April 29, 2012

From Mike Shefler:

Re: "Robotic cat" illness mystifies vets (April 12): it be mad cow disease in cats from eating contaminated meat. I doubt cat food manufacturers are as concerned for food safety in cats as in humans.

From Susan McNally:

Re: Mysterious ball lightning may be brain illusion (May 19, 2010): I was wondering, if the theory is that the eye/mind could be playing tricks on us when we "see" ball lightning, how would that explain the fact that this phenomena is being recorded clearly on video recorders and digital cameras? Shouldn't the effect be the same?

Have you heard about the Brown Mountain Orbs/Lights? A professor from Appalachian State University (Daniel Caton) thinks people are seeing ball lightning on and around Brown Mountain (western North Carolina, the Blue Ridge mountains). The orbs are sometimes seen up close and appear orange. If you Google it, you'll be able to see some of the photos/recordings yourself.

From John Oedemark:

Re: Where's the dark matter? Not here, befuddled astronomers find (April 18): If the dark matter is missing from this region and a new formulation of dark matter understanding is needed, then I would like to propose the following scenario.

As dark matter and dark energy are invisible, it may purely be they are particles moving faster than the speed of light. They both may be generated as matter which is visible, passes through dark central events (black holes). Travelling faster than light they generate the very medium into which the universe expands, as it slows down it becomes dark matter which can be detected in underground facilities around the world (although very infrequently). In any galaxy in the universe all matter is travelling at the speed of light or less thus giving what we can call calculable mass. The absence of dark matter/energy is due to the mass of all the objects within the "halo" of light of detectable physical mass. The Universe may be a trilogy of light in various states the major parts being dark energy followed by dark matter and finally visible light. This would explain the proportional representation of energy/matter throughout the entire universe.

In conclusion: the lack of dark matter/energy within any galaxy could be understood. Just a thought.

From Jerry Shifman:

Re: Where's the dark matter? Not here, befuddled astronomers find (April 18): "The Milky Way cer­tainly ro­tates much faster than the vis­i­ble mat­ter alone can ac­count for," Bidin said. "So if dark mat­ter is not pre­s­ent where we ex­pected it, a new so­lu­tion for the mis­sing mass prob­lem must be found. Our re­sults con­tra­dict the cur­rently ac­cept­ed mod­els. The mys­tery of dark mat­ter has just be­come even more mys­te­ri­ous."

I feel compelled at the outset to beg your forgiveness. I expect that well-meaning amateurs are a burden and distraction for you. Nevertheless. . .

The whole saga of the matter that is not really there has been playing out for many years. Where is the missing mass? How have we gone astray? I watch this with no small amount of frustration. The existing paradigm simply doesn't work. Clearly we are in need of a radical rethinking of the nature of mass and the process that produces the effects of gravitation.

I have been working on a new approach to gravitation since the 1970s. I cannot say, "Here is the answer!" I'm not that crazy. However, I do believe that my work shows the type of thinking that should be pursued. Perhaps a thoughtful reading, by someone with patience and open mindedness, might trigger some insight that could be helpful in finding our way out of this mess. I hate to think that a real gem might be overlooked simply because it is buried in heresy. I would be grateful if you could pass this thankless assignment along to someone on your staff.

Jerry Shifman

From Richard Clopton:

Re: Tumor risk from dental X-rays not eliminated, study finds (April 11): This study's results are subject to recall bias which makes it unreliable. Bite wing x-rays do not expose the brain to scatter radiation on modern machines, and even 40 year ol machines where the x-rays are collimated to reduce exposure. Additionally, the x-ray beam is not pointed at the meninges.

Richard Clopton, DDS

From Dominick Stow:

Re: Where's the dark matter? Not here, befuddled astronomers find (April 18): Usually, I do not respond but I feel compelled to answer this simple

question. The reason why we can not see dark matter in our vicinity is that we are not capable to see at this close distance. We do not have the means to comprehend the source. We think we see the matter at a further distance but what it is is that the source looks denser at that distance. When we are capable to see the full picture of our universe and it's hidden treasures we will be different humans. We still learning the ways to use fire during the stone ages. We still have a long way to evolve.

