Gravity Waves Detected

So, from what I can tell, somehow my website started to try to portray itself as an https site instead of an http site, which, in the long run, took the website down.  I don’t know how that happened, but I apologize for not taking care of it faster.  Anyway, it’s back up now, and I might as well get back to posting.

On February 11, the scientists at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (or LIGO) detected a blip.  That blip provided massive evidence for Einstein’s theory for how gravity works. The LIGO is essentially a gravity microphone.  To avoid wasting time on describing the discovery, here is the news release for those of you who haven’t heard of it yet: https://www.ligo.caltech.edu/news/ligo20160211

This discovery provides a large amount of plausibility to my gravity shield idea, because if gravity does work in this way (as supported by the blip), and if we can detect the fluctuations in space-time, it isn’t much further to actually manipulate it.  And if we can manipulate it, we can do most, if not all, of the things I mention in my gravity shield page are possible.

Telepathy

I have recently been longing for telepathy more and more, due to the many complicated thoughts that make their rounds through my head that I both want and need to say, but don’t lend themselves easily (and sometimes not at all) to words. So it has become more and more common for me to be quiet for a long time, and then suddenly wish out loud for telepathy.  I now have good news: telepathy appears to be possible.

Scientists are making breakthroughs neurology, and while the technology is currently invasive, we can actually control things outside of our bodies through our brains. One example of this is a robotic arm that (I assume via surgery) is connected to a paralyzed person’s brain, allowing them to directly control that arm. I am also aware of an experiment that was conducted in which two people were connected to each other with a technology that appears to be similar to that used with the robotic arm in the last example. One person sat in front a screen, and the other sat in another room with a video game controller in his hand.  The first person was actually able to play simple video games on the screen in front of him by controlling the other person’s hands on the controller.

With some further insights into how thoughts and ideas are formed and held in the human brain, this same technology could be used to communicate telepathically. A further sophistication would be to actually have a form of transmitter and receiver surgically added to the head so people could telepathically communicate without having to physically connect each other.  You could even have something like a cell phone tower to relay telepathic signals so you could telepath (or whatever the verb form of the word is) to someone on the other side of the world.

But what if the owner of the telepathy relay decided to keep a record of your thoughts, or the government decided to add a memory chip to the telepathy transmitter in your head? So much for 1984! You could have a literal thought police! The more sophisticated versions of this would certainly be very invasive, but it is a very cool idea, in my opinion, and a dream made possible for me.

For literature purposes, you could use this to make a dystopian government with a thought police, or that has a reeducation camp where they install chips that control your thoughts and makes it impossible for you to disobey or at least monitors your thoughts and reports them to the government. You could also use this to make exterior memory chips, so you could memorize stuff more easily.  You could have doors where you have to plug your brain into a security device to open it, or a secret society that communicates in the middle of everyone via telepathy.  You could use this for a fanatical special ops team in which their vocal chords are taken out and they are telepathically linked, thus enabling absolute silence during operations.  You could use this for pet training, drone flying, internet surfing, project planning, car driving, game playing, public speaking, psychology researching, and the list goes on and on.  A lot of this would be possible in real life, though many of them would require research that proves even further that that necessary for the basic idea (such as learning how various pets’ minds work to enable human/animal telepathic links).

X-Ray Vision and the Like

The human eye can only detect a small range—from 390 to 700 nanometers—of the entire spectrum of light—from .001 nanometers to 100,000,000,000,000,000, or 1 picometer to 100 megameters—and we tend to take it for granted that this is the only light that is possible to see. But what if it were possible to see other spectra of light? Bees, and I think some butterflies, as well as other insects, can see ultraviolet light, though they sacrifice the ability to see red light. If they can see other spectra, why can’t we?

The human eye has molecules on the outside of its rod and cone cells that react to the presence of certain types of light. When one of these molecules receives a compatible photon, it results in an electrical signal being sent to your brain, which translates the signal into a color. There appear to be multiple types of these molecules, each of which works differently, but in this post I will call them photoreceptors collectively.

Humans only have a few types of photoreceptors, so we can only pick up red, green and blue light, which our brain combines to make the colors we see. We also have a photoreceptor on our rod cells that picks up all visible light, giving us grayscale night vision. Some animals, however, have photoreceptors that respond to ultraviolet light, allowing them to see it.  There is also some indication that humans have the ability to see the near-visible spectra (at least part of Ultraviolet and Infrared), but that our lenses filter it out.  Read more about that here.

So all we need to see light of different spectra is the photoreceptors to pick them up (and possibly some lens surgery to keep it from filtering them out). However, the way in which we attach them can have different effects on the way the new light is seen.

The first method to be developed will probably attach the new photoreceptors directly to certain existing cones, allowing us to see the new spectra in the same colors we see visible light. The result would be a person that sees both the bones and skin on the same person at the same time, or someone with infrared vision interlaced with normal vision.  While useful in many situations, this would also cause problems, such as the color of an object being dependent on its heat, causing confusion as to whether you are looking at a cold red object or a hot blue object.

