Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Impact Hypothesis Loses It's Sparkle

"He [God] directeth it under the whole heaven, and his lightning unto the ends of the earth." -- Job 37:3

"Cast forth lightning, and scatter them: shoot out thine arrows, and destroy them." -- Psalm 144:6

New evidence supports cosmic thunderbolts.

Science Daily: Impact Hypothesis Loses Its Sparkle: Shock-Synthesized Diamonds Said to Prove Catastrophic Impact Killed Off N. American Megafauna Can't Be Found.

ScienceDaily (Aug. 31, 2010) — About 12,900 years ago, a sudden cold snap interrupted the gradual warming that had followed the last Ice Age. The cold lasted for the 1,300-year interval known as the Younger Dryas (YD) before the climate began to warm again.

In North America, large animals known as megafauna, such as mammoths, mastodons, saber-tooth tigers and giant short-faced bears, became extinct. The Paleo-Indian culture known as the Clovis culture for distinctively shaped fluted stone spear points abruptly vanished, eventually replaced by more localized regional cultures.
What had happened?

One theory is that either a comet airburst or a meteor impact somewhere in North America set off massive environmental changes that killed animals and disrupted human communities.

In sedimentary deposits dating to the beginning of the YD, impact proponents have reported finding carbon spherules containing tiny nano-scale diamonds, which they thought to be created by shock metamorphism or chemical vapor deposition when the impactor struck.

The nanodiamonds included lonsdaleite, an unusal form of diamond that has a hexagonal lattice rather than the usual cubic crystal lattice. Lonsdaleite is particularly interesting because it has been found inside meteorites and at known impact sites.
In the August 30 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of scientists led by Tyrone Daulton, PhD, a research scientist in the physics department at Washington University in St. Louis, reported that they could find no diamonds in YD boundary layer material.

Daulton and his colleagues, including Nicholas Pinter, PhD, professor of geology at Southern Illinois University In Carbondale and Andrew C. Scott, PhD, professor of applied paleobotany of Royal Holloway University of London, show that the material reported as diamond is instead forms of carbon related to commonplace graphite, the material used for pencils.

"Of all the evidence reported for a YD impact event, the presence of hexagonal diamond in YD boundary sediments represented the strongest evidence suggesting shock processing," Daulton, who is also a member of WUSTL's Center for Materials Innovation, says.

However, a close examination of carbon spherules from the YD boundary using transmission electron microscopy by the Daulton team found no nanodiamonds. Instead, graphene- and graphene/graphane-oxide aggregates were found in all the specimens examined (including carbon spherules dated from before the YD to the present). Importantly, the researchers demonstrated that previous YD studies misidentified graphene/graphane-oxides as hexagonal diamond and likely misidentified graphene as cubic diamond.

The YD impact hypothesis was in trouble already before this latest finding. Many other lines of evidence -- including: fullerenes, extraterrestrial forms of helium, purported spikes in radioactivity and iridium, and claims of unique spikes in magnetic meteorite particles -- had already been discredited. According to Pinter, "nanodiamonds were the last man standing."

"We should always have a skeptical attitude to new theories and test them thoroughly," Scott says, "and if the evidence goes against them they should be abandoned."

Monday, August 30, 2010

New Dragon Rediscovered

Telegraph: Meat-eating 'dragon' terrorised Romania 80 million years ago.

The creature was a powerfully-built meat-eating dinosaur with scythe-like claws for ripping its prey apart. It used its lower limbs to disembowel its victims.

Experts have named the seven-foot long dinosaur, which was discovered in Romania, Balaur bondoc, which means ''stocky dragon''.

Nanotech Will Help Pump Abiotic Oil

Above: lots of dead dinosaurs.

New Scientist: Medical nanotech could find unconventional oil.

THE oil industry, operating on a gigantic scale, might seem at first sight to have little to learn from the intricacies of medical diagnosis and therapies. Yet nanotechnology developed for medical applications could form a model for ways of exploiting oil reserves that conventional methods cannot reach.

Oilfields deemed exhausted when all the free-flowing oil has been extracted still harbour plenty of the stuff, perhaps twice as much as what has been pumped conventionally, says Iraj Ershaghi, a petroleum engineer at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. A conservative estimate suggests that the remaining oil in old US fields amounts to "at least 360 billion barrels", he says.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Planets Spotted In Changing Orbits

"... those terrifiers of the world stood like two planets both deviating from their orbits." -- Sanjaya, Mahabharata, Book 8 (Karna Parva), Chapter 17, 8th century B.C.

"For if the Olympian who handles the lightning [Jupiter] should be minded
to hurl us [planets] out of our places, he is far too strong for any."
-- Homer, poet, Iliad, I:580-581

"Then, it was then that Zeus [Jupiter] changed the radiant paths of the stars, and the light of the sun, and the bright face of dawn; and the sun drove across the western back of the sky with hot flame from heaven's fires, while the rain-clouds went northward and Ammon's lands [Egypt] grew parched and faint, not knowing moisture, robbed of heaven's fairest showers of rain." --Euripides, playwright, Electra, 408 B.C.

