Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3450 on: Mar 25th, 2011, 12:53pm »
description with video:
Uploaded by UFOTVstudios on Release: Mar 24, 2011
In an early evening in November, 1953, a USAF jet was scrambled to intercept a UFO. The pilot, Lt. Gene Moncla, his radar operator, and their F-89 Fighter jet, were never seen again. Gord Heath, a computer system engineer, has detailed memories of the life of Lt. Gene Moncla. He was born shortly after Lt. Moncla's disappearance but is able to recall personal details of Lt. Moncla's life. The question for researchers is, could Gord Heath be the reincarnation of Lt. Gene Moncla? In the process of exploring this story, we also explore the depths of identity, examining how we give meaning to our lives through memory.
Presented by UFOTV: The Disclosure Network Also from this filmmaker: UFOs THE SECRET HISTORY 3-DVD SPECIAL EDITION - LOADED with Bonus Interviews - Cat# U698, Go to http://www.UFOTV.com.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3451 on: Mar 25th, 2011, 1:07pm »
Could Dead Stars Support Life?
Analysis by Ian O'Neill Thu Mar 24, 2011 06:20 PM ET
In our continuing mission to explore strange new worlds, to seek out the potential for alien life and look for signals from extraterrestrial civilizations,* scientists are getting more and more creative when exploring new star systems they might have otherwise overlooked.
Enter the white dwarf; the "dead" remnant of a sun-like star that ate its entire supply of hydrogen, ultimately puffing up into a violent red giant, leaving a tiny sparkling jewel behind. This tiny, Earth-sized sparkling remnant is the white dwarf, and in approximately 4-5 billion years time, that's what our sun will look like. White Dwarfs have Habitable Zones?
According to Eric Agol from the University of Washington, perhaps we shouldn't discount white dwarfs from exoplanet studies. If the conditions are right, these tiny stellar objects could provide just enough heat to support their own habitable zones (i.e., a region surrounding the star where water existing on a planetary surface could be maintained in a liquid state).
So far, most studies of exoplanetary systems have focused on sun-like stars, or star systems where the exoplanets are really big or orbit very close to their host star so they can be detected. White dwarfs on the other hand have been largely overlooked as they are small and not thought to possess viable life-giving planetary systems.
White dwarfs, despite their seemingly peaceful nature, are actually the result of some seriously violent star death. Although we're not talking about the explosive ferocity of a supernova (these stars are too small to ignite a supernova), when stars like our sun enter the red giant phase, their surfaces balloon-up engulfing any nearby planets.
For example, it is predicted that our sun will swell out to beyond the orbit of Earth when it dies in 4-5 billion years time. While a swelling sun, expanding to fill our sky, might make for an impressive sight for anyone (or anything) living on Earth in the 40 millionth Century A.D., Earth will be toast.
It is also predicted that as the sun violently sheds its outer layers, vast quantities of mass will be hurled into space, causing the remaining planets to spiral deeper into space, away from the dying sun.
This is the key reason why white dwarfs are often alone, living for billions of years without any signs of a planetary system -- the planets are either lost, destroyed or promoted to orbits many times further away from the star. Life-Giving Dwarfs?
But say if, after all this star death has calmed down, planetary formation occurs near to a white dwarf, or a passing planet is "stolen" from another system? Although there may well be a white dwarf planet-forming mechanism, or a planet may be plucked from somewhere else, for the planet to orbit within the white dwarf's "habitable zone," according to Agol, this Earth-like world would need to orbit very close to the white dwarf.
According to his calculations, the habitable zone will be 0.005 to 0.02 AU from the white dwarf -- that's 200-50 times closer to the white dwarf as the Earth is to the sun. It is therefore very likely that this hypothetical world will be "tidally locked" with the white dwarf; one side of the world will be in continuous daylight.
