Gallup Poll: “Four in 10 Americans, slightly fewer today than in years past, believe God created humans in their present form about 10,000 years ago. Thirty-eight percent believe God guided a process by which humans developed over millions of years from less advanced life forms, while 16%, up slightly from years past, believe humans developed over millions of years, without God’s involvement.”
“In the weird world of quantum physics, two linked particles can share a single fate, even when they’re miles apart.
Now, two physicists have mathematically described how this spooky effect, called entanglement, could also bind particles across time.
“You can send your quantum state into the future without traversing the middle time,” said quantum physicist S. Jay Olson of Australia’s University of Queensland, lead author of the new study.” (via Wired).
The article discusses some of the surprising implications, even using a Star Trek analogy.
People may be familiar with the transmissible facial tumor that is decimating the Tasmanian Devil population. One unfortunate animal contracts it when bitten by another affected individual. This New York Times story describes another infectious malignancy, the Canine Transmissible Venereal Tumor (CTVT) (thanks to Steve Silberman).
Vesna Vulović, … a former Serbian flight attendant, …holds the world record, according to the Guinness Book of Records, for surviving the highest fall without a parachute: 10,160 meters (33,330 feet).
She suffered a fractured skull, three broken vertebrae (one crushed completely) that left her temporarily paralyzed from the waist down and two broken legs. She was in a coma for 27 days. In an interview she commented that, according to the man who found her, “…I was in the middle part of the plane. I was found with my head down and my colleague on top of me. One part of my body with my leg was in the plane and my head was out of the plane. A catering trolley was pinned against my spine and kept me in the plane. The man who found me, says I was very lucky. He was in the German Army as a medic during World War two. He knew how to treat me at the site of the accident.” (via Wikipedia)
“The red supergiant star Betelgeuse is getting ready to go supernova, and when it does Earth will have a front-row seat. The explosion will be so bright that Earth will briefly seem to have two suns in the sky.
The star is located in the Orion constellation, about 640 light-years away from Earth… In stellar terms, it’s predicted to explode in the very near future. Of course, the conversion from stellar to human terms is pretty extreme, as Betelgeuse is predicted to explode anytime in the next million years.
But still, whether the explosion occurs in 2011 or 1002011 (give or take 640 years for the light to reach Earth), it’s going to make for one of the most unforgettable light shows in our planet’s history.” (via io9)
…as if we didn’t know: “Howard Kurtz on Olbermann’s career highlights and his clashes with network brass.” (via The Daily Beast).
“Los Angeles-based photographer Mitch Dobrowner takes incredibly striking black-and-white photos of landscapes in the likeness of his inspiration, Ansel Adams. His most breathtaking series is about ominous storms that form over Wyoming, Kansas, North Dakota and Oklahoma..”.(Via My Modern Metropolis)
Douglas Copeland with 45 tips for survival “and a matching glossary of the new words you’ll need to talk about your messed-up future.” You won’t like some of this but you had best listen. (via The Globe and Mail).
Frank Rich: “Of the many truths in President Obama’s powerful Tucson speech, none was more indisputable than his statement that no one can know what is in a killer’s mind. So why have we spent so much time debating exactly that?
The answer is classic American denial. It was easier to endlessly parse Jared Lee Loughner’s lunatic library — did he favor “The Communist Manifesto” or Ayn Rand? — than confront the larger and harsher snapshot of our current landscape that emerged after his massacre. A week on, that denial is becoming even more entrenched. As soon as the president left the podium Wednesday night, we started shifting into our familiar spin-dry post-tragedy cycle of the modern era — speedy “closure,” followed by a return to business as usual, followed by national amnesia.
If we learn nothing from this tragedy, we are back where we started. And where we started was with two years of accelerating political violence — actual violence, not to be confused with violent language — that struck fear into many, not the least of whom was Gabrielle Giffords.
For the sake of this discussion, let’s stipulate that Loughner was a “lone nutjob” who had never listened to Glenn Beck or been a card-carrying member of either the Tea or Communist parties. Let’s also face another tragedy: The only two civic reforms that might have actually stopped him — tighter gun control and an effective mental health safety net — won’t materialize even now.
Gun and ammunition sales spiked last week, especially for the specific varieties given the Loughner imprimatur. No editorial — or bloodbath — will move Congress to enact serious gun control (which Giffords herself never advocated and Obama has rarely pushed since 2008). Enhanced mental health coverage is also a nonstarter when the highest G.O.P. priority is to repeal the federal expansion of health care. In Arizona, cutbacks are already so severe that terminally ill patients are being denied life-saving organ transplants.” (via NYTimes).
“In The Science of Kissing, Sheril Kirshenbaum approaches the kiss through biology, history, culture, psychology, even zoology – but some secrets remain.” (via New Scientist).
