Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #10381 on: Mar 31st, 2014, 08:52am »
GOOD MORNING UFOCASEBOOKERS
Why we miss subtle visual changes, and why it keeps us sane
March 30, 2014
University of California - Berkeley
Ever notice how Harry Potter's T-shirt changes from a crewneck to a henley shirt in the "Order of the Phoenix," or how in "Pretty Woman," Julia Roberts' croissant inexplicably morphs into a pancake? Don't worry if you missed those continuity bloopers. Vision scientists at UC Berkeley and MIT have discovered an upside to the brain mechanism that can blind us to subtle visual changes in the movies and in the real world.
They've discovered a "continuity field" in which we visually merge together similar objects seen within a 15-second time frame, hence the previously mentioned jump from crewneck to henley goes largely unnoticed. Unlike in the movies, objects in the real world don't spontaneously change from, say, a croissant to a pancake in a matter of seconds, so the continuity field is stabilizing what we see over time.
"The continuity field smoothes what would otherwise be a jittery perception of object features over time," said David Whitney, associate professor of psychology at UC Berkeley and senior author of the study published today (March 30) in the journal, Nature Neuroscience.
"Essentially, it pulls together physically but not radically different objects to appear more similar to each other," Whitney added. "This is surprising because it means the visual system sacrifices accuracy for the sake of the continuous, stable perception of objects."
Conversely, without a continuity field, we may be hypersensitive to every visual fluctuation triggered by shadows, movement and myriad other factors. For example, faces and objects would appear to morph from moment to moment in an effect similar to being on hallucinogenic drugs, researchers said.
"The brain has learned that the real world usually doesn't change suddenly, and it applies that knowledge to make our visual experience more consistent from one moment to the next," said Jason Fischer, a postdoctoral fellow at MIT and lead author of the study, which he conducted while he was a Ph.D. student in Whitney's Lab at UC Berkeley.
To establish the existence of a continuity field, the researchers had study participants view a series of bars, or gratings, on a computer screen. The gratings appeared at random angles once every five seconds.
Participants were instructed to adjust the angle of a white bar so that it matched the angle of each grating they just viewed. They repeated this task with hundreds of gratings positioned at different angles. The researchers found that instead of precisely matching the orientation of the grating, participants averaged out the angle of the three most recently viewed gratings.
"Even though the sequence of images was random, participants' perception of any given image was biased strongly toward the past several images that came before it," said Fischer, who calls this phenomenon "perceptual serial dependence."
In another experiment, researchers set the gratings far apart on the computer screen, and found that the participants did not merge together the angles when the objects were far apart. This suggests that the objects must be close together for the continuity effect to work.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #10382 on: Mar 31st, 2014, 09:01am »
Houston News 92 fm
EXCLUSIVE: Former Employee Says Bigfoot Body is a Hoax [PHOTOS]
Mar 31, 2014 By Brandon De Hoyos
A former publicist says the body of a dead bigfoot now on national tour is a hoax.
Andrew Clancy told NEWS 92 FM famed Bigfoot tracker Rick Dyer has confessed the body was made by a Washington toy maker.
Clancy says he believed the events and the body were real based on what Dyer told him, but became suspicious after moving from Australia to the U.S. to assist the infamous tracker in publicizing the body’s national tour.
“I was of the view that Hank was real and I was excited to be part of what I considered to be a history making event,” Clancy writes, in an email to NEWS 92 FM. “I put my Australian businesses on hold and accepted this offer and flew to the United States with the best intentions of being part of a genuine and significant program.”
What Andrew found, however, was anything but a genuine program, he says. Confronting Dyer while in Daytona, Fla., Clancy says he confessed to the hoax.
“[He] admitted to me personally that the body of ‘Hank’ was not a real body but rather a construct of a company from Washington State which was paid for by Rick Dyer,” Clancy writes. ”Once I became aware of the truth I could no longer continue in my role with Rick Dyer on moral and ethical grounds…”
“HANK was made of polyfoam filled latex with latex paints and red camel hair glued on… intentionally to look like an “old poorly made taxidermy of a bigfoot nearly 8 feet tall and 4 feet wide at shoulders” at clients request to tour the country while filming of a movie for film studio I will not publicly name at this time,” Russell told researcher Laura Michaels, according to the blog.
