October 09, 2009

From Les Fisher:

Re: Moon may have water (Sept. 23): Water vapour on the moon might be possible but water as such - no way.

With a full vacuum even at frozen temperature water could not exist in the liquid form.compare to freeze drying - No atmosphere - no Water Vapour or that would be the atmosphere.

Possible existence of hydroxides?? It would be interesting to figure out how an object at high temperature on one side and freezing on the other could sustain any atmosphere.

October 04, 2009

From Aju Mukhopadhyay:

Re: Moon may have water (Sept. 23): In response to these researches and speculations I may say with subtle happiness and pride for India that Indian Space Research Organisation, though India has gone to moon much later than the developed ones, has already declared the presence of Water on Moon on the basis of findings by Chandrayana.

From Dawn Wells:

Re: Lower IQ’s measured in spanked children (Sept. 24): Your article on the corelationship/effects of corporal punishment on children and lower IQ did or did not mention that punishment is NOT the same as discipline and that punishment leads to a mindset of fear, hatred of others/self that perpetuates “self-fullfilling prophesy” OF failure and hopelessness! “Sow fear in children and you will teach hatred!” “Sow encouragement in children and you will teach/reap success and respect for oneself!” while, I believe, depending on the mindset of the child, that corporal punishment could be administered on rare occasions, it should never be the main avenue of correction! Take a good look at the prisoner population and those who have long term psychiatric conditions! Many of these populations have had abusive home environments whereby corporal punishment was the norm and encouragement was never given! Fear breeds hatred and contempt for others! That is what I see are the fruits of continual corporal punishment, rather than teaching “lessons” through more “constructive methods of discipline” such as “time outs” or working to repay for items lost, stolen, or damaged!

From Joop Gerritse:

Re: Exotic life forms: looking for life as we don’t know it (Sept. 23): As the article points out, we should consider the possibility of life at much lower temperatures, but the Arrhenius equation suggests that they may also evolve much more slowly. Their sense of time may be completely different from ours, and we might find ourselves completely unable to communicate with them-- at least if we do not realize this. In fact, I could even generalize: couldn’t we “talk” to plants, once we realize that we need a lot of patience? And what would we communicate?

Joop Gerritse

From Lonnie Nunweiler:

Re: Lower IQ’s measured in spanked children (Sept. 24): How can you even consider this article to be anything other than TOTAL BS? Did they actually have subjects that they measured before and after spankings? I bet not, yet they claim that spanking creates a lower IQ 4 years later. You cannot compare apples and oranges and claim they are the same. Well you can, but is not Science. This group has an agenda, and normally that should prompt a review of their study claims. Why did you not apply your normal high standards >to this article?

Lonnie Nunweiler
Siam Embedded Software Co., Ltd.
Pattaya, Thailand

From D. Christian Bliss:

Re: Lower IQ’s measured in spanked children (Sept. 24): I think the article is of little scientific significants. Many of the very high IQ scientists of our modern era were spanked as children. My children who were spanked as children have above average test scores, far above the scores of the undisciplined hoards found through western society. My father-in-law was spanked as a child and his IQ is in the 150-160 range, I was spanked many times for willfullness and my IQ score is in the 130 range. It think that based on the culture over the last 3-4 centuries that the majority of the founders of modern scientific fields were spanked as well. Spanking used wisely and correctly leads to self control, because consequences are distasteful. Just as a child who touches a hot stove learns not to touch it. In the 1800’s when children were usually spanked, their educational equivalent at 8th grade is beyond most college students of today. Some of which was related to the educational system, but the children were ready to learn because they had discipline unlike many school children of modern America.

From misaha (m isah a@a ol.co m):

Re: Building block of life reported found in comet (Aug. 18): The article related to the emergence of life sounds rather strange.

There must be yet unknown physical forces/interactions that for the last 200 years were called ‘life forces’ or ‘vital forces. ’ In my introductory article in the book I edited -- LIFE and MIND - in Search of the Physical Basis, 2007, I discuss structure and function of the epigenetic biofield control system of the organism. The physical carrier of fundamental programs of life (development, maintenance, reproduction and death) is clearly not of a gravitational or electric nature. This article is available here - BOOK - Introductory article.