There are obvious shortfalls to the idea of habitable planets orbiting white dwarfs, but there are also huge strengths. White dwarfs can live for billions of years; in fact, they can have lifetimes comparable with that of the lifetime of our Universe. Also, there are lots of white dwarfs out there. About five percent of all stars are white dwarfs. We also know that many white dwarfs possess dusty disks, possibly indicating planetary formation.
Although little theoretical work has been done on the physics behind white dwarf planetary systems, just by looking at the numbers, there's statistical reasons to think there might be a few planets that orbit their white dwarf parents within the habitable zones.
Agol suggests that exoplanet surveys should be extended to search for worlds orbiting white dwarfs, as they are so compact (with dimensions comparable to Earth), when their orbiting planetary companion crosses (or transits) the star when seen from Earth, the light from the white dwarf may be blocked all together. Searching for blinking white dwarfs could therefore be an exciting study.
Another thing to consider is that as white dwarfs are long-living stellar remnants, they could provide a steady, long-term energy source for alien life. Perhaps life can be nurtured and allowed to develop long-term, ensuring the development of an alien civilization that can persist for billions of years without the concern of their star dying any time soon.
White dwarfs are not sustained via nuclear fusion (like our sun), but they are so dense that they are supported by the quantum pressure of the Pauli exclusion principal, and slowly radiate the heat from the original star. Although eventually the star will radiate the majority of the leftover heat, causing the habitable zone to shrink, perhaps a hypothetical ancient alien race will have the technology to move to another star. However, talk of ancient alien races is more speculative than hypothetical white dwarf planetary systems... but it's an interesting thought.
*Yes, this is a bastardized version of the Star Trek intro as voiced by the legendary William Shatner (who turned 80 this week, by the way), so in a round-about way, this article is inspired by the original Captain Kirk. I'm a geek. That is all.
Publication: Transit surveys for Earths in the habitable zones of white dwarfs, Eric Agol, 2011. arXiv:1103.2791v1 [astro-ph.EP]
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3452 on: Mar 25th, 2011, 2:17pm »
"There are obvious shortfalls to the idea of habitable planets orbiting white dwarfs, but there are also huge strengths. White dwarfs can live for billions of years; in fact, they can have lifetimes comparable with that of the lifetime of our Universe. Also, there are lots of white dwarfs out there. About five percent of all stars are white dwarfs. We also know that many white dwarfs possess dusty disks, possibly indicating planetary formation.
Although little theoretical work has been done on the physics behind white dwarf planetary systems, just by looking at the numbers, there's statistical reasons to think there might be a few planets that orbit their white dwarf parents within the habitable zones."
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3453 on: Mar 25th, 2011, 2:20pm »
Please note the date of this article: 15 March 2011
The Daily Beast
The Toxic Fuel Inside Japan's Nuclear Plant by Eve Conant March 15, 2011 | 11:05pm
Several of Fukushima Daiichi's reactors are spewing radioactive material, but just one contains the even more toxic MOX fuel. Eve Conant reports on the controversial mixture of uranium and plutonium—and the likelihood of its dispersal into the air.
At least three reactors at Japan’s beleaguered Fukushima Daiichi plant appear to be releasing some radioactive material. But it is reactor No. 3 that, unlike the others, recently began using a special kind of mixed fuel that some scientists argue could be radically more toxic to human health if released into the atmosphere.
Japanese officials said Wednesday that smoke had been seen around the No. 3 reactor, that it may have ruptured and that the reactor was a “priority” without going into detail. High radiation levels also prevented a helicopter mission to dump water on the reactor to cool its fuel rods.
The Daily Beast spoke with half a dozen nuclear scientists about the peculiarities of MOX fuel, a mixture of uranium and plutonium—reprocessed from spent uranium and sometimes from the disposal of weapons-grade plutonium. Unlike uranium, plutonium is not naturally occurring,, and it was Berkeley scientists in the 1940s who figured out how to create it in a lab.