The next developmental step would be to incorporate the new photoreceptors into the DNA. We would have to figure out the DNA sequence that would make these photoreceptors, and figure out how to make our DNA make new cone cells in the eye, which is why I have this listed as being developed after the method of attaching it directly to existing cones, but once we figure out how to do this, we will see the new spectra as their own colors. Now, I don’t know how this will manifest—we might still see the same colors, with the visible spectrum showing up as green, ultraviolet as blue, and infrared as red, or we might actually see new colors; I don’t know—but either way, this method is bound to eliminate confusion.

This would lend itself very well to science fiction. You could write a book about a squad where (going with the first method likely to be developed) one member gets a red rim on his vision in the presence of dangerous radiation levels, one has infrared vision, one has X-ray vision, and one can see Ultraviolet, or (going with the second method likely to be developed) you could have one person who can see the entire spectrum of light as new colors (this would have the added benefit of being able to see magnetic fields, because the electromagnetic force works by photon exchange).

Here is another post by someone else that explores current progress in the fields of human infrared and ultraviolet vision, as well as echolocation.

Global Warming

I have always been frustrated by the major idiocy surrounding global warming, so now, in light of the international meetings currently taking place on the subject, I have decided to open this up for discussion on the forums. I will copy this post to a thread in the newly established “Real Science” forum, so we can discuss it.

 

First, I will just say flat out that global warming is fake. I don’t know for sure why it has been invented, and I’ll try not to speculate on that in this post, but it is nevertheless an outright fabrication.

One of the major tenets of global warming is the hole in the ozone layer, so I’ll start there. The global warming people claim that the ozone hole is causing, or at least contributing to, global warming.  But think about it.  Ozone is a greenhouse gas.  It insulates the earth.  The absence of ozone would leave the earth colder than before, not warmer, so a hole in the ozone layer would by no means warm the earth! And even if it would warm the earth, it is created by the polar vortex, which only happens over Antarctica, and only from August to November (there is a weak polar vortex over the North Pole, but its effects are inconsequential). This means that, because of how it is made, the ozone hole cannot spread past Antarctica, so it would have virtually no effect on the world as a whole.

CFCs were banned because of the ozone hole, but they actually have very little effect on the ozone hole. CFCs affect the ozone layer at the hole by something like 5-10% (I don’t have internet access right now, so this is off the top of my head—it might even have been .05-.1%, but I’m being liberal just in case). This may seem significant until you realize that the ozone layer fluctuates naturally by over 50% at the ozone hole.  Furthermore, not a single human calamity has been linked to the ozone hole, but something like 40 million human deaths have resulted from the absence of CFCs (again, I’m operating straight from my mind, without internet—I think it was actually more like 44 million, but I’m giving the other side the benefit of the doubt).

Now on to carbon dioxide. While it is true that the CO2 content in the atmosphere has been increasing lately, we have not seen a substantial change in the actual global temperature of the earth. From the early 1900s to the 2000s, CO2 content in the air has increase from ~290 ppm to ~375 ppm, approximately a 25% increase in 100 years. During this time, the global temperature has increased by about .5 degrees C, or about .7 degrees F.  In addition, combustion, the main (if not the only) way humans release CO2 into the atmosphere, also releases other gases into the atmosphere that reflect light, causing a cooling effect. Then there’s a report from Harvard University on their review of over 240 scientific studies on global temperatures in the past which indicates that the earth was significantly warmer between 800 and 1300 AD than it is today (I have a textbook I am using as a reference now).  I don’t think they had much factory activity in the Middle Ages, and I doubt all those burning castles exceeded our current CO2 output. Also, remember that .7 degrees of warming that happened in the last 100 years? Most of that happened before humans were burning much fuel, and before the CO2 levels really started to rise.

The final topic I will address here is the ice caps. It is true that some ice caps are melting. For example, the Larsen B ice shelf has experienced a fair amount of shrinkage over the past few years (the textbook I am currently referencing doesn’t say how much). However, just a few hundred miles over, the ice sheets on the west side of Antarctica have been thickening.

If you have any more aspects of global warming you would like me to address, I’d love to hear them.

Matter

Matter is, of course, made up of atoms, which are made up of protons, electrons, and neutrons, which are made up of quarks, and there are various theories that describe what quarks are made out of. However, every smaller particle we come up with has to be made up of smaller particles, which have to be made up of smaller particles, which have to be made up of smaller particles, ad infinitum.  So what is matter at its very core?

matter pic

One hypothesis I have heard suggests that substance is made up of the eternally vibrating sound waves of God’s voice when he spoke the universe into existence.  While I may or may not agree with that hypothesis, I do think that matter is made up of vibrations in the fabric of space-time.  To illustrate this, I will refer to my gravity shield explanation, where I posited that when you have a “cliff” in the space-time continuum, it creates a force field. Vibrations are very small, fast movements, so you wouldn’t have the distance or time to have very much of a slope, resulting in tiny cliffs.

If matter is made up of vibrations  in the space-time continuum, that would mean matter is kinetic energy in its purest sense (movement of space and time). In other words, the relation between matter and energy that scientists have been looking for to explain atomic fission and fusion is that matter is energy in its purest sense.  This would explain why light is attracted by gravity, and why light acts like both a particle and a wave: light is made up of energy, which is the same thing matter is made up out of, therefore light reacts the same way to gravity as matter does. Gravity is not acting on mass, but energy.

