Jan. 26th, 2009

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New Statesman - Has global warming stopped?

I like contrast, so I thought I would present the link to this article that states there has been no significant increase in global temperatures since 2001, so we should rethink the idea that global warming is real.

Then, look at the following graph of global temperatures since 1880

Graph courtesy of NASA - GISS

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Our world may be a giant hologram - space - 15 January 2009 - New Scientist

I've had a few people send this article to me so I thought I should comment on it. The idea is not new, having bounced around for the past few years. This article adds a new wrinkle: the GEO600 gravity-wave detection experiment has encountered significant noise that might, if interpreted properly, indicate that space-time continuum is grainy, not smooth. This, by extension, could lead credence to the theory that our universe is a projection of a distant 2D surface. In essence, a hologram

Previously it was theorized that space-time could be thought of as being quantized at a scale represented by the Plank length. At that size, our smooth space-time continuum breaks down into a foamy quantum sea. But if the universe is a holographic projection then the Plank-length quantization applies to some distant 2D surface. Like a distended balloon, the quantization projected from the surface could be far larger than the Plank length, possibly large enough to perceive with sufficiently delicate instruments like the GEO600. Or, it could be noise from somewhere in the experimental system. Only independent verification will answer this question and, as yet, the GEO600 is the only detector capable of resolving this noise. Even the Craig Hogan, the physicist who discovered the effect, for the GEO600 urges caution, stating that the noise could arise from other more mundane sources.

The long and short of it is that the jury is still very much out on the idea of the universe as a hologram. Meanwhile, Hogan says improvements are being implemented to increase the sensitivity of the GEO600 and either eliminate the noise or better resolve it. Even then, instruments designed specifically to probe this effect would be needed to better understand what is happening.

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Ancient Egyptian Faience

A ceramic-like material made of finely-ground quartz crystals, mixed with things like copper oxide, powdered limestone, and alkali salts, pressed into a mold and allowed to dry. This allows some of the chemicals to move to the surface (self-glaze) which then turn blue-green (like turquoise) when fired. You can see examples of this at the Egyptian exhibit, now currently at the Museum of Civilization in Gatineau.

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Registered with the do-not-call list? Expect more calls, says consumer watchdog

According to the president of the Consumer's Association of Canada, people who registered for the do-not-call list through the CRTC are now experiencing an increase in calls from telemarketers because the CRTC sells the registry online, charging $50 for 600,000 names. The privacy commissioner is aware of the problem and is currently investigating the matter.
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Innovation: Magnetic blood detox - tech - 26 January 2009 - New Scientist

The South Korean researchers attached a receptor that binds to lead (and only lead), with a magnetic monoparticle to treat lead poisoning. The patient would be injected with these particles, then dialysis would be used in combination with a magnet to pull out the particles and, with them, the lead. The team suggests a similar treatment could be used to pull other substances from the body, such as radioactive toxins.

January 2010

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