Scientists think the antimatter particles were formed inside thunderstorms in a terrestrial gamma-ray flash (TGF) associated with lightning. It is estimated that about 500 TGFs occur daily worldwide, but most go undetected.”
(via NASA Science).
The odd object was discovered in 2007 by a Dutch schoolteacher participating in Galaxy Zoo—”voorwerp” is Dutch for “object.” The online project had public citizens worldwide helping to classify galaxies in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey catalog.
(See related pictures of the “green pea” class of galaxies discovered via Galaxy Zoo.)
Although it’s the size of our Milky Way galaxy, Hanny’s Voorwerp is not itself a galaxy, but a cloud of gas near the spiral galaxy IC 2497, which lies about 650 million light-years from Earth.
The new Hubble picture—the sharpest yet taken of the brilliant cloud—shows that gas in a small region of Hanny’s Voorwerp is collapsing and forming stars, the youngest of which are just a couple million years old.” (via National Geographic).
“Today, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and 19 others were shot in Tucson, Arizona. Six of the shooting victims were killed. Police say Giffords was the target of the attack. Local law enforcement have identified the shooting suspect as Jared Lee Loughner, 22.
A police manhunt is under way for a second “person of interest.
As blogged here earlier, Loughner posted material to a number of social media sites— he also had an active YouTube channel under the user name “Classitup10.” The bio for that channel is written in the past tense. It appears he maintained a previous channel under the user name “Starhitshnaz.” The sole video in that channel is embedded above, and shows a burning flag in front of a desert scene, with Drowning Pool’s song “Bodies” (“Let the bodies hit the floor”) as soundtrack.
In this post, we archive all of the currently known YouTube videos believed to have been created and published by Jared Lee Loughner, with text transcripts and screengrabs.
Themes and terms present throughout include: terrorism and a fixation on Loughner himself being characterized as a terrorist; creating “a new currency” to be introduced by “lethal or non-lethal means”; English literacy, “mind control and brainwash,” “political weapons,” “conscience dreaming,” and scattered references to the Constitution and the American government controlling people through brainwashing and mind control.” (Boing Boing).
This is a prepublication .pdf of a paper by Cornell psychologist Daryl Bem detailing experimental evidence for precognition, accepted for publication by a respected peer-reviewed psychological journal. (link).
- Has a U.S. psychologist uncovered proof of ESP? (ctv.ca)
- NYT on the controversial ESP paper (boingboing.net)
- “Psychic” paper provokes backlash (whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com)
- NY Times: Journal to publish paper on ESP, scientists mortified (seattlepi.com)
“This – I think, I fear, I suspect – is going to suck, unless the Obama administration gets out of their permanent crouch and finally starts fighting back against a newly-empowered GOP, and the lies that will be pouring fourth like polluted water from an open spigot. The simple fact that Mr. Obama tapped William Daley, a JPMorgan Chase executive whose purview was “corporate responsibility,” to be the new White House Chief of Staff does not bode well at all. Try not to laugh too hard at seeing the words “JPMorgan Chase” and “corporate responsibility” in the same sentence.Yeah. I’m pretty sure this is going to suck.” — William Rivers Pitt (Truthout).
‘Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a classic by most any measure—T.S. Eliot called it a masterpiece, and Ernest Hemingway pronounced it the source of “all modern American literature.” Yet, for decades, it has been disappearing from grade school curricula across the country, relegated to optional reading lists, or banned outright, appearing again and again on lists of the nation’s most challenged books, and all for its repeated use of a single, singularly offensive word: “nigger.”
Twain himself defined a “classic” as “a book which people praise and don’t read.” Rather than see Twain’s most important work succumb to that fate, Twain scholar Alan Gribben and NewSouth Books plan to release a version of Huckleberry Finn, in a single volume with The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, that does away with the “n” word (as well as the “in” word, “Injun”) by replacing it with the word “slave.” ‘ (Publisher’s Weekly).
“Skywatchers throughout much of Europe, North Africa, and Central Asia, were treated to the first eclipse of the new year on January 4, a partial eclipse of the Sun. But traveling to the area around Muscat, capital city of Oman, photographer Thierry Legault planned to simultaneously record two eclipses on that date, calculating from that position, for a brief moment, both the Moon and the International Space Station could be seen in silhouette, crossing the Sun. His
sharp, 1/5000th second exposure is shown here, capturing planet Earth’s two largest satellites against the bright solar disk. As the partial solar eclipse unfolded, the space station (above and left of center) zipped across the scene in less than 1 second, about 500 kilometers from the photographer’s telescope and camera.” (Astronomy Picture of the Day via abby).
The thinking is that they were startled by fireworks and died of blunt trauma after flying into obstacles. (NYTimes.com)
2000 vs. 2010 at a glance (io9).