The bad news about plutonium: Its potential harmful effects, if absorbed by humans, are exponentially greater than that of most other elements used in nuclear processing.
The better news is that it is extremely hard to disperse.
MOX is a controversial and rarely used fuel, except in France and a handful of other countries, usually because of proliferation concerns. While some plans to fabricate MOX from weapons-grade plutonium are under way in South Carolina, the U.S. largely decided during the Ford and Carter administrations to abandon reprocessing and plutonium-based civilian nuclear energy.
The Fukushima Daiichi plant began using the fuel only in September, and its presence has been little more than a footnote in the unfolding drama in Japan. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Greg Jaczko addressed MOX at a briefing Monday, saying: “We are providing assistance to the Japanese where they request our assistance. And at this time, they have not asked for any specific information with regard to the MOX fuel.”
But some American scientists are stressing concern.
“It could change the nature of what could happen if it’s released,” said Paul Carroll. “The bottom line is that if you have an uncontrolled accident and release, then MOX fuel will raise your health and safety risks.”
“I wouldn’t call it a ‘game changer,’” said Paul Carroll, who has worked on nuclear weapons production and waste management issues for nearly 20 years in Congress, the Energy Department, and now at Ploughshares Fund, a nonproliferation organization in San Francisco. “But it could change the nature of what could happen if it’s released. The bottom line is that if you have an uncontrolled accident and release, then MOX fuel will raise your health and safety risks.”
Ed Lyman, senior staff scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington, echoed others who have calculated that some 6 percent of the fuel in Reactor No. 3 could be MOX. This, he wrote on his blog, “generally increases the consequences of severe accidents in which large amounts of radioactive gas and aerosol are released” because it “contains greater amounts of plutonium and other actinides, such as americium and curium, which have high radio-toxicities.” Lyman estimated that long-term cancer rates resulting from an accident with a reactor filled with just 6 percent MOX could increase by at least 10 percent if a major meltdown were to occur.
But Ray Guilmette of the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements said that what causes damage to human health is not necessarily plutonium or uranium, but the fission materials that are most likely to escape during a meltdown, such as iodine and cesium. (He explained that iodine tablets are being issued in Japan because if the thyroid is already “loaded up” with stable iodine it won’t absorb radioactive iodine, which gets excreted in urine.) Plutonium is a much smaller threat: If it were to melt, he said he expects it would become a sludge-like substance that wouldn’t be released into the environment. But if it were absorbed in the body, “it is thousands of times more radioactive than uranium,” he said.
That likelihood is small, Guilmette said. “But the concern would be a very large explosion.” Hydrogen explosions at the first and third reactors have blown the roofs off of their secondary containment buildings; the spent fuel rods in a storage pool next to reactor No. 3 may also have lost their roof in a fire.
Donald Olander, professor emeritus of nuclear engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, said that because plutonium decays quickly, it produces radiation that can kill cells in the body more quickly. But the plutonium itself would pose a severe threat only it was involved in a violent reaction that turned it into dust particles, which could be inhaled. The length of the time the fuel has been in the reactor plays a role, as the does the mix of fuel. Plutonium can be about 4 to 8 percent of a typical MOX mix, and is also found in much smaller percentages (1 to 2 percent) in more traditional uranium reactors.
Temitope Taiwo, a nuclear engineer at Argonne National Laboratory, an Energy Department research facility near Chicago, said MOX fuel is not more volatile than typical enriched uranium, “but if that material is able to be dispersed in the atmosphere, the plutonium is much more toxic.” If workers are able to keep the system cool, he said, the probability of an explosion is low.
The real worry is cesium and iodine, said Charles Forsberg, executive director at MIT’s Nuclear Fuel Cycle Study. Even at the Chernobyl meltdown in 1986, he pointed out, cesium and iodine were the problem. Based on past experiments and experience, he said, these volatile byproducts pose the real threat to human health.
