Science

Steve Paulson: Roger Penrose On Why Consciousness Does Not Compute – Nautilus

Like many others, Penrose struggled with the weirdness of quantum theory. “As Schrödinger clearly pointed out with his poor cat, which was dead and alive at the same time, he made this point deliberately to show why his own equation

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An Armada of Icebergs Has Just Invaded The North Atlantic – robertscribbler

This week an unprecedented 481 icebergs swarmed into the shipping lanes of a storm-tossed North Atlantic. Strong hurricane force winds had ripped these bergs from their sea ice moored haven of Baffin Bay and thrust them into the ocean waters

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NuSTAR Probes Puzzling Galaxy Merger – NASA

In several hundred million years, the black holes of the large and small galaxies will merge into one enormous beast. From: NuSTAR Probes Puzzling Galaxy Merger | NASA

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Brain ‘rewires’ itself to enhance other senses in blind people – Harvard Medical School

“Our results demonstrate that the structural and functional neuroplastic brain changes occurring as a result of early ocular blindness may be more widespread than initially thought,” said lead author Corinna Bauer, HMS instructor of ophthalmology and a scientist at Schepens

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Extended spider cognition – SpringerLink

To tease apart the central from the extended cognition, we apply the mutual manipulability criterion, testing the existence of reciprocal causal links between the putative elements of the system. We conclude that the web threads and configurations are integral parts

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Scientists Finally Observed Time Crystals, But What the Hell Are They? – Gizmodo

One group at the University of Maryland lined up ten trapped ytterbium ions (ytterbium is just a chemical element) and shined them with periodic laser pulses to mostly, but not completely, flip the ions’ spins. The particles’ spin values snapped

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NASA proposes building artificial magnetic field to restore Mars’ atmosphere – ExtremeTech

Green notes that advances coming out of plasma physics could allow for the future development of inflatable structures that can generate a magnetic dipole of 1 or 2 tesla. That could [be] enough to shield Mars against the solar wind,

Posted in Noted & Quoted, Science, Technology

Looking into the black hole at the heart of the Milky Way – The Guardian

[I]f Einstein’s equations break down anywhere, they are most likely to do so at the edge of a black hole, where the fabric of space-time is being stretched more severely than any other place in the cosmos. As Laing says:

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Stuff in Space – h/t @pbump

Stuff in Space is a realtime 3D map of objects in Earth orbit, visualized using WebGL. The website updates daily with orbit data from Space-Track.org and uses the excellent satellite.js Javascript library to calculate satellite positions. From: Stuff in Space

Posted in Noted & Quoted, Science, Technology

Vicious microbial warfare helps bacteria evolve cooperation – New Scientist

When Ratcliff and his team mixed two strains of Vibrio cholerae bacteria with different T6SS toxins on petri dishes, one strain or the other always killed off its opponent at any given place. The two strains gradually separated into patches

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Noted & Quoted

[E]ven Fox didn’t tout Bartiromo’s big scoops on Trump’s legislative agenda, because 10 months into the Trump presidency, nobody is so foolish as to believe that him saying, “We’re doing a big infrastructure bill,” means that the Trump administration is, in fact, doing a big infrastructure bill. The president just mouths off at turns ignorantly and dishonestly, and nobody pays much attention to it unless he says something unusually inflammatory.On some level, it’s a little bit funny. On another level, Puerto Rico is still languishing in the dark without power (and in many cases without safe drinking water) with no end in sight. Trump is less popular at this point in his administration than any previous president despite a generally benign economic climate, and shows no sign of changing course. Perhaps it will all work out for the best, and someday we’ll look back and chuckle about the time when we had a president who didn’t know anything about anything that was happening and could never be counted on to make coherent, factual statements on any subject. But traditionally, we haven’t elected presidents like that — for what have always seemed like pretty good reasons — and the risks of compounding disaster are still very much out there.

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So, does Mitchell make any money on the work, which has been shared so many times? He uploaded a high-res image of the symbol and granted permission for anyone to use it personally for free. But for those who want to support his work or simply want something readymade, you can also buy T-shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, and journals emblazoned with the symbol through Threadless.“I really just want to spread the image as much as possible and cement it in history,” Mitchell says. “In all honesty, the amount I’ve made from my Threadless shop so far is still less than my hourly rate, so I don’t really see it as a big deal. If you look at my Twitter, half the replies are people wanting to know where they can buy a shirt. Threadless is happy to help them out with that, and so I’m happy to let that happen.”Now that the symbol has flooded our streets and our timelines, Mitchell just has one request: “Impeach this idiot already,” he says.

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This is a Waterloo moment for Trump, the tea party and their alliance. They have been stopped in their tracks not only by Democratic opposition but because of a mutiny within their own ranks. Although never particularly liked or respected, it is now clear that they are no longer feared. The bankruptcy of their ideas and their incompetence have been exposed. Their momentum has been dissipated. Their rejection of political norms has itself been scorned. Our long national nightmare may finally be coming to an end.

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+ BTW, I recently upgraded some this and that on the back end of the blog, and it does seem to make comments post much faster [. . .]
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