"The Higgs potential has the worrisome feature that it might become megastable at energies above 100bn giga-electron-volts (GeV). This could mean that the universe could undergo catastrophic vacuum decay, with a bubble of the true vacuum expanding at the speed of light. This could happen at any time and we wouldn't see it coming."
IF IT DID HAPPEN IT WOULD STLL TAKE AN AWFUL LONG TIME FOR THE UNIVERSE TO DECAY OUT EVEN AT THE SPEED OF LIGHT. WE MAY NOT SEE THE EXACT EVENT KICKING IT OFF BUT THERE WOULD BE ENOUGH TIME TO OBSERVE THE EFFECTS UNLESS IT STARTED ANYWHERE IN OUR SOLAR SYSTEM.
BTW, WELCOME BACK ZETAR!
“We don't make mistakes, just happy little accidents.”
GREAT SPIRITS ALWAYS ENCOUNTER THE MOST VIOLENT OPPOSITION FROM MEDIOCRE MINDS E=MC2
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #12436 on: Mar 23rd, 2015, 01:07am »
CERTAINLY SEEMS WE ALL TAKE MOMENTARY SABBATICALS FROM THE CASEBOOK CAFE' ~ FOR WHAT EVER REASON ONE SHOULD NOT QUESTION ~ AND INDEED ~ THE COMINGS AND GOINGS ~ OF EACH ~ MIGHT BE REFLECTED ACCORDINGLY...
SYS ~ CRYSTAL ~ SWAMP ~ GHOST...AND THOSE IN THEIR OWN CASBOOKIAN MANNER ~ YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE ~ I WOULD BE REMISS IN MY DUTIES NOT TO EXPRESS MY COSMICFELT APPRECIATION IN YOUR...WELCOME(S) BACK Z...
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #12437 on: Mar 23rd, 2015, 10:40am »
MORNIN' Z, SYS, SWAMP, HAL, DOC, AND ALL OF OUR UFOCASEBOOKERS
03.23.15 7:00 am
The Mercedes Robo-Car That Made Me Want to Stop Driving
One sunny day last week, I drove from my office in San Francisco over the Bay Bridge, down Interstate 880 and into a parking lot at the defunct Alameda Naval Air Station. I was late, so I wasn’t exactly driving cautiously. I weaved through traffic going 15 mph over the speed limit, alternating between tailgating and passing cars on the right. Because I didn’t know where I was going and didn’t take the time to plug the address in the car’s nav system, I had my eyes glued to my phone for much of the trip.
I was an example of every reason why humans stink at driving.
Which was fitting, because there on the tarmac was the vehicle that, more than any other I have had heard of or ridden in, leaves me totally psyched for the coming age of autonomous automobiles.
This shiny hunk of metal is the F 015 “Luxury in Motion” concept. It’s Mercedes-Benz’s vision of the future in which streets are shared by all and cars politely insist that pedestrians please go first—and even project a crosswalk onto the pavement in front of them. It is a place where the only acceptable materials are stainless steel, white leather, carbon fiber, and wood. Automotive fatalities are but a memory. Cars are brilliant, both in their intelligence and luster. They look like bars of soap sent back from the next century, even if Mercedes insists they don’t. Inside, humans face each other and chat like civilized beings, or stare at their phones like human beings.
This future sounds lovely, and Mercedes says it arrives in 15 years.
PURR ~ ONE OTHER ENUCIATION TO ~ "Wouldn't that be: ..FORGEDDABOUDIT...?" ~ LEANS TOWARD >>> FUHGEDDA-BOUDIT <<< ACCORDING TO THE NEWSPAPER ACCOUNTS I JUST READ TODAY......
WONDERFUL, ZETAR doesn't one of those kittens bear an uncanny resemblance to Kerry? What is on your mind... the immense challenges the US faces in Yemen, and Iran (where supreme leader Khamenei's unwavering dislike of the west seems to be Netanyahu's best and last hope of preventing a deal), and to a lesser degree Putin's Ukraine designs? (More of a European headache.)
Are President Obama and the people around him smart enough to handle all this?
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #12443 on: Mar 24th, 2015, 09:01am »
GOOD MORNING ALL OF YOU WONDERFUL UFOCASEBOOKERS
Why Don't Animals Get Schizophrenia (and How Come We do)?
Research suggest an evolutionary link between the disorder and what makes us human
March 24, 2015 By Bret Stetka
Many of us have known a dog on Prozac. We've also witnessed the eye rolls that come with canine psychiatry. Doting pet owners—myself included—ascribe all sorts of questionable psychological ills to our pawed companions. But the science does suggest that numerous non-human species suffer from psychiatric symptoms. Birds obsess; horses on occasion get pathologically compulsive; dolphins and whales—especially those in captivity—self-mutilate. And that thing when your dog woefully watches you pull out of the driveway from the window—that might be DSM-certified separation anxiety. "Every animal with a mind has the capacity to lose hold of it from time to time" wrote science historian and author Dr. Laurel Braitman in "Animal Madness."
