Tips Feb 2015

Since WordPress has decided that comments on Pages, like the Tips pages, don’t show up in recent comments, it kind of breaks the value of it for me. In response, I’m shifting from a set of “pages” to a set of “postings”. As any given Tips Posting disappears or gets full, I’ll add a new one. That will restore the broken function.

I will be keeping the same general format, with the T page still pointing to both the archive of Tips Pages as well as the series of new Postings. With that, back to the Tips boiler plate:

This is an “overflow” page from prior Tips pages as they had gotten so large it was taking a long time to load. Same idea, just a new set of space to put pointers to things of interest. The most immediately preceding page is: https://chiefio.wordpress.com/te/. The observant will notice that this page changes from the hexadecimal naming to a date centric naming.

The generic “T” parent page remains up top, where older copies of the various “Tips” pages can be found archived.

While I’m mostly interested in things having to do with:

Making money, usually via trading
Weather and climate
Quakes, Volcanoes, and other Earth Sciences
Current economic and political events
(often as those last three have impact on the first one…)
And just about any ‘way cool’ interesting science or technology

If something else is interesting you put a “tip” here.

You can also look at the list of “Categories” on the right hand side and get an idea of any other broad area of interest.

This ought not to be seen as a “limit” on what is “interesting”, more as a “focus list” with other things that are interesting being fair game as well.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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104 Responses to Tips Feb 2015

  1. This is an interesting idea that might actually work. The data looks good so far, and the only problem I can see is if the effect is actually pushing on something other than the EM field, such as the test bench or the walls of the vacuum chamber. It needs to be tested in space. If this works, then trips to Mars will be very much shorter.

  2. That seems to have not pointed to a page but to the video on that page. WP interpreting a link the way it wants to, I suppose. Try this link to the comments page (which also has that video on it….) https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1736145169/the-spacecraft-propulsion-breakthrough-of-the-21st/comments

  3. E.M.Smith says:

    @Simon:

    Not a lot of meat on that plea for funding video. Is it the same as these folks?:
    http://www.crossfirefusion.com/spacedrive-electric-propulsion/phase-displacement-space-drive.html
    that seems long on theory and hand waving and short on practical demonstration… or
    this that looks like their video:

    there does seem to be some academic / theoretical basis as one page had a link to this page:

    http://xxx.lanl.gov/abs/physics/9908048

    Propulsion Without Propellent Mass; a Time-Varying Electromagnetic Field Effect

    Benoit T. Guay
    (Submitted on 24 Aug 1999 (v1), last revised 22 Sep 1999 (this version, v2))
    A propulsion generated without propellent mass and external forces using a well known physics is possible theoretically. To do that, it is proposed to use two specific time-varying and constrained distributions of electric charges which own a symmetry axis and are adequately separated in space. Total charge of each distribution is zero. With a relative temporal phase-shift between them, an asymmetry into the far fields momentum variation rate distribution along the symmetry axis can be induced. Consequently, an electromagnetic propulsive force is generated and applied over both charge distributions in a same direction along the axis-say. Magnetic part of this force is dissipative because closely related to energy lost by radiation. But its electric counterpart gives a conservative contribution to the propulsive force with no associated energy losses at zero velocity. Momentum conservation law for the entire system; the two charge distributions and fields, is respected because all far fields; radiation ones and relativistic correction one, are taken into account. If radiation and other energy losses could be minimized, such a conservative propulsive force could help to realize fast and long space journeys.

    and LANL are not particularly prone to chasing untamed geese…

    Might be worth digging through the bibliography here:
    http://nuclear-fusion-reactor.blogspot.com/p/phase-displacement-space-drive.html
    by someone with a decent EM physics background…

  4. omanuel says:

    Tip: The nuclear structure inverts at ~150 amu (atomic mass units)

    The nucleus of atoms with less than ~150 amu has a core of n-p pairs and extra neutrons are on the surface.

    The nucleus of atoms with more than ~150 amu has a core of neutrons and n-p pairs are on the nuclear surface.

    The cores of some planets like Jupiter, ordinary stars like the Sun, galaxies and the universe are composed of neutrons.

    See page 3, “Solar energy,” Adv. Astronomy (submitted for on-line review, 6 JAN 2015): https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10640850/Solar_Energy_For_Review.pdf

  5. EM – it looks to me that the ideas you mention have a totally different principle. There’s more documentation at http://www.electricspacecraft.org/ (bottom of page). I’ve had emails with Richard Banduric and he’s been working at this for a decade, so probably had the idea somewhat earlier. He noticed that a relativistic term in Maxwell’s equations is considered to be zero in calculations, and wondered why. Practically, it normally is zero because things are connected together, so he worked out a way to make it non-zero by disconnecting the components and using different coatings. He thus set up experiments to measure the electric field from moving conductors and of conductive charged particles in an insulating matrix, and found them to be different as he predicted from Maxwell’s equations. By setting up spinning charged discs with different coatings (and opposite charge) he’s thus measured thrusts of up to a few gram-force. This isn’t just hand-waving but experimentally backed.

    The stated ambition, to produce discs powerful enough to lift a quadcopter, may be a little unattainable and is probably overstating things somewhat, since he really needs another couple of orders of magnitude to get to that point, but even a small and continuous thrust is useful in space so what he’s shown so far would be practically useful right now if it works in space. He has measured it in vacuum and found it works a bit better, but again it’s hard to tell if that is a reaction against the equipment around it without sending the assembly into space.

    He says the principle is the same as that used by the EMdrive (that was tested by NASA) but whereas that was micronewtons (so easy to say it’s experimental error) he’s measuring millinewtons so it’s not so easy to discount.

    Worth noting that shining a torch will produce a thrust (light does have momentum) and that NASA do add in a term for reflection of sunlight when calculating the future orbits of asteroids etc.. It’s very small but over enough years does add up. There’s thus no real objection to using light or any EM wave as your propulsion but to get a reasonable thrust the energy-levels get astronomical.

  6. Larry Ledwick says:

    EM reference our discussion about gardening and your recent post about oxygen levels and life, I stumbled across this PDF that talks about seed germination and the factors which affect it. Mentions all sorts of interesting things, like did you know that in fire adapted environments smoke enhances germination? I did not, makes perfect sense but “life will find a way” rules again.

    I was looking for information on the effects of ethanol on seed germination, it appears that in few cases very low concentrations of ethanol (secondary to natural fermentation) enhances germination at low concentrations typically under 3%. It also mentions that seed chilling (which I was already aware of in some tree seeds) can have a marked effect on germination.

    I was trying to determine if there was a “universal” pre-treatment you could use on seeds to maximize their germination rate. Appears lots of variables are involved and it is highly species/variety specific but raises all sorts of interesting questions for the pathologically curious.

    http://seedbiology.osu.edu/HCS631_files/5A%20Seed%20germination,%20mark%20bennett.pdf

  7. sabretoothed says:

    http://www.geostreamconsulting.com/papers/Leybourne_Oceans_Fin.pdf Oh yes this one too 1:1 correlation voclanoes underwater and El Nino?

  8. tom0mason says:

    @sabretoothed
    Nice to see some else has found Timothy Casey sane and sober site.
    Thanks for reminding me where he is.

  9. sabretoothed says:

    If it is really warming too, why won’t Sahara Green :P? http://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledge/library/green-sahara-african-humid-periods-paced-by-82884405

    http://climate.geologist-1011.net/

    Tactics employed by those pushing a catastrophist agenda are consistent with those used by other branches of pseudoscience such as Creationism. The lack of support for alarm over global warming by scientific evidence is certainly sufficient reason for some to evade discussion of the evidence by focussing on attacking those who do wish to address the evidence. There are strong economic and political arguments in favour of ignoring the evidence and using alarm over global warming as propaganda to sell the government funding of research and initiatives that will benefit select commercial sectors to the exclusion of the tax payer.

    The observed expansion of deserts during the current mildly “warm” period is unprecedented in geological history. Deforestation is the only cause of desertification aside from global cooling and represents the principle human contribution to atmospheric carbon dioxide. Yet, the emphasis of public attention on exaggerated greenhouse effects only serves to divert public scrutiny from vastly more practical and important issues such as moderating land clearance, not to mention the desperate need for communities to decentralise sufficiently to bring most services within walking distance of most residences (thereby reducing reliance on motorised transport) before the impact of peak oil. It would appear that the catastrophist movement is more concerned with curbing development in underdeveloped countries than with vital environmental issues like the expansion of deserts as a consequence of excessive and unnecessary deforestation. Tragically, although desertification as a direct result of excessive land clearance is a far greater threat to the ability of our environment to support current human populations, this very real and well documented threat is neglected in favour of what amounts to little more than sensationalised science fiction.

