- Evolutionists stumped confused & dumbfounded by 15 questions ~ Must See!
- Desperately Seeking ET: Fermi's Paradox Turns 65 ~ Part 2
- A super-hot super-Earth spotted 40 light-years away
- Astronomers Measure Distance to Farthest Galaxy Yet
- Mysterious Glow Detected At Center Of Milky Way Galaxy
- How Your Mind Affects Your Body
- Can This DNA Hack Help You Stay Young Forever?
- The Bell Witch Project & American Occult on Coast To Coast Radio with George Noory
- Ancient Advanced Building Materials & Techniques ~ Part 1 ~ Geopolymers and more...
Posted: 05 May 2015 07:05 PM PDT
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Posted: 05 May 2015 06:59 PM PDT
Excerpt from huffingtonpost.com
Why is it so hard to find ET? After 50 years of searching, the SETI project has so far found nothing. In the latest development, on April 14, 2015 Penn State researchers announced that after searching through satellite data on 100,000 galaxies, they saw no evidence, such as infrared signatures, indicative of advanced technological civilizations. Such civilizations might exist, but there was certainly no clear-cut evidence in their data.
In our Part I article, we mentioned how numerous scientists over the past 65 years, since Fermi first raised the question "Where is everybody?", have examined Fermi's paradox and have proposed solutions. We listed a number of these proposed solutions, such as the following, with common rejoinders that have been raised against them:
The problem with explanations such number one is that it just takes one small group in one distant civilization to break the pact of silence. Given our experience with human society, it is hardly credible that a "law"-forbidding contact with civilizations such as ours could be enforced over a vast and diverse interstellar society without any exceptions over millions of years. Similarly, with regards to number four, it is not credible that a global society could permanently enforce a global ban on communications, specifically targeted to nascent technological societies such as ours in a form that we could easily recognize.
With regards to number three, it also seems exceedingly unlikely that each and every individual of each and every ET society forever lacks interest in communication and/or exploration. This is doubly dubious given the fact that evolution, which is widely believed to be the driver behind intelligent life everywhere, strongly favors organisms that explore and expand their dominion. Similar difficulties torpedo other explanations that rely on a "sociological" scenario. See our Part I article for additional discussion.
Another class of explanation is "technological" -- extra-terrestrial civilizations may exist, but interstellar exploration and communication is simply too difficult (see number two above).
But such explanations typically ignore the potential of rapidly advancing technology, together with the fact that any ET society is almost certainly thousands or millions of years more advanced than us. For example, a society could deploy "von Neumann probes" that travel to a nearby star system, send data back to the home planet, construct replicas of themselves, and launch these craft to even more distant systems. In one recent analysis, researchers found that 99 percent of all star systems in the Milky Way could be explored in only about five million years, which is an eye-blink in the multi-billion-year age of the Milky Way.
Communication can be facilitated by similar high-tech means. For instance, von Neumann probes could easily be outfitted with facilities to view, communicate with and relay messages to the home planet. Already, "cube sats," namely small satellites just a few inches in size, are being deployed to monitor Earth. And NASA is developing telescopes that can detect signatures of biological activity on extrasolar planets.
More futuristically, SETI pioneer Frank Drake observes that we could employ a "gravitational lens," taking advantage of the curvature of light around the sun, to obtain high-resolution images of distant planets, and even listen in to their microwave or optical communications and respond in kind. Such a scheme should be feasible in just a few decades. So why isn't ET calling us using a gravitational lens on their end?
The great filter
As we mentioned in our Part I article, some have suggested that there is a great filter that explains the eerie silence -- some major barrier to a society becoming sufficiently advanced to explore the Milky Way.
Possibilities here range from the hypothesis that it might be extraordinarily unlikely for life to begin at all, or that the jump from prokaryote to eukaryote cells is similarly unlikely, or that our combination of planetary dynamics and plate tectonics is exceedingly unlikely, or, as suggested above, that civilizations like ours invariably self-destruct, or that some future calamity, such as a huge gamma-ray burst from a nearby star, invariably ends societies like ours before they can explore the cosmos.
Nick Bostrom, among others, hopes that the search for extraterrestrial life comes up empty-handed, because if life were found this would reduce the number of possible candidates for the great filter being behind us, and it would increase the likelihood that the great filter (possibly a great calamity) still lies ahead of us.
