Fwd: Dark Matter

Not finding something is also scientific evidence...  Last night I  watched a cool movie called Europa Report about a manned mission to find life on Europa.  In the movie, one of the characters explains that even if they find nothing at all that this still will advance our scientific understanding... 

'The former Homestake Gold Mine in Lead, S.D., has a hallowed place in the history of physics as a spot where nothing happens.


It was there, in the 1970s, that Raymond Davis Jr. attempted to catch neutrinos, spooky subatomic particles emitted by the sun, in a vat of cleaning fluid a mile underground and for a long time came up empty. For revolutionizing the study of those particles, he shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2002.


On Wednesday, an international team of physicists based in the same cavern of the former mine announced a new milestone of frustration, but also hope — this time in the search for dark matter, the mysterious, invisible ingredient that astronomers say makes up a quarter of the cosmos.


In the first three months of running the biggest, most sensitive dark matter detector yet — a vat of 368 kilograms of liquid xenon cooled to minus 150 degrees Fahrenheit — the researchers said they had not seen a trace of the clouds of particles that theorists say should be wafting through space, the galaxy, the Earth and, of course, ourselves, knocking out at least one controversial class of dark matter candidates.


But the experiment has just begun and will run for all of next year. The detector, already twice as sensitive as the next best one, will gain another factor of sensitivity in the coming run.


"Just because we don't see anything in the first run doesn't mean we won't see anything in the second," said Richard Gaitskell, a professor of physics at Brown University and a spokesman for an international collaboration that operates the experiment known as LUX, for the Large Underground Xenon dark matter experiment.


As has become de rigueur for such occasions, the scientists took pride and hope in how clearly they did not see anything. "In 25 years of searching, this is the cleanest signal I've ever seen," Dr. Gaitskell said in an interview.'






Fwd: De Blasio

'The scruffy young man who arrived in Nicaragua in 1988 stood out.


He was tall and sometimes goofy, known for his ability to mimic a goose's honk. He spoke in long, meandering paragraphs, musing on Franklin D. Roosevelt, Karl Marx and Bob Marley. He took painstaking notes on encounters with farmers, doctors and revolutionary fighters.


Bill de Blasio, then 26, went to Nicaragua to help distribute food and medicine in the middle of a war between left and right. But he returned with something else entirely: a vision of the possibilities of an unfettered leftist government.


As he seeks to become the next mayor of New York City, Mr. de Blasio, the city's public advocate, has spoken only occasionally about his time as a fresh-faced idealist…


Mr. de Blasio… grew to be an admirer of Nicaragua's ruling Sandinista party, thrusting himself into one of the most polarizing issues in American politics at the time. The Reagan administration denounced the Sandinistas as tyrannical and Communist, while their liberal backers argued that after years of dictatorship, they were building a free society with broad access to education, land and health care.'




Fwd: Iran

'An estimated 560 people have been executed in Iran this year, including as many as 250 since President Hasan Rouhani took office in August, according to human rights advocates. In the two weeks between Sept. 11 and Sept. 25, Iranian officials hanged a record 50 people, mostly for drug offenses, according to International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran…


But the phone conversation is not believed to have touched on human rights violations, despite the fact that Iran's prisons are filled with journalists, bloggers, political activists, Christians and Bahai's who have been arrested and are being held for compromising national security or going against the teachings of Islam.'






Fwd: not amused

'Yeah, there is a debt deal. But the president is not impressed. We do not know what McKayla Maroney thinks about it.'



I had no idea who the picture was of, but it reminded me of the queen Victoria thing J




Fwd: Brazil

'The largest and most organized criminal organization in Brazil has threatened to unleash a "World Cup of Terror" during the world's biggest soccer stage in the summer of 2014.


Just eight months before Brazil hosts the World Cup, Brazilian police have intercepted phone calls using wiretaps from the First Capital Command (PCC) drug cartel threatening a series of attacks during the World Cup if the government decides to transfer some of its gang members to prisons spread across the South American country, according to Brazilian newspaper Estadao.


The PCC was formed in Sao Paulo, Brazil's largest city, and operates within the country's prison system. Using cell phones, lawyers and corrupt officials, the criminal gang has managed to grow to an estimated 11,000 members and gain control of the country's major drug trafficking routes between Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay.


The threat is being taken seriously by Brazilian police who are tracking the threats and are currently locked in a street war with the gang. The PCC murdered 106 members of the Military Police in 2012 after revenge attacks were ordered by the gang in response to the execution by police of suspected gang members.'




Fwd: debt

'...As Niall Ferguson notes, while politicians crow that the deficit has dropped -- from super-enormous to merely really, really gigantic -- every year that we're in deficit adds to the debt. And the long-term trends are bad: "A very striking feature of the latest Congressional Budget Office report is how much worse it is than last year's. A year ago, the CBO's extended baseline series for the federal debt in public hands projected a figure of 52% of GDP by 2038. That figure has very nearly doubled to 100%. A year ago the debt was supposed to glide down to zero by the 2070s. This year's long-run projection for 2076 is above 200%. In this devastating reassessment, a crucial role is played here by the more realistic growth assumptions used this year."'

Fwd: Oreo

'Connecticut College students and a professor of neuroscience have found "America's favorite cookie" is just as addictive as cocaine – at least for lab rats. And just like most humans, rats go for the middle first.


