Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Joe's Jazz Open Mic @ the Capitol Garage, Sacramento CA

I got back out to the Tuesday Open mic at the Capitol Garage, Sacramento CA for some live jazz. I'll post sound files soon on box.net (see left bar). I am using the Free WMA to MP3 converter to get MP3's from my Olympus DS-30 recorder.

UFO Investigator Finds Mystery At Colorado Springs Park

http://www.ourstrangeworld.net/eeuploads/images/03200039.jpgUFO field investigator Chuck Zukowski likes to think of himself as a skeptic.

He won't throw his UFO detective gear in his truck (license plate: UFONUT) and drive out to the middle of nowhere just because someone says they saw a few glowing orbs over a field.

"Cattle mutilations I'll go out for, but orbs? They have to have some sort of documentation -- a photo, a video," he said recently as he pulled his Nissan Xterra up to Ute Valley Park.

There was something at the park he felt was definitely worth a closer look.

Zukowski is nationally known in sky-watching circles as a meticulous documenter of the unexplainable. In 20 years as a UFO investigator he has helped organize archaeological digs at UFO hot spots near Roswell, N.M. (Conclusion: Sites need more study.)

He has inspected a strange stone found in the New Mexico desert, expertly carved with a design that also appeared in a crop circle in England. (Conclusion: Stone needs more study.) He has appeared as an expert on the Sci Fi Channel and the super late-night paranormal radio show Coast to Coast a.m.

More importantly, he says he has seen UFOs himself.

via UFO Investigator Finds Mystery At Colorado Springs Park - cbs4denver.com.

Here is his website     http://www.ufonut.com/

Here he is with his rock:

[mod3.jpg]Interesting carving. I'm not particularly impressed by the amazing properties of the Roswell Rock. He is moving his hand to get the compass needle to spin. This would happen with any magnet that you move under a compass.

U.S. unveils Orion spacecraft to take crew to Mars

A full-size mockup of the crew module for the Orion Crew exploration vehicle is displayed on the National Mall near the Capitol (background) in Washington March 30, 2009. The Orion will become America's primary vehicle for human space exploration, replacing the space shuttle after it is retired in 2010.NASA gave visitors to the National Mall in Washington a peek at a full-size mock-up of the spacecraft designed to carry U.S. astronauts back to the moon and then on to Mars one day.

The U.S. Navy-built Orion crew exploration vehicle will replace the space shuttle NASA plans to retire in 2010, and become the cornerstone of the agency's Constellation Program to explore the moon, Mars and beyond.

"We're just very proud to build this, do some testing and demonstrate to America that we're moving beyond the space shuttle onto another generation of spacecraft," said Don Pearson, project manager for the Post-Landing Orion Recovery Test or PORT.

NASA plans to use Orion to carry astronauts to the International Space Station by 2015. The capsule will rotate the crew at the station every six months "to work out the kinks" before heading to the moon and Mars, Pearson said.

Trips to the moon are scheduled for 2020, while a journey to Mars is believed possible by the mid-2030s.

via U.S. unveils Orion spacecraft to take crew to Mars - Boston.com.

What the Heck is it?

An image from the Hubble Space Telescope has astronomers baffled once again.

The Supernova Cosmology Project (SCP) recently announced the discovery of a "mystery object" that does not fit with observational data compiled by the Sloan Deep Sky Survey (SDSS). According to Kyle Barbary, an astrophysics graduate student with U.C. Berkeley and lead author of a paper appearing in The Astrophysical Journal, the observation is:

"...inconsistent with all known supernova types, is not matched to any spectrum in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey database" of vast numbers of objects. "We suggest that the transient may be one of a new class."

As Barbary and his colleagues indicate, the closest they can come to the characterists of SCP 06F6 are quasars whose "hot gas" envelopes absorb radiation emissions at specific frequencies. However, a spectrographic analysis of the newly found object reveals nothing recognizable to the team. They are unable to determine if it is in our own galaxy or somewhere much farther out in deep space.

via What the Heck is it? | thunderbolts.info.

IEEE Spectrum: New Cold Fusion Evidence Reignites Hot Debate

On Monday, scientists at the American Chemical Society (ACS) meeting in Salt Lake City announced a series of experimental results that they argue confirms controversial “cold fusion” claims.

Chief among the findings was new evidence presented by U.S. Navy researchers of high-energy neutrons in a now-standard cold fusion experimental setup—electrodes connected to a power source, immersed in a solution containing both palladium and “heavy water.” If confirmed, the result would add support to the idea that reactions like the nuclear fire that lights up the sun might somehow be tamed for the tabletop. But even cold fusion’s proponents admit that they have no clear explanation why their nuclear infernos are so weak as to be scarcely noticeable in a beaker.

The newest experiment, conducted by researchers at the U.S. Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, in San Diego, required running current through the apparatus for two to three weeks. Beneath the palladium- and deuterium-coated cathode was a piece of plastic—CR-39, the stuff that eyeglasses are typically made from. Physicists use CR-39 as a simple nuclear particle detector.

After the experiment, the group analyzed the CR-39 and found microscopic blossoms of “triple tracks.” Such tracks happen when a high-energy neutron has struck a carbon atom in the plastic, causing the atom to decay into three helium nuclei (alpha particles). The alpha particles don’t travel more than a few microns, though, before they plow into other atoms in the CR-39. The result is a distinctive three-leaf clover that, to physicists, points to the by-product of a nuclear reaction.

“Taking all the data together, we have compelling evidence that nuclear reactions [are happening in the experiment],” says physicist Pamela Mosier-Boss of the Navy group.

... According to Edmund Storms, retired nuclear scientist from Los Alamos National Laboratory and author of The Science of Low Energy Nuclear Reaction (World Scientific, 2007), experiments confirming Pons and Fleischmann’s finding of excess heat have now been published in 150 different papers in journals and conference proceedings around the world. The reported excess heat, he says, ranges from milliwatts up to 180 watts. 

Ludwik Kowalski, formerly a physics professor at New Jersey’s Montclair State University, now retired, says that throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s, he was as skeptical as anyone about cold fusion. But in 2007, he conducted his own CR-39 experiment, as described in an earlier paper by the U.S. Navy group.

“I got the same result they got, exactly,” Kowalski says, noting that the CR-39 tracks he saw traced the outline of the cathode wire and were highly suggestive of nuclear activity. “Now I think there are serious indications that there is something behind this.”

via IEEE Spectrum: New Cold Fusion Evidence Reignites Hot Debate.

Nine Lives: Cats' Central Nervous System Can Repair Itself And Restore Function

Scientists studying a mysterious neurological affliction in cats have discovered a surprising ability of the central nervous system to repair itself and restore function.

In a study published March 30, 2009 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison reports that the restoration in cats of myelin — a fatty insulator of nerve fibers that degrades in a host of human central nervous system disorders, the most common of which is multiple sclerosis — can lead to functional recovery.

"The fundamental point of the study is that it proves unequivocally that extensive remyelination can lead to recovery from a severe neurological disorder," says Ian Duncan, the UW-Madison neuroscientist who led the research. "It indicates the profound ability of the central nervous system to repair itself."

The finding is important because it underscores the validity of strategies to reestablish myelin as a therapy for treating a range of severe neurological diseases associated with the loss or damage of myelin, but where the nerves themselves remain intact.

Myelin is a fatty substance that forms a sheath for nerve fibers, known as axons, and facilitates the conduction of nerve signals. Its loss through disease causes impairment of sensation, movement, cognition and other functions, depending on which nerves are affected.