"But, when the planets,
In evil mixture, to disorder wander,
What plagues, and what portents? what mutiny?
What raging of the sea? Shaking of the earth?
Commotion in the winds? frights, changes, horrors,
Divert and crack, rend and deracinate
The unity and married calm of states
Quite from their fixture?"
-- William Shakespeare, playwright, Troilus and Cressida, 1602

"If an atom is built as a microcosmical model of a solar system, elements arriving from interatomic space, also travelling from one atom to another must be in existence. Contacts between elements, increase in numbers of electrons, polarities, change of orbits, all must take place. Change of orbits and emitting of energy at these moments were supposed by Bohr." -- Immanuel Velikovsky, polymath, November 1942

"... the solar system may have changed so much since it was created that a study of the present state would tell us very little about it's origin." -- Hannes O.G. Alfvén, physicist, 1954

"...it was accepted that the solar system has no history at all. So it was created if not 6000 years ago, then 6 billion years ago. But then for 6 billion years there was no change. Whether it was created or came into being by tidal action of a passing star which would be catastrophic as the tidal theory wishes or it is growing out of a nebula, the nebular theory which goes back to Kant and Laplace, but since creation there was no change. But if what I am telling you is truth, then there were changes, and very many, and very recently too." -- Immanuel Velikovsky, polymath, 1966

"... it is not the 'beliefs' and 'religions' which circle around and fight eachother restlessly; what changes is the celestial situation." -- Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha Von Dechend, polymaths, 1969

"... I started to think that quite possibly, though not certain, that at the age of Kronos, the planet Earth could have been a satellite of Saturn. None of them was on their present orbit." -- Immanuel Velikovsky, polymath, January 29th 1975

MSNC: Planets spotted in changing orbits.

NASA's Kepler planet-hunting probe has spotted a system where two giant planets are locked in constantly changing orbits — with a super-Earth potentially pinned down in the crossfire.

Astronomers like to think of planets as a kind of celestial clockwork, keeping regular time. For example, the time it takes for the planets in our own solar system to complete their orbits can be calculated to within fractions of a second, and unless something huge happens, they'll stick to that timetable for billions of years.

In contrast, the two Saturn-size planets circling a sunlike star now known as Kepler-9, more than 2,000 light-years from Earth, shift their timetable with every go-round. Kepler-9b has an orbit lasting approximately 19.24 Earth days, while Kepler-9c has an orbit lasting a little more than twice as long, 38.91 days. But on average, Kepler-9b's orbit got about 4 minutes longer every time the Kepler astronomers checked, while Kepler-9c's averaged about 39 minutes shorter.

That suggests the planets are in the midst of a gravitational push-pull that keeps the orbits close to a 2-to-1 ratio, in what's known as a planetary resonance. In our own solar system, Pluto and Neptune are in a similar resonance (2-to-3), which is why little Pluto can't be kicked out of its orbit. The same thing applies to the Kepler-9 system.

"The system is stable in the sense that no planet will be ejected," said Matthew Holman, an astronomer at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who is the principal author of a Kepler paper being published today on the journal Science's website.

"The orbits of the planets are changing, but these variations are oscillatory," Holman told me in an e-mail. "On average, the period ratio will be very close to 2-to-1. However, at any given instant that ratio may be bigger than 2-to-1 or smaller than 2-to-1."

Orbital variations has long been known to be theoretically possible, but Kepler-9 is the first confirmed planetary system where astronomers have been able to register this type of off-schedule behavior. It's actually quite a lucky break for the Kepler team. "The variations in what we call the transit times are large enough that we can use those transit timing variations to estimate the masses of thes bodies," Holman said in a Science podcast.

A question of timing

The $600 million Kepler mission looks for planets beyond Earth by having an orbiting
telescope stare at a section of sky between the constellations of Cygnus and Lyra.

That 15-foot-long, one-ton spacecraft looks for telltale dips in starlight that might be caused by planets crossing the disks of alien suns. By analyzing how long those dips last, and how frequently the dips occur, astronomers can figure out how large the planet could be. But they can't directly calculate how massive it is, and there's a chance that what they're seeing is not a planet at all.

The Kepler team is using other methods to make sure which among the hundreds of candidates they've found so far are truly planets — rather than, say, eclipsing binary stars or the glare of variable stars in the background. Usually, that requires follow-up observations by telescopes that look for the subtle shifts in starlight wavelengths caused by planet-induced gravitational wobbles. This interactive graphic explains how the various planet-hunting methods work.

The fact that Kepler-9's transit times were shifting immediately caught the Kepler team's attention, because that suggested a different method for confirming exactly what Kepler-9b and Kepler-9c were. Astronomers could plug those transit times into a computer model and run the numbers to see what types of objects could cause those weird orbits.