From Peter Shafton:

Re: Homeless planets may get adopted (April 17): "New re­search sug­gests that bil­lions of stars in our gal­axy have cap­tured rogue plan­ets that once roamed the voids be­tween stars... ."

I think this is amazing! Isn't it exactly what Zacharia Sitchin said the planet Nibiru was/is? It has the very long, orbit these planets are supposed to have, and it is claimed that this planet orbits the sun in the opposite direction to the other planets?

It appears that science is slowly catching up with researchers like Sitchin.

From Jonathan Allen:

Re: Homeless planets may get adopted (April 17): Since gravity is a conservative force, gravitational capture is quite difficult. A planet entering the gravitational field of a star will ordinarily follow a hyperbolic path and escape the field at the same speed as it entered. Capture requires very unusual conditions. I would like to see the math which defines those conditions.

From Allie Michelle:

Re: "Robotic cat" illness mystifies vets (April 12): This article immediately caught my eye because several months ago, two of the cats in my care began exhibiting these symptoms.

I live in the southern United States, a rural area.

I care for abandoned and feral cats. I generally take them for rabies vaccines once every three years.

Recently (within the last four months) I took five sheltered cats for their core vaccinations. The first day, everyone was stressed from the trip but fine, good appetite and normal activity.

A week later, two cats exhibited stiff gait and an extended tail, as if they could not lift or move their tail. Both cats were remarkably healthy and disease free before the vaccinations. One, a calico, is four, the other, a tortie, three. One cat was significantly more ill than the other and the illness progressed over a five day period to the point she was barely able to walk (interestingly, after ingesting the pedalyte, she recovered the fastest)

I read on the internet of many cats were reacting this way after core vaccinations/rabies vaccinations. One article cited a potassium/electrolyte drop related to the compound vaccine triggering the immune systems of the cats, but generally, most vets were stymied as to the issue, citing the cat having an underlying illness which was triggered by the vaccinations -- ONE vet said she'd stopped giving compound vaccinations due to the potential for reactions.

I immediately sequestered the cats and put nonflavored liquid pediatric electrolyte replacement in their water and mixed this with Hills AD diet wet cat food to ensure that they got adequate replacement amounts of electrolytes. I did not have much hope but didn't want to bombard their system with any other drugs that might worsen the issue. After reading the comment boards on vaccination sites, I read stories of multiple drug applications that hoped to help the cats once the symptoms began, but it seemed many ended in the cat having to be euthanized due to progressive loss of hind quadrant control and organ failure (which can occur with atropine and other agents used when cats exhibit symptoms of overdose or other drug reaction).

Within one day of watching one cat consume the electrolytes, she was significantly better, the second took slightly longer, but I kept the supplement in their water until full recovery was observed.

The first cat (the one hit the hardest) was free roaming and often catches moles, voles and other small rodents and birds as well as frogs and lizzards, while the second, which was ill for a longer duration, was in a kennel-like containment where no rodents were available and on a commercial diet only. The only common thing these cats had recently shared were the vaccinations. Onset of the illness was roughly five days apart.

It may also well be that they would have recovered w/out the electrolyte supplement, but up to the point of the supplement, they seemed to worsen a bit more each day.

The lesson I took away is that I will never have compounded shots administered to the animals again. Rabies will be separate and the shots administered weeks apart... which is something progressive vets are beginning to recognize as beneficial to the animal. This is the first time this has happened and I also care for a feral colony and have vaccinated (compound) over 40 ferals with no similarly observable responses, though frankly, some do stay away from feeding stands for a while after being caught.

On many rabies vaccine boards where these "stiff gait" and loss of hind quarter control symptoms are archived as occurring after vaccination, there is discussion regarding the type of rabies vaccines used. (I want to stress I am not anti-vaccination, simply anti compounded into one shot 'fast food' type of vaccination).

The "immune" system shock and hyper response to a varied stimulus may well be *the* issue, and there may be an underlying genetic weakness in the cats affected (remember, one was calico and one tortie, so their genetic stew is a bit different), but when reading your article, I also wonder if any of the cats in question were recently vaccinated?

In the areas where this is being observed, was there a recent push to vaccinate due to fear of rabies threat? If so, what specific type of vaccine was used? (recombinant, nonadjuvanted canary pox vectored, and killed adjuvanted) Same manufacturer and/or composition?

