September 05, 2009

From Sijin N K:

Re: Something beyond visible universe detected? (Sept. 23): As far as I can understand, Unexpected motion in distant clusters of galaxies, being caused by a thing outside visible universe contradicts basic physics. Reason: We believe, there are objects outside the edge from where light has not got time to reach us since the big bang. So if visible universe edge is currently X light years away, so we see things there not more than X years old, and the invisible objects causing the motion on the clusters is X+Y light years away from us. The effect of any kind of information (Say gravity) to reach the edge will take at least Y years. So the effect of gravity or electromagnetic force or any other force will make the visible universe move after Y years. Then it will take X more years so that we can see, which means, we’ll see it after X+Y years minimum. But this contradicts to the original fact that we are seeing things at most X years old.

Please help throw some light on this if possible.

From Charles Douglas Wehner:

Re: “Dance restaurant” theory of water takes shape (Aug. 14): The biggest mystery about water is why it is not a GAS.

We can take hydrogen chloride - the active ingredient in hydrochloric acid. Chlorine has an anatomic weight of 35. 4527. Hydrogen has an atomic weight of 1. 00794. Add them together for HCl, and we have 36. 4606. It is a gas.

Now we take oxygen (atomic weight 15. 9994) Add the weight of hydrogen twice. One gets 18. 0152. It is less than half the weight of hydrochloric acid vapour - yet it is a liquid.

By comparison, the vapour density of air is 14. 4. So water should be a gas that is only slightly heavier.

The story I was given when I was studying is that it is the “hydrogen bond” (mentioned in the article) that binds several molecules together to raise its vapour density, and stop it being so volatile.

However, the argument is not entirely convincing.

One could say there is a great amount to be discovered in this field. It is an exciting, and if properly managed, potentiallly profitable field for research.

From Pierre-François Puech:

Re: Small “epidemic” may have killed Mozart (Aug. 17): Please have a look here. you will read the following text:

Mozart’s Death - Murder, Accident or Disease? Accident A couple of investigators have surprisingly broken from the norm of attributing Mozart’s death to murder and strange ailments by announcing that Mozart died from complications arising from accidents.

The first to push this story was French anthropologist Pierre-Francoise Puech, who claimed to have positively identified a skull at Salzburg’s Mozarteum to be that of Mozart. Puech drew attention to a fracture in the skull, claiming that it had been sustained from one of Mozart’s many falls in 1791, and that it had caused a chronic bruising that had eventually put Mozart in a coma and killed him. The skull was supposed to have been rescued by a gravedigger named Joseph Rothmayer during the reorganisation of the composer’s grave, who later gave it to the Salzburg Mozarteum. Three years later, the American physician Niles E. Drake concurred with Puech’s theory in an article that was published in the journal BioScience. This theory would indeed help explain why Mozart was depressed and dizzy not long before his death.

The obvious problem with this theory is that there is still no consensus as to whether the skull actually belonged to Mozart. Rothmayer had allegedly wrapped wire around the neck of Mozart’s corpse before burying it, and had retrieved the skull ten years later when it was exhumed. Research had concluded that the skull belonged to a 20-40 year old South German male who suffered a developmental abnormality called premature synopsis of the metopic suture (PSMS). This abnormality is characterised by the bone of the forehead developing in two halves, and the failure of the metopic suture to close after birth, resulting in a broad midface and a small, abnormally-shaped skull. As Mozart’s portraits depicted a straight, vertical forehead, bulbous nose, prominent cheekbones and upper lip, and prominent brow arches, it was supposed that the skull did indeed belong to him. Further research involving the superimposition of a photograph of the cranium of the skull on portraits of Mozart painted between 1778 and 1788 indicated conformity with all side proportions of the head.

However, Nova Scotian neurologist Professor TJ Murray, who founded the Dalhousie Society for the History of Medicine, denied that the skull was that of Mozart as seen in portraits. Walter Brauneis, archivist of the Office for the Preservation of Historical Monuments in Austria, undertook to carry out his own research by locating official medical records concerning Mozart’s death. Surprisingly he found a doctor’s description of the body, which noted that Mozart (the dentist’s worst nightmare!) had only seven teeth remaining in his mouth (the rest having rotted or fallen out!) When the Mozarteum skull was re-examined, it was found to have four more teeth than had been recorded by the doctor. Puech supporters countered that the doctor probably counted only the healthy teeth.

The only way to be sure just whose skull it is would be to perform DNA analysis on the skull; unfortunately, all of Mozart’s children died childless, and it would be unwise to disturb his parents’ grave.

My comment is that one must first read the above comments, and go on google at Puech, P. F. , Mozart.

From Laurie Prior:

Re: “Dance restaurant” theory of water takes shape (Aug. 14): The current article “Dance Restaurant Theory of Water takes shape” caught my eye particularly the ending where it says, “If we don’t understand this basic life material, how can we study the more complex life materials like proteins that are immersed in water?” asked post­doctoral researcher Congcong Huang” I wonder what Nature magazine would make of that in the light of the way they “rubbished” the work of a Scientist in recent years who tried to prove that Water could be shown to have a “memory”? Didn’t they render his work invalid because they thought he must be committing fraud and cooking the figures? I think this was one of those things where someone trying to prove that Homeopathy was not hocus pocus, was regarded the way they all are, “insane”. If the physics and physical properties of water have still not been fully worked out, then how can any body of so called Scientifically minded people have the right to say that water hasn’t got a memory?

Surely in this kind of area someone should be innocent until proven guilty?

Laurie Prior (UK)

From Joseph Agassi:

Re: “Dream therapy” set for a comeback? (July 28): The idea that the world of psychotic patients is more dreamlike than of sane people is rather obvious. The wish to use this to help these unfortunate people is as laudatory as any wish to help sufferers. Yet to be able to help one needs to have an idea about the disease. Apart from familiar syndromes, there are two diagnostic theories, Kraeplin’s and Freud’s, about paranoia which is common in psychosis, both known to be erroneous. All this, and a new theory of paranoia as the root of all psychosis is found in Yehuda Fried and Joseph Agassi, Paranoia: A Study in Diagnosis, Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science, vol. 50, 1976, that is assiduously ignored even though Prof. Fried was a renown psychiatrist.

Joseph Agassi
Herzliya 46745 ISRAEL