Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On

Here we have hurricanes and we know when they will hit but California has earthquakes and few know for sure when they will pop up and shake the crap out of the state.

There is a small one almost everyday in California and in the past have had some butt busting ‘quakes and many seem to think that a really big one is not far off……

It’s the most well-known US fault, but the San Andreas Fault’s southern section hasn’t been behind a major earthquake since a 7.9-magnitude temblor in 1857—and that’s got Thomas Jordan worried, the Los Angeles Times reports. “The springs on the San Andreas system have been wound very, very tight,” Jordan, the director of the Southern California Earthquake Center, told Wednesday’s National Earthquake Conference. “And the southern San Andreas fault, in particular, looks like it’s locked, loaded, and ready to go.” The area (which includes Los Angeles on its periphery) is due for a major quake, Jordan says, adding it’s imperative Southern California continue to prepare, following the example of LA in pushing quake retrofits for buildings, as well as protecting telecommunications and water systems. “An earthquake on the San Andreas would really affect all of Southern California,” said Jordan’s SCEC colleague, Mark Benthien, per CBS Los Angeles.

In tectonics-speak, the San Andreas Fault—which Curbed Los Angeles calls a “ticking … time bomb”—is where the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate meet, and the Pacific Plate is shifting northwest of the North American one at a rate of 16 feet or so every century, ScienceAlert notes. That’s a lot of tension that needs to be released, which would be devastating: A 2008 USGS study found a 7.8-magnitude quake on the San Andreas Fault’s southern portion could cause 1,800 fatalities, 50,000 injuries, and $200 billion in damage. Other parts of the fault have also remained dormant even longer, including in San Bernardino County (no major shakeup since 1812) and near the Salton Sea, more or less steady since the late 1600s. “We are fortunate that seismic activity in California has been relatively low over the past century,” Jordan said last year. “But we know that tectonic forces are continually tightening the springs … making big quakes inevitable.”

Buy some desert land in western Arizona…..for one day it will be beachfront property…

Jeepers Creepers

Sunday…..I shall spend the day in the garden then the orchard and then end it in the vineyard…..Spring and beautiful weather and I will put my research aside and enjoy a little slice of life……strolling around the property gives me a perspective….kinda like recharging the batteries……

One of my fave jokes is…..2 cannibals eating a clown….one cannibal turns to the other and says…”Does this taste funny?”  (rip shot)

Moving on….we all have things that creeps us out….some it is snakes, my daughter it is snails, my granddaughter it is spiders and me…..it is clowns….just the sight of one makes me feel like hitting them between the eyes…..to say that I do not like them would be an understatement…..all are just plain creepy!

I know that it may seem irrational……. but maybe it is not so irrational……after all…….

As Slate puts it: “Creepy is a state of being that’s easy to identify but hard to pin down.” That is, until two social psychologists at Knox College conducted the first-ever empirical study of “creepiness,” publishing their findings in New Ideas in Psychology. The researchers surveyed more than 1,300 people around the world about people and things that creeped them out. Here are some of the results: Clowns, taxidermists, and funeral directors are creepy. So is repeated lip licking, violating personal space, laughing at the wrong times, and steering conversations toward sex. Also creepy: bulging eyes, long fingers, greasy hair, and pale skin. According to Business Insider, 95% of respondents believe creepy people are more likely to be men. And women are more likely to see creepy people as a sexual threat.

Researchers concluded that unpredictability is a big reason why things and people get labeled as creepy. As the study puts it, being creeped out is an evolved response that “enables us to maintain vigilance during times of uncertainty.” Researcher Francis McAndrew tells Business Insider their research shows a creepy trait is “anything that would make you unsure of what the person would do next.” But sociologist Lisa Wade says the research appears to show an inherent bias against things or people that aren’t conventionally attractive. “There’s a bias toward attractive people that’s reinforced by mass media,” she says. “Even when a movie casts a bad guy they cast someone who’s objectively unattractive, unless the intention is to have the audience be surprised that the bad guy is bad.”

I knew it!  I knew I was not crazy….well not because of that…..I mean if I am in a spot where there is a black guy in baggy pants and a person that appears to be Middle Eastern and a clown…..my money is on the clown as the person most suspicious….I am keeping my attention of the twat in the funny nose…..

What creeps you out?

Now You See Us, Now You Don’t

Sunday and my last day of sanity…..granddaughter came by and we argued the benefits of a woman president……

I remember back during the days of the original Star Trek  the only “aliens” that had a cloaking device was the Romulans, then later the Klingons had such a device…well Kirk stole the Romulan device and never understood why they did not reverse engineer it and put it on all Federation starships…..