Objects the size of stars could be ruled out, because the transit timing variations would have been even larger in that case. Moreover, objects as massive as stars or brown dwarfs would be kicked out of the system relatively quickly. When the Kepler team ran a double-check with data from the Keck I telescope in Hawaii, the detection of a gravitational wobble confirmed that Kepler-9b and Kepler-9c were really, truly planets, Holman said.

"Now we have another tool to measure masses," Holman told me. "The combination of these methods is particularly powerful."

The researchers say this marks not only the first time that the transit timing method has been used to confirm a planetary detection, but also the first time that the transit method has been used to detect multiple planets in an alien solar system.
That angle was touted in the NASA news release announcing the discovery.

"NASA's Kepler spacecraft has discovered the first confirmed planetary system with
more than one planet crossing in front of, or transiting, the same star," the space agency declared in the news release. Of course, multiple-planet systems have been detected using methods other than pure transit observations. And with regard to the other "first," a different team of researchers previously reported using transit timing variations to study extrasolar planets, but they said the "final interpretation" of their results was still pending.

The Science research was held under embargo until 2 p.m. ET today, but the discovery came to light an hour early when NASA made its news release and other information about the observations publicly available.

Sub-Saturns ... and a super-Earth?

Holman and his colleagues estimate that Kepler-9b and Kepler-9c are both slightly smaller and less massive than Saturn. Theoretical models suggest that they're composed primarily of hydrogen and helium, like your typical gas giants. They appear to orbit in nearly the same plane, like the gas giants in our solar system. But the Kepler-9 planets have orbits that are significantly closer to their parent star than Mercury is to our own sun.

Astronomers assume that the planets formed farther out, in a colder region where ice and gas could collect, and then they circled inward in a complex orbital dance.

There might be another planet even closer in: When the researchers ran the numbers, they saw evidence that a world about one and a half times as wide as Earth was spinning around the Kepler-9 sun every 1.6 Earth days. If the evidence pans out, this planet could be about as massive as Earth, but hotter and more hellish than any world in our own solar system — sort of like the CoRoT-7b super-Earth that was identified a couple of years ago.

However, the Kepler team says it's too early to confirm that the Earth-scale candidate, currently known as KOI-377.03, is indeed a planet, let alone a super-hot super-Earth.

"The approach to confirming this as a planet will first be to exhaustively rule out all other possibilities for what could be causing the signal we see," Holman told me. "However, this will not establish the mass of this body. That will be left to future work."

Friday, August 27, 2010

Orcus Patera

"For the Electric universe, the cosmic thunderbolt is the mechanism of cratering on the planets and the moons of our solar system." -- Mel Acheson, natural philosopher, June 2005

"A sweeping revision is necessary, one that recognizes the predictable effect when a charged planet or moon moves through an electrified plasma. Where field strength is high, the result will be global electric discharge, as cosmic 'thunderbolts' rake across the surface, creating entirely new topography. Allow this possibility, and the exploration of solar system history is radically altered. Suddenly, plasma discharge and electrical arcing experiments (which have been excluded from planetary science) will be permitted to shed their light on thousands of features left unexplained by traditional theory. On every solid body in space, we have observed craters lacking any conventional explanation. In fact, on close observation, many craters show distinct features that are not associated with volcanic or impact craters, but are easily created by electric arcs in the laboratory and by electric discharge machining (EDM) used in industrial applications." -- Michael Goodspeed, journalist, December 2007

Physorg: Mars's mysterious elongated crater.

(PhysOrg.com) -- Orcus Patera is an enigmatic elliptical depression near Mars's equator, in the eastern hemisphere of the planet. Located between the volcanoes of Elysium Mons and Olympus Mons, its formation remains a mystery.

Often overlooked, this well-defined depression extends approximately 380 km by 140 km in a NNE-SSW direction. It has a rim that rises up to 1800 m above the surrounding plains, while the floor of the depression lies 400-600 m below the surroundings.

The term ‘patera’ is used for deep, complex or irregularly shaped volcanic craters such as the Hadriaca Patera and Tyrrhena Patera at the north-eastern margin of the Hellas impact basin. However, despite its name and the fact that it is positioned near volcanoes, the actual origin of Orcus Patera remains unclear.

Aside from volcanism, there are a number of other possible origins. Orcus Patera may be a large and originally round impact crater, subsequently deformed by compressional forces. Alternatively, it could have formed after the erosion of aligned impact craters. However, the most likely explanation is that it was made in an oblique impact, when a small body struck the surface at a very shallow angle, perhaps less than five degrees from the horizontal.

The existence of tectonic forces at Orcus Patera is evident from the presence of the numerous ‘graben’, rift-valley-like structures that cut across its rim. Up to 2.5 km wide, these graben are oriented roughly east-west and are only visible on the rim and the nearby surroundings.