The new study arose from a mysterious affliction of pregnant cats. A company testing the effects on growth and development in cats using diets that had been irradiated reported that some cats developed severe neurological dysfunction, including movement disorders, vision loss and paralysis. Taken off the diet, the cats recovered slowly, but eventually all lost functions were restored.

... In cats removed from the diet, recovery was slow, but all of the previously demyelinated axons became remyelinated. The restored myelin sheaths, however, were not as thick as healthy myelin, Duncan notes.

... "We think it is extremely unlikely that [irradiated food] could become a human health problem," Duncan explains. "We think it is species specific. It's important to note these cats were fed a diet of irradiated food for a period of time."

via Nine Lives: Cats' Central Nervous System Can Repair Itself And Restore Function.

I suppose Duncan will be eating irradiated food from now on ... since Duncan believes it is unlikely to become a human health problem?

Google’s ghostly ‘Mary Poppins’ mystery solved

Mary Poppins THE mystery surrounding a sighting of Mary Poppins in Cardiff Bay has been solved – she was planted there by internet giant Google.

The Echo yesterday revealed how the picture of everyone’s favourite nanny was discovered on Google Street View, the new service allowing users to access 360-degree views of roads and homes in 25 British towns and cities, including Cardiff, Barry and Penarth.

Dressed to the nines and crossing a busy road outside the Wales Millennium Centre, the Disney character was captured by the Google street car which was traversing the capital’s streets last June.

No-one could explain why she was there – some suggestions even included that she could have been a ghost.

But today we can reveal that she is just one of a number of fictional characters that Google chiefs decided to cheekily place in the new map.

And while they chose Cardiff for Mary Poppins, Paddington Bear can be spotted on London’s fashionable Portobello Road, Sherlock Holmes has been caught in Oxford, and the Beefeater has been indulging in a spot of shopping at the Birmingham branch of Selfridges.

Google’s Laura Scott told the Echo: “The mystery has been revealed.

“We dressed up a real person in a Mary Poppins costume and she was photographed by the car as it went past.

“We’re always looking for fun stuff to include in our products – and well done for spotting her.”

via WalesOnline - News - Wales News - Google’s ghostly ‘Mary Poppins’ mystery solved.

Hundreds Of Natural-selection Studies Could Be Wrong, Study Demonstrates

http://www.sciencedaily.com/images/2009/03/090330200821-large.jpgScientists at Penn State and the National Institute of Genetics in Japan have demonstrated that several statistical methods commonly used by biologists to detect natural selection at the molecular level tend to produce incorrect results."Our finding means that hundreds of published studies on natural selection may have drawn incorrect conclusions," said Masatoshi Nei, Penn State Evan Pugh Professor of Biology and the team's leader.

... "Of course, we would never say that natural selection is not happening, but we are saying that these statistical methods can lead scientists to make erroneous inferences," he said.

... "The methods assume that when natural selection occurs the number of nucleotide substitutions that lead to changes in amino acids is significantly higher than the number of nucleotide substitutions that do not result in amino acid changes," he said. "But this assumption may be wrong. Actually, the majority of amino acid substitutions do not lead to functional changes, and the adaptive change of a protein often occurs by a rare amino acid substitution. For this reason, statistical methods may give erroneous conclusions."

... To demonstrate the faultiness of the statistical methods, Nei's team compiled data collected by their Emory University colleague, Shozo Yokoyama, on the genes that control the abilities of fish to see light at different water depths and on the genes that control color vision in a variety of animals. The team used these data to compare statistically predicted sites of natural selection with experimentally determined sites. They found that the statistical methods rarely predicted the actual sites of natural selection, which had been identified by Yokoyama through experime "In some cases, statistical method completely failed to identify the true sites where natural selection occurred ...

via Hundreds Of Natural-selection Studies Could Be Wrong, Study Demonstrates.

New Theory On Largest Known Mass Extinction In Earth's History

http://www.sciencedaily.com/images/2009/03/090330102659-large.jpgThe largest mass extinction in the history of the earth could have been triggered off by giant salt lakes, whose emissions of halogenated gases changed the atmospheric composition so dramatically that vegetation was irretrievably damaged. At least that is what an international team of scientists has reported in the most recent edition of the Proceedings of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Dokladi Earth Sciences). At the Permian/Triassic boundary, 250 million years ago, about 90 percent of the animal and plant species ashore became extinct. Previously it was thought that volcanic eruptions, the impacts of asteroids, or methane hydrate were instigating causes.

Hypothetically speaking, large areas of the hyper saline Zechstein Sea and its direct environment could have looked like this, which in the Permian Age was situated about where present day Central Europe is. At the end of the Permian Age the Zechstein Sea was irrevocably disconnected from the open sea and the remaining sections of sea soon dried out after that. As a result the microbial-limited halogenated gases from the Zechstein Sea stopped and vegetation was able to regenerate again. The pink colour of the Zechstein Sea was probably brought about by microbes with an extreme preference for salt, as is the case with salt lakes today. In the background sand dunes can be recognised from a landscape with hardly any water. (Credit: Dr. Karsten Kotte/Universit├Ąt Heidelberg)

via New Theory On Largest Known Mass Extinction In Earth's History.

Monday, March 30, 2009

World’s Most Powerful Laser has the Energy of a Hydrogen Bomb

Laser Bay 2, one of NIF's two laser bays, was commissioned on July 31, 2007. Credit is given to Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the Department of Energy under whose auspices this work was performed.At a cost of $3.5 billion and more than a decade of work, the 192 laser beams are billed as the most powerful in the world.

Scientists working at the National Ignition Facility of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, have built the most powerful laser in the world, capable of simulating the energy force of a hydrogen bomb and the sun itself.

“The system already has produced 25 times more energy than any other laser system,” said NIF Director Ed Moses.

Image Left: This artist's rendering shows a NIF target pellet inside a hohlraum capsule with laser beams entering through openings on either end. The beams compress and heat the target to the necessary conditions for nuclear fusion to occur. Ignition experiments on NIF will be the culmination of more than 30 years of inertial confinement fusion research and development, opening the door to exploration of previously inaccessible physical regimes.

The Energy Department is expected to announce Tuesday that it has officially certified the National Ignition Facility, which would clear the way for a series of experiments which scientists hope will eventually will mimic the heat and pressure found at the center of the sun.

The successful completion of the laser is the culmination of more than a decade of work at a cost of $3.5 billion.

“NIF is well on its way to achieving breakthroughs in science never imagined. Through our readiness testing we will see glimpses of what that future will bring,” said Moses.

via World’s Most Powerful Laser has the Energy of a Hydrogen Bomb | Consumer Energy Report.

UFOs spotted in East End on Google Street View

UFO fleet seen on Street View A close-up view of the Street View UFO fleet

The nine silver spheres hover above a row of shops, including a Coral bookies, on the internet giant’s new Street View service.

Sun reader Faye Sharpe, 18, discovered them while viewing her neighbourhood of Wolverley Street in Bethnal Green, East London.

Faye said: “I was checking out the road to see if I could spot my mates. I thought it looked very strange and zoomed in.

“I thought it was some planes but they look pretty close together for that. Maybe they are UFOs.”

Yesterday baffled ufologist Nick Pope said he was “very excited” by the image, which he labelled “truly fascinating”.

He added: “It appears to show nine objects flying in near perfect formation. About the only thing I know that can do this is the Red Arrows — and it’s not them.”

via UFOs spotted in East End on Google Street View | The Sun.

35,000 protesters turn out for G20 march in London ... but police arrest just one

G20 protests LondonA demonstration by more than 35,000 protesters marching for 'jobs, justice and climate' ahead of the G20 summit passed off peacefully in London today.