But there’s at least one mental malady that, while common in humans, seems to have spared all other animals: schizophrenia. Though psychotic animals may exist, psychosis has never been observed outside of our own species; whereas depression, OCD, and anxiety traits have been reported in many non-human species. This begs the question of why such a potentially devastating, often lethal disease—which we now know is heavily genetic, thanks to some genomically homogenous Icelandics and plenty of other recent research—is still hanging around when it would seem that genes predisposing to psychosis would have been strongly selected against. A new study provides clues into how the potential for schizophrenia may have arisen in the human brain and, in doing so, suggests possible treatment targets. It turns out psychosis may be an unfortunate cost of our big brains—of higher, complex cognition.
The study, led by Mount Sinai researcher Dr. Joel Dudley, proposed that since schizophrenia is relatively prevalent in humans despite being so detrimental—the condition affects over 1% of adults—that it perhaps has a complex evolutionary backstory that would explain its persistence and exclusivity to humans. Specifically they were curious about segments of our genome called human accelerated regions, or HARs. HARs are short stretches of DNA that while conserved in other species, underwent rapid evolution in humans following our split with chimpanzees, presumably since they provided some benefit specific to our species. Rather than encoding for proteins themselves, HARs often help regulate neighboring genes. Since both schizophrenia and HARs appear to be for the most part human-specific, the researchers wondered if there might be a connection between the two.
To find out, Dudley and colleagues used data culled from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, a massive study identifying genetic variants associated with schizophrenia. They first assessed whether schizophrenia-related genes sit close to HARs along the human genome—closer than would be expected by chance. It turns out they do, suggesting that HARs play a role in regulating genes contributing to schizophrenia. Furthermore, HAR-associated schizophrenia genes were found to be under stronger evolutionary selective pressure compared with other schizophrenia genes, implying that the human variants of these genes are beneficial to us in some way despite harboring schizophrenia risk.
To help understand what these benefits might be, Dudley’s group then turned to gene expression profiles. Whereas gene sequencing provides an organism’s genome sequence, gene expression profiling reveals where and when in the body certain genes are actually active. Dudley's group found that HAR-associated schizophrenia genes are found in regions of the genome that influence other genes expressed in the prefrontal cortex, a brain region just behind the forehead involved in higher order thinking—impaired PFC function is thought to contribute to psychosis.
They also found that these culprit genes are involved in various essential human neurological functions within the PFC, including the synaptic transmission of the neurotransmitter GABA. GABA serves as an inhibitor or regulator of neuronal activity, in part by suppressing dopamine in certain parts of the brain, and it’s impaired transmission is thought to be involved in schizophrenia. If GABA malfunctions, dopamine runs wild, contributing to the hallucinations, delusions and disorganized thinking common to psychosis. In other words, the schizophrenic brain lacks restraint.
“The ultimate goal of the study was to see if evolution may help provide additional insights into the genetic architecture of schizophrenia so we can better understand and diagnose the disease,” says Dudley. Identifying which genes are most implicated in schizophrenia and how they’re expressed could lead to more effective therapies like, say, those influencing the function of GABA.
But the findings also offer a possible explanation for why schizophrenia arose in humans in the first place, and why it doesn’t seem to occur in other animals. “It’s been suggested,” Dudley explains, “that the emergence of human speech and language bears a relationship with schizophrenia genetics, and incidentally also autism. Indeed, language dysfunction is a feature of schizophrenia, and GABA is critical to speech, language and many other aspects of higher-order cognition. The fact that our evolutionary analysis converged on GABA function in the prefrontal cortex seems to tell an evolutionary story connecting schizophrenia risk with intelligence.”
Put another way, with complicated, highly social human thought—and the complicated genetics at the root of higher cognition—perhaps there’s just more that can go wrong: complex function begets complex malfunction.
Dudley is careful not to exaggerate the evolutionary implications of his work. “It is important to note that our study was not specifically designed to evaluate an "evolutionary trade-off,” he says, “but our findings support the hypothesis that evolution of our advanced cognitive abilities may have come at a cost—a predisposition to schizophrenia.” He also acknowledges that the new work didn’t identify any “smoking gun genes” and that schizophrenia genetics is profoundly complex. Still, he feels that evolutionary genetic analysis can help identify the most relevant genes and pathologic mechanisms at play in schizophrenia, and possibly other mental illnesses that preferentially affect humans as well—specifically neurodevelopmental disorders related to higher-cognition and GABA activity, including autism and ADHD.