Within the Orcus Patera depression itself, the large graben are not visible, probably having been covered by later deposits. But smaller graben are present, indicating that several tectonic events have occurred in this region and also suggesting that multiple episodes of deposition have taken place.

The occurrence of ‘wrinkle ridges’ within the depression proves that not only extensional forces, as would be needed to create graben, but also compressive forces shaped this region. The dark shapes near the centre of the depression were probably formed by wind-driven processes, where dark material excavated by small impact events in the depression has been redistributed.

However, the presence of graben and wrinkle-ridges has no bearing on the origin of Orcus Patera, as both can be found all over Mars. The true origin of Orcus Patera remains an enigma.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Electricity: The Future of Energy

"He [God] directeth it under the whole heaven, and his lightning unto the ends of the earth." -- Job 37:3

"Cast forth lightning, and scatter them: shoot out thine arrows, and destroy them." -- Psalm 144:6

"For if the Olympian who handles the lightning [Jupiter] should be minded
to hurl us [planets] out of our places, he is far too strong for any."
-- Homer, poet, Iliad, I:580-581, 8th century

"... white lightning in the midst of the wine-dark sea." -- Homer, poet, Odyssey, V:132, 8th century B.C.

"We are told, in the inscriptions, of the fall of the celestial being who appears to correspond to Satan. In his ambition he raises his hand against the sanctuary of the God of heaven, and the description of him is really magnificent. He is represented riding a chariot through celestial space, surrounded by the storms, with the lightning playing before him, and wielding a thunderbolt as a weapon. This rebellion leads to a war in heaven...." -- George Smith, archaeologist, 1876

"Embarrassingly little is known about terrestrial lightning, although it strikes the Earth about 3 million times per day." -- Tom Wilson, biologist/engineer, February 2009

Science Daily: Electricity Collected from the Air Could Become the Newest Alternative Energy Source.

ScienceDaily (Aug. 26, 2010) — Imagine devices that capture electricity from the air ― much like solar cells capture sunlight ― and using them to light a house or recharge an electric car. Imagine using similar panels on the rooftops of buildings to prevent lightning before it forms. Strange as it may sound, scientists already are in the early stages of developing such devices, according to a report presented at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

"Our research could pave the way for turning electricity from the atmosphere into an alternative energy source for the future," said study leader Fernando Galembeck, Ph.D. His research may help explain a 200-year-old scientific riddle about how electricity is produced and discharged in the atmosphere. "Just as solar energy could free some households from paying electric bills, this promising new energy source could have a similar effect," he maintained.

"If we know how electricity builds up and spreads in the atmosphere, we can also prevent death and damage caused by lightning strikes," Galembeck said, noting that lightning causes thousands of deaths and injuries worldwide and millions of dollars in property damage.

The notion of harnessing the power of electricity formed naturally has tantalized scientists for centuries. They noticed that sparks of static electricity formed as steam escaped from boilers. Workers who touched the steam even got painful electrical shocks. Famed inventor Nikola Tesla, for example, was among those who dreamed of capturing and using electricity from the air. It's the electricity formed, for instance, when water vapor collects on microscopic particles of dust and other material in the air. But until now, scientists lacked adequate knowledge about the processes involved in formation and release of electricity from water in the atmosphere, Galembeck said. He is with the University of Campinas in Campinas, SP, Brazil.

Scientists once believed that water droplets in the atmosphere were electrically neutral, and remained so even after coming into contact with the electrical charges on dust particles and droplets of other liquids. But new evidence suggested that water in the atmosphere really does pick up an electrical charge.

Galembeck and colleagues confirmed that idea, using laboratory experiments that simulated water's contact with dust particles in the air. They used tiny particles of silica and aluminum phosphate, both common airborne substances, showing that silica became more negatively charged in the presence of high humidity and aluminum phosphate became more positively charged. High humidity means high levels of water vapor in the air ― the vapor that condenses and becomes visible as "fog" on windows of air-conditioned cars and buildings on steamy summer days.

"This was clear evidence that water in the atmosphere can accumulate electrical charges and transfer them to other materials it comes into contact with," Galembeck explained. "We are calling this 'hygroelectricity,' meaning 'humidity electricity'."

In the future, he added, it may be possible to develop collectors, similar to the solar cells that collect the sunlight to produce electricity, to capture hygroelectricity and route it to homes and businesses. Just as solar cells work best in sunny areas of the world, hygroelectrical panels would work more efficiently in areas with high humidity, such as the northeastern and southeastern United States and the humid tropics.

Galembeck said that a similar approach might help prevent lightning from forming and striking. He envisioned placing hygroelectrical panels on top of buildings in regions that experience frequent thunderstorms. The panels would drain electricity out of the air, and prevent the building of electrical charge that is released in lightning. His research group already is testing metals to identify those with the greatest potential for use in capturing atmospheric electricity and preventing lightning strikes.