But there are fears that trouble could flare when further protests take place as world leaders gather in the capital next week.

Thousands of police from six forces were drafted in to London today to assist the Metropolitan Police. ...

The massive police operation was launched as officers warned of an "unprecedented" threat posed by the protests.

But by early evening as a rally in Hyde park ended there were no signs of problems, backing up the organisers' earlier pledge that events would not turn violent.

via 35,000 protesters turn out for G20 march in London ... but police arrest just one | Mail Online.

Conficker Worm Prepares For A New Release On April 1

Conficker Worm April 1 ReleaseThe conficker worm created havoc last year when it infected over 10 million computers on a global scale. The unique design of the conficker worm allowed for this large scale attack to over 8 million business computers and scores of individual computers in 2008.

The conficker worm is periodically evolving by downloading updates that creates thousands of false domains daily to throw off security investigators. On the day it chooses to update, it selects 500 correct domains out of the 50,000 candidates to download malware and updates from.

• On the first release it tried to download and execute a file called loadav.exe. It turned out that the file was never uploaded and the next generation did away with this. This led investigators to believe it was a malware program trying to promote itself as fake antivirus software.

• The second release, the worm used Windows Services, on unpatched machines, to spread. This new release also had the power to spread over network shares by trying to log in autonomously into network machines with weak passwords. It developed the ability to infect USB sticks connected to infected machines, giving it another means of transmission.

• On the final and third release, which became know as the Downadup virus, peer-to-peer communication between infected systems was added to it's arsenal of weapons. The virus also added new domain-generation algorithms to help it disguise where it was receiving its updates from.

Microsoft is offering a bounty for the worm's writers and security experts are no closer to having any clue as to the individual or individuals who are writing the Conficker code.

via Conficker Worm Prepares For A New Release On April 1 | Physorg.

Vacuum Cleaner Senses Human Emotions

See full size imageA specially-equipped Roomba robot vacuum cleaner can now sense human emotional states. University of Calgary researchers published their results in a paper titled "Using Bio-electrical Signals to Influence the Social Behaviours of Domesticated Robots."

Using a special headband to capture bioelectric signals from the forehead of a human user, the system collects this data and then infers stress from muscle tension readings. Their control software reinterprets natural muscle tension as estimating the user's stress level; the more muscle tension, the more stress is inferred.

"Two distinct robotic behaviours corresponding to two extreme emotional states, either relaxed or stressed, are triggered when the stress reading reach a threshold. Robot actions are then influenced by these stress readings. When a person shows high stress (~levels 3 & 4), the robot enters its cleaning mode but moves away from the user so as not annoy them. When a person is relaxed (~level 1), the robot (if cleaning) approaches the person and then stops, simulating a pet sitting next to its owner. If the reading is in between these two levels, the robot continues operating in its current mode until the stress reading reaches a threshold."

via Vacuum Cleaner Senses Human Emotions | LiveScience.

Please freeze me! How scores of middle-class British couples are hoping to buy immortality for just £10 a week

CryogenicsIt sounds like the loopiest science fiction, but - like Simon Cowell - scores of middle-class couples are paying £10 a week for their bodies to be frozen when they die. So can you really buy immortality for the price of a pizza?

... Ellen admits her first reaction was to laugh. But it quickly became clear David was not joking.

'After the initial surprise, I had no doubt in my mind that he was serious. Most people would have been shocked, but David had always been quirky. It was what attracted me to him in the first place.

'The next day, he handed me a computer disk with all the information about the process and I was really taken aback at what I saw. Being frozen wasn't just a myth any more, it was really possible and with a specialist life insurance policy it wasn't beyond my reach financially.'

Ellen was immediately taken by the idea. 'I thought "why not?" Some people may think that it's a bit morbid, but to me the alternatives when you die are a lot scarier.

'I know it's not a certainty that I will be brought back to life, but to me it's just the natural progression of science; it is certainly not out of the realms of possibility.

via Please freeze me! How scores of middle-class British couples are hoping to buy immortality for just £10 a week | Mail Online.

Billion-dollar pictures

Alan Boyle has this interesting entry on CosmicLog:

Is one picture worth a hundred billion dollars? That’s the mostly-in-jest price tag that was put on this week’s portrait of the virtually complete international space station. Pictures may not be the most practical payoff from space exploration, but they’re definitely the biggest crowd-pleasers, as demonstrated by the latest batch of “Month in Space” pictures.

The entertainment value of imagery from the final frontier is just one of the five E's that justify jumping off this planet. The space station is expected to contribute to the other E's as well - for example, through proposed energy-beaming experiments and a host of studies aimed at smoothing the way for future exploration.

When all that research is added to images such as this week's "$100 billion photographs," does that make the estimated cost of the space station project worth it?

via Billion-dollar pictures - Cosmic Log - msnbc.com.

Reminiscing with Carl Sagan

Cosmossagan5I just caught up on some of my RSS feeds and I was delighted to see that Hulu has posted all 13 episodes of Carl Sagan's Cosmos online. Cosmos was a key factor in my interest of all things science. Rural Iowa was not the easiest place to cultivate a passion for science, but my father did quite well.

Growing up in the 70s and 80s in rural Iowa meant no cable TV, a satellite dish was something you planted in your back yard and any calls out of town were long distance. We still managed to stay informed through a handful of science and computer magazine subscriptions, the local library, and PBS.

Of all these factors, PBS was without a doubt the most instrumental in pointing me down the path to geekdom. Shows like NOVA and Cosmos stimulated my interest in science. Monty Python, Are You Being Served and Benny Hill built my appreciation for British comedy and Masterpiece Theater and Austin City Limits gave me an appreciation of the arts. Many of these shows still air on PBS today. NOVA is in it's 36th Season, ACL is working on its 33rd season and Masterpiece Theatre is still going strong after 38 years. Many of the comedies are still finding air time on local PBS affiliates around the country, and Monty Python now has it's own YouTube channel.

So if you haven't given much thought to PBS in recent years, consider checking out NOVA and Cosmos on Hulu.

via Reminiscing with Carl Sagan | Geekdad from Wired.com.

Sitting in a tin can, not far from central Moscow: Russian scientists prepare for Mars mission | Science | The Guardian

Mars space tripIn a car park not so far away ... It is a big brother experiment like no other, an experiment which will boldly go where few have gone - or probably wanted to go - before.

Six apparently fearless volunteers are to take part in a unique test by being locked up in what amounts to a series of small steel tins off a parking lot in Moscow for 105 days as scientists simulate a space rocket ride to Mars.

On Tuesday the team will step into a chain of cramped metal capsules, connected by cables and corrugated metal pipes, in a hangar at the back of the Institute of Medical and Biological Problems (IMBP) in the Russian capital, swing close the hatch and "blast off".

The idea is for the 550 cubic-metre "ground exploration complex" (GEC) to recreate as closely as possible the atmosphere of a spacecraft racing through the solar system, bombarded by cosmic radiation. Any return flight to Mars - at least 34 million miles from our planet - would take between 18 months and three years, including landing and exploration.

The volunteers - four Russians, a French airline pilot and a German army engineer - will be kept under constant camera surveillance to record the physical and psychological impact of their time in the isolation chamber.

They will eat packaged rations, wash with damp tissues and spend several hours each day conducting experiments, just as astronauts would on a real space flight. They will use the same toilet as crew on the international space station, which has fans to propel waste into a "sanitary receptacle". They will eat together, work out in a tiny gym - and may even get in to the odd punch-up.