  10. E.M.Smith says:

    @Larry Ledwick:

    Nice PDF. I’ve downloaded it.

    There are some general things you can do, and even if any one type of seed doesn’t need them, they don’t hurt.

    Then there are a bunch of individual “quirks”… like that smoke effect.

    So you can usually ‘cold treat’ seeds ( perhaps with the exception of tropical ones?). I store all my garden seeds in the fridge or freezer between purchase and use so all get cold treated.

    Scoriation usually isn’t needed but for very hard seeds adapted to being spread by birds eating them. IFF you have trouble getting something to sprout, you can lightly sand the surface of the seeds and try again.

    Smoke chemicals are important for things that sprout in meadows / open areas after a forest fire. Most garden seeds don’t need it, but some kinds of trees do. Searching on any particular seed that is hard to start can tell you if it grows in post fire areas and / or needs smoke extract.

    Seeds benefit a LOT from hydration. I put seeds in a jar of water the night before I intend to plant. The next morning they are usually very nicely hydrated and don’t need to spend a couple of days trying to suck that much water out of semi-damp soil. A nice win.

    For germination testing, I put a couple of dozen seeds between layers (big seeds) or on top of (small seeds) a folded up paper towel in a plastic sandwich tub (lid on, but loose). Inside a week they have usually germinated. (For a formal test I’ll run it two weeks, but at some point fuzzy mold starts to take over…) Sometimes I then use a gentile lift of each seed and placement into a small pot of fine potting soil, then wetted thoroughly, to turn those germinated seeds into small plants (for eventual planting out). This has helped me find out if it is ‘failure to germinate’ of the seeds, or too dry a soil, or ‘slugs and bugs’ that are the issue… Most all common garden seeds sprout this way ( oh, and kept ‘warm not hot’ on top of the fridge).

    Beyond that is only needed for exotics. Like one tree that needs a pass through a gizzard so benefits from scoriation of a deep sort, then a slightly acid soak; or those pine seeds that like a nice cook / smoking… but the odds that you are planting one of them is slim. Oh, and a coconut can take a couple of years to decide to germinate. Nut sure exactly what the scenario is for them, but someone has likely worked it out…

    (he searches on ‘germinating coconuts’…)

    Yup: http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/oc/freepubs/pdf/OF-25.pdf

    Shoot for 80 F to germinate (no lower than 70 F), and put the coconut 2/3 under dirt after soaking it… for a pot. For a yard planting, put it 1/3 under. Put it stem end up. They say 3 to 6 months to germinate, but that’s under good conditions.

    Don’t expect to know it all. There are folks all over the planet working out the ‘recipe’ for various things that are “odd” and hard to start. But the above list works for most stuff.

    @Sabertoothed:

    Gee, THE largest geological feature on the planet might have an effect? Who’s have guessed it ;-)

  11. sabretoothed says:

    https://www.alcf.anl.gov/projects/petascale-simulations-inhomogeneous-alfven-turbulence-solar-wind-0 “The origin of the solar wind and the heating of the solar corona stand as two of the most compelling problems in heliospheric physics. A number of observations suggest that Alfvén waves (AWs) and AW turbulence play a key role in the solution to both problems. These include optical observations of AWs in the chromosphere and near-infrared observations of AWs in the corona that carry an energy flux that is sufficient to power the solar wind. However, the scientific community remains divided about the viability of this scenario, in large part because we do not possess a detailed understanding of the properties of such turbulence in the highly inhomogeneous near-Sun region.”

  12. omanuel says:

    Geometric Evidence Scientific Bias

    This video is too long but it presents evidence of bias in modern science.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FSmdSw9eEIA

    From the perspective of nuclear and solar physics, matter consists entirely of two forms of one particle [1]:

    1. The compacted neutron, and
    2. The expanded hydrogen atom

    The universe expands as 1 => 2 and will then contract as 2 => 1. Life in the solar system is but a tiny part of one cosmic breath:

    1. “Solar energy,” Adv. Astronomy submitted for on-line review, 6 JAN 2015): https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10640850/Solar_Energy_For_Review.pdf

  13. Larry Ledwick says:

    Now here is a privacy nightmare come true!
    http://techcrunch.com/2015/02/08/telescreen/
    (take a memo on Samsung TV’s with voice recognition, — use 1/4 inch drill to uninstall microphone)

  14. sabretoothed says:

    New science, if you can’t explain something, call it Dark and you have theory http://www.geologyin.com/2014/11/dark-magma-could-explain-mystery.html

  15. sabretoothed says:

    So true, the more butter and coconut oil I eat, the skinnier I get! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vr-c8GeT34

  16. sabretoothed says:

    http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/281/1780/20132995.abstract

    Although ultraviolet (UV) sensitivity is widespread among animals it is considered rare in mammals, being restricted to the few species that have a visual pigment maximally sensitive (λmax) below 400 nm. However, even animals without such a pigment will be UV-sensitive if they have ocular media that transmit these wavelengths, as all visual pigments absorb significant amounts of UV if the energy level is sufficient. Although it is known that lenses of diurnal sciurid rodents, tree shrews and primates prevent UV from reaching the retina, the degree of UV transmission by ocular media of most other mammals without a visual pigment with λmax in the UV is unknown. We examined lenses of 38 mammalian species from 25 families in nine orders and observed large diversity in the degree of short-wavelength transmission. All species whose lenses removed short wavelengths had retinae specialized for high spatial resolution and relatively high cone numbers, suggesting that UV removal is primarily linked to increased acuity. Other mammals, however, such as hedgehogs, dogs, cats, ferrets and okapis had lenses transmitting significant amounts of UVA (315–400 nm), suggesting that they will be UV-sensitive even without a specific UV visual pigment.

  17. Larry Ledwick says:

    Interesting tidbit on the world view and thinking styles of conservatives and liberals in the U.S.
    I have not read the actual study and perhaps the reporter misrepresents some aspects, but in a broad generic sense it confirms the conclusion that conservatives and liberals have very different styles of thinking and perceiving reality, although a couple of the attributes stated in the article I question as they do not fit my experience.

    It does fit with my belief over the last couple decades that because of differences in perception, in a very real sense, liberals and conservatives literally live in different worlds (ie the perceived reality is different and what each perceives as “truth” and “fact” is different)

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150122114428.htm
    http://psp.sagepub.com/content/41/2/250

  18. sabretoothed says:

    http://ionpowergroup.com/

    Electrical Power Generated on Mars – Day, Night & Dust Storms

    Ion Power Group LLC, an international think-tank, has developed a power
    technology to harvest the electrical charge of ions in the Martian atmosphere
    to generate clean, renewable environmentally-safe electricity day, night and
    during dust storms for the human habitation of Mars
    How it Works

    Atmospheric ions on Mars are 1000 times stronger than on Earth. Carbon/graphite/graphene ion-collectors are elevated in the Martian atmosphere to harvest the electric charge of energetic ions day, night and during dust storms to generate pollution-free electricity

  19. Jason Calley says:

    Hey sabretoothed! I seem to recall a professor who had a lens removed from cataract surgery. This left him with the ability to see slightly into the UV spectrum. He was in demand with the astronomers who used him to calibrate their spectroscopes since he could see a bright emission line that they could not.

  20. sabretoothed says:

    http://lymedisease.org/news/lyme_disease_views/claritin-lyme-balf.html?utm_source=latest+Lyme+news+feb+2015&utm_campaign=costs+of+Lyme+treatment–news&utm_medium=email

    Allergy medicine could treat lyme disease. Does this mean that people with Lyme disease have low Manganese levels?

  21. omanuel says:

    @ sabretoothed

    The universe will remain a mystery if we long continue to ignore the hints Sir Fred Hoyle (astronomer, astro-physicist, cosmologist) and Professor Paul Kazuo Kuroda (nuclear, geo-chemist) left behind about abrupt changes in nuclear and solar physics after WWII, . . . changes that block understanding of the source of energy that powers the universe!

  22. sabretoothed says:

    Is this what is causing that weird plume on Mars? http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2007/13nov_africa/

  23. Another Ian says:

    E.M.

