- Stephen Hawking warns that attempting to contact aliens could invite disaster
- Researchers discover fossils of tiny mammals that frolicked among dinosaurs
- Yes, that 3D-printed mansion is safe to live in
- The Greatest Lie Ever Told ~ Evolution Debunked ~ Intriguing Questions Science Cannot Answer
- Why Mars Died and Earth Lived
- How Space Travel Affects the Human Body
- Science, Morality & Sky People on Coast To Coast Radio with George Noory
- WHERE did the Big Bang Happen?
- 50 AMAZING Facts to Blow Your Mind! Part 6
Posted: 12 Feb 2015 10:10 PM PST
Excerpt from cambridge-news.co.uk
What is known as Active Seti will be under serious discussion this week at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in San Jose, California.
Seti spokesman Dr Seth Shostak outlined methods being explored of conducting Active Seti within the next two years - including the possibility of nurturing an alien interest in cricket and rock music.
The idea would be to flood the ETs with lively content from the internet rather than bore them with mathematical concepts or chemical equations.
But the Cambridge physicist has warned against inviting an unwelcome visit from aliens, pointing out: "The outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn't turn out well for the Native Americans."
A number of other experts agree with Prof Hawking - including scientist, author and futurist Dr David Brin, who is taking part in the AAAS symposium.
He said: "If you bring human history into the discussion, there is a cautionary tale. Name one example of a meeting between an advanced civilisation and a less technically advanced one that did not end in tears.
"Just because the probability of a negative outcome is very low that does not mean it is zero. The existence of low probability outcomes that might be devastatingly negative is worth pondering."
On the methods, Dr Shostak, director of the Centre for Seti Research in Mountain View, California, said: "I think you'd want to send lots of information. I recommend that we send the entire internet, the Google servers.
"Send it all. If they look up cricket, there are descriptions, pictures, diagrams showing a pitch, footage.. They'll cross-correlate all this and put it together and if they are clever at all, they will figure out something about cricket.
"Honestly, what do they want to hear from us? Do they want to hear what the structure of the hydrogen atom is? No, they know that. They want to know about our rock 'n roll."
Seti dates back to 1960 when a young astronomer called Frank Drake conducted the first microwave radio search for intelligent signals from other solar systems.
Since then about 100 searches have been made for radio or laser-transmitted messages from the stars, none of which have confirmed the existence of an extraterrestrial civilisation.
A few isolated attempts have also been made to contact ETs directly by broadcasting signals. But now a number of scientists, including Dr Shostak, believe what is needed is a full scale co-ordinated Active Seti operation.
Posted: 12 Feb 2015 09:52 PM PST
Two new fossil discoveries push the timeline back on the appearance of burrowing and tree-climbing mammals. Fossils of the shrew-sized creatures found in China date to the age of the dinosaurs and show that mammals of that period were already highly specialized, well-performing animals. One of the rodent-like animals was likely a long-clawed tree-dweller, while the other was shovel-pawed tunnel-digger.
The little tree-climber, Agilodocodon scansorius, is the earliest arboreal mammal ever discovered. A report published this week in Science Magazine highlights its traits suited for its habitat, including long claws, spade-like front teeth for gnawing into bark, and flexible elbows and ankles. It is believed to have weighed up to 40 grams, a bit less than a typical hotdog without condiments, and lived about 165 million years ago in what is Mongolia today.
“When we got into the study of Agilodocodon, we realized that the outline for the horny sheath of the claws is preserved,” Zhe-Xi Luo, professor of organismal biology and anatomy at the University of Chicago, said in an interview. “Those soft tissues are not preserved in the vast majority of mammals. It has a very long, curved narrow claw — one feature to show that it is a good climber.”
Both fossils are of creatures that belong to the order Docodonta. The discoveries are the first to provide full skeletons of this order, which had previously been characterized by evidence from fossils of teeth, jaws, and bits of skull.
Posted: 12 Feb 2015 09:37 PM PST
Back in April, a team of Chinese construction workers used a 3D printer to construct houses. By day’s end, there were 10 standing. They were compact and fairly bare bones — nothing much to look at besides the “wow!” factor of there being as many as — count them — 10. But this time around, those same builders have taken the wraps off an achievement that’s roundly more impressive.