Clancy, who has since returned to Australia, tells NEWS 92 FM he is “available and willing to cooperate with any Federal or State law enforcement investigations should they arise.”
Look out Cardassians! Soon we will cloak as well as YOU!
Breakthrough in creating invisibility cloaks, stealth technology
Date: March 31, 2014
Source: University of Central Florida
Summary: Scientists have managed to create artificial nanostructures called metamaterials that can 'bend light.' But the challenge has been making enough of the material to turn invisibility cloaks into a practical reality. New research, however, may have just cracked that barrier.
Controlling and bending light around an object so it appears invisible to the naked eye is the theory behind fictional invisibility cloaks.
It may seem easy in Hollywood movies, but is hard to create in real life because no material in nature has the properties necessary to bend light in such a way. Scientists have managed to create artificial nanostructures that can do the job, called metamaterials. But the challenge has been making enough of the material to turn science fiction into a practical reality.
The work of Debashis Chanda at the University of Central Florida, however, may have just cracked that barrier. The cover story in the March edition of the journal Advanced Optical Materials, explains how Chanda and fellow optical and nanotech experts were able to develop a larger swath of multilayer 3-D metamaterial operating in the visible spectral range. They accomplished this feat by using nanotransfer printing, which can potentially be engineered to modify surrounding refractive index needed for controlling propagation of light.
"Such large-area fabrication of metamaterials following a simple printing technique will enable realization of novel devices based on engineered optical responses at the nanoscale," said Chanda, an assistant professor at UCF.
The nanotransfer printing technique creates metal/dielectric composite films, which are stacked together in a 3-D architecture with nanoscale patterns for operation in the visible spectral range. Control of electromagnetic resonances over the 3-D space by structural manipulation allows precise control over propagation of light. Following this technique, larger pieces of this special material can be created, which were previously limited to micron-scale size.
By improving the technique, the team hopes to be able to create larger pieces of the material with engineered optical properties, which would make it practical to produce for real-life device applications. For example, the team could develop large-area metamaterial absorbers, which would enable fighter jets to remain invisible from detection systems.
Crashed drone found on South Korean island near border with North as two countries trade fire
Agence France-Presse in Seoul Tuesday 1 April 2014 03.41 EDT
South Korea says it has recovered an unidentified drone that crashed on one of its border islands the same day that North and South Korea exchanged artillery fire across their disputed maritime boundary.
The wreckage was discovered on Baengnyeong island, which lies just south of the maritime border.
"Military authorities retrieved the wreckage for analysis," a defence ministry spokesman said.
He declined to speculate on the drone's provenance, but the Yonhap news agency said military and intelligence officials suspected the drone came from North Korea.
Yonhap quoted a military source as saying the drone crashed around 4pm local time (8am BST), less than an hour after North Korea wrapped up a major live fire drill along the border.
During the exercise, the North fired about 500 rounds of artillery shells, 100 of which fell into South Korean waters. The South responded by firing 300 shells into the sea on the North Korean side of the border and scrambling fighter jets.
North Korea had displayed a set of what appeared to be very rudimentary drones during a huge military parade held in Pyongyang last July to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean war.
And in March last year, state media reported leader Kim Jong-un overseeing a military drill using "super-precision drone planes".
Photographs of the exercise broadcast on state television showed what resembled air force target drones being flown into a mountainside target and exploding.
Yonhap said the shape and size of the drone found on Baengnyeong island was similar to that recovered last month near the northern city of Paju, close to the land border with the North.
The Paju drone had a triangular wing with a 1.9-metre span, the agency quoted a government source as saying.
Its gas-powered engine was made in Japan and other parts were Chinese.
According to the government source, it had a camera that had taken aerial shots of the national highway from Paju to Seoul and the presidential Blue House in the capital.
Darth Vader to run for election in Ukraine's presidential race
Sith Lord wants to make an 'empire out of a republic' after Ukraine's election in May
By Lucy Kinder 10:32AM BST 01 Apr 2014
Star Wars villain Darth Vader is one of the more unusual candidates standing for election in Ukraine's presidential race.