The book challenges the current scientific paradigm and therefore is being ignored by the scientific community.

From Matt (ro cket me n2 k5@ y ah oo.com):

Re: Pre-”Lucy” fossils reveal secrets (Oct. 1): Why has the Pope/Rome been so quite on these recent findings of human evolving from ape-like human ancestors? I remember the controversy that Charles Darwin stirred up when he published his findings. Rome was like a wasp nest that had been poked with a pole.

Matt - Ft Myers, Fl.

From Michael R. (ma rz 62@ya ho o.co m):

Re: Study: torture produces unreliable information (Sept. 21): It’s good to see additional confirmation of what many, many people have been saying for years... and have known for centuries. The SERE program interrogaton techniques (Mitchell & Jessen) were drawn from Korean War POW descriptions of torture techniques (use by the north Koreans) expressly designed to elicit false confessions... no doubt for demoralizing and propaganda purposes. However, a great deal of money could have been saved by simply reviewing the historical records of the “Holy” Inquisition from the 16th/17thCenturies... in which untold thousands confessed (under “enhanced” interrogation techniques like “the wrack”) to literally signing a pact with the Devil. Now, unless you are a true believer and absolutely accept that such a thing is possible (a pact with the Devil), then one is forced to conclude that such “confessions” were the result of torture (serving the same purposes, and conducted in the name of “preserving the truth” and protecting the church from its enemies, etc. ).

As is often the case, there is nothing new under the Sun, including the knowledge of, and use for, torture.

From Jonathan Allen:

Re: Lower IQ’s measured in spanked children (Sept. 24): The horizontal axis of the graph is labeled “number of times spanked.” Is this the number of times per day, per month, ever? Is it also possible that intelligence is to some extent heritable?

That is, smart parents beget smart kids and stupid parents beget stupid kids. Stupid parents also spank more, but could this fact be incidental to, rather than causal?

From Jonathan Cooper:

Re: Fungus-treated violin beats Strad in blind test (Sept. 15): Let me begin by saying I was not at the trial and did not hear the violins in question. That being said I would offer the following as points to think about concerning this story. Stories about the “secrets” of the Stardivari sound and the many possibilities of how he achieved what he did have been around since the time he was alive. To imply the working life of an artist like Stradivari can be explained or surpassed by one element such as wood choice or preparation is a gross oversimplification. It does however get great press as these stories always do.

Great violins were made in Cremona a hundred years before Strad was born and he continued the tradition at a high level. His understanding of design, materials and construction along with hard work over a long period of time enabled him to reach great heights in his instruments.

His fame was the result of more than 6 decades at the bench as a prolific maker who innovated along the way. Simply put he was a consumate artist. To imply his success can be approached by growing fungus in the wood is both non scientific and shows a great lack of knowledge of history.

Playing violins behind a screen doesn’t necessarily prove what you think it does. Attendees at a forestry conference are not qualified to make that judgement. How many of them know what a Strad sounds like? I don’t doubt that they liked the instruments but it is often the case that in theses circumstances new violins do surprisingly well often beating out” Strads”. On this point I take it that the “Strad in question is real. But here again what kind of condition is it in. Many of these violins are past their prime and when played against a new instrument the uninitiated believe the new instruments sound better. I have witnessed this in person a number of times. I would like to know who the experts were and how they voted. This is not mentioned in the story. I have been with groups of violinmakers with many years of experience between them who have done just this exact kind of test and have been in favor of the new violins. In fact the real truth in this story may just be one more instance of the emperors new clothes effect. We bow down to mythology but in fact well made new instruments often sound as well or “better” regardless of whether they were treated fungus or not. I could go on and on but my point is this.

I believe I speak for many of my colleagues when I say many of us have worked hard for many years to truly understand our craft and to produce instruments that are of the highest quality. One of the greatest challenges has been dispelling disinformation of the kind that this story promotes. As this story propagates throughout the web I will get the inevitable calls asking “did u hear that they discovered what makes Strad violins so great” It saddens me and many others who have passionately pursued the truth for so long to once again have to explain that there’s a bit more to it.