    When it won’t rain you can’t think up rain. But other things.

    WRT the “Companies too big to fail” bigger than the British Empire?

    And from there for the seekers of world government – there’s your experiment in half world government.

    And (another of your threads) to anyone that says “You can’t say that” The Celtic approach –

    “Of course I can – I just did”

  24. Larry Ledwick says:

    Very long read ( 333 pages) but very interesting read on how the military should evaluate the threats made by “jihadists” and Terrorists. Basic thesis is that to properly assess the statements of the enemy you must evaluate what they are doing in the context of their own dogma of religion and behavior. In short the question is Islam really a religion of peace or is Canonical Islam what the Jihadists are obeying and the “Peaceful Islam” is the myth?

    coughlin-thesis_final_8_aug_07-w-appendices.pdf

    Just like Western Armies had difficulty understanding the behavior of the Japanese during WWII.
    We did not really understand their militant brand of Bushido which they lived by and the value they placed on defending the Emperor and honorable death in battle. We saw their beheading of prisoners as barbaric, but in their mind it was an honorable way to execute a soldier. Likewise their Kamikaze pilots have many similarities to modern day Islamic suicide bombers, as they both place some other value above their own lives, and consider it an honorable sacrifice for a greater good.

    I am only part way through (60 pages right now) but am impressed with the discussion to this point and think others might find it an interesting document to digest as well.

  25. sabretoothed says:

    The Lost Cycle of Time – Part 1

    Ancient cultures around the world spoke of a vast cycle of time with alternating Dark and Golden Ages; Plato called it the Great Year. Most of us were taught that this cycle was just a myth, a fairytale, if we were taught anything about it all. But according to Giorgio de Santillana, former professor of the history of science at MIT, many ancient cultures believed consciousness and history were not linear but cyclical, rising and falling over long periods of time. In their landmark work, Hamlet’s Mill, de Santillana and coauthor Hertha von Dechend, show that the myth and folklore of more than thirty ancient cultures speak of a cycle of time with long periods of enlightenment broken by dark ages of ignorance, indirectly driven by a known astronomical phenomena, the precession of the equinox. This is where it gets interesting.
    – See more at: http://www.ancient-origins.net/myths-legends/lost-cycle-time-part-1-001494#sthash.pAGkZg16.dpuf

  26. p.g.sharrow says:

    @sabretoothed; Interesting link about ages of darkness followed by those of the Light. Nostradamus spoke of the dark age he lived in that would end in this present time with the push of Oligarchs, Socialists and Muslims to seize world control, each for themselves and the seemingly inability of the people of Light to fight back. This drive toward Darkness will fail soon as the people are beginning to awaken to the coming light, to the fact that THEY must fight back as their “leaders” are leading them in to ruin. This Dawn is all ready in progress, The World Wide Web is our tool to fan the Flame. For every commenter there are a hundred lurkers that read and move on and think about what they have read, tell others about what they have learned.
    After the Great Deceiver will come the Wise Old Man. er……………….. maybe Wise Old Men ;-) pg

  27. LG says:

    FYI: Cold fusion E-Cat experiment ends explosively
    http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2015-02/06/cold-fusion-reactor

    The reactor can be seen cracking apart with a loud bang three hours 47 minutes into the embedded video.
    Swagelok based reactor leak testMartin Fleischmann Memorial Project

    Fortunately, the experimenters noticed the temperature rise, and put up a blast shield in the minute before the explosion. The soundtrack records the experimenters’ surprised and excited responses to the blast:

    “That was exciting!”

    “Did you hear it?!”

    “Was the shield a good idea?”

    “The shield was a good idea!” (Laughter)

    “Oh mama!… we have no silicon carbide element, and we have a vapourised reactor…”

    “So… was that a runaway reaction? Are we in the domain of Parkhomov?”

  28. p.g.sharrow says:

    @LG; This does not appear to be an Ecat or even an Ecat imitation test, Sorry. There is some question if this was even a LENR device, Maybe. There was a Gama Ray outburst before the thing destroyed it’s self. These people need supervision! before someone really gets hurt, this is not a toy! pg

  29. Another Ian says:

    E.M.

    FYI See comment

    garymount February 24, 2015 at 5:13 am

    in

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/02/24/are-climate-modelers-scientists/

  30. Pingback: Weather Change on Planets – In Sync With Earth? | Musings from the Chiefio

  31. E.M.Smith says:

    @Another Ian:

    Yes, cluster computing has pretty much owned the supercomputer world since about the time I left the field in the ’90s. As the cost / node drops, the bang / $ goes way up.

    I’ve followed this with significant interest for quite a while ( it is a bit of a passion for me ).

    I built a Beowulf cluster “just for fun” in about 1994? out of some ‘left over’ White Box computers. I still have 4 to 6 of the nodes somewhere in the garage / office in California. I’ve also got 2 R.Pi boards with me when I travel and have been wanting to make a Beowulf cluster out of them (yeah… a ‘cluster of 2’ isn’t much of a cluster… but…)

    It’s actually not very hard (and a lot easier now than it was back then). These clusters that make the news are largely in the news not for the software part, but just for someone spending the few $Thousand it takes to buy that many R.Pi boards and mount them.

    They are a Beowulf, so looking up how to make one of those pretty much tells you everything you need to know. http://www.mcsr.olemiss.edu/bookshelf/articles/how_to_build_a_cluster.html is a little bit of overkill, but has what you need (plus a lot of background…)

    Basically, it’s just about any collection of hardware typically running some version of Linux / Unix (though you can make them with Windoze with some added pain and suffering… ;-) that are connected via ethernet to some kind of reasonably fast network switch ( I used a Netgear 100 Mb switch that cost me something like $120 back in the dark ages… now most folks use a Gig or faster switch that may even cost less ;-)

    After that, it’s just install the cluster code. Like PVM, for example.

    The hard part, in my experience, was finding something to do with it once built… I installed a Berkeley code to do “parallel parallel make” (really it’s PVM Parallel Make ppmake http://sourceforge.net/projects/ppmake/ but that’s not a clear as to what it’s doing for folks unfamiliar with PVM). Used it to “make” or build a full linux system for an embedded appliance (news, time starndard, DHCP, DNS, email, etc. etc. All the usual services in a 1 u box) for a client as a test case. Worked well, but they didn’t chose to stick with it due to paranoia about it being different from what they had always done before. Well, that, and I think the managers in charge were faced with low sales and not thinking about build speed; they ‘merged’ with another company about 6 months later and were basically put out of business in the merger – i.e. a patent grab merger).

    At one point I was going to make a Mosix cluster https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MOSIX as they had a free version where the kernel self assembles a cluster; but they went proprietary and I didn’t feel like taking on kernel hacking on the newer hardware to move the free version forward. Was a cool thing, though. Now not so much.

    Today I’d go with a build server that had a standard client release on it, then each machine would just be set to boot from that server. Netboot is a common way to do this in the intel world: http://netboot.sourceforge.net/english/introduction.html

    These folks use bootp: http://proj1.sinica.edu.tw/~statphys/computer/buildPara.html

    These folks claim to be hosted on a R.Pi cluster and have an article on how to make one:
    http://raspberrywebserver.com/raspberrypicluster/raspberry-pi-cluster.html

    Personally, having played with my R.Pi v1 for a while, I think it is a bit under powered for a supercomputer node. I have the hots to use one of these instead:
    http://www.adapteva.com/epiphany-multicore-intellectual-property/
    but the product was still young last I looked and I didn’t have the time or money to work out when it did, or did not, need the added cooling and / or how to get a robust Linux onto it and / or…

    But nothing really prevents starting with any hardware you have around, and making a ‘cluster of a few’ and then just make it as powerful as you need with as much money as you are willing to pay…

    The biggest problem with cluster computing like that is simply that some problems are not amenable to distributed solution. You need problems that can be segmented into parts for this to work well. (Like, oh, doing repeated manipulations on a large array of temperature data…) It will not work well for things that are single thread only. Luckily there is an army or three of programmers working on ways to break down problems into multi-thread solutions.

    So as long as you know what kind of problem you want to work on (say, models of air flow with a gaggle of cells all interacting with each other) and that it works well on massively parallel computing, it’s a great solution.

    If anyone want’s one of these for themselves, I’d be happy to build one on contract. Just realize that web browsing with it and reading your email will not be faster… and it will not fix data that has been molested via bad methods unless you know how to teach it to do that.

    Moore’s Law is still in effect too, so realize that had I built one of these 18 months ago (when headed to Florida for the start of my last contract) you could now get double the performance for the same price. That 2 chip R.Pi for the same price as my old 1 chip version is a clear example of that. In another 18 months, it will be 2 x the performance again for the same price. Nothing becomes financially obsolete quite as fast as Supercomputers. It is measured in computes / Watt and that tends to 1/2 every 18 months or so. The old X/MP-48 we had at Apple needed a 750 kVA power feed and a roughly 16 x 16 foot water tower to dump the waste heat. Today you can get the same computes in a laptop. Compare the power costs of those two… So by the time we were obsoleting the X-MP, the power savings alone paid for the replacement hardware.

    That same thing continues today with Bitcoin mining being limited by the $/Watt as the Computes/Watt must be cheap enough for the Bitcoin you mine to be worth more than the $ spent on those computes. For many common kinds of computer today that is no longer true, so you need custom very efficient hardware to make mining more Bitcoins valuable ( or use ‘free’ electricity from your employer via leaving it running as your screensaver ;-)

    At any rate, this is getting long.

    Summary: It’s not hard to do. Every 18 months will be a New Improved We-Haw story. Every 3 to 4 years that dream machine is no long worth the Watts… Figuring out what to do with it is the hard part, then making that problem into a parallel form. It’s a lot of fun, but as a hobby the costs are measured in $Hundreds to $Thousands.

  32. sabretoothed says:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/11436319/Frankenstein-style-human-head-transplant-could-happen-in-two-years.html

    2 years till head transplant. I wonder if we get the same things happen as the heart transplant. People with heart transplants suddenly playing the violin as part of the brain is in the heart.

  33. E.M.Smith says:

    @Sabertoothed:

    Before a head can be transplanted and give you anything other than a quadriplegic, we need to solve the issue of reconnecting a severed spinal cord. That’s not likely to happen any time soon, though there are some promising things that involve crush injury:
    http://www.fasebj.org/content/14/1/27.full

    But I’d still look, first, for folks who crush the spinal cord in accidents to be walking out of the hospital; only after that would I expect a head transplant to work.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11746451

    indicates that a parenterally administered PEG dose works for some degree of repair and speculates it might be helpful in stroke and head injury as well.

    So a nice set of secondary supporting information, but the head transplant actual link? Not going to look for it any time soon…

    PEG is familiar to me from the “sludge” they made me drink for a colonoscopy, and from eyedrops. The wiki has another interesting tid bit per colon cancer:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyethylene_glycol

    Research for new clinical uses

    PEG, when labeled with a near-infrared fluorophore, has been used in preclinical work as a vascular agent, lymphatic agent, and general tumor-imaging agent by exploiting the Enhanced permeability and retention effect (EPR) of tumors.

    High-molecular-weight PEG (e.g. PEG 8000) has been shown to be a dietary preventive agent against colorectal cancer in animal models.

    The Chemoprevention Database shows PEG is the most effective known agent for the suppression of chemical carcinogenesis in rats. Cancer prevention applications in humans, however, have not yet been tested in clinical trials.

    The injection of PEG 2000 into the bloodstream of guinea pigs after spinal cord injury leads to rapid recovery through molecular repair of nerve membranes. The effectiveness of this treatment to prevent paraplegia in humans after an accident is not known yet.

    PEG is being used in the repair of motor neurons damaged in crush or laceration incidents in vivo and in vitro. When coupled with melatonin, 75% of damaged sciatic nerves were rendered viable.

    Then, this bit:

    “PEG is also one of the main ingredients in paintball fills, because of its thickness and flexibility. However, as early as 2006, some Paintball manufacturers began substituting cheaper oil-based alternatives for PEG.”

    So maybe eating a few paintballs can prevent colon cancer…
    as long as you get the right kind ;-)

    Interesting stuff. In all sorts of cosmetics and toothpaste and… all over.

  34. EM – there’ve been some advances in nerve repair while you weren’t watching.
    http://www.medicaldaily.com/paralyzed-man-walks-after-spinal-cord-injury-repaired-nose-cells-end-paralysis-closer-ever-307562
    It seems that the brain cells to do with smell (olfactory lobe) are constantly replaced, and if they aren’t then the brain is close to death (and the person can’t smell things any more). They thus took some of these cells and used them to bridge the gap in the spinal cord, and after a while the connections were made. The patient isn’t running yet, but can walk again.

  35. p.g.sharrow says:

    An article on Trojan Hardware and curbing it in chip manufacture:

    http://spectrum.ieee.org/semiconductors/design/stopping-hardware-trojans-in-their-tracks

    A paper presented by researchers at Stanford University for IRPA. pg

  36. E.M.Smith says:

    @Simon:

    The “problem” with that is in the details. Yes, a great advance. BUT he can “walk” between support rails under special circumstances with help. Basically the minimal ‘shuffle’ of ‘communicates but not really functional’. It will take a lot more to be ‘free walking’. Then I’ll be excited about it. The PEG treatment is usable now on new nerve damage, so has a great promise to reduce the need in the future as present injury does not proceed to catastrophic outcomes.

    @P.G.:

    A bit busy now, so I’ll need to read that later; but yes, once folks know to “look there” a whole lot of attention will come to that path of ‘buggery’. Like China and their recent removal of vendors from the “approved list” ( IMHO due to their NSA ‘participation’…)

    It will take time, but eventually relatively clean hardware will return.

  37. sabretoothed says:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/25710209/

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25655748

    http://www.nature.com/mi/journal/v7/n2/full/mi2013117a.html

    Getting clearer that Carbs are fat, saturated fat is good and the intestinal permeability and species in gut control most diseases

  38. sabretoothed says:

    High-frequency trading — the practice of making thousands of algorithmic stock trades per minute — is about to get a big boost in the USA. Anova, a company that specializes in deploying low-latency networks for stock trading, is completing an ultra-high-speed laser network between the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the NASDAQ. The link will be just a few nanoseconds faster than the current microwave and fiber-optic links — but in the world of high-frequency trading (HFT), those nanoseconds could result in millions of dollars in profits for the trading companies. Such is the insanity of the stock markets; such is the unbelievable capacity of HFT to create money out of almost nothing.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-03-01/meanwhile-over-new-york-stock-exchange-lasers

  39. sabretoothed says:

    Andes Warmer 5000 years ago new study (which we knew already) https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2015/03/02/evidence-of-a-warmer-holocene-in-the-andes/

    The new study, published in Geophysical Research Letters, compares turbulence in the auroral region to that at higher latitudes, and gains insights that could have implications for the mitigation of disturbances in the ionosphere. Auroras are spectacular multicolored lights in the sky that mainly occur when energetic particles driven from the magnetosphere, the protective magnetic bubble that surrounds Earth, crash into the ionosphere below it. The auroral zones are narrow oval-shaped bands over high latitudes outside the polar caps, which are regions around Earth’s magnetic poles. This study focused on the atmosphere above the Northern Hemisphere.

    “We want to explore the near-Earth plasma and find out how big plasma irregularities need to be to interfere with navigation signals broadcast by GPS,” said Esayas Shume. Shume is a researcher at JPL and the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, and lead author of the study.

    http://blogs.agu.org/geospace/2015/03/02/study-atmospheric-froth-may-help-gps-communications/

  40. sabretoothed says:

    http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2004/16mar_sedna/

    Is This the Cause of Our 12,500 Year Magnetic Pole Shift? Probably doesn’t come close enough?

  41. Greg says:

    Sunscreens are they safe?