That brings me to today’s post….it seems that we may be able to cloak the entire planet to save it from alien invasion…..

Heeding the warning from theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking that Earth may be unwittingly advertising its presence to intelligent life on other planets, two astrophysicists have proposed using lasers to cloak the planet’s existence, reports Phys.org.

According to a paper submitted to the Royal Astronomical Society, Columbia Professor David Kipping and graduate student Alex Teachey explain that a burst of light from lasers would make it look as if Earth didn’t exist when it passed it front of the sun.

Scientists have warned that intelligent beings elsewhere may search for planets the same way we do — spotting them as they pass in front of stars and temporarily block out the light. The two researchers propose using bursts of light from lasers during Earth’s transit periods.

The two authors of the new study suggest that transits could be masked by controlled laser emission, with the beam directed at the star where the aliens might live. When the transit takes place, the laser would be switched on to compensate for the loss of light emissions.

“There is an ongoing debate as to whether we should advertise ourselves or hide from advanced civilizations potentially living on planets elsewhere in the Galaxy,” Kipping explained. “Our work offers humanity a choice, at least for transit events, and we should think about what we want to do.”

The researchers suggest emitting a continuous 30 MW laser for about 10 hours, once a year, would be enough to eliminate the transit signal at the visible light end of the spectrum.

“Alternatively, we could cloak only the atmospheric signatures associated with biological activity, such as oxygen, which is achievable with a peak laser power of just 160 kW per transit. To another civilization, this should make the Earth appear as if life never took hold on our world”, said Teachey.

According to Hawking, alien civilizations might be looking for planets like Earth that are rich in resources for colonization.

It would be possible to cloak an entire planet….then why not a plane or ship?  Got to be cheaper than “stealth” technology…..which only makes something “visible” to radar….

Whatcha think?

“Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”

Ah!  Fond memories of my youth……”Sgt. Pepper’s” album….back in the day many believed that the title meant the use of the drug LSD….maybe because so many were experimenting with the drug in real life.

Ask anyone who used the “good stuff” not the crap they pass off today and you will hear about creativity and expanded thought…..of course some will prefer to believe the stories of people diving out windows thinking they could fly….well my experience was NOTHING along those lines…..the only “bad trip” of the people I knew was a guy who dropped acid and then took a shower and he started to cry because he thought he was melting…..he did no harm to myself or anyone else……

The reason I bring this up is because there is a study from the UK about the use of LSD and the brain……

After taking the first-ever look at how the brain functions on LSD, Imperial College, London researchers sound nearly as enthusiastic about the drug as Timothy Leary. The team scanned the brains of 20 volunteers on the drug and discovered that not only did it increase connectivity between parts of the brain that usually perform specialized functions, many of those areas became involved in visual processing, leading to complex, dreamlike hallucinations and other visual effects, CNET reports. The researchers, whose study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Scientists, say the more “unified” brain they witnessed could explain why LSD users describe feeling more at one with the universe, and sometimes report increased well-being even long after the trip is over.

“This is to neuroscience what the Higgs boson was to particle physics,” senior researcher David Nutt, once the British government’s drug adviser, tells the Guardian. He says scientists have “waited 50 years for this moment,” but “enormous hurdles” have made it difficult to research LSD since the drug was banned in the ’60s. “For the first time we can really see what’s happening in the brain during the psychedelic state, and can better understand why LSD had such a profound impact on self-awareness in users and on music and art,” he says. “This could have great implications for psychiatry, and helping patients overcome conditions such as depression.”

Turn On and Tune In!

Eye In The Sky

Welcome friends and I do hope you have a great weekend…..I will be posting little and enjoying nice weather……

I have written about an archaeologists , Sarah Parcak, who uses satellites top find long missing historical sites…..she has found hundreds of once unknown sites, most of which wait for excavation……she is just amazing and I am glad to see that she is getting the recognition that she deserves……

I have written about Dr. Parcak before for her new program to locate unknown historical sites worldwide…….

Source: “Space Archaeology” – In Saner Thought

Scientists have been trying to locate another North American site for the Vikings…..it appears that Dr. Parcak and her “space” equipment may have done just that…….