But even here, there are straightforward rejoinders. We have already survived more than 100 years of technological adolescence without destroying ourselves in a nuclear or a biological catastrophe. Climate change presents a challenge, but with numerous green energy technologies, even Al Gore is cautiously optimistic. Freak viruses and biological weapons are a concern, but we have developed much more effective defenses. And as for a gamma-ray burst, our planet has survived many millions of years, so the probability that we will be destroyed in the next few decades, before we venture to other planets and stars, is rather remote. So it does not seem credible that such calamities have destroyed each and every ET society.
Many have wondered whether, in our quest for ET, we are still being too parochially human. Maybe ET is completely different from anything we have imagined, or different from anything that we can imagine. Perhaps all our assumptions about the nature of intelligent life are simply too parochial. Our notions about what other terrestrial animals (from rooks to octopuses) can do have changed dramatically in the past twenty years.
Digital technology may hold a clue here as well. Even in our own time we have seen digital technology take over many of our lives, with hundreds of millions of people hopelessly attached to their smartphones. Such technology may even be rewiring our brains. Devices such as Apple Watch and Google Glass may further enhance our cognitive powers. Apple and IBM have struck a deal to further develop IBM's Watson machine learning technology, which defeated humans on Jeopardy!, for medical applications. Some amputees can now control prosthetic legs using thought alone.
Thus, we have to consider the possibility that extraterrestrial societies exist, but, as astronomer Paul Davies suggests, they have advanced to a "post-biological" or even "post-material" state, and now exist only as extremely advanced computer programs somewhere.
Similarly, SETI astronomer Seth Shostak argues, "Once any society invents the technology that could put them in touch with the cosmos, they are at most only a few hundred years away from changing their own paradigm of sentience to artificial intelligence." Thus, perhaps the solution to Fermi's paradox is simply that we have nothing useful to say to these advanced "spiritual" entities.
But, one can ask, in this supposedly vast civilization of post-biological intelligences, are there not at least a handful of entities that still wonder what biological organisms are like, and are curious to explore and communicate with them? After all, even in our society, while the vast majority of citizens are not the slightest bit interested in bees or similar insects, nonetheless a few are (melittologists), and they do scientific research on these creatures.
And we can now "communicate" with bees -- for example, researchers have identified that the dance patterns of honey bees communicate to other bees both distance and direction to food. So can we be so certain that absolutely no one in this post-biological or post-material society is capable of or interested in studying and communicating with humans?
While many have wondered, "Where is everybody?" there is still no easy answer.
Astronomer Paul Davies concludes his latest book (2011) on the topic by stating his own assessment: "my answer is that we are probably the only intelligent beings in the observable universe and I would not be very surprised if the solar system contains the only life in the observable universe." Nonetheless, Davies reflects, "I can think of no more thrilling a discovery than coming across clear evidence for extraterrestrial intelligence."
Posted: 05 May 2015 06:44 PM PDT
Excerpt from latimes.com
Scientists have found an extreme planet where the atmospheric temperature appears to swing wildly from 1,800 to 4,900 degrees Fahrenheit over the course of a two-year period.
Astronomers cannot yet say for certain what might be responsible for these drastic shifts in temperature, but in a new study, they suggest massive volcanoes on the planet's surface may be to blame.
"While we can't be entirely sure, we think a likely explanation for this variability is large-scale surface activity, possibly volcanism," said Brice-Olivier Demory of the University of Cambridge in a statement.
Demory is the lead author of a paper that describes how the gas and dust in enormous volcanic plumes might periodically blanket the thermal emission of the planet as seen from Earth, making its atmosphere appear cooler to our telescopes.
The study was published Monday in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
The extreme planet is known as 55 Cancri E. It is a super-Earth, which means it is both rocky and two to 10 times the size of our own planet. 55 Cancri E has about twice the diameter of Earth, but it has eight times the mass. It is also tidally locked with its star which means it has one side that stays in perpetual day, and another that remains in perpetual night.
It was discovered in 2004 and was the first rocky planet to ever be seen beyond our solar system. Up until then all the known exoplanets were gas giants that were easier to spot because they are so enormous -- up to 300 times the size of Earth.
55 Cancri E lies uncomfortably close to its host star (by our standards) and takes just 18 days to complete a single orbit around its sun.
Because the planet is so hot even on its seemingly cooler days, its outermost shell is likely weakened, if not entirely molten, the researchers say. This could lead to magma oceans and the strong likelihood of volcanic activity.
However, it will take more time, more observations, and potentially more sensitive equipment to know for sure what is going on.
"The present variability is something we've never seen anywhere else, so there's no robust conventional explanation," said Nikku Madhusudhan of Cambridge's Institute of Astronomy and a co-author of the study in a statement.