    After looking at a number of options, the researchers focused on nanoparticles made of titanium dioxide, a mineral with wide applications in medicine and industry including in hip implants, sunscreen, toothpaste and food additives. When exposed to light, titanium dioxide produces free radicals without requiring oxygen for the reaction. To see if they could increase the potency of the nanoparticles, the investigators also added a drug called titanocene to the nanomaterial’s surface.
    http://m.phys.org/news/2015-03-therapy-deep-tumors.html

  42. Nick says:

    CD4+ T cells are involved in the development of autoimmunity, including multiple sclerosis (MS). Here we show that ​nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (​NAD+) blocks experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a mouse model of MS, by inducing immune homeostasis through ​CD4+​IFNγ+​IL-10+ T cells and reverses disease progression by restoring tissue integrity via remyelination and neuroregeneration. We show that ​NAD+ regulates ​CD4+ T-cell differentiation through ​tryptophan hydroxylase-1 (​Tph1), independently of well-established transcription factors. In the presence of ​NAD+, the frequency of ​T-bet−/− ​CD4+​IFNγ+ T cells was twofold higher than wild-type ​CD4+ T cells cultured in conventional T helper 1 polarizing conditions. Our findings unravel a new pathway orchestrating ​CD4+ T-cell differentiation and demonstrate that ​NAD+ may serve as a powerful therapeutic agent for the treatment of autoimmune and other diseases.

    http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/141007/ncomms6101/full/ncomms6101.html

    http://www.news-medical.net/news/20150211/First-human-clinical-study-of-ChromaDexs-NIAGEN-nicotinamide-riboside-meets-primary-endpoint.aspx

    http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2015/150212/ncomms7263/full/ncomms7263.html

  43. Steve C says:

    A really nice touch. Keep Terry Pratchett’s name alive on “the clacks”, because, to quote the man himself, “a man is not dead while his name is still spoken”. From:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/booknews/11474455/Terry-Pratchett-will-live-on-in-the-clacks-thanks-to-fans-programming-code.html

    A brief explanation for those unfortunates who are not Pratchett or Discworld fans already:
    ” Going Postal, Pratchett’s 2004 Discworld novel, introduces “the clacks” (a form of telegraph, and thought by many fans to be the Discworld’s early predecessor to the internet in the books). A murdered “clacksman” called John Dearheart is honoured by other characters with GNU John Dearheart, a piece of code that keeps his name running up and down the clacks.

    The letters GNU were a hack to ensure Dearheart’s name would continue indefinitely. G meant passing on the message, N meant “not logged” and U meant it must be returned on reaching the end of the line. ”

    And now we have GNU Terry Pratchett, courtesy of Reddit. Spot on.

  44. LG says:

    “ROSSI: COLD FUSION ALREADY BEING USED IN COMMERCIAL PRODUCTION

    Rossi states that 1 megawatt energy catalyzer is being used for commercial heat production

    The real meat of this short article consists of of an email exchange which appears at the bottom, which, if the exchange is true, indicates some significant, though quiet developments:
    .
    .
    JCRenoir
    February 26th, 2015 at 2:43 PM

    Dr Rossi:
    Can you say now if the 1 MW plant is working? Is it already producing heat in the factory of the Customer ? Is the Customer making its production using the heat made by the 1 MW plant?
    Now, months after when you said the first time it has been delivered, I hope you can answer to this.

    .
    .
    .
    .

    Andrea Rossi
    February 26th, 2015 at 4:58 PM

    JC Renoir:
    1- yes
    2- yes
    3- yes
    Warm Regards,

    A.R.

    http://gizadeathstar.com/2015/03/rossi-cold-fusion-already-being-used-in-commercial-production/

  45. LG, and the rest of you guys – never one kilowatt of electricity will be produced by ”fusion”
    Apart of ”hydrogen bombs” no heat from fusion will be produced! Cold fusion is a scam:: https://globalwarmingdenier.wordpress.com/fusion-for-electricity/

  46. Larry Ledwick says:

    EM
    You occasionally mention how useful it is to get news items from sources outside the normal U.S. media filter. I just stumbled on a new one I had not seen before, out of Ankara Turkey which appears to have a broad coverage.

    http://www.aa.com.tr/en
    I was following links on this item which I think you will find interesting.
    http://www.aa.com.tr/en/science-and-technology/484677–advanced-material-graphene-made-cheaper-by-turkish-nanografi

    Strange the U.S. media has not mentioned this to my knowledge.(although in fairness it is only about 24 hours old)

  47. Larry Ledwick says:

    Interesting link on historical droughts since low rainfall in California has gotten so much press lately.

    Yes Virgina, it’s been very dry before, this is nothing new.

    http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/res/div/ocp/drought/nineteenth.shtml

  48. Larry Ledwick says:

    And this one:
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2014/09/02/california-megadrought/14446195/

    At least USA today acknowledged that long droughts occur periodically regardless of “global warming” influence and that historically they are periodic and expected.

  49. J Martin says:

    Quote No. 1: “….. an inspection of Vernaker’s Tables suggested that the crucial zone for summer sunshine was not the Arctic Circle, as has often been supposed, but at 50 degrees N.
    “The theory of ice sheets growing from the bottom up and the discovery of the English Channel Glacier, fed from the sea bed south of Ireland, make this choice of latitude glaciologically plausible ….

    http://joannenova.com.au/2015/04/flashback-climatologists-tell-us-an-ice-age-cometh-the-last-couple-of-cold-winters/#comment-1697998

  50. Larry Ledwick says:

    I just stumbled across an interesting article that was a light bulb moment for me. It discusses the way people are strongly compelled to adopt behaviors or beliefs that give them a feeling that they are in control even when their behaviors of beliefs can be shown objectively to be useless. (probably the basis for religious beliefs and a host of other behaviors)

    http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20150415-the-buttons-that-do-nothing?

    The light bulb moment was that this is probably the real driving force behind the global warming meme and also the lever that politicians and others in power jerk on when they want to manipulate a crowd into a certain behavior. It leads to all sorts or axiomatic knee jerk responses to events. The second Ahhh ha moment was that this is a positive psycological feedback loop that politicians and other manipulators instinctively understand and actively use even if only instinctively to “lead” (steer and manipulate) the masses.

    Identify a problem, point at a placebo button and tell them if they only push that button earnestly enough that they can change the world or influence their future and they will suddenly have a “calling” and their hum drum existence suddenly has meaning.

    “If it only saves one child”
    “Well we have to do something”

    — Ummm no you don’t if you don’t really have any control over climate or any other controversial topic of the day. Especially if your “action” is actually counter productive.

    In gambling they utilize the reward response to induce people to play more at games like slot machines which the player really has no objective control over. There is one pay off rate that will induce the most revenue and keep the player pulling the handle even though he/she is spending the rent money. Pay off too often and the total net to the casino drops because you are giving back too much of the bets. Pay off too little and the gamblers will walk away as they are not getting enough positive reinforcement. Pay off just right with a small jackpot every now and then and the marks keep feeding nickles into your slot machine.

    Is the global warming meme a placebo button for the public giving them a grand high sounding payoff of “doing something” in a world where they really have very little control over the important features of their lives????

    The final conclusion is — okay assume the “crowd” needs the illusion of control in their lives.
    Assume that that is why they are following the Judas goat of global warming activism.
    How do you induce them to follow a different goat????

  51. omanuel says:

    BBC is an authority on “Benevolent Deception” after seventy years (1945-2015) as the leading deceiver of the public to keep them unaware that Stalin:

    1. Captured Japan’s atomic bomb plant at Konan, Korea in AUG 1945

    2. Held the American crew of a B29 bomber for negotiations in AUG-SEPT 1945

    3. Won WWII, United Nations and National Academies of Science worldwide on 24 OCT 1945 to forbid public knowledge of the source of energy in cores of heavy atoms and ordinary stars like the Sun.

    BBC deserves special recognition for deceiving the public.

  52. Larry Ledwick says:

    E.M. a little dig here tip.
    I got to poking around in some new books I just picked up. One of them was:
    Knott’s handbook for Vegetable growers (5th edition) on page 127 it has a short segment on “seed priming”. As you know sometimes doing google searches successfully is just finding the right key words. “Seed priming” turns up a few interesting articles. I started drilling into that and found some interesting information about what exactly you are doing if you pre-soak seeds prior to planting and the advantages it gives to yield early emergence and vigor.

    One of the references is here:
    http://www.innspub.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/IJB-V3No5-p1-12.pdf

    I am tempted to tinker with a pre-soak of a dilute solution of miracle grow with just a couple drops of dish soap added as a wetting agent.

    Thought your “curious gardener” would find this interesting reading.

  53. Larry Ledwick says:

    More on seed priming of the more fragile seeds. It appears that old seeds should be able to be “reinvigorated” by proper seed priming methods when long term viability of the seed store is important.

    http://ijat-aatsea.com/pdf/May_v7_n3_11/30%20IJAT2010_104%20FJ-R-cor%20author.pdf

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  56. p.g.sharrow says:

    @EMSmith; your congregation of “The Church of the Sacred Carbon” deserves a posting ;-)
    “Praise be to Carbon, foundation of life, giver of health and happiness!”