Eve Conant is a Newsweek staff reporter covering immigration, politics, social and culture issues.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3456 on: Mar 26th, 2011, 08:28am »
New York Times
March 26, 2011 It’s Tracking Your Every Move and You May Not Even Know By NOAM COHEN
A favorite pastime of Internet users is to share their location: services like Google Latitude can inform friends when you are nearby; another, Foursquare, has turned reporting these updates into a game.
But as a German Green party politician, Malte Spitz, recently learned, we are already continually being tracked whether we volunteer to be or not. Cellphone companies do not typically divulge how much information they collect, so Mr. Spitz went to court to find out exactly what his cellphone company, Deutsche Telekom, knew about his whereabouts.
The results were astounding. In a six-month period — from Aug 31, 2009, to Feb. 28, 2010, Deutsche Telekom had recorded and saved his longitude and latitude coordinates more than 35,000 times. It traced him from a train on the way to Erlangen at the start through to that last night, when he was home in Berlin.
Mr. Spitz has provided a rare glimpse — an unprecedented one, privacy experts say — of what is being collected as we walk around with our phones. Unlike many online services and Web sites that must send “cookies” to a user’s computer to try to link its traffic to a specific person, cellphone companies simply have to sit back and hit “record.”
“We are all walking around with little tags, and our tag has a phone number associated with it, who we called and what we do with the phone,” said Sarah E. Williams, an expert on graphic information at Columbia University’s architecture school. “We don’t even know we are giving up that data.”
Tracking a customer’s whereabouts is part and parcel of what phone companies do for a living. Every seven seconds or so, the phone company of someone with a working cellphone is determining the nearest tower, so as to most efficiently route calls. And for billing reasons, they track where the call is coming from and how long it has lasted.
“At any given instant, a cell company has to know where you are; it is constantly registering with the tower with the strongest signal,” said Matthew Blaze, a professor of computer and information science at the University of Pennsylvania who has testified before Congress on the issue.
Mr. Spitz’s information, Mr. Blaze pointed out, was not based on those frequent updates, but on how often Mr. Spitz checked his e-mail.
Mr. Spitz, a privacy advocate, decided to be extremely open with his personal information. Late last month, he released all the location information in a publicly accessible Google Document, and worked with a prominent German newspaper, Die Zeit, to map those coordinates over time.
“This is really the most compelling visualization in a public forum I have ever seen,” said Mr. Blaze, adding that it “shows how strong a picture even a fairly low-resolution location can give.”
In an interview from Berlin, Mr. Spitz explained his reasons: “It was an important point to show this is not some kind of a game. I thought about it, if it is a good idea to publish all the data — I also could say, O.K., I will only publish it for five, 10 days maybe. But then I said no, I really want to publish the whole six months.”
In the United States, telecommunication companies do not have to report precisely what material they collect, said Kevin Bankston, a lawyer at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, who specializes in privacy. He added that based on court cases he could say that “they store more of it and it is becoming more precise.”
“Phones have become a necessary part of modern life,” he said, objecting to the idea that “you have to hand over your personal privacy to be part of the 21st century.”
In the United States, there are law enforcement and safety reasons for cellphone companies being encouraged to keep track of its customers. Both the F.B.I. and the Drug Enforcement Administration have used cellphone records to identify suspects and make arrests.
If the information is valuable to law enforcement, it could be lucrative for marketers. The major American cellphone providers declined to explain what exactly they collect and what they use it for.
AT&T, for example, works with a company, Sense Networks, that uses anonymous location information “to better understand aggregate human activity.” One product, CitySense, makes recommendations about local nightlife to customers who choose to participate based on their cellphone usage. (Many smartphone apps already on the market are based on location but that’s with the consent of the user and through GPS, not the cellphone company’s records.)
Because of Germany’s history, courts place a greater emphasis on personal privacy. Mr. Spitz first went to court to get his entire file in 2009 but Deutsche Telekom objected.