"These are fascinating ideas that new studies by ourselves and by other scientific teams suggest are now possible," Galembeck said. "We certainly have a long way to go. But the benefits in the long range of harnessing hygroelectricity could be substantial."

CNPq (National Council for Scientific and Technological Development) and FAPESP (The State of São Paulo Research Foundation) funded the study.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Email From Stavros

"Once again 'it is the fault of the reality if it does not comply with our models'. The so-called 'lobate scarps', i.e., faults that have a semi-circular or lobe-shaped appearance, are indicative of growth-expansion and not of contraction, to make it comply with the nonsensical model of the cooling interior. Even their words in the picture script indicate that, e.g., 'the fault carried near-surface crustal materials up and over the craters, burying parts of their floors and rims.' Therefore, I think wishful thinking is what they offer to us..." -- Stavros T. Tassos, seismologist, August 25, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Francis Atterbury On Prisca Sapientia

"Modesty teaches us to speak of the ancients with respect, especially when we are not very familiar with their works. Newton, who knew them practically by heart, had the greatest respect for them, and considered them to be men of genius and superior intelligence who had carried their discoveries in every field much further than we today suspect, judging from what remains of their writings. More ancient writings have been lost than have been preserved, and perhaps our new discoveries are of less value than those that we have lost." -- Francis Atterbury, Bishop of Rochester, 18th century

Monday, August 23, 2010

Cornell Professor Tries To Sell Us Helium

Helium is the second most abundant chemical element in the solar system. Good luck running out of it in 25 years.

DailyMail: Scientists say Earth's helium reserves 'will run out within 25 years' (and party balloons should cost £65 each).

It is more commonly known as the gas that fills cheap party balloons and makes your voice squeak if you inhale it.

But helium is actually a precious resource that is being squandered with Earth's reserves of it due to run out within 25 to 30 years, experts have warned.

Earth’s resources of helium are being depleted at an astonishing rate, an effect which will spell disaster for hospitals which use it to cool MRI scanners.

The world's biggest store of helium - the most commonly used inert gas - lies in a disused airfield in Amarillo, Texas, and is being sold off far too cheaply.

But in 1996, the US government passed a law which states that the facility - the US National Helium Reserve - must be completely sold off by 2015 to recoup the price of installing it.

This means that the helium, a non-renewable gas, is being quickly sold off at increasingly cheap prices, making it uneconomical to recycle.

Nasa uses the gas to clean its rockets of fuel while liquid helium is used to cool nuclear reactors and space telescopes.

Nobel laureate Robert Richardson, a professor of physics at Cornell University in New York, told New Scientist magazine that once our helium reserves are gone there will be no way of replacing it.

He also warned that although some substitutes can be found for some applications where helium is used, it will be impossible to use a different material for MRI scanners.

He told the magazine: There are some substitutes, but it can't be replaced for cryogenics, where liquid helium cools superconducting magnets for MRI scanners.

'There is no other substance which has a lower boiling point than helium. It is also used in the manufacture of fibre optics and liquid crystal displays.

'The use of helium in cryogenics is self-contained, in that the helium is recycled. The same could be done in other industries if helium was expensive enough that manufacturers thought recovering it was worthwhile.'

Helium is formed through the slow radioactive decay of rocks on Earth and nearly all of our reserves have been formed as a by-product of the extraction of natural gas.
The only way to obtain more helium would be to capture it from the decay of tritium - a radioactive hydrogen isotope, which the U.S. stopped making n 1988.

The US stores around 80 per cent of the world's helium and so its decision to let it go at an extremely low price has a massive knock-on affect on its market.

But Professor Richardson said that low price of helium meant that it was being ‘squandered’ rather than being treated as a precious resource.

He said: 'The problem is that these supplies will run out in a mere 25 years, and the US government has a policy of selling helium at a ridiculously low price.'

And he said that the only way to deal with the problem would be for the free market in helium to prevail.

He said this will mean that a helium balloon of the kind used at children’s parties would cost $100 in the future as the price soared.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Computers That Read Minds Being Rediscovered By Intel

Telegraph: Computers that read minds are being developed by Intel.

New [sic] technology could allow people to dictate letters and search the internet simply by thinking, according to researchers at Intel who are behind the project.

Unlike current brain-controlled computers, which require users to imagine making physical movements to control a cursor on a screen, the new technology will be capable of directly interpreting words as they are thought.

Intel's scientists are creating detailed maps of the activity in the brain for individual words which can then be matched against the brain activity of someone using the computer, allowing the machine to determine the word they are thinking.

Preliminary tests of the system have shown that the computer can work out words by looking at similar brain patterns and looking for key differences that suggest what the word might be.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Pulsating Moon Contradicts Plate Tectonics

"The net result of the electrical imbalance will be the pulsation of the Earth (expansion-contraction), which is superimposed on its expansion." -- Stavros T. Tassos, seismologist, 1998

Science Daily: NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Reveals 'Incredible Shrinking Moon'.