    The Summer solstice is at 9:38 am Sunday morning marking the longest period of daylight
    minutes of the year and the point where the sun reaches its
    farthest northern position over the Earth.

    Rejoice! Burnt offerings and Wave offerings, Blessings to all on the longest day of the year! pg

  57. omanuel says:

    Thanks for the reminder of clockwork precision in the solar system, despite our inability to forecast long-term weather or climate.

  58. E.M.Smith says:

    @P.G:

    It’s up. The Summer Solstice Homily…

  59. Gail Combs says:

    Some links and stuff on Nutrition, autism, obesity and insulin resistance (No order just interesting bits)

    DEFINITIONS (needed to follow some of the studies detailing insulin resistance ==> obesity)

    Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD): is an enzyme of the pentose phosphate pathway which, with NADP+ as coenzyme, catalyzes the oxidation of glucose 6-phosphate, an intermediate in carbohydrate metabolism, to a lactone. It is an enzyme present in red blood cells.

    Deficiency of G6PD is the commonest disease-causing enzyme defect in humans affecting an estimated 400 million people. The G6PD gene is on the X chromosome. Males with the enzyme deficiency develop anemia due to breakup of their red blood cells when they are exposed to oxidant drugs.

    Lipogenesis is the formation of fat; the conversion of carbohydrate into fat so that it may be stored as a long-term source of energy . It is the process by which simple sugars such as glucose are converted to fatty acids, which are subsequently esterified with glycerol to form the triacylglycerols that are packaged in VLDL and secreted from the liver. Lipogenesis starts with acetyl-CoA and builds up by the addition of two carbons units. The synthesis occurs in the cytoplasm in contrast to the degradation (oxidation) which occurs in the mitochondria. Many of the enzymes for the fatty acid synthesis are organized into a multienzyme complex called fatty acid synthetase .

    NADPH is a a high energy electron carrier and also a carrier of hydrogen. It is the reduced form of NADP+ In plants it is the source of electrons for glucose biosynthesis. NADPH is used to make biological molecules. NADPH is important in the formation of:
    Lipids (fatty acid and cholesterol biosynthesis)
    Neurotransmitters
    Nucleotides
    Amino Acids….
    It is derived from niacin/vitamin B3 and ATP or Adenosine TriPhosphate.
    http://study.com/academy/lesson/nadph-definition-structure-function.html

    Adipogenesis: the formation of fat or fatty tissue. Products of endocrine system such as insulin, IGF-1, cAMP, glucocorticoid,and triiodothyronine effectively induce adipogenesis in preadipocytes.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adipogenesis

    Adipokine A generic term for cytokines and other modulating proteins which are secreted by adipocytes. Some, —e.g., IL-6—are pro-inflammatory, whilst others—e.g., adiponectin—have anti-inflammatory or insulin-sensitising properties. Adipokine dysregulation appears to play a central role in adiposity (obesity), metabolic syndrome, and the co-morbidities of obesity including cardiovascular disease.

    Lipid homeostasis: Any process involved in the maintenance of an internal steady state of lipid within an organism or cell.

    Adipocyte Signaling and Lipid Homeostasis: http://circres.ahajournals.org/content/96/10/1042.full

    Lipolysis the hydrolysis of fats into fatty acids and glycerol, as by lipase. Adipose tissue lipolysis is the catabolic process leading to the breakdown of triglycerides stored in fat cells and release of fatty acids and glycerol. Recent work has revealed that lipolysis is not a simple metabolic pathway stimulated by catecholamines and inhibited by insulin. There have been new discoveries on the endocrine and paracrine regulation of lipolysis and on the molecular mechanisms of triglyceride hydrolysis

    Adipose tissue lipolysis as a metabolic pathway to define pharmacological strategies against obesity and the metabolic syndrome:
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1043661806000478

    Anabolism: – constructive metabolism; the synthesis of complex molecules in living organisms from simpler ones together with the storage of energy

    Catabolism: – destructive metabolism; the breaking down in living organisms of more complex substances into simpler ones, with the release of energy.

  60. Gail Combs says:

    Now the reason for the long list of definitions.

    biochemistry of key molecules critical to coordinating storage and release of energy, such as lipoprotein lipase (LPL) and hormone sensitive lipase (HSL)

    Insulin resistance is traditionally assessed by insulin’s ability to promote normal glucose metabolism. The physiological role of insulin is, however, much broader, and includes the metabolism of all 3 macronutrients (carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins) as well as cellular growth. Insulin’s action on lipid metabolism is analogous to its role in glucose metabolism, ie, promoting anabolism and inhibiting catabolism. Specifically, insulin upregulates LPL and stimulates gene expression of intracellular lipogenic enzymes, such as acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) and fatty acid synthase (FAS).21 In addition, insulin inhibits adipocyte HSL through inhibition of its phosphorylation.22

    In the insulin-resistant state, the responses of both LPL and HSL to insulin are blunted. Thus, with insulin resistance, inefficient trapping of dietary energy occurs both because of decreased LPL-mediated lipolysis of chylomicron-TG and ineffective inhibition of HSL-mediated lipolysis in adipose tissue.23 Postprandial lipemia and elevated plasma FA levels are well-recognized abnormalities in obesity and insulin resistance.24 Reduced adipose tissue uptake and storage of TG FA during the postprandial period results in greater partitioning of dietary lipids to nonadipose tissues, including muscle and liver.25,26 Thus, the metabolic consequence of inadequate insulin action at the adipocyte during the fed state is a condition similar to the normal fasting state, when insulin levels are appropriately low. However, in the fed state, this maladaptive response creates a situation in which postprandial FA are directed to various nonadipose tissues and organs at a time when lipid energy is not needed….

    Studies of cultured liver cells have often, but not always, shown FA to stimulate apoB secretion.39 Some of the inconsistencies seem to derive from the fact that when studying primary rodent hepatocytes, the composition and caloric content of the prior diet may be important determinants of the response to FA [fatty acids]; fast rats, or rats fed high carbohydrate diets, respond to increased FA with a rise in VLDL [very low density lipoprotein] assembly and secretion. Several in vivo rodent models also support a close link between increased plasma FA flux to the liver and increased apoB secretion. In the sucrose-fed hamster,40 which is a model of insulin resistance and hypertriglyceridemia, increased plasma FA levels are correlated with increased assembly and secretion of apoB-lipoproteins (LPs). Studies with mice having genetic alterations in the fatty acid transporter, CD36 (also called FA translocase or FAT), indicate that plasma FA flux to the liver is a critical stimulus for VLDL secretion. Thus, when CD36 was deleted in all tissues (CD expression is normally low in the liver), plasma FA and TG levels were increased despite an apparent increase in overall insulin sensitivity.41 By contrast, in mice overexpressing CD36 in muscle, lower levels of plasma FA and TG were observed despite concomitant overall insulin resistance. Importantly, mice lacking HSL had significantly reduced levels of plasma FA and TG, and also reduced rates of hepatic TG secretion.42 We recently demonstrated, in vivo, that intravenous delivery of albumin-bound FA could stimulate secretion of apoB from livers of normal mice.
    http://circres.ahajournals.org/content/96/10/1042.full

    This one is a real OH RATS! when you think of all the food stored in plastic on grocery shelves and in the frig. There goes my set of big plastic tea mugs…

    Two chemicals commonly used in products such as plastic wrap are linked to an increased risk of high blood pressure and other health problems in children and teens, according to new research.

    The two chemicals — diisononyl phthalate (DINP) and diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP) — were introduced into consumer products as replacements for another similar chemical that had been shown to have detrimental effects on people’s ….

    In the new study, published today (July 8) in the journal Hypertension, researchers looked at 1,329 children and teens ages 8 to 19, measuring their blood pressure and the levels of DINP and DIDP in their urine. They found that with every 10-fold increase in the levels of the two chemicals, the children’s blood pressure was about 1 point higher, on average…..

    In another recent study, published in May in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, the same researchers looked at 356 adolescents ages 12 to 19, examining the relationship between the teens’ levels of these two chemicals and their risk of insulin resistance, which can be a precursor to type 2 diabetes.