In fact, a new study published in Molecular Psychiatry reports a link between gene variants associated with autism spectrum disorder and better cognitive function in people without the disorder. The findings may help explain why those with autism sometimes exhibit extraordinary skill at certain cognitive abilities. They also support Dudley’s speculation that higher cognition might have come at a price. As we broke away from our primate cousins our genomes—HARs especially—hastily evolved, granting us an increasing cache of abilities that other species lack. In doing so, they may have left our brains prone to occasional complex dysfunction—but also capable of biomedical research aimed at one day, hopefully, curing the ailing brain. As Dudley and others untangle the genetic underpinnings of schizophrenia and other mental illnesses in search of improved diagnosis and treatment, at least our pugs, poodles and pot-bellied pigs seem to be psychosis free.
CBS News anchor Dan Rather, renowned for his unusual expressions and sayings, has led a colorful life. However, one bizarre event really takes the cake.
One night in October 1986, Rather was walking down a Manhattan street when he was punched from behind and thrown to the ground. His assailant kicked and beat him while repeating, "Kenneth, what is the frequency?"
No one could explain the event, and the rumors flew fast and wide. Some speculated the assailant was a KGB agent, while others claimed the attack was the work of a jealous husband. Rather himself couldn�t shed any light on the subject. His explanation at the time?
I got mugged. Who understands these things? I didn�t and I don�t now. I didn�t make a lot of it at the time and I don�t now. I wish I knew who did it and why, but I have no idea.
Apparently the strange event moved R.E.M. singer Michael Stipe, who said of the incident:
It remains the premier unsolved American surrealist act of the 20th century. It�s a misunderstanding that was scarily random, media hyped and just plain bizarre.
The attack inspired the 1994 R.E.M. hit "What�s the Frequency, Kenneth." Being a good sport, Dan Rather even accompanied the band when they performed the song on a Late Show with David Letterman appearance.
In 1997, based on a tip from a psychiatrist, Rather�s attacker was identified as William Tager. According to the psychiatrist, Tager, who was currently serving time for killing an NBC stagehand, blamed news media for beaming signals into his head, and thought if he could just find out the correct frequency, he could block those signals that were constantly assailing him. Hence the enigmatic inquiry.
If only they had come here..to UCB we could have told them them the correct frequency. But then again old TVs sets were notorious for working correctly after a nice whack to the side...maybe the principle is the same.
« Last Edit: Mar 25th, 2015, 12:32pm by Sys_Config »
GREAT SPIRITS ALWAYS ENCOUNTER THE MOST VIOLENT OPPOSITION FROM MEDIOCRE MINDS E=MC2
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #12449 on: Mar 25th, 2015, 1:15pm »
WE COME PREPARED AL CAFE' ~
EDIT TI ADD:
YOU DID ASK ~ MIGHT I PROVIDE ONE FREQUENCY OF TERRESTRIAL IMPORTANCE... SCHUMANN'S RESONANCE: 7.83 Hz. During a lesson about ball condensers he asked them to calculate the frequency between the inner and outer ball, meaning the earth and ionosphere layer. They came up with a calculation of 10Hz. This was confirmed in 1954 when measurements by Schumann and König detected resonances at a main frequency of 7.83 Hz.
What is a Schumann Resonance?
Believe it or not, the Earth behaves like an enormous electric circuit. The atmosphere is actually a weak conductor and if there were no sources of charge, its existing electric charge would diffuse away in about 10 minutes. There is a 'cavity 'defined by the surface of the Earth and the inner edge of the ionosphere 55 kilometers up. At any moment, the total charge residing in this cavity is 500,000 Coulombs. There is a vertical current flow between the ground and the ionosphere of 1 - 3 x 10^-12 Amperes per square meter. The resistance of the atmosphere is 200 Ohms. The voltage potential is 200,000 Volts. There are about 1000 lightning storms at any given moment worldwide. Each produces 0.5 to 1 Ampere and these collectively account for the measured current flow in the Earth's 'electromagnetic' cavity.
The Schumann Resonances are quasi standing wave electromagnetic waves that exist in this cavity. Like waves on a spring, they are not present all the time, but have to be 'excited' to be observed. They are not caused by anything internal to the Earth, its crust or its core. They seem to be related to electrical activity in the atmosphere, particularly during times of intense lightning activity. They occur at several frequencies between 6 and 50 cycles per second; specifically 7.8, 14, 20, 26, 33, 39 and 45 Hertz, with a daily variation of about +/- 0.5 Hertz. So long as the properties of Earth's electromagnetic cavity remains about the same, these frequencies remain the same. Presumably there is some change due to the solar sunspot cycle as the Earth's ionosphere changes in response to the 11-year cycle of solar activity. Schumann resonances are most easily seen between 2000 and 2200 UT.
FOR SOME REASON I GET ~ DEAR KENNETH ~ MISSED THE MEMO ~