ScienceDaily (Aug. 20, 2010) — Newly discovered cliffs in the lunar crust indicate the moon shrank globally in the geologically recent past and might still be shrinking today, according to a team analyzing new images from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft. The results provide important clues to the moon's recent geologic and tectonic evolution.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Scientists Map and Confirm Origin of Large Underwater Hydrocarbon Plume in Gulf

Science Daily: Scientists Map and Confirm Origin of Large, Underwater Hydrocarbon Plume in Gulf.

ScienceDaily (Aug. 19, 2010) — Scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have detected a plume of hydrocarbons that is at least 22 miles long and more than 3,000 feet below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, a residue of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

In the study, which appears in the Aug. 19 issue of the journal Science, the researchers measured distinguishing petroleum hydrocarbons in the plume and, using them as an investigative tool, determined that the source of the plume could not have been natural oil seeps but had to have come from the blown out well.

Moreover, they reported that deep-sea microbes were degrading the plume relatively slowly, and that it was possible that the 1.2-mile-wide, 650-foot-high plume had and will persist for some time.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Astronomers Challenge Current Theories

"...the 'Schwarzschild singularities' do not exist in physical reality." -- Albert Einstein, mathematician, 1939

"Even mainstream scientists admit that at singularities the ‘laws of physics’ break down. It would be more accurate to say that their own theories break down." -- David Pratt, natural philosopher, 2005

"According to electric star theory, neutron stars belong in the same category with invisible pink unicorns." -- Stephen Smith, writer, November 2008

Science Daily: How Much Mass Makes a Black Hole? Astronomers Challenge Current Theories.

ScienceDaily (Aug. 19, 2010) — Using ESO's Very Large Telescope, European astronomers have for the first time demonstrated that a magnetar -- an unusual type of neutron star -- was formed from a star with at least 40 times as much mass as the Sun. The result presents great challenges to current theories of how stars evolve, as a star as massive as this was expected to become a black hole, not a magnetar. This now raises a fundamental question: just how massive does a star really have to be to become a black hole?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sir Isaac Newton On Astrolatry and the Electric Universe

"He [Thales] held the sun and the planets for Gods. And in the same sense Pythagoras, on account of its immense force of attraction, said that the Sun was a prison of Zeus [Jupiter], that is, a body possessed of the greatest circuits. And to the mystical philosophers, Pan was the supreme divinity insipiring this world with harmonic ratio like a musical instrument and handling it with modulation, according to that saying of Orpheus 'striking the harmony of the world in playful song.'" -- Isaac Newton, mathematician, 1690

Monday, August 16, 2010

Atlantean Ice

"Ahura Mazda warns Yima, the first king of men, of the approach of a dire winter, which is to destroy every living creature by covering the land with a thick sheet of ice, and advises Yima to build a Vara, or an enclosure, to preserve the seeds of every kind of animal and plant." -- Zend-Avesta, Fargard II, 1000 B.C.

"Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice."
-- Robert Frost, poet, December 1920

Science Daily: Resolving the Paradox of the Antarctic Sea Ice.

ScienceDaily (Aug. 16, 2010) — While Arctic sea ice has been diminishing in recent decades, the Antarctic sea ice extent has been increasing slightly.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Matthew Simmons Deader Than Fossil Fuel

"A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it." -- Max Planck, physicist, 1949

"The human mind is a lot like the human egg and the human egg has a shut-off device. When one sperm gets in, it shuts down so the next one can't get in. The human mind has a big tendency of the same sort. And here again, it doesn't just catch ordinary mortals; it catches the deans of physics. According to Max Planck, the really innovative, important new physics was never really accepted by the old guard. Instead a new guard came along that was less brain-blocked by its previous conclusions. And if Max Planck's crowd had this consistency and commitment tendency that kept their old conclusions intact in spite of disconfirming evidence, you can imagine what the crowd that you and I are part of behaves like." -- Charles T. Munger, philosopher, 1995

"Science, we are told is tentative. And given the history of science, there is every reason to be tentative. No scientific theory withstands revision for long, and many are eventually superseded by theories that flatly contradict their predecessors. Scientific revolutions are common, painful, and real. New theories regularly overturn old ones, and no scientific theory is ever the final word. But if science is tentative, scientists are not. As philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn rightly noted, it takes a revolution to change scientific theories precisely because scientists do not hold their theories tentatively. Thus, in his Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Kuhn quotes with approval Max Planck, who wrote: 'A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing it's opponents and making them see the light, but rather because it's opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.'" -- William A. Dembski, philosopher, March 16th 2000

Matthew Simmons is dead.

Matt claimed that oil is finite because he was paid hundreds of millions of dollars to believe it.

Of course, everyone who has ever taken a high school level chemistry or physics class knows that atoms and compounds are infinite.