    They found that increases in the concentrations of both chemicals in the urine were linked to an increased risk of insulin resistance. Among the teens in the study with the highest levels of DINP, one in three had insulin resistance, compared with one in four among the teens with the lowest levels of the chemical in their urine

    Exactly how the two chemicals might be linked with health problems is not clear, but previous research on other phthalates has shown that these chemicals might change the expression of genes that are important for lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, which may play a role in blood pressure regulation and insulin resistance,…..

    The two “safer” chemicals are currently used in the manufacturing of plastic wrap, soap, cosmetics and food containers, the researchers said.

    http://www.livescience.com/51494-safer-plastics-phthalates-health-problems.html

  61. Gail Combs says:

    AUTISM Some random stuff.
    I think it was E.M. who mentioned Autism might be linked to our Neanderthal genes. Here are some bits and pieces that may support that. Around 10,000 years ago is when the Holocene restarted after the Younger Dryas (ca. 12.9–11.6 ka) and humans started agriculture. link

    For a hunter/gatherer, speech is not as necessary as complete awareness of your surroundings.
    Neuroscientists reveal inner workings of the brain in people with autism

    ….”In this study we show that heightened sensitivity to sensory noise – the random signals inserted into the visual tasks traditionally used by scientists to test sensory integration levels in autism – may provide an alternative explanation for impaired performance. When this noise is removed from the equation, the integration of visual motion stimuli in ASD is equal to, or maybe even superior to that of the control group. Moreover, our study demonstrates that the multi-sensory integration seen in autistic participants was comparable to that of the non-autistic control group.”
    http://www.news-medical.net/news/20150527/Neuroscientists-reveal-inner-workings-of-the-brain-in-people-with-autism.aspx

    For a primitive hunter the ability to focus and concentrate to the exclusion of all outside stimuli will get you killed. For a human working in surrounds crowded with other people the ability to shut out ‘noise’ is an asset. With farming and buildings and towns you do not have to depend on your senses 24/7/365 for safety.

    Agriculture seems to have had another effect on humans:

    A study published earlier this year confirmed what scientists have long believed to be the case – the human brain is shrinking. For more than 7 million years the hominid brain has grown increasingly bigger, almost tripling in size. But for the last 10,000 years, the human brain has been shrinking at an alarming rate and no one really knows why. New research has attempted to answer this question by examining size changes in specific regions of the brain….

    It was in 2010 when researching a skull that belonged to a Cro Magnon man that scientists first discovered the brain of our ancient ancestor was significantly larger than humans today. [Hybrid vigor from the Neanderthal cross?] This has been replicated time and again and it can now be said that the human brain has decreased from 1,500 cubic centimetres (cc) to 1,350cc, irrespective of gender and race…..

    ….the findings of the new study conducted in China are not consistent with these theories because the results indicated that it was not one particular area of the brain that was shrinking – the whole brain has been getting smaller. If the hypothesis about the visual cortex was correct, we should see shrinkage only in that region of the brain.

    The one exception is the frontal lobe, which actually seems to be increasing in size. The frontal lobe is the region of the brain responsible for speaking, comprehending the speech of others, reading and writing….

    The authors of a study published in 2012 maintained that humans lost the evolutionary pressure to be smart once they formed agricultural settlements…..

    Duke University anthropologist Brian Hare says “the decrease in brain size is actually an evolutionary advantage” because it could indicate we’re evolving into a less aggressive animal. http://www.ancient-origins.net/news-evolution-human-origins/scientists-are-alarmed-shrinking-human-brain-001446

    Brains of Children with ADHD Show Protein Deficiency

    New research on children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder has found a deficiency of a necessary brain chemical. Children with ADHD appear to have nearly 50 percent lower levels of an amino acid called tryptophan, a protein which helps in the production of dopamine, noradrenaline, and serotonin. It also is important for attention and learning…..
    Low serotonin could contribute to greater impulsivity, she added, which is a core symptom of ADHD. More investigation into serotonin in people with ADHD and disruptive behavior disorders is urgently needed, she believes.

    The children in the ADHD group also had increased transport of the amino acid alanine in their fibroblast cells. It is unclear how this affects ADHD, the experts say, but they suggest it might influence the transport of other amino acids important for normal brain activity.

    Interestingly, increased transport of alanine has also been found in children with autism. In a study of nine boys and two girls with autism, fibroblast samples showed significantly increased transport capacity for alanine. This increased transport of alanine across the cell membrane “may influence the transport of several other amino acids across the blood-brain barrier,” said the researchers, adding that, “the significance of the findings has to be further explored.”….

    Role of amino acids in the pathophysiology of autism spectrum disorders in Saudi and Egyptian population samples

    Abstract:
    Autism spectrum disorders are complex developmental disorders with increasing incidence and poorly understood etiology. Imbalance of amino acids profoundly influences brain function, and is thought to be one of the key players in the pathophysiology of autism. This study aimed to measure the plasma amino acid profiles of 20 Egyptian and 20 Saudi autistic patients in comparison to matching healthy controls to clarify the role of impaired amino acid concentrations in the etiology of autism.

    Plasma amino acids profiles were measured using high performance liquid chromatography. While plasma levels of glutamic, aspartic, and glycine recorded the most significant percentage elevated amino acids, glutamine, asparagine, arginine, tyrosine and isoleucine recorded the most remarkable percentage decrease in autistic patients from both populations compared to controls. Among the calculated relative values, only acidic/basic, and glutamate/glutamine ratios were significantly higher in autistics compared to controls. Non-essential/essential and glucogenic/ketogenic ratios were unaltered in autistics compared to controls. Increased plasma glutamate/glutamine ratio, together with increased glycine, arginine, aspartate, aspargine levels, and acidic/basic amino acid ratio can serve as a predictive tools for the early detection of autism. These findings suggest that glutamatergic abnormalities in the brain may be associated with the pathobiology of autism.

    Nutrition and the developing brain

    Reducing diet early in pregnancy stunts fetal brain development, study finds

    Several links to meat and brain development HERE.

  62. Power Grab says:

    I would be interested in having readers of this blog discuss the hacking of the OPM database and the compromise of the personal data of 22+ million federal employees/applicants/associates.

    I am especially interested in finding out what people think about the possibility that data might not only have been obtained, but the possibility that data might have been inserted into those databases.

    I know a person who works in the lab of a large government-connected hospital. We recently discussed a strange discovery in the data of their specimen-analysis systems. On both June 30 and July 1 data anomalies were discovered that IMHO sound as if data has been added to the systems in a surreptitious fashion. In one case, a specimen report appeared without a patient identification code. In another case, old test results appeared along with more recent results in the same report. The staff in the lab swear up and down that they did not enter any test results manually. The fact that these oddities appeared on 2 successive days is particularly curious.

    My first thought was that an index had become corrupt. The anomalies don’t look like “trash”. One report’s sequential identifier is off by only 1 from what it was expected to be. There is a mismatch between a patient identifier code and the patient name.

    Aside from that problem (which could have life-and-death implications in the event that, say, one patient’s blood sugar results were incorrectly reported as being too high, and the hospital staff pumped them full of insulin…), another person was telling me that they were contacted this week by a firm they have an ongoing relationship with. The firm does regular, periodic charges on the person’s credit card. However, this week they contacted the person and said the transaction failed. When the person investigated, their credit card data was 2 years old and in significant disagreement with what the current data should be. It appeared that the company might have done a restore to their computer system using a backup that was 2 years old. That makes me think they had a really serious problem that had been going on long enough that they had to use a really old backup to do the restore. (Two years old? Give me a break!)

    Methinks we need to get really good at forensic database analysis.

    My final thought on these issues is something I may have voiced previously…but I will say it again. My greatest fear about data insecurity is not that my secrets will be revealed (since I am one of those really boring individuals that no one writes books and movies about!), but that someone would insert false entries into the logs. I figure if someone really wanted to get rid of me, they would have to trump up false “evidence”. But how do you refute it? It’s just my word against theirs.

    Assuming the hackers are operating at a low enough level of the operating system, what’s to prevent them from inserting data into systems that “everyone knows” are dependable and impregnable?

  63. Larry Ledwick says:

    From what I have heard, they had root access — In their infinite wisdom they outsourced system administration to folks living in other countries (cough China cough).

    They pretty much did everything wrong for highly sensitive PII (personally identifiable information). If they were a private company there would be hell to pay.

    Let’s see
    Absolutely stupid to give SA credentials to someone who lives outside the U. S. if they had access to that sort of information.

