<p> “Lack of sleep disrupts every physiologic function in the body,” said Eve Van Cauter of the University of Chicago. “We have nothing in our biology that allows us to adapt to this behavior.” </p> <p> The amount of necessary sleep varies from person to person, with some breezing through their days on just a few hours’ slumber and others barely functioning without a full 10 hours, experts say. But most people apparently need between about seven and nine hours, with studies indicating that an increased risk for disease starts to kick in when people get less than six or seven, experts say. </p>
<p> So why do mammals and birds have REM sleep at all? “The best answer I can come up with is that it’s there to prepare you for waking,” Dr. Siegel said. “When the important work of sleep is done, REM sleep just makes you as alert as you can be while you’re asleep.” </p>
<p> They found that meditating actually increases the thickness of the cortex in areas involved in attention and sensory processing, such as the prefrontal cortex and the right anterior insula. </p> <p> â€œYou are exercising it while you meditate, and it gets bigger,â€ she says. The finding is in line with studies showing that accomplished musicians, athletes and linguists all have thickening in relevant areas of the cortex. It is further evidence, says Lazar, that yogis â€œarenâ€™t just sitting there doing nothing”. </p> <p> The growth of the cortex is not due to the growth of new neurons, she points out, but results from wider blood vessels, more supporting structures such as glia and astrocytes, and increased branching and connections. </p>
<p> Engineers from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, added beryllium oxide to the standard uranium oxide pellets used in light water reactors. Because uranium oxide does not conduct heat well, pellets made of it tend to crack and degrade as the temperature of the reactor core rises and falls, and this means they have to be replaced before all the fuel has been used. Beryllium oxide is a better conductor of heat, so it allows the fuel pellet to cool more efficiently, says Alvin Solomon, who led the research. This means the combined pellet lasts much longer than the standard one. </p>
<p> “One of the common ways was to make spectrographs – looking at how the spectrum of sound waves developed over time – and in this we saw the unique signal.” </p> <p> The two researchers describe the unique signal found on spectrograph plots recorded by Indian Ocean hydrophones as a “chirp”. </p> <p> What it means is that low-frequency vibrations are arriving before those of higher frequencies, producing a distinctive upward curving slope. </p> <p> “In this frequency range – and these are very low frequencies, well below 1Hz – this is a unique signal,” said Dr Bowman. </p>
<blockquote> <p> If nuclear power was used to the fullest practical extent in the United States, we would need about 300 power plants of the type now in use. The waste produced each year would then be enough to kill (300 x 50 million =) over 10 billion people. I have authored over 250 scientific papers over the past 35 years presenting tens of thousands of pieces of data, but that “over 10 billion” number is the one most frequently quoted. Rarely quoted, however, are the other numbers given along with it: we produce enough chlorine gas each year to kill 400 trillion people, enough phosgene to kill 20 trillion, enough ammonia and hydrogen cyanide to kill 6 trillion with each, enough barium to kill 100 billion, and enough arsenic trioxide to kill 10 billion. All of these numbers are calculated, as for the radioactive waste, on the assumption that all of it gets into people. I hope these comparisons dissolve the fear that, in generating nuclear electricity, we are producing unprecedented quantities of toxic materials. </p> </blockquote> <p> </span><span style=";font-family:verdana;font-size:85%;" >– If you ask me, that is a profound and insightful statement. Another thumbs up for the book ! Definitely a must read for everyone – both pro and anti nuclear folks.</span> </p> <p> <span style=";font-family:verdana;font-size:85%;" ><a href="http://www.phyast.pitt.edu/%7Eblc/book/">Link</a> via <a href="http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=161804&cid=13529161">Slashdot</a></span></div> <div style="clear:both; padding-bottom: 0.25em;"> </div> <p> </p>
One nice short story after a long time. You’ve gotta read this.
Here’s a excerpt from the story.
You ever wonder why Google doesn’t cache it’s own searches?
They program around it.
No. That’s what you think. That’s what everyone thinks. But it started back when Google was just a thesis project, back when it was just a drop in the data sea. No one thought to stop it back then. That web site you had, the one you forgot about. Almost everyone’s got one of those, right? But Google doesn’t forget. Google’s studied that thing so many times that it’s studied its own caches of you. What do you figure happens, when a site gets so big that it’s bigger than the internet?
It’s still a part of the internet, though.
No. Now, the internet is a part of Google.
I am not drunk and babbling gibberish. This is news. One fundamental theory which aims to make the use of trigonometry easier and more accurate. Proposed by Dr Norman Wildberger, a professor at University of New South Wales, this theory replaces angles to which we are so much used to by now, with a concept called as ‘spread’.
Here’s an excerpt from an article about this theory.
Established by the ancient Greeks and Romans, trigonometry is used in surveying, navigation, engineering, construction and the sciences to calculate the relationships between the sides and vertices of triangles.
“Generations of students have struggled with classical trigonometry because the framework is wrong,” says Wildberger, whose book is titled Divine Proportions: Rational Trigonometry to Universal Geometry (Wild Egg books).
Dr Wildberger has replaced traditional ideas of angles and distance with new concepts called “spread” and “quadrance”.
These new concepts mean that trigonometric problems can be done with algebra,” says Wildberger, an associate professor of mathematics at UNSW.
He has also written a book called ‘The Divine Proportions : Rational Trigonometry to Universal Geometry‘ by N J Wildberger. There is a chapter available for preview.
On first look, the concepts are straightforward in a logical sense. But i do not see how it simplifies and eliminates the calculations that are presently being done with sines and cosines. Well that’s just me and i could be wrong ! Maybe this is a revolutionary theory that is going to change how we look at things in the future.
Read an article today “Chemist Tries to Solve World’s Energy Woes” at Livescience. Chemist Dr. Daniel Nocera at MIT is trying to use the bountiful energy in sunlight to split water into its basic components, hydrogen and oxygen.
Well the research is still underway and is probably far from being complete but there could be some potential here. If it works, is practical and feasible, then in the future, we might be able to use something like this. Although i very seriously doubt the use of sunlight as a perpetual energy source for such a reaction, i would love to be proved wrong.
Here is an excerpt from the article where Dr. Nocera talks about future energy needs.
Nocera cites a calculation by Caltech chemist Nathan Lewis that power demands in 2050 will be so great that just to keep carbon dioxide emissions at twice preindustrial levels, a nuclear plant would have to be built every two days. There’s not enough room on the planet’s surface for other widely touted solutions such as wind and biomass to have much impact.
I seriously do not know on why people are so skeptical about the use of nuclear energy for producing power. It is much much safer and foolproof than it used to be; We can get almost limitless and perpetual energy if we produce fuel rods in Breeder reactors; It is environmentally friendly and clean. History has taught us a bad lesson about reactors but isn’t it time to move forward and think about how not to repeat the history by making advanced safety measures to avoid any kind of catastrophe. And safety is one of the important aspects that we are being taught. The end result is not just about producing power but to produce clean, safe power. And we are getting there …
I for one, strongly believe that reactors are the cleanest answer available to us to meet all the energy needs of the future. It is vital to realize this fact and start building reactors and reduce the usage of fossil fuels as much as possible before we end up imposing doom on ourselves soon. But oh well since economics and politics are involved in this earth saving venture, i know that we will wait until the situation that Norcera portrays in the excerpt is reached …