Jonathan Cooper ~ Violinmaker
1 Forest Ave, Portland , ME 04038
207 671 6029
www. acousticartisans.com

From Robin (rg s@crea sehu gg ett.co. uk):

Re: Showerheads may spray germs at you (Sept. 14): This seems an ideal for phage treatment. (link)

From Cynthy Johnson:

Re: Showerheads may spray germs at you (Sept. 14): I am wondering if this is bacteria is present in showerheads of those of us who have well water, and if so, to what extent? Fascinating article!

From Qauluq:

Re: Showerheads may spray germs at you (Sept. 14): A question about the shower head germs article. . .

“If you are get­ting a face full of wa­ter when you first turn your show­er on, that means you are probably get­ting a par­tic­u­larly high load of My­co­bac­te­rium avi­um,” said Pa­ce.

Would it help to turn the shower on, and let it run for a bit before stepping into the stream of water?

From Charles Douglas Wehner:

Re: Tiny “T. rex” found (Sept. 17): In humans, and most higher animals, the young are double-jointed.

During childhood, the young experiment with different body-postures. For example, western children sit on chairs whilst oriental children sit on the ground if it is warm. To keep the legs from getting in the way, oriental children knot their legs together - the “Lotus Position”.

At puberty, the sex hormones trigger the “closure of the epiphyses”. That is to say, instead of having a “ball-and socket-joint” that has one ball and two sockets, the adult has one ball and one socket. The other socket has cemented itself to the bone ball, and the gap between socket and ball has closed. The band of bone created is known as the “epiphysis” (Greek - “excrescent growth”).

Growth of the entire body now stops. The “set” of the joints, such as the knee-joint, has been optimised for the final, adult body-size. This is on the basis of habitual body-posture. The adult westerner finds the “Lotus Position” uncomfortable. The Oriental adult (from a warm part of the Orient) has no problem with this.

If at the time of Tyrannosaurus Rex, this optimisation system had not yet evolved, there would be NO NEED for a saurier to stop growing at puberty.

We have no living Tyrannosaurs. We do not know the growth-behaviour of the saurians. An examination of the epiphyses of the specimen would be needed in order to confirm that the “tiny Tyrannosaurus” had really stopped growing.

From Charles F. Barth:

Re: Negative public opinion seen as warning signal for terrorism (Sept. 17): I disagree in part from the analysis presented. Nations harboring terrorists do seem to focus on other nations that have liberties counter to Sharia Law. However, the comment about Obama’s presidency is fallacious. Terrorist organizations regard this as weaknesses, encouraging attacks. These attacks may take the form of violence but may also be more covert, where the radical Islamists work relentlessly from within to take control over the target nation. This is already happening in many European nations and the citizens and their governments fail to recognize this new form of terrorism and may not until it is too late. Appeasement did not work against the Nazi regime and it will fail again.

Dr. Charles F. Barth

From Matthew Anderson:

Re: Bird can “read” human gaze (April 2): I have been a parrot owner for over 20 years and I can confirm the findings of the study mentioned in the article. Parrots are very visually orientated and in that respect, not having arms and hands with fingers to point with, they point with their gaze instead. When asked “what do you want?” or “where do you want to go?” they will use their gaze to direct me to whatever they want or want to go to. he also have a fair grasp and understanding of the English language, (probably a lot more than I think they do). When I ask them rudimentary questions within their conceptual sphere that have a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer with one shake of the head for ‘yes’ and two shakes for ‘no’ (except for the times they get excited or enthusiastic then it’s three or four shakes meaning ‘Yes! Yes! Yes!’). Over all, I believe we ‘Humans’ are a bit too conceded about our ‘superior mental powers’ and don’t give animals half the credit for the intelligence that they do have.

From J. Bernard Sunderland:

Re: Scientists: artificial steps against global warming may be dan (Sept. 2): To this armchair scientist, it would seem to be the height of folly to intitiate solar energy control whilst continuing to extract fossil fuels, particularly because it will gloss over the significance of that latter activity as being the root cause of rising carbon dioxide level. Removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere appears logical but should be linked with cessation of fossil fuel extraction. I have a theory which I have seen to be valid so many times: that you can initiate any change you wish and change will occur, but not the change you wanted.