    Apparently no segmentation of data (it was all in one big pot it sounds like).
    No encryption of the data base.
    No two factor authentication and need to know access requirements
    Not sure what if any logging they had to detect intrusions or suspicious activity in real time, but the time it has taken them to bump the original 4 million to 21.5 million implies they are having to use brute force forensic analysis to figure out what got breached.
    It takes time to down load that much material even on a fast connection. Real time alarms should have been sounded by a competent monitoring system.

    Yes if you have read permission (root credentials) you must assume write access was available. Personally I am not as worried about that as you can check data integrity by doing hash sum checks off old backups ( assuming they still have backups from prior to the breach)

    I am more worried about the fact that they absolutely cannot trust any software OS or any other code on those systems (or even the physical hardware). The only safe recovery is to do a complete clean fresh install on new equipment that was never connected to that environment during or after the hack. They need to destroy and replace all their switches and routers unless they can validate all their code, firmware and configurations.

    The best solution is to switch to a paper only system for the next 10 years while they build a new compartmented air gaped system. There is something to be said for all paper records, it is really difficult to surreptitiously take a few tons of paper out of a building with no one noticing.

    They also need to redo vetting of their entire technical support staff from square one.

    For all practical purposes this completely blows up security for any department who used classified data and it will take decades to sort out and recover from. We have to assume that who ever did this knows every single classified worker we have and how to compromise them. Fact is we may never know who or what was compromised and how deep the damage is/or will be.

    http://www.npr.org/2015/06/13/414149626/ex-nsa-officer-opm-hack-is-serious-breach-of-worker-trust
    http://20committee.com/2015/06/08/hacking-as-offensive-counterintelligence/
    http://securityaffairs.co/wordpress/37803/cyber-crime/opm-data-dark-web.html

  64. Larry Ledwick says:

    RT has an article about how Germany is by statute forcing companies to protect vital infrastructure from cyber attack. Given that RT is essentially the modern TASS for Russia it is interesting that they posted this.
    If it is effective it would greatly diminish some of the cyber attack tools that Russia has employed recently in their “special war” efforts. That leads to one of two possibilities, “use it or lose it” would be motivation to use those cyber tools while they are still effective (ie about 2 years) or “If you can’t beat em join em” in which they try to get inside the system and engineer compromise into the cyber solutions used by those industries. Kaspersky Lab is of course very well positioned to do that given their very close connections to the Russian government.

    Sort of a buyer beware issue here!

    http://rt.com/news/273058-german-cyber-security-law/

  65. sabretoothed says:

    I was thinking the Middle East decline and missing large animals in Australia and the Americas compared to Africa. And in Turkey the underground cities build Are there regular large Asteroid strikes on earth causing these things?

    http://www.researchgate.net/publication/259707902_The_12.9-ka_ET_Impact_Hypothesis_and_North_American_Paleoindians

    http://www.cassiopaea.org/cass/meteors.htm

    http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/s708821.htm

  66. tom0mason says:

    E.M.

    Knowing that you’re interested in such thing more standing stone found at Stonehenge.
    More at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-34156673 .

  67. J Martin says:

    oldbrew says:
    January 11, 2015 at 6:05 pm
    ‘It lies on the same latitude as Stonehenge. (51° 10′ 42″ N, 1° 49.4′ W), at just over 1′ minute of longitude further north (approx 1000m ).’

    http://www.ancient-wisdom.co.uk/germanygoseck.htm

    Claim repeated:
    ‘There are only two latitudes in the world at which you get the full moon on the Zenith, at Stonehenge and Almendres (Portugal), in addition to which Stonehenge lies at the exact latitude at which the Sun and the Moon have their maximum settings at 90° of each other.’

    http://www.ancient-wisdom.co.uk/englandstonehenge.htm#astronomy

  68. pyromancer76 says:

    From Tallbloke today 10/11/15. I think you have commented on dust storms from low CO2 from Ice Age being important so this all might be old stuff. My link is to Ralph Ellis’ theory re the need for dust storms (10,000 years) before a Great Year becomes effective — Interglacial. http://www.warwickhughes.com/agri15/ralph_ellis_oct15.html. If not old ideas, perhaps of interest.

  69. E.M.Smith says:

    Oh Dear… Given Paris I’ve gotten way behind on tips…

    Yes the Flying Spaghetti Monster Religion is an amusing one…..

  70. Larry Ledwick says:

    So the IMF says it intends to add China to the list of currencies that rank as world reserve currencies.
    http://news.yahoo.com/imf-experts-recommend-inclusion-chinese-yuan-elite-currency-010527771.html
    Does this make the world market interconnections more elastic or more brittle, if problems arise?
    Does this tie off the world economy to a sinking ship or a life preserver?

  71. Larry Ledwick says:

    I have been wondering lately what a general catastrophic unwinding of the markets would look like, and what if anything a person could do to attempt to ride out the tail spin.

    I have been poking around and it looks to me that if the world economy would go into collapse mode due to some trigger event, be it war, or major terror attack that it would take several days/weeks for the most immediate damage to occur thanks to trading circuit breakers and administrative stops on trading or emergency bank interventions freezing deposits, limiting withdrawals, frozen direct deposit of funds and such.
    Following links lead me to believe it would unwind in a step wise fashion much like what happened in Cyprus, as various vested interests tried to keep the train on the tracks.

    Has anyone seen a discussion of how that sort of semi-controlled crash might evolve?

    http://www.sec.gov/investor/alerts/circuitbreakersbulletin.htm
    Looks like normal trading seldom gets outside 3% deviation from the mean
    http://www.etfreplay.com/volatility_histogram.aspx

    911 historical reference:
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/chi-010911stox-story.html
    http://cnnfn.cnn.com/2001/09/17/markets/markets_newyork/

    I would welcome your comments on this E.M.
    We all know that electronic funds access could vaporize in a millisecond once the decision is made to block EFT activities and shut down ATM, leaving most consumers funds locked up out of reach, and their only cushion for essential expenses cash on hand (which likely would be accepted for transactions even if credit card transactions could not be completed)

    https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0218-electronic-banking

    I have seen several references that once a sudden crisis forces an economy to cash transactions only (and before a viable barter system develops) the chief limitation to transactions is small denomination bills and coins to allow change making.

    The most short term time critical purchases most people need to make in an emergency situation is food and fuel for transportation, and medical needs. Many other big ticket expenses might be temporarily frozen if things got really bad (ie rent payment freezes, halt in evictions etc.)

    Just pondering what a black swan economic event might look like from the average citizens point of view.

  72. E.M.Smith says:

    @Larry:

    I’ll put something together. It is highly variable based on particulars, though… Things like “Does the Central Bank flood cash, or not?” And is power shut off…

    FWIW, I looked into the PS4 a bit. This caught my eye:

    http://community.eu.playstation.com/t5/PS4/Sony-headset-SBH80/td-p/21513321

    No last gen Bluetooth headsets will ever work directly Pairing to PS4…

    It was announced last October 2013 Not to Buy Bluetooth for PS4…

    The Bluetooth audio is next gen encrypted only.. encrypted in the Hardware of PS4…

    So it looks to me like you have a stream of “battlefield talk” that is lost in a flood of similar battle talk ‘cover’ and it is all encrypted fairly hard core by the strong processor of the PS4. Add in that it is unlikely gaming systems were part of the PRISM program and it makes sense. No back door from the maker.

    Maybe I need to get a PS4 somewhere and see what it does ;-)

    It looks to me like basically the same approach I’m taking with the Raspberry Pi (non-Prism hardware, Linux / Unix on top of it, encrypting) but using the MUCH stronger processing power of the game stations. (For a while, the PS3 was the darling of DIY supercomputer makers due to an exceptional CPU. That CPU was dropped, I would speculate after being leaned on by some Agencies…, but the PS4 is still pretty good.

    It would make perfect sense to use it as a starting base.

    Turtle beach and 4 gamers have been sold the license to make the next gen bluetooth.

    USB and USB RF wireless headsets are supported…

  73. E.M.Smith says:

    @J Martin:

    The current tips page is Oct, not here. Looks like I didn’t stop comments on this one…

    https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2015/10/08/tips-october-2015/

    You can always find the current one in the ‘tips’ catagory on the right. See
    https://chiefio.wordpress.com/category/tips/

    Next in original time series is here:
    https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2015/05/06/tips-may-2015/

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