Dark Matters

Dark matter has been basically proven to exist; click here for a clear and detailed exposition of the evidence.

Cosmology and quantum cosmology have always been fascinating to me, even though I am decidedly of an un-scientific mind and have no interest in equations, proofs, and Klingon speak. What fascinates me about quantum physics applied to cosmology is that it is on such a theoretical edge that it often sounds like science fiction. It speaks of such things as black holes, parallel universes, and dark matter and energy.

I always like to consider the latest findings of quantum cosmology in a philosophical sense. What does this dark matter imply, for instance, in our daily lives? To think that there are forces, gravitational and otherwise, which are invisible and can barely be detected, yet which determine the direction and outcome of all events . . . That in fact these forces constitute the majority of pull and energy in our universe, even though we aren’t aware of them. We sense, sometimes, that there is some underlying power in the trajectory of our lives. That there are connections and fields and magnetic currents far beyond our understanding. This dark matter seems, perhaps, not so outlandish after all. The visible world, the way things appear, we all know on some level is only the tip of the iceberg. What invisible currents flow beneath all, and where does it take us?

Life Imitates Art

Yes, so scientists have drawn up a theoretical blueprint for an invisibility cloak, such as Harry Potter uses frequently on his escapades at Hogwarts. Using metamaterials, the cloak will bend electromagnetic waves around the subject and channel them to the other side such that it will appear as though nothing is there. “The cloak would act like you’ve opened up a hole in space,” says David Smith. Fascinating.

Chilis = Happy Prostates

I love it when my lifestyle habits are vindicated by scientific research.

So the latest research tells us that the substance in hot peppers that make them hot apparently kills prostate cancer-causing cells.

Yes, so my penchant for relentlessly imbuing every dish of food with habanero hot sauce is in fact due to my concern for the future of my prostate. . .

Jungle Bites

I was just on Google looking to see if I could find out what kind of insect bite I’ve got on my arm–it itches like beejesus and trails down the length of my arm, ending in a sizeable bite that seems to be steadily increasing in size. I didn’t find anything on the web about it, but I did find this cool BBC site with lots of interesting facts about the jungle.

Our Solar System–and you thought you knew it

http://starbulletin.com/2005/10/02/news/story04.html

So there’s a tenth planet called Xena, yes, named after the television chick, and they just discovered it has a moon, named Gabrielle of course after her sidekick. There are also two other distant astronomical entities which have been dubbed “Santa” and “Easterbunny” until official names are proffered.

Hard Science

Ladies and Gentleman: there’z a study just come out sayin [drum roll] The Human Brain Is Still Evolving! Yes Indeed! Amazing stuff, those scientists. And here we thought we’d reached the pinnacle of perfection . . .

“The ASPM mutation [one of the genes the study found ‘evolving’] was more prevalent in European-related populations such as Iberians, Basques, Russians, North Africans, Middle-Easterners, and South Asians, and less often found among sub-Saharan Africans, East Asians, and Native American Indians.”

Anybody reminded of Phrenology here? Once declared “the only true science of mind,” Phrenology sought to determine intelligence and cultural advancement based upon the size of one’s skull. Now perhaps we will determine one’s advancement based on the mutation of one’s microcephalin.

How about we gauge our evolutionary capacity by our capability to stop thinking like Nazis?