J. Bernard Sunderland
West Yorkshire

From Charles Douglas Wehner:

Re: Scientists: artificial steps against global warming may be dan (Sept. 2): The jury is still out on the question of global warming.

After the Norman Conquest (1066, as everybody knows), the Normans grew grapes in Britain. Then, in 1213, the climate suddenly grew cold. The grape-vines rotted.

Only in about 1950 did the English start to grow grapes again, and in very small quantities.

What was going on?

My own theory is that there was a patch of dust in space. Either (1) the dust crossed the Solar System or (2) the Solar System crossed the dust. Either way of looking at it, it takes only a percent or less of reduction in the light-level to influence the weather profoundly.

The Vikings died out due to the cold. Alexander Nevski in Russia had to drive back Germans and Swedes who invaded Russia. Local “kings” set themselves up in Norman Britain in competition with the Normans. The Mongols came down from the hills and invaded China, Russia, Poland, the Middle-East (including Iraq) and Japan (where they were driven back).

These wars were the result of the need for land. When the land is not fruitful, one needs larger amounts of land.

It has never been as warm in Britain as it was prior to 1213. So the time to panic has not yet come.

Artificial steps, such as putting reflective material in the atmosphere to reflect the light, might produce the very disaster one is trying to avoid.

Furthermore, my late friend, the geologist and crystallographer Alan Coutanceau-Clark pointed out that if the poles melt, the rock beneath them will not be under so much pressure. So the polar rocks will rise and sea-levels will not alter. It is simple Archimedes.

There is a lot of incomplete science about, used to whip up hysteria. The wisest people are first gathering their facts before they decide.

Charles Douglas Wehner

From Piper (pa y_t he_pi per@ sha w.ca):

Re: Cities work much like brains, study finds (Sept. 5): What if we organize future cities like brains?

What happens when the future cities have super-human AI so great that they are smarter in every way than their inhabitants?

Homo sapiens then becomes merely a food supply to city rending plants. Can robopsychiatrists cure these urban psycho robots, aka gastro sapiens, whose stomachs rule their superior brains?

From Bruce Robinson:

Re: Building block of life reported found in comet (Aug. 18): you quoted Ja­mie El­sila of NASA’s God­dard Space Flight Cen­ter as saying: “Our dis­cov­ery sup­ports the* the­o­ry* that some of life’s in­gre­di­ents formed in space and were de­liv­ered to Earth long ago by me­te­or­ite and com­et im­pacts.” But surely, this is not a “theory.” Is this not a poor choice of words? People will confuse this idea with the theory of evolution, which is an established fact. Should you not have placed a disclaimer on his use of “theory”?

Bruce Robinson

From Fauzan Feisal:

Re: Cities work much like brains, study finds (Sept. 5): In my opinion, city network is much more like transportation system (blood vessel) they develop as the body develop more complex n larger the cars is resembling the blood cells people, goods and many things inside the cars is the food molecule or any body builder molecule money and business that move along are resembling oxygen charities and consumptions that move along are resembling carbondioxide, bad if retained, and help environment to produce oxygen if expelled waste, garbage and dead bodies that move along are resembling the waste which will be discarded through excretion and egestion system

how about brain? hmm... maybe it’s the communication system try to check the evolution of communication structure (server growth)... brain are the centers of informations in cities telephone, emails, radio & television networks are the nerve system

we as the people are the cells...

From Dave Kisor:

Re: Cities work much like brains, study finds (Sept. 5): That would explain why there are so many dysfunctional cities. They were patterned after the wrong brain.

From Ken Laninga:

Re: Last great forest under threat, study finds (Aug. 26): No doubt, but what choice do we have? Flying over parts of Alberta, Canada, I’ve often thought, “in a few years there will be only one tree left and it will be in a museum and we’ll have to pay a dollar to see it.”

But if we quit logging, we’d have to stop eating too, and building houses. We do re-plant trees though.