For six months, he said, there was a “Ping Pong game” of lawyers’ letters back and forth until, separately, the Constitutional Court there decided that the existing rules governing data retention, beyond those required for billing and logistics, were illegal. Soon thereafter, the two sides reached a settlement: “I only get the information that is related to me, and I don’t get all the information like who am I calling, who sent me a SMS and so on,” Mr. Spitz said, referring to text messages.
Even so, 35,831 pieces of information were sent to him by Deutsche Telekom as an encrypted file, to protect his privacy during its transmission.
Deutsche Telekom, which owns T-Mobile, Mr. Spitz’s carrier, wrote in an e-mail that it stored six months’ of data, as required by the law, and that after the court ruling it “immediately ceased” storing data.
And a year after the court ruling outlawing this kind of data retention, there is a movement to try to get a new, more limited law passed. Mr. Spitz, at 26 a member of the Green Party’s executive board, says he released that material to influence that debate.
“I want to show the political message that this kind of data retention is really, really big and you can really look into the life of people for six months and see what they are doing where they are.”
While the potential for abuse is easy to imagine, in Mr. Spitz’s case, there was not much revealed.
“I really spend most of the time in my own neighborhood, which was quite funny for me,” he said. “I am not really walking that much around.”
Any embarrassing details? “The data shows that I am flying sometimes,” he said, rather than taking a more fuel-efficient train. “Something not that popular for a Green politician.”
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3457 on: Mar 26th, 2011, 08:34am »
Tourists banned from Amazon village by indigenous people
Tourists have been banned from visiting a village in the Colombian Amazon after a meeting of the indigenous population.
Tired of being a curiosity to the modern world, the indigenous people have banned tourists. Photo: AFP
By Robin Yapp, Sao Paulo 11:49PM GMT 25 Mar 2011
Tens of thousands of backpackers are drawn to the area around Nazareth every year, drawn by ecotourism and the chance to see the age-old traditions of native people.
But the 800 inhabitants of the village, close to the Amazon river and a 20-minute boatride from the nearest larger town, are fed up with the tourist influx.
Elders say the backpackers – who have increased fivefold in eight years – line the pockets of travel agencies but do not benefit the local people, most of whom are Ticuna Indians.
Following a meeting of villagers, it was agreed that guards should stand armed with sticks and only allow in tourists with prior invites from villagers, who must show ID cards.
"We had lots of problems. People came, left their rubbish behind, garbage bags, plastic bottles," said Grimaldo Ramos, a villager.
"Now the tourists can't just come as they please. They need the permission of the assembly."
There are also concerns that indigenous children may forget the customs of their ancestors as they copy the speech and dress of western visitors.
The Ticuna people are one of the most endangered communities worldwide, with the United Nations putting numbers at around 30,000.
A local authority spokesman in the town of Leticia, on which the local indigenous community depends, said that "no study has yet shown any negative impact on the environment due to the rise in tourism."
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3458 on: Mar 26th, 2011, 08:39am »
Wired Danger Room
Sub With Tank Treads Imagined for Ocean Floor Drives By Duncan Geere, Wired.co.uk March 25, 2011 | 4:15 pm Categories: Navy
Photo: Phil Pauley
A British designer named Phil Pauley has come up with a concept design for a submarine equipped with tank treads that would drive across the seabed. You know, for fun.
The design is called “Pathfinder” and exists to fulfill the requirements of an entirely fictional “Transatlantic Seafloor Research Challenge”, also cooked up by Pauley. Those requirements include an average working depth of 4,000m and the ability to spend two to four weeks submerged.
The objective of the made-up challenge is to cover the longest distance in continual contact with the ocean floor, crossing the Atlantic between the UK and the USA.
The design includes provisions for emergencies — the Pathfinder comes with an emergency escape device that can carry all of the crew on board — a pilot, a co-pilot and a communications engineer.
