December 27, 2010

From Steve (ste ves igns@bi gp ond.c om):

Re: Neanderthals had Siberian kin, study finds (Dec. 24): 30-40000 year old bones with genentic material still intact? Why is it then, that we have NO known dinosaur DNA? Most fossils only contain minerals - genetic material has long since vanished. The apparent ease with which modern DNA can infiltrate ancient remains has led many researchers to doubt even those studies employing the most rigorous methods to weed out contamination by modern genetic material. Professor Paabo told BBC News: That has made me think: 'how can I trust anything on this'?

From Kate Sisco:

Re: Our gold was a crash delivery from space, study finds (Dec. 10): Interesting post re gold from space but I have seen that before, and the idea of a plasma phase change is correct. The gold is from space all right, direct on Earth as a result of a solar energy blast.

The info in I Velikovsky's Earth in Upheaval is so informative; and it was written in 1965.

If the solar particles are responsible for reversed magnetism, then might they not be responsible for a plasma phase change of enoumous magnitude? We may experience such a tremendous energy influx from the sun that even rearrangement on an atomic level is possible. Gold may be the result of such a impact of solar mass particles. It would be much more believable than to think that gold has been laying around on the top of the planet and now scooped up until now. I rather think is is emplaced by the power of the sun through rearranged molecular form. What is next to gold on the periodic chart anyway?

Kate Sisco

From David Robson:

Re: Sticks appear as "dolls" in hands of chimps (Dec. 20): A nice article about the importance of sticks as a play thing for chimps.

I've long held the theory that we humans as vicious, as selfish, as ignorant as we are don't really have the ability to think of animals as equals or better than equals. I'm not sure if this comes from our in-bred arrogance, our zest to cast a cursory glance at things which are far more important than they ostensibly seem or our desire to remain as number one nihilists on the planet.

I watch wildlife and in particular Corvids, since we tend to get more than a few in the garden. These birds are seriously clever, ingenious and cunning, (not in the human sense of nihilism). We just don't give other species the time of day really. It's about time we did. We might learn a few things from them.

From Elaine Keller:

Re: Burning debate lights up over safety of electronic cigarettes (Dec. 17): It's unfortunate that so many column inches of the "Burning Debate" story were devoted to Prue Talbot's Consumer Reports-style evaluation of e-cigarettes. Nothing in Dr. Talbot's article justifies removing the products from the market. Dr. Talbot's article is filled with accusations that are not supported by her findings. She states, "Nothing is known about the chemicals in the aerosolized vapors from e-cigarettes." Since users inhale the aerosolized vapors, it would seem that this would be the most important information to have regarding product safety. So did Dr. Talbot test the vapor? No.

As Dr. Seigel's article points out, numerous tests have been performed on the vapor and have found no dangerous chemicals.

In fact, the FDA itself tested the liquid and the vapor. And while the FDA did produce an alarmist press release regarding the chemicals found in the liquids, the FDA failed to point out that the quantities were too miniscule to present any danger to human health. Furthermore, the agency said nothing at all in the press release about what their lab tests found in the vapor, which was nothing at all.

At least three scientific studies involving human subjects have been published. All show that e-cigarettes do not harm users and are effective at subduing withdrawal symptoms. If a lay person like me has found these studies, why are they so difficult for Dr. Talbot to find?

If the design flaws identified by Dr. Talbot represent "serious public health problems," how is it possible that during the seven years the products have been in use world-wide that there have been no reports of any serious illness or injuries caused by e cigarettes? How is it possible that more than 90% of users report in surveys that their health has improved since switching from smoking to inhaling vapor? If the products might be ineffective, how does Dr. Talbot explain the fact that approximately 80% of users have managed to use e cigarettes as a complete replacement for all their smoked cigarettes?

Elaine Keller, Vice President
Consumer Advocates for Smoke Free Alternatives Association (CASAA)

From Mike MacCracken:

Re: A lost civilization under the Persian Gulf? (Dec. 15): Might the flooding of the Persian Gulf as sea level rose be the basis of the flood story of Noah? Might one of these locations be the basis for the story of Atlantis, even though not to the west? Sounds like an interesting story over coming years.

From Jim McClarin:

Re: Our gold was a crash delivery from space, study finds (Dec. 10): Bottke, Walker, et al. are probably right about the splattered cores of a few large impactors leaving gold deposits on Earth. However, Earth's own core may prove to be a source as well. Such a large iron core as Earth's may have resulted from a larger body striking dead-on, slamming through the crust and mantel and seriously impacting the core, spewing out core fragments from both but mostly melding together with the upper layers closing in and reassuming their spheroid shape. Another possibility is that a much larger body struck our planet a glancing blow, knocking off a spray of asteroid chunks, including part of Earth's core, some of which could have settled back to the surface of the damaged planet. Both actions were claimed to have happened in our solar system's youth by whoever initiated the "creation myth" of the Anunnaki, gods of the ancient Sumerians. A portion of the debris was said to have remained as a "necklace" between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter while the largest chunk, along with its largest moon, was knocked into a new orbit between Mars and Venus.

From Jim McClarin:

Re: A lost civilization under the Persian Gulf? (Dec. 15): When Rose "hints that vital pieces of the human evolutionary puzzle may be hidden in the depths of the Persian Gulf," he may be on the right track. After all, Sumerian texts claim that their cities were rebuilt following their destruction by the inundation, associated by some with the end of the ice age and the calving of a million cubic miles of antarctic ice into the ocean that raised the sea level. If signs of a much older pre-flood Sumeria are found on the bottom of the gulf, one more of the "myths" from their cuneiform tablets will be proven factual. Those myths include detailed accounts of how their gods, the mysterious Anunnaki, created the "Adamu" in their own image and likeness by combining their own "essence" with that of "early man" some 250, 000 or more years ago.

From Peter A. Robb:

Re: "Drop" of blood still enough to get you perceived as minority (Dec. 14): How can white Caucasians trace or find out if they have a hypodescent factor in their genetic makeup from their distant past?

IE: Research and DNA analysis on Viking settlements in Europe [cannot recall the place] within the last ten years revealed that there was a mongoloid gene marker in the alleles of tall white Vikings. The mongoloid marker remains whilst no visible evidence remains in the phenotype, as if a vestigial gene [if that is correct usage of the word]. Not what scientists expected. One could hypothesise that Vikings made it to Asia via river systems or other means and brought wives back or encountered migrating Asians in Europe.

So how can White Caucasians claim to be pure blood whites when evidence like this comes to light?

I have names in my larger gene pool that may be Danish or Viking, one being Eving. Our families migrated to New Zealand in the late 19thc from Scotland. Mainly lowland Scotland. This Eving was modified to Ewing in the 17-18c according to Scottish church parish records[TV series character spelling JR EWING] to fit in with local culture and customs that populations. This may have been due to religious persecutions and factions at the time. In much in the same way Asians migrants to my home country New Zealand, adopt upper class English names such as James or American pulp names such as Betty for girls and so forth, to blend in more easily or bridge the sameness gap. Asian names like Tang Ping tend to 'other' minorities here, so they hide their origins through dialectical perceptions of what they consider the local naming norms to be. In many cases the adopted English name tends to disrupt the expectations of Caucasian locals whose christian names now may be adopted from American sitcoms of the 1970s for example and not handed down from earlier generations of a patriarchal system. .

So if a 'one drop' concept is the legal identifier criteria for being a minority; are we all ruled out of the White equation as we cannot really know what our backgrounds are until complex DNA analysis of our body parts is undertaken?

From Kevin Mulvina:

Re: Burning debate lights up over safety of electronic cigarettes (Dec. 17): In regard to the e-cig discussion and pious high drama; The safety of e-cigs is a straw man diversion, to undermine the fact that not one of the voices at the head table designing the autonomy of others, gives a hoot about the smokers or their risks.

Their concerns are blatantly obvious and self serving. Robert Wood Johnson spends hundreds of millions annually, promoting the charities who sing along with their promotions of [approved] alternatives, to suit the millions of shares they hold in their benefactor; Johnson and Johnson. It is no state secret they promote what suits their very existence, as the medical institutions and body part charities have been doing for a century, in service to their well heeled investors. Keeping the dreams alive, while hoping that cures are never found.

The "no such thing as a safer cigarette" was entitlement to open the regulatory floodgates to imports, grown with no regulation, to compete on even terms with the more expensive domestic products in North America.

The demands for RIP cigarettes, which by physiological principles, have to increase toxic loads by the temperature adjustment, which will increase the volumes and number of toxins you will find, as a direct result of that adjustment.