In a study designed to shed light on the potential addictiveness of high-fat/ high-sugar foods, Professor Joseph Schroeder and his students found rats formed an equally strong association between the pleasurable effects of eating Oreos and a specific environment as they did between cocaine or morphine and a specific environment. They also found that eating cookies activated more neurons in the brain's "pleasure center" than exposure to drugs of abuse.  '





'A recent study was picked up a lot by the media, claiming that "Oreos are as addictive as drugs". Just to get that out of the way as soon as possible, this headline, as flashy and attractive it is, is flawed. I'll explain why in this post…


The question which naturally arises after that is: If you stop eating Oreos, do you experience Oreo withdrawal? This is basically the difference between things you really like and things you're addicted to – the difference between physiological addiction (addiction to a drug) and psychological addiction.'





Fwd: Alzheimers

'Alzheimer's breakthrough hailed as 'turning point'


The discovery of the first chemical to prevent the death of brain tissue in a neurodegenerative disease has been hailed as the "turning point" in the fight against Alzheimer's disease.


More work is needed to develop a drug that could be taken by patients.


But scientists say a resulting medicine could treat Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's and other diseases.


In tests on mice, the Medical Research Council showed all brain cell death from prion disease could be prevented.


Prof Roger Morris, from King's College London, said: "This finding, I suspect, will be judged by history as a turning point in the search for medicines to control and prevent Alzheimer's disease."


He told the BBC a cure for Alzheimer's was not imminent but: "I'm very excited, it's the first proof in any living animal that you can delay neurodegeneration.


"The world won't change tomorrow, but this is a landmark study."'



Best wishes,

John Coffey



Fwd: Debt

'Shortly before President Barack Obama was re-elected, he confided to John Podesta, an informal adviser, a vow he was making for his second term: He would never again bargain with Republicans to extend the U.S. debt limit.


The precedent, set in the agreement that ended a 2011 budget standoff, "sent a signal that this was fair game to blackmail over whether the country would default," Podesta, a onetime chief of staff to President Bill Clinton and co-chairman of Obama's 2008 presidential transition, said in an interview. "He feels like he has to end it and end it forever."


The stand Obama has taken on the latest fight over the government shutdown and borrowing limit -- refusing to tie policy conditions to raising the debt ceiling -- is an attempt to repair some of the damage that he and his aides believe he sustained by making concessions to Republicans to avert a default two years ago, according to former top administration officials and advisers.


The resolution of the showdown with House Republicans will be critical to maintaining Obama's capacity to wield his clout in Washington during the three years left in his presidency and protect the political initiatives of his first term, they say.


The outcome will probably help determine his leverage to press for new priorities such as a revamp of immigration law, expanded access to pre-kindergarten education and infrastructure funding. It may also stave off attacks on his health-care law and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.


If Obama makes concessions again to House Republicans over raising the $16.7 trillion debt limit, "he'll be viewed as a guy who you can hold up," said Podesta, chairman of the Center for American Progress, a Washington research group with close ties to the administration.'




Fwd: VIX

'Among the real-time monitors the administration paid close attention to during the 2011 budget battle was the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, said William Daley, who was then the White House chief of staff.


The VIX, sometimes nicknamed the market's "fear gauge," rises when investors anticipate more stock market volatility in the future.


It surged from 13.16 on Sept. 19 to 19.6 yesterday, before dropping this morning to 17 as of 12:07 p.m. That's less than half the VIX's peak of 48 reached during the 2011 debt crisis.


Along with the VIX and broad market measures, the administration is also currently closely watching near-term Treasury yields and credit default swaps on U.S. Treasury debt.


Credit-default swaps on U.S. Treasuries fell from a seven-month high, dropping three basis point to 37 basis points, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That compares with 21 basis points last month and about 65 basis points in 2011, the last time Congress played brinkmanship over the debt limit.'





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On Daniel Radcliffe


Susan Dominus profiles Daniel Radcliffe and his drive to move beyond the wizarding world.


The New York Times: Susan Dominus - Daniel Radcliffe’s Next Trick Is to Make Harry Potter Disappear


    “I think there was a part in the back of my head that was going: This is all going to end. And you’re going to be left in this nice apartment. Just living here. And being reminded of what you did in your teenage years for the rest of your life.” David Thewlis, who played Professor Lupin in the Potter films, once said that even when Radcliffe was young he would “joke that he’d be in rehab by the time he was 18, and by 27 he’d be hosting a game show called ‘It’s Wizards!’ ”


On servers


Ashlee Vance takes a look at Facebook's cutting edge data centers being built near the Arctic Circle and how the company's efforts are changing the server business.


Bloomberg Businessweek: Ashlee Vance - Inside the Arctic Circle, Where Your Facebook Data Live


    In the middle of a forest at the edge of town, the company in June opened its latest megasized data center, a giant building that comprises thousands of rectangular metal panels and looks like a wayward spaceship. By all public measures, it’s the most energy-efficient computing facility ever built, a colossus that helps Facebook process 350 million photographs, 4.5 billion “likes,” and 10 billion messages a day.



Apple’s iPhone 5C now costs $45



RoboKind R50

At the beginning of this decade I predicted that we would see intelligent robots by the end of the decade.

Check out this video on YouTube: