It’s Alive!

Pentagon has a R&D unit called DARPA and some news has come out about one of their projects…..

How do you detect submarines in an expanse as large as the ocean? The U.S. military hopes that common marine microorganisms might be genetically engineered into living tripwires to signal the passage of enemy subs, underwater vessels, or even divers.

It’s one of many potential military applications for so-called engineered organisms, a field that promises living camouflage that reacts to its surroundings to better avoid detection, new drugs and medicines to help deployed forces survive in harsh conditions, and more. But the research is in its very early stages, military officials said.

This is fascinating news!  But after thinking about this situation….this is basically genetic engineering……is that ever a good thing?

Somewhere down the road this could go completely off track.

DARPA also was considering influencing people through their Twitter account…..does that sound familiar?

The activities of users of Twitter and other social media services were recorded and analysed as part of a major project funded by the US military, in a program that covers ground similar to Facebook’s controversial experiment into how to control emotions by manipulating news feeds.

Research funded directly or indirectly by the US Department of Defense’s military research department, known as Darpa, has involved users of some of the internet’s largest destinations, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Kickstarter, for studies of social connections and how messages spread.

I would like everyone’s thoughts on this thing…please.

More rest and care for my better half for the virus hit her a lot worse than it hit me…..she has been fighting it for almost a week…..she cares for me when as a man I am sick and we know how that is, huh?

I really would like a beer but I think I will wait a few more days before that happens…..



A Smile To Die For!

Good Morning on this Saturday after the Christmas excitement….now we  wait for the New Years Party…..and dread the day after……

I was dragged along for a shopping spree after the holiday….no I was not going without protest but as usual my better half won that argument….

Any way we were in this major store and a young lady was standing at a mirror in the “Beauty” department hold  Kleenex next to her mouth and smiling…..holy crap!  I realize she was doing that thing where self-centered little turds are comparing their tooth color to that of a tissue (the tissue test)… was a source of amusement for me….I was chastised for enjoying others stupidity….and then I read something that I wish I had when this poor young lady was so concerned…..

As usual I attempt to be an FYI blog on the weekends….trying to get away from the mind numbing news of the week….on that note…..

We Americans are worshipers of youth and beauty……we have our fad diets, our addiction to exercise machines that become clothes racks after a couple of months, always looking for that magic pill to turn us into that perfect image of youth and beauty……one of the biggest markets is that of dental care…….

OMG!  The products that are now available……if you are not sure which one you need then it will take an hour or more to go through the retail offerings to find that special product.

There is a new report about something new on the horizon….

In a recent study, researchers find a new product can use proteins to rebuild tooth enamel and treat dental cavities.

The new biogenic dental products can—in theory—rebuild teeth and cure cavities without costly and uncomfortable treatments.

Cavities are more than just a nuisance. Dental cavities affect nearly every age group and are accompanied by serious health concerns, according to the World Health Organization.

Additionally, direct and indirect costs of treating dental cavities and related diseases are a huge economic burden for people and health care systems.

Although tooth decay is relatively harmless in its earliest stages, once the cavity progresses through the tooth’s enamel, serious health concerns arise.

I am an old fart… trying to look younger or more beautiful is just not that damn important anymore…..but that is me.

Now time for some more rest and some french bread, cheese and OJ….OJ?  Yep cannot decide which wine I want on this day….so go with OJ for now…..hope all have a good day and I will be back for more stuff.

Old Age?

We are a society ate up with old age….we blame them for the mess of the “entitlement” programs and we seem to not care about the process of aging……that is because we believe we will live forever….HA….HA….

Dogs live an average 10 years or more… turtles live to be 80 years maybe longer….but what is the oldest of the animals?

(Newser) – The oldest animal ever known lived from 1499 until the day researchers cracked its shell open, killing it in the process. Ming, an ocean quahog from the species Arctica islandica, was initially thought to be a record-setting 402 years old. But the scientists who found it on a seabed near Iceland in 2006 now say further analysis has revealed that it was an incredible 507 years old, reports CBS. The researchers, who didn’t realize how old Ming was when they first found it, opened the ancient clam up to judge its age by counting growth rings inside its hinge ligaments. That’s because the rings are “better protected” there, scientist Paul Butler tells ScienceNordic, which notes that Ming was named for the Chinese dynasty that ruled when it was born.

But the rings were so close together that scientists ended up having to count the rings on the outside to be accurate, leading CBS to point out that Ming could have lived on, had scientists just started there. “We got it wrong the first time and maybe we were a bit [hasty] publishing our findings back then. But we are absolutely certain that we’ve got the right age now,” says Butler. The old, dead, mollusk still has a huge amount to offer science, reports the Herald-Sun. Scientists believe it will provide valuable data on changing sea temperatures over the last half-millennium—and maybe even some clues to longevity.

Now there is a nut……they killed the clam to determine its age…..where is the logic there?

You Gotta Read This!

The techno world is going bat shit crazy…….there is a new discovery almost daily……and some of it sounds like scifi….but NOPE…it be real!

I told my daughter years ago that if she wanted to ever invest to look at the nano-tech companies….I do believe that it is the future and best get on the ground floor……..this is a great story….

(Newser) – A team of Stanford scientists has built a working computer out of carbon nanotubes, a nigh-impossible feat that could herald silicon’s eventual replacement. Granted, the device (which is named “Cedric,” the BBC notes) isn’t terribly useful, containing as many transistors as the earliest 1950s computers. But it can run a basic OS, perform calculations, and switch between processes. “It really is a computer in every sense of the word,” the project’s lead electrical engineer tells the Wall Street Journal .

Carbon nanotubes are rolled out of sheets of pure carbon that are one atom thick. A bundle of 10,000 would be about the width of a human hair. They’re extremely promising conductors, but must be grown like crystals, and tend to develop impurities. “People said you would never be able to manufacture this stuff,” one Stanford engineer says. The results could extend the theoretical limits of Moore’s Law (up to a point anyway), because the nanotubes have the potential to be vastly superior to silicon, CNET observes.

Technology is getting smaller and smaller and this will be a boon to that downsizing…….


Water, Water Everywhere

Keeping with my Mars theme for this weekend……..the US has sent numerous vehicles to the red planet, Mars and most are going for one reason only……….search for life…… far not much has panned out…..until lately………

If you hear a dull roar, it’s probably just the collective scream of science buffs the world over. NASA’s Curiosity rover has found water in Mars’ soil, and the BBC describes it as a “surprising amount.” The find occurred at the hands of Curiosity, which scooped up a bit of dirt, heated it to 1535 degrees Fahrenheit, and found about 2% of that soil, by weight, was H2O, bound to other minerals. The news came from a series of five papers published in Science yesterday, and it’s knowledge future astronauts can make real use of. “If you think about a cubic foot of this dirt and you just heat it a little bit—a few hundred degrees—you’ll actually get off about two pints of water—like two water bottles you’d take to the gym,” explains Curiosity researcher Laurie Leshin. And it’s not just the amount, but the extent, that’s interesting: “This dirt on Mars … seems to be about the same everywhere you go,” says Leshin, meaning those astronauts could “quite easily extract water from almost anywhere.” But Gizmodo shares a bit of a buzzkill. “We didn’t find evidence of organic molecules in the soil. So, this doesn’t have a very big bearing on the life on Mars discussion,” Leshin explains. And the Guardian has a warning for those future visitors: The soil they’d be exposed to also contains perchlorate, which hinders thyroid function.

This is monumental news!  Now we can look closer for those little green guys with the bulbous heads……or we could just wait for them to show in their giant walkers……either way……life on Mars is getting closer……

Only A Matter Of Time

We all know of the Matrix…….or HAL of 2001…..and about 1000 other movies that the subject matter is when machines take over……and I am sure there will be a least a 1000 more in the future…..but real science is catching up to the imaginary world of film…..and it is all too scary, at least in my mind….as an old fart I am suspicious of machines…….and stories like this one are becoming more and more frequent……

Source: Business Insider

Computers that meddle with our thoughts, memories and brains might not be far off, The New York Times’ Nick Bilton reports.