It is no small wonder "the magical smoke" is always calculated and referenced as state and stable product, when it is well known to be anything but. The 4000 - 100, 000 "deadly toxins" are said to be a cause for alarm, yet no one anywhere is even monitoring what is in the many brand offerings and evaluating which could carry a greater or lesser risk and relaying that useful information to those actually at risk, in less than alarming tones depicting quit or die. There is no greater determinant of health risk than personal economy, so where is the caring or compassion attached to taxing an addiction?

If we even take a moment to understand what extra risks someone will face, being designated as a lesser person or a less deserving soul [non-normal] and the level of increased risks millions of law abiding citizens will face, for being treated as something else, the damages should be obvious to anyone with a calculator and a humane bone in their body. Blaming the victim has become all the rage in the gotcha headlines business. Risk is always a useful tool of fear, or the stick to drive people where you want them to be, even if they never wanted to go. The groups at the head of the pack are there for reasons much less than a concern for the milk of human kindness. Who else could afford to buy that seat? Primarily they are speaking in support of increased profits and market-share, with a following attached to self sanctimony and moralist aversions.

There is nothing noble, valuable to society or humane in what has become of tobacco control, its bullies or its social manipulations. All that is left to be decided is which of the cabal should be shamed to set an example and which of them should be convicted for leading others astray. Insanity has proven to be consistent in its result once again, no matter how many iterations are repeated.

TC is an out of control social experiment, who's day has come and who's damages can no longer be tolerated, its time to find a cure and re-balance. Before the profiteers and power mad dictators residing at numerous "Health and Safety" UN appendages, take control of us all, by our own inaction in the face of unfettered madness. This was never science or scientific, it was just a major mistake, exaggerated by gossip and innuendo to suit political puppeteers and their profits. Can anyone still deny, it was always about the money?

From Barry Carter:

Re: Forecast: global warming may bring giant drought (Oct. 19): Most people have a favorite disaster scenario. Some favor global warming, others favor peak oil. Financial collapse is the favorite of many people but geological cataclysm is favored by others. Regardless of which disaster you may favor, the most immediate problem that develops, as a result of any disaster, will be related to food shortages. Already it is estimated that one billion people are starving on earth.

Most disasters reduce food production or availability. Climate change causes flooding, drought and unseasonable freezes which all reduce food production. Peak oil reduces the availability of petro chemicals for fertilizer and pesticides as well as the fuel to transport food for long distances. Financial collapse makes it more difficult for everyone to produce and purchase food. Geological cataclysm can even cause an ex-president to apologize for policies that reduced the local food supply in Haiti in favor of imported rice from the USA.

Even social disasters are most likely to cause suffering through starvation. When the structures we have built to serve us loose their way and begin to believe that we are here to serve them, they try to monopolize our sources of supply. Whether these are corporate structures, government structures, belief structures or religious structures does not change this pattern. Read more here.

On the page above I discuss ways that most of us can use to help insure our own food supply in these times of change. If we could increase food production and nutrition while also increasing carbon sequestration in soil this would be a great way to mitigate the changes we are facing in each disaster scenario.

Barry Carter
Baker City, Oregon

From Bernard Sunderland:

Re: Religion provides happiness because of the social ties, study claims (Dec. 7): Did it really need a 'scientific' study to recognize this point? It is, I think, self-evident. I for one spent much of my youth in association with a church community in spite of being agnostic. I still count those people as being my closest friends, though many are absent.

Religion is essential to long-term social stability because it fosters a close-knit society. It is the reason why Britain is set to be overcome by Islam, because of the general apathy toward Christianity among the white population.

From David Chalk:

Re: Religion provides happiness because of the social ties, study claims (Dec. 7): After reading this article, I have to reassess my own beliefs. My beliefs ? That religion was a mental illness, caused by the sick writings in the bible.

From Phillip Petersen:

Re: Being too clean may lead to allergies, study suggests (Nov. 29): This, to me, is a persistent fallacy that could only be held by a relatively young person (or an old one with a shoret memory) and no knowledge of domestic history. Our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents were, unless forced by extreme poverty, not less hygienic. In fact, they tended to scrub the hell out of everything that couldn't be boiled. The problem is surely not that we do more cleaning but what we use to do the cleaning.