A “high-tech Indiana Jones” may have just done what no one else has been able to for 55 years: find a second Viking settlement in North America, the Washington Post reports. “Typically in archaeology, you only ever get to write a footnote in the history books, but what we seem to have at Point Rosee may be the beginning of an entirely new chapter,” archaeologist Sara Parcak tells the BBC. Parcak used images taken by satellites 400 miles above the Earth to find what appeared to be evidence that Vikings made it hundreds of miles further into North America than previously known. Parcak has used the same technique to find 17 pyramids, 1,000 tombs, and 3,000 forgotten settlements. But this newest discovery could change everything we know about Vikings in North America.

The first—and so far only—Viking settlement in North America was found in 1960 at L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland, the New York Times reports. Parcak’s site is 300 miles southwest at Point Rosee. After spotting discolorations and patterns in the satellite images, she had to hike through bogs and forests while worrying about bear attacks to confirm her suspicions. Some digging revealed a stone cracked by fire, scraps of iron ore, and Viking-style turf walls. “Either it’s … an entirely new culture that looks exactly like the Norse,” Parcak tells the Post, “or it’s the westernmost Norse site that’s ever been discovered.” And that means there could more undiscovered sites showing Vikings settled deep into North America hundreds of years before the arrival of Columbus. (A hiker found a 1,200-year-old Viking sword.)

If you would like to learn more about this young lady’s amazing discoveries……

Source: Possible Viking Find Could Rewrite North American History

I am very impressed this woman’s work….so much so I have volunteered to be part of the “group” that pours over satellite images looking for undiscovered sites….I am hoping that I can view the Middle East for these sites.

Where Did He Touch You?

In my last post of the day I want to pass on some scientific research…..robot research….early android…..homo roboticus……..

Did you see the movie “Ex-Machina’?

If not then I will not spoil it for you…… let’s just say…… kinda kinky as well as  sexy.

Meanwhile back to the research…..robots and sex……

“Please touch my buttocks.” Most people feel uncomfortable obeying this command, and scientists have just discovered that this discomfort extends to, well, boxes of circuitry. Researchers at Stanford University are presenting their findings from a study on touching robots at the Annual Conference of the International Communication Association in Fukuoka, Japan, in June, reports IEEE Spectrum. It turns out that even though a robot’s “human-ness” is merely programmed into it, “We’re very, very good at fooling ourselves … to the point where it starts to get a little weird.”

To test this, the researchers had undergrads sit at a table with an NAO bot and respond to various commands, including “touch my hand” and “touch my buttocks.” Each participant’s non-dominant hand was hooked to a sensor that measured various physiological responses to capture the person’s attention and alertness. The less accessible a body part (think inner thigh or genitals), the more uncomfortable and reluctant the participant. Popular Science reports that the researchers didn’t go so far as to investigate why (that will likely be for future study), but they do note that “people are not inherently built to differentiate between technology and humans.” For now they suggest that the takeaway may be for robot designers to place command buttons in easy-to-reach places.

I guess this proves that I am officially an old fart.  This type of news just meakes me want to say……Eeeeewwwwwwwwwww!

I know some of my readers will have something to say about this bit of research……you know you want to weigh in……

Let it fly!

What Happened to Frodo?

Another day of rest and relaxation….and a rant about the whole “One ring to bring them all…..” and the whole Hobbit thingy….this collection of stories has thrilled the likes of every Dungeon and Dragon geek for decades…..but what if Tolkien was not making any of it up?

That’s right my geeky friends….it is possible that Hobbits were real……

New research suggests it’s possible ancient humans are responsible for killing off Indonesia’s hobbits (an urge no doubt felt by modern humans who sat through the extended edition of The Hobbit). Starting in 2003 when their remains were first discovered on the island of Flores, scientists believed Homo floresiensis—who averaged 3.5 feet tall and 75 pounds—lived until as recently as 12,000 years ago, National Geographic reports. But a new study published this week in Nature found they actually died off sometime between 60,000 and 50,000 years ago—right around the time humans showed up in the area. “The exact cause of the demise of the hominids … is not yet understood, but in my view, may be related to the appearance in the area of the most aggressive of all hominin species, Homo sapiens, modern humans,” one expert tells Discovery.

Discovery calls the timing of the hobbits’ disappearance “suspicious,” but the study found no proof they were wiped out by humans, and further excavations on Flores are needed. Other possible causes for the extinction of Homo floresiensis include volcanoes, overhunting of pygmy elephants, and climate change. But it’s not just their death that is mysterious. Scientists still don’t know why these real-life hobbits were so small, how they got to Flores, or if they’re even a different species. Some experts have posited they are actually humans suffering from dwarfism or Down syndrome. (Meanwhile, ancient humans having sex with Neanderthals may be why we have allergies.)

Go figure…..

What’s next?  Will remains of the Tooth Fairy be located?