So why can electromagnetic force move matter? If matter is made up of kinetic energy, then, because electromagnetic force is (according to current theory) caused by the exchange of photons, and photons are little packets of energy, the energy from the photons can disrupt the kinetic energy, causing the matter it makes up to move.

This has interesting implications for some views. For instance, this would mean that photons are not strictly electromagnetic disturbances, but tiny, moving gravity wells.  I said “strictly” because this idea would mean that gravity and electromagnetic force are actually the same force, just exerted differently, so when I said photons are not strictly electromagnetic disturbances, I guess what I was really saying was that the electromagnetic force is technically the same as the gravitational force.

Now, when you touch something, you don’t actually touch it. The electron shells on your atoms approach the electron shells on the atoms of the thing you are “touching,” but when they get close enough, the charges are too great to overcome any longer, and you get no closer.  It is kind of like when you try to force like poles of magnets towards each other, but on a much greater (though submicroscopic) scale.

So this brings up an interesting question. What happens when matter actually touches? I don’t have a solid answer to this, but my knee jerk reaction would be that the matter would actually meld, like two drops of water colliding in a zero-G environment.

RC Humans

Most people know that muscles contract when they receive an electrical impulse. So is a brain really necessary? Every way I can think of that a human or animal can die is a result of the brain ceasing to function. If your heart stops working, the blood stops flowing, thereby cutting off the food and oxygen flow to your brain, and you pass out and eventually die. If your lungs stop working, your blood doesn’t receive oxygen, so it carries food to your brain, but not the oxygen needed to process it, so your brain runs out of energy and you pass out and die.

So what if you replaced the brain with electrical circuitry, or used some kind of neural helmet to stimulate impulses from the brain? You could raise bodies from the dead. The person would still be dead, but the body would be functional again. Add an AI and you have a semi-intelligent zombie or a recycled body, however you wish to think about it. Also, suppose you programmed the circuitry and added a radio (or other wavelength) transmitter and receiver? You would have a remote controlled human.

human antenna

Now, suppose we had nanobot technology. We could program nanobots to take over a brain, thereby creating the same effect as the helmet in the last paragraph. While we cannot do this with current science, it is a much more useful form. You could package the nanobots together in projectile form, and create a weapon that would turn the enemies to your side instead of killing them, creating an army that grows with every casualty it inflicts.

There are a few obstacles to the use of this idea. First, if any other vital functions were compromised, the body would not live very long. Take the heart or lungs, for example. The body would only last until the muscles ran out of energy from lack of oxygen. Also, I highly doubt we understand the brain fully yet, and for this idea to work, we would either have to duplicate all of the brain’s functions exactly (in the case of replacing it with circuitry), be able to take control of specific parts of the brain (in the case of the nanobots and helmet when used on living people), or be able to stimulate every part of the brain and take specific control of specific parts of it (in the case of the nanobots and helmet when used on dead bodies). I doubt any of these are currently within the reach of today’s scientific community, but I would not be surprised to see us gain those abilities during this generation.

Telomeres and Immortality

When your body replicates your DNA, the enzyme that catalyzes the reaction (DNA polymerase) cannot begin the replication at the beginning of the strand, because it has to latch on to a certain group of atoms that only exists on one side of the nucleotides. As a result, every time you replicate your DNA, you lose a nucleotide. Needless to say, this is bad news for your genes, and, by default, you. So your DNA has long strands of repeating sequences of non-coding DNA at each end called telomeres that serve as a buffer zone. However, you replicate your DNA quite a lot over the course of your lifetime, and as you get older, you begin to lose genes. The result is aging. This is speculated to be why Dolly the Sheep died around the same time as the sheep she was cloned from, even though it was already a few years old when Dolly was cloned from it. The telomeres had already been lost. This is one of the main problems for cloning, aside from the horrendous rate of failure.

The good news is that there is an enzyme called telomerase that repairs telomeres, so that you never run out of them. Cancer cells have this, which is why cancer cells are immortal. Now consider this: cancer cells are your own cells that have been mutated to not know when to stop reproducing. This means that you have the DNA to make telomerase; it is just inactive. If it was active, you would not age, because you would never lose genetic information due to replication.

telomeres and immortality

This brings up an interesting point: if telomerase would keep humans from aging, and we have the DNA to make it, why is the DNA inactive? I have no way of knowing for sure, but I think the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil had something that deactivated this portion of DNA when consumed. Continuing in this train of thought, might the Tree of Life have something to counter this effect? Or perhaps it has telomerase in its fruit. Of course, God could have used purely supernatural means, but He seems to like to work through the laws of nature that He created, and I see this as one way He could have done that.

Also, suppose scientists could figure out how to reactivate the genes that make telomerase? Could we make ourselves immortal? Here we start seeing the same dangerous type of thinking that caused the Tower of Babel, but I thought I’d mention it just as food for thought (though I guess that’s really what everything here is).

I just found a post that covers this in more detail, and goes beyond telomerase to other causes of age.