Mark Belokovksy of the IMBP admitted the psychological pressure of living in close quarters with five other human beings could crack even the toughest guinea pigs.

"Tension is inevitable," he said candidly. The fact the 105-day "flight" will be a single-sex trip on this occasion may be a blessing. During a similar experiment in 1999 the participants were given vodka to celebrate New Year's Eve: two members then got in a fist fight after one tried to kiss a female volunteer from Canada.

The capsules have no windows and the explorers' only contact with the outside world will be via an internal email system and a delayed radio link to the "control centre" positioned alongside the GEC. ...

via Sitting in a tin can, not far from central Moscow: Russian scientists prepare for Mars mission | Science | The Guardian.

Solar storm could cause planetary disaster at any time, warn scientists

sun The Government was urged today to make contingency plans for a freak solar flare that could 'knock out' the National Grid and create severe water and food shortages.

Labour former minister Graham Stringer said Britain should be prepared for a repeat of the solar storm of 1859, which hit Earth and paralysed much of the telegraph system.

In a Commons motion, Mr Stringer said such an event could now 'knock out the National Grid, which would lead to a loss of water supply, transport and food and therefore create a national emergency'.

The so-called 'Carrington event' was a magnetic storm that struck Earth in 1859 and caused the failure of telegraph systems all over Europe and North America. Auroras were reportedly seen as far south as Florida.

Now a report funded by NASA claims such a storm today would lead to 'planetary disaster.'

The NAS study released this January outlined the devastating impact it would have. For instance it could leave half of the US without power within 90 seconds, without coal after 30 days and would take the country a decade to recover.

via Solar storm could cause planetary disaster at any time, warn scientists | Mail Online.

Surprise supernova: Massive star explodes despite being 'too immature' to self-destruct


A star one million times brighter than our own sun has exploded, taking the science community completely by surprise.

Physicists were stumped when the star, 200million light years from Earth, erupted into a super-sized supernova in 2005. The spectacular event was captured by Nasa's Hubble Space Telescope.

Researchers from the Weizmann Institute and San Diego State University said it was the largest exploding star ever observed.

via Surprise supernova: Massive star explodes despite being 'too immature' to self-destruct | Mail Online.

Hobbit Skeleton Replica Goes On Display | LiveScience

ALAS POOR YORICK: Professor Mike Morwood at  CDU yesterdayA cast of a "hobbit" skeleton will go on public display for the first time as part of a human evolution symposium April 21 on Long Island, New York.

The hobbit fossils (and near fossils) were discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2003. Some scientists think the discovery represents a new species of human. Others argue it was human like us, only with a disorder called microcephaly which gave it an unusually small head.

The skeleton is set to go on display at Stony Brook University's Staller Center for the Arts as part of the 7th Human Evolution Symposium there.

"A cast of the entire skeleton of the specimen has never been displayed anywhere, inside or outside of Indonesia. This is a real first," said William Jungers, a professor of anatomy at Stony Brook.

As the debate rages on about Homo floresiensis — the so-called hobbit, the symposium will bring together the researchers currently in the process of describing and analyzing the remains.

via Hobbit Skeleton Replica Goes On Display | LiveScience.

Brilliant oval shaped light at high rate of speed followed by F/18's

This is an interesting report from UFO Examiner. It is easy to get the impression that there is something big going on up there in the skies.
California, March 27, 2009 - A brilliant oval shaped light was seen traveling from the South to North East at a high rate of speed followed by F/18's.

At 12:24pm the store owner and I were standing outside of his establishment in Poway, Ca at the corner of Poway and Pomerado road. We were talking while facing in a southerly direction.

It was a very clear day with no clouds in the sky and a minimal amount of humidity in the atmosphere. As I was speaking to him; I noticed a very bright light appear in the sky. It's brilliance and movement drew my attention immediately. The light was so bright that I knew it wasn't an aircraft or helicopter. It was approximately 12 inches (relative) above the southern horizon. Its point of origin was approximately 175 degrees on the compass.

It was traveling at an undetermined, but very high rate of speed. From the point of origin; it was traveling North, North East to a point on the compass that would have ended at approximately 20 degrees. The relative distance that it traveled was approximately two and a half feet from its point of origin. It covered this distance in approximately ten seconds. Approximately 3 minutes after the object disappeared two F/18's traveling from the North East came to the point where the object disappeared.

They circled this area once then continued South West. Thirty seconds later a third "trailer" F/18 came from the same direction and loitered over the area where the UFO had been for approximately 3 minutes. It then egressed to the South West as well. The flight patterns of any aircraft either landing or taking off from Miramar Air Base is well known, as are the flight paths of aircraft that are in the area while performing carrier landings, touch and go exercises, or mutual support missions in this area. The flight path of the three F/18's was well out of normal parameters. As the F/18's approached the area where the object had been they slowed dramatically (no more than 300 knots).

These factors, coupled with the fact that their flight path would have put them in direct "Head On" contact with the object as they flew South West and it traveled North East, gave the impression that they were not only looking for what I had seen but had been on an intercept coarse. The owner of the establishment also saw the object and the F/18's but without his permission I did not want to include his information.

The object was a brilliant oval shaped light. As it traveled North East it grew in size. When I first saw the object it was approximately five centimeters across. It had increased to approximately 12 centimeters before it disappeared. It's change in distance to me as well as it motion makes it highly improbable that it was reflected light. The light was not only brilliant but constant and did not shimmer or shake. there were no visible anti collision lights of any pattern including red or green.

In fact the light from the sun was so bright that the anti collision lights from the F/18's were not visible either. The object made no sound, left no vapor or exhaust trail, and if it's rate of travel was above 620 mph it made no sonic boom. After several second of observing the object I got an uneasy feeling. I would not describe it as fear but unrest as my mind went through the possible causes of the light and continued to fail to come up with a reasonable explanation.

The individual that I was with was equally disturbed. I saw the object first but after I pointed it out to him he couldn't take his eye's off of it. It was not exhibiting non-ballistic motion or any other flight characteristic, other than its speed and brilliance, that appeared to be abnormal. I did not have a camera on my person and the event would not have shown up on the phone/camera of my Motorola Razor. If you have any further questions please feel free to contact me.

Once again, assuming these accounts are legit, some military pilots definitely know more than the rest of us about what is really going on. Doing a search on google for this city, I found this interesting quote on godlikeproductions:
The same military insider that told me that we have 1 million marines stationed off planet also told me there is a huge underground space command base located in Poway, CA.

One million off-Earth marines? Some must be clones ... or perhaps that's where all of the people abducted by aliens year after year end up. Gary McKinnon, the UFO hacker, did mention that he found a list of extra-terrestrial officers when hacking a NASA web site.
“I found a list of officers’ names,” he claims, “under the heading ‘Non-Terrestrial Officers’… What I think it means is not earth-based. I found a list of ‘fleet-to-fleet transfers’ and a list of ship names. I looked them up. They weren’t U.S. Navy ships. What I saw made me believe they have some kind of spaceship, off-planet.”

Visitor Submitted UFO Photo

DSC03486.jpg, originally uploaded by xeno735.

This UFO was uploaded by some as yet unknown person.  If it was  you, please leave a comment letting us know more about it. Thanks, Xeno

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Miracle Fruit turns sour foods sweet

The miracle fruit plant (Synsepalum dulcificum) produces berries that, when eaten, cause sour foods (such as lemons and limes) consumed later to taste sweet. The berry, also known as miracle, magic, miraculous or flavor berry,[2][3] was first documented by explorer Chevalier des Marchais[4] who searched for many different fruits during a 1725 excursion to its native West Africa. Marchais noticed that local tribes picked the berry from shrubs and chewed it before meals. The plant grows in bushes up to 20 feet (6.1 m) high in its native habitat, but does not usually grow higher than ten feet in cultivation, and it produces two crops per year, after the end of the rainy season. It is an evergreen plant that produces small red berries, with flowers that are white and which are produced for many months of the year. The seeds are about the size of coffee beans.