Posted: 05 May 2015 06:33 PM PDT
Excerpt from nytimes.com
Leapfrogging backward in time to when the universe was apparently feeling its oats, a group of astronomers reported Tuesday that they had measured a bona fide distance to one of the farthest and thus earliest galaxies known.
The galaxy, more than a few billion light-years on the other side of the northern constellation Boötes, is one of the most massive and brightest in the early universe and goes by the name of EGS-zs8-1.
It flowered into stardom only 670 million years after the Big Bang.
The light from that galaxy has taken 13 billion years to reach telescopes on Earth. By now, however, since the universe has continued to expand during that time, the galaxy is about 30 billion light-years away, according to standard cosmological calculations.
The new measurements allow astronomers to see the galaxy in its infancy. Despite its relative youth, however, it is already about one-sixth as massive as the Milky Way, which is 10 billion years old. And it is getting bigger, making stars 80 times faster than the Milky Way is making them today. The discovery was reported in The Astrophysical Journal by Pascal Oesch of Yale University and his colleagues.
By the rules of the expanding universe, the farther away a galaxy is, the faster it is retreating from us, measured by the “redshift” of its light being broadened to longer wavelengths, the way an ambulance siren seems to lower its pitch as it goes by.
In the past few years, as astronomers have raced one another into the past with instruments like the Hubble Space Telescope, galaxies have been found that appear even more distant. Those measurements, however, were estimates based on the colors of the objects — so-called photometric redshifts.
The new galaxy stuck out in a survey of distant galaxies by the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes known as Candels, for Cosmic Assembly Near-infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey. Its redshift was precisely measured with a powerful spectrograph known as Mosfire — Multi-Object Spectrometer for Infrared Exploration — on Keck 1, one of a pair of 10-meter-diameter telescopes on Mauna Kea in Hawaii. That makes it the highest redshift confirmed in this way, said Garth Illingworth, of the University of California, Santa Cruz, one of the astronomers in the study.
How galaxies were able to form and grow so rapidly after the lights came on in the universe is a mystery that will be addressed by a coming generation of instruments like the James Webb Space Telescope and the Thirty Meter Telescope, a goliath planned for Mauna Kea, already home to a dozen telescopes.
Recently, however, construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope, a $1.4 billion project, has been halted by protests by Hawaii residents who feel their mountain has been abused. An echo of that controversy appears in the new paper, in which Dr. Oesch and his colleagues write: “The authors wish to recognize and acknowledge the very significant cultural role and reverence that the summit of Mauna Kea has always had within the indigenous Hawaiian community. We are most fortunate to have the opportunity to conduct observations from this mountain.”
Posted: 05 May 2015 06:29 PM PDT
Excerpt from huffingtonpost.com
A mysterious glow has been observed at the center of the Milky Way, and scientists are struggling to figure out exactly what's causing it.
One possibility is that the high-energy X-rays that make up the baffling glow are "'howls' of dead stars as they feed on stellar companions." At least that's the way NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory put it in a rather playful news release entitled "NASA's NuStar Captures Possible 'Screams from Zombie Stars."
In more scientific terms, the glow may be evidence of dead stars in binary systems siphoning off material from their companions--a phenomenon that is known to release X-rays.
The dead stars might be white dwarfs or small black holes, according to the written statement. Or the glow could be caused by pulsars--the fast-spinning remains of stars that have collapsed after exploding as supernovae--which send out intense beams of radiation. Alternatively, the glow could arise not from dead stars at all but from high-energy charged particles known as cosmic rays.
No one knows for sure if that's what's causing the glow, which is visible in new images taken by NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) space telescope. The images show a region of space some 40 light-years across in the vicinity of Sagittarius A*, the monster black hole at the center of the galaxy.
The uncertainty isn't surprising given the distances involved--Sagittarius A* is about 26,000 light-years from Earth--and the fact that the center of the Milky Way is teeming with old and young stars as well as small black holes.
"Almost anything that can emit X-rays is in the galactic center," Dr. Kersten Perez, a physicist at Columbia University in New York City and the lead author of a paper about the finding, said in the statement.
So what exactly is the take-away from the new research?
"This mysterious emission from the galactic center points out the importance of increased spatial resolution at high X-ray energies which increases the clarity of the images," Dr. C. Megan Urry, professor of physics and astronomy at Yale University in New Haven, Conn. and president of the American Astronomical Society, told The Huffington Post in an email. "NuSTAR's ability to focus energetic X-rays is improving our understanding of the high-energy universe--and in some cases, like this new study of the galactic center, to raise interesting new questions as well."
The paper was published April 30, 2015 in the journal Nature.