The Internet holds a cache of many posts where after vaccinations, cats have lost optimal use of their hind quarters. The question is to figure out why this is occurring. Is a vaccine formulation or contaminant responsible? Is over vaccination, or compound vaccinating (calicivirus) responsible for the immune system overdrive, esp. in older cats?

Lots of questions.

From Jacob Silver:

Re: Where's the dark matter? Not here, befuddled astronomers find (April 18): It was a desperation move on the part of physics theoreticians to conjure dark matter, despite there not being any direct evidence of its existence. The standard model has served us well, and may still be valid. But we now need someone to think outside the box to explain both the expansion of the universe and the rapid rotation of galaxies. The standard model alone does not explain these, that is why they threw in dark matter. But some conceptualization, perhaps involving the basic configuration of the universe, or perhaps a reconception of gravity. Someone has to free themselves of the current theory and think outside the box.

Jacob Silver, Ph.D.

From Ray Lewis:

Re: Where's the dark matter? Not here, befuddled astronomers find (April 18): No one ever mentions the % of the universes mass that resides in the kinetic energy of the universe's particles. [Mass and energy are interchangeable].

Every particle in the Universe spins and has kinetic energy, and therefore a mass equivalent or potential.

Not only that, but if you calculate the combined energy of the many levels of spin (1/2 MV Sq) of every particle, from atomic level up to planetary spin, solar orbit spin, system spin, galactic movement, universal expansion, and the total universal vector, then the total mass has to be of some interest and should reduce the total amount of dark matter we need to find or explain.

Just a thought, but in 25 years of mentioning such on occasion, no-one has ever said that its a dopey idea or not...

From Ken Lyons:

Re: "Robotic cat" illness mystifies vets (April 12): I've seen cats act like this after getting into antifreeze.

From Rob K Stefaniuk:

Re: Link between fast food, depression "confirmed" (April 2): The way the headline and story read it implies fast food may be responsible for depression. It really ought to convey the more likely, common sense, association that people who have lifestyle issues associated with depression are more likely to consume fast food. And that the malnutrition resulting from a prolonged fast food based diet can contribute to maintaining that condition. A subtle but substantial difference in tone I think is important to convey the correct message, IMO.

As a sidenote, I'm not a health professional, just someone interested and concerned with health issues and information presented to the public in a misleading or erroneous context. I think this story should either be reviewed and re edited or provided with more of a disclaimer if this is the intended conclusion the researchers would like to convey.

From Hugh & Margaret Fletcher

Re: Link between fast food, depression "confirmed" (April 2): Surely this is a case of which came first, early depression or overeating. It is entirely likely that someone with preclinical levels of depression will not be motivated to spend time prepareing or selecting food carefully but on the contrary will indulge in excessive "comfort eating" to cheer themselves up. The study equally supports this hypothesis that consumption of fast foods can be an early symptom of depression, and that regulating the sale of fast food is irrelevant to the development of deprssion, it might actually delay the onset of clinical levels of depression which would occur earlier if the slightly depressed person was unable to eat conveniently and so went without food, or ate sweets or alcohol instead.

From Peter Blake :

Re: Dinosaurs may have roamed a fiery landscape (March 30): Just writing to express a personal pet peeve. I don't think it is correct to refer to dinosaurs as reptiles, as you did in your recent article. It is at best unclear if any or all dinosaurs were reptiles. What is more nearly correct, in my opinion, is that the evidence increasingly supports the view that dinosaurs were warm-blooded. Couldn't you use the term dinosaurians instead of reptiles when referring to this group of creatures?

Aside from that I'm extraordinarily grateful for your hard work and expertise in putting out the premier online science news source. Thank You.

From Tibor Machan (TMa chan @gma il.com):

Re: A simpler name may help you get ahead (Feb. 11): The idea that a simple name will help one out is kind of obvious. Hope they didn't waste a lot of funds on this study?