The berry contains an active glycoprotein molecule, with some trailing carbohydrate chains, called miraculin.[5][6] When the fleshy part of the fruit is eaten, this molecule binds to the tongue's taste buds, causing sour foods to taste sweet. While the exact cause for this change is unknown, one hypothesis is that the effect may be caused if miraculin works by distorting the shape of sweetness receptors "so that they become responsive to acids, instead of sugar and other sweet things".[3] This effect lasts 15-30 minutes.[7]

An attempt was made in the 1970s to commercialize the ability of the fruit to turn non-sweet foods into sweet foods without a caloric penalty, but ended in failure in controversial circumstances with accusations that the project was sabotaged and the research burgled by the sugar industry to prevent loss of business caused by a drop in the need for sugar.[8] The FDA has always denied that pressure was put on it by the sugar industry, but refused to release any files on the subject.[9] Similar arguments are noted for FDA's regulation on stevia now labeled as a "dietary supplement" instead of a "sweetener".

For a time in the 1970s, US dieters could purchase a pill form of miraculin.[3] It was at this time that the idea of the "miraculin party"[3] was conceived. Recently, this phenomenon has enjoyed some revival in food tasting events, referred to as "flavor tripping parties" by some.[2] The tasters consume sour and bitter foods, such as lemons, radishes, pickles, hot sauce, and beer, to experience the taste changes that occur.

via Wikipedia

This sounds fun! Has anyone out there tried it? What was it like? The tablets are available on the net and samples are available for $13 to $20 - here or here or here - ... less if you are not afraid to buy food products on ebay.

Do sweets still taste sweet after you eat this? As long as it is safe and works every time you use it, the miracle fruit could save many teeth by allowing people to cut out sugar yet still have sweet tasting meals.  Strep mutans, the bacteria which causes cavities in your teeth, would not do any harm if you were eating something sour and tricking your taste buds into thinking you were eating something sweet.

Vast Spy System Loots Computers in 103 Countries

Many laptops these day have built in web cams, including my latest purchase, so this caught my attention. If your computer is compromised by GhostNet, someone in China may be watching you and recording your conversations.  I made a little flap to cover the camera on my laptop... just in case. ;-)
A vast electronic spying operation has infiltrated computers and has stolen documents from hundreds of government and private offices around the world, including those of the Dalai Lama, Canadian researchers have concluded.

In a report to be issued this weekend, the researchers said that the system was being controlled from computers based almost exclusively in China, but that they could not say conclusively that the Chinese government was involved.

The researchers, who are based at the Munk Center for International Studies at the University of Toronto, had been asked by the office of the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan leader whom China regularly denounces, to examine its computers for signs of malicious software, or malware.

Their sleuthing opened a window into a broader operation that, in less than two years, has infiltrated at least 1,295 computers in 103 countries, including many belonging to embassies, foreign ministries and other government offices, as well as the Dalai Lama’s Tibetan exile centers in India, Brussels, London and New York.

The researchers, who have a record of detecting computer espionage, said they believed that in addition to the spying on the Dalai Lama, the system, which they called GhostNet, was focused on the governments of South Asian and Southeast Asian countries.

Intelligence analysts say many governments, including those of China, Russia and the United States, and other parties use sophisticated computer programs to covertly gather information.

The newly reported spying operation is by far the largest to come to light in terms of countries affected.

This is also believed to be the first time researchers have been able to expose the workings of a computer system used in an intrusion of this magnitude.

Still going strong, the operation continues to invade and monitor more than a dozen new computers a week, the researchers said in their report, “Tracking ‘GhostNet’: Investigating a Cyber Espionage Network.” They said they had found no evidence that United States government offices had been infiltrated, although a NATO computer was monitored by the spies for half a day and computers of the Indian Embassy in Washington were infiltrated.

The malware is remarkable both for its sweep — in computer jargon, it has not been merely “phishing” for random consumers’ information, but “whaling” for particular important targets — and for its Big Brother-style capacities. It can, for example, turn on the camera and audio-recording functions of an infected computer, enabling monitors to see and hear what goes on in a room. The investigators say they do not know if this facet has been employed.

via Vast Spy System Loots Computers in 103 Countries - NYTimes.com.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Lights out in SF

Lights out in SF, originally uploaded by xeno735.

Lights out Saturday night!

Remember when you could see stars? Have your kids ever seen the Milky Way? For some reason we have, as a society, decided we need to keep the bulbs burning in our stores and offices when they're empty, and illuminate things that don't really need to be seen at night - like tall Skyglow/International Dark Sky Associationbuildings.  Too many of our outdoor lights waste International Dark Sky Associationenergy lighting up dust in the air and the underside of the clouds. That's what causes the skyglow captured in the photo at left, and it erases the stars. It is costing us billions in wasted energy, contributing to climate change and divorcing us from our heritage in the night sky (right).

For one hour beginning at 8:30 local time Saturday night, from Baltimore's City Hall to the Pyramids of Egypt, the lights will go out in a global expression of concern for our planet.

via Maryland Weather: Lights out Saturday night! - Sun reporter Frank Roylance blogs on meteorology - marylandweather.com.

Join in the fun and kill those lights tonight for one hour. Got candles? Birth control? ;-) I'm headed to San Francisco tonight to watch lights out. Seems like the best place, the place with the most lights visible. Hopefully I'll post some before and after pics here from my cell phone in real time as it happens. (Check this site 8:30 PM tonight, west coast time).

Friday, March 27, 2009

UFO Examiner: UFOs near ground level in TX, NC

Three UFO low fly reports over Texas and North Carolina were recently reported to the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) database.

A man and his daughter at Medina Lake near San Antonio on March 25 watched as a silent, semi-circular craft with no lights or windows, hovered just 30 feet off of the ground at a distance of about 100 yards. The craft measured about 12 to 15 feet across, and 5 to 6 feet in height. The object tilted slightly before disappearing.

Four witnesses driving home from a restaurant watched a donut-shaped object at the rooftop level of nearby homes hover at a distance of 600 to 1,000 yards in Driftwood, Texas, on March 14. A peculiar sound from the object seemed to change pitch depending on the brightness of the object.

A man stopped his tractor trailer after observing a hovering object as he was driving east on U.S. Route 64 near the first exit for Nashville, Norh Carolina, on March 10. He said the object was between 75 and 100 feet off of the ground. He described it as a silent, triangular-shape, 40 to 50 feet wide, with two red lights at the rear and a bright white light in front. It was between 200 and 300 yards away. The object hovered, then moved above a shopping center for 5 to 7 minutes, and then moved away in a southerly direction. ...

via UFO Examiner: UFOs near ground level in TX, NC - new reports.

Whom, do you suppose, is flying it?

What Perfumes Did Ancient Egyptians Use? Researchers Aim To Recreate 3,500-year-old Scent

In X-rays, a liquid residue can be clearly seen in the ancient Egyptian perfume bottle. (Credit: Frank Luerweg, University of Bonn)

The Ancient Egyptians cherished their fragrant scents, too, as perfume flacons from this period indicate. In its permanent exhibition, Bonn University's Egyptian Museum has a particularly well preserved example on display. Screening this 3,500-year-old flacon with a computer tomograph, scientists at the university detected the desiccated residues of a fluid, which they now want to submit to further analysis. They might even succeed in reconstructing this scent.

via What Perfumes Did Ancient Egyptians Use? Researchers Aim To Recreate 3,500-year-old Scent.