Posted: 05 May 2015 06:25 PM PDT
Excerpt from huffingtonpost.com
We are at last beginning to show that there is an intimate and dynamic relationship between what is going on with our feelings and thoughts and what happens in the body. A Time magazine special showed that happiness, hopefulness, optimism and contentment, "Appear to reduce the risk or limit the severity of cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease, diabetes, hypertension, colds and upper-respiratory infections; while depression -- the extreme opposite of happiness -- can worsen heart disease, diabetes and a host of other illnesses."
Illness is very real, accidents happen, and medicine can certainly help: Deb recently had a burst appendix, and she is immensely grateful for the medical intervention that saved her life. But the role of the mind and emotions in our state of health appears to be a vital one and by understanding this relationship we can claim a greater role in our own wellbeing. It is only a part of the overall picture, but it is the part that is invariably overlooked.
"A basic emotion such as fear can be described as an abstract feeling or as a tangible molecule of the hormone adrenaline," writes Deepak Chopra in Ageless Body, Timeless Mind. "Without the feeling there is no hormone; without the hormone there is no feeling ... The revolution we call mind-body medicine was based on this simple discovery: wherever thought goes, a chemical goes with it."
Just as all parts of our being interact and work together, so if we ignore the role our feelings and thoughts play we are ignoring the role they have. And it may be the one that most needs to get fixed.
Generally speaking, we tend to think of our bodies and minds as separate systems and
believe they function, for the most part, independently. Yet can you remember the last time you had an interview for a job? Or went on a first date with someone you were really trying to impress? In either case, no doubt you wanted to appear calm and collected but at the same time you were feeling nervous and self-conscious. Can you recall how your body felt? Self-consciousness will tighten your buttock muscles (so you are literally sitting on your tension), you will sweat more than usual, may feel slightly nauseous, and you'll probably fluff your words, just when you want to appear suave and confident.
In other words, our emotions affect us physically. It might be easy to understand that a scary thought gets our heart beating faster, but it can be harder to realize that loneliness, sadness or depression can also affect us physically, and when it comes to more complex emotions or illnesses few of us consider our emotions to have any relevance.
In Woody Allen's movie "Annie Hall," Diane Keaton wants to know why he isn't angry. "I don't get angry," Allen replies, "I grow a tumor instead."
Understanding the bodymind relationship won't necessarily cure all our physical difficulties but by learning the language of symptoms and illness we can discover what is being repressed or ignored in our psyche and emotions, and how this is influencing our well-being. From this vantage point we discover that there is an extraordinarily intimate two-way communication going on between our body and mind that affects both our physical state and our mental and emotional health.
Discover how your mind and emotions affect your body:
What happens when you get irritated or frustrated?
Where do you experience those feelings in your body? If you are stuck in a traffic jam, a client is late for an appointment, or the children keep interrupting your conversation, what happens to your breathing, your shoulders or stomach muscles? Does your breathing get short and shallow? Do the muscles tighten?
How does worry affect you?
What happens in your body when you are worried or anxious about something, perhaps a child who is late coming home, a presentation you have to give, or the results of your partner's blood test? Where do you hold the anxiety? What physical effect does it have? Do fears about the future create a pain in your stomach? Or do your legs ache or feel tired?
How do you react when someone is angry with you?
If your boss or your partner shouts at you, what happens to your heart, your head, your insides? What do you do with angry feelings? Do you express them, or is there somewhere you put them? Is your headache because you have built up unexpressed anger? Do you swallow hard, get a sore throat, clench your muscles, or get constipated?
How do memories affect you?
What happens if you recall past memories? Do you feel warm and relaxed, or do you break out in a sweat and feel nervous? Pay particular attention to what happens when you recall unhappy memories, perhaps when a parent hit you or you were bullied at school. As you follow these memories, watch where in your body there is a reaction, a tightening or nervousness.
Ask Yourself About illnesses and injuries
Think back to past illnesses or times when you were hurt. Note the parts of your body that were involved. Have you always held your stomach muscles in tight, have you always had recurring headaches, have you always hurt the same side of your body?
Use the answers you get from these questions to understand yourself more deeply. They may give you the clues you need to find your healing.
What is your bodymind telling you? Do comment below. You can receive notice of our blogs by checking Become a Fan at the top.
Award-Winning Authors Ed and Deb of Be The Change, How Meditation can Transform You and the World, are mindfulness, meditation and yoga experts. Deb is the author of Your Body Speaks Your Mind, now in 19 languages. They have three meditation CDs. See more at EdandDebShapiro.com.
Posted: 05 May 2015 06:18 PM PDT
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Posted: 05 May 2015 06:15 PM PDT
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