Bloomberg: Matthew Simmons Showed the Supply of Oil Is Finite, Says Morse: Tom Keene.

The late Matthew R. Simmons’ greatest contribution [sic] was showing that the supply of oil is finite, said Edward Morse, the New York-based head of commodities research at Credit Suisse Group AG.

Simmons, an energy investment banker and leading proponent of the “peak oil” theory that claims the Earth is running out of crude, died Aug. 8 at 67 in an accidental drowning at his home in North Haven, Maine, local officials said. He made “remarkable contributions” in making the energy market transparent and helping the U.S. understand Saudi Arabia, Morse said.
CNBC: 'Peak Oil' Theory Advocate Matt Simmons Dies.

Simmons' views on "peak oil" have long be considered controversial as have his recent statements regarding the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Simmons, who served as an energy advisor to President George W. Bush, asserted earlier this summer, that he expected BP would need to file for bankruptcy protection in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon accident. He also claimed there were two leaks in the Gulf of Mexico, not just the one on which BP had fixed its underwater cameras.

In the wake of Simmons' comments, the investment bank Simmons & Co. severed its ties with its founder, who until that point had served as its chairman emeritus.

BP's recent efforts to cap the Macondo well and establish a $20 billion claim fund have made these highly controversial comments unlikely.
Also see Matt Simmons and ANWR, Simmons' Predictions Flop...Pathetically, etc.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Refuting Evolutionary Fairy Tales

Evidence of stone tool use a million years before Darwinists had assumed. How many advanced spaceage civilizations rose and fell within that million years of unaccounted for technological development?

Science Daily: Oldest Evidence of Stone Tool Use and Meat-Eating Among Human Ancestors Discovered: Lucy's Species Butchered Meat.

ScienceDaily (Aug. 11, 2010) — The evolutionary stories of the Swiss Army Knife and the Big Mac just got a lot longer. An international team of scientists led by Dr. Zeresenay Alemseged from the California Academy of Sciences has discovered evidence that human ancestors were using stone tools and consuming meat from large mammals nearly a million years earlier than previously documented. While working in the Afar Region of Ethiopia, Alemseged's "Dikika Research Project" team found fossilized bones bearing unambiguous evidence of stone tool use -- cut marks inflicted while carving meat off the bone and percussion marks created while breaking the bones open to extract marrow.

The bones date to roughly 3.4 million years ago and provide the first evidence that Lucy's species, Australopithecus afarensis, used stone tools and consumed meat. The research is reported in the August 12 issue of the journal Nature.

"This discovery dramatically shifts the known timeframe of a game-changing behavior for our ancestors," says Alemseged, Curator of Anthropology at the California Academy of Sciences. "Tool use fundamentally altered the way our early ancestors interacted with nature, allowing them to eat new types of food and exploit new territories. It also led to tool making -- a critical step in our evolutionary [sic] path that eventually enabled such advanced [sic] technologies as airplanes, MRI machines, and iPhones."

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hawking: Mankind Must Colonize Space or Face Extinction

News: Mankind must colonise space or face extinction, academic Stephen Hawking has warned.

MANKIND must look to colonize outer space within the next century or it will become extinct, renowned British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking warned the Big Think website yesterday.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Galaxy With It's Tail In a Knot

Mel Acheson: A Galaxy with Its Tail in a Knot.

A new x-ray image of a galaxy in the Abell cluster 3627 reveals a second tail parallel to the first, which was already known. The second tail is fainter but also contains knots. Both tails are surrounded by x-ray point sources.

The second tail visible in the image above is “a surprise” to plasma-impaired astronomers, who must explain it with the mechanics of evaporation. Plasma-wise astronomers immediately recognize that Birkeland currents tend to come in pairs. Actually, they come in pairs of pairs, braided pairs, and cables of braids—hence explaining the filamentary universe. (Perhaps one could call it the “fibrous universe.”)

A plasma astronomer will notice that the second tail is not so much parallel to the first as twisted around it in a half-turn. Since Birkeland currents—even galaxy-cluster size ones such as this—are the transmission lines of a larger circuit, the current must continue in dark mode beyond the region in which it emits x-rays.

Presumably, the two “tails” continue to twist around each other. This conclusion is reinforced by the optical (red) filament at the core of the first tail: It appears to be a twisted pair of filaments itself. The knots in the tails and the point sources around them are likely to be pinch instabilities.

Electromagnetic forces concentrate matter in the current flow into clumps. They also pull in matter from the surrounding region and sort it into layers of similar composition according to ionization potential. This process, observable in laboratory discharges and involving forces many, many times stronger than gravity, is more likely to be the cause of star formation than the gravitational collapse of gas clouds. Gravitational collapse has never been demonstrated, nor has it overcome the theoretical difficulties—seldom discussed—that seem to render it impossible.

Halton Arp and a number of colleagues have shown that clusters of galaxies such as those in the Abell catalogue are often associated with nearby active galaxies and are positioned within the active galaxies’ ejection cones. Being nearby, as distinguished from the conventional redshift-distance placement, they are small. They appear to be the next step in growth of BL Lac objects, quasars with multiple or “fractured” centers, which are the first products of ejection from the nuclei of the active galaxies. (The “grown-up” results are companion galaxies, which have evolved step-wise down the Karlsson redshift periodicity from high-redshift quasars.)

As such, in the Electric Universe the entire cluster is the focus of an electrical plasma discharge. Individual galaxies are foci of only a part of the discharge current and can only be understood in relation to the whole circuit. One possible view is in analogy with stellar circuits. The dominant galaxy in a cluster would be the anode within a sheath that surrounds the entire cluster, similar to the heliosphere around the solar system. The smaller galaxies would be secondary cathodic elements within that sheath, similar to comets. The double tail on this galaxy marks it as a galaxy-sized comet.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Life On Earth May Have Originated in Extraterrestrial Laboratories

"... Directed Panspermia, the theory that organisms were deliberately transmitted to the earth by intelligent beings on another planet." -- Francis H.C. Crick, molecular biologist, and Leslie E. Orgel, biologist, 1972

Science Daily: Secret of Life on Earth May Be as Simple as What Happens Between the Sheets -- Mica Sheets, That Is.

(Aug. 6, 2010) — That age-old question, "where did life on Earth start?" now has an old answer. If the directed panspermia hypothesis is correct, life would have originated in extraterrestrial laboratories.

The so-called "directed panspermia" hypothesis was developed by Francis Crick of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California.
Crick, F.H.C., and Orgel, L.E., Directed Panspermia, Icarus, Volume 19, Pages 341-346, 1973

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Invisible Pink Unicorns May Live Inside the Sun

"It's not that most of the matter and energy in the universe is dark, but that most cosmologists are totally in the dark about the real nature of the universe." -- Wallace Thornhill, physicist, October 2006

"In summation, Dark Matter and Dark Energy add up to the blank cheques that postpone the falsification of bankrupt theories." -- Ralph Sansbury, physicist, May 2009

"Dark matter is an excuse for the failure of gravitational theories." -- Stephen Smith, author, June 17th 2010

Science Daily: Dark Matter May Be Lurking at Heart of the Sun.

ScienceDaily (Aug. 4, 2010) — A scientist at Royal Holloway, University of London believes dark matter is lurking at the centre of the sun and cooling down its core temperature.

The latest study, led by Dr Stephen West from the Department of Physics at Royal Holloway, looks at the possible effects of dark matter on the properties of the sun, if these elusive particles become trapped at its centre.

"Dark matter makes up more than 80 per cent of the total mass of the universe. We know that dark matter exists but to date it has never been produced in a laboratory or directly observed in any experiment, as a result we have very little information about what it actually is. It is important that we examine all possible ways of probing the nature of dark matter and the sun could provide us with an unexpected laboratory in which to do this," says Dr West.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

When God Created Reptiles

"...the suggestion of sentient humans walking about writing on North American walls during the Carboniferous Era, 250 million years ago, simply subjects the orthodox thinking apparatus to more shocks than may be comfortably sustained." -- Brad Steiger, author, October 1978

Science Daily: Ancient Reptiles 'Make Tracks': Discovery of Fossilized Footprints Reveals When Reptiles First Conquered Dry Land.

ScienceDaily (Aug. 2, 2010) — A discovery of fossilized footprints reveals when reptiles first conquered dry land.

The 318-million-year-old reptile footprints were found in sea-cliffs on the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick, Canada. They show that reptiles were the first vertebrates (animals with a backbone) to conquer dry continental interiors. These pioneers paved the way for the diverse ecosystems that exist on land today.

The footprints were discovered by Dr Howard Falcon-Lang of Royal Holloway, University of London. The results of his study, undertaken with Professor Mike Benton of the University of Bristol and Canadian colleagues, are published in the journal Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology.

It has long been suspected that reptiles were the first to make the continental interiors their home. This is because reptiles do not need to return to water to breed unlike their amphibian cousins. The new discovery of footprints proves this theory. The rocks in which they occur show that the reptiles lived on dry river plains hundreds of miles from the sea.

Professor Benton said: "The footprints date from the Carboniferous Period when a single supercontinent (Pangaea) dominated the world. At first life was restricted to coastal swamps where lush rainforest existed, full of giant ferns and dragonflies. However, when reptiles came on the scene they pushed back the frontiers, conquering the dry continental interiors."

The same team reported the oldest known reptile footprints from a different site in New Brunswick in 2007. The new discovery is of similar age, and may be even older.

Dr Falcon-Lang added: "The Bay of Fundy is such an amazing place to hunt for fossils. The sea-cliffs are rapidly eroding and each rock-fall reveals exciting new fossils. You just never know what will turn up next."