supply. In the case of solar power you do have to create the cells which are made of plastic as well as the wiring and the housings for these cells. So there is some unseemliness to the cleanliness of this power source. The question is, does the benefit outweigh the costs? And in the case of solar power, it does seem that if the units are maintained and last for a long time they eventually will come out ahead. Not like cloth diapers which would, it seems, be a lot better for the environment than their disposable counterparts from huggies. The fact is that the bleach used to clean the cloth diapers is much worse for the environment than the disposable diaper which will eventually (though it takes many years) break down almost entirely. Second solar power is a cheaper source of energy than other options. This again seems very true on the surface. After all everyone has access to the sun and the sun doesn’t charge does it? But then again the solar cells cost quite a pretty penny so it will take a while to pay them off with the cost savings. And you will have to maintain them paying a technician to come out and fix the units with expensive parts. So is it cost effective? Well again it seems as though over the long run yes solar power is a way to cheapen your energy costs considerably. Not like recycling which boasts of a way to save the environment and cheapen the cost of those materials that are being recycled. Well both may not be as true as stated prompting many communities to “recycle” the materials that they collect from well meaning residents right into the trash.

         
     
         
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