In Suzhou Industrial Park, adjacent to Shanghai, stands a five-story structure that the WinSun Decoration Design Engineering firm claims is “the world’s tallest 3D-printed building.” Next to it is the equally massive 3D-printed mansion, which measures 11,840 square feet. Like the previous buildings, the walls are comprised of a mix of concrete and recycled waste materials, such as glass and steel, and formed layer by printed layer. The company stated that the total cost for the mansion was roughly $161,000.
In a broader sense, this latest feat is yet another indication of how rapidly additive manufacturing techniques are advancing. Once used primarily as a means to quickly render miniature model versions of products, the technology has reached a point where large-scale printers are now capable of making life-sized working creations, such as automobiles, in mere days. For instance, it took less than 48 hours for start-up Local Motors to print a two-seater called the Strati into existence and drive it off the showroom.
Many of these designs, however, typically don’t amount to much beyond being passion projects meant to push 3D printing into new frontiers and drum up some publicity along the way. One example of this is the massive 3D Print Canal House that’s being constructed entirely on-site along a canal in Amsterdam, a process that’s slated to take longer and is less feasible than standard construction, Phil Reeves of UK-based 3D printing research firm Econolyst recently told CNN.
More promising, though, is a system developed by Behrokh Khoshnevis, a University of Southern California engineering professor. His concept machine, called Contour Crafting, involves a clever combination of mechanical cranes and 3D layering to print and assemble entire homes simultaneously — complete with insulation and indoor plumbing — in less than a day.
The approach employed by WinSun isn’t anywhere near that level of sophistication, but it may well prove to be the most practical – at least thus far. There is some labor and equipment costs that comes from trucking in and piecing together the various sections on-site, though the manner in which it all comes together is comparable to the ease of prefab assembly. It’s also reportedly greener thanks to the addition of recycled materials.
To pitch the advantages of their technology, the company held a news conference to announce that they had taken on orders for 20,000 smaller units as well as highlight some significant cost-cutting figures. According to industry news site 3Der:
The sheer size of the printer allows for a 10x increase in production efficiency. WinSun estimates that 3D printing technology can save between 30 and 60 percent of building materials and shortens production times by 50 to even 70 percent, while decreasing labor costs by 50 up to even 80 percent. Future applications include 3D printed bridges or tall office buildings that can be built right on site.
WinSun did not respond to a request to disclose how they arrived at those numbers, but Enrico Dini, an Italian civil engineer and chairman of competing start-up Monolite, says that he suspects the calculations may be a tad bit inflated. Still, he emphasized that his own data does back up the claim that, compared to conventional methods, layering may boost overall efficiency.
“It would be very difficult to fabricate such large sections with traditional concrete casting,” he says. “With 3D printing, you have a lot less waste because you’re only printing out as much material as you need and you can custom shape whole sections on the spot, which can be a big challenge.”
WinSun’s 3D-printed villa has several rooms and has been deemed to be up to China’s national safety standards.
One major concern is whether these large-scale dwellings can hold up over time against the elements. According to 3Der, Ma Rongquan, chief engineer of China Construction Bureau, inspected the building’s structural integrity and found them to be up to code, but was careful to note that state officials have yet to establish specific criteria for assessing the long-term safety of 3D printed architecture.
And as Dini, who supports the technology, points out, there is the possibility that the use of additive manufacturing may pose some degree of risk. “The only issue is that as the layers of concrete are bonded together, they’re drying at slightly different rates and that’s not very ideal,” he explains. “So there’s maybe a higher chance of it fracturing at the contact point if there’s a strong enough force at play.”
Regardless, Dini says he’d feel completely safe going inside any floor of either building since construction materials used today are likely to contain special additives to enhance strength and resistance. One such formulation, fiber-reinforced Ductal, has been shown in some tests to be 10 times stronger and last twice as long as regular concrete. He stressed that walls should also be tested to ensure that other properties, such as acoustics, ventilation and thermal insulations are on par with existing buildings.
“In Italy, building standards are extremely strict,” he noted. “But I can’t say I can say the same about China.”
Posted: 12 Feb 2015 09:19 PM PST
If the Grand Canyon was naturally created the way science explains it, why is there only one in the entire world?
Click to zoom
Posted: 12 Feb 2015 09:07 PM PST
Click to zoom
Posted: 12 Feb 2015 09:05 PM PST
Click to zoom
Posted: 12 Feb 2015 09:00 PM PST
Click to zoom
Posted: 12 Feb 2015 08:57 PM PST
Click to zoom
Posted: 12 Feb 2015 08:54 PM PST
Click to zoom