More than a dozen presidential hopefuls will stand in May's election- including the Sith Lord, who has been chosen as the official candidate of the Ukrainian Internet Party (UIP).
The unnamed man wearing the costume announced his intention to run flanked by supporters in Imperial Stormtrooper and Chewbacca costumes.
"After winning intraparty primaries by a landslide, comrade Vader will be our party's candidate," said UIP leader Dmitry Golubov, who spent time in prison after being convicted of using the Internet to run a credit card fraud scheme.
Encased in black armour, with a black mask and cape, the party's "Darth Vader" has been involved in several political stunts.
In November last year he was carried by his Stormtroopers, elite soldiers of the fictional galactic empire, to Odessa city hall where he declared himself mayor.
According to local media reports he has also demanded a plot of land in the southwestern city to park his space ship.
"I alone can make an empire out of a republic, to restore former glory, to return lost territories and pride for this country," Vader said in a party statement.
The party said it had paid the required 2.5 million hryvnia (£137,000) registration fee for their unusual candidate.
According to the party, Darth Vader scored three per cent of the votes in 2012 parliamentary elections, which did not count because Ukrainian law does not recognise write-in candidates.
Ukraine is holding a snap presidential election on May 25 after parliament ousted pro-Moscow leader Viktor Yanukovych following months of protests.
Last week Ukraine's boxer turned opposition leader Vitali Klitschko announced that he had decided against running and would instead be supporting the candidacy of businessman Petro Poroshenko.
The move is likely to ensure that both men cement powerful positions in Ukraine's new government and block the chances of a full return to power from the country's former prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko.
The Strange Connection Between Germs and Sherlock Holmes
By Caitlin Roper 04.02.14
Sherlock Holmes was as much a scientist as a detective. Maybe that’s because his creator, Arthur Conan Doyle, was influenced by a detective of science: Robert Koch, a German doctor who helped prove the existence of germs. In his new book, The Remedy, Thomas Goetz traces connections between the two men. The former executive editor of WIRED, Goetz now runs Iodine, a company he cofounded with ex-Google engineer Matt Mohebbi. The startup’s goal is to help people make better decisions about medications by combining their personal experiences with clinical research—in other words, giving us the tools to be our own medical detectives.
Why was Robert Koch so important?
He was a particularly modern kind of scientist—his genius was both in making discoveries and crafting the process and tools to enable discovery. His great claim to fame was discovering the bacteria that causes tuberculosis—the biggest killer of his time. But he also invented new microscope techniques that allowed him to do things like take photographs of what he saw, enabling scientists to actually prove they’d found the microbe. Even more important, Koch proposed a sequence of proofs known as Koch’s postulates, which created a process for proving causality. Those three things—the tools, the discoveries, and the method—pushed away the last doubts about the germ theory of disease and ushered in a new age of science.
Where does Arthur Conan Doyle come in?
As Koch’s discoveries began to gather the world’s attention, an ambitious doctor in rural England read about what Koch was doing and was inspired. This was Conan Doyle. Koch’s rigor, his method, his affinity for the microscope—these were all characteristics that Doyle would soon incorporate into the fictional detective he was cooking up, Sherlock Holmes. In the first stories, Holmes is very much a scientist at work, and you can see in his devotion and single-mindedness the same traits that drove Koch.
In The Remedy, I was struck by the fact that the stature of scientists was not so high in the late 1800s.
There were so many different methods for science that it was difficult to establish credibility. But the process of moving from discovery in a lab to something that actually convinces society—that was really pioneered by these germ theorists and bacteriologists.
London Issues Health Warning as Air Pollution from Saharan Sand Hits England
by Thomas Carannante 2 April 2014
First it was Beijing issuing health warnings because of their high levels of air pollution. Then came Paris a few weeks ago. Now, London has issued a public health warning because strong winds and dust storms have brought Saharan sands into England.
The Met Office, UK's National Weather Service, predicted the air pollution levels to reach 10, which is the highest, on Tuesday and Wednesday. The combination of England's air pollution and the Saharan sand prompted Public Health England to issue a smog alert and health warning. All people with heart or lung problems were suggested to avoid strenuous exercise and reduce their presence outdoors.
The warning said that the high levels of air pollution are expected to last until the weekend. However, this occurrence is not unusual, says Paul Hutcheon of the Met Office. He mentioned that this has the potential to occur several times a year. Dust storms in the Sahara and southerly winds relocate the dust, where it eventually ends up in southern England.
This morning, cars in London had a thin layer of dust on their surfaces as the smog worsened from the overnight rain showers that washed up the dust and brought it to the ground. The 40-plus mile per hour winds in the northwest part of the Sahara desert picked up the dust high into the atmosphere and pushed it across north Africa and the Mediterranean. Then, the heavy rainfall brought the particles down from atmosphere, acording to a UK weather report.
This smog warning is not a good sign, especially after the recent incidents in Beijing and Paris. Those instances were so bad that the cities offered free public transportation to avoid more cars polluting the atmosphere. Additionally, the World Health Organization reported last week that air pollution was responsible for seven million deaths worldwide in 2012. Stroke and heart disease were two of the most common diseases that resulted from high levels of air pollution.
Public Health England announced today that, "While most people will not be affected by short term peaks in air pollution, some individuals, particularly vulnerable groups such as those with existing heart or lung conditions, may experience increased symptoms," according to the UK government website.
Clean air campaigners seek to warn about the risks of air pollution and provide precautionary measures for people to avoid its adverse effects. They claim that the government isn't doing a good enough job of that.
A number of bloggers are posting videos that show bison and other animals allegedly leaving Yellowstone National Park, prompting theories that as earthquakes ramp up the seismic activity will set off the Yellowstone supervolcano.
Two of the main bloggers behind the discussion stress that there’s no way to know when the supervolcano will go off but note that the 4.8 magnitude earthquake that hit on March 30 seemed to set off a reaction from the animals, who are moving for a reason.
“Whether I believe this, or whether I don’t believe the story or not, I don’t know. I can tell you this story I saw this morning about the buffaloes running the street … whether or not it’s because of any activity in Yellowstone or not, I don’t know,” said blogger Jay Lee, who posted a story on his site tatoott1009.com.
“But I’ll tell you this, whatever the case may be, that their running away from Yellowstone is an alert of some sort.”
“It also could be from this video, where poachers are killing them, chasing them, abusing them, running them around,” he said. “Could be hundreds of things for them to be running. I wanted you to listen [to the videos] and make up your own mind on what to think. “
A series of smaller quakes have hit the region over the past few weeks, and those quakes have been linked to the recent 5.1 magnitude quake (and aftershocks) that hit in the Los Angeles region
Tom Lupshu, who describes himself as a “noted Ohio survivalist and search-and-rescue expert,” said on YouTube that nearly one quarter of the northern elk herd at Yellowstone National Park are missing, according to the annual winter count.
“Biologists aren’t sure if there’s been a stunning decline in the herd or if other factors have skewed the tally,” he said. “Current Helium releases at 1000 times above normal. Complete media blackout. Herds of bison running for their lives on the public roadways and they were not being chased or rounded up, the bison were running down the mountain slopes onto roadways running right past a filming crew. They detect something vast and deadly. The Yellowstone Supervolcano is the only thing there that would fit the bill.”
Lupshu said in a later video that scientists say they can’t predict when the Supervolcano will erupt.
“But one thing is for sure. The more the Earthquakes in the region, the more are the chances of the volcano being activated from its dormant state. Last time an earthquake struck in 1980. But the force of nature has acted up once again.”
The supervolcano refers to the huge magma chamber beneath the park, which is in Wyoming.
Next page see: Supervolcano Far Bigger Than Thought
A number of bloggers are posting videos that show bison and other animals allegedly leaving Yellowstone National Park
I cannot help but appreciate how these simple animals adhere to traffic rules: keep on the right side of the road! (I'm meeting members of my own SAPIENS species on the road daily who haven't figured that out yet!)
Let us be sure that those who come after will say of us in our time, that in our time we did everything that could be done. We finished the race; we kept them free; we kept the faith.