From Randy Kramer:

Re: Forecast: global warming may bring giant drought (Oct. 19): Where does the water go? "In con­trast, higher-latitude re­gions from Alas­ka to Scan­di­na­via are likely to be­come moister, but not enough to bal­ance out the dry­ ing else­where, Dai pre­dicts." I mean, I learned in school (a long time ago) that there was such a thing as the water cycle. Is it going to be locked up in ice caps and similar? A link to the original article could be helpful.

From Jonathan Allen:

Re: Scientists work on sun-charged "heat battery" (Oct. 27): There are other systems for storing heat, such as the latent heat of a molten salt. It is my understanding that an advantage of this system is that the "charged" material is not hot and hence will not lose its "charge" over time by thermal leakage. For solar-powered engines which need to run at night but get their heat replenished the next day, leakage is not a big problem, but for longer storage times it would be, and (if I understand the article correctly) this is where the "heat battery" should have an advantage.

A couple of big questions, aside from cost, are the energy density and efficiency. That is, how many joules can one store per unit mass or volume of the storage medium compared with, for example electrical storage batteries, especially since the heat storage is upstream of the heat engine? And how would the overall system efficiency (sunlight to recovered work) compare with that of an electrical storage battery charged by photovoltaic panels? In a solar thermal system, raising the collector temperature improves the engine efficiency (Carnot's Equation) but it also reduces the solar collection efficiency due to re-radiation from the absorber (Planck Theory). Thus there is a temperature tradeoff or optimization. Another point is that to generate temperatures approaching 200 deg C requires focusing concentrators. Thus only specular (direct) sunlight will contribute. Scattered light from the sky will not, and when the sun goes behind a cloud, the system output is nil. A photovoltaic system, on the other hand harvests all incoming rays and continues to work, albeit at reduced output, even on a cloudy day.

I am all for exploring this heat battery, but remain skeptical as to its widespread application even if we find a cheaper medium without the rare element ruthenium.

- Jonathan Allen, Ph.D.

From Charles Douglas Wehner:

Re: Scientists work on sun-charged "heat battery" (Oct. 27): Two other examples of "Heat Batteries" spring to mind.

Firstly, we have water. It is unique in the sheer quantity of "heat of melting" that it requires. Substances like wax melt easily, but water stays at exactly zero degrees for a considerable time, whilst it expands. The expansion of water explains why it floats in winter, instead of sinking. Only after this internal molecular rearrangement (phase change) does it melt.

The disadvantage is that it is simply too cold. One needs something with a large latent heat that melts at perhaps a comfortable TWENTY degrees Celsius, not at zero.

Secondly, there was a novel hollow frying pan containing an alloy similar to Wood's Metal. This was placed on the stove until the metal melted. Then it could be put on the side, and the curve of temperature had a "plateau" at the melting point, allowing it to continue to fry the food all on its own.

The disadvantage of the frying pan was that the "latent heat of melting" of the alloy was just too little. The gadget worked, but the effect was hardly magical.

If the research into Ruthenium compounds should lead to substances with spectacular latent heats, things may change.

From Milton Runcie:

Re: Astronomers peer into primordial "fog" (Oct. 21): I'm fascinated to read 'how far back in time' can be observed with today's telescopes. It's amazing we can 'see' what appears to have been evolving in the early universe about 13 billion years ago. What beats me is how we (today's observers) managed to get 'out here', on our observation platform (the earth) long before the light arrived from (ostensibly) the same source as we did... !!! Are we time-travellers? Were we travelling faster than light to get here... ??? Or is the king wearing clothes, after all... ???

From Nuno Pinto Do Souto:

Re: Astronomers peer into primordial "fog" (Oct. 21): Something doesn't click with this article.

The universe is estimated to be around 13 billion years old. We are "seeing" these galaxy's light as "it were" when the universe was 600 million years old. It's supposed to be the farthest object so far detected, at the edge of the universe "expansion".

The universe has been measured as being at least 90 billion light years across.

So let's assume half that, for a "central" point of observation: 45 billion light years. We are now "seeing" something whose location is supposed to be 45 billion light years away, and that light is only 600 million years "old"? I. e. , it's taken at least 45 billion light years for that light to reach us as it was 600 million years away from the big bang?

And I'm supposed to believe that it's travelled to that location - 45 billion years away - in what? A fraction of a second? How can it be we're seeing it at 600 million years old?

It must be at least 45 billion years old: that's how long that light is supposed to have "travelled"!

Clearly, something is missing from this article and I believe it's called "credibility"…