It measures between 10 and 15 metres long, three to five metres high and two to four metres wide, so it’ll be a little tight in the interior, especially as no waste is allowed to leave the vehicle. It’s planned to be powered by a lithium battery.
On the surface, the craft will be monitored by a support vessel, which will also have an emergency ROV that can recover the Pathfinder craft, or provide power to life support systems in emergencies using an umbilical cord.
As it’s just a concept created to satisfy the requirements of an equally fictional competition, there are no plans to build the Pathfinder. Still, it’s an interesting design that conjures up utopic visions of sub-sea highways, shuttling passengers between the UK and the USA with rather less carbon emitted than a plane flight.
It also has some history. During WW2, the Germans attempted to come up with a submersible tank design to invade Britain, but they didn’t get too far. Modern tanks can submerge completely in some cases, but it’s less likely that they’d be able to cope with the pressures at the bottom of the Atlantic.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3459 on: Mar 26th, 2011, 08:42am »
Israel to Deploy 'Iron Dome' Anti-Rocket System AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE Published: 25 Mar 2011 15:42
JERUSALEM - Israel will deploy its "Iron Dome" multi-million-dollar missile defense system in southern Israel for the first time next week in the wake of rocket attacks from Gaza, officials said March 25.
"I authorized the army to deploy in the next few days the first battery of 'Iron Dome' for an operational trial," Defence Minister Ehud Barak said as he toured the tense Gaza Strip border.
The order comes after a spate of rocket fire by Gaza militants in recent days, some of them striking deep into Israel.
The deployment of the Iron Dome interceptor, designed to combat short-range rocket threats from the Gaza Strip and Lebanon, has been delayed until now with officials saying operating crews needed more training and suggestions the system was prohibitively expensive.
The system, developed by Israel's Rafael Advanced Defence Systems with the help of U.S. funding, is designed to intercept rockets and artillery shells fired from a range of between four and 70 kilometres (three and 45 miles).
Each battery comprises detection and tracking radar, state-of-the-art fire control software and three launchers, each with 20 interceptor missiles, military sources said.
However, Barak said the deployment would be experimental and partial and complete protection could take years.
"The complete acquisition of Iron Dome will take a number of years, dependant on suitable funding," he said.
Militants in Gaza and those allied with Lebanon's Hezbollah militia have fired thousands of projectiles at Israel in the past.
The system will first be along the border of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, from where militants fired a daily barrage of home-made rockets prompting Israel to launch a devastating 22-day offensive in December 2008.
It will then be deployed along the Lebanese border, from where Hezbollah militants fired some 4,000 rockets into northern Israel during a 2006 war. It was that experience which prompted the development of Iron Dome.
Israel believes Hezbollah now has an arsenal of some 40,000 rockets.
In May, U.S. President Barack Obama asked Congress to give Israel 205 million dollars to develop the system, on top of the annual $3 billion Israel receives from Washington.
Iron Dome will join the Arrow long-range ballistic missile defense system in an ambitious multi-layered program to protect Israeli cities from rockets and missiles fired from Lebanon, the Gaza Strip, Syria and Iran.
A third system, known as David's Sling, it currently being developed with the aim of countering medium-range missiles.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3460 on: Mar 26th, 2011, 08:49am »
'Battlestar Galactica' Star Katee Sackhoff Lands A&E Pilot
The actress will play a deputy opposite Robert Taylor in “Longmire.”
3/25/2011 by Lesley Goldberg
Katee Sackhoff is suiting up again.
The former Battlestar Galactica actress has been cast in the A&E pilot Longmire, in which she'll play a deputy opposite Robert Taylor's Wyoming sheriff, the cabler confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter on Friday.
From the Shephard/Robin Co. and Warner Horizon Television, the drama will be directed by Greg Yaitanes (House) and written by Hunt Baldwin, John Coveny and Craig Allen Johnson. The latter also wrote the book series on which the pilot is based.
