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"2012" News - science/technology/apocalyptic wackiness (80 posts)

  1. truthmod
    Administrator

    I thought it would be interesting to keep track of all the wacky news (scientific, technological, and otherwise) that seems to be pointing towards something like Timewave Zero ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novelty_theory ). I don't necessarily buy into this new age theorizing, but you'd have to be an idiot not to see that technological "progress" is increasingly exponentially and our world is approaching sci-fi reality...

    Our world may be a giant hologram
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20126911.300...

    DRIVING through the countryside south of Hanover, it would be easy to miss the GEO600 experiment. From the outside, it doesn't look much: in the corner of a field stands an assortment of boxy temporary buildings, from which two long trenches emerge, at a right angle to each other, covered with corrugated iron. Underneath the metal sheets, however, lies a detector that stretches for 600 metres.

    New evidence of life on Mars spotted by NASA
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2...

    Something is happening beneath the surface of Mars that causes substantial amounts of methane gas to burst out regularly, a discovery that NASA scientists say represents the strongest indication so far that life might exist, or once existed, on the planet.

    The methane is released into the atmosphere in specific areas and at regular times, they found, in a pattern that would be consistent with the gas being a byproduct of biological activity beneath the planet's parched surface.

    Principal investigator Michael Mumma, of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., said the detection does not mean that life definitely exists on Mars, because the gas can be produced by subsurface geological or chemical processes as well.

    Nevertheless, "we believe this definitely increases the prospects for finding life on Mars," said Mumma, whose findings are being published online today by Science Express.

    Invisibility cloak one step closer to reality
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM...

    In a breakthrough that could signal a new era for human technology, US and Chinese researchers announced they are a step closer to creating an invisibility shield.

    In a development made possible by advances in designing complex mathematical commands known as algorithms, engineers at Duke University, North Carolina were able to create what they call "metamaterials."

    These materials can "guide electromagnetic waves around an object, only to have them emerge on the other side as if they had passed through an empty volume of space," according to the team, whose work was published in the January 16 edition of the journal Science.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  2. truthmod
    Administrator

    It's snowing on Mars ...

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/jan/27/mars...

    High in the sky above Mars, it is snowing right now. Very gently snowing. The snow does not settle on the rubble-strewn land below - not these days, anyway - but instead vaporises into the thin atmosphere long before it reaches the ground.

    The first flakes of snow, on a planet that until fairly recently was believed to be waterless, were spotted just a few months ago. A Nasa lander near the planet's north pole was scanning the sky with a laser when it noticed the telltale signs of snowfall. The probe, called Phoenix, announced the news in a radio signal that was picked up by an overhead orbiter and beamed back to Earth. Nothing like it had ever been seen before.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  3. truthmod
    Administrator

    Galaxy has 'billions of Earths'

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7891132....

    There could be one hundred billion Earth-like planets in our galaxy, a US conference has heard.

    Dr Alan Boss of the Carnegie Institution of Science said many of these worlds could be inhabited by simple lifeforms.

    He was speaking at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago.

    So far, telescopes have been able to detect just over 300 planets outside our Solar System.

    Very few of these would be capable of supporting life, however. Most are gas giants like our Jupiter, and many orbit so close to their parent stars that any microbes would have to survive roasting temperatures.

    But, based on the limited numbers of planets found so far, Dr Boss has estimated that each Sun-like star has on average one "Earth-like" planet.

    This simple calculation means there would be huge numbers capable of supporting life.

    "Not only are they probably habitable but they probably are also going to be inhabited," Dr Boss told BBC News. "But I think that most likely the nearby 'Earths' are going to be inhabited with things which are perhaps more common to what Earth was like three or four billion years ago." That means bacterial lifeforms.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  4. truthmod
    Administrator

    http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n0903/08marswat...

    Did the Phoenix spacecraft find liquid water on Mars?

    Post-mission analysis of Phoenix Mars lander data is turning up strong new "smoking gun evidence" that the spacecraft discovered liquid water on the Red Planet. The data that Phoenix imaged and touched liquid water is a stunning discovery that directly relates to the potential for current or past life on Mars.

    This mosaic assembled from Phoenix images show the spacecraft's three landing legs. Splotches of Martian material on the landing leg strut at left could be liquid saline-water.

    Aside from the direct search for life itself, it has been the search for liquid water that could support life that has been the "Holy Grail" of Mars exploration since the 1960s.

    The discovery has historic implications far beyond the lander's earlier finding of hard-frozen water ice. That's because as far as science knows today, life can exist in the salty brine-like water found by Phoenix, but it can not form in hard-frozen water also found by Phoenix at its north polar landing site, where nighttime winter temperatures are routinely -100 degrees F.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  5. emanuel
    Member

    Has anyone read Tom Van Flandern's "exploded planet hypothesis"? I highly recommend it. I am convinced that Mars used to be the moon of a water-based planet between earth and Jupiter that exploded approximately 75 million years ago (time of the K/T boundary).

    http://metaresearch.org/solar%20system/eph/eph2000...

    Emanuel

    Posted 8 years ago #
  6. truthmod
    Administrator

    Researchers have developed a robot capable of learning and interacting with the world using a biological brain.

    http://seedmagazine.com/content/article/the_living...

    Kevin Warwick’s new robot behaves like a child. “Sometimes it does what you want it to, and sometimes it doesn’t,” he says. And while it may seem strange for a professor of cybernetics to be concerning himself with such an unreliable machine, Warwick’s creation has something that even today’s most sophisticated robots lack: a living brain.

    Life for Warwick’s robot began when his team at the University of Reading spread rat neurons onto an array of electrodes. After about 20 minutes, the neurons began to form connections with one another. “It’s an innate response of the neurons,” says Warwick, “they try to link up and start communicating.”

    For the next week the team fed the developing brain a liquid containing nutrients and minerals. And once the neurons established a network sufficiently capable of responding to electrical inputs from the electrode array, they connected the newly formed brain to a simple robot body consisting of two wheels and a sonar sensor.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  7. truthmover
    Administrator

    "The Geomagnetic Apocalypse — And How to Stop It"

    For scary speculation about the end of civilization in 2012, people usually turn to followers of cryptic Mayan prophecy, not scientists. But that's exactly what a group of NASA-assembled researchers described in a chilling report issued earlier this year on the destructive potential of solar storms.

    Entitled "Severe Space Weather Events — Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts," it describes the consequences of solar flares unleashing waves of energy that could disrupt Earth's magnetic field, overwhelming high-voltage transformers with vast electrical currents and short-circuiting energy grids. Such a catastrophe would cost the United States "$1 trillion to $2 trillion in the first year," concluded the panel, and "full recovery could take four to 10 years." That would, of course, be just a fraction of global damages.

    Needless to say, shorting out the electrical grid would cause major disruptions to developed nations and their economies.

    Worse yet, the next period of intense solar activity is expected in 2012, and coincides with the presence of an unusually large hole in Earth's geomagnetic shield, meaning we'll have less protection than usual from the solar flares.

    http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/04/2012sto...

    Posted 8 years ago #
  8. truthmod
    Administrator

    Microbe Wakes Up After 120,000 Years
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20090615/sc_li...

    After more than 120,000 years trapped beneath a block of ice in Greenland, a tiny microbe has awoken. The long-lasting bacteria may hold clues to what life forms might exist on other planets.

    The new bacteria species was found nearly 2 miles (3 km) beneath a Greenland glacier, where temperatures can dip well below freezing, pressure soars, and food and oxygen are scarce.

    "We don't know what state they were in," said study team member Jean Brenchley of Pennsylvania State University. "They could've been dormant, or they could've been slowly metabolizing, but we don't know for sure."

    Dormant would mean the bacteria were in a spore-like state in which there's not a lot of metabolism going on, so the bacteria wouldn't be reproducing much. It's possible the bacteria could have been slowly metabolizing and replicating.


    "These extremely cold environments are the best analogues of possible extraterrestrial habitats," Loveland-Curtze said, referring to the Greenland glacier. "The exceptionally low temperatures can preserve cells and nucleic acids for even millions of years."

    Posted 8 years ago #
  9. truthmover
    Administrator

    Just watched the new trailer for the movie "2012." I think it's another meteor strike movie very much like "Deep Impact" with the main difference that the meteor hits before we start deciding who gets saved. I'll probably see it for the effects which look unprecedented.

    Two things about the trailer stood out to me. Danny Glover plays the President. So is it a coincidence then that the shit hits the fan in both these apocalypse movies when we finally get around to electing a black man?

    And second, here's the last line of the trailer:

    "Find out the truth. Search 2012."

    Not really a good starting point for truth in my opinion. What's going on here? Looks like hype. But then Emmerich movies tend to have ideological underpinnings.

    http://www.whowillsurvive2012.com/

    Posted 8 years ago #
  10. truthmod
    Administrator

    "Big Bang" collider set for autumn restart: CERN
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090619/sc_nm/us_scien...

    The giant sub-atomic particle collider built to reproduce "Big Bang" conditions is set to restart this autumn, the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) said on Friday.

    Scientists believe they have figured out how to prevent a repeat of the problems that caused the 10 billion Swiss franc ($9.2 billion) Large Hadron Collider to be shut down just nine days after it was switched on last September, CERN expert Steve Myers said in a statement.

    The machine -- the largest and most complex ever made -- overheated because of a faulty splice in the super-conducting cable connecting two cooling magnets, according to Myers.

    There are 10,000 splices around the underground collider's 27-km (17-mile) ring, which smashes particles together at a temperature of just above absolute zero to recreate the conditions believed to have been present at the beginning of the universe 13.7 billion years ago.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  11. truthmod
    Administrator

    http://www.thisistheend.com/

    Woody Harrelson in viral marketing videos for the movie. Kind of strange that they're also playing up the kooky new age humor angle of the plot...

    Posted 8 years ago #
  12. truthmod
    Administrator

    Scientists fear a revolt by killer robots
    Advances in artificial intelligence are bringing the sci-fi fantasy dangerously closer to fact

    http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_...

    A ROBOT that makes a morning cuppa, a fridge that orders the weekly shop, a car that parks itself.

    Advances in artificial intelligence promise many benefits, but scientists are privately so worried they may be creating machines which end up outsmarting — and perhaps even endangering — humans that they held a secret meeting to discuss limiting their research.

    At the conference, held behind closed doors in Monterey Bay, California, leading researchers warned that mankind might lose control over computer-based systems that carry out a growing share of society’s workload, from waging war to chatting on the phone, and have already reached a level of indestructibility comparable with a cockroach.

    “These are powerful technologies that could be used in good ways or scary ways,” warned Eric Horvitz, principal researcher at Microsoft who organised the conference on behalf of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.


    “We’re rapidly approaching the time when new robots should undergo tests, similar to ethical and clinical trials for new drugs, before they can be introduced,” he said.

    The scientists who presented their findings at the International Joint Conference for Artificial Intelligence in Pasadena, California, last month fear that nightmare scenarios, which have until now been limited to science fiction films, such as the Terminator series, The Matrix, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Minority Report, could come true.

    Robotic unmanned predator drones, for example, which can seek out and kill human targets, have already moved out of the movie theatres and into the theatre of war in Afghanistan and Iraq. While at present controlled by human operators, they are moving towards more autonomous control.

    They could also soon be found on the streets. Samsung, the South Korean electronics company, has developed autonomous sentry robots to serve as armed border guards. They have “shoot-to-kill” capability.


    Japanese consumers can already buy robots that “learn” their owner’s behaviour, can open the front door and even find electrical outlets and recharge themselves so they never stop working.

    One high-tech US firm is working on robotic nurses, dubbed “nursebots”, that interact with patients to simulate empathy. Critics told the conference that, at best, this could be dehumanising; at worst, something could go wrong with the programming.

    The scientists dismissed as fanciful fears about “singularity” — the term used to describe the point where robots have become so intelligent they are able to build ever more capable versions of themselves without further input from mankind.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  13. truthmod
    Administrator

    'Hidden Portal' Concept Described: First Tunable Electromagnetic Gateway

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/09081...

    While the researchers can't promise delivery to a parallel universe or a school for wizards, books like Pullman's Dark Materials and JK Rowling's Harry Potter are steps closer to reality now that researchers in China have created the first tunable electromagnetic gateway. See also: Matter & Energy

    The work is a further advance in the study of metamaterials, published in New Journal of Physics (co-owned by the Institute of Physics and German Physical Society).

    In the research paper, the researchers from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Fudan University in Shanghai describe the concept of a "a gateway that can block electromagnetic waves but that allows the passage of other entities" like a "'hidden portal' as mentioned in fictions."

    The gateway, which is now much closer to reality, uses transformation optics and an amplified scattering effect from an arrangement of ferrite materials called single-crystal yttrium-iron-garnet that force light and other forms of electromagnetic radiation in complicated directions to create a hidden portal.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  14. truthmod
    Administrator

    Building block of life found on comet
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090818/sc_nm/us_space...

    The amino acid glycine, a fundamental building block of proteins, has been found in a comet for the first time, bolstering the theory that raw ingredients of life arrived on Earth from outer space, scientists said on Monday.

    Microscopic traces of glycine were discovered in a sample of particles retrieved from the tail of comet Wild 2 by the NASA spacecraft Stardust deep in the solar system some 242 million miles (390 million km) from Earth, in January 2004.

    Samples of gas and dust collected on a small dish lined with a super-fluffy material called aerogel were returned to Earth two years later in a canister that detached from the spacecraft and landed by parachute in the Utah desert.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  15. truthmod
    Administrator

    'Plasmobot': Scientists To Design First Robot Using Mould

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/09082...

    This project is at the forefront of research into unconventional computing. Professor Andy Adamatzky, who is leading the project, says their previous research has already proved the ability of the mould to have computational abilities.

    Professor Adamatzky explains, “Most people’s idea of a computer is a piece of hardware with software designed to carry out specific tasks. This mould, or plasmodium, is a naturally occurring substance with its own embedded intelligence. It propagates and searches for sources of nutrients and when it finds such sources it branches out in a series of veins of protoplasm. The plasmodium is capable of solving complex computational tasks, such as the shortest path between points and other logical calculations. Through previous experiments we have already demonstrated the ability of this mould to transport objects. By feeding it oat flakes, it grows tubes which oscillate and make it move in a certain direction carrying objects with it. We can also use light or chemical stimuli to make it grow in a certain direction.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  16. truthmod
    Administrator

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/planet-f...

    Planet found that defies the laws of physics

    It's the planet that really shouldn't exist – or at least not for long. It is 10 times the size of Jupiter, orbits its own star in under 24 hours and should soon be spiralling into the surface of its searingly-hot sun.

    Under the laws of physics, planet WASP-18b orbiting a star 1,000 light years from Earth is too big and too close to its sun for comfort. The tidal interactions between the two massive objects should be pulling them together in a deadly gravitational embrace.

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/0,15...

    The Dawning Age of Mind-Reading Machines

    Imagine controlling machines, typing text or juggling balls using nothing but the power of thought. What sounds like far-fetched science fiction is gradually becoming possible, providing hope for disabled patients -- and new gimmicks for the computer gaming industry.

    DIZ SENTENS IS WRUTEN WID TAUGHTS. No keyboard, no hands, no blinking even. I think, therefore I write.

    My original plan was to write this article with nothing but the power of thought, but the technology of transforming ideas into characters is still crude and prone to error. The first word alone took a few minutes, and even after that the result was still "diz" instead of "this."

    Posted 8 years ago #
  17. truthmod
    Administrator

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/science/biol...

    A particle God doesn’t want us to discover
    Could the Large Hadron Collider be sabotaging itself from the future, as some physicists say

    Explosions, scientists arrested for alleged terrorism, mysterious breakdowns — recently Cern’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has begun to look like the world’s most ill-fated experiment.

    Is it really nothing more than bad luck or is there something weirder at work? Such speculation generally belongs to the lunatic fringe, but serious scientists have begun to suggest that the frequency of Cern’s accidents and problems is far more than a coincidence.

    The LHC, they suggest, may be sabotaging itself from the future — twisting time to generate a series of scientific setbacks that will prevent the machine fulfilling its destiny.

    At first sight, this theory fits comfortably into the crackpot tradition linking the start-up of the LHC with terrible disasters. The best known is that the £3 billion particle accelerator might trigger a black hole capable of swallowing the Earth when it gets going. Scientists enjoy laughing at this one.

    This time, however, their ridicule has been rather muted — because the time travel idea has come from two distinguished physicists who have backed it with rigorous mathematics.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  18. JohnA
    Member

    lol

    let me guess - the collider will go online December 12, 2012 and trigger the big bang.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  19. JohnA
    Member

    great thread btw

    Posted 7 years ago #
  20. nornnxx65
    Member

    Memebox.com/futurescanner http://memebox.com/futurescanner/year/2012/new

    A quarter of planet to be online by 2012, and able to understand each's other's language http://www.kurzweilai.net/news/frame.html?main=new...

    Accelerating Change http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accelerating_change

    Posted 7 years ago #
  21. truthmod
    Administrator

    Scientists grow pork meat in a laboratory

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/science/arti...

    SCIENTISTS have grown meat in the laboratory for the first time. Experts in Holland used cells from a live pig to replicate growth in a petri dish.

    The advent of so-called “in-vitro” or cultured meat could reduce the billions of tons of greenhouse gases emitted each year by farm animals — if people are willing to eat it.

    So far the scientists have not tasted it, but they believe the breakthrough could lead to sausages and other processed products being made from laboratory meat in as little as five years’ time.

    They initially extracted cells from the muscle of a live pig. Called myoblasts, these cells are programmed to grow into muscle and repair damage in animals. Related Links

    The cells were then incubated in a solution containing nutrients to encourage them to multiply indefinitely. This nutritious “broth” is derived from the blood products of animal foetuses, although the intention is to come up with a synthetic solution.

    The result was sticky muscle tissue that requires exercise, like human muscles, to turn it into a tougher steak-like consistency.

    “You could take the meat from one animal and create the volume of meat previously provided by a million animals,” said Mark Post, professor of physiology at Eindhoven University, who is leading the Dutch government-funded research.

    Post and his colleagues have so far managed to develop a soggy form of pork and are seeking to improve its texture. “What we have at the moment is rather like wasted muscle tissue,” Post said.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  22. mark
    Member

    a better alternative to Pork-in-a-Test-Tube:

    http://www.tofurky.com

    Posted 7 years ago #
  23. truthmod
    Administrator

    http://cryptogon.com/?p=12591

    Nuclear-Powered Transponder for Cyborg Insect

    This week at the International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM), in Baltimore, Md., Cornell University engineers presented research that shows progress in powering cybernetic organisms with a radioactive fuel source.

    Electrical engineering associate professor Amit Lal and graduate student Steven Tin presented a prototype microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) transmitter—an RF-emitting device powered by a radioactive source with a half-life of 12 years, meaning that it could operate autonomously for decades. The researchers think the new RFID transmitter, which produces a 5-milliwatt, 10-microsecond-long, 100-megahertz radio-frequency pulse, could lead to the widespread use of radioisotope power sources.

    The work is funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which also funds Lal and Tin’s work on another project, called Hybrid Insect Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (HI-MEMS), whose aim is the creation of hybrid cybernetic organisms. In his presentation, Tin said that part of the goal of the radioisotope transmitter work is to power the insects that the group is developing for DARPA. The HI-MEMS program, which is approaching its fourth year, has already grown several kinds of insects—moths and beetles—with implanted control electronics. With such controls, they can be driven by a remote operator for ”stealth applications” and disaster response.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAeV96bTRiI&fea...

    Posted 7 years ago #
  24. truthmod
    Administrator

    North Magnetic Pole Moving East Due to Core Flux

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/12/09...

    Earth's north magnetic pole is racing toward Russia at almost 40 miles (64 kilometers) a year due to magnetic changes in the planet's core, new research says.

    The core is too deep for scientists to directly detect its magnetic field. But researchers can infer the field's movements by tracking how Earth's magnetic field has been changing at the surface and in space.

    Now, newly analyzed data suggest that there's a region of rapidly changing magnetism on the core's surface, possibly being created by a mysterious "plume" of magnetism arising from deeper in the core.

    And it's this region that could be pulling the magnetic pole away from its long-time location in northern Canada, said Arnaud Chulliat, a geophysicist at the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris in France.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  25. truthmod
    Administrator

    http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2010/...

    Welsh robot Adam takes A.I. to the next level

    IT was hailed as taking artificial intelligence to a new level.

    Now, the creation by Welsh scientists of the first robot in the world to make an independent scientific discovery has been named the fourth most significant discovery of 2009 by one of the world’s most influential magazines.

    Adam, a computer that fully automates the scientific process, discovered in April how a baker’s yeast converts food like sugar into the amino acid lysine to produce the protein in bread.

    The robot then devised experiments to test its predictions, ran experiments using laboratory robotics and interpreted the results, before repeating the cycle.

    Adam was designed by Professor Ross King and colleagues at the Department of Computer Science at Aberystwyth University to carry out each stage of the scientific process automatically without the need for further human intervention.

    Its success was placed ahead of the discovery of water on the moon and the progress made this year at the large hadron collider in Switzerland – project managed by Welsh scientist Dr Lyn Evans – in Time magazine’s 10 most significant scientific discoveries of 2009. However, its importance was ranked behind the discoveries of our oldest human ancestor and a potential cure for colour blindness.

    Posted 7 years ago #

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