From Harry M. Anderson:

Re: A human bias against creativity is hindering science, research claims (Dec. 12): I am a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and scientific clinical researcher who entered psychoanalytic training years ago with the assumptions that: its basic and applied theories were rooted in Freud's "Metapsychology" concepts and principles; the theories had been developed by scientific means (multiple hypotheses, validation criteria, tests for predictive capability, etc.); they would be expanded by continued scientific researches. I eventually realized that such was not the case, and I developed new research designs to test them and allow new theories to be created where needed. My efforts were very successful, and over a period of 40-some years I had a comprehensive, genuinely-scientific theory of the symptoms of the psychoanalytic domain. Each piece of research that went into it emerged on the logical heels of the one that preceded, and none were planned. Driven by an energized and purposeful curiosity that was busy making observations of incorrectly-explained and unexplained clinical phenomena and subjecting them to my research methods, the process operated without any idea of what was coming next. I presented the results in conference presentations to members of my analytic Society, critics of the lack of a science of psychoanalysis, and other professional groups in Canada, the US and the UK. And it is what I discovered next that links so clearly to your article.

Logic would have predicted that those who criticized the lack of science and the members of the profession they critiqued would want one. But that was not my experience. Over the years, the responses ranged from total disinterest, to some interest disbelief and dismissal, to anonymous, astoundingly-passionate, subjectively-determined criticism communicated in remarkably-inappropriate language (including ridicule). And that is where I "sat up and listened" as I read your article. That the works of scientists in every generation have been ridiculed before eventually being recognized, is something that deserves intense, extensive and persistent study until the reasons are exposed and solutions can be found. I am presently trying to contribute to such a course myself. I recently published the methods, findings and results of my researches in a book ("From and Art to a Science of Psychoanalysis: The Metapsychological Formulation Method"), set up my own website here, and became psychosociologist of sorts who established a new Linkedin group to study the problem in his field ("Psychoanalysis - A Study of the Resistance to a Science"). I also look forward to sharing the results of my study with others who are working at the problem in the many different areas of creative endeavour.

Thanks very much for the authors of the article, your report on it, and this opportunity to respond to it.

Harry M. Anderson MD D.Psych FRCP

From Dr. Nick Moore:

Re: Wealthy people found more prone to unscrupulous behavior (Feb. 28): I consider the findings of this research to be unsurprising. What some might find surprising is how long it has taken social psychologists to ask these kinds of questions. Congratulations to Piff and colleagues for reviewing and publishing what many could find to be very uncomfortable results. One conclusion could be that the myth of greed being a part of human nature can be empirically falsified. Thank you for the summary and for notifying us of this interesting study.

Dr. Nick Moore
Senior Lecturer, General Studies (Sharjah Campus)
Khalifa University of Science, Technology & Research

From Floyd Baker (eba ker @ buff alot ango. com):

Re: A human bias against creativity is hindering science, research claims (Dec. 12): I agree totally... As does Nietzsche with him referring to humanity's 'herd' instinct... And my calling it the 'hive' instinct...

I experience it all the time... lol

In fact... If anyone there would like to hear something creative. . , I will be happy to send it to you... It is my well banged out theory that may be that of SR 'Everything'... That which Einstein could not work out...

So right off the bat I may have shot myself in the foot... By making such a claim. . ? :)

But I do use extreme logic. . . And only proven or well accepted points to explain and prove my theory. . . It gives all the answers that I have put to it and I see no loose ends.

I have simply replaced the imagined factor of time with gravity, that which is said to *cause* time dilation in the first place... , in a way that can be used to measure the true aspects of the cosmos... The results of which are mind boggling. . .

Removing time instantly does away with decades of misdirection and it's projections into a fantasy world.

No more time travel, time dilation, time folding, worm holes, multiple universes, holograms from
dark holes. , and anything else that has come from letting time run loose in the calculations. .

It may even come to proving the universe is static. . .

Not increasingly expanding... Not expanding at all.

I see the potential for it. . , but don't know yet if there is 'proven' ability for that to be the case... I can't do it all, eh? :)

It explains the concept of light always being seen as a constant speed no matter what amount of 'time dilation' one might be undergoing...

It explains all the 'time' related paradox's that I have run it against. . .

I joke that it may be what the Myan's were referring to in their prediction of TEOTWAWKI. .

Modifying it slightly to read The End Of The Universe As We Know It... because they just didn't understand how big it was...

Einstein was wrong. Time is not a fourth dimension...

I think that's pretty creative... :)

Would there be an interest in putting this 'theory' of mine forth. . ? Once you see that it holds water of course. . ?

Many thanks