I'd like to smell what they create from this, just out of curiosity.

Awareness Of Darwin Not Evolving

finches.jpgWhat has the public learned from the Darwin 200 celebrations?

A survey carried out by students on the newly created MSc in Science, Communication and Society at the University of Kent has revealed a disappointing level of knowledge regarding the life and works of one of Britain’s best-known scientists, Charles Darwin.

A simple survey composed of four questions was carried out on the University of Kent’s Canterbury campus and in Canterbury city centre, with surveyors approaching people at random.

Despite the fact that his portrait is on the back of a ten pound note, less than half of those surveyed were able to select Darwin’s picture from a selection of five bearded Victorians.

Knowledge of Darwin’s work was even more disappointing. The general public and university members alike scored lower than they should have done by simply guessing on questions relating to the content of his book.

For example, when asked to identify the type of animal most prominently featured in On The Origin Of Species, only 14% were able to correctly select birds from a list of five options. The most popular answer was ‘monkeys’.

via Awareness Of Darwin Not Evolving.

Read about Darwin's finches on wikipedia. The Galapagos Islands might be fun to visit some day. Here is some BBC footage:

Vacuum sex act draws 90-day sentence

A man police caught performing a sex act with a car wash vacuum has been sentenced to 90 days in prison.

Jason Leroy Savage must also submit to drug testing.

The 29-year-old from Michigan, was sentenced Wednesday at Saginaw County Circuit Court. Savage pleaded no contest to indecent exposure last month.

via Vacuum sex act draws 90-day sentence - Criminal weirdness- msnbc.com.

Jail? Complete waste of taxpayer money. Are you telling me any homeless guy can go get 90 days free room and board at the county jail by pulling a stunt like this? If he was serious about getting hot over a max-vac, check him in to a mental hospital and get him some therapy.

The origin of life on Earth, explained

This video is amazing! It explains how life could begin on Earth, spontaneously. For me, seeing this, and having it fit with everything else I've learned about self organizing systems--snowflakes, for example--was very convincing.

This video explains how life can appear on Earth with no magic, just basic chemistry. But in watching this with a friend, I realize you do have to understand some beyond high school level science concepts for this to really click.

Anyway, one of the two groups, evolutionists and creationists, is wrong. (Both could be wrong if aliens are involved, but that's another story...) If this explains life on Earth, there is still an opening for the job of Prime Mover, I believe, and perhaps that is a place to seek God.

How soon until life is re-created this way in a laboratory?

Comment on Youtube by cdk007:
... Abiogenesis is the leading scientific theory based on experiments conducted in the fields of biology, chemistry, geology, and astrophysics. It is based on a number of empirical observations, and is currently our best understanding for the origin of life.

Has it been directly observed? The evidence reviewed here from the Szostak lab is the closest we've come.

Update: Abiogenesis is the field of study of how life may have began from inanimate matter.

Check out the movies here showing more details from teh Szostak Lab's work.

If you follow self organizing systems like the ones above, forces can eventually result in single celled organisms. How did Multicellular life evolve? Watch this:

Tinnitus cure 'is a step closer'

I've had this crazy ringing in my right ear for months now. Just last night it moved into both ears.
EarScientists believe they are a step closer to curing tinnitus after they have found what could be the root cause of ringing in the ears.

Studies show hearing loss can go hand-in-hand with over-excitable nerves within brain areas that process sound.

This uncontrolled nerve activity causes the noises that plague people with tinnitus and appears to be down to gene changes, Neuroscience reports.

And it raises the hope of treatment by silencing nerve activity, experts say. ... Belgian neurosurgeon Dirk De Ridder has tried implanting electrodes directly into the brain of sufferers to permanently normalise the overactive neurons.

He has had some successful results, although one of his patients repeatedly reported an out-of-body experience as a side effect.

In the latest study, researchers at the University of Western Australia studied what was happening inside the brain and found increased activity in nerves in the auditory brainstem where sounds are processed.

And this was linked to changes in the genes involved in regulating the activity of the nerve cells.

Spontaneous firing

This meant pathways that normally keep a lid on nerve signal transmission were blocked and others were more excitable than usual.

Lead researcher Professor Don Robertson said: "Identifying genes associated with spontaneous nerve cell activity is crucial.

"It means that it may be possible to use drugs to block this activity and treat conditions such as tinnitus in the future."

via BBC NEWS | Health | Tinnitus cure 'is a step closer'.

Could taking 3 grams per day of un-buffered vitamin C lower my stomach acid and result in a B12 deficiency?
Vitamin B12 deficiency has been linked to tinnitus in at least one study. 2 I personally had nutrition testing done just prior to developing tinnitus and was found to be low in vitamin B12. (Click here for a list of foods high in vitamin B12.) In order to absorb vitamin B12, people need to have enough stomach acid. In my case I think I was low in vitamin B12 because I was eating too many alkaline foods that lowered my stomach acid (Read my personal story on ringing in my ears here.) Despite having a diet high in B12 rich foods, I think I became deficient because I wasn't able to properly absorb what I was eating.

The berries and tomatoes every day might be getting me too.

It is established that drugs such as aspirin may cause tinnitus. However it is less well known that there are many common foods that contain salicylates, or aspirin like substances. As such, it may be prudent for chronic tinnitus sufferers to monitor what they eat to see if there are any correlations between their diets and their hearing problems. In Prescription for Herbal Healing 4, author Phyllis A. Balch recommends avoiding high salicylate foods including:

  • Almonds

  • Apples

  • Apricots

  • Berries

  • Cherries

  • Cucumbers

  • Grapes

  • Nectarines

  • Oranges

  • Peaches

  • Pickles

  • Plums

  • Prunes

  • Raisins

  • Tomatoes

  • Wine

Best to change our diets now and then. Variety is good. I'll mix it up and see if the ears improve, take extra B12 and magnesium today and see if the ringing goes away. I have some Valarian root extract around too. I'll try that to help me sleep tonight
The extract of valerian has been the treatment of choice for anxiety and insomnia throughout the world. It is a sedative and painkiller. Helpful in treating insomnia, Valerian is taken at bedtime to prevent panic attacks and is used as a replacement for tranquilizers.

... along with getting back to some real exercise. Beautiful day today here in sunny CA.

Mars domes may be 'mud volcanoes'

Martian dome (Nasa)Scientists say the possible discovery of mud volcanoes on Mars could boost the search for the planet's past life.

If life ever existed on Mars, the evidence could be buried deep below the surface, where it may be warm enough for water to remain in a liquid state.

Mud volcanoes could transport rocks from depths of several kilometres up to the surface, where robotic explorers could reach them.

Details were presented at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Texas.

via BBC NEWS | Science & Environment | Mars domes may be 'mud volcanoes'.

Forget about the face on Mars, this is the boob on Mars.

The Pueblo Chieftain Online :: Two more cows found mutilated

Two more Southern Colorado ranchers say they have discovered cows mutilated under strange circumstances.

A cow on a ranch near Walsenburg was found with its udders cut off and a calf on a ranch near Trinidad was found missing the entire center of its body as well as its ears.

A similar mutilation was discovered March 8 on a pasture near the Purgatoire River, just west of the small town of Weston. That cow was found dead by rancher Mike Duran with its udders and reproductive organs surgically removed from its body.

The most recent case happened on Jim Garren's ranch.