Sackhoff played Capt. Kara "Starbuck" Thrace on Galacitica from 2004 to 2009. Her last series regular role was on the final season of Fox's 24. More recently, she had a multiepisode arc on CBS' CSI.
Also joining the cast are Lou Diamond Phillips (Stargate Universe), Bailey Chase (Saving Grace) and Cassidy Freeman (Smallville).
Sackhoff and Chase are repped by Gersh; Phillips is with Global Artists Agency and Freeman by the Kohner Agency.
The news comes a week after History's David McKillop was named executive vp branding at A&E.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3461 on: Mar 26th, 2011, 08:54am »
Universal Property of Music Discovered
ScienceDaily (Mar. 25, 2011) —
Researchers at the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) of the University of Amsterdam have discovered a universal property of musical scales. Until now it was assumed that the only thing scales throughout the world have in common is the octave.
The many hundreds of scales in existence seem to possess a deeper commonality: if their tones are compared in a two- or three-dimensional way by means of a coordinate system, they form convex or star-convex structures. (Credit: Image courtesy of Universiteit van Amsterdam (UVA))
The many hundreds of scales, however, seem to possess a deeper commonality: if their tones are compared in a two- or three-dimensional way by means of a coordinate system, they form convex or star-convex structures. Convex structures are patterns without indentations or holes, such as a circle, square or oval.
Almost all music in the world is based on an underlying scale from which compositions are built. In Western music, the major scale (do-re-mi-fa-sol-la-ti-do) is the best known scale. However, there are many other scales in use, such as the minor and the chromatic scale. Besides these 'traditional' scales there are also artificial scales created by modern composers. At a superficial level, scales consist of an ascending or descending sequence of tones where the initial and final tones are separated by an octave, which means the frequency of the final tone is twice that of the initial tone (the fundamental).
By placing scales in a coordinate system (an 'Euler lattice') they can be studied as multidimensional objects. Dr. Aline Honingh and Prof. Rens Bod from the ILLC did this for nearly 1,000 scales from all over the world, from Japan to Indonesia and from China to Greece. To their surprise, they discovered that all traditional scales produced star-convex patterns. This was also the case with almost 97% of non-traditional, scales conceived by contemporary composers, even though contemporary composers often state they have designed unconventional scales. This percentage is very high, because the probability that a random series of notes will produce a star-convex pattern is very small. Honingh and Bod try to explain this phenomenon by using the notion of consonance (harmony of sounds). They connect their research results with language and visual perception where convex patterns have also been detected, possibly indicating a cognitive universal (a general cognitive property).
The research results were recently published in the scientific Journal of New Music Research. The research is part of the Vici programme 'Integrating Cognition' of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) led by Rens Bod.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3462 on: Mar 26th, 2011, 11:16am »
Sun Eruption Creates Spectacular Plasma Tentacle
Published March 26, 2011 Space.com
NASA/SDO/GSFC SDO captured this nicely rounded prominence eruption from March 19, 2011 as a prominence became unstable and erupted into space with a distinct twisting motion.
A NASA spacecraft watching the sun has caught a dazzling view of a solar eruption that launched a vast tendril of magnetic plasma into space.
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the sun tentacle, which scientists call a solar prominence, on March 19 as it erupted into space with a rounded, twisting motion. The eruption occurred over five hours as SDO watched the sun in the ultraviolet range of the light spectrum, SDO mission scientists said in a statement. The solar observatory watched as the prominence twisted up from the sun and expanded, then became unstable.
Ultimately, the sun filament lost cohesion and its particles streamed away from the sun.
"Prominences are elongated clouds of plasma that hover above the sun's surface, tethered by magnetic forces," SDO mission scientists explained.
The sun is currently in the midst of an active phase of its 11-year solar weather cycle and has kicked up a series of powerful eruptions and flares in recent months. The SDO spacecraft and other space observatories are keeping a close watch on the sun to monitor is solar weather activity.