There are already thought-controlled gadgets and smart phone apps. But recently, a group of scientists at MIT took brain-computer interactions to a whole new level.

While they weren’t able to create memories from scratch, they were able to associate different feelings to neutral memories in mice. In other words, they were able to turn frightening memories into indifference. When successful, the memory-altered mice didn’t recognize the location where they had earlier received an electrical shock. They thought the negative memory had been created elsewhere.

Read full article

Exploding Poop?

For the next couple of days I will give my mind a much deserved rest…..I run across a lot of amazing stuff….most of it is mundane crap (the pun is intended)……but from time to time I come across some reports that are too weird or cool or humorous to pass up……this is one of those stories……..does this fall into the category of……Shit Happens?

(Newser) – The latest thing out of industrial agriculture isn’t too appetizing: Burbling up from the manure pits beneath factory hog farms is an oozing substance that’s charmingly being dubbed “poop foam”—and it’s un-charmingly explosive, reports Mother Jones. The ooze is wreaking havoc on large hog farms, trapping the toxic gases in manure and causing explosions in the upper Midwest—including one that killed 1,500 pigs. The worst part? Scientists are stumped to its cause. Perhaps more than 25% of operations in Minnesota, Illinois, and Iowa are now grappling with the issue, a University of Minnesota engineer says.

The problem arose in 2009 when a gray, bubbly substance was found at the surface of “fecal soup” in some farms, growing to a thickness of up to four feet. Though distillers’ grains entered hog food rations around the time the issue began, the dosing of hogs with daily antibiotics may also have led to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The foam can be eradicated by dumping in low levels of another antibiotic, the bovine growth drug monensin, but some farmers don’t know the foam is present. Click for the full article.

Okay, now you give me your best punchline……

Yes! Earth 2!

More sdiencey stuff…..the stuff that makes it worthwhile to be on the ‘net….

Back in January of this year when I made my predictions for the year I said then that scientist would discover Earth 2……..and it looks like Nostradamus has a rival….ME!

Newser) – The Kepler telescope is certainly earning its keep. It has found even more Earth-like planets, NASA announced today, and one is being described as the most Earth-like yet. The news of Kepler-62f comes as part of the discovery of three exoplanets that could possibly support life, explains Kepler-62f is just 40% bigger than our own planet, and orbits a star that’s only 20% as bright as our sun; the neighboring Kepler-62e circles the same star, which is 1,200 light years away. And as the AP explains, they’re just the right size (past ones have been too big, and are likely gas balls like Neptune) and in just the right place (ie, the habitable zone, where it’s not too hot or cold) near their star. “This is the first one where I’m thinking ‘Huh, Kepler-62f really might have life on it’,” says a co-author of the study on the two, published today. explains that a separate modeling study indicates the planets might be completely covered in oceans. As for temperature, chief Kepler scientist William Borucki says Kepler-62e is a bit warm, like a Hawaiian world, and Kepler-62f is a bit chilly, more Alaskan. The third exoplanet spotted is Kepler-69c; it’s 70% bigger than Earth but revolves around a star much like our own; it’s being described as the smallest world located in the habitable zone of a star akin to our sun. These are just the most promising of Kepler’s latest lot; an additional four planets were found in the two new solar systems identified, but none of them could support life.

And I did it without the necessity of a de-coder ring……huh?

A Tasty Little Morsel

Have you ever read something and immediately felt like you must share with as many people as possible?

The internet is full of misinformation, especially in the political realm…..and then there is the information that serves absolutely no redeeming value……and this is one such……..

(Newser) – Bats in India have a good thing going on: Scientists analyzing a colony of about 420 fruit-eating bats there observed males performing cunnilingus on females, LiveScience reports. Over more than 13 months, researchers saw 57 cases of sex, both intercourse and oral. Males gave oral sex for an average of about 50 seconds, intercourse for another 10 to 20, and more oral for another 94 to 188. Scientists noted that longer pre-sex cunnilingus led to longer copulation, which may enhance conception. Or the males may give oral sex to clean off the sperm of other bats, but that “would be maladaptive after mating, as there is a risk of removing the male’s own sperm.”

Okay, let me have it!  I got to hear some thoughts on this one!