Garren said Tuesday that he last saw his cow alive on Friday afternoon at his spread 12 miles southeast of Walsenburg in Las Animas County. Garren said the next day at around 2:30 p.m. his ranch manager was feeding the herd and noticed his cattle count was off by one. After looking around in areas where cows had grazed previously, Garren said his ranch hand spotted the animal dead under a cedar tree.

"The only thing that we could tell about her was that her udder had been surgically removed. There were no other injuries to that cow," Garren said.

He said the ground around the cow was never disturbed and there was no trauma to the cow's head or body.

"We searched and searched and we could not find blood on the ground or on the cow. I just can't understand how anyone could surgically remove a part from an animal and not spill some blood," he said.

via The Pueblo Chieftain Online :: Two more cows found mutilated.

Any military bases or UFOs around?
Since the first incident in 1967 some ten to twenty thousand domestic cattle have been found dead and mutilated, mainly in the United States. The animals have been found in fields with certain organs removed, cut open by a very sharp instrument or by laser. A rigorous investigation [JS90 p. 169-289] leads one to believe that the removal of the organs has taken place after the animal has been abducted by air: there are no traces of a struggle or of blood on the ground, animals are found in places inaccessible on foot, etc.

Broken heart can be fatal...but can be mended Medics...or friends.

While I was explaining my insomnia to Pete the Drum Scientist, I found some research that says losing my best friend may be dangerous to my health if I don't take appropriate measures and spend time with other friends.  I may also need some aspirin?
Scientists have found it is possible to mend a broken heart.

US researchers studied 70 patients with "broken heart syndrome", a recognised condition linked to stressful or emotional events.

All these patients recovered, most after being given aspirin or heart drugs, even though 20% were deemed critically ill.

The American Journal of Cardiology study says the condition is probably caused by a surge in stress hormones.

Broken heart syndrome, known medically as Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, was first described by Japanese researchers in the early 1990s.

Even though symptoms mimic those of a heart attack such as chest pain and shortness of breath, broken heart syndrome does appear to be temporary and completely reversible - if treated quickly.

... The researchers also discovered that, unlike heart attacks which tend to occur in winter, broken heart syndrome cases tend to occur in the spring and summer months.

... "Some believe it is simply a form of a heart attack that 'aborts' itself early and therefore doesn't leave any permanent heart muscle damage. ... However people do seem to make a full recovery."

via BBC NEWS | Health | Medics 'can mend a broken heart'.

I've definitely felt what seemed like real heart problems under strong stress, especially after major breakups, but workups at the ER and have always showed that my heart is good and strong. Treadmill tests show the same thing: strong as an ox. I've assumed that the heart twinges were just stomach acid, but the above suggests they may be temporary reactions of the heart muscle to stress hormones.

I've been taught that there is good stress and bad stress. Stress is the way that I get things done. I spend most of my days under pressure and if it is not external, then I "whip the llama" myself, pushing myself to fight, to do my best, berating myself for not living up to my potential.

"Grief and loss" stress seems different from "competition and achievement" stress because the former includes a component of resignation. You can't get a loved one back, and you never will. ... but you might win the next race if you train hard.

If you are dealing with grief stress, if you've had a loss of any kind, a friend, a lover, a pet, a relative ... be sure to face the seriousness of it.
It is possible to die from a broken heart, mounting evidence shows.

A review of recent work, published in The Lancet, found that the risk of death increases by up to a fifth following bereavement.

Investigator Margaret Stroebe of Utrecht University, The Netherlands, said the psychological distress caused by the loss played a big part....

"This phenomenon has been recognized for some time. Loss of a close significant person such as a partner is a severe experience for the bereaved person who is left.

"On the positive side, there is good evidence indicating that the availability of personal support networks are a significant element in helping people who have been bereaved. ...

via BBC NEWS | HEALTH | Proof broken hearts can be fatal

How to Heal

A balance is needed, even with grief. Face your feelings, but do not wallow. Don't overwhelm yourself. Most scientific studies, according to a 2004 report by Kleenex, show no positive effects of crying.  While many people feel better after doing it, crying may suppress your immune system.  It seems more likely that crying is something we do to get what we really need: comforting interaction. So, now that you know that, skip the crying and go tell someone how you feel. Distances and gas prices can keep us isolated. Thus we have Skype, Twitter, Blogs and Facebook. If you are sad or lonely, give me a call. Everything will get better quickly when we get out in the sun, shoot some hoops, buy stuff, walk on the beach, play tennis ... and so on.  If asprin doesn't damage your stomach lining too badly, you might try that for a day or two too.


4:15 in the AM and I still can't get to sleep. Don't know why. Anyone else have this problem? Hmm, according to Wikipedia, millions of you do.
Insomnia is a symptom of a sleeping disorder characterized by persistent difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep despite the opportunity. Insomnia is a symptom, not a stand-alone diagnosis or a disease. By definition, insomnia is "difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep, or both" and it may be due to inadequate quality or quantity of sleep. It is typically followed by functional impairment while awake. Insomniacs have been known to complain about being unable to close their eyes or "rest their mind" for more than a few minutes at a time. Both organic and non-organic insomnia constitute a sleep disorder. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in year 2007, approximately 64 million Americans suffer from insomnia on a regular basis each year. Insomnia is 1.4 times more common in women than in men.

Periowave, photodynamic disinfection. Periogen, dissolves calculus?

http://beamsdoorway.bizland.com/cure-gum-disease/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/toothdiagram.jpgThis post relates to some of my recent battles with tooth health. Three months ago I had healed all of the cavities in my teeth. To celebrate, I started eating sugar.  Chocolate energy bars are so good after a workout!

But, now, I must pay the price: pain and money. I have a new cavity in one tooth and another tooth broke while I was flossing. I had the large hole filled with a temporary filling and I'm investigating several ugly options for that.

Meanwhile, I'm told I have lots of calculus deposits below my gum line and that I'll need go get numbed up in my entire mouth and have my teeth roots scraped smooth. This is called scaling and root planing (SRP). It requires 12 shots. No. Way. I do not want to do that. I HATE SHOTS!!! They make me want to hit people, to fight back against the pain, to defend myself. Even after I'm numb, I KNOW someone is damaging my gums with a drill. I don't like it.

I'd almost rather just get the heart attack from the bacteria that cause endocarditis and die. Irrational, I know. Odds are that I am not even half way done with my life, so I need to think about what is best long term.

There must be a better way than SRP. At the edge of depression, I dared to Google the words "disolves calculus" and my hope paid off. Tonight I spent $120 on some Peroigen, a measurer and a special syringe to deliver the Periogen goodness to my tooth roots.  I already own a water pick, but I don't use it. As soon as my order arrives, I will use it daily to slowly remove tarter below the gum line (see Periogen below).  I'll share my before and after pocket depth measurements to let you know if it worked.

So, if you are like me, you will love these two things:

Periowave Step 1Periowave Step 2Periowave™ is a quick and painless technology that works to kill the bacteria associated with periodontal diseases, without the promotion of antibiotic resistance.


Periowave is the first treatment system for gum diseases that uses photodynamic disinfection (PDD). PDD is a two-stage process that uses a photosensitizing solution and low-intensity, cold laser light to kill the harmful bacteria and enzymes that cause gum disease.

Periowave is safe, effective and painless, with no known harmful side effects, and is non-antibiotic. - smartsmile

Clinical studies have shown that Periowave in conjunction with SRP can significantly increase CAL, reduce bleeding, and reduce probing depths relative to SRP alone!

Advice: This study shows that if you need a root scaling done that you should get one Periowave treatment after SRP and then another 6 weeks later.

Periowave™ clinical outcomes include a reduction in pocket depth, an increase in clinical attachment level, a decrease in bleeding on probing and an improvement in gingival tissue tone and texture. Periowave treated patients have also been noted to have an overall improved whole mouth effect even at untreated sites. For more information please see Clinical Study Result (link to Clinical Studies) and Case Studies (link to Case Studies)

The Periowave photosensitizer is a proprietary solution. The main ingredients include a phenothiazine dye (methylene blue), pH stabilizers, taste enhancers and mucoadhesive polymers. The Periowave laser and photosensitizing solution are carefully designed to work together, and other diode lasers or photosensitizers will not produce the same photosensitizing effect or clinical results.

The PERIOWAVE Advantage:

Current therapies for oral-cavity disinfection include antibiotics and antiseptics. Antibiotics are less effective in the oral cavity as they must stay uncomfortably in place for long periods of time, frequently resulting in patient non-compliance. Ondine´s periowave treatment can be applied, activated, and then removed from the affected site, maximizing patient comfort. The benefits of this technology include:

* Rapid action
* Broad-spectrum efficacy
* High specificity to disease-causing bacteria, and
* Low levels of toxicity to host cells in vitro
- ddsgadget

Scraping your teeth smooth ( a deep cleaning) is recommended to remove tarter. I can find no studies which show what happens if you use periowave WITHOUT scaling and root planing.
In dentistry, calculus is a form of hardened Dental plaque and is synonymous with tartar. It is caused by the continual accumulation of minerals from saliva on plaque on the teeth. Its rough surface provides an ideal medium for further plaque formation, threatening the health of the gingiva.

Brushing and flossing can remove plaque from which calculus forms; however, once formed, it is too hard and firmly attached to be removed with a toothbrush. Routine dental visits are necessary so that calculus buildup can be professionally removed with ultrasonic tools and specialized sharp instruments.

If you kill the bacteria causing the calculus, calculus it would still be there allowing more bacteria to return.  I know I have some of these hard white deposits below the root line because when part of my tooth recently broke while I was flossing at work, I saw them on the tooth fragment myself.

Dissolving Calculus

If Periogen dissolves calculus below the gumline, I wonder if it could be used in conjuction with periowave as a non painful effective treatment for gum disease.

I don't know what is in Periogen, but one study from 1971 says that daily rinses of a 5.0% solution of amidopolyphosphate resulted in significant calculus reductions (over 50% reduction) but did not damage enamel in tests with cow teeth.
Sub-gingival calculus (tartar) is comprised almost entirely of two components: Fossilized anaerobic bacteria whose biologic composition has been replaced by calcium phosphate salts, and otherwise free floating calcium phosphate salts that have joined the fossilized bacteria in calculus formations. The initial attachment mechanism and the development of mature calculus formations are based on electrical charge. Unlike calcium phosphate, the primary component of teeth, calcium phosphate salts exist as electrically unstable ions.

Although the reason why fossilized bacteria are attracted to one part of the subgingival tooth surface, and not another, is not fully understood; once the first layer is attached, ionized calculus components are naturally attracted to the same places due to electrical charge. The fossilized bacteria pile on top of one another, in a rather haphazard manner. All the while, free-floating ionic components fill in the gaps left by the fossilized bacteria. The resultant hardened structure can be compared to concrete; with the fossilized bacteria playing the role of aggregate, and the smaller calcium phosphate salts being the cement. The once purely electrical association of fossilized bacteria then becomes mechanical, with the introduction of free-floating calcium phosphate salts. The “hardened” calculus formations are at the heart of periodontal disease and treatment.

... Because the fundamental bond of sub-gingival calculus is a weak electrical association, it is entirely possible to deconstruct calculus using a chelating procedure. Such a process would have to be repetitive in nature, perhaps daily, to introduce ions of the opposite charge to the calculus structures in order to chelate existing components; and to prevent new components from attaching to the existing calculus formations.

Sodium fluoride has the opposite charge needed to chelate calculus formations.

... An independent evaluation of the chelation of sub-g calculus formations is documented on YouTube; search criteria “Periogen”

Periogen™ is an effective and safe polyphosphate composition which, when applied daily at home with an oral irrigator, dissolves tartar on contact.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Waterlase Dental Procedure

Report: Japan OKs failed NKorea rocket intercept

Japan has approved a deployment of interceptors in case debris falls onto its territory if a North Korean rocket launch fails, Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported Friday.

Japan's national security council approved the order, which allows the defense minister to mobilize the missile defense system for the first time, NHK said.

WASHINGTON: White House warns North Korea on rocket launch

North Korea has said it will launch a communications satellite between April 4-8, and has designated waters off northern Japan as at risk for falling fragments. Japan and its allies have called the launch an attempt to test long-range ballistic missile technology and demanded the North cancel the plan.

Japan is also set to shift some of the PAC-3 land-to-air missiles, now around Tokyo, to the north coast and to send a pair of destroyers carrying missile interceptors to nearby waters.

Pyongyang has designated the waters off northern Akita and Iwate prefectures as a risk zone for falling fragments.

Japan has also warned of additional sanctions against North Korea if the country goes ahead with a launch. The Japanese parliament is set to issue a statement Friday urging the North to scrap the launch, which Japan says violates a U.N. Security Council resolution barring North Korea from any ballistic missile development activity.

Japan imposed tight trade sanctions against Pyongyang in 2006 after it tested ballistic missiles in waters between the two countries and conducted an atomic test. Japan's current sanctions, which have been extended every six months, are set to expire April 13.

via Report: Japan OKs failed NKorea rocket intercept - USATODAY.com.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

ET tracked down on Google Street View

ET tracked down on Google Street View A misty shape, bearing a distinct similarity to the movie alien, was captured behind a bush next to a mysterious beam of light.

The spooky snap was caught by Google image cameras in the town of Berkeley Heights in New Jersey.

Some claim the image could be evidence of life in outer space while others point to a simple trick of the light.

The 'ET' alien was photographed on Diamond Hill Road, a semi-rural location about eight miles from Morristown Municipal Airport, New Jersey and 30 miles from the bright lights of New York City.

Malcolm Robinson, head of the Strange Phenomena Investigations, described the image as "the first of its kind".

He said: "On close inspection the similarities with ET are obvious but it's hard to say with any certainty what exactly it is "Of added interest is the strange beam of light to the right, which I cannot explain either. "This picture is the first of it's kind, as far as I'm aware, in that its been captured on Google's new Street View technology. "However, because it was captured by Google it would appear that there aren't any witnesses to back up what was photographed, which is frustrating. "Without further details to go on I'm really stumped. We'd all love it to be alien, but that's a big assumption."

Nick Sawyer, one of many web-users to have spotted the alien-like creature, added: "Whatever it is, you cannot deny that it looks exactly like ET. "The head is an oblong shape and it seems to have the same long neck and fat body. "There is also a beam of light right next to him, who knows, that might be an unseen spaceship trying to make contact.

via ET tracked down on Google Street View - Telegraph.

There is a zoomed out picture and write up on Tomsguide by Jane McEntegart.
Picture: Google Earth (via the Star)

One person commenting on weeklyworldnews.com's article writes: "its lense flare if you travel up diamond hill road new jersey its in almost every picture".


Try it yourself: here.    I was not able to locate the ET and light beam image on Street View.  Is it still there? Diamond Hill road isn't very long. It's street view ends before the road actually endsto Google may have removed that section... I didn't see other light lines on the section of Diamond Hill Rd I traveled. Based on other things in the area, I wonder if a photo stitched telephone pole is responsible for the beam of light: